The Pleasure of the Mundane

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetTo be honest, I have been really overwhelmed lately. Like super overwhelmed. Life has just felt hectic and so fast-paced at the moment and it’s been difficult to find moments to take a breather. Then after a busy few weeks a saturday evening became open to do whatever I wanted, so what did I do? I made a brew and picked up a book from my ‘to be read’ pile. It doesn’t sound like the typically Saturday night for a girl in her early-twenties but it was heavenly. And that was the moment I truly realised the pleasure in the mundane things which is what I’d like to share with you today.

A Brew (…or your drink of choice)

Yes, it can be enjoyed with friends over a catchup but my favourite time to enjoy a brew is first thing in the morning, when I am still half asleep and not fully engrossed in the day yet. I like to take full advantage of that first brew, just sit back and slowly wake up with it to hand. Even if I have been awake for awhile, I’m out for breakfast or have done a few bits already, the first tea of the day is always accompanied by a quiet reflection. It’s ‘my time’ and I truly have been loving these moments lately.

Walking the Dog

I hear so many people comment on the positive effects of having a dog. Because you have to get them outside for some exercise, it forces you to get up and out for some fresh air – regardless of the weather. I personally take so much pleasure in these moments. Seeing the dogs get excited when we mention their leads or that we’re going in the car is instantly uplifting. My two dogs love water so any sort of pond/lake walks or beach walks are ideal and they lap it up. This exertion also means they are dead beat once we are home – meaning all the cuddles and naps with them too. Nice quiet evenings just to chill with your pooch.

Reading your Favourite Book or Magazine

There are certain books or magazines that summon tranquil moments for everyone. For me it’s either Peppermint magazine or Frankie. I know I can pick any of their beautiful issues up and just devour it cover to cover. It conjures peaceful moments for me where I haven’t a care in the word. As a literature student, I’m noticing more and more that I find it hard reading for recreational purposes. Each time I pick up a book I’m analysing plot, characters, use of language, etc. With magazines, it is far easier to tune into the reading for pleasure.

Taking a Drive

Up there with the ‘brew moments’, taking a drive holds such pleasurable moments for me. From cruising along listening to music to having deep chats about anything and everything, even sitting in the car slurping drinks, looking out to the sea and letting the waves crash over the car. The moments can be quiet and retrospective, or filled with serenading and laughter. Whatever they are, they’re always pretty special.

What mundane moments do you love?

Cheerio for now!

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The Silent Companions

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You know those little recommended reads based on books you’ve bought on Amazon? Sometimes they really are amazing. This was one of them. This was an impulse buy and to be honest it was money well spent. 

 Elsie, newly married and newly widowed, finds herself sent to her husbands estate, The Bridge, to see out her pregnancy. She finds the servants of the estate indignant and the locals suspicious and unwelcoming. Elsie’s only company to see her through the dismal days ahead of her at the estate is Sarah, her late-husbands cousin. Within her first few days in residence, she discovers a locked room with beyond it holds a two-hundred year old diary and a wooden figure (a Silent Companion), resembling Elsie. What follows is a string of unnerving and terrifying events, including peculiar events and horrific deaths which is so vividly written it will give you chills. 

I can’t recommend this novel enough, especially for those who love plots revolving around the Gothic genre. It plays around with the supernatural and black magic, which set against the nineteenth century adds a darker and more sinister effect to it. 

*Spoilers Appear Beyond This Point – Proceed With Caution* 
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This gothic read was a quick read, not only because of its’ plot but also its’ writing and setting. Framed by a narration from an asylum, it drew you in to the story and made you crave the knowledge of events and what happened to Elsie. Another element I really loved was the sections throughout the book rewinding back two-hundred years to the first ancestors of Bainbridges’ at The Bridge. This essentially represents the information and events within the two-hundred year old journal which illuminates what is happening with the Silent Companions in such a vivid way. It honestly sends chills through you, and adds to the pace of the novel and events. 

 
Have you ever read The Silent Companions? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now!

