“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


Let’s Chat – March 2020

Well, I think I can speak for the majority of us when I say that I didn’t quite expect the month to go down like this! It really just goes to show that bad things happen close to home that we care to realise sometimes. I hope you enjoy the ‘wearing’ section, outfits are mainly Next and Primark.

  • I’m That Bitch, Rupaul Drag Race Season 12 Queens: “I-I-I’m that bitch, that’s the way it is..” this is such an ear worm of a tune! It’s a great distraction from the outside world
  • Wasabi, Little Mix: How have I only just discovered this banger?!? I think it may be my favourite LM song
  • Gone Girl: First time I’ve re-watched since it came out at the cinema and I enjoyed just as much
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race: I’ve been catching up with season 6 re-runs and the new eps on season 12. There are too many Queens I’m living for at this stage, and I can’t get those challenge songs outta my head!
  • Man With a Plan: This series has just come to the UK and stars Matt le Blanc as a dad of 3 who has to take a more active parenting role when his wife decides to go back to work. It’s a typical cheesy American sitcom, just an easy breezy watch

As you can imagine,I had quite a different month from the one planned. Whilst it was still deemed safe to do so at the beginning of the month, I went back to Lesley Wilks for my annual nanoblading top up. I went a couple months early because I wanted them to be super fresh for my big holiday in April, which has now been cancelled. If you’re thinking of getting nanoblading have a read of the post I wrote on it last year

Other than that, I was simply working until the middle of the month when I started to feel knackered for no apparent reason. Then I started to feel hot all the time, which I put down to wearing jumpers and drinking hot liquids. The day after that I started to get a sore throat that worsened as the day went on, so went straight into self isolation ever since. My symptoms continued but didn’t develop and were manageable, but I have no idea if this is THE illness (no testing offered due to symptoms not being too severe) or another illness with hugely unfortunate timing.

Like everybody else in the world, this has meant that I missed out on some stuff in life, really big stuff at that. My dream holiday that I’ve waited a decade to take, celebrating our 10 ten year wedding anniversary and (most heartbreakingly) not being able to visit my nana in hospital just before she passed away. Or being able to be with my family to give and receive comfort during this difficult time. I feel guilty, upset, angry, numb and poorly. I’m not trying to play a game of who has it worst, but this has been my experience.

At difficult times, we HAVE to trust the people in charge to give us the best advice to keep us safe. We just have to. If we don’t have that hope, the world will continue to go to shit and I can’t face the prospect of that. We all know what we’re supposed to be doing, so let’s just do that and hope we can come out of this as quickly as possible. We’re so lucky to have technology that helps keep us in touch with people across the whole world, so we need to use this to it’s full and most positive potential.

Thanks for reading and wishing you all the very best for the weeks ahead,

J xx


Should we dress to impress?

Dress to impress. That phrase we’ve all heard umpteen times, seen on invitations, heard Gok Wan utter on dozens of TV shows over the years.

But what does it really mean; what is the definition of dressing to impress? Should we dress to impress, and if so who is it exactly is it that we’re trying to impress?

Dress up for your man. Now, how da hellllll do you do this?? When you’ve been in a relationship for over a decade as I have, your other half is either brutally honest about outfits they hate you in or say you look nice to get you out the door without having a meltdown (this is not to say he doesn’t ever genuinely like what I wear, but I’m tuned in enough to know the difference). We can only guess what men would be impressed by us wearing, and (spoiler alert) it may not be something you’re necessarily comfortable in. I’m not saying all men are into boobs out/short skirts/tight clothing (not all together obvs) but I’m willing to bet most of our stereotypical minds think they are most of the time.

Dress for the approval or other woman. This tends to be the one people do the most. We don’t say we do it, but I know from experience that I feel way more chuffed when a female has come up to me and asked about what I’m wearing. A lot of clothing women appreciate tends to be referred to as ‘man repelling’ which kind of backs up what I said earlier about what we think men want to see women wearing. But then, every woman has her own opinion about what looks nice too – some are into showing off what they’ve got, some are fashun forward to the enth degree, others may be docs and tee dresses all day errrr day.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you want to be a zoo keeper – should you wear khaki and carry a massive net? (I fully appreciate this is a super outdated stereotype, given I used to work in an industry where I came into contact with animal keepers). OK, that’s a bit of an outlandish example, but you get my point. For other more ‘usual jobs’ this is more ambiguous I’d say – my day job is marketing, but during my career I’ve worked in environments where I have to be very smartly dressed and others were being casual is encouraged. So if someone who wanted to work in the same profession wanted to impress and didn’t know the company culture, what would they wear? The default would likely be a suit or similar, but that could disengage the interviewers if that’s not how they do things.

