18 reasons being alive in 2015 is bloody great

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I feel like getting dragged down by tiredness and work stress and then coming home and watching the depressing world events on the news can make life seem like too much of a dark place sometimes. Working in a news environment with a wall of TVs broadcasting every news channel means I have no escape from it either. While I think engaging in what’s happening in the world is immensely important, lets face it, we all need some relief sometimes. Some relief and a Nandos. So yeah, here’s some weird, not very significant and sugar-coated reasons I’m pleased be alive and kicking in 2015.

1) It’s easier than ever to travel. Cheap flights, amazing tour companies and a wealth of information online to plan your perfect trip.

2) Dry Shampoo. What an absolute dream of a product.

3) Parks and Recreation.

4) There are now fast food places, like Leon’s, that do HEALTHY fast food not covered in plastic cheese. Hallelujah.

5) GBK milkshakes. Particularly peanut butter and vanilla.

6) Digital technology means you can have a voice and do something great with it. And things are only getting better.

7) There are still (sometimes shockingly) inherently good humans in the world and we have plenty of reminders of that. One being this story of the girl who raised money for a man who was mugged. That has to cheer you up.

9) The shard is just there in London, waiting to look all tall and sexy on your Instagram, even when it’s grey and rainy.

10) The ASOS outlet.

11) Paypal. Making life so much easier for everyone.

12) TV just keeps getting better. Okay, so ever finding better TV than Broadchurch season 1 is gonna be a challenge, but there is SO MUCH GOOD STUFF to watch.

13) Netflix. Just Netflix.

14) Collection 2000 (or just Collection, these days) still sell the best liquid eyeliner pen and it’s still really, really cheap.

15) Boots advantage card. Yep.

16) The story about the woman who took her dying dog an epic bucket list day out and everyone in my office cried at their desks reading it.

17) Sky Gardens. They’re having a bit of a moment. And they’re pretty bloody great.

18) People seem to be giving afternoon tea the love and attention it deserves. Any reason for more cake.

12 ridiculous things people in their twenties have said to me lately

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Because I like to document the fact I only keep company with good people.

1) Going to the Planetarium has put everything in perspective. Everything will just one day dissolve. I felt so inspired I purchased a book.

2) I feel like I can relate to goats more than people at the moment.

3) I drank some water from the work surface the other day because I suddenly panicked about wastage and I was really hungover.

4) For £50, I would drink the dishwasher scum water.

5) I refuse to join real life. I might just live wild and start a photography blog of photos of me hunting and sleeping in hedges.

6) Are the grill and the oven the same? What is the key difference?

7) I just want to find a painting worth millions and cash in. Hard assets bruv.

8) But when the milk leaves the animal what then? What happens? Is there a procedure? A recipe? different between cow and goat?

9) I’ve never wanted anything more than to jump in that sandbox.

10) sometimes at work I stop and I’m like…I know nothing. I don’t know what anyone is talking about. I don’t know what I even really do.

11) I might simultaneously shit myself and throw up and no one cares about it.

12) I just opened my umbrella and a tampon came flying out.

Online stalking and the rise of the non-celebrity

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So the rise of smartphones and social media means we are all now massive stalkers. Well, not all of us but a fair amount I reckon. Sometimes I think I do it without even realising. You innocently go to someone’s profile to see what they’ve been up to and the next thing you know you’re checking out what their cousin’s best friend wore on her hen-do in Ibiza last year and wondering who the really pretty girl is in the photos and then clicking on her name. You know how it is.

Stalking is one thing, but now there seems to be this whole other level to it which I’m calling the non-celebrity. You become so obsessed with stalking someone on social media that they achieve a celebrity-style fascination status in your mind. I refuse to believe me and my friends are alone in this. It’s the kind of thing that once you start, even though you know it’s wrong and actually downright creepy, you just can’t stop.

Facebook chat, WhatsApp, texts…you send screenshots and updates and ask eachother ‘OMG HAVE YOU SEE WHAT THEY JUST POSTED’ then spend time analysing it. I mean, having friends that work in media and have to spend a lot of time on social websites doesn’t help, and that’s kinda my excuse. We have to check the channels for work more than the average person, so you get even further sucked in. But I mean, it’s no excuse really, we’re just enormous creeps.

