Wednesday, 12 July 2017

How to write a daily gratitude diary...


My unedited view of our family's front garden // our cabana in Colorado. 

I have been writing a gratitude diary since August. I have only successfully been writing a gratitude diary daily for a month, however. But I find it so rewarding focusing on the things that I am grateful for. It takes five seconds to jot down a few things that have made you smile that day or in general. I have found the mental benefit to be massive. Here are my tips for when you write your daily gratitudes: 

 Finding gratitude on crappy days 

We all have days where we are feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. Some days we have reason to feel like that and others are somewhat self-inflicted. But this is where the magic of writing gratitude comes in. There will be at least one thing that gives you comfort and that you are grateful for. Writing your 'core gratitudes' down on these days will help you massively. For example, on really bad days, my Mum or my boyfriend will have undoubtedly pampered me in some way. It might have been as simple as them listening to my worries, giving me a cuddle or making me a cup of tea. But the little things that they will have done that day will have cheered me up. 

Efforts that people make with you should always be noted.

Cuddles with your cat, dog, teddy or human will have comforted you in some way. 

Reading a magazine article that you can relate to.

Online shopping that's helped be your distraction (this is always therapy in my eyes.)

If you're lucky enough to be healthy, write that down - it's always something to be grateful for. 

Your favourite film 

Write down little things you are grateful for and you'll soon find yourself more aware that things are better than they seem. 


Write anything down that makes you feel good.

You can be grateful for anything that makes you feel awesome.

Write it down because the next time you feel bad you can repeat those things and surround yourself with them. It will make you smile to see what made you feel better that day in the future.

Good places to start are;

Writing about what you have achieved (this can be big or small. Had your five-a-day? Write down your accomplishment!).

Things that have filled your day with joy (Music? A poem? A book?)

People that supported you 

Compliments that you have received or given 

Gratitude that you have shown to other people
 (Trying to do this daily is also so beneficial. A simple check-in text goes a long way but any other gestures will always be noticed.) 

The list really is endless...think small before you think big! 


Writing gratitude in a time and place that suits you 

The most important thing about writing your gratitude diary is that you don't do it to prove anything. You shouldn't beat yourself up if you miss a day. I found writing my diary before bed is the easiest, it doesn't feel like a massive effort. I pick up my pen and my notebook, scribble a couple of things that have been good that day and go to sleep with a pretty good mindset. 

What does gratitude mean to you? 

Gratitude just translates into being thankful, so really, it's an individual thing. Achieving things daily will also fill me with a feeling of fulfilment, I am thankful for those feelings. It sounds weird but you really can stretch being thankful into anything. To me, my gratitude diary is full of things that have made me feel good. 




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Sunday, 9 July 2017

A new beginning for my blog



I made my blog on New Years Eve, 2012.
That is nearly five years ago.
Five whole years...

A lot has changed since.

In the beginning, no matter what, I always put time aside to blog. It made me feel happy because I love writing and at the time, I had a huge interest in fashion. Five years ago, not a lot of people had a blog - sure, there were still thousands but it wasn't in the millions like it is today. During those five years, I have changed personally in so many ways. As humans, (I assume you're the human species reading this anyway), we change and evolve constantly and that is certainly true for me.

With all that being said, the content on my blog changed with the times. I went through highs and lows of blogging non-stop to not at all. I never fell out of love with blogging, I just found it difficult to press pause on life's events. In addition, 'I Blog The Fashion' turned into blogging about a whole myriad of things.

I'm here again because I want to create a space that I feel proud of. A place on the internet that I can call my own once more. I want to document things that happen in my life and share them - even if I'm the only one reading now.

I Blog The Fashion is special to me.
It has given me opportunities and happiness throughout the years.
I don't want to give up on it because it feels like I'm going through a breakup (and who the hell wants that?!).

Stay tuned for fashion pieces (I have been on a shopping spree one-too-many!), lifestyle rumblings and beauty pieces. All the usual stuff but just at a more regular pace!

It's time for a fresh start!!


