26 July 2017

Girl Love #11

It seemed only right to type up this post with my salt lamps on, a cup of homemade yogi tea and an amethyst by my side. Since I'm going to be talking about spirituality, I thought I may as well really embody it. And I have to be honest, this sure as hell beats my usual setup.

This month's edition of Girl Love is dedicated to some of the amazing women that have helped me on my spiritual journey over the last few months. Since May I kind of feel like I've become a new person. That's not to say that I'm now a mindful Buddhist who only eats kale and can meditate for 5 hours at a time, but I am much more aware of myself. I feel like my teen years were for building up my character and that my twenties are for chiseling away at it to find the most true version of me.

However, I definitely couldn't have kicked off this journey on my own. So, it's time to celebrate three incredible women who have helped change my life and might help change yours too!

Girl Love: Online spirituality resources

22 July 2017

Usher, herpes and STI stigma

A few days ago news broke that Usher has herpes. The internet went wild. Jokes, online hate and uniformed opinions made up about 75% of my timeline and I've been wondering how to write this blog post ever since.

Usher's case acts as the perfect example of the way that STIs are stigmatised and the way that herpes specifically is blown massively out of proportion. His name was being mentioned in tweets that also discussed R-Kelly, alleged rapist and paedophile, literally because he's contracted a virus. Had it been almost any other kind of virus his situation would probably warrant sympathy. In fact, herpes highlights the way that adding sex into the equation completely changes public opinion. You get cold sores (HSV1)? Aw that sucks, but it's totally normal! You have genital herpes (HSV2)? That's disgusting and irresponsible. They are literally two strains of the same virus! 70% of the population carries that virus, although many remain undiagnosed! Both can be painful, both can be unsightly during outbreaks and both remain in your system for the whole of your life. And yet, because one of them happens to be contracted on the genitals as opposed to the mouth, it carries a huge stigma. Because one is transferred during sex it becomes newsworthy.

Usher, Herpes stigma

19 July 2017

My Experience with Impostor Syndrome

The past year has been the most successful of my life so far. I've finished my Second Year of university with a First. I landed some amazing sponsored content opportunities with brands that I love and share ethics with. I've just come back from a week in Yorkshire for a writing job that I would never have expected to be able to do even six months ago.

And yet, when asked yesterday what I do for a living I said "Oh I'm a waitress".

I haven't worked in a resturant for over two years and for the past 12 months blogging and writing have been my job. So even I was surprised when those words left my mouth. Not because there's anything wrong with waitressing, but because it's not my reality and I for some reason felt the need to pretend that it was.

I feel like that situation sums up my relationship with work pretty well: I don't feel like it's real. I feel like it's all a dream. Or maybe like I'm being pranked and someone is about to jump out and say "LOL you didn't really think you were qualified or talented or pretty enough to do this did you?" at any moment. Basically, I have a huge case of impostor syndrome and I've only just realised it.

Impostor Syndrome: My Experience

17 July 2017

How to make having a UTI slightly more bearable

Over the past couple of years I've become rather well acquainted with UTIs. In fact, I think they like me because they seem to be treating my urinary tract somewhat like a holiday home.

If you've never had a urine infection before then 1. I kind of want to punch you out of sheer jealousy and 2. Please tell me if there's some kind of urethra goddess that you sacrifice to because I am so on board with that. If you have had one - and one in five women have - I totally sympathise. For some reason I'm just very prone to the bastards. I've been through the burning that makes you think your bladder was formed in the fiery depths of hell. I've sat on the toilet for twenty minutes at a time. I've wondered what on earth women did to deserve this kind of life. Trust me, I know the struggle and you're not alone.

On the plus side though, this little love affair I've had with E. Coli means that I can now sense a urine infection from a mile off. As soon as I get that tingle (if you know the tingle, you know the tingle) I can crack open my tried and tested methods for getting rid of them. And most of the time I stop them before they become anything serious whatsoever.

How to get rid of a UTI

This post contains Amazon affiliate link

11 July 2017

My favourite essential oils (and what I use them for)

Over the past year I like to think that I've transitioned from essential oil novice to (almost) expert. For those of you that don't know, as well as keeping my lil' corner of the internet updated, I blog over at Tender Essence about all things essential oils. From DIYs to beginners guides, we've got you covered. One of the perks of that job is being constantly surrounded by the oils and exploring a tonne of different ways to use them. I even made soap all by myself!

It's been a game changing experience, my friends. These days I use essential oils on a daily basis to help me stay calm, centred and focused. Plus, they just smell bloody lovely. So, even though I've spoken about how I use them on my period and how to use them to up your self-care game, I thought that today I would share with you a more comprehensive list of all of my absolute favourite essential oils.

The essentials of essential oils

9 July 2017

My self-care travel essentials

As this post goes live I am on my way to Yorkshire. Yep, that's right. This Kentish girl isn't partaking in her usual Sunday morning routine of absolutely bugger all, but instead woke up at 5:30am this morning to get her butt up North. For the next week I'm staying in a hotel for work (is this what adulthood feels like?) on a project that I can't wait to share with you all very soon! It's all rather exciting, but also a little bit terrifying simply because I'm a massive homebody. I'm not one of those bloggers who whizzes between Thailand and Paris. I spend 90% of my time writing posts in bed with a cuppa beside me and, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love traveling, but I also get very homesick very quickly, which is why I have to be mindful of what I pack. Essentially my suitcase becomes a home away from home.