Dress for yourself. THIS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO. Think about it – nobody knows better than you what you like, what you feel good in, what suits your shape and lifestyle. Only you can truly tell yourself that you feel good in what you have on (I don’t care how many people pay you compliments about your appearance; if you don’t believe it yourself it’ll never stick) and when that happens confidence will radiate out of you. I’ve you’re feeling confident the world will notice and respond to that – people you’re attracted to, other girls, a prospective employer. Now that’s impressive.

Thanks for reading, J xx


It’s OK to want to change things about yourself without feeling like you’re hating on the world at large

As I was growing up I lived as part of a society that taught me only one body was desirable to the opposite sex – Petite, slim, big boobs and long hair. In my teens people like Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce came into the world of celebrity, and with their big booties and curvy hips they managed to gently prod a generation into seeing a different kind of attractive.

Fast forward to the present day, and the world has evolved again. Now we’re told that all body types are beautiful and should be embraced/celebrated, and that we should love our own body for what it is rather than what it could be.

But is it as simple as that?

No, it’s not. I’d like to go on record saying that I wholeheartedly support a society that acknowledges humans come in a wide variety of forms and to ensure that all are catered for as fairly as possible. I have a great admiration for people in the public eye and that I know in real life who project a confidence and sex appeal that I could only ever dream of. I fiercely stand by the opinion that fad diets/products DO NOT WORK (it still both bemuses and concerns me that a post I did about trying Boombod 2 years ago is still one of my most read every single month) however I do believe in eating plans that encourage moderation and good habits such as Slimming World.

So with all of these beliefs firmly planted in my mind, would it surprise you to learn that there are things I can’t accept and would like to change about myself? Because there are, and I do.

Thanks in part to J-Lo and Queen Bey, I feel confident in accepting that my body shape isn’t straight up and down, its somewhere closer to a pear (curvy hips and bigger thigh/bum area) but what I’ve never been able to fully accept is the size of my body, and this is the aspect I want to address.

There are many reasons why I dislike my body size. Primarily, it’s because it represents unhappiness. My body is the result of emotional eating caused by a period of difficult situations, and through lethargy caused by my fragile state of mind as a result. If I knew that inside I was healthy and happy, and that my weight gain was a sign of enjoying life, then I hav3le no doubt that I would feel differently about the reflection staring back at me. If each extra pound represented a romantic meal or nights on the town drinking cocktails with the girls, there’d be a valid and enjoyable reason. Don’t get me wrong; I have done those things, but far more rarely.

And this is why I think it’s OK for me to say that there are things I don’t like about my body shape or size whilst still being absolutely accepting of those that look different to me, similar to me or don’t want to look how I’d like to look. I’m not throwing shade at any of those people, I’m simply saying that’s not the right thing for me. I’m saying that I acknowledge I’m not completely happy or healthy and that I’d like to take action to change this. I’m saying that I’ve been through hell and my exterior reminds me of this every bloody day, which makes me feel worse. I’m saying that it will take more than a change in mindset to be able to accept what I look like. Finally, I’m saying that I am a different person to you – I’m built to think, feel and react differently, so my actions are going to be different to other people’s.

If people don’t like my opinions, that’s fine. As I said, everybody is different and has their own truth. However, they are valid and are mine. To say otherwise wouldn’t be very accepting of ME, would it?

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Christmas 2019

By the time you read this, I hope you’ve have a lovely time celebrating the festive season and are looking forward to the year ahead.

As I’ve done for the last few years (partly for my own memories, partly for those of you like me who enjoy a little nosey) here’s a bit of a peak at my Christmas Day and Boxing Day celebrations.

Christmas morning waking up at home (at 6.45am, the latest I think I’ve ever woken up on Christmas Day). After exchanging gifts listening to Christmas songs, we tucked into sausage sarnies and watched some festive TV.

Top, Joanie (one of my gifts from the Mr)

Quick change, tidied up the wrapping paper and it was off to see the family!

First stop was my grandparents house, they’ve been poorly this year so weren’t able to leave the house.

After that we headed to my sister-in-law’s for Christmas lunch with the wider family.

We all brought something along and laid it out buffet style, this year we were on turkey duty which was just a little bit scary but turned out really well thankfully!

