Sunday Seven: Tips for a Good Work/Life Balance

Now, to start this post I’m not claiming I have a perfect balance in my life (does anyone) BUT in the past year, I’ve learned a lot about having boundaries between work and home. If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you’ll know that this started a long time before I was working full-time, I’m terrible at switching off. That said, I do have a few tips to make things easier. So, really, this is for any self-confessed workaholic whether you’re a student, working full-time, volunteering or anything!

Work hard, play harder. 

It’s absolutely fine to work hard, it’s a great feeling to achieve, however, you need to play in your own way. That doesn’t mean going out on the town every weekend, it means finding something that you enjoy! For me, it’s a weekend bookathon!

Plan time with your friends and family. 

If you make plans, you have to stick to them. It’s very easy when you’re at home alone or have nothing planned to sit on your laptop and continue working late into the night. By making plans you need to step away and not think about it!

Working late is ok, but not every day. 

Sometimes you have to have a late night, you have things to do. That’s not a bad thing, deadlines happen or things might go wrong. There might even be a period of late nights (I’m looking at you dissertation writers) but you shouldn’t have to do that every single night.

Switch off your work phone/PC. 

Once the working day is done I switch off my work phone and PC. I’m lucky because I can do that, I’m not on call. If you can do that it’s a great way to switch off and have your own time.

Go to bed at a reasonable time! 

There’s nothing worse than trying to get things done with sleep deprivation. Nothing. Worse.

Make sure you take your allocated holiday! 

If you’re reading this from a working perspective most companies are good at telling you to take your holiday, because they recognise you need a break at times. If you’re a student reading this, I know the temptation to work every hour of the university holidays, you still need a break though, just like everyone else!

If you’re struggling, talk to someone.

I’m really lucky that where I work is incredibly open. If you do feel that things are getting a little too much and you’re working every hour of the day, talk to someone. Just one helping hand could make all the difference!

 

Sunday Seven: Exciting 2017 Book Releases

There may only be 3 and a half months left of 2017 but the amazing releases aren’t slowing down (my poor bank account). I’m so excited for so many books that are going to be coming my way!

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the sun and her flowers – Rupi Kaur 

I was a big film of Milk and Honey (so were most people I know) so I’m really excited to see what Rupi has in her new collection.

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It only happens in the movies – Holly Bourne 

If you didn’t know, I’m a huge Holly Bourne fan. I love her books, her message and her style. She’s one of my absolute favourite YA authors.

 

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Lady Killer Vol 2  – Joelle Jones 

It’s been so, so long since I picked up the first volume of this and now the second is so close! To sum up 1950s, beautiful artwork, kick ass killer ladies.

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Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

Does this really need explaining? It’s John Green. JOHN GREEN.

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Feel Good 101 – Emma Blackery

I’ve followed Emma Blackery since my first year at uni, Ali introduced me to her videos in her first year at uni when we would watch them together in his room. I still love Emma and I’ve seen her live. Feel Good 101 was my favourite set of videos and I’m SO PLEASED she’s finally releasing a book.

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Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions – Russell Brand 

Learning from our past is something I’m a firm believer in. Russell Brand is doing a great job, I think, I’m really excited to read his thoughts because I genuinely think he has something important to say.

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Harry Potter – A History of Magic: The Book of the Exhibition 

I’m loving all of the Harry Potter 20 books that are coming out at the moment. I’m really hoping to go to the exhibition and pick this up myself.

 

What books are you looking forward to in the final months of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Sunday Seven: My Busy Week!

Ever since I got back from Majorca, my life has been so damn busy! To the point where I worried my blog was suffering because I was getting home and just falling asleep. This week, in particular, has been so busy but also a lot of fun, so for something a little different I wanted to share with you a snippet from my super busy week!

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Wickett 

While I was staying at my Mum’s house sitting, Wickett and I had some quality time and he started to fall asleep in my hand. This was a BIG deal, Wickett hates being picked up, he really doesn’t like it. So for him to cuddle up and let me hold him was huge. I really wanted Ali to see and cuddle him and this week Ali to have the cuddle too!

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Goth lipstick of dreams 

When I was a teenager I wanted to be a full emo/goth but I was never quite brave enough to get black lipstick. I found some for a pound and decided what the hell. Who knows when I’ll wear it (it was to go see the Addams family but it was raining and smudgy). My Dad says this picture makes it look like I’m in a movie, I’m down with that.

