Project 2017 | Busy Busy Busy…

When I finished Uni for the year I was so excited to no longer be busy and have all the free time in the world… I was very wrong.  In fact, I feel like I’ve been busier since I got home than I was at Uni; when I’m not with family I’m with friends and when I’m not with friends I’m at work and when I’m not at work I’m at the gym and I still haven’t unpacked my Uni suitcases…

I promised myself that I’d have time for blogging more and relaxing and focusing on having that cute blogger Instagram aesthetic, but so far I just haven’t had the time.  I’m aware that my posts have been irregular and as much as a part of me knows that it’s okay and nobody really cares, the perfectionist in me gets really upset about it, but doesn’t have the time to change it.

My body hasn’t been the only part of me that’s been moving from place to place though, my mind’s been all over the place too.  I’ve gone through a whole lot recently and let’s just say my summer hit a massive speed bump just as it was starting, so I’ve had to drag myself out of that depression spiral whilst dealing with everything else as well and blogging’s got a little lost along the way.  So this time, I’m not going to make a promise to be “back”, and post three times a week at the same times on the same days, but I’m going to make a promise to put whatever time I have free into my blog, and try not to beat myself up about missing deadlines and wavering stats.  

At the end of the day, I have 3 summer holidays left in my life, and as much as I love blogging, I’d like to enjoy my holiday the best I can.  This in no way means that I’m going to stop – I’m hoping to have some exciting reviews out soon, as well as maybe some travel posts when I go on holiday and possibly reviewing some cool places I’ve been checking out with my friends?  My blog has no real sense of direction at the moment, I’m just going where the wind takes me.  I’ve learnt over time that the less pressure I put on myself, the happier I am, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Hope you’re all having a great time!  Comment below what you’ve been up to recently (or don’t, no pressure at all)

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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Blogging: 6 Months On

So, as of yesterday I’ve officially had this blog for six months!  It’s a really weird feeling, I sort of feel like this has been around forever but simultaneously see myself as someone who just started doing this… It will probably take a few years before I stop referring to myself as a “new blogger”.

Six months down the line, there’s a lot that I’ve realised and honestly I couldn’t have imagined being where I am with my blog right now.  I’ve made some amazing friends through the blogging community, been able to share my thoughts to a sizeable amount of people through my social media and my blog in itself, and been able to really get my writing out there.

I never thought that people would actually care what I was writing.  When I first started this blog back in December I started it because I felt lost, and I simply wanted to write.  It was purely for myself, and maybe a couple random people on the internet who found me.  6 months on I have almost 200 followers (like seriously almost, I’m currently on 199…) and have over 1000 people read my words each month and that’s seriously crazy!  Knowing that people care what I write and actually take the time to read through it and sometimes comment is so ridiculously heartwarming and I have so much love for anyone who’s ever given this a read.

It sounds insanely cheesy, but since starting this, I’ve really grown as a person.  I’m more confident, more open to sharing my thoughts and feelings (which has always been a really big thing for me), and a lot more open to meeting/talking to new people.  Blogging can be so cathartic, and a great means of expression, and I never expected anything to come of it at all, but it’s slowly become my own little safe haven.  

In the past 6 months I’ve collaborated with other bloggers, had brands reach out to me, and even had some stuff sent to me to review (which, let me tell you, really made me feel like I’d “made it” in the blogging world haha).  It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

With YouTube and Netflix taking over the world, books and blogs are slowly getting less attention, but in the last 6 months I’ve been reminded how important words truly can be.  Little me, typing along on a laptop has actually made a difference in this small little corner of the internet.  I’m so thankful for anyone who’s ever visited this website, and hopefully you’ll hang around to see what else I have to offer 😉

You guys are all amazing, and hey, here’s to another 6 months of this!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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Summertime Success | What Will I Do This Summer?

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in previous posts and all over Twitter but I am officially done with my first year of University and back in London for an amazingly long summer holiday!  I cannot stress how emotionally taxing this last term has been for me with exams and personal life, but it’s summer and I’m freer and significantly more happy so bring on the next few months.

