Everything you need to know before visiting Auschwitz

Well hello to you my reader chums! Visiting Auschwitz is one of the things many people do on their trip to Krakow. It's an excursion that although it is incredibly harrowing and heartbreaking to see, offers a lot of insight into that awful time in history - and taught me a lot on my visit.

Disclaimer - This post contains affiliate links.

Everything you need to know before visiting Auschwitz

I'm a huge history nerd and as I've read a lot of novels based around Auschwitz that I made sure to add it onto my itinerary during my Krakow trip. If you're visiting Auschwitz for the first time and have all the questions surrounding the excursion, here's everything you need to know.

What is Auschwitz?

In a nutshell, the Auschwitz concentration camp is a complex of over 40 camps operated by Nazi Germany in Poland during the war. The main two camps are Auschwitz I and Auschwitz Birkenau, also known as the death camp. Millions of Jews were brought here during the war, were tortured, and sadly, lost their lives. It's one of the most heartbreaking parts of history.

How to you get to Auschwitz?

Auschwitz is located around an hour and a half drive out of the city of Krakow so the total time to get there and back will be 3 hours - and that's why I would recommend dedicating a whole day to visit. There are a few ways to get to Auschwitz, either by bus, train or car:

Bus: This is the route I took and the cheapest and easiest way to get to Auschwitz. It costs about 10-12 PLN for a one-way ticket which both ways works out to be a few pounds. You can get the bus from Bosacka Street which is the main bus station near the train station, in the Old Town. When you get to the bus station, you'll want to head for the bus that says Auschwitz/Oswiecim. They come every hour pretty much and the one I got on was at 6.25am so I arrived at the camps for 8am. The bus will pull up like 5 minutes from the ticket entrance.

Everything you need to know before visiting Auschwitz

Train: Although not a direct route to Auschwitz, it's another way to get there if you don't fancy hopping on a bus. The train station is located in the Old Town and you'll want to head on the train that goes to Oswiecim. The trains are every 1 to 2 hours and take about an hour and 40 minutes to get there. Once you arrive, the walk is around 2km to the camps - and the train ticket is 9PLN.

Car: Another direct way is simply by car. If you're hiring a car whilst you're visiting Krakow then you can drive to the camps as there is parking on-site - and it saves you trialing out the public transport.

How to you get between the two camps?

This was something I wasn't too sure about until I arrived at Auschwitz. But one of the people working there told me a free shuttle is available to travel between the two camps and you can get picked up from the bus station at the main camp and it'll take you directly to the entrance of Auschwitz Birkenau. The shuttles were around every half hour and the drive is about 10 minutes between the two. When you're at the bus stop, keep your eye out for the yellow bus as that's the shuttle.

How much does it cost to visit Auschwitz?

Entrance to the Auschwitz camps is free if you're an individual visitor (walking around the camps on your own) but with a guide, it's around 60/70 PLN. If you don't use a guide like me, it's basically a free excursion but paying for the guide will help give you more of a full insight of the camps.

Everything you need to know before visiting Auschwitz

How do I get my tickets?

Auschwitz offers a limited amount of tickets to each time slot in the day. It opens as early as 7.30am and that's when the individual visitors can enter the camps until about 9, where the tour groups will filter in. Whether you'd like to be an individual visitor or book a tour, you will need to reserve a ticket slot on the website. The tours are offered in a variety of different languages and you can pick a time which will suit you best. The camps are generally open till 7pm - and I found going as an individual visitor from 8am that there were no crowds and I could walk around, and take as much time as I needed.

As tickets are limited to Auschwitz, I would highly recommend booking them in advance as you won't want to miss out on visiting during your trip.

How long does it take to visit the camps?

This is subjective as it really depends on how much you want to learn and if you're in a tour group or not. In total, it took me around 5 hours to see the camps. In the first camp, there was so much to learn and see that I spent a while absorbing information. And in the second camp, it's a lot bigger in terms of size so naturally, you'll find yourself there for a while walking around. If you go with a group, it'll depend on how long the tour guide take to teach you about the history of Auschwitz. I would say between 3-5 hours to get the full experience of Auschwitz and Auschwitz Birkenau.

What can I bring in the camps?

