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!

How to be more involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement

Cher Belle

The past week has been such an emotionally difficult week to deal with. I never believed that in 2020, we would still be fighting not only for racial equality, but for us not to be killed for simply being black. I am still coming to terms with that and still trying to gather up the strength I need to do my part in trying to make changes in this society. There’s always this narrative of ‘strong black woman’ and it is one that has to come to an end. Black women deserve to simply be women. We deserve moments of weakness when life is overwhelming, moments of fear when we are afraid, moments to cry when the weight of the world is on our shoulders and moments to just be women. To not have to get up everyday and fight. I am tired, I am scared and I am so…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[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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LIFESTYLE | 23 Questions Before 23 feat. GIN!

Hello lovelies and welcome back to another post! I hope you are all safe and well. If you follow me on my social medias (IG and Twitter) then you will know that tomorrow, the 7th, is my birthday! And if you haven’t guessed by the title it is my 23rd birthday this year. I feel like only five minutes ago I turned 20 and now here we are in the 3rd year of my 20’s. Time flies when you’re living in lock-down and your life is falling apart. I mean let’s be honest my life was falling apart before lock-down.

Anyway moving on, about a week or two ago I asked you guys to send me questions that I could answer before I turn 23, hence the name in the title. But thank you to you all who asked me questions and responded to my question polls etc. It was very much appreciated and I’ve had some great ones! So this is gonna be good. Also like the title suggests we are very much enjoying a gin whilst answering these. I’m answering these very off the cut as of course I’ve read the questions but I haven’t thought anything about them until now because I wanted my responses to be as real as possible without too much overthought. So grab yourself a drink, I’m personally having a gin to answer these, as some of them are a little deep, a little personal, and I think we’re also gonna have a laugh! So grab a drink and let’s go!

My uni experience was amazing. Honestly it was the best three years of my life and I have: A) gained a degree, B) learnt so many new things about my “career” subject, C) learnt many life skills, D) made some banging memories, but most importantly E) gained some incredible friends who I know are going to be with me for life. One of the most special things, if anyone of you have heard the saying: the best people are the ones you don’t see all the time or talk to every day but whenever you do it’s the exact same and feels like no time has passed. Those are the ones you need to keep close by; that’s what I have with my incredible friends from university. It is mad to think about, imagine if we all didn’t go to Chester uni, we never would’ve met and I honestly can’t imagine them not in my life. My uni experience would not have been what it was without all of them. Definitely who you are surround by at uni makes or breaks your experience in a big way I think. As those people become your second family as more than likely none of you have lived away from home, or been away from your parents for more than a week, so when you get thrown into uni it’s like such a brand new way of living and you’re all in the same boat. So there is no pressure as you’ve only just met all these people and none of you know anything about each other.

I’m aware everyone’s uni experiences are different but honestly I loved every second, even the hard times and all of the stresses, I would happily do it all over again for all of the best moments and the good times. And meet everyone all over again because looking back for me it was just so special. Plus it just went so fast, faster than any stage of my life. So if you’re at uni or thinking of going to uni, live and appreciate every single moment because I blinked and it was over just like that. In a heartbeat I would do it all again.

Such a classic question and honestly I feel like these are always hard to answer. I feel like dreams and goals are actually separate categories, only because dreams are what you think about whereas goals are something you’re working towards. But without that classic plan they’re all wasted. I feel like these change every single year for me, I think it’s no lie that as you get further into adulthood some things you once thought you really wanted you’re not so sure you wanted after all. For example, when I was younger one of my dreams and I’m talking BIG dreams. It was to win the XFactor and of course get famous and my winning montage song of the moment they’d told me I’d won would be Greatest Day by Take That. You could say I’ve thought about it. But as I’ve gotten older that “dream” is definitely not one of my dreams anymore.

As of my life now I would say my biggest dream would be to be a full time performer – on stage and on screen. I think when you do some kind of performance subject a lot of people like to assume if you don’t become some type performer after the course then you’ve failed. Which is wrong but the reason at the moment that’s more of a dream is because the way my life is right now I can’t yet imagine this being achievable. But that doesn’t mean one day it wont be. I’m never gonna say never.

But as of actual goals right now I would say my biggest one is to figure out what I want to do with my degree. I have a lot of interests but I really need to pin them down and really focus what to link with what and how to make whatever that is function. Honestly it’s hard, it’s really hard after university to figure things out but I do know some day soon it will all just fall into place and I’ll work it out.

Another big life goal of mine is to have children. I’ve always said since I was younger if I had to pick between getting married and having children, I would rather have children and if I do get married then that is just a lovely bonus. I’d love to be able to have three children, and I would adore to at least have one boy and one girl. However I do not want kids until I’m 30 or above ideally just because I want my twenties for me. When you have children that is a commitment for 21 years of your life at least and right now, I ain’t ready for that kind of commitment. I’m barely scraping by and looking after me right now.

Another not too distant goal (hopefully) is to figure out where Jake and I want to live together because until we discover that we cannot get any kind of mortgage or even look at places because what is the point. We both agree we don’t really want to rent anywhere because renting is a death trap, I’m sorry to any of you who are renting as some of my friends do too. Of course it’s lovely to be able to live with your partner or friends whoever you’re with, but you spend so much money on renting which in the long run means you can’t save anything or barely anything. And once you’re in the mindset of renting it’s so hard to get out of, and not to mention once you’re used to living with someone you get so used to it being your life together that you don’t want that to be disrupted by having to move back home as then you’re not living your life as you’re back in someone else’s space, not your space, you get me? So I totally get why people rent and no disrespect of course. Just for Jake and I personally it doesn’t seem worth it for us in the long run. I think we both know we don’t want to be too far from our families and I know Jake wants to live more in the countryside (kind of like the village I live in now) as he’s grown up in a city. Whereas me, I do love my home-home but I don’t want to be to be too far away from a town/ city. So we need to find somewhere in the middle and then not to mention we both need to find work near to or in wherever we decide to live eventually. *Sips big gulp of gin* god, being an adult is just chaos isn’t it.

Just realised I was 13 ten years ago, oh my god. *Sips bigger gulp of gin.*

God I’m shooketh by the above statement more than I thought. Am I really that old? Apparently so. Anyway, I got asked this question A LOT, so I figured it was wrong to not answer it. Hmm, what advice would I give to my 13 year old self? …

Right, over the next few years you’re going to go through a lot, like many teenagers, and you’re gonna have moments where you question your worth and your ability to achieve what you want. A lot of people who you thought were your friends are gonna treat you poorly and fuck you over and you don’t know why. But you’re gonna believe it’s your fault rather than some people are just dickheads. And there’s going to be a period where you feel so low and like nothing is gonna change but just persevere because it does get better. But despite all the chaos at school, you still know that you deserve better and eventually you’re gonna pick yourself up and from that moment on your life gets a little bit brighter. You’re gonna leave school and go to college where you discover who two of your true friends are and you’re gonna carry one another through life and help each other blossom and grow. Which is ultimately one of the most special friendships you’re ever going to experience.

