Pillow Talk #13


Happy Sunday!

I'm getting back on track when it comes to blogging and I've got so, so many posts/books/music I want to share with you!

In case you're new here, my Pillow Talk posts are a weekly (most of the time) round-up where I'll give a mini life update of what I've been up to that week, along with sharing wonderful content that I've been exploring. Whether it be blog posts, videos, podcasts, music, you name it, if I've enjoyed it I'll be mentioning it here!
To consider

Why Minimalism Is Essential To Doing More Of What Matters - Break The Twitch


Over the last few weeks, I've taken a real dislike to clutter. Although you might not believe it considering how many water bottles and receipts there are in my car, not forgetting the never-ending supply of clothes tags lying around my room, I'm trying to change. I'm desperately trying to simplify things and if I don't need it, or don't love it, to get rid of it! Part of this mindset came from this post on minimalism by Anthony Ongaro, who explains that sure, minimalism won't solve your problems, but it might help clear your mind a little! I also listened to this episode of The Debrief Podcast on How To Become A Tidy Person. It's old now but a) funny, and b) very helpful! More on podcasts later!

The Debate To Divide A Nation: Should We Keep Read Receipts On?


I'm a regular reader of Chloe's post, as you'll know if you're a long time reader, and every time she continues to smash it out of the park. One of her recent posts really stuck with me and got me thinking about my own perspective on read receipts. Should we keep read receipts on? I know that when I can't see if someone's read my message, it infuriates me - I hate the mystery and will actively choose to talk on a platform, Messenger I'm looking at you, that has read receipts enabled by default. However, then the obligation and guilt comes to haunt you. Read a message and forget to reply? The other person knows. And even worse, you could choose to read and not reply, sending a passive-aggressive signal to your texting buddy.

Ergh, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it all and if I could truly give up the read receipt, but Chloe sums up the issue wonderfully.

london days out | crossrail place roof garden


I'm making a conscious effort at the moment to get out and explore London as much as possible at the moment. Whether it be after work or at the weekend. I recently read Erica's post on the Crossrail Place Roof Garden and it looks like just the place I'd like to hang out in! I think I may have passed through here last year on my way to Big Easy, but didn't stop and look around. I must go back soon!
I'm just going to come out and say it. I love Love Island. I'm addicted. I don't care if you think it's rubbish, it's an hour a day where I can forget everything and become totally swept up in the lives of 8 or so islanders. I've been loving Vix Meldrew's daily catch up posts, and of course the endless scrolling through memes after each show. Do you watch the show?

The Prosecco Sessions


My lovely friend Pippa, who writes regularly on her blog Clashing Time currently co-hosts a podcast called The Prosecco Sessions, and this week I got a cheeky lil mention on the show! I'd highly recommend this podcast, it's like listening to your best friends having a good old natter over a glass of bubbly. Don't be fooled though, the girls cover some serious topics we all face in the land of adulthood. Not one to be missed!

The Debrief Podcast


As I mentioned earlier, I am a little bit (very much so) addicted to old episodes of The Debrief Podcast. Yep, I was totally living under a rock seemingly last year when the show kicked off, and now it's stopped! RIP The Debrief. The Debrief Podcast is hosted by Tessa Coates and Stevie Martin, who I both adore and will proudly admit they make me laugh every time I listen. I'm listening to the entire archives before I let myself listen to their new adventure, Nobody Panic. The show looks at a different topic each week, centered around learning how to be an adult and live better. It's certainly helped me get my groove on!

The Multi-Hyphen Method


I've finally picked up again, and what better way to get back into reading than with Emma Gannon's latest book, The Multi-Hyphen Method. I'm around halfway through this book (likely much further by the time you read this) and am loving it! The whole idea of being at work and having to do the 9-5 thing seems so old-fashioned. I want greater work flexibility and I think we should all strive for that! Emma discusses how and why this should be the way forward in the workplace. It's also been great reading a real-life physical book on my train home every day. Even if it's just for ten minutes or so, that's ten minutes of quality not-looking-at-my-phone time.
Guess where I've been going to? The gym, that's right! After being unable to hold down a regular routine in what feels like months and months and months (and honestly I think it was November when I last went 'regularly') I've finally got it together and started going at least twice a week again. My aim is three times, but if I only manage twice, I think that's pretty good going. I'm planning on using Love Island as a reward. I go to the gym, I can watch Love Island. I don't, I have to wait.

And finally, last week I went to see James Veitch at Angel Comedy Club with a few of my friends. I've seen James' a few times now and every time he just gets funnier! My cheeks hurt for a long time afterward and I'm pretty sure I've got abs on the way after laughing so much. I even got to have a quick chat and photo with James after the show! Much fun was had!



Becoming Who I Want To Be


Right. Time to be real here.

Last May I started broadening my horizons and listening to podcasts which completely transformed my outlook on the industry. I had so much motivation, I actively blogged, I actively worked to better myself, and at the time and looking back, I am bloody proud of myself.

Since then, I've seen glimpses of myself in that mindset, but I think, honestly, I'm lazy. I'll go through phases of being on it, and phases of not blogging for months at a time.

What have I noticed? Those periods of time where I'm 'on it' I look back on fondly and feel like I've achieved something. Everything else? Meh. It's all right but I was just coasting along. Coasting is not good.

Time to change!

