Thursday, 11 October 2018

Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

It's been a hot minute since I last spoke about music on this blog so I figured I would share some of my favourite playlists at the moment! These are the songs which I've had on loop for the past few weeks and which I tend to listen to at this time of year. I hope that you can pick out some new faves and I would love it if you shared what music you have been listening to lately! I am always on the lookout for a new favourite song!


My main autumn playlist! This one is full of all those songs that make me feel good as the nights draw in early and the mornings are dark. I tend to sing along to these songs in the shower first thing in the morning and keep them playing as I get ready to start my day off.

  • You're Right by Morning Bear
  • Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac
  • Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
  • Witchy Woman by Eagles
  • House of the Rising Sun by Lauren O'Connell
  • Spellbound by Siouxie and the Banshees
  • Lavender Moon by Haroula Rose
  • Born To Die by Lana Del Rey
  • Ruins by First Aid Kit
  • Kind of Woman by Stevie Nicks
  • Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
  • Which Witch by Florence + The Machine
  • Me And The Devil by Soap&Skin
  • We're Alive! by Keith Johns
  • 1000 by Brother
  • Sisters of the Moon by Fleetwood Mac
  • Dark Secret by Matthew Sweet
  • People Are Strange by The Doors
  • Lullaby by The Cure
  • I See Fire by Ed Sheeran
  • Cedar Lane by First Aid Kit
  • Marz by John Grant

Orange Coloured Sky

I'm on an old-timey jazzy kick at the moment! It gives me calm and almost-Christmas vibes. Plus, all these songs are so fun to sing along to and I am sure I have been irritating my flatmate with my wailing along to this playlist! This is, in fact, probably the playlist I have been listening to the most this month!

  • Orange Coloured Sky by Nat King Cole
  • We'll Meet Again by The Ink Spots
  • Someone To Watch Over Me by Ella Fitzgerald
  • Dream A Little Dream of Me by Doris Day
  • Way Back Home by Bob Crosby & The Bob Cats
  • Maybe by The Ink Spots
  • Blue Moon by Frank Sinatra
  • Love Me As Though There Were No Tomorrow by Nat King Cole
  • Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra
  • A Kiss To Build A Dream On by Louis Armstrong
  • Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall by Ella Fitzgerald & The Ink Spots
  • La vie en rose by Louis Armstrong
  • I've Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra
  • Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
  • Cheek To Cheek by Ella Fitzgerald
  • Crazy He Calls Me by Billie Holiday
  • Bidin' My Time by Julie London


This is the Halloween playlist I listen to every October! It's full of songs from films I watch every October and generally songs with a spooky theme! I dig this playlist out all year round but it just feels right listening to it in October!

  • People Are Strange by The Doors
  • Lullaby by The Cure
  • Bang Bang - My Baby Shot Me Down by Nancy Sinatra
  • Red Right Hand by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Cry Little Sister by G Tom Mac
  • It Will Come Back by Hozier
  • Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones
  • Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • I Put A Spell On You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
  • The Boogie Monster by Gnarls Barkley
  • (Don't Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
  • Over At The Frankenstein Place from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Black Magic Woman by Fleetwood Mac
  • Superstition by Stevie Wonder
  • (Ghost) Riders In The Sky by Johnny Cash
  • I Never Told You What I Do For A Living by My Chemical Romance
  • Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
  • The Killing Moon by Echo & the Bunnymen
  • Thriller by Michael Jackson
  • This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Marilyn Manson

What have you been listening to this month?x

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Autumn is well and truly underway and I am thriving! Not only have I been loving the chilly weather and reason to wrap up warm, but I have also been loving the changing leaves and early evenings! Autumn is truly the best season of the year! Since I'm loving writing these conversational posts lately, I figured I would chat about all the best things about autumn!

Atmosphere and colours

The LEAVES! As soon as the first leaf turns orange I feel so excited and anticipatory about the coming change of seasons! I grew up living near a patch of woods and those autumn walks were everything to me! I love the colours all around during autumn, and the fallen leaves making even the dingiest paths look lovely! The weather may be cold but the colours are warm and inviting! I feel like there is a buzz in the air in Autumn. It's no longer summer and everyone has gone back to their daily grind, not quite tired of it yet! This is especially evident on the campus of my university! Everybody is making the most of being back and settling into another academic year!


