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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Giveaway: 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.

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.

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. 

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!

On noticing that I've stopped learning

Today I came to a scary realisation: I don't think I've learnt a new skill for the past two years.

I mean, sure I've probably unconsciously absorbed lessons like "how to not piss off your lecturer" and "how to portion control spaghetti so that you haven't got enough to feed a small village", but since starting uni I don't think I've sat down and done something completely new. My whole life is so focused on honing the skills that I already have - the essay writing and the SEO tactics  - that I kind of forgot how fun it is to learn something without the intention of absolutely mastering it.

When I was 11 I was learning how to say my age in Spanish, what the footwork rule is in netball was and how to execute a decent looking train stitch all in the space of a week. The idea of that baffles me now! I've got lazy. There aren't really any teachers telling me what to learn and when to learn it anymore, so it's become easy to just stick to the stuff I know. And whilst that's a great thing as far as having to study algebraic equations is concerned, I can't help but feel like I'm slowly turning my brain to sludge. After all, I could be an expert harpist stuck in the body of a lifestyle blogger who has just never had the oppurtunity to express herself via the medium of perfectly tuned strings, ya know?

How cruel is my bathroom cupboard?

Back in January, I decided that 2017 was going to be the year I was a more conscious consumer. From what I put in my stomach to what I put on my face, I made it one of my New Year's resolutions to only support companies that deserve it. I'm aware of the power that my money has and I decided to stop giving that power to brands that perpetuate the mistreatment of people, animals or the environment.

Obviously, as exciting and liberating as that is, it's also a pretty daunting task. After a little bit of research I realized that years of mindless shopping would mean me having to throw out 80% of what I owned if I wanted a completely clean slate. But you're girl is a student who can't afford to replace everything she owns instantly with the ethical alternative. So, I've been taking baby steps in the hopes that by the end of the year that will add up to miles. As you guys know, I was inspired by Leena Norms to start with my makeup bag and found out that 72% of its contents was keeping bunnies hopping in fields as opposed to in cages. When the time comes that anything in that remaining 28% needs to be replaced, I'll hunt down an equally badass cruelty-free alternative. Goodbye to my favourite BB Cream, but hello to feeling guilt free whilst I get ready! 

Today I decided it was time to take another positive step in the cosmetics department and analyze my bathroom cupboard. That means everything from dry shampoo to shower gel to bath bombs has gone under the microscope. And by "microscope" I mean the app Cruelty Cutter and the website Logical Harmony

12 things that happen when you're obsessed with wellness blogs

Ask anybody that knows me and they'll probably tell you that I'm a "little bit of a hippie". As much as I may protest that fact (I wear jeans, dammit), I have to admit that even as I write this post I'm sat with a cup of fresh ginger tea and am diffusing lavender oil. I don't know how it happened, one day I just looked up and owned a Himalayan salt lamp! The truth is that I kind of fell into the online world of wellness and decided to stick around for a bit.

If you're anything like me and have found a passion for essential oils and pre-lecture yoga sequences thanks to the online sphere, I'm sure you'll recognise these 12 side effects of wellness addiction.

How you can download better sleep

I feel like 90% of my Bloglovin' feed these days revolves around sleep. Be it how to banish coffee after 4pm or the 75 bedtime meditation practices that you need in your life, one thing is clear: The bloggersphere is pretty bloody keen on getting the most out of their 8 hours. And so, being the contrary little bugger that I am, I didn't want to write this post.

I've been sitting on it for months now. "Sure, I'll tell all of my real-world friends about how my sleeping patterns have been utterly revolutionized, but I refuse to add to the online conversation. I refuse to be that blogger. And whilst I'm at it let me throw away all of my beautiful little cacti plants because I need to be, like, different."

Then I realized how full of crap and embarrassing I was being and this post was (finally) born. It's sensible, hopefully helpful to anybody else who struggles getting to sleep, and not at all #edgy. Enjoy!

Porn, feminism, and why it needs to be talked about

I like to think that watching porn is the sexual equivalent of peeing in the shower or picking your nose: Nobody talks about it, but most people do it. And if it did happen to come up in conversation, those people would act disgusted and wear a face that said something along the lines of "Porn? Oh darling no, I read Oscar Wilde and drink chai tea in my spare time". Perhaps it's a habit that develops a little later in life than the nose picking thing, but the point still stands. 64 million of us are logging onto Porn Hub every single day, but that's a statistic that polite society chooses to ignore. We're sticking it to the underside of the table, if you will.

I fear that this metaphor has got away from me, so I'm abandoning it now.

Podcasts are the baby sister of self-help

In yesterday's post I admitted that I'm a total self-help whore. Whether it's an explanation on the law of attraction or the memoir of someone who has lived a generally kickass life, I'm pretty much sold. Especially if it has an extremely Instagramable front cover (Sophia Amoruso and #GirlBoss I'm looking at you). It's an addiction, really.

But I'm also distinctly aware that self-help as a genre has a bit of a bad rep. It kind of screams "I just got a divorce and got made redundant and bought pleather leggings because I think they'll get me laid", doesn't it? So whilst I'm pretty keen on getting everybody I know to dive head first into all of my book recommendations, I know that probably ain't gonna happen any time soon. Which is why I want to introduce you to some of my favourite podcasts, the baby, but just as badass sister of self-help. They're little segments of inspiration that you don't have to to commit 7 hours of your life to.

How I've stuck to my New Year's resolutions

The start of 2017 was different. I entered into the New Year with a distinct sense of calm and no sassy Instagram post or pep talk about how I'm a total badass in sight. In a way that I'd never experienced before, I felt certain that the 365 that lay ahead of me were going to be bloody glorious. I didn't begin 2017 with a fighting attitude. I kind of just knew that this time we were working together.

I know what you're thinking: "Wow someone's been listening to one too many self-help books on the bus. I bet you drink soy lattes too!". Well, you wouldn't be wrong. Except about the soy latte thing because I get almond milk. But it's true that I'm officially a self-help book whore. As I've said before, I think that their bad rep is totally unjustified. Clearly the influence that they have in my life is working because, for possibly the first time ever, it's March and I haven't yet abandoned all of my 2017 goals. Cue the streamers and the conga line! To be honest, it's painfully obvious now why going into the year feeling like I'm about to start a fight with everything that is natural to me probably wasn't ever going to work. You live and you learn, I guess.

In what is simultaneously a public pat on the back and a reminder to myself that life is just dandy, I thought I would share how I've been continuously working towards my New Year's resolutions.

Girl Love #8

As I write this post I am still firmly riding the waves of International Women's Day and the Turn Passion into Pounds event combined. Seeing so many people come together to celebrate just how amazing women are has had me walking with a particular spring in my step over the past couple of days. Add in the fact that I can actually see the sun outside, and it's not hard to understand why my inspiration levels are at their peak.

Whilst I'm in this head space - which will hopefully last, erm, forever - it seemed only right to do another post for my Girl Love series. It's been a while, so I've got three absolutely badass business women to share with you to get your week off to a positive start. So, grab yourself a cuppa and be warned that you might just get hooked.

4 lessons from the "Turn Passion into Pounds" event

As someone who is building an online business, one of my biggest struggles has been not knowing who to go to with my questions. There's no office door that I can knock on for advice, because (apparently) I'm the boss. And, let's be honest, there's only so much that a girl can google! Whilst having the chance to work from the comfort of my room at uni is a total blessing, it can also be a lot of pressure. Sometimes I feel like I need my own personal guru to guide me through SEO, scheduled tweets and how to stay sane as someone who is self-employed.

So, when I was offered the opportunity to attend the "Turn Passion into Pounds" event at the British Library, I was basically already on the train there a week in advance to make sure that I wasn't late! It didn't even cross my mind to pass up the opportunity to hear from such a fabulous panel of powerful women. The event was hosted by Jessica Huie MBE who is the CEO of  Jessica Huie PR and Colour Blind Cards and Vicki Psarias, professional blogger and creator of Honest Mum. But the inspiration didn't end there. Also on the panel was Jo Morrell, co-founder of The Pool, Natasha Courtenay-Smith, journalist and author of "The Million Pound Blog" and publishing guru Alison Jones.

The whole evening was truly amazing, not just because it meant I was able to soak up every bit of advice from these absolute power houses, but because I got to talk to so many other amazing women. I met dress designers, social media experts, and writers, all of whom inspired me with their journeys and their persistence. Sitting on the train home, I felt nourished.

For those of you that weren't lucky enough to get tickets, I thought I would share with you the four biggest lessons I took away from the evening.
Natasha Courtenay-Smith
Jo Morell, co-founder of The Pool and former MD of Bauer Publishing, Natasha Courtenay-Smith, journalist and author of The Million Pound Blog and publishing guru, Alison Jones. - See more at:
Jo Morell, co-founder of The Pool and former MD of Bauer Publishing, Natasha Courtenay-Smith, journalist and author of The Million Pound Blog and publishing guru, Alison Jones. - See more at:

Lessons that I will teach my daughter

Today is one of those days that prompts me to think extra hard about just how amazing us women are. I am endlessly inspired by the power, creativity, compassion and persistence of each and every one of you. Being a part of the girl gang, being a part of the positive change, is how I know that the future is going to be beautiful. When I think about the fact that it's my friends - online and offline - that are going to be raising and paving the way for the next generation, I feel giddy. Together, we are going to create such badass, intersectional feminist babies! And I'm not just talking about forming them in our wombs. I'm talking about the policy makers, the teachers, the writers, the creators, the fighters that are forming a different world for our future girl bosses.

Blogs and Books Club: Letters to my Fanny

After hearing about “Letters to my Fanny” a few months ago, I just knew that it needed to be one of the books that we read for the Blogs and Books club. The author Cherry Healey – who has been involved with some bloody amazing lifestyle documentaries - says, “This book is a love letter, to my body”. And if there’s a piece of literature that has the ability to make me internally shout “yessssss” in a book shop louder than this one, I’m yet to find it. 

My Period Essentials

This post is brought to you from a little Sunday cocoon of comfort. I’ve got a constant stream of tea. I spent my morning watching the Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix. I’m already dreaming about the sweet chilli salmon pasta I have planned for dinner. Basically, aside from the fact that I have cramps that feel like they were birthed from the fiery pits of hell, this day is shaping up to be pretty lovely.

As I’ve spoken about before, I’ve come to terms with the whole “bleeding from my vagina once a month” thing. I would even go as far as saying that I love my period now. And whilst I know that a lot of that that was about mentally ridding myself of the negative stigma that society places on a woman’s bodily functions, I also believe that it had a lot to do with finding what works for my body. Over the past year that’s meant trying new menstrual related products and getting out of the mind set that ibuprofen is the only thing that can save me.

It’s been enlightening and unbelievably freeing, which is why I thought I would talk to you today about my period essentials in the hopes that it will encourage you to expand your menstrual horizons.

Feminism sells and brands know it

With the world in the state that it’s in right now, it’s not surprising that people are craving positive change. In the past year the power of prejudice has made itself even more clear. And while it’s pretty bloody terrifying, it’s made the world notice how important it is to continue talking about injustice when we see it. I feel like a lot of us have become more vocal about our beliefs and recognized that the “sweep it under the rug so as not to offend people” technique doesn’t get us very far.

We’re all wearing our metaphorical activist badges with pride.

How social media has redefined healthy relationships

If you’ve ever been around me whilst I’m scrolling through Twitter, in all likelihood you would have heard me shout the words “Jesus, is the bar really that low?” Usually, these outburst are sparked by a pair of matching Timberlands, an excessively large teddy bear or a print screen of someone texting their girlfriend to tell her that, if they don’t reply fast, it’s because they’re busy. All three of which tend to be placed in the area of the online universe that I hate the most: #RelationshipGoals. Because, why aspire to have a committed relationship built on mutual trust, respect and communication when you can have matching shoes, ammirite?

Now, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be pretty bloody happy to spontaneously be given a giant teddy bear. But, I worry that we’re placing too much importance on the signs of affection that we can post about online. I realised recently whilst I was trying to get to sleep (obviously, because that’s when anything interesting comes into my brain) that social media has truly revolutionised the way that we experience relationships. That’s not always necessarily a bad thing. It means that people have access to information on how to form healthy bonds. It means that people have more ways to meet “the one”. It means that we have access to a tonne of platforms where we can digitally store our memories together for years to come. It’s all pretty cool. But I also worry that the internet has redefined what we view as being healthy in a relationship and that scares me. I feel like we’re often just sitting here, validating someone’s unfulfilling or unhealthy experience and telling the world that it’s normal or, if it matches their insta theme, #goals.

I give you permission

If there’s one thing that religiously listening to self-help podcasts and treating Elizabeth Gilbert as the Messiah has taught me, it’s that people are always looking for permission in their lives. They want their parents to approve of their career choice. They want to fit into what society deems as a “secure job”. They want their Snapchat followers to respect their grind. Basically, we all want a pat on the back and to be told that we’re doing a fab job.

But, if there’s one more thing that I’ve learnt throughout my self-love journey, it’s that successful people don’t ask for permission to be successful. They set their gaze firmly forwards and just start moving. Obviously, that’s more easily said than done. I for one still crave positive feedback. God knows how I’m going to cope when I’m at uni and don’t have lecturers to suck up to constantly! I’m a work in progress though. So, even though I’m not completely immune to it, I’m trying.

The female body isn't 'confusing'

If, for some totally legitimate reason, you were to find yourself googling the term "female orgasm" one day, one of the first result you would come across would be an article from Mens Health Magazine. And whilst at first is has an educational guise of teaching its readers to pleasure a woman, it also sends home the same message that you've been absorbing for your whole adult life: That your body is confusing.

This blog post was fuelled by the anger that has slowly built up inside me as a consequence of being fed that message. Frankly, I'm bored of it. I'm bored of this rhetoric that the female anatomy is too 'confusing' and that that's the reason women experience one orgasm for every three that men experience. Mens Health Magazine describes the female orgasm as "fickle" and "not something easy to come by". Well, I'm here to tell you that there are a sizeable number of women with two fingers, some coconut oil and a completely opposing opinion. You don't need to listen to them, though. Listen to facts instead: The average time for women to come from masturbation is 4 minutes, the same as men from sex. That doesn't sound like operating the Hadron Collider to me.

10 lessons my 20 years on this earth have taught me

Yesterday I turned 20 and spent it doing what I do best: in a Lush bath with a cuppa, a huge slice of victoria sponge and some Youtube videos for company. Frankly, it was bloody glorious. I'm pretty sure that a trip to Paris to have Beyoncé serenade me whilst throwing macaroons directly into my mouth couldn't have beat it.

All of the time that I spent basking in the gloriousness that is the Candy Mountain bubble bar gave me the opportunity to ruminate on the fact that I am officially a proper adult. My teen years are over, friends. And, apart from that thought scaring me shitless, I realised just how many lessons have been packed into those two decades. I've gone from being a chubby baby who did nothing but cry, to being a woman who's studying for a BA in English Lit, writes about her life online and only cries occasionally (usually because of sausage dog videos on Facebook). That's pretty mind blowing.

I like to document things that I've learnt here on my little corner of the internet. It's a very self-indulgent activity, but I'm sure you can humour me with this one.

On getting less screen time as an act of self-love

As some of you may remember, one of my main resolutions this year is to spend less time scrolling and more time strolling.

I found that it's easy for me to get sucked in by social media, not just because it has tonnes of cute videos of sausage dogs, but because it plays a massive role in my job. I realised that I was spending my day either scrolling for the sake of 'networking' or scrolling for the sake of doing something mindless. And frankly, it wasn't good for my mental state. 2016 taught me just how exhausted I become when I spend all of my time wandering around the internet. Having so many opinions thrown my way 24/7 just made my world too loud for my liking. Being constantly plugged in made me feel like it was impossible to find a quiet moment.

The non-instagramable side of self-care

I feel like I spent a lot of 2016 trying to define self-love. I learned, through a procession of failed attempts, that looking after yourself isn’t all about bubble baths, manicures, and glasses of wine. Basically, it's not always pretty or Instagram-worthy. 

The truth is, it’s a massive commitment and it can be bloody scary. Unlike any other relationship in your life, you’re with yourself until the end. So making a decision to change the way that you treat your body and mind is a pretty big deal. It means consciously choosing to work every single day to put your wellbeing first. Now, that’s all grand when it means going on a spa day. But, in my experience, 80% of what I want to do is not what I should do.

A letter to my period

I was told from the age of about 8 onwards to fear your arrival into my life. Tween magazine "cringe" pages and sub-par sex educations lessons taught me that you would inevitably crash into my world in a blur of blood puddles and excruciating cramps that could only be cured by playing tennis with my gal-pals. And I didn't really like tennis, so I felt pretty doomed. I was told to prepare for you with military precision. To pack a small pencil case with sanitary towels, panty lines, tampons and enough spare undies to clothe my whole form group. Apparently, you were a fan of guerrilla warfare. It was inevitable that you would appear when I didn't expect it. I always thought that would be whilst I was at my most vulnerable and my least prepared: at the swimming pool.

I don't think that affirmations are bullshit anymore

So, affirmations. I feel like the word alone is enough to set off a lot of people’s bullshit detectors. It sounds like the kind of thing that would be discussed around a camp fire with some kind of vegetarian quinoa and whale music playing in the background (aka my idea of a good night), so I think a lot of people are quick to dismiss the idea. It’s just kind of difficult to understand why repeating words to yourself will make any impact in your life. Apart from maybe wasting time that could be spent actually doing work.

And there we have one of the main problems with the discussion of affirmations: It’s all so abstract. It’s not like going to the gym and being able to see the sweat dripping down your face and then eventually even feeling your body getting stronger. There are no tangible results when it comes to manifesting positivity. It’s all to do with how you feel. Which is why for a lot of people, including myself until recently, they can seem pretty pointless. 

How to use essential oils to up your self-care game

If you hadn’t realised by now, I’m a little bit of a hippie. I eat quinoa. I use coconut oil on a daily basis. I occasionally talk about the dangers of deodorants that contain aluminum. That kind of thing. But just when you thought I couldn't tap into the flower-crown-wearing side of my personality any more, I've grown an addiction to essential oils. 
When I tell you that they’ve changed my life, I ain’t kidding.

I personally think that everybody should be using essential oils as part of their daily self-care. Over the past few months I've been working with Tender Essence on their blog and have learnt a lot more about how the oils do their thang. It's also meant that I've had the opportunity to play around with a variety of scents to see the power that they have over my mood. 

Guys, this stuff works and I want everyone to know it! Which is why I thought I would share some of my favourite oil mixes as a part of “Love Yourself February”. These caring concoctions can help you with everything from getting to sleep quicker to getting through your to-do list quicker. Bare in mind that you totally don't need to own all of these oils to reap the benefits of these mixes. Picking just one or two from the lot will help you on your way to being a calmer, happier and more productive you. If you don’t have a diffuser, simply sprinkle a few drops onto a piece of tissue and put it on your radiator.

Love Yourself February

As the invasion of fake rose petals, gigantic teddy bears and overpriced chocolates in your local Tesco have probably informed you by now, Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Whether that has struck an anti-capitalist chord deep in your soul or made you feel like a domestic God/Goddess who's ready to cook up heart-shaped pancakes for your significant other, it's pretty hard to ignore.

Blogs and Books Club: Your 24 hour warning

After reading 'You are a Badass' for the second time, it's safe to say that I'm raring to get chatting to you all about it. Affirmations, "the big snooze" and self-help as a genre: I want to know your thoughts! So, I for one can't wait for the second ever Blogs and Books Chat at 7pm GMT (find out how that translates to your time zone here) tomorrow.

6 ways that you can support women, now that the march is over

On Saturday, millions of badass people worldwide marched in solidarity with our sisters in America, following the inauguration of a president who fuelled his campaign on hate. Here in the UK, we made London come to a literal standstill. 100,000 of us got our voices heard and let the government know that we, and our desire for equality in all areas of life, were not going away any time soon. As I said in my post about the march, being part of a protest so full of hope was a nourishing experience. It reaffirmed in me that the future will be better than the present, as long as we keep working for it.

Persistence in matters like this is invaluable. We did the march, we chanted, we showed that we care about women's rights, so now is the time to pledge to ourselves that we will take long-term action. That's when change really begins.

Whether you were able to be a part of the Women's March or not, there are so many ways that you can help the cause. These are just a few of them to get you started. If you know of any more, leave them in the comments bellow and let's keep this revolution going!

Women's March London

I’ve spent today trying to figure out how I can put into words what being a part of the Women’s March London yesterday felt like. As well ‘otherworldly’, ‘fucking incredible’ and ‘life changing’, the main word that keeps coming back to be is 'nourishing'. I feel like I’ve grown as a person. I feel like I’ve had my mission in life affirmed to me, by a crowd of 100,000 people. I feel aware more than ever, that I’m a part of a community that is fuelled by nothing but love, hope, respect and anger at people that don’t abide by those simple pillars of humanity.

Basically, it feels damn good to be a part of the sisterhood right now.

Girl Love #7

Do you ever feel so good that you start to question yourself?

"Why am I feeling so bloody amazing? Do I not have work to be stressing over? Have I forgotten about some form of impending doom?"

Becuase that has been my internal monologue throughout January so far. I've been feeling glowy. The kind of glowy that means I smile at people in the street and wake up wanting to do my work. Yep, even in this gloomy London weather where it's pretty much perpetually dark and rainy.  Frankly, even though it's been rather wonderful, it also left me feeling kind of befuddled. I had no idea where this internal glow had come from. I didn't know whether it was the residual happiness left over from Christmas or the fact that I've been reading "You Are a Badass" in preparation for this month's Blogs and Books Club. To be honest, I think they've both had something to do with it. I'm like a badass who is still all full of cheese and festive cheer. But on top of that, I realised that I've been surrounding myself with the right kinds of people. Both online and off, I've been absorbing the enthusiasm and peace of the positive influences in my life and learning to deflect negative energy. I'm slowly becoming more aware of the stories that I tell myself, which was one of my resolutions for 2017.

5 things that are totally normal about your period

If you’re looking for this post to be the lexical equivalent to a sanitary towel advert that uses that weird blue liquid to represent blood and shows women going for bike rides in white shorts, this isn’t the one for you. Maybe check out a favourites post or something a little more vanilla.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while though, you probably already know that I have absolutely no problem talking about my period, be that the products I use, how I ease cramps or the ways that I attempt to make the whole thing slightly easier. Although I did go through my “oh my god why are pads so noisy to open? I hope nobody guesses that I’m bleeding out of my vagina” phase, I kind of got over that when I realised that society’s fear of menstruation is, frankly, stupid. Not only is it totally normal and something that you share with approximately half of the adult population, it’s also pretty badass that your body is able to do all of that.

Unfortunately, some people still get a bit uncomfortable talking about vaginas. Trust me, I get it. It’s not your fault that society (read: the patriarchy) has conditioned you to be embarrassed of a natural bodily process. So, today I thought I would share with you 5 things that you might not feel as comfortable chatting about over tea as I do, but that are totally and completely normal.

A letter to those that voted against compulsory sex education

To say that I'm disappointed with you for the recent decision to not make sex and relationship education compulsory would be a lie. After all, that would require me not having already lost all of my faith in the government after Brexit actually became a thing. So, I'm not going to suggest that you've crushed my soul. To be honest, I'm not really that surprised either. I guess I already knew that our society values grades more than the mental health of our children.

But the whole thing did make me question whether you actually remember what it's like being smack bang in the middle of adolescence? You know, adolescence in all of its "Nobody understands me. I hope nobody's looking at this massive spot on my face. I don't actually know that I need to use deodorant yet" glory. Well, I'm only 19. I definitely remember it. If you don't, let me remind you: It can get pretty bloody awful. As well as growing boobs and/or armpit hair, you're expected to take on the first proper responsibilities of your life, be academically successful (lest you be told you're a typically lazy millennial) and try to deal with the fact that you're becoming a sexual being. Remember that? Well, the pretty amazing thing is that you're in a position where you could make some of that a little bit easier.

You have the power to teach young people that they are normal. That there is no shame in wanting sex. That they are worthy of healthy, happy relationships that are based on mutual trust and respect.