Here's my action plan;

  • Listen to podcasts that provoke creative thoughts, encourage self-care & self-improvement, and make me laugh. Including; 
    • Ctrl Alt Delete
    • Keeping it Candid
    • My Favorite Murder
    • The Debrief Podcast / Nobody Panic
    • The Fringe Of It
  • Read books! I've got an ever-growing tower of books which are just sitting there, not being read. I want to read for at least 10 every day. 
  • Get up earlier and do yoga. I want to do it - so why don't I get up and, you know, do it?
  • Go to the gym three times a week. I feel excellent afterward, so again, why on earth don't I just do it?
  • Walk more - if I've got the time and a trip will take me less than half an hour to walk, walk it. 
  • Document this 'journey'. 

Perhaps this lack of enthusiasm, mixed with anxiety bubbling under the surface, and a general feeling of not knowing what I want to do next week let alone what my grand plan for the future is, is one of the reasons why I've felt a little lost when it comes to blogging.

So, here begins my 'journey' of actually sitting down and getting some blog posts written up about things I already talk about (Pillow Talk and bullet journal posts, I'm looking at you) as well as regular snippets here on the blog or on Instagram updating you, dear reader, on my progress of leveling up. Becoming who I want to be.

Time to begin.


Does Made In Chelsea Promote Toxic Relationships?


Made In Chelsea. The show I love to hate...

Last weekend I was feeling absolutely knackered, so decided to binge on a show that I haven’t watched since my late teens. I was catching up on old episodes (we’re talking series 10/11) of Made in Chelsea.

As I watched, I started to remember why I’d stopped watching.

In case you're unaware, Made in Chelsea is a reality show based in, you guessed it, Chelsea, where we see the lives of young socialites living it up in capital (or occasionally a luxury hot destination - v. jealous) and all the drama that comes with it.

As I sat there wrapped in up in a duvet watching too many episodes than I'd like to admit, I realised that the whole show centres around drama. It's just argument after argument.

The storylines are always based on one of the following: either a friendship group is on the verge of breaking up thanks to a comment said behind someone's back, or a missed party invite. Let's be clear, there are worse things to worry about in the world than not getting invited to a party.

The other thing is relationships. It seems like everyone and their best friend's mother sticks their nose in (Hint: Don't, it's none of your business), there's cheating left, right and centre, or there's being made to feel like utter shit for going out with your friends on a night out instead of staying in with your significant other. Newsflash people, going out to a social event without your boyfriend/girlfriend is not a crime. Don't even get me started on the scenarios where one party in the relationship is guilt tripping the other into picking them or their friends. Not on!

Anyway, yes, I know that this is a reality TV show so of course, it's going to be dramatic, the situations are often set up and made into an elaborate string of dialogue as we switch between various cliques talking about each other behind each other's back. But it's all too easy to get swept up in this Instagram worthy world, coated in an all too perfect filter oozing in aesthetic.

The more I watched, the more I wondered how watching this show regularly might skew my view of the world, and make me treat my own friendships and relationship differently.

The show manages to create a very toxic atmosphere, and yet portray it as normal. It becomes normal to bitch on your bestie. It becomes normal to stick with a manipulative boyfriend, it becomes normal to create drama over absolutely everything!

That and the fact I also sat for a long while contemplating why my current daily routine doesn't involve going for elevensies every day and having fancy tea and cake.

What I think I'm trying to say is, often in this Instagram orientated world, it can be hard to see the difference between what's real and what's not. We're surrounded by this vision of supposed perfection online, not seeing the truth, and Made In Chelsea is an example of a somewhat toxic lifestyle, glamourised and made to look like #goals for us all to drool over.

Don't get me wrong, I love a reality TV show and can't quite tear myself away from watching at the moment, but remember to take what you watch and see online with a pinch of salt.


Pillow Talk #12



Good evening my loves!

Welcome back to my "weekly" Pillow Talk post. Real talk, I love these posts but am half considering making them fortnightly. We'll see how it goes...

The last couple of weeks have been manic. I've been so busy and feel like I've forgotten what it's like to have 8 hours of continuous sleep. Weekdays are flying by, we're already a week into April, and I don't know whether I'm coming or going. The bank holiday weekend? That already feels like forever ago. Oh, how I'd long to have a four day weekend every week!

Cutting to the chase, I don't like this being so busy I'm permanently exhausted malarkey. It's not healthy and I'm going to end up slipping up on responsibilities or being grumpy and miserable or worse, both. But what's made me so busy? A bit of a shakeup in my evening routines.

Let me explain. I blog in my free time, except, I don't. The thing is, I usually leave blogging until I'm at home sat at my desk. I occasionally write on the go when I'm cruising the underground, but for the most part, I'd dedicate two evenings per week to blogging. However, this often doesn't work out so well. There are distractions, like a comfy sofa, YouTube, Netflix, video games, chatting with my friends. Meaning writing a blog which should take an hour or so max (to write the content, not including editing, photography, and scheduling) can take more like three. Or not get finished at all! So... what I've started doing is scheduling one to two evenings per week in my bullet journal where I will go and visit a coffee shop. I'm trying to go to a different one each time, and as long as they serve peppermint tea I'm happy. I then set myself a limit of 1 hour there to blog & get photos edited, or admin completed before popping off home. This, touch wood, seems to be working! I'm getting posts written much quicker and have more time to perfect them. It seems to be a winning combo right now.

That's making me busy at least two evenings per week, and I'm also trying to head to the gym three times a week. Twice during weekdays and once at the weekend. I'm at a point right now where I'm actively enjoying the gym, and although tiring, I can feel and see the benefits. I would advise you not to do a load of deadlifts a day before having to stand at a concert for three hours though...

All of this is an effort to free up my weekends so I can properly switch off and have some down time doing whatever I like, without the feeling of guilt looming over me because I'm behind on a post. I think the shakeup is only feeling so tiring at the moment because I'm not used to it. I'll update you in a few weeks on how I feel then.

