Social Icons

. Tuesday, 14 August 2018 .
When I first started YouTube, and even now to a certain extent, I struggled with how to explain it to people. Do I say I'm a "YouTuber"? Or perhaps say that I create content on YouTube, or simply that I make YouTube videos? I was nervous that by describing myself as a "YouTuber" I would open myself up to criticism - after all I only have a small audience. I didn't want people to think I was 'bigging myself up' to be something I'm not. I have the same issue with my blog; this is a lot newer than my YouTube channel, I have less of a following here and I don't upload content as regularly. Thus if I struggle to call myself a YouTuber, it's fairly obvious that i'd struggle even more with the concept of being a "blogger."
I know some people have the attitude of 'you have a blog and thus you are a blogger', and whilst I would never criticise someone else's decision to refer to themselves as a blogger or not, i'm speaking more about self-identification. I started my blog in September 2017 and for me I wasn't a "blogger" just because I had shared one blog post. I've spoken before on my blog about setting goals, and personally my goals are never numbers based. So I don't think it has anything to do with how many followers you have or posts you've shared as to whether or not you are a blogger. As with YouTube, there are many bloggers with smaller audiences that I follow more regularly and value their opinions more so than bloggers with larger audiences.
I have the word "Blogger" in my twitter bio, which I guess you could say is me referring to myself as a blogger. But I have that there more for other people to identify what it is I do within the online space. If I were to meet someone in person I certainly wouldn't say I was blogger while introducing myself or explaining what I do. I think part of my unease around referring to myself as a 'blogger' comes from the association between bloggers and earning an income. I think it is incredible that people have managed to turn what started out as a hobby and a passion into a business that earns them some form of income. Thus i'm almost nervous to refer to myself as a blogger in case someone were to ask me if I make money from it, because I don't. I remember both the first time I received Adsense money from YouTube and my first paid sponsorship as a vlogger and the excitement because I finally felt like a 'YouTuber.' Therefore I wonder whether it would take something like that to come from my blog in order for me to feel comfortable with the title of blogger.

I think my biggest fear about calling myself a blogger, is actually other bloggers! I tend to find that consumers of blogs are, for the most part incredibly lovely people, (you're always going to get a few nasty comments). But within the blogging community I see far more bad behaviour coming from other bloggers. I have always stood by the quote "empowered women empower women." So this attitude that some people seem to have of bringing others down just baffles me. I tend to find that the vast majority of my support comes from non-bloggers as opposed to bloggers. Which really frustrates me because I go out of my way to support people in everything they do, encourage them to reach their goals and celebrate with them when they do. Their success is not my failure. By calling myself a blogger I feel like i'm inviting myself into a community that isn't at times the most welcoming, which can be a pretty scary thing to do.

I'm curious, whether you're a viewer or a blogger yourself, at what point do you consider someone a "blogger?" And is that different from when you considered yourself one?

Photos: Sophie Ann Photography

Dress: ASOS
Shoes: Primark
Watch: Michael Kors

. Sunday, 1 April 2018 .
This is one of those things that I was so convinced I wasn't going to buy, because although it looked gorgeous (and trust me it is gorgeous) I couldn't really justify spending that much money on an eyeshadow palette. But then I watched Georgia Marie's recent YouTube video in which she featured the palette, and the next thing I knew it was in my basket! The palette contains 14 shades, which are a mix of mattes, metallics and iridescent finishes.

. Friday, 23 March 2018 .
I have always been a very goal-oriented person; in both a short-term and long-term context. I know some people don't like to set goals as it can be frustrating if you don't reach those goals, but for me it's always worked as a great motivator. I find it helpful to be 'SMART' in my approach to goals. For anyone who hasn't come across this concept before, let me explain.

'S' stands for specific, meaning that you are truly able to define what your goal is, what you want to accomplish and what it will look like when that does happen. So for example, you could set yourself the goal of being a good person, but what does that really mean? That might mean donating to charity once a month, or doing a good deed for someone else every week. Try to avoid ambiguity and instead have your goal clearly defined.

'M' stands for measurable, meaning that you should be able to track your progress. You need to be able to identify when you have achieved the goal. This also allows you to recognise the small successes along the way to completing your goal, which helps to keep you motivated.

'A' stands for attainable, meaning that your goal needs to be something you can realistically achieve. For example, your goal might be to become a doctor or a lawyer, but if you absolutely hate formal education and don't want to sit any exams then realistically this isn't a goal you will be able to achieve. The same as having a goal to get an A in an exam when you've been getting Cs in all your mocks. While its good to aim high, if a goal is unattainable, it can be really demotivating rather than being motivating. The best goals are ones that challenge you, but aren't beyond the realm of possibility.

