Entertainment, Life, Lifestyle

It Has Been A Bit Hectic…

So, the last few months or so, I chose not to post. Aside from wondering what to write about, I have also been really busy experiencing life. And by that? I mean working, travelling to Barcelona, seeing friends, and catching up on my reading. And now? Well, I no longer have writers’ block and that means the blog train is on the tracks…and leaving the station. Most importantly, this month has been a good month- it seems that things are looking up! I went on my first girls trip, and my health and fitness are improving hugely, and I finished the book I have been trying to read for months… But, it has been a little hectic. All of this, and I have been working quite a bit too, but I like the chaos. I thrive in it. The chaos helps me focus. I am definitely one of those people who live in organised chaos even though my room is immaculate, and everything has a place. My head is where the organised chaos lives and functions.

We all have our own ways of coping. And I plan to write a thorough blog post about Barcelona, a book review, feeling more myself-looking forward, and seeing the world through optimistic eyes. But for now? I will summarise my last few months and later link the other blogs to this post. Now where to begin?

I know Barcelona!

30656967_1908898915807422_5896462361891438592_n
BARCELONA

So, my first girls trip. And we chose to go to Barcelona. It was beautiful. Compared to living over here, the buildings have so much more character while us? We have a lot of big tall, rectangular buildings. Truthfully, the different buildings signify the architects and builders who made them- you can see the artistry and hard work that went into designing them. Not just that, Barcelona has so many statues and monuments all over the city, it is everywhere you turn. My favourite parts of the trip included; Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium and trying a huge Spanish Paella with Muscles, Shrimp, and other fish in it. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs…that is for sure. The hostel was amazingly modern, and I would definitely stay with the chain again and it was nice to have our first official girls trip too. Going through the airport and FLYING for the first time on my own? Well, that was terrifying especially with a fear of heights… I made it though. Airport food? It was meh. I would like airports to stop assuming we all like the same fast food or just want a sandwich because that was especially annoying. I got to see what I wanted, take pictures, and have fun. Overall, it would be nice to go back for longer.

Next!

37370437_2032078590156120_5109223190433890304_n.jpg
Twisted Cedar…

The best kind of reading is a book you just cannot put down. You ever heard of those people who pick up a book and just lose time? I am one of those… On the positive side, if I cannot put it down then I must really enjoy the book but, it also means when you find a good book series you end up having to read them all. Suddenly, it is Sunday night and you have not moved except for the basic functions over the last two days. I found a free eBook on my kindle, and this is the experience I had. Written by C.J. Carmichael, the Twisted Cedar Mysteries set is a page-turner. Once I read one, I knew I needed to buy the other two and I did not see that ending coming. Not one killer but two… And you will never be able to guess who either of them is. Plus, we have a bit of romance and some genuinely nice bonding moments between brother and sister. It is that good a series, I am reading them again. If you have not read them, I suggest you do. They are named Buried, Exposed and Forgotten… I know eerie right?!

Tattoo

37256227_2028787727151873_5837964211535216640_n

I finally found my next tattoo, or should I say newest body art edition. It has just been finished off at the tattoo shop and I love it. With a lot of friend and family issues over the last few years, the all-seeing eye seemed a fitting edition. Now, I am looking to the future and the past, with positivity in mind. As my readers know, I have two others and am an advocate for people being able to express who they are, in the way they want without judgements. For me, that is my tattoos and for others, it could be piercings or new jewellery. It is all about celebrating you! Or as I love to say sometimes… DO YOU BOO! Because there is not anyone better.

Gym Membership

14211997_1258548987509088_2124784939351874768_n

I finally got back on the health and fitness horse, so to speak. Yes, I joined the gym. After experiencing injuries, illness, and a busy schedule I decided the best way to get a workout in is the gym. And my gym is amazing. For £17.99, I can get into any free classes and use all the gym equipment including the sauna. Overall, I have been feeling better since getting back to fitness and interlacing my running throughout. And finally, after a fall which resulted in a badly injured foot, some cracked ribs and damaged hand…once my tattoo heals, I will be back at it again. Just so you are clear, AIR CONDITIONING is the best thing ever invented. As a red-head, I overheat easily in the sun and so, indoor exercising is key for me.

