What’s What!

Hi, loves! Happy Friday 🙂 normal posts are resuming again here on my blog, but I’ve really enjoyed taking the past week to read, listen, learn and grow. I shared this post with a bunch of information on Black Lives Matter and links in that you can check out if you want to know a little more and find out how to help.

How are you doing right now? The weight of everything happening in the world is a little heavy and I’ve been limiting my social media time over the past few days because of it. I’m also very… nervous… about life returning to normal. Well, whatever normal looks like now. Here in the UK our ‘non-essential stores’ are opening again this coming week and I just don’t understand why that’s a priority when we’re still at risk level 4. I certainly won’t be rushing to go shopping! On top of that I’ve felt super headachey and just off all week. I swear this week feels like it’s lasted 40 days. Anyone else?! This week lockdown life has got me like:

BUT. It’s Friday! It’s the weekend! Matt is just getting ready to leave for work, I’m snuggled under my blanket with a cup of vanilla chai feeling so cosy. Let’s get into a little what’s what in my life! 

What I’m Eating:

So it may not be Summer weather right now (seriously, where has the sun and heat gone?!) but Matt and I are eating all of the Summer dinners and I couldn’t be happier about it. Most evenings we’re enjoying a variation of subs, fajitas, tacos, pasta salads, burgers or fish. We love salmon A LOT – I typically serve with roast potatoes, rice and a feta salad – but I’ve been switching up how I make it recently. I made a honey chilli glaze the other week that was so delicious we’ve had it three times since. My mum even liked it and she is a super picker eater! I’ll share a ‘recipe’ on the blog soon. It’s so easy I don’t know if it can be classed as a recipe, but it’s delicious and you need to try it! 

What I’m Disappointed About:

My No Buy Month is going very well, so well I’m making money back! I ordered a couple things at the end of May that arrived this past week and were not what I expected. First off I got a ‘vintage’ Levi’s denim jacket from Depop that was just disgusting and not at all what I was told. The seller was super rude and anyone who knows me IRL knows that me and confrontation do not mix. It was my first (and hopefully last) bad experience using Depop and I was horrified. Thankfully PayPal stepped up with a refund to fix it! I had also ordered a pair of Veja trainers after lusting after them for over a year – I went for the Campo style – and I was SO BUMMED with the quality. They’re a sustainable, ethical brand and I swear I’d only heard good things about them. I don’t know if I somehow got a ‘bad’ pair but the leather looked unfinished and the laces were marked. I had been so excited but I’ve sent them back to Office 😦 I still really want a pair of Nike Air Force Ones (I know everyone has a pair, but they’re just so cute) so maybe at the end of the month I’ll purchase those instead! 

What I’m Excited About:

Matt and I found the CUTEST spot around 45 minutes away from where we live and I can’t wait to spend hot, sunny weekends exploring everything around there! If the sun ever comes back, that is. I’m in a really good routine working from home – if I haven’t already mentioned enough, I really love it – and Matt has been working from home a couple days out of the week too, so we’re spending the most time together we ever have. Matt got a new job a couple months ago and he (for the first time ever) has weekends off now! We used to pack everything possible into the random weekend days Matt got off work but now we’re able to do whatever, whenever and I’m so thankful for it. It’s a shame we can’t go too far this Summer but we’ve decided we’re going to explore as much of the North East as we can, especially this cute new spot, and we have a HUGE bucket list of things to do and places to see. The best part is, they’re right on our doorstep!

What I’m LOL’ing At:

Okay so I know I talk about this podcast all. the. time. but it’s for good reason! Shagged, Married, Annoyed seriously makes me CRY with laughter every single week, and I swear the episodes get funnier each week! The podcast is hosted by Chris & Rosie Ramsey; one is a professional comedian and one is married to her. Ha! (For anyone confused, Chris is the professional comedian. But Rosie is funnier. I said what I said). A new episode is released each Friday but I save them for my weekly grocery shop on a Saturday morning. I wear my AirPods (I’m obsessed) and giggle my way round the store, anything to make me forget how stressful getting groceries is right now is a good thing. Rosie posts the funniest Insta stories too! She & Chris have the most adorable son named Robin (my dad’s name!) who just melts my heart and is always on her stories. If you need a little light and laughter in your life, pull up SMA on your Spotify. I promise you won’t regret it! I’m even listening to the old episodes (again…) some afternoons whilst I work.

