Places I’m Planning On Travelling To In 2017

If nothing else, I want to do some travelling this year. I’ve already started saving up and although it’s not going to be easy (I spend way too much on food and makeup, but who doesn’t?) I’m more determined than ever. I’ve realised that you don’t have to have a lot in your pocket – if you want to travel, DO IT. It’s all about finding those amazing holiday deals and spending your money wisely. That’s what I intend to do anyway. There are so many places I’d love to visit, but I have to be realistic about it.

Here’s what 2017 looks like:

Alicante, Spain

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Photo credit: Pixabay.com

The purpose of this holiday would be to visit family so Alicante is a very convenient location. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been to Spain before for many reasons, the main one being that I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat, which is why I’m planning on going towards the end of May and staying for 7 nights. I do get bored easily, so I expect I won’t stay there for the entire time. It’s not far to travel to Calpe or Benidorm. As you can tell nothing is planned as of yet as I’ll probably be looking for last minute deals nearer the time. Either way, bring on May!

Paris, France

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

Since reading Paris For One by Jojo Moyes I’ve been filled with an urge to explore Paris. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I always see photos of the Eiffel Tower on my Instagram feed. And every time I think about how amazing it would be to witness the beauty of Paris in person rather than through a screen. A weekend trip would probably be ideal, giving me enough time to explore on a low-budget. Day trips are quite cheap too, as it’s a quick journey it means that I’d still be able to explore the sights and eat some good food. Now I can’t stop thinking about croissants.

Brighton, England

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

I’ve been to Bournemouth, Clacton, Southend… but I’ve never been to Brighton and I really want to tick it off my list. I think out of all the seaside resorts, I’d probably like Brighton the most. It seems like it has more to offer. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t go this year.

Bath, Somerset

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

A weekend trip to Bath would be amazing. There is lots to do there and I’ve always wanted to visit the Roman Baths. If work starts stressing me out, I’ll probably take a trip there to relax and get away from everything for a bit. I’d love to think I could afford to book into a Spa hotel but that would be slightly unrealistic.

York, England

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about travelling and she told me that one of her favourite places in the UK is York. She said it’s a great destination for a solo trip and that she usually spends the weekend there. I’d be interested in visiting Clifford’s Tower and going on a boat trip! I also like the look of some of the cafes/restaurants so I feel I would really enjoy it.

These are just some of the places I would like to visit this year. Honestly, I have no idea if I will tick them all off. I hope so but it depends on whether I can afford it. I may even surprise myself and travel to more places than I could have imagined. Where would you like to travel?

Why You Shouldn’t Have A Life Plan

I don’t have a life plan. And neither should you. Are they helpful? Maybe. Are they necessary? Absolutely not.

Some people plan their lives down to the tiniest details. At the age of 23, they want to start travelling the world. By the age of 30, they want to get married and have two kids. At 63, they want to sit down with the grandchildren telling exciting stories of their adventures.

When I was much younger I used to think about my future. Like most kids, I naively couldn’t wait to be an adult. I couldn’t wait for my 18th birthday as that meant I could go to the pub with my friends, fall in love, learn how to drive, move into a one bedroom flat, and do some travelling. I’m 19 and I’ve achieved only one of those ambitions; can you guess which one?

The truth is I’m not even close to achieving these goals I set for myself. I’m still living at home, I’m single, I don’t plan on learning how to drive, I have no intentions of moving out anytime soon and my anxiety makes it difficult for me to travel. However, I don’t expect my life to revolve around the dreams of my younger self.

One of the best things about life is being spontaneous and making our own choices. If we lived by a book of rules, we would feel restricted and our lives would be unfulfilling. Not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes we have to switch paths. Sometimes we take risks that ultimately don’t pay off. Yet we are still learning. These experiences, whether good or bad, will teach us so much.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life. 

Honestly, I expected my life to be different. I had high hopes when I was younger, but when I look at what I have achieved in my 19 years of existence, it is dismal. What did I expect? I’m still young and I have a lifetime to find what it is I’m looking for. But it won’t be easy.

