PMD Clean Body Honest Review (Gifted)

As per my disclaimer; regardless of a gift or not, all views and opinions are strictly my own unless stated otherwise.

Today I am bringing to you an honest review of another product kindly gifted to me from the company PMD who launched a new product in January. Previously, I gave a review for their Microderm Classic, but this time I am reviewing the PMD clean body.

This is branded as a luxury skincare tool, so please bear this in mind when looking at the price tag. It would be an investment for your skincare routine or something to add to your wishlist. It currently retails at £145, which I thought was important to mention at the start of this review, as we all work from different budgets. I believe the technology used in this product is what really adds that luxurious touch.

It is a waterproof device that comes with three magnetic attachments, with a choice of 3 colours. It is double-sided, so on one side you have silicone bristles that are “antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and odour resistant”. The other side is for you to use your attachment of choice.

It uses “SonicGlowTM technology, which uses over 7,000 vibrations per minute, to break down debris -caused by sweat- from within the pores and cleanse the skin. This reduces the formation of spots, blackheads and ingrown hairs.”

There are 4 vibration settings; 2 for cleansing and 2 for massaging that go up in intensity. I do like that this product has a travel lock, so you won’t get any funny looks at the airport when your bag starts vibrating…

Silver-infused loofah – Cleanses skin without spreading bacteria. I do still enjoy using your everyday shower loofah, but this one feels like a deeper cleanse due to the size and precision of it. I clearly shower a bit too rough as the attachment did fly off a couple of times, so make sure to be gentle.

Polish Aluminium Oxide Exfoliator – I just refer to this as the ‘sanding side’. Its aim is to soothe rough, dry skin. As someone who hates touching their feet, I am prone to having dry skin on my heels where my shoes press the most. Having the device do the work for me has truly made a difference to this part of my routine and is no longer something I put off. Paired with moisturising after my shower, my heels are super soft – just in time for summer!

Relax Body Massager – This attachment is probably my favourite. In all honestly, I did not think something this size would do much for me. I was wrong! I prefer using it post-shower with a moisturiser, and it has worked wonders for my shoulders and neck after working from home all day. It feels great on your legs too.

In essence, you are receiving 4 products in 1. 

I don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, I have just enjoyed spending the last month trialling and testing this product so I could be as honest as possible. Compared to my routine before where I just used a standard loofah, I have noticed the following:

  • Softer, smoother heels
  • I can reduce the aches and swelling in my shoulders
  • Due to this being handheld, it is so much easier to cleanse harder to reach areas. I have noticed a significant reduction in spots and dry skin at the top half of my back.

As I say, this product is quite expensive and is a nice-to-have not necessarily a need-to-have, so it would be an investment piece. PMD do offer clearpay so that you can pay in installments if you fancy giving yourself a treat! I do hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful – any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Until next time,

Emily x

What is Personal Growth and Why Should I Care?

Welcome to Week 5 (the final week!) of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series that has brought you a new blog post on each Wednesday of the month. The aim of this was to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Paige Eades, with What is personal growth and Why Should I Care?

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

 

Personal growth is such an individualist activity, wouldn’t you say? From endlessly discussing life plans with career consultants at school into talks and gossips with friends detailing our ‘five year plans’ (does anyone else still live in the hope that our lives will turn out to be a perfect fairy-tale?); the theme of self-development has been imminent throughout our whole lives. 

When Emily called out for writers to pull together a series on ‘March is for Me’, I knew that it would be a great opportunity to discuss and delve more into our own personal connections with ourselves and take the time to consider if we are happy with the way in which we are treating ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane swing of things; the 9 to 5 work routine and the catch up weekend but looking after we is an essential step that many people argue they don’t have time for. 

Something to consider; how many of us have actually sat down to consider our own personal growth? Putting the ever ingrained career chats and life objectives aside; what happened to developing the person we are inside and our desire to constantly better ourselves? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably been too long since you have had that real, open chat with yourself about how things are going? Why is that?

Photo by sickk vibes on Unsplash

 

It almost seems rather taboo to consider yourself and put yourself first in the modern world; the idea of doing something to please others comes way before pleasing yourself. The feeling of wasted time is a familiar concept to many of you I’m sure, with the inkling of ‘I’d really rather be doing something else; but I’m not, because I’m here supporting you’. And that’s okay – there aren’t going to be moments where everything is about what you want; but to me a major element of personal growth is about taking the time to consider what your needs are and being brave enough to create boundaries if need be. Contrary to popular belief; creating personal boundaries isn’t selfish – it’s establishing how far you can go without damaging yourself.  

Creating personal growth journeys is encouraged in ways that you probably won’t even link to in your life; and it’s easier than you might think. I remember my first insight into striving to better myself was the infamous gold star chart on the primary school classroom wall; which celebrated including others into games or sharing our snacks with those who didn’t have any (oh, to live in a COVID free world again). The sense of achievement and satisfaction after adding a little gold star sticker to my name and knowing that I had made another’s day a little better was a feeling that can’t quite be replicated in adult life. Although I’d love it – where are the star chart boards now eh? 

I can almost hear the sighs of imagining an obsession with gold stars – but hear me out.  The celebration of working towards becoming better and the small accomplishments along the way should be celebrated. Each step to learning and developing is a great one, and without sounding too soppy – it’s those kind of achievements that make the world go around.

You are in connection with your goals

Personal growth is all about taking the time to reflect on your current circumstance and establish new and realistic goals that you would like to achieve. It is evident that the goals that you set at 12 are going to be different now; and the personal growth journey is all about embracing that! The beauty of life is that it is constantly evolving; and things aren’t going to be smooth sailing throughout – to put it bluntly shit happens and circumstances change, and the subsequent effect is that goals do too. Through remaining aware that goals are, and can be, adjustable to changes is a key to personal development – and understanding that a temporary setback isn’t failure or that the goal should be given up on; it’s just that – a temporary setback. 

You align yourself to new values

As previously discussed, personal growth is an everchanging event – it snakes and swivels and whirls around your life. Through adopting a persistent desire to continuously better ourselves; we therefore align better with new and improved values. Think about it; do you have and believe in the exact same values that you held 5 years ago? No? You’re not alone; many people shift and alter their values in accordance with new information learnt or experiences shared – so it should only make sense that we configure our new morals and values in line with what we currently associate with.

You experience a greater peace of mind

What could be better than being so ‘in tune’ with yourself than defining exactly what your goals and aspirations are? I can’t count all the times where I’ve had what feels like a mid-life crisis surrounding what I want to do in pivotal points in time – starting college, heading off to university, first relationships – but if I had taken the time to re-evaluate what my personal goals were then I would have been reassured that these new changes were the right thing to do and were to help me on my journey, not hinder. Through establishing your personal development plan and continually monitoring it, it is only expected that you will experience a sense of ‘togetherness’ that is hard to achieve otherwise. 

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

You experience healthier relationships

I’m a big believer in that you attract the people that share the vibes you put out into the world. If you are negative and refuse to accept new developments – you will attract and share values with similar minded people. However, if you strive to better yourself, base your aspirations on inspirational people and be proactive in your personal development journey; like-minded people will flock to join you. Relationships age and evolve as you make your way through life; and they can inevitably become outgrown. You deserve to be able to surround yourself with healthy relationships that inspire, satisfy and progress your personal development journey; so, strive to get them! 

You experience greater happiness

Can you imagine anything better than knowing that you are actively achieving your dreams and aspirations? Knowing that despite everything, even on a day where you don’t want to do anything (relatable, amirite), you are striving to be the best person you can be – and making a positive impact on your time on Earth. We all can’t claim to become the next Greta Thunberg or the genius behind the cure for cancer, but we can all claim ourselves to becoming the best person that we are capable of.

Without sounding too cliché; in a world filled with increasing negativity, you have the choice to be that ray of sunshine – both for yourself and others. Take that opportunity. I’ll raise a glass to that!


What an AMAZING post to end the March is For Me series on – thank you Paige for your beautiful words and to each creator that has contributed to March is For Me this month and made it so special. It’s a series I know I will definitely be referring back to! Click here to be taken to each post.

I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe

Until next time,

Emily x

 

5 Ways To Easily Turn A Bad Day Around

Welcome to Week 4 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Emily from Planning With Em, with 5 Ways to Easily Turn a Bad Day Around.

Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

Bad days suck, there’s no doubt about that, but here are some tips on how to turn a bad day around. Whether something bad has happened to make your day bad or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, bad days aren’t fun. However, I do stand by the quote “it’s a bad day, not a bad life” and believe you can turn any bad day around. 

‘I’ve struggled with depression for over 6 years, so I have had plenty of bad days in my time. Whilst I am doing much better mentally right now, I still have days when depression hits me hard. I wanted to share how I turn a bad day around on these days.’

Thank you to Emily for giving me the opportunity to write this post for her blog, I hope it will help anyone who is having a hard time or perhaps in a bit of a funk! 

Pause, Reflect, Accept 

Before I even try to combat a bad day with some of the things listed below, I think it’s really important to go through the process of pausing, reflecting and accepting. 

Take a moment to pause, maybe meditate if you like, and think about what you’re actually feeling. Are you feeling sad, anxious, angry? It’s important to take note of what you’re feeling so you can reflect on why you might be feeling this way and accept it. 

I know from experience that when you’re depressed, there doesn’t have to be a reason why you feel bad, you just do. But I do find that when I’m having a bad day, something has usually triggered it and I can identify at least one emotion that I’m feeling. 

It’s important to accept how you are feeling and not beat yourself up about it. If you can, take the day off from your usual activities, look after yourself and let’s turn this bad day around. 

Do Something That Makes You Happy

Okay before you click off the post because this one is so obvious, think about the last time you did something that made you happy. Like truly made you happy? I bet it’s been too long. 

Take some time to do something that makes you really happy. This can be literally anything (as long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone else obviously). For me, I love to paint, watch youtube/netflix and read. I don’t get much time to do this during the week normally so they’re my go to activities for when I’m having a bad day.

Turn Off Your Phone

When I’m having a bad day, I try to stay away from social media because it can perpetuate bad feelings. For me especially, doom scrolling on twitter can be really bad for my mental health. 

I like to have a social media detox regularly and if you want to know how my last one went, here’s a blog post about my week long social media detox! If you find social media makes you feel worse, have a day off of it!

Photo by Aki Tolentino on Unsplash

Clean Your Environment

They say, “clean environment, clean mind” and I wholeheartedly agree. I cannot stand having an untidy/unclean environment, it stresses me out so much! I understand that if you’re having a bad day, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed, let alone clean. But for me, cleaning my room is an essential part of my self care because it helps me feel better! 

If your room looks like a bomb hit it, then why not set a timer and take 10 minutes to tidy up and clean? You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in this time and you might even want to carry on once the time goes off!

