MINDFUL MONDAYS | Reboot Your Energy for 2021

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Hello lovelies and at very long last welcome back to a Mindful Mondays post. If you have been reading since my old blog then you will know I did a lot of these kinds of posts and if you’re new you’re probably thinking what the hell is this? Well to be honest it’s pretty self explanatory, we feel and do Mindful things on a Monday. That’s it. That’s the post…

No of course I’m joking, but the bit about feeling mindful on a Monday still stands. So practising mindfulness is something I have done since discovering it in second year at uni when I did a project based on the term. The mindfulness umbrella is pretty big and as an individual you can practice and relate a lot of different parts of being mindful to your physical life. So the things you do and the people you see and the events you have to partake in day to day. But you also have it in your mental life by the way you think and feel about yourself and others and situations you experience. But practising to be mindful is a great thing for our overall life experience.

If you do wanna see some previous mindful things I’ve discussed head on over to my old blog, katielouisejohnson, to check out the vibe of the posts. Previously we have discussed ASMR, our lives on the universe scale, the happiness list, relating to books, analysing myself, and these posts always tend to be very wordy and chunky but I love that as I really feel it helps you and I to connect.

So I thought today to bring back this segment of the blog and for some of you to enter this new journey of mindfulness and what it means to practice it; start with energy. I am a big believer in energy and energies about situations, people, moments, emotions. We’ve all had that feeling of walking into a room and knowing something has just happened and the vibe is lingering in the air. That is our intuition and reading of energies by feeling it within our gut. The intuition we carry with us in our daily life is an energy in itself, even if you don’t practice mindfulness often or at all, energy is all around us. For me personally I can tap into different energies depending on the situations and the people involved, not always positive but you can’t have all good and no bad because then our lives wouldn’t balance. We need harder elements in our lives to keep re-grounding us which in turn reminds us to remain mindful and thankful by finding the small things in the storm that spark joy and wonder despite how hard what we as an individual is going through.

I am a big believer in the universe, I’m quite a spiritual person if you guys haven’t guessed already and I have always been someone who puts their faith into the universe. I truly do connect with the state of being that the universe knows who I am meant to be and it knows where I’m supposed to go even if there are times which I feel I don’t. A big example of that is my career and my job. Whilst at uni I was so full of wonder and excitement for where I was gonna go and I think coming home to the literal come down of just moving back home and getting a retail job in my town really took it’s toll in the way of feeling is this it for me? It is hard especially when you see so many people you know or your friends doing incredible things along the lines of their degree and you do kind of have that low energy of “why isn’t that me?” – we’ve probably all felt it, not just with uni, but probably after many individual life events for each of us. That big shift of being so engrossed in a way of your life to all of a sudden for it to just be over and everything is different again. I think it takes a long time to rework your brain in figuring out what you actually want. I’ve said to you all many times before, being a performer will always be my biggest dream and when my opportunity arises I will take it. But for right now it’s taken me a long time to decide where to take my next step as I’ve always felt guilty if I step away from what I originally wanted to do. So when those thoughts start to go around and around in my head I feel stuck on what to do and then I don’t end up going anywhere. When in reality life is a constant flow of movement, it’s a bit like water. You can hold certain elements in a place for a period of time but eventually the flow begins again. My brain has almost been fighting and forcing me to feel stuck when in reality that low energy will only make me unhappy, frustrated, and upset. So I know I need to stop doing that because that lower/ negative energy will soon feed through to my mental space and out through my physical body.

In the ways of mindfulness, I’m currently directing my energy into things I want to do or I am interested in or want to try and do. You can only start small and work yourself up. For example, just this week for whatever reason I’ve been watching a lot of crafting videos. I’ve never been that creative in the way of painting on a canvas but I will always be creative in the way of imaging shows on a stage or how to make an area of my room to look appealing or listening to a song and imaging a style of dance to it even if I’m not able to dance it. I’ve always been a dreamer. So I watched some craft videos from a girl called Hermione Chantel on YouTube and since watching I have the greatest urge to create things and make something and have another creative outlet for me. I find the energy of us creative people also interesting because we constantly have people telling us we’re not good enough and for a while we feed into that and believe in the lies. But then something clicks and our whole perspective changes. Maybe it’s a growing up thing or maybe it’s this year but all of sudden the energy has shifted again and we’re experiencing our lives at a higher vibration. In the way of the negativity we once fed into, it can no longer touch us because we’ve gone through the turmoil that brought us down and we are now above that. Which means when the next drag comes down we will get above that as well because in our energy and vibration of our general being we already know we can because we’ve done it before.

Maybe I have an urge to do more creative outlets that are possible for me right now because I’m in a life situation where my performing life I feel it isn’t a possibility but these other ones I can potentially consume my time with are. Which is a great way of reconnecting with myself because I know I’m going forward with things I want to do. Even if it is just for my own benefit. Which all comes back to energy and re-grounding ourselves. Our whole being is based on energy and how we feel around certain life events. And I feel for many of us, myself included at times, this year we have all at some stage vibrated at a lower frequency. There is no denying 2020 has been a hard year for many and may be remembered as one of our most trialling years in the modern age. As I mentioned above you can have no good without bad because then life wouldn’t balance. I feel 2020 has been the year of events that will change the world for a lifetime to come.

2020 is a double digit year. These only happen every 101 years, once a century, and all of you reading this post right now this will most likely be the only one we live through. If you’re a big spiritual person you might follow angel numbers, I personally don’t have much connection in the ways of numbers and spirit guides as I don’t practice meditations to do that yet. But if you do, 2020 in that form is your spirit guides telling you to be prepared for what is coming your way emotionally as well as physically. Which on New Years Eve of 2019 not one of us probably could’ve predicted how significant this year would be in all of our lives. However looking back now I think it’s safe to say they were right.

I’m personally quite interested in astrology, but I’ll be honest I don’t know enough about it or it’s history and all of the star signs to tell you confidently about this whole of idea of 2020 having to be balanced on both sides. So our trusty friend Google will have to give us a hand. So it’s a day of learning for us all. So it turns out, the astrology of 2020 could be an indication of why this year has been so chaotic, intense, non-stop, and action packed from start to finish and it also turns out astrologers have been pre-warning us about this year for a very long time. 2020 has delivered a number of rare, intense, and life-altering moments that have shook up our foundations of life – personally, politically, societally. Forcing us to adapt to the phrase of 2020, “a new normal.”

From doing my research, astrologers have had the year 2020 as a hot topic of discussion for quite some time. Much longer than us as the general public would’ve thought about it. Many people, including world leaders, have labelled 2020 as a portal, a threshold if you will for humanity to embark on a new era. Narayana Montufar stated, “… The cycles of many different planets are coming to an end, bringing drastic changes that will unfold over the next 30 years.”

[SOURCE: Bustle: Why Astrologers Tried To Warn Us About 2020 For Years]

There is a rare and epic celestial happenings surround 2020 including: a series of super moons that happened from February all the way until May, the moon passed in front of Mars in February – known as occultation, the meteor shower drought came to an end on April 22-23 and May 6-7, there was a lunar eclipse on the 4th of July, the two biggest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, took the spotlight in our summer skies in mid July in which they were closest to Earth in their orbit – appearing brighter, there was a perseid meteor shower at the start of August, the blue moon at Halloween, then having a moonless sky for a couple of days in December, solar eclipse to darken the sky in South America on December 14th, the same time that most of us experienced moonless skies, and finally Jupiter and Saturn make another big show of 2020’s celestial happenings on the 21st of December. They [the planets] make an extremely close encounter following the first winter sunset – conjunction.

[SOURCE: Accu Weather: 10 Astronomy Events You Don’t Want to Miss in 2020]

That’s a quick run down of the celestial happenings. Of course there is much more information and deeper discoveries surrounding them all, but if I was to relay all that information this post would be ridiculously long. Check out both my sources to learn more, especially all of those events in relation to the zodiac signs.

But the new age all of these celestial events were preparing us for this the new era, the Age of Aquarius. My friend Chloe will be delighted, hence because she’s an Aquarius. Which begins once Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all in Aquarius. (N, Montufar, 2020.) So why is this important? Well it’s a stand out point in our life cycle because for the last 200 years Jupiter and Saturn have been coming together in Earth signs. Focusing our energy on material gain and security. But in Aquarius humanity is set to focus on the innovative and socialist ways which only the air element can generate for us.

2020 has shaken up everything to expose the cracks in our society’s foundations. We’ve all experienced the shift in power and safety. This year is our training wheel for the revolution of the next couple of years to come which will change the way we relate to our communities and what we value in our society.

[SOURCE: Bustle: Why Astrologers Tried To Warn Us About 2020]

As I look back at 2020, that last statement rings a few bells in my head about the year. The Black Lives Matter movement being one of them – don’t get me wrong we have a long way to go in the battle against racism that I hope continues into 2021. Educating, learning, changing the course of black lives for the better. It was probably one of the biggest social shakeups of 2020 because so many of us white people, myself included, were so unaware of how unequal black people’s lives are to our own in this day and age. Which was honestly heart-breaking to learn about and discover so much of what still goes on today as it did all those years ago. So as we move into 2021, I feel there will be bigger and better shakeups in our society for minority communities for elements that have previously been swept under the rug. Which whilst will probably be upsetting and hard to digest at first, in the long run it will be so worth it and vital for us all to move forward to a more equal and happy society. If 2020 highlighted anything to us it’s that the way we’re living and the way we’re doing certain things isn’t the most fair or most sustainable or most cost effective or most kind. Whatever that thing is that we individually realised, ‘Oh I didn’t realise that was happening or I was doing that. I don’t like that or I don’t want to continue that.’ I’m sure last year we all had something where we said to ourselves that needs to change.

I’m feeling positive about 2021. Even through the mess in 2020 I was still feeling positive and although it was a hard and rough year for many, my family included at times, there was still a few key moments of love and happiness and excitement. So some key moments from 2020 for me personally…

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MARCH 2020

I got engaged! This is still crazy to me that this even happened. I got a boyfriend at 22 and then some how got engaged at 22 as well. Sometimes the universe knows where you’re meant to go more than you do. I’m also aware most of you who read my blog probably don’t know much about this event because since relaunching my blog I haven’t said much about relationships and stuff.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, ring, outdoor, water and close-up

But what’s mad to me is this year Jake (boyf/ fiance) and I will have known one another for 2 years as we met in May of 2019 and these 2 years have gone so quickly it still feels like yesterday we we were in the seeing each other stage. But honestly I feel very lucky and grateful to have someone like Jake in my life. I’ve never felt so comfortable with another man in a romantic sense in my whole life and the whole setting around how we met is also wild that it even happened. Maybe I’ll do a whole post this year explaining it if you guys are interested? But yeah, I’ve never had a man in my life where I’ve felt so comfortable to just be me and embrace my weirdness and I can talk to absolutely anything about without judgement and who makes me feel like I’m more than enough and can do anything. When you find people who feel like light – keep that close. Genuinely that’s what I feel I’ve found with Jake.

Image may contain: Katie Johnson and Jake Jenkins, people smiling
SEPTEMBER 2019

You know what, another highlight for me was actually the first lockdown. I’m very aware that a lot of people will not feel the same as me and that’s okay. If you hated every minute of it I completely get that. But you can’t ignore the fact that the main part of 2020 was spent at home. And for me I felt something special during the first lockdown, there was some kind of sparks of magic about it. I don’t know if it was the astrological elements but something changed in a lot of us. We were creating things, we were finding new hobbies, reconnecting with things we used to enjoy, we experienced life for what it was for the first time in a long time instead of constantly making plans and constantly moving from A to B because we had everything we normally do stripped away. We couldn’t make any actual plans of going out and doing things because we had no choice. For the first time in a long time we had to stay in the place that sometimes we only come to eat dinner and sleep.