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Friday, 17 February 2017

Believing In Yourself



 I have made a few choices over the past two years that have taken a lot of balls. Not to big up myself or anything but I think it's about time that I recognise it. I have chosen to re-route my life and take an unexplored path. I have chosen to break free from the 'normality' and do what I want with my life. This has not been at all easy. I have had ups and I have had some major downs. One thing that has been super essential to all my decisions is having belief in myself and more importantly, my decisions.

Believing in yourself is a major skill to learn in life. It really has taken some time for me to develop it. Having a break away from education and other influences that try and spoon-feed you opinions made me feel lost but also enlightened. I formed my own ideas of what I wanted from my life and contrary to popular opinion around me - it wasn't further education. I had to believe in myself and my capabilities to turn down what were essentially fantastic educational opportunities. I had moments where I felt like a person who was made up from part water and part idiot.

It's hard to know what direction you are going in life but to have a goal and a recognition of your capabilities and skills is paramount. I have only recently decided what direction I want to go in my life. I brainstormed what made me happy, what skills I had and set myself a goal.

If someone turned around three years ago and told me that I wouldn't be going to Uni (yay) but would be lost for two years - I think I would've cried for days. I have considered so many different career pathways over the past few years. I dropped out of Uni with the mindset that I would focus on acting - then freaked out about the employability rates..I then re-considered the fashion industry and then went in a circle again and found myself contemplating University for a round three (ha, ha, ha - NO!). Finding your passions and what's right for you doesn't have a time limit and shouldn't ever be rushed. I felt anxious that I would never find something that would make me feel motivated and excited. I doubted my decision of dropping out of University regularly. I knew ultimately I had made no mistakes, I just hadn't found a good 'quick-fix' solution. Having confidence in each of your decisions in life is so important. Self-doubt is destructive and unhealthy.

This is the beginning of my journey and I believe that I can achieve the goals that I have set out to achieve. I have dreams and aspirations like any normal person but convincing myself that they will come true has been a longer process.

 I guess the moral from this little essay of mine is just to believe in yo'self!! Be a girl boss and don't give a damn what anyone thinks. Be reckless in the best kinds of ways and set goals that are reachable and that excite you. In theory, we only have one life - spend it the way you want!


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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Faking it VS being an open book of emotions


It's taken me twenty years to realise just how fake people are. I know how negative that sounds but really it's not a negative realisation at all but a massively comforting one.

Human nature programmes us all to compare ourselves to others. Social media is the best way we can do this. We are fed images and captions of places that people are taking themselves, who they are spending their time with and how amazing their life is. We are looking at a collage of carefully selected and edited photos showing us 'their lives'. People advertise themselves on social accounts and in conversation. Having a brutally truthful and honest discussion with someone about their life is enlightening but it is also super rare.

I am a very open person with the people in my life. I didn't really clock that this was unusual until fairly recently. I find myself being honest about my opinions and my life. I love acting as a hobby but when it comes to my life, I would rather show people the bare bones as it were. Lies only breed more lies. I actually find it impossible not to be honest. If someone asks me a question they'll get my real answer. I'm not driven by appearances and seeming OK. Sure, if I'm having a hormonal day, I might not choose to unleash my fire on an undeserving member of the public. But I also won't drag my smile up to my eyebrows and pretend rainbows fall from my arse - I suppose I find it too much effort.

There's one thing that I have learnt from my twenty years of living - it's OK not to be one hundred percent all the time. It's actually un natural and inhuman. I don't really mean that you should show your frown and be grumpy day-in, day-out because then you'll be Mr no mates. But maybe the next time someone asks you a question on how you're going - answer it honestly if you feel comfortable in their company.

As a result you might find that the person you are talking to will lose their fake facade and also open up. Alternatively you'll find yourself doing a mini monologue and feel alone. You may feel enlightened that you've had a bit of a chat about your 99 problems (but facing your emotions ain't one).

In a world where most people are saying how glorious their life is, in contrast I have often felt a bit alone and like a sack of problematic potatoes...It has taken a lot of digging to realise that people are mostly showing their fake surface. Most people have adopted the fake it til' you make it kind of approach. Which, I personally commend in one way but also feel like that must be a super tiresome life. It's true that we really don't know what people are going through. While I like to talk and chat, a lot of people prefer to either be private or convince themselves they're OK.

As part of turning twenty this month and feeling a little bit more like an adult since losing my 'teen' addition to my age - I have vowed to keep this in mind the next time I feel like my life is crumbling. I am an emotional person. I won't usually reveal this part of myself but I have always been honest and open about most aspects of my life. Being the antithesis to those who 'fake it', it can be hard to understand why my life doesn't feel/sound as perfect as theirs all the time.

 Reality check - our lives are exactly the same. No one's life is 'perfect'. People have issues and anxieties, they just don't talk about them. 

Are you a fake it til' you make it kinda human or an open bag of emotions? 



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Monday, 13 February 2017

Why I Ditched Lie-ins


Firstly, I am not entirely sure what happened to my eyes in this quick doodle. But, to be honest, it's an accurate representation of what I look like when I rise early in the morning.  Welcome to such a sight. Here I lie; bewildered, wild and racoon-eyed as the remnants from last night's makeup fiercely hold on for dear life around my nicely formed eye-bags. This is a typical morning. 

Before now, I would soak up all the hours of sleep that I wanted. Sometimes, I would arise way past the 'morning' hours - entering into 'late afternoon' territory. I'll put my hands up and admit, this was extremely lazy of me. I may as well have been a 'sloth' descendant. 

I thought I was fairly happy with my lazy routine. I felt 'well rested' and smug that I'd enjoyed hours of slumberous sleep. Little did I know that this routine was having such negative impacts on me. 

For starters, I discovered that by cutting my hours of sleep - I was wondrously more productive. I will never be a 'morning' person. Although I can function relatively well soon after my early rise, my brain power isn't always at full throttle. However, because I was awake earlier, I was planning for my day ahead and at least making a start on the tasks that I wanted to accomplish. 

I also found that by cutting my hours of sleep that I didn't actually ever need as many as I was getting. Often, after too many hours of 'dream time', I would spend the rest of the day as if I was still in that dream. My state of mind was incredibly cloudy and my head felt all fuzzy. Too much sleep was the culprit. 

As soon as I slashed those 'sleeping' hours down to the recommended eight hours, I no longer had that 'head in the clouds' sensation. I'm sure this isn't the case for everyone, but it certainly made a massive difference for me. 

The next discovery is going to sound obvious but I realised just how many hours there were in a day! I realised the obvious - sleeping for long durations of time decreases the amount of 'alive' time in the day. I found that I could be more leisurely in the mornings - enjoying the process of 'getting ready' and investing time into making a healthy, nutritious breakfast to start my day off. This has made a huge impact on the way that I function throughout the day. 

All in all, my lie-ins were actually my worst enemy. They sent me into a false sense of security. Just because I was stealing those extra moments of 'slumber' did not mean that I was 'well rested'. I was badly rested - too rested!! I was so rested that I wasn't even able to function like a human. I had reached a level of 'rest' that is unknown to humans. I missed being normal.

I used to curse at the wretched alarm clock. I basically cried every time I heard that insulting, nagging, frantic noise. But now, I realised its just my mate telling me to start the day. 

 I will never love my alarm clock - I'm programmed to detest it, just a little but it's helping me with life - so I can't complain. The point is, I've ditched my lie-ins and I'm happier this way. This post is not supposed to be revolutionary. Perhaps I'll receive some comments of a shocked nature. People may even question if I'm descendant from human ancestry after reading such a piece of personal news. But, despite the fact that I'm still sleepy in the mornings and get tempted by more hours of sleep luring me to the 'dark side' - I'm happier rising before mid-day. 

To most people my eight o'clock rise (nine o'clock on an indulgent day) is still a lie-in. In this case, I am sorry to be so inconsiderate...I suppose this post has now lost its value for you. But, for the rest of you lazy ones - try shifting out of bed earlier than your instinct tells you. The morning hours are more  pleasant than you may think but don't shoot the messenger! 




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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Goals & Wishes



Every year since I can remember I have made New Year's resolutions. They usually follow the same common theme;

Work out like a badass and find my long lost abs. 

 Eat healthy like sugar was never discovered.

Buy less - fill my purse with money not receipts. 

Do not drink a drop of alcohol, it is poisonous and bad - very bad. 

Go to bed early! Drop everything and just go to sleep. Sleep = beauty. 

Yeah, we've all done it. You probably did it in January and broke it on day three latest. This year I have decided to set out goals and wishes that I hope will happen in 2017. It's a no pressure kind of situation, so if it doesn't happen - no biggie, I'm not going to be crying into my pillow if not. But here are the things I hope to achieve and wish for this year: 

Write. 
Start my own book - turn my ideas into reality. 
Continue writing poems.  
Keep creating online content - blog, write articles and keep being creative. 

Travel 
Explore as much as I can! 

Stay cultured :) 
Put time aside to browse new artists
Read the news more often 
Read at least two books a month 
Keep finding poets. 
Create monthly playlists - music transforms your mood, remember that grumpy! 

Creative work
Get a placement in a creative industry and work hard to create the career that I want. 

And there it is. It's not extensive, it's not crazy and there's no banning chocolate out of my life. If there's one thing that I've learnt is that a Magic Star is truly magical and chocolate is therapy. 



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Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Reality Of Being A Uni Dropout


I am struggling with how to even begin trying to explain my journey of education since leaving Sixth form....basically now, it's non-existent.

My history summarised:

The beginning -
I applied for Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion (yes, the LCF).
I then got an interview and got a place there.
In Summer, I rejected the place and switched course to do English Literature at Cardiff University. (This was because I wasn't confident that I wanted to specialise my degree in the fashion industry.)
I dropped out because of health reasons beyond my control, I didn't even get a chance to set foot onto the campus. This was probably a blessing in disguise of a piece of crap. This time of my life was wonderful for giving me the same feeling that stepping in a pile of dog unpleasantries gives, over and over again. My face was the shoe. :)

Enter unplanned gap year number one.

The end -
One year later, I found myself doing English Literature at Exeter University and dropped out after one week. Hilarious, yes, one week - but my gut was screaming no and I listened and ran. TTFN.

What can I say, University was not for me. The universe tried to tell me. I always hated the idea and the reality was even worse. It is not something I fancy now or fancied then. From the boozy nights out to the lecturers droning on sending me into an early grave talking about Dickens - everything was wrong.

Growing up I always thought that I would go to University. I was a brainy little dork child. I loved learning in the early stages of my life. When exams started, I began hating it even though I still prospered and excelled. I am a high achiever and I work hard at everything I do. The majority of my family had gone to University and exceptionally good ones too. My Mum went to Oxford and that trend also runs in the family. There was no pressure at all for me to apply there, so I didn't because that level of hardcore learning definitely wasn't for me but I still felt compelled to go to some form of learning place..

I guess my mindset was that I'd worked so hard at school that I wanted to put my knowledge and efforts to use by going. Plus, everyone goes to Uni so why wouldn't I? It gets you a good degree so that you can get a job and start 'adulting'. Also, what other option was there? Work in a shop, a farm or cry myself to sleep as a homeless girl? The other options didn't look bright to me, so I put on a brave, fake smile and jumped happily when I saw my acceptance letter from Exeter to study English.

There's a massive amount of pressure on teens to go to University and get degrees. There are so many people going to Uni and getting into debt that it's the absolute norm - I am the freak here.

For starters, when I left, I immediately found myself wearing the 'dropout' badge. Along with the dropout badge come some serious life questions, the majority of which I have no suitable answers to..

'What are you going to do now?'
Cry. I am going to cry. 

'Have you thought this through properly?'
Nah, not one thought has gone into it. I'm stuffed.

'Are you just going to work in a shop? I mean, there are good opportunities there I guess...'
Yeah, McDonald's has some openings, just give me my apron now. 

'But WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!'
Because the devil controls me. 


Basically, people could NOT fathom the fact that I had dropped out of University with no clear plan or alternative direction. To be honest, half the time neither can I, so they certainly add fuel to the fire. I find myself experiencing dropout side-effects. Here's the low down;

Wandering, random career thoughts
 A bird feeder you say? Why I'm sure they don't need a BA in Birds! No..I have a fear of winged animals.. 

Minor, internal and external panic attacks inspired by anything.. 
Often when asked questions by any person, relating to my state in life. Story-time: The postman asked me if I was OK, I was not - internal panic attack. He never talks, I must look really bad..I sob into my parent's mail.

Increase in tissue use
As a dropout you find yourself lost in life while watching snapchat stories of your Uni friends raving every second. Meanwhile you pet your dog and retire to a life of the unknown.

Internet searches that lead nowhere
Career paths that don't need degrees often end with depressing result searches. I panic close the tabs. I don't accept the truth of Google. 

Doubt, doubt and more doubt 
All I can say is there is much doubt to be done....

Anger
Why couldn't I be normal. Why?! Screw Uni. 

On the whole, being a 'dropout' isn't fun at all. In fact, it is the hardest time of my life so far (I know, boo-hoo but I'm still a sapling so allow). I still don't have a clear direction that I want to go in. I have toyed with the idea of going back to University and then find myself being slapped by my conscience or my dog.

It is the massive failure in the school system that alternative options are not hyped up to school-leavers. It's Uni or Uni or a life of decay and forbidden lands. For now I have found myself a job and that will keep me going. I will write a blog post about what I want to achieve this year and I think I am slowly but surely creating an exciting plan B for myself.

I wanted to write this post because dropping out of University is snubbed. Sure, it's seen as 'brave' by some but not really for a commendable reason. It's the kind of brave that's identical to jumping off a cliff with sharks with open jaws waiting for you at the bottom. It gets you some looks thrown your way - puzzled side-eyes, worried gazes and hugs that you didn't ask for and demanding questions that you want to reply to with curse words. But people will be people and they don't mean it. They just can't understand why you'd voluntarily jump into the sharks and I get it. I guess I am suicidal. But I'm sure I can prove y'all wrong.

Peace out,
love the drop out.


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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

What's The Point In Blogging?

Polly Nor illustrations are my absolute favourite!
 Check her out at http://www.pollynor.com
 (Completely not sponsored just a bit of culture for you..) 
Hi again.

Back in my November archives is a blog post 'Why I'm Back To Blogging After 9 Months'. I listed all the things I'd done in my 9 month hiatus from blogging. It was in that blog post that I also vowed that I was 'back to blogging' and that lasted a glorious couple of days and then I ditched my blog again. My bad.

Each time I take a break from my blog and take a step back I find myself thinking, 'what is the point in blogging?'. These days there are SO many blogs; some with millions of readers and followers and some that are being created every time I blink with just their cat reading. With that in mind, the blogging world is totally different to when I first started out. It's a completely different realm of cyberspace now. Everyone is trying to copy their favourite blogger, writing about the same mundane things that we all still love reading about and we're all clones of one another. Sure there are different types of blogs with different stories to tell but we're all doing the same sort of thing - blabbering our way into the blogger-sphere.

I have also started to feel like a slight failure with my blog. 2016 was a pathetic year for my blog and I only wrote 16 posts..that makes me feel like I'm so far in the dumps that I am an actual trash can. At the start of my journey I was writing consistently. I was getting brands that wanted to work with me and enjoyed every single second. I couldn't wait to open my laptop and write a blog post. Today, I find the task of writing a blog post sad. I'm not sure how many people will read it or care. This mindset results in a lack of motivation and inspiration. That being said, my stats prove me wrong as I am still getting views to this day when there is no new content. Maybe I'm overthinking something that on the grand scale of life, doesn't matter one damn bit. But that's my brain and these are my thoughts so what can a girl do but vent?

My blog continues to be like a gravitational pull, however. Every time I stop I am still reading other people's blogs. Then I start thinking of my decaying blog and vow to go back. I think I've come to the conclusion that the point of my blog is that it makes me happy. I'm not trying to blog to get noticed, earn money or to get brand sponsors - that's never been what my blog has been about. I'm blogging to write and write about stuff that's sometimes random and that interests me and is what I am 'about'.

So, here I am, in 2017 carrying on my blog that I established on New Year's Eve 2012 as a mere 15 year old. This year I turn 20 and wave goodbye to the 'teen' accessory attached to my age stamp. A lot has changed and I am looking forward to what this year brings for myself and my blog.

Happy belated New Year and welcome back to my abandoned space! 
PS: Expect some upcoming posts, they're happening, they're being written. 


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