That About Sums It Up…

So, this about sums everything up. I have been working a lot and I will not bore you with the details but, it is enjoyable for now. It means I can pay for LUNA…my little Fiat. You know what though? I am happy and positive. For me, that is all you can ask for.

Advertisements
Life

6 Things I Regret Not Doing

You may be thinking she is only in her twenties, what would she regret in her life? Well, the truth is no matter how old you are there is always going to be something you look back on and think you could have done it differently. If you don’t, then you have had a very lucky life. Not that I have had a bad life, it has been really good but, there are things I would change.

Youth is blunder; Manhood a struggle, Old age a regret

– Benjamin Disrach

Here is my list of six things I regret not doing:

 1. Telling People What I Really Think- 

vintage-1893032_960_720

Sometimes I have kept my mouth shut to my benefit, whether to avoid a confrontation or simply because I didn’t want to get involved in the first place. Opposingly, there have been times I’ve opened my mouth and would love to keep it shut now…not many but some. But I do regret not always telling people what I think because maybe I would have avoided dramas, or could be in a completely different place to what I am now. For me, this realisation socially only came a few years ago but, I wish it would have happened earlier.

 2. A Smaller Social Circle- 

23621298_1749251808438801_1438747134036196078_n

I know most people probably wanted a larger social circle but, I always wonder now if I hadn’t coasted through school and had a larger social group, if would be close to people from secondary now. You see my close friends are a small group from university of about five people. And it is drama-free and pretty chilled group of people. I wish I had that earlier on.

3. Healthier Routines & Habits Earlier On-

girl runner in reflective jacket
My Running Time

If I had only gotten healthier habits and routines earlier like less fizzy pop and sweets and exercised a little bit more, I think it would have been easier to get into it later on. Currently, I am on a little hiatus whilst I get my health fixed but I wonder if I had kept on with athletics and running what I would be doing now? What I would have took at university?

4. Buying More Books…

books-1655783_960_720

I own around seventy already but, I would definitely buy more if I could. And expand my reading circle even more. Instead of reading a few classics such as Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray or Bram Stoker’s Dracula alongside my supernatural favourites and fantasy books, I would read more classics or expand my reading circle even more. But, I would definitely buy more.

 5. Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone-

life-3089646_960_720

Had I gotten out of my comfort zone earlier on, I would have probably taken more chances much earlier in my life. This could be in applying for jobs, sticking with a club or sport, taken a year out before university or even going on holiday more. It may have led to a completely different life path than now but, I don’t think so. This is because I’m relatively happy with life now.

 6. Getting Rid Of My Junk Earlier-

flea-market-2759043_960_720

I collected a lot when I was younger and I didn’t get rid of it. When it came to sorting my room out for a new bed, it took a week to sort through the stuff and TWO people. That is a lot of stuff. Truthfully, I wish I had been cleaner and organised earlier. It would have been a lot less stress, and a simpler life.

 

Life

Dear Me, From Past Me

Recently I produced a blog post writing an open letter to my younger self. This has myself thinking. What do I want to remember from now? What would I tell my future self? And so, here is a letter to my future self. Everything I want to say, know and do.

To Future Steph,

I have a few questions… Are flying cars real yet? Have we successfully built artificial intelligence? Who’s running the country…a robot? How’ve we done in life? Okay, I’ll stop asking, if we still have the same personality I know you want me to slow down. We are currently in our twenty-second-year of life… nearly twenty three, and we’ve finally decided what we want to do with life so, overall we are doing pretty well. And I hope we are still kicking arse now! With family, with work, with life in general.

So, it has been a pretty stressful time for us over the last few years but, we’re finally coming out of the other side. We graduated- dressed fabulously I might add, we have got a job and we are happy. I hope you still are. I just want to say that although there are things that may get you down in life- if you just stand your ground and believe in yourself we can do anything. I think we are doing pretty amazingly now. Oh, I thought of another question…has our brothers taste in music changed? Does he like classics such as AC/DC and not that stuff with beats and no lyrics….. If it hasn’t we need to do something stat.

Right, we are going on our first girls holiday soon to Barcelona and it will be beautiful and gorgeous. How are the girls? And who was the first one to have kids? We’ll be taking plenty of pictures to look back on so, if you forget about the adventure, there will be reminders. Oh, does Facebook still exist? As you can tell, we are still chatty and inquisitive but, I don’t expect that to change. Just remember to continue asking the hard questions, that will get you far in life. You are doing pretty good now I believe.

We are still keeping fit, standing our ground and trying to excel in life here. It’s the best way to achieve our goals. We’ve set a few new ones this year such as this very blog’s increasing traffic, and getting healthy, baking more for everyone and getting better. You know it is our year. WE DID THIS. Do we have loads of dogs? I think we do. If I know me! It is something we talk about and of course, we have more tattoos. If there is some way you can psychically tell me what we choose, I’ll get right on that. We are planning on two more tattoos this year at least. How big? And where? Well, we aren’t that far ahead just yet. We’ll figure it out.

How is the family? Is dad still embarrassing us with his dad dancing? I had a taster today and I’m scarred for life. You are probably still feeling the affect of that… I’m sorry, we should have closed our eyes. Is mum still baking bread and cakes? Or are they just travelling the world in their little motorhome while we worry? Currently, it looks like family life is getting back on track which is brilliant. Just remember- 1,2,3,4….7,8,9,10. Oh and if you want a laugh then just remember a few weeks ago when dad did a celebratory dance because he got the word ’emoji’ on Countdown. He’s probably still as competitive now. We are a few weeks into the six nations. Of course, you know the result so just send those positive vibes to the England rugby teams for us. Your the best.

Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. Although, we will talk again.

See you in the future

Past Steph- an awesome redhead.

 

Life, Student Life

An Open Letter To Myself

It is a fact of life- when we were younger, less experienced and innocent- a child we all imagined what life would be like. Who we would be when we grow up, who would stay in our lives and who would disappear. And nine times out of ten we all wished we could grow up faster. I’m 22, an adult-in-training and if I could go back to my younger self now there are things I would tell her. So, I’ve decided to write an open letter to myself. And maybe we should all do this. Is there anything you would have done differently or people you wished you’d have given more time too. The open letter is one way to get all of that out. Here goes…

To a redhead, blue eyed, freckled care-free yougster,

Fathers day_20170618_0001
Oh the innocent days

Aged 4-11

I’m here to tell you a few things. First off, that attitude you’re sporting at home is not impressive and in about a years time you’ll suddenly mellow out and wonder what all the fuss was about. If I could go back, I’d still push the same boundaries but not so loudly. However, I would thank you for this because without learning from that attitude I wouldn’t be able to harness the same confidence for job interviews, getting through university and meeting some amazing people. But we could have toned it down a bit.

Secondly, you’ll eventually get your own room at eight/nine so just put up with sharing for a little longer…He’s not that bad. Although, the trick of dumping his mess in his bed was the best thing ever because he always tidied up and it still works now. Maybe you could have gotten rid of some of the clutter before hand though because it took myself and mum a week to do when we finally sorted through everything. It was a pain and at heart we were all ready into the simplistic look so do yourself a favour and keep on top of the clutter instead of getting stressed.

And finally, embrace your hair. We are stuck with this for life so, just embrace it. The colour, the curls because now people try and dye their hair this colour and can’t. So, when someone teases you about your hair simply reply with “And? Your issue is…” That puts off the kids if they don’t know it bothers you. Also you are currently growing it out so you can wear you long, thick curly hair down more…so maybe tell mum you don’t want it cutting short that would have helped a lot. It’s a pain to grow now. Also, you are going to start to straighten it in secondary school so, it isn’t all bad. And when you start putting lowlights in and straightening it- nan does complain but you’ll carry on doing it regardless and she liked it actually once you didn’t put as many in.

12-16

Okay, so we’ve just started really getting into secondary school and focusing on studying. The first thing I’m going to tell you is that it is alright not to know what you want to do in life. As a kid, we wanted to be a load of things;

Nurse: Mum and dad can attest to the fact that this should not be your career choice. They had the bruises to prove it.

Teacher: You don’t have the patience for it. I remember getting bored every five minutes and wanting to do something else. Well you have more patience but if you do teach it would probably be at college level because you’ve now turned into one of those adults who can’t believe the mouth on young kids these days. 

Athlete: So you fell down some stairs and that put a stop to that. But it’s all good because we like to go for a run now as it is a great de-stressing tool. Plus, by stopping the athletics you got to try out new things. For a start, you became more girly for a while. But, it’s all good because you’ve now settled on somewhere in between a girly girl and a tomboy.

And many other careers… But, at 22 we’ve finally made a decision. So it’s time to start trying to get into that. However, rest assured that you are young, we are still young and can try as many things out as possible. Life is not about money, it is about experiencing things, memory making and having fun.

We finally got that bookshelf and the double bed after years of asking. So it pays off. However, that book shelf is nearly full so the dream of owning a home with a library in one day may become a reality because we won’t be throwing away books anytime soon. The only thing we would probably change now is not asking for two colours in our room because as much as I still like blue and purple, turquoise was then and still is our favourite colour. And would probably match the curtains, carpet and bedding much better. Also, don’t put posters up…you get bored after a few months and now both the walls and doors are bare except for the faint marks of blue tack.

Thirdly, embrace the clumsiness. You not only fell down some stair aged 14 which resulted in a trip to the hospital, eight-twelve weeks of recovery and causing your mum stress on her day off but, the falling is going to happen a lot and you’ll always have bruises to prove it. Just last year, you damaged your ankle again which resulted in some very good friends convincing me to go to the hospital again but the year before that you couldn’t run for four weeks after hurting your knee while running. I’d say don’t push things when it comes to injury, don’t be stubborn but we still are now which gave mum and dad a lot of stress last summer.

Finally, you are now and were then a huge geek. With a love of action adventure films, marvel films, Doctor Who and many other sci-fi/ fantasy books, films and tv shows you aren’t exactly into the girly love films. You will sit and watch a few but they really aren’t your cup of tea. So, when you were putting on all that makeup, straightening your hair and attempting to fit in…well that is what sets you apart from others now. Basically, you should embrace your uniqueness because it’ll be much easier down the line and you’ll meet some amazing friends with the some of the same and different tastes as you.

17-20

You know when your parents tell you- you don’t stay friends with everyone in life? You should have listened much earlier. All the stress could have been avoided. In life, we don’t get on with everyone and if you’d have realised that sooner well a lot could have been avoided. Overall, if you hadn’t have gone through this though well, I don’t think I’d be the person I am now. It reminded me of myself, the person I liked who exuded confidence, embraced challenges and loved life and well, we are that person and more now. This doesn’t go without saying that some of the people you meet over these few years won’t still be in your life, and other still are and these are the people who are there for you no matter what. Just remember there are still those childhood friends who you still talk to, and even when you are busy know you will still be there. A click away.

You’ve applied for university and are waiting to get in. Well, you do. And we’ve just graduated with a 1.1 class honours degree so, we did something right. It is something to be proud of so as you make those difficult decisions, expel the negative energy and start to see your grades rise? Well you made the right decision. Be proud of getting an offer from all five universities, be proud of improving with your overall grade every year and be proud of achieving such an amazing result because it’s all us. We did it!

And finally, at 22 we are still an adult in training. We moved out for university which was the best decision in the end. At 22, we are still growing so don’t feel at 18+ that this is now the time you need to know everything in life. Because all that pressure isn’t good for anyone. Achieve the goals you set for yourself like you have so far. We’ve lost that weight, we run regularly, we eat healthily, we have some amazing friends and we are well on our way to becoming an amazing adult. Although, the best adults are those who never really grew up, the one with their inner child still joking about and laughing.

With Love

23622112_1748396048524377_1778358382809708942_n
We graduated

Still a redhead, blue eyed, freckled, but experienced slightly older youngster….

Life

Christmas Gift Ideas

Not everyone has a lot of money at Christmas, whether it is because you don’t have a job, you are a poor student who needed to eat this semester, or you don’t like to spend a lot of at Christmas- this list is for you. There are cheap Christmas gift ideas to help you out, even though it is only a few days to go. I’m sure there are still people out there struggling. Sites such as Money Saving Expert suggest loads of cheap ideas for adults, family and kids so if you are struggling simply google cheap Christmas gift idea, set aside some time and get ready to give something useful and crafty to your family members.

Of course, some people don’t expect a lot for Christmas and you may be able to get gifts cheap through vouchers but, not everyone has that option. Here are five options for you:

1. Make Something

It’s simple, it’s easy and meaningful. Nine times out of ten, anyone would appreciate a handmade gift and for those who don’t? Well Christmas is about family, happiness and spending time together and NOT gifts so, in that case take it off them and let them be the grumpy person at Christmas whilst you have fun. Whether you teach yourself to knit, draw something, buy some card and use old scrabble tiles to spell out everyone’s- an original family tree type gift. It’s something and you won’t spend a lot. My nan makes something every year. A couple years ago, we had a very funny incident whilst she was in the middle of making loads of angels. They took on a rude shape before she finished them off.

12509008_1116174791748519_8075734907857939395_n
She called them angels…They weren’t finished honest

2. A Favourite Photo

We all have memories. And your mum may talk about loving certain photos. So, remember what she said and buy a cheap frame from Wilkinsons. This gift is both thoughtful and can be given to friends too. We carry tons of photos on our phone and boots offers a cheap print off service. At most, you’ll spend a fiver.

magnifying-glass-2598507_960_720

3. Christmas PJ’s

It doesn’t matter where you buy the pjs, whether Primark or Tesco wait until the sales a week before Xmas and get them cheap. We all wear pjs, they are useful gifts and you’ll probably need a new pair by the end of the year. What are you waiting for? Buy some pjs.

feet-266848_960_720

4. Memory Jar

You buy food most weeks. Save your pickled onion jar, branston, mayo and rip the label off. Now find some paper in your house, write down some of your favourite memories but don’t fill it all the way to the top because then you can encourage the gift receiver to add their own memories throughout the year. Next Christmas you’ll be able to empty the jar and talk about some of your favourite memories from the year.

stickies-2726014_960_720

5. Baking

Everyone loves the presents they can eat at Christmas. You get to pig out on boxing day with these gifts. Pop to your local shop, pick up some flour, eggs and other baking items. Google a recipe and you’ll be set for Christmas. The person gets food for Christmas and you’ll have spent about £3-5 at most.

cake-3019645_960_720

Life, Student Life

I’m a Graduate (time to begin adulting)

I did write this last week but, I’ve only just gotten round to getting the pictures off my camera.

So the blog post begins here:

We’ve all seen the memes on social media sites wherein university students or people moving out for the first time have to ‘adult’. And by adulting, we mean it has come to the time when our safety net (parents) have disappeared except for a phone call or text away and we have to begin figuring life out for ourselves. If you have not seen the meme, I suggest you look for one because they can be quite amusing! Well, I technically graduated in June when my certificate arrived reading ‘First Class Degree’- I had one hell of a successful final year whilst battling illness all year round. So, it is possible for all the panicked students out there! But this week I officially graduated, had photos took and wore a cap, gown and hood alongside my parents, and grandparents appearing for the occasion. It was a family day out, and a first for all of them to see someone graduate.

23561438_1748535958510386_641454283841302923_n
The Full Outfit

I posed for the pictures on cameras and phones, I saw my friends and had a few pictures with them but, I did not feel different after graduating? Maybe it is because I am not done with education yet. However, some of my other friends mentioned feeling like it was the end of something, they did feel different and so, I attribute it to the fact I want to gain a Master’s degree in HR. For the time being, I work and earn money and I’m looking for something a bit more permanent, so ADULTHOOD begins here! Whilst I picked up some tricks before moving out for university, adulting became a lot harder when it was just me and now I’m back at home yet, still becoming more adult-y by the day. I have known how to cook for years, my slight OCD tendencies come in handy for switching off all electrics at night- plugs to and I like to keep my room clean and have everything organised and as a result, I think these make myself a functioning young adult? But you’d have to ask my parents for clarification.

23658764_1748535865177062_239501456899321818_n
The Parents and Me

I’m still stubborn and I refuse to be ill, so I definitely have stuff to learn too. This tends to mean I do not complain unless there is a real issue, which is why my parents knew something was wrong before my week long stay in hospital. Then again it seems to be a family trait…apparently, I did not just inherit the red hair or the ability to hold my alcohol or the quiet stubbornness my mum has which she thinks we do not all know about so SHHH it’s a secret. I feel that no one really knows how to truly adult and maybe my parents don’t have it figured out either? I know I question whether my dad ever grew up sometimes… Or maybe you need to be our grandparents age? They seem to have it figured out. It is an odd thing life. It comes at you so quickly that it is hard to take a breath at times.

23561418_1748535971843718_3916938764737296946_n
Grandparents!

So even though I’ve graduated, and you would think I have my life together it is not the case, no one does. We all just amble along hoping we make the right decisions with our friends and family by our sides. But, it is a good start to be able to look after yourself and take it from there! No one has their lives together right after graduation. The lucky few have an inkling of what they want to do in life but some of us others take a bit longer to decide. So, don’t worry if you haven’t a clue because it took me a while to make a decision of where I want to be in life. In some respects, a blog like this helps because you can talk to the world even if no one pays attention and make those decisions.

I have a couple tips to begin with though:

  • Learn to cook the basics early- I started when I was around 12? Anyway, if you like cooking then it is a great stress reliever and it is a skill we need to succeed in life. Takeaway and lots of processed food is not the answer. Plus, you want to be able to do more than just make pasta or toast. The only thing I don’t know how to cook is an egg but, I also don’t like them and won’t use that skill in my life unless I meet someone and in that case, they better be able to cook their own. Follow recipe books, ask your family they’ll help if you ask and books have instructions in!
  • Start your kids early, and make them clean their own room- There is nothing worse than someone who can’t make a bed, regularly change their sheets and keep a tidy room. Plus, if you can’t maintain a single task such as this regularly then how do you expect to succeed in work and life when difficulty heads your way? I have cleaned my side, and then my own room for as long as I can remember and that is because my parents instilled that into me. If you can’t keep one room clean how do you expect to keep a flat or a house clean?

It is simple really, learn early or you’ll have to sink or swim when it comes to moving out and figuring out life choices. I’m happy, I have graduated and I’m looking to future able to look after myself with relative ease. That credit goes to my parents, as well as myself. I’m a graduate, a graduate…Nope still don’t feel different yet? It seems like it is time to adult. Oh, I thought you’d want to see the meme so here is an example:

CC: https://pics.me.me/you-is-tired-you-is-broke-you-is-adulting-14526940.png
CC: https://pics.me.me/you-is-tired-you-is-broke-you-is-adulting-14526940.png