things I’ve found solace in | isolation edition pt. 2

It’s hard to really write about how I’m feeling right now when to be real honest, I’m experiencing at least several emotions in each hour that passes by. I have found myself seeking solace in all manner of things but a few things have really struck a cord with me or have just eased my mind that extra bit; and I wanted to share them here.

This article from Vogue made me feel all the feels. I found it quite an emotional read as although I do still live at home, I felt a certain parallel with Bella Mackie was writing in relation to my grandparents. I have always had more of a sister/best friend type of bond with my mother and so, my grandparents are more like parental figures to me so it is quite a foreign feeling to not be allowed to see them. A lot of what Mackie wrote really resonated with me but it was also nice to have that moment of realising that their is another human being, and many more, out there who are experiencing the same emotions that I am.

On the topic of Vogue, I really enjoyed this video from their Vogue Paris Youtube channel. I have mentioned their home videos before, which I really enjoy, but I loved this video and wanted to quickly mention it here.

This article from Refinery29 has been the greatest and most relatable thing I have read during lockdown. I have found myself becoming a bit ratty at times with everyone around me and I honestly couldn’t say why, other than the fact that we may be getting in each others personal space too much; so reading this article was very much needed. I’d highly recommend that everyone give it a read. I already sent the link to my boyfriend and mom.

The fact that Scotlands Home of the Year has begun again just is amazing. Obviously I don’t live in Scotland but I love it’s scenery and I’m a huge fan of Kate La Vie (probably touched on that in other posts). I love interiors and find the whole topic of architecture just so interesting so I can’t wait to watch the rest of these episodes. If you like these types of shows too then I’d also recommend Amazing Interiors on Netflix and a newfound fave of mine The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix also. I haven’t quite got through the entirety of the latter as there is multiple seasons and I’m desperately trying not to spend too much time on screens while in lockdown -which is insanely difficult when you find such great shows that you want to binge watch.

This post by Alice Catherine. Her posts are ones that I’m always so happy to see appear in my bloglovin feed but this one in particular really sang to my soul.

And finally, this video from New York Magazines YouTube channel. I have found a lot of their videos being recommended since taking an interest in their interior videos and this recommended watch definitely didn’t disappoint. There is something so inspiring and empowering about people who find themselves on unexpected, but beautiful pathways in life. Lyn Slater could be said to be one of these people. If you love Iris Apfel or the post I shared on her, then I’d definitely give this a watch too.

Stay safe.

Cheerio for now!

Short Forms of the Written Word

I’m not gonna lie, I found the title for this post a little tricky. Basically the premise for this post is that I want to share some short doses of fiction, prose and poetry (even some magazines) that I have really been enjoying lately. Throughout this lockdown I have found myself wanting to read but as soon as I start reading, I have the niggling voice in my mind telling me that I should be doing something more productive or spending my lockdown time better. This thought has made me a little torn between wanting to be uber productive but also not having the mentality to truly fulfil such tasks. I think we’re all in the same frame of mind and the state of the world is just mentally draining right now. Because of this, I have found myself drawn to shorter forms of writing not wanting to get too stuck into a chunky book in fear that I’ll lose momentum half way through and never want to revisit it. So, I wanted to share those here today.

Poetry

Bit of a broad one I know but I have been finding poetry in general to be super calming before I go to sleep. In particular, I have been absolutely loving Lang Leav’s work. So far I have read Love Looks Pretty on You, Lullabies, & Sea of Strangers. Lullabies is entirely poetry however the other two have been both poetry and prose which has been a really nice mix. When I say prose, it has been short and digestible prose so it’s an easy-read. I have also really enjoyed Flux by Orion Carloto and Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell. I do have a variety of others too but those are the ones that definitely stand out in my mind.

Short Fiction

Faber Stories have a collection of cute little books, each a different story. I had a few for Christmas presents and bought quite a few before the lockdown so I think I stocked up at a convenient time. The little books are a convenient size for when life gets back to normal. I actually read my first one on a train to my last doctors appointment in February, and have since read more. They serve as easy, bitesize pieces of fiction to get lost in for a while. Two that stick out in my mind are Mr Salary by Sally Rooney and Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath.