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New Harry Potter Pops! 

There are new Funko pops. I may have pre ordered one or two…oops.

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Dinner with friends 

Ali works most weekends in the summer, which means organising going out with friends can be difficult. We finally managed to lock down an evening where the four of us could go to dinner at a local pub. Look at this dessert though. Nom.

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Sonia’s leaving tea party

I’m going to be taking over from a lovely lady called Sonia while she is on maternity leave. We had an absolutely adorable tea party for her on Friday with cakes, biscuits and tea. It was all so adorable and tasted so good. I think the whole office was on a sugar crash at the end of the day.

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My first work night out 

That evening I went for my first Indian! I know, I’m 22 years old and have never had an Indian. I had the best time chatting, eating and drinking with my new colleagues. I also had the first glass of wine I’ve ever really enjoyed. New woman, right here.

 

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The Addams Family Musical! 

Abbie and I went to Southampton for her birthday surprise! I’ve had these tickets for MONTHS and it was so hard not telling her, I almost burst on her birthday last week because I was so excited. I’m a huge fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher who played Wednesday Addams, she didn’t disappoint!

 

I wish I could say this week was going to be a slower one, but I’d be wrong with dinners, writing and Pride! Here’s to a busy summer!

Sunday Seven: My Favourite Disney/ Pixar Movies

I spent the majority of my childhood watching Disney films. I can still remember the exact covers of the VHS tapes as I rewound them and watched again and again. It’s something that hasn’t changed as I’ve grown up, I’ve fallen in love with some of the newest films too. There are SO many that I love, choosing just 7 was so hard but these are films that I ever watched constantly as a child or that I’ve found as an adult and LOVED.

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Zootopia

Let’s start with the newest of the bunch. I was well into trying to adult when this film came out and I fell in LOVE with it. I loved Judy and Nick, the way that it actually represents bigger issues in the world. Judy is definitely in my to-cosplay list too!

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Tangled 

The music, the kick ass princess, the animals. What is not to LOVE about Tangled? I thought it was absolutely incredible and she’s one of my favourite Disney Princesses of all time just because she’s not a made and ready princess she has to learn.

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Peter Pan 

You can fly, you can fly, you can flyyyyyyy! I loved this movie so, so much. Once it was announced our school play was Peter Pan I was on it. I did manage to bag the part of Wendy and it was amazing. I knew all of the songs, loved the story as well as Tinkerbell being her sassy self.

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The Little Mermaid 

So my nickname growing up was The Little Mermaid. I loved this film and just sang part of your world constantly, even now I’ll have a sing song to myself. Ariel was just such a cool princess she kicked ass, had a cool voice and I think she was the start of my love for red hair too. I also loved the second movie, and the third. Just anything mermaid related was fine with me.

 

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The Jungle Book

Between the ages of 6 months and 2 and a half I had to watch this of 101 Dalmations every night. Every single damn night so I’d eat my dinner. My poor Mum and Grandparents know them both word for word. But didn’t we all love Baloo? Wasn’t he just the best?!

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101 Dalmatians 

As I said above. That and I love dogs, I have to stop for every dog I see and I definitely think that was the start of it. They’re just all so adorable and I’m totally in love with the new Cath Kidston Disney range too.

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Toy Story 2 

Ok, ok hold fire I know that this is a sequel but hear me out. I went to see this in the cinema just before my 5th birthday and I thought Jessie was amazing. I loved her, she was fun and while I’d already loved Toy Story the second one made me so happy to have a real COWGIRL. I had the outfit for my fifth birthday…

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What are your favourite Disney movies? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Sunday Seven: Reasons having a hamster is the best

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If you follow me on any social media you will know that I LOVE hamsters. I’ve had 3 dwarf hamsters and 1 Syrian in my life. I just find them to be loving, adorable and ah I can’t get enough of hamsters. So, here’s some reasons why hamsters are the best.

1. They’re adorable

Just look at them!

2. Each and every one has their own personality 

For such tiny creatures, they all have their own personalities that are so different. I’ve not had two hamsters the same and I doubt I ever will.

