Book review: The Missing Wife by Shelia O'Flanagan

 Well hello to you my reader chums! You know when you read a book and think this is so relatable to a character's feelings and I want to read more and more? This was how I felt about The Missing Wife. 

If you're looking for a light-hearted but slightly thriller stylebook for your holiday, this is one to pick up on your next book shop trip, and here is my full review.

*This post contains an affiliate links.

The Missing Wife by Shelia O'Flanagan book


It looks like Imogen and Vince Naughton had a perfect and happy marriage, and were always on cloud nine together. However, when Imogen randomly disappears, everyone, she knows is in shock including her husband Vince. He treated her like a princess and she always tells everyone how lucky she is to have him.

But what goes on behind close is often different from what the outside world sees and Imogen surprises herself by taking the leap to get back to her old self. However, what she doesn't realise is that her past is right behind her, getting nearer by the day. The plot is all about whether that past catches up with her and Imogen on her journey of self-discovery and learning to love herself again.

Characters and relationships

The beauty of fictional books is reading about characters and watching their personalities and journey in a story unveil.  Imogen is a character that I loved from the off as I related to her in so many ways, but also really appreciated her courage, her organisation, and her desire to get back to the life she once has. The book really focuses on a whole look at her life and all the trauma she'd experienced before this point and the life events which shaped her existence into who she is now - and how those things made her choose to go back to France and get her life back. Imogen is one of those characters that seems down to earth, strong and loving, and that's apparent in every relationship she makes when departing to France.

Vince, Imogen's husband I disliked from the off. The way he spoke, the way he described his and Imogen's life actually made my skin crawl at times. He seemed like an entitled, selfish, and controlling man in every single sense, and even from the first few pages, I can understand why Imogen left him. But as the story unveils and Vince sets off to find Imogen, things become a lot clearer to what their relationship really was like.

The other characters I adored are all of the lovely people Imogen meets in France and become great friends of her including Celine and Rene and many other people that end up intertwining in her overall story. They bring an element of positivity into her life and for the first time in a while, give her the hope and courage that she needs.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. The development of the plot, the growth of character development, and the setting descriptions were enough to hook me in. Plus, I also loved the slight thriller element as I couldn't tell what was going to happen next or how the story will pan out.

The way Imogen and Vince's relationship was written is genius and so apt in many ways. The writer nailed the plot to every little detail and I really enjoyed learning what was coming for Imogen and if she would get the happy ending she deserved. It's a long old read but I enjoyed every page; the author has this way of hooking you in with every page and that's how I know I've found a good book.


I'm obviously not going to give away the ending, however, what I can say is it made me feel very content and uplifted. Everything was brought together so well and it made sense how the author panned for Imogen's story to end and for some good to come her way. In my opinion, it was the perfect ending for all of the characters in the book.

If you'd like to buy yourself a copy, you can do so here. I highly recommend this book!

I hope you enjoyed this review. What books are you loving at the minute?

Thank you for reading <3

25 things I've achieved in 25 years

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I turned 25 on Monday and to me, that's a big deal. Being in my twenties and reaching the midway mark came with a lot of pressure that we all experience but, honestly I'm thrilled to be 25 and I feel the best I ever have in myself. I've celebrated turning 25 in style and I'm forever grateful for everyone around me who made it so incredibly special.

Reaching a new birthday year, I like to sit and reflect on what I've learnt in the previous year, how I did when I turned 21 and 24. However, for this birthday, I wanted to look back at everything I've achieved. If you're 25 and looking back at your life, here are 25 things I've achieved in 25 years.

25 things I've achieved in 25 years

Travelled to 20 countries

I have the biggest passion for travel and one of the things I'm always thinking and dreaming about is where I'm going next or the places I've visited in the past. I have the longest list of countries and cities I want to visit; I'm excited to roam around, delve into the new culture, meet locals and eat all of the traditional cuisines. 

I'm proud and grateful to say, I've visited 20 countries (plus the many cities/regions I've visited too in those countries) and my heart and soul are ready to add 100 more to that list and one day maybe even have the opportunity to see every country in the world. I'm very lucky to have achieved seeing so much at this age and I can't wait to tick many more places off my never-ending list in years to come. Adventure fills my soul with pure joy and is the thing that makes me the happiest.

Overcome my travel anxiety

I've spoken about this many times on my blog, however, even though travel is my biggest passion, it wasn't always that way. My anxiety used to be so bad, I couldn't even leave the house, let alone get on a plane and leave the country. It took time, many of the darkest days and completely pushing myself into the unknown to get myself over the first hurdle on wanting to get better with my travel anxiety. When I booked my first girls trip 6 years ago and got a taste of the adventure, I knew at that moment it was something my heart desired, and I wanted to fight the anxiety which would stop me from enjoying the travel way of life. You can read more on how I did this in my travel anxiety post, and truly, I couldn't be prouder.

Written 5 novels

Since I learnt how to read, I knew I wanted to be an author. Books made younger me incredibly happy and they still do, immersing me in a fictional tale. I've been wanting to write a novel for the longest time, but something always got in the way. However, over the last year, I finally put my head down (thanks to furlough) and got cracking, and managed to write two adult fiction books and three middle-grade children's fiction books and I love each and every one of the stories. I now, dream of nothing more than getting them published and having my books on the shelves of Waterstones.

Learnt to love me

I talk about self-love on this blog, my journey and tips all of the time as it's something I've tried to do for years and over the past two, I would say have been the lightbulb moment of my journey. Learning to love me is still a process every day, but I've got to the point where I've learnt to accept and love all the parts of me - and accept, not every day I'm going to be my biggest fan. I'm still learning and that's the most important thing.

Built my self-confidence

Self-confidence goes hand in hand with self-love and my journey with it hasn't exactly been an easy one. Growing up, I was always shy and introverted and didn't believe in myself, second-guessing everything. But with great friends, family and a support system around me, and with age, confidence has slowly come. I'm not completely there but I've built it to a point that I'm confident in myself, who I am and I'm ready to take on anything that life throws at me. I look back at my 16-year-old self and I want to give her a hug with the lack of self-confidence that was so prominent in me. I feel a million times more confident in myself and my body, and I love that more than anything.

Passed my driving test

I love to drive. It's not like I've not ever been a confident driver, however, it did take me 5 times to actually pass as testing day made me way too nervous. But, I passed at the age of 22 and have now been driving for 3 years.

Celebrated 8 years of my blog

I'm forever grateful to have this blog to share my thoughts, my travels and things I've learnt in my adult life. It has been an online space to grow my writing, develop my marketing skills and navigate my way in the blogging community. I'm so happy I made the decision at 16 and I'm proud I've kept this blog up for 8 years, and I hope to continue it forevermore.

