The very last update of the year, and what a year it’s been!
Honestly, my year has been fine. Good even. I had the first few months of 2020 not having a good time at all, so when the pandemic hit it forced some of the changes I was struggling to make for myself (I wrote a previous post about this which you can read here). Imagine feeling so down on yourself that a global pandemic actually SAVED the year!
BUT no more about that now. More about the lighter, fluffier stuff you probably clicked over here for…
This months clothing has mainly been loungewear and Christmas clothing, no great surprise. I also discovered a new small business (thanks Instagram) that sell really good quality quirky PJs called Their Nibs which you’ll see below
Moesha: (sings) Mo to the, E to the….another month, another throwback to my teenage years courtesy of Netflix! I don’t think I watched the final season first time round so I was very frustrated and disappointed with how it ended.
I usually do a post about my Christmas (I’ve done one almost every single year since launching this little online space) but I thought this year I’d combine it with my monthly catch up, mainly because that’s what I’ve been doing this month so it makes sense.
As it was for virtually everybody in the UK, our festive period wasn’t quite like it usually is, however being in Tier 3 meant we could still enjoy some indoors family time which I’m very grateful for. This year we ventured over the bridge to my mum’s house for Christmas lunch, the first time any of us have celebrated thers as they only moved in last year.
Lunch was spread over a few hours, with some present opening in between courses:
Starter: Mackerel patê served with rocket and ciabatta
Main: Carved turkey and gammon, pigs in blankets, home made stuffing, honeyed carrots, parsnips, sprputs, garlic roast potatos and lashings of gravy
Dessert: Papa Robbo’s infamous croissant white chocolate bread and butter pudding
After lunch we headed to my sister in laws to do a door drop of presents for the other side of the family. We stood in the back garden next to the fire pit whilst we watched the little ones open their gifts through the french doors. Definitely VERY weird, but at least we got to see them somehow!
Boxing Day, instead of going to my mum’s or hosting family as we usually do, (as everybody else in the UK did) we stayed at home. We still made an effort and cooked a 3 course meal for ourselves, but ate it in our loungewear. It’s all about balance ya know:
Starter: Caremalised onion and goats cheese tart
Main: Turkey roulade with truffle cauliflower cheese, carrot sweede, pigs in blankets and roasties
Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding with pouring cream
The last thing we did for the year (‘cos we’re definitely not doing anything tonight!) was do a socially distanced treasure hunt around Beverley courtesy of Escape Rooms Beverley (it’s £5 per couple). It was a great way to get some fresh air, a nice walk and use my brain a bit for the first time in a couple of weeks!
And now it’s New Years Eve, 2020 is done and 2021 is raring to go. Let’s try our best to work with what we’ve got for now and hope it’ll lead us to the joy, freedom and peace many of us are craving.
It’s that time of year where Instagram shows us our mist liked/engaging grid pics from the past year, so I wanted to share mine and a bit of the significance behind each. Enjoy!
This was on my birthday back in June. A couple of days before, I’d found out I was being made redundant. However, I pushed this to the back if my mind and enjoyed a socially distaced BBQ at my mum’s house with close family and was made to feel very loved. The smile is 100% genuine.
The last time I posted a pic of myself in this bikini (about a year before) I was standing up and sucking in for dear life. This time, I decided to just snap a pic exactly as I was; relaxing in the garden and enjoying life. I don’t think that’s a brave thing to do, nothing here that you wouldn’t see round a pool or on a beach on holiday right?
Holiday!! 6 of my best 9 were from my summer holiday to Zante (still so grateful we managed to get abroad this year, even if it wasn’t where we’d planned). On this day we’d taken the bus to Zakynthos Town and enjoyed walking by the harbour, around the shops and stopping off for food before heading back to our hotel. I really like these ‘holding hands out of shot’ pics.
I didnt feel ‘brave’ posting this pic, however I was inspired to post it by some of my fave influencers who have helped me to have a slightly different mindset about how I view my body. Yes, I might want to make some changes, but they’re not going to happen overnight so I can’t simple sit around and wait until I feel I look ‘good enough’. So I went about my holiday, did what I wanted and had a ball.
This was just one afternoon (happy hour, to be exact) by the pool at our hotel, I’d been made redundant by this point but were having a great holiday and I was feeling pretty positive about the next steps (the week after this, I got my new job). I really did feel good about life and wanted to capture the moment.
This was taken mid way through a boat trip to Naviago Bay (otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach) the boat was a bit teeny and the waves were a bit too big for me to feel ok getting in the water, but we saw some amazing beaches and had some great food.
Back to June and the first time I dared to meet up with a fellow blogger to shoot content (which was @moretokat) we arrived and left separately, used our phones to shoot, and bought drinks at the shop afterwards to have outside. I took along my mirror (that was originally meant for my bathroom but has remained unhung for about 2 years) to do a couple of selfie style shots with the wild flowers.
We’d spent the day at a really nice beach club had some drinks and some nice food (standard) and a paddle in the sea. I was wearing this super comfy-casj cover up by Queens Have Curves (run by my pal Alex) that has kindly been gifted to me, so I thought this was the perfect chance to snap a pic of it.
And finally number nine! This was taken near one of the most photographed places in Zakynthos, Cameo Island. I say near, because if I’d have had more time I’d like to have seen a bit of the island and got a perfect pic, but (as I pointed out in my lengthy IG caption) life sometimes gets on the way and you can always ‘do it for the ‘gram’. I had sailed around the island previous to this photo being taken, and it’s very pretty.
And there you have it folks – nine images full of wisdom, fun, adventure and a few nice outfits! If you don’t usually, I’d encourage you to check your own Instagram best nine it’s bound to give you some of your 2020 highlights (yes, you’ve probably had some) and remember some of the important things you were thinking and feeling.
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.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…. how the devil are you?? Despite lockdown, I feel like I haven’t had a spare moment to get my creative juices flowing for new blog posts, which is why I’ve been a bit ‘digitally absent’ lately. No point in posting just to say you did if its a bit rubbish and nobody reads it right?
I’ve spent a lot of time in loungewear and comfy clothes this month (I’m sure you can relate) and I’ve also been given a uniform to wear at work so am dressed the same way for 5 days of the week now (which I like, because I don’t have to think about what to put on)
The Undoing: I think pretty much everyone on my Instagram stories have been watching this! Have you seen it, what did you think? I enjoyed it was underwhelmed at the end, I really wanted there to be a Gone Girl style twist.
Sister Sister: never knew how much I missed ya! Im soooo happy Netflix put this on the list and I ripped through it within the month. I didnt remember it ending how it did though. I’m hearing reboot rumours from Tia and Tamera’s YouTube channels so I hope this goes ahead.
Blind Spot: its FINALLY back! Ive watched this series for about 4 years (this is the last season) but there’s been a ridiculously extended break between the last series and this one. If you havent heard if it and like shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, you’ll probably like this too.
Halloween: I just had to eek out the last bit of Halloween out of the season before getting Chrismassey!
90s throwback: I have needed the motivation first thing in the morning that only Jazzy Jeff, the Fresh Prince and Kris Kross can provide! The dark mornings and wet weather are not my friend.
Christmas songs: the Christmas decs went up (more about that in a bit) so obviously the classics were aying in the background. I like to mix it up between traditional carols, chart classics and the newer pop stuff. Obviously, Bublè features heavily.
My activities have been really wholesome. Starting with putting the Christmas decorations about a week early. This year I have 3 trees (a slim green fake tree, a fat snow flocked fake tree and a scandi style rope tree), 3 garlands, 2 table decorations and a wreath for the front door. I’m buzzing with how it looks! There’s a Christmas highlight on my Instagram if you fancy a nosey. Me and the Mr have also been cooking some big Sunday lunches (going out for posh Sunday lunch has always been one our fave things to do) and taking regular walks. The Christmas lights in our village went up early doors andnits been lovely to see those, as well as getting out for some more country style walks in Beverley
Sooo, that’s my final pre-Christmas round up done! I usually do #blogmas during this time, however this year I’ve decided that my content probably isn’t appropriate (or anywhere near enough) , however I’m still getting involved by resharing relevant content from precious years on my Twitter feed every day (Think yummy recipes and general life tips and you’ll be on the right lines).
Next time we catch up like this, Christmas will be done and 2021 will almost be on us…Wowza!
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.
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.
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.
In June, I was invited on the radio to talk about staring down the barrel of redundancy as a result of everybody’s best mate, Coronavirus. I had just been given notice by my employer and by the end of July I was without a job and no imminent prospect if another was on the horizon.
Fast forward to a week ago. I was invited back on the same radio show to talk about finding a job during the current economic downturn caused by Cornonavirus. Because now, my friends, I’m back in employment. It took five weeks, a lot of effort and a bit of luck, but I’m very aware it’s not been this way for everyone. So, I’m going to share the words of wisdom that helped me through in the hope that they may help one of you reading this. I truly hope it does.
Remind yourself ‘someone has employed me before and will do again’.
It may take a little bit if time, but you know it’s true.
Remain as positive and consistent in your job search as you can.
Sounds a bit of a silly thing to start with, right?It will happen, it may just take a little time. When you haven’t been in a routine for a while (you may have been on Furlough or lost your job early on in lockdown) so establishing a job hunting routine is very helpful. Pick the days/times/places you’re going to search and do at least that every single week until you don’t have to. I created a Trello board to document my whole search which I would highly recommend – I had lists to record where I’d applied, when I applied and what stage I got to (1st interview, 2nd interview/awaiting feedback, unsuccessful, no reply so abandoned after 6 weeks). It’s a visual reminder of what roles you’re looking and where you’re at, which helps to focus things a bit more.
Remember your positive qualities, your strengths and (most importantly) your worth.
You have skills, things you’re really good at, things you may be able to do better than a lot of other people. Remind yourself of what they are and tell prospective employers you have them. We’re not programmed to blow our own trumpet but you have to just go for it – if you don’t tell an employer what you can do they won’t know, and you may lose out to someone else who isn’t afraid to say those things. When I interviewed for the job I actually got, I took a ‘balls to the wall’ approach as I had nothing to lose – I strutted into the office, told my now boss I could do the job and explained exactly why he should give me the job (because I could do it better than the other people he’d seen). Although a bit taken aback, he admired the approach and offered my the job on the spot. Knowing your worth is the most important part of this whole thing. You are worth just as much now in the job market as you were before, so don’t let employers take advantage of your need for a job and offer you less than this. Depending on what you got up to during lockdown you could even be worth MORE – if you took some training courses, learnt a language or mastered any new skill related to the jobs you’re going for, that could increase you value to potentialemployers.
This next bit may sound a bit cheesy, BUT… this time really could be the opportunity you were waiting for rather than the threat you were dreading.
If you’re currently in this situation, I wish you the best of luck with the next step of your journey. You got this!
I’ve seen a LOT of trash talk online lately about the 00s (which, for these purposes, is 2000-2009). They’re mocking the way we dressed, the way we did our makeup…and yeah, I admit some of those trends were a little out there when looking back, but what about the other stuff?
I’ve had enough. I’m fighting back. Im showing these naysayers (most of whom were only just born in the 00s or not much before) why I’m proud to have lived through the 00s, and why its probably one of my fave decades so far
I consider the 00s ‘my era’ of music, it was all so damn cool back then. Garage music hit the mainstream, spearheaded by The Artful Dodger who helped to launch the career or one Mr Craig David, who the young ‘uns today (and those of us who remember him first time round) go crazy for. R ‘n B blew up on this side of the pond, thanks to both stalwarts like Mary J. Blige and newbies like Aaliyah and Kelis. We met Lady Gaga, re-met Kylie Minogue and did NOT look good in the dancefloor throwing shapes to Arctic Monkeys. Also, how can you mock an era that gave us Beyoncé’s solo career??
The 2000s is one of THE defining eras for chick flicks and love stories that are still heavily quoted on the daily. During lockdown, Tik Tok was filled with creators getting their cheer on a la Bring It On (2000), releasing their inner Sophie or Donna from Mama Mia (2008) and share their love of all things pink like the Mean Girls (2004). This was also the decade that blessed us with Elle Woods, Bridget Jonesand a fairly decent amount of both Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway. Until then we didn’t know the devil wore Prada, that pants could travel as a sisterhood or girls were just as good at football. And we discovered that Love, Actually is all around us
Forget what you’ve read or seen, the 00s in fact blessed us with some fashion moments that left us shooketh for the right reasons!
J-Lo in the Valentino jungle print dress
Kylie Minogue in gold hot pants
The Alexander McQueen skull scarf
The universally flattering halterneck (WHY hasn’t this come back around yet, though I see that Bella Hadid is giving it a go)
Bedazzled hair clips (I see y’all doing that now on the ‘gram)
This is just a snapshot of the good stuff! I know there are some questionable things to look back on – dresses over jeans, velour tracksuits, liberal use of blue eyeshadow…but the world forgave the 80s for their misgivings so now its the turn of the 2000s to get some redemption. You know I’m right!