However, as much as I’m loving my new found freedom, I am a person that thrives on being busy.  I get bored a lot when I don’t have something to challenge myself (read more about that here), so being the person that I am I have loads of little challenges and tasks I want to complete this summer.  At this minute, they’re all scrambled around in my head, so I figured by writing them out and posting them online, I’d be more likely to follow through.  Throughout this summer, I will use this new series to document what I get up to this summer…  So without further ado here’s a list of:

What I Want to Complete this Summer

1) Read 10 Books…  Being an English Literature student I read a lot, however I haven’t read a book for pleasure (something that wasn’t on my course) for such a long time.  Therefore, this summer I’m going to get back into the swing of things, and maybe even post a couple of book reviews on my blog this summer?  I’m hoping to do a huge Amazon order in the next couple of weeks, so leave some book recommendations in the comments!

2) Write more songs… I love song writing.  I love music in general, in the last month it’s been particularly cathartic, and again, with Uni (and being away from my piano) I haven’t really had the time, so I’m very excited to get back to it…

3) Self-teach myself Italian… I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and next year I am making that a reality regardless of whether I go with people or alone, so in the mean time I’m gonna teach myself some Italian.  I’m not expecting to be fluent or anything, but I wanna know a few words/sentences by the end of the summer.

4) Do some upcycling… Unpacking my Uni room I realised that I have a lot of clothes and yet minimal options when it comes to what I want to wear… This year I’ve really come into my own style and so now a lot of my clothes don’t feel like something I would wear.  However, I am a poor Uni student and also I don’t like wasting things, so I’m going to attempt to upcycle a bunch of my clothes and turn them into things that actually suit me.  I’m excited to do some DIY and you can probably expect a post or 2 on these in the future.

5) Get better at (blogging) Instagram… I feel like as a Blogger, Instagram is where I fail.  I don’t have a theme, I post once every few weeks (compared to a lot of bloggers who post multiple times a day) and honestly a lot of the time I forget that my blogging Instagram account exists…  Therefore, this summer I’m going to attempt to get better at the whole posting photos thing, I probably still won’t have a theme, and lets be real I’ll never get to daily posting levels, but get ready for more photos (and follow me here). 

6) Get into better shape… I briefly mentioned in my post on bikini bodies that I’m trying to get into better shape, mainly so I can just improve my fitness.  I go to the gym and eat relatively healthy at University, however I never have enough time and there’s so much stress and I want to really focus on it while I have the time this summer.

7) Learn a new skill… I have no idea what this is going to be yet, but I like a challenge so I’m ready to try something new.

and finally…

8) Really push my blog… I want to stick to my posting 3 times a week (maybe more sometimes) as recently life has got the best of me.  However, I also want to work on producing the best quality content that I can, and bring you posts that really embody who I am.  I like personal posts, and rants, and my new late night rambling series, but I also really enjoy the reviews and the random list posts and updates.  I don’t have a niche and I don’t have a specific thing that defines me, but I want my blog to scream me… Gonna work real hard on that this summer. 

So, hope you’ve enjoyed this little post, I’m actually really excited to see what this summer brings and I hope to keep you updated through this new series and also on my Twitter and Instagram!

How are you spending this summer?  Tell me if you like any of these ideas/are also doing anything similar or different, and don’t forget to leave me some book recommendations!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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My Food Mentality | Bikini Bodies…

I have now moved out of University and back at home for the next 4 months, so I can officially say that summer has started!  However, with summer comes a pressing underlying pressure to partake in crash diets and intense workout schemes in an attempt to get that highly spoken about “bikini body”.  

Trust me, I’ve been there and starved myself a month before holidays in an attempt to drastically change my body to fit some sort of ideal, but this year I’m over stressing about it.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with “getting in shape” and focusing more on fitness and healthy eating over the summer while you have some time, but there’s a difference between working out/eating well to improve your fitness, and doing it to conform to a false summer construct.  

Recently I’ve been getting into Love Island (which by the way is a great distraction from life, I recommend it) and I’ll admit, it can be daunting to see the girls with seemingly “perfect” figures strutting around in swimsuits and being admired.  However, it’s possible that even they have insecurities; bodies aren’t perfect and airbrushed and even the skinniest stomachs have rolls when they sit in awkward positions, it’s something that can’t be avoided.  We have magazines and social media and diet schemes telling us that “we still have time to achieve that killer bikini body for summer” when in reality, all you need to achieve a bikini body is a bikini… and your body… we all come in different shapes and sizes and we need to stop beating ourselves up for not looking the same as people with beautifully angled and filtered pictures.  

I am going on holiday in just over a month (I have a feeling you’re gonna hear a lot about it, I’m very excited haha) and yes, I’m eating well right now and working out, but I’m not doing it so I can look good in a bikini, I’m doing it so I can improve my fitness while I have the time.  There will be no crash diets, and there will be no over-exercising, it will just be me, taking care of myself.  

I have flab: I have stretch marks on my thighs, my stomach’s not perfectly flat and my boobs are never gonna give me amazing bikini cleavage, but I refuse to let that stop me rocking cute swimwear on holiday this year.  

Hope you enjoyed this! Posts should be more regular now that I’m back at home, tell me what you think in the comments, and also suggest cute places to buy (affordable) bikinis… I need a new one for July

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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Project 2017 | May Update

Okay yes I’m aware we’re 5 days into June (Also HOW is it already June?!  The year just started this is too fast I don’t like it…), but wow the end of May was particularly intense for me and blogging was incredibly difficult…. But hey It’s summer and I’m happy and I’m ready to get back to blogging… for real this time.

I know that life is a rollercoaster in general, but wooow May has been the most intense rollercoaster of 2017 so far for me… I had exams, stress, friend and family issues, got hit pretty hard with sadness but now I’m back and feeling stronger than ever and that’s what matters more than anything else.

I learnt a couple of very important things this month.  Firstly, this month made me more appreciative of my family than I ever have before.  I know that your parents are supposed to be there for you and offer unconditional love and whatnot, but this month my parents have been my rock and have rallied by me more than I could have ever asked for.  Sometimes things hit us more than we thought they would, but having people support you and be there no matter what, even if it’s just to cry to, really makes a massive difference.

I also learnt this month that I’m so much stronger than I thought I was.  Living at Uni, away from home in my own little space of the world, it’s very easy when I’m feeling particularly down to just crawl into my bubble and never leave.  However, this month, I had my moment of sadness, but eventually I recovered and when things got tough, I got tougher.  Things happen in life, and sometimes they’re things that you couldn’t have stopped (those are the ones that hurt the most) but with the right people, you can eventually have the strength to move on and come out stronger than you were before.

This month, on top of all my personal stuff I happened to have exams… which sucked (I ranted about them quite a bit, check out them here and herebut they’re over and I’m officially done with my first year of University!  It’s…. weird… I mean, I’m still sat in my Uni dorm typing this so it doesn’t quite feel like I’m done with the year yet.  However, I have no more lessons, coursework, or exams, at least for the next 4 months, so I’m excited to focus on my blog, and friends, and fun and me.  I have some very exciting stuff coming up in the next few months, including a couple of reviews (already got the products and testing), some fitness stuff, and probably quite a few editions of late night rambling…  I have no idea where this summer is going to take me, but I can’t wait to find out.

Hope you guys all had a good May!  Feel free to leave your highs and lows in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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Late Night Ramblings Pt.1…

So if you follow me on Twitter (which by the way, you should, I can be funny sometimes) you have probably seen my tweets in the early hours of the morning ranting about how I can’t get to sleep.

You see, I think it’s gotten to the point where I can brand myself as an insomniac… I get around 4 hours of sleep a night, 6 on a good day and I have absolutely no idea why.  I get into bed at a reasonable time (okay fair enough sometimes “reasonable” is 1am… but most of the time it’s like 10/11/12) and then I just… lie there, and it gets to 3am and I’m still lying there and then it gets to 4am and at that point I get mad and give up and watch YouTube videos.

I can’t explain it, I don’t have a reason for it or a solution but it happens a lot more than it should, and I’m starting to get a little tired of it (pun totally intended… I wish).  So, in my effort to be a lot more positive recently I figured I’d turn a good thing into a bad thing and start a new series!  From now on when I’m up late, and mad and stressed (like I happen to be right now) I’m gonna get out my laptop and ramble to you lot.  Will it be insanely profound?  Maybe… Will it make sense?

