Why you should celebrate being single

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Growing up, being single was always viewed as a bad thing. I can always remember the sneers like 'why don't have a boyfriend?', 'don't worry your time will come' or 'we'll find you someone' and it used to really grind at me. If you didn't have a significant other, you were almost deemed as less, and that view has continued as I've gone into my twenties.

I've been single, I've been in a relationship, I've been in talking phases, that's life. But right now, I'm single and the happiest I've ever been, and to be honest, I wish I was told growing up how freeing and empowering being single is - and that you don't need someone to complete you. You're fully complete on your own and there is nothing wrong with you, whether you're choosing to be single or are unable to find someone. Being single deserves to be celebrated the same way being in a relationship does.

The stigma around being single is always viewed as 'lonely' or 'sad' when really, it should be the complete opposite. Nobody tells someone in a relationship that it's sad they have a partner so why do they say it when someone is single with pity eyes?

Why you should celebrate being single

Whether you've been single your whole life or recently single, here are the reasons to celebrate being single. 

You can live your life completely for you

This is no shade on relationships in any sense, however, when you're single, your life is fully yours. You don't need to think about talking to someone about what you're doing that evening or if you want to make a wild lifestyle change, you can just do it. You're your own unit and every decision you make can be down to you. You can experience everything you wanna do, you can revel in your passions and above all, you can take complete ownership of your life. Every choice is yours and there's less of a reason to compromise on what you truly want.

It's the perfect time to grow on your self-love journey

Self-love is the most important thing as you deserve to be loved by yourself. You deserve to see how truly incredible you are as a human and how you deserve great things in life. I preach about self-love all the time because I believe it's the secret to living your best life and not caring about other's opinions of you. When you're single, it's the perfect time to practice self-love and really fall in love with who you are. When you're with someone, I feel like sometimes self-love can sway as you already have the validity of their love that you forget to love yourself as much as you should. 

Express your love for yourself, talk to yourself like your best friend, accept you're not always going to be okay, and live your best life for you.

You can figure out what you truly want in life

When you don't have a life partner, your focus in life can be mainly on you and your goals. You'll have more time to be with your thoughts and be alone, that what you want to do in life can become a lot clearer sooner.

You're fully independent

Independence is gold and I'm not saying in a relationship you can't be independent, but when you're with someone, you do rely on them for certain things. However, when you're single, you're fully independent. All the decisions you make are down to you. Whether you want to quit your job and move abroad or simply go on a late-night ice cream run, you have the freedom to make whatever choice you would like.

It teaches you how to be alone

Being alone is an important skill we all need to learn. You're not always going to have someone by your side to boost you up, support you or offer advice and that's completely normal. But, because of this, you need to learn to be alone and be okay with that. When you're single, you have the opportunity to be alone, more so than when you're in a relationship. By being on your own, you can figure out the things you like to do alone, how to make yourself happy or cheer yourself up and what to do when you're feeling sad. It'll give you time to be with your thoughts and figure out who you are even more.

You may never get this time again

Being single is a wonderful thing and something to embrace rather than worry about when you'll find someone. Don't get me wrong, being in a relationship is just as wonderful as there is no better feeling than being in love, but, you will never get the same single freedoms again. Learn to love all that alone time, embrace the free time you have to work on yourself and your career, and take advantage of every opportunity that is thrown your way. You may never get the chance to be single again.

You can build more connections

When you're single, it means you're more likely to meet more single people, and that means building more connections and friendships. Not everyone but many people are more social when they're single and this gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people.

You're wild and free

This way sounds a bit over the top as relationships don't take away your freedom but it's a different kind of freedom when you're single. You can be as wild as you like, you can be as free as you're like and nobody can question it. I believe you should live with this free-thinking way of life no matter your circumstance, but especially when you're single.

You're amazing on your own

Being single teaches you how strong and powerful you are just by being who you are. You don't need a significant other to make you happy or fulfill your life, you can do that all by yourself. You are brave, you are smart and you are important. You shouldn't be made to feel inadequate because of your relationship status and you don't need to prove who are you are to anyone. Being single is important to find yourself, love yourself, and ensure you know your self-worth. I believe everyone needs to be single at some point in their life to figure out and learn that they deserve the very best.