Pamphlets

For the past year and a half I have really enjoyed the Candlestick Press Pamphlets. They have a huge variety of topics but each pamphlet focuses on one particular genre or subject such as Tea or Scotland, etc and then it will either have a bunch of poems about that given subject or a mixture of poems, short fiction and prose. My favourite so far has been The All Night Bookshop by David Belbin. While it is a piece of fiction, the pamphlet also has a selection of poems about books to accompany it. It was a such a magical story and I really can’t recommend it enough. The thing I also love about these pamphlets is that they come with an envelope, a sticker and a blank bookmark for you to scribble a little note on to send someone with the pamphlet inside. I have sent quite a few, the most recent being the pamphlet with poems about grandparents to my Granddad, who loves poetry. I also really love that each pamphlet donates money to a chosen charity near that subject, so for instance the one about dogs donates to Dogs Trust while the Christmas Lights one donates to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. They’re a great little thing to lift someones mood at any given time but especially now when we can’t be together, we can just pop one of these in the post to a loved one.

Miscellaneous

Now, I say miscellaneous purely because I can’t really group this section in any other way. I have recently been loving digital magazines, specifically Betty Magazine which I believe available through online pdf’s for a limited time only. I do have physical copies of a few of these but I love the idea of having digital versions which I can always revisit. The imagery and articles are just among some of my favourite content. Popshot Magazine is a great source of short fiction and poetry too if you wanna stick to strictly poetry and fiction. I have also really enjoyed reading the first issue of The Coven Magazine. This has made for an interesting read during lockdown. I always enjoy audiobooks but lately I have been pulled to podcasts more. Like books, I’ve been trying to digest shorter formats of everything; trying to take breaks to address my mood and mentality in this crazy time. I have been absolutely loving Queens Podcast -if you looked at my Spotify queue right now you would see a list of their episodes that I’m working through.

Let me know if you have any other forms of short fiction too.

Cheerio for now!

The Room: December & January

The work on my bedroom is finally done!

Well, my room was officially finished on the 20th December, which made Christmas entirely stressful trying to move in beforehand. Anyway, I decided it might be a good idea to document the progress on here -not just visually but also how it came together, piece by piece. So, with that said, this is what we got done in December and January.

Obviously the first port of call is a bed. With the space being quite long and narrow (at least compared to my old room) I decided the best way to fit a double bed was to do so lengthways with the room. My room is on the ground floor to aid my mobility and give me a bit more of a family life. Because of the layout of our home, I had to have a larger window to double as a fire exit -which I totally love, however I haven’t been able to enjoy due to the lack of blind. Because my room was completed so close to Christmas, and due to it’s unusual measurements, it was impossible to get a blind up before Christmas. Many places take around 3-6 weeks to make custom blind and that’s before fitting it. Due to this, and other contributing factors including nosey neighbours, my mother and I wrapped my window in Christmas paper.

Once we had these two things sorted, we then worked on the next biggest piece of furniture: my desk. I went for the Malm desk with the pull-out panel purely because of how big it is and how much room it has underneath it. The pull-out panel is ideal for extra room but also great to not have it out permanently too.

The next things we did were move my chest of draws, which I had to significantly downsize on, and then bring a clothes rail in. This was about all we could do in the short timespan we had leading up to Christmas but it was enough for the time being.

I also found that I had massively underestimated how many belongings I had so as I moved into the room I found had to offload a lot of my belongings and reassess some of my furniture choices. These images depict how my room progressed in late December and throughout January -the main difference between the two months being the wrapping paper cloaking the window changed from Christmas themed to normal wrapping paper.

Cheerio for now!

things that have inspired me lately

I always seem to have a post full of links to videos or articles in my drafted section, which quickly grows over time. Quite a few links in this post are from last year. There are things that I have found over time and a few newer links I have added more recently. All of them have inspired me though and so, I wanted to share them with you. Who knows you might find them inspiring also.

