So I needed to get away. I’m sure you can all relate to me when I say that I got to a point where stress levels were high and I knew that I needed to get back to basics and relax in the arms of nature. Continue reading →
You know that it’s getting bad when the new clothes you buy will no longer fit in your wardrobe or cabinet! Fitting my clothes into my wardrobe was like fitting an elephant into a teacup – it just wasn’t happening. This is when I realised that I needed a massive clear out and got in touch with friends about doing a clothes swap. Continue reading →
Since reading Caroline Hirons many posts on skincare routines, it has become a vital part of my daily life to make sure that every night I take my make up off and cleanse my skin. However, Caroline Hirons is very much about splashing out and and using the very best products for your skin. As a 20 something year old recent graduate it is not always possible to spend a lot of money on skincare, therefore I have come up with a daily routine that works perfectly for me using only budget friendly skincare. This routine is what I have been using all throughout the winter when my skin is at its driest and it has done wonders keeping my face hydrated and plumped. You don’t need to spend big to get quality skincare, you just need to find the products for your skin.
Stella and Dot isn’t really a brand I have noticed until recently, but now I love the brand! They are an interesting company who have originated from an incredibly dedicated woman named Jessica Herrin in 2003 who started off designing jewellery on her evenings and weekends (I love these stories of people building a company from a little idea in their family home). She finally got an office (instead of her living room) in 2006 and the company got bigger from then on. They then first launched themselves in the UK in 2011. This is where I come into it!
My Stepmum’s mother passed away from breast cancer a few years ago and, following that, she has been on the lookout for companies that donate to cancer research and cancer awareness. Not long ago I was struggling with university work and stress from the pressure I put on myself and she gave me this necklace in order to give me hope for the future. I found out that 20% of the retail price from the sale of this necklace goes to Breakthrough breast cancer awareness. This means that for every necklace bought (£32), £6.40 of it goes to the charity which is a huge amount! So that means if 100 people buy this necklace then £640 will be donated to Breakthrough in order to raise more awareness. Amazing. It goes towards helping people like my stepmum’s mother.
I love that I own this beautiful necklace, and on the days that I wear it I just remember the struggle that a lot of families, including mine, have gone through and it shows me that there is hope. Hope not only for survival, but hope for a life worth living after cancer has taken a loved one from us.
I Love Food. I felt like, because food is such a big part of my life, that I just had to write a post about my relationship with it (yes, that does sound a little bit silly but I do have a relationship with food). To put it into words, I tend to go through each day with a plan on what my next meal or snack is going to be. Believe it or not, when I go on holiday the first thing I research is the restaurants that are around and I look at the menu to choose my food before I’ve even booked the holiday! This may seem extreme, but I think this is because of my choice to be a vegetarian. For those of you who are also vegetarian, and there are a lot of us out there, it isn’t always easy to choose a meal at a restaurant especially because the choice can be very limited at so many places. I am so pleased that vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular as menus are now starting to increase their amount of vegetarian dishes (it’s not just cous cous in peppers anymore!). Although, saying that, I did see a menu that had a fish dish with a V beside it. Fish is NOT vegetarian!!!
Now, just because food is never far from my thoughts doesn’t mean I eat unhealthily all the time. I enjoy cooking meals, even if I’m just cooking for myself, so I will plan in my head what my meal for the evening or lunch is going to be and how I can get the maximum amount of iron or protein in it. I LOVE vegetables so most of my meals have them in (my boyfriend gets so fed up of roasted veggies but they are just so delicious with a bit of paprika sprinkled over them) and I try to mix up my variety of food so I get all the nutrients I need. For example, a quick meal for me that ticks all the right health boxes is a stir fry. I use either Quorn pieces, veggie sausages or tofu for the protein and adding some nuts to the vegetables adds iron to the meal. If I’m wanting lots of carbs I tend to go for noodles with the stir fry or cous cous if I’m trying to be a bit more healthy.
So having a relationship with food can be a great, healthy thing! Even though it is on my mind ninety percent of the time, it is a positive and healthy relationship (most of the time, I do like a Cadburys cream egg or home made cookies every now and again).
Climbing Ben Nevis was something that I wanted to do for a long time but I always felt that I wouldn’t be fit enough, or resilient enough to do it. For some reason I always thought it was beyond my capabilities, even though I have been climbing mountains (admittedly smaller ones) for years and years! However, when my boyfriend and I decided to book a holiday in Scotland last summer, we felt that if the weather was nice and the opportunity was there then it would be the perfect time to challenge ourselves and climb Ben Nevis. We ended up booking a holiday cottage just minutes drive from the foot of the mountain and after a few days of rain (typical for Scotland) the sun came out and we set off early in the morning. When I climb mountains I always start off thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ with my legs aching, my heart pumping and my throat sore from breathing so heavily. However, since there were a lot of people climbing the mountain that morning, we overtook many and soon we were halfway up. We even saw a man dressed as a storm trooper climbing up, although he looked like he was struggling with the big suit on! We were soon halfway up and the views were absolutely spectacular when the clouds lifted (although most of the way up we couldn’t see much because of the clouds). We stopped for about half an hour and had our lunch on a rock whilst chatting to people passing us on their way up, and then set off again. As we got nearer the top it started to get colder and colder so we put our coats and gloves and scarf’s on as it started to get more and more snowy around us.