Random Act Of Kindness

I don’t know about you, but doing something nice for others makes me feel so much better! I love helping others so it’s something I try to do regularly.

If you’re having a bad day, why not do a random act of kindness? For example, you could write someone you love a letter, support a small business or maybe even buy a stranger a coffee! 

That wraps up my 5 ways to turn a bad day around, I hope you found them helpful. Please remember that you are not alone and if you need help, reach out to someone you trust and talk to them. Things will get better and this too shall pass. 


Thank you so much to Emily for sharing this wonderful post for the March is For Me series, I have loved each instalment so far and hope you have too. In a world where you can be anything, why not be kind! Stay tuned for the last post in this series next Wednesday!

Until next time,

Emily x

Positive Affirmations and Tips for Anxiety

Welcome to Week 3 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Jessie Mills from Wanderer and Traveller, with her tips for coping with anxiety and her list of favourite positive affirmations. Click here for Part 2 with Kimberly Redway and her experience with meditation.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Firstly I’d like to thank Emily for the opportunity to write a post for her March is for Me series! If there is anything I’ve learnt since leaving university is that self-care and self-love are so important when you are on your journey that is life. In the words of Ru Paul, “If you can’t love yourself how the hell can you love somebody else, can I get an Amen?”

So I wanted to share something I do daily that really sets me up for the day ahead. I’ve done this for a while now and I really feel it helps! Every morning without fail I look at positive affirmations. I also share my favourites on my Instagram story for other people to read and enjoy as well. So I’ve decided to share my favourite positive affirmations with you in this post to remind you just how important you are and that your journey is your own, you can take it as fast or as slow as you like because you are in charge. Zayn Maliks twitter bio once said “Enjoy the roller-coaster that is life” and he wasn’t wrong. You just have to remember that at the end of it all, you are the biggest love of your life. 

I also really suffer with anxiety and with the pandemic and lockdown I wanted to share some motives that I use to either calm myself down in the moment of a panic attack or when I can feel it building.

This is something I’m so proud of as I’ve really tackled some hurdles this lockdown within myself and my anxiety. I set out pretty early on in lockdown 1 not to put myself in the same situation I did previously and focus on getting my anxiety on lock. The previous situation was when I moved to Watford. I had no friends, no money and I couldn’t go out and meet people or do anything until I started working. I was home 24/7 and really fell into a pit, so I vowed this wouldn’t happen again as I saw lockdown as very much the same circumstance as the government started discussing it. Unable to go out and socialise or explore, feeling isolated.

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Coping Mechanisms

Some of these are really simple and I know not everything on this list will help or work for everyone, I also understand that not everyone works in the same way I do. We all have our own coping mechanisms, but if I can maybe enlighten people to some possible new methods then why not?

  1. Shift your focus and take some deep breaths. This one is always recommended (and as a smoker I was always pretty apprehensive). But if you can keep your heart rate and your breathing down, you’re already on your way to feeling calmer.
  2. Go for a run, do some yoga, go for a walk or do some physical exercise. It releases happiness endorphins into the body to lift you up, not bring you down. Plus you’ll feel better for it afterwards.
  3. Identify how you’re feeling and give yourself more emotional awareness. I have to give full credits to a close friend for this one. Don’t identify it as being anxious. Separate your feelings. Am I feeling excited? Am I feeling angry? Am I feeling awkward? Am I feeling lonely?
  4. Something I feel goes hand in hand with the point above, learn what triggers your anxiety, Why do I feel this way? Identify why you’re feeling the way you are. Is the circumstance making you feel uncomfortable? Are you around someone who is being unpleasant? Take a step back and take a look at where you are at and how its making you feel.
  5. Talk about it. Say it out loud, “I’m feeling anxious”. Don’t sit and let it consume you if you feel capable of doing so.
  6. Do whatever you feel you need to do to start your day off right. In the morning and put those anxious feelings at bay straight away. Don’t let it consume you right from the start.
  7. Throw yourself into and focus on something you love. Grab a book, work on your WIP, sit and binge watch TikTok’s, play your favourite gaming consoles, watch your favourite TV show, relax with a cuppa, have a nap, call a friend or see a friend.
  8. Set small daily goals and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to live the life you love and want to live. You are in charge.
  9. Write down how you’re feeling in a journal. Getting these thoughts out of your head can make it less daunting for you and help you to reflect later on.
  10. Practice acceptance. Your anxiety does not define who you are. You do not have anxiety because there is something wrong with you. Try and embrace the journey you’re going on, it won’t be with you forever and you can overcome this.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Positive Affirmations

And now for some of my favourite positive affirmations, because you need to remember your worth;

“You are so wonderfully beautiful. So extraordinarily wonderful. So wildly unforgettable. So Incomparably and lovely you”.

“Make space for the magic you deserve”.

“You are stronger than your anxious thoughts”.

“I choose to let go of what doesn’t serve me”. 

“The highs and lows can still make for beautiful things”.

“There are things in life that are not in your hands and you are not supposed to have all the answers to all. But even here in the shades of your doubts and the unknown, know that you are meant to be here, you belong”.

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path”.

“You made it to another new day. That means you beat all the pains, worries & troubles of yesterday & all the yesterdays before. You are a fighter”. 

“Be soft with yourself, being human is a fragile thing”

And my all-time favourite;

“You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you don’t have to be. Tea has never apologised for not being coffee”.  

So here is to YOU. Embracing your wants and needs in life and following your path to feeling good, your achievements and how far you’ve come in life. Never forget;

You are the biggest love of your life. No one can tell you otherwise.

Jessie x


With HUGE thanks to Jessie for this wonderful guest post that I personally found so refreshing and helpful, I hope you enjoyed this week’s instalment of March is For Me. Stay tuned for week 4 next Wednesday.

Until next time,

Emily x

My Experience with Meditation

Welcome to Week 2 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Kimberly Redway from  Cultivate Your Quirk as she shares her experience with meditation. Click here for Part 1 with ‘Ways to Help Your Physical Health During the Day’.

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

“I had begun visiting a yoga studio for weekly sessions and then…. lockdown happened. The desire to tap into whatever inner calm I possessed, had grown stronger after having started my new full-time job last year. While I loved the job, I was becoming more stressed and with stress came…comfort eating. It was once lockdown started again that I decided to attempt meditation.”

There are said to be many benefits for the practice of meditation, but what I was interested in was stress relief, better self-awareness and also learning how to be more mindful. I wanted to re-ignite my ability to eat more mindfully, to concentrate on the food and to focus on what I want to take in.

 I found that meditation is about checking in with my body as I use an app called Headspace. I have learnt to think of it, not just as a vessel for the mind but to think of the connection between the two. As you know, one cannot survive without the other. I needed time to recharge and re-set. The meditation provided a space for that. My setting is my bedroom which is a small space, but you don’t need a series of tools to gain access to this exercise. 

More than just experiencing more calm and better self-awareness, I feel I have learnt more about my own identity.  I find myself considering who I am in the present rather than who I used to be or who I might become. I am learning to separate self-deprecating thoughts every day.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

I am not always the thoughts, I think. I have always been a daydreamer and it takes practice to remain in the moment. I am considering that identity. Mediation has an impact beyond when I am sitting with my eyes closed. What I do in my bedroom with my back against the wall and eyes closed is like ripples through my everyday life. Change is coming from these single moments

My eating experience has improved but there is a way to go. I understand that for long term results- time must be taken. It is enough to gain knowledge of myself and to also praise my ability to be still. It is not about berating yourself for being inexperienced, but celebrating your access to the mind you hold dear. 

So, I sit in my room, listening to the soothing tone of the voice from the speaker of my phone. I become aware of my surroundings before closing my eyes and allowing it to sweep over me.


Thank you to Kimberly for sharing her meditation journey for this series. It is always a breath of fresh air to hear personal accounts so I am grateful to share this with you. Stay tuned next Wednesday for the 3rd installment of ‘March is For Me’.

Until next time,

Emily x

Ways to Help Your Physical Health During the Day

Welcome to Week 1 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by myself and the rest of the month’s posts are kindly written by fellow bloggers.

 

Ways to Help Your Physical Health During the Day

Desk Stretches aka Deskercise

Since the dawn of working and studying from home arrived with the start of the Covid pandemic, many of us spend a considerable amount of time sitting in the same spot. This is a recipe for disaster for our poor bodies if we don’t keep it moving! Desk stretches are such a simple, but effective way of looking after your body during the day.

Sitting in one place can induce aches and pains for us all, but moving your body each hour for a few minutes can help to avoid neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, and even prevent musculoskeletal disorders. As seen on Healthline and Bupa, here are a few simple stretches to get you started:

Torso

  • Keep your feet on the floor facing forward, resting one arm on the back of your chair and one arm on your knee. Twist your upper body in the direction of your arm that’s resting on the chair. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat each side.

Leg and Knee

  • Keep seated, stretch one leg out at a time and try and touch your toes. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat each side.

Neck

  • Slowly roll your neck to one side for 10 seconds, then roll slowly roll in the opposite direction for 10 seconds.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Draining Lymph nodes in our faces

Lymph nodes are clusters of cells and are located throughout the body, and are responsible for draining excess fluids. You may notice that when you’re ill i.e. with the flu – your glands are swollen on your neck below your ears. This is because the lymph nodes swell in response to you being ill or stressed.

A lymphatic draining massage can be done at home. Abigail James, a skin and wellness expert states:

“We have 42 muscles on the face, all working hard to make expressions, hold stress and show emotion so the benefits of massaging our faces are plentiful. Boosting circulation, bringing fresh nutrients through blood flow to the skin, supporting healthy cell production, as well as taking a little moment for yourself, are all major benefits.”

Tools can be used such as Jade rollers and Gua Sha stones, but clean hands work just as well. Remember to make very light, gentle movements. These massages can be done at the end of your skincare routine using a rich moisturiser or oil. Click here to watch a brilliant tutorial on exactly how to do it.

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

Food and Drink to help you feel your best

I’ve done my best to make this list accessible and affordable for people. They are items you can add to your food shop and use in many different ways.

  1. Peppermint tea to aid digestion
  2. Oily fish as a source of omega-3
  3. Water for hydration
  4. Eggs as a source of protein
  5. Broccoli as a source of fibe, vitamin CC and even folic acid
  6. Dark chocolate (70%+) is a rich source of antioxidants
  7. Oatmeal to lower cholesterol and it keep things moving
  8. Apples to promote blood flow
  9. Green tea for better metabolism and for inflammation
  10. Carrots as a source of vitamins and minerals

Photo by Kotagauni Srinivas on Unsplash

So there are just 3 ways you can help your physical health throughout the day; both inside and out. Keeping our minds and bodies healthy is so important, so I do hope you find these points helpful. Thank you for reading this week’s installment, click here to read Kimberly Redway’s experience with meditation in week 2.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

Why We Compare Ourselves

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, comparison, by definition is ‘the act of comparing two or more people or things’ or ‘an examination of the differences between persons or things’. Today we’re going to explore deeper into the depths of comparison and the impact it can have on our daily lives.