How to practice self-care whilst traveling

8 July 2017

How my relationship with health and fitness has changed

When I was 16 I went to the gym for the first time. It was one of those really swanky ones where everyone is wearing LuLu Lemon and looks like they lunged their way out of the womb. There was literally a 'café' (I use the word loosely) that sold nothing but protein shakes and smoothies that kind of looked like sewage water. So, when I rocked up in my over sized Beyoncé tour t-shirt it's safe to say that I felt a little bit out of place. I didn't really have any idea what I was doing so I just headed straight to the treadmill, whacked it up to ten and proceeded to actually feel like I was going to keel over after 4 minutes. Fun times. I probably only lasted about 15 minutes in total before deciding that the gym wasn't for me. And feeling thankful that I had only spent my waitressing wages on a day membership.

Even up until six months ago that experience still encapsulated my relationship with exercise: It wasn't for me. Every now and then I would get a burst of motivation and do a few weeks of yoga or some Youtube dance aerobic classes, but nothing ever stuck. I genuinely thought that people who said shit like "the gym is my therapy" were extremely toned liars. Nobody likes crunches, right?

5 July 2017

Conscious living wishlist

Back at the beginning of 2017 I made the resolution to become more aware of where my money goes. At the time, that mainly meant not funding animal testing and shopping as locally as possible, but since then I've become even more aware of the ways that I can improve my rather shitty consuming habits.

Now, let's get one thing very clear: I'm definitely not a vegan, zero-waste goddess who goes litter picking in her free time. However, I am making changes one small step at a time. And that's what's important. When you suddenly become aware of how much convenience is put on a pedestal in our society, it can actually seem a bit overwhelming and you might feel like you have to change every aspect of your life immediately. That's great if you can do that, but if you have to take things a bit more slowly that's also absolutely fine.

I for one am focusing on being a better person than I was last month, instead of judging myself on other ethical bloggers. So, this lil' wishlist post is both an excuse for me to get excited about some of the things I can invest in to be less wasteful and also a reminder that, right now, I do still have some rather wasteful habits. Hey, I'll get there eventually!

Zero Waste Wishlist

3 July 2017

How to make Traditional Yogi Tea

As anybody who follows me on Pinterest will be able to tell you, June was the month that I swiftly transitioned from "slight hippie" to "full hippie". I even bought crystals and dedicated myself to doing yoga and meditation every single day. I think it was kind of inevitable that I would reach this point considering I've been attracted to the world of spirituality for pretty much as long as I can remember, but now that I'm here I'm excited to show aspects of it to you.

So, yes, today I am sharing a recipe with you all. But no, that's not just because I've seen the success of Deliciously Ella and decided to jump right on board the food blogger train. This little cup of gloriousness is actually part of a wider shift my life has been making. Yogi Tea has become a part of my morning routine and creating it is just so much more mindful than chucking a PG Tips bag into a mug. It takes more than 20 seconds, so making it hasn't just become a case of making something super delicious, but of having half an hour to meditate on life whilst making my house smell absolutely bomb at the same time. I did warn you that I've gone full hippie...

1 July 2017

Favourite Things: June

I completely forgot how punctuating the end of each month with a favourites post makes you realise just how fast the time is passing. How have I already been home from uni for three weeks? How is it nearly July? How is it 2pm and I've only just eaten breakfast?

On the plus side, June has been bloody lovely. It was a month that was permeated with that "wow I've actually finished uni for the year" feeling and I've loved having more time to spend with the people I love and doing the things that I enjoy. Unsurprisingly, that's also meant that I've accumulated a fair few favourites for this month, since I've been doing things that don't solely revolve around essays. So, because I'm turning into a proper blogger who is totes reliable, I'm back with this month's instalment of Favourite Things.

This post contains affiliate links

28 June 2017

The problem with 'The Girlboss mentality'

Throughout my teenage years I called myself a "feminist" without hesitation, attempting to fight misogyny one tweet at a time. However, with seven years of wearing that label under my belt, its safe to say that I've made a few mistakes. And by a few I mean a bloody lot. I've learnt that feminism isn't just about picking people up on their double standards online (although that can be fun too), but about constantly listening to those that dont often get a voice within society, or even a voice within a movement created to support equality. I'm learning, I'm growing into my intersectional feminist shoes and, even though I still make ill-judged comments from time to time, I'm trying.

With that in mind, I decided today that I wanted to call myself out on my own bullshit. I want to talk about what I like to call "Girlboss Culture" or, alternatively, the school of "there's no elevator to success", and why Pinterest quotes about working hard no longer motivate me, but piss me off.  

26 June 2017

Behind my Instagram

Ah Instagram, I like to think of you as the great aunt at a Christmas dinner table of the online world. We love you and all that, but you also massively piss us off. Aunties ask us when we're getting married and tell us that they were a labour voter all of their life but just couldn't vote for Corbyn this time around, Instagram force us to scroll down a non-chronological feed and lead us to obsess over whether our 'grid' has a 'theme'. To summarise: it's a rocky relationship. But not one that we want to end any time soon.

I like to think that I'm pretty transparent with the fact that my Instagram is not an accurate depiction of everything that happens in my life, but it can't hurt to remind people that what you see online is everyone's best bits. Which is why I thought that today I would show the blood, sweat and tears that went into some of my pictures, as inspired by Victoria from vvnightingale.com. Her post is incredible and I've already gushed about how much I adore her, so it's not surprising that I'm now using her as a blogging muse.

23 June 2017

Girl Love #10

Let's be honest, history shows that I'm not all that reliable when it comes to keeping up with blog post series. Remember when I just stopped doing my monthly favourites posts for no apparent reason? Yeah, that. Even though I know that consistency is key in this blogging game and all that jazz, until now there has always come a point where I just stop. I start off with enthusiasm and then get so enthused by a new big project that I kind of forget about the old big project. So, the fact that this little series of mine has now officially made it into the double digits is a pretty massive deal as far as I'm concerned!

