Wednesday, 31 August 2016

101 Things In 1001 Days

101 Things In 1001 Days blogger challenge update lifestyle UK
If you suffer from any form of mental illness, you know how hard it can be to get out of bed in the morning! You know how easy it can be to slip into a never ending cycle of self-hatred. You know how easy it is for your motivation just to disappear from in front of your eyes. I know I have experienced all of these things.

As part of my recovery, I want to focus on overcoming my obsessions and compulsions. One of the best ways to do this alongside other strategies is to distract myself and make sure you are focusing your energy on important and positive things. My brain automatically thinks that overloading myself with studying and work will be a good thing. Well yes, I'm going to work very hard in the next couple of academic years, I need to make sure I am not just focusing all my energy on studying but other, more enjoyable things as well.

This is where the 101 in 1001 days challenge comes in. This challenge has been around for a while now, so I am sure you are very familiar with it. But basically if your not, the main principle is that unlike a bucket list you actually have a time restriction on how quickly you do the things on your list (1001 days which is around 2.75 years) which gives you plenty of time to achieve some of you're smaller and bigger goals. Most of the things on my list, are not that extreme. There's no swimming with dolphins on here or anything like that because well let's be real; that's unlikely to happen. 

I will be updating you on the list as I go along because I really think I can achieve most of these things on my list. I would love to know if you are inspired to create your own 101 in 1001 days list in the comments down below or if you already have one; let me know how it is getting on


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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How Sexual Harassment Impacted My Life | #SpeakUp

How Sexual Harassment Impacted My Life | #SpeakUp blogger lifestyle beauty UK feminism taboo subjects

When I allowed Claire to write a post on sexual harassment for the #SpeakUp series I didn't really know what to expect. I have been fortune enough not to have to go through something as horrible as sexual harassment. If I'm honest, I didn't know much about sexual harassment before I read Claire's post. I am an advocate for supporting the importance of consent and believe that I am pretty educated when it comes to what consent sounds like, but when it comes to sexual harassment, I'm pretty clueless. 

Sexual harassment is "harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks." but I we all know it can be so much more. The impacts of sexual harassment can be devastating and pretty horrific for the victim. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and can last for varying periods of time. Someone who knows all too well about this is Claire.

I'm so proud of Claire for sharing such a personal story in such a delicate way. Sexual harassment is definitely something which is not spoken up about enough in the blogging community or in society in general. Whether that's because women ( or men for that matter) are embarrassed to talk about it in the fear they will be told they are making a fuss about nothing or if they don't even realise It's a problem, to begin with. You don't have to go through sexual harassment alone. Tell someone and keep telling them till something is done about it. I'm so proud of Claire for writing this post so please be kind and so her some love. 

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

22 Pieces Of Advice I Would Give All College/ Sixth Form Freshers



For some people, college can be the best two years of their life. You have more freedom and expression. Your doing subjects that you should enjoy and you have more control over how you study. You can wear your own clothes, eat more food and just generally experience more than what you ever did at school.

For others, college is hell. It's a big place, with lots of new people. It can be lonely and intimidating all at the same time. There are more work and responsibility. There are more things to remember, more deadlines and tests. With all this on top of any other issues or problems you are going through; mental illness, family troubles, relationship difficulties, etc. College can be a tough place. 

Whether you are excited or nervous to be starting college in September or even a bit of both, I wanted to share will you 22 pieces of advice, of things I have learnt from my own personal experiences. I hope you find this useful.

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Ultimate List Of Hashtags and Retweet Twitter Accounts for Bloggers

The Ultimate List Of Hastags and Retweet Twitter Accounts for Bloggers UK lifestyle beauty

In my how to use Twitter to boost your blog traffic post, I did earlier in the year, which you can check out HERE if you missed it! I told you guys that adding hashtags and retweet accounts into your tweets where you promote your latest blog posts is really useful and totally worth doing! I promised you guys in that post, I would compile a list of the hashtags and retweet accounts I could find which are relevant to bloggers and here it is...

This post did take me some time and I know I have probably missed some off because there are so many niches in blogging these days, it's hard to keep up! If I missed anything of either one of the lists then do let me know in the comments below and I will try to keep this post as updated as I can for you.

I hope you find it useful! Also quick side note, all the account names should directly lead to the associated Twitter account if you click on them, so you don't have to go hunting on Twitter for them! I am kind like that! Anyway, I hope you find this helpful and it wasn't a complete waste of my time scrolling through Twitter for hours trying to find them all (Yes, I want you to feel sorry for me! Hint hint)

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Friday, 26 August 2016

Anxiety And Paranoia | #SpeakUp



Anxiety related disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses that people experience with 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population being affected. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health) However, I believe that not only is it important to talk about and raise awareness of mental illnesses that affect a lot of people, it is equally important to educate people about less common mental illnesses that people suffer from.

One of those is paranoia. Paranoia is actually more common than you would think, as Matti explains in this #SpeakUp post. Despite, it being very common it is very rarely spoken about and if I am completely honest with you , I didn't know much about it either until I read this post. Paranoia can be really hard and difficult to understand and cope with. You are definitely not mad, crazy or insane, there is help out there for you.

Which Matti so brilliantly explains and highlights in this post. If you feel like you are suffering from paranoia or anxiety after reading this post, please do seek help, you are not alone. I am so glad that Matti decided to not only focus on anxiety in her #SpeakUp post but paranoia as well. She did an amazing job at explaining what it feels like and I am so proud of her for sharing her personal story. I hope you enjoy this post and it educates you a little bit more about what it is like suffering from anxiety and paranoia. 

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Monday, 22 August 2016

9 Lies My OCD Tells Me



You guys know I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and I am very open about it here on my blog. A lot of you have very kindly said that you had learnt a lot from my posts in the past about emetophobia and OCD which is reassuring to hear, but some of you don't completely understand it or want to find out more about the disorder.

As part of my recovery process, I like to write down some of the intrusive thoughts I have in my head. I call these lies. There lies my brain tells me because it wants to trick me into thinking things that aren't true. Sometimes I can stand against them, and sometimes I can't. OCD is not just about being neat, clean or liking order- far from it. It's a serious and debilitating mental illness. 

Unfortunately, I'm not the only person that has to live with this devil of a disorder. Through blogging, I have met lots of other supportive and understanding individuals who also struggle with OCD, one of those being Naomi from Tea time with Naomi. Today we are both going to be talking about lies our OCD tells us. Please check out her post, as OCD affects suffers very differently, meaning that I on my own will never be able to give you an accurate reflection of what OCD is like for everyone. 

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

31 Things All College/Sixth Form Freshers Need

31 Things All College/Sixth Form Freshers Need A levels stress exams bag school college Uni

I went to college for the first time last September but I am starting again this September. Blah blah blah! You have heard this story all before. You know why etc. Basically, this means that I become a fresher again this September. However, this time, I am armed with my previous experience.

You need a lot when you go to college. A lot more than you ever did at school. The teachers aren't here to look out for you anymore (I mean, they still are but they are not going to be reminding you of all the things you need to bring) if you don't bring a planner or diary- that's your own call!

To stop you making some of the same mistakes as I did, I have made you a comprehensive list of all the essentials you will need at college. I highly recommend you take all 31 of them with you because trust me on this one guys... Your probably gonna need them!
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Friday, 19 August 2016

A Beginners Guide To: Understanding Photography Terminology

A Beginners Guide To: Understanding Photography Terminology Help advice tips tricks photos blogger blogging

You guys know I love photography and you also seem to really like my blog posts I do on photography, whether that be my photo diaries or posts where I actually share my photography tips. However, sometimes I feel like I get a bit too technical. I am a big camera geek and I forget that not everyone shares my passion for getting excited at pieces of plastic.

I recently posted my most comprehensive photography tips post to date; A Beginners Guide To: Getting into Photography' where I went through everything from buying the camera to cleaning it. However, that post was very long and I didn't get the opportunity to really explain all the words I was using, in that much depth. I know a couple of my blogging friends have recently invested in their first proper cameras, so I want to help them and the rest of you guys out as much possible.

I thought what would be really useful is a photography terminology guide for beginners. There's a lot of fancy words used in photography which can seem pretty complicated at first. Trust me I know, it took me forever to get my head around what most of these words mean. But now I know and have a good understanding, I want to make your life easier. So here is a very long list of photography words which you may not understand fully, but hopefully, I have explained them clearly in this post. If you have any more photography questions or want anything clearing up, don't be scared to ask! 

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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Let's Talk About Being Bullied | #SpeakUp

Let's Talk About Being Bullied | #SpeakUp bullying help support lifestyle blogger UK

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that a while ago I did a post about bullying. You can read that post HERE. Before the start of this year, I had never experienced bullying before. I now realise how lucky I was. Bullying is such a horrible thing to go through and is a topic that is very close to my heart. Some people don't even realise bullying is still going on, they roll their eyes and just think the victim can't take a joke and needs to lighten up.

This is not the case at all! Bullying can happen for so many different reasons. It can build up gradually or happen suddenly. It can get better and then worse. Some people are affected more than others, but nonetheless, it's this an important topic that needs to be talked about. Being bullied can make you feel alone, vulnerable and scared. It's a really unpleasant thing to have to go through and can really knock your confidence. No one should have to go through bullying. Period.

Although I have talked about my personal experience with bullying before, bullying can take so many shapes and forms, with so many people being affected differently. Which is why I wanted Severina to share her personal experience with bullying, for this week's #SpeakUp post. Severina is so brave for sharing her story; I'm so proud of her for overcoming such a hard point in her life and still managing to see the positives. I really admire her for this. I hope you find this post helpful or reassuring if you are going through something similar right now. You are not alone and worth so much more than the bullies words. 

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

50 Thoughts I Have On a Daily Basis

50 Thoughts I Have On a Daily Basis lifestyle blogger UK mental health blog thoughts mental wellbeing

When I saw the amazing, beautiful and utterly inspirational Amie from Thecurvaceousvegan do a post about 30 thoughts she has on a daily basis which you are can read HERE, I found myself internally agreeing and nodding my head at lots of the points she was making! 

I enjoyed the post so much; I was inspired to share a similar post on my blog about all the thoughts I have on a daily basis! The great thing about these posts is 100 people could do them, and they would all be totally different! All our minds are different and work in completely different ways! Which makes us all unique. Granted there are some thoughts we have which are pretty universal but others not so much! 

As most of you know, I suffer from mental health problems, so lots of the thoughts I have on a daily basis aren't very nice, but I have tried to mix it up with some light-hearted thoughts which I also have in the day! This post could have easily gone on for ages! I have WAY TOO MANY crazy thoughts every day to list in just one post!! I hope you enjoy nonetheless!

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Friday, 12 August 2016

How To Balance Life And Blogging

How To Balance Life And Blogging quick easy ideas spreadsheets college school organisation notebooks

It can be easy to let your blog get on top of you if you struggle with organisation. Equally, life can get in the way and stop you enjoying blogging. However, both of these can be combated by having strategies in place and certain items utilised to help you manage your time more efficiently. A lot of you very kindly say that I'm very organised, and I seem to be able to manage everything very well. Yep, that's true! I've got to be! Otherwise, the five websites/ magazines that I write for including my own would never get any new posts and articles.

There are so many ways you can manage and organise your life. Many people are divided between paper and electronic methods. Personally, I like a bit of both. I'm going to show you how I manage my college work using both digital ways and paper. As well as how I handle the day to day chores and my blog. 

The key to time management is finding a method or strategy that works for you and sticking to it. I use lots of different methods to manage college, life and blogging. I know I am not the only one! Lots of other bloggers use different methods to me, which is why today Kizzi from Beauty and Brownies and I have teamed up to show you how we balance life and blogging using different organisational methods. Don't forget to check out Kizzi's post to get lots more ideas on how to organise your time and hopefully you will find something that works well for you. 
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

What It Feels Like To Be An Outsider

What It Feels Like To Be An Outsider introvert blogger UK lifestyle
*Takes a deep breath* Hi, I'm Nicole, and I'm an outsider. An introvert and all around misfit! I don't have the same interests as most people my age; I don't enjoy what most people my age do, and I find it incredibly hard to make friends because of this.

I am an outsider, and I will tell you something; it's pretty tough! As a kid, I was a bit odd, but come on all the best kids are! I'm an only child I had to entertain myself some way! I used to entertain myself for hours playing witches, teachers or mums and dads with my teddies and dolls for company. I was a complete bookworm; I loved to write, draw and just genuinely be creative. I was my happiest with a jigsaw puzzle or colouring book in my hands! 

I was a pretty normal kid in many aspects. I had friends; a small group of close nit friends who I enjoyed to play horses with or make birds nests with when the school field had just been cut! Don't laugh; I bet you did this too! I worked hard at school and did my best; it wasn't until year 11/ college that I realised how much of an outsider I was. I never fitted in with large friendship groups, no matter how hard I tried. 

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Let's Talk About Teenage Relationships | #SpeakUp

Let's Talk About Teenage Relationships | #SpeakUp love advice boyfriends girlfriends blogger UK lifestyle

If there is one thing you will never see on my blog is relationship advice or anything to do with relationships for that matter. At this current moment in time, I'm 17 I've never had a boyfriend, had sex, been kissed, hugged or for that matter or been touched by a boy who isn't related to me by blood. WAYYYYY..... Don't I live a wild life? This is something that really used to get me down when I was younger. I used to always think I was never going to find a soulmate and be alone forever.

As I have got older, I have realised that as selfish as it sounds I have to put myself first. I have to learn to love myself before I can love anyone else. I have lot's issues and problems that I have to overcome before I can become consumed with a relationship. Living with a mental illness, especially one that stops me making physical contact with any other human beings for fear of being contaminated, dying and killing all those others around me. I need someone who understands; that will have to be a very special human being.

Thankfully, I know someone who has a lot more experience with teenage relationships than me who can offer you some very helpful advice. For this week's #SpeakUp post, the lovely Jade is going to be sharing with you her advice about teenage relationships. For those who have never been in a relationship before, those who are in a toxic relationship and those of who are in very happy and fulfilling relationships. There's something here for everyone! I hope you find this post very helpful and informative (Jade did a fantastic job at covering all the bases)
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Monday, 8 August 2016

How To Make A Media Kit For Your Blog

How To Make A Media Kit For Your Blog help guide easy quick step by step

Some of you may have clicked on this post with not a clue what the hell a media kit is and some of you may have heard the term before but have no idea where to start and are looking for some inspiration. Whatever the reason you clicked on this post, I've got ya covered!  

The best way to describe a media kit is it is basically a CV for your blog. Your blog's media kit should be an extension of your blog, so it needs to look professional and outline your best bits. Like a CV is a quick way for an employer to see if you are suitable for the job, a media kit works in the same way. If you have a media kit, brands and companies can have a look at it before working or collaborating with you.

There are so many benefits of having a media kit for your blog; not only does it make you look super professional and like you've got your shit together, it's a perfect way to answer questions that brands may have about you and your blog, before working with you without having to exchange countless emails. In some cases, brands may ask to see your media kit before working with you, so it's always handy to have an up to date version at hand. You don't have to be a full-time blogger, to make a media kit either. Anyone can make a media kit for their blog!

In this post, I am going to cover everything about making a blog media kit from what software to use, what to include, things to bear in mind and how to upload it to your blog in PDF format so it is accessible to everyone who may want to work with you. I hope you find this post really useful!

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Sunday, 7 August 2016

What It Feels Like To Have An Invisible Illness

What It Feels Like To Have An Invisible Illness poem blogger mental health illness OCD anxiety support help

I have an invisible illness. I don't have a lump or bump; I don't walk with a limp or have any broken limbs. I don't have any scars or bandages to signify my bravery or courage, but that doesn't mean there's nothing there.

I have an invisible illness. You can't see it. You can't hear it. You can't touch it. You can't smell it, and you definitely can't feel it, but that doesn't mean there's nothing there. 

I have an invisible illness. My illness can't be treated with a 7-day course of antibiotics or a couple of sessions of physiotherapy. There's nothing abnormal to see in a blood test, X-Ray or urine sample but that doesn't mean there's nothing there. 
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Friday, 5 August 2016

The Complete Beginners Guide To: Getting Into Photography

The Complete Beginners Guide To: Getting Into Photography advice tips camera photos UK lifestyle blogger

It's not a secret that I love photography. Photography has been my hobby since I was little as I have always grown up with my father taking lot's of photos and being just genuinely quite creative. Gone of the days of my first point and shoot camera, I am now a big tech nerd when it comes to photography, and I do get quite excited looking at lenses. Yep, you could call me a nerd, I don't mind!

I have done quite a few photography posts on my blog before, some directly aimed at blogging photography and some covering photography in general. (I have made a directory of all my old photography posts at the end of this post, which you can check out if you like) However, as some of my old posts are a bit crap, let's be honest, and I now have a much bigger audience than I did eight months ago I thought I would do another one. I have also included a list of direct links to the exact equipment I own. Next to them I have listed a rough price estimate so if you are looking to get into photography, you know roughly how much you may need to set aside to get yourself started. 

This post is going to be aimed at photography in general, not just blog photography. Most of these tips can be applied to blog photography though too. If you really want to start photography as a hobby, this post is going to be for you! It's going to be very long and comprehensive, so grab a hot (or cold) beverage and let's get stuck in. I am going to be covering as much as I can, but if I do miss anything out you can ask me questions in the comments below! 

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Thursday, 4 August 2016

My First Therapy Experience And Why I Am Taking A Break


Hi. Hello. Howdy. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. How are you? Aw, that's great to hear. How I'm I? Well, I'm not good! Surprise surprise! Things have got worse. A lot worse. And I think it's about time I explain what the hell is going on. I want to let you know what's been going on in my life recently and why I am going. (Not forever, just for a little while) 

When I was asked to fill in a depression, anxiety and phobia questionnaire during my first therapy session, I filled in 'nearly everyday' or 'more than half of the days' for nearly every question which really opened my eyes and made me realise how shit my life is right now. I started to realise that everything was more of a problem than I was admitting it was. 

If you watched my Snapchat story (thriftyvintage in case you are wondering) before I went to my therapy session, you would know that I was incredibly nervous. I really struggled to put how nervous I was into words. I was worried about everything. How was I going to tell a complete stranger my deepest darkest fears and thoughts when I couldn't even tell my parents? What was she going to be like? Could I trust her? Was she going to judge me? These worries and fears kept going around and around my head. 
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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Can you ever really understand Panic attacks if you’ve never experienced them? | #SpeakUp

Can you ever really understand Panic attacks if you’ve never experienced them? | #SpeakUp panic disorder mental health illness wellbeing OCD anxiety panic attacks NHS help support tips

Something that I am very fortunate that I don't suffer from is Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder is; "where you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It's a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations. However, for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time." (NHS Choices) I have had panic attacks before, some much worse than others but they all happen for a reason.

Panic disorder must be such a debilitating and stressful mental illness to live with, especially if you don't know what is causing your panic attacks. Which isn't to say any other mental illness isn't equally as stressful or debilitating. When you have had a panic attack or are having a panic attack, it can be very easy for everyone around you to tell you to breathe and stay calm but when you feel like you are about to die, this can be easier said than done. I know these people are only trying to do their best but can they really understand what you are going through?

Bridie raises this question brilliantly. In this week's #SpeakUp post. Can friends, relatives or even medical professionals understand what a panic attack feels like if they never had one? Sure, we all have feelings of anxiety every now and again, but a panic attack is a lot more than just feeling a bit sick or worried. If you suffer from anxiety, panic disorder or have had a panic attack before, I hope you find reassurance in Bridie's fantastic post. Enjoy!

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