Autumn is peak fashion time for me! I am at my most stylish and confident at this time of year! The jackets and scarves are layered without being overbearing, and I can hide my bad hair days with a beret or beanie. Life is good. I've been wearing all those autumnal warm colours and loving all the purchases I have made lately, especially from New Look! Photoshoots are also incredibly lovely in autumn since the backdrop of the leaves is always exceedingly beautiful!

Dress: New Look, top: New Look, tights and socks: Primark, coat: Primark, boots: Dr Martens


The weather is finally chilly enough for me to not feel like I'm going to sweat off all my foundation by midday and I love it! I have never been a lover of wearing foundation. I feel like most foundations make my face even greasier than it always is, and I can just never find a shade that perfectly fits my pale face! However, this month I have started using the new Revolution Conceal and Define Foundation and it has really been a game changer for me! I wear makeup almost every day, I feel super confident and I actually enjoy getting ready in the mornings!

Let's talk about incorporating those autumnal colours into your makeup looks! Any other time of the year, I use my Naked 3 palette nonstop, but in autumn I gravitate back to more rusty coloured eyeshadows! They are so flattering and make me feel so confident when I step out of the flat! Plus, every time I wear a brown-ish lipstick I feel like Dana Scully from the X-Files. 


I hate warm weather with a burning passion (pardon the pun). I despise being all hot and sweaty, it just makes me feel disgusting! What I do like is cold weather where I can wrap up warm and keep cosy! Rainy days are the greatest, too! Whether I'm out and about under an umbrella or indoors looking out at the rain, I love it! It relaxes me so much!


Making the switch from iced coffee to hot coffee is magical! There's nothing quite like being out in the cold and sipping on a hot drink. The way it warms you inside is just the best feeling! I have been sipping those cappuccinos, and the occasional PSL, like my life depends on it. I should really cut down on my caffeine consumption considering how dependent I am on it, but it's just so good! 

What are your fave things about autumn?x

Friday, 5 October 2018

One thing that sucks about being an introvert is that I don't particularly enjoy nights out. One of the times this sucks most is Halloween, because I love celebrating Halloween but it always seems like most of the events around the celebration are nights out. I'm a massive lover of a good night in, all cosy and comfy. Just being at a crowded club or party makes me very anxious and it prevents me from properly enjoying my time. Here are a few ideas for a fun night in, either alone or with friends, to celebrate Halloween in all its glory!

Cosy Film Night

I've already made a post about this, which you can read HERE, but I'll recap it now. Cosy film nights are amazing and a great way to wind down after a long day. Put on your comfiest clothes, get a hot drink, maybe order some food and pick a film! The aforementioned blog post has loads of spooky film recommendations for your cosy film night. I'm planning on watching A Nightmare on Elm Street and all the Scream movies in the leadup to Halloween whenever I have the time.

Spooky Board Games

Film nights are pretty standard so why not mix things up a bit? If you have a handful of friends who aren't planning a big night out for Halloween, you could always get together for a bit of tabletop gaming! HERE is a list of some spooky board game suggestions I found on (I especially want to try Eldritch Horror and Mysterium. If storytelling is more your game, Hollow Woods is a great storytelling card game which I picked up from Waterstones a few months ago. Each card has an image that connects to all the other cards to form a long woodland path, and you have to make up a story as you move from card to card.

Dress Up With Pets

If you have a pet, I envy you! My lovely dog lady Tilly is back home in Wales with my family and I miss her so much all the time. One great way to spend Halloween is to dress your pet up in a Halloween costume and have a good old photo shoot with them. You'll be awwing and laughing the whole evening away and it's a great way to spend some quality time with your best pal! For bonus fun, dress up in a matching costume and join in on the photoshoot fun!

Group Costume With Theme-Fitting Film

If you have a group of like-minded friends who you want to spend the evening in with for a movie night, how about setting up a costume theme with an accompanying theme. It adds an extra level of fun to the whole film night idea! For example, you could all get glammed up in some Rocky Horror Picture Show outfits and have a singalong, or dress up as your fave movie vampire and have a good vampire film marathon!