You can’t achieve your goals by wishing for it, you have to do it. And believe me, it’s easier said than done. But if you do nothing, your entire lifetime will be a stretch of emptiness. It’s better to fail at something than live with the regret of never trying.

There’s so much to be thankful for. 

I’m not where I want to be but at least there are other aspects of my life that I’m content with. First things first, I have a job that I love. Well, you could say it’s a love-hate relationship. The friends I have are incredible, honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. I have a place to live and all of the necessities that some people are not fortunate to have. I know that doesn’t translate to happiness, but it’s something I’m really grateful for.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Let’s just imagine for a moment that you did have your entire life planned out. Would it provide you with a sense of excitement? Or would it cause you immense pressure and anxiety? The best ambitions to have are the simplest ones. To be happy and healthy and to be living. That’s what you should strive for.

Take a look at your life and realise that you are OK. You’re doing brilliantly and the most important thing is that you are doing your very best. That’s what counts. It’s not about where you are going to be in five years time. It’s not even about where you will be next year. It’s about where you are right now.

Top 3 lipsticks for £5

OK, so I don’t write many of these types of posts, but then I thought why not? Everybody loves a decent lipstick. And everybody loved a good bargain! But first of all let me tell you that I know nothing about make-up, seriously. So in other words, don’t blame me if you do go out and buy any of these lipsticks and find yourself not satisfied with it. But come on, they are £5!

  1. Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude 48

    I bought this a couple of weeks ago thinking that I’d probably hate it. The reason being I’m really pale and I wasn’t sure it would suit me. But as soon as I put it on, I loved it. I really really love it, which still surprises me as prior to this I’d never worn a dark shade lipstick in my life. It applies well and like the others, lasts for quite some time. It also doesn’t go patchy which is a big relief.

  2. Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick Soft Pink 101

    I went out and bought this because I’d seen a few YouTubers talking about it, so I thought it must be good. And it is, it’s great. It’s a nice colour, very easy on the eye – perfect for School or College, or if you’re going for a more subtle look. I also use it on my face as blusher, and it gives a slight hint of colour to your cheeks.

  3. Rimmel Kate Lipstick Nude 45

    The best nude lipstick, hands down. It is my go to lipstick, in fact I wear it most days. It’s great all year round but specifically works well during spring and summer, as it’s not too over the top and the shade is very pretty. It also lasts pretty long considering how cheap it is. Highly recommend this if you’re looking for the perfect nude!

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So as you can tell, I’m a big Rimmel Kate fan. Cheap and cheerful, as I’d like to put it. Have you found any great lipsticks recently? Feel free to share them with me.

 

Why I quit my job to become a freelance writer

That’s right – I quit my job without another one lined up. Stupid decision? Probably. But it worked out OK in the end.

Back in January I started working at a photo shop (I’m not giving away the actual name) as a Sales Assistant. I hadn’t had much previous experience and I felt incredibly shy and a little bit awkward. The manager was lovely, in fact that was the only reason I didn’t leave on the very first day. I kept being encouraged to stay, to see how things go, and needless to say I realised it just wasn’t working. I cringed every time someone walked into the shop, felt my heart hammering in my chest whenever I had to serve someone, not to mention the number of times I cried whenever I made a mistake. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t do it, but my heart wasn’t in it. Each day I dreaded going in – not the usual ‘oh, I don’t fancy going into work today’ dread – but more of ‘I feel like I’m suffocating and on the verge of a breakdown’ kind of dread.

I had a long chat with the manager, who as kind as she was, offered me tons of advice. She reminded me that I had to do whatever it took to make myself happy, and that if I wasn’t happy being there, I should go. And I did. I left that day feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, as if I could breathe again. But the next day I felt awful. I just kept thinking what have I done?  I’d quit before I had even given it a chance and already I regretted it. Although deep down I knew for the sake of my mental health I couldn’t have stayed another day. The decision might have been selfish but sometimes putting yourself first is the thing you need to do the most. So I spent the next few months looking for writing jobs. The truth is I love writing; it gave me a voice I didn’t even know I had. I thrived off every like, every comment, every share, and I knew that I had to keep going.

