The Year of Twenty One

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A year ago I posted this post, A Letter To Twenty. I remember sitting up in bed, surrounded by snotty, tear-stained tissues and wearing a week old pajamas writing that post. I wasn’t in the best of places a year ago. Changes were happening in our family and as much as they seemed positive there was an element of discomfort to them, especially for me. I’d spend most of my time alone, well I had my four-legged pal but not any form of human interaction. Things got dark pretty quickly and my twenty-first birthday wasn’t as happy an occasion as birthdays usually are. What we did on my birthday was amazing. Having a pub lunch in London and then heading to the Ritz for evening tea had my tea-loving heart swooning. When a quartet plays ‘Twenty one today’ just for you, it’s pretty special.

New year bought the sudden change of moving. The idea of leaving my childhood home was bittersweet, but I also kind of loved the idea of a new beginning. I think my mom and I had needed it for a while. It’s crazy how this new beginning can bring new people into your life too, and suddenly your heart starts to flutter when you see someone’s name light up on your phone. I know many don’t believe in fortune tellers or tarot cards but having been brought in a family of believers, I remember my mom once being told that when her life changes so too will mine. I always thought this was rather bizarre and took it with a pinch of salt, but having looked back at how things have changed within my family compared with things with my friends and boyfriend -it makes sense (and to be frank it’s a little spooky how correct it was).

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Moving was stressful, to say the least. I’ve never felt like such a nomad. But around this time I gained a little freedom too. I went from sharing a car with my mom to having my own, which was nice. I met my boyfriend around the same time which was pretty great, to say the least (I can’t write too much about him, his ego is already big enough). Even now, my living situation is a bit cramped but I do have my own room and space for my things which is something I haven’t had for the majority of this year so far.

The year of twenty-one saw some pretty cool trips and days out too. It saw us go to Wales, seeing the stunning Welsh countryside and trying not to slip down waterfalls. We had weekends exploring anywhere we could possibly get to. Days spent at the beach hut, exploring the coast and wandering around Dreamland and the Shell Grotto.

Most of all, the year of twenty-one saw a lot of changes with my health and made me aware of things I didn’t even think were medically possible. I think I can officially say the transition from girl to woman happened this year; in not the easiest of ways. The end of twenty-one also saw me start my new supplement programme with a new doctor (post to come on that -he’s like a magician!). But most of all, I learned that my body is much more powerful then I give it credit for and I should spend a little more time giving it the love it deserves.

I think I can say this year was a huge transition period for many things, but it’s ending on a much more positive note than the last. Now we just have to wait and see what twenty-two has to offer.

Cheerio for now! 
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Photography: James Coleman

Inspire Me Lately

As a writer there are always many things inspiring me or that I feel drawn to. And rather than litter my Seasonal roundups with all these things I thought it better to neatly collect them here.

  • Carrie, from WishWishWish, posted this video on her Instagram from her most recent visit to the Red Rock Canyon. With it being a place that has always been on my bucket list, anytime anyone posts anything of those picturesque scenes from the Red Rocks it sends my heart into a routine of lusting over those dusty canyons. 
  • This Video from The Messy Heads YouTube channel. It is in connection with the third issue of the magazine, which is centred around the idea and concept of Home. I have been really inspired by the Home Issue and loved having a browse through that while trying to settle into my own home. I love everything The Messy Heads produce. From their print articles to their photography, their videos to the content on their blog. Everything they curate is so beautifully raw and authentic. I also love their contributors, particularly Isabella Mente and Haley Appell
  • Talking of Isabella Mente, I loved her video explaining her process and experience of self-publishing her book, 7, 300 days. As someone who has always wanted to produce a book, I constantly go back and forth between the idea of going through a literary agent/publishing house or simply giving it everything I have and self-publishing my own work. In this video, Isabella mentions some really important points as well as some more personal factors; and I think, that really inspired me and reignited a fire within me to write daily again. 
  • My film camera. Since finding my Film Camera from Camden Market, I have been experiencing photography in a whole new light. There are many new elements of the film which I’m adapting to, but learning something new is always so inspiring. (I will no doubt make a post surrounding my experience with film). 
  • And last but not least, is this video by Pearypie. I’ve been following her on Instagram for quite some years and have always loved her photos, but it wasn’t until around a year ago that I realised she had a youtube channel. The videos are mostly based on makeup and tutorials, with the occasional travel video thrown in too. When I say makeup videos I don’t mean the usual tutorials you usually see but rather full on sets and outfits that have been carefully curated around a specific makeup look or theme. Although most of the brands/products she uses are not cruelty-free, and for that reason, I do not use them, the actual looks she produces and end results are so creative and inspiring: especially for a basic b!tch like myself. 
I feel as though this post has been very ‘Messy Heads’ inspired, but really that is a true reflection of what has been inspiring me lately. I’ve noticed that in summer, my usual monochromatic wardrobe and more grungy vibes turn towards a more colourful and feminine style. I have found myself increasingly drawn to pale pinks and red tones, along with burnt oranges and lime greens. Yellow flowers are also incredibly desirable right now.

What has been inspiring you lately? Comment below or feel free to message through my contact page. 
Cheerio for now! 
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Spring, Spring, Spring | 17

Spring has always been the time we attach to the idea of new starts. The bitter winter weather subsides, nature buds its bright blooms and new life comes in the form of cute farm animals. I’ve never been all that fussed when it comes to spring. For me, it’s that odd time of the year when you don’t know whether you need to take a jacket out with you (what am I saying? I live in England, you always need a flipping jacket). Regardless of the fear of fashion faux-pas, and how stressful this spring has been for me, I have actually enjoyed it.

There has been a lot of change in my life lately. It’s almost as though everything has been stored up over time and now I finally have to deal with it all at the same time.

