Getting serious – Hitting the Gym 2016.

75dc57f6613fb311355c98a37b155319

Yes I did it, I used a quote from Pinterest, in my defence I love quotes like this and will only post or pin them if I believe in them. Today was my first gym session of 2016, I went past yesterday and had a little inside groan. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to work out, it was because I was nervous about going alone. When I was in the hospital gym I at least had the trainers that I knew and then I got to know some of the other patients and then I went to the gym at home with my Gramps. I’ve never been to a gym alone. Still I paid the £5 for the day pass so that would make me go.

As soon as I had my gym clothes on I was back in the mind set and apart from a few little things (thinking I’d locked all my stuff away and couldn’t get back in, not having any change, generally looking totally new and lost) I was determined. Luckily I spotted someone with a Kingston Uni hoodie and nervously started talking, she’s called Alice and from that point we worked out together and chatted the whole time. Apart from being at the same uni we have a lot in common and I felt so relieved, although possibly I talked too much because you know it’s me.

I left with a pizza date, a new friend and an incredible sense of accomplishment. Honestly through talking and laughing I didn’t even notice that an hour have gone by and I needed to go home and shower before uni. Now, I am aching and pretty tired now but I’d happily go back tomorrow if my spine could handle it. Who know’s maybe one day my spine will be able to handle a lot more exercise, that’s the hope anyway. It’s honestly become a healthy addiction for me, I love it so much.

As for 2016, I’ve now paid for a membership and it looks like I have a gym buddy. I’m really determined to try and be fit and healthy this year. I know there will be times where my body lets me down and I will get frustrated but I’m going to keep going and hopefully I’ll be in a lot better shape this time next year. Plus, like the poster says I’m going to be going to bed tonight with satisfaction :).

1 down, 1 to go – Fitness and Weight Loss!

945868_10154487228543206_8282972789076296096_n

I’ve been really honest about how my injury has impacted my life in loads of different ways. I’ve really been trying to work on building up everything in the gym and not overdoing it. That said I was a little worried over christmas because there’s so much food and everyone is offering you ‘just one more’. I both did and didn’t want to see how my progress was going and I was pleasantly surprised.

On the right is before and the left is now, 1 stone lighter! I’m very strict with myself about checking my weight I mentioned it before  that I wanted to be careful and that I didn’t want to get obsessive and controlling again, like I was in my teens.

I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve here and it’s all been in a healthy way. There have been no crash diets, no cutting out food groups, unhealthy amounts of exercise or not eating. Everything you see has 100% come from portion control, healthier eating and 1 hour a week exercise (the only exercise I can do at the moment).

I wanted to share this with you all because before I didn’t believe in this. I thought I was stuck the way I was and the whole exercise and  small portions wasn’t something I could do but I did and I actually really enjoy the gym. Thank you for all the support I’ve received on my blog, Twitter,  Facebook and Instagram. I can’t wait to carry on my fitness and share it with you!

My Year – 2015

It’s been a funny old year for me. I sit down to write this post and I don’t know what to think. My overwhelming feeling is at one end I’ve learnt a lot but at the other I’ve also had to deal with things I wouldn’t have imagined. I feel like next year is going to be a mixed year too, but hopefully not as painful. 2016 has a lot of new challenges lined up and if I’m honest I am scared but I’m also excited. For now, here’s a roundup of 2015!

January

I played my first show in central London

IMG_1623

Back in January the boys and I played our first show just around the corner of Leicester Square! We got a great number of people down and had a great time!

I fell in love with a horse

IMG_1646

At the stables I fell in love with Ruby. In January I started going to the stable at the weekends, grooming and spending hours just playing and stroking her.

I had a tough time, then treated myself

I struggled in January for a few different reasons and so I went and treated myself to some new bits and a hair cut. I started to listen to how I felt and what I needed to stay well.

I got to share horse riding with my sister

blog 5

I got to take my little sister horse riding! She loved it and it was great for my Mum and Summer to see me ride.

February 

I celebrated Harry Potter Book Night

Joe and I trekked into London for Harry Potter Book Night. It was so much fun to dress up, hand out with one of my best mates, meet the new illustrator and win a signed copy of Philosopher’s Stone.

I struggled and I swam.

While trying to look after myself I started trying to swim whenever I felt down, a big step for me.

