Blogmas 2017 Day 6: Gifts For Bloggers That Are (kinda) Practical!

I mean, surely we’ve all got at least one thing on our mind that we do kinda want for Christmas, but we know it’s a bit weird to ask for! I’ve got a little list of things here that would be REALLY practical Christmas gifts for a blogger!

Softbox Studio

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I reaaaally want some soft box lights for flatlays, but my parents would not know what on earth I was talking about if I asked for these for Christmas! They’re very practical though, yay!

 

 

 

 

Letter Board (from Letter Writes)

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THE flatlay must-have of the moment! I would 100% give one of these as a gift, they’re lovely, but asking for one feels weird!

 

 

 

A Chocolate Avocado

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Ok, so maybe not very practical, but imaaaaagine the flatlays you could get with this baby! (Before it melts or you devour it that is). And, according to my Instagram feed, all bloggers love some avocado on toast..

 

 

 

 

IKEA Alex Drawers

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They’re pretty though aren’t they?! And the top two are the perfect size for makeup! Plus, they’re instagrammable and it’s somewhere to store blog props…

 

 

 

 

Olympus Pen

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This is THE hyped camera for bloggers. It takes fab shots, it’s good for filming, and it’s compact-enough to take everywhere!

 

 

 

A City/Country Break

And finally, last but not least, why not take your blogging pal out for a voyage around a new place?! This doesn’t have to cost a lot, it could just be somewhere nearby that you’ve never visited before. Or, you could really go all out and take them somewhere like Venice or Paris! Imagine the instagrams!

 

Thanks for reading! Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

 

 

 

Images sourced from respective, linked websites.

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Blogmas 2017 Day 5: Top 5 Seasonal Drinks! (From Costa and Starbucks)

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Hello, hello, hello and welcome back to day 5 of blogmas, I hope you’ve been enjoying the festive content so far!

In today’s post I’ll be counting down my top 5 drinks for this season. These drinks are from Starbucks and Costa, and I’ve been really loving having an excuse to test out all of the yummy drinks for this post! So, without furtherado, let’s go!

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5. Costa’s Billionaires Hot Chocolate

This is the new addition to the costa menu for 2017, and I actually really like it! It’s quite rich in taste, yet it’s still light enough to not leave you feeling sloshy. The only thing I’m not too keen on is the bits of biscuits, it reminds me of sharing a drink with my 2 year old brother (gross!!).

Starbucks Fudge Hot Chocolate

This one shares the spot with the costa above because they taste veeeery similar! Although this one doesn’t have the biscuit bits so I guess that’s an improvement!

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4. Costa’s Billionaire’s Frostino

This was actually the first frostino I’ve ever tried, and I bloody loved it! Not the best drink in the world, as it’s only got place number 4, but very yummy indeed! And, the shortbread crumble thing actually works in this one because it doesn’t go mushy, so yeah it’s actually nice!


3. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

I would describe this drink as a Christmas hug in a cup! It’s yummy, and perfect for when I’m craving a cosy Christmas coffee. Plus I adore the Starbucks takeaway cups this year! The only issue is, they again put bits of biscuit in the drink. In all fairness, they did ask if I wanted it without but I decided to have it with to test the complete experience. I’ll definitely have it without next time!

2. Starbuck’s Toffee Nut Latte

I liked this drink A LOT more than I expected to! The bits of nut in it are quite nice and actually add to the drink (which was a pleasant surprise after the biscuit bits scenario) and it really was delicious!

1.Costa’s Mint Hot Chocolate

This is a favourite for me year after year. It’s yummy, refreshing, and even comes with a little candy cane! What more could you want from a festive drink?! (Plus mint is my ultimate favourite flavour for everything!)

Andddd there we have it! My favourite festive drinks from costa and Starbucks this year! Which ones are you loving? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

H x

Am I Brave Enough To Be A Blogger?

This is something that I have never explicitly thought about, but I guess has always been there. If you’ve been following me since I started, you’ll know that I first started this blog anonymously under ‘H’. I didn’t post any personal details about myself, nor any pictures of myself, nor even my name. I wanted that protection at first because, even though I didn’t write personal posts, blogging still made me feel vulnerable.

But, slowly I got more and more confident. I started writing much more personal posts about mental health, I started to upload pictures of myself, and I even (finally) revealed my name recently. Each of these things in turn I have found incredibly nerve-wracking, but I’ve always been greeted with positive responses.

Until recently.

So, a tweet of mine happened to get pretty popular, and I got many lovely messages. However, I also got some really shitty ones. I’m not even going to say what they said, but some of them were incredibly nasty, and incredibly hurtful.

And, all of a sudden I panicked. I mean, through blogging I obviously know that I am putting myself out there, but it’s easy to forget just how much I actually share sometimes. Comments about my appearance I find particularly distressing, as they don’t leave my head for days, no matter how much I want them to. But, if I was going to continue to blog, (presumably) this is only going to get worse, right?

I don’t know. I freaked out. And I cried, hard.

And, it just begged the question for me, am I brave enough to be a blogger?

I mean, things like this are major triggers for me. Without going into too much detail, I’ve had terrible experiences with people insulting my appearance in the past, and now I am very affected by such things. Am I a snowflake? Hell yes I am, and I own it.

But, it’s easy to freak out in situations like this, and to forget how far I have already come. I’ve already dealt with little things like this and got over it. I’ve had a few little tiffs in the blogging community, and I’ve survived, I am okay. Did it leave me having a shitty MH night? Yes. But from it I learned that I am stronger.

A lot of people told me to ignore the comments, and referred to them as trolls. I understand why, and I’d maybe even give out this information myself to a friend in a similar situation, but the fact of the matter is that that is simply easier said than done. I can’t ignore such things because they hurt me, and that’s that.

Will I grow a thicker skin because of blogging eventually? Absoluteeeely. I already have, and I can definitely see my confidence continuing to grow. But, surely these type of comments knock everyone off balance from time to time? I mean, no one likes to read bad things about themselves!

So yeah, this is just a post of my thoughts and where I’m at as regards to blogging. I really do want to be even more open on here, but this does make me feel slightly vulnerable, and I won’t be able to do so until my confidence grows again.

Thanks for reading this little rant.

Love,

H x

P.S. Please just be nice to people. It’s much easier.

Anxiety Update: When It All Got Bad Again

Trigger warning: Mentions of mental health digression

Hello!

If you read my last anxiety update, you’ll know that I was actually having a pretty good time. I liked how positive my last update was, and I was in two minds about writing this post for that exact reason, because I didn’t want to put a downer on it. But, I know so many of you like my anxiety updates and I always receive the nicest messages when I post them, so I thought why not post where I am truthfully at right now? After all, there is no straight road to recovery when it comes to mental health.

Ahhhh, where to start.

So, things were good. I felt settled in my new house, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made friends on my course, and I was very happy. And then life twisted a little, and it went a little down hill.

Two major things happened:

  1. We started having some issues within the house. This made me feel unsafe, and hence, brought on a string of anxiety attacks.
  2. Zack found out that he’s being sent away for 6 months.

And my world got a little cloudier again. Both of these events happened at around the same time, and at first I thought I was ok. I tried to be positive about Zack going away (even though I didn’t feel it) and tried to make light of the situation, I also tried to joke about the house situation. However, I could feel my anxiety bubbling under the surface. That’s how it actually felt, like my stomach was bubbling, and I tried really really hard to keep it all in.

Until last week.

Last week I broke. I’d been feeling my anxiety coming on and getting stronger for weeks and weeks and I’d been trying to ignore it, but I broke eventually. And I felt defeated because I had had such a good run for a few months, and I’d tricked myself into thinking that my life could be like this, and that I could just ignore my mental health/

 

Today I took the day off of university. I had to, I was too exhausted. Does anyone else get that horrible exhaustion from anxiety where all you can do is stare at the ceiling? You’re too tired to even sleep? Yeah, that. So I had to take the day off.

I spent the day blogging, reading and recovering. I ate carbs, watched YouTube videos and was kind to myself. I hate taking days off for mental health purposes, but sometimes they are just necessary. If I’d have tried to push myself today, it would’ve just got progressively worse. So, instead I’ve taken a day out to rest and recoup, and tomorrow I’ll (hopefully) be back to myself, and I’ll feel so much better for it.

Rest is necessary, be kind to yourself.

Love,

H x

 

As ever, I am happy to discuss my own mental health experiences with anyone over on my social channels (Instagram and twitter). I am no expert on this topic, but I can be honest and speak from personal experience. If you require support please visit this web page from Time To Change, where further support is detailed. 

£50 Zoella Calendar?! Here’s a charity alternative!

Hey!

So this was originally a thread on twitter (and it’s still there) but it was suggested to me to record it on my blog too. It makes sense really as threads are often lost on twitter, so just in case anyone ever wants to find it again, here’s a summary of my charity alternative to Zoe’s £50 12 day calendar!

1. A Charity bauble to remember a loved one

2. Who actually needs confetti?! You could donate £2 to this wonderful charity that provide hospitalised children with birthday boxes instead!

3. A cookie cutter to help the hedgehogs!

4. Stickers profiting children in need

5. Do you really need another makeup bag?!

You could donate £2 to this wonderful charity who provide bags of ‘hugs’ to those touched by breast cancer

6. A candle! This one’s my favourite!

This company donate food to starving orphaned children

7. Room Spray, this one protects the world heritage fund, which cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites in England.

8. A pen!!

9. A Key ring, just £1 and benefits the Alzheimers Society!

10. Do you really need another cookie cutter?! Why not use your hedgehog to bake some cookies and sell them for charity?

11. A Note pad! This one is pretty AND benefits Marie Curie

12. Who needs another frigging candle?! You could donate £2 to this charity which help fights children’s cancer!

AND AFTER ALL OF THAT (provided my questionable maths is correct) you’ll have spent a grand total of £41.28, £8.72 LESS THAN A ZOELLA CALENDAR!!!! And you’ll have really helped out some charities this Christmas 🙂

November: Where I’m At

Hello, hello, hellooooo!

So, you may know that I recently completed blogtober. This means that I published a post eveeeery singleeee daaaaay in October. I am also doing the same for blogmas, and publishing a post every single day leading up to Christmas. Now, if you’re good at maths, you may realise that this is a total of 56 posts in 2 months, which is a lot! Especially considering that I usually only publish 8 posts a month, this is a big step.

So, I’ve made a little decision to not stick to my schedule in November. I’m not going to say that I’m not publishing posts at all, because that’s unrealistic as I’ve got a few things due to go live this month. But, I shall not be forcing myself to produce content to fit with a schedule, I need a little break. I don’t want to post anything that I’m not 100% in love with, so I need this little break for inspiration!

Like I said, this is mainly because of the amount of posts that I’ve been posting lately, but also because I’ve just started back at university in my second year and my work load is pretty large compared with last year. I love my blog and I hope I will never give up on it, but right now I need a second to catch my breathe and have a little rest.

If you did want to read some content from me and haven’t read any of blogtober, you can find every single post from October linked HERE!
Lots of love,

H x

Blogtober Round Up!

Happy Halloween! It’s the last day of October and I can finally say, I DID IT! I managed to post every single day this month!

I hope you’ve loved the content just as much as I have. Honestly, I think this month has been my favourite content-wise EVER. I have just loved doing blogtober!

For this final post, I’ve decided to do a round up of all of the posts that I have posted this month, just in case you missed any. So, here goes!

Blogtober

1. Introduction To Blogtober 2017!

2. The National Wedding Show NEC Birmingham

3. HELP! I Don’t Fit In!

4. Autumn Favourites

5. What Doing An English Degree Is REALLY Like

6. Loaded Scrambled Eggs On Toast

7. 5 Netflix Shows That I Have Been LOVING!

8. My Autumn Goals

9. Life Through TSG VS The Real Me

10. My 5 Autumn Essentials

11. 13 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

12. Autumn Film Bucket List

13. Do Bloggers HAVE To Support Each Other?

14. Transferable Trends: Bringing Blush Into Autumn

15. 10 Weird Things that bloggers own

16. Autumn Candle Wish list

17.  Binge-worthy autumn box sets! #AD

18. Learning To Love Yourself

19. Autumn Lip Picks!

20. 5 Situations That All Vegetarians Have Been In

21.  Engaged at 18!

22.  My Goals At University: One Year On!

23. What Blogging Has Taught Me

24. Embracing The Darker Mornings 

25. Anxiety update: starting back at university 

26. 7 Instagram accounts I’m loving rn!

27. Ok, I accept it, I am a ‘snowflake

28. Blogs that I am LOVING at the moment

29. 5 Ways To Spruce Up Your Room

30. October Photo Diary

31. Blogtober Round up (this post!)

Thank you so much for reading and supporting me this month!

Love,

H x

Blogs That I Am LOVING Right Now!

Hello, hello, helloooooo!

I really enjoyed sharing the loving recently for Instagram accounts that I love, so it only seemed right to share blogs that I am loving right now too! I yo-yo between reading LOTS of blogs, to only managing to keep up with a few, depending on what my schedule is like, but these blogs are the ones that I know I can rely on for AMAZING content, and the ones that I always go back to! So, without furtherado, here are a few blogs that I think are bloody amazing….

AbbeyLouisaRose.co.uk

It should come as NO surprise how much I admire Abbey, and her blog. Her content is always original, fresh, and I always enjoy reading it. I don’t think there has been a single post of hers that hasn’t stirred up real reaction in me, which is the sign of a good writer for sure! Seriously, for lifestyle content, Abbey is your GAL.

FindingKate.co

I love living vicariously through Kate’s travels! Her photography is beautiful, and she visits the most amazing places! If you love travel bloggers, you will adore Kate!

HannahGale.co.uk

Yep, you probably know that I am a hugeeeee Hannah Gale fan too, oh well. I just love Hannah’s writing style. It makes me think of the quote from TFIOS ‘frankly, I would read your grocery lists’. I always thought that was a really weird thing to say, but I legit think I would read Hannah’s grocery lists. Sometimes I’m laughing out loud, and others I’m really touched by her posts, you should check out her blog for sure!

PrettyNormalMe.com

Ahhhh, Emily. Without a doubt, Emily is an amazingly talented writer. I mean, she has a book published! Emily deals with so many current issues on her blog, and her posts always make me feel inspired. She’s just so positive, and she intelligently tackles sensitive issues incredibly well. I will never stop reading her content!

 

 What blogs are you loving right now?! Leave their links in the comments and let’s share some love!

Love,

H x

Okay, I accept it, I am a ‘SNOWFLAKE’

If you’re a regular member of the wonderful world of social media, you’ve probably heard this term come up a lot. As defined by urban dictionary, a ‘snowflake’ is 

“A term used to describe extremist liberals that get offended by every statement and/or belief that doesn’t exactly match their own. These individuals think they are just as “unique” as snowflakes, when really their feelings are just as fragile.”

When I started researching this topic, I found out about the history of the word. I didn’t actually know this, so if you’re interested, you can read this HERE. I also found a pretty good article about it being the defining insult of politics in 2016, which you can read HERE

I’m not going to touch on the subjects above, as frankly I know nothing about them other than what I have read from a quick google search. What I am, however, going to talk about, is the use of the word ‘snowflake’ in the modern day context, that is in the comments on LadBible’s latest piece, or the reply of someone on twitter. 

The article I will be mainly focusing my reply on is HERE (it’s safe to say that this article thoroughly p*ss*d me off!).  

‘Snowflake’ has become the perfect insult for people that don’t want to acknowledge world issues, for those that like to bury their head in the sand. 

I actually, generally, quite like our generation. We’ve become a generation of speaking out, and it’s pretty fab. If we see something degrading to women, we will tweet about it. If we see an advert that we think is racist, we will comment on it and voice our opinion. And, most of the time, our opinions are listened to, our voices are heard. 

Trigger warnings are important to us. As a generation, we speak out more and more about mental health. But, as we understand mental health more, we also understand that there are implications in speaking out about it, in that we could trigger another person. So we place these warnings to effectively help these people out, and it works. 

As the first generation to grow up with social media and modern technology, we have written our own rules. We have freedom of speech, and for many of us these platforms have become a place to exercise that. And we are powerful. A few tweets about how an advert is offensive can make an advert be pulled entirely from circulation, and that’s pretty darn powerful if you ask me. 

We have become a generation that has made our individual and collective voice matter. We have not sat back and kept our views of the world in, we have voiced them and actually made a difference in so many ways. 

This world isn’t perfect, and offensive things happen every single day. But this is where the ‘snowflake’ users seem to get us all wrong, they don’t understand that we are not offended by everything. We are offended by the things that ARE MORALLY wrong. The things that people have campaigned for the abboliation of before us, and the issues that have caused so many different conflicts before us. 

We tend to get offended by views that are just morally wrong. And that is certainly not the same as being offended by everything. 

So, if you want to refer to me as a ‘snowflake’ because you think I’m ‘delicate’ for calling you out on your racist bullshit; for placing trigger warnings at the beginning of my posts because I respect mental health; for being a feminist who believes in equality for the genders; for being vocal regarding what is consent, then sure go ahead. But, I believe in what I speak up about, and I hope that the vocalisation of these problems by we, the ‘millennial snowflakes’, will create the more equal, moralistic society in which I would like to live. 

Thanks for reading. 

Love,

H x

7 Accounts On Instagram That I’m Loving Right Now

I’ve seen a few people do this post, and I just think it’s such a lovely idea! Plus it helped me to discover some new accounts that I’ve been absolutely LOVING. And, with the current crap state of Instagram, we could all use a little boost! So, here’s 7 accounts that I am currently obsessively Insta-stalking as I cannot get enough of them!

Hannah Gale (@hannahfgale)

 

This gal slays my life every single time she posts a pic. I am just obsessed with her pictures, and her witty captions definitely make me giggle! She’s even managing to do all of this whilst growing a tiny human atm, so I officially think she is super woman. Plus, did you see THAT Blogosphere cover? She went there 🙌🏼. She’s an absolute queen of Instagram to me, and I would 100000000000000% suggest that you give her a follow if you don’t already!

 

 

Nadia (@mielandmint)

In all honesty, I only found this account recently. But, I absolutely bloody love Nadia’s style of photo. All of her images are so clear and crisp, and I really look forward to seeing her posts on my feed!

Continue reading “7 Accounts On Instagram That I’m Loving Right Now”