Built a marketing career for 6 years 

I've worked in marketing since I was 19 and I've loved over the span of 6 years how much I've grown in my knowledge, in what I can do and how I've had the ability to be creative. Over those 6 years, I've worked for various companies and met people in due course who have taught me lifelong lessons, and people I know will either be in my life for the long haul or their impression that they made in me will. I'm excited to see what the next step in my marketing career takes - and I'm so glad that when I was 18, the apprenticeship I applied for pushed me into the world of marketing.

Learnt how to cope with my anxiety

I could write about my anxiety for days and I've shared my experience in an open letter and the tips I've used to help me overcome it during the past decade. But, I'm not cured, I probably never will be. What I've learnt to realise instead is my triggers, what I can do to prevent or recover from them and the things I need to do to feel supported, and who to go to. I've been able to communicate to my loved ones what they need to do in order to help me and that has been a massive learning curve. Now, I'm in a much better position with my anxiety than I once was.

Built-up my savings

It has always been important to me to be financially independent and have my own money and savings so I don't need to rely on anyone else, and since I've started earning at the age of 18, I've kept to that promise. I've always made sure to have some sort of backup money to fall back on should I or someone around me need it. Over the last year, has been the best for my savings game and I've reached a total I'm very proud of and as I get nearer to my thirties, I want to be in a better financial position.

Maintained the best group of friends

I'm incredibly lucky for the girls I surround myself with. As we've gotten older, we're not living out of each other's pockets anymore but the love, the support and the pure joy are still prominent and I know they're always going to be there for me. Maintaining friendships can be hard as I got older, but my girls have got me and I've got them and I'm forever grateful for those solid roots that I'll have for the rest of my life.

Backpacked SE Asia

I dream about my backpacking trip far too often and sometimes I can't believe I did it and went away for 2 months, backpacking around south-east Asia. It has to be my favourite trip to date and I want to go back and do another backpacking trip again. The freedom of backpacking is a joyful feeling and everything I experienced from island hopping, meeting the elephants, eating street food to meeting fellow backpackers, locals and motorbiking on the islands, are memories I'll have for the rest of my life. I'm proud of myself for immersing in something completely new, a new way of travelling and for being away from home for that period of time.

Flew abroad on my own

Like travel anxiety, I used to have the biggest fear of flying which went hand in hand with my fear of heights. I would have panic attacks and dread the entire sensation of flying but by doing it more often, the fear slowly got better. And, around 5 years ago now, I wanted to push myself and flew abroad to see my family on my own and to date, it is one of my proudest moments.

Overcome my fear of heights

Having a fear of heights was something I lived with for years and even sometimes now, it is still there, but for the most part, I can handle it. I've been up to the tallest building in the world, climbed to incredible island views, fly freely and don't have that dreaded feeling when walking up to any sort of high buildings and that makes me happy.

Achieved the best grades in school

I was a massive hard worker at school and always had my head in a book, and was certainly one for the 'uncool' kids but to be honest, I'm glad I was the geeky girl as it set me forward in life with motivation, drive and ambition to succeed. It may have meant I went through years of bullying and not feeling good enough because of my peers, but I achieved good grades and made myself and my family proud.

Grasped the ability to let go

Letting go is something we all need to try and grasp in our life as it's so important, even though it may be the hardest thing ever. Whether it's a relationship or a job, choosing to let go when it doesn't feel right anymore will do the world of good. I don't like to say I've mastered this but I am in the process of learning it and accepting how important it is for my own mental health, and that in itself is an achievement.

Overcome many obstacles to become stronger

We all go through really hard times in life, the same way we go through the best of times, and the hard moments are what shape us as people. I've had many obstacles thrown in my way as I've gotten older especially and I'm proud I've overcome them to become a stronger human being.

Overcome my fear of crowds

My anxiety meant crowds and lots of groups of people absolutely terrified me and caused me way too many panic attacks to date. Whether I was in a club, on the tube or a crowded place in general, it freaked me out way too much. Over time, when I was getting better with my social anxiety and travel anxiety, the fear slowly got smaller and today, crowds do not bother me at all.

Learnt how to be my authentic self

Over the past year, I feel like being my authentic self has been more prominent. I've always known who I am, I'm quite a self-assured person, however people's opinions and influences always affected me over time, suppressing who I truly was. In my journey of self-love and confidence, I've learnt how to express myself and it makes me proud that I'm on the journey of living truly like myself.

Never giving up on my dreams

I'm a big dreamer, so many people always tell me how unrealistic all my goals are, but without dreams then what is the point? I know a lot of my dreams are unrealistic and maybe not feasible, but I love the push and the ambition to reach all of those goals. And even though, I'm getting knocked back, I'll never give up on my dreams.

Learnt to take accountability for my actions

As I've gotten older, I've learnt about the power of accountability and how important it is. It's not like I've always gone around blaming people, however, it can be easier to blame others for your actions rather than admitting you're wrong. Lately, I've learnt as hard as it is, to ensure I always take that accountability when I think or know I was in the wrong and admit that.

Started my own baking business

In 2018, my twin sister and I opened our own baking business, Twinnies Bake. I've adored every minute of running and growing the business and seeing the joy in customer's faces as they received our brownies/cakes/cookies/cupcakes and more.We had to take a big break due to lockdown but we're excited to get back to it and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Twinnies Bake!

Swam/kayaked in open water

I have a lot of fears as you've probably read from this post so far but something that still is a fear for me, is open water and I'm working on it to this day. My biggest accomplishments to date around water are going parasailing, swimming in open water in Phi Phi off the boat and going kayaking in Vietnam. I look back at all of those moments with pride as even though I was terrified, I did it.

Turned 25 feeling the best in myself

My last achievement is turning 25 and feeling the best in myself that I ever had. I'm still learning to love all that is me, grow my confidence and continuously learn new things about me every day, but I'm on the road to achieving everything I want to do and want to be. I hope the year of 25 is everything I've dreamt of with all the successes and fun that comes with it. I'm forever grateful to reach this point and have those around me in my life. 25, let's see what you bring.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What is your biggest accomplishment?

Thank you for reading <3

How to move on from a breakup | my top 10 tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Break-ups are really hard, I'm not going to lie to you. The separation, the processing, and then moving on is a difficult transition, but for the most part, is the making of something better for you and your life. I've written about how to deal with a break-up previously, but now eighteen months on, I've learnt and grown a lot more, and want to share that advice with you.

