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BIG SCHOOL

So for some of us our little angels are starting their first days of infant school this week, and it is Harper's first week too. I honestly can't believe we have reached this point and milestone in her life, and a part of me is trying to pretend it isn't happening. I still see my teensy little toddler, who I forget is not a toddler, she's not a preschooler, she's a little girl, an infant, a schoolgirl. 
If you're like me you've already had a little cry, and on those monumental moments that you leave them to go into the big world of full time education for the first few times, you will cry too, I know I will. 


I am writing this to document how I feel about my first born babe going to big school so we can read this back when she's sixteen and laugh at how soppy I am. We can laugh at how I worried that she wouldn't eat the school meals because chicken nuggets are life, love, everything to her. We can laugh about how I worried she wouldn't find friends who adore her, as much as we do.We can laugh at how I worried that she would throw an epic tantrum.

In reality I know she won't have a care in the world and all my worrying will amount to nothing but a few tears shed on the short walk home. I know Harper will thrive, I know Harper will love school because she just loves to learn. She loves to discover, explore and challenge herself. As I read this back I will realise that I never had a single thing to worry about and embracing her next step is the best thing I can do for her, even in the moments when I want to just cradle her in my arms and never let go. 



I know she will add value to her class and bring happiness to everyone she meets. I know she will draw, paint and colour so many pictures of tigers that there won't be enough room on the fridge for them all to be displayed. I know she will jump in the muddiest puddles destroying her clothes. I know she will talk to and play with everyone and anyone.

In 12 years time, when we look back on this, I hope she can say we helped her to achieve everything she wanted. I hope that our choice to move to the city to give her the best education we can provide makes her happy and gives her the education she deserves. I hope that she has made mistakes, learned from them and then made some more. I hope that she has passion and big dreams of becoming whoever and whatever she wants to be.


HOW TO SPOT & ELIMINATE TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS FROM YOUR LIFE, FOREVER!




I LOVE my social life and my friends, there's no doubt about that, but I have been in some of the most toxic friendships you could ever imagine. As someone who is open minded, honest & loyal, I find it extremely easy to make friends and even though those qualities in me are what attracts them, that doesn't immediately mean that they offer me the same.

I feel like I do need a lot from my friendships, I have never had a strong family unit to fall back onto, apart from my little sister, and she is my best friend of all. I have always tried to surround myself with strong friendships to compensate for what I lacked in family. I lean on and depend on my friends maybe more than I should, I depend on them to be as loyal and as honest with me as I am with them, which almost always won't be the case.

Another thing I have learnt over the years, is that not every friendship is forever. We are constantly evolving, growing and experiencing new things. Some people are there for the roller coaster, some people are there for the plain sailing but very rarely are people there for the long haul. There are many people who have been in my life that I will try to hold onto, because for a moment they were there for me, in reality you've grown apart for whatever reason and the only way to move forward is to stop looking back on things, something I find really hard to do.

I am literally a friendship hoarder, I am that person who holds onto people like a Christmas card from 2005. I forget that people change, and I tell myself that I have to fix whatever went wrong between us, Justin is always saying to me why are you trying so hard to dig up something that died like half a decade ago? I can't explain why I do it, I just remember the fun and happiness that person brought to my life and forget all the things they did to me to hurt me and ultimately, made us drift apart.

I would say I have 6 friendships in my life right now that I feel I get what I deserve from. I would say I have another 4 or 5 friendships that are not toxic but they either have the potential to be or I just don't feel like they're mutually considerate to my needs from a friend.

I don't do toxic friendships anymore, in the past I have put up with it to save an argument or with my hoarding tendencies held onto them because although they were being a total dickhead now, for a moment they were one of my best friends. I just don't have the time for it anymore, I simply spend my precious time on people who love me, appreciate me and know me.

So, here are my top tips on how to spot & when to eliminate friendships that are toxic...

1. Bringing you down, to bring themselves up...

Someone who makes fun of you for laughs from everybody else.
Someone who insults you or your appearance for absolutely no reason at all.
Someone who tries to openly embarrass you in front of a group of people.
Someone who constantly brings up mistakes you have made.

