Let's Talk About Money

Let’s Talk Money

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that here in the UK we aren’t great about talking about money. It’s kind of viewed as a yucky topic. If you do talk about money you’re either showing off or complaining, well that’s what I’ve found.

As always, it started with a book (big surprise to my regular readers). I was recommended You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero and I thought why not have a listen? I loved it and I’m not against saying that it completely changed my perception of money.

Money Anxiety

Money for me has changed a LOT in the past few years. Mainly because I am now directly responsible for making sure I have enough. If I don’t work for whatever reason, I don’t get any. Self-employed life for the win! Before that even being in full-time employment I was always anxious about money. No, scratch that I was scared about money.

What if I didn’t have enough? Was I making enough? Should I be making more? Would I be stuck earning this amount for the rest of my life? Yep, definite money anxiety. And I know I’m not the only one.

Changing Your Mindset

There’s the idea that money is hard to find and therefore it’s unlikely you’ll have enough. This is what I had to change personally, Sincero says that money is all around us, we just need to find how to access it.

Hold fire, I understand that this seems out there, I scoffed at it at first BUT think about it. There are opportunities everywhere, yes some of us have more privilege to access it than others but it’s still there. It’s all about what we’ll do to access it and the mindset we have about how we’ll get it.

A mere few days after finishing this book, I was told a client of mine was no longer continuing. Normally this would have given me a panic attack and a lot of teams. I was anxious, no doubt, but I took a few breaths and spent my entire train journey noting down ideas of how I could possibly gain back that income.

I had a positive mindset that I could and would replace that money. That I just had to find it. It wasn’t instant but there are more things in the pipeline.

Calling Out Bullshit

Rich people aren’t evil, poor people aren’t stupid. These are some bullshit ideas that float around. How you view money and what you want is a big part of the book. Similarly, if you enjoy money and want to make a large amount you’re not a soulless demon.

We have some really weird ideas as a society about money. One of this biggest is that it has to be a secret. I know for a fact people have been paid more than me to do the same job, in the same place.

I’ve always been pretty open about my earnings to those who are close to me. It is what it is and I won’t be ashamed or embarrassed.

I’m fully aware that circumstance can hugely impact how much a person earns! It’s not all positive thinking and fingers crossed. BUT unless we talk about it how are we going to know if people are being exploited or mistreated?

How are we going to fix problems with pay gaps due to gender and ethnicity if we refuse to talk about them? Additionally, we need to make sure we are supporting those who are minorities or those from low-income backgrounds because we’re only going to become a better society.

How do you feel about money and the way we talk about it? Let me know in the comments below!

February 2019 Favourites

Well, February was a dream. If you’re a regular reader you might have realised I never did a January favourites post for 2019, because I was really struggling. There were good parts, like moving to our new home but overall I felt pretty meh. So in comparison, February was wonderful. So let’s get into some favourites!

Books

I read a lot in February, so it was hard to pick favourites, but I have managed to pick six for you they’re all pretty varied too. If you want to know about the rest of them I am doing a whole wrap up.

What Would The Spice Girls Do – Lauren Bravo

A fun and powerful look back at the impact that the Spice Girls had on us and the world. I absolutely adored this book and its great fun but also makes you think.

Saga Volume 9 – Brian K. Vaughan 

I can hardly say anything because it is the 9th in the series BUT, I will warn you to keep tissues with you, this broke my heart.

Royals – Rachel Hopkins 

Not my usual read but I fell in love with Royals, although I think it’s now been renamed and is being rereleased. This was a funny and sweet contemporary with a royal romance.

Far From The Tree – Robin Benway 

A beautifully written YA novel about family. This made me feel so many emotions while I was reading and I did get a little teary eyed. I can’t believe more people aren’t shouting about this novel.

Heartstopper Volume 1 – Alice Oseman 

I loved Alice Oseman’s novel Radio Silence and kept seeing people talking about her first graphic novel about a romance between 2 guys and it’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever read. I read it within an hour and immediately ordered volume 2…it’s gonna be a long wait until July.