There are hard moments in college within the course with people, but you get through and are ultimately one of the most positive individuals there. You’re going to learn a lot, grow a lot, and start to unfold all of your mental health problems from school and your mindset about yourself. Whilst discovering new hobbies and creating a platform where you share things you love and the things that you think. As well as influencing people along the way. College goes quickly and university is already here, which you can’t wait for and you’d be right because you’re going to have the best three years of your life. You’re about to discover what true friendship is and how much more there is to life than what was offered in your small hometown. You’re about to realise that you can do whatever you set your mind to and that you are important. People value you in their lives and you don’t have to constantly worry that people don’t like you because it’s shown from the people you meet and the memories you make. University is going to fly, so appreciate every minute. The good, the bad, the stress, the tears, the drama, the smiles, the people, and the memories. Now when you look back on your teenage years, as cliche as it is, you realise that you had to go through everything you do to make you stronger and to make you begin to blossom into who you are at 18/19. Ready to go into your new decade better, bolder, and brighter than you were in the past. Your teenage self would be so proud of who you’ve become and she’d be proud to see where you’re about to go and everything you’re set to achieve. Keep growing, keep going, keep shinning sis!

God, y’all just want all the advice don’t ya. Jesus as if I turned 21 two years ago, where is my life going? *Downs whole glass of gin*

Right advice for when you’re 21. Obviously it’s kind of dependent on whether you’re finishing uni or if you’re working – whatever you’re doing I think the most worrying thing for a 21 year old is ‘oh my god, what am I gonna do with my life, I’m technically an adult now and I have no idea.’ The main thing I would say is don’t worry about your life, focus on what you’re doing right now. I think school conditions us to think that we have to have an idea about our future career at 15/16 because of what you pick for your GCSEs which then affects what you decide to do at college and then dictates what you do at uni if you decide to go. Which I think is just wrong, at 15/16 you have no idea about the world outside your hometown and your family home because you’ve never experienced anything more than that. I feel like 21 and under should just be about experiencing life and trying new things whether that’s with subjects, jobs, sexuality, hobbies, lifestyle choices. Like at that age you should have freedom to explore and express whatever you feel like you want to. So if you are 21 and you feel like you’re stuck because you’ve reached the end of the safety net of education etc, I would mainly say to not stress about it. Figuring out your life is hard, heck I still haven’t figured it out either. Just go with the flow and if something comes your way that you feel like you need to follow or pursue just go with it. As somethings work out and somethings don’t, but it’s all a learning curve. So overall, don’t stress and just go with the flow.

God I love a ramble don’t I. Best get another gin before we carry on.

I find these questions so hard to imagine because I always just live for the moment right now but hopefully in five years Jake and I will have figured out where we want to live and either be moving into our house/ be in our house. Also hopefully we’ll both be in a happy place with a job that doesn’t feel like work. You know something where we feel genuinely passionate about what we do and actually enjoy going in to do. Hopefully we will have travelled a little and experienced new things together. I’d also like to be at a stage with our friends and families where Jake and I host big events and parties round our house. A bit like what Zoe and Alfie do in their amazing house.

Comparing that to ten years time hopefully we will still be doing the same as five years but on a more permanent level. Maybe we will be doing a few extra things career wise or hobby wise, whether that is together or separate. Maybe we will have gotten married by then and potentially have had a baby or I’ll be pregnant around this time. Who knows, who knows what way I’m gonna be taken.

I’m aware it seems most of my future stages seem to be with Jake, but of course when you’ve got a partner you’re ultimately working towards big life events together. If you’re not on the same page then what’s the point of being together. But just for me personally, in five years, ten years, twenty years whatever, I just hope whatever I am doing and wherever my life is at, I just hope I am happy and healthy and that I have no regrets when I look back on my life. Regardless of what you want in your life you should always be learning, and growing, and changing as life is all about experience at the end of the day. So I’m just gonna enjoy the ride whilst making memories and enjoying myself. And right now I’m enjoying my gin, *sips a lil more.*

As most of you know I’m the queen of positivity if I do say so myself. I’m a very optimistic person and I always find the good in life situations, I’ve always been like that ever since I was younger, even when I was going through some shit. Overall I was still very positive but don’t get me wrong, I’m still human and I have my moments of feeling low, but in terms of tips the only thing I can really think of is to be grateful for everything and everyone. Like so many things in our life are temporary without us even knowing and if we’re not grateful for what and who we have I truly believe you never experience happiness. I understand sometimes when you’re going through a tough time and that negative ball is consuming your head space it can feel like that’s all there is but you really have to work hard at shifting your focus. As the classic quote says, when you focus on the good the good gets better and honestly it does. I think the only “tips” I can really give you is to appreciate who and what you have, be grateful for the life you live, stop comparing yourself or your work to other peoples, and to always put yourself in full value; you a worth everything because ultimately everything you’re doing in your life is for you or if it’s not it should be. Remember there’s always brighter days to come, just keep going and focus and they will be here before you know it.

This one is actually quite a simple answer (for once), I started my blog in 2013 simply just because at the time I was using Instagram as a platform and my captions were so long as you know I love a ramble. So I figured it’s probably better to have an actual writing platform and that’s when the blog was born. Also because something I’ve always wanted to do has been to inspire people and I’ve been trying to do that for all this time through my blogging platform. Hopefully that does come across. if you’re a blogger, let me know why you started your platform in the comments.

This is a very interesting question so I had to include it. I’ve actually never been asked this so exclusive! I haven’t actually done any proper screen acting and I would love to experience it at some point in my life. But if you know me well and have seen me perform I would have to say stage. Like not to toot my own horn or anything but the way I perform and my personality and energy is made for the stage and the theatre. Plus performing on stage is so much fun and you get to know people in such a close-nit way that you become like another family. It’s just such a buzz and I really do miss it! Defo need to get back into stage stuff after all this corona business is done.

Treat yourself!

Having a rubbish day? Treat yourself. Having a great day? Treat yourself. Having a life crisis? Treat yourself. Having a big life moment? Treat yourself! It’s a universal phrase used for every kind of thing going on in yourself. Treat yourself responsibly though but do treat yourself when you feel you need it. Enjoy your life, treat yourself, it’s not all serious. Cheers, treat yourself! *sips more gin*

This quote to me feels very wholesome. As when I think of throwing confetti it reminds me of celebrating and happy times and good things with people who are important to you. Ultimately kindness is also one of the greatest things you can give/ show to other people and what you throw into the world it will throw it back at you. Maybe in this sense it’s confetti but the confetti is the kindness and the goodness you share and exude. I find that really lovely and special.