Looking super cute with my frizzy bed hair there from laying down, it’s a LOOK!  Yes we’re eating cream cakes and also yes, we have basically the same glasses. They’re Ted Baker and I’d just like to point out I had mine for almost two years before Matt copied me…

What I’m Watching:

This week Matt and I started a new show… Space Force! It’s laugh out loud funny, kinda silly and Steve Carrell is the main character. I mean what’s not to love?! We love The Office SO MUCH and honestly anything with Steve in is just good TV. I’m also still re-watching all of Modern Family, I’m on season 8 and not ready to be on season 9. I really think it’s one of the best modern shows ever made, I just love every single character and it brings me so much joy! As always, Matt and I’s go-to shows for the evenings we don’t have much time is Friends or The Office reruns. Duh! We’ve also watched a ton of Ted Talks educating us on the Black Lives Matter movement over the past two weeks, there are sooo many amazing ones you can check out here.

What I’m Excited About:
Everything I’ve been planning and working on for the blog! I’ve got lots of beauty and fashion content coming up and I think I’m going to delve into the topic of no buy’s/low buy’s a little too. I’ve become a much more conscious clothes shopper over the past few years – you can read more in this post and this post – and I really want to share my favorite finds, tips, experiences etc on creating a wardrobe full of things you love. Be sure to subscribe to my blog (> you can fill in your email, the box is right over there!) so my posts get delivered right to your email inbox. Oh and also… I’m giddy McDonald’s reopened! We grabbed Quarter Pounder meals for dinner last night and I’m so excited we can start going for weekly late night McFlurry runs again (our fave tradition pre COVID-19).

What I’m Reading:

I started reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo last week and I flew through it in four days. Considering I’m still working full time, working on my blog, trying to enjoy down time with Matt and you know, sleep, that’s veryyy quick for me to read a book! I truly think this book should be a requirement to read in high school as it covered everything! It made me so aware of myself and the people around me, and fuelled my passion to always be an ally for the Black community even more. Like many, I really want to educate myself more on Black Lives Matter and I think that was a really good starting point, if you haven’t already you need to read this book! I have just started reading Love You, Love You Not by Jo Watson which was a recommendation from Shay last month. I literally only started last night but I already know it’s my perfect kind of book! Tbh, I love everything Shay recommends 🙂 I actually have tons of books I’m excited to read downloaded onto my Kindle right now and I really love that feeling, it makes me more motivated to read because I have so many options afterwards. Also I’m still crazy obsessed with my Kindle… if you’re on the fence about getting one, don’t be! They’re the best things EVER 🙂 

What I’m Looking Forward To:
Autumn. I know, I know. It’s JUNE. But it’s been super cold this past week and I’ve been pulling out my oversized sweatshirts, cosy cardigans, my favourite leggings and even fluffy socks. I’m ready for it to be September… Every year I count down to the beginning of September and Matt thinks I’m crazy but I love everything about that time of year. It feels like more of a fresh start for me than January does, I can’t wait to eat/drink/smell all things pumpkin and of course #fallfashion is my favourite. Also it’s kinda the beginning of the build up to Christmas (okay I know, I’m actually crazy) but this year has been so weird, let’s just skip to Christmas mode now!  