How do you balance blogging, a full-time job, and a social life? Tips, please!

In addition to this, I've also been fitting in social events and consuming some uh-maz-ing blog posts (more on that in a bit). This week I went to see MO in concert at Brixton Academy, she was super and made me feel all the love for pop/electronic music again. I've been swaying a lot towards indie rock recently but some change is in order!

Let get onto some blog posts I've been loving, shall we?

Advice For Bloggers Who Work Full Time | Style Rarebit

This kind of fits in with what I've touched on above, getting a schedule together is really helping me balance a full-time job and blogging. I really need to work on building a bank of photos to use for future posts though!

HDL Aligners | My Experience of Clear Braces | Mapped Out

Hands up who had a brace as a teen but didn't wear their retainer? Ha, that would be me. For the last couple of years I've been eyeing up orthodontic treatment to return my teeth to how they once were, and if Georgia's experience is anything to go by, this might be the way forward for me!

At The Bank - Conversations With Anxiety #06 | Alys Journals

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a melon trying to explain my anxiety to people, especially in scenarios that others might not even bat an eyelid at. This post from Alys is like exactly how I feel, specifically the bit about trying to not look weird and not knowing where to look!

Fake Followers, Likes and Copying. You're Ruining This Industry | Lauren Black

Somebody needed to say it, and Lauren sure did hit the nail on the head. Fakes, be gone! Seriously, it drives me mad when you see people working so hard in this industry only for others to cheat their way through it. Where's the enjoyment and satisfaction in that?

at what point do you start calling blogging your work? | Yasmin Stefanie

Real talk, Yasmin you're like my fave blogger at the moment. Keep it up gal I love your content! This is a post that I feel all us bloggers can relate too. Sometimes I'll say to my friends that I'm blogging and they just don't get it. They think that means sitting on Instagram or mindlessly writing things on the internet. Oh no my friend, there's so much more. And you know what, blogging, whether it's your weekend hobby, side hustle, or full-time job, you can love it and still call it work.

That, my friends, is where I'm going to love you and leave you for today. Please do check out the blog posts I mentioned, and just in case you missed it, do have a look at my bullet journal post from earlier in the week. I'm v. proud of it. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday x


Inside My Bullet Journal | Feb - Mar

Hey guys and galz. I'm really excited to share this post with you today. I spent a sweet time on these photos over the Easter holiday so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 

I thought it was time for a little bullet journal update. You might remember back in January I updated you on how I was taking a bit more of a minimalist approach to my journal this year. I needed it to be functional and not distract me too much from other tasks. In January I found a concrete weekly layout that I worked very well for me, and that continued through February. In March I tried to switch things up a bit. Here's how it's been going: 

February front cover in my bullet journal

Now, I did give you all a sneaky preview of my cover for February in my last post, but it's just too pretty not to feature again. I love how minimalist this page is. I really like having the dots in the background, and the calligraphy centred in the middle. Yes, okay, it kind of looks like I've spelled February wrong, but blame my penmanship skills!

February Monthly Spread & Budget TrackerWhat you might not have seen, (unless you follow me on Insta @rawrrbecca) is my monthly spread for February - which I adored! February is my birthday month so I thought yolo let me trace this fabulous unicorn here because it's pretty. I really like this geometric art style. I gave myself a pat on the back for the 'feb' open calligraphy too. As you can see, the calendar itself is very basic. I like the fact it's only got horizontal lines to break up the weeks, I think it looks very clean. I thought about adding goals or a to-do list to the spread like I did in January, but decided against it. February is always a hectic month for me and I didn't want to put any extra pressure on myself. 

This was the month I finally seemed to get to grips with a budget tracker. I was inspired by Amanda Rach Lee (who btw, is a bullet journal goddess, literal goals) from a video she did for students. You can watch the segment on her budget tracker here. I've adapted it a little to suit my needs (I also use an app to keep me in check throughout the month - post on that soon) but I really enjoyed seeing my expenses written down, and using colours to quickly identify which areas I was overspending in. Unfortunately, I went a little over budget back in Feb, but I set this right by the end of March! 

Two of my weekly spreads from February
As I mentioned earlier, throughout February I used the same weekly spreads as I had throughout January. I love the layout because they're simple and quick to draw and make it so easy to see what's going on that week. I had a lot going on in February and was super stressed out with a few things, which I think is why I didn't try any other weekly spreads at the time. Didn't make for good blog content but it did keep me sane for those few weeks! I think that this will be my default weekly spread. If I'm feeling uninspired or know that I'm going to be super busy, this layout will make an appearance! 

March Front CoverHere's my March cover photo. I'm not in love with it but it's different to anything I've done before so I like it in that respect. I felt a little bit lost at the start of the month in regards to whether I should have any kind of theme to the month. March is typically the time of year where I ditch the jumpers, whip out my denim jacket and start asking Jim to come on strolls around the park with me. This March was different though, we had a week of heavy snow to start with, and then two weeks in, even more snow! Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of snow but not at the end of what feels like an eternal winter. 

To counteract this blue feeling, I started the month with a different kind of monthly spread than I am used to. I penciled out a grid to start with, then went in and drew some different plant life to act as the dividers between days of the week. I left the pencil lines because I liked how it looked. It was a little more decoration than I'd had for a while but I liked it. My choice of plants did make events happening on Wednesdays and Thursdays a slight struggle to fit in, but I like it none-the-less. 

I followed this monthly spread with a budget tracker, exactly the same as February, and was very pleased that despite a bit of overspending here and there, I'd underspent in other areas so came in on budget. My savings account will be happy. 