Probably not… But hey sleep deprived me has a mind of her own so I figured it was about time I shared her with the rest of you.  This was just an introduction, the rest will probably be more interesting than this I promise!

What are your opinions on this new series?  Do you have any topics you’d like me to ramble about in particular?  Tell me in the comments or send me a message on Twitter…

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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A Letter to Anyone Taking Exams…

I was thinking of writing an “exam tips” post but every time I sat down to do it I figured who am I to give tips? I’m struggling just as much as the next person… So I thought I’d just talk about exams in general…

GCSE’s terrified me.  They were my first official set of public examinations and a little voice ran around my head, reminding me that these grades would be with me forever… Once I opened those papers there was no going back.  I stressed, cried a few times, and convinced myself that nothing mattered more than the letters I got at the end of them.  However, here I am, years later, looking back at them and chastising myself for lumping on the pressure.  Truth is, of course official examinations matter, but a pass or fail shouldn’t control your self worth… at the end of the day, all you can do is your best.

I’ve now been through GCSE’s, AS and A2 Levels, and one set of Uni exams, and although I still have the occasional moment of stress, it gets easier.  Don’t get me wrong, the exams obviously increase in difficulty, but you begin to realise that ultimately, all you can do is try.  It took me a long time to accept that I was not perfect; I always aimed for the best, a healthy enough trait to have, but I was way too hard on myself if I didn’t achieve the highest grades possible.  I’ve ranted before about how exams aren’t always the best way to measure intelligence, and sometimes yes, you can freeze up on the day, but if you can walk away from an exam knowing that you put your all into it, you should be able to walk away happy.

Exam periods can feel like they last forever… Trust me, I’m in the middle of one at the moment and I can’t wait for it to be over.  But let that light at the end of the tunnel be the thing that pulls you through.  It’s 1, maybe 2 months of stress and panic… but it’s followed by months of freedom; see that as your reward for the hard work and let that be your motivator that this is all worth it.

I’m not trying to devalue exams and tell you that “they don’t matter in the future”, because that’s not the attitude you should go into your exams with.  However, remember that one bad test or grade won’t impact your life forever.  Everything happens for a reason, and if you try, and put your best foot forward, then the outcome shouldn’t matter as much.  It’s so easy to put pressure on yourself and act like your life depends on these grades, but, whether you succeed or fall short, there will always be a plan B, and who knows, maybe it will work out better than your plan A.

Good luck to anyone reading this who has exams going on!  Hope they go well and you’re not tearing your hair out…

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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Letting Go…

I have a terrible habit of being a bit of a people pleaser.

In the past I would do anything I could to make people like me… I would fit whatever mould they needed me to, change my beliefs to fit theirs, essentially pretended to be someone I wasn’t… it was not good at all.  If someone found me annoying or didn’t want to be friends with me it really got to me and I managed to convince myself that I was the problem.

However, after 19 (long) years and 7 different stints as “the new girl”, I’ve finally come to realise that in life, not everybody is going to like you.  The truth is, I’d be lying if I said I liked everybody I’ve ever met, everyone would; at the end of the day we all have different personalities, and it’s only natural that some personalities are going to clash.  As long as you have at least some people in your life that you know genuinely like you for you, it doesn’t matter.  Not everybody that you meet is meant to be a lifelong friend, and sometimes you have to filter through the coal to find the diamonds.

You see, I’ve had my fair share of friendships that I’ve forced that were probably not the most healthy to be in (read more about one of those hereand every time I was heartbroken when they ended (yes, friendships can break your heart too).  However, looking back on each of them, and seeing those people hanging out now, I realise that if I were still with those people, I wouldn’t be having fun.  I should be with people that make me feel comfortable… and it took me a long time to realise it, but you can’t force people to like you, and you can’t force yourself to like other people.