If My Body Could Speak – Blythe Baird 

It’s rare that I feel that a book speaks directly to me and my experiences. I can see this collection becoming a favourite for so many because there this is real and it will resonate with so many people. Full review to follow of course! I was gifted a copy of this for review.

Big News

I won’t go on about it too much, because I know I’ve posted it EVERYWHERE but in February I got engaged! I’m so excited to marry my best friend and feel truly, truly lucky.

Listening

Ariana Grande, Thank U Next

In case you’ve been living under a rock – Ariana Grande dropped a new album in February. She also made history having the number 1, 2 and 3 in the US charts. I’ve had this album on repeat since it came out. While I wasn’t sure at first I’ve fallen in love with it.

General Life

And a big mix of others here! We obviously had the snow which was a favourite for the first day or two…until I was snowed into my flat – not fun! Ali and I also had some fun making pretzels from scratch YUM.

I also got to spend some time with my godkids this month, which just warmed my heart so much. As well as that I received a beautiful pin from my cousin in law to be, I love pin badges, even if I have no idea how to display them. I can also recommend the Chocolate Layer Cake from Wagamamas, after a trip with a friend.

Rounding up this mix is my new (3rd) bookcase, which I am in love with, some wand inspired makeup brushes from my Mumma and a new treat for myself – getting a manicure.

And that is my month! I’m hoping March will be great too as it finally gets to Spring time – I’m so over Winter. How was February for you? Let me know in the comments down below.

February Book Haul 2019

My February Book Haul

Well, after buying no books in the month of January February was a little different. It’s time for my February book haul and buckle up because there is a LOT. It’s worth noting that I’m only hauling physical books…let’s not even get into the e-ARCS.

The Gifted Books

First up, the books I have sent by lovely people who encourage my bookish ways. I’ve received Eye Level by Jenny Xie as I’ll be working on the International Dylan Thomas Prize and this is a contender. I have also been sent two books that are on the longlist for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize. Educated by Tara Westover is one I’ve heard about constantly and while I haven’t heard about Mind On Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning I always want to read more mental health memoirs. And I also was sent Am I Ugly? by Michelle Elman a memoir I’m looking forward to getting into.

The Sale Books

Sooo, Waterstones had a sale. I got all of these books for £1 each! They’re not damaged and I don’t quite know why they went into sale but I’m excited. I picked up three YA novels and one general fiction.

In YA we have Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith, Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga and Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve. I’ve enjoyed books by Eve and Warga before and have no idea about Smith so we’ll see. And we also have Look At Me by Sarah Duguid which involves finding a family member who was never known about! Dun, dun, duuuuun.

The YA Books

I might have gone on a little Amazon spending spree in YA. I keep hearing about Five Feet Apart by Racheael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Laconis so I picked it up and so far, so good. It’s giving me The Fault In Our Stars vibes – one of my favourite books.

I also picked up A Danger To Herself And Others by Alyssa Sheimmel, I loved her previous novel Faceless so as soon as I saw this I needed to pick it up. Also, while I’ve never read or watched DUFF, I’ve bought That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger. The blurb looked really interesting and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Keplinger so why not pick it up?

Other Books

I also picked up two poetry collections Feminine Gospels and Standing Female Nude by Carol Ann Duffy. I do love some poetry and I couldn’t resist when I went to Waterstones Picadilly, I could have stayed there for so long. I was also lucky enough to be given a copy of Fairytale by my friends Nan because she is so adorable.

So, that was a MONTH and I’m super glad I’ve got a new bookcase to put them all onto! Did you buy many books in February? Let me know below!

7 Tips For Going To Events Alone

It may surprise the people that know me, but going to social events gets me all kinds of wound up. In fact, before going out I’m usually a completely anxious mess. As times gone on I’ve gotten better at dealing with it – a far cry from my student days when I would get stupidly drunk before going out so I wasn’t as anxious. Would not recommend.

As a result of Ali’s job he often has to miss events – whether that’s a birthday night out, dinners or family gatherings in the past year and a half I’ve had to get used to going alone. As much as I am independent, it is nicer going to an event with someone you love rather than on your lonesome. It doesn’t mean I enjoy it, but I have my own ways of either hyping myself up or having plans for if I’m not feeling great.

It got me thinking, I’m sure I’m not the only one having to face going to events alone! Whether that be social or otherwise so why not put down what helps me?

Make sure you feel confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing

If I’m going to feel good mentally, I want to feel confident in the way I look. Making the effort to go outside? At nighttime no less? You bet I’m going to look good! I quite enjoy making a fuss of myself getting ready with some good music blasting, taking time to do my make up and generally feeling good about myself. It puts me in a much better mindset.

That said I’ll also think about what I’ll be comfortable in, if I’m going for a big dinner I’m not going to be wearing tight jeans or a fitted dress! Hello skater dresses

Don’t be afraid to let friends know you’re feeling it a little bit

When I went out for my birthday last year I was really apprehensive. To be honest, I really missed Ali, it was my second birthday apart from him and I didn’t know if I wanted to bother. A few friends of mine had to cancel and I just felt down.

I didn’t make a secret of this to my friends. I simply explained that I was missing him, but I wanted to spend time with them, just give me a minute to get in the groove! And it worked!

Give yourself some ‘me time’ before or after

I’m an introvert and navigating parties and such alone can be exhausting! Because of this I try to make sure that I have some time to myself either before (a relaxing shower and pamper session) or the next day I might curl up with a good book and my own company!

Find something you’re looking forward to in each event

It could be that the place you’re going to eat does really good dessert. You might be seeing friends you haven’t spent time with in a while, there will be something in each event for you to look forward to! Focus on those rather than the things you’re feeling anxious about!

If you don’t want to drink, then don’t!

If you’re going out normally people are having a drink or two but sometimes you might not feel like it. And that’s ok!!! I’ve had to learn that just because other people are drinking, it doesn’t mean that I have to!

In the past I’ve drunk far too much when I’ve felt sad or lonely and you know what? It just made me feel worse, not better! Now I can be pretty comfortable to just not drink and mocktails are much cheaper!

Appreciate the time you’re spending with friends or family

I absolutely love my friends and family, when I go out I try to take pictures and remember every detail for later when I can excitedly share my day with Ali.

Going to these things alone can make me feel a little lonely but I’m not going to let that ruin the time I have with other people in my life! They know I appreciate them and their time!

Have an ‘escape plan’

I wondered whether to put this one in, but I want to be honest. There are times when I am struggling and the only way I can persuade myself to go out is knowing that if it gets too much I can leave or step out for a minute.

This might be as simple as popping to the toilet for 10 minutes if I feel anxious or driving myself to the event so I don’t have to rely on anyone else for a lift. It’s giving myself that feeling of having control over my anxiety rather than the other way around.

Is there anything else you’d add? Let me know in the comments below!

Life Update: I’m Getting Married!

Hello, lovelies!

I have been a little quiet on social media the first part of the week and that’s because I was keeping a secret and I didn’t trust myself not to spill the beans because…I’M GETTING MARRIED! Yep, that’s right this girl is going to be a Mrs.

If you’re interested in the details then read on, if you’re just here for the news, thank you!

As my regular readers know Ali and I have been together for 10 years after we met at school. We’ve spoken before about getting engaged and married but it wasn’t a rush. Lately, we’ve been talking about it more and so I hoped it might happen soon.

On Monday, we met our friends Ed and Emmi for lunch and a catch-up – no mention of getting engaged, nothing. While walking around Emmi and I looked at rings, half joking half serious aaaaand something weird happened. Ali was actually talking to me about which ones he likes, which ones I like. We looked at a lot of shops.

Then came the last shop, coincidently where we bought my necklace for my 18th birthday and had a browse. While looking, our friend Ed nudged the sales assistant to show us the engagement rings. I don’t know why but I started to freak out? Damn this was just looking right? RIGHT?

Then Ali asked to look at the two we both liked. We ended up choosing one while internally I was trying to work out what the hell was going on. Were we engaged now? The ring would take a few days to be delivered to our home, I was sworn to secrecy until it arrived and then I was asked…

LONGEST TWO DAYS EVER.

