It feels so good to be so young and have this fun and be successful…

But, what about…?

For a lot of people 2020 has been a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, instead a train wreck. And they’re just the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper describing America’s Presential race! This year has been tough for lot of people in a lot of ways this year (though, all linked back to the same root cause, our mate COVID).

Not for me. I’ve had a couple of wobbles this year, but as we’re counting down to midnight on 31 December I’ll be looking back on this year and chalking it up as a pretty decent one indeed. Almost one of the best ones in fact. Sound weird? Let me explain.

My career is on the up

Believe me, I’m beyond shocked (and grateful) to be able to claim this as 2020 victory. Me, who nothing good ever happens to! I’d already decided at the start of this year that I was ready to move on from my current job and started applying for new roles, then we all got locked down and I thought “dammit, guess I’m just happy to have a job for now” a few months on from that, I was made redundant. However, I kept going and landed a new job 5 weeks later. The new job sees me being primarily in charge of my department (mainly because there’s only me in it) earning more money, working less hours, a shorter commute to work and generally succeeding because I’ve been trusted to do my job. This was a huge goal I wanted to accomplished this year, and somehow I did it (if you want to read about my experiences of looking for a job during a global pandemic, I wrote this blog post).

I’ve had some good quality time out

We all usually get some kind of holiday or time off each year, but rarely do we get the opportunity to have more than a couple of weeks in one go. This year, I had nearly 6 months of not working. I made a conscious decision at the start of lockdown to appreciate and enjoy every single bit of time off work I had, because I didn’t know how long it was going to last and knew this kind of opportunity would never present itself again. So, rather than being bored in the house bored, I took some selfish chill time for ME. I slept in, chilled in loungewear, watched trash TV marathons, went for walks on the beach and relaxed in the garden. When the time came for me to get back to work, I felt completely refreshed and ready.

My creativity is growing

This year provided a lot less time to go out and shoot content with friends, or have coffee and talk through upcoming ideas for blog posts, so I looked for other ways to find creative inspo. I turned to YouTube more than ever before to look at different makeup looks, outfit inspo and photo techniques. I had a go at self shooting a lot of photos, which is something I’ve enjoyed and carried on doing (though I’m glad I’ve been able to get back to seeing people to shoot collaboratively too). I joined Tik Tok and clumsily learnt how to make video content, something I’ve always thought I wasn’t good enough to do (and I may not be still, but I enjoy it).

My mental health is now in check

This has GOT to the be the Holy grail right! Now, I’m not gonna sit here and be like “yes, I’m cured, I’ll be fine forever now!” because it’s not true and is also pretty unrealistic, but I can say that I’ve been removed from some toxic people/situations that contributed to putting my mental health in a pretty poor state. When the country was told to stay at home and many were Furloughed, my battered little brain heard “you’re free”. Even now that things have gone back to something nearing normality, my state of mind has stayed pretty clear. I used to need ‘a bit of extra help’ to make me feel I could cope, but I don’t need that anymore. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am about that.

And I’m sure some of you can take some of the points above and claim them as successes for yourself too! But, in case you need a couple of other things for your 2020 highlight reel, here are some other things that have happened this year we can all be grateful for…

  • Trump will not be the President as of the end of January 2021
  • The COVID vaccine should be rolled out nationally soon
  • A lot of the things we’ve gone though this year were only for this year
  • Ways of working are now likely to be able to change for the better, because businesses can see that other ways aren’t wrong or unproductive
  • We can wear joggers and baggy t-shirts and its called fashion
  • Netflix brought it for us with the with the return of all our fave teenage sitcoms
  • This time, when people spoke about black and LGBTQ+ lives mattering, it felt like the rest of the world actually started to listen

If you don’t think this year was the best for you, I challenge you to think of at least three things that have been good about it for YOU. We’ll kick of 2021 with a clean slate and determined to make it better than this year, but with the knowledge that this year wasn’t all bad.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – October 2020

For those of you reading this in England: happy lockdown 2.0 day! Sheesh. I genuinely thought the second wave of Coronavirus would be much milder than the first, but at least this time we know what to expect so we can e prepared in our heads as well as our homes. We’ve done it once, we can do it again!

I’ve had a but of a bummer month (As you may have spotted in this blog post) so I’ve basically only worn PJs and the same 3 or 4 outfits to be cosy. I’ve been referring my summer dresses with tights and a polo neck to get a bit more wear from them so I don’t feel the need to buy any more clothes I don’t need!

  • Emily in Paris: I had to see what all the fuss is about. 2 episodes in, I wasn’t a fan, but I stuck with it and by the end I can I appreciated that she shed light on the importance of marketing to a business! The plot lines aside from work were a bit cliche (althpugh some of them a bit relatable to me) but I’ll be tuning in for season 2 to see if I can borrow some of her social media strategies.
  • Slasher (series 1): My second time watching this. This is a Netflix series about a woman who returns to her birth town to live in the home her parents were murdered in on Halloween night, and the obligatory carnage that ensues. It has a slightly different take and has a few sub plots too, definitely worth a watch. There are another 2 series featuring the same cast but completely different stories.
  • Friday the 13th: Which one? You ask. Pretty much all of them! Its a Halloween tradition that every weekend we watch a couple. They kind of annoy me with how cliche they look nowadays, but I still put them on.
  • Halloween reloaded: Are we sensing a theme here? It is October!
  • Visited a pumpkin patch: after 6 years of blogging, I finally went all basic bitch and went to a pumpkin patch! Obviously my primary aim was to take pics, but I did also buy a few pumpkins to carve and decorate my house with for the month. Thanks to my gal Kat for suggesting the trip!
  • Halloween capers: we popped to my sister in law’s house before for an early spooky/fireworks gathering for 5. We enjoyed some Frankenstein Colin the Caterpillar mini rolls, star shaped sparklers and wrapping the boys up as mummies in toilet roll (before people lost their shit and started stockpiling it. Again.)

And that, my friends, is pretty much it! Who knows what the month of November holds (well, it’ll definitely involved Christmas shopping and putting my tree up, but apart from that…). Stay home, stay safe, but reach out if you’re struggling. We all have to be here for each other where we can.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


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