I got told I was a ‘game changer’

I got filmed for a documentary that a third year student was making. I was called a ‘game changer’ which I didn’t believe but was really pleased with all the same 🙂

March

I couldn’t say goodbye…and broke my heart

IMG_1744

The beautiful Ruby was sold and I never got a chance to say goodbye and it broke my heart. She was such an incredible horse and I had an amazing connection with her.

I won a KU Talent award!

11061659_10153175701943637_3583099843793063172_n

I was up for two awards this year ‘Second Year of the Year’ and ‘Overcoming Adversity to Achieve’, which I won. I was so shocked because the category was so strong, I had an amazing night with my Mum and it was definitely one of the highlights of my year!

I became a President 

I became President of the Kingston University Horse Riding Society and won most improved rider for the year! It was a true honor and another great part to the month.

I fell in love with Sign Language again

Working with young people who were hearing impaired was a great experience and made me even more determined to work with disabled students at the university.

…I dropped my phone down the toilet.

Oh yeah, that.

April 

I had the best Easter

10676239_10153232794828637_3165432725276275444_n

I had such a fun family easter! We really had fun all together, my sister doesn’t look happy because for the first time in years I beat her at the egg hunt!

I went back to Durham!

IMG_2343

I was lucky enough to take a trip back up to Durham to see Ali’s grandparents for their anniversary. I absolutely love going up to Durham it’s beautiful and always relaxing.

I got my two babies

IMG_2621

I bought Hamski and Noodle home <3 My two little fur babies came home together and although they were eventually separated they originally loved cuddling together! They also proved to be a much needed distraction in the coming months.

I fell off a horse…

IMG_2616

Yep, a simple fall meant my first ride in an ambulance. I was taken in, left in a hospital in the middle of nowhere and luckily had Laura with me. At first I was told I was fine and got back on a horse 3 days later…

May 

I found out that I had broken my spine

After 2 weeks of feeling really sore and then an MRI scan I found out that I’d broken my spine with further damage to other vertebrate, muscle, soft tissue and nerve damage. The 7 hours wait to find out what had gone wrong was just the start of a very long journey ahead.

I used a wheelchair for the first time

I cried a lot when I had to use the chair because I couldn’t walk. Luckily Amy came to get me so I didn’t miss out on our girls dinner before Alissa went back to the US. I ended up having fun and forgetting about the chair for a little bit.

I was part of a winning society!!

IMG_2817

I wasn’t in any fit state to travel so I had to cancel Prague with Dani and Eleanor. To keep my spirits up Amy and Laura took me to the society awards where our society won 2 awards!!

I got my first Spinal Brace

11220873_10153929545088206_25953263734917719_n

My physiotherapist is an angel and made sure I had my brace before I flew to Athens. It was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable but it done the job, I was honestly just relieved to have some support for my spine!

June 

I went on my first international creative trip & my first holiday with just Ali (by accident)

What was supposed to be a solo trip to write became a couples trip when I still couldn’t walk! Ali and I ended up having a great time and I finally felt like a writer!

I got a dream job

I got my job as a Social Media Coordinator, one I applied for but never thought I would get. It’s honestly been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and it was great having the responsibility!

I got a new tattoo!

IMG_3640

I couldn’t go to Foo Fighters in my wheelchair (it was cancelled in the end anyway) so I used the money to get a tattoo that was particularly meaningful then and still is now.

I bought a lot of books…a lot.

What else is a girl to do when she’s mostly stuck in the house?

July 

I said goodbye to friends again

I said goodbye to Eleanor and Maisha as they jetted off for a year of study in New Zealand! Proud friend moment!

I played Basingstoke Live!

11741189_10153406101991963_286158971070072252_o

This was my first show post diagnoses. I had my own box, my brace had been taken off and there was a ramp for me. I don’t know how but I got through and it was a great show!

I got frustrated.

I quickly realised I had put on a fair bit of weight and couldn’t really leave the house, sad times.

I had my sister come to stay 🙂

2015-07-31 18.13.19

One of the highlights of my summer was having this munchkin stay with me and going to see Paper Towns early!

August 

I met Don Broco

11813448_10154126067908206_2804505148064960901_n

Acoustically beautiful and some really lovely lads,

I celebrated living with Ali for a year!

We didn’t kill each other even when I couldn’t move without him! He’s been amazing this year!

I went to my first book club

I got out of my comfort zone, met a friend and bought a lot of books!

