How to learn to love yourself | my tips and tricks

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Self-love is SO important, probably the most important thing when it comes to your mental health and looking after yourself. As it's so important, it's also something that isn't easy to practice or think highly of yourself. It's only human to have self-doubts, compare yourself, or want to change something about you. However, we were all put on this earth as individuals, and it's important to realise you are truly wonderful as you, and only you.

How to learn to love yourself  | my tips and tricks

My journey for self-love is certainly a long one and falls into my self-confidence and body confidence journey also. It took me years to accept my flaws and really, fall in love with myself, and have the confidence that actually I'm a great person. 

Whether you're having a bad day or finding it difficult to learn to love yourself (even though you are so fab), here are some tips which helped me.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else

Comparison is the killer of all joy in every sense, and this screams volumes when it comes to self love. When I sit and scroll on my Instagram feed, it's hard not to sit and say 'she looks so perfect, her life is so perfect.' But, what I always then try to remind myself is that social media in general is a highlight reel of everyone's life and a place where people share the good things. With that in mind, instead of saying those things, write a compliment to that person and hype them up. I can assure you, it'll make their day and make you smile too. Boosting other people up will fall back on you, and naturally, you'll learn to boost yourself up the same way.

To stop comparing yourself, flip your view on its head and start complimenting yourself the way you did to the person you compare yourself to. Write those things down and read them to yourself every day, and add to the list over and over, until you have a long list of things to read and recite. These affirmations will really help change your mindset on how you view yourself and others.

Focus on your achievements

Leading on from comparing yourself to others, this goes on focusing your achievements. We can often get so distracted with how well other people are doing that we tend to forget how great we are and everything we've achieved. Praise your achievements and congratulate yourself for what you've achieved, the way you do for others. This can be a career move, saving for a house deposit, or simply making a banging dinner. It doesn't matter what it is, you deserve to be celebrated.

Be your own hype girl

I love this point especially as it's so important. The number of times I like to say, 'I'm a 10/10' or 'I'm great' a week has to be quite a few. And, it's not to say I'm big-headed, it's just a way of reminding myself that I've spent years working to this level of confidence that I'll remind myself I am great. If you can't be your own hype girl, then who will? 

Don't rely on other people's love

You can't love someone else until you love yourself, and that's why so many toxic relationships exist, as one or both of the couple are insecure in themselves. You need to be at some level of self-assurance and self-love before you fall for someone else, as you can't rely on them for your happiness. Your happiness comes from within and together you should add to each other's happiness, not solely rely on it.

Practice being by yourself and not relying on others to make you happy in terms of how you view yourself. Have film nights alone, go for a coffee, and generally, spend a lot of time with yourself to figure out who you really are, accept and love that person.

Do things that make you happy

When you're doing things you love, you're happy and by being happy, you'll learn to love you. That may sound a bit strange, but the sensation of being happy goes hand in hand to how you view yourself and your life. So, by acting on hobbies or working at a job you love, your day will be filled with more positivity and you'll view yourself in a positive light - and learn to love who you are.

Surround yourself with good people

Even though learning to love yourself has to come from within, your environment can have an effect on that. For example, by surrounding yourself with positive and happy people, you'll aspire to be more like them and work on yourself, and in turn, love who you are. And, by making the choices of hanging out with good people, it shows how highly you value yourself as a person.

Remember, it's okay to have bad days

Learning to love yourself is a journey in a lot of ways because even though, you will get to a point where you love who you are, there will be days where you will doubt and second guess yourself. And this is okay, more than okay. You can't be on top of the world all the time, it's not human. So on the days, you're not feeling great, just remember it's a blip and it's okay to feel that way - and pick yourself back up when you're feeling more like you.

Failure doesn't make you any less of a person

In life, we're all going to fail at something and it's those failures and mistakes which make us stronger and achieve everything we want to. When you have a hit in life and things aren't going your way, just remember, it doesn't make you any less of a human, really, it makes you human. Failure is a part of life and you will be successful - you can be anything you want to be.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have for loving yourself?

Thank you for reading <3

How to dress sustainably ft Heiko Clothing | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! This past year, I've tried to take the step in living more sustainably and doing my part in trying to help the planet; it really is the little things that can help. I've made eco-friendly changes to my beauty routine, shared how to travel more sustainably and other lifestyle tips.

One thing that is hugely affecting the planet is fashion, fast fashion to be more precise. The type of clothes that are unethically made in the masses and sold cheaply worldwide. I used to be a shopping addict and spend excess money on clothes I really didn't need and I never actually thought about where they came from. However, in a bid to reduce my personal carbon footprint, I've taken a huge step back with my wardrobe and started to rethink my choices, spending habits, and how I can dress more sustainably.

How to dress sustainably

Heiko Clothing is a sustainable clothing brand I saw on my Instagram feed and fell in love with their ethics and designs of their clothes straight away. When they offered to send me some items, I was so excited. They started the brand with one goal in mind - to bring an affordable eco-friendly and fashionable alternative to the market. The team at Heiko works closely with independent designers to create lovely pieces and aim to work together to save our planet. Amazing ethics to match some super cute clothes.

What did I think of Heiko Clothing?

The team at Heiko kindly send me two t-shirts which the prints 'plants are friends' and one with an ice cream cone, the earth being the ice cream to represent the damage being done to the planet. And, a tote bag with 'planet or plastic?' I'm a massive tote bag fan so when this arrived, you can imagine I was thrilled. I love how Heiko are representing the message about the planet on their clothing as it's a bold way to make people think.

I'm a sucker for a caption or printed tee and I definitely will be getting my use out of them, pairing the tops with denim skirts or jeans and a cosy cardigan over the top in the autumn months. The texture of the tops is well made and I know it's going to last through wash after wash, due to the material.

A lot of sustainable brands I come across are really expensive, however, at Heiko, it's the same sort of prices I spend in Topshop - so I think it's much better to invest in a brand with better morals for the planet than a larger corporation.