I’m off to slowly get ready and run a few errands before my work day starts in a couple hours. I might even stop by the drive thru at Costa for a little Friday treat, I still have tons of gift cards from Christmas! 🙂 Friday’s make me so happy. I’m also having a work night IN with my coworkers tonight – we’re doing a CSI Mystery Escape Room on Zoom and I’m so excited!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 

-G x

Feelin’ It Friday

Hi, loves! Happy Friday 13th!! Are you feeling nervous about today? It makes me laugh but I am a little bit! I’m superstitious with lots of things; I never cross on the stairs, I never walk under ladders and I always avoid three drains. Matt does now too, it’s so funny! We always say ‘toast’ if we accidentally walk over three drains (I have NO IDEA how this came about. Why would saying ‘toast’ make any difference?!) Anyway, I digress, what I’m trying to say is that Friday 13th makes me a little bit nervous. But also excited for Halloween. This is me right now:

Image result for hocus pocus gif

Ahhhh. Hocus Pocus season is my favourite. *forces Matt to watch with me for 100th time*

What I’m drinking:
Bonfire spice hot chocolates are LIFE. As I briefly mentioned last week I was so dang excited about the bonfire spice flavour coming back to Costa, it’s just the best flavour and makes my heart happy. Seriously, get in your car right now. Finish this post. Now get in your car. Drive to Costa. BUY A BONFIRE SPICE HOT CHOCOLATE. Thank me later… 🙂 I’ve had two this week and I’m for sure going to be drinking them lots over the next few months. Side note: I get mine extra hot with a dash of almond milk, it’s sooooo good. And of course, I always try to take a re-usable cup!

What I’m celebrating:
Monday September 16th is Matt and I’s two year anniversary!!! I just don’t know where the time has gone, it seems like we were just dating! I’m really excited to celebrate this weekend at our favourite restaurant, Tomahawk Steakhouse, but we’re trying out their new location. We literally can’t wait because the food is always incredible, their mac n cheese is my favourite ever! We can’t properly celebrate on our anniversary due to Matt’s work schedule so we’re just going to curl up at home with an M&S meal and a few episodes of The Office on the day. Matthew, I am so lucky to do life with you, I love you more than anything! Happy (early) anniversary, my love!

What I’m excited about:
Tomorrow morning I’m getting my hair dyed, and I’m going back dark! I have spent WEEKS finding the perfect brown balayage photo to show at the salon and I know it’ll turn out even better than what I’m thinking. I’m SO over the blonde as I just got kinda bored and now I really dislike how I look with the blonde tones. I think I want to keep a little bit of light through my hair as I still want it to look fresh and pretty, but more brown tones than blonde. If that makes sense. I’ll be sharing on my Instagram like always, so make sure to follow me there to see how it looks! I’m so excited to have darker hair for Fall and Winter!

Image result for the office halloween

…I am Dwight.

What I’m happy about:
It’s almost Fall! This cold(ish) rainy weather is making it feel like Fall is already here and I’m loving every second of it. It’s been chilly each day and I’m really enjoying that cosy feeling this kind of weather brings. Matt is such a Summer person but we have so many fun things planned during the Autumn months that he’s actually enjoying it too. It’s cold in the mornings and evenings I’m super excited that sweater weather is almost upon us! Also, any excuse to burn those pumpkin candles… are you excited for Fall too? Or are you holding on to the very last of Summer?!

What I’m watching:
The Office. Obvs. Matt and I are obsessed, okay?! Seriously if you’re like we were and are still living under a rock, it’s one of the best TV shows we’ve ever seen and we’d really recommend it. But I’ve also been loving Zoe Sugg’s vlogs recently. Like, really really loving them. I’ve watched and loved Zoe for as long as I can remember, but she goes through patches where she vlogs a lot, then where she doesn’t vlog at all. Recently she’s been vlogging so much and I’m loving it! Also, she is re-launching her blog this month and I’m so excited to see what it’s going to be like as that was one of the first blogs I ever read.

