Positive thoughts to take into the week




5 ways I've made myself proud this week

1. I've been focused on school. I've done more essays than I can count on one hand as well as hours of revision and I actually spent my time at school wisely. Mostly.

2. I've not be too focused on school. Between my study sessions I've given myself time off to relax and do things that I love. Whilst in previous years I've been known to let myself get extremely stressed around exam season, I'm trying my best to take a breath and chill this time round.

3. I finally got round to cancelling my Kindle newspaper subscription that I have not read since December. That's £10 more in the bank each month. That could buy a fair few cartons of Almond Breeze to make iced coffee from every morning.

4. I read something outside of my comfort zone - "The Spell" by Charlotte Brontë. I have to admit that I'm much more of a modern novel reader but I managed to somehow muster up the focus to get through something I'm completely not used to. And I actually really enjoyed it!

5. I have striven every day to make sure that the people I care about the most in my life are happy.

Thought of the day:


7 ways to read more




1.Carry a book wherever you go 

You’ll be surprised how much you can get read in a day when you make sure you pick up your book when you have a spare 5 minutes instead of aimlessly scrolling through twitter. 

2. Get an e-reader 

Or use your phone/tablet to read. It just means you don’t have to carry around books as long as War and Peace in your bag so you can fill it with something else wonderful. Like a smoothie. Or a notepad for the novel you’re writing. 

3. Keep a reading log 

Because there’s nothing sadder than looking at a reading log and seeing a bookless month. It adds a sense of gentle pressure to your reading life. 

4. Make a to-read list

A list of what you want to read starting with the one you’re most excited about essentially gives you an order in which to tackle your extensive unopened book collection. No more picking up books willy nilly.

5. Create a habit 

Set a time for reading and stick to it. When you’re bored or have nothing to do, reach for your book. Make your reading habits so deeply ingrained in your daily life that they’re unthinking. 

6. Turn off the tech 

I know this contradicts the whole “get an e-reader” point, but I really mean turn off all social media and any form of electronic communication. Reading requires you to focus to really enjoy it and if you have an eye on your text messages the whole time then you’ll just end up reading the same page 10 times over.

7. Read what you love 

There’s no point reading something you don’t enjoy. You’ll get bored and it will either take you a ridiculously long time to get through it or you’ll give up. It’s good to challenge yourself with classics and things you haven’t tried before but never force your way through a book.

How to overcome a bad day

You know those days when you just wake up sad? For whatever reason and whether it's justified or not, it happens to all of us. The natural instinct is to close the curtains, burry ourselves amongst our comfiest blanket and imagine that the world is not going on outside of our window whilst we wallow in self-pity. Trust me, I've been there. And trust me, it does not help. Before you know it it's 8pm, you've achieved nothing and you're mood hasn't improved since you first woke up because you've been brooding all day. For me, most of my rare sad moments spawn from feeling out of control. Troubles in the various relationships that fill my life, medical issues or someone else's actions that I can't get a hold of and personally change tend to be the cause of my upset. So the key to turning a day around is finding a way to regain a sense of control.

1. Get stuff done.

Tick something off you're to-do list. Do it as soon as physically possible so that a day that started off pretty crappy can at least have been productive. Finish some homework, get some revision done, plan that report for work - whatever. Just do something so that when you lay down at night you can say "I did something."


2. Find new music to fall in love with.

Is there any greater feeling than listening to a new musical find for hours repeatedly until you know every word of their deluxe album? I think not. It's always a beautifully satisfying moment when  you arrange you're iTunes library, too. If you need inspiration my recent addictions have been Foxes and Ella Eyre.



3. Create.

For me this usually means writing something new. When I have a pen and paper in front of me I have complete control over what happens next. Poem or prose, joyous or melancholy, I get to chose what words I write down and the way I want them to effect the reader. I guess the same goes for any creative endeavour, whether it be painting, photography or blogging and regardless of whether you're actually 'good' at it.



4. Get outside.

Staying inside the same four walls will just encourage you to over-think whatever's troubling you. You will suffocate yourself with bad vibes, so open the door and get yourself outside. If it's possible go for a long (like, really long) walk. Look at the sky and realise how tiny your problem is in the grand scheme of things.



5. Have a bath.

There's very little that a bath can't sort out. Use as many products as you can (preferably including a Lush bath bomb) and just relax. Do this after you've got completed some work and found some new music. Consider it your reward for having such a productive day despite its possibility of going terribly.



6. Get an early night.

Maybe it's just me, but when I'm tired everything seems 100x worse than it really is. When you wake up the next day with 10 hours sleep under your belt, things will probably seem a lot better than they did the morning before.


Life at the moment

Listening... 

To Tove Lo as per usually. If you haven't heard any of her songs aside from the Hippie Sabotage remix 'Stay High' you are seriously missing out, my friend. Start off by listening to 'Run on Love', then 'Talking Bodies', 'Not on drugs' and 'Paradise'.




Click the above picture to be taken to a Tove Lo, Queen of the Clouds Youtube Playlist

Reading... 

A lot. Since I haven't been at school for the past week I've been able to spend every free moment (aka those moments that I've not been revising) inhaling the written word. My most enjoyed recent read though is 'Us' by David Nichols. Unsurprisingly it was a spectacular read as he is the author of one of my favourite novels 'One Day'. Nichols has an accessible but undeniably beautiful written voice that I could just wrap myself in.




Loving ... 