Auschwitz has a pretty strict policy about what you're allowed to bring into the camps. Only small bags are permitted and food/drink shouldn't be consumed as you walk around. There is a cafe upon arrival where you can purchase food or drink before you begin your tour.

What tips do you have about visiting the camps?

Auschwitz is my most harrowing and heartbreaking experience to date and I think it's important for people to realise, that despite it essentially being a tourist attraction, it is a place where millions of people were tortured and killed - and victims of the Holocaust. When visiting, be respectful of where you are and mindful of the photos you're taking and of what people are around you are doing. Wear comfortable shoes and really take the time to absorb what you see  - as it's an intense experience. I left Auschwitz feeling a lot of hard emotion as it's not an easy thing to see and read about.

I hope you enjoyed this post. When are you planning to visit Krakow?

Thank you for reading <3

What they don't tell you about anxiety

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Anxiety is something I talk about all the time, whether it's sharing how I overcame my anxiety, my journey, or tips and tricks you can use in order to understand your anxiety and help yourself.

Anxiety isn't easy and is still a daily struggle for me, even though now I have a bigger and deeper understanding of the condition. Living with anxiety can be different for everyone and it varies from mild to severe, with a lot of people being triggered in different ways.

What they don't tell you about anxiety

Whether you have anxiety or someone you know does and you'd like to help, here is what they don't tell you about anxiety.

What they don't tell you about anxiety

The thinking never stops

You may have heard the term overthinker. Well, with anxiety, that's all part of the package. Every conversation, action, or interaction is probably going to be overthought, especially if it wasn't a completely overly positive thing. Anxiety is overthinking the conversation I had with an acquaintance on the street, anxiety is overthinking a comment I made in the work meeting and anxiety is thinking your best friends hate you even though they have no reason to.

It's a constant niggling feeling in your mind which tells you you're not good enough and that you need to worry about X Y and Z. It's hard to beat that voice and flip it, especially as with anxiety (if you've been living with it for a while), you're already used to that constant voice.

It isn't a one size fits all solution

Anxiety is different for everyone. Some people have major social anxiety and can't speak to others, some people may worry about picking up a phone and talking to someone, some people may be anxious about leaving their home town, anxiety can come in all forms. And because of this, not one thing can work for everyone in terms of a solution. Meditation and beach walks may help ease my anxiety but for others that could make it worse. Or, being around people sometimes helps my anxiety as it distracts me but if they're not the right people, I'm triggered.

There are many methods to the route on getting better with anxiety but before you suggest something to someone, just remember that because it worked for you, it doesn't mean it'll work for them.

You can't just stop worrying

Have you ever have friends that say - 'oh don't worry about it' or 'it's not a big deal'. With anxiety, everything is a big deal and it can be hard not to worry about it. The littlest things can send a domino effect of worry around in my brain and it can be exhausting. It's hard to experience that but it's even harder to communicate that to others who haven't experienced anxiety. It often makes me wonder what it would be like to not constantly worry about everything.

You need to feel in control

The thing about anxiety is that you need to feel in control at all times, otherwise, it can terribly trigger it off. Over the years, I've learnt the things I need to do to feel in control and how I can put those in place without controlling the situation, however, to this day, I struggle with this. It's hard when someone else plans my outing, I have to attend a meeting where I don't know what will happen or the plans I played out in my head over and over do not go as expected. 

Feeling in control can come from within and it's just about figuring out how to do just that in order to lessen the weight of anxiety.

It makes you question everything

I'm very grateful for my life, however, anxiety has made me question all the good things. Do my friends actually like me? Am I good enough for that job? Do people think I'm a good person? Am I doing enough? Am I too much? Some of these questions are regular occurrences in my mind and even though, I practice self-love regularly, it can be hard to squish these thoughts some days, especially if I'm having a bad mental health week or my anxiety has been triggered in one way or another.

It can be lonely

Any mental health condition can be lonely, as unfortunately, a lot of what's going on is in your own head and nobody can help that apart from yourself. When I'm triggered and having a really bad anxiety day, I want to be alone as I hate the thought of telling other people the thoughts that run through my brain as deep down, I know they are not true.

