Autumn | 17

Honestly? Autumn has sucked. And those three words right there, they suck! 

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Autumn is usually the greatest time of the year for me. It’s my favourite. Halloween, Bonfire nights, the lead up to Christmas -which let’s face it, is sometimes better than Christmas day itself! Halloween has always been my favourite time of the year. The world becomes a blur of orange, purple and green, and finding the perfect shaped pumpkin is a never-ending mission. (During my nocturnal years, I remember my mom and I driving to Asda at two in the morning to rifle through there pumpkin stand. That is how committed we are to Halloween). But this Autumn hasn’t been that for me.


It started in a great way. I was three weeks ahead of my uni schedule and packing my bag to go away on a birthday trip with my boyfriend. I had my heart set on eating black-jack icecream (yes it’s a thing), wandering around Whitby, and hopefully climbing up the steps to Whitby Abbey. A couple days before I turned twenty-two, I got my nose pierced; something I have always wanted to do but never actually gone through with it. So, I was on a high. And then I got a phone call, on our last day away. It was my mom telling me that my dog, Myles, his tumour was bigger than the vet originally thought and they presumed it was down to the bone. The vet suggested amputations and MRI’s but ultimately I knew what this meant. Four weeks before this phone call, I had surgery and while I was recovering my mom told me that if it came to it (because Myles had a lump) she would rather put him to rest then have him chopped to pieces and sewn back up in the hope that we’d solve the problem. I knew that, even though amputation was an option for the vet, it wasn’t for our family and suddenly this ticking clock started in my mind. I found myself mentally predicting how much time I had left with him.

As soon as I was home, I tried to spend as much time as possible with him (he was staying with my grandparents). His lump was now infected and painful for him to stand on. He started hopping around and refraining from putting any weight on it at all. With this strain on his body, he started panting all the time and I knew he was becoming tired. We knew it was a matter of time and I’d come to terms with that idea, but it didn’t prepare me to see him physically decline. In his last few days, he stopped getting up to greet you when you arrived and he only got up when he knew he needed to go outside to relieve himself or when he knew he was being fed. He still wagged his tail when you spoke to him, and if anything I enjoyed those last few conversations we had more then anything else. The day he was put down was the worst day ever, and quite honestly a bit of a blur. So, my Autumn wasn’t great. I lost my best friend, and had my heartbroken in the process. Regardless of all of this, I’ve still found comfort in a few things…

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Seasonal Favourites

I was lucky enough to be able to attend two bonfire nights during October and November, one of which having the best food I have ever experienced. We also got to play with sparklers, sky lanterns, and even some fireworks (that sounds quite reckless but it was with friends, and we’re responsible. Or at least, most of us are). I have also been enjoying preparing for Christmas. As I write this now, I have just received an online order of gift wrap *squeals. This, in all honesty, is what has kept me going during losing Myles and I’ve tried to look forward and keep going as much as possible. 

 
Listening: 
I’ve been listening to podcasts, as usual, but have absolutely loved Estée LaLonde podcast called, The Heart of it. I loved all the episodes, however, the one featuring the topic of Strength sung to my heart a bit more than any of the others. I think as someone who has suffered from severe depression in the past, a lot of what was being said really resonated with me: plus I listened to this episode at a time when I wasn’t feel all that strong myself, which I think makes that episode stick out in my mind that little bit more. 
 
Watching: 
Okay so I’m totally late to the party with both these things but this season I have watched, wait for it… Stranger Things and Game of Thrones. No, nothing is wrong with me but in all honesty, when each of these programmes/new series’ came out I really weren’t bothered in the slightest about watching them. Now, having watched them, I can see what the fuss is about. Stranger Things was amazing and addictive. When I have my own house I’m definitely stringing lights all round it like Joyce Byers -you have to admit, those lights looked magical. I also loved the clothes they wore and I’m currently trying to resist a Borg corduroy jacket from ASOS, exactly like the one Nancy wears. 
 