Baking/Cooking Night

Arguably the most chilled out night in you could have, either alone or with friends, is a good baking or cooking session! You could pick a recipe from my veggie autumn cooking post HERE and have a good hearty meal, or you could check out THESE Halloween themed bakes for a fun themed baking night! The best part, you get to eat the treats you make!

A Good Old Magical Bath

Honestly, this may be the idea I'm most drawn to since I've been so tired and achey lately! Baths are always magical but a Halloween bath? Even better! Get out the candles, throw in a themed bath bomb, set up a movie and just sink into the warm waters! You will feel so good afterwards! I've picked up Lord of Misrule from Lush and I'm so excited to use it in the coming days! I love their seasonal bath bombs and their Halloween collection is fabulous!

How will you be spending your Halloween?x

Thursday, 4 October 2018

All around the year, there is so much to get up to in Manchester. In October, there are so many events you can attend and plenty of activities to keep you occupied throughout the month! I have summed up all the best things to do in Manchester over October, focusing on that autumn feel, and I hope that you can get some plans out of this post. Just researching for this post has filled my calendar with lots of things I want to attend and take part in!


Grimmfest - 4th to 7th @ ODEON Manchester Great Northern

  • Yes, the festivities for Halloween start TODAY! Grimmfest is a festival of horror, sci-fi, extreme fantasy and cult film, and this year is its 10th anniversary! They feature a massive variety of film screenings and invite many of the creators to speak. They also have a series of short films with a focus on female creators. If you're a movie buff and a horror fan, I would definitely check this out!
  • Oktoberfest is back and is definitely one of the big events to add to your calendar! There's a giant tent filled with long tables for you to drink out, and a massive beer garden for the perfect Oktoberfest feel in the centre of Manchester. This is always a big social event and it sounds like this year's event will be even better than the last!
  • If music is more your type of thing, this year's Manchester Folk Festival looks set to be a fantastic event! The lineup looks amazing and all concerts are individually priced so you can pick and choose your perfect music-filled long weekend!
  • This sounds unnerving and terrifying. Hosted in a shipping container, 20 people experience a sonic experience aiming to test the group's psychology and beliefs about superstition. It's a very unique experience and definitely sounds like something I would love to do!
  • Have a look around the city and check out all the iconic building that are going green for the spooky season! Buildings such as the Town Hall are being lit up in a green glow and it's going to be awesome!
  • Not only will some of the city's best buildings be lit up in green for Halloween, but some will also be invaded by large (inflatable) monsters! Have a search around the city and see what you can find!
  • Here's one I've really been looking forward to! Sample some of the best whiskies from all over the world and check out all of the exhibitors who are gathering at Manchester Cathedral to find your new drink of choice.
  • I can't believe I'm going to be at work and miss the highlight of this October! Manchester is going to be filled with dogs in their spookiest Halloween costumes to take part in the show, and the winning dogs will get their very own trophy and treats! Go to this one so I can live through you (and send me lots of dog pics)!


Making the most of October in Manchester is easy and there are so many things you can do! How about browsing the great selection of plants at Flourish and taking home a few (or a few dozen)! There's something so lovely about shopping at their outdoor shop just off Market Street in the chilly weather.

If you're looking for some great seasonal decorations, have a look around the shops in the Northern Quarter or have a look in Home Sense in the Arndale. I have gone a bit over the top with these lately but they're all so lovely and you can never have too many Halloween decorations! I got my new fave mug at Home Sense and now I want dozens more!

Sheltering from the chilly weather may lead you into some lovely spots in Manchester. Check out some cafes and food spots around the city which you haven't been in before. You never know, you may find a new favourite hangout spot! For me, I popped into Chapter One Books and now I can't get enough of their coffee, cakes and brownies!

For other ideas of how to spend your October, check out my other Blogtober posts!

Surrounding Manchester

One thing I didn't realise until this year is that there are places around Greater Manchester where you can pick your own pumpkins! Wouldn't this be the perfect idea for a day out with friends and family, or even a cute autumnal date? You can check out an article by Manchester Evening News HERE with all the spots you can go to!

Long walks don't stop once Summer is over! Why not wrap up warm and check out some of the best walking spots around? I love a good chilly walk followed by a filling and warming dinner back at home!