I went to the Zoo with some little monkeys

Even though I had to use a wheelchair for our family day out and got rained on I had a great day spending time with family 🙂

I got addicted to comic books

IMG_4355

Damn you Joe, Damn you!

I survived second year!

Despite everything I got through second year with a 2:1 overall…5 marks off of a 1st!

September

I became a third year

Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuun

I got told I was medically shorter than last year!

If I wasn’t short enough, I was told after my CT scans that I have officially lost height and may never get full feeling back in my left leg. That said I also got told that I was healing nicely!

I went to Amsterdam

12010718_10154224225578206_9107895598469638940_o

A great 21st birthday trip with Dani and Amy! Amsterdam was so much fun and my back behaved itself which is a first.

I turned 21!

12019832_10153648607263637_379733686560067871_n

I had an incredible 21st I was spoilt and just felt so loved. This was the handmade cake that my sister made me, I don’t think I’ve ever been given so much cake in my life!

I had a stall at Fresher’s Fair

11986410_10154264637573206_4935909461458763394_n

Rounding up new recruits for the society!

I watched Star Wars…finally 

Now I’m completely obsessed! This started the countdown to see the new film.

I got recording! 

IMG_4218

We got serious about the EP and I was able to record without a panic attack or doubting myself. A big win for me!

October 

I was mentioned in the New York Times

Just for mentioning the 5p plastic bag charge!

I met Katie Piper

12115765_10154308369203206_4213667691308454680_n

I met one of my idols, Katie Piper. We had a great chat, photos and talked about Hampshire where we’re both from. It was also amazing to get a message from KAtie written in my book, she really is a lovely woman.

I went to my first Comic-con

IMG_5092

I fell in love with Comic-con and bought a stupid amount of pops, spending the last of my birthday money. It really encouraged me to get creative for the next one in May.

November 

I tried to be classy with Joe

53623732-D4CC-437C-A5E8-193B0331DCF2

McDonalds and Galleries…what more could you want.

I was allowed to go to the gym class!

IMG_5440

A big step in my recovery! 6 weeks of gym sessions proved my spine was healing the right way and I loved them.

I left the society

Unfortunately I couldn’t cope running the society. I had to step down immediately and spent a lot of the month after pretty poorly both mentally and physically.

December 

I got to meet Ed!

12321634_10154415601248206_1453299334369940939_n

I got to meet this adorable little man that now takes over my bed!

I saw Star Wars!

12362923_10154441402843206_879430263649784210_o

I fell in love with the new cast and am now even more obsessed. Star Wars is the best.

I went to Olympia!

10296457_10154449172938206_7361295266509727469_o

Laura finally got to use her 21st birthday present and we went to Olympia Horse Show! Such an amazing day out and we’ll definitely be going again next year.

I had an incredible Christmas 

IMG_5992

No lows, family time, amazing gifts. A great Christmas <3

I decided I wasn’t giving up…

920705_10154461061188206_3776559544798507330_o

This year has had some huge challenges and I’ve gotten through them. There’s no doubt I’ve struggled this year a lot and there will be times next year where I’m ready to give up but I won’t.

Happy New Year to all of my lovely readers and thank you so, so much for all your support this year <3

Workouts and Willpower

IMG_5884

Work it!! 

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been trying really hard to get fitter and healthier. As soon as I was told that I was allowed to attempt a little more exercise I wanted to work on it. I went to physio religiously and only missed one week because I had the sickness bug and wasn’t allowed to. I’ve never really had the kick up the butt I needed before, but after the accident I had a huge appreciation for, you know, a working body.

Now I’m at home it would be easy for me to say ‘oh well! I’ll just start again in January!’ and then eat everything, ignore my routine and then cry in January. I refuse to forget my progress. So, a few weeks ago I called the biggest gym enthusiast I knew and asked if he could be my gym buddy once I was home. This morning I was picked up by my Gramps and we headed to the gym for my induction and his work out.

It is very weird that my Gramps is so much healthier than me and while I was being shown around, he was on all the machines! Eventually I got started and we were doing some of our exercises side by side. It’s nice because we’ve always been super close, to the point where I wouldn’t sleep as a toddler until he’d come home from work, so having this to do just the two of us was nice. Hopefully I’ll get at least 2 more sessions in before I go back to London.

I left feeling energised and really proud of myself. No one forced me to go and work out today I wanted too and felt so good after. My new gym buddy was pretty pleased too. If 16 year old me had been told I’d love the gym she would have fainted (I’ve never been sporty at all, riding was the only thing and, well, you know how that went).

