Gym stereotypes we need to get over

Gym stereotypes we need to get over

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Today I wanted to share a short and snappy blog post all about working out and attempting to get into a healthy gym routine. I am by no means in a position to educate nor specifically advice on the subject, as I myself need a lot of motivation to get my bum to the gym, and I have no qualifications whatsoever when it comes to what to do. Since my surgery at the end of 2017, it has been a long battle for me to get into a healthy gym routine, seeing it more as a lifestyle rather than a diet. I have worked hard with a PT to widen the variety of exercise I choose to do day to day, as well as focusing a lot more on what I eat and choose to put into my body. Obviously, anything I recommend or have an opinion on here is solely based on what is currently working for me, bearing in mind the level I am at which is still very low.

Instead of simply listing the things that I am currently doing, which I have done before so I will link it here, I thought I would simply discuss some of the obstacles I have to overcome to encourage myself to stick to such a routine and keep me motivated. I honestly am queen of excuses and will come up with absolutely anything to get me out of a workout, or an excuse to eat something naughty. Thankfully, this is something that I am getting much better at, however by no means have I yet overcome this. The first stereotype that I still find really hard is other people in the gym. The environment on the whole is incredibly intimidating, which I think is something a lot of us find whatever our level. The atmosphere tends to be (at least in my gym), very male heavy. As much as it pains me to admit it, I do get embarrassed if I look a state, so the gym is the last place that I want to be with loads of men around. I mean, I have a boyfriend, but you all will get what I’m saying. Lucy, my PT, has been really helping me attempt to overcome this intimidation, getting straight to the point. In reality, is anyone actually looking at you? During one of our workouts, I mentioned this to Lucy, who has heard it many times before, and she simply put, ‘but no one is actually looking’, which is more than correct. If you actually stop what you’re doing and observe the space around you, you quickly realise how everyone is so focused on what they are doing that they couldn’t care less about you. It is something in our minds that tells us it is happening when it really isn’t. Put your headphones in, increase the volume and use it as an opportunity to zone out.

Secondly, the stereotype that I find I have had to really overcome is ‘doing weights will make me look like a man’. Before my surgery, and ever training with a PT, I only ever did boring cardio-based workouts which I just repeated over and over again. In theory I was quite small, however I had absolutely no strength to me at all and I was by no means toned. I had this stubborn illusion in my head that told me that by completing weight workouts it would dramatically increase my muscles and I would look masculine. Obviously, after one session with Lucy, this idea was officially crushed forever. Unless taking some sort of drugs, women physically do not have enough testosterone to grow that much muscle, therefore weight training is only ever going to give you that toned finish that we all crave. I may want to get a lot smaller, back to how I was a few years ago, however I also want to be strong, healthy and smoother.

Another stereotype that I have come across, mainly because of my not so perfect heart, is that exercise can be deemed bad for you if you have a medical problem. Obviously, this is generally dependant on the condition, however most heart conditions can actually be made better with exercise. The heart is a muscle that wants to be used, and in my case, I can hand on heart (pun intended) say that when I exercise, I feel so much better. I feel fitter, more energised and generally a much happier and positive person. In my opinion, I think unless instructed not to exercise by a medical professional, we should all be finding ways to be a lot more active on an everyday basis.

Finally, the last stereotype I really can’t stand is ‘you have to be either all or nothing’. I have met so many people who are adamant they simply don’t have the time to exercise. I can definitely relate to this, when I have a very busy work week I struggle too to get to the gym, however this doesn’t mean that it is impossible. I have had to find ways to make it work around my life, holding myself and only myself accountable for me not getting it done. If I have a day working I will get up earlier and do a home workout, if I am struggling I will go for a half an hour walk on my lunch break to get moving, and if I am stressed I will get myself to the gym for a swim in the evening to relax and burn some calories. You don’t have to commit your whole life to a strict exercise programme, it is about committing the little time you have and making each workout work for you, around your other commitments, even if it is only 20 minutes.

What exercise and gym stereotypes make you laugh?

 

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Top & Leggings – Oysho

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Trainers – Nike

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

3 + 10 =

Changing your diet to a lifestyle

Changing your diet to a lifestyle

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

As like many others at this time of year, I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of Summer as I don’t yet feel confident in the way that I look. I am all for body confidence and being comfortable in our own skin, but I do also think that it is very important to remember that it is okay to want to change the way you look and have a goal in your mind for a certain occasion, even if that is just a day on the beach in a bikini. Since my op I have really struggled to get my body back, as I physically couldn’t exercise for months and since then it has taken me a long time to get my confidence back physically and mentally. I really am only just getting to the stage now where I can exercise fully again and am becoming a lot more aware of my food intake and day to day lifestyle.

For me, this process of getting back to me has been more about starting with my mental attitude. I needed to feel happy in my body the way it is, before trying to improve on it for the sake of my mental health. I also needed to see the change that I want to make as much more of a lifestyle choice than a diet. Diets have never worked for me, and I want to do this in a way that I am going to be the healthiest version of myself that I ever have been.

I personally think that this battle is something that so many of us have to cope with, and it is a constant circle of being unhappy with our bodies and then going on a diet to change it, with it failing and the whole process starting again. A complete circle effect, that can be very mentally damaging, particularly on young minds. For a couple of months now I have got into more of a structured routine, getting the balance of healthy and naughty together with a solid gym routine and better attitude to life. I thought I would write down everything I have chosen to do, as well as the parts of the lifestyle change that are really starting to help me feel better and gradually get my body back, but even better than before!

Your attitude to exercise

If I am being honest, the toughest thing I have had to overcome, and still very much am in the process of is my attitude to exercise. When I am in the mood, I really enjoy my workouts, but let’s be honest, life is busy, and I am very rarely in the mood. I find it tough to motivate myself to get myself to the gym, particularly when I have a lot going on in life. However, this is something I have to push myself to do, as it is the only way I will ever stay on track to getting back to the way I want to be. So, how do I push myself? Well firstly, I have to be a little easy on myself sometimes. If I have a busy work day and I don’t get there it isn’t the end of the world. My attitude is to go as much as I physically can, and when I can’t, not to give myself a hard time.

Secondly, the best way I motivate myself is by keeping my workout week totally varied. I have an amazing PT who I see once a week, who not only trains me, but keeps my mind on track. Here is an example of my workout week:

Monday – home strength workout

Tuesday – Cardio

Wednesday – Swim

Thursday – PT

Friday – Cardio & Body Balance (mixture of tai chi, pilates and yoga)

There is absolutely no way that you need a PT to train with or keep you on track, however this is just a choice I made as I needed to get back into exercise in the safest way I could. Even now I sometimes struggle with certain things as it can hurt my chest, so Lucy is amazing at adapting and helping me do things in a different way so that this doesn’t happen. My advice would be to do some research online, figure out a routine that is right for you and really dedicate yourself to it.

Consistency and routine

Ultimately, the best lesson I have learnt through starting this process is that the only way it is ever going to have long lasting effects is by me being consistent and following a strict routine. I read recently that it takes 21 days to break into a routine, so that for me has been my goal from the beginning. To get to that point having done it for 21 days. If I am being honest I have now completely lost track, but I am feeling a lot more structured day to day since starting all of this. Therefore, I think I have managed to get to the point that it has really become a part of me.

Guilt free choices

A big decision I have made is to never scold myself for enjoying naughty/ high calorie foods. I love food, cooking, shopping and eating, so never want to live a lifestyle that takes that away. I personally believe that life is all about balance. In theory, I am generally pretty healthy Monday to Friday, then don’t really think about my diet at the weekends.

Day to day diet plans

Whilst we are on the subject of food, I really don’t believe in day to day diet plans. I believe in healthy meals, homemade food, eating when hungry and just generally making healthier choices. I try to eat three proper meals a day, so that then I don’t need to snack. However, when I go the gym, I always need fuel before and after. So, I generally eat a banana or an apple before, then more fruit or a healthier cereal bar after. If I don’t do this I will snack and snoop around the kitchen until dinner because I am just hungry. Accepting that food is fuel and not just something we enjoy is key in this process.

Anything active

My last piece of advice for changing your lifestyle rather than dieting is to always be up for anything active. I am making so much more of a conscious to move my body. When I take work breaks in the day from my laptop I try to walk around the flat. At the weekends we are upping how much we do, hence going for lots of walks, and planning some bike rides. Then also when away, trying to swim a lot and walk around to see everything rather than getting in a car. It is all about wanting to keep active and move constantly, which is always going to help as we get older.

 

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Blazer – Asos

Bag – Gucci

Jeans – Mango

Boots – New Look

T-Shirt – Primark

 

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

3 + 12 =

Sunday Lunch at The Bristol Hotel ‘River Grille’ Restaurant

Sunday Lunch at The Bristol Hotel ‘River Grille’ Restaurant

AD – this blog post is in collaboration with The Bristol Hotel, and we were gifted the meal featured within.

Last weekend, Finn and I were lucky enough to be invited to The Bristol Hotel in the centre of the city to try their new Sunday lunch menu in the River Grille restaurant. I was thrilled about this opportunity when I had the email through as I am a sucker for a good Sunday lunch, and adore finding new places to eat around Bristol. I have always heard good things about the restaurant in the hotel, so we were both extremely excited to see what was in store. The new Sunday lunch menu consists of a two or three course offer, with a very varied selection of dishes, priced at £20 for two and £23.50 for three.

The setting of the restaurant is probably what surprised me the most, offering some beautiful 180 views of the Bristol harbourside, with ceiling to floor windows creating an atmosphere like no other. For us, this was made even better, as Sunday was very busy with everyone out enjoying the sunshine, so the atmosphere really was great. Even better for someone like me who is a massive people watcher! With the view sorted, we were able to choose from a very good range of dishes on the menu, that obviously very much caters to a large audience.

First things first, let’s talk wine. I knew instantly that I was probably going to enjoy the Roast Beef, so a red wine would have been better company, however because of the weather and the sun beaming in, I went more with what I fancied. This was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, my absolute favourite white wine. My wine was delicious, crisp and light, whilst also being perfectly cold. Finn had the Rioja – he only really drinks red wine, so again went with what he knew he would enjoy. Finn said the Rioja was ‘simply delicious; it was smooth and rich in flavour’.

To start, I wanted something light, so chose the Caesar salad. I love this simple classic dish, and it met every expectation I had. The leaves we crisp and fresh, the croutons were golden and crispy, and the dressing was creamy with just the right balance of salt from the classic anchovy recipe. I really enjoyed this part of my meal, especially with my wine. Finn went for the mushroom and thyme tart, which was topped with a good handful of rocket leaves. The tart was perfectly cooked with delicious crumbly pastry, and the filling had the perfect balance of flavours with a good number of mushrooms.  Both dishes were presented beautifully and in our opinion were the ideal size for a starter.

As we went to review the new Sunday lunch menu, we couldn’t not go for the roast dinner. I chose Beef, whilst Finn devoured the Pork Belly. Both roasts came with leek gratin, cabbage, roasted carrots, parsnips and potatoes, cauliflower cheese, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy. There really was everything you could ever think of! I have to say, I was very impressed. Often, I find when I go somewhere for a roast that if there are a lot of components, they can be a little disappointing. Every single part of this meal was absolutely delicious, and all the flavours had been careful considered to complement each other. My meat was soft and tender, with lots of flavour, the roasties were crisp, the parsnips and carrots were sweet, and the Yorkshire was perfectly cooked with the right balance of being light but bulky. However, as a foodie I must admit that the gravy was the highlight of the show for me. I know how hard it can be to get a sauce right and wow they did. It was so rich and tasty in flavour, as well as for me being the perfect texture and consistency. I like a good gravy that packs a punch, and this one certainly did.

Writing this review, I am very much reminded of how delicious this food was and how at this point I was really trying to comprehend how I was possibly going to eat anything else! Although, I knew I had to try the lemon posset. I have always been such a lemon posset fan and used to make my own so often. We both wanted something a little lighter and fresh for dessert, so both went for this traditional pudding. It was amazing! A perfect amount of lemon, with a gorgeous creamy consistency, paired seamlessly with a little fruit. I really enjoyed this dessert, and think it was the perfect ending, particularly after a traditional roast dinner.

To conclude, I would also like to mention the exquisite service that Finn and I received. From start to finish we were made to feel welcome and comfortable, with all our needs met and a friendly manner from everyone who served us. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant, as I mentioned, really surprised me, as with the surrounding views and high ceilings I would personally say that it had a really positive and buzzing vibe for the duration of our meal. Without a doubt we will be going back to enjoy another meal!

I would like to say a big thank you to The Bristol Hotel for inviting us to review your new Sunday lunch menu!

Visit the website here.

Shop this post:

Skirt – Mango

Jacket – Miss Selfridge

Top – New Look

Shoes – H&M

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Mulberry

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This blog post is in collaboration with The Bristol Hotel, however all views and opinions are entirely my own.

A Night of Shopping with World Duty Free UK

A Night of Shopping with World Duty Free UK

AD – this blog post contains a collaboration with World Duty Free UK, whereby I was gifted products.

On Wednesday evening I was incredibly lucky to be invited to an event at Bristol airport, where I am a regular visitor, for a collaboration with World Duty Free. In recent years, World Duty Free at Bristol has really developed, and I absolutely love walking through and having a look around to see what bargains I can get. The two newest editions to the airport, which came in December 2018, were MAC and Jo Malone. For me, these are two very significant brands, as MAC is one of my favourites for makeup and Jo Malone for their one of a kind candles. There really is something for everyone, as well as lots of great products perfect for travel and your impending trip.

So, on the evening, 8 local bloggers including myself attended, and after the quick introductions and sweep through security we were all let loose to explore and fill our baskets. Luckily, I knew all the other bloggers there, so it made the experience even more enjoyable being able to have fun and enjoy spending time together whilst seeing what was on offer. Being the free spirits that we are, we knew exactly how to navigate ourselves around swiftly choose all the products we love. As I was there technically for blogging, and not just having fun, I wanted to be strategic about how I shopped. This meant that I chose pieces from each section of the shop, which included makeup, skincare, fragrance, fashion and homeware.

As you can imagine, I did pretty well and am so pleased with everything I managed to get. I thought to mix things up a little, I would share each thing I got individually, also sharing some price comparisons of what they cost on the high street, compared to duty free. I do think it is amazing how much less some things are. If you would rather watch this in video form, without the prices, I have also published a video on IGTV with everything you can see here. So, let’s get into it.

Makeup

So, I purchased three makeup items during the trip, two from MAC and one from Benefit. From MAC I bought a lipstick from the new matte collection and a rosy pink liner, as the amazing makeup artist there did an Ombre lip on me in the colour tones I normally wear. I loved the look and had to buy it to recreate it at home. The new matte lipsticks are a huge step forward in my eyes as they go on a lot more easily than the last, feel comfortable on the lips and do not crack. It really is the perfect shade for me. Then, from Benefit I bought the newest item to them, the eyeliner. I love that it is easy to use and just swept on like a pen. I am really excited to see if this works for me as I have never used on before.

MAC Lipstick – shade ‘Sultriness’ | MAC Price £17.50 >> Duty Free Price £15.35 

MAC Liner – shade ‘Rosy Rim’ | MAC Price £14.00 >> Duty Free Price £11.85

Benefit Roller Liner | Benefit Price £18.50 >> Duty Free Price £15.70

Skincare

So, a new line of skincare that I have really enjoyed using recently is from Clarins, called My Clarins. It is an entry level range, perfect for skin my age. I have been using the cleansing milk and day cream. As I have been enjoying using this and my skin is feeling the benefits, I thought whilst I had the opportunity I would stock up and repurchase the cleaning milk. I definitely prefer this formula of a cleanser compared to a gel, as I find it just more of an enjoyable experience to use. The World Duty Free at Bristol Airport has got a huge variety of brands with excellent skincare ranges, such as Dior, Clinique and of course Clarins. There really is something for everyone and the service provided by the retail assistant is amazing.

My Clarins Cleansing Milk | Clarins Price £17.00 >> Duty Free Price £14.65

Fragrance

It seemed as if it would be a major regret of mine if I visited Duty Free with vouchers and not bring home a perfume. So, I did. However, instead of going for a new fragrance I decided to stick to what I know. For a few years now I have been using two perfumes, one in the day and one for evenings and special occasions. The day perfume is the now very famous Gucci Bloom. I absolutely adore this scent and for me nothing has really ever come close. I think we all have this when it comes to fragrance, and really what is the point of trying to change something when what you already have is so good. So, I stocked up, with the smaller bottle that sits so elegantly on my girly bedroom shelf.

Gucci Bloom 50ml | Gucci Price £75.00 >> Duty Free Price £59.60

Homeware

So, it is probably pretty obvious that my homeware item within the goodies I purchased was from Jo Malone. To make it even worse, or well good for me, is that it is something I buy repeatedly. I tried a few of the other scents, but for me nothing is quite the same as ‘peony and blush suede’. I just absolutely adore it and it really has become a smell that makes my home feel like a home. It is bright and happy, whilst also being very girly and poignant in scent. To add, I went for the candle, not a diffuser. I adore everything Jo Malone has to offer, and really do want to explore more such as fragrance. Perhaps when I head back to the airport in a few weeks I can do just that!

Jo Malone Candle | John Lewis Price £47.00 >> Duty Free Price £39.15

Fashion

So to finish off the trip, and explore the last range, I headed to the Pandora stand. The lovely lady there got a huge tray out with different goodies on and it was so nice to see everything laid out and try as I went. In the end I went with two items. The first being a small silver ring for my little finger. I have wanted one of these for a long time, so it was the perfect find for me. Simple and plain, that I can wear every day. The second was a pair of earrings with a cool twist, that I have actually been on the lookout for a while. They are sparkly and silver, and the back of them goes behind the ear to add great texture and just something a little bit different. In fact, I put them on as soon as I got home and still haven’t even take them off! A very good purchase in my eyes

Pandora Infinite Shine Ring | Pandora Price £35.00 >> Duty Free Price £29.15 

Pandora Princess Wish Stud Earrings | Pandora Price £80.00 >> Duty Free Price £58.00

Total price on high street – £304

Total price at Duty Free – £243.45 

Duty Free Saving – £60.55

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This blog post was in collaboration with World Duty Free, however all views and opinions are my own, and I was not paid.

 Thank you to Becky and Ema from World Duty Free for organising this event and allowing me to be part of it.

Finding the perfect mini break

Finding the perfect mini break

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Is there anything more perfect than the feeling on a Friday, when you know you get to escape for the weekend, enjoying time away from home? I love a good mini break, whatever days of the week or wherever we choose to go. Last year I was really lucky to travel a lot, and a lot of the trips were very much short and sweet. But sometimes that really is all you need. You need a chance to get away from the stress of being at home, an opportunity to switch off and recharge, boosting yourself through life when you get back again. Mini breaks have become a very easy option for  a lot of us, with amazing deals all year round and a huge variety of places to go and things to do.

A mini break for me has to include a lot of food, beautiful scenery and very good company. It is not all about romantic breaks anymore, sometimes it is just about spending time with a loved one, whether that be your mum, grandma or best friend.

Last year my favourite mini break was in December, for a little Christmas trip with my grandparents to Palma. It was a short and sweet three nights in a beautiful hotel, with lots of food, lots of festive fun and just a really good rest. It was everything a mini break should be, and inspired me to write this post. In 2019 I really want to focus a lot more on travel, tips and the places I go, as last year I went away a lot without actually talking about it. I thought I would just put together a quick little mini break guide, with all my tips and tricks and some of my recommended destinations.

Search for packages in the sales (EasyJet sales & Booking.com)

So when booking a mini break, my first suggestion would always be to take a little time and search around to see what is on offer. I do think it is amazing sometimes the deals you can get, especially for a trip abroad. EasyJet always have some great offers, especially last minute, as well as Booking.com. I personally have used TUI a few times too, and have found it to be a really pleasant and easy experience. There are so many websites you can use to find a reasonably priced mini break, wherever you want to go. To book accommodation I personally always use Booking.com as I love the fact that you can cancel up until the day before for free.

The Best UK Destinations

I love a good UK mini break, and do think a lot of the time we underestimate how many beautiful places there are in this country. Dartmouth has to be one of my favourite, however only out of season. It is such an easy and relaxing place to visit, with an abundance of restaurants, cute shops and picturesque places to walk around. My next favourite would be Edinburgh. From Bristol we can get there with a  cheap plane fare in under 50 minutes and it is such an amazing city to spend a night or two. There are endless shops and restaurants, a big theatre and cinema, as well as lots of things going on each and every day. There are also lots of other destinations that I see people sharing online, that I often can’t believe are here in the UK. Have ever spent some time in the Welsh countryside, down south in Ilfracombe, or even beautiful Chester where I love to spend time with my bestie who goes to uni there.

 

My Top Five Abroad Destinations

So, I thought I would make this point quick and just based on where I have been, and enjoyed a mini break with someone I love. Obviously, as previously mentioned, Palma is one of my favourites for a quick and enjoyable trip, and definitely a must on your bucket list if you have never been. My second favourite, but by far probably the most expensive is Paris. For the ultimate foodie, fun and cultured trip, Paris is a definite must. I absolutely adore this city and think it could possibly be my favourite place in the world.

Other destinations for a mini break for me would also include Madrid, for a beautiful shopping trip, Bilbao for the best tapas and Copenhagen for a fresh and beautiful trip. Copenhagen was one of mine and Finns first trips together and we both still rave about the time we spent there whenever we are trying to decide on where we want to visit next.

Spa Breaks

So one of my other favourite mini breaks is a spa night. Spa breaks is always my go to when I am looking for a very quick, relaxing trip, somewhere that is easy to drive to and has an amazing spa to indulge in. What I love about Spa Breaks is how you can decide on the region, and there are different tiers for the trip that you can choose. They also have some amazing sales and discounts, which are perfect for when you want a last minute, spa trip away.

 

Shop this post:

 

T-Shirt – New Look

Blazer – New Look

Jeans – Zara

 

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

Advice I’m Glad I Didn’t Take

Advice I’m Glad I Didn’t Take

Images by Hana Dallimore Photography

How many pieces of advice in your lifetime have you had and chosen not to take? I’m thinking everything from boyfriends and career paths to dinner options on the menu and a new dress your best friend tells you to definitely take back. We all get a lot of advice nowadays, and in fact we are all very good at giving it out. Social media seems to have very much turned into a place where everyone has an opinion on everything and there is a lot of pressure to always do things in a very specific way. I feel like I have been given so much advice in life, and often it has been for the benefit of someone else, which I am luckily always very quick to pick up on. It becomes apparent easily who you can trust and who you can take advice from, for example, my family I always a definite listen to, but someone you have known five minutes probably isn’t. It isn’t just about who has experiences similar stages in life, but also those who have you true best interests at heart.

Each stage in our life is an obstacle that we must overcome, as each experience is something new that we all have to learn to deal with on our own. It doesn’t matter how many people advise you on how to get through something, ultimately we all have to make our own choices and go with our gut instinct.

I don’t want to write this to tell others how to live their lives, but I want to write it to possible help people who may be going through similar experiences and need something to turn to in order to inspire their decisions on how to handle something. I thought I would simple separate it into the major experiences I have had in my life, so it can be picked apart in order to help others. I don’t claim to be amazing at everything in life, but I have definitely overcome some big obstacles and come out of everything a much stronger and wiser person.

Education, University & Career Paths

Honestly for me, my education and decision not to go to university is one of the biggest challenges I have ever had to get through in order to make sure I was doing the right thing for me. Through school I felt like I was always being pushed to do things that weren’t necessarily right for me, such as choosing subjects or extra activities. I always felt like teachers had more of their own interest at heart rather than mine, choosing me to do things just because I was organised and had pretty handwriting. So that was school – constantly feeling pushed into doing things that were never going to benefit me.

The next was university. My two years of sixth form were very much a battle with teachers pushing me to go to university when I had said 100 times that I didn’t want to go. I personally think university is great if you are very passionate about one subject and have a clear path in mind of where you want to get to. However, I don’t agree with going if you are just going for the life with no actual idea of where you want to be at the end. I had no idea at that stage in my life what I wanted to do, and I also had no interest whatsoever in the party/ student lifestyle. I had countless arguments in the end with people in school telling me I should be going, even on the very last day when getting my results. Instead of congratulating me on getting my A-levels, they still wanted to sit me down and discuss the next step and what I was going to do. As you can imagine, I was pretty angry at that point, and just walked out. Walking out, and choosing to ignore them all through those two years, was the best decision I made. University would have been an awful choice for me and I would be probably really unhappy in life. I chose in the end to work, recover properly from my surgery, and live a life I know I have enjoyed a lot more.

When it comes to education and work I honestly do believe that the most important thing in life is for us all to wake up every day and go to work knowing that  we love what we do. I want to live a life looking forward to waking up on a Monday morning and feeling excited about what I get to do every day.

Health Problems & Surgery

So, this part of my life is pretty much in the past now, however I learnt a lot from my previous health experiences and when I look back I am so grateful that I chose to do everything my way. So, if you didn’t know, when I was 15 I got told that I had a half functioning heart and that I needed open heart surgery to sort of fix the problem. As you can imagine, at a very young age with everything else going on in life, this was hard news to process. I got through it and I did it all my way. I decided that I wasn’t going to press pause on my education, and wanted to finish sixth form and my last two years of school with my friends at the same age as everyone else. So that is exactly what I did. Yes, it may not have been ideal having such a big thing hanging over me, but it was without a doubt the best decision. I also decided that I wanted a year off from everything after finishing sixth form, as I had spent quite a few years studying and doing exams. I just wanted to work, travel a little and spend lots of time with everyone I love.

So, I landed up having the operation almost four years after finding out, which was not the ideal situation in the eyes of my doctors, however was very doable. Something like this, that affects you a lot mentally, is something we all have to do in our own way. I wanted to wait, so I did, but I imagine some people would rather just get it all done and over with straight away.

Being Online & Social Media

So I remember when I first started my blogging journey I was still only 16 and felt quite vulnerable putting so much of myself online. In fact, not just me, but a lot of people were worried about the fact that I was going to be sharing personal parts of myself online with people I don’t know. This totally makes sense. However, in the last five years, I have gained so many opportunities from blogging and my Instagram. I have always worked hard trying to keep a lot of my life private and off the internet, whilst also remaining personal and open with my experiences. I definitely took peoples advice on this one, however I didn’t listen to those who told me not to do it at all. For that, I am extremely grateful. From the blog I have found a career path that I am loving, I have had so many great collaborations and opportunities, and I have got to meet and make friends with so many people that I otherwise would never have spoken to. Yes, it may have had its ups and downs, but blogging is an experience I would never change for the world and I am so glad that I listened to myself and went ahead and did it anyway.

Shop this post:

Coat – Zara

Belt – Gucci

Shoes – New Look

Jeans – Zara

Bag – Mulberry

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