3. They’re pretty low maintenance as pets 

Food, Water, Sawdust and a reasonable cage and you’re ready to go. Exercise is also pretty easy, a wheel and an exercise ball is plenty!

 

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4. Watching a hamster eat something bigger than them is hilarious 

Seriously, just google.

5. Playtime is so much fun

Watching a hamster run around in their ball or on a wheel is fun! They get so excited by the simplest things.

6. They’re very affectionate 

All of my hamsters have had their own way of being affectionate from curling up in your hair, on your shoulders, dragging your hand to make a slide, or playing hide and seek.

7. There’s unconditional love

Like with most pets, they won’t judge just love and sometimes that’s all you need.

Sunday Seven: My Holiday Reading Shortlist!

Aside from spending time with my boyfriend and exploring, the thing I’m looking forward to most on holiday is having time to sit and read without distraction! I’ve had a few ARC copies sent to me that I want to sit and get through as well as one or two newer releases that I want to pick up! So let’s take a look through my shortlist.

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The Summer of Impossible Things – Rowan Coleman 

In the blurb there is talk of time-travel, family bonds and some form of secrecy, it sounds like a great next read and I’ve heard great things about Rowan Coleman.

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A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms – George R.R. Martin

I’m going to admit that I haven’t gotten through all of the Game of Thrones books because, well you could hold a door with them (get it…yes my jokes are terrible) but I’m up to date with the TV show so know enough. I took a look through this, not only is it shorter but it’s also illustrated! I can’t wait to go and pick this up before I go away.

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See You in the Cosmos 

This is a young teen book but seems interesting. Music, space and family are all included in this book. I’m not sure what initially made me want to read it but I think it’s going to be a heartwarming novel.

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Dreadnought – April Daniels

I am so stupidly excited to read this book. This is another YA novel but this time focusing on Superheroes, Gender and saving humanity. Sign me up.

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One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus 

This seems like a The Breakfast Club meets murder mystery. The Breakfast Club is one of my favourite films so the whole idea of these teenagers who are so different coming together could go really well. I’m hoping it goes really well.

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The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simison 

I LOVED The Rosie Project when I read it a few years ago and I’m so excited that there is a new direction that Simison is going in and I’m excited to read his style of writing again.

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The Power – Naomi Alderman 

We were going to read this for my new book club, but on a vote, we decided on another book. This really seems intriguing with female power and a fear of it being the central point, I’m really hoping to pick this up at the airport.

 

What are you looking to read this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Ways to take care of your mental health in difficult times

There’s no doubt that we’re living through difficult times at the moment. We’ve seen 3 terror attacks in the UK within a few months and with every single one, the country feels a terrible sadness at the loss of life because of hate. While everyone feels the sadness, sometimes when you’re living with a mental illness difficult times can impact you in a negative way. So here are 7 ways to take care of your mental health in times like these.

Note: I am in no way neglecting that the people who are caught up in these attacks have the worst situation. This is not trying to overshadow them, rather to help others in times of what can feel like crushing helplessness. I’m sending all my love and thoughts to those caught up in the attacks of the last few months.

It’s ok to switch off for a while 

I read something that really resonated with me today ‘watching 24-hour news isn’t going to help anyone’. I so guilty of this. I get so absorbed and just have the news on repeat but it doesn’t help, it adds to the sadness and frustration. It’s also ok to come offline for a bit because it is constant and sad. That doesn’t mean you don’t care and it doesn’t mean you have no feelings but you need to take care of yourself too.

Know that feelings of hopelessness, anger and sadness are normal 

This isn’t necessarily your mental illness, a lot of people are upset and angry, this is normal! Although as we all know it can trigger deeper feelings too.

Talk to others 

Talking to others about events and how you feel can really help, knowing that others feel the same way too.

Look for positivity

It’s easy to look around and see all of the horrible things happening but try and look at the positives around you. Look for the helpers, look for the positivity.

If you feel you can help, then do 

You can donate, write or do whatever you can to help!

Remember that terrorist attacks ARE unlikely

We’ve had a lot recently but these are not something that happen every single day, it’s awful and horrific but these people want us to live in fear.

Know that it’s ok to still live your life 

That said if you feel the need to carry on and do what you would normally do then go ahead! Everyone deals with these situations in their own way.