The life of a freelance writer is hard to say the least. Finding that first paid writing gig can take months, but it could be done, I knew that much. So I started writing for various websites for free, gaining exposure and experience along the way. I checked job sites and writing boards everyday. I sent out email after email, and despite most of them being ignored, a handful of them actually replied. Now I have several clients of whom I regularly communicate with. And although I’m not exactly where I want to be, and I know I do have a long way to go, I feel happier.

Here’s the secret: if you persist, you can get almost anything you want.

5 Reasons Your Siblings Are Your Best Friends

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Ahh. Your siblings. Sometimes you look at them and feel your chest bursting with affection, other times you feel like throwing a book at them. That’s love. But it’s a different kind of love – it’s one that is always there, despite all the arguments and the tears – somehow it only brings you closer to one another.

Here are five reasons why your siblings are actually your best friends.

1. They know you better than anyone

Of course they do. You may not know it, but they’ve been looking up to you for a long time. They’ve been studying you from a young age which means that over the years they have picked up on when you’re lying, when you’re feeling down, and when there’s something on your mind. They just know.

2. They can always make you laugh

You have inside jokes that no one else knows about. And whenever you’ve had a bad day you can always count on your sibling to bring up old, hilarious memories of that time you fell over in public or the time you laughed so hard you wet yourself. Your sibling knows exactly what to say to lift you up.

3. They tell you the truth

Most of the time your friends won’t tell you the truth, instead they will tell you what you want to hear to avoid upsetting you – the same probably goes for your parents. Siblings have a different approach, they will always be honest with you even if it’s the last thing you want to hear, because they know that in the long run it will only help you become a stronger person. See, your siblings aren’t just trying to be mean, they do have your best interests at heart.

4. They teach us

We are always learning new things from our siblings, from the moment you are introduced to each other you start mirroring their actions, their facial expressions and even some aspects of their personality. As you grow up, they continue to teach you about other things – how to tie your shoes, how to ride a bike, but more importantly – love.

5. They are always there

From that time you cut your knee and they handed you a plaster, to the time you needed help with your homework, and to the time you needed life advice. They were and always will be there when you need them. And that’s what is so special about siblings – the unconditional love. That love is just as powerful as the love between a parent and their child. And even when you’re in your 80s, you’ll be able to look back on all the memories you shared and laugh – laugh until your stomach hurts as if you are both still young.

15 Ways To Manage Anxiety

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Living with anxiety can be challenging at times – what appears to be simple tasks become almost impossible to do.

Some people may choose to take medication, while others are hesitant about this. Does it work? What if I become addicted? Talking with your doctor is a great way to find a solution that suits your circumstances.

Fortunately there are alternatives for managing anxiety for those who don’t take medication, and with many strategies to choose from you will likely find something which can help make a difference to your day-to-day life.

1. Acknowledging your anxiety

This is an important step which you cannot avoid. Right now you have to admit that you are struggling with your anxiety, and know that it is OK – your mental illness does not define you. Say things like “I’m just feeling anxious” and “I’ve got through this before”. Accept it for what it is.

2. Avoid anxiety-triggering foods

From here on caffeine is your enemy and it must be avoided. Helpful changes to your diet include reducing your intake of coffee, alcohol and fast food. Instead try consuming food high in Tryptophan, as this is known for having a positive effect on the mind and body. This would include consuming more oats, bananas and nuts.

3. Take a break from social media

Sometimes it picks us up. Other times it puts us down. Social media can be a trigger for anxiety so a detox from time to time may be beneficial. Prove to yourself that you can do it.

4. Listen to music

Music has the ability to make us not feel so alone even when our mind and body is telling us otherwise. There are many videos on YouTube, like this one for example, which are designed to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

5. Write it all down

Whenever your anxiety is at its highest, write down what you think could be triggering this in just a few words. Also, write down the things that make you feel calm. Then go back to it and read what you have written – use it for guidance.