You may lose people 

This point isn't a sad thing and shouldn't be, because the right people will stay in your life and will help you. It's all about the people who can see you at your worst and are there to help you, deserve to see you at your best. When you open about your anxiety, you'll soon realise who the right people are for you.

Things you need to know

You can get the help and support you need

Help and support are out there, I can assure you. Whether it's the support system around you, your colleagues, friends you meet online, family, therapists, or mental health hotlines, there is someone you can talk to. 

It's important to utilise this support network in order for them to help you in any way they can. Communicating your anxiety to people is the first step in getting help as you're vocalising it. I know it can be hard as not everybody will understand or want to help, but trust me, there will be people willing to help you every step of the way.

You're not alone

You are not alone ever. There is always somebody to talk to or somebody going through the same thing as you. Please understand that. You're never a burden and on your own with this. There are people to help you and you can help yourself too.

This too shall pass

This is a phrase I keep so close to my heart, especially when I'm having the worst time with my anxiety and I can physically feel the weight of it on my shoulders. 'This too shall pass' is a phrase a good friend of mine told me once and I'll never forget it and when I'm feeling my lowest, it's a great reminder. Even if you may feel your lowest right now and are struggling, things can only get better and this feeling will pass.

Anxiety doesn't define you

This is so important to realise. For years, I thought my anxiety made me who I was as I always felt it made me more difficult to deal with or I couldn't be 'normal', however that's not the case. You wouldn't blame someone with a physical condition for having pain so why would you with a mental illness? It should be treated exactly the same. And once I came to terms with this realisation and shook off the stigma, I also had the realisation that anxiety isn't me, it's just something I live with. I can deal with it and so can you.

You're stronger than you think

Fighting with your brain every day isn't easy as you're literally fighting with your own thoughts that nobody else can see - and that in itself is the strongest thing ever. You're stronger than you think and you've overcome obstacles most people don't even know and that is incredible. You should be proud of yourself and I know, you're going to keep overcoming those hurdles.

How to get help

There are many ways to get help with your anxiety if you're looking to seek it. Whether it's through traditional therapy, life coaching, EFT, or other holistic methods. It's all down to you which you'd like to try. 

Alternatively, if you need support and guidance, use the following hotlines. These services are free, anonymous, and are there for you whenever you need them.

Text 'SHOUT' to 85258 (UK-wide)

Samaritans - Call 116 123 (UK-wide)

Mind UK - 0300 123 3393

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

Thank you for reading <3

Let's talk about body shaming

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Body shaming is a topic that I've touched on previously when discussing thin privilege and diet culture, but I think it deserves a whole post of its own. The term body shaming has been so normalised and accepted as part of our lifestyle and honestly, the level of normalcy around it makes me feel unwell as it's not right.

If you're someone who has experienced body shaming or wants to learn more about how to stop it, let's talk about body shaming.

Let's talk about body shaming

What is body shaming?

Body shaming is mocking, belittling, or saying rude comments about someone because of their shape and size. It can range from what are meant to be 'jokey' comments to full-on insults and anything that's under the umbrella of shaming someone for how their body looks.

Examples of body shaming

Body shaming is one of those things that is a lot more common than we actually think, and plastered in front of our eyes in our everyday lives. As I've grown older, I've come to realise how often people are body shamed, especially women. The more I've started noticing it, the more I'm appalled that all of us have grown up in a world that thinks it's okay to body shame others. Here are a few examples of body shaming:

  • Social media - Probably the most apparent source of body shaming in today's world is the wonderful and toxic sphere that is social media. I love social media, I really do as it's a way to connect with others, learn and share our lives with people online, however, it has its major drawbacks like body shaming. Growing up, when Tumblr was at its peak and the thigh gap was in, I can remember how shamed people were if they didn't look like that. And, that mentality is continued today. The body confidence and acceptance movement have done wonders for diminishing it, however, it's still prominent on many platforms where random people online think it's okay to comment on someone's body in a negative way. It's these unnecessary comments that cause people to feel bad for the skin they're in.
  • Tabloids - The thought of tabloids makes my skin crawl with how many journalists rip apart celebrities for the way they look, especially if they're not 'bikini body' ready. I actually feel ill when I see headlines like 'x has put on x amount of pounds in their latest holiday snaps.' Why do tabloids feel the need to publish that? The worst thing about newspapers and tabloids is that they're now online too so these hurtful stories are plastered all over the internet.
  • Weight comments by people you know - The topic of weight is a controversial one in terms of how it's spoken about. But, when it comes to the topic of body shaming, weight comments are probably one of the biggest contributors. It could be a passing comment from a family member like 'you don't need that slice of cake' or 'so and so would look better if they lost a few pounds'; these comments may come from a 'nice place' but really, they're body shaming. There is no need to comment on someone's body and how it looks. 
  • Representation in the media - This isn't directly 'body shaming' as it were, but it is highlighting the fact that as a society, we prefer to have one body type on a pedestal and keep this unaccessible standard to what we should look like. Lack of representation of normal bodies and a wide variety of shapes is just feeding people to body shame, whether it's themselves or others - as were conditioned to believe being skinny is everything.
  • Negative connotations around natural bodies - Body hair. Cellulite. Bloating. Stretch marks. These things and more are still seen as unattractive and ugly to many people, but especially in the media, when really, they are normal parts of the human body. By saying we need to shave all our body hair, have a constant flat tummy, or get rid of any blemishes is shaming the natural body.
  • 'Plus size' being deemed as bad - This links into the representation of the media but plus size clothing or how it's promoted is one, not as much the 'normal' range clothing but also, it's done in an artificial way. Most 'plus' size models aren't showing the real and normal size of plus size clothing but an airbrushed view - which again, feeds into body shaming more as normal plus size people don't look like that. They have normal bodies.
  • Fatphobia and thin privilege -We live in a society where being skinny is praised and being fat is the worst thing in the world, and we're often shamed if we put on a couple of pounds or go up a dress size. Weight fluctuates throughout the day and even more so as we get older, that is normal. Bodies change. But the constant need to be thin is shoved down our throats with picture-perfect models, the unrealistic body type, and favouring thinner people in the way the world is marketed. You can read more about this in my thin privilege post.

How we can stop body-shaming 

Body shaming isn't an easy fix as it has been ingrained in us from a young age with every type of influence around us, from the way we socialise, shop to the way we eat, that it takes a lot of unlearning. However, there are things you can implement to stop body shaming.

  • Promote the body acceptance/confidence movement - The body confidence movement came about to celebrate bodies who aren't represented heavily in the media such as plus-size bodies, and a way for us all to accept our bodies for exactly what they are. It's a movement that has taken off and something I'm glad of as it's a process of helping young people learn that their body is normal. And all the things they don't like about it, they can accept and make their body what it is. Promoting this movement of body acceptance and confidence pushes the body shamers aside as it helps us show as a society that we love our bodies no matter what the haters say - and it reinforces the idea that everybody is beautiful and doesn't deserve hate.
  • Praise real bodies more - This follows onto this point. I love hyping everyone up in real life and online as I believe we all deserve to feel good about ourselves. However, I always see the praise for the perfect-looking people (who obviously deserve to feel good) but the same energy needs to be given for the normal bodies, for those brave enough to share the imperfections, the flaws, and everything that makes us human. No body is perfect.
  • Boycott companies that don't show diversity - There are so many clothing companies I've swayed away from buying now as they only promote one body type so I don't want to fund that mindset by my shopping habits. By people taking a stand and not buying from certain companies or contacting the companies to make a difference, can be a huge step forward in normalising normal bodies.
  • Accept and love your own body - The person's body we shame the most is our own. It really does start at home when practicing acceptance as if we don't view ourselves as having a fab body, how can we reciprocate the energy to other people? Loving our bodies is the first step in unlearning this body-shaming behaviour.
  • Social media audit - Social media is a toxic paradise for body shaming, with trolls at their worst online, sending hateful comments to everyone they can find. And with everyone trying to get the perfect photo, it can make us feel bad about ourselves and then shame ourselves. This is why it's so important to only follow the accounts that bring you joy and make you feel good about your body.
  • Call people out when discussing weight - I really hate anyone who comments on weight even if they're trying to make it out as a compliment as really, it's not a necessary comment to make and puts the attention onto weight. If you see someone make a rude comment about someone's weight, even if it's not you - call them out. By doing this and doing it regularly, it'll get people in the pattern of learning that what they're saying is wrong.
  • Don't get lost in diet culture lies - Diet culture kills all the self-love and acceptance we have for our bodies. It's there to make us buy into unnecessary products and make us think we need to change when we don't. Don't let diet culture feed you lies. If you see posts about diets and toxic topics online, block, report, delete - it'll do you wonders.
  • Surround yourself with positive body influences - Surround yourself with people who are passionate about normal bodies and body confidence as their views will have an effect on you.
I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