I think the first lockdown had a quality of well this is my life until god knows when, because at the time it really was, and you know we celebrated birthdays on zoom, did online quizzes, we were tie dying tracksuits, making dalgona coffees, baking banana bread, some people even made online businesses that are still going on, everyone got obsessed with Tiger King and watched the whole library of Netflix, we had online movie nights, everyone and their nan was creating Tik Tok’s, Animal Crossing was everywhere, loungewear was worn every day, Joe Wicks became everyone’s PE teacher, having to cut our own hair (although I never personally did that – would be a hot mess), the constant this or that’s on IG (if you follow me there you’ll know I posted some like every day and honestly I think that’s what grew my account), virtual tag challenges, clapping for the NHS every Thursday night that gave a real sense of community, coming together in the times of crisis – not just Corona but the death of George Floyd and how that sparked the need for change across the world, Normal People, everyone was reading again.

[SOURCE: Stylist: 100 Days in Lockdown]

For me it was just really wholesome to see people living their lives and there was a quality of excitement for life again as none of us knew what we were actually going to do each day. The constant life of 9-5 and having the weekends off is a reality for many but where’s the excitement. In your standard working life we only have 48 hours to do whatever we want and 90% of the time now people don’t even have that. I wasn’t put here in this universe to just work and only do what I want for 48 hours a week of my life. So to have all of the endless time in the world (at the time) to do whatever I wanted and to experience whatever I wanted and create whatever I wanted and be whoever I wanted was a really special time for me personally. Without the first lockdown I would’ve never realised last year what matters most to me and nor would I have known what direction I wanted my life to go in. The world physically stopped for us all to rest and reenergise and reconnect with our inner-selves and to then take our life forward for our outer-selves. So that will always always be special to me. So here’s some key moments and memories from lockdown season 1…

And then after lockdown, that also felt like a very weird time/ transition period because the majority of us had just spent 3 months inside our houses and then all of sudden it was time to go back to work and a slight hint of normal life resumed. When I look back now the first lockdown actually went so quickly but whilst we were living in it it, it probably only felt slow because we didn’t know when it was going to end. When I went back to work it was like I’d never been gone. But it’s also wild to me that we went back to 4 months of almost normality. Fair enough you know we still had to wear masks everywhere and social distance from other people but apart from that most shops and restaurants and venues were open and I saw the majority of my friends and Jake and I saw my family again. And even though the virus of course wasn’t gone in those 4 months and there was always a risk of us going into another lockdown (hey, lockdown season 3 episode 157) but it was almost like it wasn’t real even though we were so aware to the concepts of masks and social distancing. Does anyone else know what I mean? But when I did get to spend actual time with people, I also had some great moments…

You know what, despite all of 2020’s trials and hard times. I’ve had some of my favourite moments and memories in 2020. In the 4 months after lockdown season 1 Jake and I made more memories together – one being a cat cafe trip. Never been to one but I’ve always wanted to go, we celebrated my dads birthday, I took a trip in September to my friend Laura’s with our friend Jen to spend a weekend together and a few months prior that felt like a lifetime away and the fact it happened was insane and it’s by far one of my favourite weekends in 2020. Heather and I celebrated Halloween together like we always do and it was special that we got to do that again, my social media grew a lot more than previous years. Which was actually really nice as I enjoyed what I was putting out there and getting a great response back which gave me the push I needed to put more effort back into Instagram etc. I rediscovered my love and talent for nail art – so much so that I need and want to follow that as a career path. I’ve always seen it more as hobby through most of my life but you know what Corona has made me realise I don’t have time to waste. You know for anything, so if I wanna do something or make something happen I need to stop overthinking and just get at it. I personally just found 2020 so eye opening to a lot of things in my life and what needs to shift as I move forward. Let me know in the comments if you guys feel the same about 2020. Everything seems more special and cared about now compared to pre-pandemic life.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

I no longer set resolutions, I set goals because you work towards a goal whereas a resolution feels like you have to accomplish it as soon as possible which isn’t a realistic way of working for me personally. I suppose my main goal for 2021 is to create and do whatever I want to do. Lately I’ve noticed myself get in a hole with a silly amount of excuses that I’m letting burry me alive. I don’t know how I’ve let myself get here but I need to start digging myself back out because I don’t belong down here. I’m great at supporting and rooting for everyone else but in the last 1-2 years I’ve become very bad at rooting for myself and I think it’s a defence mechanism. I’ve been hurt a lot in the past, when I thought people were my friends or cared about me or supported me and were in my corner and when it turns out they’re not it makes me not want to share things with those people anymore, naturally. But that has done this thing to my brain where I think no one is that bothered about me or my problems or what I’ve got going on so I just don’t tell people certain things. Which all that really does is put me in a box and makes me feel like I’m on my own and that I have to do everything on my own. Which I know deep down isn’t the case but it’s crazy how your brain makes itself think a certain way to protect you. I think it is really easy for people who have left university to feel like this because you’re floating on your own after that. So I think I’ve fell in the trap of I don’t know what to do or where to go so I’m not gonna do anything which is again counterproductive. Which I will change this year. I’ve got to because I know I’m not 100% happy with where I am but I don’t know how to start to get to where I want to be. So in that gap between the two sides I’ve got to find my bridge to take the first step on and keep walking. Just remind myself that I am worthy and capable and deserving of everything that is coming my way. Anyone else relate?

Tell me your goals in the comments and as you’re reading this we are well into 2021. This year will be a good year! Manifest it with me. It will be good and we will all achieve great things and more than what we thought. Manifest baby. The start of the year is very much going to be rocky, Miss Rona is still strutting her stuff but I feel the changes we want and need this year are coming for the good of everyone. We will all get through it my loves. Sending love and light and good wishes to you all as always. I’m excited to see where we go in 2021.

GIFTING | My Favourite Stocking Filler Gifts

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to another festive post! Something that my parents have done since childhood is gift me a stocking for Christmas. As I’ve gotten older the stocking and the gifts inside have gotten smaller but the sentiment of it to me still remains the same. Stocking gifts are my favourite to open because you never know what you’re gonna get! So it really is a lucky dip and usually in a stocking its either filled with things you really need as an adult, things you didn’t know you needed, or the most random lovely bits and bobs that you didn’t even know existed!

Either way stockings are great and they’re a load of fun to fill with goodies! Continue reading for some stocking gift inspiration!

The stocking!

The stocking in itself is a present and something to be reused again and again for many Christmas’ to come or you can gift it to someone else for Christmas next year! You can buy a fair few incredible stockings now a days in all different colours, patterns, designs, and materials to fit any type of Christmas theme.

Chocolates!

I feel like this is a given at Christmas time. Everyone loves receiving tasty treats, whether if it’s chocolates or sweets for you reading, it’s a great add on to complete a gift or add to a stocking. Whether you like milk, dark, or white there is a brand to suit everyone and a flavour to tickle everyone’s taste buds. My favourite chocolates anyway but to receive at Christmas time especially are Terry’s Chocolate Orange (top tier!!!), Ferrero Rocher (the dark choc ones are the best don’t even say they’re not), Monty Bojangles truffles (my favourite for a proper delicious treat), and of course Cadbury’s (a classic).

Mini products!

We all love a mini version of our favourite products! The Body Shop is a great place for mini versions of products as I’m pretty sure they have most of their shower gels and body butters and hand creams and lip scrubs etc in the mini versions. Plus they’re perfect for travelling for the new adventures in the new year.

A game, brain teaser, or puzzle!

Something to do on Christmas morning whilst you’re waiting for the rest of your family to get out of bed or before you have your Christmas dinner in the afternoon. Either way, they’re a fun way to get yourself and your family and friends involved in doing something that isn’t staring at your phone screen or TV screen for half the day. As let’s be honest, we do that a lot on Christmas Day.

A new mug!

If you guys know me well, you know that I adore a mug and receiving a new one as a present is honestly one of my favourite gifts. You can never have enough mugs, but my mum would say otherwise as would our kitchen cupboard, haha!

But there are so many fabulous places that sell mugs: TK Maxx, Wilko, Asda, and there are also some amazing independent sellers on Etsy that also sell mugs. Check out Miss Bohemia as she has every kind of mug for the cosy seasons and they would make a great present.

A new diary or notebook!

If you’re someone who loves keeping organised (to a degree) and writing things down then you would probably love to receive a new diary and/ or notebook in your stocking! This is a gift I wouldn’t necessarily say I want but I would really enjoy and be appreciative if I received one. I love all different kinds of diaries: small thin ones for my handbags, big chunky week to view ones to do all my creative planning in with stickers and all the to do lists you could imagine, and the month to view ones to help me schedule blog and social media content and keep up with what I’m doing for that. So if you enjoy using your pens then a diary and a notebook is a great pressie to open on Christmas Day!

A voucher for your favourite coffee shop!

Another great treat is buying someone a future treat! It’s just a nice way to show you care about someone and that you’re thinking of them. Most cafes and independent cafes offer vouchers these days to go and enjoy a coffee and a tasty treat. I adore receiving anything to do with Costa as a present because you all know how much I adore Costa!

Fairy lights!

You guys know I love a cosy vibe, if you follow my Instagram you know I go to town with all of the fairy lights in my room because I just love it. The ambience they create is just amazing and creating that homely vibe is great idea for anyone’s stocking or general gifting list.

I think Primark are some of the best for fairy lights as they’re always bringing out new ones with new colours and new outer shapes and shells etc. I recently bought some from their Christmas range and they’re battery powered but have a 6 hour timer to come on and off so you don’t even have to click them unless you wanna change the settings and they have over 9 different sequences of lights in one small set which is amazing. Battery powered lights have clearly stepped up a massive game this year as I swear before you only could have different settings and timers on lights powered by the plug socket. But honestly I’m a big fan; mine are in a warm white and they’re gonna be great for all year round. I’m pretty sure they were £5 or less too so a great add on.

Underwear, socks, tights etc!

As a child the worst thing to get for Christmas is “practical” things but as an adult it’s the best! I love receiving new underwear and socks in my stocking because as long as they’re the right size you know 100% they’re gonna be used. I genuinely enjoying having a few practical presents every year and I look forward to opening them on Christmas Day every year!

Nail polish!

I get nail polish every year, whether it is in a stocking or not, it’s a classic gift. But they’re the perfect size to fit in any stocking. Plus, I always love updating my collection… I’m running out of space to fit them though (what else is new.)

I’m sure there are lots of other stocking filler gifts that are very popular with you guys that I haven’t said but this small collection are just a few of my favourites. There are also so many gifts you can buy to put in a stocking. I reckon face masks, hand sanitiser, and hand cream sales are gonna go through the roof this Christmas! Comment below if you still have a stocking every Christmas and what gifts do you usually get in there!

Have an amazing lovelies and I will see you back here again for another new post very soon!

CRAFTY | Make Your Own Wreath with Wilko

Hello my lovelies and welcome to the first festive post of December!! I actually can’t believe we’re officially counting down to Christmas. How is there only 3 weeks until Santa makes his big arrival, even with all the restrictions, and then only 4 weeks until the end of 2020. When I say this year has gone so quickly I bloody mean it.

This little one was a big fan of the finished product!