Comparison is the thief of joy, yet it is just so easy to do.

We commonly compare our education, intelligence, homes, relationship status, fashion sense, employment status, and even what we read and eat. It doesn’t always have to come from a place of malintent, but does it truly do us any good to pit ourselves against one another – either publicly or in secret?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Does comparison achieve anything?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Personally, I find comparing myself to others quite detrimental to my own self-esteem. It can send my self-worth and motivation spiraling, so I do my best to avoid it.

I decided to research why we compare ourselves in the first place and here is what I found. A social psychologist named Leon Festinger explored the act of comparison and said that ‘people evaluate their opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to other people for two reasons: First, to reduce uncertainty in the areas in which they’re comparing themselves. And second, to learn how to define themselves.’ (The Jordan Harbinger Show). This concept is called the social comparison theory.

People can engage in upward or downward comparisons. Upward being with people we think are better than us, and downward being with people we think are worse off. The latter can make us feel better about ourselves, but what a toxic way that is to live. There is also the concept of self-evaluation and self-enhancement.

‘Self-evaluation occurs when someone looks for positive traits in himself based on the best person he compares himself with. Self-enhancement, on the other hand, occurs when someone questions which aspects of himself need to be improved in order to reach the level of goodness of the person he is comparing himself to.’ – (Psychology Notes HQ).

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

How can comparison make us feel?

Comparison could be beneficial in that it may motivate you to develop yourself further or strive for that goal you’ve been putting off. For example with blogging, if I’m looking to improve my engagement and statistics, I may compare what I’m doing to a better-performing blog. This allows me to learn and improve my methods.  On the contrary, I don’t believe comparison as a whole is particularly healthy.  It can cause a judgemental attitude and may lead to destructive behaviours.

Personally, it can make me feel “behind” in my accomplishments, not intelligent enough and perhaps look at areas of my life negatively that I hadn’t worried about before.

I also asked on Instagram how comparing yourselves to others makes you feel, and here were the responses:

  • “Usually I’m not comparing myself in a good way which I’d love to know how to change!”
  • “Sometimes motivated to improve myself. Other times, my self-esteem plummets!”
  • “Usually pretty crap, even though I’m grateful for all I have, I still end up feeling rubbish”
  • “Inadequate”
  • “Inadequate, then again social media is as much a platform for user content as it is for advertising”

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

What can we do instead of comparing ourselves?

  • Be grateful for what we have and have achieved so far
  • If we’re going to compare, be reasonable about it. We don’t live any life other than our own, so how can we expect to be like other people when we have different incomes, responsibilities, opportunities etc that is often out of our control.
  • Instead of thinking the grass is greener on the other side, water the grass we’re currently on
  • Detox aspects of your life that are causing your comparisons
  • Channel your thoughts into motivation and drive

Becoming Minimalist have an excellent article which lists why we shouldn’t compare ourselves, and what we can do instead if you’d like to read more.

Social media can be a big culprit in kickstarting our comparisons. It can be a dark hole of engagements, baby announcements, new homes and new jobs, the list is endless. It is so key to remember that not everything is at it seems online. We see just snippets of people’s actual lives; their highlight reels.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to develop ourselves, but it does not have to be a competition in the meantime, or an internal battle about who is “better” and who is “worse”.

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Emily x

 

My Goals for 2021

2020 was a year to say the very least. January to March was truly the calm before the very unexpected storm. If anyone had told Emily at the end of 2019 what was to come in just a few months time, I’m sure I’d have laughed in your face.

Fast forward to January 2021 and I can say more safely than ever, that you truly never know what is around the corner. Take each day as it comes and live your life to its fullest. Although the current days may be boring and uneventful, we can be grateful for our health and the roofs over our heads.

In March 2020 I travelled to Krakow in Poland for a weekend, yes you read that right, in March 2020 I managed to fly abroad. The same March that saw lockdowns globally as the pandemic truly started to cause havoc. In the airport coming home, everyone was staring at the one man that was masked up with disposable gloves on thinking ‘is he for real? it’s not that serious!’. A couple of weeks later, I was working from home unable to leave the house apart from to go for a walk. Life can do a 360 quicker than I could ever have imagined.

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

So what was the good, the bad and the ugly from 2020?

At the end of January I started my new job after moving home before Christmas, I managed to tour Auschwitz in Poland which was a historical sight I’d been meaning to visit for years. Covid entered our lives quite soon into the year and this meant normality as we knew it would stop for a very long time.

Our trip to South Korea had to be cancelled, our friends’ wedding couldn’t go ahead, we couldn’t enjoy summer as we normally would. Birthdays and other celebrations weren’t much different to every other day and life became very mundane and repetitive.

All of this in the grand scheme of things is extremely trivial. Lives have been lost, livelihoods lost, jobs lost. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to still be upset. It’s okay to be upset.

Heartbreakingly, I said goodbye to my dog of nearly 13 years which made the rest of 2020 that bit harder to cope with. I’ve enjoyed working from home, but I haven’t enjoyed my job if that makes sense? The positives are hard to find!

Did 2020 actually bring about any good?

  • I’m grateful January to March (ish) was relatively normal and carefree.
  • I travelled
  • I passed my driving test
  • I picked up more hobbies, i.e. reading, crafting
  • I’ve still seen family and friends when it’s been allowed
  • I’ve had a full time income and lived at home!
  • My boyfriend and I have saved a huge chunk of our house deposit

Despite the dark clouds, there has been some rays of light undoubtedly. I do hope 2021 sheds more light and hope for us all.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Where am I headed in 2021?

I wasn’t going to make any resolutions or goals for this year because of the potential for them to be put on hold due to Covid. However, I then thought, why should I put my life on complete hold whilst we wait for this to blow over? So I set some goals I knew I could stick to.

  1. Start regular exercise 2-3 x a week
  2. Chill out more and not let stupid things stress me out
  3. Educate myself so I can have a more stable career
  4. Learn to cook more meals
  5. Spend less time on my phone

2021 is automatically off to a good start as we recently secured a little ginger kitten, who will be ready to come home at the end of January and we are SO excited. Stay tuned to see an introductory post to ginger George. We’re going to continue to save as much money as possible whilst living with my parents and take each day as it comes. I’m not going to plan too much because things are still very scary and we’re nowhere near normality yet.

I want to wish you all a healthy and happy new year. I hope 2021 brings good news for you all.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

15 Gift Ideas for Him

Buying gifts for the men in our lives can be quite tricky sometimes, no matter the occasion. Since being with my boyfriend I think I’ve done quite well on the gift front, from DIY projects to bigger spends but it gets harder EVERY year. Gifts obviously aren’t about the money, but can we admit that it’s sometimes just nice to buy things, it can make us feel just as good giving it as it does for the person receiving it!

Christmas is just around the corner, so I thought it was a good time to post a gift guide of things that make for a good gift for boyfriends, dads, friends and whoever else! I wanted to include a variety of different budgets depending on what you’re aiming for. They won’t all be age nor relationship appropriate I suppose, but can be chopped and changed!

So without further ado, here is my gift guide for him!

Continue reading

It’s Okay Not to Be Positive (All the Time)

I was debating writing a post like this; one with less purpose and fact, but more feeling. 2020 has just not been the one for many of us and I truly admire those that have managed to inject positivity into their day from the minute they wake up. I’ve always admired those people. Growing up, I had a terribly negative mindset, particularly a self-deprecating one. Very much glass-half-empty rather than half-full. I would see the negatives before the positives, and be too realistic for my own good.

Since getting older and experiencing more of the ‘real world’ we’re always told about, I do think my mindset has grown with me. I allow myself to see the positives in situations and can reassure myself that things aren’t that bad, or everything happens for a reason, so trust and let go. However, this attitude only stretches so far some days. I’m human after all, not a robot programmed to see the good in all things.

Eventually, I do think I forced myself into seeing the positives and telling myself that someone else always had it worse. It turned into a type of complex whereby I’d feel guilty for being negative and honest with my emotions because there’s always someone in a worse position. I’ve come to realise just recently that this is so toxic and we’re all allowed to feel what we feel.

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

It’s fantastic to have perspective, but it’s not everything

Acknowledging our own privilege and situation compared to others is of course not a bad thing. Belittling our own thoughts and feelings, however, is not so good. In life, there will always be someone that we believe is in a worse position than ourselves, or even in a better position. It’s all about the balance of appreciating this and allowing ourselves to feel valid at the same time.

Particularly with the whole Covid situation, there’s never been more opportunity to compare ourselves to others. Who’s had a holiday cancelled? Who’s lost a job? Who’s struggled the most transitioning into working from home? I feel so guilty sometimes when I want to share a bit of negativity rather than positivity – in my hopes of keeping my social platforms as real as possible. Why should I feel frustrated and anxious, when since March I’ve had a full-time wage working my job from home, surrounded by my pets and family with my own car?

Because yes those things have kept me sane and stable, but I’ve also had a holiday and day trips cancelled, my driving test postponed twice (thankfully I passed in the end), I lost my dog I had for 12 years and I’ve felt quite stuck in which direction I’m headed in. These things have induced sadness, frustration and anxiety. Even writing this is making me feel a horrible sense of guilt. This is because people have lost their jobs, family members, been lonely without help. I completely acknowledge the hardship others are experiencing, but I need to stop invalidating my own feelings and allow myself to be negative.

Is there a stigma attached to being negative and honest online?

Personally, I do think so to some extent. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good positive morning tweet or motivating insta post. But on the days where this is all I see, I feel like a dark cloud who doesn’t want to rain on everyone’s parade, so I swiftly move along and wait till the sun comes back. I don’t want to be the person to dampen someone’s day, but by sharing my honest feelings, I could be helping someone more than I know. Helping them to feel less alone, less frightened to share that their day is not so great either.

I love realism. Obviously, I don’t love knowing people are having a hard time, but I always appreciate their honesty. We can’t be our best selves all the time, it’s just not possible.

Photo by Abigail Faith on Unsplash

I’m not sure there was much point to this…

Truly, I just fancied a ramble. A bit of chatty honesty and a chance to open up a discussion. I wanted to share the fact that you are well within your right to feel what you want to feel, and when. There is no rulebook and we are all in this together (will I ever not think of High School Musical?!).

Despite social media often being a negative and scary space due to what’s going on in the world, that doesn’t mean we should ever feel obligated to stay quiet when we just want to share our true feelings. It’s healthy to be open with ourselves and others, and heck, it might even benefit us in the long run. Life is not simple and nor are we. Not everyone wants to share their not-so-sunny days, and there is nothing wrong with that either.