6. Talk to someone you know well

Talking to someone who understands what you are going through, whether it’s over the phone or person, will keep you calm and focused. Just talking in general can make it feel like a weight has been lifted.

7. Exercise

Studies suggest that regular exercise may help relieve you of your anxiety symptoms, whether it’s a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute workout. It all makes a difference.

8. Rearrange your room

It’s a good idea to keep things organised as this creates some kind of structure in your life, and structure is associated with a calm body and mind.

9. Pet an animal

Dog, cat, micro pig – it doesn’t really matter. Studies show that your pet can be the key to reducing tension and improving your mood. This is the ideal therapy for any animal lover.

10. Read a book

A good book has the ability to heal us, and it’s the perfect escape from reality. In fact, even reading for just 5 minutes daily can decrease levels of anxiety.

11. Relax in the bath

Soaking in the bath reduces tension in our muscles and helps us to relax both physically and mentally.

12. Baking

The process of baking can be both soothing and uplifting.

13. Be creative

Anything that requires you to focus your attention on something other than your anxiety such as drawing, making a bracelet or solving a puzzle is the best distraction and it will give you a sense of accomplishment.

14. Singing

Singing is a way to express ourselves and sometimes it’s good to let it all out.

15. Reward yourself

It’s important to give yourself a ‘pat on the back’ whenever you make progress towards managing your anxiety. This is the encouragement that you need in order to tackle your anxiety for good.

Lastly, I recommend this book for anyone suffering from anxiety and/or depression.

7 Things You’ve Probably Discovered Since Becoming An Adult

OK, being an adult has it’s advantages like staying up into the early hours of the morning (except we were all doing that at the age of 8) and spending our OWN money on things that we don’t even need. In more ways than one, it can be both an exciting and scary experience.

Here are 7 things that you have most likely realised about adulthood.

1. You can relate to Squidward

1. You can relate to Squidward

Via Instagram

You’re regularly moaning about your job, life and your ‘obvious talent’ which no one seems to recognise. Sometimes you feel under-appreciated and easily irritated by the people around you. Sorry to tell you, but you are now Squidward. Embrace it.

2. You prefer the company of animals to humans

2. You prefer the company of animals to humans

He doesn’t judge you, he doesn’t talk behind your back, he doesn’t wee on your lap (oh wait…). He is otherwise known as your best friend who you can always rely on. Humans? Who needs humans?

3. You look forward to sleeping

3. You look forward to sleeping

photo credit: Mother-Child / Via PhotoPin

Throughout the whole day you’ll be thinking about how much you’re looking forward to getting back into bed. You’ll even settle for a 10 minute nap. Yep, this is what being an adult does to you.

4. Your money disappears

4. Your money disappears

photo credit: Empty Wallet / Via PhotoPin

Wait a minute, where did that £50 go? You only bought a train ticket, lunch and a new shirt…

But remember when you were a kid and £50 seemed like winning the lottery? Well money just doesn’t go a long way anymore.

5. You rely on your phone way too much

5. You rely on your phone way too much

photo credit: Homescreen / Via PhotoPin

Most of the time, your phone is either in your hand or in your pocket. I mean you don’t want to miss anything, do you? And it’s pretty useful. If you want to find a recipe, quickly Google it. If you want to find out how many teeth snails have, well you can go ahead and Google it. Life saver.

6. You’re not sure what’s worse: a hangover or death

6. You're not sure what's worse: a hangover or death

photo credit: Decorative Functionality / Via PhotoPin

You’re never drinking again. And you mean it this time. It’s not worth it. But didn’t you say that last Friday? No, it’s worse this time. You think you’re going to die. And then something even worse happens – you remember everything you did and said last night. Oh the shame. And you’re never ever drinking again… right?

7. You binge watch TV shows

7. You binge watch TV shows

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One more episode. You can fit one more in. It’s only 11 pm and it’s not like you’ve spent your whole Sunday watching an entire series of your new favourite TV show. You haven’t even had a shower, have you? But hey, at least you’ve accomplished something. You now know who “A” is.