Woah, you made it through the big one! I had more fun that I probably should have putting that little bullet journal collage thang together. Due to reasons I'm not really sure of, I actually missed a week towards the beginning of March, but carried on the following week like nothing had happened. I wasn't until I was taking photos I actually realised! After keeping it very samey in Feb, I decided it was time for a switch up. I'd been traipsing through Pinterest and Instagram looking at various spreads and came up with the following. 

Week Eleven

I really really like this spread as it took me a grand total of five mins to draw out. I didn't use a ruler (I might have to divide the page, but didn't draw with it) and like the little bit of decoration in the corner. I enjoyed this weekly spread because it still gave me a lot of room each day to write whatever I needed too, plus I had room for notes/a plan for the following week. I did miss having a mini monthly calendar though. I definitely could have added this, I just didn't think of it until it was too late! 

Week Twelve

I'm still undecided about how I feel when I look at this page. The vertical lines were a bit of a throwback to my cover page, and I liked the minimalist look, but it just didn't grab me. It worked but I'm not crazy about it. Thoughts? 

Week Thirteen

The week I loved! Now, not to be dramatic here but I used a considerable amount of colour on this week compared to the rest of my bullet journal. I liked it a lot though, and will definitely be giving this spread another go sometime! I love this spread because it's rough and ready. Again, no rulers were used, you can tell by the face the boxes at the bottom are slightly smaller, oops. I really liked the way each section was separated, I really like the colour. I really liked all of it. 

It's got everything I want! A notes section, a bit for things happening the following week, room for a motivational quote! Plus each day has its own section. #loveit. 

Do you like my cheeky lil behind the scenes shot? That's where the photography magic happens! Yep. It's not a real floor! 

That brings my March pages to an end, meaning it's time for one thing... my April cover! What do you think? I really like the letters individually but don't think I've got the spacing quite right. I think I'd like to add something to this page before the end of the month. It's just not sitting right with me so far. I might try and do something a little similar to February. 

What I am loving is my monthly spread and first weekly spread for April. I am very happy with them, but you're going to have to wait a little longer to see them! If you're lucky you might be able to spot them on my Instagram. 

If you made it this far, thanks so much for sticking around! I have spent a lot of hours on this post. I really love bullet journaling and wanted to make this a little bit extra special to show that! 

Thanks for popping by! 


One way I'm getting my to-do list in check


Okay folks, today I wanted to talk to you about an app I've been using.

I'd just like to point out that this post isn't sponsored - I just really like the app!

If you know me in real life, a phrase you'll hear me say way too often is "I've got this app..." and I'll then proceed to tell you how it's changed my life along with a guided tour of all the features. I often make my friends cringe when they see the pages and pages of apps on my phone, but to tell you the truth, I can't help myself.

I thought it might be pretty nice to stop blabbing to my friends all the time about various apps, and instead, share my absolute favourites with you guys. Chances are if I find them handy, you will too!

To get the ball rolling, I want to start with an app called Habitica. I stumbled across this app when it was 'app of the day' in Apple's app store and to be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I really liked the concept.

Habitica is an app which allows you to track your habits, daily to-do list, and one-off tasks. What makes this a bit different from your average to-do list type app, is that you have a character to represent yourself, and the more you tick off, the more experience you gain, and you level up. Likewise, if you note down your bad habits you'll notice your health bar taking a hit!

This is what's kept me interested in the app. I'm a gamer at heart (give me a tycoon game and I'm oh so very happy) and so the idea of gamifying my life seemed pretty cool. And might get me to stop drinking diet coke all the time.

I'll let you in on what my dashboard currently looks like:



Habits


So as you can see, my habits are:

  • Do inner thigh exercises x3 / week
  • Do yoga
  • Stop drinking diet coke
  • Drink more water
  • Have money left over in account
  • Stop eating as much fast food
  • Read for 20 minutes
  • Go to the gym
  • Do 10 crunches
  • Do 10 squats

Listen to podcastsThese are habits that I either want to improve on, such as going to the gym or cut back on, like eating fast food and drinking diet coke. Habitica allows you to determine if a habit has positive or negative outcomes (or both) so that when you do them you press the plus or minus button.

Yellow is neutral, green is good, and red is bad.

I like setting habits like this as, like you can see in some of my notes, I set an aim for so many per week but I'm still flexible as to when. You can change the frequency to refresh at different times, such as daily, weekly or monthly.


Dailies


Tasks in this section are things which I need to do that day. Greyed out tasks are things that you don't need to do that day, but are kept in sight so you don't forget them.

My daily tasks (for the day I wrote this haha) are:

  • Sweep guinea pig cage
  • Take vitamins
  • Clean guinea pig cage
  • Brush teeth
  • Remove makeup

As you can see, some of these I'm doing really well with - blue is even better than green, and some I'm not doing so well with.

You can join in with challenges on the platform and this is something I've only dabbled in, to be honest. I tried joining one where I have to plank every day (I did 0 planks haha) and one where I am aiming to walk 10k steps a day. Often I come in just under this so don't get to tick it off - cry.


To-Dos


Finally, my one-off to-dos:

  • Book Eurostar for France

I'm going on a trip later in the year and nearer the time need to book a train ticket. I can't actually book this far in advance yet, hence why it's red, but I'm definitely not going to forget. I generally put less in this section just because I'm a bit of a scatterbrain and seem to be less inclined to do something if I write "Write this post by tomorrow". I have to be in the mood. Plus I'm still using my bullet journal for a lot of things like that.

