Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Mockingjay Part One

I am quite a big fan of the Hunger Games Trilogy. I read all 3 books when they became popular and have seen every film at the cinema, which is rare for me as I resent paying cinema prices! It has kind of become a tradition to watch these films with one of my best friends, so today we went to see the third installment!

We made a day of it and ventured into Liverpool for a mooch around and spot of lunch. I love the city at this time of year, all the lights and Christmas gifts really do put you in a festive mood. I think the highlight of my day was getting free reindeer shaped chocolate from hotel chocolat on 02 (best thing I ever did was go on this network!). We stopped at YoSushi for lunch, which is hands down my favourite restaurant, and then ventured to the cinema.

I'm not going to lie, I could not remember what happened in the third and final book, so I had no idea what to expect. However, I really enjoyed this film. I'm not a huge film person but I definitely felt like I'd gone on a bit of an emotion rollercoaster. I won't really explain the plot, as I'm bound to spoil it but quite simply, it follows Katniss Everdeen into district 13, which is where the second films finishes. She becomes the 'Mockingjay', the rebel figure of the rebellion. I don't really laugh or cry at films but I became really involved in the plot because it was so tense, even gasping in places ha. It also finished on a really annoying cliffhanger so I will definitely go and watch the final one.

If you have seen the first two films, then you definitely need to see this one! And if you haven't seen any, I recommend you watch them all :) I think I'm going to re-read the final book before part two comes out because I don't think I can remember the end at all!


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Monday, 24 November 2014

10 things that will improve your mood


1. Remember Dumbledore's wise words 'Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light'

2. Bridget Jones's Diary. This film is one of those films in which everyone can relate too (especially us females), so whack it on and watch it. Her misfortune definitely cheers me up!

3. Chocolate. Need I say more?

4. Talk to someone. A friend, family member, a colleague. You may not feel like it, you might want to be alone in bed and wallow in self pity. You might feel like a burden for talking but it's absolute bulsh*t. If a friend was upset, you'd want them to come to you, therefore it's only fair you go to them! And trust me, talking about it helps.. a problem shared is a problem halved, right?

5. A hot bath with bubbles, face mask, your favourite candle and nail varnish. Pamper yourself and make yourself feel good. You deserve it!

6.  Dance it out. Put on your favourite childhood tunes - preferably ones from your primary school disco. Cotton Eyed Joe, S Club, Steps, Vengaboys, Busted, Bewitched, Las Ketchup.. the cheesier the better!

7. Read a chapter of the book that you're reading or read your favourite book. Escape to a fictional world so that you can forget about how you are currently feeling.

8. Stop procrastinating. That essay you were going to write a week ago, the laundry you should have done last weekend, the dance class you wanted to attend.. yeah, just do it. You'll feel 100 times better knowing you've ticked something off  your ever lasting to-do list

9. Keep a happiness jar. Every time you are happy or feel grateful, write it on a piece of paper and store it in a jar. When you feel unhappy, read one. It's bound to make you feel better.

10. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. It is the most pointless activity on the planet and one which only leads to jealousy, feeling inadequate and misery. Comparison is the thief of joy.
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Friday, 21 November 2014

When does money matter?


Yesterday, all of my housemates returned home for a 4 day weekend which meant I have 4 days by myself. Initially, I thought I'd despise being in my own company but today has actually been a lovely break for me and I think I've missed a little 'me' time. I've been to town twice, done a bit of dissertation work and wasted a few hours on Youtube! However, it's definitely not something I crave as much these days, and I definitely prefer it that way.

On Thursday morning, some of my housemates and I managed to get tickets for the S Club 7 reunion tour next year. What better way for 4 twenty-something year old's to relive their childhood? It also coincides brilliantly with my final week of Uni, so it really will be a celebratory night out and quite possibly the last time I see my housemates for a while. But the cost of this night, and the cost of experiences in general got me thinking. When is it that money takes back seat in the decisions we make? 

For me, and I know Thailand is a massive contributor for my newly formed morals and opinions, but I would now definitely prefer to pay for an experience over a new pair of jeans or make up. In fact, looking back to before Thailand, I would spend so much money on new beauty products, clothes and random tat that no one really needs - anyone need an apple slicer?! Thailand was expensive in itself but it was worth every single penny and it really was no object when deciding whether to go or not. Money will always exist, it can always be earned but experiences? Well, who knows if I'll get the chance to ride an elephant, cuddle a tiger or swim in a waterfall again..

I'm not saying that money is no object. I am a student and on the whole, I'm careful with my money. There is no way you'll see me in Waitrose doing my weekly food shop, or buying new perfume from Chanel. Yes, I save for a rainy day and one day hope to have a house etc but if an opportunity to experience something new comes my way, I'll rarely say no. After all, I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, and I don't want to be on my death bed regretting that I didn't live my life. No one regrets not working enough, being the healthiest eater you know, or even saving enough. More that you didn't spend enough time with your family and friends, didn't eat enough ice cream, didn't travel the world. 

I do think the best things in life are free but unfortunately, most things in life do cost money. I believe there is a need for balance when it comes to spending money and consequently, enjoying yourself. Memories and experiences are things that no one can ever take from you, whereas that new jumper? Well that could rip tomorrow. 


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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Guilt tripping

Despite my disordered history, I am not the healthiest person on the planet (and to be honest, I don't want to be). The only exercise I get is walking to and from uni and town, and yes, I am a bit of a chocoholic. I'm not saying that I don't eat healthily because I do. I love fruit, vegetables and nuts but I'd rather have chocolate over a superfood smoothie.

I could do something about this, and some days I DO fancy fruit instead, but right now I'm the happiest and healthiest I have been in years, so I'm not going to. But, what winds me up more than anything is when people judge others for eating junk. We see diets all over magazines and in the media, adding guilt to anything with sugar, fat or calories in it (god knows what we are actually supposed to eat!?). We live in a world where people try out ridiculous diets consisting of lettuce, grapefruit and rice cakes, who also happen to judge the rest of us for eating.

Well, you know what? IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

If you want to be one of those people who allows themselves a biscuit at the weekend, then go ahead. I have no problem with you, as long as you keep your gob shut. What I don't like, is when you talk about unhealthy food obsessively and criticise everyone for eating it because a) you are starving and b) are jealous of the rest of us actually eating it. I hate how food and emotion are attached. How did we get to a point in life, where guilt and food go hand in hand? Guilt is something we feel, not eat!

Nobody has a right to judge anyone when it comes to food or exercise. I will eat what I want, and if I decide it's unhealthy, then I will change it for me and me only. I won't be guilt tripped into changing who I am and what choices I make. And, this doesn't just apply to me really - none of us should allow someone else tell you what you can and can't do.

I think it says more about the person who is judging, rather than the person being judged. I wonder who is actually happier..
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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Big Apple



I have always said that there are two places in the world that I want to visit - Thailand and New York. With one of those ticked off my list, there is no time like the present to set about seeing the second one. So, after a few months of persuasion, yesterday me and my Mum booked a trip to New York!

I am soooo excited, I genuinely can't wait! We are going in May, the week after my final deadline, for 6 days. It feels like both an eternity away yet so close as I know that this final year of Uni will fly by. It will be a perfect way to celebrate my 21st Birthday, which is a few weeks beforehand, and the end of Uni!

It's also nice that my housemate has been, and is going again, so we are able to plan things together :-) Looking at the empire state building, statue of liberty, times square together has been so enjoyable. It is so strange to think that something I genuinely thought would remain a dream, is actually going to happen. My housemate has shown me stuff like passes and hotels etc which is really useful when you are unsure of what you are doing. However, one thing I am sure of is that I will have an great time!

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My love/hate relationship with Instagram

I am addicted to Instagram. I know I'm not the only one - society is obsessed with capturing the moment, whether it be selfies, a beautiful view, a new purchase, what we're eating, an achievement. You name it, we capture it. I love to scroll down my Instagram feed to see what other people are doing. I often see things that I want to do or try for myself and it's a very easy way of seeing it first hand. Also, not forgetting that I can look back at my own pictures and relive certain memories!

The problem with this app, just like many other social networks, is that comparison seems to be so high, and more often than not you can come away from Instagram feeling worse about your life than before you decided to log in. I see photos of new clothes, make up, shoes etc and as much as I do think 'oooh she looks nice', I am also thinking 'I want that' or 'I'd never look that good in that' which leaves me feeling very materialistic and ungrateful for what I have. 

Personally, it hits me hardest when I see people running. I've gone past the whole 'why am I not running that too?' phase.. I know it's not healthy for me hence why I don't do it. But I don't feel happy or supportive of these people either. I think 'NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT HOW YOU JUST RAN TO AFRICA AND BACK'. It makes us feel lazy and inadequate, but more so, I feel negativity towards these people because it feels like showing off. Of course, for the most part, they aren't. They are simply proud of themselves and I should be spurring them on too!

I also need to think we need to remind ourselves that Instagram allows us a tiny snippet of someone's life. We see a hot chocolate and assume they are having a lovely, cosey evening by the fire with a good film, when actually they could be crying into this drink because their boyfriend just broke up with them. My point is, Instagram is not realistic. We filter the sh*t out of everything to make it look good, so when we do compare, we are essentially comparing to something that doesn't really exist and without knowing the full story. The girl that went on the 10 mile run - yeah, she may be overcoming depression and exercise is her only outlet. 

I personally am reminding myself of what I do have in my life, rather than what I don't. And rather than being negative towards someone's achievements maybe we should genuinely congratulate them. And remember that someone, somewhere, will be jealous of what you do and what you have. 

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Why I will not be 'clean eating'

Firstly, being healthy is great. Eating healthily and working out is great for your mind and body. However, only eating 'healthy' food is not so great. Neither is working out obsessively. Going from one obsession (anorexia/bulimia) to another (orthorexia) is not real recovery. It's simply exchanging one coping mechanism for another extreme yet more socially accepted one. The likes of 'clean eating' and 'fitspo' may look healthy when you're scrolling through instagram and twitter, but if you are unable to eat the cake that your friend baked for you, then I seriously question how healthy you actually are.

To be honest, people can eat and do what they want, and for the most part I couldn't give a damn. But, it does bother me when so called 'role models' inspire others by consuming quest bars and protein shakes/powders, running 10k before I've even dressed myself in the morning, and honoring the new 'strong not skinny' mantra which has apparently replaced the infamous 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'.

Now, I'm sorry but this is not healthy. Having a low body fat percentage is not cool, even if it is disguised underneath newly formed muscles. Women need a certain amount of body fat to get their period, for their hormones to work properly, and for healthy bones. It would be a a great shame if you couldn't have children due to the fact you wanted toned abs and an ultra fit lifestyle, wouldn't it? Similarly, your body needs a variety of nutrients. Only consuming protein is not healthy, especially for those recovering from anorexia. Our bodies can only use x amount of protein a day compared to being able to use ALL of the carbs and fats we consume (which will then be used to repair the damage caused during the months/years of restriction). 

I am not against eating healthy foods. In fact, I love fruit, veg, wholegrains, nuts, fish etc (I'll be honest, I just love food!) but only eating these is not an obsession I will ever develop. If you can't eat Sunday dinner with your family, ice cream on a sunny day, chocolate when you're drowning in your dissertation (yep, my hands are up!), then you are not recovered. You are still consumed by rigid rules, fear and let's face it, an eating disorder. 

So please, spare me your quest bar. I'll take some dairy milk, thanks.
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Friday, 7 November 2014

10 Things I have realised this year



1. Friendship isn't something that should require constant work. The best friends are the ones who will pick up from exactly where you left off, rather than moan about how you haven't had time to contact them because god forbid, you have a busy life. They are the ones who can survive great distance, and who are genuinely happy for you and your successes. Rather than being jealous, they actually support you.

2. Having your hair natural is actually very liberating. Your hair will thank you for not burning it every 5 minutes and you won't really care if it rains because hey, your hair is already natural. Not to mention how much time you save on straightening!

3. Travelling is one of the most freeing experiences. There is nothing more satisfying about waking up somewhere new, not knowing what you will see or do that day. It is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.

4. The older I get, the happier I am. Growing old isn't actually scary, it's exciting and welcomes so many new opportunities. Which leads nicely on..

5. Saying yes to every opportunity is the best thing you can do. If you don't like it, you can stop or pull out, but chances are you'll have the time of your life.

6. Peanut butter isn't scary, it's actually really good for you. It's full of healthy fats, makes your skin glow, provides you with energy and satisfies your hunger. I am now addicted.

7. Comparing is the most pointless activity on the planet. There will always be some one who is thinner, taller, more intelligent, prettier.. you get the idea. However, as soon as you start focusing on yourself and stop giving a flying f*ck about anyone else, you'll be one million times happier.

8. I am not as independent as I thought I was, and that is OK. Family and friends are much more important than trying to prove to the rest of the world that you are a strong, hard working, stone cold wonder woman. 

9. I have actually done extremely well over the past few years and I'm allowed to be proud of that, rather than ashamed. People look up to me, and yes it's overwhelming, but it's much better to take compliments gracefully rather than fight back and tell someone it's not true. Let's be honest, it's so annoying when you compliment someone and they say 'don't be stupid' or 'I don't feel it'. 

10. Eating a chocolate bar everyday won't make you fat. I do it most days and yep, my jeans still fit!
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