Because being single isn't the worst thing in the world

For my last point, I had to talk about this. The stigma around being single is so negative that it's important for us who are single to realise how it's not the worst thing in the world, in fact, it deserves to be celebrated. Being single is wonderful just like being in a relationship. If you're single and worried about the pressure to find someone, remember this:

  • You're incredible and fully complete on your own
  • You don't need someone to make you happy - you can do that yourself
  • You deserve the world and more
  • The grass isn't always greener on the other side
  • You are worthy and good enough just as you are
  • If you want a relationship, your time will come when it's right. Enjoy what you have now
  • Being single is a positive and celebrated thing
  • You're more than your relationship status
I hope you enjoyed this post. What other reasons do you think?

Thank you for reading <3

Sustainable changes to make in your bedroom | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm currently on my journey of learning more about sustainability and doing my bit to help the planet in the small ways I'm able to as an individual. I'm no expert but I'm learning and every day I come across things or new ways of how I'm able to make simple sustainable swaps.

Sustainable changes to make for your bedroom

I've spoken about living sustainably, travelling sustainably, dressing sustainably, and how sustainability is a privilege, and in this post, I wanted to be a bit more specific, and the sustainable swaps you can make in your bedroom.

This post contains gifted items from The Fine Bedding Company.

Whether you're new to trying to be sustainable or want to know more about how you can do your bit, here are the sustainable swaps to make for your bedroom.

Change to more sustainable bedding

Sustainable bedding is easy to find and more available than you may think. When The Fine Bedding Company got in touch about gifting me one of their duvets to review, I had to say yes. The Fine Bed Company's main focus is sustainability and comfort with its luxury bedding range which is completely up my street and a company that has similar ethics to mine. They're a fourth-generation UK-based company with their own 100% zero waste factory and offer premium down feather and innovative fibre-filled bedding. 

Sustainable changes to make for your bedroom

Like with anything you buy for your bedroom, you need to do your research about where it's sourced to see if that's sustainable as well as the materials used. When I received the Night Owl Duvet, I was instantly impressed with how soft it was to touch and the luxury feel about it. The duvet is all in one, which means there is no need to put a sheet over it and can save a lot of time in the bed-making process as you simply wash the entire thing by itself.

Sustainable changes to make for your bedroom

I've tried this duvet out for a while now and I can honestly say I'm in love. It's very light in weight but has a top level of comfort and somehow, is able to keep me warm on the ultra-cold nights and cool on the super hot nights we've had in the summer. I love it and can't believe I haven't heard of this brand before now! I definitely would love to buy more of their duvets. It's certainly a pricier brand like with any sustainable product, however, the sheer quality and comfort level matches the price tag.

Recycle properly

I'm guilty of admitting, sometimes I'm not the best at recycling my bedroom waste. We all accumulate it, whether it's parcel packaging, tissues, or food wrappers, everything needs to be disposed of properly. The best way to do this is instead of throwing your bedroom waste into the normal bin, take the time and pull out the items that can actually be recycled and dispose of them in the correct bins. It's a tedious task but it can make a big difference in the long run. Like they say, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Switch off your devices when you're not using them

We're all obsessed with devices and well, use electricity in our everyday life without even realising it. But, do you always remember to turn off the switches at the wall or shut your computer down when you've finished with it? I can safely say, I'm very forgetful about this but it can help in the long run. By switching off devices and all the switches on the walls when you're not using them, it can save on your electricity usage and energy.

Introduce plants into your room

Plants are beautiful whether it's a cactus or a bunch of flowers; they add not only a beautiful vision to your space, but can also be very beneficial for your environment. Plants produce oxygen and release moisture into the room which can help with sleeping and also reduce the likeliness of dry coughs and sore throats. 

The usage of plants can really help purify the air in your bedroom space and remove toxins which will do wonders for your health and also bring nature into your home.

Consider where you're buying your furniture/decor from

Sustainability isn't just about reusing items, it's to lessen the impact overall of the damage we're doing to the planet and that means researching where you're sourcing the items from which you purchase for your bedroom. Whether it's a wardrobe or a pillow, not all furniture is made ethically. And by ethically, I mean made from sustainable materials and in an ethical process where the workers are paid fairly for their work.

If you're looking to buy some new furniture, do some research of the company of where they source their materials and how things are made, and the process of the final outcome. By researching, you'll be able to educate yourself further on what companies are ethical and sustainable, and the ones you should avoid. Obviously, it's worth noting that sustainable furnishings are going to cost more than furnishings that are made and sold cheaply, but the investment usually pays off as it's better for the planet, and things that are made well, will last longer.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What other changes can you think of?