If you find yourself changing everything about you in order to fit in, or having to force your way into every group hang, then maybe it’s time to let go.  People that genuinely want you around will make an effort to invite you to things and will accept you, flaws and all, and sometimes the only way to find the good is to let go of the bad, no matter how hard that may be.  In your lifetime you will come across so many different faces that it will be impossible to keep count, the same way it would be impossible for you to get along with every single one of them on a genuine level.  Pick quality over quantity, and if people don’t like you, let them go.

How do you overcome people not liking you?  Leave your own stories/opinions in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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My Thoughts on Daily Blogging…

So we have come to my week of daily blogging and… well, this was way more stress than I thought it would be.  Therefore, I figured for my final post to end my week of daily blogging, I would sum up the experience I’ve had this week, so here we go…

Why I chose to daily blog in the middle of exam season I will never know… maybe it was procrastination, maybe it was insanity, but either way I’m simultaneously proud of myself for managing to follow through with it, and questioning why I did it in the first place.

Back when I first launched this blog in December, I got it going with the 12 days of blogging, and yes, I am aware I did 12 days of daily blogging but back then it was very different.  I’d just started this and I didn’t plan my content as much or make as much effort with the planning, the pictures, the editing and the tags: all the stuff that drains my soul every time I upload something new…  This week of daily blogging has been so much effort to put together and although It’s given me back the spark I’ve been missing for a while, it was incredibly time consuming… Blogging can be hard sometimes.

This week also made me realise that I really don’t have a “niche”.  I see bloggers on Twitter and WordPress and Bloglovin’ that are able to typecast themselves as “beauty bloggers” or “food bloggers”, and blogging everyday this week has made me realise that my blog content is really all over the place.  I’ve gone from reviews, to collabs, to food diaries to rants… My content is whatever is in my mind, and guess what?  My mind doesn’t focus on one thing… I’m difficult like that.  Does that make me any less of a blogger?  Nope… My blog is whatever I want it to be, and I kind of like the variety, hope you guys too.

Finally, to all those daily bloggers out there… How do you do it?!  Although it may seem like I just get on a laptop and type, believe it or not but (most of the time) a lot of effort goes into producing a blog post… so how do people manage to produce a post everyday?!  I can usually barely manage posting three times a week and this week of posting everyday nearly killed me so I applaud you guys, seriously.

Hope you enjoyed this week of daily blogging, and if you didn’t even realise I was doing it, you can check out any of the posts here… I did:

Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cover in the future, or any part of this that you related to?  Leave a comment below, and starting next week I should (hopefully) be back to posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

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Yes, I Have Opinions

So anyone who lives in the UK is most likely aware of the General Election we have coming up pretty soon.  It’s been all over Twitter, Facebook, the News, there’s loads of memes and loads of propaganda, so why not make a blog post about it, right?  Wrong.

You see, I keep up with it all, I have strong opinions and I know exactly who I’m voting for, but I personally don’t feel the need to share my opinions with everyone.  I’m in no way bashing people who do; there are tonnes of people who eloquently express their opinions without forcing them on others and I am perfectly happy for them to do that.  However, my problem lies with people that assume that you don’t have a clue what’s going on just because you don’t talk about it all the time.

I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to politics, but I do read the news and research the parties and try to keep up with current affairs, especially around election time.  I form educated reasons as to why I will vote for who I’m voting for and I acknowledge that when it comes to politics, most things have to be taken with a pinch of salt.  When it comes to friends or family who pose the question, I’m happy to chime in with a couple of reasons as to why I side with who I side with.  However, just because I don’t shout my opinions from the rooftops, doesn’t mean I don’t have any.

I’ve mentioned before (I think it was in the post I did on why I’m not smart?) that I’m a pretty quiet person, and I’m not exactly one of those people that comes forth with everything I’m thinking.  So I can come forward first hand and say that quietness doesn’t necessarily mean someone has nothing to say, it could just means that they don’t want to bother, or don’t feel like they should.  My political opinions are one of those things that I’d rather just not always get into.  With friends and family, yes I will every once in a while, but I’m not one to post online about it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who do talk about politics online (as long as they do it reasonably), but don’t judge those of us who don’t.

Yes, when it comes to politics I do have strong opinions, but no.  I do not want to talk about it.

2 rant posts in a row, what am I like 😉 Hope you enjoyed this, just a little something that’s been floating around my mind.

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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