The weird thing is, sometimes mid-way through another Facebook chat group update on this person we basically barely know, I stop to wonder what’s wrong with us? Why have we let society do this to us? Why do we even care? Light entertainment? Morbid fascination? Extreme noseyness? I literally don’t know anymore. It’s still hilarious and it’s still a nice distraction sometimes mid-way through a really busy day when you’ve barely come up for air to swipe your phone into life and see a little update and a comment from someone about someone else’s life that you are now way more interested in than any Kardashian or David Beckham’s underwear photos.

Who needs real celebrities when you can just make your own?

I have at least three non-celebrities in my life right now. Think I need to go take up knitting or singing lessons or something, ANYTHING, to make this stop. (JK, probably never gonna happen)

Whether you stay or stray, you should always say yes to travel and here’s 5 reasons why

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Sri Lanka, 2015

I am an out and out travel advocate. I can’t get enough of it and I will do it as often as I possibly can, hopefully forever. I’ve even spent time thinking about kid friendly places to travel to when the time comes. Yep. I am that obsessed. When I was younger I thought I would be living some luxury life with an amazing job where I just jetted off to the Maldives and posed with my abs out in various TopShop bikinis. Then like, real life happened and I bumped gently down to earth and did normal travelling with Primark vest tops and £1 flip flops and I love it regardless. Oh and I realised I cba with abs. Pasta and cheese are my bros for life.

Until the last couple of years, I thought the only travel worth spending money on was going miles away to far away tropical beaches and photography goldmines, but now I know better. Now I know that you should just say yes and you should just go.

1) You don’t ever get time back.

You gotta do things when you can, because you most certainly can’t go back and do them. Sadly, no clever scientist or far out professor has made time travel a thing, which upsets me greatly. When someone suggests going somewhere, if you can do it, JUST GO. Why the hell wouldn’t you? Time waits for no woman and no man.

2) Any experience is better than none.

I am all about this these days. I would rather jump on a train and go somewhere an hour from home I’ve never been to, and experience it no matter how low key it is, than do nothing at all. If it’s all you can afford, then make it the best it can be. I’ve done a few staycations over the last couple of years, something I would never have wanted to do when I was younger, and they’ve been amazing.

3) Cheap deals want you to go

I recently went to Copenhagen for 2 nights, explored the whole town and popped over to Sweden for the morning for a grand total of £100 plus about £90 spending money. Cheap flights using Skyscanner’s ‘to anywhere’ function (where you only select your place of departure) and booking up a little apartment on air B&B meant me and my boyfriend used money we had left over in a month to go to two new places. We did everything cheap, catered for ourselves in the apartment and did lots of research. Another place to cross off the list, and another little adventure to look back on.

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Copenhagen, 2015

4) Travel= memories

I spent last night rolling around in stitches laughing with my friends about a God awful trip we went on to Spain (the ‘hotel’ we stayed in issued fines if you didn’t empty your own bins.) Whether they’re good, bad, awful or hilarious, travel will always give you memories. Who doesn’t need more memories?

5) You constantly learn new things when you’re away from home

Doesn’t matter if you’ve gone from London To Wales or London to Papua New Guinea, you’ll still learn something new. I don’t think I would have grown as much as I have in knowledge and open mindedness if I hadn’t got out there and been places. I mean, even if you go to the Lake District for the weekend, you’re away from home, you’re away from what’s normal and you’re doing something different.

I genuinely might just put my Google Maps on and go for a walk around a bit of Fulham I haven’t ventured to before. Might find a nice tree to Instagram or something.

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Isle of Skye, 2015

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Brighton, 2015

The three products that finally gave me good skin 

I’ve long struggled with my skin. It’s been a big cause of anxiety and unhappiness in my life, particularly in my early twenties when it seemed to only ever get worse. I’ve never suffered with big red spots or blackheads, it’s more like a lumpy rash that sits under the skin and makes me look awful and looked terrible under any bright light. I tried everything, including seeing specialists and spending a lot on skin mapping and expensive products, but to no avail.

Last year however, at long last, I found something that worked and my skin has now cleared up completely. I still get the odd bad week but overall, it looks better than ever. It’s mostly down to three products and a good routine.

Elemis Tri-enzyme resurfacing face wash was the game changer. I started using it when things were really bad with my skin, and I was so fed up with trying new things that didn’t work that I didn’t expect anything. However, within a fortnight, my skin was clearer, more even, a better colour and 90% less lumpy looking. The change was quite drastic. Drastic in the best way possible, obvs. I’m on my third bottle of this now and while I guess it is quite pricey at £28, it’s worth every penny.

Due to Elemis being a resurfacing wash, you do have to give your skin a break from it. You also have to use other products if you’re in strong sunlight a lot, so my back up is my trusty old pal Nivea.

A face wash from my student days that has never caused me to breakout or react, and one that does a good job at keeping oil and pimples to a minimum. It’s cheap, gentle, refreshing and perfect for sensitive souls. I’ll always have this in my bathroom. The pink cream wash is my fave.

The third product is a face mask. I never thought I would be able to use masks because I’ve always reacted badly to face products. Soap and Glory’s No More Clogs face mask however, is a dream come true. It leaves your skin feeling utterly heavenly and it’s also heated which makes it feel like a true pamper. It doesn’t give me spots or dry my skin out and if also doesn’t give me a rash which is basically a miracle. I cannot recommend this enough, it’s also fun for sitting around in bed looking like a smurf/the moon. So yeah, all round winner.

These three things combined have done my face wonders. Also sticking to rigorously washing it morning and night and using a warm flannel has massively helped too. I never ever sleep in make up either, even when I roll in at 4am hammered I still make an effort to get it all off. Doesn’t always go that well but never mind.

Yay for nice skin and not trying to cover my face with my hair all the time!

The New Look perfume you need to buy

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I’m currently very poor thanks to changing jobs and missing a pay day (the horror), so the only things I can treat myself to are cheap and cheerful pick-me-ups. Mostly that’s been Haribo and coffee. Things really are that bad.

Moving away from my financial tales of woe, I thought since it’s not quite near enough to pay day to be celebrating or going on a shopping spree yet, I would recommend something that won’t break the bank but will make you happy. New Look perfume. Yep. New Look.

I got this as a gift a while ago and recently started using it and now I use it every single day. it is SO nice. So surprisingly nice. I have the Pure Dusk Purple, which is a light, almost fruity, musky smell and I absolutely love it. It also lasts all day, is good for sensitive skin, which is a big problem I have with perfume sometimes. It also comes in a very pretty bottle and is a nice lilac colour, so it’ll look good perched on your dressing table. I’ve been told I smell nice quite a few times lately when wearing this, which is a nice treat I guess.

A 50ml bottle is only £7.99 and it’s worth every penny. You can also nab one in a little handbag spray for carrying around and making life smell better. So yeah, if you want something to keep you going until dollar dollar bill day gets here, go treat yourself to this.

30 girl things that are good to know

1) Men really aren’t that bothered about what underwear you’re wearing and are probably more interested in it if it has batman on or something.

2) There’s no shame in feeling defeated by period pains, they damn well hurt.

3) There are loads of women on beaches all over the world who don’t look like Victoria’s Secret Models.

4) The Amara filter will make you feel good about your life on a bad day.

5) Hair brushing is not a daily necessity.

6) You can’t always be the one in the relationship who has flowers bought for you and the door held open.

7) It’s never a good idea to buy clothes that are slightly tight from Topshop. Not ever.

8) Ebay sells every dress you will ever need.

9) Stockings are not always sexy and graceful, they are quite often a massively unfeminine pain in the backside particularly when you’re hoisting them up on an escalator.

10) Never put lipstick on dry lips.

11) You probably care more about pubic hair than any man ever will.

12) Bras without wires in are the dream and a source of joy in life.

13) Plucking your eyebrows after a few wines is not an idea you will thank yourself for.

14) Girlfriends are harder to keep the older you get, but the good ones will prevail even when you don’t WhatsApp 25 times a day.

15) Keeping eyeliner on your lids rather than the bottoms of eyes too can make you look more awake when you’re nakered.

16) Putting lip balm on before drinking red wine helps stop staining.

17) Weights are not just for men.

18) Adding a tea spoon of baking soda to squash is a cystitis remedy for life.

19) Taking your bra off at work when the back ache is too real is fine as long as your top isn’t slightly transparent. Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

20) Wearing foundation to the gym just clogs your pores and you will have post-shower whiteheads. Sexy.

21) Take tampons with you when travelling. They DO vary greatly across the world.

22) Warm flannels do wonders for skin.

23) Face scrubbing should be gentle, not actually scrubby.

24) Tumble drying tights should be avoided unless you enjoy the ‘elastic is broke, tights are around my ankles’ vibe.