2. Expecting you to do for them what they wouldn't do for you...

People who expect you to do something for them but wouldn't do the same for you are the most frustrating and it is so disheartening to strike up a friendship with someone who doesn't mutually invest themselves into your friendship. These ones I find the easiest to just float away from, they're the ones who are always too busy for you, and you're always the one initiating plans with them. All I can say for this one, is find people worth investing your time in and stop wasting your time on those who don't reciprocate.

3. Talking about you, not to you

Something I struggle to tolerate, is talking shit about me behind my back. Like I have said before, I am a very open & honest friend, I would like to think that if someone had a problem with me or what I have said, they would tell me. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. It's one of the things that I can't get over in a friendship is discovering that a friend has talked shit about me, but pretending like nothing is wrong to my face. That behaviour is shady and it's toxic. There's a difference between talking about something that is frustrating you with a friend, but there is a difference when you're talking shit about them just for the sake of talking shit.

4. Showing no interest in your life...

This is probably the most hurtful one for me, people who are your friend but don't show any interest in your life at all. I have people in my life that I party with and that's it. I wouldn't call them friends because they've never been to my house, they've never interacted with my two children or fiance. They show no interest in your careers, your goals and what you want in your future.

5. They discredit you...

I have had so many friendships with people who can't stand to see me achieve something, and try to compete with me. I still have one friendship now that relates to this, not always, but sometimes they will discredit something I have done that betters my life or makes me happy and that kind of behaviour is never okay.


So how do you eliminate toxic friendships?
It seems easier said than done, but really it's not.
Friendships are at so many different levels and from personal experience, I have lost people who in reality were acquaintances, and I have lost people who were a huge part of particular parts of my life, as you can imagine one of those kinds of friendships was easier to eliminate than the other.
The first thing I would do is weigh up whether I value this person enough to try to resolve it, you know are they really someone who adds enough value to your life for you to overlook some of the toxic qualities they possess?
The second thing I would do, if you haven't already cut them off like a split end, is arranging to meet and talk it out, face to face. Never, ever have this conversation over WhatsApp, because I don't believe you can really hear or analyse what they have to say. You can't read their tone or their consideration for how you feel. Their body language will say everything you need to know, even if they are disagreeing with what you are saying, you will be able to see if they're open to what you are saying or not committed to resolving the situation at all.
The third thing I would do, if you genuinely don't want to lose this person in your life, is to give them the opportunity to change their behaviour towards you and to consider your feelings more. If after a while they slip back into their old ways, then you know what you need to do. Almost everybody deserves a second chance, but very few deserve a third.


I hope you have found this post helpful or just a good read.
I always get lots of messages from you when I write a personal experience post and if you would like to do the same, just find me on social media. I would love to hear from you and I would love to hear your stories on your toxic friendships.
Also, if you like this kind of post, please let me know, I am feeling a little lost in my blog right now and not really sure what you guys want, so just send me a comment below or let me know on social media.



July Favourites & Life Updates...

Hello my loves, welcome back to my blog. I don't really know if I feel like a blogger at the moment because I literally never post anything and I am really struggling to find time to create awesome content for you guys and I don't want to put out just random shit that I won't 100% be happy with so there has been nothing, life has just been seriously hectic the last month or so.
I am due back to work this week however I did something a little crazy, I have given in my resignation. I feel like my time with the company has come to an end and it's time to move on in a different direction. This decision has been haunting me for about a month and I have been back and forth to try to resolve the issues with the management team, however I feel like the ship has sailed and there is no longer a place for me or my passion for the way that I work within the company. I've had a little cry and I've deliberated over the decision for a long time but I feel like my anxiety over the whole situation has calmed down since making the decision and I am totally at peace with it.
 I am really lucky because I have found lots of ongoing freelance work that I have taken on so I am actually going to be making more money from home than going to work for 16 hours a week,. 
I have been looking for jobs and I will be going back to work but I just want to be able to give my career more than 10% of my attention which is something I can't commit to right now.
Another amazing thing that I am now allowed to talk about is the fact my baby sister is pregnant with her second child and we are just so over the moon. She already has my 5 year old nephew, Oliver, and is now around 26 weeks with a little girl. I am going to be at the birth which is an absolute dream come true for me, because I have never been on the other side of it and I am so excited to be part of bringing my teensy niece into this world.
Harper turned 4 this month and has finished preschool, she will be starting 'big girl' school in September at our first choice school which we are absolutely delighted about. We are going to take her big school shopping in the next few weeks and she's so excited to pick her shoes and school bag. 
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing, I am just so sad that my little girl is going to actual school, 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, but at the same time I am so excited for her to have so many new experiences and make lots of new friends. 
Hudson is now 8 months old, crawling and climbing every single thing in my house. He is dragging my furniture around the house and destroying anything in his path, which is exhausting because I literally spend all day following him around. He is also now too big for his co-sleeping crib which makes my heart ache, but he literally stands up in it and tries to climb out which is extremely unsafe. So, he will be going into his big cot bed, in his own room, which is just off our room, next week and I will probably cry and feel a bit lost without him, but he's such an easy baby that I don't think he will have any trouble settling into his room. 
So yeah, lots and lots of big changes and new journeys happening in my household this month, it's been a month of mixed emotions but I have lots of favourite things this month that literally have made my summer, let alone my month, so enjoy!



LOVE ISLAND
If you weren't expecting this in my monthly faves, what's even the point? I have been absolutely hooked and obsessed with this series of Love Island & I don't care who knows it. I have been tweeting about it for the last 7 weeks and not much else to be honest. I would say this series has been the best yet for the personalities they have had in there. I have gone from hating Chris to loving him after seeing him shed a tear when holding Cash Hughes. I have gone from despising Jonny and Tyla, to literally hating them with every fibre of my being. It has been a rollercoaster of pure emotions, I have laughed, cried and screamed at my telly and now, it's over. I am literally lost without my 9pm Islander fix everyday, and I am wishing the year away for another series.

VASELINE COCOA BUTTER MOISTURISER
I suffer with really dry, hard skin on my arms, especially when I fake tan and this moisturiser has literally saved my skin time and time again this summer. Me and my sister go through so much of this stuff it's unbelievable and not only is it a skin saviour it also smells amazing. I really recommend this moisturiser if you suffer with dry skin as it works wonders for me.

L'OREAL INFALLIBLE NUDIST MATTE LIP PAINTS
This matte lipstick has been my go to nude this month, it's not even just the beaut colour that has me hooked, it's the formulation. I have been through my fair share of matte lipsticks and 90% of them are an absolute bitch to remove because they dry to your lips, this L'Oreal lip paint does not dry up your lips at all and can be removed in one swift wipe. My fave shade and an absolute go to is BABE-IN.

MORPHE 35OM PALETTE
I have had this palette since Christmas, but never really appreciated it in all it's glory until this month. I have been really experimenting with my eye makeup the last few weeks and this palette has been my go to. It has such a good spectrum of colours and they're all matte, it's a really good everyday look palette, equally as easy to create daily looks as it is to create amazing glamourous looks too. Extremely blendable, pigmented and all at a really reasonable price!

SCHWARZKOPF GOT2B OIL-LICIOUS WITH ARGAN OIL DRY MIST
My go to hair for a night out at the moment has been brushed out curls and this dry oil mist spray has been a godsend! It takes all the frizz out of the curls and leaves you with beautiful shiny locks! It is completely weightless and has argan oil in it so won't leave your hair feeling heavy.

PRIMARK METALLIC LIP KIT
I am OBSESSED with metallic lipsticks, and this Primark lip kit does not disappoint. It's my first time purchasing anything from the Primark beauty range and I am totally in love with this copper metallic lipstick and lip liner. It lasts ages, it's so pigmented and it doesn't dry out like other leading brands. All these positives and it's only £3, what more could you want?


NIVEA DAILY ESSENTIALS REFRESHING TONER
So, I watched Imogen from Imogenation on Youtube a few weeks ago and she said that this toner has pretty much the same ingredients as MAC fix plus for an eighth of the price, so naturally I had to try it out. It honestly works wonders, go grab yourself a spray bottle & spray on your face after applying your makeup. It does everything a setting spray does, for a tiny fraction of the price. I have used this for 3 nights out now and it has genuinely kept my makeup on alllll night long. Buy it, try it & you won't be disappointed.


SHOP THE FAVES HERE...
L'OREAL INFALLIBLE NUDIST MATTE LIP PAINTS
NIVEA REFRESHING TONER
MORPHE 35OM PALETTE
SCHWARZKOPF OIL-LICIOUS DRY OIL MIST