Today, as the title suggests, we’re making our own Wreath’s thanks to Wilko! This is not sponsored in any way shape or form but Wilko is the place to be this year for affordable lovely Christmas decks. Lately I have been on a crafty and DIY hype, so I have been loving creating things and looking at Pinterest for inspo and when I shopped in Wilko last I saw they had so many wreaths and all the accessories to add to them so it would’ve been rude not to buy one and create my own! So if you wanna see how to make a wreath your cat will approve of, then please keep reading!

Wreath – Wilko – £4

Well first things first, you of course need the wreath. In Wilko they only had classic green ones, I think it would be so fun to do all different colours and even half wreaths would be so fun to create. But for today we’re doing a classic one. The first thing I did was make the wreath look fuller by manipulating the wires to all go the same way – curved around in a clockwise motion. The lower half of the wreath is much thicker than the top half which also helps for the layering of the items later on. So I just played around with it until I was happy.

Lights – Poundland – £1

I decided to add some lights to the wreath to give it a bit of extra sparkle and it really helps to highlight areas in the wreath that wouldn’t be seen as well without them. These are wired lights which I defo recommend for a project like this as they’re easy to manipulate and weave around/ in and out of the wreath itself.

I feel like this already looks better and this isn’t even everything we’re putting on it! I just lodged the battery pack at the back of the wreath for now, depending on how well it sits up right I may just leave it like that or I will attach the battery pack into the wreath. So if you’re following along you should have something a bit like this right now.

Holly leaves with berries – Wilko – £1 for 6 in a pack

Time to start filling out the wreath! Starting with these holly leaves with berries. All of these accessories I’m adding on have wire running through them which makes them super easy to attach. All you have to do is find a placement you’re happy with and either loop the wire around one of the wreath arms or you can attach the wire to the back frame of the wreath. I did a mix of both as layering in a project like this is very important to add depth.

I decided to space them evenly around my wreath, but depending on what look you’re going for will depend how you want to fill your wreath. I personally found the more I added and the more colours I played with the better the wreath looked.

Jingle bells – Wilko – £1 for 5 or 6 in a pack

I think the bells were one of my favourite elements of this wreath. Because they’re so much smaller you could have them peak through the under layer of the wreath to really add that depth I wanted to create. So I’m attaching these with the green wires provided in the pack. Pulling them through the back of the wreath and making sure they’re even on both sides.

When the bell was centralised I pulled the wire back into a horse shoe ‘u’ shape so when added to the wreath it would be easier to get a closer and tight attachment. So I decided on a placement, turned the wreath the other way (the back), held the bell in place at the front, and then twisted the wire together as many times as it would go, and done!

I repeated the same steps with all of the bells I wanted to attach until I was happy. I had a mix of brass silver and gold bells which I think worked really well together with all of the other elements I added to the wreath too.

Again, I made sure they were evenly spaced going clockwise. Throughout the making of this wreath I sort of worked with the idea of going round at 5 points. So if you follow the bells around it’s 5 points going around the circular wreath.

Berry cluster – Wilko – £1 for 4 in a pack

These clusters of berries do a fab job at creating small areas of interest in the wreath for your eye to catch. I also love that they’re not just one colour or one texture. Again the stem is just wire so just like the rest of the elements I chose a placement and then twisted the wire around one of the stems of the wreath.

Gold leaves – Wilko – £1 for 3

Now for the larger elements of the wreath and I think less is more in this sense. I bought two packs of these as I wasn’t sure how many I would want but one set is definitely enough. Be careful working with these because the wire and the leaf are glued together but not completely solid. As I was working with one of them one of the wires had slightly come away from the leaf, so just be careful if you do get these.

But again, really easy to add in with twisting the wire around the wreath.

I changed the placement of these so much because I really liked the look of having two symmetrical at the bottom with one at the top kind of drawing into the middle.

Pine cones – Wilko – £1 for 4 in a pack

I love pine cones so of course I had to add them into my wreath! These ones again have wires on the end so they’re really easy to attach. I feel like these really pulled together all of the elements and helped to balance all of the bits. Everything just seemed to work so well together.

And here it is! All of the elements added on and it looks so good. Everything has come together so well. I love all of the layers and the classic look of red, green, gold, and silver.

Cinnamon sticks – Wilko – £1 for 6 in a pack

I also bought some cinnamon sticks to add that real wreath feel with a gorgeous festive smell. In real wreaths you often get the real pine/ spruce (obvs) as well as real berries, holly, orange slices, apple slices etc. So I just wanted a little something to give us that vibe. So when I saw Wilko also had cinnamon sticks I had to grab a bag!

So all I did was just lodge them around the wreath, again in that clockwise motion of the 5 points. I didn’t attach them with any string or wire, I just slotted them in and played with the placement until they sat in properly where they wouldn’t come out.

Although I could’ve left the wreath as it was I decided the finishing touch needed was a ribbon! When I think of a classic wreath or you see photos and gifs they’ve always got a gorgeous ribbon on tied in a bow. I have no idea where this ribbon is from, I found it in our gift wrapping box but I know we’ve had it for a few years. So I just took a generous length and I cut the edges at an angle.

Then I just tied the ribbon into a bow, making sure the ‘Merry Christmas’ is on the outside of the bow.

To attach the bow to the wreath I just took some twine/ string, if you’ve got some wire left from attaching your accessories like the bells you could also use some of that.

I loosened my bow ever so slightly at the back and folded the point into a ‘u’ shape and making sure the two lengths of string meet roughly at the same point. So now instead of one long length of string, you have two lengths with a folded end and an open end.

As you can see in the second photo, I’m holding the two opened ended bits and about to pull them through the ‘u’ shape to hold the bow and string together.

Pulling that string through to securely attach the bow and string together, ready to attach to my wreath.

I laid the bow down to decide the placement, I went for the bottom of the wreath. When I was happy I tied the string to the wreath stem at the back. I tied it twice just to make sure it wasn’t going to come off. So I just did your basic knot of the two bits brought and tied together. Then I cut off the excess string with some scissors.

And then we’re done!

That is it! It’s a very simple “tutorial” if you can even call it that. One thing I do love about doing it this way is that this wreath will not be 100% the same as pre bought ones because I created it myself. Honestly just such a fun activity, would recommend if you’re looking for something festive and fun to do or if you just wanna get creative. I’m finding crafts a great way to get away from my phone for a couple of hours so fully enjoyed making this!

Show me what wreath you’ve got this year/ the one’s you’ve made this year. I think one full of baulbals and like mini Christmas jumpers would be amazing! The ideas are endless of what you could create! Send me pictures as I’d love to see what you guys create! The best part about these elements for the wreaths you could put your left over bits in pot pourri or vases with lights for the winter months. Plus the majority of these bits can be used again the following year for an entirely different project all together!

Thank you so much for reading as always guys. I’ve got a lot of festive posts to come this month and lots of fun Instagram content too! So don’t forget to be following me over there @katiej0hnson if you wanna keep up to date with me and all my festivities. Especially from the start of December as I’ve got a special treat for you every day for 25 days! Any guesses as to what I’ve created?

I’ll talk to you all again soon! Sending festive wishes and December kisses!

LIFESTYLE | LET’S HAVE A DEEP CHAT: Anxieties, Lockdowns and COVID, Festivities, The US Election, and The Future For Change

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to another post. Recently I have been thinking deeply about a lot of elements in life in general and things that have happened this year, which is of course a lot. Probably things that have been crazier than what we ever thought 2020 would bring and I just wanted us to sit down together and reconvene and get on the same energy level together. I am always someone who loves a late night DMC (deep meaningful chat) at the end of a night out/ house party when you’ve drank more than your body can handle and all you want is cheesy chips (the best after a night of drinking.)

So I thought why not bring that vibe to my blog today. Grab yourself a drink of your choice, not necessarily alcohol, and let’s have a deep chat about life.

So I guess first we should talk about the massive elephant in the room which is of course, Corona. She is still out after 10pm and is now patrolling the “non-essential” isles in the Welsh supermarkets according to the government. But wittiness aside, there’s no denying that this pandemic has been an emotional ride for many of us in different ways and of course it is not gonna end any time soon. I personally think we’re going to be figuring out ways to live with it into 2021, maybe even for the whole year of 2021. Which I’m not saying to upset or scare any of you, as I know a lot of people don’t like it and don’t always wanna talk about it because it’s happening and it’s real and it’s every where you look and go etc. And I know for some of you and some of my close friends, it’s quite a triggering thing, of course, a pandemic isn’t something any of us probably thought we’d live through/ go through in our life time. As of course you hear about things in history and what has happened but you just don’t, you know think to yourself when you’re walking to work in the morning, ‘Oh next year maybe we’ll be in a global pandemic battling a virus.’

I saw Heather and Chloe the other day and we were talking about how crazy it is to think how quick the time has gone since lockdown. It’s mad to me that I’ve been back at work since June and then seeing friends and family again since late June. Now we’re approaching the end of October, going into November, and then onto Christmas, and almost one year of Covid being a part of our universe. I think sometimes, until you’re directly affected by something it can feel like it’s not real. Or we all do that thing where we know it’s around and it happens but “it’ll never happen to us.” Which we’re defo all guilty of. I was the same when both my mum and dad got ill, last year and two years ago. Those moments always stick with you and re-ground you almost. When both my parents were ill and had to go into hospital it really highlighted to me how much they truly mean and are needed in my life and how much I am not ready to not have them with me. When I was a teenager I took them for granted quite a bit, which let’s be honest, when you’re a teenager you’re only really thinking about you and what you’re going through and how to deal with yourself. That’s how I felt as a teenager until I was 18 and then went off to uni. But it wasn’t until I moved back home afterwards that I realised how much I couldn’t do without them.

Now I do look back at moments in time where I was quite snappy and could be harsh in my tones with my parents and although I know it was just me growing up and figuring out me. I think back and go, ‘Oh why did you do that?’ because obviously I would never act quite like that anymore. I think definitely when you start to grow up and your parents are still getting older as well, you do you start to wake up and realise they wont be here for your whole life. Which to me is quite scary, I don’t know about the rest of you, but your parents are the first people in your life, they’re the first people you know, the first people that get to love you and get to know you, and learn about who you are as a person and that’s the same for when we’re all born too. Our parents are the first people we meet, the first people we get to know, and learn from, and love, and hear stories from, and experience life with. Which of course my mum, dad, and I still do now. We still go out just the 3 of us just like when I was younger which feels a lot more special now than what it did then. I think when you experience them going through something out of everyone’s control, including theirs, you just have to put your faith in the universe by being positive and just enjoying existing together in a space and in a time because you don’t know when that will be gone. Fortunately for me and my family the health scares of my mum and dad ended positively and they’re still here, which I’m forever thankful to the universe for.

I think one thing that Covid has taught us and is still teaching us is how much people matter. How time is precious and moments are magical but you don’t know you’re in one until it’s over. But just how much family and friends matter in our lives. I have been much more grateful ever since I came into my early twenties and this year it has been more important to be grateful for what we all have. I am grateful for all my family and my friends and Jake, and for my cats, to be earning money still, to have a place I call home, for my health, for life’s little luxuries. I’m just so so grateful to still be here and that all my loved ones are still here and we’re in good health. This virus has claimed so many lives, definitely more than any of us ever thought probably, which is utterly devastating and it breaks my heart to know so many people have lost their lives to something that could’ve been prevented or might have been spread less if we’d have all worked more efficiently in the beginning. But there is no point looking back and feeling regretful about what we didn’t do because what matters now is what we are doing and about moving forward. But also remembering as we’re moving forward and seeing our family and friends again and getting to do more things again compared to a few months ago is how lucky we all still are to be here. We’re going through a pandemic and we’re still here, still fighting, still pushing, still changing, still growing.