How to move on from a break up

Whether you're going through a breakup, are in the process of moving on, or can't seem to move on, here are my best tips on how to move on from a breakup.

Pursue your favourite things to do

I cannot stress to you how important it is to do things that make you happy at every point in life but especially when you're going through a life change or a hard time like a breakup. Pursuing your favourite things whether that's writing, travelling, riding a bike or being creative in any way, can really give you that positive boost you need. 

When you're dealing with the process of moving on from a breakup, it is similar feelings to grief and that's why channelling any energy you have into happy activities can really help you feel a little bit better - and give you something else to focus on.

Keep social with important people in your life

There's nothing worse than going through a hard time and bottling up all of your emotions, as essentially that'll not only make you feel worse but eventually, you will blow and it's not an effective way to deal with how you're feeling. This is why it's so important to keep social with those around you when moving on from a breakup. 

The important people in your life will want to help support you in your healing process and moving on from a breakup, and boost you up in any way they can. Even if you're not feeling your usual social self, try and give yourself a push as talking to someone does the world of good.

Know that it's okay to feel sad

This is something I struggled with when moving on from a breakup as I always had the mentality 'it has been a few months, you shouldn't be sad anymore' but this isn't the right mindset in any way. Moving on from a breakup is a big life change, especially if you've been together for a long time. You're essentially removing a significant person in your life who you spoke to every day, who you were intimate with and on a close level of emotion - and you need to process and get over that.

It's okay to feel sad if you miss them, it's okay to feel sad if you're hurting from what they did and it's okay to feel sad that you want them back. All these emotions are normal and it's important to allow yourself to feel and process those emotions rather than brushing them off or putting them aside. Cry it out, eat all of the ice creams and have your moment - it will help you feel better in the long run that you gave yourself that time to feel it all.

Block them on everything

This is probably a harsh tip to suggest as I know everyone's breakups are different, however, blocking your ex can do the world of good for you. Like they always say, 'out of sight, out of mind'. If you block your ex on social media and their number, it'll stop you from seeing what they're getting up to or contacting them when you're tempted to. And not knowing what is going on in their life as you physically can't see it, will allow you to have more room in your mind to focus on yourself and your life, rather than wondering about them.

Don't play the blame game

This is quite an important point to make. In order to move on healthily from a breakup, it's crucial to not blame everything on the 'horrid ex'. Granted, they may have caused you significant pain from breaking up with you and in the relationship, but it won't help by channelling negative energy towards them. If you have negative energy and hate you're channelling towards them, it'll make you feel more negative in general and make it harder to move on, as you're thinking about them. Rather than blaming them, think of the reasons why you're grateful the relationship is over, the positives that came out of it and take accountability too for your actions. 

Write them a goodbye letter

This is one of the most powerful and effective things I did months after my breakup as it gave me a form of closure as I was in the process of moving on. What I did was write a letter to my ex. Firstly, I wrote down all the things I'm thankful for that he did, then I wrote down all the things he did that hurt me, and lastly, all the things that I forgive him for. I never sent the letter but it was a way to release my emotions and put them all in one place, rather than the thoughts keep festering in my brain.

Box away the memories and photos or get rid

Similar to blocking them, this also works a treat. If you don't want to throw the photos and memories away that you have together, then box them all away. Put the box completely out of sight so you know you're not going to reach for it but you still have access to it that in years to come, you may want to get rid of it completely or want to reminisce and look over the memories - it'll all depend on how you feel.

When it comes to digital photos, if you're not ready to delete them completely or don't want to at all, back them up and then delete them off your phone so they're not there to look through.

Embrace the freedom of single life

Single life is an incredible thing. It's the opportunity to fully find yourself, pursue your passions, do things on your own clock and have a lot more freedom. I'm not putting down relationships in any way, but being single is a different sense of freedom and something to be celebrated more. Try and focus on the things you can do now you're single like having your bed to yourself or having more 'you' time - there are lots of perks you can focus on.

Imagine your future exactly how you want it to be

I love this point. Although moving on from a breakup means accepting that the life you planned with that person is no longer an option, it means you have the opportunity to create a new future, new goals and focus on exactly what you want. Whether that's starting a business, quitting your job, going travelling or simply having fun, your future is in your control and you can be exactly who you want to be.

Time really is the best healer

It's one of the oldest sayings in the book but time really is the best healer. In six months or a year time, the pain you're feeling right now will lessen, how much you think and miss them will get smaller and your focus and goals will compeltely change. And, I can asure you, you'll be further into your feeling of moving on. You've so got this. This too shall pass.

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

Thank you for reading <3

Top 15 places to go on staycation this year

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Staycations are definitely the new holidays and something a lot of us are learning to appreciate more; the beauty on our doorstep. It's definitely something I've learned to love this past year and it has got me excited to see more of what's around me locally. As travelling around the UK is not my expertise, I'm more of a worldwide kind of traveller, I've asked many of my blogging friends for recommendations.

Whether you're looking for a city break, to beach it up for the week, or explore somewhere close to your front door, here are the top 15 places to go on staycation this year.

Swanage Dorset

Swanage, Dorset 

"Before 2020, I was of the mindset that a holiday could only mean getting on a plane and going overseas but after searching for a UK holiday with a friend last year, I was gladly proven wrong. My new favourite staycation spot is Swanage, a coastal town in Dorset. I and a friend stayed in the Swanage Bay Holiday resort park, renting a static caravan for a long weekend. The view of the coast from the caravan terrace was breath-taking, as good as anything I’d ever seen abroad and I couldn’t believe we were just 40 miles from home. With nearby viewpoints such as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, and Corfe Castle you have more than enough to see and do for a week away. 

Swanage Beach itself is lovely, one morning we woke up at 5am so that we could walk down to the beach and get some pictures of the sunrise, which was beautiful and I highly recommend it. I’ve been back a few times since and we’re due to go again in July and I'm really looking forward to it. Last year came with few positives but realising the beautiful towns, cities, and villages that are just a stone’s throw away from me was definitely one of mine." - Stacey from StaceyLBlogs.

Retreat East Suffolk

Retreat East, Suffolk

"I’ve just returned from a few days at Retreat East in the heart of Suffolk which felt like the ultimate staycation. We stayed in The Farmhouse which felt like a home from home meaning we could completely relax and unwind – just what we needed after the last year! It’s all set in the most beautiful location with rolling fields, morning birdsong, and a really sophisticated country aesthetic (perfect for the gram).