Thank you for reading <3

Let's talk about feminism

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a big and proud feminist. I talk about it all the time, whether that's in my daily life or in posts on social media as it's something close to my heart, and something that we all need to embrace more so we can change the injustice and the lack of equality in the world - and smash the patriarchy together.

Feminist quote Maya Angelou

Feminism to this day is a taboo topic and I still get dirty looks, especially from men when I say I'm a feminist but I believe that's because there is a lack of education to what it actually is, what it means, and how the movement is there to help everyone, especially minority groups.

What is feminism?

Feminism is a broad term but to put it simply, the word feminism means the equality of women and men, and for women to have the same rights and privileges that men do in society. It's a term that is often branded as 'man hating', which isn't true in the slightest. The feminist movement was put in place to liberate women and give them the freedom, options, and choices that men already have in society.

Why is feminism so important?

I really wish writing this in 2021 that feminism wasn't needed anymore as by now, I would have expected the issues to be less and for women to have more equality across the world but sadly, that's not the case. And this is the main reason why feminism is so important.

The movement of feminism is important today as women are still oppressed and seen as second-class citizens all over the world, including the UK. When you look at things like healthcare, sexual assault stats, the education system, reproductive rights, the expectations put on women, the gender pay gap, arranged marriages, and even the lack of diversity in top organisations, then it becomes apparent how important it is to fight for the rights of women and other minority groups.

Feminism is so important because it's the fighting force and a movement working towards women becoming equal to their male counterparts. It's important so women can have full control over their bodies. It's important so women have the choice for their future and to follow their goals. It's important so women can get the justice they deserve. It's important so young and impressional girls/teens have role models like themselves in power as representation matters. It's important so women can be exactly who they want to be.

Examples of misogynistic behaviour in society:

Everyone should be a feminist and if you're not, you're sexist, it's as simple as that. If you don't believe women and men deserve to be viewed as equals then you're a complete misogynist. However, a lot of misogynistic behaviour isn't just lary and sexist men harassing women on the streets and only seeing them as sexual objects, it's also internalised misogyny that society has taught us from a young age.

Like all the things we've been conditioned to growing up, unlearning misogynistic behaviour and thoughts is so important so we don't project those views on our female counterparts, even if we don't realise we're doing it. Here are a few examples of misogynistic behaviour:

  • Sexual harassment and violence against women - This goes without saying, but misogynistic men will control women when in a relationship as they see them as less than themselves. They'll put their sexual pleasure first, they'll put them down in any situation possible and make them feel less. Sexual harassment is hugely misogynistic as men or those performing it will only see women as sexual objects, hence their actions.
  • Mildly misogynistic language - The language we use every day may seem meaningless but it's impactful in the long run. For instance when we say things like 'man up', it promotes the idea that men are strong and women are weak. Or when things are deemed as 'girly', it's always made out to be a bad or weak thing just because it's associated with women.
  • Overly sexualised language towards women - Sexualised language is never okay but women always seem to get the brunt of it being branded as 'sluts' or 'whore', and it paints us in a shameful manner.
  • Objectification of women based on how they look - Women are always blamed for what we are wearing, we can never dress right as we'll still be objectified. Whether it's by being catcalled in the street when we're in jeans or photos being taken of us when we're in a bikini, our bodies can never just be viewed as bodies but always as sexual objects. Everywhere we look, women's bodies are objectified from headlines to teenage girls being told to not 'show their shoulders as it distracts boys' at school.
  • Criticism of women's sex lives but not men's - This one has become more apparent as I've gotten older. But men are always praised by how many people they've slept with, whereas women are seen as less and shamed for it - and it makes us 'undesirable'.
  • 'Feminism' considered a negative term - How many times have you said I'm a feminist and you receive negative comments or looks? It has happened to me way too many times as standing up for women's rights is still seen as a bad thing, and an unnecessary thing, as a lot of misogynists don't want women to have their place in society. They would rather we stayed in the background than let our voices be heard.
  • Jokes about sexual abuse towards women - Rape jokes make me feel sick and are not okay in any instance, yet in lad culture, they are normalised. These types of jokes are what stop women from coming forward for the sexual abuse they've experienced.
  •  Pink tax - A more systematic problem is pink tax, gender-based pricing, which is an upcharge for products intended for women. This can be across any cosmetic style product including razors - that's why women's razors always cost more than men's.

How can we be better feminists?

I'm not a perfect feminist in any way and every day I learn something new on how I can do better and how I can continue to be an activist. Nobody is the perfect feminist but there are many things we can do to grow as people and strive to reach towards the goal of equality and dismantling the patriarchy. 

