Monday, 31 August 2015

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Hello, I hope you're having a good bank holiday! I've seen a few of these posts circling the blogosphere now and I really love them. Mostly because a) you often find gems you didn't know existed and b) it's just nice to share the love isn't it? Yep, I thought so too.

There are far too many blogs to mention in just one post, so maybe I'll make this a regular thing! Here's some you should definitely check out though :)

Josies-Journal: Written by Josie, this blog is one of the very first blogs I first started reading ever. We are definitely friends now rather than just random readers of each others blogs, because Josie is just the sweetest person ever. She blogs all things lifestyle, fashion, beauty and her life with Cystic Fibrosis and raising awareness. This has and probably always will be one of my favourite blogs!

The Style Rawr: I'm probably a fairly newish reader of this blog, maybe a few months? However, I feel like I've been reading it forever. Tara and Jade write this blog, and post such beautiful outfit photos! Tara just looks so beautiful in pretty much any dress. They are also both getting married so it's lovely to see their wedding plans coming along!

Britton Loves: I am actually addicted to this blog. Lauren writes this and covers everything from beauty, health, food, fashion and lifestyle! I really love her recipes actually because she is totally on my wavelength regarding health and life morals. It's just a great read!

Happy reading! 
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Friday, 28 August 2015

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 I actually really enjoyed putting together my festival wish list, so thought I'd post another of the things I'm currently debating on buying but definitely don't need..

The sunglasses and Ella Henderson album are definitely a result from V Festival. My sunglasses broke and a girl was wearing a pair similar to these from River Island, and I immediately fell in love with them. And Ella Henderson was just amazing, so now I need to listen to her when I'm driving around in my car!

The Gilet (New Look), candle and slippers (Brantano) are because I feel like Autumn is rapidly approaching so it'll soon be time for open fires, hot chocolates and knitwear - in other words, being comfortable ;)

And finally, the Dumbledore figure is something I definitely don't need but I saw it on Jennie's blog and just think it's so adorable! It would look so cute on my bookshelves.

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Monday, 24 August 2015

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So this weekend, I was MIA on social media because I was camping at V Festival! It was actually quite nice to not be on the internet, and surprisingly, I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. Should probably make that a regular thing really...

Anyway, I had an absolute blast. The weather was both absolutely gorgeous - I burnt my face and shoulders but there was also a storm. I think if you'd have told me that I was going to watch a cloud literally fly over my head and be stood under it whilst the heavens opened, I wouldn't have gone but dancing and singing to Ellie Goulding live, in a storm, was perhaps the most carefree thing I've ever done and it was amazing! I loved to the whole time I was there, and completely loved Ella Henderson, Ellie Goulding and The Script. They were just amazing.

I didn't get many pictures because I was too busy having fun so I thought I'd tie this post in with a festival wish list competition by The Style Rawr and Superdry. So, if I were to go again to V Festival (which I think I definitely will), here is what I would choose from Superdry!

I love these boots so much and think they'd be perfect for the sun and mud! Plus, I think you have to take something warm because the British weather is so hit and miss, right?!
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Sunday, 23 August 2015

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This post is kind of rare for me nowadays because it's about the eating disorder community. The world in which I have not engaged in for quite some time now because I am recovered. However, when I saw this post from the lovely Sami, I couldn't help but agree with everything she has said so thought I'd just sit down and write.

When you have an eating disorder, most of the time, you can turn to social media/the internet and engage in the 'recovery' community. Instagram is probably the worst culprit in my opinion, because it's so easy to go on there and seek out others who feel the same as you. Instagram is both brilliant and dangerous. You are able to 'make friends' and find help from other people who will encourage you. But, there is also the dangerous side of the social platform, in that it's easy to get sucked into a world of comparison, exercise addiction or orthorexia (fear of eating anything that isn't healthy/clean).

It sounds bad, but I am actually not bothered if people want to be a part of this community or not anymore. If people want to lead a life full of exercise and the infamous quest bars, then go ahead! If you want to eat junk food 24/7, that's your choice too. It takes a long time to accept, especially when your friends are ill, that you cannot save someone who doesn't want to be saved. We are all different too, some can benefit from social media and others don't. I get that, recovery is so individual.

What gets on my tits more than anything though, is those who claim to be recovered, yet show off their bones in pictures, run miles and miles, claim to have difficulty eating 'junk food' and only ever post pictures of salads or something equally as healthy. And even more so, when these people hypocritically moan about others who have been sucked into another obsession, when it's quite obvious that they are no better either.

It's not even that I am particularly bothered by what these people eat or do exercise wise, it's that other sufferers are looking up to these people as role models, when they clearly shouldn't be. I just think it's really unfair.

I know that nowadays, social media is used to highlight everyone's best side and not everything is on social media, so perhaps I shouldn't be one to judge, but if you are 'recovered' and put your life out there for others to see, surely the responsible thing is to show a couple of biscuits or chocolate alongside your lettuce leaf?!

Like Sami said, it's so so easy to preach from a low BMI, but I really do think people should practice what they preach. It's beyond frustrating.

Hi Impact Radius
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Friday, 21 August 2015

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Unravelled by Anna Scanlon 

"No one heard us. They decided not to, to turn their heads away.
It was too much to bear. Too much to know. Too hard to swallow. 
But now that the world knows, now that the world has heard, 
it all seems so simple, so easy to defray. 
I screamed and no one heard. 
Next time, will you be listening?"

I read this book after reading a review by the lovely Jennifer, and also because it was free on kindle, and written by another blogger. Free is always good, right?

But anyway, this was another book I struggled to put down. I must admit, it started off slowly but after reading 20%, I was hooked. This book tells the story of a Hungarian, jewish family and their horrific experiences during WW2. It's mostly horrific because this family are sent to Auschwitz, where the family is broken up and the book follows the life of the daughter, Aliz, who also happens to have twin.

Aliz and her twin aren't sent to die immediately, like most other children, but are experimented on by the Germans. Some of the imagery described is heartbreaking, and although this book is fictional, it really is a powerful storyline. Aliz actually survives Auschwitz and is sent to America to live with the only family members she has left, but is psychologically scarred by what she has experienced. 

Unravelled addresses so many themes such as discrimination, separation and loss (to name a few), and really does offer some historically accurate insight into what happened at Auschwitz. I know I was left feeling grateful to have been born much, much later.
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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

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I've now been working as a health carer for almost 2 months, and it's safe to say that I've learnt a LOT in my new job. Here are ten of those things..

1. Most of the time, we don't realise how lucky we are in life. There are so many people living with incurable illnesses; who are unable to walk, talk, think or eat properly. It's a completely different world compared to the one I (we) am used to living in.

2. It took me a while to regain my confidence on the road but now I have, I've realised there are so many d*ckheads who are also on the road! INDICATE PEOPLE.

3. If you work long hours/shifts, it's really important to have a book and a chocolate stash in your car.

4. A hug and a cup of tea are two of the best things you can offer someone. It really can make their day.

5. Although it's not always easy, leaving work at work, and leaving your personal life at home is for the best.

6.  I am now really familiar with PEG feeds, medications, creams, inhalers, oxygen, catheters, hoists and slidesheets, which are also now part of my everyday vocabulary.

7. You can never have too many disposable gloves or too much hand sanitizer.

8.  Just when you thought you'd seen it all before, you see something even worse.

9. I am actually quite good at staying calm and working under pressure.

10. A good night's sleep is one of life's greatest pleasures.
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Thursday, 13 August 2015

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I love food.

I love eating well,  I love knowing that what I put into my body is going to nourish my insides, give me energy and make my skin glow. I follow a tonne of food blogs (mostly those who advocate a healthy, nourishing diet), and I did my dissertation on the ever increasing obesity epidemic and what foods we really should be eating.

So yeah, I know a lot about food and health. Most of the time, I eat really well but then sometimes I'll have chocolate instead of a handful of almonds. But that's cool, I like Maltesers so I eat them and carry on living. Oh and they just brought out peanut butter Oreos, so I eat those as well.

Here's a revelation too.. I'm not cheating by eating those things. I'm not playing a game in which I feel the need to cheat in order to win. These days, I don't even think anything of it, I'm eating those things because I want too, it's as simple as that. And guess what? I haven't gained a shit tonne of weight by 'cheating' either. I've been eating exactly what I want for a long time now (and no, I don't weigh myself), but my jeans fit exactly the same as they have in ages.

On the flip side, when I'm not eating chocolate and I'm eating natural whole foods, I'm not eating 'clean'. I'm just eating what I want to eat because that's what I like and what I fancy. Why is it even called clean?

It's no wonder more and more people have eating disorders. We label food like we do our emotions. What makes something guilt free? Something that is low in calories but high in sugar? Or something that is high in fat and calories but low in sugar (probably healthy)? Most of us don't even know, yet we are letting it dictate our emotions and what we should and shouldn't eat.

Summer means diet season, so too many people turn to clean/guilt free/fat free/gluten free/wheat free diets. People don't know how to eat any more - proper eating is about balance, surely? Listening to your body for the correct ratio of protein, fats, carbs etc. Honouring your hunger and not stuffing yourself stupidly full.

Surely I'm not the only one who is bored of seeing the words clean/cheat to describe food. Healthy living is about balance, which includes enjoying a treat too. It's not cheating, it shouldn't be regretted and it doesn't make you guilty.

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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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A Mother's Story by Amanda Prowse

Last week, my cousin asked me to read this book for her, to find out what happens so she could decide on whether to read it or not, and I'm so glad I said yes because I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down, and when I did, I was thinking about reading it. It's the perfect summer read!

It's starts by introducing a young couple, Jessica and Matthew, who are the perfect, beautiful, smitten couple. Their wedding is perfect, they have the perfect friends and parents, perfect house and Matthew has a great career. Soon after their wedding, Jess falls pregnant with their first baby, a baby girl named Lilly. Matt is absolutely in love with his little girl, as are both sets of Grandparents, but Jess just can't seem to connect with her daughter.

After a difficult few months following on from her daughters birth, it's revealed that Jess has a severe form of postnatal depression. The book follows her life with the mental illness throughout the entire book, with a short diary entry at the end of each chapter. At the beginning of the book, it sounds like Jess is writing from a prison cell, but it's not until the very end that you fully understand where Jess is writing from and why.

Honestly, this book is brilliant. It's possibly the first time ever, that I've felt anxious whilst reading a book.  It's so powerful, emotional and heartbreaking, so if you don't read it, you're missing out on a great story!
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Monday, 10 August 2015

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I've chosen this, this week because I've seen so many people worrying about their shape/size/weight what with it being bikini season and all. I've met someone who refuses to eat her favourite dessert, people skinny shaming and I've read about 3 million diets on blogs - most of which are restrictive, unhealthy and won't work anyway. 

I think we just need this message sometimes, to remind ourselves what's actually important in life!

Have a beautiful week everyone 

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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Letting Go by Emma Woolf

Emma Woolf, great niece of Virginia Woolf, is someone whose journey I've followed for a while now because she too, is recovered from Anorexia. After reading her previous books, it would have been wrong to not read her latest book, Letting Go.

I'd say this book is a self help kind of book, for those who want to let go of negative baggage, gain confidence and live a more free lifestyle. Although I didn't read it with the intention of doing any of those things, I did fly through this book because I love Emma's writing style and ideas. She covers topics from disordered eating, yoga, relationships, the digital age and the ongoing contemporary battle with perfectionism.  Alongside this, she includes her advice on how to engage in specific activities, in the hope of clearing your mind.

I think what makes this book a great read, is that Emma includes her own personal experiences, and isn't that what we really want from a book? Something we can relate to properly, without just being told what to do? We all love an honest, real, author with personal experience of what they're writing about, and I think that's what makes this book different from all the other 'self-help' books. Emma really does have lived experience of many of the topics she discusses, and in that sense, the book could be described as part memoir too. I know I can really relate to this book, especially in the last chapter where Emma discusses how all she ever wanted to do was help or inspire someone who is suffering from an eating disorder. Whilst I don't necessarily agree with her definition of 'recovered', I do believe that by writing her books, she is managing to do exactly what she set out to do, and I admire her for that.

I think anyone would benefit from reading this book, even if you're the most confident person alive. This book is just a nice reminder that life is not perfect, comparison is utterly pointless, and letting go of hurt is perhaps one of the hardest but most rewarding and beneficial things you can ever do.
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Saturday, 1 August 2015

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It's quite late as I'm writing this after a busy Saturday at work, but today is the first day of August - not that you'd think it was the middle of Summer here in the UK, as it's pretty chilly considering. I am so glad I'm off to Sri Lanka in January because I really don't think I can stand another year hoping for some real sunny weather, next year. Maybe I won't have to wait that long and August will kindly surprise me.

2015 really is whizzing by, and dare I say that my Dad decided to discuss what he would/wouldn't be doing for Christmas with me this year. I know I'm pretty organised but I did have to tell him that it was in fact, still July!

Life is actually pretty good right now. Despite feeling disheartened last week, I've moved on and reminded myself that life is too short. Bigger and other dramas going on around me have put life back into perspective, and maybe I was a little harsh on some people because even if I wanted to hold a grudge, I simply am incapable. I've also been reminded that being plain nasty and spiteful to someone will come back to bite you on arse, and that's not something I really want to experience, thanks. What goes around comes around, as they say.

I don't have too many plans this month apart from the Colour Run in Birmingham, V Festival and working. Like I've previously said though, I am loving my job so I don't mind it. Plus, my savings pot is coming along nicely so it's nice to know my hard work is paying off.

I hope you all have a lovely August!
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