Now I can’t remember how I first came across this blogpost but I can say that ever since I first read it I’ve had it bookmarked on my laptop and gone back to it multiple times to reread and take in its’ insight. Cait writes in such a beautifully honest way about blogging and what it has become over the years, as well as going into some of the details of why she is retiring her personal blogging. It is so refreshing to read someone talking about how they feel about something which has become so evident within the blogging community. While I love sitting with a cuppa and going through my Bloglovin’ feed, I do find myself being more mindful of which blogs I spend my time reading.

I have found myself taking part in an ongoing purge of blogs and YouTube channels I follow, as they are simply too consuming. Even with the remaining sites that I follow I find myself cherry picking which posts I read and which I just simply click ‘mark as read’. I tend to steer clear of hauls and any type of promotion of ‘trend’ pieces, or newly released brands; purely because I find myself persuaded into buying things I do not want or need.

I also don’t feel compelled to share every aspect of my life anymore or take my camera everywhere I go incase I want to turn any trips into content for here. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring this space but like Cait, I don’t want to feel obliged to keep up a facade of posting continuously, pay attention to the number of readers, grow an online brand and presence, etc. I just simply want to live and share things along the way that I feel passionate about. Even if you don’t have a blog or even follow blogs, I still think anyone would find Cait’s post interesting.

This amazingly relatable post by Emma Hill. Growing up I was never the maternal type. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great but I don’t get that broody feeling that others do every time they walk through the baby section of stores or smell that ‘newborn‘ scent. I grew up telling my grandmother that I’m never having children and when I became chronically ill that phrase quickly changed to I can’t have children. When I said those words it weren’t just in the medical sense of my lifestyle but also the fact that, whenever I dreamt of being well or healthy one day, I weren’t settling down or having a family; I was out there, travelling, working, living the life I had missed out on. I have always felt an internal guilt for feeling this way however, when I came across this post by Emma Hill a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could give a sigh of relief that someone was somewhat on the same page as me about this topic. Her post isn’t just relatable for me in terms of her feelings about children but I also find her storytelling about a flight from hell because of children so comedic and yes, yet again soooo relatable. All these years I have had an inner monologue, slagging the little demons off and feeling like the worst woman ever and now I come to realise there’s others just like me out there!

If you’re a total mumsy/child-loving person then I wouldn’t read this post, Emma Hill even writes a short disclaimer at the top warning folk about the posts contents. However, if you’re like me and ever had this inner guilt and turmoil over these ‘unnatural’ thoughts than I would highly recommend giving the post a read. I have read it so many times and feel more better after each read.

The idea of living a zero waste lifestyle has always been appealing for me, however the one area of life that my mind constantly flies to when thinking about zero waste is the bathroom. I have been following the site A Considered Life for quite some time now and have found some really helpful information from the content. This post in particular has really helped open my eyes as to how many options there are out there, and it has definitely inspired me to keep pursuing a zero waste, or more-so ‘less waste‘ lifestyle. I would definitely recommend taking a look at A Considered Life if you are interested in a zero waste lifestyle, minimalistic/simple lifestyle tips, sustainable fashion or even cruelty free beauty. The sustainable fashion directory is regular go-to of mine.

I absolutely loved this video by Lwany. I have been following her youtube channel, How To Five Two, for quite some time and I’m constantly inspired by her visual style but actually seeing and hearing her thoughts and feelings about everyday life is so inspiring. Her thoughts about her profession and the type of career she finds herself in are so similar and relatable to my own that this video just warms my heart every time I watch it. I’d give her channel and instagram a peek if your into style or the aesthetically pleasing (aligning of course, with self-authenticity).

As a chronically ill person going to the gym and doing hardcore workouts just doesn’t work for my body, however I do like to do some form of movement so I don’t entirely stiffen up. Because I’m not well enough to do the types of workouts that everyone else is capable of it’s easy to get downhearted or just simply beat myself up. This video by Arden came to me at exactly the right point in time. She says a lot of home truths in this video that I really needed to hear. The overall premise of the video is finding what works for you as opposed to just going to the gym and doing cardio because that’s what everyone else does; or more so, what society says we should be doing.