This picture shows the sheer drop to the side as we were walking up the mountain. Scary!!
Getting to the top was a massive achievement and, although we were in complete cloud and fog so couldn’t see the view, it took my breath away knowing that we were the tallest people in the UK at that moment. Although it was absolutely freezing at the top in thick snow, we sat and refueled our bodies with food and water with a big grin on our face whilst watching as everyone around us were lively and taking photos. It was a lovely place to be. I am slightly disappointed that the clouds didn’t clear at the top so we never got to see the views around us, but I am willing to climb Ben Nevis again on a clearer day. The next day all of my muscles were sore and aching from the climb (and the journey back down the mountain) but I felt proud that we had managed to do it, and do it in good time (2 and a half hours up, 2 hours down). Walking up mountains gives me such a euphoric feeling and climbing Ben Nevis with the large number of people that walked it on the same day gave me a sense of belonging and freedom.
So I can finally say it… University is over! I wish I could write a big long speech about how it was the best time of my life and that I wish I wasn’t leaving but it just wouldn’t be true. To be honest, I am thoroughly glad that it is over! To say it was not the best time of my life would be an understatement, it has been full of so many ups and downs and the stress and anxiety I have experienced over the past three years is unbelievable.
However, I have made lifelong friends that will stay in my life and in my heart forever! Through the best and worst of times they have gone through it with me and shared my stress and worry. So there has been some good come out of this experience… along with my degree in psychology!
University has also been something that has changed me and helped me develop as a person. I started university as a shy young girl who was worried about the slightest change, or the slightest bad grade, or the slightest ANYTHING! I feel like I now have my own views and opinions and can happily sit and have a conversation with someone without feeling worried.
choosing to do psychology as a subject, I feel this was the best decision I have made, minus the stress and anxiety from exams and assignments and results. This is because it has helped me to understand every single person in a different way, without judgement or stereotyping, and to see situations and behaviours from their point of view. This has been the most important change to me as it allows me to put aside everything that could restrict me from understanding other people and decisions they make. Perhaps the behaviours they do are a cry for attention? Or an act of kindness? Or a hint of jealousy or regret? My Psychology degree has taught me that everybody has a mind and an opinion and it is looking past people’s actions and behaviours that will allow me to fully understand who they really are on the inside. This is the most important thing that I have learned from university.
On the other hand, it is important that although it has been a very stressful time of my life, I do not regret doing it. The only reason I stayed on the course and did not quit at the worst of times is because I believed in the subject, not the university or the assignments or the exams, but what psychology was trying to bring to the world… more acceptance, understanding and trying to help!
My graduation was a good end to the three years. I almost decided not to go to graduation as I hadn’t enjoyed university that much but when I found out that I received a 2-1 degree I decided to go and I was so pleased I made that decision! The graduation experience was the perfect closure and even made me a bit teary that I made it to the end and didn’t go crazy in the meantime! I was also lucky enough to be given the beautiful Tiffany necklace as a graduation present from my Dad and Stepmum, something that I wore proudly on my graduation day.
Overall, whatever the outcome of my degree, the experience has been one of a kind. I believe that you should only go to university if you believe in what you want to do as it is a tough journey but can lead on to exciting opportunities in your life.
The urban dictionary definition of Sonder is ‘the realisation that everybody is living a life as vivid and as complex as your own’. This word has been the center of my thoughts on various occasions for quite some time now. I came across the word during a random google search for pretty words (honestly I was searching for obscure names I could name my future – as in 7 years time – child, one of my weirdly fun pastimes). It kind of struck me as it fitted exactly into my trail of thoughts that I experience on a day to day basis. I am often people watching wherever I go, whether it’s in the car, on the bus, in the city, sitting in cafe’s or restaurants or just at work, and I think to myself, “each and every person that I see is the center of their own world”. I am fascinated that, if we take one step outside of ourselves, there is a whole world of little worlds around us. So every single person is going about their day in their own way with their families and friends and living their own lives with their own thoughts. I just find this concept absolutely amazing and it kind of grounds me when I am going through tough times or feeling anxious and worried, as it reminds me that we are all part of one big puzzle that is the universe.