One of the reasons I loved it so much was that there was a tonne of things you could get up to but if you fancied it, you could put your feet up with a good book as well and you’d be just as happy! We went on lots of walks and even stumbled across some geocaches, visited nearby towns like Aldeburgh, Lavenham, and Woodbridge to mooch around the shops, and spent the rest of the time playing board games or taking advantage of the spa. Oh, and I can’t forget taking a trip to Southwold for some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten (10/10 to The Little Fish and Chip Shop). Suffolk and more specifically, Retreat East, really is the perfect place for a social media detox or to spend some quality time with your family and friends!" - Katy from Katy Stephenson.



"One of my favourite places is Portsmouth. I actually studied for my degree there for three years and it was one of the best places I have lived. It is not only by the beach but it still has a city vibe (me being from London) so it had a tiny bit of home there. There are countless cute unique cafes, the beach, and arcades, and rides, and my favourite spot “The tenth hole” which is a cute tearoom adjoined to a small golf course- but it does some great cake! Not to mention Gunwharf Quays which is an outlet shopping area with food and drink places and the Spinnaker Tower (an observation tower you can go up). Overall a beautiful place to go!" - Gemma from GemmaJayne.



"Oxford is a beautiful, historic city where you will discover many hidden gems. This place is special to me because it was where I first learned to travel solo when I took a creative writing course there. Some of my favourite things to do in Oxford are to visit Harry Potter filming locations, watch a Shakespeare open-air play in one of the Colleges, and enjoy the breath-taking view of the Oxford skyline at St. Mary's Church!" - Izzy from Izzy Matias.



"My favorite place to enjoy a bit of a Staycation is anyplace with a pier - there is something magical about enjoying a bit of the beach - playing in the sand, splashing in the water, then exploring the pier. There are so many fun games, bits of food, and rides for any children that you take. Sitting on the beach at sunset is always a lovely time. My favorite pier to explore is in Brighton, right on the beach! If you are in the area, you can also go to the Artbox Cafe and get some ice cream! There is also the option to see Brighton from above in the sky coaster, go to Sea World to view some fish, and otherwise enjoy the lovely town." - Life with Jupiter and Dann.

North Wales

North Wales 

"I and my partner always have the travel bug. If in doubt or we are short on cash, a staycation is always the answer. The UK has so many hidden gems, and hands down, North Wales has got to be our favourite place. We visited in May 2019, and what really made it for us was the accommodation that we stayed in. It was the perfect location for us, two explorers, in an Airbnb with the loveliest most welcoming welsh couple - Paddy and Sue. They gave us the best welcome (free eggs from their chickens and some homemade scones too!) and helped us with some ideas for sightseeing.

We couldn’t visit without making our way up Snowdon, could we? Honestly, the weather couldn’t have been more on our side. They say the chances of you being able to view much at the peak is fairly small, yet for us, the sky was crisp, clear and we could see for miles! Portmeirion was another favourite. It’s the ideal place to capture colourful, vibrant pictures full of life blooming at the seams. The plants and flowers that grew and bloomed all year round were breathtaking. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again in the height of summer." - Mary-Ann from The Lazy Chain.

Beaumaris on Anglesey

Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales)

"A staycation favourite of mine is Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales). Granted I am being a little biased here as I’m originally from a village 3 miles just outside, but every time I visit home the small little town gets even more beautiful. Being right by the sea you have an amazing stretch of beach combined with small little gift shops, coffee shops and so much more. The seaside town also recently gained ‘plastic-free status’ with a community campaign set which encouraged the town's residents and businesses to cut down on single-use plastic! Anglesey can sometimes be a little forgotten when it comes to staycations but it’s an incredibly beautiful part of the country, definitely worth a visit!" - Lisa from Low Waste Weekly.

Lock Tavern Camden


"The city that never sleeps, filled with hidden gems and great for any budget - yes you can be boujee on a budget. A unique experience could include a floating hot tub boat, The Alchemist creative cocktail bar, or the Junkyard for a fun photoshoot. There's plenty of rooftop bars, restaurants, and cinemas if the weather allows it. London is such a lively place all year round, but especially in summer. There are festivals, street parties, and picnics to attend. Anything you can think of, London most likely has it." - Tajinder from TajinderKaur.


"There are a lot of awesome UK city breaks to choose from when looking for a lovely staycation, but Manchester should definitely be considered. While there’s quite a lot of things to do, it makes for the perfect weekend away. Manchester has a very strong contrast between the old and the new. Tall fancy skyscrapers stand right next to old factory buildings. It makes wandering around the city a real treat. If you’re visiting Manchester, make sure to stop by the Northern Quarter. This creative part of the city is filled with independent shops, cafes, and bars. Ezra & Gil and Foundation Coffee are two of my favourite cafes for a quick coffee or a snack.

In the Northern Quarter, you can also find Afflecks Palace. This three-storied building is filled with independent vendors - each room is a different shop. It’s a lot of fun to browse through all the crazy things they sell here. From the NQ, walk over to Deansgate. You can stop by Manchester’s cathedral and John Ryland’s library. Both of these are stunning pieces of architecture, and really show that contrast between the old and the new.


Castlefield is another area that should be on your itinerary. You can find the canals, old mills, and the ancient Roman fort here. Apart from that, there are some great restaurants near the canals, which are perfect for dinner. After dinner, walk over to the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate. It’s only a few minutes from Castlefield. On the 23rd floor, you’ll find Cloud23. This sky bar gives you one of the best views of the city, and they also serve some fantastic cocktails - the perfect way to end your trip to Manchester." - Nele from the Navigatio.

Yorkshire coast

Yorkshire Coast

"My favourite staycation place has to be the Yorkshire Coast. I know this isn’t just one place, but the Yorkshire coast really does have so many amazing places to visit that it is hard to choose just one! From higher up on the coastline to Whitby to right down to Bridlington, there is just seaside town after seaside town. Who doesn’t love a walk along a promenade, visiting the amusements, and eating your body weight in fresh fish and chips? Well, you get it all on the Yorkshire coast. When you want a more chilled, less touristy place, there are a few coastal towns in between to visit, like Staithes. The view from the top of the hill is just amazing, and the town really does have that remote close-knit town vibe to it. Then there is Sandsend with a beautiful long beach, perfect for spending a day building sandcastles, paddling, and having a cheeky seaside ice cream.

If history is your bag, then the Yorkshire coast has an abundance of old castles and Abbeys to explore, as well as vintage/antique shops. I just love exploring places like this! The best bit is, the Yorkshire Coast is only a short drive away from my hometown of Leeds, which means the places are so easy to get to. You can base yourself in one seaside town and go explore the nearby ones so easily. The weather may not always be warm along the coast, but the welcome from the locals always are!" - Aimsy from Aimsy's Antics.


