Christmas Gift Guide | 2018

Christmas Gift Guide | 2018

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

That time of year is here, and even though I am now in my 20s, my family still get my annual Christmas wish list. I like to think of it as just as much of a favour to them, rather than just a way of me getting the things I want. I spend a lot of time at Christmas trying to think about what people actually want and usually getting it wrong, so why not take this stress away from them and offer a few suggestions? I love the act of giving at Christmas, and probably enjoy spoiling the ones I love a lot more than I do receiving gifts, however I can’t deny that I feel so incredibly giddy on Christmas morning at the prospect of opening the gifts under the tree. I am just a big kid at Christmas, and have always loved knowing what I am getting before opening the presents! When I was about 8 I remember searching the house high and low trying to find my Christmas presents. Obviously, I did find them and it was the hardest secret I had to keep!

Having a good Christmas list means that you can avoid having to pretend to like something, knowing that it is going to sit in your home taking up space for years on end. If you are going to get gifts, they might as well be something you really want and can actually use/ eat!

This year I started my Christmas list pretty early, mainly as a way of stopping myself spending money I don’t have, knowing that there was the possibility someone could get it for me. There seems to have been so much on the market this year, particularly in the beauty and fashion industry, meaning that my list starting building up pretty quickly. I love to have a range of different things on there all with different price points, to make it much easier for everyone. I wanted to share with you guys a few of the things that I have on my list this year, with perhaps a reason why, hopefully inspiring your lists and triggering your minds with things you may have forgotten.

Red Handbag

I am pretty sure that this one was on my list last year, but I landed up buying one of my own which turned out to be a fake so it went back. Hence, why I now want another. I have loved the Michael Kors box over shoulder bags since they first came out, so when they brought a beautiful deep berry red out for the season it instantly went on my list. I have this bag in nude and love it so much as it is so easy to throw on with anything and can take a lot of stuff. The dark red will look beautiful with the majority of my Autumn Winter outfits and even as part of an evening look. If you are looking for a new smaller bag this season, I cannot recommend these enough!

P.s. I know I have got this because my grandma asked me to order it for her to make sure we got it before it went out of stock! They also do gift wrap, so it comes in a beautiful box that looks so festive under the tree!

Le Creuset Pot

So ever since having the flat, and to be honest probably before too, I have dreamt of owning my own large casserole dish from Le Creuset. I think anyone who enjoys cooking has this beautiful brand on their wish list, however it can take a life time to build a collection as they are quite expensive. But, as with a lot of expensive items, they last a lifetime and are some of the best quality products for your kitchen that you can buy. For the last two years I have been trying to fill my Le Creuset hole with the Sainsburys dupes, which to be fair are quite good, however I have a feeling still not quite the real thing. This year I added my dream one to my list, and my boyfriend kindly said that could be my one present! Fair dos! I am obsessed with the matte black range, so chose the large oval dish, as you can use it on the hob or in the oven. This brand is perfect if you are looking for something special for the kitchen. Also, McArthur Glen outlet centres have one in pretty much all of them, and you definitely can find a good bargain.

For my beauty bag…

Benefit Bronze, Blush and Highlight Palette – A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit the Benefit beauty counter in Bristol, to view their amazing Christmas gift selection. They are such good value for money and I love the combination of products that you get in each. I added this palette to my list instantly, as they are products I already use every day and they are so reasonably priced.

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick, Stoned Rose – I recently broke my Charlotte Tilbury virginity and bought a lipstick in shade Pillowtalk. I absolutely love it! One of my favourite bloggers recently shared her favourite shade on Instastories, which is Stoned Rose. I knew instantly that this was a colour I needed in my life and it is so perfect for my skin tone. I also adore the packaging that all the Charlotte Tilbury products come in.

Urban Decay, Naked Cherry – I am a huge fan of these eye palettes and own everyone on the market. They are so easy to use and always create a flawless eye look. The minute I saw this latest edition to the collection, I knew I had to have it in my makeup bag. The colours are perfect for a princess like me and I know I am going to be able to create some incredible makeup looks!