Read feminist literature 

There are two things I mean by this. Firstly, read feminist literature that teaches us about feminism, what there is to know, and how we can do better as a society by standing up for the rights of others and being an ally. There are many books that I love for this including Invisible Women (a mind-blowing read), The Guilty Feminist, Women Don't Owe You Pretty and Feminist's Don't Wear Pink and Other lies.

I also mean to read more books by minority authors including women, people of colour, those from the LGBTQ+ community, and generally support their work, to learn more about their perspective, through their words.

Educate yourself further

Education is key to being a better feminist as there is always something new to learn. Other than books, there are many ways to educate yourself further with being a better feminist including podcasts like The Guilty Feminist (my favourite), reading blogs, scrolling through social media, and listening/reading about women's stories. Social media especially has become a prime source of knowledge these days with most people gravitating towards it to find out information - so I would suggest following relevant accounts that work towards helping women's rights and fighting the patriarchy.

Be an ally

This is mainly directed towards the men, but being an ally towards women and helping them reach the goal of equality is what we need. Most men don't listen to women and that's why it's up to men to make other men listen and aid us in giving women a voice more. It's also up to women, those more of privilege, whether that's your status in society and race to be an ally in giving more minority groups the opportunity to amplify their voices.

We all need to support each other on the journey to equality and being an ally is the first step to that.

Spread awareness

Continuing with education and being an ally, spreading awareness is key. It's important to share women's issues in any way we can to normalise, destigmatise and help women  - so all the negative and horrid things that are happening towards women on a daily basis can lessen, and be stopped in the long run. 97% of women have been sexually harassed and that needs to change.

Start a conversation with your family and friends

One way to spread awareness is by talking to the people you have around you and starting that conversation with feminism. It's those awkward and hard conversations that can really help change people's views and help them understand what feminism is all about and why it's needed.

Unlearn misogynistic language

Unfortunately, misogynistic language is used far too often, from mild terms to full-on objectification of women. The mild terms I would say are something ingrained in a lot of us as we've been conditioned to that way of thinking our whole lives and it's that we need to unlearn. When you notice yourself using or thinking about it, make a mental note. And, when you're around others doing it, point out an explanation why it shouldn't be said.

Be inclusive

Feminism is a movement to liberate women, that's what it has always been about. However, feminism is a fight against the patriarchy, which is a system generally build in favour of men but that doesn't mean it only has a negative effect on women. Be inclusive in how you think, how you act, trying to push forward the voices and storied of minority groups including women. But, also consider that the patriarchy can affect what men do and what it does for them. 

The thing about feminism it isn't about hating on all men, it's about stopping men from treating women how they do and that's all a result of the patriarchy. If we all come together and see it for what it is and treat each other like equals then the world will be a better place. 

Amplify women's voices

If you see a woman sharing her story on social media, share it on yours, it's that simple. Every chance you get to see where a woman wants to be heard, try and help her by amplifying her voice. The only way to make women's voices heard and to give us a voice in society is to create noise and push them forward.

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

I've also written posts about consent, diet culture, sustainability and privilege, and thin privilege if you'd like to read more about those topics.

Thank you for reading <3

My experience with EFT | AD

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been a fan of life coaching for a while since I began learning more about how it worked and had a life coach myself in that process. I love the way it teaches you about how you can change your whole life by shifting your mindset, improving your self-awareness, and showing you how you can fulfill your goals by figuring out all that is you.

When Andrea, a life coach, and EFT practitioner got in touch about having a session with her and sharing my experience, I had to say yes as EFT is something I've heard a lot about and wanted to try to see if it'll work for me, the way life coaching has.

My experience with EFT

Whether you're interested in EFT or want to learn more about what it is and how it works, here is my experience with an EFT session.

AD - This is a paid advertorial but all thoughts are my own.

What is EFT (emotional freedom technique)?

EFT is a technique that uses tapping on acupuncture energy points with two fingers as a way to stimulate energy in the body, acknowledging the negative thoughts and then replacing them with positive ones by using positive affirmations. The tapping is known to help as distress and imbalances are caused by disturbances in the body's energy system and that's why using EFT, can help get your body back in the flow and balance your emotions once more.

EFT is known mainly to help with anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. However, it's now gaining traction for the positive effects it can have on other things such as those with chronic illnesses.

Who is DreaHunt?

Andrea Hunt is a transformational life coach and Level 2 practitioner in EFT (emotional freedom technique.) She helps others reach their goals for a richer and more fulfilled life and to understand self-awareness, so they're able to pinpoint where they're stuck.

Andrea has worked, studied, and lived abroad and travelled all over, meeting like-minded individuals along the way. She understood the issues expats were facing and wanted to help them through and does just that with her life coaching.

My first EFT session experience

I've heard good things about EFT over the years and how tapping and repeating affirmations is a useful method to clear negative energy and reframe limiting beliefs. I'm very into holistic thinking and any methods that are different from conventional types of therapy, so I was pretty excited to see an EFT session play out.

When I logged onto the Zoom call with Andrea, instantly, I already felt content with Andrea's presence as she had that friendly and happy nature about her. She first asked for me to share any topics that I was currently struggling with and that I'd like to think differently about. I shared how I was feeling lost at the minute with my future, my career and the direction I wanted to go in, and a few issues surrounding that.

Andrea instantly took on board what I said and we began with a few rounds of limiting beliefs - and she told me to repeat the phrases she was saying, whilst practicing the tapping motions on the meridian points of the body. By repeating what she was saying out loud, really helped encapsulate what I was really thinking and get it all out of my system, and tapping at the same time also brought a sense of calm. The first few phrases began with 'even though' and we went through a series of them and many sentences that linked with the issues I had brought up to her. Then, we'd take a deep breath and talk through the sentences which stood out and resonated with me - which was the perfect time to reflect on what was really bothering me.

We did this a couple of times for different issues as we got closer to the main cause of why I was feeling that way. And then, Andrea went through 'what if' scenarios. She said a few and asked me to finish the sentence by saying the first thing that came to my head. This gave me the opportunity to air any issues without having to think about it and to be honest, my biggest fears came out, quite easily. Through all of these, the tapping continued which helped me feel a lot more relaxed when talking about issues. This is because when I'm anxious and talking about the things that make me anxious, I need to do something with my hands - and this made the talking process easier.

My favourite part of the session was the last round, and when we flipped the negative thoughts and fears into something positive. Andrea got me to repeat all the positive affirmations such as 'I am a confident woman' and many other things that I needed to hear whilst tapping. The reassuring tone Andrea has also helped, and I loved how she made light of a lot of things and was super easy to talk to.

I went into that session feeling lost and out of control but I came out with a sense of calm about myself and that everything which is bothering me right now will pass and I'll be okay. I think physically saying the thoughts, discussing what resonates, and finishing off with positive affirmations to affirm the good energy into me really helped. 

I really enjoyed my first taster into EFT and it's definitely something I would love to explore more of and practice often. I understand, not everything can be done in one session but for me, it was a great starting point and introduction to how EFT can work for me. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I think the process of tapping and repeating certain phrases will really help me in the future.

If you're interested in learning more about EFT and would like to book a session, contact Andrea today.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried EFT before?

Thank you for reading <3

Weekend in Brighton: the best things to see and do

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Brighton is one of my favourite UK cities. I love the buzz of the shops, the nightlife, the pier, and people but also the calmness of the beach and how it makes me feel like I'm at home. I recently headed over for a weekend to celebrate my birthday with my best friend and had the best ever time exploring and delving more into the Brighton way of life.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you're planning a weekend in Brighton and looking for the best things to see and do, here is my guide on how to spend a weekend in Brighton.

Brighton pier

What there is to see and do

Kemptown exploring

Kemptown, famously known for its LGBTQ+ culture is a cool place to start your ventures in Brighton. It's located right next to the main stretch of Brighton beach, packed full of cool and colourful bars, quirky cafes, and restaurants. It's also a hub for vintage boutiques, shops, and some fun backdrops for photos. I loved it around there, especially in the evening, as there was such a vibe about it.

Brighton Pavillion and gardens

The Pavillion is one of those postcard moments of Brighton and is worth the visit, even if you only have a mooch around the gardens. The building is iconic to see and the gardens match too with their beautiful bursts of flowers dotted all around. Entry to the museum inside isn't too costly if you fancy a gander too.

Brighton pavillion

Brighton Pier

The most iconic part of Brighton is the pier and you have to make sure you head over there. The pier is more than just a beautiful walkway with dazzling neon lights to look across the beach, it has so many things activities. The pier is packed with thrills and excitement from the assortment of different rides, the dodgems to the endless amount of arcades inside, leading all the way up the pier. There are also a few cafes and food spots scattered across the pier too.

