29/ 04/ 17
Who doesn’t love a good road trip?
Theres nothing better than just getting in your car and driving off somewhere for the day. Or in my case; getting in your boyfriends car and having him drive you everywhere because you can’t legally drive yet…
As you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram I recently bought myself my first ever camera! I’d been wanting to do this for some time now: I study Digital Media Production at uni and for my elective next year I chose photography, so having my own camera rather than having to rent one out from uni is going to be so helpful!
Not only that but it’s going to help take my blog photos to the next level, as currently I’m just using my iPhone 6s. I’d been toying between the Canon EOS M3 and the M10 for months but in the end I decided to pick up the M10 and I’m so glad I did- the quality is amazing!
I’ll be posting a full review on this next week, so if you’re considering picking one up then keep an eye out for that!
Chris suggested we go for a road trip so I could try it out properly and I suggested going into Sheffield for the afternoon. Yes I know, not exactly an exotic location but I had my reasons: last week Chris was lucky enough to go and watch the morning session of the World Championship Snooker Tournament at The Crucible Theatre with his family!
No you were super jealous and morngy all morning.
Anyway I really wanted to go up to the Crucible Theatre and Winter Gardens to see if we could spot any of the players walking around. Plus that area is really good for getting photographs so it would kill two birds with one stone.
Chris has a little Ford Ka that we both lovingly refer to as Pearl, (it’s black and we’re both Pirates of the Caribbean fans…) and I swear he loves that car more than me some times! He must be the only person I know who actually does all those checks you’re meant to do before going on road trips.
They’re probably the last thing on most peoples minds, but keeping your tyres in good condition is super important. You need to check your tyre pressure at least once a month and its a good idea to check them every morning to make sure they haven’t been vandalised during the night- especially if you park your car on the road! If you’re looking for high quality car tyres, they can be booked at Point S via their online booking system.
It’s always to be better to be safe than sorry, I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy breaking down on the side of the motorway.
So after 10 minutes of checks, then another 10 spent trying to find something good to listen to on the radio, we were finally off!
Chris hates driving in Sheffield and now I see why, the roads are so confusing and half the signs don’t seem to make sense- even the Sat Nav got lost!
I was planning on learning to drive before going back to university next year but now I think I’ll stick to the train, it might be inconvenient but its better than having a panic attack twice day!
Once we finally got there we spent most of the afternoon wandering around taking pictures, trying to spot snooker players (without success unfortunately) and ducking into places when the great British weather decided to forget that its meant to be sunny now.
I must admit I have no idea how people can walk around just taking pictures (let alone vlog!) when out in public, I get so embarrassed and worry people are looking at me.
Got to love anxiety.
It’s one of the things I’ve been determined to work on this year so I pushed past it and managed to get some really nice photos actually.
Might not have been one of the most “interesting” road trips ever but we had a laugh and a good time and, when you think about it, thats what really matters.
This post is sponsored by Point S but all opinions are of course my own.
20/ 04/ 17
I’m one of those lucky gals who had to wear glasses. Day in, day out since I was 4 years old. I remember there was a fashion trend a few years ago where people would wear fake glasses and all I can remember thinking is “why would you wear them if you don’t have to?!”
I hate wearing mine, they’re just so inconvenient!
I can’t wear false eyelashes (well I can’t put them on without nearly gluing my eyes shut anyway but, yano, if I could then I couldn’t wear them…), they fog up when you enter hot places, you can’t see a thing when it rains (seriously someone needs to invent windshield wipers for glasses already!) and most importantly- they cost a hell of a lot of money each year!
You have to pay for them testing, then pay for your frames and then added extras if, like me, you have really crap eyesight and need your lenses thinned so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing jam jar bottoms!
On top of that it can be so hard to know where’s best to get them done: I’ve recently moved from one place (which I’ll refrain from naming in this post) because both the customer service and the optical appointments were utter pants! The final straw for me was when the guy doing my appointment kept calling me girl, repeatedly touching my face for no apparent reason and then ended the appointment after 5 minutes saying my eyes hadn’t changed and that I was making it all up!
(For context; my eyes change constantly so they need testing and my lenses changing every year otherwise my vision becomes blurry and it causes massive headaches)
After that experience I’d had enough of the place and started looking round for somewhere else to go. In the end I actually ended up giving Boots Opticians a try and I’m so glad I did!!
I went for my first appointment today and it was the best appointment I’ve ever had! The lady who was doing my test was just lovely; she noticed I was a bit nervous (I was on my own and as such my anxiety was playing hell up) but she took some time at the beginning to talk to me and put me at ease.
During the test she made sure to warn me if the light was going to flash and was super patient when I kept asking her to switch between 1 & 2 (anyone who wears glasses will get this!)
Not only that but once the test was over she actually explained the results to me! She seemed genuinely shocked that the other place had never done this and even told me that the reason I’m more prone to getting headaches in bright lights is because I have blue eyes. Probably the only time in my life I wish I had a different eye colour…but hey ho, you learn something new every day!
Next was the bit I hate most- picking out my frames. I’m so indecisive it’s unreal but at Boots they have a person dedicated to you personally and they help you pick frames within your price range and that suit you best!
The lady that helped me was so patient bless her, she’s the one that actually sported a pair I hadn’t and I ended up choosing those in the end!
Because I have my lenses thinned I have to wait until next Sunday to actually pick them up, but it will definitely be worth the wait! They did cost more than at the previous place I went to but in all honesty I’d rather pay a bit more and get a much better level of customer service and care!
Where do you go to get your eyes tested? Have you tried Boots Opticians?
28/ 03/ 17
As I write this I’m sat staring outside at the glorious sunshine that we’ve been lucky enough to experience these last two days. Although, by the time it comes to posting this it’ll probably be gloomy and raining again! (EDIT: not a bad guess actually)
I actually struggle with S.A.D but whereas most people struggle with it during winter- I struggle with mine in summer. Everyone out getting a tan, wearing shorts & tees and off out having wonderful adventures with their friends…all things I won’t be doing. Even when I wasn’t allergic to the sun my vampire white skin never got a tan, I’d just burn and then go straight back to the colour I was before.
I don’t have the body confidence to wear anything but trousers, even in 30 degree heat! Although saying that I have just bought myself a dress and I’ve been looking at a few long skirts. As anyone that knows me in real life can testify- I’ve not been seen in a dress since I went to my prom at 16…in now 23! Baby steps.
As for going out with friends, well I’m hoping that this year this particular part of my S.A.D won’t be as much of a problem. I have Chris now & I’ve already been planning holidays to the coast and day trips to places like York. Plus hopefully me and Liz will end up going to a few places too. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s not the number of people you know, it’s the quality of them!
I’m really planning on fighting my depression this year and since I was brainstorming some things I could do, I thought I’d turn it into a blog post to hopefully help other come up with some things to do!
As a student I don’t have any money except my student loan coming in, so I need to find some activities that won’t make my bank account cry!
So here’s my list of 10 things you can do without having to spend a penny!
1. Visit your local park & feed the ducks. Okay so maybe not everyone is lucky enough to live within walking distance of a park like me, butthis is definitely something you need to do at least once this summer! I was originally going to say save your old bread but that’s been proven to be bad for ducks. Instead grab some cooked rice, halved seedless grapes or plain old birdseed and mosey on down to the closest duck pond you can find. Just be prepared to be swamped by every duck within a 4 mile radius! If you feel embarrassed about going (mature adult and all that) offer to babysit a friend or family members kid for the day, they get a kid free day and you have an excuse to be a child again!
2. Take a picnic and a game with you. This ties in to the above idea: if you don’t want to go feed the ducks then grab a blanket, pack a picnic and take a game down to the park instead. Obviously this works best if you have someone with you but if this isn’t possible for some reason, take a book or handheld game with you and just enjoy being out of the house on your own! (If you struggle going out of the house on your own then read my Anxiety & Traveling post for some coping tips).
3. Go on a bike ride. When I was a kid me and my dad would go on a bike ride every weekend from spring until autumn, even occasionally in winter if it had been dry! These days it’s not really possible for us to go: dad had a heart attack when I was 14 and he’s never been the same since, he’s in constant pain and has almost no energy. My asthma has gradually got worse since I was about 18, getting so bad in the past few years that even just walking upstairs can threaten to cause an asthma attack. Whoever when I could I looked forward to going out on our weekly rides, it was dad and daughter time and probably the only time we’ve been able to do something together without arguing. Go on your own, with a loved one or take the whole family!
4. Go for a long walk. Again this is something you can do with the whole family. Depending on where you live you can have some gorgeous trials and paths to walk. I live in a little village, right next to the Trans Pennine Trail and this provided a great place to go for walks and bike rides.
5. Stargaze. All of these ideas seem to only work if you live out in the countryside…sorry if you live in a city as this one definitely won’t work for you with all the light pollution! But if it’s possible for you, go outa d just look at the stars. It might just be me but I could spend all night just staring up at them! I find it not only relaxing but motivation/inspirational in a strange way. We’re just a tiny little speck but we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it. The film Hidden Figures really brought this home and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend checking it out!
6. Visit a farm. There are tons of farms dotted around, make a day of it and go visit one! Walking round and petting lots of different animals can be so therapeutic and it’s can make a great date day or somewhere to take children. Not only that but you can normally buy organic products at them, yes they’re more expensive but you’re helping out a small business and eating food you know is free range and hasn’t been pumped with chemicals! Win win
7. Have a water fight. Release your inner child and have a water fight. The weather should (hopefully) be warm enough for it at some point. Either invest in some water guns or just fill up two big buckets, put them at either end of the area you plan on playing in, and get two smaller cups for you to throw water at each other with!
8. Have a bonfire. We save up all our paperwork, receipts and other confidential items and then when the nice weather arrives we have a burn night. This is usually a family thing, mostly because we live next door to my grandparents and sometimes other family members will come down for it and it turns into a bit of a party. We’ll put out some food, buy some alcohol and also some shloer for the kids so they don’t feel left out.
9. Invite your friends and family round and host a BBQ. Kind of the same as the above but rather than having a fire (such not everyone may like), invite the family round for a BBQ with some drinks and a secondary buffet for anyone who doesn’t eat BBQ (*waves sheepishly*) so they don’t go without.
10. Sunbathe. Last but my no means least- make the most of the 6 sunny days England gets a year and lap up that sun! I always take either a book or my music outside and try and soak up as much vitamin D as I can. I have a natural vitamin deficiency so this is really important for me…however my body has also decided to develop an allergy to the sun (I swear my body hates me) so if I stay out too long I get covered in red sports/rash. Fun.
What are your favourite things to do in Spring/Summer that cost nothing? Let me know in the comments!
23/ 03/ 17
We all go through times where we feel shit, there doesn’t even need to be anything to set it off for your mood to suddenly plummet. Practicing self care can be a great way to help improve your mood and mental health but it can be hard to know where to start.
This last month has been a really bad one for my mental health. As much as I didn’t really want to, I decided to go back on the pill injection after me and Chris had a slight scare. I really dont want kids and in the panic of the moment I forgot how bad the pill effects me.
I’ve already write a post on this (Anxiety & The Pill) so I won’t go into that here but after only a few weeks of been back on it, I was struggling with a hell of a lot of mental health problems!
I really pity Chris having to put up with me these last 3/4 weeks…
So I decided that I was going to have a few days to myself and practice as much self care as I could. Since I’ve been neglecting my blog a lot bit lately, I decided to write a post on my favorite ways to practice self care when I’m having a bad day:
What are your favorite ways to practice self care? Let me know in the comments below!
17/ 03/ 17
I’ve been feeling really down about my blog lately. Feeling like I’m not good enough & that I’m not a “real” blogger. The ones that get all the engagement and mail and has gorgeous photography. They live exciting lives and I’m just here in my little village not even owning a passport.
It’s actually been effecting my mental health and self worth. I feel like there’s no point trying- I can’t compare so why bother trying.
The same with my Etsy store– I’ve only had a handful of sales and I feel like an utter failure because I’m not designing new content every day and getting lots of sales each week.
I felt the need to go out and spend lots of money that I don’t have, on things I don’t need, just so that I can blog about the same thing everyone else is.
Then I realised something.
That’s not me.
Never had been and hopefully never will be.
That’s not why I started my blog- I started it to try and provide help and advice to other people with mental health condition. To show that we aren’t as alone as our brains tell us and eventually maybe even make a little community where we can help and support each other!
I seem to have lost my way a little. I got caught up in the glitz and glamor of the lifestyle and beauty blogs I read and yes, I tried to be a part of it.
But that’s not me.
I’ve never used a Lush bath bomb in my life- we don’t have a bath and I’ve never really understood the appeal of them anyway.
I don’t stick to an Instagram theme and post three times a day- my life isn’t anywhere near interesting enough to even guarantee one post a day! I just post what’s going on in my life, even if it doesn’t look “pretty” or fit with what is already on there.
I don’t have a blogging schedule or editorial calendar- I blog when I feel like it & have something I want to write about. I won’t create content because I feel pressured into it. I might go a week or two without a post and then suddenly have the inspiration to write three in a week!
I can’t write in that awesome chit-chat personal style that’s so popular. I’m autistic, communication for me is seriously difficult! It might not come across like it but even simple conversations require a lot of concentration! Blog posts? It can take me hours until I’m happy with the way it sounds…and everything then, I’m never truly happy with it.
I don’t engage in blogging chats or schedule posts like I should. Like I said above- autism is a fun little beast. When I first started out blogging I was in a good place mentally, and as such I could join in these chats and grow my blog.
My twitter shot up from around 300 to over 1k in only a few months! Then things took a trip downhill and since then I’ve been trying to get that engagement and energy back, without any real success. Maybe it’s because my heart isn’t in it? Maybe it’s because I’m boring. Who knows. But I’m not going to try and force it anymore- if it’s going to happen, then it’ll happen.
I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. I read Hannah Gales new post this morning and it struck a chord with me, making me realise that just because my blog and shop aren’t huge, popular and mainstream (three things I’ve never wanted to even be!) doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile!
I was tempted to give up on both my blog and store but now? Now I’m going to dive back into it and see what I can achieve…just without the ridiculous pressure I was putting on myself before!