Estrid razor review | gifted

Well hello to you my reader chums! I never really thought much about my shaving experience before, it was just one of those things I got on with. However, when I frequently saw the brand Estrid pop up on social media, I was intrigued about it. Not only did the razors look incredibly cute, but they were also vegan and aimed at the hair removal process to be a pain-free experience.

When Estrid contacted and said they were going to send over a starter kit, I was thrilled to try it out and see if their dreamy Insta feed was as good as the products. (Spoiler alert, it was.)

Estrid razor review | gifted

What is Estrid?

Estrid is a vegan razor brand that aims to change the shaving game and focuses on the idea of your body, your control. I resonated with their mantra a lot and really appreciated how they were all about self-love and a female first razor brand.

Predominately, the world of shaving is designed for men and most female razors do not work as well and are pretty naff - and that's why Estrid has put their stamp on the market: to make shaving pain-free and affordable.

They also don't use any animal products in their razors making them a vegan-friendly brand.

Packaging/ Starter Kit 

I'm trying to actively be a little eco-conscious with my day to day life that when I received the box to the razor, I was very impressed. It was packaged in a cardboard box and all the components in cardboard type bags, rather than using plastic.

The starter kit included my razor (I chose the lilac one), a spare blade, a razor holder, and an information pack about the brand/razor. It was put together simply and with all the information I needed.

My experience using the razor

I cannot rave about this razor enough. I didn't realise how before using this, I've been shaving with terrible razors that didn't do nearly as good as the job and were painful a lot of the time.

The Estrid razor is designed with 5 blades and has aloe vera and vitamin E on the cartridge to offer the smoothest and comfortable shave. When I first used it, I was taken aback by how smooth the razor glided up my leg and how lovely it felt on the skin. I shaved with ease, without any worry of cutting myself or missing a bit. It's honestly that lovely and kind of makes me not hate the effort of shaving.

Estrid razor review | gifted

I also want to talk about the idea of the razor holder. I love this, as I'm able to hook my razor in the bathroom and pick it up with ease and place it back down. It's convenient and adds a little cuteness to my bathroom.

Price

Considering how much money I've spent on razors over the years and having to throw them away quickly, I've probably wasted a lot of money on razors which don't do the job. The Estrid starter kit is £7.95 which includes a razor, its holder, and a spare cartridge - and considering the quality and weight of the razor, it's a good price. I would say Estrid is more of an investment for yourself and body-care routine as I know I'm using a product that'll be nice to my skin.

Overall thoughts 

I really love the focus on the mantra behind this brand and how they talk about self-love and putting your body first, and taking back the control, society tries to take away from us. They wanted to be seen as a brand that is raw and real, for all women, not something 'perfect' like other razor brands I have come across. 

Estrid razor review | gifted

The razor has become my new favourite thing. I love the colour and design, I love how easy and gentle it is to use and I love how good quality the product feels. 

Thank you to Estrid for sending over a starter kit and introducing me to your brand!

Also, when purchasing an Estrid razor, if you use the code 'EQUALITY' at the checkout, Estrid will donate 1€ extra for every purchase with that code to the organisation Fawcett Society.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you heard of Estrid?

Thank you for reading <3

What to do when the books are piling up - AD

Well hello to you my reader chums! Books are literally my favourite thing in the world and I'm guilty of having the world's biggest to be read pile as I want to read everything at once. 

What to do when the books are piling up - AD

Accumulating books can be quite addictive. In these days of e-readers and digital reading material, there’s something really special and immersive in turning a physical page, and the main way I like to read. It’s tactile, sensory, and somehow more mindful than staring at a screen.

If you’re part of the growing army of people who have rediscovered a love for actual books (which is 100% me always), you could well be struggling to keep them organised and catalogued. Here are some tips to help you out.

Finding Hidden Spaces

Fitting book displays into small living areas can be a bit challenging but there are options beyond traditional bookcases. Look for spaces in your home that you’re not using to the max, that you might not automatically think would be good for books. 

Corner bookcases slot into odd spaces that would otherwise be wasted, or you could go for leaning or ladder bookcases. Ladder bookcases can either be freestanding or fixed to the wall, and are shaped so they resemble half of an open step ladder, wider at the bottom than the top.