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Tropic | Haircare Discovery

The day has finally come – Tropic have released hair care! I cannot tell you how long I have waited for this day. As much as I love Kind Natured haircare, I have been so eager to see what Tropic produces in terms of hair care. I made a pretty large order from Tropic a few weeks ago and in there I got the Hair Care Discovery & Scalp Massager kit.Processed with VSCO with a4 presetNow first I must start with the kit itself before going into the individual products. You can buy the products individually in full size or Tropic produce kits where they give you travel size versions of the products. I personally love these kits because you get to test trial the products without wasting money – more bang for your buck! You might wonder whether you get enough product to truly test it in a fair way. For me, it has been the perfect amount and as you can see from the photographs, I still have plenty of product left and I have been using it for *three to four weeks now* (…I wash my hair 2-3 times a week).

On to the kit itself. You receive a little Tropic drawstring bag which contains a mini Hair feast (50ml) , a mini Hair Smooth (10ml), a mini Clarifying Hair Wash (50ml), a Mini Nourishing Hair Cleanser (50ml), and a Scalp Massager. This kit comes to £20 or alternatively, you can purchase the kit without the Scalp Massager for £15. I think the pricing of these kits is amazing when considering the quality of Tropic products as well as their ethics. Anyway, enough chit-chat – lets get on to the products themselves.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Photo 15-06-2018, 13 27 48 (1)Nourishing Hair Cleanser (50ml/250ml)

The cleanser is essentially your shampoo step, however it is not abrasive to your scalp which as someone who has a super dry scalp, this element of the product is so perfect for me. With mainstream shampoos I find that by the time 12-15 hours has passed my scalp becomes super dry, itchy and starts to flake. With, not only this cleanser but all the Tropic haircare, I find I no longer suffer from this issue which is amazing to not have that worry or be self conscious.

Like many of Tropics products the hair cleanser is 100% naturally derived. With Macadamia oil it restores dry hair, while also claiming to hold ingredients which protect hair from the damaging effects of hair colouring. To use: apply to wet hair, working it into the roots and scalp – and then letting it smooth through the rest of the hair. The scalp massager can be used too, helping the cleanser be more effective in removing dirt as well as being pretty relaxing. Rinse off thoroughly, and then follow with the Hair Feast Conditioning treatment if extra hydration is needed. I personally really love this product and think that Tropic has done a great job perfecting it.

Clarifying Hair Wash (50ml/250ml)

Now this is a bit like the cleanser but more so targeted for a deep clean. You know when you’ve been studying for days and although you have showered to freshen up, your hair still remains in that top knot, partially matted with dirt? Well this product was made for those times. It is a ph-balanced hair wash, which gently cleanses the scalp and hair without drying it out.

Made from only biodegradable ingredients and 100% naturally derived, it contains Aloe Vera juice to hydrate your hair while Coconut cleansers provide a deep cleanse to buildup. Bonus points for its super light consistency and I’m convinced it smells like Jelly Babies! To use: simply apply a small amount to wet hair, massage into scalp to form a lather and then rinse away. You can follow up with a conditioner or the Hair Feast to condition.Processed with VSCO with a4 presetHair Feast Deep Conditioning Treatment (50ml/250ml)

You know that film your hair gets when you have used way too much conditioner and you just can’t manage to wash it out? Thats what my first time using this product was like, and then I realised that I had followed all the steps, I had dried my hair and that film-like feel was gone. What was left? Perfectly silky smooth hair. Words cannot describe how amazing my hair felt, and still feels, after using the conditioner.

The conditioner holds a lot of natural protein which works to strengthen hair as well as both jojoba oils and tamanu to hydrate the hair. This product is also incredibly versatile being able to be used either as an everyday product or a leave-on mask, either for a 10-minute period or overnight. To use: Simply apply as required to hair (I personally never apply to the roots but rather lengths and especially the ends), leave for around 5 minutes and then rinse out.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetHair Smooth (10ml)

Hair Smooth is essentially a styling oil, taming hair whilst also hydrating and nourishing it. I must say that I was initially on the fence with this product – so many hair oils have made my hair appear greasy and really built up a lot of dirt. This oil was very different and completely went against all my expectations.

The Hair Smooth formulation is incredibly lightweight with some hefty ingredients. Vitamin E oil is one of the major ingredients the product boasts, with its nourishing properties which both hydrate and repair hair. Now this product is also very versatile with a multitude of uses to its name. To use:

  • As a hair treatment: apply a few pumps to dry or damp hair, let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash as usual.
  • As a pre-cleanse: apply and work a liberal amount through hair before washing as usual to remove excess styling products.
  • As a pre-blowdry treatment: apply a very little amount to towel-dried hair and then continue styling as usual.
  • For the finishing touch: apply to the ends of hair to smooth and tame fly-aways, allow it to absorb and then your good to go!

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThe Scalp Massager

The giveaway is in the name – it is simply a scalp massager. It can be used on both wet or dry hair, to stimulate circulation as well as aid relaxation. To use: on wet hair it can be used with the Nourishing Hair Cleanser or the Clarifying Hair Wash, and then simply rinsed off. Once using the massager, rinse off any product and leave it sitting on its tips to air dry. In all honesty I haven’t used it too much, I could probably count on one hand how many times I have. There’s nothing wrong with this product, I think it is quite innovative however, I do not seem to have the co-ordination in my hand and wrist to use it effectively so it becomes more so a challenge than a relaxing experience (#chronicillness).

Overall I think Tropic has really raised the bar with these products. Not only are they effective and serve their purpose but they’re also super luxurious. I would recommend everyone give them a go, especially this kit that I tried as you can try them all without breaking the bank or committing to the full-size versions.

Have you tried these Tropic products? What did you think of them?

Cheerio for now! 

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Updates | We Have Moved

Around two months ago I changed my blog name, domain, and all my social media handles. Why? Well, there is a lot of reasons so I thought it best to sit down and address it all right here: in the new home.

 

Moving to WordPress

As much as I have loved using Blogspot over the past few years, I really felt restricted in many ways on that platform. I wanted to experiment with layout and coding, and that was something I felt as though I couldn’t really delve into on blogspot. I made the transition to WordPress and to be honest, haven’t looked back or had any doubts since. I am really looking forward to what’s in store for this space in the future and I feel like I finally have the freedom to do all the things I want to.

The ‘Look’

As I have changed blogging platform, of course I have changed the theme of the site. As I mentioned above, I really wanted a bit more freedom with what I can do with this space and I feel like I have that with WordPress. I hope that you all like the layout and it’s easy to manoeuvre. I looked at a lot of themes with different alignments, image layouts, etc. Ultimately, I wanted something simple and minimal that wouldn’t be too busy or noisy to the eye. I feel as though this layout will be functional and has the longevity to last for years to come.

Coding 

Since moving to WordPress, I have been dabbling with coding which has been a little iffy from time to time but I think I’m finally getting my head around it and hopefully it’ll show in the upcoming posts. I’m enjoying the versatility that comes with coding and hopefully I’ll just improve at this with time.

What happened to whatsinadeck?

Last but not least, and most noticeable, is the change of name. whatsinadeck has served me well over the years but I definitely started to experience some growing pains with it last year. The name whatsinadeck came about due to severe health conditions and trying to find the good within the bad. It was very much a ‘highlight reel’ of my life and I didn’t feel as though I could share some of the nitty-gritty details there.

I also found myself wanting something more personal and what’s more personal then something everyone in my personal life calls me? -Jam. With this blog name being my personal name, that I have had for twenty-two years already, I know I will never outgrow or tire from it. And of course, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will know I have also changed my name over there too -uniformity people!

I think that is everything I wanted to cover in this post however, if there are any questions just comment below or email me, over here. Posting should resume in the next couple of weeks. I am currently drawing up a posting schedule so I will update you guys when that is finalised.

See you soon! 

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Inspire Me Lately

January through to, really the beginning of, summer is usually a really blue time for me. The weather is unpredictably harsh and bitter which makes it hard to think about sunnier times ahead. As someone whose creativity is fuelled by my mood, it’s very easy for me to feel like I’m in a funk or just feel uninspired during these colder months. Although I have been working hard behind the scenes giving this space a reshuffle, there have been few things that have kept me inspired throughout the past few months.

Jim Reno 

Now I don’t know how I came across Jim Reno on YouTube but I love her. As someone so creative and authentic, her videos are beautiful. Her approach to make up is more so how someone approaches an art form: I love this look, and video she made. I also really love her paint with me videos, like this one: as well as her latest video here too. I find her so inspiring, not to mention her spirit and approach is so calm and creative that you can’t help but feel that little spark of inspiration.

This Video – How To Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps

My boyfriend sent me the link to this video awhile after we started seeing each other. I have to admit, I was horrified by the title at first, assuming that it was his way of hinting that I needed to lose weight. After actually watching the video, I really loved it. The whole concept of time going by and things changing with it. Lately it’s been something I have been trying to remind myself more and more, especially during bad days.

Lua P

Another Youtuber. Lua P’s videos are very chilled for me but also inspiring. I love her hair and overall style. The style of her videos comes across very personal. Blurred shots and sometimes shaky movements give it what I call a ‘grainy’ quality which I personally love. It gives it a more vintage vibe which, anyone who knows me knows, I love all things vintage. In short – inspiring.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Wes Anderson Collection

The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Wes Anderson – of course the film is absolutely beautiful! the entire aesthetic of it is just… well, indescribable, there are no words. However for me, the narration is so inspiring. I have always felt so drawn to focalisers and frame narration (an outsider to the events narrating the story ie. the author narrating Zero’s storytelling of The Grand Budapest hotel and M. Gustave). I have always been drawn to The Great Gatsby for this reason too. I suppose I love the idea that an outsider can take such interest in someone else’s life and retell it with such authenticity.

Steal The Spotlight

Now I realise this Inspire Me Lately has been very youtube heavy but please let me mention just one more youtuber please. I have followed Katie from Steal the Spotlight for years and absolutely love her lookbooks. She recently posted this eighties one

The eighties era seems to be a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. The fashion from the eighties isn’t something I would personally be comfortable in or ever wear however, I can appreciate it from a distance. I particularly loved this video of hers as I think she really nailed it. Other lookbooks of hers, like this Game of Thrones lookbook and of course, the Friends one too. She is someone who is incredibly creative in terms of the looks and videos she creates, but also the editing too. I never miss any of her videos and would recommend her to anyone who could do with a little inspiration.

Let me know what has been inspiring you lately.

Cheerio for now!

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My Mental Health Since Losing my Dog


Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend never owned a dog

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I have never written a post, or really ever gone into depth with anyone, about my mental health so I should probably give you some background information. I grew up in a lone parent household, an only-child with one cousin who lives on the other side of the world. I was always around adults, and as a result also exposed to the harsh realities of life: I definitely wasn’t an only-child who was wrapped in cotton wool. Because it was only my mom and I, we were always together, so wherever she went, I went too. I suppose that is the main reason I was always around adults, because I went wherever my mom went. When I got to eleven years old, we got our black Labrador, Myles. It was a dream of mine, to have a black lab, ever since I was a little girl and my mom finally agreed we could get one. There’s actually a super old post here stating how we got Myles, here.
Photo 06-02-2015, 20 56 10Photo 30-08-2014, 13 11 46Last year we had to have Myles put down, I mentioned the details a bit more in my Autumn post. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. I’d never felt heartache like I did that day, in that vets room. Feeling his body still, his fur cool down, and his eyes slowly drift shut was the most helpless I have ever felt. It felt like a piece of me had died with him that day and after that it was harder to function.I’m sure some people would find it hard grasping these intense emotions that I went through from losing my dog -because to some people it’s just a dog. That’s not the case for me. Myles was so much more than a dog, or even a part of the family. He was my saviour –quite literally. When I became ill I had to give up everything, and I mean everything. With that, I lost a sense of purpose. My identity and who I was, had vanished, and life didn’t have any meaning. I became severely depressed, I left notes for my family, and my mom feared leaving the house because she didn’t know what she would be coming home to. Yes, it got that bad. But there was one thing through it all that kept me going -Myles. He gave me a purpose.Photo 29-04-2018, 22 20 38Photo 29-08-2017, 13 00 21
When it came time to have him put down, I’d say I was somewhat prepared. It wasn’t a surprise and we knew it was time to go through with it but that didn’t make it less harder. I walked in that vets office with my best friend and came out without him and half of me missing. The first week was hard but I suppressed the grief to get through an important uni assignment. Around eight to ten weeks later, I had my next big assignment and that was when I crumbled. I was burnt out but I was also emotionally drained. I couldn’t complete my assignment and so I had to forget about that and everything else, and just take a moment for me.

Christmas and all the preparations leading up to it, kept me going, They kept my spirits high and upcoming plans gave me something to focus on. I was studying the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the time, subject matters that I really enjoyed: which definitely helped my mental state. This enjoyment filled some of the hollowness within me. Another thing which helped around this point was taking our other dogs out. I had been trying to make the most of the daylight hours a bit more, and help my mom get them some decent exercise, so seeing our other dogs, Vinnie and Alfie, get out really helped. I think it wasn’t just seeing them run around and simply getting fresh air that helped, but also the fact that even in such a low mental state, I could still be of use to my mom.
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Christmas came and went, and I had enjoyed myself far more than I had anticipated. Then came Dooms day: Myles’ birthday on New Years Eve. Every year we would cook a meaty Pukka Pie, let it cool down, pop a candle in the top and then sing him Happy Birthday. I was supposed to be going out on New Years Eve with my best friends and boyfriend however, I came down with a sickness bug the day before and my boyfriend came down with the beginnings of a major cold/ear infection so that was bye-bye to our plans. Instead we ate Chinese food and watched the fireworks on telly. Even though it didn’t work out as planned, it still kept me occupied and kept my mind off Myles.

January and February were a bit more tricky, especially January. There was a period of time lasting about three or four weeks where it was really hard and I kind of withdrew from a lot going on around me. I needed to wallow. I was studying like crazy, budgeting like an accountant, trying to stay on top of my health, I kept mysteriously throwing up, and really just wanted to curl up constantly because I didn’t have my best friend by my side to keep me going. One day I mistakenly called one of our other dogs Myles which caused an avalanche of tears for the rest of the day. Emptiness overwhelmed me once again and I was gone. What didn’t help around this time, was that I was also experiencing some awful mood swings from my contraceptive pill which didn’t help my mood or anyone around me. Seriously, I became a monster in January -ask my boyfriend!
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March was a brighter note for me. My boyfriends birthday kept me going and I also started to realise how ‘bonded’ I was with our other dogs around this point. Alfie, our red lab, loves coming in my room as soon as I’m awake. He curls up on a blanket on my bed, while I have my morning tea and start working – while Vinnie, our brown labradoodle, curls up in the sliver of space beside my bed and conks out for the day. Although, they’ll never fill the hole that Myles left, I started to realise that the bond I have with them is also filled with love but in an entirely different way to Myles. I also read the book Make Your Bed (read review here) which had a profound effect on me and really changed my perspective on so many areas of my life. It made me really accept the bad things I was going through and definitely helped confront some passed demons head on.

When I say demons, these weren’t ‘end of the world problems‘ but they somehow felt so much bigger and harder to deal with, at the time, because I didn’t have my best friend by my side anymore. There is something so incredibly soothing about having a furry friend around you through tough days – it’s pet therapy. 

As we come to the close of April, the sixth month without my best friend, I feel as though I can finally exhale a huge breath and say ‘I’m doing Ok’. I know that each day will vary and there will be things or memories which hit me hard without him but I also know that ultimately, I have everything I need to survive within me: as well as some amazing people around me to help if I reach for it. 

