Self chore, or self care?

Is it just me, or does the thought of doing simple things for yourself just sometimes feel like yet another item to add to your very long adulting list?

By simple, I include (but am not limited to) the following tasks: have a shower wash my hair, take my makeup off, make a cup of tea…instead, the thought of doing anything else in the day stresses you out to the point where you just kind of slump on the couch and do nothing, when in that time you could’ve just done the thing?

So, its this thought process that has convinced me this is why a lot of people don’t have very much ‘self care’ built into their day to day lives. Our over worked, 21st century brains have autoprogrammed our thoughts to class this as a chore, something more we have to factor in to our already busy lives. The problem perhaps isn’t having the time, it’s our wired little brain.

Because of lockdown, I forcibly took time out this year which drastically cut down on the amount of things I had to do. So, I ended up doing a lot of the things I usually can’t be bothered to do (within the realms of social distancing and lockdown) that made me feel very happy and relaxed. I sat in the garden and had a cup of coffee, did face masks, had some leisurely hots showers…hell; I even cracked out the ol’ foot spa and gave my trotters some needed attention!

Now the world has reopened somewhat, and I’m still managing to do all of these things, when I couldn’t seem to before. What’s changed? My thought process. I’ve reframed these tasks in my head and compartmentalised them in correct place: things I like to do that make me feel nice. I’ve also started doing them at different times of day that fit in with my life now, rather than leaving everything until the end of the day/week when it feels like effort. Now, rather than my mood determining whether I do self care activities, I do self care activities to determine my mood. And you know what? Its bloody glorious.

I know everybody has different commitments, different lifestyles, different environments, but every one of us needs to have just a little bit of time for ourselves on a semi regular basis in order to remain both sane and productive humans. Whether you call it self care/me time/time out/a little break and whatever you choose to do with that time, do it.

Self care isn’t a revolutionary concept, but how we address within ourselves could be the key to truly unlocking its real potential.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Surviving October

Hey friends, hope you’re all doing well. We’re all obviously going through a variety of things in our topsy turvy, midst of a global pandemic so what exactly are we allowed to do Boris lifestyles, however today I want to chat about more of a long standing concern thats rearing it’s less than attractive head in my life right now.

The autumnal slump.

For the past few years, I’ve had an extremely difficult time in the month of October (and sometimes a little beyond). I become tired, listless, depressed and emotional, basically like an extreme case of PMT for a whole 31 days. Like clockwork – September ends, October hits and within days I’m like a completely different person. I’ve never sought a specific form of diagnosis, but I imagine Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) would be the closest thing to what I seem to go through.

Each year I have braced and tried to prepare myself to no avail, however this year I seem to be winning the fight a little bit. I’m still tired and a little disinterested in life away from the office, but the depression and emotion seem to be staying at bay for now. So, what’s changed? Well, I’m in a much stronger position in life for one. I had some much needed time out during Furlough to figure out what I wanted and needed out of my life, I’ve gone headlong into a new job, am around nice people a lot more often and have plenty if things to look forward to in my life.

Simply reminding myself of the good things in my life goes a long way, however also reminding myself that sometimes I can’t win 100% of the battle is just as big a comfort. During the slightly more difficult feeling times, I aim for the small wins – small bitty tasks that take little concentration but can be taken off the to do list, or a longer repetitive task that I can just lose myself in for a few hours. Trash tv, hot shower, huge bowl of pasta, brisk walk to blow off some of the internal cobwebs, all things that reduce the effects of the slump.

If I’ve been a little absent of late; not posting as much or showing up on social media, this is the reason why. As soon as I’m reset I’ll be back on the regular with posts, pics and probably Tik Toks galore! I hope to see you then.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat- July 2020

Quick question: WHERE DID THE SUN GO?? I know we had an extra lovely Spring, but now we can do more socialising the rain needs to do one!

You’ll notice I’ve worn a lot of the same stuff this month – it’s stuff I like and we’re all meant to be shopping more consciously these days (though admittedly I’ve made a fair few new purchases this month) so that’s why!

  • Book of Mormon soundtrack
  • Unsolved Mysteries: It’s a series of programmes rather than a series, so you don’t have to watch all of them (or in the right order) to follow any of the stories. A range of topics from mysterious deaths to UFOs are covered so a little something for all conspiracy or crime buffs.
  • Canada Drag Race: I very much enjoyed it, the lack of RuPaul hasn’t felt off for me at all. There are some great queens so if you’re a drag race fan I’d recommend watching.
  • The Festival: a film by the makers of The Inbetweeners (also starring some of the cast from the TV show and film) that follows 2 new graduates in their first trip to a festival with inevitable mixture embrassing and life defining moments
  • Got my hair done: The day my hairdresser was back open for business, I was the second appointment in her chair. My split ends had gotten a bit crazy and my blonde a bit too brassy, but now everything is smoother and brighter and feeling great for summer.
  • Went out for food: I wanted to wait a little after everything opened to ensure I felt comfortable, so about a week afterwards we treated ourselves to Sunday lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants. People in my local area seem to be behaving very sensibly so I needn’t have worried, the scenes shown in Central London and Bournemouth are absolutely not the case in East Yorkshire!
  • Bought a tonne of new beauty and skin care products: ALDI brought out loads of products that were meant to be high end dupes, I was instantly influenced and ran out to my local to snap up as many as I could! I posted the results on my Tik Tok if you want to see how I got on.
  • Booked a holiday: after missing out on two during lockdown and seeing other people’s experiences of foreign travel, we decided to book a week away in Zakynthos (Zante) for the end of the summer. It gives hotels chance to get into their stride with new measures, and we trust completely that the tour operator will not allow us to travel if they deem it unsafe. I will probably do some kind of travel post as I usually would as well as posting on social media, so you’ll see how we get on.

Lots to look forward to in August, let’s go!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Random things I discovered about life and myself during lockdown

Yep; you read what sounds like the start of a very profound, slight hippy dippy blog post in that title…but thats not my style!

We’re going more along the ramblings and random musings route that I did in this post last year . I know lockdown isn’t fully over yet but who knows when I’d have published this if I waited for it to end completely….

  • I can do some basic levels of DIY, but I’d rather pay someone else to do it for me
  • Messiness stresses me out
  • I prefer to eat cake rather than bake it
  • A fairly pared back, slow pace of life suits me nicely and is great for my mental health
  • I do in fact have common sense. In some cases, more than some senior government officials (tbf I think a large majority of us can claim this)
  • Its sometimes easier to observe than create what you see in the Internet (specifically Tik Tok) but its fun to try
  • Workouts come in various forms – walking, vigorous decorating or learning the latest viral dance
  • I wear a lot of print. Mainly floral and leopard
  • People will use a global pandemic as a golden opportunity to ‘legitimately’ make their lives easier, and other peoples lives harder as a result
  • I’m a dab hand at covering my roots with a bit of box dye and an unused foundation brush (if you’re reading Chelsea, sorry!)
  • It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. If that dog is your parents/grandparents and the trick is going on Houseparty for a weekly catch up
  • My Spanish speaking skills aren’t quite as basic as I thought, but my written Spanish still sucks a little bit

And just one more…..

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Hay fever hacks – part 2

A couple of years ago I wrote this post sharing my top hay fever hacks aside from medication that will help to ease and prevent symptoms, and over the last few weeks it seems to have been read rather a lot more than usual! Less traffic and pollution clearly allows those pesky pollens to get through to us better than ever before in the 21st century, so I thought I would add a few more tips and tricks I’ve learnt since the last post to hopefully offer a bit of extra relief to fellow sufferers. I’ve found that they work best alongside taking a standard antihistamine first thing in the morning*

  • Wipe, wipe, wipe it down

If you’ve watched a decent amount Tik Tok as I have, you’ll be singing that as you read…cleaning the house more regularly will help get rid of any pollen that you bring in from outside as quickly as possibly and keep your home a safe haven. Don’t forget to pay close attention to places like sofas and chairs where you may sit in your outdoor clothing, of you can make sure you take off your day clothes as soon as you get home.

  • Garlic – for more than warding off vampires

I was surprised but delighted to learn that my favourite seasoning also acts as a super charged natural antihistamine. Pass me the garlic bread ASAP.

  • Get your (water) vape on

When you have a cold, one way to ease symptoms is to inhale vaporised steam underneath a towel, and the same idea can also apply to hay fever. Instead of vapour rub, add in essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender which will help clear your airways and make you feel relaxed (increased levels of stress are also said to increase the severity of hay fever symptoms).

  • I C you baby

Start your day off with a healthy dose of vitamin C and you’re adding in yet another natural antihistamine to your immune system. Berries are perfect for this and are super easy to add into a breakfast or snack.

  • Shower and hair wash last thing before bed

You’re removing any final pollen from your body before you get in bed so that it doesn’t transfer to your bedding/sleep clothes and continue to affect you in the night (not getting a good night’s sleep is also supposed to help reduce hay fever symptoms).

Between the two posts I hopenyou have some decent ammunition to help make your symptoms more bearable so that you can enjoy the summer.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – May 2020

In the month I was meant to be heading off to Ibiza with the sis-in-laws and to the hen do of one of my oldest dearest friends, I….well, I didn’t! I’m extremely thankful for all of the people I follow on YouTube and social media for keeping me entertained with outfit posts and video ideas, its definitely spurred me on in some of the activities I’ve been doing.

  • Love Island playlist on Spotify: I’ve never watched the show but they play some damn good songs on it apparently!
  • Bad Boys
  • Rupaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race (I’m gonna be honest and say I didn’t know who a good few of them were, and I’d love to see a UK version)
  • Crime channels on YouTube
  • Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back
  • I’m about to lose control and I think Joe Lycett

I thought I’d add this little section in (for now, at least) as this is something I imagine most of us are living for at the moment! Take out wise, we’ve enjoyed a cheeky bit of tapas and gome made champagne sangria from El Toro and some yummy cake jars from Button Bakery (based in Sheffield bit deliver all over the UK). At home I made an afternoon tea with bucks fizz to celebrate VE Day and have been making some Greek inspired dishes (I wanna go back soooooo bad!) Such as gyros, meze and Greek salad. Nom. For snacks, I finally got my hands on the new mint Malteser buttons which I adore, as well as the biscuits which are incredibly moreish.

  • Organised my wardrobe: I took some inspo from Style Sisters and started using my storage space more effectively. I have a decent amount of fitted storage in my house so I armed myself with shoe racks, vacuum bags, hanging shelves and velvet hangers to make some big improvements. Everything isn’t 100% how I want it but it has made such a huge difference to have everything I need for spring/summer organised and in one place. I genuinely didn’t realise how much I wear print either – leopard, star, heart, even bee print is in there!
  • Experimenting with photo techniques: I watched a couple of YouTube videos about Tik Tok trends for pictures and some looked like they could be executed by someone with limited skills (i.e. my sweet spot) so I thought I’d have a go. You can see some of the more successful results on my Instagram
  • Had afternoon tea on the couch: to mark mine and the Mr’s 10 year anniversary (which was at the end of March, but I was poorly and we were going through a bereavementso it wasnt the best time to celebrate) my mum surprised us with a delivery of afternoon tea from Mrs M’s Secret Tea Room. We arranged everything on our own cake stand and enjoyed in our PJs (also adding in a cheeky bottle of prosecco) and it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
  • Joined Tik Tok: oh yes she did, and now I know I resisted so long…these weird lil videos are very addictive aren’t they! At the time of writing I’ve posted 1 video and am going to have a think about other content I may want to make (if any).

Thanks for reading, J xx


When this is over….

I want to… (in no particular order)

  • Hug my family for a looooong time
  • Have a proper memorial for my nan
  • Go day drinking in Leeds
  • Have Pizza Hut cheest bites
  • Go for a coffee with the girls
  • Book and re-book as many holidays as my bank balance and annual leave calendar will allow
  • Watch with interest to see if the toxic people around me have developed any shred of kindness
  • Buy things off the internet frivolously (yet responsibly)
  • Have my car fully valeted
  • Take my niece and nephew out for ice cream

J xx


What does ‘having a glow up’ really mean?

I’m pretty sure you’ll have seen this next photo – it’s been broadcast on social media, tv and newspapers alike over the past week so you’d be hard pushed to miss it.

Credit: @adele Instagram

This is world renowned, critically acclaimed singer Adele. At the time of writing, this was her most recent Instagram post celebrating her 32nd birthday. Adele used to look different to how she looks in this photo – she was heavier and a fan of the midi/maxi length dresses. Because she has posted this photo in a mini dress, looking much slimmer and VERY different to how the public is used to seeing her, the world has apparently lost their shit.

People have really been feeling some kinda as before now she’s skinny – discussing at length how she may have done it, how much she’s lost, what surgery she may have had done on her face and whether she’ll still be able to sing as well now she’s slimmer (spoiler alert: ‘experts’ have decided that she can, on the basis that Celine Dion is very slim and a very good singer). On the flip side of this, my social feeds have been flooded with people whom I consider very normal yet inspirational, feeling extremely disheartened with the way the media has reacted to this. It makes them feel that their bodies, that look similar to how Adele looked previously, are considered not as good and shouldn’t be accepted or celebrated.

So what do I think? To be honest, I’m not 100% sure, but all this talk has made me feel a bit weird too if I’m honest. As you may remember, I wrote a post earlier this year ‘It’s OK to want to change things about yourself without feeling like you’re hating on the world at large’ that kind of addresses both sides. I’ve been quite open about how I’ve felt unhappy in my body over the past 2-3 years, BUT I also explain why that is and what that represents to me. I think ultimately, to ‘have a glow up’ means that a person has taken charge of their own being and made positive strides to becoming the best version of themselves through their eyes. When someone is happy, this radiates or “glows” out of them in a way that makes those around them sit up and pay attention. That’s how I would define a glow up. Notice how I didn’t use any terms like “lost loads of weight”. Even though I don’t subscribe to weight loss as a pre requisite for a glow up, for some people it is a valuable part of the process. However for others it’s the opposite; because for them them having a very slim frame represents ill health and unhappiness. Both are valid points of view.

Credit: @adele Instagram

We might wonder why Adele had this sudden change in her life, how she’s done it and whether its made her happy, however I doubt we’ll ever have the answer. People usually show the best versions of themselves on Instagram so she could be made up with her progress…or she may have just been feeling cute that one day and decided to put up a pic (most of us do tend to dress it up a little on our birthday, current circumstances permitted). It’s quite telling that she’s disabled the comments since posting this pic (they were active on her last post at Christmas, and a fair few of those left were talking about her weight) I think she knows people will have opinions and questions and she probably feels kind of uncomfortable about that. She wants her legacy to be her amazing voice and brilliant music, not to become the poster child for losing a tonne of weight.

The moral of the story is – if Adele doesn’t want to spend time talking about it to everybody, whatever the reason may be, maybe we shouldn’t spend too much time talking about it either. She’s apparently happy doing her, so let’s all try and find our own happy doing ourselves. Let that be the take away from this.

Thanks for reading, J xx


“To be honest…” – It’s time to own your own opinions people!

How many times have you heard someone utter a statement like “so and so said that they noticed you’ve been doing this…” or “This person doesn’t like it when you do that”. I, for one, hear this a lot in my day to day life. To to untrained ear, you may think the person saying these things is being kind by giving you a heads up, trying to help you get on or not get in trouble etc.

I’m here to tell you that they are not.

What’s really happening is that the person saying these things is the one that feels them, but they lack the courage to come out and say so themselves. So what they do is hide behind someone else (likely somebody you don’t see or speak to directly that often). It’s usually because of the person used as a cover that’s its ridiculously easy to realise this happening too – think about it; if you barely see or speak to them, how are they going to observe activity that they are unhappy with?

This kind of behaviour is wildly problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can create unnecessary ill feeling towards the person whose allegedly made negative comments which in turn can damage friendships and professional networks alike. Secondly, it severely damages a person’s confidence levels in what they’re doing AND those around them. After all, could someone be feeding negative information back for people to feel this way about you? Finally (and somewhat most importantly) it can make you lose respect for the person delivering the so called third party message, as well as question their own credibility as someone who isn’t willing to speak their truth and say to you “I feel this way about something YOU are doing”.

So, whose at fault here? It really depends on the scenario to determine an answer to that. In a social or friendship group it could be either party – perhaps feedback is being provided to somebody someone finds a little intimidating so feels safer doing it from a distance, or it could be that maybe that person has another agenda and isn’t really so much of a friend after all. In a work/professional setting, the fault likely lies with the person who is most senior in the exchange. On paper, they have the authority to feel and express these opinions as their own, however in practice they’re clearly haven’t quite equipped themselves with the correct tools to do the job properly.

Unless you believe your life or wellbeing are in danger as a result of offering a person feedback (in which case, you should probably seek help from emergency services or authorities) then there is absolutely no reason in the world why an adult shouldn’t be owning their opinions and actions. If you think it, if you feel it’s important to be said to the person you think it about, you need to have the courage of your convictions and be honest about where the opinion came from. Not only will this garner the respect that you were honest with the recipient, but they’re more likely to take action that’s appropriate and to you’re liking far quicker. Sure people dont like to be criticised, but that’s simply not a good enough excuse to use somebody else as a security blanket in order to get your point across.

Should you call about this behaviour? I think yes, but as respectfully as you can. The last thing you want to do is get into a fight or alienate people with whom you have to spend a lot of time with. I don’t know the 100% right answer here, but to be on the receiving end I think it would be fine to ask something like “And how do you feel about this?” Or “do you feel the same as this person?” And then perhaps something like “Thanks for letting me know. If you have this kind of feeling towards me in future please do let me know and there will be absolutely no problem at all if the opinion comes directly from you rather the other person. I really appreciate the honest feedback”. This way the person will know you’re open and approachable to feedback and inviting them to share their directly with you in the knowledge that there’s less likely to be backlash on them. Hopefully this will help the person struggling overcome some of their insecurities about approaching uncomfortable situations.

Do you recognise this behaviour as something you do yourself? If so, please try and stop doing it. As adults there are going to be times when we’re put in situations we dont want to be in, but some short term discomfort is preferable to adding fuel that only helps fuel the long term breakdown of a relationship. Whether personal or professional, as a decent human being you shouldn’t want to do that. More to the point, who has the time and energy to be dealing with negativity that can be avoided? Not me!

I hope this has given you food for thought, perhaps even a little bit of a confidence boost. Whichever side you’re on, own your own opinions and let be known it’s ok to own.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Let’s Chat – April 2020

We’re not going out, so you’d think they wouldn’t be much to report on this month. That’s kind of true, buutttt…we live in an age where we can do lots from home thanks to modern technology, so I’ve been pretty much living my life but in a slightly smaller space.

April Jenny still repped a lot of PJs and loungewear, however she also got dressed in some nice frocks for being in the garden or for the couple of occasions she had to go out of the house (If anyone wants to know where any of the items are from, leave me a comment at the end)

  • American Pie movies: the Mr had an urge to watch them again so out they came. They’re in that nice ‘easy, funny, escapist’ category which is needed right now.
  • Gogglebox: how have I NEVER watched this before? It’s so funny! I’m nosey and like peeking in to other people’s lives, and it’s also kind of reassuring to know that other people have the same kind of chats about programmes as we do at home.
  • Tiger King: I wasn’t going to watch this but social media chat got the better of me. It was definitely a watch! And (don’t @ me) I dont think Carole Baskin killed her husband….
  • Inform Overload: this is a YouTube channel that I’ve just discovered. They do a lot of videos about influencers and celebs that help to provide body positivity/reality (sometimes with a little bit of shade thrown in, full disclosure) which I’ve found both interesting and comforting.
  • My lockdown 2020 playlist: I made myself a little playlist on Spotify – it has everything from songs I love to cheese to those poking fun at the situation
  • Katherine Ryan, Telling Everybody Everything: This is the brand new podcast by ‘TV’s Katherine Ryan’ about a variety of topics including first love and pregnancy loss. She does it by herself which is kind of unusual for a podcast, but it’s no different to her doing a stand up routine
  • Said goodbye to my lovely nan: my nan’s funeral was held early in the month (which my family scheduled around mine and the Mr’s self isolation so we could attend). It was a very different kind of service as you can imagine, we did it all ourselves as there was no celebrant. I also went the to go see her in the funeral home, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do but I found huge comfort in.
  • Messing about with makeup: I’ve either been bare faced with gross hair or in full glam. I was hoping my skills would improve but sadly they haven’t!
  • Exercise: either for a walk outdoors or a dance fit workout at home. I will say that I haven’t done something every single day, there have been a couple of occasions where I’ve barely moved for a few days in a row.
  • Dyed my hair Rihanna red: I tried light pink, then purple but neither worked, so I tried red and that worked a little bit too well! If I’d had my roots sorted it probably would’ve looked better, but I got over the look very quickly and am still trying to fade the colour out.
  • Drinking: I dont drink often but I’ve enjoyed a few tipples at times of the week where I wouldn’t normally…my most popular blog post at the moment is Make your own Pomada so other people are definitely doing this too! I’ve also been drinking a helluva lot of tea and coffee, but still not enough water.

So, that’s April done and on to May. We’re well into spring, let’s see if that brings us closer to beating this thing.

Thanks for reading, J xx