In hallways, narrow bookcases don’t take up much space but create interest as well as practical functionality. They make the hallway feel like part of the house rather than being merely a connecting passage between areas.

Modular bookcases are another way of stealing small areas to create useful and attractive book storage. You can often arrange and stack them to your own liking, going as tall or wide as you need.

Unusual Display Ideas

Thinking outside the box can help you make the most of small spaces, or shared areas that would benefit from a few boundaries.

If you have a family computer in the living room, you could make the workstation area into a more private space by cordoning it off with a bookcase. Choose an open-backed, traditional bookcase and turn it out from the wall next to the computer. Arrange books with the spines facing in alternate directions, so it looks attractive from both sides. You could use some of the shelf space for trailing plants for added interest and the illusion of privacy.

Over and around doors is another space you can use for book storage and display. Fit a normal shelf above the door, then fit narrow shelves down the sides. The effect is a slightly recessed doorway that looks good in lots of different settings.

For cookery books, put up shelves in the kitchen. If wall space is already at a premium, is there a space at the end of a run of floor cabinets you could use? A narrow shelf here, with a rail fitted in front would be a handy place to store favourite books so their covers face outwards. 

It’s a bookcase style that’s often used by libraries to display children’s books, and it works very well. You could even use it for kid’s books if you like to keep an eye on children and keep them amused, while you’re cooking. Put colouring books in there, or puzzles - whatever kind of paper activity they enjoy.

The Best-Kept Book Storage Secret

Books often feel like old friends. We know them well, have treasured memories of them, and don’t have to see them every day to keep the relationship special. So even when we’re done reading them for now, we want to know they’re close and we can call on them again in the future.

Self-storage is a great way of preserving a book collection, like a personal library you can visit any time you like. If you have just a few precious books, you can hire a self storage locker to keep them safe, or take a whole room for bigger collections and install your own shelving system. 

That’s the beauty of self-storage. It’s flexible and personal, and as long as you don’t drill into walls or floors, you’re free to kit it out as you like.

Another benefit of self storage space for book collections is the emotional space you get from your books. Revisiting them is like a fresh experience, and there are bound to be some you’d forgotten about that give you a whole new joy of rediscovery.

I love books for all kinds of reasons, from education to pure escapism, and finding ways to grow the collection and display them creatively is all part of the enjoyment. I'll always dream of having a library in my house and would love the pleasure of organising my mountain of books one day.

This is a sponsored content placement.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any book storage tips?

Thank you for reading <3

My body confidence journey

Well hello to you my reader chums! Body confidence is certainly something that takes time, patience, and a good mindset. It's taken me years to get to the point where I fully accept my body for what it is and love everything about what I look like. I'm at a point in my life where I feel content with my being and want to share with you guys how I got to that point.

Here's a look on my body confidence journey and some tips on how you can feel body confident...

It's probably best to start this post with a disclaimer to say, it has taken years for me to get to this point of feeling how I do about my body and the change in how you feel about yours won't happen overnight, it is a process. However, it is possible and something I would love everyone to be able to do: to accept their body for what it is and for who they are.

My body confidence journey

I'm going to transport back 6/7 years when I was 17/18 years old. At that time, I was in a very bad mental health state and completely hated every inch of my being, including the way I looked. Body confidence wasn't even in my vocabulary as I was so against loving myself, I didn't feel good enough. All I kept doing was comparing myself to those around me and the absolutely stunning people I would see on the internet. I aspired to look like them and be like them, instead of aspiring to learn to love me and figure out who I was.

And, learning to love myself and my body is something which has come with time, age, and my journey as a whole with self-confidence.

Tips on feeling body confident:

Acceptance 

The first step with any confidence within yourself is acceptance. The process of accepting myself and my body was something that took time and the hardest thing to do in my journey. I started this by every morning, when I looked in the mirror, I would point out everything about myself; the good and bad. I have to say, I had to want to learn to love myself before I got to this point. I could only help myself.

I would then with the bad things, look at them and say 'these are my flaws and I accept them.' And with the good things say 'I love these things about myself.' These types of affirmations I've been repeating to myself for years until they finally sat with me and honestly until I believed them. It took good and bad days to finally get to a point where the affirmations worked. On the bad days, I would doubt myself and couldn't accept my flaws and would hate on myself for having them, wishing I was different. But, the better days, the affirmations would slowly sink in and over time with the good days, I began believing them.