Now, the other thing I need to work on over the holidays is not over indulging on sweets, chocolates, my Mum’s amazing cooking and my sisters delicious baking. Over the past few days I’ve been very good. I’m using my app and still eating my recommended amount of calories but it is hard. I don’t want to just not eat but at the same time I don’t want to seem rude. It’s a tough balance and on days like today sometimes I don’t want to eat because I know I’ve done so well, then I quickly remind myself that I’m not getting into that cycle again. I’m doing this the healthy way or not at all, hence why I won’t have any scales in my flat.

IMG_5880

Mine and Summer’s Gingerbread House…looks so yummy!

My willpower is being pushed to the limit but so far, so good. I feel healthy, happy and actually really accomplished that I’m sticking to something I’ve found so difficult in the past. Unlike a lot of the ‘new year, new me’ types that will head into the gym January I’m not doing this to lose that big of extra weight or because I ‘should’, I’m doing it because I’m really proud of my body. After all the healing and growing new bone after so much damage (some of which may be permanent) I’m going to treat it as well as I damn well can.

 

Starting December right!

It’s been a pretty positive start to the week and now the month, just what I needed! There’s been some really shitty parts to this year, especially in the last few months so I’m determined to send 2015 off in a positive year and look forward to 2016…even if I am a little bit terrified of it! I wasn’t feeling particularly great about today, I was anxious about my gym class because of the pain I’ve been having but it turns out I didn’t need to be. That said I was already in a good mood from last night after having a long and lovely Skype conversation with Eleanor, it’s hard with her being all the way in New Zealand but we’re making it work.

Of course today is December 1st (I know, how is it December already?!?) so it’s advent calender time but since I haven’t been back home in a while I had no advent calendar this morning…the first time since I was 1. Luckily Mum text me a picture this morning of a maltesers advent calendar all for me, yay! I also picked up Star Wars ones for me and Ali too because IT’S FINALLY STAR WARS MONTH AND MY TICKETS ARE BOOKED, AHHHHHH.

As always I trekked to the hospital for 9am *sob* for my morning gym recovery class. I’d had a rough week last week so I was lucky I could talk to Mum before going and try and get in a good mindset before going in, got mistaken for a student nurse (I wish!) and got told that ‘surely I still have time to grow’ after I complained I was so tiny… the people in the class thought I was in my teens. Of course the real reason I was nervous was pain but I tackled all the machines, including a new one, and I kicked butt! There is no better feeling for me at the moment than coming home covered in sweat and knowing I’ve worked hard to get better, even if I do pay for it later. Oh and because my physio instructor for the gym is amazing I got given a sticker because I worked so hard…being the youngest has its perks!

12291695_10154402286228206_3416615908035043908_o

Another really amazing thing is that as I’ve mentioned before I’ve struggled with the fact I’ve put on weight because of the accident and recovery, as well as the implications of my medication. As I wrote before I won’t mention numbers on here but I can confirm my healthier eating habits and gradually building up movement is working I’m finally losing the weight I gained!! I’m really proud of myself for doing something healthy and my strength in will power!

I ended a good day with a great evening at The Fighting Cocks with Ali, Charlotte, Rhys and later Joe. I got to play in the quiz, laugh a lot, get drawn on and just get out of the house with no expectation to get drunk which was really nice. It also helps that whenever me and Charlotte hang out we can’t stop laughing.

I’m stupidly excited about this start to December and I hope more than anything it carries on!

10 Reasons to Keep Smiling

4c387c2d77c1146a9277842bb56d58c4

We all have days where we need a little pick me up, sometimes for no reason. I decided to write 10 reasons to keep smiling, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing. The days are getting shorter and I for one know I have had a bit of  rough time lately so I hope you enjoy!

1. Smile at others 

This really does make you feel better! I usually like smiling at old people because you just see their whole face light up and it makes me feel good as well as them! Just one smile can change another persons whole day as well as yours!

2. Do something you love 

We all have loves, hobbies or just little things we enjoy doing. Since I’ve had to give up horse riding (which is really, really hard but not worth the risk to my health) I’ve had to find other things to do to unwind. Now I’ve started to write and draw more.

3. Be around people who make you feel good 

There is nothing worse than being around people who put you down or make you miserable. If your having an off day then staying away is a must! Stick around the people who make you smile just from their company and you’ll feel much better.