Brighton pier

Shopping in the Lanes

I adore the Lanes with my whole heart and love nothing more than having a mooch about when I'm in Brighton. The Lanes are huge and there is more to see than you initially expect. Whether you're looking for vintage clothing, quirky jewelry, or unique homeware, the Lanes have a shop for everyone, plus a huge range of restaurants, cafes, and bars - and stalls outside too. The Lanes is a unique shopping experience, even if you're just going for a browse. And, it's the cutest spot for photos and soaking up the Brighton vibe.

The Lanes Brighton

Brighton Beach

Brighton beach is the heart of all the action, especially for either that bit of downtime or to soak up the buzz with its selection of bars, restaurants, and quaint shops. The beach is a huge stretch, giving you the opportunity to find a quiet spot for a picnic or throwing yourself into the live music and beach air. It's a great location for a beach afternoon.

Brighton beach

Hove Beach and seafront

Hove is Brighton's quieter neighbour and an area I absolutely fell in love with on my trip. It can easily be reached from Brighton, as you can just walk along the seafront in the direction of Hove to reach the main stretch of the beach. Hove is renowned for its colourful beach huts and they sit opposite the beach in an iconic setting. 

Hove beach

Hove's beach isn't as busy as Brighton in any sense and there are only a handful of cafes dotted along the front to eat at. But, that's what I loved about it as it reminded me of the quiet beaches I have on my doorstep. Hove is a lot more residential than Brighton with the main area, home to its high street and a few parks to mooch in.

Hove beach

Upside down house in Brighton 

On Brighton beach next to the I360 sits the coolest upside-down house. I didn't realise that's where it was located and it adds that extra bit of colour to the beach setting. You're able to enter and explore its illusions for a small fee or simply take a photo next to it outside.

upside down house brighton

Alcotraz Prison Bar experience

This has to be one of my favourite experiences to date. The Alcotraz Prison Bar is open in many cities including London, but whilst I was in Brighton, I thought I would give it a whirl and I'm thrilled I did. The entire place was designed to look like a prison and the actors were superb in playing the roles of both the warden and the guards, I felt like I was in Orange Is the New Black.

Alcocraz prison bar

The whole idea behind the bar is to sneak in your alcohol with help of the guards and then the 'kitchen staff' make customised cocktails for you to drink in your cell. We got to make our prison identity cards, engage with all of the staff and the whole thing was more like a show than a bar. I honestly loved the entire thing and would love to go back.

alcotraz brighton

Where to eat

Kooks

Located in the Lanes, amidst the cute vintage shops and quirky cafes, the cool restaurant is Kooks. It's a brunch, cafe, restaurant, and bar all in one with modern style seating inside and outside seating in the hub of the Lanes atmosphere. I stopped in for brunch and got the nicest granola bowl ever, and sat outside in the sunshine. 

kooks brighton

Red Roaster

A very hyped brunch place in the centre of town, Red Roaster is an Instagram dream with its monochrome interior and modern brunch menu (with the best waffles.) They're not just a cute brunch place, but they offer a bottomless brunch and at night, turn into a Thai BBQ venue. There's a bit of something for everyone and even an outdoor seating area.

red roaster brighton

Oeuf

One of the places I saw on Instagram, I just had to try for my birthday morning breakfast and it didn't disappoint. With its mint green and pink interior, the place screams pastels and fun. I ordered their famous frumpets (french toast crumpets) with the most delicious compote and honestly, I was in heaven when eating it. The menu was varied too with something for everyone!

oeuf brighton

Red Snapper

I'm obsessed with Thai food as it's so hard to find food that is as good as the meals I had when I was travelling but this restaurant made every dish on point. The Thai food was authentic, the restaurant was quaint and cute, and the best part, it's a bring your own bottle restaurant. For the quality of the food and how good the whole experience was, it's super cheap.

VIP Pizza

I'm a huge Italian food lover, I'm part Italian so finding good Italian food is important to me and VIP Pizza hit the nail on the head. It has a rustic interior with everything that screamed Italian eatery about it and the food was top notch. I wanted to eat the whole menu! It's one of those restaurants that has been in their family for years, and you could feel the love and authenticity in the food.

vip pizza brighton

Boho Gelato

Everyone raves about Boho Gelato and I've visited time and time again on my trips to Brighton as I love the variety of flavours on offer. You can't beat the carrot cake flavour and their chocolate ones are superb too.