I avoided everyone, I didn’t trust myself and although I didn’t know when I’d be asked I thought it might be a good idea to go and get my nails done and then, after a day of teasing on Wednesday night Ali asked me to marry him.

I’m going to be his wife?! Which is crazy. We waited to tell all of our family and close friends before the rest of the world and I’ve just been blown away by how loved we are. People I haven’t spoken to since school got in contact saying they’d been waiting to see this. Work colleagues, people from uni. As I write this I’ve had over 300 Twitter likes which is insane?!

So, yeah, I’m getting married. I’m pretty excited and my fiancè is pretty cute.

Book Review: Life Honestly – The Pool

A long list of women, a load of topics that aren’t spoken about enough. Collated by The Pool, this book talks about feminism and being a woman in many different ways. These are some of the most read and enjoyed pieces to have graced the The Pool website – so it’s safe to say this is going to be a good read.

The book is divided into categories such as:

Gender Politics & Power

Work

Friendship

Body

Love, Sex & Relationships

Wombs

Mind

Money

Life Lessons

Parenting

Style

All of these are incredibly important and each taught me a lesson. In particular, I found the pieces on being a working woman to be really interesting to me at this time. I was also intrigued by the parts about motherhood and the perspective that the women had – it truly was food for thought.

I’m really keen on learning about life from a variety of women. Do I agree with everything everyone says in this? No, not everything but that’s the beauty of it. I might not get to meet women like these in my everyday life but through this book, I can try to understand what life is like for women who are different to me. That is never a bad thing.  In fact, I think in today’s world we could all do with learning from each other more.

Overall I gave this 4 stars. The collection has a range of women’s voices, all of which deserve to be heard. I truly think there is something in here for everyone no matter what stage you are in your life. Mostly, when reading I just felt like there were people in the world that got me and how I was feeling, and who doesn’t need that?

Thank you to The Pool, Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

5 Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands I Love

Tonight I wanted to write about something a little different. We all know that I’m not a beauty blogger BUT in the last year or so I’ve been experimenting a little. So, why not share with you some of my favourite brands? This isn’t sponsored, I wish.

I’ll be honest I can’t say everything I own is cruelty-free, it’s not. I try my best and I think trying is a start. My view is that if people are trying to change and do good in their lives it should be celebrated, they shouldn’t be shouted down for it! So, there’s a disclaimer right there, I’m still trying to find a red lipstick that’s as good as my MAC ones (any recommendations? Please post them below ⬇️)

Bare Minerals

My Mum actually started using this before I did. We both have the same skin, which is really prone to breaking out so if we’re going to use any foundation it has to be able to breathe.

This is the only foundation I will use. It doesn’t make my skin feel gross, it’s easy to apply and it makes me feel good when I do wear it. Also, yes for super pale shades. Just because I want to use foundation, doesn’t mean I want to be 3 shades darker.

Lottie London

I absolutely adore Lottie London’s liquid lipstick and nail varnishes. They have amazing packaging as well, which is super cute. I love that the liquid lipsticks are easy for me to just pop into my bag and reapply. Also, there are some great nude-ish shades, I am a fan.

Urban Decay 

I was sooooo late to the party with Urban Decay. I haven’t been into make up for very long so the £38 price tag for eyeshadow scared me off. That was until my sister swore by it, then did my make up using it for a few days while we were in Disney.

Using Christmas money I bought my first palette the Naked 3 and hands down it is the more durable eyeshadow I’ve ever used. Beautiful colours and I’m already eyeing up some other palettes as I write this. I’m looking at you Aphrodisiac palette 👀.

Revolution 

A great affordable brand that is my go to for the basics. Eyeliner? Revolution. Blush? Revolution? New things I want to try? Revolution. A great brand that I am so pleased is cruelty-free.

Barry M

All hail the Barry M mascara. I love my waterproof mascara, it’s light and not clumpy. Also their glitter nail varnishes are amaaaazing. Another affordable brand that I’ve been using for years.

What brands am I missing? Let me know in the comments below!