Oooo things are getting interesting! I really liked this question as it was so different to any of the others. I feel like this is so hard as I feel like you don’t know what kind of parent you’re gonna be until it happens. One thing I would never want is for them to feel like I’m telling them what to do with their life. I think sometimes parents add in their opinion when it’s not always needed. Especially when you’re a teenager, I think parents think telling their kids what they should be doing by a certain age is how it’s meant to go. I imagine for our generation when we have children it’ll be quite different to how our parents raised us. I would want them to just be whoever they wanted to be and do whatever they wanted to do. Of course within reason, like I don’t want them to turn out to be a murderer or anything. But I just wouldn’t want them to feel pressure or feel like they couldn’t talk to me if the needed to or if they genuinely wanted my advice etc. The only thing I would want them to be is kind to other people, respectable, caring, nice, and just not unnecessarily mean, or nasty, or horrible etc. It’s never a nice feeling to find out that your child isn’t being as good of a person towards other people that they can be. I imagine anyway as I am not a parent. *Sipping that gin.*

I’ve learnt a lot during these 23 years of life but I think the one thing that sticks out is to expect nothing from anyone. I think when you expect people to treat you exactly the way you treat them you’re probably going to be disappointed. Now of course this doesn’t go for everyone you meet or everyone in your life, but over my years I’ve had people who I’ve done so much for and that same level of energy isn’t reciprocated back to me. Move on from all those dead plants you’ve been watering. I have had to learn this the really hard way as when I was younger I used to do so much for people and gave so much effort towards other people because I thought that would get them to like me and to value me as a friend. If you’re in this boat, honey you gotta stop. I’m very attentive when it comes to people, the way people are around me, how their messages are with me etc, and whilst I still do a lot for the people I love and care about, I am much better now at knowing who is worth investing in and who is not. You can tell when an energy is off with a person or something has changed, you just feel it in your gut, and that’s the universe trying to tell you something. So these days I’m a lot better at telling the difference between people having an off day and people who aren’t really bothered about me. I’m at an age now where I’m over the drama of it and I just wait to see if they make effort and if they don’t it’s like cool, bye. I’ve got more people and things to invest my time in than a dying plant. So the hardest thing I’ve learnt has been to never have expectations on a person to be just like you are when it comes to them and vice versa.

God this is getting deep, time for another sip of gin and our next question is…


I feel like here a lot of you are expecting me to say getting engaged but I’m actually not going to say that. It’ll be a moment I remember forever but it’s never a moment I imagined happening as like I said above I’d rather be able to have kids than get married, but I think it’s partly because my mum and dad never got married and this year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary. So you don’t have to get married to have a great relationship folks. Anyway back to the question, *sips gin*, I honestly think the best moment of my life so far has just been meeting all of the people that have changed my life. Like without all of my incredible family and friends and Jake life would be pretty dull and I know it’s such a cliche but I honestly do believe I am blessed with the best ones and I count my blessings for that everyday. You all know who you are, thank you always. Never change.

I feel like we’re all tempted to say yes aren’t we when we take a look back and look at all the shit we went through or the “bad” decisions we made but honestly I am gonna say no. Everything we do happens for a reason and if I hadn’t of done all of the things I have done I wouldn’t be the same person today. So no I wouldn’t thinking of it now.

This may sound like a shock to some of you but I’ve never like felt that major urge to travel. Of course there are some places I’d like to visit but I’ve never had that urgency of needing to travel. Anyone else have this or is it just me? *Sips gin* it’s blatantly just me isn’t, not in with the modern times of wanting to travel every 5 minutes *sips gin* I’m joking lovelies! No T, no shade, no pink lemonade! No but seriously I’ve got a few places I would like to see in my lifetime but I’m in no rush to see them. But my dream place to go is it to see the northern lights.

I don’t even remember at what point I decided I wanted to go here but it has been a dream for a very long while, I mean look how gorgeous that sky is. Then when I first met Jake he said he really wants to visit those as well. So that will be the trip of a lifetime for me. Hopefully we can have that happen in the next five to ten years.

Yes, it was when both my mum and dad got ill and they had to go into hospital. Of course they’re fine now and I am so thankful that they are. But before that sometimes I could be quite snappy with them and I was a little bit harsh sometimes. But when they did both have health scares it highlighted to me that one day they wont be here and I can’t even fathom how I am gonna be at that stage but honestly without my mum and dad I would be so lost ad I wouldn’t know what to do. When I was a teenager I think I really took them for granted, like most teenagers do, but really without them I don’t know what I would do or who I’d be. So I’m lucky that they’re still here and I’m thankful that they are.

Also a very interesting one this one. Um if I had all the money in the world I’d defo quit the job I have now, haha. So that I could put all of my time into content creating as well as doing my dream of being a theatre performer. As well as down the line creating my own theatre company/ performance kind of school or something. But also, potentially studying to be a university lecturer/ visiting lecturer. Which I still have as an option for a few years down the line in my life now but I’ve got a lot of figuring out I need to do before I begin thinking about that. Maybe even to own my own business of some kind or have a few different projects and things I’m involved in etc. I would like to help out people though, like do more for charities and donate more funding into our health care system as well as giving more money into our developments into global warming. Basically I’d just like to help other people and the world with the other money I have.

In terms of home I think it would be lovely to live somewhere that is close to everything. So you’re not too far from your main city, but you also have nice countryside close by whilst still being able to get to town in a short amount of time and not too far a drive from the beach. I think that would be the dream location I just don’t know specifically where that is in the UK. And in terms of my actual house I think I would want a detached house with a lovely big garden that I could plant lots of flowers and trees in. Also have a patio/ decking area to have a lovely outdoor table on and sofa area on etc. I think it’s important to have a decent sized garden when you have pets and children. A nice big kitchen and cosy living room with two bathrooms. One main bathroom and then a smaller one for like downstairs or something. As I’d like to have three kids we’d need at least four bedrooms and then a modern attic to store things. What I mean by modern is something that is made up like a room, I never go in my attic right now at home because it’s so open with bricks and many spiders have been found up there. Plus I’d want an easy way to get into the attic with either some fold down stairs when you open the hatch or just permanent stairs in the house. I like the idea of having a modern but rustic vibe house and I wouldn’t say no to an open plan kitchen and dinning room, but if the house didn’t have that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Plus I’d love a house where I could have many many house plants. Isn’t that most young people’s houses these days? I think that’s mostly everything as of right now. You could say I’ve thought about it just a tiny bit… *finishes glass of gin*

I feel like one of the biggest that I am proud of is of course my degree. That piece of paper holds many memories and many hours of hard work as that is something I worked on purely for me. Plus it’s now in a frame on my wall after a whole year. We’re doing well, *pours another glass.* I actually can’t think of anything else I would say is the biggest achievement I am most proud of. There probably is more but getting a degree is definitely one of the biggest.

Hot chocolate. I was never particularly fond of hot drinks when I was younger, but mostly hot chocolate. I dunno why but I just couldn’t vibe with it. But now, now let me tell you! In the cold months she is a top beverage of choice for those cosy vibes on a winter day. God I do bloody love a hot chocolate, I could go for one now to be honest.

Hmm, this is a tough one as over my life I have overcome quite a lot. But the greatest one is probably comparing myself to people in every aspect of my life. When it came to performing, blogging, if I was likeable, if I was good enough. Just a ridiculous amount of things that I let consume my head space for so long. When I finally started to unravel that and just live and be me and show myself more self love, it gave me a lot more fulfilment and enjoyment with my life. When I was younger all I did was compare myself to people but I am not them and they are not me. I’m amazing just as much as they are, it’s much kinder for everyone to appreciate who we are as people without comparing ourselves to other people. Honestly feels so good to have finally let that go. Cheers to that lovelies *sips more gin.* If I’m not drunk by the end of this post I’ll be shook.