To sum it up, I've been using this app for nearly all of March and haven't got bored of it yet. I'm fluctuating between a measly level 1 and a slightly less bad level 3. If you keep letting your health bar go down you will lose levels!

Something to note is that when you miss Dailies & To-Dos deadlines, the following day you'll see your health bar take a hit. Oh, oh, aaaaaand, it will also go down every time you log one of your bad habits! This has really helped me stop drinking as many fizzy drinks.

I like to think of it has a representation of my actual health bar - think Scott Pilgrim vs The World :')

There is a lot more to play within this app, you can collect items to decorate your character, you collect eggs, hatch them into pets, can join guilds, take part in challenges! There's a lot to explore. I'm slowly decorating my character but am just enjoying the visualisation of my habits at the moment.

As you can see, my stats aren't yet very high :')


What do you think? Perhaps something you might try?

Pillow Talk #11

Finally got to use my new camera a couple of friends got me for my birthday! 

Happy Sunday!

Remember when the idea of these posts was to share them with you in the morning? Ha, oh well, better late than never!

So, let's catch up!

This week I feel like I'm finally getting back into my groove. I'd been feeling a little bit stuck when it came to thinking up ideas and being creative, but seem to have beaten this by turning to pen and paper. I've found myself jotting a lot down, even at work, whether it's a brainstorm or more of a list format, it really helps. I write down whatever comes to mind, good ideas, not so good ideas. You name it. It's really spurred me on this motivated side of me and I've had more ideas in the last week than I have in 2018!

What's else has been going on?

If you know me, you'll know that I'm a bit of a Tomb Raider fangirl. One of the very first games I ever played on the sacred PS1 was the very first tomb raider game, so watching the series continue and then the reboot a couple of years ago has brought me so much joy. On Wednesday I went to see the new film which follows the first game of the reboot fairly closely. There were, of course, some slight differences in the game's storyline, one of which really surprised me, but I still loved the film none the less. I really enjoyed Alicia Vikander's portrayal of Lara, especially as she transforms from regular early twenty-something to hardcore, literal, tomb-raider. Brb, I'm off to play the game again!

On Thursday evening I spent a couple of hours with the lovely Pippa and Natalie at the London Laptop Club. I'd never been before but we just spent the time having a good old natter whilst attempting to get some blogging done. It was really nice chatting with people in the blogosphere and if you're in the area, do come along next time! You can follow the club here: @Ldnlaptopclub

In addition to this, I've been really upping my efforts with the gym. I always go to the gym quite late in the evening but I'm trying to go a little later as then I can't really come up with any excuses. In the last two weeks, I've gone five times which for me is very good going! My goal is three times a week and I'm trying to fit in Yoga at home on days I don't go. Has anyone tried the app 'Downward Dog'? I've just completed the intro for beginners and so far I'm really enjoying it!

Anything else?

I think that's about it for this week. Who else is excited for the bank holiday weekend? Easter has come around so fast! I'm going to try and have a blogging day on Friday so watch this space for lots of new posts!

Toodledoo

Who is Rawrrbecca? Blogger Q&A

Oh hey, it's me!

I've never done any kind of Q&A post before so I'm actually really excited to write this post. I feel like I chat a lot about my life on my blog but have never explicitly answered any questions about me. Let's change that, shall we?

I'd like to thank Marty Rogers for nominating me. Please do go and give his post a read too!

When was the last time you cried?


The last time I cried was last week after a bit of a dreadful doctor's appointment. Long story short I'm going round in circles at the moment with something - emphasis on the something, no one knows what's causing me pain, and it all got a bit much to be honest. Positive vibes though!

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?


I hope so! To be honest, when I first meet people I can be quite reserved. It's not that I want to be but I'm quite shy around new people. Once we've met a couple of times though I open up and you'll see a whole other crazy side of me. I pride myself on being incredibly loyal to my close friends. If you're in my circle of friends I will defend you like there's no tomorrow.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?


Yes, generally with my closest friends the most so they know I'm definitely being sarcastic and not rude :')

What's the first thing you notice about people?


How much eye contact a person gives. I think eye contact is a good indicator of how much somebody is invested in your conversation, especially in group conversations. However, I don't base too much of an opinion about the person on this as I know that 1 on 1 eye contact can sometimes be a little bit intimidating if you're shy or anxious.

Scary movie or happy endings?


I love the process of watching horror movies, and I like being scared for the duration but I think I prefer psychological thrillers over gory horror. Not about that life. I like happy endings but don't tend to watch particularly cheesy films anymore.

Favourite smells?


Vanilla and coconut and marzipan are a few of my faves.

What's the furthest you've ever been from home?


I went to San Francisco. Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon when I was 16 on a school trip. Those 10 days were eye-opening and I long to go back. Got to do a lot of saving up first though!

Do you have any special talents? 


I make some cracking Snapchat videos singing my heart out to songs by Take That and Will Young but these work's of heart will never be available for public consumption. Probably...

Where were you born?


Greater London

What are your hobbies?


Bullet Journaling, blogging, board games, gaming, and spending time going outside as much as I can when the weather's up to it. Day trips are my fave.

What did you want to be when you grew up?


A computer game designer. I wanted to be the person who turns the basic skeleton of objects into something that looks like it should actually be in the game. I don't think I'm artistically skilled enough though unfortunately. I was inspired by an old Tomb Raider Legend guide that showed how Lara Croft had progressed over the years as technology had progressed. I'd love to be involved in the gaming industry one day.

How many countries have you been to?


More than I realised:
France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Wales, and the USA.

What was your favourite/worst subject in school?


I hated science. I find science interesting now but hated the way it was taught. I always felt really bad at science, especially when it came to equations in chemistry and physics. I loved Computer Science, Media, and Classical Civilisation. It was thanks to me taking CS that I got to go to San Fran, and I really loved Classics. Funnily enough, I took all three of these subjects at A-Level.

What is your favourite drink?


If we're talking alcohol I love Malibu & coke or Disaronno & coke. Or, if it's a cocktail I am partial to a mojito. Otherwise, I love apple juice, San Pellegrino grapefruit juice, or a diet coke. Trying to stop drinking coke though as I think I'm actually addicted to the stuff.

What would you (or have you) named your children?


I'd really like to pass down my middle name, I think... but, the older I further into my 20s I get the more the idea of children absolutely terrifies me.

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?


Helen Anderson, SunshineJess, Jaackmate, and I am liking Zoella's latest vlogs where she's a lot more honest about what goes on behind the scenes.

How many partners have you had?


I've only had one serious relationship, which is the one I'm in - 6 years and still going strong. But before that, I had my fair share of schoolgirl crushes. I'm guilty of being in love with being in love.

Favourite memory from childhood?


Going to Disney Land Paris when I was 10. That whole trip was incredible.

How would you describe your fashion sense?


I'd say I take most of my influences in fashion from grunge and, perhaps surprisingly boho. In the summer I drift a little more to the latter, and in winter I'm more likely to have a grunge edge to my outfits. To be honest it can all vary so much though.

2016 was when I first found my style. Thanks to endless soul-searching on Pinterest and a confidence boost, I built up a wardrobe full of denim and stripes. Loved it. Last year I spent all summer in as many pink and yellow pieces of clothing as possible - followed by burgundy this winter. Now that Spring is almost here (wish it was already) then I'm hoping to go back to the previous two years of my fashion and amalgamate them together.

Watch this space!

Tell us one of your bad habits!


Procrastinating. I procrastinate with a lot of things and tell myself that I'll do it in 10 minutes, I'll just sit here for a while longer. The excuses go on and on, and it's something I need to work on!

Who I'm nominating? You. Yes, you there reader. If you've gotta blog I want to encourage you. So, go and write your answers, publish that beauty of a post and then hit me up on Twitter so I can take a look!

Toodles!



Pillow Talk #10


Oh hey!

I feel like I've been super busy recently and I'm the first to admit that my weekly Pillow Talk posts have been slipping in my list of priorities.

I wanted to start off with a bit of a catchup because there are a few things that are on my mind at the moment which I'd really like to write posts about in the coming weeks.

Firstly, I celebrated six years of dating my boyfriend, Jim, a couple of weeks ago. We went to a food market and then spent the day enjoying a winter walk in the sun, and stopped off for more food because we just love eating. I had a lovely time and it's amazing to think that we've been together so long. It's kind of a bit daunting though if I'm honest! I turned 22 in early Feb and it's so weird to think I've been in a relationship since I was 16. Like, this makes me feel old. Even though I'm not, obvs. I just can't believe that so much time has passed. I'm thinking of writing a post about being in a long-term relationship for so long where I discuss some of the highs and lows that come with it.

I'm also getting extremely impatient with the weather at the moment. I loved the fact we had 'proper' snow the other week. I haven't seen it like that where I live in so long, so it was nice to really enjoy it. However, I'm getting sick and tired of the grey days. One of my favourite things to do in spring/summer is head to a park with a picnic and just chill out all afternoon. I did this a lot in my mid-teens with my best friend, but I became slightly alarmed when I can probably count the number of times I've done that in the last 3 years on one hand. Like, that's terrible. What on earth did I spend my summer weekends on last year? Fuck knows. I just feel like I've wasted so many Saturdays and am itching for some good weather so I can go and just sit and chill for a bit. Chuck a couple of ciders and some sausage rolls in a cool bag and take me to a park and I'm happy as can be.

This brings me onto wanting to write a summer bucket list. I don't want autumn to roll around and me be sat there thinking what the hell happened, where did the summer go? So, within the next few weeks, I want to compose a list of things I will do this summer. No ifs or buts. I will hold myself accountable. Two of my best friends got me a Polaroid camera for my birthday and this seems like the perfect way to capture all these summer memories.

In other news, I'm also trying to organise a meetup for social media professionals. If you live in/around London and have anything to do with social media (there's a good chance you do if you're reading this) then I'd like to invite you to my meetup. It's going to be an event for social media novices to experts, where we can share ideas, help each other learn, and unlock the secrets to a good social media strategy. I'd love to see some bloggers there and I would appreciate the support! Getting a tad stressed about this, not gonna lie, so... if you're interested please check out the meetup page, and I've set up a Twitter page too so you can keep up to date with it all. Please show it some love! Let's get better at social together!

Also, in case you missed my updated post on why I didn't go to uni, do check out my post here, in celebration of it being National Apprenticeship Week.

Now onto some recommendations based on what I've been up to:

The Secret:

I haven't finished this book yet, but it's opened my eyes quite a lot so far and is having a definite impact on my way of thinking. I've seen a lot of people talk about putting the message out there to the universe about something you want, and this kind of follows that idea. It's all about attracting what you want. Simply put, positive thinking will bring you positive outcomes. It's made me think quite carefully about things. If I'm thinking negatively about something, I'm now more aware that subconsciously, I'll probably be acting in ways to make a bad situation occur. So now when I catch myself being less optimistic about something, I'm trying to put a spin on it so I'm seeing things in the best way.

Feel like I've waffled a bit here but I'd recommend you check it out.

Red Sparrow:

I went to see Red Sparrow in the cinema this week and loved it! The film trailer originally caught my eye because some of the film is set in Budapest, and after my trip there in December I had all the pre-Christmas feels. Other than that though, I went into the film pretty clueless as to what it was about, apart from knowing it was a spy movie. I was impressed. The film is quite long, but it has good pacing throughout and I didn't want it to end. The plot kept me guessing right until the end, and although at some points pretty dark and downright brutal, it was very, very good. Go watch it!

And with that, I'll leave you to enjoy your Sunday evening!


Why I didn't go to uni. An update.



Way back in 2015, I put pen to paper and wrote about my decision not to go to university like many of my peers. Three years on and I'm still happy with my decision, and since it's National Apprentice Week, I thought I'd write a few of my thoughts about life further down the line after completing an apprenticeship.

Firstly, I'd invite you to read my original post here. Go'rn, it's a good'un.

Job prospects


Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. If you're pondering whether you should choose an apprenticeship over uni, something you're probably considering, and let's be honest, what you should be thinking about, is job prospects.

At some point, whether it's for curiosity's sake or because you want to switch things up, after your apprenticeship, you're going to want to change jobs.

On the one hand, apprenticeships let you get straight into the mix, you get your hands dirty and you get something very valuable for your efforts. You get experience. You're already in the industry you want to be in, and you've got a good feel for it. It's likely you'll already have 1 - 3 years experience in the field by the end of your apprenticeship. Use this to your advantage. It's something a uni student can't say.

Be warned, however, that many job specs will require you to have a degree before they even look your way. It's not fair, but it's how it is, currently. Don't let this put you off though. If you think you'd make a good fit for a job, I'd go ahead and apply anyway. With your experience and inside knowledge of the industry, you'll likely impress your interviewer.

Remember the following. As an apprentice, you're not just cheap labour. You're quickly building a whole host of skills and are used to the working lifestyle. That might sound silly, but being ready to face a 9 - 5 job can be extremely daunting to a freshly graduated uni student. Take those skills and smash it.

Money


Time for some real talk. As an apprentice, you're going to go from top to bottom, and then slowly work your way up again. I'm going to be very frank with you here.

When I started my apprenticeship, nearly all of my friends were at uni, skint, living on tins of baked beans while I had a regular paycheck coming my way. Being only 19, I had barely any responsibilities. Sure, I paid some rent to my parents, and I paid for my own driving lessons, and let's not forget the travel into London every day. However, the rest of my money was mine to do whatever I wanted with. New clothes, nights out, games, holidays, whatever.

You'll probably feel quite well off compared to your friends, but know that when they graduate, they're going to steam ahead with a higher wage. Right from the get-go. Mentally prepare yourself for being the most well off, to the worst. You're still going to progress, wage wise, and skill-wise, obviously, but your friends will suddenly skyrocket in how much cash they've got to play with.

Another point to consider here is, sometimes you'll be doing the exact same job, have more experience, and possibly even more skills than a graduate counterpart, but will still be paid less. Thankfully I personally haven't really experienced this, but I know someone who has. It's a shame, but unfortunately, this is a risk you take when going down the apprentice route.

Least I'm being honest with you, huh!

Friends


On to happier times, friends! Out of all my friends, only four of us did an apprenticeship. I know two people who went straight to work after college/sixth form, and everyone else went to university. This did play havoc with my friendship groups for a while. As you'd expect, those of us that weren't at home got closer, and everyone else became a bit distant for a while. What is nice though, is being able to plan a weekend to go and visit your chums across the country. My two besties and I have done this too many times to count during their time and uni and they were always such good fun. I enjoyed it because I got a good feel of the uni lifestyle for the weekend, and got to see them, obviously. Many drunk Snapchats were taken.

Now, nearly everyone, bar two or three people have finished uni and have come back home. It's really nice, to be honest with you. Since one of my besties have come back I honestly question how I went so long without seeing them while they were at uni. Having more people around means you can have fab nights out and plan cute little day trips with a big group. 

Plus, you'll make new friends during that time. People you meet through work, other people who didn't go to uni. Some of my best friends now I didn't even know, and probably wouldn't know if I had gone to uni (likewise for uni people, they meet some of their besties there too).

Regrets?


Overall, I'm still happy I went down the apprenticeship route. To this day, I still can't decide which course I would have picked at a university. Occasionally I'm a bit envious of people having the living away from home experience, but I'm saving up to house share right now. Yes, sometimes I get a bit bummed out about money, but money doesn't buy happiness.

My best piece of advice to anyone who's considering an apprenticeship is, go for it.

If you see an opening for a job that you like, seriously, go for it. 

Likewise, if you see a course at a university that enthralls and inspires you, go for it.

Go for whichever option makes you excited. Do not pick one over the other just for the social life that comes with it. You'll have ample opportunity with both options for nights out. Trust me!

I hope that this very honest account of life after an apprenticeship helps you in some way. Obviously, I can't speak for everyone's experience, some will have had better experiences and some will have had worse.


Pillow Talk #9

The Come Down



Okay, here's the deal. Last weekend I had the best weekend ever. I was so happy and content with life and didn't have a single fear or worry. I was #livingmybest life and somehow managed to get pretty much all of my friends in the same place at the same time to dance and drink the night away to some absolute bangers.

However, we all know that what goes up must come down.

Now my birthday's out the way I'm literally like, "What do I do now? What can I look forward to now? OMFG I'm so sad about everything - HALP"

Okay, queue the dramatic music, but, don't you hate that? When you've had something planned for ages, then it somehow goes to plan, you have the best time, but then it's over and you're like, oh, what do I do now?

That's how I feel.