Dum Dum Doughnuts

I'm not usually one to share chains when it comes to recommending places to eat or drink as it's so important to support independent businesses. However, Dum Dum Doughnuts offer a range of the biggest and best doughnuts and I always love to pick a few up when I'm in the city.

Where to drink

Twisted Lemon

The Twisted Lemon is a cool and funky bar, situated down a side alley in the middle of town which offers a selection of classic and unique cocktails. There's a rustic vibe about it with a quirky twist, and I love that! 

No32

For a fancier place for a couple of cocktails or a posh night out, this is the place to go, located in the centre of town. I adored everything about No32; the extravagance, the mood lighting, and the varied combination of drinks on the menu. It's definitely a fab place for a bottle of prosecco and to dress up fancy for a girl's night out.

no32 brighton

The Mesmerist 

The Mesmerist is one of those bars that has something for everyone. It has a slightly more casual vibe to it with that English pub feel about it. The bar is known for live music, good food, and a range of drinks. It's a great starting point for a night out!

Affinity Bar 

Located in Kempton, the Affinity Gay Bar was an incredible vibe for a night out. The bar offers cabaret, karaoke and plays every banger under the sun for a full joyous night out. I loved it there, it had such a happy atmosphere to it and the cocktails were delicious too.

affinity bar brighton

How to get around

Brighton is one of those cities where you can easily get around to all of the main sights on foot and that's one of the main ways to save money in the city. Alternatively, taxis are always easy to flag down and can be a great option if you need to get somewhere quickly or you don't fancy a long mooch. You can find taxis anywhere in town - it's important to note, they're not the cheapest mode of transport.

Where to stay

Brighton is a hub for accommodation, whether that's a hostel, B&B, hotel, or apartment, and has a place for every type of budget.

For the budget traveller, Horizon is a great pick. It's located in Kempton, only about a 10/15 minute walk from the main hub of Brighton, and is super easy to find.

For the slightly more expensive option, The Lanes Hotel is a gorgeous option, overlooking the main stretch of Brighton seafront. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. What's your favourite part of Brighton?

Thank you for reading <3

My First Smear Test Experience

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I recently turned 25 which meant receiving my cervical screening letter through the post. It may sound weird to say, but I've always been excited for the day to come, to get the test out of the way, and to feel like a proper adult in another sense.

Whether you're nearly 25 and feeling nervous about your smear test or don't know what to expect, here is my first smear test experience.

My First Smear Test Experience

Booking the appointment

You should receive your letter to get your first smear test a few months before you turn 25, I received mine 3 months before my birthday. But, I found out from my nurse at the appointment that they've lowered the age of the smear test to 24 years and 6 months, which I didn't know before and worth noting, especially to those who want to try and go as early as possible.

The smear test experience

I didn't really think much about the appointment beforehand as I didn't want to work myself up in any way. I did feel a little apprehensive and anxious as I wasn't exactly sure what to expect and heard mixed stories beforehand. However, as the nurse welcomed me in, I felt instantly relieved. She had a friendly and calm approach to her which put my mind at ease before I even sat on the bed.

The nurse asked me a few medical questions and then for me to lie on the bed, removed my underwear, and separated my legs comfortably, ready for the examination. Her presence and reassuring tone helped as she explained the process of the smear. As she began the examination, I found it to be slightly uncomfortable as she was finding my cervix. But once she found it and took the sample, that took a matter of seconds and it was a lot quicker than I expected it to me. And, it didn't hurt at all.

I turned and asked the nurse 'is that it?' As I genuinely couldn't believe it was that quick. I thought it was going to take a lot longer and hurt a lot more than it actually did.

How I felt afterward

Instantly afterward, I had a slight pain, like a weak period pain which probably remained for about twenty minutes after, but it was barely noticeable. Other than that, I felt completely fine and normal and relieved I had it done. I walked away with a spring in my step, as the bit of anxiety I had about the examination had been relieved in every way.

How long till I get the results

My nurse ensured me I should get the results in 2 weeks but due to the pandemic, they'll probably be delayed and around 4 weeks instead. I was pretty surprised at this, as I thought it would take at least 12 weeks to get the results back. However, I received my results in under a week and I can happily say they were negative which was a huge relief.

Why it's so important to book yours in

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your smear booked in. A smear test or cervical screening as it's known now is a test to test the health of your cervix. And, to see if you have any cells that can potentially turn cancerous. It's a preventative test in a sense to catch these cells early before they can potentially turn into something much worse. It's important as catching abnormal cells in the early stage means treating whatever you may have as quickly as possible before it can get worse. Look after yourself and if you do anything today, book in your smear. AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS TOO AS WELL.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you had your smear test before?