The best has definitely been 18 years and on-wards as so many great life things have happened ever since I left college. And the worst was definitely 14 years to 16 years, school life was just really tough and I went through a lot like you’ve discovered throughout this post and I was just really happy when those years of my life were over. I’m grateful for what those years taught me but that doesn’t mean it was enjoyable or easy, even during the good times I did have in those years. Cheers to now everyone, *cheers.*

I do think the person who has the most influence on your life is obviously yourself because only you can take yourself from A to B and only you can motivate yourself to get things done as it is your life at the end of the day. Like everything I’m doing now is for my future self and I don’t even know where she is gonna be and what she’s gonna be doing ten years from this moment now, but I hope she’s having a brilliant 33rd birthday, (god triggered again *definitely more than a sip now*) and I hope she is happy with her life.

But if I had to pick someone else that isn’t me it would probably be my mum. My mum is one of the greatest women in the world and of course I’m gonna say that because she’s my mum. But she honestly is amazing – she’s strong, she’s kind, she’s caring, she’s brave, she’s everything a mum should be. She has this way of suggesting things that I could do that I was already thinking of potentially doing and encourages me with everything I do in my life. We have a great relationship now despite having a rocky one when I was a young teenager and I wouldn’t change it. Cheers to you mum, thanks for everything you’ve done and are still doing.

Hmm, this is again a tough one but I really liked it so I had to include it. This may sound a bit materialistic slightly but I honestly think I’m gonna have to say money. Right, wait hear me out. Money does not buy happiness but how you use money for the purpose of memories like going on holiday, or going out with friends, buying gifts for other people for their birthdays or Christmas etc. Or the way you use it to bring happiness to yourself like grabbing a coffee, or donating to charity, or buying some nice new clothes if you’re feeling low. All of those things create memories which then attach to happiness. Money is a very subjective topic but the fact of the matter is without money I wouldn’t be able to do half of the things that I love and bring me joy. And I guarantee you all of you are the same as well when it comes to money. Now of course I’m not talking about a ridiculous amount. Just enough to live comfortably with a few treat yourself moments in each month. Growing up and being an adult is literally realising how much money dominates everything you would like to do and how much of a need we all have for it. But honestly without my own money I’d never be able to do half of the things I have done for the last few years.

My god here we are at the end! Honestly there was a point when I thought we weren’t going to make it. But cheers everyone, *downs gin.* Thank you all so much for joining me on my final day of being 22, I’m excited to see what 23 brings. Honestly can’t believe I’m already in the third year of my twenties. Thank you all for your questions I had so many great ones but I couldn’t pick them all, I really appreciate you all for helping me out. Hopefully you found out some things about me that you didn’t know or you’ve had some time over this post to think about these questions for yourself. But mostly I hope you treated yourself and enjoyed a beverage and had a bloody good time. If you know me well then you will know I say treat yourself all the time and I feel it’s very apt this year that my birthday is on a Thursday. Why you ask? Because it’s only bloody Treat Yourself Thursday ain’t it!

Wow this has been a ride hasn’t it. Again hope you enjoyed, if you wanna see what I get up to for my birthday tomorrow follow me on Instagram, @ katiej0hnson as I’ll be updating on my story throughout the day so you guys can see what I’m getting up to for my birthday in lockdown! Have an amazing evening you wonderful readers!

FASHION | Is Boohoo Curve actually for curvy people?

The curvy fashion queen has returned for your pleasure.

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to a long awaited try on haul! If you have been following me since I had my Blogger platform then you will know I did try on hauls quite often. I really enjoy doing them, I think they’re so much fun just to try all your latest bits on and play dress up in your bedroom and you guys always really enjoyed them! So I thought it was time to bring this quality content back to my new platform. But today I am trying a brand that I have never bought anything from before – Boohoo. Most online brands such as Boohoo, I never normally branch out to just because stereo-typically they don’t often cater to my group of sizes, which is size 20 and over. For example, normally online retailers will have up to size 20 in their standard range if they do not have a curve or plus size section. But there is never much difference between one set of sizes in standard ranges [6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20] because they’re trying to fit those into an all inclusive sized box of “typical” sizes and “typical” fits which typically is all catered on the smaller size across the board. So you could have a size 20 in the standard range and it will still be too small because that range is being typically filtered to an overall smaller category. If that makes sense; this scale could work both ways. For example you might have someone who is actually a size 8 or 10 but because they might have wider set hips or more muscle on their legs, they may have to go for size 12 or 14 due to the fact the difference in standard size ranges is so slim, it’s barely an inch, between one or two sizes. You may also have that on the petite scale too, someone might actually be a size 12 or 14 but because they’re shorter in height standard ranged items might be too long but the amount of material is correct for whatever weight that individual might be. But in typical petite ranges the clothing is taken up a bit because of a shorter height but is also taken in a bit. Even though “petite” doesn’t always mean smaller in body type and shape. It’s also the same with tall ranges, just because someone is taller doesn’t necessarily mean they’re slimmer, they potentially might have a lot of curve. I hope you guys know what I mean, I am going to do a further investigation in terms of this when I get back into Born To Be – my series that is catered to fashion and body image etc. Click here to give that read after this post if you haven’t already.

But I was surprised to find out that Boohoo actually has a plus size/ curve range on their website. I don’t know how long they’ve had a curve range but I know they create many adverts now with all ranges of women in (I’m unsure about the male side) and they don’t edit out things like stretch marks, cellulite, veins, skin marks etc. Which is brilliant and it does show how far we have come in terms of fashion adverts and the industry and the body positivity movement. I think as we move forward we can definitely do even more and I’m excited to see more brands follow suit with things like that for both female and male.

Okay, I think I’ve kept you all waiting long enough! Let’s get on with the haul, give this post a like right now if you’re excited!

DISCLAIMER:

You will see tummy, stretch marks, cellulite, marks, veins, bumps, lumps and more that makes up my size 20 – 22 body. But that doesn’t define how I look in my clothes and it doesn’t define how you look in your clothes either.

Also just to note, all of these items are from the curve/ plus size range so I do not know if all of these items are in the other ranges they do. You’d have to double check when looking on the website. And I do not remember all of the prices because everything when I bought these was on sale for like up to 70% off and I had a discount code (read until the end if you wanna know where to get your discount code).

I saw these on the website and I fell in love with this style. I try to buy pieces these days that I don’t have any thing like, or in colours I don’t really own, and styles that I will most likely wear. When I was a bit younger I used to buy clothing sometimes just because I liked it, which of course you should like what you’re buying. But in reality they didn’t fit that well or there was something about them that I wasn’t too sure about in terms of fitting to my body and in the long run I barely ever wore them or not at all. So now I work a lot harder to really think am I comfortable in this, will I actually wear it, do I already own something like it, will they be put to good use etc.

So they’re ruffle shorts but when you wear them they really look like a ruffled skater skirt. They have this extra under layer of material as you can see in the above photos which gives it a bit more protection in terms of how thin this fabric is. However in contrast to that statement I do like that these are so thin because they’re much cooler to wear in this current July weather in April.