If sharing a down day on social media will lift even the tiniest weight off your shoulders, then DO IT. Do what makes you feel most comfortable and happy, I can guarantee there will always be a pair of eyes/ears waiting. I think the blogging community is fantastic for genuine support and friendship, no matter the following you have or whether you’ve spoken before.

It’s okay not to be okay. And it’s okay to share that.

What are your thoughts? Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delving into The World of MLMs

“Hey babe! I’ve just been taking a look through your feed/blog/account and think you would be the PERFECT addition to my team. Are you looking to quit your 9-5 and make money from home?” if the latter rings a bell (a potentially alarming one), then you my friend, appeared to have stumbled across an MLM scheme.

Disclaimer: There are some legitimate MLM programmes available, and by no means am I tarnishing every person and every business with the same brush, nor shaming anyone if they want to participate. I just disagree with the fake-friendliness and programmes that have negatively affected people’s lives.

What does MLM actually mean?

MLM stands for multi-level marketing. It’s a controversial method of network marketing and the illegal versions are called pyramid schemes. The most common form of MLM is for a person to be ‘recruited’ into a team; to sell products/services to family and friends. Doesn’t sound too fishy just yet? Well, they can be fraudulent and can cause the recruited member to actually lose money rather than make anything back. Losing money can also consequently land people in debt.

MLM participants and recruiters can come across very friendly, approachable, likeable and honest. It is a clever technique to lure people into the depths of a scheme that can cause more harm than good. Often the targets of these schemes are students, stay at home mums and people looking for additional income.

It’s a system that preys on the vulnerable and makes a mockery of true, hard-working business owners. It takes advantage of those less financially advantaged and with little to no knowledge on the truth behind MLMs. It’s not dissimilar to a form of brainwashing.

So what does MLM involve?

From my research online, and vast personal experience of coming across these participants daily, is that it works by signing up, paying for a ‘starter kit’, and selling *cough nagging* your family and friends into buying your products and/or joining your team to gain commission and profit. Can you see how the cycle continues? It appears most money comes from the recruiting aspect and the commission gained from recruiting others into the business. This is where the ‘pyramid’ aspect starts to make more sense.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

 

So what is a pyramid scheme and how does this differ to MLM?

If you picture a literal pyramid shape, it starts at a point at the top and gradually widens out into a lower, wider level. So business CEOs recruit and enroll people at the top-level and work their way down continuously in a chain. All the while promising payments and rewards for recruiting others rather than selling a product/service.

An article by Randy Duermyer states; “To be legal and not a scam, money needs to be primarily earned from the sales of products and services rather than the recruitment of new members. MLM programs with no or a low-quality product or a focus on getting paid per recruit could be an illegal pyramid scheme”.

The lower level earns little to no money, and the big bosses at the top walk away with the cash. Some invest thousands into these businesses with the hopes that they can quit their job and get rich from home. But they don’t get rich, and they end up worse off. It’s a false sense of security.

So in short MLMs are pyramid schemes, just not always illegal ones.

How do MLMs/pyramid schemes work?

If you know what warning signs to look out for – you can become a pro at spotting an MLM recruiter from a mile away. I delete multiple DMs a week, which have all been from young women. They claim to be business owners, travel agents and “entrepreneurs”, but this could not be further from the truth. You may be enticed into what seems like a generic, friendly conversation. The second you reply, you are bombarded with over-friendly, pushy messages.

A few messages in, you may be hit with “have you considered earning extra money from home?” or “I’m part of an amazing business opportunity I think you would be great at, would you like to hear more?”. Their pitches are quite obvious, so shouldn’t be hard to spot. Voice messages are now a common form, which makes your invite look personalised when they’re more than likely following a script and changing the name each time.

The so-called “benefits” of these schemes can involve all expenses paid trips, winning a car and luxury prizes. So to people who are struggling to put food on the table and have no idea what MLMs are, it looks like a life-changing opportunity. The problem is how morally wrong they are, as well as financially.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Examples of MLMs that you may recognise are:

  • Avon (who have built reputability and personally, I have used and still use Avon as a consumer, as it’s a better established, legitimate business that just uses MLM techiques with its Avon reps)
  • The Body Shop has been a new and upcoming one
  • Arbonne
  • Herbalife
  • NuSkin
  • Juice Plus

How did it all begin?

Network Experience state “The first direct seller that made the breakthrough was the “California Perfume Company” established in 1886. California Perfume Company was renamed as “Avon Products” in 1939 and is still at the top of the MLM industry. ” so they weren’t the creators of this type of business model, but they seem to have paved the way. In 1945, another company changed its name from the California Vitamin Company to Nurti Lite, which practiced MLM strategies still used today to sell their products.

It appears the earliest MLM business was JR Watkins Medical Company in 1886, explained by Tony on Quora.

But WHY can they be so bad?

The primary reason is because it’s a predatory method that preys on unknowing and vulnerable communities worldwide. It seemingly offers care-free income and great prospects which most of the time, is not true. A fantastic in-depth article I came across by Eliza Romero describes that “Using the language of third-wave feminism and borrowing quotes or phrases from real female CEOs helps recruiters and recruits see themselves as legitimate professionals, no different from a founder of a startup company”.

It’s all a facade and a beautiful lie. It is psychologically manipulative too, giving people sales pitches and leading them into a false sense of security. They have also kept going since the start of the Covid pandemic, which I think is a disgusting technique when people are facing so much personal and financial devastation.

It’s hard to locate UK statistics for MLM schemes, but they are vast across the US.

“Among the more than 20 million Americans who participate or have participated in multilevel marketing (MLM) organizations, 90 percent say they got involved to make money. However, nearly half (47 percent) lose money and a quarter (27 percent) make no money, according to a new study released by AARP Foundation.” – quote from PR Newswire

Where can I find out more?

I remember watching the BBC documentary by Ellie Flynn which gave an insight into the households directly affected by MLMs and it was shocking. One of the young women involved ended up £3000 in debt due to the false promises of an MLM scheme. She invested expecting to seek results, and gained nothing in return.

I, among many, find the fake friendly conversations by MLM recruiters insanely tiresome and annoying. I know family and friends that are involved who thankfully, do not seem disadvantaged thus far. There are some legitimate schemes, but please do your research if you are interested. I am not here to promote these models of “business” but to raise awareness into the dangers and toxicity of the majority of them. The truth behind the true earning success rates of these businesses needs to be shared more publically to avoid others falling into the same trap.

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts and experiences with MLM in the comments down below.

Until next time,

Emily x

Honest Personal Microderm Classic Review (Gifted)

As per my disclaimer; regardless of a gift or not, all views and opinions are strictly my own unless stated otherwise.

There’s no debate that skincare is a very popular topic in all sense of the word. At-home beauty treatments are more readily available than ever and this is where today’s product comes in. Kindly gifted to me is the Personal Microderm, which claims to match microdermabrasion treatments you can get in spas and salons. Now despite never having had this type of treatment before – I thought this would be an interesting product to try.

The kit included caps for both face and body and has 1 speed. I was pleased to see that the box came with a DVD which provides a tutorial on how to use the device; a good marketing idea for those that aren’t heavy on laptops etc. So we were off to a good start straight away, and after a few practice tries on my arm – I felt ready to go!

So what does it do?

It’s marketed at aiding with the following target areas:

  • Exfoliates
  • Brightens complexion
  • Boosts collagen
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Prevents spots from forming
  • Fades uneven pigmentation, sun damage, and age spots
  • Reduce acne scarring

The suction element pulls your skin against the spinning exfoliating disc.

I’m all for honesty and transparency when it comes to my reviews, so I will admit that I do not commonly experience the above.

So for a fair test and trial – I brought mother bear in to try the treatment too (I didn’t mind sharing the device with my own flesh and blood). Therefore, the testing journey became a 20 something vs 50 something experiment to see whose skin faired better. Results are expected at around 8-12 weeks; so there was no way I could write a review after a couple of uses.

You use the treatment once a week to allow your skin to regenerate between uses; and only go over the same patch of skin once during treatment – in outward motions typically. There are different coloured disks adhering to your skin’s sensitivity.

So does it work?

I don’t believe I have the skin type that correlates with this product’s target audience. I am blessed with naturally clear skin that isn’t overly spot-prone, but I did still want to work towards a more even skin tone and brighter complexion. Microdermabrasion allows your skincare products to really get to work under the surface – which I definitely noticed!

Session 1 22/07/2020: Easy to figure out, no discomfort, strange sensation. Skin felt tingly but very smooth and soft, my evening cleanser glided over my skin.

Session 2 29/07/2020: Upped cap to most “abrasive” setting. Left little red streaks that did fade quickly. I did notice I gained a couple of spots after my 1st session, but this can be common as it’s drawing impurities out of the skin.

Session 3 05/08/2020: Same tingly sensation

Session 4 12/08/2020: My t-zone felt a bit more sensitive after use when using my skincare products. This was my check-in point and I noticed my skin felt the softest it’s ever felt and my skin tone looked more even.

Session 5 19/08/2020: Fully used to the sensation at this point. Red marks fade quickly, great if you’re not a big makeup wearer or have somewhere to be.  Pores didn’t look too reduced. Skin looking bright and polished.

Session 6 26/08/2020: I did get a few more blemishes so this was probably an indicator to go down a cap-level.

Photo by Christina Deravedisian on Unsplash

Now alongside this, I was also using the treatment on my mother who fitted the target criteria more for the product. You can definitely see a more noticeable difference on more mature skin. My mum has beautiful skin, but she does enjoy her treatments, creams and regularly uses a DermaWand.

On more mature skin the biggest improvements were:

  • Reduced lines around the eyes and on the forehead
  • Skin around nose less dry and red
  • Skin generally brighter

I didn’t quite fit the target group for this product; but I do think it will work well on those that are looking to treat the areas mentioned earlier in this post. If you’re looking for a luxury gift for a skincare lover – please do take the time to consider this product. PMD do also offer many other goodies that may take your fancy!

Thank you so much for reading and I do hope this has given you a better insight into at-home microdermabrasion.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

My Daily Routine Working From Home

Since March, my full-time office job has been transported into my bedroom/living room depending on my task for the day. Currently, I work for a pensions company and started at the end of January, so COVID hit pretty quickly afterwards. I’m part of the bereavements team – so one of my main roles is outbound calls on most days of the week.

The lovely Charlotte from Take a Paws recommended this post idea, so thank you as writer’s block hit this week! I’m quite a nosey person myself, so thought sharing a little snippet of my daily life might be interesting! However, my routine is not role-model behaviour in the slightest. You won’t catch me exercising or drinking fruit teas at the crack of dawn (or at sunset for that matter) because it just isn’t me – unless I’m really in the mood.

So if you’re looking for a realistic routine, please keep reading!