I'm not asking you to give me a pat on the back for taming the creative mess that is my mind 90% of the time but, ya know, I wouldn't complain if you did.

The key to my consistency with Girl Love is simple though. I'm just as excited now by the concept that started this series as when I did my first ever post: Every time I post I'm creating a space dedicated to supporting other women in all of the phenomenal things that they do. Because, frankly, we're amazing and we don't get told that enough.

So, let me stop celebrating my own success now and move onto the three incredible ladies that I have to share with you in the decennial edition of Girl Love.

Girl Love #10: Youtubers and Bloggers

22 June 2017

How to feel independent whilst home from Uni

A few weeks back I wrote one of those "spill the contents of your brain into a word document" kind of posts. It was emotionally charged and full of all the anxieties that I was experiencing about heading home from uni for summer. Essentially, I was terrified that once back in the coziness of Kent I would disregard all of the life lessons that the past two years of independent living had taught me and revert back into 18-year-old Beth. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't so bad. But I don't want to regress to a time when I was less independent, less healthy (physically and mentally) and just generally less at peace within myself.

I would like to be able to tell you that my worries were unfounded and that since moving back from London life has been absolutely hunky dory, but that would be a lie. As expected, it's been difficult. I haven't slipped back into home life as much as stumbled. Whilst I've loved seeing my family and friends and that homely feeling that is impossible to recreate, I haven't managed to avoid that feeling of displacement that I think a lot of uni students know too well. What I am happy to be able to tell you though is that I'm getting there. Slowly but surely I'm feeling more grounded and, man, does it feel glorious.

Since I know that I'm not alone in struggling to find that coddled home life/independent uni life balance, I thought I would share how I've reached this point.

Tips for living at home during uni summer break

19 June 2017

My all-natural skincare routine

Not to brag or anything, but I'm writing this post with skin that's in the best condition it's ever been in. I'm actually glowing. I thought that such radiance was a myth but it turns out that I just needed to get into my skincare groove. And now that I've found products that really do get the job done, you best believe that I'm sticking with them.

If there's one thing I've learned in the past few years about my skin it's that it reacts extremely well to completely natural products. Obviously that doesn't mean that's the case for everybody, but I'm pretty bloody happy they I've been able to ditch my monthly trips to Boots. As well as being a lot nicer on my wallet in the long run (simply because most of the products I use last absolutely ages), since the majority of my skincare routine is comprised of individual ingredients it's reassuring to know that I'm not contributing to animal cruelty. Yay for 2017, the year of being a more conscious consumer!

So, if you're on a journey away from complicated skincare or a journey towards cruelty-free living, here is my completely natural skincare regime that works like absolute magic for me.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links

16 June 2017

My Favourite apps for Blogging

This post was originally going to be titled "The apps I use every day". And whilst the statement is technically still true, as I was compiling this list I realised that the vast majority of the apps I use every day are related to blogging or organisation. The truth is, this is what I love doing, so I do it a lot! Most of my spare time that isn't spent writing posts themselves is filled with all of the fiddly behind the scenes stuff. Sure I do a little bit of Sodoku on the side, but you probably don't need an app recommendation for that. So even though I made a (sort of) promise not to ever give you blogging tips, these ones happened organically and I'm not mad about it.

Here are the apps that save my blogger butt. If you need a helping hand with anything from scheduling tweets to editing photos, they have your back.

13 June 2017

Using Pinterest for Manifestion

I have to be honest, I never really got Pinterest. I got that it was absurdly popular among bloggers and was somewhere between a digital mood board and a place to find out how to use those spare mason jars that we apparently all have lying around, but I really didn't understand how (or why) I would ever fit that into my social media life.

Despite the fact that so many influencers attributed their success to it, I'm a stubborn social media user and stuck pretty much solely to Instagram and Twitter. They were fulfilling my daily meme quotas, I was in contact with like-minded and badass people and, since I don't have a gazebo that needs priming for a garden party or a gluten intolerance that needs taming, Pinterest just seemed a bit superfluous. 

And yet, here I am on this fine Tuesday evening to tell you why I have in fact started, not only using it, but loving it. Ain't life funny?

pinterest and the law of attraction

11 June 2017

My Summer Goals

A couple of days ago I was looking at the three months of empty calendar space I have ahead of me and went into a mild state of panic. The idea of no deadlines, no lectures and no set structure whatsoever for the whole of summer is glorious and terrifying. But mainly terrifying, because you all know how much I rely on my routines.

When you've spent the past 15 years of your life in almost non-stop education, not having someone to set your goals for you just feels weird. How am I meant to progress if I don't have a deadline that I'm working towards, ya know? Which is why I thought it was necessary, not just for my sanity but for the sanity of everyone else around me, that I set myself some summer goals. Hopefully it'll stop me from turning into a blanket burrito in front of Netflix the entire time and/or a ball of anxiety because I feel like I've achieved nothing in three whole months.

I can feel the inspiration flowing already!

goals for summer 2017

8 June 2017


Some bloggers choose to be apolitical during election periods. And trust me, I get it. It can make your blog more saleable to brands, it can prevent you from alienating those of your readership who have different political outlooks to you and, in many respects, it can just be easier. However, I am not one of those bloggers.

3 June 2017

My favourite things in may: We're back!

Well, well, well, it's been a while hasn't it?

I definitely fell off the favourites wagon for a while there. The last time I did one of these was back in August because, well, I just didn't think anyone cared about which moisturizer I was "loving at the moment". But then I did a Twitter poll (the most reliable way to gather information, obviously) and it turns out that 92% of my readers actually enjoy finding out about monthly favourites. I don't know if it's for the sake of pure nosiness or shopping inspiration, but I don't care because I love writing them and am excited to share with you some things that brought me joy in May.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. 

1 June 2017

My favourite sustainable creators

4 of my favourite online sustainability resources that will help 
you to create conscious habits, find eco-friendly products and answer the question "what is sustainable living"? 

If you're a regular here, you've probably realised that my content has made a bit of a shift in recent months. Whilst I still write to my heart's content about feminist issues, lessons that life has thrown my way and self-love, I've also started sprinkling in posts which I categorise as being about "conscious living."And not just because I recognised that 'wellness' is hot shit in the blogging world right now and decided to jump on board!

What I actually did realise was that my consuming habits didn't align with my beliefs. At all. I was buying products that were tested on animals, I was using insane amounts of plastic that won't biodegrade for 450 years and I was funding fast fashion without even considering the people that made my clothes simply because it's what I was used to. After falling down the online conscious living rabbit hole I decided that habit wasn't an excuse to be a crappy person and that I needed to make some serious changes to the way that I was living my day to day life. So, since I was making these changes anyway, it seemed only right to document them. I also figured that if I could convince one person to make one change, that's a job pretty well done.

Eco friendly sustainable youtubers and bloggers

29 May 2017

Mate, you're not oppressed just because you can't go to one screening of Wonder Woman

When I initially heard that The Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin was hosting a woman's only screening of the new 2017 Wonder Woman movie, my first thought was "now that sounds like my idea of a fun night", shortly followed by, "well shit, the meninists are going to go crazy." So no, I wasn't surprised by the online uproar from men and the cries of "sexism" that followed the announcement. When you spend as much of your time online as I do, you kind of get used to the laughable attempts of privileged people to make themselves appear oppressed.

Still, I do think that this particular instance is worth writing about, not only because the comic book and film industries are permeated by sexism, but because this acts as a fabulous little example of why "equalism" (not a word, by the way) over feminism works in theory but not in reality.

Wonder woman and feminism

26 May 2017

Yay! I found a natural deodorant that actually works!

Now, I know this isn't the most glamorous of topics, but I strive to make my corner of the internet as real as possible. Do I take flat lays? Yes. Do I talk about the fact that I am pretty prone to sweatiness? Apparently also yes. I've told you all before how this journey to find a decent natural deodorant has led me down many a stinky pathway. So even though this post isn't about a press trip to Cannes, I'm still pretty bloody excited to share it with you the best natural deodorant I've found for the sake of armpits everywhere.

I started using Pitrok a few months back after falling down the conscious living online rabbit hole and finding out about the ingredients that are common in most antiperspirant. Knowing that the armpits house one of the highest concentrations of lymph nodes on the body, I decided that I wanted to avoid putting things like aluminium in that area. And since I already have a completely natural skin-care regime my deodorant seemed like the next place to start making some changes.

pitrok deodorant review

24 May 2017

Coping and Creating

This morning I woke up convinced that today would be the day that my life got back to "normal". After spending 24 hours with a heavy chest and a lump in my throat, I thought that I would wake up and my routines would be restored. I was going to schedule tweets, write blog posts and get back to doing my job. It was what I was craving and what I thought I needed.

But as much as I want to be able to create, I simply can't do it. Despite the fact that I have a list about as long as my arm of posts that I want to write, doing so seems impossible following Monday's tragic events. Normal seems unattainable knowing about all of the lives that have been changed forever or lost. I'm not sure how, but I really believed (or maybe just hoped) that the start of a new day would mean an entirely new mindset. Instead, it just meant waking up to yet more stories of loss.

22 May 2017

No seriously, register to vote.

Google Analytics tells me that the vast majority of my readers are between the ages of 18 and 24, which just so happens to also be the group of people least likely to vote in the UK's upcoming general election. So, if you are under the age of 25, living in the UK and eligible to vote, this one is just for you. You should feel very special.

I'm going to put it simply: Get your national insurance number, sit your arse down and register to vote. Now. You can even click straight off this page to do so. And if I'm willing to mess with my bounce rates then you know this has to be very important.


21 May 2017

My realistic self-care routine

I think it's safe to say that 'wellness' is having a bit of a moment as far as the internet is concerned.  Yoga, meditation, chia seeds - you can log onto Instagram pretty confident that you're going to see at least one of them on your feed. Don't get me wrong, I love that the conversation about self-care has opened up so drastically in the past couple of years and it's great to see people trying to fight against the glorification of being busy. But, as with most 'trends', I can't help but feel that it doesn't represent much variety.

The truth is that "self-care" means something different to everyone. It's not a term that can only be used in regards to positive affirmations and overpriced green juice. Sometimes it looks more like binging on Netflix and whipping up some gourmet beans on toast. Unfortunately, with all of the Instagramable self-care that is floating around, it's easy to feel guilty that you're first instinct after a bad day isn't to downward dog.

19 May 2017

My blogging journey

When I first started blogging I was 15-years-old and it was 2012. Yep, that was around the time of the American Apparel disco pants (and all of its cheaper, almost see-through alternatives), Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots and an online community who decided to dive all the way into pastel coloured hair. From that moment on, blogging kind of became a second home for me.

Before Curly and Wordy was born I was a fashion blogger. I know. Even I find it weird to think about. Just imagine lots of wishlist posts (wishing is all you can do when you're attempting to fund a blossoming eye for trends on £20 a month's worth of pocket money) and OOTDs which I shot on my iPhone 3GS using nothing but self-timer mode and patience. The reasons I decided to go in the direction of fashion were two-fold. Firstly, I genuinely believed that I was destined to be the next editor of British Vogue because, at the time, clothes were the way that I expressed myself creatively. And secondly, well, I thought that the only type of blogs were fashion and beauty blogs and I sure as hell knew that I couldn't do eyeliner.

18 May 2017

Life update: I'm scared of losing my independence

When I jotted down this post idea in my blog planner, I had no idea that it would end up being as emotionally charged as it is. To be honest, I was expecting an extended version of "Lol when I'm at uni I'm a 20-year-old who is #bossing it in London, but when I'm back home I feel akin to a toddler who isn't even sure how to make herself pesto pasta without adult supervision". But, as it turns out, the dissonance between my home life and my uni life is a bit more of a problem than I even realised. Apparently, I have way more to say than I first expected. Oh, blogging, I'm endlessly impressed by your cathartic qualities.

So, to put it simply, I feel like I'm a different person when I'm at university. Or perhaps my perception of myself just changes, because although my core principles remain the same, I certainly feel different within myself. Mainly, I feel like the best (the most productive, the most active, the most independent) version of me when I'm at uni. I think it mainly relies on the routines that I've created for myself since starting uni. It's these daily habits that make me feel like I'm capable of not only being alone, but thriving alone. But the scary thing is that I think my routines have stopped being just that and started to be a part of my personality. They're no longer something that simply aids me, but something that I rely on.

17 May 2017

Some complaints about complaining

Sometimes I feel like university isn’t actually about getting a degree, but more about complaining so much about getting your degree that people respect your hard work. If we’re not moaning about the 2,000 words we have due in by 2pm, we’re bitching about being broke or waving our timetables in everybody’s face whilst screaming “three 9ams in one week!”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that complaining about uni life makes up a solid 75% of our go-to conversation topics. Yes, we did willingly sign up for this experience. Yes, we are paying £9,000 a year to be a part of it. But no, apparently that isn’t going to stop us from trying to convince each other that it is the single most horrific thing in existence.

If you hadn’t figured it out yet from the tone of that sassy little opening paragraph, I’m kind of exhausted by all of the complaining. Not only am I bored of hearing it, but I’m also bored of being an active participant in it, be it around other uni students or just in general life. So, am I complaining about complaining? Well, actually, yes and I am fully aware of the irony. But I hope that this blog post has a bit more direction and purpose than most bitch sessions, because it’s a topic that I’ve been contemplating a lot recently and I think I’ve finally come to some conclusions. The kind of conclusions that are actually changing the way I live my life.  
Complaining and the Law of attraction

12 May 2017

How to survive exams with The UniBox

It's that time of the year when I can practically smell the stress as I walk through campus in the form of to-go coffees and dry shampoo because, seriously, who has the time to shower when you've got 3,000 words to write in 2 hours? The library is so full that I'm worried about its structural integrity, I haven't seen my flat mates in well over 48 hours and I'm struggling to understand why we actually pay to put ourselves through this. But, alas, deadline/exam season is well and truly upon us and there's no escaping it.

Luckily though, I've teamed up with The UniBox* this month to show you some of my sure-fire ways to survive cramming sessions, as well as to show off their glorious Exam Survival box. For those of you that don't know, The UniBox is a lifestyle subscription service created just for students. That means that if you sign up you can get a selection of gifts delivered to your doorstep every single month. Yep, it is pretty much like Christmas all year round but without having to deal with your aunt asking if you're still single. After having a look at some of their incredible boxes from past months, I just knew that I had to get my hands on this one, which has been created especially to keep you motivated and calm as those deadlines loom closer. So, today I'm going to share with you how you can incorporate this month's items into an exam-season routine like no other.

The UniBox and why every student needs one

10 May 2017

What Second year taught me

A few days ago I handed in my final essay for the second year of my BA in English Lit and experienced that exhilaration (and mild peril) that accompanies knowing I have four months ahead of me with no essays, no set routines, and no particularly academic goals. Clicking 'submit' on those last 2,500 words really made it hit home: I'm 2/3 of the way through my university life. I only have one year left of being in education, which is pretty much all I've known since I was 5 years old.

Adulthood? Nah, I'm alright thanks.

But it also got me thinking about just how much I've changed since I was that little Fresher. I feel like second year has been the year of personal growth and finally getting properly into the swing of independent living. I think I might have even got to grips with how much pasta is needed for one person which, frankly, is a miracle! So, since it is a tradition, I thought I would share with you all of the lessons that this academic year has taught me.

6 May 2017

4 things that annoy me about blogging

As you've probably guessed by now, I'm pretty fond of blogging. I've been a member of the gang since I was a 14-year-old with but a Jeffery Campbell Lita boot shaped twinkle in my eye and a Look magazine in my school backpack. This side of the internet has provided me with more joy than I could ever have expected when I pressed publish on my first ever post on my first ever blog (it was a riveting read on how I would be mixing the stud and pastels trends of 2012 together that I will most definitely not be linking here). The point is, I've made friends, discovered passions within myself that I didn't even know existed and even created a part-time job for myself whilst I'm studying. I owe a lot to the world of blogging.

That being said, I don't mind admitting that aspects of it have slightly pissed me off in recent months. And by "slightly" I mean, "enough for me to writing a blog post about it instead of watching Jane the Virgin".

5 May 2017

Girl Love #9

Some days I wake up and feel like I've hit the ground running. I get out of bed, pour myself a glass of cranberry juice (gotta keep that urinary tract in order, ladies) and am pretty much instantly ticking things off my to-do list. And you guys know how much of a thrill I get from ticking things off my to-do list. Other days...not so much.

Like yesterday, for example. It was rainy outside and my motivation was at a solid 0.8/10. So, I stayed in bed, watched Jane the Virgin and ate Quality Street until I only had the strawberry creams left. But I think it's safe to say that I needed it because I had the best night's sleep I've had in what feels like years. I think that I'm slowly but surely learning that my self-worth is not dependent on my productivity. I'm coming to terms with the fact that, not only are self-care days okay, but that they are completely necessary. It was bloody glorious to have a total lazy day and it's left me feeling pumped to face what I'm hoping will be a productive Friday.

inspiring bloggers and youtubers

4 May 2017

Social media and my creativity

Since the beginning of the year and resolving that I would spend less time on my phone in 2017, I've been thinking a lot about the role that social media plays in my life. I've become acutely aware of just how rocky our relationship is. On the one hand, it's a huge part of my business and allows me to work from home whilst I'm studying. On the other, one of my favourite things to use it for is to watch people cutting sand in Instagram videos. It walks a weird and fine line between work and relaxation which can make getting pretty much anything - be it writing a blog post or actually switching off at the end of the day - that little bit more complicated.

Whilst it's great to feel like a tweet-scheduling powerhouse, I do find that the almost constant presence of social media in my life makes grasping hold of rare moments of creative inspiration even more difficult. Being the infuriatingly introspective person that I am, I've given a tonne of thought to why this might be and have pretty much concluded that the reasons are threefold.

1 May 2017

Lube and why you need to check the label

Lube has got a pretty bad rep. Well, everything related to sex has a pretty bad rep in this society, but lube particularly so. I don’t know whether it’s because people think that women should be capable of being wet at the drop of a hat on a 24/7 basis or just because people get nervous talking about bodily functions. Either way, it carries with it a massive stigma that means a lot of people are embarrassed to buy it, let alone whip it out in the bedroom. For the sake of orgasms everywhere, that’s something that needs to stop.

If you’ve never used the stuff before, then forget what your pride is trying to tell you because it’s going to change your life. Or at least your sex life. Not only does extra slide make for a more pleasurable experience all round, but the lack of resistance makes it less likely that you will experience the pure fear of a broken condom. Plus, if you know what it feels like to have a bladder that is akin to the fiery pits of hell, you’ll be happy to know that a smoother experience can help to lower the chance of contracting a UTI. Win, win, win. 

Organic Lubricants and why you need to check the label

28 April 2017

5 ways I've updated my wardrobe without funding fast fashion

Once upon a time, in what feels like another life, I was a fashion blogger. Yep. A full on "weekly wishlist", "OOTD", "Trend alert!" kinda fashion blogger who prided herself on her ability to spot a Gucci dupe in any high street shop. My life revolved around trends and hanging around fashion week locations (the second best thing to actually being inside the shows themselves, as far as I was concerned) from the ages of about 14 to 17. It was a good time whilst it lasted and I'm still proud of a lot of the opportunities that I created through it, but it's safe to say that I've changed a tad. And that my adoration of fashion has simmered down considerably.

It's also got a lot less clear cut since discovering just how morally fucked up the fast fashion industry really is. As I discussed in my first post for Fashion Revolution Week, the lack of transparency surrounding the clothes that most of us are buying is pretty terrifying. Due to a distinct lack of supply chain information and an ever growing demand for the 52 seasons of style that the fast fashion industry accommodates, we don't really have a concept of how much damage our purchases are doing.

26 April 2017

Fashion Revolution Week: How ethical is my wardrobe?

This week marks 4 years since the Rana Plaza Disaster, possibly the most powerful example of how much our society values convenience and a bargain over anything else. It was the day on which 1,138 garment factory workers died due to a building collapse, despite the fact that companies were warned to evacuate the premises. Of course, that would have meant losing profit. And there is nothing to fast fashion businesses more important than profit, not the lives of the people that make their clothes and not the environment that their harmful practices are killing.

Which is exactly why Fashion Revolution Week is so needed. It's a time for us to all come together and demand transparency within the fashion industry, by asking brands 'who made my clothes'? That means no more confusing labels, fake activism or supply chains that are impossible to track down.  All we're asking for is some honesty so that we know whether anybody has suffered for the clothes that we buy.

How ethical is my wardrobe? Fast fashion and the clothing revolution

22 April 2017

Earth Day: Small changes I've been making

Sometimes, I really hate humans. In fact, oftentimes I really hate humans. That's not to say that I don't have individuals I'm pretty fond of (Elizabeth Gilbert, Beyoncé, Bob Ross), but I have to admit that as a collective we're pretty shit. Once you've realized how much we value convenience (as in, more than we value the actual world that we live in), it's hard to not wonder when the hell we're going to get our sustainability act together. It's almost like we forget that we're not the only ones that live on this beautiful lil' planet.

The thing is, the habits that are scarily quickly killing our planet are completely unnecessary. But they are habits, which means it takes a little bit of focus to get yourself out of them. Personally, I think that the best way to do so is to scare /educate yourself. Watch documentaries, read articles and talk to people about everything that we're doing wrong and how we can make it right. Or at least more right.

Over the past few months, partially inspired by Ariel Bisset's video on sustainability and partially inspired by the ticking time bomb that was my conscience, I've been making some changes. Small changes that are pretty insignificant as far as my daily life is concerned, but changes that all add up to help reduce plastic pollution, the emission of greenhouse gasses and unnecessary consumption. So, since it's Earth Day, I thought I would share them with you.

14 April 2017

Why I've started a Youtube channel

I've just done something so simultaneously scary and exciting that I might actually throw up any second now. So, just a warning before you decide to move along with this post: by the end, it could be puke filled.

By now you've probably figured out that I'm pretty keen on putting my opinions on the internet. Not in a Katie Hopkins kind of way, but in "aw I really like talking to people that share similar beliefs to me" kind of way. It's not just a case of having the opportunity to be creative and to get a bit of catharsis (although, that's great too), I just really appreciate the conversation that online content creation allows for. This little space that I've built has taught me an overwhelming amount about myself and the world and it's also given me the chance to share lessons I've learned which hopefully help you.

12 April 2017

Instagram accounts that it's totally okay to unfollow

Let's be real, it's 'okay' to unfollow whoever you bloody well want to unfollow. It's just Instagram and it is well and truly not that deep. But, I would be lying if I told you that I haven't ever experienced "unfollow guilt" and the subsequent internal monologue regarding whether they'll actually notice it if I re-follow them. Like, will they think I was checking their profile and accidentally clicked unfollow and am totally chill or will they see right through my guilt laced re-follow?

The politics of social media is exhausting, but you do have the option to forgo it or, alternatively, stick the middle finger emoji up at it.

As I've said before, for the sake of my mental health I've really started monitoring the way that I use apps like Instagram. Mainly that's manifested in not spending so much of my life on them because it kind of leaves me feeling like I have a million voices shouting their opinions in my face at once. Or at least shouting what they had for brunch in my face. Recently though, I realised that in a "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" kinda way, I desperately need to get rid of accounts that don't bring me joy from my feed.

Accounts to unfollow for your mental health

10 April 2017

Giveaway: One day to go!

With only one day left in my Punky Pins X Mel Stringer giveaway, I thought a lil' reminder was in order! You could win the whole collection (8 pins worth a total of £56) in all of its body posi glory. Enter the giveaway here and keep your fingers crossed because I can't wait to send these beauties to one of you. Be sure to also run over to my twitter and Instagram for extra entries.

Good luck, angels!

9 April 2017

A personality test read me like a book

For those of you that don't know me, I'm a bit of a Hamlet. Not in terms of having a life goal to avenge my father's murder, but in terms of being one of the most introspective bastards around. I spend a lot of my time thinking. Mainly, thinking about either the universe's conception or my place within it. So, as well as keeping me awake at night, that means that I put an absurd amount of energy into contemplating how I work. What makes me angry and why it makes me angry. Whether I'm an introvert, an extrovert or a mix of the two. Why I'm so incapable of working on uni group projects without having a near mental break down. That sorta thing.

So when I was introduced to the wonder of the Myers-Briggs personality test, my mind was mildly blown. "Wait, so these aren't just the kinds of things that you find in the back of tween magazines?!" It's not like I need an excuse to think more about my personality, but this gave me one and I'm pretty damn happy about it.

But seriously, I think learning to recognise your strengths and weaknesses is important. If you know that you're not good at the whole team work thing, then you know that you might need to focus on your breathing a bit more when you're doing a group project at work. You can learn to make the world work to your advantage, and what's not to love about that? So whilst this is a totally self-indulgent post in which I do my favourite thing (talk about me), I do find it genuinely amazing how accurate and helpful this little quiz can be.

Apparently, I'm type ENFJ-T, which sounds very scientific indeed, so I obviously innately trust it.

7 April 2017

Tween magazines have improved, but they need to do better

When I was a youngster, getting a magazine felt like the single biggest treat in the world. Mainly I think it’s because they gave out free purple lip gloss and clumpy mascara that allowed me to morph into an MUA at every sleepover I attended, but I also liked finding out which member of the Zoey 101 cast I was via the medium of flow chart quizzes. Plus, I always felt like whipping a copy of Mizz out during break time would give me extra cool points (and I was a distinctly uncool kid, so I needed as many as I could get).

On a recent trip to buy an absurd amount of metallic stationary I came face to face with tween magazine nostalgia. It reminded me of just how dedicated I was to begging my parents to buy me one every time I walked past a corner shop. But aside from essentially asking my Dad to remortgage our house so that I could get stickers of S-Club Junior, I’m pretty sure that I would do anything that those pages told me. They were essentially my bible, which made me wonder whether they were teaching me the kinds of things that I would want to teach younger me given the opportunity.

Feminism and Tween Magazines

3 April 2017

Taxes, spirituality and how those two things are actually related

You don't need to tell me. I know that this post has the potential to be a rather bloody boring one. And if you clicked on it then I'm sure it was more a case of "why the hell is Beth writing about taxes?" than "wow, that sounds jolly enjoyable". Don't worry, I don't blame you.

I promise though, when I jotted this idea down on my monthly blog brainstorm, there was more thought behind it than just telling you about the fact that Hurray! It's time to get my shit together and learn how to fill out tax returns and...erm that sort of stuff. Nor has this turned into the type of blog that gives you hints and tips on how to be a blogger (and, ipso facto, how to not get the tax man knocking on your door because you've been busy sweeping business matters under the Instagrammable rug).

The truth is, that me figuring out how to manage my money isn't just a matter of practicality. This is a manifestation exercise, my chums.

2 April 2017

The way that we talk about food

We all exist within a society that ceaselessly celebrates "thin" and condemns "fat" and, for most of us, we are participants in that culture whether we realise it or not. It's ingrained in the world that we've always known. It's in the language. It's in the media that surrounds us. And, perhaps most scarily, it's there in our brains every single time we think about eating. Food isn't just something that we need to survive anymore, but a complex factor of a goal orientated society.

Food has become a way of measuring our worth.

31 March 2017

How to become a more sexual person

Over the past year I feel like I've really started tapping into my sexuality. Something shifted within me and I was able to begin ignoring the shame-filled rhetoric that has been drilled into me ever since those early biology lessons. Basically, I freed myself of everything that society tries to tell us repeatedly about sex and the female body. I embraced the sensual side of my personality and realised the power that it has.

Sex is powerful not just because it "sells" or because we think about it around 10 times a day on average, but because of how it can make you feel. When I talk about "sexuality", I'm not thinking of it as an exclusive club. You don't need to have had sex with more than ten people, less than ten people, or anyone at all for that matter, to be in tune with sexual energy. I feel like everybody is naturally drawn to it but the shame stops causes them to deny themselves. So, for me at least, this shift in perspective has meant thinking openly about sex as a form of self-care. I'm not suggesting that it's easy. This ain't a Lush bubble bath or a bar of chocolate. But when you finally realise that your sexuality is strong and natural and, most importantly, fun, it feels like a weight has been lifted.

I think one of the most important steps to reaching that point is the normalisation of sex-related conversation. That means online and off (it's time to say goodbye to all of the shamers in your circles). I've reached a point now where my life is filled with sex positivity and it is bloody glorious, so I decided to share some of my favourite creators to help you along on this journey with yourself.

How to be a more sexual person

30 March 2017

4 ways that self help has changed my life

As I've said before, I'm a total self-help whore. No matter how many side-eye glances I get whilst reading something emblazoned with the words "The Law of Attraction" whilst on the tube, it's the book genre that I'm endlessly drawn to. I'm totally aware that it makes me sound like the kind of person that might have an extensive stamp collection on display in their spare room and/or carries an array of crystals in her bag, but I personally think that self-help has an unnecessarily narrow reputation. 

Honestly, I feel like everybody should be reading it. Sitting down with a bit of self-help and a cuppa is like having those late night chats where people open their soul up to you. What's not to love about learning life lessons without the life struggle part?

In my endless pursuit to encourage people to take a trip to the self-help isle of the book shop (you can wait until nobody's around if you want), today I thought I would share with you four of the most game changing lessons that I've learnt from four of the most badass self-help books I own.

29 March 2017

Dreamy feminist pins by Punky Pins X Mel Stringer

As anybody who knows me is already fully aware, I adore wearing my feminism for the whole world to see. That means T-shirts with boobs on them, slogans that smash the patriarchy and brands that support women (instead of just pretending to). So, when I heard about the new Punky Pins X Mel Stringer collaboration in all of its body posi glory, I was more than a little excited*. 

If you haven't heard of these two absolute powerhouses yet, then your online feminist life isn't complete. Mel is an Australian based artist who creates self-love filled illustrations that don't shy away from nipplesfat or the fact that everybody has shit days. Basically, she's the antidote that we all need to the media's constant policing of the female body. Punky Pins are an equally badass brand who  make pins that are impossible not to fall in love with. I mean, who wouldn't want to have a "cuterus" on their denim jacket? Together they've created what can only be described as the most adorable way to remind yourself daily of how awesome you and your body are.

25 March 2017

A letter to my future son

Dear Future Son,

I've always thought I'd be better at raising a baby girl, so I'm writing this letter in a state of panic that I might have messed you up in some irreversible way. It's not that I don't want a boy, I just feel like it's not my area of expertise. So, I hope that you don't hate me. In fact, I secretly hope that you're a massive Mummy's boy and always will be.

Now, at age 20, the prospect of Motherhood absolutely terrifies me. It just seems like a lot of pressure and I get a bit emotional thinking about how I'm going to create a decent essay, so I don't know how I'll deal with forming an actual human. But, hey, maybe one day I'll decide that I'm up to the challenge. If that day comes, I hope that I remember what it was like growing up. I hope that I can draw on everything my parents and my life have taught me, without becoming blinded by my love of you. I suppose this letter is a way of holding myself accountable and getting me to remember my core beliefs, even as motherhood inevitably changes me.

23 March 2017

An ode to period tracking

A few days ago I found myself sitting with the nurse at my local doctor’s surgery, preparing to be reintroduced to my old friend the speculum. Like many of these kinds of appointments, I was being asked question after question regarding my body. Am I on the pill? Do I smoke? Have I ever been pregnant? Is there any chance that I’m pregnant now? When was my last period? How long is my average cycle? Can I list all of the noble gasses in the periodic table?

That sort of thing. 

22 March 2017

5 natural (and cheap) skincare products that really work

If you had to do a double-take then I don't blame you but, yes, you are indeed reading a post on Curly and Wordy. And no, I haven't suddenly decided to switch directions and become a beauty blogger, even though I've done a whole two posts dedicated to cosmetics in the past week. There are hundreds of people that can do that job better than me. I mean, I don't even own a 'Silisponge' and I hear that that's a bit of a club requirement.

Sometimes though, it's nice to take a break from talking about feminism and self-reflection to discuss something that has changed your life in a tiny way. Sure, it's not going to solve the gender pay gap but it is pretty nice to feel pampered whilst you're fighting the patriarchy.

All of these products have been absolute game changers in my morning and evening regimens and I can safely say that my skin is in the best condition it has ever been. Whilst I think a lot of that has to do with ditching foundation 90% of the time, I also feel like these bad boys have a lot to be thanked for. Not only are they cruelty-free, but they're completely natural and work out to be lovely and cheap because of how long they all last. Yay for products that mean you can do good for your skin and the environment on a student budget!