Game of Thrones was unexpected but expected at the same time. I’ve seen snippets of it here and there, so I knew there was a lot of violence but I weren’t quite prepared for the nudity involved: which, I wouldn’t say I’m a prude but come on -theres a time and a place people! Regardless of this, I have really enjoyed it. I’m currently finishing up the third season. 
 
Looking forward to: 
Christmas and New Year. I’ve always enjoyed the lead up to Christmas a little bit more than Christmas day itself however, this year there’s much more going on for Christmas. I think I have five days in a row of solid plans which, although it’ll be exhausting, I’m also so excited for. I also have plans for New Year to which is the first in around 10 years, I’m so excited!

What have you enjoyed from Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Photography: James Coleman 

 

Summer | 17

This Summer has been a bit of a mixed bag. I say it’s been a mixed bag but really it’s all been rather great with a little stump popping up during September. My summer was spent moving boxes, doing trips between houses and finding things I haven’t seen in months. My summer weekends were filled escaping the madness and exploring new places with my boyfriend. And most of all, my summer saw our camping trip in Wales.

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Season Favourites: 
BBQ’s, when I say barbeques really I mean going to the beach hut, grabbing some supplies from Tesco and cooking food down by the sea; something my boyfriend and I did a few times this summer. 
 
Listening: 
I know I say this at the end of each season but I have honestly just been listening to a lot of podcasts. I have been trying to listen to new music and some new playlists on Spotify but alas, I haven’t really loved anything new. 

Enjoying: 

Now, this may sound odd but I’ve been enjoying a PlayStation game called Uncharted. I know I know, I’m becoming one of them, but honestly, it’s great. Let’s set the record straight, I don’t play it -well, I suppose in a way I do. My boyfriend plays it and I burrito myself in a quilt on the bed and watch; occasionally shouting that he’s gone the wrong way, that he’s going to get shot or generally give him a running commentary. Over time it’s become ‘our’ thing, so much so that he’s not allowed to play it without me. Don’t worry -we’re not quite out of the honeymoon phase, he still pinches my bum 😉 

 

Watching: 

Besides partly watching Uncharted, I have been watching Parks and Rec which I love. Every so often I have wandered back to the Gilmore Girls on Netflix, in particular, the episodes more focused on  Rory at Yale because I can’t wait to start uni again. I have also been watching a lot of vlogmas videos. As I type this now I am recovering from a medical procedure and I can quite honestly say, nothing has lifted my spirits quite like festive vlogmas videos (I’m also trying to work out a budget to get everything I need in time for Christmas so the videos are partly reminding me to get it together). 
 
As much as Summer has been great, I can’t wait for Autumn and Winter. Autumn is my favourite time of the year with it having my favourite holiday -Halloween! My boyfriend’s favourite is Bonfire night so we will no doubt have exciting plans for that too. Winter is either a love or hate thing for me but I have some surprise plans in the works which are making me super excited for it. And most of all, it will be my birthday in October which we’re going away for so I can’t wait for that too! The next round-up will be full of exciting bits and bobs. 
 
How was your summer? Are you looking forward to Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 

Podcast I’m loving | 2.0

As I have stated in previous posts podcasts are probably one of my favourite things to listen to; especially after a long day of studying or on long drives to the beach hut. Since the last podcast roundup I posted (here), my tastes have slightly changed. Sure, I still listen to some of those girly/gossip podcasts; but for the most part, it is these podcasts below which you’ll find me listening to these days.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
I’ve been listening to this podcast for around a year now. Its’ episodes are full of strange but wonderful facts that you are typically not taught at school. The narration is super easy to listen to and each episode goes into the chosen subject in depth, explaining the topic in the simplest way. It’s hard to say which episodes have been my favourite to listen to; although I will say I’m always more drawn to the ones on European Monarchs, Sunken ships, and Heroines.

Remarkable Lives, Tragic Deaths
This podcast discusses the lives and tragic deaths of famous figures who have changed history and our culture. Each episode is dedicated to a different person, and the podcasts narrators Carter Roy and Vanessa Richardson discuss the persons’ life, achievements and ultimately their tragic death. They also use voice actors to reenact some of the scenes from the person’s life.

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories
This one is classed as a podcast drama which discusses the mystery of cold and unsolved murders. Now, I know this one seems a little darker than the others, however, it is incredibly interesting and is almost like a podcast edition of a murder television programme. The podcast is narrated by Carter Roy and Wendy Mackenzie, along with voice actors acting out scenes depicting the murders and investigations. The unsolved cases they discuss are usually broken into a couple of episodes, so I’d recommend that if you are interested in listening be aware of which episode you are starting with so you don’t start listening half way through discussing a particular case. New episodes are released every other Tuesday.

Myths & Legends
Now I’ve been listening to this podcast for about two years now –I feel like that is a true reflection of how much I love this. This podcast is full to the brim of folklore, myths, and legends from all over the world and throughout history. The stories and tales talked about on this podcast are sometimes more popular stories of monarchs or fairy tales, like King Arthur or Cinderella, and other times this podcast covers Greek myths including popular gods like Zeus.

Unexplained
Last but not least, is this AMAZING podcast. I have always had a hard time pinpointing favourites of any kind, but when it comes to podcasts I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is my favourite. Unexplained is a podcast which revolves around -well, the unexplained. To put it in another way, each episode discusses and informs on strange and mysterious events from real life which escape all explanation. Now, to be honest, I haven’t been listening to it all that long. It was recommended to me by my boyfriend and after listening to one of the episodes, I quickly downloaded every previous episode and binge-listened to them whilst packing my things from my old house. It is narrated by Richard MacLean Smith, who is my favourite narrator of a podcast (I could listen to his voice all day), and new episodes are released bi-weekly.

What podcasts have you been loving lately? Comment below
Cheerio for now! 
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My Summer Reading List

As my uni year is from October to May, I find that the warmer Summer months are usually the time I catch up on my reading list; and what better time to get lost in new books/worlds than when I’m at my beach hut. I try to tick off some older classics, along with some newer releases; but for the most part, I go with my gut and see what I’m drawn to.

This Summer is a little different. There are a couple of series’ I want to complete, in particular, the Frey & McGray Casebooks and the Hunger Games Trilogy. Both of which I have started, but desperately need to complete. I am studying Literature next year, which of course has a lot of *reading included, most of which I have never read so I do want to try and read a couple of those books too. Who knows what I will have read by the end of this summer but so far, this is my list:

I also have a ton of magazine issues to catch up on, but I have more on that in an upcoming blog post so stay tuned! 
 
What books do you have your eye on for this summer? 
Cheerio for now! 

15 songs that lift my spirits

It’s no secret that Summer and Autumn last year were quite tough on me, not only physically but also emotionally. I was feeling low and in need of some serious picking up. My friends were amazing through this period of time, supporting me with shoulders to cry on, kind words and plowing me with cake and tea. Having said this, my friends have jobs to hold down and so couldn’t be there 24/7. In these moments I turned to music.

I think music has a profound effect on all of us. It has the power to transport us back to a time and place long lost in our memories; evoking emotions in us through a few simple chords. With it being that time of the year, when many are suffering from the festive blues, I thought it was the ideal time to share my favourite tunes to blast those blues away and get my spirits soaring.

 
Comment below your favourite ‘pick-me-up’ tunes or what you do to cure the January blues. 
Cheerio for now! 

Autumn | 16


Life:
Autumn, just like Summer, was stressful in ways but more emotionally draining than anything else. Turning 21 was a difficult stepping stone and it brought with it a few unearthed emotions I had to deal with, but regardless I had an amazing birthday and was thoroughly spoilt. My health has been steadying and, while I do still have bad days and flares, I have managed to get to a steady point where I can keep my head above water.

Feeling: Going into Autumn I was drained and hadn’t really got an even balance of different areas of my life. I have definitely realized the importance of self-care, unwinding and switching off. I have come to use skincare as my ‘time’, as well as listening to podcasts with a hot brew.

Reading: Many Magazines. I have enjoyed discovering and reading a lot of new magazines lately (well, new to me). I love my Peppermint subscription, as well as catching up with Frankie magazine every so often, however, lately, I have discovered some new loves that I am head over heels with. The Messy heads, Popshot and Oh Comely are just a few. I will no doubt do an entire post because there is so much to say about each of them.

Watching: I marathon watched all The Gilmore Girls episodes in anticipation for the Reunion (I will probably end up doing a post on my thoughts about the reunion). This also made me finally invest in Netflix which got me hooked on Pretty Little Liars. I am currently on the season five so no spoilers, please. I also loved watching vlogtober. October is my favourite month, so having certain YouTubers creating content daily was really great. My favourites were The fashion citizen and sunbeamsjess.

Creating: A lot of writing. I’m currently working on a creative writing module towards my degree, so naturally, I have been writing constantly. I have really enjoyed it so far and have loved learning different techniques to help my writing grow and develop in new ways.

Recent Favourites: A lot of birthday related things. I received a pocket watch from my grandparents for my birthday, which I am absolutely in love with. When I opened it, my eyes nearly popped out my head like cartoon characters. It is truly something I will cherish forever. Another favourite was my cake -yes, my cake. My mom had a replica of my beach hut made, which was so pretty and well made; and yes, it was delicious.

Listening: I like to listen to movie scores or instrumental pieces when I study, so I have really enjoyed some of Spotify’s playlists. I’ve been routinely listening to podcasts, particularly Stuff you missed in history class, Ladies who Lunch, and Myths and Legends -yup, I’m a sucker for those history and mystery vibes.

Enjoying: My current uni module, A125 Creative Writing with The Open University. I can go into my studying/uni experience a bit more in a different post, but so far have been really enjoying this module. I have also been enjoying puppy cuddles. My mom’s partner got a red Labrador at the end of September, so I have been taking full advantage of cuddles whilst he is still small enough to bear hug.

What have been your highlights this Autumn? Are you looking forward to Winter? 
Cheerio for now! 

A letter to twenty

You were the year of twenty. The year I didn’t greet well and the year I’m kinda glad to say goodbye to. Having said that, there is a bittersweet element to bidding you farewell.

 
You marked five years of living with chronic illness’. You marked years of failed attempts at trying to regain my health, feeling isolated from and misunderstood by the world and more importantly feeling as though I’d failed at making something of myself and making my family proud. ‘What have I achieved?’ I asked myself a week before you arrived; causing an avalanche of meltdowns, panic attacks and a whole lot of tear-stained pyjama sleeves. While loved ones tried to console me, I couldn’t be consoled. Your arrival wasn’t to be as happy an occasion as what it usually was and so a smile went on with the layers of makeup, and I grinned and bore it through my birthday tea. I did have a better time than I thought, though when I returned home so too did the thoughts of turning twenty. 
 
Looking back your arrival was hard; just like a lot of moments from your year. I had to drop a lot of uni work because my body wasn’t up to it, I had to flake on friends an endless amount of times, I had to miss out on spending a lot of quality time with my mom at the beach hut and I had to deal with the reoccurring fact of how weak my body has become; a realisation that hit me harder every time I saw it. 
 
Having said this, I’ve also never felt more me. I’ve never felt so in sync with my body. It’s almost as though I’ve deciphered how it works and while that doesn’t take the pain, exhaustion or suffering away; it does make it slightly easier to handle. I’ve also learnt the power of self-care is immensely important in my weekly routine. It’s of great importance, to everyone I think, to stop and take a moment to yourself. Whether that be listening to a podcast, applying a face mask or nail polish or even just taking the dog for a walk and watching the world go by in the process. 
 
So yes, I wasn’t looking forward to you, the year of twenty, and while I’m happy and ready to say goodbye to you I’m grateful for all you taught me -even if your lessons were tough at times. 
Cheerio twenty! 
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my favourite videos from the past few months

For me, Youtube has become the new television in my life. I tend to lean towards keeping up to date with my subscription box more than any TV shows. I also prefer online videos because I can stop and start wherever I want, plus videos vary in length with most being shorter than your average TV show which is so ideal when you have a concentration level like mine. 

I follow a ton of YouTubers and have watched some great content over the past few months but here are some of my favourite videos

  • The Michalak’s: Probably up there with my favourite YouTubers, I love this family. There’s a certain realness to their vlogs that I think a lot of others lack. My favourite vlog theirs is probably the Iceland one. I found it so calming and peaceful but it also sparked a little wanderlust inside me watching their spontaneous adventure. 

  • Vagabond Youth: As the skincare junkie I’m starting to morph into, I loved watching Amy Lee’s Skincare video. It was so great watching and learning about someone else’s skincare routine, especially as that someone’s beliefs align with your own. I tend to spend far more money and time on the hunt for the effective and nourishing products, as opposed to makeup to conceal my face. 

  • Simply_Kenna: Favourite blogger (and Instagrammer) of all time, it would be wrong of me to put together this post without included videos from McKenna. I’m always swooning over her makeup tutorials and trying to recreate them -needless to say they never turn out as pretty as hers. I’ve yet to try her Pixie makeup, however, I can’t wait to have a go at it. I loved the gold freckle flecks and think they’ll look darn right adorable throughout the warmer months. I also really enjoyed her how I edit my insta photos videos, especially as she spoke about how she does her rainbow flares. 

  • Estée Lalonde: I have always loved both Estée’s blog and channel, but my favourite video lately is her Magazine Shopping and Haul video. I’ve been on the hunt for new magazines to read for around a year now and have found some real keepers but have still kept up the search. I couldn’t have clicked on this video any quicker when I saw in pop up in my subscription box. 

  • Grace: The bookworm that I am, it’s only natural to follow a few booktube channels. I have found so many  amazing YA reads through Grace’s channel but my favourite of all her videos is probably things I do in bookstores. I found it so funny and amusing, but also really relatable and almost reassuring that there are other people out there watching people in bookstores. 


  • Fashion citizen: A newer Youtube channel for me, so I haven’t got too many to share but I’m loving the vibes of these videos. My favourite videos so far are A day in the life and Get ready with me. I also love their thrift hauls and their moment’s videos.  

What are your favourite videos from the past few months? Let me know below
Cheerio for now! 

First Quarter: Summary

Is it just me or has this first quarter of the year just flown by? 
I feel like it was only yesterday that i was complaining to my mom about my January blues. 

So, what have i been up to in this first quarter of the year? 
Well, i’ve mainly been hibernating under a vast array of books, notepads and stray pieces of people trying to stay up-to-date with my studies and get to grips with my last few assignments of the year. I’ve also had some exciting developments in my home life, one being in the form of a wet-room. Now to any other human being a wet room probably seems like nothing to get excited over; but as someone who has had to rely solely on a carer not only to care, dress and feed myself, but also to wash myself too this is pretty exciting news. It will not only make the whole bathroom/washing scenario a lot easier but also much more safe, and it will enable me to be able to have a few moments to myself and regain a bit of my independence back; which literally makes my heart burst with joy! 
The first time using that wet room was the most glorious moment ever! -I get that probably sounds so ridiculous to a healthy person but when your health has been taken from you in so many ways, it can be pretty soul destroying accepting that you can’t do simple things on your own anymore, like wash your own hair. And in a way, having to have someone else do these things for you, you kind of lose a piece of your dignity and pride within the process. 
The other exciting development is, well to be revealed another day. I know that once i start talking about it i won’t be able to stop! All i can really say is all will be revealed soon and i hope you like the beach because my posts from April will probably revolve around just that. 


How has this first quarter treated you? 
Cheerio for now!