The best bars in London for a girls' weekend

 Well hello to you my reader chums! London is one of my favourite cities ever. You can't beat the bustle, the wide variety of bars and restaurants, the endless things to do, and the buzz that sits with you when you head home. London is one of those cities that is timeless and I could visit over and over again and never get bored.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tonight Josephine

I'm lucky that London is only a short distance from me so I'm able to travel regularly and experience the pure joy that is London town. Whether you're planning a weekend in central London or looking for a place to drink with your girls, here are the best bars to visit.

Tonight Josephine

Tonight Josephine is the bar we've all seen on Instagram. It's a pink paradise with neon lights, a cool interior, and bottomless pornstar martinis. There's no better way to describe Tonight Josephine than an absolute vibe and a dream for the girliest night out ever. The bar isn't just a bar, they offer bottomless brunches, bottomless afternoon teas, and themed brunches such as Burlesque - plus you can easily pop in for a drink and get that candid photo in front of the iconic 'well behaved women don't make history' sign.

Tonight Josephine

There isn't just one bar but two in London, one is located in Waterloo directly by the station and the other in Shoreditch. I loved Tonight Josephine a lot and would happily go back again and again. The cocktails are insanely good, the bottomless element really is what it says in the tin and it's an environment where you can really let your hair down and have the best time ever.

Blame Gloria

Created by the owners of Tonight Josephine, Blame Gloria is an iconic bar that everybody needs to visit. It's similar to Tonight Josephine with the fun, excitement, and brilliant cocktails, but has a retro edge to it and a unique interior that I love. Blame Gloria is known for playing the cheesy, sing-your-heart-out tunes and have happy hours that you need to be a part of.

Blame Gloria

Blame Gloria is located in Covent Garden, close by to the main hub, and is really easy to find. When you enter the bar, the pure joy of the electrifying music and retro-style decor is all you need to push you in the direction of a night you won't forget.

The Alchemist

If you love something a bit more quirky for your girl's weekend, this bar is for you. The Alchemist as you can guess by the name is a bar curated around the idea of science so all the cocktails arrive like science experiments. The cocktails are also given names that are science-esque and I loved the creative appeal to that.

The Alchemist has several different bars dotted around London but the one I've been to is in St Martins Lane. The bar has that girly appeal, offers food, bottomless brunches, and is a unique place for cocktails.

Flight Club

For the girls who would love to pair an activity with drinking antics, then Flight Club is a brilliant choice. I've been here on a number of occasions and loved it every single time. Flight Club is a social darts bar, where you can book a booth and all play darts together. There are plenty of interactive games on the dartboards which make it even more competitive amongst the group.

Flight Club has many different bars dotted around London and I've been to a couple of them but they all have the exact same appeal - fun, exciting, and a great location for an entertaining time. It's perfect for if you have a bigger group of girls too.

Radio Rooftop 

There's nothing better than a rooftop view of London and Radio Rooftop is the bar to go to if you fancy something a little more extravagant and have a larger budget. It definitely has the posh and classy appeal about it here and there is indoor, and outdoor seating to choose from to experience the best sight of London town.

Radio rooftop

The bar isn't just a hub for cocktails, it also serves up a wide menu of fab food and is the perfect place to get that sunset view of the River Thames and many London attractions. The bar is located on the 10th floor of ME London.

London Cocktail Club 

Now, if you're into quirky and unique cocktails, this is the place to be. Inspired by retro tattoo parlours, the Cocktail Club has a darkened interior with a menu of the wackiest cocktails ever. There is certainly something for everyone at this bar, from the sweet-tooth drinkers to those with a more sour palette.

London Cocktail Club has many different bars located around the main hub of London and I've visited the Shaftesbury Avenue one. I loved how cool it was in there and that the drinks matched the unusual vibe about it.

The Cauldron 

Harry Potter fans, unite! The Cauldron Bar in London offers the perfect magical experience for those who want to put their wizard hat on for the day. It's not just a bar, but a location that offers many different experiences include potion making, wizard afternoon tea, wand making, and more. This bar adds the imaginary element to your weekend in London and makes for an entertaining time.

The Cauldron London

The Cauldron is located near Dalston in London and can be easily reached by the overground services.

The Ivy 

The Ivy is a renowned name that everyone needs to visit at least once. Although it's not just a bar, I thought I'd mention it in this list as to me, it's the perfect girly and classy venue for a weekend away. The Ivy is one of those establishments that has the special occasion appeal to it and I love that, plus it's a great spot for celebrities too.

The Ivy London

The Ivy offers an incredible menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner and also a huge range of different drinks from wines to cocktails making it a great starting point for your evening out. The Ivy has many different locations in London including one in West Street, which is right next to the West End.

Looking for somewhere to stay on your trip? Whether it's a hotel in Central or a Bnb with a great breakfast, there is a wide range of accommodation to choose from.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other bars would you visit on your London trip?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Historical fiction-based books are one of my favourite as I love learning more about history, especially during wartime. I really enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Librarian of Auschwitz, and The Twins of Auschwitz that I couldn't wait to read Cilka's Journey as I've heard so many good things about the novel.

If you're looking for a new read and love learning more history, here is my full book review of Cilka's Journey.

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

This post contains affiliate links.


Cilka's Journey is a fiction based on the heartbreaking true story of Cilka Klein who was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp at only 16 years old. When in the camp, Cilka catches the attention of Commandant Schwarzhuber and forces her separation from the other woman prisoners. From there, she really learns how power means survival and that she has to do anything she can to survive.

After the liberation of the camp, Cilka is then charged as a collaborator of the Russians and is sent to a labour and brutal prison camp in Siberia. An innocent and young woman who has been imprisoned once again, Cilka faces terribly familiar challenges and some scarily new ones as she figures out how to survive once more. But, when she meets a man called Aleksandr, she realises that there may be room for love in her heart.

Characters and relationships

Characters make up a story and in this book, it's the people which make it so heartbreaking, powerful, and emotional. Cilka is one of the most incredible people I've ever read about. Her strength, determination, and care for others are genuinely inspiring and even on the hardest of days, she puts others before herself. She experienced so much at a young age and somehow, she had the strength to keep going.

My favourite relationship in the book to read and learn more about is between Cilka and Josie. That's what I define as pure and true friendship. They go into the Siberian camp together, both young and scared women. Cilka takes Josie under her wing as it's Josie's first time in a camp and really cares for her, and the love and care between them grow - and it's so emotional to read.

Her connection with all the other girls in her hut makes my heart break, as really, they only have each other to get through each day and I really felt the devastation and heartbreak through the words in this book, I couldn't even imagine what they went through. Another relationship that I adore is between Cilka and Yelena, the doctor at the hospital. Cilka manages to get a job as a nurse in the hospital and Yelena looks out for Cilka from day one, despite her prisoner status as she sees the strength in her eyes and how she is a golden soul.

The relationship between Cilka and Aleksandr is one of the most hopeful things to read about and something that genuinely pulled at every one of my heartstrings.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It's one of the most heartbreaking, inspiring, and uplifting books I've ever read and tells a tale of the determination, strength, and courage of the young woman Cilka. As every page went on, it got even harder to read as I learnt more about how poorly the people in the camps were treated, in Auschwitz and in the Siberian camp. I cried a few times reading this book as I was honestly disgusted how badly Cilka, her friends, and everyone was treated during this period. I know from reading and learning about the camps, but it never does hit any differently, especially when reading about ordeals women went through in particular.

It's a brilliant read for education, for awareness and to learn more about an inspiring individual. I love how the book literally took us on the journey with Cilka and has the attitude there is always hope, as it's the only thing that gets Cilka through.