Like, everything is fine and dandy but I wish I could zip back to last weekend and live it all again. Never fear, however, as I've spent this weekend taking part in a little retail therapy and treating myself to some delicious food. Mcdonald's on Friday, takeaway yesterday... Don't judge me.

Anyway, enough about me, more about who's been inspiring me and motivating me this week. If you read my blog earlier in the week you'll know I took a hot minute away from the blogosphere and boy oh boy, have I come back to some uh-maz-ing content. Vlogs, podcasts, #relatable posts. It's been a joy to absorb myself in all this week (and has muted the blow of that birthday comedown). Let's get stuck in and share the love SHALL WE?

Motivation

I was feeling in a bit of a funk at the beginning of the week, but I caught up on Zoella's latest vlogs (I hadn't watched anything since about mid-December). I was pleasantly surprised to see Zoe talking about her new approach to vlogging this year. She will be and already has taken her camera into meetings she has to record them all. Why do I love this? Because it gives myself and others a better understanding of what's happening behind the scenes. Following all that advent calendar drama last autumn, I think this is a good move forward for Zoe, and I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Anxiety

Anyone who wants to question just what exactly is going on inside my head when I say I've got anxiety needs to read this post.  Alys is actually writing a whole series in this style and it hits the nail on the head. It's the perfect way to give someone an insight as to how some quite 'normal' things can actually be incredibly daunting and scary.

Friendships

This is honestly like my favourite subject at the moment. Friendships in adulthood are hard and hearing that others feel the same make me feel so much better. This week Olivia and Charlotte launched The Fringe Of It Podcast and well, I need to a take a minute. It was like listening to two besties chat to you about things which I think we've all thought before but perhaps haven't discussed enough, if at all. The part which resonated with me most was where the girls spoke about when you have a friendship breakup, but for no real reason. You just sort of stop talking and seeing each other. I can relate - it's sad, but promising to know that we all go through it.

That's all for this week my chums!


January Journal

Hey gang,

Today I wanted to share with you the pages in my bullet journal from January.

Like my lopsided lines for my January cover?

I'm loving my more minimalistic theme compared to last year. I think there's definitely room to add further decoration without going too crazy, but in January I really needed function over form. I had a lot of blogging things I wanted to organise, as well as starting to carve out some plans for later in the years - holidays and such.

Monthly Log


Here's my monthly spread. I love the style of the grid!

My monthly log was plain and simple and at first a little empty. Thankfully I managed to fill this up as time went on. I'm currently finding joy in things which cost less money than going out-out, like playing board games with my fave chums until the early hours. I wanted to keep my monthly log simple and left room for if I wanted to decorate or add in any tasks/goals.

Overall, I loved this layout and got a lot of use (and joy) from the calendar. I like being able to plan things in. I love being able to look forward to things. Didn't really make proper use of the tasks section so I might drop that.

Brain Dump


Mood tracker on the left, brain dump on the right

There's always going to be things I want to jot down but just don't quite fit anywhere else. That's where my bullet journal came in handy. I did a very adult thing last month and bought my own car (omg who am I?) and that required quite a lot of organisation, so much of my bujo spread was taken up with errands relating to that.

Weekly Logs


First week starts off looking pretty empty

Oh ma goodness. Now, call me boring, but I've found a weekly spread that works for me so well I don't ever want to change it. I tried this layout back in December (fact check?) and it works for me so well! I've got space for tasks, and notes (although sometimes I do find that these cancel each other out and I could easily have one), plus a mini calendar so I know where I am in the month, and, a section for things happening the next week. I like this because a) keeps me organised and allows me to plan, but b) if something exciting is happening next week, I can start getting hyped!

I switched it up a bit by changing the column layout. 
Things were definitely getting busier this week!

Even busier still!



As I said, for January I really needed form over function, so I didn't have any 'fun' pages or anything. For now, that's alright with me though as my productivity levels were through the roof! Here's a sneaky peak of my cover for this month. 

Let me know how you like to organise your weekly spreads! 












Back, and 22.

Having the best time celebrating my 22nd birthday
I'm now the grand old age of 22. How did that happen?

In December and January, I was in my blogging element. I had a schedule, I had ideas, I was motivated, everything was running smoothly. 

Then, I had a day's break from social media, which quickly turned into a whole weekend, which turned into a week or so away from actively blogging. I wasn't not visiting social media, but instead just taking a little bit of me time. I had my birthday to plan, as well as some quality time with my mates, plus I finally finished reading No Filter by Grace Victory, and have now started to read Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman. 

We've got this little joke in my group at the moment about who's addicted to their phone the most. It's probably me, not gonna lie, but I'd like it to not be! So here's for putting my phone down and looking up at the real world more frequently. 

Oh, then there's that whole part about turning 22!? Honestly cannot believe how quickly another year has swung by. I had a bit of a shaky start last year (read more about that here) but the last 6 months or so have been the best I've had in a long time. I feel like I'm surrounded by some pretty amazing, lovely people right now, and I've had/got so much planned with them for this year. Going into my 22nd year feeling pretty positive! Queue '22' by Taylor Swift. 

Side note, I have genuinely started upping my skincare routine because now I feel as if I'm actually in my 20s proper, and need to be an adult about skincare. Facemasks are my new thing! 

Anyway, I've had a splendid little break from blogging and am now feeling motivated and ready to get stuck in again. I've got a few ideas in hand that I want to explore, as well as working on upping my blogging game in general. I'll be returning to my normal schedule, Pillow Talk on Sundays and thought pieces/opinions/bullet journal posts on Thursdays from this week. 

See you around! To keep you going until then, see my fave posts from the last couple of months: