Mother’s Day Gift Guide

This isn’t my usual style of blog post, but I have to admit, Mother’s Day is one of my favourite “holidays.” I feel like mums are just really easy to buy for. However if you don’t find it that easy then hopefully this will give you some ideas for this Sunday (unless you don’t live in the UK, in which case this may be pointless)

  • Flowers: This sounds very cliche, but mums do love flowers. Whether it’s a bunch of roses or a potted plant, you can’t really go too far wrong (unless your mum has hayfever problems, maybe avoid the flowers…)
  • Hands and feet: before you raise your eyebrows, I mean creams. Mum’s, for some reason, love to have soft hands and feet. I recommend L’Occitane and Lush as they have a good range of scents and prices,  as well as the perks of a “designer brand name.”
  • Shower gels: On the subject of bodies (this sounds weird), in general, shower products and moisturisers are a go-to present for women. As annoying as some people find it, I adore getting these products, I own enough products to start my own Boots.
  • Baking: I love baking, and for most occasions I’ll bake something. I did the dessert for Christmas day, I made my dads birthday cake (which, amazingly, he loved so much it was requested to be the Christmas day pudding,) and I make my mum something on Mother’s Day. This year is no exception. I’m planning on making salted caramel florentines for her. But whatever your mum enjoys, you should make for her.
  • Cream tea: on the topic of food, if you have a bit more money to spend, why not treat your mum to an afternoon tea somewhere, maybe in a rural village you’ve never been to before, as if it’s a road-trip. Who doesn’t like cream tea?!
  • Shopping: of course, if you have the money, and your mum needs a new handbag/has a favourite wine she hasn’t had for ages/likes posh necklaces, you could always treat her to a shopping spree.

Body Size

I went skinny jeans shopping today. Which was an error. It took me over 2 hours to find a pair of jeans that fit in the waist (which by the way, is more like the stomach otherwise I’d look like I’d shat myself), the leg (too baggy or unable to be removed) and the length (I’m short so anything over 30inches and they end up like shoes.) In the end I resorted to the childrens section where there were jeans for 16 year olds that fit me… make of that what you will.

But my hatred towards shopping for jeans isn’t what this post is about is body size and confidence. I’m sure we all have our own things that when it comes to what we do and we don’t like. But there was a common theme in the womens changing rooms. In the two hours (TWO) I was in there I heard numerous comments relating to womens sizes. Particulary to do with “fat.” One comment that stuck with me was:

“I need something to hide my wobbley bits”

Two words there we need to focus on. Need and hide. Why do we live in a society where people feel ashamed about themselves, to the extent where they feel so judged by other people they need to hide certain parts of themselves in order to fit in. The word need is so strong, it’s like she has no alternatives, no say at all in the matter. She has to cover up or face consequences. It should be up to her what clothes she wants to wear, not needs to wear. Or maybe the pressure is coming from herself, and the feeling of embarrassment.  It makes me so sad that so many of us feel self-conscious. Including myself. I think there needs to be a change in how bodies are perceived. I don’t know how because I haven’t got to that stage of feeling confident, but there must be a way for every body to have love and respect for their own bodies, as well as other peoples. You only get one body, one brain and one life so you might as well love it as much as you can.

Top 5 Songs of the Moment

Hi-de-hi people! Today I’m doing another song recommendations post, as I’ve recently changed up my shower playlist and felt as though it was only fair to share these songs with you. Now they can be your shower playlist too:

This is probably a lot of peoples recent additions to their playlist because, well, it’s a new release. Lorde is back people. She is back. And her new song Green Light is a banger. This song kind of reminds me of a cross betwen Sia and Lana Del Ray- obviously this is no bad thing.

Next up is a Bowie song, which will come as no surprise to any of you, but I’ve recently rediscovered Rebel Rebel and it’s safe to say I am pretty obsessed. The version below is a live version, but it’s just as good, if not better than the recorded version. You can hear the energy from the audience, it’s so incredibly powerful. I really wish I could have seen Bowie live, it looks so good. I miss him.

The next song is a little different, but still amazing. You can blame Greg James for getting me into Louis Berry. She Wants Me has such a retro rock and roll feel to it. It is so different to all the other music out there today. If you don’t start dancing to this song, I don’t understand you.

You’ll probably recognise this song from that phone advert from the brand that rhymes with Woogle. It look me so long to find it, but I am so glad I finally have. I absolutely adore it. Pianos and brass and wonderful vocals. Perfect. There is also a UK version which has a different video but is basically the same, so if you want to check it out I highly recommend it.

And finally, thanks to Lets Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, I haven’t had this song out of my head. I loved it growing up, but hadn’t heard it for so long. So thanks to Comic Relief, my love was re-ignited. How can people not like Diana Ross, Chained Reaction? It’s so upbeat, it has those knock on wood vibes (the song, not the action- obviously…)

Print VS online media

Recently a well-known vlogger was attacked by a newspaper for apparently causing declining literacy amongst teenagers. Before even reading it you can tell what sort of article this would be. I bravely clicked the link and couldn’t help but snort laughing at the writing. I daren’t even call it journalism. The article was full of inaccuracies, mis-quotes and clickbait.

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I just thought I would do a little post sharing my thoughts on why both the online and print media should just bloody get along.

Both print and online media have a place in society today. Growing up I fondly remember walking to the paper shop with my dad and brother on a Sunday morning to get my dads weekly paper. This was before the age of computers and smartphones. But I also fondly remember being 15 and discovering the YouTube world, feeling like I’d found a secret place that could entertain me if nothing was on TV or if I was feeling down. Now times have changed, the paper shop has become housing, and YouTube is no longer a secret. It’s become a phenomenon creeping more and more into other “real” parts of the world, other media outlets.

As weird as this feels (I do miss the days when a million subscribers was a rare shock), it’s how times are changing, it doesn’t mean at any given opportunity respectable papers should write hate-filled articles based on lies. But at the same time, print media should be recognised as an important platform, yes, the statistics show newspapers and magazines are being consumed more online than bought in shops (trust ne, I’ve had a lot of uni lectures on this, I could cite many sources, but I won’t bore you) but print media shouldn’t feel threatened. Where else do people get their current affairs from? I personally find The Guardian and the BBC good places to go. I don’t turn to YouTube to find out who’s said what to who in the House of Lords. It doesn’t make YouTube less important to people, it’s a form of entertainment, and should be respected. I think if you are going to write an article on a YouTuber you should at least have some knowledge of how important that platform is for millions of people. It may appear trivial at first glance, but when you realise how the personalities make their audience feel, the trivial nature fades away.

I feel as though I’ve rambled on incoherently, but my basic opinion on this is as follows:
both the online world and the print world are merging and if the print media can’t learn to accept this, then it really isn’t doing itself any favours at all. Live and let live.

 

Motivation and Uni

Staying motivated at uni (or indeed at any point in education) is no easy task, there’s all the deadlines and the constant pressure to do better than everyone else, the fear of failure, and the thoughts about the future. However staying motivated is important, when you start losing the will to carry on it’s when things start to go wrong, trust me, I’ve been there.  I thought I would share a few tips and tricks to staying on task and motivated:

  1. Time flies
    I know you might not want to hear this when it comes to deadlines, but when you can’t really be arsed with your degree you need to remember uni flies by. It feels like my three whole years have gone by in just one. When you think about how far you’ve come and how quickly that went you’ll realise it’ll be over before you know it.
  2. ASAP
    I always start work as soon as possible, I really believe the sooner you start the sooner you can finish.
  3. Notes
    However it’s never easy starting an essay, especially when you hate the topic. If you just start with some note taking, about anything you think might be relevant, you’ll be surprised how much of it you can naturally form into longer sentences and paragrpahs, before you know it you’ll have an essay.
  4. Pre-deadlines
    Set your deadline a day or two before the actual deadline, then you can guarantee you’ll finish in time which means less stress for you at the end.
  5. Plan ahead
    Schedule in when you want to tackle your assignments, there’s always a way to stop yourself from writing two essays at once. So, for example, I have a deadline on the 2nd of April, and I’ve schduled March to be the time of writing. My May deadline is to be written over the Easter holidays. Etc.
  6. You are doing FINE
    I think the person who is judging you the most is you, degrees aren’t meant to be easy (or fun I’d argue) but the fact you managed to get onto the degree shows you have potential. Even if you think your grades say otherwise, and that they’ll never get better, they can and they will.
  7. Treat yoruself
    I spoke to my grandma on the phone today and she said something that resonated with me, “if you don’t treat yourself no-one else will” and I think this is so important. You should reward yourself after all your achievements. Made a good start on an essay? Treat. Handed in an assignment a day early? Treat. Got a first in a presentation? Treat. Even if you think there’s no free time for it. You can make time.

Mental VS physical health

Even though it’s 2017, we’re still at the stage where physical health problems are taken more seriously than mental ones.

I annoyingly have both, and have noticed such a difference in how they’re treated. Take my anxiety. If I mention that I’m feeling/ I’ve felt anxious, (some) people respond with “oh why?” as if they don’t believe it’s possible to feel anxious in a certain situation. These people won’t ask if you’re okay or how they can help. They’ll just want to know the reasons behind it. Sort of a prove it or get over it situation. And most of the time you might not even be sure of the reasons yourself, let alone want to go into the details of your “flawed” way of thinking. But you don’t always have to explain the reasons behind your physical health. Sure if you’ve broken your leg people might want to know how it happened. But no one asks for explanatory proof.

Below is a picture of my hands taken last week. I believe I have something called dermatitis, and as we speak it’s almost cleared up. I have it on several places, each varying in intensity, however my hands are where it’s at its worst. It comes and goes in a cycle and last week it was at it’s worst. It can stop me bending my fingers, it gets itchy at night which keeps me awake, it feels very drying, and it’s just not very attractive.

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I’m not writing this for sympathy, I just feel like there should be an equal respect and understanding for both mental health and physical health. A person cannot help if they think of things in a certain way, or have certain problems with their bodies. I think if you know somebody with something wrong, whatever it is, it’s your duty to be respectful. It’s sad to see people out there who are so full of doubt or judgement.

Clothes Woes

Is anyone else incredibly uninspired by what’s considered fashion these days? I’m not sure if it’s just me being unadventurous or boring, but I literally don’t like anything. I mean my main gripe is all that bloody cheap velvet which makes my skin crawl. I actually cannot touch it without feeling disgusted. It’s my nails on a blackboard.

I’m not claiming to be a fashion expert, I know I am for sure not one. But I’m so done with comments about women having to wear heels to be feminine, and feeling judged by everyone for choosing to wear clothes I like and that are comfy. Take what I’m wearing as I write this. I’m wearing a mens jumper in a size small and it’s so much warmer and baggier and comfier than any jumper I own from the womens section. I honestly cannot recommend mens jumpers and t-shirts enough if you need some pyjamas or just baggy comfy clothes. Who cares that they might look too big I LIKE THEM IS THAT NOT OKAY? Also, being someone who doesn’t wear makeup 95% of the time is apparently a bad thing too. I am shocked to see people think girls who don’t wear it only don’t wear it to be lazy, which means in a professional environment you’re lazy and unreliable. How vile is that assumption?! Just because I haven’t spent 30 minutes putting foundation and eyeliner on, it doesn’t mean my work is less valid. It’s equally as good.

It makes me so sad to think that there are people out there feeling uncomfortable in clothes they think they have to wear, or giving themselves blisters in uncomfortable shoes. You have the right to wear what you like and feel confident, comfortble and happy in. Who cares whether it’s fashionable or not, just go for it.

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Sleepless Nights

We sleep for 1/3 of our lives, yet for most people, at some point in their lives struggle with it, and I think the struggling time for me is now. As if 2017 wasn’t bad enough, I’m unable to sleep properly. THANKS WORLD!

I don’t know what has caused it, I’m not that stressed about anything, and my anxiety hasn’t been any worse that normal. But I find myself unable to fall asleep, waking up during the night, and then not having the energy to get out of bed in the morning.

So I am embarking on a little experiment. I am going to start a new evening routine. Instead of staying up watching things on my laptop, then getting in bed to watch things on my phone. I’m going to do a no screen policy after 10:30 (afer 10 would be good, but may be a struggle). I’ve set tomorrows alarm in advance, and instead of screens in bed I’m going to read. When I struggled to sleep in halls, I watched ASMR in bed and I would fall alseep to it. For some reason now, I can’t do that anymore, I kind of watch it as if it’s the TV and not a calming aid. Although some people can fall asleep to TV or radio, I am sadly not one. It’s a well known fact that screens before bed aren’t the best, they strain your eyes (god knows how people cope with screens at full brightness, I struggle on the lowest) and they increase brain activity. I am also not going to eat after 9pm. I’ve tried this before but I am a prolific snacker and it was very challenging. In terms of book for reading, I’ve gone for childrens books. Now before you all think I’m weird my logic is that they’ll be easy reads and won’t be so gripping I’ll end up staying up till 2am trying to get to the end of a good bit. Stop judging me.

So I am testing this new regime out, in the hope that I can maybe help one of you in fixing your sleepless nights. I shall do a review post next week. ‘Till then, goodnight!

 

Womens March

Last week was a turning point. Millions of people, both men and women marched to show solidarity, belief and hope in light of recent political events.

I’m not one to get political, but seeing all the photos and videos from the march on Saturday genuinely made me all kinds of emotional. The march was a turning point for this era, and I’m pretty confident it will be written about in textbooks for years to come. I’ve never paid much attention to protests, but to see those pictures of thousnds of people walking together showing the world that, yes, there are people who care and want to make a change, filled me with pride. Although I wasn’t there, it felt like I was a part of the event. The banners and posters were creative and deeply honest. The diversity of people there was incredible, although it was named the womens march, I like to think it was the human being march. Humans marching for the good of other humans. It was bloody great.

 

It does seem a shame though, that we’re still marching for basic human rights and equality. Why is it taking this long?! I can’t understand why there are still people out there who think women are worth less, who think being anything other than straight makes you worth less, or just not being white makes you worth less. But there is a positive. The future generation, our generation, those who marched, are the positive. We can and we will end up with a society we can be proud of, even if we have to deal with the likes of Trump, Farage and Piers Morgan first.

The Oldies are the Best

As a Radio 1 lover you’d be forgiven for thinking I only liked new music, however, I am a massive fan of older music, the oldies. So I thought for todays post I would share some of my favourite songs from decades gone by.

 

I’d completely forgotten this song existed, then a friend reminded me and now I am obsessed once again. Billy Joel is such a talented man, and this song is the most uplifting song I have heard, try and be sad listening to this, it’s not possible. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIIIIIIGHT.

Kate Bush has such a unique voice, anyone would recognise it. I think that’s why this next one is a pretty divisive song, even in your own mind, some days you might love it, others you might hate it. But lately this is my shower jam. The perfect song to sway your arms to, try it now.

 

It’s no secret that I bloody love Elton John, and when choosing which of his songs to put in this post, I struggled greatly, however I decided to go for Rocket Man, because it’s slightly more poetic than crocodile rock, which I would happily shout for hours. This is just really nice. I also love Elton because my dad loves him too, so it reminds me of our car journeys blasting his hits. The little things in life.

 

This song doesn’t need any explanation I don’t think, it’s just a great feel good banger.

 

Again, the old songs are just the most uplifting songs, as much as I love new music, none of it is as uplifting as these songs are. This one is called “come on Eileen” which is the best name ever, and is just one of my favourite songs of all time.

I could go on and on and on about old music, I haven’t even scratched the surface with the bangers from the past. But I hope you’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve shared today. Let me know your favourite oldies!