'R' stands for relevant. Is this goal worth-while and is it going to meet the need you want it to? Does the goal fit in with the rest of your goals, both short-term and long-term? Goals work best when they are small parts working towards a bigger picture, so it is always good to think about why you want to achieve something and how you'll benefit from it.

'T' stands for time based. Now this is the one element of SMART goals that I like to be flexible with. Sometimes a time constraint can be motivating and other times it can just lead you to be frustrated and want to give up on the whole thing. So I like to keep my timings as an estimate. This way I have a rough idea of what I'm working towards, but I'm not going to be devastated if it isn't quite done within that time frame. For example I wanted to complete my a-levels within two years, which is how long it usually takes people. But, in my case, that just wasn't meant to be. For numerous reasons I ended up failing my first year of a-levels and had to retake the whole year. I was gutted that I wasn't initially successful, but ultimately I ended up completing my goal, it just took me a little longer than I would have liked. If you want to hear a bit more about this, I made a whole video about it.

My Goals

My goals are pretty varied, but I thought it would be good for me to have them documented somewhere as a reminder to myself of what I want to achieve. I have quite a wide variety of goals across many different aspects of my life, but these are some of the main things I would like to achieve in my lifetime. 
  1. Qualify as a mental health nurse. I will hopefully be achieving this one in around 4 months time. Ideally I would love to graduate with a 1st, but ultimately that isn't my priority. I just want to graduate and be able to work in a career that I absolutely love. Training to be a nurse has certainly been a struggle for me as the course is definitely challenging, you can read more about that here if you are interested, but every second will be worth it. 
  2. Do a round the world trip. This is something I'm hoping to do in about 3 years time, after I've had time to gain a decent amount of experience as a nurse and save up enough money to fund the trip! Ideally I'd love to travel full-time for about 2 years, but who knows what will happen when I hit the road! I have no real desire to see every country in the world, but it would be amazing if I were able to see as much of our beautiful planet as possible.
  3. Write a book. I have always been a big bookworm for as long as I can remember. Even if I have to self-publish and only 3 people actually read the thing, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have my name on a book. It would definitely be fiction and likely something in the crime/thriller genre as those are my favourite kinds of books to read. I don't really have a time-frame for completing this but I would most likely start writing it as a hobby while i'm doing my round the world trip. So I would aim to publish it after that, but I don't really know how long it take to write and publish a book!
  4. Make a documentary. This is a bit of a weird one I know, but I have always been a huge fan of documentaries because I love to learn about a wide range a topics. I admire so many documentary makers but particularly Stacey Dooley, who's new book I recently reviewed, as she covers some incredible topics. So I would one day love to film a documentary, even if I do everything myself and just publish it on YouTube. It would most likely be around the topic of mental health as that is something I'm extremely passionate about, but I haven't really thought more into it than that. The most likely time for this to happen will be while I'm doing my round the world trip. It would be a dream come true to base myself in a country for a couple of months, thoroughly research what I want to cover, plan everything then film, edit and publish it myself. 
  5. Get a PhD. I have always been fascinated by research and the fact that someone can take an idea or a concept and turn it into a reality. As I've already mentioned, I'm training to be a nurse, so I would love for my research to focus on improving the lives of those who experience mental health problems. At the moment I am particularly interested in the affect of trauma on people's mental health and how nurses can better support people in this regard, but who knows where my interests will lie after a few years in the field. Again I don't really have a specific time frame for when I want this to happen, but I would love to be taking serious steps towards making this a possibility before I am 30. Which is still 8 years away so i'm not too worried about it right now! 
What goals would you like to achieve?

. Monday, 5 March 2018 .
It feels very weird to be writing this when it is SO cold outside! But I know warmer weather is round the corner so I cannot help myself but do a little "window shopping" about all the lovely pieces I would love to pick up. Realistically I won't be able to afford all these, but a girl can dream! Pleas note all the photos are from the ASOS website and I have linked each item in the caption of the photo. I obviously couldn't take my own pictures because I don't own these items (yet!)

I'm starting with this simply because it is by far my favourite thing that is currently in my Saved Items, and I will definitely be purchasing it as soon as I can! I love wearing pink at the best of time, but for me you cannot get much more Spring than a blush pink colour. I would definitely style it in the same way the model is wearing it in the photo. I love mixing up styles so having the more casual outfit and then making it a little bit different with the more smart and stylish blazer. But the blazer is also quite soft in style so it works well with a more casual outfit.  I also really like that the blazer is not a solid colour, having the subtle pinstripe adds a different dimension, thus is works well with an outfit that is more colour block in nature.
Again, another pink item. If you watch the hauls over on my YouTube channel then you won't be surprised! I saw these in a haul on Zoella's channel and fell in love. I'm a very tall person so I'm never keen on heels but I like that these boots have a small, 2.5 inch heel. This way I get the benefit of the look of a heel, without adding too much height. The only thing stopping me buying them at the moment is the price, they are£45 which is a lot on a student's budget. Especially when they are a fairly statement piece, thus I might not get loads of wear out of them. This always a big factor for me when making purchases; I don't mind spending a bit more for something, but usually only if I know I will get a lot of use out of it.

This may or may not be the last pink thing I include in this post... but who doesn't need pink sunglasses in their life?! These ones have a pink frame and pink tint to the lenses. I personally prefer big oversized sunglasses as I think they suit my face better. The only thing I don't like about them, and the thing that might actually stop me buying them is the fact they have those little plastic nose pads. I HATE them. I like to be able to push my sunglasses up onto my head when I need to, in fact, I do it automatically without even thinking about it. But then my hair get caught in it and then rather than just pulling them back down onto my face I end up in a tangled mess, pulling individual strands out of hair out of the glasses. 
Let's be honest, it's often not that warm in Spring in the U.K. So I usually want to wear a scarf but most of my scarfs are very wintery, wooly and in dark colours. I want to add a more of a spring-looking scarf to my collection. I love this one because the base colour is white, so it look light and spring-like overall. But then it has a mix of colours and patterns, so I feel like its going to go well with so many different colours and outfits. I would definitely wear this how the model is, with plain jeans and a white top. But I also think it would look fab with a block colour dress and some ankle boots. Plus I just feel like wearing a neck scarf is a really classy look, but because of the colours and patterns it's still a bit quirky.

Typically, if I'm not wearing a dress then I'm wearing jeans. This is something I've been trying to get away from recently and branch out into a few different trouser options. I started wearing culottes last year and absolutely love them! I can't believe I'd never tried them before?! But I only really like midi length culottes, and it's a bit too cold to be showing that much leg right now! So I'd quite like to try out more of a cigarette, pinstripe style trousers. I would likely style these with an oversized jumper and possibly have a peter pan collar poking out at the top. I also think they'd look cute with an oversized t-shirt tucked in and a belt around the waist. 

I am a big fan of floral patterns, although usually I stick to things a bit more muted than this. But what better time to crack out a brightly coloured, polka dot floral top than spring?! It also had a button up down the front and some frills. Essentially it is everything I love in one piece of clothing. I love how it's styled on the model with mid-rise jeans so you get just a tiny bit of skin peeking through. I also think it would look really cute with a denim pinafore dress over the top. To transition the piece into summer I'd love to wear it with a white denim skirt, bare legs and some white trainers.

I like this, but I feel a little bit weird about the fact I like it. Am I the only one who feels like way about clothing? It reminds me of the type of shirt you see the dad in American movies that involve holidays wearing. I think the fact its a bit more muted than your typical Hawaiian shirt is why I like it so much. I would definitely wear this tucked into some skinny jeans, or even with some light-wash mom jeans and then a black belt to give a bit of contrast. I also think it would look cute with a plain jumper over the top so you have the collar poking out. That way you get to see the cute pattern but it isn't quite as full on. I realise this will be very love-hate but despite how much I like it, I probably won't purchase it. Only because it costs £50 and I just know that I will not get enough wear out of it to justify this price!
Shout out to my friend Amy to introducing me to this. Again it's something else I wasn't 100% sure on initially but it really has grown on me. Spring is the perfect time to throw a some pastel colours into your wardrobe, but doing so with a denim jacket is a bit different! I think it's a lot more versatile than for example a bright t-shirt, which you can only wear in a few different ways. Whereas I feel like this jacket would add so much to so many different outfits. I would love to use it to make a smart outfit look a bit more casual. For example wearing cigarette trousers with a loose shirt and then this over the top. I would also pair it with an all black outfit; black jeans and a black t-shirt then use the jacket as a statement piece.

Which of these is your favourite?

. Monday, 26 February 2018 .
I have always been a big fan of Stacey Dooley and her work presenting documentaries for the BBC. So when I saw she was releasing her first book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I devoured the book as quick as I could and just had to share my thoughts on it. Particularly with International Women's Day approaching (8th March 2018), it seemed appropriate to be discussing a book that places the spotlight on incredible women in the most horrendous of circumstances.