4. Write a list 

Write a list of things you need to do, things you’ve done, anything! If your struggling breaking it down can make you go ‘oh okay that isn’t as bad’. If you’re feeling happy anyway why not write a list of things you enjoy, places you want to visit etc (my top tip write in funky colours!).  If I’m really down I try and write down things to be grateful for.

5. Think of 5 things you are grateful you have 

I used to do this on the way to school to cheer myself up, it would make me focus on the positives in my life and then the negatives didn’t seem so bad at all. There are really simple thing to be grateful for for me they’re things like having a family to love and support me, that I can make music, that I have my education and a strong and solid relationship.

6. Comfort food IS OK!!!! 

I hate fad diets, if you want to eat then go eat. I can’t stand people talking to me about calories or trying to make me feel bad. Don’t let others dictate to you what you should eat if I want to go to McDonalds or get some chocolate I will, regardless of anyone else!

7. Turn the music up and dance like nobody can see you 

This is great especially when your cleaning just dance around like your bonkers and make yourself laugh. I like doing this with my sister when we agree on music 🙂

8. Give someone a hug 

Hugs are great, I love hugs.

9. Read a good book 🙂 

Oh come on could I really leave this out?! Reading just takes me away to an entirely different place.

10. Laughter is really the best medicine

I will watch funny Youtube video, stand up comedy and movies. That or I’ll be around people I know I love to laugh with.

Laugh lots. Laugh while you love. Laugh while you live.  

What are your reasons to keep smiling?

The Queen’s not the only one with two birthdays

IMG_4621

For the past two days I have been spoilt by my family. Because there is so many of them and my flat is more than a little cosy I decided to come home and visit both grandparents to see everyone and celebrate my 21st a few days early.

I spent yesterday in town with my sister, getting my hair cut and spending more than a little on the new H&M beauty range (but more in that in another blog post). Later I popped to see my Dads family for presents and cake.

Today I was on the move again (although my spine really has been protesting), to meet one of my oldest friends and beautiful goddaughter to exchange birthday presents. From Lucy and Lexi I received a necklace of Hermione’s wand and a Harley Quinn graphic novel. I had so much fun with a little girl who melts my heart every time and a great friend in her Mum.

Now, there have been whispers and mentions of surprises all week. I was left at home while my Mum went ahead to my grandparents house, only to arrive and find this…

IMG_4628 IMG_4627
IMG_4625

A little family party with a Little Mermaid theme, my favourite princess as a kid!! A badass cake, plates, customised banners, pictures of me growing up! I couldn’t have asked for more, my Mum really outdid her surprises this time! I felt like a kid again and it was obvious how much time and effort had gone into this and all for me!

I’ve been thoroughly spoilt in terms of gifts as well and I’m so happy with all of them, a new pandora necklace and charm, some little mermaid goodies and  another charm for my Pandora bracelet. I can’t believe I feel this loved and it’s not even my birthday. Oh and we had a brilliant pizza party too thanks to Nanna and Gramps who ordered pizza for everyone!

I think this is going to be a very good week! <3

IMG_4619

Amsterdam 2015 – Laughs, Beauty and Best Friends

Hello to all my lovely followers! I’m back from Amsterdam and I’ve finally gotten enough sleep to write coherent sentences! After spending the past few days in Amsterdam I can say that not only have I had a nice break but I’ve made some incredible memories with two of my best friends Daniela and Amy. This post will have a lot of pictures and a LOT of laughs because everything just seemed to happen to us!

After setting off on Sunday night we were all excited and got our back seat on the coach, driving through the night everything seemed to be going smoothly that was until we got onto the ferry. For well after midnight it was packed with people and the only space we could find was next to a man with quite an odd smell, combine that with a very rocky ship I wasn’t feeling all too well but before too long we could get back on to the coach where I thought I’d get a few hours sleep….not so much. I finally got to a point where I was starting to doze off when I could hear shouting through my headphones and someone threatening to ‘punch someone in the nose’. While most people were a bit nervous about this I was more irritated than anything, I mean come on it was nearly 5am in France, calm yourselves! A lovely man with some seriously impressive ink managed to try and calm things down and alert the driver, who had to pull up in the middle of nowhere to call the doctor and the police. We were stuck like that for an hour and a half while two people were taken off of the coach and sorted out, delaying our arrival.