When these arrived I was a bit worried that these weren’t going to fit because of an undiscovered zip that I didn’t realise they’d had. Even though these are from the plus size range normally any skirt or shorts or trousers that have a zip even when they’re made for curvier hips and legs never usually fit me or they fit but feel too tight to do anything in which isn’t what you want. When you’re wearing clothes surely the main aim is to feel comfortable that you don’t even have any anxiety about a certain area or a certain fit on that area, to look good for yourself, and to have no worry in what you’re wearing because what you’re wearing shouldn’t limit your day and anything you do.

I was pleasantly surprised that these actually fit, even with the zip down the side, and I have enough room to breath, sit down, and even do a work out if I wanted! Basically the fit of these is great. One of my favourite things is if I tuck a top into it I still have enough room and even if I wear them as you normally would they don’t fall down or feel too big either. The ruffle really gives them something extra than a plain pair of khaki shorts. The only thing that is slightly irritating is because the zip is down the side I really have to reach round to do it up and inside they’ve got those annoying loop tag things to hang onto hangers even though you would put shorts on clippy hangers. So they’re a bit annoying but I will just have to cut those off. But if you’re looking for a new pair of shorts for the warmer weather, I would highly recommend these ones.

Unfortunately I am unable to find this exact item on the website, and there is not a play-suit at all similar to this one.

I decided to treat myself to a new play-suit. I really enjoy play-suits as they’re easy to throw on in the summer with a jacket or a cardigan if it’s a bit chilly with some slip ons or lace up shoes and your outfit is done. So when you want something easy to wear on a warm day these are one of my go to outfits. When this one arrived I was a bit unsure because the material is quite thick, it’s that scuba material. But it redeems itself by being an overall loose fit on my stomach and around my legs. However although this material is thick it is still very much see through. As you can see in the first picture, you can see the lace trim of my underwear. So for sure I’m gonna have to wear peachy and pink toned underwear when I decide to wear this out.

I am not a fan of play-suits that are too tight or are quite fitted. I do own a couple of them but I will only ever wear them when I am having a very body confident day. I much prefer the ones that have an elasticated centre or like this one that has that over-layered crop type of top that is loose and flowy. As of course you can still see the outline of my stomach but because I’ve got that extra layer slightly over the top it gives the outfit something more and it makes me feel more confident.

I also really like the sleeves as you just tie them into little bows and adjust them to how you want them to sit on your shoulders. It does come slightly low sometimes as well dependent on how well you tie the bows up. But one of the main reasons I was so unsure about this item when it arrived was because the colour is not completely the same as it was on the website. And of course sometimes the lighting and the way they edit the photos can cause a slight difference in the cool tones and the warm tones of a garment overall. You can see it above in both of my photos, the further away I was the more peachy the play-suit looks and the closer I was to the natural light, the more blush toned the garment looked which is what it was advertised as on the website.

Of course I still like it otherwise I wouldn’t have kept it but the half blush/ half peach tone kind of causes it to wash me out ever so slightly. So I think when I wear this out in the sunshine and my skin gets a slight tan/ glow it’ll be all good. I did try to pair it with a little white tshirt and long sleeve top underneath but it did not look right. I think it’s due to the colour of it and the thickness of the play-suit itself. But it’s definitely a nice piece for the warm summer days, it’s just a small shame that it’s not a pure blush shade like it was advertised as. But most importantly the fit is comfortable and ultimately that’s the deal breaker as to whether or not I will wear an outfit.

I do love a wrap skirt even though they are partial to falling down so it’s a good job I always wear cycling shorts with them. I am a massive fan of polka dots / dot type prints which is probably what drew me to this. I am such a big fan of wearing monochrome outfits that are slightly miss matched. So for example the other week I wore this skirt with a bat wing sleeved over sized top that was also black and white but the polka dots were small and uniform whereas this skirts dots are bigger and scattered. So it’s like similar but not the same and I adore wearing outfits like that.

This skirt itself, the quality of it is kind of average. I’m not gonna lie to you, it is very much just like a piece of material that has been cut into a shape in order for you to wrap it round your body. Like the majority of wrap skirts it has the extra thinner bits of material at the side in order for you to tie it at the side and it was meant to come with a button inside however the button was not inside but the thread was still in there where it must’ve been. So maybe it got ripped off when packaged or if it was sent back by someone else before which isn’t the greatest if that was the case. However where to button hole was the skirt would’ve been too big for me like that anyway and I’m sure I ordered this one in my actual size so god knows why it’s as wide as it is. Again the material is so thin and it’s light which does make it great for summer and I think because it’s darker and a pattern it not see through compared the previous block coloured item you’ve already seen.

Despite the overall quality I love the pattern, I like that the material is lightweight, the length at the back is really good for my height, and I love the slit. I do love slit in a skirt or dress as it makes me feel sexy to get a bit of your higher thigh out but not all of the way.

Continuing the skirt theme I saw this white embroidered style number. I really liked it on the website obviously otherwise I wouldn’t of ordered it but I didn’t think I was going to like it that much on, especially when I’d tried on previous items in darker and brighter colours that were slightly see through. So I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to wear this but I was actually pleasantly surprised. This isn’t see through at all really because it has two layers of skirt which gives it that lovely scalloped trim waterfall effect, similar to the ruffle shorts. Which you know I love because it gives the skirt a little something extra to go along with all of that gorgeous detailing.

. Again it looks really lovely at the back as well because the skirt isn’t too short. For me personally because I have curvy hips and I am tall I don’t like it when skirts and dresses are too too short because they should at least cover your booty. I’m actually very excited to wear this on a lovely summers day.

On the website they had a top to match this but usually with things like skirts and shorts the matching tops are always tiny little cropped ones. Which is fine but matching co-ord types of outfits never usually work for me so I decided just to go for the skirt only. So I need to find a really lovely top to go with this white skirt, if any of you lovelies have a suggestion then please let me know. Overall though, I am very impressed with quality and the fit of this piece.

Unfortunately this style of item in particular doesn’t appear to be on the website anymore, so the link provided is all of the other styles of ‘Organza’ clothing they have in the plus range.

I saw this top on the website and I was intrigued by it but I honestly thought this was gonna be the one I would for sure send back because I could already tell from the model on the website that this was gonna be pretty fitted which isn’t always my favourite thing. I only really like wearing fitted tops with certain skirts and trousers that have a tie bit at the front, like in the images above for example. There’s also been a big trend of massive sleeves and I’ve seen a few tops that have been quite nice but the part on the sleeve was too big for comfort. So when I saw this one I quite liked how the netting almost goes up and down like a flutter, like a butterfly.

When this arrived I was honestly shocked at how much I liked it, no loved it on! I felt like an absolute queen in this, I was strutting around my mum and dad’s bedroom feeling like a million bucks just from a top. It is madness how fashion and clothing has such an overall affect on our mental health and physical appearance. So the overall quality is actually really good, it’s a bit like the scuba material but not as smooth. It’s got a bit of texture to it. It is fitted as I expected but not to the point where I feel like I’m going to be unable to breathe or uncomfortable when I’m out and about. The neckline is lovely as it elongates the neck without being really baggy and low. The sleeves are as I expected, big enough to make an impact on the overall garment and whatever club I’m’a strut into, without feeling claustrophobic up to my ears.

I love that lift on the sleeve as it gets to the peak on my shoulder as it gives that lovely fluttered out effect and it cascades down to the back beautifully. This is probably one of the top items that has been made the best and I just love it. I adore what I’ve paired it with, you know me and my matched but mismatched outfits. Can’t wait to wear this out for an evening sipping cocktails with the girls when corona let’s us live our lives again.