6:45/7 am

  • Wakey wakey eggs and bakey (if I can be bothered)
  • On a normal day if I were to be going into the office (which is a 5 minute drive), I’m awake at 6am so I can get a lift in with mother who works in the same building

7-8am

  • Regret getting a job
  • Morning skincare routine and brush teeth
  • Mum leaves a cup of tea on the wash basket for me every morning that I’ll have whilst sitting with the dogs downstairs
  • I’ll always have breakfast, but if I’m not hungry straight away, I can easily eat-and-go whilst working from home
  • Get dressed (what are jeans) and maybe apply makeup, but 9/10 I do not

8am

  • Work begins and continues until my first break

10:15am

  • I have my first 15 minute break which is usually spent scrolling through TikTok or sitting in the garden for some air
  • I’m guilty of eating my leftover takeaway before lunchtime sometimes

10:30am

  • Back to work until lunchtime!

12:15pm

  • As it’s still summer at the moment, I’ll have lunch with mum in the garden or watch a bit of telly. I could definitely be more productive on my lunch breaks but usually I just want a mental break until it’s time to go back to the drawing board

1pm

  • Back to work until my afternoon break

3:15pm

  • Time for my second 15 minute break of the day, which is the most needed one. I definitely peak in the afternoon so I’ll have a quick nap or grab some fresh air to wake myself up

5pm

  • Time to log out and shut down for the evening

At the moment I no longer have a commute home, so switch my laptop off straight away to get a break from screens for an hour or two. It can be easy to close my work tab and open a different one, but I do my best to insert blue-light-breaks into my days.

5pm-6pm

  • This is pretty much always dinner time in our house, followed by feeding the dogs and cleaning up

6pm-11pm

Some days my evenings are busy and productive, other evenings are lazy and I don’t tick much off of my to-do list. My evenings typically consist of:

  • Household chores that need doing i.e. cleaning, tidying, general bits and bobs
  • Blogging
  • Walking the dogs
  • Shower or bath
  • Take my makeup off and do my skincare routine
  • Watch TV with mum; usually a Criminal Minds episode and at the moment I’m watching Skins from the start
  • Driving practice for my test with my instructor or mum (thanks COVID for cancelling 2 tests)
  • Sometimes I just spend time on my laptop online window shopping and making future plans
  • Reading
  • Doing my nails

11pm

  • This is my usual bedtime, but as long as I get 6-8 hours sleep I can function the next day, plus I like making the most of my spare time.

I enjoy the simple things in life so can quite happily fill my evenings with anything and everything –  I just do what I have to do during the day!

I’d never worked from home prior to lockdown, but I had always wanted to. I feel much more comfortable at home and it’s kept me in a good mental state. Going into the office often really didn’t make me feel great a lot of the time, so it’s been a welcomed change.

As mentioned previously, I don’t live the healthiest and most enriching lifestyle at the moment – but I want my blog to be realisticIt’s not all sunshine and rainbows whilst working from home, it can be tough and battery draining. So I’m glad we can now do more at the weekends to rest and recuperate.

This is a different style post to what I’m used to, but I do hope you enjoyed a snippet into my daily life nonetheless!

Until next time, take care

Emily x

 

 

 

What is the ‘5 year plan’ and should you have one?

The notorious ‘five-year plan‘ question may send you into a cold sweat or be the easiest question you could answer. You may have first been asked this question during your final years in education or at a job interview. This is the question that would fill me with instant dread and pressure; are you really meant to know? Are you meant to be aiming for something in particular in 5 years? Do I just fall victim to societal pressures and say “job, house, kids”?

I’d like to disclaim that I am not totally against a 2/5/10 year plan – I am sure it holds importance for many people that actually find it useful and motivating. However, what about those that don’t have a 5-year plan? Do you not hire those that don’t have a suitable enough timeline planned out? What is the significance of 5 years? Theoretically, it is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

What is there to plan?

  • A change in mentality and perspective
  • Career progression, or even career break
  • Housing situation
  • Relationship status
  • Travel destinations
  • Personal achievements i.e. skydive or learning a language
  • Business adventure
  • Children

The list truly is endless. Personally, I view my life as being one complicated stencil I’ve drawn around on a piece of paper. There will be lines that I will want to perfect and make them as neat as possible, but there will be lines where my hand is shaky and I accidentally go outside of the lines. However, at the end of it, I will be mostly content with what I have created.

Life is renowned for being unpredictable. There are days when it may feel like a huge boulder has crashed down in the middle of your path, making it difficult to work around, but not impossible. Acknowledging that life will always have its curveballs, should help a life plan seem less intimidating. Things go wrong, but there will always be a way to get back on track and dust yourself off again. It is almost guaranteed, that if you were to ask anyone who is 5 years older than you, if they have got to where they are by sailing their way through life – they will most likely say no.

What are some pros and cons to having a 5-year plan?

Pros:

  • Gives you goals to work towards, no matter how big or small
  • Allows you to prioritise your goals in terms of when you want to achieve them
  • Can keep you disciplined and on track
  • Hand in hand with the above; can force you to start something you have been putting off
  • It can be comforting

Cons:

  • You may feel pressured and rushed
  • Your plan may adhere more to stereotypical achievements by default
  • May cause a feeling of disappointment if you don’t hit certain milestones within a certain period
  • It can make room for comparisons with other people’s success
  • You may become too attached to the plan and opposed to change

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

The logistics of a 5-year plan are so personal to each individual. What might be a mountain to one person, is a molehill for another. It can be exciting to share your plans with others – I don’t believe the intention of a plan is negative. If you are surrounded by decent people, you should hopefully never feel belittled by what you have set yourself, you should have nothing but support and encouragement.

Personally, I choose to live life day-by-day. I will happily write a to-do list in the morning and can stick to it pretty well. Stretch it further than a weekly plan, and I will probably struggle to stay on track. My interests and motivation levels fluctuate too regularly for a long-term plan to sit comfortably in my head. Knowing what I want out of life is important, but the route to get there can be as sporadic and spontaneous as possible.

So in terms of being asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” in a job interview, the intention behind the question is probably to cover their own backs. Is this person looking to be in a completely different position in a few years to what they’ve applied for? Can we afford to train someone who sounds like they are going to leave soon? I understand why the question is asked, but it can be a tough cookie to crack if you are not a natural planner.

To conclude

A 5-year plan is exactly what you make of it. It can be as intense or as mild as you like. There is no obligation to know the answer to this question, but I do feel like it crops up quite often. It offers food for thought in many different ways. Planning what I think is my ideal plan, can allow me to spot pitfalls and genuinely think carefully about the routes I wish to take.

Avid organisers may thrive by setting their goals long into the future, and to that, I say hats off. There is not a right or wrong answer. It is admirable to see how we all cope and work our way through this journey. If you are keen to know how to create your own 5-year plan, there are many resources available to help.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal”

What are your thoughts on the concept of a 5-year plan?

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After Bedroom Transformation & Homeware Items

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good bedroom transformation. In any shop, I gravitate towards the homeware section. I could probably spend more time than I’d like to admit planning rooms in my head. Therefore, the idea of completely overhauling my childhood bedroom was such an exciting task (but a big one too!).

My boyfriend and I spent 2019 living together in a shared house in a different city, but moved back into my family home just before Christmas 2019. Prior to moving, we knew we wanted a room that perfectly encapsulated us. We love anything cosy, relaxing and warm. Plus moving back home meant a fresh start was ahead, so a fresh room was needed.

So onto the makeover…

The transformation was gradual and took around 6 months to “complete”. Personally, I think it’s so important to have a theme for the room you are decorating. It makes shopping for decor much easier. Our vision was grey and white with accents of colour. Recently, I celebrated my 21st birthday and so a few items were gifts, but most are things we have collected over the years.

Bedroom before 1

Bedroom After 2

Bedroom before 2

Bedroom after 2

Whilst we were living away, a new fluffy dark grey carpet was fitted which was a great base to start from. To accompany this, we chose to paint our walls in the shade China Clay from Johnstones on one weekend whilst we were visiting. Our shimmer rug is from Studio and it’s surprising how much a rug can make a statement and pull a room together.

Bed

We purchased a gas-lift bed which is perfect for under-bed storage. It’s the Selena Ottoman bed in another shade of grey which is smart and modern; perfect for any colour scheme!

This bed did come with a mattress, which lasted us fine for a few months, but you could feel the wooden slats of the bed when you sat down. Having a comfortable night’s sleep is so important, so we purchased an orthopaedic sprung mattress and we’ve slept much better since. Decent pillows also make the world of difference, but as we prefer firm to soft, we chose extra firm memory foam from the Fogarty range at Dunelm Mill. Bedding is a good investment to make, think of how much time you spend in bed over your lifetime.

Walls

Our floating shelves are grey and pink and were picked up from shops such as B&M, The Range and Ikea. One shelf holds all of my boyfriend’s Pop! Vinyls which makes for a clean but cool display. B&M are also great for affordable photo frames that come in some lovely colours and designs. I purchased a pomegranate print from fellow blogger Zoe Ware’s store – it’s great to support smaller businesses too! A large station-style clock can be found at Wilkos.

Frames; including soundwave print for our “relationship song”

Station-style clock

We have a couple of canvases dotted around, from companies like Photobox and MyPicture (super cheap but still great quality!). Photos are a must for me in a room, I love having memories to look back on each day.

Boyfriend’s photography on a canvas

Furniture

My sister recently moved up North, and so my boyfriend’s gaming setup moved into her old room so that I could have a desk back. I have loved having it so much for getting ready, working and blogging. This desk has great storage and is the perfect size for the space we’re working with. My productivity levels have definitely gone up.

We have a tall, slim Argos DVD case next to the wardrobe which is actually used as a bookshelf as you can adjust the size of the shelves with pegs.

We forked out for a double dark grey sliding wardrobe from a local store, which has large mirrors on the front which reflects light that we didn’t have before.

My favourite purchase has been this bookcase from ManoMano. Finding furniture that wouldn’t encroach on our floor space was so hard, but this one is a complete gem. I love the wooden legs too – it’s the little touches! Most people wouldn’t have a hamster sat on top, but Dusty needs a home too.

Desk

Bookcase decor

Homeware Items

I’m going to list some bits and bobs around our room and do my best to link the exact item, or at least something similar!

  • Oil diffuser
  • Essential oils pack of 4 from TKMaxx
  • Initial candle from Fox & Ivy range at Tesco
  • Marble slate coasters from ASDA Living
  • ‘E’ Coaster B&M
  • Geometric hot pink tealight holder from Flying Tiger (tealights from Primark) here is one similar
  • White ornament from Flying Tiger
  • White wire storage basket from Primark
  • Hanging terrarium

Homeware items

 

Earring display and eyelash trinket pot

Giraffe doorstop

So there we have the bedroom transformation with a homeware haul thrown in for good measure! I’m really pleased with our bedroom now, it’s the perfect place for working from home as well as winding down in the evening. A room should be enjoyable to be in. Redecorating doesn’t have to break the bank either, more affordable homeware is much more readily available now than I ever remember.