What I’m working on for the blog:
This month is #SecondHandSeptember (something I didn’t know about on September 1st when I made a Topshop order… OOPS) but now that I do know I’m participating, and I’m really excited about it! The whole concept came from Oxfam, to encourage people to shop more sustainably and avoid purchasing new products for thirty days. Have you took the pledge yet? I have! This weekend my lovely friend Jessy and I are going for a browse in a few charity shops and vintage stores which I hope will be successful (if not we’ll for sure have fun). Matt and I are going to another vintage store in a few weeks time and I’ve been browsing Depop lots too! I’ve been really impressed with so many of the things on Depop although I’ve not bought anything yet. I was so impressed by Emma Hill’s finds in this video, it was really inspiring to someone finding their feet with second hand shopping, and she got some incredible bargains! Niomi Smart also posted this video that I found so fun to watch and I’m obsessed with the things she picked up, especially that Chanel button ring. Wow. I can’t wait to share Jess and I’s second hand shopping experience with you in a few weeks time!

What I’m reading:
Linking in with what I just said above about #SecondHandSeptember, I LOVED Stacey Dooley’s piece in Grazia this week about the fashion industry and the impact buying too many clothes has on the environment. It’s no surprise to any regular readers that Stacey Dooley is my ultimate inspiration/girl crush/love of my life (sorry, Matthew) and everything she does is just amazing to me. But her thoughts on fast fashion originally inspired me to look at my buying habits last year and I think this piece was just so well written. Slightly off topic but I’m actually buying Grazia every week now, it’s such a good value magazine and packed full of high quality content. I’ve really been enjoying snuggling up in the mornings with my magazine and vanilla chai whilst Matt works on emails!

What I’m up to this weekend:
Matt is unfortunately at work all weekend, but we’re making the most of our time together as always. Tonight Matt and I are having fish and chips with my family, snuggling in to catch up on Peaky Blinders and having an early night before a very early start tomorrow morning. Once Matt leaves for work I’ll get a little blog work done then head to the salon for my hair appointment. I can’t wait! After I get my hair done I’m meeting my sweet friend Jess to go second hand and vintage shopping! We seriously are SO EXCITED. Later I’m heading to our local mall to shop Lush’s Autumn/Halloween collection which is released today, and I still have a gift card from my lovely co-workers to spend too. I have a few other errands to run then I’m heading back to get on with some blog work and get ready before Matt gets home. Matt and I are heading for date night on Saturday evening (as I said above) at our favourite restaurant, then Sunday is a cosy-at-home cleaning and blogging day for me while Matt’s at work. When he gets home we’re having pizza night with his parents and I’m so looking forward to that!

What else is new:
Nothing much TBH. I’ve had a kinda crappy week with my anxiety, I just feel very drained and like I’m putting in so much time/effort with things that I don’t see much reward from which really sucks. I’ve been a little stressed out and just generally felt rubbish which has then made me really anxious. I have however been feeling really really grateful for Matt and I’s time together more than ever, and I’m just so thankful to have him by my side, he’s truly the best! I’m hoping this weekend will recharge my batteries a little bit and let me get back to feeling like my usual self.

Thank you so much for reading! These posts have become some of my favourite to write; they get really good views and open up so many conversations either in the comments or in my DM’s. People message me all the time saying how much they enjoy reading these posts and I can’t tell you how much I love to hear that! Due to another very busy week (and a little bit of extra self care time that I really need) there won’t be a #feelinitfriday next week, but I’ll be back the following week for sure. My ‘normal’ posts will be up every Sunday and Wednesday as normal! Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! 

-G x

Do Any Of Us Really Have Our Sh*t Together?

Hi, loves!

Today I’m talking about something I think we all need to talk about more: anxiety and how it can affect those that struggle with it on a daily basis. I wrote a post similarly to this back in August, which you can read here. This may have all come out like #wordvomit (if you know, you know) but if this post can help even one person that makes me so pleased, please know you’re not alone and we’re all fighting our own battles!

I’d just like to preface this whole post by saying I know I have a bloody good life. I have a boyfriend I adore more than life itself, we have the most amazing families, I have a job, I have my own car, I have holidays and trips to look forward to, I have the luxury of snuggling up next to the person I love every night and I have a blog I enjoy writing, amongst many other amazing things.