"Whitby is one of our favourite seaside holiday destinations in the UK! There are lots of things to see while you’re there and unique souvenirs to purchase too. The Whitby Abbey, which stands on the cliffs above the town, is definitely one to visit if you love historic ruins. While in Whitby, be sure to climb the iconic 199 steps and take a walk down donkey road which runs parallel to the 199 steps. The Whalebone Arch, located on Whitby’s West Cliff, is another landmark you should see while in Whitby. As well as providing great photo opportunities, the arch represents Whitby’s history (the town used to be a whaling port). If the weather is on your side, a visit to the beach and harbour is a great way to spend the day. Take a walk along the piers in the evening to take in the views. 

If you're looking for some souvenirs to remember your trip, you can pick up a lucky duck from The Whitby Glass Shop. These lucky ducks are made from the colours of the gemstones for each birth month. Another great souvenir is Whitby Jet (a fossilised wood usually incorporated into jewelry), which can be purchased from various shops. Finally, no UK staycation is complete without eating some fish and chips!" - Lottie and Lauren from Twins Gone Roaming.


"Located on the East coast of the stunning North Yorkshire, there’s plenty on offer for a staycation in Whitby. I have been visiting the town every year as a family tradition for as long as I can remember, and it has everything you would want for a quintessentially British break: fresh fish and chips, real ice cream, and beautiful stretches of perfect beaches. Get your walking shoes on and amble down to the end of the windy West Pier, before exploring the traditional fish market, where you’ll catch fishing boats bringing their catch in; the famous 199 steps leading to the Grade I listed Whitby Abbey; and Tate Hill Sands, the beach where Bram Stoker’s Dracula famously landed. A drink in one of the town’s great pubs will be needed after a day of walking, and our favourites have to be The Black Horse along the cobbled Church Street, or the Abbey Wharf on Marketplace. And for us, the fish and chips have to be from Silver Street Fisheries or Trencher’s, and make sure to pick up some freshly-smoked kippers from Fortune’s to take home with you!" - Ryan from A Single Step.

Ireland staycation

County Roscommon Ireland

"As lockdown 1 came and went, we thought it was the end of the world, how will we travel? Where will we go? We decided to research and see what's on our doorstep. and a staycation became a possibility.

We stayed local in County Roscommon in the midwest of Ireland, a county rich in history with castle ruins, archaeological sites at Rathcroghan, see the mines of Arigna, wander the Mote Park bluebell forests, and finally to add a bit of fun Lough Key Forest Park where adventure is the number one priority. We love the county and its rich history can't wait to explore more. Stay local, you never know what you may find." - Richard and Michelle from Chalk and Cheese Travels.

Liverpool cathedral


"In my opinion, Liverpool is one of the greatest cities in the world. I may be biased because I live here, however working in a city centre University has proved just how wonderful the City of Liverpool really is. Every Liverpool newcomer makes a comment on how friendly and approachable the people are. Not only are the people incredible, but the city has a plethora of delicious independent cafes and restaurants. Liverpool also has many astounding musicians and music venues. Liverpool has some very iconic and historic architecture, including The Liver Buildings, The Albert Dock, and St George’s Hall, just to name a few. The city is filled with rich history and has its very own Museum of Liverpool dedicated to the city’s culture. You will never be bored in Liverpool, there is always something to see and do. If you are looking for a vibrant city to visit on your next UK break, Liverpool is the place to go." - Kelly from Until Another Day.

Swansea Bay

"If you are looking for a scenic staycation destination within the UK, then Swansea Bay should be on the top of your list. Whether you enjoy long walks, love relaxing by the sea, are into adrenaline-fuelled activities, or want to immerse yourself in culture/heritage, Swansea Bay has plenty to offer. We visited Swansea Bay recently and loved how scenic it was. It has miles of stunning coastline, varied landscapes, endless water sport activities, loads of walking/biking trails, and is a real paradise especially for those who love nature.

Swansea Bay offers excellent opportunities to try out water sport adventures like surfing, windsurfing, coasteering, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing, kayaking, kitesurfing, and more. For those who love art and culture, there is much that Swansea Bay offers in this aspect too. Swansea is the birthplace of Dylan Thomas (famous poet and writer) and you could follow the Dylan Thomas Trails that will take you around familiar Dylan Thomas landmarks around Swansea, Gower, and South Wales. Swansea Bay also has a number of castles, museums, and galleries for the art/culture lover.

Swansea Bay

As for places to eat, Swansea Bay has a large number of restaurants, bars, cafes, and bistros. You can enjoy traditional British food or choose from various international cuisines or go for local seafood. It is a great place for a staycation within the UK. Plan your visit with our guide on how to spend two days in Swansea Bay." - Deeptha from The Globe Trotter.


"With 1000 years of history, Lincoln is a city with so much to explore. Situated in the East Midlands (140 miles north of London), Lincoln is a hidden gem in the centre of England. Did you know that Lincoln Cathedral was considered the world’s highest building for nearly 240 years, following the Pyramids of Giza? It also holds a copy of the Magna Carta – created to ensure the rights of the people 800 years ago.


This is the perfect city for escaping the busy life of major cities and exploring the cobbled streets of old England, then Lincoln is the one for you. You will never be short of tea rooms and boutique stores to keep you intrigued!" - Sophia from Sophia Patel.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Where are you planning a staycation this year?

Thank you for reading <3

The pressure of achieving everything in your twenties

 Well hello to you my reader chums! When I was younger, by the age of 25 I thought I'd be married, with kids, have the house of my dreams, and a career that made my heart soar, but in reality, it's far from the truth. We're always told our twenties will be the best years of our life and there's a 'timeclock' on when to achieve everything by - but what I'm realising going into my mid-twenties, is that it's all a social construct, and there's no time limit on your goals and being happy.

If you're like me and feeling a little lost in your twenties with a huge amount of pressure to get everything achieved as soon as possible, then this post is here to give you the reassurance that you're going to be okay.

The pressure of achieving everything in your twenties

Why you don't need to achieve everything by your twenties

Firstly, you are so young. When you put your twenties into the perspective of your entire life, you'll realise how young you really are and how you literally have the rest of your life to grow, achieve your goals and do everything you put your mind to. 

Your twenties are the decade to find yourself; to figure what you love, what you hate, make mistakes, travel, create lifelong memories, make friends, realise some people aren't for you, and just be you. This is a decade we should appreciate and take everything on board that we go through, whether it's good or bad. The lessons we learn when we are young shape us as we grow older and turn us into better, more rounded people.