Cheerio for now!

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life… and maybe the world, William H. McRaven 


Have you ever read a book and had to just sit and take a moment for its powerful words to sink in? Have you ever thought to yourself that you’ll just read another chapter? And another? And before you know it, it’s gone 1am and you only have two chapters left to complete it. You realise it will end soon and you suddenly feel sad -that’s what this book did to me. Part of me wanted to soak up every ounce of his inspiring words and part of me didn’t want it to ever end.

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In this book, McRaven shares 10 lessons he learned during the 37 years of his life as a Navy SEAL. These lessons, as he shows, aren’t just applicable to a life in military but to life in general. They really are simple yet life-changing. His words have an authenticity to them which I have never experienced in anyones writing before. It provides timeless advice, that is so simple however it’s told with such encouragement and optimism that you can’t help but feel moved and motivated. Each chapter states its lesson, goes onto to give you a bit of background about how he came about this lesson, an example of this lesson being practised and then finishes off with a strong summary: that quite honestly sets your soul on fire. -I know, I sound corny, but it really does happen like that. You feel pumped and like you could kickass! A quick snippet…

Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up-if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better… and maybe the world! 


Now, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I ordered this. I’d came across it in Liv’s, from what olivia did, youtube video about the books she wanted to crack open this year. This was one of them and I just felt drawn to it. With a little summary from her and a few days later an Amazon package in hand, I was set to go!
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My personal favourite is Chapter 5: failure can make you stronger (don’t be afraid of the circus). This chapter had me overwhelmed with emotion (and let me tell you, I can be a real cold b*tch -so thats saying something people!). This chapter told us how McRaven and his swim partner kept falling short on their swims in their SEAL training, and when you were letting the rest of your team down you were slung in the circus -essentially extra training in the evening, but the most badass, and hardcore training sessions ever! McRaven states that most people end up quitting from the circus because the next day your not only exhausted from your normal training but the extra circus sessions too. It becomes an endless cycle of exhaustion and the weak fall off from this routine. However, he and his swim partner were determined not to give up and they didn’t. Instead they pushed through the pain and the exhaustion and something better happened. They became better, stronger, and faster than the rest of the team. So much better than they’re team mates that they would finish first in their swimming training with the second pair not even in sight! (I probably didn’t do that story justice, and McRaven would probably throw me into the circus for how poorly I described that -but I just love that chapter!).

Overall, I loved this book. The chapters are short and easy to read and because of that, I know i’ll be flipping back through certain chapters when I’m in need a boost. I would recommend this to anyone, regardless of where they are in their lives. I truly believe theres something everyone can take from this incredible book of wisdom.

Cheerio for now! 
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Start of Something New

What am I talking about? 

Uniform 000. Uniform *insert number here, is a post idea I came up with on a Saturday evening, when putting away some ironing. The base of it is simply outfit posts however, they are going to be revolving around clothes I already own and recycle again and again. There may be repetitions in pieces used or styled in new ways, but the idea is to re-use what I own instead of feeling the need to buy new things. I think too often people endorse new clothing lines (and thats great) but sometimes we as an audience impulsively buy things we simply do not need.

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Another facet to this idea is my personal body image. I’m the first to admit that I am very self-conscious when it comes to my body and often I want to hide under a baggy jumper. Other times I trick myself into thinking I’ll feel better about myself if I buy that one top or splurge on that one dress, and it never makes me feel better. By posting my uniforms, I’m hoping it will highlight what I like, feel comfortable in, and what looks good on my body type: as well as highlight the things in my wardrobe that I will never use (*gulp, that could be quite a sickening result if there is a large amount of clothes leftover). 
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Maybe posting photos of myself for all to see, when I’m not too fond of my body, may not be the best idea to concur this but it’s what I’m choosing to do. I have reached a point where I just want to say screw it. I hate my muffin top, the way my thighs have peaks and valleys and I know the stretch marks (or lightening bolts, as my godson calls them) will plague me til my dying day -but in the grand scheme of things does that all matter? Will that matter when I’m looking back on photo albums in thirty years time? No, and quite frankly I feel its time to give up on worrying about it all. 

I can’t put my finger on what has sparked this change of perspective. Maybe its where my health has taken a switch and I want to start living instead of worrying and trying to make myself feel better with material things. Or maybe, on a bit more of a personal note, my perspective has changed because my body has changed -it manifested nothing short of a miracle last year and to be honest, I don’t look after it as much as I probably should. This realisation has kind of been a knife to the back, making me stand to attention and really start loving it. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetI also want to show these outfits in a very unpolished and more personal way. Don’t get me wrong posed outfit posts are great but some of my favourite photos are the raw and natural ones, the ones that may be a little blurry or overexposed like the ones I have here. I also like the concept of outfits being highlighted in my everyday life and routines. For instance, the past few weekends James and I have taken the dogs out for walks each Sunday so it felt only natural to highlight my ‘boyfriend-flannel-shirt-outfit’ in this way. Personally, these ones of Alfie are my favourite and lets face it -he’s stolen the spotlight for this post! 

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I have probably rambled on enough now and you no doubt get the general idea. **I must add a final note though, that some of the pieces I will be sharing have been in my wardrobe for years and are from shops & brands that I no longer give my money to. Some of these brands I no longer shop from because the ethics and morals they have do not fit my own. Having said this, I am also trying to reduce my waste and if an item is in the style or fit that I want, and it is already in my possession, than I will keep wearing it even if the brands morals do not fit my own. The reason for this is that, in my mind, the money I spent on that item (years ago) has already gone to that brand and pumping their practises: therefore the damage has already been done. This is especially hurtful for me when it comes to make up that I have which has been tested on animals (ie. MAC lipsticks), however again my money has already contributed so not using an item would be wasteful but also wouldn’t truly make a stand because its already gone to the brand. 

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I hope this makes sense and I haven’t just bamboozled you, but I wanted to state this important factor before posting uniforms and then trying to address these issues in the comment sections. 

I hope you enjoy the upcoming Uniform posts
Cheerio for now! 

Almost Adulting

Almost Adulting, Arden Rose 

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As a budding almost ‘adult’, loose use of that word, I constantly feel in a grey hazy space of fear. That grey space often turns red with panic, fear, and sometimes even despair. Yup, I suck at being an adult. It’s odd because I’m twenty-two and I have ‘adult-ish’ stuff happening around me, I sometimes feel like I make ‘mature’ decisions, but yet I also feel like an anxious seventeen year old fearing the time that I’ll have to move out and try to figure things out myself. Contradicting myself -I do really want to move out, it’s been an itch I’ve had that I can’t seem to scratch. See what I mean? I’m a mess not an adult. That is where this book comes in. 
 
As a subscriber to Arden’s channel, I saw her video back in 2016 and was immediately excited at the idea of an easy-to-read, experienced guide at how to ‘adult’ from one of my favourite youtubers. As someone who moved away from her family, six hours away to LA when she was only eighteen I figured she’d have some insight on how to ‘adult’. 
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This book was such a quick read for me. I completed it in a few nights and felt so much more at ease at the thought of being an ‘adult’ or more so about my ability to be an adult. Divided into bitesized chunks it covers everything from living on your own, adult responsibilities like washing and bills, sex life, health, relationships, family, and whole bunch of other information squeezed in too. I loved the conversational tone of the book. It came across so friendly but at the same didn’t sugar coat you from the bitter truth of getting adult sh*t done. 
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As a twenty-two year old young woman still living with the family, but quickly outgrowing my family home, I was surprised and partially relieved to be quite familiar with some of the topics and ideas in the book already. It made me feel like I already have a bit of handle on things already. Having said this, there was also a plethora of info which I found so reassuring: the main thing being the content covering self-confidence, body image and mental health. The idea that ultimately i’m on the right course and it’s okay to not be okay, as long as you reach for help when you need it. 
 
I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone, especially budding ‘adults’. I think this is a book that I need to keep hold for my younger relatives. 
 
Have you ever read Almost Adulting? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Things That Help Inspire Me Through a Creative Slump

Now January can be great for many reasons, most of all it represents the beginning of bigger and better things. For me January can be a little bit of a downer. I wouldn’t say I get the ‘January Blues‘ as such but I definitely feel a little off beat. The only way I can explain it is that while the new year represents a fresh start and great things to come, it also reminds me that it’s still the dead of winter, we’re eons away from summer and everyone is usually strapped for cash after Christmas so there’s little going on. When this happens I feel as though I’m in a stalemate moment and time has stood still. My creativity and excitement for pretty much anything drifts away, and after that everything comes to a crashing halt. 

Regardless of when these moments happen, whether it be in January or the middle of summer, there are always a few things I like to do to kick me out of the funk. 

Ira Glass on the Creative process

I came across this video about two years ago and found it so enlightening and really lifts my spirits each time I listen to it. Over time it’s become a ritual of mine when I’m feeling down on myself to lay on my bed with a face mask on and listen to it on repeat. I also hone in on something different each time I listen to it.  

The Crossroads of Should and Must

If you’re a long time follower, you may have read my book review on the book The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna and if you read that post than you know how much I loved that book. It was an amazing read and truly inspiring. If you want to know a little more about it than head on over to my review or keep reading for a quick rundown. 
 
The foundation of the book is the concept of what you should do with your life versus what you must do. It’s this idea that mundane tasks like having a mortgage and settling down, or taking over the family firm could be things that you feel you should be doing however, on the other side of the spectrum there are those things you simply must do. They are so ingrained in your being and soul that you think about them day after day and the bottom line is you must do it, fulfil them. Elle Luna’s book opens your eyes to who you are. It involves some eye-opening exercises, stories of others journeys to their ‘musts’ and quotes to inspire and keep you motivated. An example drawn on in the book is the story of Mary Ellen Geist’s father, who continued to play his music even while suffering Alzheimers for thirteen years. She said in a letter that even though he had no idea what he did for a living, or where he lived, and he didn’t even know how to tie a tie or make his way to the stage on the day that he performed- his music however, and the performance was perfect. Now that is inspiring. And a perfect example of someones must. Something that is so ingrained on their being that even a plaque tearing apart their mind can’t stand in the way of it. This concept always sets my spirits soaring. 
 
The Great Gatsby 
Now this is probably a bit of an odd one but hear me out. It’s not so much the film its more Nick Caraway’s narration of it. The way its so melancholy but also thoughtful and raw. The phrase ‘within and without’ truly makes me think. It makes me take a step back and assess the situation clearer: which, when you are in a creative slump, definitely helps look at the big picture and take something for what it truly is. 
The Pixar Documentary
Again, this is something I wrote a post about which you can read here but I’ll still give you a rerun. The Pixar Documentary is a behind the scenes look at how Pixar happened. It is narrated alongside interviews of everyone involved including illustrators, technicians, family members, assistants, and the three main guys that kicked it all off: the creative scientist Ed Catmull, the visionary entrepreneur Steve Jobs and talented artist John Lasseter. My favourite quote from the documentary is from Steve Jobs who says ‘Pixar’s seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success, but if you look really closely most overnight success’s took a long time’. Those words always strike me more and more powerful each time I hear them. And I mean, of course for that reason this documentary always helps me. It also helps because you get to go behind the scenes of some amazing films like Toy Story, Cars, and my personal favourite A Bug’s Life. 
 
Now obviously these are very specific things for me personally but almost all of these things I actually heard about from other people so I think it’s always good to share and maybe someone will stumble across something they feel drawn to here. And of course, there are more general things that help me get out of a funk like getting outside and exploring somewhere new. One thing in particular which is always quite interesting is hanging around with younger or older people: generally anyone who is quite an age gap away from you. That gap can really make a difference in perspective which can be eye-opening to new things and ideas. 
 
So those are just a few things which inspire me through a slump, what helps you? 
Cheerio for now!