Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Best Friend's 21st!

Today one of my best friends is 21! Happy Birthday Emily!

As she has gone home for the weekend, my housemates and I pulled a bit of surprise stunt last night and it's definitely worth documenting.

A few weeks ago, we decided we'd surprise her with a night away in Southport with her boyfriend. We booked the hotel, arranged that it was ok with her family and boyfriend, and planned for him to drive up and surprise her last night.

We went out for dinner together, with her boyfriend on the way (he lives 2 hours away), and half way through the meal, he just casually walked up to our table to surprise her. Emily has been guessing for weeks what we'd planned for her, and we'd actually done really well at pretending to have done a last minute whiz round our local town for something not very thought out at all. I genuinely believe, even though she will tell you otherwise, that she thought we'd forgotten or not been bothered, which makes our present even better really! :)

I've never really pulled off a surprise plan before, and it was honestly so nerve wracking! But it is definitely something I'd do again but her face was a picture! I'm also so proud of my other housemate who (and sorry, I love you really) is absolutely awful at keeping a straight face because she did really well! ;)

So yeah, Happy Birthday Emily! I hope you had a great 21st xx


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Monday, 23 February 2015

EDAW 2015

So, in case you didn't know, this week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and usually I write a masterpiece ramble on about how it's important to educate others, and this year is no different. Well, actually it is. Because this year, I'm 99.99999% recovered. I think I'll always be vulnerable to diet talk, noticing calories, food in general.. but that's all I intend to be - vulnerable, not ill. 

Personal experience aside, here's a few things I wish people knew about eating disorders, individuals with eating disorders, and how to treat/approach an individual with an eating disorder. Maybe you'll learn something new :)


Eating disorder sufferers aren't crazy. Well, some of us are.. No, seriously, we aren't. In fact, hardly anyone knew I was ill because I never missed a day of college, work, a deadline.. I lived a 'normal' life. Eating disorders are not something we choose.. they are a result of the environmental influences, genetics, culture, life experiences probably an interaction, no one really knows! I didn't engage in dangerous behaviours for fun, I was consumed by an illness. Just like someone with a broken leg is ill, and my guess is that you wouldn't think they were crazy..

Anorexia and Bulimia aren't the only eating disorders. In fact, most eating disorders are classified as Eating Disorders Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). That includes Othorexia (obsession with only healthy/pure/clean foods), Binge Eating Disorder and sub-clinical cases of Anorexia and Bulimia


You don't have to be skeletal to suffer. This is one myth that I really dislike as it causes many people to lose more and more weight in order to fit a certain diagnosis and/or become 'ill' enough to be taken seriously. Most bulimia sufferers have a healthy or overweight BMI because their compensatory behaviour doesn't actually 'get rid' of everything they have eaten. And what happens when an Anorexia sufferer regains some weight? They don't magically become well again overnight.. they still have to battle Anorexia because the body heals much faster than the brain. They are just at a healthier weight.

Don't comment on their appearance/weight when they regain weight. I know, it's hard, because ultimately you mean well and are actually complimenting them. However, until they are well enough, 'you look good/healthy/well/glowing/better' simply translates as 'you look fat.' If you want to compliment someone, tell them they have a bigger smile, shinier hair etc..

Don't isolate, ignore or give up on someone. Eating disorder sufferers will push you away, they will isolate themselves, turn down invitations, avoid social situations. Sooner or later, people will stop including them (and you cannot be blamed really). However, please please please don't give up on someone. They want you to give up to prove themselves right - that no one cares and they are better off alone. Actually, all they really want is love. Most social occasions are centred around food (coffee dates, lunch dates, cinema, evening drinks..) which is why many sufferers decline invitations, so try and invite them to other activities such as watching a film/TV or playing a game. Trust me, it'll be appreciated.

You cannot save someone who doesn't want to be saved. Perhaps the hardest one of all really, is you cannot help someone if they don't want to get better. We may not choose to be come ill, be we do choose to recover. It's the hardest thing someone will ever do, and it's extremely difficult to do alone, however you cannot do it for someone. At the end of the day, they have to fight their own battles, learn and rediscover life again. The best thing you can do, is simply be there.
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Friday, 20 February 2015

200 Miles


In the last 2 days, I've covered over 200 miles. From Liverpool to Birmingham, and back again, plus more! I have genuinely not stopped and there is no sign of me slowing down either but I would rather it be that way really. It's also involved Uni, moving house, a job interview and my laptop breaking. A big week in the grand scheme of things!

So yes, this week I moved house. It took three attempts but finally, my Mum has settled into her new house! I wasn't going to be visiting until the end of March but as I had an interview yesterday, I had to make a flying visit! Must admit, my brother hasn't got internet for about 3 weeks, and I feel SO sorry for him. He's resorted to sleeping the days away as he can't cope. Part of me acknowledges how bad that is, that he can't function without internet! But I guess that really is how the world is becoming. 

Anyway, initially I was distraught at the thought of moving. I return home in a few months, and was rather looking forward to being back in my home (the one I no longer live in). The idea of being 10 minutes away from my hometown, family and friends, was something I was really looking forward to. So, when my Mum told me that we were moving, I cried for hours, which is rare because I never cry! I'm certain that I'm not alone in saying that we become attached to our homes. 

Home is where the heart is

There's no place like home

Our homes are where we feel safe. And it's safe to say that it took a while to come around the idea because ultimately, I dislike change. 

However most of the time, change is positive and should be embraced. Now that we've actually moved, I'm all for it. Where I've moved is probably closer to other family members, and is more central to a number of towns/cities. So, as a soon-to-be graduate, it means I have a wider range of places that could potentially work. More opportunities is never a bad thing! And secondly, is something that I'd not even acknowledged until very recently, but I've moved away from a house that not only was my home, but also a home to a very bad few years of my life. Moving away from that house brings yet another blank page. I'm not saying I need it now, but the opportunity to write a new book should never been turned down.
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Monday, 16 February 2015

Candle Addiction

Candles used to be something that I'd associated with a waste of money, completely pointless and for old people. How wrong was I!? Maybe because I've grown up a little (?) but candles are now one of my favourite things. I think what's great is that there are just so many scents out there, so you can find a scent that completely suits you. Personally, I love all of the chocolatey, biscuity, sickly sweet scents - which actually gets on some of my housemates nerves as they prefer the fresh, floral smells.. oops! 

I seem to have been buying more and more lately. I think this is partly down the calming placebo effect they have on you, and when you have as much work as I do, that's definitely enough justification! These are just a few of my favourites at the moment :)

  
This is a Cheesecake Crunch flavoured candle from Flamingo Candles, and I think it's become one of my favourite ever candles. It's smells like sugar and caramel, which is the best combination in my opinion. What's not to love?



I bought this Pineapple Candle after seeing it on Hannah's blog. She is hands down one of my favourite bloggers and I'd been after a pineapple candle for ageees so was so grateful that she'd posted a link to one! This is from H&M but did keep selling out ridiculously fast so I'm unsure whether you'll still find it. It's not scented but it's so cute!


Finally, these candles are from The Lovely Candle Shop on Etsy, and they smell amazing. Pear drops reminds me of the sweets and lime & coconut is a perfect, fresh, spring scent! I used to go to school with the owner (who, by the way, is so lovely), so I thought I'd try them out and I'm so glad I did! You can buy cute little candles, wedding favours, candles for baby showers and candles in vintage crockery. As they are handmade, you can basically pick your favourite scent/message and she'll make it for you! They are also really reasonably priced, so do make sure you check her out!

What are you favourite candles?
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Friday, 13 February 2015

What it's like to live with trainee teachers


At Uni, I live with 4 girls. They are 4 of my best friends and they are all training to be teachers. I love them the pieces but this is what it's like sometimes to live with them!

If you want a conversation at the dinner table, think again. All you are getting is accounts of how badly the children behave. They lost a merit mark apparently! Exciting times.

They talk about their class as if they are their own kids. I'm supposed to remember 30 kids names and pretend I am some kind of favourite Aunt

When one of them writes 'See me' in a book, followed by a chorus of 'oooooh'. Ruthless, I tell you. Ruthless.

Spending the week alone because they get half term and you don't :(

Placement = never see them

If you didn't know what a connective, conjunction, clause or subordinate clause is, you do now.. (There's different connectives y'know? Time connectives are the best!)

Housemate: My kid turned around to me and said 'It's OK Miss, I'm just wasting time'. 
I have some respect for that kid.

When you find the words 'muff', 'fanny' and 'piss' in a kids book. It's HILARIOUS. 

'Can you try and read this kids writing for me?' Babe, you're the teacher. If you can't, what chance have I got?

Not underlined the date or title? Shit goes down..

'A bloody hour for road safety?! But I'm being observed tomorrow!'... pretty sure the rest of us would embrace the hour off ;)
P.S I love you really girls!





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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A-Z of me!

I feel like this blog is heading a new direction and part of that is because I am a completely different person now, compared to when this blog began. So, if that's not a good enough reason to write a post for you to get to know me a little better, then I don't know what is! I was inspired by Katy who recently did this post, so here's my attempt.. enjoy!

A is for Amateur Dramatics
Before coming to Uni, I used to love singing and dancing (I still do really..), and I was part of an Am Dram group. I took part in loads of musicals such as South Pacific, Jesus Christ Superstar and Robin Hood. I can't wait to get back to this actually!

B is for Bookworm
I am not the fastest reader on the planet by any means but I always have a book on the go! I'm kinda glad I'm not the fastest actually as it ends up costing a fortune..!

C is for Candles
Yeah, so I am candle junkie.. Yankee and Flamingo candles are my favourite, especially the sickly sweet, chocolaty/cakey smells. They are soooo good!

D is for Dissertation
So, if I haven't banged on about it enough already, I am currently coming towards the end of my degree and I'm writing my dissertation. 30th April is the deadline.. not long really!

E is for Elephants
One the most amazing things I've ever done is ride an Elephant! My adrenaline levels were so high throughout the entire experience. If you are considering it, just go and do it!


F is for Friends
Everyone says this but I have the best friends EVER.

G is for Grey's Anatomy
My all time favourite TV series. I don't know what I'm going to do without my housemate to watch it with next year.. yeah, not gonna think about that for now!

H is for Hot Chocolate
I have a hot chocolate everyday without fail. I love the stuff!

I is for Instagram
Instagram is probably the one form of social media that I absolutely love (oh, and maybe twitter!). You can follow me here.. gotta love a plug, right? ;)

J is for Jack Wills
I went through a phase where I bought everything from Jack Wills. I'm over this obsession a little bit now but it does mean I own and wear a lot from here!

K is for Kimono
I love Kimonos! I have two gorgeous ones but I'm always too cold to wear them.. Hurry up summer!

L is for Liverpool
Liverpool is currently my 'local' city and I love it! I think it's so beautiful, especially the docks and library. And, it's great for shopping.. I mean, it has a 4 story Primark!

M is for Minions
Yep. A weird one but I am obsessed with minions from Despicable Me. I even have a giant minion cushion - they are just too cute!

N is for New York
Is where I'm jetting off to in May! I am soooo excited :-)

O is for Online Friends
Perhaps an odd one but I have made so many online friends through blogging, and you are all fab!

P is for Psychology
I am a third year Psychology student and the only plan I have for my life is to become a clinical Psychologist. A competitive and hard thing to do, but I don't want to do anything else, so wish me luck!

Q is for Quiet
I am definitely not a quiet person but I do love my own quiet space. In fact, maybe a little bit too much..

R is for Retail
The dreaded work place eh? But yep, I work in retail!

S is for Sam
ME! Obviously.. :)

T is for Tigers
Along with Elephants, I got to cuddle Tigers. Everyone says I'm really brave as I could have been killed, but I can honestly say it didn't even occur to me hahaa!



U is for University 
I love my Uni and will definitely be sad to leave. It's been the best 3 years of my life, for sure! And also, just look how beautiful it is!


V is for V Festival
I have never been to a festival but this year I am hopefully going to V fest!!

W is for Wicked
My all time favourite musical! I've seen it twice now and would happily see it a million times over

X is for X
X-ray: bit of a cheat but I've never had one!

Y is for YoSushi
My all time favourite place to eat. Take me here and I'll love you forever

Z is for ZZZ's
Cos who doesn't love sleep?
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Time In Between


The Time In Between By Nancy Tucker*
Ok, so firstly I should express how excited I was to receive this book in the post before the release. I never dreamed I'd ever be sent anything because of this tiny space on the internet so yeah, life mission complete! Anyway..

Nancy is a 20 year old author who suffered from Anorexia and Bulimia throughout her teenage years. This book is the retelling of her story starting with the 8 year old girl who wrote 'I want to be thin' in her school book. The book follows her life as she is consumed by her perfectionism and desire to be 'thin'. She talks about the destructive Voice in her head, praising her for dieting and exercising, and reminding her that this will lead to being thin. Being perfect. 

I just want to mention the beginning of this book it's a very good place to start..  because it's like nothing I've ever read before. Nancy addresses the reader and warns them of the content that they are about to read, and I LOVE that she does this. For eating disorder sufferers, reading about eating disorders is often a way of fueling their illness. It's a way of clinging onto to being sick, learning about new behaviours, and comparing themselves to the sufferer identified in the book. Unfortunately, any eating disorder book is triggering to someone, and Nancy acknowledges this, politely asking that it is only read for the right reasons. She also informs the reader that their will be no numbers mentioned in this book - no calorie information, no BMI's and no weights. Personally, I believe that this alone makes it a brilliant book.

This book is primarily a memoir about Nancy's experience with an eating disorder. She talks about the impact her eating disorder has on her school life, how she became isolated and consequently lost her friends. She talks about life during inpatient treatment, and how manipulative the illness can be by faking a recovery just to set herself free from the inpatient walls, only to begin eating disordered behaviours again as soon as she walked out of the door. She talks about how difficult it is when you go on holiday and at Christmas, not only for the sufferer but for the family as well. She talks about the physical symptoms, the cold, fatigue, the dizziness and hunger that Anorexia brings... Basically she covers every situation and thought process that could possibly be experienced!

One thing I do love, is how Nancy writes in different forms. For the most part, the book follows Nancy's story (which I must say is written excellently.. her honestly and dark wit is just fabulous!), but it also include play excerpts, eating disorder do's and don'ts for parents, and letters, which makes great comic relief during quite sad and serious chapters.

But perhaps my favourite part of this book, is the very end, when Nancy addresses The Time In Between. What happens when you don't look ill any more yet your head is as disordered as ever? What happens when some days you feel OK and others, you don't? Recovery isn't a simple as going from A to B. It's more a path of up, down, left, right, upside down, back to front.. only to realise that when you think the finish line is in sight, you understand that there never really was one. We are always changing, learning and accepting life, whether we have eating disorders or not, and this book is the first I've read, that actually acknowledges that.

On a personal level, this is quite possibly one of the most incredible books I've ever read. If I'm honest, it has to be described as bittersweet, because I was undoubtedly reminded of my own painful experience and heartbreaking moments that were so very similar to Nancy's. However, I also read this and thought 'Why the hell did I do that to myself?' along with 'I will never go back to that god damn awful time', and for that, this book has reminded me that I can and should be proud of myself.

So all I want to do now, is recommend this book. Whether you're simply nosy or curious about Nancy, want a different genre to read, or want to educate yourself a little more about eating disorders.. whatever your motive, go and pre-order this book. You won't regret it! (Available to pre-order on amazon here.. Go, go, go!!)

*I was sent this book for review but my thoughts/opinions are 100% honest!

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

11 Signs that you're becoming a grown up


1. The moment you walk in the door, pyjamas go on

2. Staying in > Going out

3. Kids cereal is now frowned upon. Cocopops and Cookie Crisp definitely not nutritious enough.. we now eat avocado on toast, smoked salmon bagels or soy porridge in the mornings

4. You get excited over a candle

 5. Snow ain't fun anymore because walking to work in a blizzard is your idea of hell (actually.. it is hell as I did it last week!)

6. What do you mean, I have to pay for gas and electric? I thought you just pressed a button and that's that?!

7. Similarly, why is there no milk in the fridge? Why doesn't it magically appear like it does at my Mum's house?!

8. Say goodbye to the 6-8 weeks of freedom, more commonly known as 'Summer Holidays'

9. When we see friends, we call it a coffee date. We order soy cappuccino's, skinny latte's and americano's because apparently this is what we do now..

10. It's ok to treat yourself, cos let's face it, who else can you rely on?!

11. You don't give a sh*t about what people think of you any more because you've realised that life is too short, and at the end of the day, the only person you need to please is yourself
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Life Lately | #3


So, it's February! Like, how?! I can't believe we're already 1/12th of the way through 2015. I served a woman who started buying Christmas presents the other day. Seriously?! Anyway, here's what I've been up to besides being swamped in Uni work..

I read | Last week I managed to finish The State We're In - Adele Parks and now I've moved onto The Time In Between - Nancy Tucker which was kindly sent to me. I will definitely be reviewing this as I'm in love with it already!

I loved | GREY'S ANATOMY. So last year, my housemate watched the entire collection of Grey's anatomy, and wondering what the hell it was all about, I decided to do the same. I must have lost 2 months of my life because there are 9 seasons with 24 episodes each, but I was addicted. Season 10 was aired in America last September but stopped for Winter, however the second half has now returned and we're once again, addicted! 

I went | To work? To Uni? I think the most exciting trip has been to the uni laundrette to dry my bedding. Yep, wild times!

I ate | Creme Eggs! Can we just take a moment to appreciate creme eggs? Ok, good. These are my favourite chocolate and it deeply saddens me that they are only available for Easter. Obviously, this means I have to stock up.. I have no choice!

What have you been up to?

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