Rome wasn't built in a day and your goals are the same, they don't need to happen all at once, especially at such a young age. Everything is a process, whether that's finding your dream job, learning to love yourself, or buying a house. The most successful people are the ones that take the time to figure who they really are, what makes their soul happy, and work at a life they dream about. They're not the people who try and cram every dream to be fulfilled into their twenties. If you achieve it all now, what are you aiming for?

My point being, live in your twenties. Live whilst you don't have big responsibilities. Try the things you always wanted to do, love hard, travel freely, make spontaneous choices and enjoy the beauty that life is - your twenties won't always be easy, no decade will but there's no point trying to put pressure on yourself to be the most successful person in your twenties. Instead, focus on the person you're aiming towards and accept the fact that not every day will be a rainbow, but every day is a blessing and here to teach you something.

Every older person you meet, they'll always tell you to live and enjoy it when you're young as when you're old, all you want to be is young. Cherish every day, ride the waves, and know, you've so got this and whatever life throws at you.

Top tips on dealing with the 'twenties' pressure

Stop comparing your chapter 1 to somebody's chapter 20 

Comparison is the killer of all joy, I've said this in many posts but the notion weighs so true in every situation. Every single person is different and everybody's journey is different. You do not need to be the same as everyone else. There is only one you and that is so special. You shouldn't compare your chapter 1 to somebody's chapter 20. Just because someone has found their career or met their dream partner and you haven't, it doesn't mean you're not good enough, it's just not your time yet. We all have different paths and what is right for us, will find us.

Keep believing, keep dreaming, and keep focusing on yourself to create a life you will love. If you focus on who you are and what you want, you'll also stop comparing as there will be no need to. You deserve to love yourself and your life.

Do the things that make you happy 

Life is short and your twenties will sweep by quicker than you think. It feels like yesterday I turned twenty and now I'm in my mid-twenties, life really is that fast. And that means it's too fast to live a life you're not happy about.

By putting pressure on yourself to try and achieve everything in your twenties, you take away the joy of the moment. The fun of spontaneous beach trips, getting so drunk you're cry-laughing or screaming your heart out at a concert. All these moments are what make you happy and should be what you focus on. Once you practice gratitude and live for the things that make you happy, the pressure should subside slightly and you can experience everything life throws at you.

Don't set your heart on a certain date/age on accomplishing 

We're all at different stages in our lives. I have friends that have a long-term partner and a kid, friends who are happily single and focusing on their career, and friends who are living for their travels and making memories, and we're all still the same age. There is no age limit on when we should achieve our goals. You can find love in your 50s, you can buy a house when you're in your 40s, you can have kids at whatever age suits you and backpack at whatever age, the main thing is that you're content in whatever stage you're at.

Setting an age on an accomplishment is something we're taught at a young age. I can remember being in school and thinking by the age I am now, I would have achieved all the textbook things like marriage, having kids, and having a house. But now, at this age, all of those things are far away from what I actually want, I just want to live for my travels, live for the days that make me happy and build a career I'm proud of, and surround myself with people who get me. Instead of saying 'I want to achieve this by the age of 25', say 'these are my goals and I'm working towards them.' Avoid limiting yourself as the pressure will be a lot more.

Make decisions right for you

In your twenties, you will hear so many opinions, whether that's from your parents, your friends or your colleagues but the opinion that is the most important is yours. Always go with your gut, whether that's deciding on a cake in a coffee shop to leaving your job and making your next big career move. Your instinct is there as it knows what you truly desire in your heart and you should follow that path, whatever the situation.

There are things in life that are for us and you'll know it's yours when it feels right in your heart, whether that's a job, house, friendship, relationship, or a life choice. Making decisions for you will help the exterior voices silent slightly.

Understand the privilege of failure

I hate failing, I think everyone does. It hurts my soul and my pride and knocks my confidence. But failure happens because it's meant to, it's meant to teach you a lesson or guide you on the right path for you. When you fail, take it as a privilege rather than well, a failure. As they say, when one door closes, another one opens -  and this is a phrase that should be applied always.

When you realise how much of a blessing failure is, the pressure you feel about achieving everything will lessen as your focus will change. The failure will divert your focus to pick yourself up and work harder, and push you even closer to what is for you.

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

Thank you for reading <3

Review: Temple Spa Skincare | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! There's nothing more refreshing than discovering and trying new skincare products. When I got gifted* some of the Temple Spa products, I couldn't have been more excited as I've heard many good things about this brand. Temple Spa definitely has that luxury appeal to it with a higher price tag but the quality is truly worthwhile.

If you're looking to purchase some new skincare products with a more luxurious feel, here is my full review of the Temple Spa skincare range.

Temple Spa Skincare

Deep Cleansing Melt

Solid cleansers are always a product I've loved to use in my skincare routine as I find they feel a lot nicer on the skin and really cleanse the way they should. Temple Spa's Deep Cleansing Melt is a luxury solid cleaner that is recommended to use day and night and how I've been using it as part of my routine.

The cleanser is branded as a 'facial in a jar' and I definitely see why. When I use a pea-sized amount of product and massage it into the skin, it feels rich, soft, and has the lingering scent of a spa. The cleanser is slightly oily and creamy in texture but I like that as it makes it quite movable on the skin. The product is recommended to take off with a damp cloth but I find by washing it off normally, it washes off nicely - and leaves my skin feeling revitalised and nourished.

Glowcolic Resurfacing Toner

The toner comes in a spray style bottle and has a similar lingering scent to the cleanser: like the freshness of a spa. I find the toner works really well to swipe over the skin after washing off the cleanser as it gets the remnants of dirt and cleanser off of the skin.

The toner is really refreshing and light on the skin and is a lovely addition to my skincare routine. Once the toner has been wiped all over my skin, it adds to the refreshing feel and my skin is nourished. Although, I wouldn't say it's much different from the Pixi Glow Tonic which I much prefer.

Purification Deep Cleansing Mask

I have a lot to say about this cleansing mask, it's honestly the mask of dreams. Not only does it have the luxury appeal of the packaging and the overwhelming scent of spas and tea tree oil, it feels like heaven on the skin. When I apply it, the mask smooths so easily across the face and the smell transports me to an actual spa day.

I usually leave the mask on for around twenty minutes or more and use it once a week for the best results, and I can assure you, it leaves my skin feeling happy, refreshed, and like new. It's one of those masks that have so much goodness in, when washed off, it's as if I went for an actual spa treatment. It has to be my favourite product of Temple Spa's and I'm surprised I haven't seen more hype about it as it really does make a huge difference to my skin in how it feels. I even lent it to my friend and she applied it to the sunburn on her face, and when she washed it off, it had really calmed the sunburn down and it wasn't sore anymore.

Temple Spa Skincare

Moisture To Go Balancing Moisturiser

The moisturiser is a brilliant product and probably one of my favourite moisturisers I've tried. It has the perfect combination of lightness, nourishment, and the loveliest spa scent like the rest of the products. It applies super quickly to the skin, sinking in almost immediately which I love before putting on my makeup for the day.

The moisturiser leaves my skin feeling super smooth and soft to touch and hydrates it, ready for the day. I particularly like that it's not oily or thick but still gives the right level of hydration to the skin.

Overall thoughts on Temple Spa

As a slightly pricier brand to those sold on the High Street, I was quite skeptical that the products wouldn't live up to the price tag, however, I've been incredibly impressed by each of the products, especially the purification mask and the moisturiser. The quality is high, they do what they say on the tin and I'd definitely repurchase some of them again as a treat. Although, it's also worth noting that even though I loved these products, there are cheaper alternatives that have done a similar job to my skin.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried Temple Spa products?

Thank you for reading <3

How to help a friend with anxiety | my top tips

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember and it hasn't been an easy road to learn to firstly accept my anxiety but secondly and mainly, deal and cope with it.

Living with a mental illness isn't easy for both me, my family, and my friends and often, I can't help feel like the one with all the 'problems' or the person who needs 'extra reassurance' and, it has taken me time to realise that's not the case.

If you have a friend or family member who has anxiety or another mental illness and are unsure how to help them, here are my best tips on helping a friend with anxiety.

How to help a friend with anxiety

Offer a helping hand

A helping hand can go a long way especially for someone with anxiety. Most of the time, those with anxiety are looking for someone to be there for support, give them some level of reassurance or help them in any other way, it depends on the person. But if your friend is suffering, simply ask them how you can offer that helping hand; they may need a chat, someone to go for a walk with or simply, someone just to be by their side. 

Give them the reassurance they need

Reassurance is vital for someone living with anxiety. Anxiety is constant thoughts that overplay and make you overthink again and again, which means even the smallest of things are A LOT. And that means when a friend asks 'are you mad at me?' Reply to them with the reassurance they need - think of the response you'd want and then add even more reassurance. Then, if they ask multiple times, instead of getting annoyed, continuously try to reassure them in every way you can - it'll mean more than you think.

Understand why if they cancel last minute

The thing about anxiety is it can be triggered with the smallest of things or flare up when you least expect it and that's why a lot of anxious people may cancel plans last minute or make excuses or why they're not coming. If your friend does this, instead of getting mad or annoyed, try to listen and understand their point of view, and why they did this. It may not be exactly what you want to hear and you may get frustrated with them, but that'll only make them feel worse - try and be calm and approach the response nicely.

Be a listening ear

Adding to the other three points, being a listener is the best thing you can do for your friend with anxiety. Anxiety can be isolating, and often makes you feel like you're a burden so sometimes, you need someone to simply listen to you. This could be to vent or to get the words out of your mind, and feel as if someone is listening to you. Rather than trying to rationalise an anxious person's thoughts, just be a listening ear and be supportive in the way they need.

Come up with coping mechanisms

Those who live with anxiety have many methods that they would have developed in order to cope with their anxiety - and it's dependant from person to person. However, when they're in a social setting with you and they're triggered, these methods may not work, or they may need a method which you can help them with to cope. My friends have been so helpful over the years in developing ways for me to tell them I'm triggered and creating a safe space for me to cope. You need to do the same for your friends - ask them what will help them cope if they're in a setting when their anxiety may be triggered.

Avoid making them feel worse about their anxiety

I cannot stress this point enough. People with anxiety already doubt themselves enough by questioning every single thing they've done and every single conversation they've had, that by saying mean comments will add to their anxiety. Try and avoid telling someone with anxiety that they're being 'overdramatic', 'overthinking' or to 'stop worrying.' Treat every one of their concerns normally and constantly reassure and be empathetic.

Don't push them into things they don't want to do

Those living with anxiety are battling their mind every single day and the worst thing you can do is push an anxious person into doing something they're not ready for. There's a difference between giving someone encouragement and pushing someone, and it's important to know where to draw the line. Keep at their pace and cheer them on, and wait until they're ready to cross the finish line. Don't ever push.

A gesture can go a long way

I'm a big fan of gestures. As someone with an anxious mind, when someone offers a gesture, whether that's inviting me somewhere, giving me an unexpected gift, or writing a lovely paragraph, I remember it. I remember all the ways people make me feel, especially the good times - and that's why gestures are important. If your friend is feeling anxious or has been triggered, a gesture can go a long way.

Read up on their anxiety

The thing about mental illness, it's often misunderstood and people don't take the time and care to read up on it, the way they would with a chronic physical illness. But, if your friend has anxiety, one of the best ways to understand what they're going through is to read and listen. And, I can assure you that they'll appreciate the fact that you took the time to read up on what they're going through as a way to understand.

Appreciate them a little bit more

This may sound a bit weird as I'm sure you love your friend dearly that's why you're pals. However, sharing and showing that appreciation can go the extra mile to let them know, they're loved and worthy of being your friend.

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

Thank you for reading <3

Let's talk about diet culture

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Diet culture is a topic I've been wanting to speak about for the longest time. I've touched on it in my post about thin privilege and body acceptance, however, I think it needs an entire, dedicated post to it, to bring the awareness it needs.

Trigger warning - This post talks about the topic of eating disorders.

Whether you're in the process of learning to love your body or like me, hate the idea of diet culture, here is everything to know about diet culture.

Let's talk about diet culture

What is diet culture?

The definition of diet culture is simply 'diet culture is the glorification of losing weight at all costs.' Diet culture is a part of the entire diet industry which profit of people's insecurities and enforce the idea that 'losing weight and being skinny is the most important thing.' It's a toxic method that's implemented more in our everyday life, than we may initially realise and is something we all need to make a stand against. Diet culture promotes and glorifies weight loss as a means of attaining a higher status - and views skinner people as prettier, better, and more worthy.

Diet culture leads to many buying into an 'unhealthy way of eating' and what I mean by that is yo-yo dieting, trying to eat 'clean', labelling foods as 'good' and 'bad', starving yourself or living off liquids because we've been marketed the idea that this is how you lose weight and that we all need to be skinny. And, that all of those 'diet' methods are a healthy way of eating - which surprise, they're not and they do your body more harm than good.

This unhealthy relationship with food and the whole industry it has created leads many to have an eating disorder and become chronically unwell and it's honestly, one of the things that really breaks my heart. There are millionaires out there making money off impressional young women/men falling into eating disorders just because they're told they don't fit society's idea of 'beauty'. It's disgusting. We live in a fatphobic society and it really needs to change.

Examples of diet culture

You may think diet culture is when weight loss companies promote 'weight loss' shakes or a celebrity talks about 'skinny teas' and it is, but it's also so much more than that - and often or not, it's internalised in how we speak every single day. Here are a few examples:

Representation in the media - This is the biggest way we see diet culture in front of our eyes at the touch of a button and it's the information we're digesting without even realising it. Diet culture is promoted across social media, print media, by celebrities, and really in a lot of marketing techniques which are to do with selling a product; it's disgusting. Influencers are often seen advertising fad diet products, skinny models are often praised over other body types and calorie counting is plastered so often in front of our eyes, it makes us seem odd if we're not calorie counting. But all of these things and the way it's represented is showing an unhealthy mindset towards foods and our bodies. At the end of the day, if we all ate exactly the same, we still all wouldn't look alike. Every body is different. 

Praising weight loss - Now, I'm all for praising people for losing weight, I think the acknowledgment of that is really important, especially when someone has worked so hard on it. However, there is a way and a time, and a place to talk about it properly. The way we talk about weight loss is construed; it's said in a way that it's the most important compliment any of us can receive, and that's why I lot of us always think we need to lose weight or 'not eat that treat', because it's a way of feeling validation (something we've internalised). But, there is more to us than our bodies and what we look like. We're often praised for dropping the pounds but shamed if we put a little bit of weight on. For instance, all those adverts and social media posts promote the idea of 'losing the Christmas pounds' which to me is the most barbaric thing. Food is fuel, it should be fun and enjoyed and not have to be restricted, especially in times of celebration - and the industry needs to stop making us feel guilty for that.

Promotion of fad diets - This ties in with the representation in the media. But fad diets aren't just advertised online or TV, they're in places like supermarkets, in restaurants, and in any circumstance where we need to think of food. Fad diets do not work. It's that simple. All these juices, shakes, and diet pills are only a quick solution - they're not going to help you maintain weight loss. They're sold in a way that makes you feel like you need to buy into them to lose weight fast, but there is no healthy way to lose weight fast. It's a process and should be done slowly and gradually in the right way. Promotion of fad diets is done cleverly as it's plastered and advertised subtly but also obviously in places in order for you to think you need it - WHEN YOU DON'T.

Phrases like 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'  - When you look at films/media over the years and the way food is portrayed especially for women, the phrase 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' is thrown around a lot. And it feeds into the days where models were unhealthily skinny on the catwalk and people aspired to be them - and it's an unhealthy way of thinking and something that is still joked about today. How many times have you gone to a restaurant and said out loud 'I won't have dessert as I'm trying to be good?' That my friends is diet culture as we're told from a young age that indulging in treats is bad as it'll make us fat. And we live in a fatphobic society. But food is fuel and we all deserve our indulgences.

How can we make a stand against diet culture?

I could speak for days of the examples of diet culture but the best way to talk about is to share what we can do, to overthrow the idea of it and normalise eating intuitively and being happy in our own bodies.

Education - With any topic or issue, the best way to make a change is with education. And that means educating people about how toxic diet culture is, how it's feeding into many of us being unhappy with our bodies, and leading to many people developing eating disorders. It's all about unpicking a system that has spent years making money out of people's insecurities - and teaching each other about what's really healthy. Eating intuitively, getting out and about, and understanding that cellulite, hip dips, and 'flaws' on our bodies are all normal.

Spread awareness - Once you begin reading and learning more about how toxic diet culture is, it's time to spread awareness about it. You don't need to be an influencer to do this, it's all about starting a conversation with your friends and family. By talking about it, you can make more of an effect than you may realise - and help those impressionable people in your life who are easily influenced by the media.

Normalise normal bodies - It took me to my adult years to realise how normal cellulite and a womanly figure were. Growing up in the 'thigh gap' era where that was heavily praised, it was something my teenage self longed for, which was such an unrealistic expectation. And that's the same with all these 'Instagram ideals' today. It's important to start normalising normal bodies. Normlaise cellulite. Normalise stretch marks. Normalise bloating. Normalise imperfections. When we start doing this, it will help us all accept our bodies for what they are: healthy and working to make us who we are.

Look at your relationship with food - Diet culture can really affect our relationship with food. I've always been against calorie counting and all these foods which claim to be 'low fat' or 'low sugar' as often these foods are just packed with chemicals that are actually not good for your overall health. Calorie counting is restrictive as you're constantly watching what you eat and preventing yourself from what your body is really craving and this can lead to a disordered style of eating. This is why it's so important to look at your relationship with food and if it's healthy or not - because often a lot of the time we have a bad relationship with food is due to diet culture and what we see, or what we've learnt growing up. 

Work on yourself - This may seem a bit of an odd point, but, it's hard to help spread a message or talk about a topic if you're not 100% feeling yourself. Learning to love yourself is so important and that means accepting your body and all your flaws. If you're comfortable in yourself, it will help you have more of a clear vision of how toxic diet culture is and the wrong message it is spreading.

Throw out the scales - Since I was a teenager, my parents made the decision to throw the scales out as they didn't want me to be concerned about my weight, which is one thing I'm really grateful for in an impressionable time in my life. And to this day, I don't have scales in my house. I don't like the idea of knowing the weight and I don't like to discuss weight at all. The concept of weight is barbaric to me, as your weight doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. Weight fluctuates throughout the day and also, just because you're skinny, it doesn't mean you're healthy. You shouldn't measure your health on the scales. You should measure your health about how you feel physically and mentally - and not compare your weight to anybody else. Discussing weight is toxic and it's important to be aware of that when you open a conversation about the idea of diet culture. You never know who may be triggered.

Talk to an expert if you want to lose weight - Losing weight can be needed sometimes if you're looking to improve your lifestyle but, it's about doing it in a healthy way and ensuring you're not restricting yourself or using fad diets to go about it. If you're looking to get healthier, it's important to speak to a professional about going about it as they'll inform you of the right and steady way to do it rather than going down the unhealthy root of ditching pounds fast. Speak to your doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietician, someone who has the right experience and knowledge to ensure your relationship with food stays as a good one.

If you're struggling with an eating disorder or need to talk to someone, call the Beat Eating Disorder hotline on 08088010677 or visit their website.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What do you think about diet culture?

Thank you for reading <3