If you're looking to shop more sustainable or make eco-friendly choices when it comes to your wardrobe, here are a few ways to dress more sustainably:

  • Second-hand shopping - I've been doing this a lot lately and utilising Depop as much as possible. The temptation out there for high street shopping is unreal, however, when I scroll on Depop, my high street is already there. People are selling clothes that have barely been worn for half the price so it's a no brainer really. Also, charity shops, Gumtree, and Facebook marketplace are great places for some second-hand clothes.
  • Do your research into clothing shops - A lot of big companies 'greenwash' which means they claim to be eco-friendly with what they're selling but if you dig a little deeper, their clothes aren't actually ethical. Research into the companies, what they stand for, and how their clothing is being made - and invest your money correctly.
  • Invest in sustainable clothing - You don't need every cute top you see on the market as much as you think it'll look good on Instagram (I'm terrible for doing this.) But, instead,  try and buy more versatile pieces from sustainable brands. They may cost more, but in the long run, they'll last a lot longer and you won't be needing to pick up new clothes as often (shoutout to Heiko Clothing here.)
  • Rework your wardrobe - I can guarantee you have pieces in your wardrobe that you have and don't wear ever - I know I do. And, it's these pieces that you can utilise and style in different ways to make a whole new outfit.
  • Clothes swap with friends and family - We all have at least one friend of similar clothing size to us so instead of repurchasing a new outfit for a night out, shop in their wardrobe, and they can do the same with you. It'll be a new look because you haven't worn it before and it'll save you money.
  • Make new clothes - If you're feeling really creative, one of the best ways to be sustainable is by making your own clothes or altering pieces you already have in your wardrobe. I've seen this a lot on Instagram lately and I think it's so inventive and fun too.
How to dress sustainably ft Heiko Clothing | Gifted


You can find more about Heiko Clothing on their website, Instagram, or Facebook.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other sustainable clothing tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

Girls' day out in London | what to see and do

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I absolutely adore London, there's something so exciting about a day in the big city, experiencing the bustle, roaming around the busy streets, shopping, visiting the quirky restaurants, and really, being apart of London life.

what to see and do in london

I visit London quite regularly as it's only just over an hour train ride to the city, however, due to lockdown, I hadn't visited since February time. The past week, I was lucky enough to go back for a day trip and my heart felt full again, experiencing all the joys that London brings.

Whether you're looking to plan a day up there with your gals or looking for things to do, here is what you can see and do on a girls' day out in London.

Brunch 

What's a girls' day out without a classic brunch trip? I adore brunch as it means french toast, pancakes, and lots and lots of carbs. It's just the fancy way of saying all-day breakfast and the perfect kick start to the day in London. 

Best brunch places in london

London is crammed with places to go for brunch and to be honest, it can hard to pick which place is best, especially as there really are some epic places.

EL&N cafe - You may (or most definitely) have seen this over your Instagram feed. It's the pretty pink cafe with pink hearts splattered all over the walls and a super cute venue for a girly brunch. We started our day at the EL&N cafe in Knightsbridge to fill our stomachs with some good food before we had a cocktail spree. There are quite a few EL&N cafes across London including in Market Place, Brompton Road, Park Lane, Oxford Street (in Selfridges), Hans Crescent, and a few more.

Girls day out in London | what to see and do

The cafe served up an array of hot drinks, the prettiest selection of cakes you will ever see, and a unique brunch menu. I opted for Nutella french toast and my friends got a mixture of the meze, wraps, and sandwiches on offer. It wasn't overly expensive for London, just the typical amount I'd expect to pay for lunch.

Girls day out in London | what to see and do

Other fabulous brunch places are the Toi & Moi cafe (they do great pancakes), The Breakfast Club, Duck and Waffle, Sketch, Polo bar and so many more. Honestly, there are hundreds of brunch places I've heard about and been to that I could recommend.

Shopping - where to shop

I adore shopping in London, it's my favourite place to go for a big shop as there are so many different shops on offer and bigger versions of chains that I have back home. Even though my shopping habits aren't what they used to be, it's still lovely to go for a browse and admire what's available.

Best places to shop in london

Covent Garden - Covent Garden will always be my favourite place in London. It has this charm about it with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and a fab shopping scene. It is home to a brilliant selection of designer shops and luxury brands, but my favourite part of Covent Garden is their indoor market and the small, quaint shops which sit around it. Here, you're able to find unique trinkets and the sweetest presents.

Oxford Street - I can still remember the first time I properly went to Oxford Street. I'd been gifted money for my 18th and I went up there with a few friends and I was so amazed about how many shops were on offer and taken aback by the bustle. Now, this is all like second nature but the joy of Oxford Street hasn't worn off. I love the many shops on offer and the Topshop there is the best I've ever seen. It's definitely more of a high street shopping experience than Covent Garden with some flashy shops thrown in.

Carnaby Street - Carnaby is like a combination of both Covent Garden and Oxford Street. It's a lot smaller than them both but offers a selection of quirky, upmarket shops and is the prettiest place to roam about.

Cocktails - the best places to go

On a girls' day out in London, the top of my list has to be going for cocktails. London is packed with some of the best ever bars and serves up some drinks you literally have to try. 

Radio rooftop london

Radio Rooftop London - If a view of London is what you're looking for, this is the place to go, especially in the warmer months. Radio Rooftop boasts a panoramic view of Central London and it makes the pricey cocktails worthwhile as you get a glimpse of the luxury London lifestyle. The bar has a range of exquisite food and drink, and would make the perfect place for a very special occasion or if you're looking to spend a little more.

The Alchemist, St Martins Lane - The Alchemist has to be one of my favourite bars in London to date. It's certainly on the more affordable places in London (when you think of London prices.) The bar is themed so well, using the idea of chemicals and potions to name their cocktails, and present them as if they were spells. The girls and I fell in love with the whole concept and the drinks were yummy to match the cool design. I'd highly recommend going here for a fun night - and they offer food as well.

Girls day out in London | what to see and do

Blame Gloria - I adore Blame Gloria! It's such a vibe for a good time, playing the best playlist of old school classics and offering the best range of delicious cocktails. The interior matches the girly vibe and honestly, I love everything about it. We were able to get a drinks package so for a whole hour, we had unlimited cocktails and the best ever time.

Blame Gloria London

London Cocktail Club Shaftsbury - If you're looking for a place with really unique cocktails and flavours, this is the place to go to - and the decor inside is pretty wacky too. There's something for everyone and it's set in Central which is easy to get to.

Mr. Fogg's Tavern - This bar has been raved about and is always very busy when I visit. It has an old school, classic English pub feel about it inside and also offers the coolest selection of drinks. This place is also fab for gin drinkers as their gin selection is brilliant - and the drinks come in really cute glasses.

Dirty Martini - Another pub located around Covent Garden is Dirty Martini. I'd describe this as a classic cocktail bar offering a wide selection of yummy beverages. It's located underground so has more of a private feel, similar to Blame Gloria.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Where are your favourite places to go with the girls to London?

Thank you for reading <3

Review: Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been obsessed with Lush's facemasks for years and most things I've tried from Lush. It's certainly been the brand of the beauty community since I began blogging and a brand I'll continue to use in years to come. This time of year, my Lush obsession comes out in full force as it's the season where I'll take lots of baths, utilise pamper nights a bit more and moisturise heavily.

I used to be obsessed with both the 'Brazened Honey' and the 'Cupcake' mask, however, on my last trip to lush I wanted to try the 'Catastrophe Cosmetic' mask out. My skin had been breaking out lately and I thought this can be the mask to sort it out, or at least calm it in some way. I've heard a lot of good things about this mask and wanted to see if it was worth the hype.

Review: Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask

What is the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask?

The Catastrophe Cosmetic is designed as a calming and moisturising mask. It's packed with plenty of fresh ingredients including calamine, antioxidant blueberries and balancing rose. The mask is ideal for those with sensitive skin and needs a little help feeling balanced and mattified.

Texture and scent

All Lush facemasks are designed to be kept in the fridge, that's the beauty of them and it adds to the texture when they're applied. This mask, in particular, is blue in colour and slightly abrasive as it's swept onto the skin. It's also really cool in temperature which adds to the lovely sensation of application. The texture is firm but soft enough to spread over the skin.

The scent of the mask I would describe as fresh with an underlying smell of blueberries and fruit. It also has a subtle rose tone flowing through it which is ever so moreish. 

How it feels on the skin

The mask is like heaven on my skin. I like to leave the mask on for a good fifteen minutes to give the full effect. When it's on my skin, it's so light and the fresh scent lingers under my nose that I can't help but love it.

Lasting effects of the mask 

Once I wash off the mask, my skin instantly feels incredibly soft, replenished and moisturised. It's the perfect pick me up on a day when my skin hasn't been feeling the best. I found the results to be even better when I used it at least twice a week, and it gave me the opportunity to have more time for my skincare.

Review: Lush's Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask

Overall thoughts

Overall, I absolutely adore this mask and would highly recommend giving it a go if your skin needs a little boost at the minute. It's become my favourite mask out of all the ones I use and I'll definitely be repurchasing again and again when it runs out.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your favourite face mask?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The Flat Share is a book I've seen raved about all over my Instagram feed and I couldn't wait to see what it was all about. My friend Charlotte actually sent me it to read (thank you) and I was really excited to after all the good things I've heard.

After being addicted to the book, I can easily say I loved it, and here is my review:

Book review: The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Plotline

The Flat Share is about Tiffy and Leon. Leon is looking for a flatmate and has the idea of renting out his flat to someone else in the evenings whilst he works nights, and the roommate will work in the day, giving him his space in the daytime. This is where Tiffy comes in and the two end up sharing a bed, without even meeting each other. Their schedules work accordingly and they communicate with post-it notes on the fridge. But with an obsessive ex-boyfriend and a wrongly imprisoned brother in the mix, things become more complicated than expected with their flatshare.

Characters and relationships

I adore the characters in this book and I think that's why I was obsessed with it from the off. Tiffy is your typical girl in her twenties but she's ever so quirky with her style and mannerisms. She's so much fun to read about and I love her honesty in each sentence, it's like reading your best friend's thoughts. Leon is a rather shy and reserved character, he hides a lot of his emotions but also as a nurse, he comes across as incredibly caring. And their bond together is flirty, friendly and everything it should be in a romantic story. It's the type of bond all of us dream of and I love reading it grow through post-it notes and when they finally meet.

Mo and Gerty are Tiffy's best pals and their friendship is so rich and interesting to read. It's funny comparing friendships to mine but their bond is so deep that you know they've been best friends for literally ever. She's also so close to her work colleague Rachel - and if I had to describe a work wife, that's Rachel to a tee. She's the type of girl you tell everything to from your detailed sex life to every thought of the day.  Richie is Leon's brother and I really adore their relationship. It's so bittersweet throughout the book with the situation Richie is in, but they're still super close to one another and nothing could break them.

Tiffy's ex-boyfriend is one of the characters I really grew to hate (and you'll find out why if you read the book.) The way he fits into the plot is well thought out and adds the drama to the friendly tone of the novel.

Overall thoughts 

Overall, I could happily sing this book's praises for ages. From the first page, I was hooked into Tiffy's character and life and wanted to know more and more. She was so relatable in many ways and I adored her as a character overall. When Leon filed into the mix and the separation of the two chapters, I found myself loving each word as I went through. The book is structured really well and all the other characters and themes in the book bode well together. I honestly loved it.

Ending

After making my way through the book, I couldn't wait to see how the book ended as I'd enjoyed it so much. Although I can't tell you the ending, what I will say is it left me smiling and closing the book with satisfaction.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read The Flat Share?

Thank you for reading <3

Autumn fashion and beauty staples

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Autumn is well and truly here. As much as I'm a summer baby, there's something about autumn that warms my heart. The oversized jumpers, cosy nights in, neverending cups of hot chocolate, the lead up to Christmas, and dark lipstick screams autumn in so many ways. 

With a change in season, means a change in how I dress and the products I reach for more often. Here is a look at my autumn fashion and beauty staples. *This post features gifted products.*

Autumn fashion and beauty staples

Oversized jumpers

I have the biggest jumper collection ever and when autumn strikes, I love having the chance to sift through and rock some of my favourite jumpers - and add a couple more to the collection. Nothing can beat, chucking on a huge jumper with jeans and boots. It's cosy, it looks super cute and I just love them. I especially love any jumpers of autumn colours; browns, oranges, mustards etc.

Blanket scarves 

You won't find me rocking an autumn outfit without a blanket scarf. I like to wrap it around my neck, use it as some sort of cover on my shoulders or actually use them to warm my legs up when I'm in the office. They're such a simple accessory but can easily make a statement, especially if I'm wearing a monochrome outfit; the scarf can add that pop of colour.

Rings 

I've never been someone who has been a jewellery person, however, it's something recently, I'm trying to work on more to accessorise my outfits properly. As in autumn, my arm and neck area is usually covered my jumpers, scarved or coats, it's not the season for bracelets and necklaces - but rather for earrings and rings. 

Autumn fashion and beauty staples

I've been gifted the most beautiful ring from Daisy Jewellery and it's become my new favourite accessory. It's a silver ring with the daisies all around it. The ring adds the subtlest bit of colour to my hands and pairs really well with my Pandora ring. I also love how it's not too over the top in design, the simplicity bodes with my style really well.

Body Shop's pear hand cream

I get the driest hands as soon as the colder weather comes around and that means my stash of hand creams are dug out. My favourite hand creams are the Body Shop. I've used their hand creams religiously for years and my favourite has to be their pear one. When they launched it last year, I bought loads of tubes and will be continuously carrying one in my handbag.

Dr Paw Paw balm

I've loved Dr Paw Paw for years. It's the most natural balm I could ever use and I love how it can be used to moisturise all over the body. I like to use it on my lips the most as it's the only product I've found which really moisturises my lips, especially when they're chapped. The balm has no scent, has the silkiest texture on my lips and the soft feeling lasts forever.

Autumn fashion and beauty staples

Like It On Top, Lip Scrub Protection

My lips get really chapped when the weather is colder and having a good lip scrub is the perfect remedy for that. I recently received this scrub in my Roccabox and I've fallen in love with it. The scrub has the most beautiful lemon scent and when I scrub my lips, it's literally like putting a lemon cake all over my lips. It's yummy, scrubs well and the scent is to die for.

Red and berry lipsticks

Autumn means my favourite lipstick season. I absolutely love to wear a pop of colour on my lips when the cooler weather hits. It's the best way to dress up an outfit and really adds something to a neutral makeup look. My favourite red lipsticks are Nars 'Cruella' and Mac's 'Russian Red' and I love Mac's 'Diva' as my favourite berry tone.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your autumn staples?

Thank you for reading <3

Advice I'd tell my teenage self

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Being a teenager seems miles away now and honestly, I can't even remember that age. I'm 24 now so it's been 6 years since I was last a proper teenager (if you count turning an adult as 18.) I'm nothing like my 18-year-old self and since being in my twenties, I've learnt so much about who I am, learnt to love myself and have grown as a person immensely.

Advice I'd give to my teenage self

I could write a book on so many things I'd like to tell my teenage self. I wish I could go back and tell myself not to worry over so many little things, that perfection doesn't exist, confidence will come with time and true friends stick around no matter what. Learning to set boundaries, that it's okay not be okay, put yourself first at times, and being kind always are the most important things in life. Experiencing everything life has thrown at me and learning to love myself has been such a game changer and I would love to go back and give 16-year-old me a hug and say it's all going to be okay.

I've written quite a lot of reflective posts about body confidence, self-love, self-care, and lessons I've learnt growing into the woman I am today - and wanted to use this post to share some of my fellow blogger's advice on what they'd tell their teenage self. I took to Twitter to ask the question and many lovely bloggers have sent me some wonderful responses I had to share!

'I would love to tell my teenage self that nothing really matters. As a teenager, I felt like everything going on in my High School, in my home life, going on with me was going to 'define me forever' but it turns out none of it matters. When you graduate school and leave it, you never see those people again, you can leave the town you live in, you can change your entire life, so don't stress so much about what is happening right now, as it will not be what defines you.' - Jupiter from Life with Jupiter and Dann

'1. As important as education and your grades are, the most important thing you need to spend time doing is trying as many different hobbies as possible. When you leave school you’re kinda thrown into the deep end and it’s good to have a rough idea of what you want to do career-wise. There’s plenty of time to think about it but if you start early then it’s less likely you’ll waste your early 20’s trying to figure it all out. 

2. You may have all these feelings that you don’t know what to do with such as anxiety, depression or just feeling lost but I promise you it gets better. The people you try to impress won’t matter to you as you get older so never forget who you are and embrace your individuality. Not everyone will like you in life and it’s really okay! You don’t have to like them either!' - Lozza from Girly Gabble.

'One thing I would tell my teenage self is that it is perfectly fine to be alone than be in bad company. In secondary school, I struggled with navigating clique culture. Many times, I found myself hanging out with fake friends, simply because I didn't want to stand out and be viewed as a loner. However, looking back now I can see that I would have found greater happiness in just doing my own thing and not worrying about what anyone else thought. When you learn to be comfortable being different, it builds character and lays the foundation for success in many other areas of life. Although it may be hard in the moment, school drama is just one of those things that you have to approach with a 'this too shall pass' mindset - because it really will.' - Roli from https://www.roliedema.com/

'Don't focus all your attention on boys. Focus more on school.' - Lindsey from cozystylist.com

'I would tell myself to learn the value of money, learn how to handle it & control it, how to budget and maybe tell myself to start something young so making money would be easier in the future. 
As much as I would hate to admit it money is part of our everyday lives and it doesn’t come easily so don’t take advantage of it, learn to be responsible with it!' - Emma Joy from www.emmjoy.co.uk.

'Focus more on schoolwork and not what everyone around you thinks instead. Spend more time with the friendships you feel are genuine, not everyone wants to be your friend and that's okay, just try to ignore anything they might say about you. Work hard, but have fun. Not everything is about Tumblr followers and just be yourself.' - Julia from bumblingalong.co.uk

'I would tell my younger self to just be outgoing and be yourself because everything you do back then won’t matter in the long run. Friends will come and go, you may be sad when a friendship ends, but you should know that a new one might be just around the corner. However, choose your friend wisely - friends that make you motivated and inspired, not the one who just befriend you when they need you and take an advantage of you.' - Merry -from Monodreame

'I'd tell myself that people will walk in and out of your life and that is OK. We evolve over time and take up new interests and hobbies and sometimes people just drift apart. Its a part of growing up and doesn't mean you are less of a person.' - Kelly from www.thekellydianereport.co.uk.

'Take care of yourself. Like, really take care of yourself. Self-care isn't bath bombs and treat yo'self moments. It's hard decisions, saying no to things, and not overworking yourself. I know that's difficult to do (I'm still trying), but make sure you prioritise your wellbeing. And no, it's not selfish to do so. In fact, in the words of Audre Lorde, it's 'an act of political warfare'.' - Jemima from Another Ranting Reader

'One thing I would tell my teenage self would be to resist the urge to get a credit card or buy anything on finance. I’d then stress the importance of a budget to cover everything from bills to food, to clothing, to birthday presents. I’d tell myself to factor in the opportunity to save first, regardless of what bills and other financial commitments I had. It doesn’t matter if you can only afford £5 a month, putting money aside to not be touched is the key to not getting into debt. Living life on credit is seen as “normal” these days, and people end up spending far more than they should, thanks to interest rates and fees. We need to understand the importance of not living beyond our means, simply in order to "fit in". Ultimately, don’t use credit as a way of life if you want to spend your later adult years in a permanent state of debt.' Fiona from Miss Penny Money

'Adult life will throw you plenty of challenges and one thing is for sure, life will not always be fair. But work hard, be kind, reach for the stars and always strive to do your very best. Do the things that make you uncomfortable like travelling the world, going to university, or seeking a new job. And one day you will wake up and realise, you have achieved all those things you dreamed of. Along the way, ensure you take time out to relax and enjoy the simple things in life.' - Shelley from WanderandLuxe.

'Your mental health problems won't stop you from achieving what you want: Depression was a part of my life from a young age and I worried that I would always be in pain and never achieve anything. As a teen grades and school were important to me but I realised I didn't cope well with stress and my own expectations. Flash forward 15 years, I'm in my early 30s, and I have done things I never thought I could do: graduate from university, get baptised and travel to NYC alone! My mental health problems may always be a part of my life but I am so much more than that. If I want something it is because I am deserving. With planning and support, I will achieve my goals.' - Athina from Black Pistachio 

'My advice I’d give to my teenage self is to be true to yourself and to worry much less what others think. Before thinking your whole world is crashing before your eyes stop take a deep breath and ask yourself will this matter in 5 years time? It’s so easy to get caught up in the petty drama of school life but will these things really matter to you once school is over? Try not to sweat the small stuff so much.' - Rachael from RachaelStray

I hope you enjoyed this post. What bit of advice would you give your teenage self?

Thank you for reading <3


Roccabox review | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! There's nothing I love more than trying out new beauty products and those products turning into one of my everyday staples. I've always seen beauty boxes floating around on my Instagram feed and still remember the days when Birchbox was all the rave. When I saw about Roccabox and they got in touch and gifted me a box, I couldn't have been more excited to see what was going to come through the door.

Roccabox's founder came up with the idea of the box as a purse-friendly way for women alike to enjoy a variety of luxury products every month on their doorstep. I love the premise behind it and feel grateful to have the opportunity to sample the box.

Roccabox review | Gifted

I received the September box which is all based around the idea of 'being a boss' and I resonate with so well. The box was filled with an abundance of goodies and there was a bit of everything on offer. It definitely screamed autumn with the choice of products including a warm-toned eye shadow palette, red lip colour and lip scrub.

Box subscription service

I was lucky enough to be gifted the box, however, I've had a look on their website to give you an insight into how their subscription service works. You're able to buy the box per month, buy 3 months, 6 months or 12 months worth all at once, and I love that they're able to give that sort of option. The boxes are £10 plus postage and honestly, for what you can get in these boxes, it's a no brainer. It's the price of a couple of coffees at Starbucks - and I think it's a much better use of your money as it'll give you a little boost each month. I also love how you're able to send it as a gift as it's one of those types of presents which really offer that 'self-care' element.

Roccabox review | Gifted

What's included in the Rocca Box

STYLondon Devil Velvet Touch Eyeshadow Palette RRP: £15 - The palette had to be my favourite item in the box. I'm obsessed with autumnal coloured shadows such as copper/orange/red tones and this palette ticks all those boxes. I used it the other night and the pigmentation and blending ability is like a dream. I can't wait to make more use of it with the upcoming autumn months. 

Like It On Top, Lip Scrub Protection RRP: £11.75 - My lips are notoriously known for getting super dry in the colder months (as I'm sure are a lot of others) so this lip scrub came at the right time with the colder weather fast approaching. I've used it once and honestly, I'm addicted to the scent. It smells like a fresh lemon cake and is super fruity, plus it scrubs on like a dream and also tastes yummy.

Douvalls Lip and Cheek Colour in shade 'Sweet Love RRP £16 - I'm a sucker for any new lip product and this one is super lovely. If you're interested in a small pop of colour that still looks natural, this is for you. The product is incredibly soft on the lips and has the perfect level of colour to it. 'Sweet Love' is the faintest red colour and the lovely shade for the transition into autumn,

Brushworks HD Eye Brush RRP £5.99 - You can never have too many makeup brushes and I think this is a fab addition to the box. It's the perfect brush to push shadow under the waterline and is thin enough to do it precisely.

Roccabox review | Gifted

Oh K! Pomegranate Sculpting Tech Neck Mask RRP £7 - The box also included a neck maks which isn't something I've actually heard of before. I'm a lover of face masks and have heard about foot masks, but this has not been on my radius. I'm excited to give it a go and I'll let you know my thoughts then.

Caleno Drinks RRP £18 - The last item in the box is described as an 'extra gift' and is a non-alcoholic spirit. I think this is the perfect addition to the whole self love and boss vibe as it's a little treat to enjoy alongside all your other products.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I'm in love with the idea of the Roccabox and was very impressed with the range of products I've received in my box - and the level of quality they were at. I can certainly see why they have many subscribers as it's a beautiful gift to receive in the post each month.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you tried the Roccabox?

Thank you for reading <3

How to practice self care | my top 5 tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! When I picture self-care, I imagine luxury bath products, candles, and endless amounts of yoga, but self-care is more than a beauty regime and taking the time to meditate, it's something you should be putting in place to look after number one - yourself.

Self-care is all about taking care of yourself, and that includes your mind, body, and soul. It's all about not forgetting to put your needs first and doing everything you can to keep positive and live life to the full. Whether you've had a bit of a life blip lately or looking to practice self-care more, here are my top tips on how to do just that.

Listen to your body intuitively 

This has to be my number one tip when it comes to self-care and something I've learnt and practiced more as I've got older. Naturally, I'm a busy person, I like to be doing something 24/7 and always have more than one task on the go as I feel like if I'm not productive with my day, then I'm a failure. However, over time, I realised that's not good for my mental health and it's bad for me to be that busy all the time. With lockdown, I've taken a huge step back and listened to my body more. What I mean by this is on the days I'm in a productive mood, I'll whizz through work, and on the days where work gets too much or I'm overwhelmed, I'll spend the evening sitting watching Netflix and doing nothing. Resting is just as important as being productive - listen to what your body needs. If you feel like you need to exercise, go for a walk, if you're hungry for a big meal, eat, if you're tired, have a nap; utilise your own intuition.

Setting boundaries

This tip can fall into lots of different life categories. But what I mean by this is setting boundaries for yourself and being okay with them. For instance, a lot of us feel the pressure of socialising or doing something we're not 100% into, just to fit in with the group or a certain person. But that's not what life is about and sometimes you have to be a little selfish. Learn to say no when you don't want to do something and being okay with that, put your energy into the things you enjoy, and stop when you need to stop. It's okay to have boundaries and sticking to them - and the people who don't respect that shouldn't be in your life.

Regular social media detoxes

Social media fills our days more than it probably should and it consumes our life in more ways than one. A lot of us share our lives online, whether that's on Instagram stories or updating your Facebook status, and we thrive from online attention and think it's the validation we need. But, it's not in any sense. Social media isn't real, it's a highlight reel of people's lives and a lot of us forget that, constantly comparing ourselves to the biggest influencers or celebrities.  I'm an avid social media user and don't often take breaks but the days when I'm working lots or out with friends socialising, I tend to not look at my phone and I feel happier for it. Try and take breaks as much as possible and utilise that time you're spending scrolling by reading, calling a friend, or going for a walk - something that'll help your mental health.

Daily affirmations

Affirmations have become one of my favourite things and something I wish I knew more about in my younger years. Affirmations vary in so many ways but it's dependant on what's personal to you and what you need to boost yourself up about. They're something that you should say to yourself every morning as part of your routine to give you a pick me up for the day. If you're looking for affirmations, here are my top five affirmations.

Having 'you' time

Having time for yourself is so important. This could be having an evening to yourself to watch your favourite TV show, reading a book, or simply chilling with a podcast. It's good to sit with your thoughts and being on your own, and learning to love the time to yourself. We shouldn't have to rely on others to make us happy or give us reassurance in life, we have to be able to that ourselves before we rely on someone else. Always look after yourself first.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your tips for practicing self-care?

Thank you for reading <3

Eco-friendly changes I've made to my beauty routine

 Well hello to you my reader chums! If you've been following me for a while then you'd know I've been actively trying to make more eco-friendly choices in my day to day life. Beauty products are something I undoubtedly use every day and over these past few months, I've been researching and trialling which products are eco-friendly - and how I can implement them in my routine.

I've not changed everything and I'm nowhere near perfecting being the perfect eco-friendly blogger in any way, however, here are a few products I now use and am absolutely obsessed with.

Eco-friendly changes I've made to my beauty routine

Shampoo and conditioner bars

Out of the whole list, these are something I've used for over a year and really don't see myself going back to normal shampoo any time soon. Shampoo and conditioner bars are revolutionary and probably my favourite thing in my bathroom product-wise. I use the ones from Lush cosmetics but I'm pretty sure many eco-friendly sites sell other alternatives.

Shampoo bars last incredibly longer than regular shampoo, they're easy to use, reusable and simple to travel with (ideal for me.) And of course, they're massively eco-friendly as they have no waste to them whatsoever. Lush offer a whole range of different flavours and only a little lather of the bar can go a long way.

Reusable cotton pads

Since using these, it makes me question why I didn't start sooner. I've got the Bambaw bamboo reusable cotton pads but they're a whole range of different reusable ones out there. They do what's in the name, you can use them time and time again. After use, I pop them in the washing bag provided with the cotton pads and once the bag is full, I put it in with my regular washing to make them like new to use again.

It's simple and easy - and even though it's a bit of a long process to clean cotton pads, I know what I'm putting on my skin is soft, eco-friendly and that the pads will last for a long time. The pads do the job as effectively as disposable cotton pads and they're super cute.

Wild Deodorant

I recently was gifted a Wild deodorant and wrote a full review of my experience with it. I do absolutely love it to say the least. It's a refillable deodorant with decomposable pods and it's super easy to use.

The deodorant itself is gentle on the skin and doesn't contain any aluminium which gives me the assurance that I'm putting the right products onto my skin. As it comes with its own case, everything you buy additionally to that is eco-friendly and decomposable - and you can sign up to the monthly service to make it easier for yourself to buy. You can use my code 'DELLA10' for 10% off.

Organicup

I have also now become a menstrual cup convert which is a sentence I never thought I would write. I was an avid sanitary pad user for years and the thought of using a menstrual cup terrified me. However, after trialling the Organicup for a few months, I don't know how or why I lived without one for so long.

Once I got comfortable with the process of putting it in and taking it out, I fell in love with the idea of using it. I'm able to keep it in for up to 12 hours, I can't feel it when it's in and I have the assurance of knowing it's made of organic materials. Also, even though it's a little pricier than your typical pads and tampons, over the course of a few months, it's a lot more cost-effective as I use it over and over again.

Callaly period products

Before I dabbled into the world of the Organicup, I religiously used the Callaly period subscription service. I began looking for other eco-friendly options and this was one of them, offering products made of organic and compostable materials.

If you don't want to convert to the menstrual cup or find it's not for you then services like Callay are the perfect alternative. Each month you're able to customise which sanitary products your monthly box includes depending on your flow and you can set it for the same date tor receive it every month. Plus, when I used these products, they honestly felt so much more natural than over perfumed pads I've used prior.

Eco-friendly changes I've made to my beauty routine

Estrid razor

I had never heard of a vegan razor before Estrid got in touch, however, I'm so glad I now have it in my hands. The Estrid razor glides like a dream when I shave and is honestly the softest shave I've ever experienced. It comes with a super cute wall stand for the razor, I love the mantra behind the brand and it's vegan - so really, the perfect step to dabble into eco-conscious razors. And, you can pick the colour!

LastSwab

One weird thing about me is I love cotton swabs and cleaning out my ears even though I know you're not meant to do it often. However, I'm fully aware that cotton buds are one of the worst things for the environment like wipes as they do not decompose. With that in mind, when I saw the LastSwab advertised I had to give it a go.

Now, I'm able to use the swab for all its needs, give it a wash and reuse it over and over again.

Magnitone wipeout cloth 

The last product is something I have been gifted years ago but still love to this day. The Magnitone wipeout cloth is designed to wipe off makeup with only water and the best thing about it: it's the softest cloth to do so. And, you can rewash it as many times as possible like a flannel.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other eco-friendly beauty products would you recommend?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Five - The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

 Well hello to you my reader chums! It's been a while since I've sat down and written a book review. At the beginning of lockdown, I seem to delve back into my love of reading and it was my number one priority, however, as time moved on, life got busy and reading took a backstep, unfortunately.

But, a book I've just finished and really enjoyed in so many ways was The Five. It had a combination of history, a beautiful way of storytelling, and the raw honest element of these ladies' lives - and here are my overall thoughts on the book.

Book review: The Five - The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Storyline

The whole idea behind the novel which I think is so important is to give the women back their stories and back a voice. Jack the Ripper is known as one of the most famous killers of all time but his victims are merely known as just that, especially in the headlines at that time. However, they weren't just victims, they were women, they were mothers, daughters, wives, workers and so much more.

The storyline is broken up into each woman and every stage in their life. It starts with a general background of who they are, where they're from, and then goes onto their whole lives essentially. The book takes you through the journey chronologically of what the women went through, the successes and the hardships, and how they, unfortunately, ended up in the wrong place. It gives a bit of humanity to the women's story and that really, they are just like us. 

I learnt about the places they were born, their relationships, the many kids they had, their loves, and what unfortunately went wrong for them to fall out of love with themselves. I also learnt about the history at that time and how the way of life was so much harder for women. They'd have to be married in order to fit into society and were simply just a homemaker or a mother, they couldn't be who they wanted. It was frowned upon for women to pursue their dreams, to do things for themselves, or even enjoy sex. It was a man world's back then and honestly, it makes me so grateful for a lot of the changes that have been made today.

The five women

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane were the names of the five women. Say their names louder for the people at the back, as they were women and humans, and deserve to be remembered in that way. I've empathised with each of the women's tales and really wanted to give them a hug and tell them it's going to be okay. So many issues were involved in their lives such as the battle with addiction, the loss of their children, divorce, death, poverty, mental health, and many other things which are still prominent issues today. These issues often led them down a bad path as the support and help weren't available like what is now and these women really did suffer.

But the main issue is the fact that they were women and how women were deemed as a second class citizen. Before these women were even born, they were regarded as less important than their brothers or male counterparts. They weren't going to be given the same leg up in life like their brothers, and unfortunately, even though time and progress have been made, the level of inequality between the sexes still stands.

Overall thoughts 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was such an insightful read in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the level of poverty in the 1800s and what life really was like then, even down to their way of living, the workplace, and everyday life. It taught me so much history about that century as a whole. It also opened my eyes to the lack of rights and say there was for women. Don't get me wrong, I'm fully aware that women have been treated badly for centries but this novel goes more in-depth to each point of how they were treated unfairly - and what went on.

I felt privileged to be able to learn more about these five women and their life stories, and everything which made them so unique, and the hardships they went through. I really empathised with their stories and wanted to know more. I think this book is so important and a must-read for everyone. It's got a huge feminist voice to it, showing the reader that a woman's life is incredibly important and who she is, isn't dependant on her marital status, or who she's associated with. The book is an eye-opener, insightful read, and generally an incredible history book.

Ending

The ending offers an interesting round up to the whole book and gives a conclusion chapter, titled 'just prostitutes.' This is one of my favourite parts of the book as it fully explains how in the 1800s, a women's sole purpose was to support men in their life choices, whether that was being a mother, a wife, or basically assisting them in any way. Women were supposed to be homemakers then, they lived for their husbands and weren't allowed their own life, their own drive - or they were shunned by society. There were a lot of double standards and the fact that Jack the Ripper is glorified for what he did rather than be shunned, highlights that point even more. This book gives the voices back to the women that suffered as it's the least they deserved and hopefully, it can aid in silencing the ripper and supporting women instead. Let's smash the patriarchy together!

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read this book?

Thank you for reading <3

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Going out to eat is one of my favourite things to do and I love it when I discover new, independent restaurants. In Thanet, there's a hub of family-run and independent eateries and many that I absolutely adore visiting on a regular basis. I'm lucky to say most of these places are on my doorstep or near enough to be local restaurants to me.

If you live near Thanet or are stopping by for a day at the beach, here are a look at my favourite restaurants.

Bottega Caruso

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

If you know me, you would know that I'm obsessed with Italian food (which probably goes down to my Italian heritage.) And Bottega in Margate has to hands down be the best Italian around these parts. The restaurant serves up produce straight from Italy and provides some of the most traditional Italian grub you can get your hands on. I fell in love with all the food here and the family who runs it are also so lovely. Not only is it a restaurant, but also a deli and you can buy the fresh Italian produce and enjoy it in your home.

Archive Homestore & Kitchen

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

I'm a huge brunch lover so any restaurant that serves it up all day is for me. The Archive is located under the arches on Ramsgate Harbour and serves up the widest, and most delicious brunch menu ever. They have everything for sweet to savoury lovers, and a selection of superb cakes too. And, to top it all off, they sell a range of eco-friendly products, the cutest cards and books. The Archive is somewhere I take all my pals as it's the perfect location with the yummiest brunch (and iced chocolate.)

Delphi Greek restaurant

Greek food has to come second to my love of Italian and the Delphi serves up some of my favourite. Located on Ramsgate Harbour, you'll experience a range of traditional Greek food and drinks with a lovely view. There's everything from gyros to souvlaki and all the salad you're able to eat. It's got the loveliest atmosphere too and some evenings, they host Greek dancing evenings too. 

Woody's 

If you're in the mood for tapas, Woody's in Margate is the place for you. Located in the Old Town, Woody's is my favourite spot for tapas. It serves up a wide range of tapas dishes, the best quesadillas you can eat and many different pizzas too. It's one of those restaurants you can go all year round, but there's no better feeling than sitting outside in the summer sun with a glass of sangria. 

Royal Harbour Brassiere

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

I recently discovered this restaurant a couple of week's back when my best friend and I were looking for a lush place to eat and get cocktails. It popped up on my Instagram feed and I was instantly like 'yes!' Located bang in the middle of Ramsgate Harbour, Royal Harbour Brassiere is the place to be for the best ever seafood dishes. I'm not the biggest seafood fan, however, the food here has fully converted me. It's top-quality, locally caught produce and it's delightful - and the cocktails are amazing too. Plus the outdoor seating looks over both the beach and harbour so it's a win-win really.

The Minnis Bay Bar and Brassiere

Minnis Bay beach is one of the absolute gems in Thanet and The Minnis Restaurant sits right opposite the beach. It's a beautiful restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and an assortment of fancy and classic pub-like food. I love it there, and it's a great spot to go for a drink at sunset in the summer months.

Posilipo Broadstairs

Broadstairs is my favourite town in Thanet and probably the one I visit most. The town has many restaurants overlooking the beach and one of them is Posilipo. Posilipo is a stunning Italian restaurant that offers a wide range of pizzas, pasta and various other Italian eats. There's an outdoor terrace too which is the perfect spot in the summer for a glass of wine with your pasta. The restaurant is also a chain and has another restaurant in Canterbury and Faversham.

The Cowshed Bar and Grill

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

I rave about The Cowshed a lot to anybody going to Birchington or is in the mood for something really wholesome. Their menu is perfect for meat lovers (or those with big appetites.) They serve up a selection of the best steaks, burgers and a range of typical British meals - plus their dessert menu is on par too. My favourite meal there has to be the Mac and cheese beef burger - it's insane.

The Yarrow Restaurant

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

The Yarrow Restaurant is located in Broadstairs in the Yarrow Hotel. The Yarrow is a fancy hotel and the food matches to that stance. They offer a selective menu with the finest ingredients for both lunch and dinner. It's a little pricier than your typical restaurant but the quality of the food makes up for that. The setting is pretty chill too and there's a lovely outdoor garden you can dine in too in the summer months.

GB Pizza Co

Who doesn't love pizza? GB Pizza Co is a cool pizzeria opposite Margate beach. It's a very Instagram worthy and affordable place for a bite to eat with your pals. Plus, they offer a large range of yummy pizzas to choose from.

Peter's Fish Factory

My favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent

You will never find a better fish and chip place than Peter's Fish Factory! There is a chip shop in both Ramsgate and Margate right on the beach so the perfect place to grab some chips and sit on the sands. They're really affordable too and honestly the best around.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your favourite restaurants in Thanet, Kent?

Thank you for reading <3

How to plan the perfect travel itinerary

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Writing travel itineraries is one of my favourite things to do as I love researching a new place and mapping out the best things to see and do at my next destination. With the prospects of travel becoming more accessible again, I thought I would share some of my tips on how to plan the perfect travel itinerary.

How to plan the perfect travel itinerary

Timescale

The first thing with any travel itinerary is knowing your time scale and the amount of time you have to work with. What I like to do is list all the flight times and transport that'll happen on your set days and then I'll be left with the time I have in between to organise what I want to see and do. 

When I have my section of available time, say 3 full days, for example, then I can slot in the type of activities and places to see depending on what's more suited for each day.

Research, research, research

This is my favourite part of any travel itinerary as I love dabbling into various travel blogs, travel websites and trip guides. The internet is a wonderful place and the world of travel bloggers means there is plenty of insight out there to find incredible things to do, see and hidden gems to discover.

Each city or location will have a list of 'must-see' things and as important as that is to include as you'll want to see all the tourist sights, try and go a little deeper with your research. I typically add all the 'must-see' places and then continue to research to see if there are any quieter spots, hidden beaches, great viewpoints or unique activities. Blogs are brilliant for this as they offer a personal perspective rather than a travel website which is trying to label the top things to see that you can buy into. I typically type in 'guide to x days in x' when I'm researching.

When it comes to travelling, some of the best things I've experienced have been free or I've discovered whilst walking off the beaten path. Be a little clever for research but also allow breathing time to simply be and explore on your trip.

Fill in the itinerary accordingly

When I've found things I like the sound of, I slot them into the days I think are appropriate on the itinerary and then keep adding until the days are full. Then, what I like to do is research where everything is distance-wise to each other and re-jig the itinerary to map everything out in the most logical way.

Then, voila, you have everything mapped to perfection.

Further research

Travel isn't about what there is to see, food and drink play a huge part in getting to know a new location and new culture. And, I'm a huge foodie so I love to dabble into a bit of research to the best places to eat and drink. Roaming around and finding places to eat is all part of the travelling fun, but there's nothing wrong about making a small list of what's out there.

Under the step-to-step guide of what to see and do, add a 'where to eat and drink list.'

Work out your budget

Once everything is listed on what you're going to do on the trip, do a little maths to how much the activities will cost as then you can figure out how much money to bring overall and what you will have left for food, drink and anything spontaneous you get up to.

Have fun!

A set itinerary will give you the basis for your trip and you can build on it when you're there, and once you've found your bearings. Enjoy the adventure and have fun!

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have to make the perfect itinerary?

Thank you for reading <3

5 things I've learnt in lockdown

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Lockdown restrictions are slowly getting eased and things are going back to normal, or the 'new normal' that we're all living in right now. But as things have been going back to normal, I've been reflecting on lockdown, what I've learnt and how appreciative I am of that time. 

Lockdown gave a lot of us a chance to live a slower pace of life, spend time with our families, and appreciate our surroundings. Here are 5 things I've learnt in lockdown:

5 things I've learnt in lockdown

Appreciating where I live

I've lived on the Kent coast my whole entire life and I'm a beach baby to a tee. Nothing makes me happier than being on the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and hearing the sound of the waves ebb at the shore. I've always realised how lucky I was to be by the sea but with such a busy day to day life, working, running my baking business and trying to keep as social as possible, I didn't really take the time to spend days at the beach or strolling on the sands.

However, in lockdown where the only time we were meant to leave the house was for a walk, I spent a lot of my time outside walking on the beach. There are many different beaches within a 5-10 minute drive from my house and I spend a lot of my time exploring the quieter ones and finding hidden coves on the sands. I found myself falling in love with where I live over and over again. My home will forever be a happy place.


Being busy all the time isn't healthy

Something I didn't do often prior to lockdown was taken the time to relax or live at a slower pace. I was constantly busy working, doing my blog, doing my business, making plans, and really, always doing something. And, I never gave myself the right time to relax or take a step back from a busy life. But I've learnt being in lockdown and on furlough that not being busy all the time is healthy. It's good for my mental health and sanity really to have a little break.

I'm still on furlough at the minute and even though I'm trying to keep busy, I'm also trying to live a bit more intuitively and do with what feels right for my mind. This can be either having a full productive day or lying in and chilling.


Quality time is so important

Being shut in our houses for a few months really made me realise how important it is to keep myself surrounded by people I love. It was the weirdest few months not hanging out with my friends in person or seeing my work colleagues from day to day. I missed that much-needed interaction on a regular basis and when it slowly was allowed to come back, I appreciated it more and more.

Lockdown also gave me the opportunity to spend a lot more time in my house and with my family, which is something I wouldn't have got so much off in 'normal times.'


Spending excess money isn't necessary

Like any other girl my age, I love travelling, I love a day out in London, a trip to the theatre, meals out or a night out. However, something I learnt in lockdown is that even though, they are some of my favourite things to do, they aren't necessary. I was able to have fun with the simpler things; picnics on the beach, garden gatherings and just being with people, or talking over Zoom. It wasn't all about the 'fun activities', it's about who I spent my time with.


That I was one of the lucky ones

I'm fully aware that in lockdown, I was one of the lucky ones and I'm very grateful for that. I was able to move back home with my family in a house with a garden (that came in handy a lot in the first few months of lockdown.) I got furloughed so was able to keep an income during this whole period and I had people around me to keep me company. My heart went out to those who got laid off from their jobs or the many people who got and passed away from the virus. It's such a sad and unfortunate time and I cannot be more grateful for my health, my family and friends.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What did you learn from lockdown?

Thank you for reading <3