This video really put a lot into perspective for me, and helped me wrap my head around certain things to do with my own body and health; as well as coming to the conclusion of what is healthy and attainable for me going forward. If your having hard-time with working out, or not even a hard time but just wanting to find that extra inspiration to work out -give Arden’s video a watch and you might also find some of her insight enlightening too.

Cheerio for now!

The comfort in discomfort

The weather has always had an effect on me -not in a bad way, but rather a thought-provoking way. As I listen to the Summer rain cascading down my window, I can’t help but let my mind wander from this to that. I never started this space with anything in particular in mind to share. This is not a space devoted to beauty or travel (although those things do appear from time to time), but rather just the written word in general. And so, I find myself typing away: jotting down my idle musings. Perhaps these words shall never be read, which is quite alright. 

For the past three years now, I have been in an area -more so a full on arena- of discomfort. When I say discomfort, I mean physical unrest; and I mean this within the realm of my physical habitat.

Now I know, I have mentioned my living situation more than once on here -but it’s really difficult to not talk about something when it effects you in such an evident way.

With my bedroom being on the ground floor, and not being insulated at all, I have found myself in a cycle of floods and damage from rainwater which have felt never-ending at times. Just as I would find a new way to cope with this dishevelled way of living another curveball would be hit my way and another pair of Birkenstocks would be ruined from the dirt and grit that the flow of rainwater brought into my make-shift bedroom.

I don’t want to sound like this is a p!ssed off rant because quite honestly it isn’t. It’s merely a sigh of relief as I throw my hands in the air and let go of all expectations for what’s to come. I think the more expectations you have the more let down you become in the long run; and my mental health just doesn’t need that.

Instead, I’m starting to fall into the new routine of finding comforts in my discomfort. I have started to find comfort in the small pleasures and little things which give me that smile and spark of joy in my heart. Things like a new book, a heavenly scented candle and even an early night (yup, I’m getting old).

I don’t know when this period of unrest will end but i’m okay with the idea of ‘not being okay’; and for now, I think that’s good enough.

Stay tuned

Where have I been?

I think it’s time to end this intermission.

I decided last year to take a break from this space. Did I find myself in a funk? Not quite. Had I gone into hiatus? Perhaps. Quite frankly I have no idea what to call it so lets just go through the motions, shall we?

I have been trying to reach a state of equilibrium -which, even as I type this now, I have yet to reach. There have been quite a few things holding me back from that destination.

Room

I am someone who is highly influenced by their environment, and as a homebody I find myself paying a lot of attention to the interiors that I occupy daily. Given that I live and work in these quarters, it’s incredibly important to me. However, after moving in early 2017, and not being firmly planted anywhere before or since then, I have found myself becoming restless for a stable abode.

The nature of my living situation has caused me to be uprooted multiple times throughout the past three years, and while I had managed to stay inspired and keep my creativity going to begin with, the past year has been a bit trickier. I find myself having all these great ideas and lightbulb moments but when it comes to executing them I hit a brick wall and the project falls flat. I have since figured out that this problem is purely down to my environment, or lack of: so I’m hoping I can get it together soon.

Take a (brain) Break

Another contributing factor to this intermission, has been taking a break from the mental exertion of social media. With blogging, there is this not-so-hidden pressure to be on all platforms of social media and to produce fresh content for each platform to remain relevant and ‘successful’. But what about those of us, like myself, who aren’t aspiring to a career or masses of success in this field? Over the past two-three years, I have felt this unyielding pressure to push myself more and more in curating the perfect social media platforms. Grooming them to be these perfectly organised and aesthetically pleasing areas to promote myself. *vom*.

With my boyfriend having taken many social media breaks in the past, I finally decided to do the same just after Christmas. I will touch on this more in another post on the subject, because in all honesty I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs on the subject; however, I will say it was eye-opening and (dare I say, with the fear of sounding overdramatic) life-changing. I could not recommend it enough, but as I said -there will be a post coming with waaayyyy more detail about this.

Back Injury

So, I fell down the stairs and aged my body by fifty years. Although, my injuries are much better now this fall put a bit of a bump in the works of everything I had planned in terms of uni and this space here. It was like taking 10 steps backwards but I feel like I am slowly getting back onto the straight and narrow.

So what now? Well to be honest -I don’t have a plan really. There are some posts I have in mind and I have a fair pile of them in my drafts which I had produced before the intermission so I might publish them soon and then the new posts. Who knows.

Stay tuned 

The Reality of Reality

My reality lately has been an endless reel of studying, medical appointments, rushed meals, ‘chores’, and passing out at the end of the day. I have been drained – like ‘battery is empty, I’m falling asleep and dribbling while standing‘ drained.

As some people know, my boyfriend has been off work for some time due to health reasons and since then everything has been a little more tricky to balance. I think it’s pretty natural to feel quite stressed when your significant other is going through something that neither of you can control. I feel like I was doing fine and keeping the balance until a series of events happened in my own life. For instance…

My Tortoise Died

It doesn’t sound like much but my tortoise, Malcolm died a couple of months ago. While he’s only a tortoise to some, it really took a toll on me and I felt incredibly low. Last year when we moved, I struggled a little with the idea of leaving my childhood home (the only home I have ever known) but what made it easier was having our black lab Myles and Malcolm. When Myles passed away last October it was heartbreaking but what eased it a little was that I still had Malcolm. When we discovered Malcolm had died I crumbled. I felt empty and numb, and couldn’t help but feel as though I had lost everything. It was really hard for a few weeks but it’s getting easier.

My Bedroom Flooded

Yes you heard correctly friends. In the series of rain/thunderstorms we had at the end of May, my room experienced some flash flooding. I was in the crisp aisle of Asda when I got the phone call to say it was flooded and had to drive home in the thunderstorms to help where I could. What didn’t help was that this happened a week before my big uni exam and wrecked my MacBook charger (I was doing my exam on my MacBook so this caused a lot of stress).

The Wrath of a Chronic Illness

Anyone who either suffers, or knows someone who suffers from a chronic illness will know that the aftermath of doing pretty much anything is a b!tch. As I previously mentioned, a week after my bedroom had flooded I had my uni exam which was four hours long. It was exhausting and I can’t remember the last time I felt this drained or run down. Even now, I wouldn’t say that I have truly recovered just yet – I think the drama going on with my bedroom is steadily sucking the life out of me – but i’m listening to my body as best as I can and I’m resting when I need it.

Little Things 

Then theres little things that have slotted themselves here and there, like doctors appointments, etc which aren’t anything major but just make life a little bit trickier to navigate when you have so many other things going on.

All in all, I am so happy that summer has arrived and usually this would be my downtime from uni however, I am starting to realise that my downtime probably won’t happen until Autumn has arrived or my room has been completely sorted. Either way I know that summer won’t be a chilled out as it usually is. That’s the reality of reality right now.

Cheerio for now! 

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Inspire Me Lately

*side note: I wrote this post two months ago and totally forgot to post it: but I suppose it’s better late than never! 

There’s been a lot of things inspiring me lately, here are a few of them…

  • This video from Jenn at Clothes Encounters. In this video, she recreated looks inspired by famous works of art. I absolutely love this video and the way it mixes art with fashion and almost and quirky, fancy dress element. I also love that she discusses each painting and a little bit about its’ background -as someone who has studied art history, I really appreciated that. 
  • I have listened to The Ladygang podcast on and off for just under a year now. I find that I’ll go ages without checking out my podcasts and then suddenly binge-listening to them all in a couple of days. When this happens I find that I love one or two episodes way more than the others. This time it was the Whitney Port episode and the Ru Paul one. Now as someone who has the box set for the Hills and the City -I loved the episode with Whitney Port, but the episode with Ru Paul was just on a whole other level of inspiring. His words and life views were beyond enlightening for me, and I think I listened to this episode at a point when I truly needed it. One motto that he mentioned which I absolutely fell in love with was ‘Unless they paying your bills, pay them bees no mind‘ -which I mean, is just perfect for me to keep in mind. I’m someone who gets too paranoid about what people think or how they’ll perceive what I do when in reality it doesn’t really matter all that much at all. 
  • I love this video from Violette at violette_fr. I love the way she chooses a different location for each of her videos and her looks appear so polished and well curated. The shots and camera work seems so natural and effortless while being true to the theme of the video. I also really enjoyed this video she produced a while back. 
  • I have also been loving the Youtube videos by Broadly lately. In particular there ones about Coco and Life as a fairytale princess. I absolutely loved the video about Coco. Although it feels quite bizarre for a six-year-old to be able to work Instagram, it is also lovely to see a child be so uniquely themselves without feeling judged or as though they need to follow the crowd. I feel as though Broadly’s videos do not sugar coat topics; they take you behind the scenes and show you the nitty-gritty details of things. For instance, their videos on Bulgaria’s Bride market and the most powerful witches in Romania were so informative but also truthful and respectful of the culture of the subject. I really enjoy their videos and would recommend to anyone who wants to watch something a little more informative or in more of documentary style. 
  • And last, but by no means least, is Paloma’s get ready video featured on Glossier’s youtube channel. I’ve been following Paloma on Instagram for some time now and as a fellow curvy woman, I find her so inspiring. I’d say coming across her instagram and other curvy models and activists, and seeing how at home they are with their own bodies have definitely made me feel a lot more at home in my own body. 
Cheerio for now!

Book Review: Bloom

Bloom: navigating life and style, Estée Lalonde  

As a subscriber to Estée’s channel, I all but climbed on my desk and shimmy-danced when she announced her book in this video. As a subscriber to Estée’s channel, I all but climbed on my desk and shimmy-danced when she announced her book in this video. I know there is often a lot of mixed opinion about YouTubers writing books but I knew her book would be amazing, and I wasn’t wrong.

Bloom is centered around what and how Estée became who she is today. She discusses everything, and I mean everything -there’s no holding back, which is so refreshing. The book kinda revolves around the idea of blooming into the person you are meant to be and if our souls were flowers, Estée’s would be the most beautiful out of the bunch!

With eight sections, Bloom covers life, people, work, beauty, fashion, home, travel and food and is almost wrote as though she is talking to you over a cup of tea which makes the experience even more personal. I found the sections about her childhood and her past relationships with food incredibly emotional purely because of how much I resonated with her experiences. I’m not one to judge a book by its’ cover, or appearance, but I found the layout, quality of pictures and general aesthetic of the book really pleasing. I know that may sound odd to some people, but the font, page colours, page number layouts, etc are all things a bookworm like myself appreciates in a book (imagine trying to read font you can’t stand or that is too small).

End thoughts: I loved this book. It’s almost like a survival/motivational guide that resonated with so many aspects of my life growing up as well as giving me wise words and strength to continue on and to always listen to my heart. Bloom is the book I wished I had growing up, and the book I am probably going to gift all the young girls and women in my life. It is a must-read.

Have you ever read Bloom? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Life Update: Half Time

It’s half time! Wow -I can’t believe how quickly this year is going. This past month has been pretty zen since I finished my first year of uni at the end of May. I have yet to receive my results, which I am slightly nervous about, though I’m just choosing to enjoy the summer season and beautiful weather; which of course is a rarity here in Britain! 

I’m not sure what is in store for this summer, apart from trips to the beach, some serious downtime as well as blissfully making my way through my reading list; which has grown to the height of a skyscraper since last October. I’m also really enjoying spotify playlists right now, especially the ones based around moods. Theres nothing better then discovering new tunes which you instantly fall in love with. Thanks to spotify, I have discovered bronze radio return which i’m loving. My favourite tunes so far are wonder no more, broken ocean and further on. 

I’m also becoming slightly obsessed with etsy, which is making my mac become full of bookmarks for all the neat finds I really wanna buy but I haven’t quite got that money tree planted in the back yard just yet #studentproblems 

What do you have planned for your summer? 
Cheerio for now!