I was the most stuffed I’ve ever been from a Christmas lunch

I just about managed to roll on to the couch and was put on childcare duty with my niece and nephew (tbh I think they were looking after me more).

After an hour I managed to enjoy a small bowl of my Mother-in-law’s sherry trifle (epic) and open the last of the presents for the day. We gifted our nephew with a table football and his little face was everything.

Boxing Day

This year was different to the norm, this time we hosted and I cooked!

To spruce up our not yet decorated dining area, I picked up these dark great charge plates from Dunelm and made a table centre using a garland I bought from Amazon threaded with battery operated lights and baubles picked up from B&M. I added in white candles (also from Dunelm and B&M) and some M&S Bucks Fizz served in the ice bucket from our home bar (which I promise I will write about at some point soon!)

From scratch, I made Moroccan lamb followed by panettone bread and butter pudding with cream.

If you’ve read these posts for the past 4 years, you’ll know this dessert is my stepdad’s showpiece so I wanted to give it a go to see if I could do a nice tribute to his years of hard work. And I did!

We did a few more presents and then moved to the couch for a brew and game of Cards Against Humanity

My brother won, however it confirmed what I already knew that my family are highly inappropriate and absolute filth!

I’m off work until the beginning of January and will be spending that time having more family gatherings (one at my mum’s new house with her in-laws, the other back at ours with my in-laws) time with friends and general relaxation.

If you have some time off too, I hope you’re able to use it in ways you enjoy. If you fancy more of a nosey, I’ve got a Christmas 2019 highlight on my Instagram which will likely have some presents on there too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


My Instagram best nine (2019)

It’s that time of year again – when an internet generator tells us all which nine pics had the most likes, we’re all a bit surprised by a couple and we have a nosey at everybody else’s. So here are mine!

1 University of Hull, August

I took this picture to go with my 8 Reasons to Choose Hull blog post in collaboration with the University, and to be honest i think it did well because they reposed it on their social media channels.

I have worked and studied on this campus and it’s just a lovely place to to be.

2 Mykonos Town, August

Well, I think it’s a given that this one was going to be popular wasn’t it! I made sure to capture a lot of images that were very un-Mykonos, as the stuff you see on Insta really is such a tiny part of the island (something I spoke about in my Things that surprised me about Mykonos blog post) but the at the end of the day it is gorgeous there and I’m easily influenced by wanting to take a nice pic!

3 Cottingham – East Yorkshire, June

I took these photos to post on my birthday and I’d just bought a year of birth sweatshirt from Rock on Ruby. I was totally living for the wild meadows all around the area, so one day a vey kind work colleague and I took a little lunch time outing to enjoy the flowers and snap some pics.

4 Lanzarote, April

I went off on my first family holiday in years to a villa in Lanzarote, and on this night the Mr and I sloped off for a cheeky date night. The dress and hat are from Matalan than he had very kindly picked up for on the day we went away (I tried them on in the airport hotel) and they fit like a dream, unfortunately I only managed two wears of the dress before the zip ripped (just as I was about to wear it for a third time and on the way out the door) so that was he end of that.

5 Hull, May

You can tell here, but despite the fact it was spring it was ridiculously freezing! However, it was Bank Holiday and I was determined that I couldn’t have to wear tights so smiled through the chill and hoped my legs wouldn’t look too blue.

6 Lanzarote, April

I tired my hand at a getting a bit of body confidence back and decided a good way to do this would be to post a couple of swimwear pics and see that nobody was going to write anything horrendous in the comments. This was the second of the two I posted (I lived this Next swimsuit so much I bought it in cobalt blue for my Mykonos trip) on a day I felt very happy about Bank Holiday weekend and booking a holiday.

7 Liverpool, June

I headed to my fave UK city for my birthday for a day of chill at a time when my life was very hectic for some not so good reasons. I had cocktails, did some shopping and ate all the food, which definitely helped to give a bit of respite.

8 Mykonos Town, August

This photo was taken at exactly the same time as the other Mykonos photo, it was literally the other side of the camera. You can also see from this angle that I’m just a little bit sunburnt, which is why I was wearing an off the shoulder frock.

9 University of Hull, August

Rounding things off exactly where we started, back at uni with a very unposed shot! This was a very really laugh and it was because my gal Kat was crouched on the floor in front of me saying all sorts of random stuff whilst her cleavage was pretty much in my face. That was a fun outing.

And that, my friends, is some of my year in pics. It definitely doesn’t cover a full spread of my year but it does remind me of some of the best bits. I hope you enjoy looking through yours too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx