Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Week 9 | The 16-week challenge

9 down, 7 to go!

Another week gone, another tired person once again.

Finding the motivation to this is getting very hard - at the moment I feel completely drained by my job (it's been a bit up and down to be honest), my revision and anxiety over my exams, and generally just keeping my head above water.

I've tried to work out more over the last week but honestly, have had little to no motivation. I feel when things are rubbish, it gets me down and all I want to do is get into bed and watch tv, which is basically the most unhelpful thing ever. Life is just up and down at the mo, and there are a lot of things I wish I could change. Fortunately. in just over 2 weeks, my exams will be over and I will get some sort of break and a bit more free time to relax without feeling guilty. I know a lot of people use the negative as motivation to work out, but I just have never been one of those people. It's very very hard when you're run down, upset, and stressed to just set some time aside and think 'this is what is good for me' without giving in so easily.

The upside is that I do have to walk to work every day (including this morning, where I got drenched by the sudden downpour of torrential rain) which means at the very least, I'm doing a 2 mile walk per day. *cheers* It's not amazing, but it's something, especially compared to last month where I could barely leave the house. Various things cropping up (i.e. going for lunch, meeting people) have meant I've done more walking too. I'm getting there, just slower than I imagined - but that's fine with me.

Food wise has still generally been ok - I've slacked a bit this past week and bought lunch at the last minute as I couldn't be bothered/forgot to make lunch but now I'm down to very little cash so that's a good excuse as any to sort myself out!

Mentally, it's not been great. Certain things at work are making me down and upset, which isn't ideal, but not everything is perfect and it's something everyone goes through at some point. I really hope things get easier and better so it's one less thing to think about; just at the moment it's all I can think about! I feel I'm running on a half tank of fuel at the mo; I've been looking after some people who have had a rubbish time recently, I'm stressed and knackered at the same time, I've got exams happening, some people in my life are just being a bit rubbish at the mo....the general life stresses. However, it's both mine and my boyfriend's birthdays coming up soon, the weather is (mostly) good at the moment, and I'm going to EDC in a few weeks time, so lots of things to be happy about!

(Also, my standard of blog posts at the mo is definitely slacking, so sorry to anyone who actually reads them; I'll be back to myself soon)

Thursday, 9 June 2016

May Favourites | 2016

1. Kiko Milano Eyes 200 Rounded Eye Brush - £10.90
I actually picked this up when I was in Milan recently, but now I've realised there's a store in Oxford too, I'll be getting more! I love the quality of this brush; it's very soft and blends colours so well. It's really easy to clean too, and for the price, I think it's really good! Most good quality brushes like this are more around the £20 mark, so this is definitely a good spend!

2. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
I bought this book last month and really enjoyed it! It's incredibly heartwarming, with a lot of sad parts, but a lot of happy moments too. The film has just been released too which looks sooooo good, so I'm really excited to see it, but the book was just such a page-turner! I'd really recommend it.

3. Scouting For Girls - This Ain't A Love Song
I've rediscovered this song recently and forgot what a tune it is. No regrets.

4. He Shi Gradual Tan
I'm really not much of a fake-tanner, but I heard a lot about this tan and thought I'd give it a go. It's about £13 or so, so a little on the expensive side compared to a lot of high street stores, but the quality is really good. I get the light version as I'm as pale as a Twilight character, so I didn't ever want a truly fake look; more of a sunkissed colour which looks more natural. This is great for that! I've heard about their Instant Tan too which I may give a try, but so far I'm impressed!

5. Blackadder
Again, I've rediscovered an old favourite. My family brought me up watching Blackadder and I still love it even though I've seen all the episodes so many times. My favourite series are 3 & 4, and at the moment, the channel Yesterday (Freeview channel 19) are going through all of them, so I've been watching so many in the past few weeks! It's one of my favourite TV shows (co-written by Stephen Curtis and Ben Elton) and it just never gets old.

6. Lewis
From one show to another, I can't not love Lewis. It's set in my hometown so I'm automatically biased, but the storylines are really clever and I really get into murder mysteries! Maybe that's sad, who cares! These have been repeated (as they always are) on itv3 recently, so I've been watching a lot more.

Onto the next...!
Wednesday, 8 June 2016


These past few weeks have brought about a lot of changes to my life. I've started my new job, I've been thinking more seriously about my future career and the next couple of years of my life, I've woken up to who my friends are and what they're actually talking about, and I've started to remember what I love the most.

My new job is going fairly well at the moment. I'm working in research, and so far it's not been too bad; everyone is really lovely and I really hope I get the chance to make some great new friends in my hometown, as most of my school friends have disappeared to new and greener grass nowadays. It's made me think a lot about how I want the next few years of my life to go: to find the job that allows me to think creatively and love what I do; to move in with my boyfriend, as we've now been together for 4 years; to travel more and see places I've always wanted to see; and to start saving to put money towards a future house and possible wedding one day (no expectations or plans btw!).

Recently, I've seen a really unattractive side to some people I believed to call my friends. I am not currently in the same position as them and because of this, I'm starting to feel quite left out. It's hurtful, but what's more, what they actually talk about just doesn't interest me anymore. It's not the life I want to live and they're just not topics I want to talk about anymore; I've grown up a bit maybe. Another has been checking only so often that it feels like it's more of a reminder they still care, but when it comes to actually meeting up. it appears to be one rule for me, one rule for their other friends. Who knows, I'm an overthinker, so perhaps I'm just amazing at creating problems where there are none...? It just makes me crave the close friendships I want, surrounded by people who have my best interests at heart, and who know that no matter how different our situations are, they are still no reflection of each of us. Yet to find my 'kindred spirit' perhaps (Anne of Green Gables fans will get that!)...

I hear that situations like this are just a part of growing up and maybe I'm growing up faster than I thought? Change always appears to teach us something, and maybe I'm learning to take control of what I want, finally. Maybe growing up is always for the best!
Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Week 8 | The 16-week challenge

8 down, 8 to go!

I'm getting back into it this week! I walk to and from work every day - so about 2 miles a day (every little helps) and thanks to +Anna Saccone's new 6-week summer workout series, I'm back into my workouts again!

These videos are kicking me into shape again and I'm loving it. I'm a week behind now because I didn't get it together in time, so I'm on week 2, but I believe Anna has just uploaded week 3. They are making me feel so energised and happy, and like I'm challenging myself. I'm in 2 minds to go to the local gym, but honestly feel if I can do workouts at home or go for a run then I might as well save myself the money, journey and the faff of bringing my stuff to work with me haha!

I love watching the Saccone Jolys on YouTube as they always cheer me up after a rubbish day, and so was literally thrilled when I saw Anna had started this series with her personal trainer! She has a very similar mindset to me in that she just wants to be a healthier version of herself, without fad diets, and with a balanced diet and good exercise. It's very refreshing to have a role model like this around - god knows how many people talk about diets nowadays...!

Now that I'm halfway through my time frame - I don't expect to make my goal, but this is more a lifestyle change so I'll be happy whatever happens - I really want to step it up a bit and these workouts really kick me into gear.

Mood wise, it's a bit up and down as life being life has just got in the way again. If I took out those stressful elements, overall I'm pretty happy. I have officially finished and been discharged from CBT (I'll explain this in another post at some point) and feel pretty positive and motivated to make some good changes in my life. I've made myself a bit of a year and half plan, which makes me feel focused again for once in a while! Happy days (literally)!
Food wise I've been up and down (that's stress for you) and I want to start breaking and forming new habits where I workout to beat stress, rather than collapse and eat. Easier said than done! But getting into new habits will help I think, and I'm really enjoying researching new recipes.

Time to get back to work..

Monday, 6 June 2016

Common People Festival 2016 - Oxford

The UK is known for its amazing festivals, and this was no exception. The weekend before last, a couple of friends and I went down to South Park in Oxford for Common People Festival. The festival is now in its second year, and after success down at Southampton Common last year, the organisers decided to add a sister venue in Oxford. While it was tempting to go back to my university home, I decided I'd rather stay in my hometown; Oxford unfortunately doesn't have many events on this scale anymore!

The weather was gorgeous and warm, and everyone descended on the huge park just out of the main city centre. We queued for a bit before entering into the festival - unfortunately they ran out of wristbands before we got in :(

There was live music all day - Katy B and Duran Duran in particular were good - and plenty of food stalls and bars to get something to eat and drink: from paella and churros, to pies, chips, and pizza, there was a lot of choice! The prices weren't bad either!

There were 3 main music areas; the main stage, the 'uncommon' stage, where newcomers and up and coming artists performed, and a DJ tent which was absolutely packed! We made sure to check out each area, which were all pretty good!

There were also things to get involved in at the festival too; you could get your face painted, take part in various competitions, buy clothes, join in at the knitting tent, and even - as my friend and I did - go on the ferris wheel. This was something I'd always wanted to do and I finally did it; I'm not that great with heights either haha! Whilst it was pretty terrifying being suspended from the top when the wind blew the seat, the views were absolutely incredible!

(Photo taken by my friend Harriet!)

The night ended with a beautiful sunset and an amazing set from Duran Duran, who played some of their big hits (Wild Boys, Hungry Like The Wolf, anyone?) and the festival was packed out full of people!

I would absolutely go again next year! For £30 for the day, in my hometown, and a great way to spend the bank holiday weekend, it's definitely going on my festival list.