Furniture was probably the most expensive part, but it’s not something we would purchase regularly, so I have no qualms with investing in certain items. Many highstreet shops including New Look and H&M have homeware sections that can be super budget friendly. I LOVE a bargain. Remember some great finds can be found in charity shops too, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation. Question: What home style do you like the most? How would your dream home look?

Until next time, stay safe

Emily x

 

Why and How You Should Check Your Boobs

*Statistics provided in this post are in conjuction with information shared at the time of posting. For updated figures, please do research those if you would like*

I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of not checking my boobs enough, or at all. I’ve always been told it’s important, but I have been lazy about it which I am not proud of. It takes a couple of minutes each month, so really there are no excuses. I’ve taken the time to educate myself and decided to compile a post about it for my fellow breast bearers.

Feeling your breasts is a key way of detecting breast cancer, so if taking some time in the shower to check around for anything anomalous – it could literally save your life. CoppaFeel! are the UK’s first breast cancer awareness charity with a sole aim of educating and installing the correct knowledge from as early an age as possible, to ensure that we are confident to check our breasts regularly.

So what do the statistics show?

It’s not just women that can suffer from breast cancer, it can also affect men. Statistics shared by Breast Cancer Now state “Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK” and 4% of those cases in women are from those aged under 39. As a woman in my early 20s, that is a scary statistic to swallow. Breast Cancer Now also added “Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the past 40 years in the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.”

So in reference to early detection, it is vital to CHECK YOUR BOOBS. It’s important to note that breast tissue also reaches under your armpits and up to your collarbones so do check the whole area.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

What if I’m forgetful?

Fear not, one quick and easy way to start checking your boobs today is to sign up to reminders. I’ve opted for the monthly text option, but will also make a conscious effort to do more in between.

So how exactly do we check our boobs?

If you’re more of a visual learner, CoppaFeel! have a short but sweet educational video that explains it all. It’s all about looking and feeling so there’s no definitive way of how to check, but here are some pointers:

  • Look to see if there is a change in size or shape
  • Look to see if any parts of your skin are puckering or dimpling
  • Feel for any lumps and bumps
  • Look for nipple discharge, redness or abnormal crustiness
  • Look for rashes
  • Notice any new pain or discomfort in one or both breasts (you can get boob pain on your period, but you will know if the pain is prolonging after your period or is unusually intense)

You can examine your boobs both standing up and lying down, so perfect for in the shower or before going to sleep at night. Ideally use three fingers to work in circular motions (also up and down) across your breasts, collarbones and armpits. Do what makes you comfortable, just as long as you are thoroughly checking all areas.

What do I do if I feel like something isn’t right?

ALWAYS book an appointment to see your GP or gynaecologist as soon as possible. They will be more than happy to check for you, it’s their job after all! It is better to be safe than sorry.

Examining your own breasts regularly is an effective method of early breast cancer detection

T-shirt from Pink Clouding. Purchases from the Tits collection mean a donation is made on your behalf to CoppaFeel

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month each year, but awareness is, of course, raised all year round and I wanted to use the small platform I have to share what I’ve learnt and instil confidence in those that were unsure how to check their breasts. You are never too young to start checking and there is technically no right or wrong way. You spend the most time with your own body, so are more likely to know when something isn’t quite right.

You can monitor any noticeable differences for 5 days, but if they don’t change, please do seek guidance from your GP.

I hope this has helped provide a guide on how best to check the breast. Do you regularly check?

Until next time,

Emily x

Why don’t I have a “girl squad?”

Disclaimer: This post is in reference to friendships I’ve had in real life as opposed to online friendships. I have some lovely friends in the blogging community, but it’s time to switch off and talk about offline life.

I’d like to begin by saying I have no idea where I want this post to take me. It’s been a topic on my mind for the longest time now and I’ve debated talking about it due to not even understanding my own thoughts and emotions. This topic has made me laugh and made me cry, and it really hits home sometimes. I want to talk about what (the f***) happened to my “girl squad” and why I feel somewhat to blame.

I’m writing this post to really attempt to get things off of my chest. Most importantly, it’s to let you know that you are not alone if you too feel like this. I’m not a sympathy seeker, just a storyteller with some experience behind me. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Friends sitting under a tree talking

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Growing up, I always remember having a solid group of friends. I was never part of the “popular” group because I don’t think this really existed in my school. There was a true mix of friendships. However, I did have friends from the same sort of group for years and years. Despite growing up and changing from the ages of 11 to 18, we were always at least acquaintances with each other. I still talk to a few nowadays about what we’re “getting up to these days?” and “remember this funny moment?” *insert photo/video that brings back shocking waves of nostalgia and a yearn for simpler times*

School life was saturated with smiles, belly laughs and pinky promises. Eventually, that turned into drunken nights out, late-night walks and work shifts together after we’d put the pen down on our final exams. Looking back, the friendships I formed aged 14 and then aged 18, were the most significant for me. However, these friendships post-education were so different. So I guess my speel is more aimed towards that life change.

Genuinely, I did not think finishing school would affect my friendships that much, but boy was I wrong. Within 6 months of leaving school, I’d whittled my group down from maybe around 10 people I socialised with, to 1. It was heartbreaking to sit and think that it wouldn’t be the same if I were to message or call them. Our walks would now be awkward with little to talk about. Yet, it all felt confusing and almost accidental?

We didn’t fall out or have an argument, so what went wrong?

Did I say something to upset them and not realise?

Did 1 or both of us simply stop making the effort?

Why does rekindling the friendship not feel like the right thing to do?

These are questions that invade my thoughts on the regular. The reason for this being I feel so bloody lonely sometimes! I’m sure I’m more of an introvert and definitely enjoy my own space, but I have a non-existent social life and it’s so saddening at times. Without an online community to turn to, I don’t know what I would do.

I understand I’m sounding like a Negative Nelly here, but I just wish I had that friend who I could visit after work, go shopping with at the weekend and ask to be my Maid of Honour one day. (Honestly, I will have no bridal party at this rate). Making friendships once you leave the routine of education is really hard and something I wish I had been more prepared for. I have 3 friends from my old job that I still speak to and plan to meet up with soon, we just sadly all live quite far from each other and so meeting up together is difficult.

Photo by Yanapi Senaud on Unsplash

Is there something wrong with me?

I do feel eternally grateful for what I do have; my mum who is my best friend, my boyfriend that is my soul mate, online friends I know that are there for me and a handful of people that still check-in. I’m alone, but I’m not alone if that makes any sense? I hope I’m not coming across badly, but I think this feeling is quite common. Instagram is riddled with girl squads and physical friendships and it’s understandably difficult to not feel left out.

Comfort is gained in knowing that my old best friends and I didn’t argue to the end, we literally just stopped speaking. It was nature taking its course because what is meant to be will be. We took different paths and our pace at life didn’t match anymore.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t have those 1 or 2 people I can visit around the corner who are more like family than friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have 1 or 2 genuine friends than a large group that is disingenuous. Unfortunately, I do doubt and critique myself and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Where are my girl’s trips to Ibiza? Why don’t I have tapas nights? Why do I feel like the stray sock that gets lost in the wash?

Despite this, I’m determined to come to terms with the fact that not having a girl squad is perfectly okay. Societal pressures do not help, but I’m not going to let this eat away at me like the last slice of pizza. I can’t shame myself for not being a massive people person or eager to join clubs and groups. I hope in years to come, I meet more likeminded people that I can look at and say; “you’re a bit of me”.

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget” – G.Randolf

Thank you if you read my rambling to the end, I really appreciate it. Having an online community is something that will forever amaze me. So thank you to those that have made my days feel less lonely with kind words or just a simple “have a good day!”. If you relate to any of this post, I’d love to open up a discussion in the comments. My blog is a safe space where we can all be friends.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

21st Birthday Q&A

I’m 21 today! I was born at 6:45am on Thursday 24th June 1999 (we should be celebrating our mum’s surely?!) I think this will be my last birthday related post for a fair few years as I feel like turning 21 is the last “big birthday” until you’re 30. Lockdown undoubtedly ruined any potential plans, but we’ll see where the day takes us and make the most of the situation!

In celebration of waving goodbye to my turbulent teens in 2019, I wrote about 20 things I’d learned in 20 years, which still reads very true to this day. To honour the age of world-wide legal drinking and the real step into my roaring 20s, I thought a Q&A would be a fun way to kick it all off. So I’d like to firstly thank Charlotte, Millie, Shannen, Paige, Gemma Jayne and Laura for their questions! They’re a great bunch who you should definitely check out.

 

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5 Ways to Keep Your Long Term Relationship Alive

Looking for ways to reignite the fireworks of a long-term relationship does not necessarily mean you are looking for relationship guidance or are at breaking point with your partner. When you spend a prolonged period of time with someone in particular, it’s easy to fall victim to routine and feel confused on how to spice things up again. Life has its ways of wedging itself into relationships like the third wheel nobody asked for. One day you might find yourself asking “what changed along the way?” or “why aren’t things the same as they were at the start?“.

These are completely normal and rational feelings to have. People grow every day, but growing alongside somebody else means putting in double the hard work. Romantic relationships are one of life’s most beautiful happenings when you are with the right person.

Think of relationships like a new car; they’re super exciting and shiny on the day you pick it up, but over the years you may notice the odd thing isn’t working like it should, so you take it to the garage to get fixed. This fixture may have been faulty and didn’t fix your car like you thought it would, or maybe it set you driving off into the sunset like the good old days. As long as you are willing to put the time and effort in to make it work, you will often be rewarded with the results.

So if you’ve been with your partner for what you would consider a long time, but things are feeling a bit flat, here are 5 ways to keep your relationship alive.

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Trying $1 makeup from Miss A – Review

I’d seen a tweet with some screenshots from Miss A’s website and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first. Now I love makeup and I LOVE cheap stuff, so I was hook, lined and sinker from the start. 

They sell makeup, brushes, lashes, self care items, jewellery and accessories. I had a bit of a field day adding bits and bobs to my basket as I just couldn’t believe the price. Low prices don’t always guarantee quality however, but stay tuned for my opinion on the products I tried….

My order from USA to UK took just over a month, but I think it’s important to note that there were no missing products and no damage to what I received. It was packaged really well in bubble wrap and a few other layers of packaging. I had been worried about items arriving damaged so this was a bonus.

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Femme Luxe Loungewear Review (Size 12) Gifted

I was gifted the products discussed in this post, but all views and opinions are 100% my own!

In the quest to relax as much as possible during these tough times, I’m sure loungewear sales are rocketing as we want to be comfortable, but fancy getting out of our pyjamas in the morning. I’d been searching around for cute loungewear sets I could actually see myself wearing, so was glad to be approached by Femme Luxe to try some items from their loungewear collection. They kindly allowed me to choose 3 items from their range to try, so I’m here today to present you with an open and honest review!

