10 things to be happy about in December

Tonight is the night that I well and truly get my elf on.

I've got Poundland fairy lights, sticky snowflakes and paper chains at the ready. My advent calender has been put in position. I even splashed out on some mince pies and have my Christmas playlist raring to go. By midnight, our flat is going to look like a cheap Santa's grotto with beans stuck to the work surfaces! And I'm pretty excited about it.

Since Christmas is right around the corner, you might not need that many more reasons to smile. But a series is a series. So, just in case you do need a little push in the festive direction, here are 10 things to be happy about in December!

Favourite Things: November

It’s getting pretty bloody magical out there, folks.

Right now, I’m sitting by my window with a cup of Maltesers white hot chocolate (no marshmallows, but I’ll survive) whilst a giant Christmas tree is being put up in the courtyard. To say I’m so excited I could dance for about an hour straight to Mariah Carey would be an understatement. Add in the fact that I know this is the last favourites post I’ll write before Christmas comes in all its twinkly glory and I’m fit to burst.

But, before I get ahead of myself, I should probably tell you about a few of the things that made me smile in November. It may be cold outside, but at least I have soap that smells good enough to eat and a bag with vaginas on it.

10 things I'm thankful for

Here in the UK we don't celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, today has been pretty much like any other Thursday in the history of my life. Nothing special to report apart from the fact that I totally put Reese's Pieces in my porridge this morning to curb my PMS symptoms. But apart from that it's been entirely ordinary. Seeing all of these Instagram worthy table settings, giant plates full of carbohydrates and videos from the parades have made me seriously envious. I want to be eating until my eyes bulge and getting into arguments with family members over dinner about whether or not Trump should have won.

But apart form the drool-worthy food, I also think England should jump on board the thankfulness train. Everyone needs a little push to remember just how lucky they are, right? So, I've taken today as an excuse to do just that and broadcast it to the world (you lot) while I'm at it. Join me at my online table, make yourself a big ol' plate of food and don't forget to tell me what you're grateful for bellow!

What self-care really looks like

I feel very lucky to have landed in the little corner of the internet that I did. Every time I go on twitter I either see positive vibes flying at me from every corner of the globe, or people understandably angry about social issues that people should be angry about. It's the perfect mix. And thanks to being (virtually) surrounded by a butt load of badass feminists, I also went through most of my teenage years with the idea of self-love constantly bubbling away at the back of my brain. I slowly learnt how to take active rests in life. I learnt to love having small boobs, regardless of what the media tell me daily. I learnt about the power of a Lush bath.

And up until now, that's served me well. 

Recently though, I've realised that self-care isn't always buying yourself flowers and lighting candles. Sometimes it takes sacrifice. The idea that self-care can be a little bit painful is a weird one at first. But I'm talking long term self-care. I mean doing things that might be difficult right now because you know that, in the long run, it will make you happier or healthier. 

Blogarama stole my blog posts

My blog is my baby. Pretty much any time spent not doing uni work, eating or sleeping is dedicated to this little corner of the internet. Over the past year or so I've fully thrown myself into blog betterment. I've done courses. I've spent hours playing with my camera. I've even learnt a little bit about SEO. And yes, it is a boring as it sounds. So, I'm pretty protective when it comes to my content - a feeling I'm sure all of my fellow bloggers and artists will understand.

16 signs that you're a little bit of a hippie

As I write this post, I'm sat in leggings with a green tea by my side, psyching myself up for a yoga class I have in an hour. Like, an actually yoga class with actual people, not just a Youtube video in my bedroom. Never in my life have I lived up more to my hippie persona. I can't help it, guys. I just really like the taste of hoummous! And sometimes you need a good Gandhi quote to get you pumped for a 9am lecture. It's not like I use the word "namaste" on a daily basis or anything, but it pays to be a little bit 60s in 2016.

I know that I'm not alone. It starts with drinking almond milk and then suddenly you're in a downward dog sweating profusely because your naturally deodorant is failing you. If you know what I'm talking about, you'll definitely recognise these 16 signs that you're a teeny tiny bit of a massive bloody hippie.

How women are taught to hate each other

“I’m only friends with guys. I just can’t handle the bitchiness.”

During my school life I think I must have heard those words on at least a weekly basis. In fact, I probably said them once upon a time in my pre-feminist-enlightenment era. I’m glad to say that these days I don’t consider it to be ‘cool’ to hate on other women just because they’re women. In fact, if a fellow female says crap like that now (especially if they’re over the age of twelve) I can’t help but cringe.

Generally speaking, men don’t do this. If another male stresses them out they don’t give up on the whole of their sex because it’s “just way too much drama”. They have bromances, after all. Whereas all female friendships are apparently toxic and unbelievably bitchy.

Girl Love #6

A few weeks ago I spoke to you all about how I was planning on taking an 'active rest'. I felt a little bit lost and a little bit overwhelmed and the only logical thing to do seemed to be to take some time out. But I also know how not-like-me and restless I become when I don't feed my creativity in some way. So, even though I stopped blogging I decided to dedicate myself to exploring. I read books I hadn't had a chance to touch up until that point. I watched videos on topics I hadn't considered before. I started to journal again.

Basically, I just gave my brain some time to be, without forcing it to write publicly about being. Sure, I wasn't pushing out content on the daily and my views went down a bit. That's okay. I want (even need) writing to be fun or cathartic, or it isn't really worth doing in my eyes. Plus, whilst I was away I came up with some bloody exciting ideas to get things rolling again, like the Blogs and Books Club.

I have some amazing online presences to thank for helping me to shift my perspective and get back into a creative head space during my time off, which I thought called for another edition of 'Girl Love'.

Twitter is an echo chamber

When I went to sleep on Tuesday night, I fully believed that I would be waking up to see the first female elected as president of the United States of America. I was kind of viewing the possibility of Trump gaining power from a distance, like a horror movie you see on the shelves of Tesco that you know damn well you're never going to put in your DVD player. I really didn't think that "President Trump" would ever be a thing. After all, nobody wanted him to win.

And then I woke up. And he had won. And the whole world seemed a lot sadder than when I went to sleep.

Introducing: The Blogs and Books Club

Get your streamers, dancing shoes and suitably celebratory beverage at the ready my beauties, because today I've got some super exciting news to share with you! Let's all just pretend that the title of this blog post doesn't totally give it away in order to preserve my big reveal moment, okay?

For those of you that don't know, I'm pretty in love with books. So in love with them, in fact, that I'm willing to pay £9k a year just to study them and sit in big groups of people discussing them. That's basically the same financial commitment as having a baby! I mean, granted, I don't have to support my degree for the next 18 years of its life and give it constant emotional support, but it's still a pretty big deal. Which is why it's quite surprising that I've kept my blogging life and my bookish life relatively separate until now. I think mainly, I wanted to stay within my niche. But recently I realised, in a moment of divine inspiration, that life doesn't have to be lived within niches. I know, I know, it was all very profound.

Vogue, my body is not a trend

I feel like Vogue really want me to be celebrating right now. They want me to chuck on a turtle neck, grab myself a G+T and spend the rest of my evening rejoicing that, thank God the fashion bible itself has validated my body type. Thank God, my B cup boobs have finally been declared fashionable.

What a time it is to be alive for us small chested ladies! Doesn't it feel great to have your boobs validated through the criticism of every other body shape that exists? Screw you, random man on the internet that told me I looked like a ten-year-old boy. Screw you, woman at Costa five years ago that I overheard saying "real women have curves". Screw you, Penélope Cruz and your beautifully plump breasts. You and your cleavage are out. I am officially fashion.

This. This is why we still need feminism.

If there's one thing that's bound to propel you head first back into the blogging world after a creativity rut, it's witnessing three real-world events that all infuriate your feminist soul in equal measure. Who needs to brainstorm innovative post ideas when you've got so much patriarchal bullshit staring you right in the face just waiting to be ranted about, right?

To say that I'm angry right now would be to suggest that I'm not painfully used to seeing crap like this on a regular basis. However, as any of my fellow pro-equality hunnies can confirm, October has been a pretty exhausting month for us. We've all had to wave our feminist flags pretty damn hard. And by "wave our flags" I mean aggressively tweet and scoff at the idiocy with our friends over glasses of Merlot, because we all have busy lives to live alongside promoting our agendas. To be honest though, what's been most exhausting about these three recent events is that, even when obvious sexism is shoved right in all of our faces, there are people that continue to insist we "don't need feminism anymore". We got the vote. We can wear jeans. What more could be want?

As far as I'm concerned, people that think like that are beyond redemption. And I know that I'm fully preaching to the choir with this post, but I need to get the shit show that was the past month out of my brain and into the world.

This illustration is absolutely wonderful but I can't find a source! 
Please let me know in the comments if you know who's art this is so that I can credit them.