I read today that France is in a national lockdown again and of course Wales are in a 2 week lockdown here in the UK and up north are under much stricter restrictions compared to where I am down in the midlands. I also know that London has recently moved into tier 2 of the new restrictions system. It’s a weird feeling seeing places go back into lockdowns because for those 3 months or however many months you were in lockdown in your own country, we had no idea when it was going to end. We all entered an unknown phase of life and now seeing places go back into lockdowns kind of feels a bit like ground hog day. When I think back to lockdown it was such a special time and it has definitely affected people individually. It’s the one event in our lifetime that everyone will feel differently about. I personally enjoyed lockdown, I enjoyed the time off to rediscover myself and what I want and how I want to be living my life. Also what matters most and who matters most and it was just lovely to do whatever I felt like doing every day. Of course not every single day was easy, I missed Jake and my friends and family terribly but that’s why I am so grateful for social media. Without that I wouldn’t have been able to do half of the things I did over lockdown without it. It was really heartfelt to see a lot of us reconnect with old hobbies and discover new things we enjoy and start new hobbies and new traditions and just experience our lives at a slower pace without judgement from others and we got to do things just for the love and the joy in our hearts for doing them. As I’m someone who can get quite stressed about not being good enough to do something. If I can’t do something within the first few times I get frustrated with myself and then I get an anxiety about showing other people what I’m doing or have done, especially if they’re watching me doing something as me, not as like a performer or performance.

I can get quite in my head about those types of things these days which is actually not very healthy for me and I know it’s not because it puts me in such a negative rut about what to do and how I do things etc. So I really dislike that my mind has made me think and feel that way about certain things so I know I need to keep working on that for my own mental health. I don’t think what helps is that I’ve always been someone who has compared myself to others or not felt as good as someone else who does something or is doing something similar to me or what I want to do. Which is a bad way to think and be with myself as I know in my heart I’m good enough to do whatever I set my mind to do. But that old way of thinking and voice still sits there sometimes and it can affect me really badly. So I’m really trying my best to get out of that. Which for me is why my lockdown experience was so special because I gave myself the chance to rediscover me and what I enjoy doing and want to do more of without judgement from my own mind because I had no one to compare myself to. It was just me, myself, and I. Which I now need to apply that experience to my every day life when I’m doing things and going for opportunities because the only person I need to prove anything to is myself. Anyone else felt the same? So my lockdown experience was really special for that very reason. Now we’re in the second one here in the UK until early December (potentially) I don’t think it’s going to be quite the same as that because; I don’t know if this is the same for you guys, but in the first lockdown I never knew what that really meant. As in I didn’t know if it literally meant the whole world was gonna stop. Which of course not completely because we all need food. But the first time was completely unexperienced territory which is why when I was in it I really reconnected with me by doing all the things I want to do but sometimes “don’t find the time to do” because just before lockdown, all I did was go to work and see friends and see Jake. Which is fine but that way of living for me, looking back now, didn’t give me enough fulfilment because I was doing nothing just for me. So I think having an unknown (at the time) amount of days to do whatever felt natural and act however you felt and create whatever you want and experience whatever you wanted (within reason) and not have to worry about money (due to furlough for me personally – very grateful) and not having to worry about working and having enough money to pay for bills etc. It was honestly such a liberating thing for me and it really felt like the world had slowed me down for me to rediscover me at my core. Since going back to work, I have kept up a lot of the activities I really enjoyed getting back into over the summer. Such as reading, I’ve read so many books this year compared to previous years and I have the time in lockdown to thank for that. Now I read a little bit every day or every other day and I usually read just before I get in the bath or when I’m in the bath so I love that I’m keeping that in my daily routine. However also since going back to work, there has been some stresses these last couple months and that has been quite a negative drain on me personally. So to now have another month off to not have to deal with that is actually really nice. Which is not how many people feel about this second lockdown.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

But as I was saying, I feel like this time doesn’t have that special element of what we’ll discover and what we’ll do with our time because, A) it’s not a proper lockdown as quite a lot of “non essential” places are still open, B) schools are still open, and C) we think we know when it will end but I personally think that will be subjected to change. So it’s not quite as unique as the first time round I’ll say. But I am very excited to be getting all festive a month early. Don’t even come for me ya’ll with the state of this year all of the “rules” are off. The other day I put some festive lights up, was listening to Christmas songs all day, and even wore my WHAM Christmas jumper. November has never felt so good! Have any of you put your trees up/ your decks up? Let me know in the comments! A wintery pre-Christmas room tour will be coming soon.

But honestly I am so excited for Christmas. I get excited for Christmas every year, you know me, but I think this year feels extra special because it’s the one event that wont get cancelled. Of course it’s not going to be how a lot of us normally do Christmas with social distancing and the rules changing all the time but Christmas will still happen because it’s an annual event that so many people celebrate around the world. I think we will have to adapt and work a lot harder to make Christmas as special as it always is. But really for me Christmas is about the magic and feel of the season and letting people know how much they matter. It’s a season to give back in whatever way you can and I think one thing the UK do really well as a whole is come together when things get tough and I’m sure this festive season will be no different. So if we have to do Christmas dinner on zoom or gift giving only small things because of postage then that’s what we’ll do. I think a lot of people feel pressure around Christmas time to fit everything in because it is a lot to do in like 24 days and I feel we all try to do Christmas as big and as good as we can. I know that I do anyway, I feel like each year I step it up a notch because I just adore this time of year so much. I love absolutely everything about it but it does mean I get quite excessive with decor, plans, gifts, the lot. So I just wanna say to you all, don’t put pressure on yourself this time of year. You shouldn’t anyway but especially because of this year, just enjoy the run up to Christmas for what it is and it doesn’t matter how much you get done or how much you don’t. All that matters is your happiness and your health and your loved ones. But I am so so excited! I think I need to get thinking of some Christmas content ideas for here and IG. As if I do go back to work in December then we all know it’s gonna be manic and crazy and hopefully the hours will be much better when we reopen. But it will mean December will just run away with me. Honestly my future career I really hope I can take the majority of December off to just enjoy the season as it is my absolute favourite. But this year I’m also really excited to make more content and post more content as in previous years I’ve been so busy that it’s been the last thing on my mind and I’ve blinked and it’s over. So I want to make sure this year that I fully embrace the season and make the most of these next couple of months. So expect to see some fun and creative A/W content as well as lots of Christmas bits too!

There has been another big event happen in the the last week which was the American election. Hello to all my American readers. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being elected is by far some of the best worldly news of 2020. I feel like with voting when something has always been the same way, a bit like in the UK with the conservatives always being in power, you always have faith that something or someone will prevail and create something better. But there’s always that doubt in your mind of but this is how it’s always been and whilst people complain nothing seems to change. So with Trump being elected I was always 50/50 about if he would get in or not. It would’ve been one of those situations of disappointed but not surprised. But honestly I couldn’t be happier that Joe and Kamala have been elected and it just goes to show if you believe in a dream enough it can become a reality. It’s one of those potential life moments that you can imagine but sadly never turns out to be real, like myself when I was younger imagining I was going to win the X-Factor and the winners montage song be Greatest Day by Take That. No I haven’t replayed this scenario in my head, what do you mean?

But honestly I am so excited to see where Joe and Kamala take America. The country is in a massive state of divide and there’s a lot of social injustice going on in America right now and one of Joe’s main points is bringing the American people back together regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that will be played out over the next four years. Plus something incredible to happen, Kamala Harris the first female vice president – amazing! But with extra sparkle on the top, the first female vice president who is black and of Asian descent. I can’t even begin to express how vital this is, especially right now with the physical violence when it comes to racism and how women are always being targeted just for being a woman. Honestly this is a moment in our history for the world to be in awe of, not just America. Of course it’s not going to be the easiest start with coming into presidency in a pandemic and of course America have been one of the worst affected countries due to Covid but despite all that I personally feel at ease for America, excited, and elated to see where they will be in 4 years time. Of course Trump isn’t going to go out of office without a fight but January 2021 is going to be the start of a new age for America.

I don’t know about you guys but I do really struggle to understand America’s voting system. For example, when Obama was in office he made lots of great moves to bring the American’s together, they made history as the first black family to be in the White House, he made a lot of moves for many sectors: ended the war in Iraq, created the affordable health care act to insure 20 million American’s for healthcare, resqued the country from the great recession and took unemployment rate from 10% to just 4.7%, ordered the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, passed the American recovery and reinvestment act to help the economy after the recession, supported the LGBTQ+ community’s fight for marriage equality, put the country on track for energy independence, signed the deferred action for childhood arrivals which allowed 5 million people living in the US to have work permits and avoid deportation, signed the Dodd-Frank wall street reform and consumer protection act to re-regulate the financial sector, dropped the veteran homeless rate by 50%, and increased veteran funding, boosted fuel efficiency for cars, improved school nutrition for kids, signed the Lily-Ledbetter fair pay act to combat pay discrimination against women, nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court – the first Hispanic woman to serve as justice, won the Nobel Peace prize in 2009 for his conscious efforts to strengthen international co-operation between people, expanded stem cell research which lead to ground breaking discoveries in spinal injuries and cancer. So as you can see, Obama did so much in his 8 years in office and it was brilliant to see. Honestly a true asset to what America can be built to be.

[SOURCE: GOOD: 28 of Obama’s Greatest Achievements as President]

And then Trump comes along and basically reverses all of that. I know we all make mistakes but Trump really was a disaster as a president. Don’t get me wrong he did a few major moves in the ways of the terrorist group ISIS, the first step act to do with the law and criminal justice system, a tax cut and jobs act that was claimed to help the economy but as far as I know didn’t do an awful lot in the long term, created a new space force, and reshaping the federal judiciary. But for the most part Trump has done some pretty questionable and awful things in his time as president: the failure to bring people together during times of sadness and tragedy, e.g. the loss of American’s due to COVID 19 and the tragic deaths of George Floyd and so many other black American’s due to racist acts, his impeachment, the global image of the country, separating migrant children from their families, doing next to nothing for the minority communities, causing chaos in the middle eastern countries due to the nuclear weapon deal withdrawal, taking away the affordable care act, the economy is in bits spurred off of the pandemic due to tens of millions of job losses – he’d done nothing to help relief people when it came to not working due to Covid, he caught the virus which goes to show his recklessness in this pandemic, messing with the postal voting system with the election.

[SOURCE: Business Insider: Trump’s biggest accomplishments and failures]

I really struggle with American presidency’s because you have Obama for example who did so much good and put so much in place for the America people and was really well rounded in the work he did and then you have someone like Trump who comes and reverses half of that. I just feel like there should be more safeguarding when it comes to laws put in place in a previous presidency because Obama did so much work for half of it to be taken away just because he wasn’t in office anymore. I personally find that so wrong and disrespectful. But then of course there is the argument what laws should be safeguarded and what ones shouldn’t. As there’s a lot of laws that Trump has put in place that need to be changed because really he’s just caused a lot of problems for many working class American people. I have complete faith that Joe and Kamala will follow more along in the ways of what Obama did for the country whilst still putting their own stamp on things as they’re all from the same party. I just find it so hard that someone can come along from the opposite party in 4 years, 8 years etc and just wipe out everything you did for your country. Now of course that’s a reflection from the other party and not on you as a person or your party. But it’s just hard as I feel like we’re gonna be fighting the same battles all the time. For example, abortion was legal because it just should be, it’s a woman’s right to decide what they do with their bodies and the fact that some men think it isn’t is still something I find challenging to link together. But anyway in some states that’s illegal when it shouldn’t be and we’re still battling this in 2020 when there are bigger issues going on that really need to be spoken about compared to if a woman does or doesn’t want a baby. The fact that women’s rights are always under threat just really winds me up because we all exist here in this bubble therefore we should all automatically have the right to decide about anything that directly affects us. I’ve also seen this week they’re trying to ban abortion in Poland as well which is just utterly devastating. Like why are we constantly taking a million steps back to laws that shouldn’t be changing. Laws that affect people’s rights for the better shouldn’t legally allowed to ever be changed or compromised. I know there’s a lot of rioting happening in Poland because of this. Stripping away people’s rights to me will always be criminal and I hope we can keep fighting for justice even though we should be allowed to exist as we are.

But I do think the fact in 2020 we have a female vice president, finally, is very telling to how we’re viewing the world and a step in the right direction and I hope all American girls and women and girls and women all across the world of all genders, race, sexuality, ethnicities, think, ‘yes, I can do that.’ It will be because of people like Kamala that more women will step up because finally justice prevails and as women we are shown for once, that yes we can, hard work pays off, being honest pays off, doing good pays off, and being unapologetically you pays off. I’m excited to see where these 4 years take America and how that can be reflected on the rest of the world.

Well my loves, I think that is me done for this post, that is pretty much everything that has been on my mind lately. I hope you are all okay and are coping through the second lockdown. If you do feel like you need someone to chat or to listen, you guys know where I am. Always up for a chat! I will see you all in a future post, most likely a Christmas themed one as I’ve been doing some planning and I’ve got some creative and fun ideas this year. There’s also going to be a special something happening on Instagram which I am in the process of creating, so don’t forget to follow me over there @katiej0hnson for all the festive and fun content.

HOME | Autumnal Room Transformation

Happy October lovelies! The best months of the year are upon us, starting with the spookiest season of all, Halloween! When I was younger my parents never really celebrated Halloween, apart from one time I went trick or treating with some friends, but for the rest of my childhood until I was about 17-18, Halloween was never really something I took part in. So you can imagine now as a 23 year old woman I fully embrace the season and all things spooky and garish! Especially because the autumnal transition is my absolute favourite. The warm tones, the warm smells, the cosy nights in which are also warm come to think of it. Just a lot of warm elements that I love! So I figured for my first post back on here it would only be right to do a room transformation. If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, @katiej0hnson and @katielouj0hnson, then you will have already seen the video and the overall finished look but I thought this post could be a slight talk through of the bits and pieces I’ve got to also give you guys an idea on how you can transform your room into your cosy autumnal and Halloween dream!

So first things first I changed everything in my room that represented more summer aspects. Such as my fake plants from Primark (can’t put my real ones away in a cupboard obvs) and my light and fresh fragranced candles and diffusers etc. Just anything that’s more aimed at summer time or just my every day room aesthetic as unfortunately I don’t have the space to have everything out all of the time! So we’ve put all those away until probably Feb next year as you all know what comes after autumn and how obsessed I am with the next season. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get back to autumn.

Autumn for me is all about enjoying the changes in the season, watching the leaves turn from green to brown, feeling that cold chill in the morning and having bright sun by the afternoon, swapping my tshirts for jumpers and my sandals for boots. It’s a change I am fully committed to and happy to make. In these seasons of thankfulness and giving I fully come alive and I just love it.

I decorated my room for autumn/ Halloween literally on the 1st of October as I didn’t wanna waste any time and I just wanted to fully enjoy it. Honestly I genuinely love it, it’s so cosy every night in my room with all of my candles lit and the fairy lights on. I’m so content in there. Plus everything I’ve bought is not super expensive, it’s all affordable and it’s got quite a mix bag of styles in there that I personally love and I feel represent me. You guys know me, I don’t do anything by halves, I either go all out or don’t do it at all. Those good ol’ Taurus traits of mine, either way, enjoy and get inspired!

[Just a little note, all of these images have been edited to be slightly warmer than what they are in natural light. Edited using Instagram’s photo editor settings]

Autumn wreath – Primark – £3 sale!

Here we go, stepping into the room transformation! As I said above everything in this room transformation it’s all affordable and from mostly high street shops. I feel like over the last few years the high street has started to view autumn and Halloween as more of a holiday we celebrate here in the UK. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many places that start going full on Christmas in bloody August and even though I adore Christmas, you all know I do, even that is too excessive for me. Even now it does seem like there is so much more Christmas things in shops compared to Halloween things but I don’t know if that is due to the pandemic. As personally when I came back after lockdown, I noticed in shops such as Lush, Card Factory, Poundland they had so much Valentine’s and Easter stock left and of course it took them quite a while to get rid of it because here in the UK we went into lockdown at the end of March, just after Mother’s Day and then two weeks before Easter. So I’m unsure if shops/ suppliers are worried about having so much stock sent in and then there is another lockdown which again would mean it wouldn’t get sold depending on how long that theoretical lockdown would last. So if that is a potential reason, I understand it but it is a shame.

So finding bits and bobs this year has been a bit of a challenge but what I have found I absolutely love! Starting with this wreath on my door! I’ve become a big fan of wreaths over the last couple of years, I think they’re a great festive accessory. Mostly popular at Christmas time but over the last couple of years I’ve seen a few autumnal ones around. You could easily make this I think if you’re really into your crafts or DIY.

Eucalyptus candle – DW Home at TK Maxx – £5.99, Trick or Treat candle – Wickford & Co at Home Bargains – 99p, Boo and Spooky slides – Home Bargains – £1.49, Pink pot – IKEA (years ago) – probably around £3, Pumpkin spice pot pourri – The Range – £4.99, the pinecones are from that pot pourri pack, Wooden tree trunk slate – The Range – £3.99, Christmas stamps – Home Bargains – 99p – £1.50, Throw – Primark – £4

Despite what I just said about Christmas we’ve got a few bits of Christmas peeking through! So this lovely display probably looks like it’s on some sort of table or smaller desk but it’s actually on top of a storage box. During this time of year I have so many birthdays as well as Christmas that I have to start buying presents early because, A) I have more than 20 people to buy for including birthdays, B) I can’t buy someone a gift that is for Christmas and their birthday combined. I just can’t, it ain’t what I’m about, and C) I don’t do things by halves. I am very excessive this time of the year but I just love it. Buying people presents is honestly my favourite thing to do. From going out and buying it, wrapping it and decorating it, and then delivering it. It’s just who I am. So whilst I’m living my bank account is crying, haha. So since the start of September I’ve been buying a few every week/ every other week etc so the spend is gradual rather than all in one month and then not having enough money to do anything because you know that’s not practical for adulting. I would say I’m approaching the half way point for present buying which is good, I’d say I’m on track and not spending too much all at once. Have you guys started yet? Let me know in the comments!

But because of all of the present buying, I had bits in so many bags and if you watch my IG story then you will know it was out of control. Was pretty messy and made the room look untidy etc, so my mum was actually the one who suggested putting them in a storage box so they’re out of the way. Cheers Maggie for this one as I’m a big fan of it. If you guys need some storage hacks get a big box and cover it over with something and put some decks on top, perfect. As you have the extra space you need and another decorative opportunity to share to your Instagram feed. But honestly I love it, everything on my “table” is such an autumnal vibe and it looks so lovely in the evening when the candles are lit.

Does anyone remember during the summer or maybe even before that when people were buying mirrors that almost looked like trays and were displaying things such as candles, diffusers, bowls, pot pourri, even fairy lights on them for an intricate piece on a table or in a room etc. Me being me was completely sucked in by the trend but I didn’t have a big enough area to have a really big mirror tray, so a little while ago I bought a small hexagonal one, also from Poundland, and that sits on my bedside bookshelf with a candle on the top which you will see later on in these photos. I’m a big fan of that one so when I saw the tree trunk ones going around I was like ooh, it’s an autumnal version, I need to find them. I think I may have first saw it on one of Zoe Sugg’s recent vlogs and since then I’ve seen them all over Insta.

So when I discovered these in The Range I was like oh my god, they’re going straight in my basket. Naturally I couldn’t decide on the size so I bought both the large and the small. As I wanted one to go on my make shift table as you can see in these images above, but at the time I could decide what would fill the space more and also what would fit my home accessories on better. I’m really glad I bought both of them but on my “table” this is the larger one which was £3.99! A bargain! I told you guys the wrong price on my IG story! Oops, but hey if it’s even cheaper it’s still a win win.

Textured gold pumpkin – TK Maxx – £2.99, Sticky Toffee candle – Home Bargains – 49p, Desk calendar – Wilko – 50p (sale), ‘Cosy’ sign – George @ ASDA – £3, Mini USB salt lamp – free gift from a purchase my mum made when we bought some bigger salt lamps. But TK Maxx sell some really lovely ones for less than £20, Quote sign – George @ ASDA – £8 for a pack of 3 I think (giving the other two as Christmas presents), Pink and silver glittery pumpkin – TK Maxx – £5.99 (last year), Pumpkin speckled lights – Poundland – £2, and Small tree trunk slate – The Range – £2.99

Here is my smaller slate, I only put this here for now at the time as I didn’t know what else to do with it but I actually really love it. I think it creates a lovely range of heights between the decor to give an appealing look between all of the elements. Would really recommend these, such an affordable price, amazing quality, you can literally put them in any room, display anything you like on them, would be fab Christmas gifts as well. I’m excited to play about with these during Christmas time as well. LOVE!

Autumn and Halloween is not complete without pumpkins, they are a staple. Whether you like real ones or fake ones, now a days you can buy literally any kind of pumpkin. Last year I got this BOOTIFUL (see what I did there) pink and silver glitter one and it just reminds me of something from a Disney. It’s very whimsical, but I especially love it because it goes with my room. If it wasn’t obvious by now the theme of my room is pink, white, and grey. I would’ve also said silver but I have a big mix of all the metals in here (silver, gold, and rose gold) that you get a bit of everything. But it all works in my opinion. I love them both and of course these were from TK Maxx (my fave place) – amazing quality with such affordable prices. My pumpkin speckled lights are by far one of my favourite elements in my room this festive season. I feel like they look pretty basic in the day time but at night time let me tell you they are beaut! The speckled glow looks gorgeous on the wall and through the pumpkin shell itself. Makes me feel super duper cosy and I love it! If you’re looking for lots of fun fairy lights defo check out Home Bargains and Poundland!

Salem the cat – Sainsbury’s – £5

This is Salem, I have had him for 3 Halloween’s I think now, mum and dad bought him for me and the uni girls and now he comes out every year. I have no idea where I put him last year because this year I can’t seem to find a place to fit him. Then one day mum put him on my telly and now that’s where he lives.

Bat tinsel – Home Bargains – 69p (last year), Bat lights and plain purple lights- Poundland or Home Bargains – £1-£2 (last year), Penguin spice diffuser – Next – £5 (last year). The rest of the bits on this shelf is what I always have on there but for anyone interested, the shelf is from Tiger – £15 (last year), The ‘K’ light was a present from mum and dad, Bark effect tea light holder – George @ ASDA – £3 (last year), Enjoy the little things heart – B&M – £1 sale, Cacti Pugh – Buckinghamshire Garden Centre – £3.99, Collage frame is from literally years and years ago as is the ‘Love’ sign so I do not remember how much those were and my nail polish shelf was made by my dad.

I did the whole tinsel with lights thing last year and I was a big fan of it so of course I brought it back for this year. It’s quite bold and almost “tacky” but I love it, especially in the evening when there are different vibes of lights in collective areas in my room which you will see at the end of the post. It’s so cosy and I would recommend.

Chocolate orange candle – Dunelm – £1, Eco Wix candle in Lakeside S’mores – George @ ASDA – £5 sale, also has a wood crackling wick for all of the cosy by the fire vibes, Autumn Orchard – Tk Maxx – £5.99, I actually had this one last year but it was named Farm House Cider and that was by DW Home, so I don’t know if this is a rebranded version or DW Home own whatever this brand is but I’m happy I found it again as it was my favourite last year.

Wax melter – George @ ASDA – £6, Smoky Rose fragrance mist – The Body Shop – £5 sale (bought with birthday voucher from BS), Haunted house dome light – Poundland – £1 (last year), Himalayan salt lamp – bought from my mum unsure of the website – £12-£15 (I think), Succulent Paula – Buckinghamshire Garden Centre – £3.99, Love 6×4 frame – George @ ASDA – £3, Friend sign – present from my friend Em.

I am so in love with my salt lamp. I’ve had it for a few months now, not just for autumnal times but it is great for autumn because it has such a warm golden glow with a hint of pink depending on how deep the colour of the lamp is and it’s just such a cosy vibe. Plus they’re lovely for purifying the air and raising energies and overall it’s just really calming and nice. Would recommend getting one if you guys don’t have one as I think they can be a great benefit for mental health and mindfulness as well.

Halloween clip sign – Magical Story – less than £3 in the sale last year as the top bit is actually damaged. It is not attached properly but still super sweet so it came home with me! Very homemade and lovely, I’m a big fan. Magical Story guys is the shop in my town that does the loveliest festive displays during this time of the year. Check out my IG to see more of those displays.
Pumpkin tinsel – Home Bargains – 69p (last year), Orange plain lights – Home Bargains or Poundland – £1-£2, Be happy do good sign – B&M – £3, Trick or treat wooden sign – Magical Story – £3 (last year), Home sweet home sign – Poundland – £1, 21 key – birthday present from two years ago, Love spoon – Christmas gift from Jake last year, Welcome sign – Neon Sheep – £3, Mirror – honestly I cannot remember I’ve had it for years, Spooky sign – Magical Story – 50p sale (last year and damaged), Grey frames – Poundland – £1 (pack of 4), Wooden frame in the middle – present from my friend Katie, Big photo box – TK Maxx – £9.99, Wooden frames either side – New Look – unsure on the price, Pegged quote cards a mix of Poundland and Next – £1-£5

I feel like this looks very grand because of how the tinsel sits and the shape and flow of it. Again seen as quite bold and potentially “tacky” but I love it and it’s a good vibe. Would recommend whacking up some Halloween tinsel.

Here’s just a little close up so you can see it more clearly. I’m a big fan of wooden decks so I loovee this!

Hexagonal mirror – Poundland – £1, True Aroma warm apple pie candle – The Range – £3.49, Orange felt pumpkin – TK Maxx – £3.99 (last year), Autumnal leaf earrings – Lazy Ginger Designs on Etsy – won in a giveaway but these are £8

On my bedside bookshelf it’s very minimal but the rest of the room defo makes up for that, haha. But I don’t have enough room to work with over here but what is over here I really do love. The candle smells divine, honestly guys if you’re looking for some lovely autumnal scents check out The Range and Home Bargains, great quality and even better price.

Also I just had to include these earrings because they are autumn in an earring and I’m literally wearing these every single day at the moment. I was very lucky to win these in a giveaway from the shop, Lazy Ginger Designs on Etsy, click here to check out her shop and here to check out her IG. Funnily enough we used to go to college together all those years ago, it’s funny how things come back around isn’t it. But honestly they’re such good quality polymer clay earrings, really sturdy back, and they’re such gorgeous colours. I can’t wait to buy a few more bits from her shop as she has some other autumnal pieces right now and I think there may also be some Christmas ones coming. But honestly so worth the money, go and check them out. I am in no way shape or form being paid or getting any other reward to say any of this, the product was not for review purposes or anything like that. Just a great quality piece by a creator who deserves the recognition and it’s nice to support people. Very grateful to have won the giveaway and to get to wear this beautiful pair every day of autumn. Thank you so much Lauren!

Pumpkin lights – Home Bargains – £1.49, Warm white plain lights – Primark – £1.50 (last year), Shelf – The Range – £7 sale (last year), Wooden dream sign – B&M – £3, Avocuddle sign – Primark – £1.50 (more than a year ago), Grey pillows – Wilko – £1 sale, Winnie the Pooh cushion – Primark – gifted to me by Lucy, Grey fluffy pillow – Primark – £5, White heart cushion – Primark £3 (both from last year)

Is anyone else’s bed their favourite place? Nothing beats crawling into bed for me after a long day. Cosying up with my mountain of cushions and whacking my eye mask on = bliss.

Skull lights – Home Bargains – £1.49, Canvas print – The Range – £7 something, Photo frames – Poundland – £1 each

I’m a big fan of this canvas, I think it’s so cool and different and it goes with my room aesthetic. However the standard fairy lights I had before now look too much in front/ on top of the canvas. So luckily these skull ones are just the right size to work along side the canvas rather than distract from it. So after the festive season is over I’m gonna have to find some around this size for this area.

Well my lovelies that is everything for the Halloween room transformation! So all that’s left to do now is see it in all it’s glory in the dark of night! So enjoy!

It’s even more a vibe at night. Don’t you guys agree? Honestly the cosy vibes are the best. I hope you all enjoyed and it’s inspired you to decorate your room all festive for a super duper affordable price.

Don’t forget to keep up with all my socials to see what I’m getting up to day to day on my Insta (@katiej0hnson) and my Twitter (@katielouj0hnson). I hope you’re having a spooktacular week and I will see you all on another autumn day.

SELF CARE | DiveThru Journaling and Why You Should Try It! [collab]

Hello lovelies and welcome to a brand new post! This is a very special one because, as you can see in the title, I’m doing a collab! I’ve teamed up with divethru, the self care journaling app for the month of July to promote and take part in their 30 day challenge. This is a self care challenge aiming to check in with yourself daily with different prompts and focus points to overall help your mental well-being to feel a little bit calmer, more relaxed, less stressed, and hell of a lot more grateful in our every day lives!

I’ve been playing around with the app and what they have to offer currently beforehand to really see if it is something I want to promote to you guys and encourage you to use etc. In my eyes, there is no point in promoting a product you don’t like or wont/ aren’t really using. So I’ve been putting it to the test before the collaboration and the challenge and so far it has been thoroughly enjoyable and I have very much enjoyed divingthru my emotions and thoughts and not necessarily making sense of them with the app but just acknowledging that they’re there and writing about them and the feelings surrounding them to help my mind feel less cluttered and busy.

My current favourite thing about the app is that you can decide how long you want to do a session for. Either 6, 12, or 18 minutes for the quick dives which is great if you’ve got some time just before you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning, maybe before work etc. I’ve currently been doing those just before I got work when I’ve grabbed a coffee and I don’t get stressed too easily anyway, but I am finding doing them just before work puts me in such a chilled out head space to start my day. Also I am enjoying the mix between the guided voice overs from Sophie Gray (one of the founders of the app) and the free quiet space to actually journal and let your thoughts come through. It’s a nice balance as I feel like some guided talk through’s can bombard you with so much content that you have no free space to just exist for a minute or two. But this app has a great balance of preparing for the session, doing the session, the talk down after, and then the reflection. I’ve also been enjoying how the app records your days and stages on the app. It keeps your progress which is really nice if you didn’t want to use a notebook even though I do feel like having an extra writing source with journaling is key. But it is really lovely to have those reflective paragraphs to look back on your journey and seeing your different stages.

One thing to be reminded though it is not a replacement for therapy and it is not a meditation app. It is simply just for journaling which can help you to feel less stressed, more balanced, more mindful, calmer, and just generally more in-tune with your brain. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the challenge and exploring and experiencing the app more with you guys along for the ride too. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play just type in ‘divethru’ and it should come up. The app is completely FREE for this month of the challenge too so you can completely test if out and see if it’s really for you and if you wanna continue making it a part of your daily routine even after the challenge is over.

You can sign up to the challenge via the app but if you’d like to do it from here as you’re reading this click here. Also if you’d just like to check out their page and see what their about then click here. By the time a few of you guys are reading this the challenge will already be commencing so if you’d like to get involved on social media then head on over to my Instagram which is @katiej0hnson and drop me a message if you want to be in the group chat that I am making for all of us to get talking about the challenge, be reminded of prompts, and to connect with one another for the rest of July! Plus there is going to be exclusive giveaways every day that you will not want to miss!

I hope you guys are as excited as I am to really get stuck in, I think it’s going to be a fun experience and another way for us to all connect. Of course I will be posting some updates around the experience of the app and an overall review in August. Comment down below and let me know if you’re gonna be joining in, I’d love to have you all along for the ride! Commencing 13th of July! Happy journaling my lovelies!

[NOTE: THE OFFICIAL MONTH OF THE CHALLENGE IS NOW OVER – REVIEW COMING SOON AND A SPECIAL CODE FOR YOU ALL TO CONTINUE YOUR DIVETHRU JOURNEYS]

SELF ISOLATION | 3 Months in Lock-down – How I’m Feeling Now

Hello my lovelies, I hope you are all doing well. It has been a little while since we last spoke and needless to say a lot has been going on around the world even whilst we’re living through a pandemic. Which just goes to prove that time doesn’t stop rolling even when we feel like the world has stopped in our personal lives. Of course one of the biggest events being the murder of George Floyd which sparked the push for the movement and message Black Lives Matter. I have a post coming to you very soon regarding information and history of black lives, and the problem of white supremacy etc. It is coming but it is taking a lot of formatting and linking together and re-reading through etc. But it is definitely going to be worth the wait for the amount of content in it. So bare with me as my take on things and the change and push for black voices and lives via this platform of my life is coming and will continue into the future after this because this isn’t a trend, this is people’s lives were talking about.

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But before all of that I thought I would bring you more of a filler post and discuss with you all today my thoughts and feelings of lock-down as I have recently gone back to work. I work in retail so my lock-down life came to an end on the 15th of June after three months at home. First things first, for me these three months went by so quickly. Yes it was hard not seeing family, friends, and Jake and his family but it only feels like five minutes ago I went into lock-down at the end of March and now all of a sudden I’m back at work and it feels like I was never not at work. Does anyone else ever have that feeling when you’ve been away from something you’re so used to for a long time, you return to whatever it was and it’s like you were never gone? As that’s how I feel returning to work. I have already been back at work for two weeks and even that time has gone insanely quickly.

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The first thing is how grateful I am for my home. To have a roof over my head, a safe place, a place of comfort and relaxation, a place to eat and sleep etc. Having a home seems like such an every day element of people’s lives, especially when I’ve always had somewhere to call home, but lock-down made me realise that there are people out there who don’t have a place they call home. Which reminds me how lucky I am for a part of me to exist in this space, my home. Whenever I have a day off I usually never spend much time in the house just because it seems like if I don’t do certain things on my days off, such as going out to see friends or going out to sort bits out I don’t have enough time to do in the week then they will never get done or get left for too long etc. But actually these three months of spending all my time at home has given me a new appreciation for staying at home on at least one day off. I don’t need to go out every single day as there is so many things I can do at home instead of going out: cleaning my room, sorting my wardrobe out, relaxing in the garden, reading, baking, go for a walk, listen to podcasts, blogging, at home iced lattes, work on new crafts, spend time with my cats, re-organise things, video chat with friends, watch Netflix shows etc. I don’t have to go out and spend money all the time to feel like I’m making my day off worth it. I have such a good state of mind now for staying at home and enjoying my home more now than I did before. I’m definitely going to be making more of an effort to stay at home at least on one day off where I can and spend my day doing what I feel like.