Just as a little background; I’m around 5’10 and generally wear a size 10/12 both top and bottom depending on what the clothing item is (but I do have a bigger bust, wide hips, small bum). I’ve never ordered actual loungewear before, I’ve just picked up the odd pair of joggers here and there. I have been getting a bit sick of feeling so slouchy whilst working from home, so was interested to see what loungewear had to offer.

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Ways To Relax During Lockdown

Lockdown; A security measure taken during an emergency to prevent people from leaving or entering a building, thanks dictionary.com. It doesn’t sound pleasant by definition and most certainly is not pleasant in reality. Self-care (and the importance of it) has become more prominent over the last few years, and it’s needed now more than ever. Whether working from home or not, it’s important to find the best ways to relax that suit us best.

We’ve spent a lot of time not being able to escape our four walls. It’s understandably going to take a toll on our mental health. It’s not like booking a week off of work where you’re able to visit family and friends and actually do things and go places. This is not an easy time, so I think it’s important we’re still taking time out to just allow ourselves to truly relax. If you’re stuck on ways to wind down after a long day of doing lots or doing nothing, then I hope this post offers some helpful ideas! Thank you to a lovely bunch of bloggers that also contributed to this post, sharing the ways they enjoy relaxing during lockdown.

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Taking Things For Granted

2020 has taken a turn of events I don’t think any of us could have predicted. We’re living amongst a pandemic, the first I have ever experienced in my lifetime. The UK has been locking down over the past few weeks; shops and fast food chains have closed their doors, the high streets are empty, we’ve witnessed panic buying, social distancing, working from home – and more lifestyle-changing adjustments.

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6 Essential Beauty Items

{Includes gifted products}

I don’t know about you, but I love to have a collection of essential beauty items that act as staple pieces in any bag. Over the years I’ve built up my small army of essentials that I’d happily recommend anyone to have. From keeping up appearances to aiding every day life, these are the essential beauty items you didn’t know you needed.

What is also super lovely and exciting, is that Rubis have kindly gifted me their cuticle scissors and twist nail clippers to share with you all. So without further ado, let’s begin.

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5 Things That Have Been Harder Than I Anticipated

Life has a classic way of throwing its curveballs into the mix, which we can choose to run with or kick in the opposite direction. We all cope at our own paces with our own ways and methods. I thought it would be interesting to sit and reflect on 5 things that have been harder than I thought they would be.

It’s a beautiful thing to celebrate our successes and achievements, but I am guilty of seeing the glass half empty rather than half full sometimes. Most things don’t happen the way you had planned them to and it can leave us feeling quite disappointed. I’m writing this post to share what I’ve personally found quite difficult, some may seem quite trivial and be a breeze for some – but if you can relate to any of these like me, then I hope you feel less alone!

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2020 Come And Get Me

Another year ends and another one begins, nice to meet you 2020! I think a lot of us can agree that 2019 was over before it started, it’s felt like one of the quickest years of my life. It’s funny to think that I’m only 20 years old but this is my 3rd decade, and I’m loving every minute of it. I really do have a lust for life and a passion for creating the most fulfilling life I can for myself.

I have so many memories stored up and 2019 has definitely added to the collection. Back at the start of 2019, I wrote a post all about my goals for the year and continued to write “monthly reviews” so I could keep track ready for this exact post you’re reading now! I’m going to see what goals I achieved and what I’m aiming to achieve in 2020.

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Quick and Easy Pizza Recipe {AD}

Cooking, baking, you name it and I’m probably not the best at it. My mum works some serious magic in the kitchen but I can’t say that’s been inherited. She can make a dinner from scratch to feed 5 mouths in 20 minutes and I’d happily put it in a restaurant. One of her signature dishes is her homemade pizza that always goes down an absolute treat.

Growing up, my sister and I’s friends would compliment her pizza and it’s a staple treat for when we have guests over. So although I moved out of home for the whole of 2019, I didn’t once make a pizza! I was finally inspired to get in the kitchen after moving back home when I was gifted a pot of Schwartz Oregano. I thought what better time to put this to action than to make my very first pizza. And it wasn’t half bad!

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Your Guide to Paperless Post [AD]

I’ve always been a sucker for a good greetings card. I enjoy getting people cards to celebrate the small and the big things in life; it shows you’ve thought about them and it’s nice to think that you’ve put a smile on someone’s face. I buy cards both in-store but also online too, from independent designers and card makers, which is why I was so excited when I was approached by Paperless Post.

Paperless Post have been around for 10 years so I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of them before, especially in today’s digital age.

“Customise online cards, invitation and flyers that reflect your personal style – for weddings, holidays, birthdays and other meaningful events”.

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November 2019 Review

HAPPY DECEMBER! It’s officially the start of the Christmas season (even though I was 100% thawing off the Michael Buble album in September) and that means another month has been and gone. November was a HEFTY one and I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional! It’s been such a mix of a month and if I’m to be completely honest, I didn’t end the month feeling particularly happy, nor much like myself.

With change comes a wave of emotions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I definitely had a mix of the two over the course of the month and I’m here to share what I got up to in November. Since January this year, I’ve written a post to summarise each month so that I can look back through them all at the start of 2020 and see how much has happened. I’m really glad I’ve been keeping track and I’m really keen to do the same next year.

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Life Update and September & October Review

Bare with me whilst I brush the cobwebs off of my blog. I feel like I’ve been so in and out with my blog recently. I haven’t lost the love for it, I’m just finding it hard to have the energy and time to really immerse myself into it on top of working full time.

I love escaping through my words and so I’m back with a bit of a life update as to where I’m at and to look back over the last couple of months. I’ve been writing monthly reviews all year and it’s scary to think there’ll only be a couple more left until 2020 is knocking at the door. These reviews have been like a public journal, keeping track of the year that’s made me grow the most.

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Blog

Blogging has been a hobby of mine since the end of 2018, so to celebrate (somewhat), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the things I wish I’d known before starting this writing journey. Starting Emily Gabriella has been once of the best things I’ve ever done. It took a lot of courage to start writing, let alone posting that writing for actual people to read.

I’m not an expert at all when it comes to blogging and I’m genuinely learning every day. SEO still confuses me, broken links are a mystery and DA is still confusing. But I enjoy posting what I like, when I feel like it. There are endless possibilities with blogging, and if you’re unsure whether to start one – PLEASE do! Without further ado, here are the 5 things I wish I’d known before starting a blog.

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The Liebster Award

I was nominated by the lovely Shannen from www.shannenclaire.co.uk for the Liebster award, so firstly thank you so much because without you I wouldn’t be writing this post! I’ve seen this award floating around on Twitter amongst lots of other awards and it’s so nice to see so much positivity and appreciation being shared amongst the blogging atmosphere. I still find it quite overwhelming that people read what I write in the first place, let alone actually enjoy it!

Liebster is the German word for ‘Dearest’ so I’m going to be sharing more love today, but first, it’s time to answer Shannen’s questions she’s set for her nominations. Let’s get cracking.

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The Sunday Series: Social Media with Shannen Claire

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week. The time has rolled around for the second instalment of The Sunday Series! If you missed the first one which was about navigating adult friendships with The Im Life, you can view that here. The topic of choice today is social media, and this is in collaboration with Shannen from www.shannenclaire.co.uk

Social media can either feel like a safe space, or somewhere that is discouraging and maybe even intimidating. But social media should be a place in which we feel comfortable, free to be ourselves, and special. It should be somewhere where we can celebrate individuality, and build a supportive community. Despite the negative aspects of social media, there are many positives. We should see the good in utilising it as a platform to share our passions and who we are.

Let’s celebrate our differences and uplift each other, encouraging one another to achieve our goals”.

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The Sunday Series: Navigating Adult Friendships with The Im Life

Happy Sunday and welcome to the first instalment of The Sunday Series. I was apprehensive to start this series, but the response has been more than expected. So thank you to each and every person that has emailed, like and retweeted – it means a lot! This series is an opportunity for YOU to share your thoughts and opinions and raise awareness about topics you’re passionate about.

It’s going to be a great learning experience for myself too. Learning is one of the most powerful tools out there, and I don’t want my thoughts to stay stagnant. I want to grow and broaden my horizons, and hopefully you can learn along the way with me too. Without further ado, the first in this series is with the lovely Imogen from The Im Life who has chosen to share her thoughts about navigating adult friendships. It’s been really nice to chat to Imogen, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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August 2019 in Review & Welcoming the Sunday Series

Pinch punch first day of the month! September 1st has rolled around and I’m ready to activate my autumn mode. As I’m writing this it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday and I’m kicking this new month off on a positive foot.

It’s crazy to think I’ve only got a handful of these monthly reviews left until we’re leaping into 2020. August was probably the last full month of proper summer here in England which I’m almost grateful for. I’m excited for cosy evenings, winter coats and hot chocolates. I like taking a little bit of a different stance on these monthly reviews each time I write them, so I’m going to do a little roundup and then get straight into talking about the new blog series I’m going to be working on.

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Easy Lemon Ice Tea Recipe

When life gives you lemons, what can you do? Anything you want! But with the scorching summer days still rolling in here and there, you can’t beat a fresh cold drink that’s not fizzy and not alcoholic. My sister has recently shown me a recipe she’s been using for lemon ice tea and I wanted to share that with you too! It’s inspired by Erren’s Kitchen.

It’s a tasty and quick recipe to make, perfect for summer barbeques or as a beverage to have with a good book. You can of course make variations of this tea if you don’t fancy or like lemon, you could even try peach! But if you’re craving a bulk load of home-made Liptons, then this is the recipe for you.

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June and July 2019 in Review

Why hello! It’s AUGUST. We’re over halfway through 2019 and before you know it we’ll be carving pumpkins and fighting over who puts the baubles on the christmas tree. Reaching a new month means it’s time for a monthly review, and I’m sure no one cares that I missed June’s review, but here we are with a double wammy of June and July.

Up until Lewis and I flew to Spain for my 20th birthday back in June, not too much had gone down. Once back in Blighty I got to see Toy Story 4 with my mum, visit the gorgeous Belvoir Castle (found by accident, blog post coming soon) and spent some much needed time with my dog (I’d probs die for him). I’ve got a blog post in the making about our trip to Espanol, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

The drill is to pitch the month against my goals for the entire year, so here we go!

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£25 Skincare Routine that Includes Vegan Products

One of my goals for 2019 and onwards, was to incorporate cruelty-free makeup and skincare products into my daily routines. I’m quite pleased I’ve found some goodies that are cruelty-free and even vegan too (disclaimer: I’m not a vegan, just trying to do my bit).

The total for all of these products is around £26 at their current prices. So if you are looking for a kind skincare routine that works with a great budget, these products may be great for you. This price excludes the facemask because I was kindly gifted that from Kauai Cosmetics. I’ll leave links to the products in case you’re interested. Many are from Superdrug, which seem to be killing the skincare game. So let’s get into it!