AVEDA Damage Remedy Hair Repair – If you want one beauty item for your collection this year, my advice would be to invest in a hair product. I am an AVEDA girl through and through and have always adored their treatments. You simply have to use it overnight once a fortnight and expect healthy deeply conditioned hair that looks utterly beautiful every day. They are not the cheapest products, hence why they are on my Christmas list, but they really are worth every penny.

Rosie Dressing Gown

Ever since Rosie Huntington-Whitely released her continuous range with Marks and Spencer’s I have been obsessed. Every piece is always amazing quality and each design is so beautiful created. I have always had something from her collection on my list, and 2018 is no exception. I love this grey dressing gown, that is much more like an oversized indoor cardigan. I love easy pieces of clothing like this, that don’t make me too hot too quickly and look relatively chic.

Britax Water Jug

I am relatively good at drinking my water but have two flaws. Firstly, I use too many plastic bottles that I buy on the go, and secondly I am still convinced that we shouldn’t be drinking water straight from the tap. So, on my list this year, which is what could possibly be the most boring present ever, is a water filter jug! This way I can ensure I am drinking clean and fresh water all day at home, as well as being able to fill up my water bottle before leaving in the morning.

Coffee Table Books

For me, 2018 has been a huge year of interiors. I am following so many Instagram interior accounts and am just becoming more and more obsessed with the industry. A big part of this is coffee table books. Everyone has them and I just think they really finish a room. They look pretty and they are also really nice to be able to flick through and enjoy at your own pace. I have found a few just on Amazon this year that I added to my Christmas list, as the perfect addition to my new coffee table and forever changing living room.

Shop this post:

Red Handbag – Michael Kors

Le Creuset Pot – John Lewis

Benefit Palette – Boots

Naked Palette – John Lewis

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick – John Lewis

AVEDA Damage Remedy – John Lewis

Rosie Dressing Gown – Marks and Spencer

Water Jug – Amazon

Coffee Table Book – Amazon

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

How To Be Organised This Christmas

How To Be Organised This Christmas

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

And so it begins…! December is here and I cannot even put into words how excited I am for Christmas this year. For me, I think this year has gone by so much more quickly than any other in my life and to be honest I cannot quite believe that Christmas is already here. Last year I was quite ill over Christmas, so that is definitely making me feel happier this year as it is going to be an amazing time having two Christmases in one. I am hoping for a very low key time this year, just my grandparents, Nelson and I at home devouring lots of food and enjoying some lovely gifts. Just the way this time of year should be spent. Christmas for me is all about having a rest and quality time with family, so that is exactly on how I intent to spend mine. With this in mind I am also hoping to be seriously organised this year with everything from presents to decorations, the food shop and even what I am going to wear! I want to do everything possible to make sure it is stress free, which ultimately will just make it a lot easier to actually enjoy the festivities.

For too many years I have left everything to the last minute and it has really ruined what should be a magical lead up to the big day. The main thing I want to get organised is my gifts, as not having those can be a real challenge towards Christmas day. I do not want to be shopping with the crowds on Christmas eve!

I think it isn’t until you have a home that you realise how stressful Christmas can be, particularly for someone like me who loves it and wants it all to be perfect. Each year that I have been in the flat I have really put a lot of thought into decorations, trying to have a different theme each year. Obviously, along with lots of work and effort there is also a big cost that comes at this time of year which can be very stressful. I wanted to put a little post together dedicated to easing your stress levels this season, helping you with your budget and most importantly making sure you have the most amazing year yet.

Getting those gifts organised…

For the first year ever, I think I have managed to get 99% of my gifts bought before December even hit, as well as a fair chunk wrapped. I cannot put into words how good this makes me feel, and I am definitely enjoying the festive season a lot more! The best thing I did, mid-November, was create a spreadsheet of everyone I had to buy for and a tick list. Having this in front of me really encouraged me to get buying and be really organised. There really is nothing worse than landing up buying all your gifts in one go when everyone else is in the shops, and with online delivery, you need to get in there early to make sure it is delivered in time. Amazon has been one of my best friends this season, as well as Not On The High Street.com. Don’t be afraid to just ask people what they want, as it will save you a lot of time and stressing over whether they like their gift.

Decorating your home this Christmas…

So I go a little overboard when it comes to decorating the flat, just because I am a big kid when it comes to Christmas. I want it to look like a grotto, and it has to make me excited whenever I am at home. The first year I was in the flat I went for a very traditional red and gold theme, then last year for contrast I chose ‘frosty white’. I loved both, so this year I am going to try and incorporate the white with a bit of tradition. The fake snow is going to be making another appearance, as well as lots more fairly lights, foliage around the flat and the addition of copper to my white tree. Luckily, I still have a lot of the decorations from last year, so I haven’t had to buy a lot, however it is becoming incredibly easier to decorate your home on a smaller budget. Some of my favourite places for more reasonable decorations include Wilko’s, Sainsburys and Amazon.

A little every day…

My best piece of advice this year is to do something each day. Throughout the last two weeks of November, I made sure I was working on my gift list each day, and I was wrapping two or three a night. It has made me so much more excited for the Christmas, as pretty much everything it also done!

Keep your diary organised…

December itself can be crazy. I mean, personally I have had the busiest year of my life this year. I decided to go back through my 2018 diary and I just couldn’t believe how much I have done this year. But for most of us, December is always the worst. I mean, for me, I have been out every evening for the last three nights and we are still only on the 2nd of the month. There is no escaping the busy calendar at this time of year unless you say no to everything, but really that isn’t the Christmas spirit! So the only way to keep on top of it and manage your stress levels is to keep your all-important diary organised. Even if you don’t use a diary during the rest of the month, starting to use it just at this time of year will keep you sane. This way you have full control of what you are doing and you can make much better decisions about what to say yes and no to based on what is already in the diary.

Enjoy every moment…

Ultimately, Christmas is a time to be enjoyed. There is always going to be a lot to organise, and it can be stressful when there is so much pressure, however there comes a point when we really just have to let it go. We never remember the lead up or getting everything ready in detail; but what we do remember is the time spent with loved ones, the food and just each special moment during the day. My best memories of Christmas are always having breakfast with my grandparents whilst wearing my festive PJs, collapsing on the sofa after devouring my favourite meal of the year, and watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special with a Baileys as the day comes to an end. These are the things I remember fondly from my past, and they are the things I plan on remembering with every Christmas to come.

 

Shop this post:

 

Coat – Zara

Trainers – New Look

Jeans – Zara

Bag – Gucci

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

 

The Final Touches to My Guest Bedroom | 2018

The Final Touches to My Guest Bedroom | 2018

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

So my favourite season is finally in full swing and I am loving nothing more than choosing my Winter coat each morning and chilling on the sofa in the evening with a blanket and hot chocolate. This season is when I feel the most like me and when I also feel the most inspired. Strange really, as I technically am a Spring baby.

I have been working hard to get my guest bedroom together, as when I first moved in two years ago, it was obviously at the very bottom of my list. Due to expense, time management and lack of enthusiasm it has taken a while to get this room together and if I’m being honest there are still a few things I would love to add or change. However, it is now a very useable and liveable space, so really it is complete if you disregard the final details that an OCD person like me will focus on until they are done. I wanted to create a room that really represented my personality in terms of interiors and fashion. With the rest of the flat I opted for a much more grown up and refined look, with a lot of greys showcased throughout the rooms. This was quite a change for me, going from a hot pink bedroom in my grandparents’ house. I really started to miss the pink and knew this would be the perfect room for me to let my pink explosion out.

The look I had in mind was created using one image I stumbled across on Pinterest, using a black and white vintage look wallpaper, to soften the look of blush pink tones with copper. I have been obsessed with copper for years, and knew this really was the first chance to add as much as I wanted. It is also the perfect accompaniment to blush pink. For me, as much as this is a guest bedroom, it also needed to be used as a space for my excessive amount of stuff. So in theory it is a guest bedroom and wardrobe. The wallpaper is an exact copy of the hot pink one I had in my old home, however in black and white, with the rest of the room being furnished with white IKEA furniture. I see this much more as practical pieces rather than beautiful, however I do actually really love the Scandinavian and simple look that their furniture boasts. It is all just easy and stores everything I need it to.

The main thing I use in this room is my clothes rail to store all my coats. As you may be able to see, I have a lot of coats, and the collection just seems to keep growing and growing. My view is, in the Winter we all live in our coats and the majority of the time it is all that gets seen anyway. Therefore, you can justify spending the money on them, and just wear simple tops underneath.

Anyway, as you can imagine, this coat collection is extremely heavy, so when Ziito contacted me regarding their range of beautiful sturdy clothes rails, I jumped at the chance of working with them. My cheap white clothes rail just wasn’t quite cutting it anymore and a there was a breakage probably about once a week where the whole thing just toppled over.

Ziitto, a beautiful Danish brand, was founded in 2014 by three brothers. The company was built and grows on their shared values for sustainability, aesthetics and curiosity around materials. They work incredibly hard to encourage those discussing sustainability to actually go ahead and live it. They believe they can change human congestion by designing new ways of living and influencing politics through design thinking. All their designs are curated in their Fredericia workshop, where they follow every step from attaching everything, cutting their own pipes and applying the handmade oils to complete the products.

All the products come with a 10 year warranty, and Ziito encourage their customers to ask them to repair products of replace parts in order to make them last as long as possible. Also, if you ever get to a stage where you no longer want the product, Ziito would like to take it back in order to reuse the materials to reduce wastage. Ziito is not just a company, it is a community who work together, getting closer to their goal of making Denmark the leading country in sustainability and circular economy. It is these ideals that attracted me to the brand and how I knew that I would love to work with them.

I got to visit Copenhagen in 2016 with my boyfriend and we were both in awe of this beautiful city, and country. I have always been a keen admirer of their interiors and concepts, how they live their lives and overall how much happier everyone seems as part of a thriving community. This brand is a true reflection of everything I learnt during my time in the city and the product I was gifted did not disappoint. It works perfectly with the design of my room, giving me the chance to store twice as many coats as before, without the whole thing falling over. The design is sleek and well crafted, using strong and sturdy materials to offer a higher quality in the final piece. It really is the perfect addition to my room and storage piece for my endless collection.

 

Shop the post:

 

If you would like to know more, please head to their website here.

For the clothes rail featured in this post, head here.

This blog post was in collaboration with Zitto ApS, however all views and opinions are my own.

6 Changes I am Making This Winter

6 Changes I am Making This Winter

Is anyone else completely baffled by the fact that it is already November? It is honestly really starting to scare me… I have never known a year to go by so quickly. Anyway, I have been loving Autumn recently, being able to enjoy all my knitwear and coats again, and snuggle up each and every evening. However, even though I am enjoying the change in weather etc, I am also struggling a little with a few lifestyle choices and things I really need to change. I have got very comfortable with the way things are at the moment and have realised that I need to make a few changes for the sake of my health, mental wellbeing and overall growth in life. It is nothing major at all, but I do think that a lot of us do get too comfortable and put a lot of other things before our own wellbeing.

I don’t want to make any drastic changes as I feel nothing too bad is going on, but there are definitely areas in my life that need improving. As everyone in life probably understands, we are all growing and developing every day. Making good and healthy choices are only ever going to lead to a more positive outcome.

Winter is a time that often it is very difficult to make changes in our lives. We all want to just get through the day and cold day, enjoying being in our homes and just getting on with life. However, Winter is also probably the longest season that we all have to endure here in the UK, and the decisions and changes we make during this time can really help us to make the rest of the year even better. So what exactly do I need to change?

 

Reducing my Lactose & Gluten Intake

I have been putting and putting this off for such a long time, because I love food, but I finally have to admit, I am definitely intolerant to dairy and gluten. Whenever I eat it my stomach completely swells and I always have the worst tummy cramps. I am never going to be able to give it all up completely because life is too short, but I am 100% going to have to reduce the amount I am eating. Recently I have been trying a lot of lactose reduced products such as milk and cheese, and to be honest I haven’t been able to taste much of a difference. I am definitely starting to feel a little better and it is helping me keep going as I can already feel the results. It is also forcing me to get a lot more creative in the kitchen with my meals, introducing more vegetables and trying new ingredients. Stay tuned for lots of recipes coming to the blog soon!

Tech Free Evenings

I have always had trouble sleeping, as I suffer from bad nightmares. As you can imagine, working in social media and blogging means that I spend a lot of time staring into a screen. I know that my sleeping problems starting when my screen time was increased, so therefore I am putting two and two together. I am never going to be able to cut screens out my life or stop being on my phone, however I am going to start trying to reduce it in the evenings. I can’t do every evening as I love nothing more than chilling on the sofa with Finn watching a box set, but one or two a week I am going to switch everything off, have a bath and read a book. If you have any good book recommendations, let me know!

2 Early Gym Sessions a Week

So, for a few months now I have been having weekly PT sessions which was initially to get me back into the gym after my surgery. My gorgeous PT, Lucy, also teaches a few classes. One of which is Body Balance at 6.45am on a Wednesday. This was recommended to me to improve my strength, so I went along and really enjoyed it. As you can imagine though, the 6am alarm call is not my favourite thing. However, by the time I am up and have left the house I always feel incredible, and obviously afterwards it is an even better feeling. To get myself to the gym and keep up my energy levels, I am going to try my best to do two early gym sessions a week. I will never be someone who can go every day, but I feel like this is a very realistic goals. Especially as it is in addition to my PT session and perhaps a swim.

Increasing My Fruit & Veg Intake to 10-a-day

I have never been very good when it comes to my 5 a day. I actually love fruit and veg and enjoy them all the time when I eat it, but am so bad at keeping track of how much I am eating. I feel so much healthier when I am eating these foods and always notice such a peak in my energy levels. 10 a day may seem a little drastic, but now that I have been giving it a go it has been much easier than I had thought it would be. Having three vegetables with lunch and three with dinner, that makes six easily, followed by 4 fruits throughout the day.

I have been working hard recently to get my recipes together for the blog, and have got loads ready to share that will help with your fruit and veg intake! Stay tuned!

Reducing My Single Use Plastic

I have never been someone who is hot on recycling, just because I was never in charge of the bins at home. I mean, I put it in the recycling box, but I never really thought about what I was actually doing and the effect it has if you don’t recycle. Since living on my own, spending a lot of time online, and watching Planet Earth with the fabulous David Attenborough, I have become so much more aware of what I am using and how I choose to dispose of things. I am not perfect, and sometimes will forget a shopping bag in the supermarket or my reusable cup in Starbucks, but I am really trying to make a change and stop using single use plastics/ cardboards. My advice if you think you are using too much is to start by changing one thing. Mine was investing in a water bottle and carrying it with me every day.

Taking in More Fresh Air

I spend a hell of a lot of time indoors. I work from home most of the week, blog from home every evening and just seem to always land up in situations that involve being inside. I mean, I am cold all the time, but hey, that is what coats were invented for. I do feel like a lot of the time I get completely clogged up from just being inside in my head, and all I need is a little fresh air to feel human again. Whenever I am outside I always feel so much better in myself, so definitely need to make more of an effort to get out more for the sake of my mental health.

 

Shop this Post:

 

Coat – Zara, last season.

Jeans – Asos

Boots – Zara, last season.

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

What I Wish I’d Learn in School

What I Wish I’d Learn in School

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

So, what do I wish I had learnt in school? This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, mainly because the phrase ‘arg why don’t they teach you this in school’ seems to have been used a lot for me, particularly since living in my flat and starting up my business. I know that this is going to be very based on my personal experience and what I learnt during my education, however here in the UK, I do feel like it will apply to the majority of us. Obviously, I completely understand that it is very difficult to design a curriculum that is appropriate for everyone, but to be honest, the struggles I have come into contact with are definitely some things that will apply to all at some stage in life.

I believe entirely that it is important to have a good range of subjects taught in schools, particularly academic subjects such as English, Maths and Science. However, I do strongly believe that we lack subjects that can be used for real life application. I mean, who the hell has used trigonometry since completing their Maths GCSE?

 

I personally feel like I received a good education in my main stream school, and do believe that my final grades were a reflection of that. Nevertheless, I would love to have learnt more lessons regarding situations that I was going to face in the future and be able to have the opportunity to discuss things then that I now sometimes feel embarrassed to ask because society seems to think that I just miraculously know because of my age. This is so not the case, and if anything, the world we live in is becoming more and more confusing every day.

Taxes & Budgeting

Since starting to be a little more independent, particularly with starting up my own business, I learnt very quickly how little I knew about taxes and how to budget my money. I am a very organised person so I had that in my favour, but no matter how organised you are, if you have never had someone really teach you about these things, why would you just know about them? Obviously, being employed since I was 16, I knew about national insurance, the tax you pay on what you earn etc, however I had never really had to sort it out or really even understand what it meant. I had someone doing it all for me. So, does it not seem odd that something so basic and that we all need to know about, is not taught in schools? And now, living in the flat, it took me a really long time to get to grips with how council tax works, as well as road tax. All these things that we all have to pay need to be highlighted clearly to our younger generation, in order to ensure that everyone knows exactly how everything works.

Bills, Rent and Mortgages

To be honest, this is still something that often baffles me. I have just about got to grips with all the bills and how it all works, even if it is all a complete pain. I am not even talking about the money, but physically getting it all sorted can be so stressful. Rent, I understand, however I do think schools need to teach about the whole process and the general cost. So, the one that baffles me the most is mortgages. I still have such little understanding. So you need a hefty deposit and you pay monthly with interest, however I still wouldn’t have a clue how to start the process of buying a home, how much in general you need as a deposit, and the additional costs endured when becoming a home owner. This is such a big and important step in the majority of our lives, and I just cannot understand why it is something we never get taught at a young age. Perhaps, if we all understood more about how it works, we would all take it more seriously and work harder at making it a possibility.

A More Variety of Job Options

This is something I am very passionate about, as I feel very let down by my education and school with regard to what was offered to me once I had completed my exams. It did seem very much as if it was only ever going to be university and it would be crazy to think of going in any other direction. I know that schools here in the UK are under immense pressure to compete with others, and by having more students go to university their results look better, however university is never for everyone. I strongly believe that schools need to work harder to not only suggest other paths as opposed to university, but also educate us about the variety of jobs that there are in this country. Not once did I ever have the opportunity in school to discuss what I actually wanted to do with my life, or did anyone ask me about my skills beyond the basics lessons we all learn.

Driving Theory

 

At the age of 17, all my friends and I were incredibly excited to start driving. To have some real independence and be able to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. Still to this day, three years later, I could not live without my car and absolutely love driving. However, since driving, I have really learnt how dangerous and horrible people can be on our roads. People have no patience and honestly, are just beyond rude. In reality, it is probably only ever going to get worse. I don’t think that it is our schools jobs to teach us how to drive or even the technical theory, however road safety and our attitude towards driving could definitely be touched on. 

Rules of Employment/ Self-Employment

Now being self-employed and employed, I have learnt so much on how it all works, as well as what you should and shouldn’t let happen. The main thing I have learnt being employed, is that people will try and get away with as much as they can. Being an employee you have a lot of rights and in this country there are a lot of laws put it place to protect us. It sometimes amazes me at how many people don’t seem to understand this. If you are sick for more than 4 working days, your employer has to pay you sick pay or if you are pregnant you are always entitled to maternity pay. Never work without a contract and never be afraid to stick up for yourself. When it comes to money, there is no need to find it awkward, as it is your right to be paid for every hour you work, as well as for unexpected mishaps in life.

Being self-employed, there are obviously a lot less things behind you to protect you, however you do have the luxury of setting your own rules. I will never work without my contract for services, as I feel when I am providing my service to my clients, I am allowed to put rules in place. Never be afraid to stand up for yourself and make the situation work for you.

Marriage & Childcare

I am by no means in this position yet, but under this category I wanted to discuss a few things. The first being marriage. Being a child with divorced parents, I think I speak for everyone else like me in that position, when I say it really is a horrible feeling, especially when you first go through it. My parents’ divorce was by no means pretty and it really did have a big impact on my childhood. Luckily, it hasn’t had an impact on my attitude towards relationships, like it does with a lot of other people. To me, marriage is a very serious commitment and something that should never be rushed or taken lightly. We all love that feeling of a new relationship and feeling like they are absolutely the one, but it always changes down the line. You either grow together or you grow apart. I do think, as part of some sort of life coaching lesson, marriage needs to be brought up and it needs to be highlighted that it really isn’t something that you can decide overnight. There seems to be a very relaxed attitude towards marriage, and I personally think if it was touched on in schools, the divorce rate could potentially be lower.

The second part of this is children. I am guessing that schools still teach about childcare in one of the GCSE subjects, but if you don’t it is never really discussed. I am not saying that they need to spend hours teaching you how to look after a baby or children, but I do think something is better than nothing. So many people who I talk to with their first baby do say how worried they are because they have no idea how to look after a baby. It is such a big part of growing up for most of us, so why is it never talked about in schools? I think just learning the basics and in particular as a woman, learning about pregnancy would have been something that I really could use in the future when I decide to have a baby.

So, what do you wish you had learnt? I would really love for all my readers to get involved with this and share their thoughts!

Shop this Post:

Coat – New Look

Jumper – Barbour

Jeans – H&M

Trainers – New Look

Bag – Zatchel

I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Open Heart Surgery | One Year On…

Open Heart Surgery | One Year On…

So, a year ago today I overcame my biggest fear and did the thing I had been dreading for over 3 years. Finding out about my heart problems at the young age of 15 was a huge challenge, and preparing for something so big at this age was as you can imagine a very difficult time for me. I don’t want to spend too much time moaning or complaining about the cards I was dealt, as I know a lot of people go through worse than me, but I did find it extremely hard and want to share my story on how I survived and came out on the other side. Believe me, I never in a million years thought I even would, and I don’t think anyone around me did either. Not that I thought I would die, but that I would actually go through with it.

I don’t want to discuss the operation in too much depth as I have already posted quite a few pieces about what happened, and let’s be honest, it isn’t a particularly nice thing to write or read about. All my operation updates and the whole story can be found at the bottom of this post with links to all relevant blog posts.

What I wanted to talk about mainly, as it is the one thing that I still find hard after my surgery, is the scar. Princess Eugenie made a powerful statement at her wedding last month, opting for a low back and no veil look, where her back scar along her spine was exposed. She claimed to have done this to show everyone that we all have scars and that it is so important not to hide them away because they are not deemed ‘normal’ by society. I absolutely loved this (I mean not the wedding – that was ridiculous), as it was such a brave move and a message that definitely needs to be spread around more.

I have up and down days with my scar. Sometimes I want to show it off as I am extremely proud of what it symbolises and how strong I am as a person, however on others days all I want to do is hide it away and pretend none of it ever happened. Like everything it completely depends on my mood in the morning. What I do find a struggle, mainly when I do have a good day and opt to wear it proudly, it is still quite distressing at the amount of people who will look at it. And I am not just talking about a quick glance, they stare. I have even been in situations sometimes when I am having a conversation with someone and as opposed to them looking at my face they are looking directly at my chest.

 

Okay, so it may not be the worst thing in the world but it can make me feel incredibly uncomfortable as they are not looking because they think the story behind it is amazing, but more so because it is an abnormality. This feeling can lead to insecurities, just because it isn’t a very nice thing to experience and you do feel massively judged for something that was out of your control.

The point I am trying to make, however, is that my scar is something that I am having to learn to love and embrace. I will never be able to say to anyone that I am happy that it is there, but every time I see it in the mirror it is a complete reminder of the time in my life where I overcame my biggest fear and went through something huge. We all have scars, stretch marks, lumps, bumps, cellulite and so much more. These are the things that make us human, and they are also things that we need to start loving about ourselves as opposed to changing.

So, happy operation anniversary to me, and Happy Friday to you!