The ending was everything it should have been, full of hope and positivity. It made me smile as I came to the end of Cilka's journey as after all the hardship she went through, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I also love how the author had a couple of sections when the story ended, sharing her process of researching and learning about Cilka's journey before writing it.

If you're looking to buy this book, you can pick up Cilka's Journey here.

I hope you enjoyed this review! Have you read this book before?

Thank you for reading <3

Not everyone is going to like you - and how to get over that

 Well hello to you my reader chums! There are billions of people on this earth and many you aren't likely to meet in your lifetime, however, the thousands you do meet, the likeliness is they won't all like you - and that's okay.

Beach sunsets

People not liking you don't have any sort of reflection on you as a person, most of the time it's either down to them or you're completely different people, that's normal. We can't get along with everyone, that's not humanely possible or feasible.

Whether you're struggling with not being liked or can't seem to make friends because of this, here are my tips on getting over it.

Learn to love and focus on yourself

Self-love and self-confidence is the key with everything in life and especially, about feeling better with who you are and what your life entails. They always say you can't love anyone else until you love yourself and the phrase rings so true. Loving yourself is more than simply loving what you look like. It's about loving who you are, loving your flaws, respecting yourself, caring for your mental health, and removing toxic energy from your life. Loving yourself means caring for yourself.

You're probably thinking, how does this help if people don't like me? Well, when you love yourself, you'll find you don't need validation from others, and that means in the form of people liking you or want to be your friend. If you love yourself enough, one you'll be comfortable with your own company but two, you'll be comfortable with rejection and know it's okay that this certain person doesn't like you. 

Reassure yourself there's nothing you can do about it

Reassurance is a powerful thing to do for the things that worry, terrify or upset you - and this is one of those situations to use it. It's hard to reassure yourself, I completely get it, especially if you have a naturally anxious brain like myself. However, reassuring yourself that it's out of your control and you can't do anything to help this person like you is so important.

The best way to do this is with affirmations. You could practice affirmations like 'I am worthy', 'I love myself', 'I'm important' and 'I can't control this situation' as these will reinforce the idea that there is nothing you can do to make this person or a lot of people will like you. Positive and realistic affirmations will also help you see things in a much clearer light and put things into perspective.

Accepting the matter

Accepting is the first step of overcoming any type of upset and this includes knowing not everyone is going like you. It took me ages to accept this fact as I'm the biggest people pleaser possible and want everyone to be my friend. However, when I stopped focusing on what everybody else thought of me and more on what I think of myself and value about myself, I found this fact a lot easier to accept.

Once you accept the fact that not everyone is going to like you, you'll have more headspace to focus on more important things including your career, loving yourself, following your dreams, and pursuing the existing relationships around you.

Remind yourself of your loved ones

This leads me nicely onto this point. Sometimes, we're so focused on ensuring everyone likes us, we forget what's right in front of us. Whether you have great parents, a loving family, a partner who adores you, or a group of friends that always have you're back, we all have someone that loves us - or are on our way to find that person. Instead of focusing on why some people don't like you, turn your energy to those who do and what you can do to develop your relationship more with them. I can assure you that'll bring you a lot more happiness.

Spend quality time with yourself

Alone time is a cherishable joy. I don't think I realised how important it was or how much I enjoyed it until the pandemic, and I was forced into spending a lot of time alone, with socialisation being taken away from us. However, I'm glad I had that time to learn to love to be on my own, and now, I need to have that time alone in order to feel a lot calmer and happier about myself. It's a time I use to reflect, plan and work on areas of my life, as well as to relax.

Spending quality time with yourself will feed into learning to love yourself. It'll teach you more about who you are, what you love to do, what makes you happy and sad but also, will make you realise you only need to rely on yourself. Having this time will also give you the thinking space to practice the affirmations and accepting the fact that not everyone will like you. But you probably won't even need to as that reflective time will also make you realise everything you're grateful for and how it's not necessary for everyone to like you.

Life is a wonderful thing and there are people in this world for everyone. Just because you haven't found that true best friend or partner, it doesn't mean you're not worthy or they're not coming. The best things in life come when you least expect them so at the minute, focus on loving yourself and being the best version of yourself - and the rest will come later.

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

Thank you for reading <3

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