Eventually we arrived to a drizzly Amsterdam and got the tram into the city centre where we saw our first sights of the city, although I have to admit after not having slept I didn’t take much in apart from the fact someone on the coach had smeared my new bag with chewing gum. Nice. We asked for directions to our hotel and were told it was simple to find but apparently not. We must have looked a sight the three off us half awake wandering around the streets of Amsterdam with our luggage looking incresingly confused. We found it eventually but had another 2 hours until we could get into our room so we did what any other group of girls in their twenties would do…we went into the Sex Museum. Well it was certainly interesting and some of the pictures on the walls were more than a little terrifying…my innocence has forever been destroyed. 11930889_10154225071528206_8684867348378646063_o

One of our first sights of Amsterdam, although taken when it wasn’t raining! 

We wandered around taking in the city and trying to get an idea of where everything is before finally being able to take a nap (after the girls had decorated the room in balloons and banners for my birthday because they’re adorable) in the room before hitting the town in the evening. The thing you have to know about Amsterdam is there are very different parts and two main tourist areas…we unknowingly booked our hotel on the partying and red light district side rather than the cute Vondelpark side, oops. I’ve never seen anything like the red light district and if I’m honest I felt more than a little bit uncomfortable. The men didn’t only look at the women in the windows but girls like us too who were simply in jeans and jumpers. That said there was a little shock to my system as apparently geek glasses are now sexy with most of the women in shop windows wearing glasses that looked a lot like my glasses I wear to help me see, I hoped no one would get any ideas!  11930969_10154221642183206_4169589696280979323_o

It may have been a cloudy day but you couldn’t help but see Amsterdam’s beauty 

We had a pretty early night with plans for a fully packed day the next morning. We had to be up and out of the room by 8am if we wanted a chance at getting in the Anne Frank house without queueing for two hours. I’ve wanted to visit the house since I was really young and so I was more than a little bit excited to visit and standing in the slightly chilly morning air and desperately trying to connect to wifi in the queue was a small price to pay.

We got in after waiting for around an hour and a half and I’ve seen nothing like it. I’d imagined Anne and the world she paints with her diary countless times but nothing could have prepared me for it, the rooms were so small. Everyone was silent as they walked through and just tried to take it in. There were so many moments when I just felt my heart fall, seeing Anne’s pictures on the wall, the bookcase that concealed them and most of all her diary. Seeing the diary made me want to just sit and look at it for hours. I think the most heartbreaking part was watching the videos of Otto that played every now and again. His pain at what he had lost just went straight to my heart.  I couldn’t walk past the central station after that without remembering how he waited there for his daughters who never came home.

12002549_10154222170773206_8529120540902150899_o

After we purchased our tickets for the Van Gogh museum the next day before I headed back to the hotel to rest for a little bit because my back wasn’t feeling especially great. The girls knew that I was struggling a little bit and while I took a nap they walked around and bought me back a bar of chocolate. Later in the evening, Amy had a headache so Dani and I went out so she could have a sleep and we’d text her a bit later on to meet up. Well we did text her but all didn’t go as much to plan as we’d thought. Our safe in the room had gone weird and so Dani and I rushed back to the room where the staff were absolutely useless, luckily our passports weren’t left in there! Eventually we all did go out for a wander around and to buy some souvenirs.

The final day was definitely the best. The sun finally came out and the girls had booked me a surprise for my birthday we were going on a cruise of the city! Although what we didn’t know until just before is that the cruise we had been sold was a lovers cruise! So we had a bit of a lie in before walking down to get our boat. The only seats were near an old german couple, the man was hilarious talking to us about anything to do with London, telling us they lived in a town of lesbians which was good but crazy and then drawing little cartoons of us to keep…oh and telling me I had beautiful teeth, like a rabbit. We couldn’t stop laughing and it wasn’t until we got off the boat that we realised that he thought we were lesbians on the lovers cruise!

The rest of the day was spent going to the Van Gogh museum which was a dream as he is one of my all time favourite artists. I felt so emotional seeing his paintings, reading his letters and reading about his battles with mental health. He was a truly incredible man. I went a little nuts in the gift shop and was mesmerised by all the artwork on display. After we wandered to Vondel Park and was almost killed by cyclists and relaxed in the sunshine before heading to the incredible Hard Rock cafe for happy hour and dinner and we were even given a free drink for my birthday!