Thank you for reading <3

How to live the best life for you - my top tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Life is full of up and downs, things that'll test our limits and moments that are so great, we'll never forget them; that's what life is all about. It's not meant to be easy in any sense and we all learn things as we grow older, in order for us to grow from our mistakes and figure out who we truly are.

I think we all aspire to live our best lives and it's something we should all have as a goal because it's important to live your life for you. If you're looking to feel more fulfilled in your everyday life and live the best life for yourself, here are my best tips.

How to live the best life for you

Be authentically you

We all spend many years trying to figure out who we are and what we want in life but I believe all of us know deep inside us that fact, and it's about bringing that out. Living our true and authentic self isn't easy in any sense, as you'll find people will be against it, won't understand you, and that you're open to more judgement.

However, we all deserve to be our true selves and live authentically as possible. Once you learn to accept yourself and embrace that in everyday life, you'll become a lot happier as your soul will be aligned with your exterior self. I can honestly assure you that being your true self will radiate the right people towards you and the right opportunities - and add to you, living your best life.

Do things that make your heart soar

Our passions and goals are what shape us as humans and give us focus on what we should aspire to do. All of us have different hobbies and different loves, and the things that really brighten our moods - and these are the things to gravitate towards, even if they're not feasible.

Whether you're an avid writer like me, love interior design, or have a penchant for gardening, if it brings you joy, make time for it and have it as an active part of your life. By spending time doing the things that make your heart soar, you'll feel happier in yourself and enjoy life a lot more.

Learn to love yourself

I preach about self-love all the time as it's the key to living your true self and having a better life. Learning to love yourself is a long journey but an important and crucial one, a journey we should all begin no matter our age. Loving yourself means accepting your flaws, appreciating who you are, and loving every inch of your being - and knowing, you don't need to be in love with yourself 100% of the time.

By learning to love yourself, you'll naturally cut the negative energy out of your life, gravitate towards the things that make you happy, and in turn, it'll help you live your best life.

Cut out all toxic energy

This leads me to negative energy. No matter who you are, negative energy and toxic people will be a part of your life in some way at one point or another. But, to live your best life, it's important to know where to set the boundaries and cut out that toxic energy from your everyday. When you do this, you can live and focus on the things which are good for you and surround yourself with the right people too.

Take rest days and breaks

This point has taken me time to realise and practice. I've always overworked myself and made sure I was doing things at 100 miles an hour and it's not healthy, leading to me burnout often and my mental health, getting worse. But when I began to take breaks and rest days, I felt completely better overall in my mental and physical health.

When you take the time out to relax, it gives your body the chance to replenish and your mind to refresh, and can do you wonders. And, this can help you feel better in yourself to pursue your loves.

Care for your mental health and wellbeing

Mental health is something I advocate about all the time as it's so important to care for your mind, the way you would your body. Mental illness and mental health are different, some may live with a mental illness like anxiety but we all have mental health, and we all need to do the best for our minds.

This can mean learning more about our mind, our triggers, what we love, what upsets us, and setting boundaries to protect ourselves, and step away from the people who aren't right for us. Looking after your mental health will help you live the best life for yourself because it will lay out the road for how you feel about your life and what you can do to live a happier life.

Take care of your physical health

Your physical health is very important and it's important to take care of your body. That means nourishing your body with food, exercising, hydration, and of course rest. By staying healthy and keeping active, it'll not only help your body but your mind too - and do a world of good for living your best life. As they say, a healthy mind is a healthy life.

Always pursue your dreams 

Dreams are what make the world go round and gives us all some level of hope that there's something better and something to strive towards. Dreams aren't meant to be realistic, that's the beauty of them and we should all have our dreams. By dreaming and pursuing your best thoughts will help you live a better life as you'll always be aiming for something that makes your heart soar.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude is incredibly important and something we should all practice every day in order to have a more positive mindset in life. And when you have a positive mindset, the harder days are easier to accept - and know things will be okay in the end. Then, it means you can lead towards living the best life for you.

Focus on the important things in life

What is important is the love you have around you and learning to love yourself in order to live the best life for you. If you focus on those things, rather than the artificial part of life, you'll find a lot more satisfaction, gratitude, and fulfillment in your everyday life - and also understand how beautiful life truly is to give us the gift of love, friendship, experiences, fun, and happiness.

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

Thank you for reading <3