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It is so important to enjoy your own company and be your own best friend. I already do enjoy spending time by myself. I enjoy a balance of being out and socialising and having a day or two to myself to do whatever I feel I need to remain balanced overall. But spending so much time on our own in this situation I think can highlight how you really are and how you’re really feeling, where you’re really at in your life. As I know there are some people who struggle when they’re not around other people because of their own mental health. But it is so important to sit with yourself in your mind and body to know how you really are and how you’re really feeling. Of course we’ve all had moments and wobbles over these last few months which is only natural given the situation we’ve been put in. But only us as ourselves know our own mind and our own body so if something doesn’t feel right then don’t ignore that.

But also remember, never feel guilty. You’re allowed to feel however you feel, every response we have is triggered by something. An action, a conversation, a thought, a process etc. So whatever it is you’re going through right now, in this pandemic, life in general, it’s okay. It might feel a lot right now, and it might feel heavy, but you will get through this. Just keep taking it day by day and find comfort in the chaos of life right now.

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But I have enjoyed this time with myself to reset myself almost. I’ve been working for so long now that I really lost myself and my whole time just became about working, seeing my boyfriend, and then seeing friends. Which is fine, there is nothing wrong with that but I noticed it was literally all I did. Even when I had a day off where I wasn’t meeting anyone, I’d always go out to town for the day and go shopping, treat myself you guys know. But like I said in the above paragraph I’ve found a new appreciation for staying home at least one day a week and doing bits at home and hobbies etc. So having 3 months off has given me a sense of redirection almost with a lot of things in my life including: job, careers, people, hobbies, thoughts, and ambitions for my future. For example, over lock-down helped me get into reading more and even now, the third week back into working I still read a little bit every single day and it’s another great way for me to get away from my phone and checking the time. I think rediscovering things you love and/ or discovering new things you love is a special moment of time you can share with yourself. I know that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering me, it really feels like I’ve changed for my own mental health and well-being and I feel so much happier and settled and balanced with myself. I’d love to know in the comments if any of you feel the same.

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Lock-down has pushed a lot of people to really think about their jobs and their careers, myself included in that category. As a young woman in her twenties I am here to tell you that after you leave uni or whatever education you’re in, figuring out your life is hard. It is so hard however I try to not stress about it because everything works out how it is meant to eventually. I don’t know about you guys but for the longest time I felt guilty if I was to stray away from my degree subject area. Despite the fact I wasn’t even doing anything to actually get onto the career ladder in my degree subject. So by having that mindset I put myself in a box for no good reason other than to put myself down and I was literally setting myself up for disappointment and failure. The only person judging me was myself at this point, so I am tired of not letting myself explore what I want to based on the “fear” of it’s not what I do or it’s not what I’m meant to do. When in reality we are all “meant to do” whatever we want to do.

I always said my current job is just a filler and I still believe it is but I am very settled in my current retail job and I know I don’t want to leave this job just to get another retail job. When I eventually move on I want it to be to a job that is a more “career” based job with my subject area or my different interests. I mentioned it to you guys in a previous post but I think the first one I am going to do is become a nail technician. I’ve always been good at painting nails and shaping natural nails, also I’ve been good at creating nail designs all my life and over lock-down I really rediscovered that hobby that could definitely develop further for me as a new path to go down. I am excited to find a course and hopefully get a license to do some freelance work as well as working in a salon within the next year or two. I’m speaking it into existence which means it will happen (manifest your desires lovelies!) even though corona is a bit up in the air with everything right now. But I am excited to see what the rest of 2020 does bring.

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Friendship is always a constant in our lives despite the circumstances. There has been no doubt that this situation were in has been the hardest on relationships and friendships because were all more than likely not used to not seeing our nearest and dearest for a couple of months maximum. Luckily in these last couple of weeks I’ve been able to see Jake but I haven’t seen my uni girls since this time last year, we were meant to meet in March but of course that didn’t happen, I haven’t seen Heather and Chloe since February, and I haven’t really seen any of my family properly since the New Year probably. So of course this pandemic has affected relationships in the physical sense but what it has done has brought new ways to spend time together as friends such as online quizzes and movie nights, FaceTime coffee dates etc. It highlights that if you really care about someone/ people then you will make the effort to keep up that consistent relationship with them and what you put in you will get back if that energy is reciprocated. So not much actually really changed in terms of friendships other than the fact I haven’t been able to see my friends for months and I am so grateful we’ve been able to video call every week or every few weeks. Video calling will never replace spending actual time around their energy however at least it’s a close second to giving you the same endorphins you get from actually being around somebody. I’m just so excited to actually be reunited and to hug them and to just finally be within their space again. Heather, Chloe, and I are hoping we will be able to meet some time this month but ideally we need a day where the weather isn’t too awful if we’re going to have to mainly be outside in open spaces etc. But that day will be here soon, I can feel it and I’m honestly so grateful we’re all okay and safe and well. As for the uni girls I have no idea when we’ll be able to meet again as we’ve all got to travel quite far to see one another so I have no idea when that will be but hopefully sooner rather than later. The same goes for spending time with all of my other family as well as we’ve got a lot to celebrate as a family: mine and Jake’s engagement, my recent birthday, anniversaries, my cousin literally had a baby just yesterday! A lot has happened this year that is yet to be celebrated because of the pandemic. So time with family and friends is going to be very much appreciated when it eventually happens and I can’t wait for that.

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Finally, you guys are going to be shocked by this as much as I am, you all know that I am the treat yourself queen. But I have managed to save so much money in lock-down! I am honestly shocked because I felt like I was constantly ordering things online and I still had birthday’s and other events to buy for, for other people. So I am shocked by this statement as much as you but some how it happened. On my payday the month before I got furlough paid I got £700 which was fine. I’d taken quite a bit of time off so I was shocked I’d even got that. So I paid my dad my rent and then I did some online shopping (obvs, who didn’t?) and then I paid for a few birthday presents for people and then some how at the end of the month I still had £400 left. So really I only spent £200 because £100 of that went to my dad. I am still sat here now not knowing how that is possible because I did so much online shopping and yet somehow only spent £200?! I’m convinced I passed through a parallel universe or something, I don’t know. So I moved the rest of that money to my savings when my furlough pay came in, which was the best pay day I have had for the longest time. It is bad though that my furlough pay is better than the pay I get from when I actually go to work. If that has been the same for you guys no wonder none of us really wanted to go back, haha!

These 3 months have proved to me that I just spend money for the sake of it and really I always knew that but I didn’t realise it to the extent that it is on. I get the train into my local town and I have time to myself before and after work which means I either go for a coffee and a snack or I go to a couple of shops and have a browse around. But it is madness how much money that takes from me every day when I’m in work. So lock-down has been fantastic for me to actually get saving money properly. As I used to save bits and then take some out when I needed it or I saved a couple of hundred for when Jake and I went on holiday for example and then that money was just gone. So in my job it is hard to save when sometimes the hours are great and other times they’re barely scraping the barrel. But I know I am lucky to have a job, especially right now so I’m not going to complain too much. But I have started finding joy in saving money and actually not touching it and not spending it. I’ve never been the best at saving money, I’ve always been a spender, hence the treat yourself life motto. But as of lately I think I’m finding a lovely balance of spending a bit and saving more than a bit. So that’s really good and it makes me happy to know that the money is there for something in my future or for a proper treat day. So yeah I’m really excited to keep saving. Does anyone else have a switch flip in their brain that goes from wanting to spend money all the time to I’d rather save money now.

Well my angels those are my thoughts and feelings three months on. As I’m typing this right now I’ve almost been back at work a month already, madness how fast that has gone. Feels like I’ve been there for only five minutes. Let me know in the comments if you’re back at work, still on furlough, or if you’re at school/ college/ university or if you’re finishing any of those etc. Just let me know I’d love to have a chat with you all down below! Let’s start a conversation in the comments, tell me one thing you’re grateful for because of lock-down.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day, speak to you soon!

SELF ISOLATION | Things I Wanna Do After Lock-down

Hello my lovelies I hope you’re all doing well and are some how still coping in lock-down. We’re on week nine now, as if! For me it’s been so long but at the same time I can’t believe it has been that long. Anyone else or just me?

For many of us this period has been a time of realisations and discoveries of how we want to live our lives after we go back to “normal.” Not only on the grand scheme of how we’re treating the world but also how we want to personally make changes in our lives directly. Personally during this time I have had my eyes open to what and who is important in life and that we all really have no time to waste. If we want something we simply have to just go and get it. I think we’re all thinking of things we’d like to do after lock-down is over, so I thought I’d share with you what is on my list.

[CREDIT: EVERYDAYPOWER.COM]

The first one on my agenda and on many of yours I suspect is to see my family, friends, and Jake (boyf/ fiance), and his family. Apart from being at uni this might be the longest period of living at home that I haven’t seen any of them. But the crazier thing is how much we actually took that for granted without evening giving it a second thought. So I am incredibly excited for when I can actually see and spend time with them closer than a 2M distance. I know now in the UK the lock-down has been lifted slightly and you can go out and see someone from another household but again remaining at a 2M distance. And whilst I miss all of my family, friends, and Jake and his family for me personally I am so used to not seeing them now that if I was to go and see them and not be able to be close to them all and hug them and just be how we normally are together it would just damage my mental health and break my heart to be honest. So I’m ecstatic for when I can see them all and hug them and just be normal with them again.

I think you can all guess what the second thing I am most looking forward to is. Going to Costa, even if it’s just a drive through. Now of course I am not desperate, I have fortunately been able to enjoy my iced lattes at home with actual Costa coffee because the supermarkets sell Costa coffee pods and they also sell ground coffee bags as well. So there’s a great variety for all the Costa needs! But I am looking forward to going back to my second home with a delicious iced latte and my fave chocolate brownie! Right let’s settle the debate in the comments, are you a Starbuck stan or a Costa stan? Costa all the way for me.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Something else I would like to start to do is plan more trips. I’ve never been that much of a traveller, I feel like a lot of young people; one of their main goals is to travel to loads of places and go on loads of trips. But I’ve never really had that urge to travel. I have a few places I’d like to visit if I’m lucky enough to in my lifetime but if I don’t do an insane amount of travelling I don’t feel like I’ll have missed out. Is that just me or does anyone else feel like this? I honestly feel like it’s just me. It could be because when I was younger my parents never really took me on holidays to places like Spain or Portugal or just anywhere with all inclusive resorts and 30+ degrees basically. We were mainly holidaying in places around the UK such as Bournemouth, Great Yarmouth, Devon etc. Speaking of travelling I really wanna go back to Devon for a few days soon, it’s been a long time since I last visited.

Although I’ve never had a desperate urge to travel all over the world I have few places that I definitely want to visit in my lifetime and then I have another handful that I wouldn’t mind visiting, I wouldn’t say no if the opportunity arises. If you’re also not really a major traveller or you kind of struggle with it perhaps, I do find it’s easier to start travelling around your home country before you branch out to a different country.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]
[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

In the UK I really want to visit Brighton and not just because of Zoe Sugg’s vlogs! It just seems like such a wonderful place to explore as they seem to have so many lovely independent shopping areas, lovely lanes and buildings, the gorgeous beach as well as the countryside areas. There just seems to be so much to explore in Brighton and it has a bit of everything so it’s quite a versatile area.

Plus I have a friend who lives in Brighton and for all this time we’ve chatted on Insta we’ve never actually met, so when Covid is all over it is definitely on both of our agendas.

Another area in the UK I am desperate to see is Edinburgh, and this is partly because of all of Zoe Sugg’s vlogs around Christmas time. Edinburgh all lit up in lights and festivities and the markets it all looks absolutely magical! Even this illustration looks magical! I’d adore to come here in the first week of December and just take it all in as you all know Christmas time is my favourite time of the year. It’s a magical and special time for me so I know I’m going to absolutely love it when I finally get the chance to see this gorgeous city.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Another place I’ve wanted to visit for a while is Bath. Zoe Sugg has also been here and shown it in a vlog but that is not the reason I wanna visit. Of course it’s a roman town/ city and all of the buildings in Roman areas of the UK are so beautifully structured and such an iconic piece of history. Plus the whole vibe of Bath still feels very old town esk and it has the same vibes as my home town, my closest city which is Oxford, and has the same vibes as Chester does as that’s also a Roman city. So I feel like it will feel like another home away from home for me. I already know I’m going to love the whole vibe and feel. I think it would be really lovely for Heather, Chloe, and I all to visit here together and have a girly weekend away.

In terms of actually going out of the UK, this is definitely a place that every young person has visited for a long weekend and my need to go here is no different. Amsterdam is such a gorgeous place. The pictures you see almost don’t even look real. It looks like an artist moulded the buildings out of clay and painted them in beautiful colours and finer details.

Chloe and I chatted on the phone today about the potential of getting a big group of us to go as a friend and couples holiday etc. So honestly that would be loads of fun I reckon so we shall see what the future holds and what our future bank accounts can afford.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

At the moment the final place on the agenda and my main travel goal is to see the Northern Lights. If you’ve read my twenty three questions post, if not check it out here, then you will already know this is the main place I wanna travel.

I’ve always been a huge fan of nighttime, I still am, and the beauty of space and the stars, and constellations. Everything to do with sky is so beautiful and it reminds me how much more there is out there and how big our world really is. I find it so interesting that you and someone across the globe can be looking up at the same sky but be completely seeing different things and experiencing different emotions/ reactions.

Honestly this trip would be one of my biggest dreams, especially to go and stay in the igloos made of glass and you just lay on the bed and watch the colours merge and dance around the sky. Wow, a dream.

Also throughout my life I would never say no to going and visiting another country if I had the opportunity to go. Such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and also Australia and America. If I had an opportunity to go of course I would but I don’t like have that feeling of need or longing to travel to all of these places. Like I’m not desperate to travel but I wouldn’t say no. Anyone else feel the same as me or am I just in the minority category, haha. But do let me know what some of your travel dreams are/ what’s on your travel bucket list?

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

There will be a few of you who don’t actually know this and that’s mainly because I’ve only made the decision recently. Not to toot my own horn but I am really good at doing my nails and creating designs and just painting them and shaping them in general etc. Throughout my teens and young adult life I always have people ask me about them and many people are shocked when I say to them that they’re my real nails. I’m very fortunate that they grow very quickly and when my nails are looking good it makes me feel fierce. My family and friends always say I should consider doing nails as a career because I’d be so good at it so at last I’m finally going to listen and stop waiting around and take action.

In this past year I’ve of course been working but aside from that I haven’t been doing much else and I’m gonna be straight with you all. Have I missed my job? Not in the slightest. I’ve missed seeing my work friends but apart from that I have not missed my job one bit. Which I think proves that I need to take action and stop waiting around for the “right opportunity” to arise. I don’t think there ever really is a “right opportunity”, you can only really go off the right energies that you feel around a situation at the time. You can also only feel the “right time” inside yourself, if you don’t feel the push in yourself to do something when that energy rises then it’s not the time for you. But if you do feel that want and that need to push yourself then you’re mentally preparing for that next jump when the energy is there for you to grab. I feel that energy for me right now.

Lock-down has made me realise that the only person who can push me is me and I am the only one who can get myself from A to B. If there is something I want I’ve got to go out and get it and stop overthinking about it. I don’t know if this is just me but I graduated university two years ago this November. In the first year of leaving uni the majority of people from my year and friendship group of course moved home and got a job because we had no other option at the time. And now we’re here just over a year later still working in that same job we don’t really wanna be in but we recognise we need to earn our own money, as it’s actually more rewarding having your own money and doing what you want with it, rather than having to ask other people to help you out. But here we are over a year later in that same job still trying to figure out what to do and where to start. Which is absolutely fine, you don’t have to have it all figure out, but I feel like so many of us are just waiting for something to come along. Which again is fine as it does take time to figure life out especially when you’re out here swimming on your own.

But I have personally felt worried about straying away from what I studied. I don’t know if others of you feel the same but the performing and drama based industries, mostly for being a performer, it’s always been so competitive which is hard and I think it is why a lot of people despite loving it almost feel like they can’t do it even though they know how amazing they are and talented they are. As I personally feel like that and my friends and a couple of other people I have spoke to recently feel the same about the industry we studied in. Which is a shame that there is so much pressure to be amazing to perform and just work in the industry which is really hard. One thing that performers share is that we’ve all gone through periods of not feeling enough or going through mental health issues and body issues etc. Of course that isn’t just performers but judging from my uni course alone, many of us struggled with personal issues within ourselves, and of course when you perform you get to take yourself away from who you are. You can perform as who and what ever you want to be. Which is one reason why performing is so liberating. But when you end your studies and lose that net of being caught by people when you’ve done something wrong or have gotten a lower grade than expected. Of course it’s going to feel harder to pick yourself up because it’s only you who can push you, there isn’t always loads of people around you to help pick you back up again when it comes to learning and figuring out careers in your twenties.

I digress, but basically for the past year I have sort of been waiting around to figure out what to do with my degree and I still don’t 100% know. Who really does after they’ve graduated. I have a lot of areas I enjoy and want to explore that aren’t all just performing based. But lately I have been thinking about exploring other avenues that I am interested in. Avenues that I can do whilst I am living at home and figuring out where I wanna live and also I cannot drive yet so I can’t do anything that requires me to travel ridiculously far. So, I have been painting my nails since I was 13/14 and it was around the age of 15 that I really started to develop that further with nail art. I remember I’d come home from school on Friday and I would spend like 2-3 hours doing my nails ready for the weekend because when I was younger we weren’t allowed nail polish on at school. So I wanted to make the most of it, so it’s always been something that has been apart of me. I was actually doing nail art long before I’d ever properly touched makeup and started to discover how to do my makeup better. But I just didn’t do any nail art for a while as at uni I didn’t always find the time and I fell out of love with how it looked for a little while. But during lock-down I have completely fallen back in love and rediscovered my craft with it which is awesome. Lock-down has made me fall completely back in love with so many different elements that used to be a part of me, I know afterwards I can’t go back to what I was like before. I’ve got to keep my focus and keep up all these hobbies and interests that I just let go before. God this has been a ramble but basically I wanna do a nail course and get qualified so I can go and work in a salon as there is many in my town and also so I could do some freelance work around my town. Ideally I’d like for it to be like you go somewhere for a week or a couple of weeks to learn and do your assessments or you do part of online etc. But of course I wont be able to do this for a while because of the 2M social distancing rule as you can’t really social distance when you’re doing people’s nails. I’ve got a lot of research to do as I have the skills to paint the nails and do the designs etc, but as of right now I don’t know much of like the background of nail health and products and whatever else it entails. But this is definitely something I want to get into to open a new door for myself. Life is all about creating yourself and developing new skills after all. What job do you guys currently have and is it one you’ve been working towards or is it something you’re doing to pass the time as you’re working towards something you want to do etc.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Fifth on our agenda is to consistently keep a balance after lock-down on all of my social medias and my blog. The main reason I find that hard is because my job right now is always hit and miss. For example one week I could be working 15 hours and then the next week I could be working 35 hours. You just don’t know in my job which is the joy and a curse of a zero hour contract. You would think when I’m working less hours that there would actually be more time for me to blog and do socials. But the reality is because my weeks are so unstructured I sometimes find even in a week when I am doing less hours I can’t seem to find the motivation because I don’t have that creative flow. Probably because my job isn’t very creative and it’s pretty unfulfilling. I sometimes think would it be better for me to have a more structured week. For example Tuesday-Friday working 10am-5pm and then having 3 days off to see friends and Jake, have a day to chill, and then have a day to work on my blog. The only reason I can’t really do that in my current job is because nothing is ever set. You can have set working days but not always those set working hours as it depends what our company give us and what we have to fill. Which is obviously expected with a zero hour contract, it’s always here there and everywhere. But perhaps I do need to get out of that structure in order to focus more on what I wanna do as we move forward. So if I can figure out a schedule when I do go back to work and get further with that, hopefully when I move on from my job to a more structured environment it should be a lot easier to transition.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST – EDITED SIZE IN PAINT]

The final thing I wanna do and need to do after this lock-down ends is to just be fearless and confident with everything I wanna do. In myself in general I do have confidence. You know I’m past the point of carrying about what other people think of me with the majority of the things I do and wear etc. But I think the fear is actually more inside of me not being good enough and “failing.” Even though you never actually fail you only learn and grow but I think it’s something inside my own head with certain elements that I can’t always shake off. I’ve always been someone that is scared to not be as good as everyone else is. I think it’s partly because when I was younger I was always told you’re not good enough to do this and you’re never gonna do that etc. So that definitely has affected me more (mentally) than I think I’ve ever realised until this past year. Of course you can be nervous and have that butterfly feeling with things you’re going for but I think I’ve let my internal fear of “failing” and not keeping consistent with things that keep me happy such as blogging and performing and continuing meditation and mindfulness and learning more etc.

I think I’ve let my mind get to a place of being scared to go for what I want. Which really isn’t a good place to be mentally, I know I’m more than capable of anything I put my mind to but I think physically doing whatever it is has become scary for me. I also think as well when you see so many other people your age figuring it out or looking at what they’ve achieved and then comparing what you’ve achieved when you work in similar areas or have similar interests etc. It can be a bit hard as I guess you think why are they doing so well and I’m not? Even though they’ve probably felt the same at some point in their life. So if you’re feeling like that I also feel the same sometimes, so you’re not alone! I guess it’s just remembering that we all work at different rates and things come our way at different times and we take jumps at different moments we feel. I guess it’s just reminding yourself that just because you have not yet done or aren’t doing what that person has done doesn’t mean you’re not successful and it doesn’t mean you don’t work really hard and that you’re not capable. We can all probably be our own worst critics sometimes, I know I am, so I need to stop allowing myself to think I am not capable of all I want accomplish. You guys are probably shocked that I think this way as you know me I am very positive and uplifting and I always support and encourage other people to just do whatever they wanna do. But sometimes I need to remind myself that I am also amazing and I am going to do amazing things wherever I go in my life. Trust the process and the timing of the universe as they say.

That’s me done for today lovelies, I hope you enjoyed. Let me know in the comments what do you wanna do after lock-down. I hope you’re all staying safe and are well, sending you lots of love as always. See you very very soon!

A Smile

If you’re looking for a smile/ cheer up today. Give my girl Sophie’s post a read!

Sophie Lou Blogs!

I’m writing this post feeling inspired to make someone smile today!

There’s a poem that sits in a frame on a windowsill at my Grandparents house and I’ve loved it ever since I first read it. I want to share its beauty with you today.

A smile costs nothing, but gives much,

it enriches those who receive,

without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment,

yet the memory of it may last forever.

A smile creates happiness in the home,

fosters goodwill in business,

and is a sign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary,

cheer to the discouraged,

sunshine to the sad,

and its natures best antidote to trouble.

Yet a smile cannot be bought,

begged, borrowed or stolen;

For it is of no value to anyone,

until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile.

Give them one…

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