I’ve really grown to fall back in love with dresses as well as skirts over the last few years. I think there was a time period, obviously before the body positivity movement, where someone decided it was probably unsuitable for curvy people to wear dresses, skirts, short shorts etc. Honestly whoever that was I say, shame on you for making thousands of people honestly think they were not worthy or valued of wearing something on their body because they weren’t the “accepted” body type. But I’m sure we’ve all moved past that now. It has been so wonderful to fall back in love with wearing whatever I want to over the last few years and knowing that anything that I feel good in was made for me and was made to fit my body.

Right before I get carried away back to this dress. As you can see it’s a beautiful peach number! I really do love this colour of peach more than the play-suit’s half peach toned thing it’s got going on. I already knew this was gonna fit as, A) it’s a skater dress and B) I ordered it 4 sizes bigger than I am. Not for the purposes of fit but literally just because they only had this size left and I liked it so much that I was like well regardless I’m gonna have to have it. The material is extremely soft but once again is quite see through, you can see my lace trim of my undies coming out to say hello again. It’s extremely comfy, not only because it’s a few sizes bigger than I am, but mainly because it’s that soft cosy material we all know and love.

I’m in that lighting again where the exposure near the window makes the dress look very light. Which ironically compared to the play-suit, isn’t this dress’ true colour at all – it’s a much more deep orange peach/ apricot. I adore the sleeves on this dress, anything 3/4 length always looks flattering on my arms and I find always looks flattering with skater dresses. I also love the soft pleated floot they have as well which ties in wonderfully with the pleated stitched around the natural waist line. Really enjoy that about this dress, it is quite long for a skater dress but that could partly be because of the size I ordered it in. Also in real life you can kind of tell that it is a tiny bit big just in general as I do have a lot of room in there still. But I’d rather have more room than not enough.

Despite the see through fabric yet again the quality is saved by how soft the material physically is which means it is more comfy to wear and also the extra pleating details give it a little something more to please the eye. Another easy throw on dress to wear with white little flats and a denim jacket for a spring/ summer day out. I’m definitely going to get lots of wear out of this one.

Continuing the dress theme we have another extremely see through number. Honestly so far I would say this is Boohoo’s main issue, the quality of their fabric. I have to say this was probably one of the poorest quality fabrics in terms of the opaqueness. Like not only can you see my under saying hello yet again, but you can actually see my bellybutton outline and I don’t think I’ve ever had a dress that has had that quality about it. But at the same time I don’t hate it. I really like details on the dress and despite having to order this one also one size bigger than I am I was shocked that the wrapped boob area wasn’t too big.

Even though the overall fabric quality isn’t great I still decided to keep it as I still like it and I’ll still wear it. I’m just gonna have to wear identical matching underwear. I think if it wasn’t for the sleeve, shoulder, and neck tails I don’t think this would be worth keeping. I want to get some white cycling shorts anyway for my lighter coloured dresses as I only have black pairs and one grey pair. So when I eventually get some I will probably end up wearing those underneath this. But the colour is lovely, really nice pastel for spring and summer. You could definitely dress this up or down, I might wear this on an summer evening date night in the future with either some nice sandals or heels. It fits comfortably but the overall quality of this item isn’t worth your coin.

You honestly haven’t seen see through until you’ve seen this lounge wear set. I mean you can see it already how much of my skin colour peaks through the black colour. So there is a bit of a story to this outfit, the reason I wanted this was because I have seen so many gals on my Instagram wearing such lovely comfies that I wanted a cute set too. When I ordered this on the website this was branded khaki and unless suddenly I have gone colour blind this is not khaki! My hypothesis is either they ran out of khaki and sent a black one instead however if that is the case they didn’t bother to email me to ask if I would be okay with a black one instead. Or their editing for their website is a massive lie as khaki and black and two completely different colours.

Even though it’s not the colour I asked for I still like the overall concept of the outfit. I like the look but I didn’t realise the top was quite as short as it actually is. I don’t like tops where I move my arms slightly above my shoulders and my whole bra is on show and that is exactly what this top does, so I’m not the biggest fan of that. But I’ve made the executive decision that when I wear this I’m just gonna have to wear either a black bodysuit underneath or a top that’s fitted and black that I can tuck in. So that is the major see through issue resolved and my bra constantly popping out whenever I move.

As you can see when my arms are slightly stretched the top automatically raises itself as clearly my boobs wanna say hello. I really like that it’s wide legged, it is the main style of trouser I buy now because I like the loose fit on my legs and it gives me a nice airy swish which I enjoy. Plus, major comfort which is always a win win. However I could never wear this out because it’s just too see through for comfort and the cut for the top is also too short for comfort. I think it would be better if the sleeves under armpit cut weren’t acting as the bottom of the crop top. You can see in the shot above where I’m on the side and lifting my arms up we have that triangle shape; I think it would be more practical if the crop top was slightly longer and if it didn’t connect all the way up to the armpit. I know it is still lounge wear but if you’re not comfy in lounge wear which is designed to be comfy then what is the point?

But honestly the main thing that lets this piece down is the see thoroughness and the fact that this is branded as a size 24-26 cannot be right because it’s honestly not very stretchy. It’s not uncomfortable around my waist but I can definitely feel that it’s clung to my waist very well. I think one of the reasons this outfit might be as see through as it is, is because it has to stretch over certain areas of my body. Such as over my hips, waist, bum, stomach etc. However it is still very comfy and I’m only wearing it in the house anyway. But if you’re gonna do a dark colour like black, please take extra care when formulating the colour on the fabric you’re gonna make it with.

So what are my overall thoughts? In answer to the main question of this post is Boohoo Curve actually for curvy people? I would have to say yes. Everything from this haul actually fits my body and isn’t uncomfortable to wear in terms of the fit of the item itself. So that is a major plus because I have bought a lot of clothing in the past from different clothing stores that have been classed as curve or plus size and my actual size doesn’t even fit nicely. So the fact that everything from Boohoo Curve actually fits comfortably bar a few design hinders is actually such an achievement. Boohoo have a great range of styles, sizes, body type representations, patterns, basics, etc. I honestly spent hours browsing on this website because they just stock so many items.

However I do think some of the items were not worth the original price they were retailed at before the sale and before the discount code I had applied. As the quality is quite hit and miss in terms of the texture and the standard of colour pigments in their fabrics of the majority of the items I ordered. With that said, most of the items were pretty cheap and cheerful but I will go as far to say if you want slightly higher quality for a similar range of prices you’re better off buying from New Look or Primark.

But will I shop on Boohoo again? More than likely yes and when I do I will do another one of these so we can compare my first impressions to round two.

Right lovelies, thank you ever so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this. If you’ve got this far and have seen some bits you like there is clickable links to the majority of the exact items on my photos. Now for the discount code that I know you have all been waiting for; one of my good blogging friends called Megan, she currently has a discount code for 25% off everything on the site because she is apart of the Queens on Campus scheme that they do and anyone can use this code! Even though everything on Boohoo is 25% off and more right now anyone, this code will still apply to all of those items that are already discounted! So firstly, you should head on over to Megan’s Instagram and drop her a follow as she’s all about body positivity for mid/ average size girls and she is honestly such a wonderful human being full of light – such a beautiful soul. Plus her feed is absolutely stun!