Do you have any suggestions which I have missed out? What will you be doing this month?x

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon on Unsplash

When the cold weather starts, I begin to miss one thing. My nan's stew! I would spend hours with her in the kitchen doing what I could to help her to prepare her stew, my favourite meal. She puts so much time and care into the dish and I would beg for it as soon as autumn rolls around! Every time I'm on the phone to my mum and she says she went round to nan's for tea and had stew, I still get a pang of jealousy. However, since I've been vegetarian for the past few years now I haven't been able to have that hearty stew. However, there are plenty of lovely hearty meals you can still make as a veggie in autumn. And that's what I'm always craving when the weather gets cold... A warm, filling and hearty homecooked meal. I've collected a list of my fave recipes from past years and a few I want to try this year! Let's get cooking!

Fave Recipes

One of my staple recipes in the colder months is THIS gorgeous vegan lasagne soup by Liv B. It is extremely filling and hearty and is perfect for a quick after-uni/work meal. I make this in bulk as it is perfect the next day as lunch/dinner and it's cheap to make!

THIS one-pot mushroom and potato curry on BBC Good Food is my favourite dish to cook for others! It's super easy to make and I add a can of chickpeas to make it even more filling! You can make it as spicy or mild as you want and the heat makes it lovely and warming!

Recipes I Want To Try

Argentinian-Inspired Veggie Chilli with Chimichurri - Jess Eats and Travels
Afghan-Inspired Vegan Kidney Bean Slow-Cooker Casserole - Jess Eats and Travels
Vegan Shepherds Pie - The Little Blog of Vegan
Quick & Easy Vegan Macaroni Cheese - The Little Blog of Vegan
Quick & Easy Authentic Potato Curry - The Little Blog of Vegan
One Pot Wild Mushroom, Squash and Spinach Pilaf - Easy Peasy Foodie
Tuscan Bean Stew - Easy Peasy Foodie
Baked Potatoes with Spicy Chickpea Stew - Easy Peasy Foodie

Autumnal Bakes

Last year I was all about cooking, and this year I'm all about those autumnal baked goods! I already made THESE maple cookies, which turned out lovely but I definitely made way too many! Note to self: there is such thing as too many cookies. It's sparked my love of baking as a way to relax on an afternoon off, and these are all the bakes I have planned for this October:

Tarte Aux Pommes - All Recipes UK
Pumpkin and Maple Syrup Pie - All Recipes UK
Easy Sugar Cookies - All Recipes UK
Mary Berry's Banana and Chocolate Chip Loaf - BBC Recipes
Vegan Death by Chocolate Cake - Baking With Maggie
All-Time Fudgiest Brownies - Baking With Maggie
Apple and Cinnamon Cake - Easy Peasy Foodie

Recipe Books

I have a few great veggie/vegan cookbooks and I figured I would add what I think of them to this post just in case you are on the lookout for a good cookbook. There's something so lovely about working from a cookbook, rather than from a screen!

The New Vegan by Aine Carlin has been a great help to me as a vegetarian who's trying to steer closer to a vegan diet! Not only is the book filled with great recipes, but she also covers the basics so well! There is a page dedicated to vegan sources of nutrients and lots of info on the vegan lifestyle.

Veggie Comfort Food by Josephine Ashby is a new discovery for me! I keep asking to borrow my flatmate's copy because all the recipes look so hearty and perfect for the chilly weather!

Fast Vegetarian by Jane Baxter and Henry Dimbleby is by far my fave cookbook of all time! I wanted it for years until I finally picked it up last year in the sales! The thing about Leon cookbooks is that they are not only full of lovely recipes, they are also full of stories behind the recipes. It gives the book such a lovely personal touch and makes it such a joy to use!

What will you be cooking this autumn?x

Monday, 1 October 2018

Are you ready for an October full of posts? I hope so (and I hope I follow this through)! I'm kicking off this Blogtober by talking about one of my favourite things about the Autumn period and about October, the month of spookiness. A good cosy film night! It's one of the first things that comes into my mind when the leaves begin to fall! The idea of being snug (as a bug in a rug) and cosy with a nice mug of something hot and watching one of the films that make me feel so nostalgic!

Getting Cosy

Let's talk about the fundamentals of getting cosy.