25) Buying thongs a size up is good practice. (or not buying them at all)

26) Men will get used to you talking about your period. You shouldn’t have to hide it and pretend it doesn’t stop by once a month and cause you great pains.

27) Clean bedding is too important to sleep in mascara or even consider using fake tan now you’re an adult.

28) Offering tea and a hug to your girlfriends in times of need is probably the thing they want the most (followed by wine and outrageous dancing, but first tea)

29) Avocado won’t go brown in salads if you chuck the avocado stone in there too. MAGIC.

30) Wine is both friend, and enemy.

The realities of living a career life 

  

When I first went to uni I had this idea in my mind of what it would be like to be a career girl. I didn’t even really know what a ‘career girl’ was back then. I just imaged someone who put on a smart, chic outfit every day, travelled into central London and sipped on lattes in the morning and wine after work. I’m not sure exactly what work I imagined I would be doing in between all this coffee drinking, shirt buying and cocktail bar frequenting, but there we go. I was a teenager with a dream, a student loan and a Ford KA. I bloody miss that car.

So now I guess, 6 years later, I am a career person. I have carved out a career in digital communications and social media and it’s going well. I can’t complain on any level about where I’ve got to aged 25. It’s all gone fairly smoothly. There’s been progression, good friends made, good work done, many stressful days and many drunken Friday nights. There has also been many boring days, many ‘omg what I am doing with my life’ days and many mornings where getting out of bed has seemed the worst thing in the world.

What it hasn’t been though, is absolutely anything like I imagined it. The reality is so different than the picture you come up with in your mind of this future you, strutting around the city in expensive shoes, Starbucks in hand, answering phone calls and arranging working lunches. Life is most certainly not an episode of Gossip Girl. It’s more like Hollyoaks with less murder and more hangovers and dancing on kitchen tables because going out to drink is too expensive.

To be honest, I much prefer the reality. I like waking up with just enough time to get ready, potentially not brushing my hair and just throwing it up and rolling into work on a packed, gross tube with my homemade lunch in a Sainsbury’s carrier bag. I know. The glamour.

I wouldn’t say I’m dedicating my life to work, far from it actually, but I have, and continue to put a lot of effort into my career. I don’t want to spend my days doing something I don’t feel is worthwhile. Working makes me feel good, like I’m spending my time wisely, and I’m always learning new things, which I think is a sign things are going okay for me. It’s just a life that is so laughably removed from the glossy ideal.

Working is a slog isn’t it, let’s be honest. Not always a horrible slog, but still. Even when you do a job you love, it’s tiring, it takes a lot of your creative energy, it takes up almost all of your time and everything you do comes back to work in one way or another. Your free time, your holidays, your sleep, your money to fund things and how much you have to spend on living in general.

I salute every young person who’s out there doing the 9-5 (or the 8-6 plus some email checking on the weekends),  or whatever your working set up is, good for you for putting in the time and effort to make something of yourself. Everyone has a different idea of what they want to do and what they want to be and there are many different ways that people are doing it. Getting there however is another ball game entirely.

I’m glad I wasn’t fully aware of the red, sore eyes, aching typing fingers, long teleconferences, stress headaches, office politics, feeling and looking like shit on public transport while being touched by strangers and everything else that comes with working life. It would probably have not filled me with drive and ambition the way my shiny, foamy latte imaginary life did.

I’m fully in support of my work life being what it is. I massively CBA to get out of bed and contour my face or throw together a Pinterest-worthy outfit every morning while preparing a to-do list, before making a smoothie and heading off to a coffee shop. Snoozing four times and eating breakfast biscuits over my keyboard with my dry shampoo bun suits me just fine.

Hand candy and nail love

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For the longest time I’ve not really been massively into paying attention to my hands. I’ve always painted my nails and have a ton of varnishes at home, but I’ve never put it in much effort to making them look nice. Lately though, mostly from perving on sexy nails and rings on instagram, I’ve started to become a bit more bothered with actually having nails that look good and making an effort to wear rings. I have a ring my parents got me for my 18th birthday that I love, and usually never take off, so until now that’s been the extent of my effort.

I was standing in the queue of New Look last week for ages and ended up shoving a pack of rings into the basket. Accidents happen. You can pick up this packet of exciting finger jewels for £3.99. Bargain!

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These, paired with my recent nail varnish haul from an Ulta3 event, have given my hands a new lease of life.

my favourite nail varnish currently is Wooly Days, closely followed by the beauty that is Fragile Duck Egg by Illemasque.

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