So if you want her exclusive code for 25% off everything, head on over right now to: themeganedit

I hope you’re having a wonderful day and I will chat to you all again soon!

SELF ISOLATION | Creation and Discoveries

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

Hello my lovelies and welcome back to another post in these uncertain times, I hope you’re all having a productive or relaxed week. If you’ve read my last post then you will know I said I wanted to create a post where I share with you what I’ve been up to and my thoughts and discoveries during this time. As you’re reading this I have been in isolation for 3 weeks and I really feel like the time has just flown. Whatever I seem to do every day just flies by whether I’m being productive or I’m just relaxing. And this self isolation period seems to be no different.

I mentioned in my previous post that a list made up of all of the tasks and activities you need, want, and like to do is the best place to start. I think in this time it’s important to remember that things on your list they don’t have to be groundbreaking. I think a lot of people are feeling the pressure to make use of this time and are feeling guilty for not sorting their lives out or not doing something creative or career savvy or making groundbreaking discoveries. When really during this time your main priority should be you. We’re in extraordinary circumstances and whatever you feel is beneficial for your mental health and well-being just do that. As long as you’re happy and whatever you’re doing brings you joy that is all that matters.

One of the only things I can’t stress enough right now is learning to let go of things we can’t control. This situation is on a ginormous scale but if you’re stressing or worrying about it you’re probably infecting your mental state more by doing that, feeling scared, constantly checking the media and news channels for updates. It is a toxic vicious cycle and if you’re finding yourself caught up in it just simply stop. Close your eyes, take a breath, and relax all that tension in your brain and throughout your body which you feel is consuming you. And now say in your own head or out loud my own worry is not beneficial, my own stresses are not beneficial, my constant fear and anxiety is not helping. This ball of negative energy is causing me grief which has been/ is building pressure on my mental state. Taking another breath and as you exhale say to yourself I am ready to let go of what I cannot control. Hold that ball of negative energy, take another breath, and as you exhale, throw that ball away. Depending on how heavy what you’re carrying is you may find you need to repeat the task a couple more times. Or if you’re someone who carries a lot of anxiety and stress you might want to do this task or one similar to this every morning or every night to help you get through each day.

I completely understand that it’s really difficult to accept there’s nothing else we can physically do other than stay at home right now, especially if you’re someone who likes to be in control a lot. I’ve been watching Miranda Hart’s IGTV’s recently as she’s doing a series called Chatty Rambles related to the current situation we’re living in. And she’s doing research into our purposes as a race and our reasons for doing the things we do the way we do. It’s very open and really connects into our higher ways of thinking and it’s giving me a lot of clarity about life right now as well as reflecting on my life in general. I’d recommend giving them a watch as I’m finding them so interesting. I’m really into spirituality and higher vibrations of thinking when it comes to lives and purposes and why we’re here and what we’re here for etc. If you’re into all of that I would recommend giving Miranda a follow and a listen to her take on things. But in one of the first couple of videos she’s done she talks about how we have no control over anything in our life and this pandemic is evident of that. I’m very aware that for some of you the idea of not being control of anything in your life can be quite scary but it does make a lot of sense. I’ve always believed the universe knows where I’m meant to go and what I’m meant to do and who I am meant to be. Therefore on the grand scale of things it makes perfect sense to me how us as beings have no control over our life because we can’t control the outer universe: space, the stars, the planets. We are just one tiny speck of what makes up the universe. But the universe is going to do, what it’s going to do. We also can’t control our personal life outer universe: our family and friends’ intentions, the scale of our jobs beyond our control, the relationships we experience throughout our life. Miranda goes on to say when you step back from those elements and say it’s okay I’m not in control do you feel like a weight is lifted off of your shoulders?

[CREDIT: GOOGLE IMAGES]

I believe that you only have control over yourself in the moment that you’re living in. For example, when you’re caught in a situation with negative energies with an object, yourself or someone else. Only you can decide how you act and react in the situation at hand which will always be subject to change dependant on your relationship with the object or the person in front of you. I think often the memories we have with the object or the person does cause us to think that we have to stay to hold onto what we’ve got because if we let go it will be gone forever. But that right there is your answer. Let go of one sided relationships, one sided friendships, one sided effort, anything where you feel you’re doing the most to hold it together and on the other side that is not reciprocated. Let it go. It is not longer worth your time, no longer worth your anxiety, no longer worth your effort, no longer worth your love and your kindness. As myself I’ve always known those things but during this self isolation it has just been highlighted to me that the only activities worth my time are what bring me joy and the only people worth my time are the ones who invest in me as much as I invest in them. The phrase walk away from what and who no longer serves you couldn’t be more relevant right now. If you’re someone who feels like they’re caught in this cycle only you know what is best for you, but wouldn’t you rather value your time with the things you enjoy and the people who value you with their time.

It doesn’t mean you should stop being kind to people or stop spreading love or being a good person towards others. You don’t cure hate with further hate, simply let go of whatever in your life that is making you feel heavy. Whatever you decide to say goodbye to is for you. It’s not about the object or the person as everyone is at a different stage of their growing process. As the cliche says, if something or someone is really meant to orbit around your life then they will. The universe will put that into place for both parties. When we’re going through tough situations everyone always says it all works out in the end. Even when we don’t know what that end is but we know at some point it will come to a natural stop. Which again proves we aren’t in control of situations and people because we can never say how something is going to play out until it has and then it’s in the past. And the way things end, no matter how hard they can be, it is all for us as humans to understand each other, understand ourselves, and reflect, learn, grow, and to be better as we move forward. To then hopefully deal with it [thoughts, emotions, feelings, empathy, pain etc] – better in the next life situation we face.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

There’s no denying right now that the state of the world is a mess. But it was already a mess before Covid-19 even took shape, I think finally people are starting to wake up and realise that we need to make multiple changes after we’ve dealt with this pandemic. If the government’s and the huge companies and corporations don’t take this as one of the biggest signs we’ve ever had in our current lifetime that the world needs help then we are living in the most ignorant era of politicians and world leaders we’ve ever had. Ever since we all stopped living our “normal” lives as we know them to be, the world has healed. It is crazy how this small period of time when the world has near enough stopped it’s finally breathed and that brings me so much joy and happiness. But it also brings sadness to know that we as human beings have all caused that in some way or another when this planet accepted us for this to be our home and we’re treating it so awfully. Don’t get me wrong so many incredible companies and organisations have done a lot for global warming and the well-being of the Earth and people suffering and struggling. But this pandemic only highlights that we need to do more. The fact that there are multimillionaires and billionaires throughout the world and we still have massive global warming issues, massive debts across the board, third world countries, poverty, homelessness, tiny amounts of funding for the NHS which is undeniably the most important organisation in the UK, as well as the lack of funding for so many other important organisations that help so many peoples lives and families every single day. And yet we still have problem after problem because so many people still lack compassion and kindness for others. There are certain types of people who could do so much more for this world because they can afford to and they don’t. I believe everyone should do what they can to be a decent human being but if you can afford to do more and offer more out of the kindness of your heart I don’t see why you wouldn’t.