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Magnitone XOXO Silicone Cleansing Brush (Honest) Review – Gifted

The team at Magnitone let me take a pick of one of their products on a gifting basis to try out and review – how lovely! My eyes darted to the Magnitone XOXO Silicone Cleansing Brush as I had seen products like this being used here, there and everywhere and was intrigued to see what the hype is all about.

This cleansing brush retails for £40, but Magnitone do sometimes offer reduced prices which is worth keeping in mind. After some browsing, is not the cheapest silicone cleanser available, but there’s such a variety out there that it just comes down to what you want. For months I had been dedicated to my Vanity Planet kit (read my review, here) but was intrigued to try something different and that was more travel-friendly. So now for a bit more about the actual product itself…

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Chatty Tuesday: Ways I Calm Myself Down

Sometimes things can be too overwhelming and I find myself feeling flustered, anxious and uncomfortable with my own emotions. Over the years, there have been a few methods I’ve culminated that have helped to calm me down when I’ve needed it most. This can be from one end of the spectrum to the other. It’s been before jobs interviews, exams, driving lessons and even for no reason.

Anxious thoughts and feelings can pop up unexpectedly and leave us feeling confused and out of our depths. The methods I use to calm my anxieties down that I keep returning to, have lessened my anxiety as a whole for me. I think it’s important to note that I have never been diagnosed with anxiety, I am just referring to it as general anxiety that can peak especially with events that are commonly anxiety-inducing. These methods won’t work for everyone, but if they help even one of you – that’s good enough for me.

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20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

Happy birthday to me! June 24th 2019 marks my 20th birthday and I am currently celebrating in Spain with my boyfriend Lewis. Wonderful. I cannot believe my teenage years are over? I’m definitely a little bit sad about it, but looking forward to being taken a little bit more seriously now I can knock the “teen” part off of my age. I do feel beyond my years though, I feel like it should be a 3 in front of the 0, not a 2. A lot has changed in the last year that has heightened my adult status more than I could have ever imagined. I’m not a wise old owl (yet), but I am growing, learning and changing every single day.

I remember my 12th birthday so vividly. Surrounded by Puffles (who remembers those), cheesy badges and a blue pullover fleece (12 year olds now would never). Actually, I remember every year quite vividly, and I can sit here now and recognise how much I’ve developed and matured each and every year. Time has flown by so incredibly fast, I find myself struggling to catch up. One minute I’m episodes deep into Good Luck Charlie, and the next I’m paying council tax. MADNESS. So I wanted to culminate just 20 things I’ve learnt in my 20 years of existence.

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10 Things To Remember In Your Luggage

Holiday season has many of us ready and raring to go. People are putting their out of office hats on and jet setting around the globe, or staying closer to home for a well needed break. Before we can escape on our holidays and long weekends, we have the trusty task of packing our essentials into a box with wheels. I personally love packing for a holiday – I find it so exciting! The unpacking, not so much. It’s like setting off a big flare that writes “BACK TO REALITY” in the sky. Packing for a trip away can be stressful for many, especially if you’re prone to forgetting things.

That’s where this post steps in. I wanted to share the items I know I’ve personally forgotten and been surprised that I actually needed them! They, of course, won’t apply to all and some of the objects are the less obvious things that you wouldn’t put at the top of your list (but that’s probably why they are forgotten). I remember our family holiday to Wales a few years ago where we had to turn round as soon as we left for my sister’s coat – you wouldn’t get far in Wales without one of those!

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10 Ways To Start Saving Money TODAY

Saving money is easy for some and it doesn’t take a second thought. However, for many, saving money can be a difficult task for a multitude of reasons. Salary, outgoings, commitments, unexpected expenses occur often for many people – so despite the urge and desire to save money being present, putting it into action is the hard part. It’s important to remember that any savings are good savings. It would be impossible for most of us to save £1000 overnight, it’s a gradual process and there’s nothing wrong with how you get there. Saving £1 is better than not saving £1, it all adds up.

My old money-saving-method would be to stick a few hundred away at the start of the month, which I found too difficult, so I’ve switched it up over time. I try to be as good as possible with spending throughout the month, then transfer whatever is left in my current account, into my savings. But how do you actually start saving money straight away? Here are 10 money-saving tips.

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Moving Out: 5 Things I’ve Loved and Not Loved

Moving out. Flying the nest. Entering the life of self-preservation. Whatever term you use for the big old milestone of leaving the family home, it’s a topic I don’t feel is discussed enough. I feel like we all know the basics of it, right? I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs, but it’s drilled into us that it’s ‘Move out, pay bills, dislike paying bills, repeat’ until we die. My mum always says “but you used to say you would always live with your Mummy forever” and now I absolutely want to pretend I’m 7 years old again with zero responsibilities other than blowing bubbles in jelly and learning to use a hair dryer.

Jokes aside, moving out is a really big deal for many of us. There’s a select few that can pack their bags without looking back and immerse themselves into life alone, with friends, with a partner etc. I’ve found it a bit tough, mainly because I was prepared, but more physically than emotionally/mentally. So with that, I wanted to share 5 things I’ve loved and 5 things I’ve loathed about moving out, in the hopes of shedding some light if you’re moving out too.

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May 2019 Review

Well hello to you. Welcome to the fifth instalment of my monthly reviews. WHERE IS MY LIFE GOING. I am genuinely going to sound like a broken record until the end of the year – blabbing about how quickly this year is going. I think when life is so hectic and go go go all the time, it’s hard to take a break and before you know it it’s the end of the month. I am mighty happy about that, because the end of the months brings with it payday. A very special day.

May has been a very beautiful and bright month. I spent most weekends back at home with my family which always make me feel refreshed and renewed. I had a lovely meal out with my mum at Middletons Steakhouse (drooling as we speak), a summery walk with my love and a big ole pasta bake. The small things really do make me smile. I had a trip to Rushden Lakes and gathered some final bits for mine and Lewis’s holiday to Spain soon – I haven’t had a beach holiday abroad since 2006 so this is well needed! It’s been a month of good food and laughs. I finally booked in to get my half sleeve finished, roll on August for some more ink. So how about those goals?

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Mylee Gel Polish LED Kit Review

Disclaimer: Please note this post contains affiliate links which don’t cost you a penny. It just means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Mylee is a brand I trust and use. If you have any questions, please contact me.



Painting your nails makes for a great relaxing past time. When the chores are done and you finally have an hour to yourself, painting your nails can be really relaxing. What’s not to love? You get a pretty result and nail polish that lasts ages, right? Not for most of us. We all know the struggles of trying to dry our nails as quickly as possible, all whilst making sure we’re careful not to chip our hard work over the next 2-3 days. I’d seen gel polish kits floating about online and couldn’t resist the idea of long-lasting, professional looking nails from the comfort of my own home.

For my birthday, my mum let me choose a gift and I chose the Mylee Gel Polish LED Kit. I heard Sophie (from sophdoeslife on YouTube skip to around 5:15 for a tutorial) mention it and thought I’d check it out – her nails always look amazing! This specific kit currently retails for £90.00 and includes: the LED Salon Series Lamp, 1 top coat, 1 base coat, 4 x Mygel polishes, 1 pack of 200 Mylee lint free wipes, 1 bottle of prep+polish and 1 bottle of gel remover. It is definitely an investment product – think of all the money you’ll save in the long run! So onto the review…

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3 Tips To Pass Your Car Theory Test First Time

Passing your theory test is a must if you want to take the next step and take your practical test. The pass mark is 43/50 (86%) for the theory test multiple choice questions and 44/75 (58%) for the hazard perception clips. The theory test is divided between these two sections. The crux of the test is you have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions (all based off of The Highway Code) and then you have to work through 14 hazard perception clips. 13 of these clips will have a ‘developing hazard’ but 1 clip will have 2 of these developing hazards. If you want to read a further breakdown of the theory test questions and hazard perception test, the government website explains it all (including a video too).

If you haven’t booked in for your theory test, stop what you’re doing and book here now! It costs £23 and having a goal date in mind to work towards will be super helpful. I sat my theory test on the 24th May 2019 and managed to score 49/50 on the multiple choice section, and 48/75 on the hazard perception section. I thought it would be helpful to compile together the techniques that helped me pass, hopefully they can help you too.

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Chatty Tuesday: 5 Ways To Unwind After Work

Happy Chatty Tuesday everyone! Believe it or not, today’s blog post came about whilst I was sat at my desk at work, thinking about how I can unwind as much as possible when the clock ticks past 17:30. Sitting on my bum for 40 hours a week doesn’t sound like a strenuous job, but it’s mentally rather taxing. I’m not one for wishing precious time away, but I do find myself daydreaming about all of the things I’d much rather be doing. Winding down after a long day at work or even university can be quite difficult, so I wanted to compile a doable list of things you can try to relax that extra bit more.

I’m not currently at university and never have been. I chose to work full time instead, so I can’t speak personally from a student’s perspective so this post will be aimed more at those in work with a bit less free time. As a bit of context, I currently work full time in an office. I leave the house at 8am every day and get home around 17:50. So, before bed that gives me around 5 hours to “unwind” in. This is the tricky part. When you have to wedge relaxing and me-time around doing the washing, cooking, cleaning, washing yourself or even putting the kids to bed, it can be difficult to know what winding down even means when before you know it you’re up and on the go again. Here’s 5 ways to unwind.

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7 Things I’ve Learnt in 7 Months of Blogging

It’s nearing the 7 month mark of me having this slice of the internet. Over the last 7 months, I’ve introduced myself to strangers on the web and allowed access to parts of my life and brain. Blogging was a long-awaited hobby of mine and it feels surreal to have been doing it for 7 months now. I wasn’t all that consistent to begin with, but with the help of me starting my Chatty Tuesday series, I’ve incorporated a bit of a schedule into the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Blogging has been a whirlwind so far. I’m still very much settling into the community and learning every day. I want to genuinely push my blog as far as I can and over the past 7 months, my own eyes have been opened as to the direction I wish to take all of this in. So without further ado, I wanted to share the 7 things I’ve learnt in my 7 months of blogging.

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Chatty Tuesday: Sunshine Blogger Award

Good day to you and Happy Tuesday! We’re back with a chatty post, but this time something a little different! With many thanks for the nomination by Shannen, I bring to you my Sunshine Blogger Award post. Being nominated for awards such as these, make my insides feel all warm and gooey. What a lovely image. To gain recognition for simply doing my hobby each week really makes it all worthwhile when people enjoy what you write. The blogging community has its downsides, but the upsides outweigh them by a mile and allows you to connect with some beautiful people.

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award is to of course thank the blogger that nominated you and include a link to their blog. Then the fun task of answering their 11 questions begins before you can issue your own questions to your 11 nominations. Including the logo is a cute touch too! So without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

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