Even the trip back was great despite being on a coach for 12 hours, we made some wonderful friends on the way back who I hope to stay in touch with. Amsterdam was incredible and I have two amazing friends who I got to share it with who spoilt me rotten. It’s something I’m going to remember forever and I think Amsterdam is always going to have a special place in my heart.

  11952686_10154226505578206_2772591450394972199_o  11947815_10154224489798206_3774431543963171745_o  12004889_10154225064588206_597704269144386191_n  12010718_10154224225578206_9107895598469638940_o

For all of my travel pics make sure to follow me on Instagram!

Other people can make all the difference

Today started off as a day of stress and anxiety and ended with that warm feeling with my belly (and no, that’s not the alcohol talking). People can change everything, they can make your day lousy but they can also make your day great, today has been the second option.

I woke up this morning pretty stressed, tired and in a fair bit of pain from my spine. I was dreading going to work, felt anxious about meeting and was dreading physio. It turns out only one of those was right. Work made my day, knowing I was part of a team that I really felt could make a difference. I realised that my role is important and I’m actually a respected member of staff, something I’ve never felt before. I spent today in meetings and talking to the rest of the team, I can finally be something of an expert in my field and I can finally start trying to make a difference with disabled students. If that doesn’t brighten someone’s day I don’t know what will.

Physio wasn’t that magical, it was painful, very painful. The problem with my kind of injury is that it take a long time to heal, a long time to come off medication and a lot of pain with no gain. After being told I’ve stopped ‘looking like a granny when I walk’ I suppose I should be grateful but I’ll be honest I was just pretty sore during and after and glad to treat myself to some books in the charity shop after.

This evening others did it again after being a grumpy little so and so after physio, Ali, Phil, Lizzie, Dan and Alex managed to put a smile on my face at the pub. I got slightly drunk and now I’m writing to you all (I’m sorry if there are missing words or just intoxicated sentences) in my little mermaid PJs after my back made me give in. Sometimes it’s days like today that make me realise I need others just as much to beat the feelings of anxiety.

<3

How blogging has changed my life

I wanted to start this blog saying thank you to Jenny in Neverland and her blog which inspired me to write this.

My Career ideas 

I’d never really thought about blogging in this way but as soon as I sat down I realised that it’s one of the biggest parts of my life and it really has changed me and my opportunities. Before I started the blog I had absolutely no idea of what I could do as a job. I definitely still want to do the whole lecture thing and that’s the main aim but it’s five years away and even if I get the grants and financial help I know that I can’t just do nothing in the time that I’m studying. My blog started my spark for social media and marketing so professionally, it really kick started an idea for a possible career if I decide not to do my PhD.

11094218_10153902203308206_7298937570844024406_n

My Confidence 

It’s no secret that through school I had a massive confidence drop, I didn’t feel confident with myself, I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do. So when I started to get likes, people reading what I’d written and being told that they enjoy it. I might not be getting 10,000 views but the views I do get make me feel good about myself and that I’m doing something worth doing. If I’m having a bad day, one of your comments can make all the difference.

Connecting with people 

Like I just said, talking to people online can really change my day. I’ve ‘met’ some great people through blogging, people who understand some of the things I struggle with. I’ve spoken to some amazing authors too, I’ve received notes, preview books and other things from truly nice people.

KATIE

I got to talk to Katie Piper  on Twitter, one of my absolute idols

Trying to make a difference and sharing my experience

I write about mental health because I want people to understand and be educated. I know that education is power and the only way that we can possibly end the stigma that people who have a mental health condition face. If I can help one person or educate another then I’ve achieved something that I’m proud of.

IMG_0894

Something to get out of bed for and a positive way to let everything out 

Depression doesn’t choose the days you have nothing to do to hit you with it’s worst, it’s fun like that. Some days the whole struggling to get out of bed thing rears it’s ugly head and I just don’t see the point. I do struggle like loads of other people in the world but the blog gives me a way to express myself in a positive way. It lets me talk to other people and I get encouragement too. I can use it to look at how far I’ve come too, one of my favourite things to do on New Years Eve.

I have a way of looking back at my uni days, I won’t forget

And if that’s not a good enough reason I don’t know what is. 1907515_10206793085448473_2364060322551983456_n

I’d love to hear your responses so make sure to tag me if you want to write about how blogging has changed YOUR life. Also give Jenny a follow too, because her blog is awesome!