It's true, once you accept yourself, you can take on the world.

Stepping out your comfort zone

Acceptance then goes hand in hand with stepping out of your comfort zone. I mean this in terms of what you wear, having the confidence to pose for photos, and generally rocking who you are out in public - and not caring what people think of you.

I found this stage a lot easier than acceptance as I love pushing myself and this came naturally to me, as hard as it was. Like any way of stepping out of your comfort zone, it's important to take small steps and do what you're ready for, and eventually, you'll get there.

I think how I tackled this head-on, was to get glammed up and wear clothes or an outfit I felt comfortable in. When I felt on cloud 9 with what I was wearing, I found it was easier to feel comfortable in my own skin. And, I would recommend going shopping or utilising what's in your wardrobe and wearing the clothes you feel you best in and wear them out. Then when you feel good wearing what's comfortable, I would recommend slowly wearing clothes that you don't feel 100% certain in. For instance, I really didn't like the fact I have small boobs and would always feel self-conscious in bikinis or in clothes that would really show off the fact. So what I did was essentially jump in at the deep end and wear the type of clothes I wasn't fully happy in, and doing it time again, helped me accept my body a lot more. And in turn, I started to be happy with what I looked like and realised my body is bloody brilliant, and I don't need to change it. It may sound like a bold move but it's something that really worked and resonated with me. I'm quite lucky that I have best friends around me who would always boost me up and compliment how I looked - that really helped with my confidence too.

You need to be your own hype girl at the end of the day!

Representation of different body types on social media

Comparing myself to other people was something that really took a toll on learning to love my body and accepting it. Social media is plastered with images of 'perfect' bodies especially when I was growing up and I delved into the world of Instagram. It's only now in my twenties that I'm following people which show what a real body is and not fixating on this perfect image of what patriarchal beauty standards tell me I should look like.

What a lot of the media do is only feature one type of body to sell products or to model clothing and therefore, they disclude so many other body types and that lack of representation affects others as they're not seen as being represented in the media.

I'm quite lucky to kind of sit under the patriarchal beauty standards, considering I'm white and skinny, and I'm aware of my privilege, which I think is something I've learnt over the years. However, despite me technically looking a certain way, it still took me years of stomaching the idea of what I see online isn't necessarily real and it's not logical to aspire to be perfect or look a certain way. Perfection isn't real and what you see on social media is only half the story of someone's life and is often taken at a good angle or edited accordingly. And, I've learnt, I shouldn't compare myself to people that I see on social media. I should be happy with what I look like.

I think the next step on me accepting the fact to not constantly compare and wishing I was someone else online really was a turning point for me. I could scroll and admire, instead of scrolling and hoping I could be that person. I think that was so important because instead of being jealous, I was able to hype other girls up so they can feel good about themselves, as they deserve to be. I've learnt that I need to aspire to be my best self and know that my body is my own goal. My body looks after me at the end of the day. Try and remember this the next time you're looking on social media or online in general. You are perfect the way you are.

Saying I'm enough

Over the years with how I'm feeling about my body having its highs and lows, knowing that I'm enough and my body is enough always got me through. It's an affirmation I like to say to myself even now when I'm not having the most confident day.

When it comes to bodies, something to remember is that yours is unique to you, and as long as it's healthy and you're happy then that is all that matters.

Knowing your body is natural

I could rant about this point all day long and it's really something I actually learnt through others talking about it on social media. There are many things our bodies are shamed for such as stretch marks, hip dips, 'muffin tops', birthmarks, body hair etc - and all these things are completely natural, and some of them protection for our body.

All these things are part of your body for a reason and you shouldn't try and get rid of them. You should embrace and accept them, and rock it. I've been obsessed with having the flattest stomach for years but I've learnt that the little bump on my lower stomach is to protect my uterus and is needed. I shouldn't wish that away as it's my body protecting me. There is stigma around body hair and stretch marks and so many other things. But your body is yours, shave if you feel comfortable or don't, it's down to you and nobody else - and that's something everybody needs to be taught. Nobody else has ownership over your body and nobody's opinion means anything towards your body. What's important is how you feel towards it.