First of all, my year of studying Creative Writing has come to an end. I submitted my last assignment in May and that is it until I start my next module in October. Next year I will be studying a module called Reading and Studying Literature with The Open University, which will be my fourth module towards my degree. I’m looking forward to it, however, there is an exam at the end of the year which I am already nervous for (I get extremely anxious when it comes to exams).

Secondly, we have still not moved into our new house which is frustrating, to say the least. I have been living out of bags for five months now, and have lost a note of where most of my belongings are packed. Having said this, I have noticed what pieces that I own mean the most to me or are of the most use; and therefore, I have decided that once we are finally settled I need to purge a lot of my clothes and belongings. Another change in the family is that we have a new four-legged pal. His name is Vinnie and he is a fourteen-week-old chocolate Labradoodle. He is extremely laid back and very calm but has huge paws so we think he will grow to be a big dog.

And finally, I come to this space. I feel as though this place has taken a bit of a back seat for the past seven or eight months. I’m not going to make any excuses but I will say that I’m not okay with it. Throughout the rest of the year, I want to make more of an effort to be consistent and present with this space. However, I will say that while my life has and is changing in many ways -this space will too. As much as I love writing my book reviews and scouting out natural beauty products, I’ve also taken more of an interest in slow and minimal fashion as well as slow living in terms of interior. I’m looking forward to getting back into the routine of posting regularly.

Recent Favourites:
As always there are so many favourites I could put here (I’m thinking I should probably start producing dedicated ‘favourite’ posts). My Pink jacket, I purchased from ASOS, has come in so handy throughout Spring. English weather has been notoriously unpredictable so having a handy dandy, light jacket like this has been a godsend. It also goes with most of my clothes, which are predominantly grey and black. Another favourite is my film camera I picked up from Camden Market. It is a Halina 35x, originally released in 1959, which I picked up for £16! The last time I used a film camera was when I’d take disposable cameras with me on school trips so I’m looking forward to trying to master the art of film (I will no doubt write a post going into my film camera, and how I’m getting on with it, sometime soon).

Listening:

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts and Spotify playlists. With drives to the beach becoming more frequent now the warmer weather is here, podcasts and finding new music on Spotify has been a reoccurring pattern. At the moment I am loving listening to the Unexplained podcast (I have a post coming up soon which mentions this more). I also have been blaring a lot of Of Monsters and Men and Oh Wonder lately, along with more recent finds like Coco and The Butterfields (my new loves) and Lord Huron.
Enjoying:
I know this sounds super cheesy writing this but, I suppose the thing I have been enjoying the most this spring is time spent with my boyfriend. New relationships are always exciting but due to the ‘hectic-ness’ of my life lately, time spent together has seemed extra special. Probably my favourite memory from this spring has been seeing Coco & the Butterfields at the City Sound Project in Canterbury. That day was pretty great, plus I got him to get a glitter beard which was amazing.

Watching:

Star Wars -yes, you read correctly. Having recently visited the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the o2, I needed to make sure my Star Wars knowledge was up to scratch. I had caught sections of certain movies, but never sat and watched the whole duration of any one given film to pick up the narrative or who the characters were. I have to say, Chewbacca and the Ewoks are my favourites. Another thing I have been enjoying watching is a series called The Tudors on Netflix. Growing up I loved anything to do with Henry VIII, his wives and children; so I am absolutely loving this series. I am nearing the end, but I do hope that they continue producing series’ that follow the reigns of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth (*spoiler, I don’t think they will. Waaa).

What have been the highlights of your Spring?
Cheerio for now!
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10 songs that should be on your Autumn playlist

Autumn is here. The weather changes and so do we, as we turn inward and reflect on the warmer months and prepare for the cooler ones to come. Autumn is the season things start to tone down as we hibernate in slumbers of warm tea, apple pies and nights around the bonfire. While it is a cooler season when many take refuge in their warm homes, there’s no reason to miss out on social occasions and what better than a great assortment of autumn tones to accompany those moments. For me, a playlist sets the tone of any moment and whether it be a bonfire night, just a chilled evening in with friends, or maybe just some time to yourself, these are some of the songs that should be on your Autumn playlist.

  • Helplessness Blues -fleet foxes: A more recent find, this song is a little bit more upbeat than some of the others below but I think it would be perfect for either car rides or even whilst baking. 
  • Drive Darling -BOY: I feel like there is so little to say about this one, so really just click the link and see for yourself. 
  • Home -Dotan: I love this song all year round, but there is something particularly tranquil about it during Autumn making it the perfect easy-listening song to play in the background.
  • Old Pine -Ben Howard: Ben Howard’s combination of music, lyric’s and his voice is always so on point and really hits a cord for me. This tune is super chill and perfect to have in the background of any situation (For this reason I keep this one on pretty much every playlist I have made). 
  • Humming Low -Odessa: Not one of the most popular Autumn song but the melodies in this song are so pretty and soothing that I couldn’t resist. This would be the perfect song for a lazy Sunday or to listen to after a stressful day. 
  • California dreaming -mamas and papas: This gem is on par with Sweater Weather and really is a must for any playlist. Perfect tune for those experiencing some summer nostalgia whilst packing away their summer garments. 
  • Dirty Paws -Monsters and Men: A calming song, with references to animals and the forest. Not the most assuming but perfect to fill the silence and play in the background. 
  • Charlie Boy -The Lumineers: I love The Lumineers and this song, for some reason, just reminds me of fall so it had to fall on this list. 
  • Drunk -Ed Sheeran: Anything by Sheeran is perfect in my eyes but Drunk is my jam all year round. It is so easy to listen to and, just like so many songs on this list, such a calming song. 
 
What songs are a must for your Autumn playlist? Let me know below. 
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!