  1. Blankets
  2. Baggy clothing
  3. Warmth
  4. Company (or not)

When it comes to blankets, the more the merrier! If you're chilling on the floor then you can cover the floor with blankets to make it all soft and comfy. If on the sofa, wrap yourself up like a cocoon! Duvets are also a great idea! For optimum comfort, baggy clothes are a must! You don't need layers since you can layer up the blankets, so just wear those PJs or those sweatpants! My fave source of warmth is a hot drink! Coffee is good for getting that energy up for a good marathon, but hot chocolate really warms the soul and winds you down! Pick out your fave mug and get that kettle boiling! Warm hearty food is also such a good shout! Whether you're a solitary being or someone who likes to surround yourself with your favourite people determines whether you need the company to get comfy and cosy. If you're solitary and pushing yourself to interact with others, you won't get to relax properly! It's the same for if you're super social. Don't want to get lonely and distracted by social media for some interaction!

The Films

Halloween Classics - These are your standard spooky feeling films... The ones you may have been watching as a tradition every October whilst waiting for Halloween to roll around!
  • Addams Family
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Halloween
  • The Craft
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Practical Magic
  • A Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Interview With The Vampire
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Halloweentown
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street

Romances - Gotta warm the heart sometimes, and these romances sure do that!
  • Notting Hill
  • You've Got Mail
  • Bridget Jones
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • The Holiday (early, I know, but so heartwarming!)
  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • To All The Boys I've Loved Before
  • Sleepless In Seattle
  • 10 Things I Hate About You

Nostalgia - I don't know why, but as soon as the cold weather hits, all I want to do is get cosy and get nostalgic! Here are a few of my faves for doing this!
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Lost Boys
  • The Goonies
  • Any old Disney film

Musicals - With friends or all alone, who doesn't love a singalong? 
  • Into The Woods
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Les Miserables
  • Sweeney Todd

How will you be kicking off October?x

Wednesday, 26 September 2018


I've put mental health first in this post because the trials and tribulations of university life can really exacerbate mental health issues and really take a toll on your mental wellbeing! Constant deadlines, exams looming and the idea that you are paying so much for your education adding even more pressure can really get overwhelming! Personally, my preexisting mental health issues became even worse in my second year of university, leading me to seek help and go through counselling and meds.

If you feel your mental wellbeing worsening, your first port of call could be your academic advisor. This is because your mental health can have an effect on your academic work and you may want to let an advisor or tutor know that you are struggling so that they can support you through this and lessen the impact on your studies. Also be sure to check if your university has its own counselling service, as these are often free to access and closely knit to your university. Talking it out to a trained counsellor can really help you to figure out your mental state and help you to choose the steps you should take next. If you feel that you should seek further help, make sure you are signed up to a local GP. They can help you to access additional counselling services and can offer you other treatment options such as medications.

Before it gets to this stage, though, you can do a lot of things to safeguard your mental wellbeing! Self-care is a big one. Take some time to check in with yourself every day, even if just for a little while. Getting a stress breakout? Chill and do a facemask for a bit. Getting tense? Walk it off or learn some yoga in your dorm room with some YouTube tutorials. It's easy to work full-steam ahead around the clock but take some time out each day to make sure your mind is doing good.

Sleep well, even when you have a deadline coming up. It's easy to leave your work until the last minute and pull an all-nighter to get it done. We've all been there. However, try hard to keep a constant sleep pattern and get those precious hours in! If you have a deadline coming up, work on it a bit at a time so that you don't end up having to try and get it all done at once. Your grades will probably thank you for it, as well as those bags under your eyes!


You don't have to be a total gym bunny to stay physically healthy in university! There are so many ways for you to keep your body happy and healthy! One way to keep active is just to walk or cycle to and from uni. Lots of people who live off campus pick up a student bus pass and while they are a fab idea, they are so easy to become reliant on. I have a bus pass too but I choose to walk to and from uni each day and keep my bus pass use for work at the weekends and any trips all the way into the city centre. Just walking every day has made such a difference to my body. I'm not the healthiest bean and I still have a soft tummy, but my legs are solid! I don't get out of breath when exercising as much as I used to and I reckon this is because I do a little every day!

If you love a good workout, it can be hard at university. Gym memberships are expensive and you may be budgeting for essentials like food and toiletries over this other expense. However, home workouts can be a pretty good substitute! While you aren't getting to use gym equipment and you may not have as much open space to work in as you may be used to, it can take minimal space to do something like pilates or yoga. As long as you are able to roll out a yoga mat you should be good to go! Another way to get those workouts in is to see if your university run fitness classes at a nice cheap student price. I have been able to try out workouts I had never even heard of, such as Bosu, by signing up for these classes and they can be great fun!

While being a student, takeaways and unhealthy foods can be a massive temptation! However, they can also be a massive drain on that bank account and can have an effect on your physical health. When I was going through a really rough time last year, I lived off of cheap takeaway pizza and this left me feeling sluggish and bloated all the time. My skin got worse and my self-esteem plummetted! I had to wean myself off these meals and found enjoyment in cooking once more. One easy way to keep healthy when eating at uni is meal prepping! I make a fantastic veggie curry and I would cook this in bulk and keep my leftovers in tupperware. I also did this for other dishes and it means that even when you have a hard day and you really don't have the energy to cook, you have a homemade meal ready for you in the fridge! They can also be great lunch options to take into uni with you if you have microwaves on campus.


Support networks are key in university! Making all those new friends and starting fresh is daunting in the beginning, but everyone is in the same boat and it is so easy to meet people in university! Even as a massive introvert like me! Setting up your support network in uni can really help you to get through those tough emotional times that may come up. It doesn't even need to be a massive network of friends. Just those few people who just get you and who you know can support you without judgement (with you also being there in this way for them).

Keep in contact with your friends and family back home if you have moved away for university. They're only a text or a phone call away and they can offer excellent advice in situations involving your friends from uni since they aren't caught up in the drama and can offer impartial advice from an outside perspective. I call a member of my family at least once a day. That way, I keep updated with their goings on and can take a break from my hectic life at uni!

Do you have any additional advice which I haven't mentioned? I would love to know!x

Monday, 24 September 2018

As a blogger, I dish out a lot of advice. I've always been the mum friend, telling those around me to take care of themselves and appearing to have lots of advice on every different subject under the sun. I was that girl who had been single for years and yet still somehow acted as the group's relationship coach. I'm great at giving out advice. It's something I work on a lot, always googling cures for friends' ailments and helping them to find out where to get what they need. Boy drama? Come over and we'll have a glass of wine and figure it out! Self-care? I could talk for days about the importance of self-care and think up a multitude of ways to practice self-care off the top of my head. I even have a self-care series on this blog!

Do I take my own advice?

Hell no! Should I take my own advice? Probably! It's time to dish out some truths and give some examples! THIS post is about treating yourself how you treat others. It's all about being kind to yourself and getting rid of your negative self-talk. It's a bit of food for thought for those of you who are a bit too hard on yourselves. Do I hope that others read it and get a bit of motivation to be kinder to themselves? Of course I do! However, I can be a very negative person when it comes to myself. I have an incredibly negative attitude towards myself and I am hard on myself sometimes. I also wrote THIS post on balancing work, uni and life. However, I really do not do well at keeping a good balance most of the time.

To basically sum it up, I am great at dishing out advice with the aim to help others. I'm just not very good at taking all this advice myself!

Am I A Hypocrite?

Is it hypocritical to run a blog and dish out as much advice as you can give without actually implementing it to better your own life? All the time, people talk about how the way we portray ourselves on social media is an idealised and edited version of ourselves. Blogging began to feel like that for me. I felt like I was talking about all the great stuff and sharing all the idealistic advice I could give, but still holding back slightly on other aspects of my life. I give advice without showing the full picture. I can tell you to sleep well and work to get a good night time routine, but I am currently writing this post in the early hours. Am I a hypocrite to tell people to try one thing, whilst actively doing the opposite of what I am saying you should do?

Who Am I To Be Giving This Advice?

I am a mess a lot of the time. My room is untidy often, I find it difficult to get motivated, I don't take care of myself as well as I should, I have some nasty habits, and I often think very lowly of myself. It worries me that I find it so easy to somehow have so much advice and yet I'm still not exactly functioning that well myself. As soon as a depressive episode hits I'm much more likely to spend my time in bed surrounded by food packaging that taking the steps that I need to shake myself out of it. I talk lots about self-care yet I don't exactly take care of myself all too well. I make great plans for myself, I just don't follow them all through. I start and stop and start new routines and lifestyle changes, but can never quite keep them up. I forget to take my meds. I oversleep a lot. However, I know the steps that I should be taking and I just hope that the people I give advice to are much better at taking it than I am.

What I Have Taken Away From Writing All This Down

Maybe that's it. The advice which I give out is everything I should be doing and everything which would actually help me! Seeing other people get good results out of taking my advice makes me feel good, it makes me actually feel like I'm accomplishing something. I love to see others thrive and I am happy to help in any way I can. Perhaps I just need to place as much importance on seeing myself thrive. Then, just maybe, I will feel accomplished when I take my own advice and see myself improve.

Thanks for joining me on this ramble!x

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

I had a health kick at the beginning of the summer. I dropped a dress size and felt fab about it. However, as I usually am with these things, I couldn't keep it up and felt myself slipping back into my old ways. I didn't attend the end of my cycle of fitness classes and I stopped the daily workouts. I burned myself out and had lost myself in this strict regime of workouts and dieting. It was all I thought about and I was obsessed with the idea that I could drop a few more pounds, drop another dress size, finally feel attractive to potential partners out there in the world of dating. I wasn't doing it for me, I was doing it because I didn't feel worthy as myself and I felt I had to change in order for people to respect me. Not just romantic partners, but family, friends and anyone who passed by me.

Once I let part of the health kick slip, it all slowly unravelled and I returned back to my old ways, albeit with a new love for blueberries (I cannot get enough). Thanks to my lovely body, the weight came back very quickly and I returned to the body shape I have been for years. However, I wasn't upset this time. I haven't been looking at myself in the mirror ashamed as I usually do. I just feel very neutral about the whole thing. If anything, gaining the weight back hasn't really affected how I perceive my body image, which is something so baffling to me, as someone who has struggled with their body image for years.

What has changed? I've been asking myself this for the last few weeks. Maybe it's the fact that I have started to transition into my autumnal wardrobe and wear all my favourite clothes again. Maybe it's the fact that I have surrounded myself with people who do nothing but lift me up and make me feel secure and happy. Maybe it's the fact that I have more important things to worry about now, as opposed to having time to fixate on my shape and size. Maybe it's that caring so much about something I find very difficult to change is exhausting and I want to focus my attention on things that matter more to me.

In the last few months, I have found out that I have PCOS. It has shown me why I have such a struggle losing weight and this has lessened my guilt about my own body. It's not just my fault. Why should I fight against my body time and time again when the second I stop, everything returns back to the way it was and I ultimately end up sad and upset about my own body. I am not seriously overweight. I don't own a car so I walk absolutely everywhere (I walk so much). I eat fairly well and I have a job which keeps me walking and on my feet. Yes, I could be healthier and I could kick some habits which are really not that great. However, my body is not my enemy and I would much rather feel at home in my own skin than fight against it.

There will always be days that I wish my body wouldn't look like this. There will be days when I would rather tear my body down than feel at home within it. However, I am working towards feeling better in my own skin and I feel this is more important than constantly critiquing it.

September is PCOS awareness month. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common condition which affects ovarian functioning. The main features are irregular periods, excess androgen and polycystic ovaries. Symptoms include irregular periods, lack of periods, fertility issues, excessive hair growth, thinning hair of the head, weight gain and oily skin/acne. If you feel that you are experiencing these symptoms, you can read more about them HERE. I have asked two different doctors about my symptoms and only one of them actually moved along to the process of diagnosis, so ask questions and make sure your symptoms are taken seriously. Diagnosis of PCOS is often quick and simple and involves an ultrasound in order to take a look at your ovaries. If you have any questions about PCOS at all, feel free to get in contact! 

Monday, 3 September 2018

After a great month of stats and social media growth, plus after finishing my summer internship and going back to having more free time to write, I figured it was about time I ran a giveaway! I gathered a few of my fave products, along with some products I've been eyeing up for a while. All you have to do is check out my giveaway tweet HERE, retweet it and give my profile a follow! If you want a second chance of winning, just follow my Instagram profile HERE and reply to the giveaway tweet with a link to your profile! For now, I can only afford UK shipping so this giveaway is UK only!

Prize List

  • Revolution Reloaded Iconic Fever Palette
  • I <3 Revolution Chocolate Elixir Glow Highlight Palette
  • 3x Garnier SkinActive face masks
    • Moisture Bomb Super-Hydrating Soothing Mask
    • Moisture Bomb Super-Hydrating Re-Balancing Mask
    • Pure Charcoal Purifying & Hydrating Pore-Tightening Mask
  • Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
  • Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Whipped Creme Body Wash 
    • (Gifted for this giveaway)
  • Lush Deep Sleep Shower Jelly
  • Revolution Crushed Pearl Pigments in Kinky
  • 3x Primark Nails
    • Squareletto Cashmere
    • Almond Obsessed
    • Almond Silk Grey
  • Candy Kittens sweets in Wild Strawberry (Vegan)

 Have you joined the giveaway?x

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash

Starting university stirs up a LOT of feelings. It's exciting, it's terrifying, it's stressful and it's fun! It can be so overwhelming but also incredibly freeing to experience all of these emotions at once! After all, it's a massive step in your life and your journey! There are a few things I wish I had been told about before stepping into freshers week and here is all the wisdom I can offer to you as someone going into their final year of university!

Freshers' flu is real

You may have heard the term being thrown about but this is serious business! You will spend a lot of freshers week surrounded by people you have never met before and meeting as many people as you possibly can (unless you're an absolute introvert like me). It's only logical that being surrounded by so many people is a test of the immune system! Even if you don't go out during freshers, people will be coughing and sneezing in the lecture theatres during the first few weeks and it is likely that you will get a bit ill. Personally, freshers' flu crept up on me just when I thought I had avoided it completely and it was the WORST! Be prepared and get your survival kit ready! Here's what got me through that tough week:

  • A Netflix subscription
  • Cold & Flu tablets
  • Strawberry Strepsils
  • Cold washcloths
  • Lots of water and squash
  • A cosy bed (seriously, get those throw blankets on and sleep it off)


I was adamant that I would not get homesick. After all, my university isn't really too far from home and my parents were just a phone call away. I was wrong and I did get homesick! I am very close to my mum so the idea of not getting to chill with her in the evenings or generally have her there as she had always been SUCKED. It sucked bad. I didn't go out much in freshers and I was hesitant to go out and meet people. I feel that if I had been busier in freshers and really pushed myself out into my new environments I wouldn't have been as homesick. However, what I did was binge watch Gilmore Girls and teach myself how to cook, which worked out pretty nicely!

You're about to meet some amazing people

Going to university, I was so convinced that I would be lonely. I was so convinced that I would suck and making friends and meeting new people since I was an introverted and anxious bean. However, I met some of the most important people in my life right now! I met friends in my halls of residence, in tutorials, at welcome events and even through just wandering around campus looking lost.

Make your halls your home

Halls of residence can be dismal places. The plain walls, the signs of previous residents, the noise and the shared bathrooms. However, once I made an effort with my room and dressed it up a bit it became one of my favourite places on earth. I'll make a separate post on dressing up your uni room but or now, these are the things that made my room feel like home:
  • Throw blankets
  • Photos hanging on twine
  • Nice bedding
  • Fairy lights
  • Posters and pictures on my pinboard
  • Books filling my shelves
  • Nicknacks on the desk
  • P L A N T S
I made sure to keep the atmosphere of my room as calm as possible. I would practice self-care, listen to my records and decorate it for each season. It became a safe haven from the stress of uni life. I hope to keep my current room in the same way. I have a whole other post on surviving students halls HERE too if you want to know more about the experience!

Optional attendance? Still go!

It seems like common sense but if you don't HAVE to go to a lecture, still go! I was struggling a lot with my mental health in second year and my attendance dropped lots. I told myself that I could use the lecture slides and just catch up but my grades dropped considerably. I know a lot of people that don't attend non-compulsory lectures, but believe me when I say that they are worth attending! Even if you're only half paying attention, you will find revision so much easier when you are recapping rather than just learning for the first time.

What do you want to know about starting university? No question is too small! x

Follow Me @jessistryingblog