Learning to ignore what people think

There are people who will shame you for whatever body type you have and it's really not okay. Honestly, there isn't a reason for people to be hateful but unfortunately, that's how the world works. And, once I learnt to stop caring what people thought of how I looked and ignoring the digs that got sent my way, then, I began to fall in love with my body and feel content. Which, is a huge step for me and my journey.

You are beautifully unique in every way and you can boss it, and take on the world.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. What are your tips for body confidence?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been reading many good books lately and one of them is The Family Upstairs. This book was honestly incredible and addictive, to say the least, and I couldn't put it down. 

Here are my thoughts on the book...

Book review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Plotline

The book is based around a house, located in Chelsea, London. A baby is found alive and healthy in the cot but 3 dead bodies are also discovered downstairs with a note. The bodies have been left for several days and nobody knows what's happened and who has been looking after the baby. It's a mystery in the vacant, huge house.

Characters and relationships

This book is complex, twisty and a page-turner, and the characters go hand in hand with that. The story is told from three different perspectives, by Lucy, Henry, and Libby, and how their lives overlap. The way it's written really shows off the characters and the descriptions are impeccable; so raw and honest.

I found myself really liking both Lucy and Libby and their honesty towards their life, whilst Henry had a strange appeal about him, but it's interesting to see the story unfold from all their perspectives. The relationships which I found were so important was Lucy and her kids, Henry and Phin, and Libby with her work colleague Dido. I learnt a lot about Lucy's character from how she was with her kids; a caring mother who is trying to do anything to get them back to London, her home. Henry and Phin had an odd relationship, and the way the book unfolds, I understood why they were this way. Libby is a free spirit and like any young 20-something year old who I related to page after page.

There are plenty of different characters in the book and significant ones at that, especially those who live in the house and finding out what really went on (no spoilers here.)

Overall thoughts on the book

I cannot rave about this book enough. From the first page, I was hooked into reading what happened and what went on, and what the big mystery was. The way the book is divided into three different perspectives helps build the suspense and feeds into each other, as I made my way through the book.

The plot twists are what really intrigued me the most in this book. As things began to play out, a twist would come out of nowhere and I was gobsmacked by a lot of them. I can't really get over how addictive the read was and how clever the chapters intertwined, and how the characters life's linked in, in more ways than one.

Beautifully complex and crazily twisty, the book is something I would recommend to any reader. It surprised me at every chapter and there were so many elements included in the story that I couldn't put it down.

Ending

After an intense read, I wasn't too sure how the ending would play out. However, it seemed to be incredibly satisfying how things fell into place, and I felt really content as I read the last page. I'm not going to give anything away, but what I will say, that the ending was pretty light and a complete contrast to the complexity most of the novel had.

I hope you enjoyed this book review. What are you currently reading?

Thank you for reading <3

How to choose your travel insurance

Well hello to you my reader chums! Travel insurance is something that's so important for any trip you're going on and a step I always make sure I do when booking a holiday. Unfortunately, you never know what can happen when you're away from home and that's why it's good to have cover behind you to help you out. At the minute, travel isn’t at the forefront of our minds with everything going on. However, hopefully soon, we’re able to jet set abroad and travel insurance is one of those steps you should take. 

How to choose your travel insurance

I didn't know much about travel insurance until I started working in it and now my whole world has opened up to what I'm actually buying into. Whether this is your first time buying travel insurance or you'd like to know what to look out for, here is how to choose your travel insurance.

Look out for what you're covered for

The problem with travel insurance is not actually knowing what you're covered for and this is down to what is stated in your policy wordings document. Travel insurance is mainly there to help you out with any medical emergencies abroad or costs in that area, and everything else is dependant on the policy you choose.

There are hundreds of travel insurance providers out there so it can be hard to know what to pick and what provider is better to the next. However, the main thing to do is read through the policy wordings and see what level of cover they offer for what you want to be covered for. Whether it's flight delays, cancellations, coming home early, baggage protection, losing your possessions or if you abandon your travel plans. There are lots of different circumstances which can happen when you're abroad and it's important to think about that and buy a high level of cover to ensure you're protected.

Another thing to keep in mind is the excess. If you, unfortunately, have to put through a claim as something has happened, then whatever you're claiming for, the excess will need to be deducted off it. If you don't want a high excess, make sure you look out for that when purchasing the policy in the first instance.

The price

A lot of people when it comes to travel insurance decide to buy the cheapest travel insurance they can come across, however, the cheaper the cover, the less you will be covered for. If you purely only want it as a medical emergency type of cover and have a limited amount of cover then pick the cheapest option. However, it's more worthwhile in investing a little bit more money in better cover to give you the reassurance that you'll be covered for more scenarios on your travels.

Extensions 

When it comes to travel insurance, we assume that the policy should cover everything including things like gadget cover, however, it's not often the case. If you want specific cover such as gadgets, winter sports, festivals or anything you don't think will be on a regular policy, you may need to buy an extension - or look into the existing policy you're purchasing.

The length of a policy

There are different types of policies you can purchase including a single trip, multi-trip/annual or long term cover. A single trip is for one trip and can be up to a certain amount of days depending on the policy you go for. A multi-trip/annual you take out on a yearly basis and it'll cover you for more than one trip you take throughout the year. Long term cover is for those backpacking style trips where you're away for a few months or more and dependant on your policy the cover can be up to 2 years or more.

The countries you're travelling to

When you're buying your policy, you'll have to choose the cover on where you going. This can be worldwide, it can just be Europe or excluding different continents. The more places you'll get cover for, the more your price will increase.

Talk to your provider

If you're unsure about what to purchase or what you need to be covered for, then the best thing to do would be to ring up your travel insurance provider and see what they recommend for your trip - as they'll explain what the policy wordings mean.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you got a travel insurance cover?

Thank you for reading <3

24 lessons I've learnt in 24 years

Well hello to you my reader chums! The age of 24 sounds so adult and if I'm honest, I don't feel like a 24-year-old, or in a way, feel like what 12-year-old me imagined a 24-year-old to be. But, I'm exactly what 16-year-old me imagined me to be: happy and content with the skin I'm in, and my life as a whole.

I've done a lot of growing mentally and emotionally from where I was in my teens, and I've learnt a lot of life lessons along the way.

24 lessons I've learned in 24 years

Here are 24 lessons I've learnt in 24 years...

  1. Self-love is no1 priority - Self-love is so incredibly important and a lesson that needs to be taught more to young teens. It's something I've learned to come to terms with recently and practicing acts of self-love to help my mental health and how I view myself. From boosting myself up to taking the time out to work on what's best for me; loving myself is the number one priority.
  2. Life isn't an Instagram feed - Social media has a crazy influence on everything these days, especially on how young people view themselves, and it's not healthy. I think it's important to constantly reassure yourself that what you see on social media isn't always real and nobody is perfect. A lot of photos posted on Instagram are staged, overly edited, and only show one small part of someone's life. Remember that when you're constantly comparing yourself to other online users - and that how many likes you get doesn't define you as a person.
  3. Happiness comes from within - Happiness is a journey, not a destination, and as soon as you're able to find inner happiness, the sooner you'll be happy with your day to day life. This all begins with a positive mindset and seeing the better in every day. For me, this journey took a very long time, but I've reached a level of content where I do feel happy from within.
  4. Confidence grows in time - Confidence is something I never thought I would have and it's taken a long journey to get to the point where I feel confident and content with who I am. I've written multiple posts about self-confidence, but you need to realise, that it will take time and you can get there. You can get to a point where you accept who you are and rock it. If I can, anyone can.
  5. Always go with your gut - Gut instinct is something we're all born with and you should always listen to it. Follow your heart with every decision and go by what will suit you most. It's your life and you're number one priority - and it's not selfish to do so.
  6. Don't live your life for others - Following on from number 5, it's important in life to live your dreams and follow your goals, and not to rely on other people's validation to live your life. Whether it's your parents or friends, at the end of the day it's your life and you shouldn't let other people's opinions guide you.
  7. Time is everything - Time is the most valuable thing in life. This goes in every aspect, especially spending time with others. Try and focus on people and time for one another rather than the materialistic things in life. When you're old and grey, you'll remember memories with friends and family rather than the fancy handbag you bought. Invest in experiences and travel.
  8. Explore as much as the world whilst you can - I'm a massive travel addict and I've used the most part of my 20s to travel around the world and loved every minute of it. Travel makes my heart soar and is something I advise everyone to dabble in. The world is wide and there are so many exciting places to see and cultures to experience - do it whilst you can.
  9. Never strive for perfection - As Hannah Montana once sang 'Nobody's Perfect' and that's the truest thing I learned watching Disney Channel growing up. No human on earth is perfect, perfection doesn't exist and you shouldn't strive for it, as it's an impossible goal. Instead, you should strive for being assured in your own skin, that's when you'll find true happiness.
  10. Live while you're young - Like One Direction sang 'Live while you're young'; you should do exactly that. Book that flight, go on that first date, stay up till sunrise, go to karaoke, party with your best friends, go on endless beach days, ride that rollercoaster, and travel; move around the world as much as you can. Take every opportunity in your path and live the high ride - so in years to come, you can look back on those fun memories.
  11. Love every moment - Life is what you make it and even though it's full of ups and downs, and unexpected moments, learn to love the good and the bad. They happen for a reason and shape you into who you are. Appreciate the little things and cherish the moments you will never get back.
  12. Be assured it's okay not to be okay - This is probably one of my favourite and most important lessons. As much as it's important to be happy, it's also important to know and realise, you don't need to be happy all the time. Down days are inevitable and so are bouts of anxiety, nerves, and feeling lost. We all go through hard times and that is okay, that is life. Be patient and take a day at a time.
  13. Mental health is very important - Following on from point 12, mental health is so important, and looking after yours should be a priority. Whether that's by taking time out, cutting toxic people out of your life, practicing meditation, or doing whatever you need to do to maintain a healthy mindset. Your mental health should be as important as your physical health. Treat a bad mental health day like you would a fever and care for yourself. And, always check in your friends with their mental health, as you never know what people are going through. 
  14. Having a positive mindset will help you conquer all - Being a half glass full kind of person will do wonders in life. I've learned over the years by thinking positive about every situation gave me a better outlook on life and how I viewed things. It can take practice to get there but once you train your brain to be that way, you will feel a lot happier.
  15. Body confidence is something you can learn - My journey to being completely body confident took years of growth and practice but I'm at a point, where I'm fully happy with the skin I'm in. As I've gotten older, I realised that nobody has the perfect body and I shouldn't strive for that - I should strive for accepting the body I have. It's healthy, it's looking after me and it's a body. We all have one and we should all love it.
  16. Accepting yourself is key - Like with body confidence and confidence as a whole, once you take the initial step in accepting your flaws and everything good about yourself, then you will be able to take on many obstacles that come your way. It's about learning your self-worth and realising who you are which can rocket your self-confidence. Accepting yourself is the hardest step but the most crucial one.
  17. Learn the art of letting go - Letting things go is a powerful art and something we should all try and practice. Holding onto grudges, staying in contact with toxic people, or at a place that doesn't make you happy can hurt you in the long run. Once you learn to walk away from things that don't make your heart soar, your happiness will come with it.
  18. Everything happens for a reason - I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and your path is already laid out for you and I think this is something which has always helped me stay positive in times of crisis. Having that belief in what will be, will be, helps lessen the worries when unexpected things occur.
  19. Surround yourself with people who believe in you - The people you surround yourself with is so important as they impact how you feel about yourself and what you get up to in life. I've learnt as I got older to have the people around me that will boost me up and support everything I do, rather than tear me down. The people who truly love you will believe in you every step of the way and those are the people you need in your life.  
  20. Your dreams and passions are so important - We've all only got one life and how you choose to live it is down to you. Follow your dreams, try new things, and learn what your passions are - and roll with it. Life is about living for the now, having fun and accomplishing whatever you dream to do.
  21. Love yourself before you love everyone else - This is probably the best ever bit of relationship advice I can give you or I wish I knew when I was a lot younger. Loving yourself should be your number 1 priority and you shouldn't rely on anyone else for your happiness. Then, when you get into a relationship, you choose to be with someone because you want them in your life not because you need them. You should only need yourself - and when you're content with who you are, you and your partner will flourish a lot more as a couple.
  22. Diet culture isn't healthy - I could rant about the diet industry as a whole all day long. Being skinny or thin isn't what you need to be in life to be a good person or be beautiful - there is so much more to the world than how much you weigh. It's a number on a scale and doesn't define you in any way. I've come to terms with this over the years. But one thing that made me realise was reading into the diet industry and how in a sense you're 'congratulated' for losing weight or becoming a smaller size. And although that is an accomplishment when you choose to diet and eat healthier, it shouldn't be about how much weight you're going to lose as that can fluctuate, it should be about how your body feels and how healthy you are, physically and mentally. Every different size is beautiful whether you're slim or curvy, embrace that, and don't get the marketing world of dieting tell you otherwise. You do not need a quick fix or skinny teas, it isn't healthy.
  23. Treat people with kindness - Harry Styles' brand is around the phrase 'treat people with kindness' and it's one of the most important mantras out there. You never know what somebody is going through and in a world that can be so cruel, try to be kind. Smile at strangers, check up on people, and help whoever you can in some way. Throw kindness around like confetti. Everyone has a story and everyone deserves to be loved.
  24. Failure is part of life - Last but not least is a lesson about failure. Life is a rollercoaster, it sounds corny but that's the truth. It's full of ups and downs, hard times, and good times, but everything is put in place to help you through. And, failure is a part of that. You're never a failure if you try but what you should understand is you will fail at times and that's okay, you will make mistakes and you will be wrong. This is all part of being human.
I hope you enjoyed this post. What life lessons are your favourite?

Thank you for reading <3


Book review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Well hello to you my reader chums! These past few months I've been reading a lot more and I love the fact that I've able to have the time to rekindle one of my favourite things. A book I've recently finished is Where the Crawdads Sing, a beautiful fiction recommended by many, which I absolutely adored.

Here are my overall thoughts on the book...

Book review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Plotline

The book follows the story of the 'Marsh Girl.' Set in Barkley Cove, a quiet town in North Carolina, rumors have circulated for years about the 'Marsh Girl'. In 1969, when the town's star player, Chase Andrews is found dead, all the locals suspect Kya Clark, the 'Marsh Girl.' However, what many of the local folk don't know about Kya is she's a sweet and intelligent girl, who for years had survived a life alone in the marsh, finding friends in nature. The young Kya comes to an age where she yearns to be loved and after two young men from the town are intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya is opened up to a new world and the unthinkable happens.

Characters and relationships

Characters and relationships are incredibly important in this novel as the plot is really focused on the fact of Kya being abandoned and living on her own in the marsh, in isolation for most of her young life.

Her family plays an important role at the beginning of the novel but their effects of what they did leaving her, run throughout the plot. She has an unfortunate relationship with her family, living in an abusive household, cut off from the outside world, and eventually, they left her at such a delicate age. Kya befriends the locals Jumpin and Mabel who help her through every stage of her life, and their relationship warms my heart as they become her new family.

The two big characters are Kya's love interests as from how they pan out, she learns a lot about herself and what love really is, and what heartbreak feels like. They help shape Kya and it shows her growth as a person, in a beautiful way. Jodie, her brother plays a huge part in shaping the story and their bond is something that isn't affected, even as time goes on and their lives drift apart.

Relationships really are key in this novel as there is a huge focus on Kya being alone and learning to live a life of her and her swamp, that the bond with different people teaches her things in more ways than one.

Overall thoughts on the book

Overall, this book warmed my heart in a lot of different ways. It has the combination of a romance theme, a murder mystery, and a coming-of-age narrative. It's beautifully written and the descriptions of what goes on make the reader fall in love with nature in a way that Kya sees it.

I loved how the book goes back and forth to the past and present and fits the plotline in nicely with what's going on to give the reader a deeper understanding of the characters, and their backstory.

My favourite thing about the book is Kya and how the author writes it, as an outsider looking in. But with so much depth, description, and love as every word seem to have poured out from her soul. It made me realise what's important in life and has an underlying message about the simplicity of life itself. It certainly took my breath away and I would recommend it to everyone.

The ending

The book in itself has a few different themes running through it which go together hand in hand, and the ending kind of raps that all up in a painfully, beautiful way. I don't know how to describe it other than to say it was wholesome and fulfilling.

I hope you enjoyed this book review. What are you currently reading?

Thank you for reading <3