The Lush Cosmetics Magnaminty face mask which has once again saved my life this week. As well as making my skin feel like silk it smells like you can eat it, which is all I ask of a product really. 




Eating ... 

Almond butter with overnight soaked oats. I'm not a fan of porridge but I would happily marry overnight soaked oats. The basic recipe I follow is a cup of oats, a cup of vanilla yogurt, a cup of almond milk and a banana  all mixed together which I leave in the fridge when I go to bed. Then I just add a huge dollop of almond butter in the morning and I'm sorted for breakfast.





Lucky because
... 


I have the most amazing family and a wonderful boyfriend who I am happy to have been able to spend this Easter holiday with relaxing in the sunshine. Fish (or battered sausage) and Chips in the park? Yes please.


Dear Future Child,

I’m currently 18 years old and the prospect of having a child within less than the next ten years is utterly ludicrous to me. I don’t even know if I want children or a child. I don’t know if I can handle the long nights, the breast feeding, the screaming human attached to my hip or the whole pushing a baby out of me thing. I commend those that do it, but it all seems rather stressful. I’m also aware that at some point I will probably become broody and long for a family and in that eventuality there are some things I promise to you, my future child.

I promise that I will tell you I love you every single day. I don’t care if it embarrasses you when you’re 13, because you will grow up knowing just how important it is to show the people around you that you care. I will teach you to tell your friends, your family and your future partners at every opportunity you have just how much they mean to you. I want you to hug tighter and fall in love with people and with the world.

If you want me to read something you have written I will absorb every word. If you want me to look at something you have drawn I will admire it. I will be at every show, every match, every presentation that I can physically attend. I promise I will never act ambivalent towards something you are infatuated by. There’s nothing more soul destroying than running into a room to tell people something exciting a being met with a wall of apathy. 

I promise I will talk to you about anything and everything. When you fall too fast and break your heart I will tell you that it’s okay but that I understand. I will never tell you that you are not in love. Your age will not lessen the credibility of your emotion in my eyes. 

You can be whatever you want to be, my darling. Reach for the stars and work hard; I will hold your hand every step of the way. I will not force you into loving literature (as much as it may pain me!) because if it doesn’t ignite your soul it isn’t worth your time. 

I don’t care who you love, so long as they hold you like you are a piece of art. Their gender is irrelevant, their skin colour is irrelevant, their religion is irrelevant. My only care is that they care for you. Make sure they kiss you like they’re going to lose you and that they want to know what keeps you breathing every day. 

If your gender does not match your sex, it may take me a minute to adjust but I will be there for you. I will not mind if you are a boy or a girl when you are in my stomach and I will not mind when you are out. The world will use your preferred pronouns and I will make that my personal mission in life if I have to. 


Most of all, future child that I will adore even when you are screaming in my face, I promise that I will be strong enough to hold us both up at once. 

Period Tax

I don't know about you, but when I'm on my period I do not consider the week long bleeding and added cramps to be in any way a "luxury". Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe every other woman in the world does feel a sense of luxury on their period. Somehow though, I doubt it very highly. Keeping this in mind I must ask you a question: Why the hell is there a tax on sanitary products? Why are tampons and sanitary towels deemed as not "essential" enough to mean they don't warrant having tax stuck on the end of their already extortionate price because they are a "luxury product"? In an ideal world such things would be free or available on the NHS (I didn't chose the womb life, the womb life chose me), but I can accept grudgingly that this is currently practically unviable. "Non-essential" though, really? I know it's a man that decided on this tax and I know it's men that refuse to discuss it further, because no woman would ever willingly go through their period with no sanitary products. No woman would ever say that sanitary towels and tampons are not utterly essential to continue life as normally as possible whatever week of the month it is. 

The tax was lowered from 17.5% to 5% in 2001. It may not seem very much these days but let me put that into perspective for you. A regular box of 20 Tampax Pearl tampons costs £2.99 in Tesco. Prior to tax the box would cost £2.85, meaning that per purchase we pay an extra 14p. Again, I know it doesn't seem a lot but bare with me. So, say we go through one box per cycle and the average woman has 350 menses in her lifetime (how soul destroying that statistic is), all of those 14p extras accumulate to make up £49. Even if that still doesn't seem like a huge amount, I think this will change your mind: With that additional £49 over your lifetime you could buy 49 large Galaxy chocolate bars to aid you through the time of the month when chocolate is perhaps even more of an essential than tampons! I don't know about you, but the thought of losing out on almost 50 chocolate bars in my lifetime merely because of the ignorant people in parliament that seem to think I deserve to be taxed just because I'm a woman is pretty maddening. 

Really though, it's not the money that upsets me. It's the principle and it's the ignorance. Among the list of things that are not taxed in the UK currently is exotic meats. Which means that essentially the British government is saying that eating crocodile is more essential to its citizens than Tampons. Also on the list is men's razors. Because men shaving off their facial hair isn't a luxury but having the ability to not bleed all over the floor for seven days straight certainly is! It's as though women aren't actually put through enough for simply being women. As though menstruating for 1/5 of our lives and having the delights of back pain, stomach cramps, headaches, nausea and the undying fear of an embarrassing leak once a month for 35 years isn't enough. 




Women and men alike need to stand up against this frankly ridiculous idea of charging women for having a womb. The petition "George Osborne: Stop taxing periods" (found here) already has 218,553 supporters but they clearly need more because this reasonable request continues to be ignored. Sign it. You don't need to be a woman to see the injustice in this, you just need to be a good person.