I try so hard to focus on the positives in my life, and I know there are SO MANY to look at. Yet, every so often, I feel so down in the dumps and I don’t know how to get out of it. I talked about all of the things I’ve been doing to beat the January blues in this post which has been a huge help throughout the past few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, the anxiety I generally feel is not an all-consuming, every minute of every day kind of feeling, but it’s there, niggling at the back of my mind. And it feels like it’s never going to go away. Usually, I begin to feel this way because I get a random bout of anxiety about something mundane. This time, it was the snow. Yep. To set the scene; Matt and I were having a lovely night, snuggled up watching Inside The World’s Toughest Prison’s on Netflix (highly recommend if you haven’t seen it, we’ve binge watched three seasons in just over a week!) after eating dinner, and I started uncontrollably crying. These are the kind of things you wouldn’t find featured on my Instagram story, but more about that later.

I feel anxious and apprehensive about the cold weather every year, and the thought of driving in it terrifies me to my core. I know that this specific topic is what was making me feel worried and sad; to the point I’d be wide awake at 3am, cuddling into Matt whilst he slept like a baby, but not being able to fall back to sleep myself. I’d spend way longer than necessary refreshing the Met Office pages each day, checking for updates on the likelihood of snow or ice, to the point it became a running joke with my co-workers (except for me, it wasn’t that funny). I’d be reading my book in the bath and suddenly feel a wave of worry wash over me, thinking about how I’d possibly make it to work tomorrow if it snowed overnight. This is all absolutely ridiculous, but hopefully it gives you a little back story into my pattern of thinking.

The stupidest thing is, I can drive in the snow and ice, and when I do it’s never as bad as I think it might be. If I really didn’t want to drive in the bad weather Matt would happily take me to work and pick me up, therefore eliminating the problem all together. I, now thinking rationally, can see that’s fine, and this issue doesn’t warrant worrying over any further. BUT, during the time of feeling generally panicked and anxious, that seems even worse – he’s putting himself in danger to take me somewhere, he’s taking time out of his day for me etc. It’s almost like my brain doesn’t want to provide a solution, and instead thinks of all the other things that could go wrong off the back of it.

Anyone who does or has suffer(ed) with anxiety will recognise what I’m saying above as being pretty standard. One little seed grows into a whole damn tree and the branches of worry get heavier as time goes on. Whether you suffer with anxiety or not, lots of us feel overwhelmed and uneasy from time to time. It’s silly really, most of us have feelings like this yet we don’t talk about it, and we don’t let people know how we feel. Then again, how could I really explain that I’m terrified about the prospect of snow, when the day before was 9 degrees and sunny.

The worry of bad weather in the past few weeks was just the start, and a familiar cycle began; I then started to worry about everything. Is my job safe? Will Matt and I save enough and find our future home by the end of the year? What if the restaurant we’ve made reservations for is too loud and I feel uncomfortable? These are, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant worries, yet in the moment they feel crushing and I’m stuck thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned, and I’m still learning, is there is a huge difference between worries we can control and worries we cannot. Suddenly not having a job? No control, I’d have to just find another. (Also, it’s thankfully very unlikely that would happen!) Not finding a house to make our home this year? No control, but I know that it will happen when it happens and we’ve always got each other. Feeling uncomfortable on date night? We can always leave and go somewhere else. If I’m able to take a minute and think logically – especially if I can vocalise my thoughts – I can separate worries I can and can’t control. The things I can control generally have obvious solutions, and the things I can’t control just shouldn’t be taking up space in my brain. I’m so lucky that Matt is always so understanding and reassuring, and makes me feel so much better.

Something that now, in hindsight, makes me laugh is the things that probably *should cause me to feel anxious generally don’t. Whether that’s waiting in line for a long time when grocery shopping, being stuck in traffic, the hustle and bustle of a football game, those kinds of things are just ‘normal’ to me, and don’t leave me in a tizzy.
*NOT give me anxiety, just the normal human emotion of feeling anxious

One thing that does heighten my anxiety is social media. In a world where we’re so connected all the time, I see what my friend’s boyfriend’s auntie’s dog is up to, and quite honestly, I don’t care. I feel strongly about social media in that it’s a great place to document our lives. It’s a great place to connect and share our thoughts with others, and to potentially make new friends. It’s a great place to support small businesses. It’s a great place to raise awareness of topics or campaigns. However, it’s also a place where we compare ourselves to other people, whether it’s intentional or not.