All of those points I’ve shared above are highly important and whilst I hope all of these things have the recognition and the push for change as move forward. Right now we all need to focus on staying at home, protecting the NHS and other health systems around the world, supporting all of our key workers, and of course coming together as a unit to stop the further spread of this virus. So the quote above ‘I am learning to find joy right here in the mess of things’ is very relevant to all of our lives right now. I think this time in isolation highlights to us all how much we truly take for granted every single day. There are some things that you know are luxuries, for example being able to go on a dream trip to Bali, or going on a world wide adventure for 6 months, being able to do your dream career and more, being able to afford your perfect house. All of those incredible things are lovely but we often forget that not everything is automatically given to us. A small example, having a shower and a bath – in my boyfriend’s house he only has a shower whereas in my house I only have a bath. I personally always prefer bath’s to shower’s but my boyfriend’s view is the other way round and imagine that’s because we’ve grown up with just one and not both. Whereas I feel like these days we’re given so much for doing so little because we expect to have the things that everyone else has just because they have it. It seems that 90% of the time people can’t just view other people’s successes or other people’s attributes without comparing it to their own. That needs to stop because it damages both parties involved; I’m not a saint when it comes to this, in the past I have been so hard on myself. Constantly comparing my worth and my success and my career and my look and my weight and my confidence and my followers and my likes and my views and my popularity and my value from someone else’s view and my talent and my importance to someone else’s life. I could go on, but I’m so tired of constantly never feeling enough for myself. I am just me and whatever I do should always be for me and whatever you do should always be for you. But we all need to remember that no one is who we are. No one else is you and no one else is me which is why us all as individuals we will always be important and enough and valued because we allow ourselves to accept ourselves. If you’re able to accept someone else for all they are, you can do that for yourself as well.

But I think as I’ve been growing up I’ve been letting go of so many things that don’t bring me joy and don’t bring me happiness and I’ve let go of people who don’t bring me joy and happiness. Like what I said earlier on, let go of elements and people that make you feel heavy. I think all of this time where we’re all spending most of the time on our own, it’s gonna be highlighted to a lot of people how much they’ve been holding onto that’s actually weighing them down. And if you let go of something or someone and you don’t feel sad or torn about it then you know you’re ready to let that go because your emotional attachment has gone. It doesn’t have to be a big drama or a big emotional thing, sometimes we just grow out of love with certain things and people and that’s okay. Zoe Sugg once said, elements or people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and it’s honestly so true. When you’re in a positive place mentally and physically you shine so much brighter and people notice it so much more. So finding the joy in the everyday and the little things that amount to the big things is so powerful. Your heart will be full of so much gratitude for the elements we usually take for granted, and if one thing this extraordinary event in our history will teach us is the power of gratitude, kindness, and love is far greater than anything money could buy you.

I’ve only been in isolation for 3 weeks and I already feel like I have done and discovered so much so I imagine it’ll be even more when I reach 4, 5, 6, 7 weeks – however long it takes. I have so much more joy and appreciation for the small things in my life.

I could’ve listed a lot more but those are some prominent ones right this moment. But I find more things to appreciate everyday. What are you appreciating today?

One of my favourite things has been having all this free time to do whatever I want to do. There is something incredibly liberating about engaging in activities just for the pure joy of doing it, with no expectations of yourself or from someone else. I think too often we’re all really hard on ourselves when we can’t do something to a “high” or “acceptable” standard – in the eyes of who though? Our own or someone else’s? – the first time we do it. Even though all the skills we currently carry we couldn’t do from the first moment we attempted it. I read a post once that said, when babies are learning to walk for the first time and they fall over, when they fall we don’t criticise why they fell. We clap and cheer because of what they achieved, so why don’t we do that for ourselves? I’m very bad on myself for this and I will happily admit it. As humans we’re really bad when it comes to any mistake we made or something we feel we didn’t do our best on. We think about it for days and wonder what everyone is thinking of it, when really those people you’re worried about are probably overthinking something in their own head and not even thinking about what you just did. Conclusion = it’s a cycle and we’ve all gotta stop it!

I think one reason I’m so judgemental on myself is because for a lot of my life I never felt good enough or talented enough to do anything I wanted to do. Partly because of the way I was treated in previous friendships and relationships and I think those kind of things fuck you up more than you realise. But at the same time, because I’ve been at such a low point of feeling worthless I’ve never wanted anyone in my life from that point on-wards to feel as low as I have. So when I see someone on my Instagram or Twitter or one of my friends isn’t feeling their best or feeling low I always want to step in and try to give clarity or a be someone who helps them think about the bigger picture. I’ve always wanted to be a positive force and someone who gives people something to benefit them and to make them feel empowered and make them inspired etc. I really feel like I’m doing that at the moment with everything going on in the world and it’s a special feeling. It fills me with that tingly feeling knowing that something you said, or something you posted, or something you offered has the power to change someone’s whole outlook and mood and confidence and way of life. I’d like to be able to do that for the rest of my life for other people. Because at the end of the day we all wont be remember for how many followers and likes we had on Instagram or how many sell out singles we had or how much money we had or how big or small our house was. We’ll be remembered for our kind hearts, our aura, our good nature, how caring we are, how thoughtful we are, how we made other people feel when they were around us. They’re the things that count in the long run, never forget that as it is so easy to let those points slip your mind.

In this decade I want to do more of that like I already am. But I also know I need to do more for me. I need to just go for opportunities and believe in myself and believe that I am enough to achieve whatever it is that comes my way. If the universe didn’t think I was capable then it wouldn’t throw these chances and challenges my way. Last year I lost a lot of passion and drive for the things I used to love and wanted to devote my life to. But without having that blip you guys probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post today. I’m grateful to the universe for steering me off course so that I could get back in that car and turn the wheel back around. Now I just need to keep driving down that road and going forward, enjoying the views and experiences that come my way.

During this time I have thoroughly enjoyed doing activities like colouring, organising, cleaning, blogging, creating fresh content, reading, having at home coffee dates, Facetiming friends, catching up on Netflix shows that I’ve been saying I want to watch for the last year, playing around with makeup again, getting back into nail art. I know it is a struggle right now for a lot of people, but I do think finding a new hobby or interest is really beneficial right now as it gives you an escape from the real world even for a minute. Another note is regardless of what’s going on in our lives and around our lives, time doesn’t stop. It still keeps going and it rolls on, so whatever you’re doing or not doing the concept of time is still happening. But whatever you are doing with your time right now, just live it and enjoy it and appreciate it.

[CREDIT: PINTEREST]

I hope you all enjoyed this post and can take something away from it as we move forward in this process. I know we’re all in different mindsets and at different points in the growing process of this unimaginable piece of history that we’re living in and experiencing. But just know that we will get through this and one day all of this will become a distant memory, so as hard as it may feel try to appreciate what this event is teaching us and hopefully all of the good outcomes that will come from this in the long run. Remember to be safe, stay at home as much as you can, wash your hands, stay positive, be mindful to others, and spread love and kindness. I am sending you all nothing but good wishes through this time and I will be back again very soon.