I love to keep up with other people’s lives, in the same way I love to watch hours of mindless reality TV. (Four hour KUTWK sesh? Count me in!) I scroll through Instagram several times per day and when I’m in a good state of mind, it either doesn’t alter my mood or it makes me feel happy. I really enjoy scrolling to find inspiration on outfits, where to go for our next date night or what our future home will look like, and it’s all in one place! I’m happy for the people sharing their engagement news, promotions, new houses, gym progress and pregnancy announcements that I see on a regular basis. I love seeing people’s children achieve milestones and relating to them in a whole other way. I love when people share, and sometimes overshare, on social media, but when I’m having a *moment* as Matt & I like to call them, then everything seems to be taken out of context and I feel bad about myself in comparison to the success of others, which is something I’m so embarrassed to admit.

The thing is, I know so many of us have this feeling, whether it’s related to anxiety or just a bad day. I’m a big believer in unfollowing people who make you feel rubbish regularly, but I think at some point we have to take the responsibility for this back, and look at why we feel bad. Is someone looking super hot in a fancy pants outfit you’d never wear anyway, and you’re slobbing about in sweat pants with no make up on? Is someone sharing gleaming photos of how they’ve hinched their kitchen and you’re wishing it was yours? Is someone travelling around the most incredible island you’ve ever seen and you know it’s not on you radar any time soon? Whatever it is, other people’s actions are not a direct reflection of you or your life. No matter how many green smoothies, cute date night pictures, or amazing shopping sprees someone shares, that doesn’t mean they’re any happier than you. By the same token, it also doesn’t mean they’re miserable and trying to look happy for social media. There’s a weird notion that people who look like they’re happy obviously aren’t and it’s all pretend, but that’s not necessarily true either. I know I share lots of my life on social media, but I can admit that I share way more when I’m feeling good, which I’m sure is the same for most of us. Happiness isn’t measured by being more or less happy than somebody else and we don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives unless they personally tell us. The reality is everyone has their own struggles, and we should focus more on ourselves than on other people.

Anxiety is a weird thing, but it’s also kinda wonderful. I’m going to end this post by sharing with you a few points on why I’m grateful to be working my way through anxiety, one step at a time;

I set time aside to do what truly makes me happy. I feel like I need little nuggets of good in the day (and not just the Quorn kind) to make me feel revitalised and refreshed, and as a result I make those things a priority.
The little things mean the most to me and always have done. Taking even just 10 minutes out of my day to read a book, spending my evenings cooking and relaxing with Matt, catch up on my YouTube subscriptions, fitting in yoga sessions, singing loudly in the car and other little things make me feel so much better. On the other side of this, I know when things make me feel nervous or uncomfortable and I’m able to remove myself from those situations.

I know how to plan. It may seem silly to some, but I generally have plans A, B and C for most situations, and this allows me to know my options, and to feel more comfortable in general. I talked a little bit about this in terms of social situations in this post if that’s something you’d like to know more about. A few more benefits of being a planner is that Matt and I will never miss a birthday or anniversary, can do our weekly shop pretty damn quickly, and we always have things to look forward to together.

I am more empathetic towards others. I think if I hadn’t struggled with anxiety on and off for years, I’d not be as empathetic as I am today. I genuinely feel others’ pain and struggles, and I’ll always go out of my way to help in any way I can. I am happy to talk through people’s problems and offer advice (when asked), hopefully helping people to feel a little better.

I hope by sharing this with you, you may have a little insight into my life you’d otherwise not know. I also hope that it may resonate with you, whether you feel similarly to me or whether it may help you see how someone in your life is feeling. Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts on this below! Also, in answer to the title, my opinion is no. None of us have our sh*t together, and that’s okay.

-G x