| Why Women Need To Stick Together |

Allow me to begin with the story behind this post:

I recently found myself in a situation whereby a woman I know made a rude & unnecessary comment about my weight behind my back, in front of a group of people. You may remember my post on my body weight issues in my post Body Image By The Skinny Girl. At one stage in my life it was a very sensitive topic & I had a lot of struggles throughout my childhood, puberty and secondary school. The good news is I grew out of that and learned the art of not giving a f**k about my size because life is just too short.

Now you may ask, if those comments don’t bother you, then why are you writing this post? Because after this happened I realised one thing that actually, deep down, I’ve known for long time – women don’t stick together enough.

I am very open about the fact that I am a feminist. I don’t care what negative connotations that word seems to have among certain groups. I care about making a change for myself and my fellow females & thankfully, in todays day-and-age, we’re starting to see that happening.

While there are many things that have improved for us, like a change in the gender pay gap and more women CEO’s than ever before, we still have a long way to go in our day-to-day lives. What I mean by this is, as women we need to help make the change amongst ourselves. We have to and need to stick together.

Competition is rife among women. It’s built into our very make up. Evolutionary psychology says that it is essential that we compete with other women to protect ourselves from harm and to win the man of our choice. While we may not be able to help our evolutionary adaptions, we cannot use this as an excuse as we most certainly do not need to constantly compete with one another.

If you see a beautiful girl, tell her rather than feel threatened by her. She doesn’t deserve to be brought down & made to feel self-conscious just because you decide to compare yourself to her. Instead of slating a girl for being successful & driven, support her tenacity & her strength because it certainly isn’t an easy journey to try and get to the top. That is what sticking together is. It’s not tearing other girls down. It’s praising them,  lifting them up, motivating them & supporting them.

The comment that was made about me annoyed me. It didn’t upset me. But that comment could have made someone who is less secure feel terrible. It is small comments like that whether it be about race, sexual orientation, religion, occupation or appearance, that can break someone. We never know how anyone feels about themselves, so it is not okay to think we are entitled to say whatever we want because we have ‘freedom of speech’. Think before you speak. Always.

Basically I’m trying to say, be a nice girl. Be a nice girl to yourself & be a nice girl to your fellow females. This world can be ugly enough and we don’t need to be ugly to one another.

Have the niceness of the drunk girl in the bathroom always & the world will be a much better place!

 

| 6 Netflix Series That You NEED To Watch |

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It seems like series’ have taken over our TV’s in the past couple of years & I’ve got to say, I love it. Movie’s have taken a bit of a back-seat as I would now much rather sink my teeth into a good series. I mean is there anything better than binge-watching an entire season (or two) of an exciting & riveting show?

I’m very much into crime and psychological-thrillers so 90% of this list will fall within that category. If you’ve got that mildly twisted side to you & love all things crime, murder & psychology, you’re in for a binge-watching treat.

Here is my list of incredible Netflix shows that you must watch:

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Luther 
It’s not often that you find a series that you not only get completely absorbed in, but that leaves you on the edge of your seat & holding your breath in places. Luther is a fairly dark British series about a brilliant cop as he hunts down some of the darkest of  murderers. While this is a story line that we see time & time again, Luther has done it completely differently. The murderers and criminals in this series are in a league of their own, committing crimes that I have never seen before in any over show or movie. The characters are so creatively written. There is so much suspense, creativity & brilliance involved in the making of this series & I truly commend the team who worked together to bring it to our tv screens. Not to mention, Idris Elba & his sexy, deep voice make it an easy series to watch too.

Related imageMaking A Murderer
If you haven’t seen this Netflix exclusive series yet then where have you been?! I remember when this came out a few years ago & everyone was talking about it & giving their verdict on what they thought had happened. Without giving too much away, Making A Murderer is a real life docuseries filmed over the course of 10 years. It’s the story of Steven Avery, a man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit & after being released finds himself being accused of murder but he’s adamant that he didn’t do it. It’s series full of interviews, court room scenes, evidence, witness testimonies & it will have you completely hooked. This is one of those series that left me sad, shocked & infuriated all at one time. An absolute must watch for crime & murder enthusiasts!

 

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The Staircase
If you watched & loved Making A Murderer or even if you haven’t but really like the sound of it, add this series to your list. It’s a series with a very similar concept to that of Making A Murderer whereby a man has been accused of murder but claims that he didn’t do it. This one is a 13 part docuseries filmed over a 17 year period and sees novelist Michael Peterson accused of murdering his wife while he & his defense team claim she fell down the stairs. I won’t tell you my thoughts as I don’t want to ruin it, but this series left me so conflicted & I changed my mind on whether or not I thought he was guilty several times. You’ll be hooked!

 

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The Night Of
I haven’t heard many people talk about this series so I wanted to do my part in putting it on the map as it truly deserves it. I binge watched this Emmy Award winning, 8 episode series over the course of a week and holy heck was it great! It’s the story of a completely normal college guy who meets a girl, they go back to her house & long story short, she ends up dead but you have no idea how it happened & he is charged with murder but denies guilt. It’s an unbelievably great short series that will leave you hooked & dying (excuse the pun) to know what happened.

 

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The Affair 
A bit of a different series than those mentioned before but a brilliant one all the same. The Affair (as the name suggests) is the story of a husband, father & writer who meets a married waitress who has recently suffered a tragedy and they start an affair that has implications for many. Not only is it the story of an affair but it also delves into the emotional and psychological effects that affairs can have not only on those involved but also their loved ones. The story line sounds pretty basic when you put it on paper (or blog) but it’s a brilliant series full of emotion, sex and a few twists & turns along the way.

 

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The Fall 
Being a Northern Irish gal I felt so incredibly proud of this Northern Irish series. The Fall is possibly one of the most psychologically disturbing things I have watched on TV! While it’s disturbing, it also gives a look into the mind of a serial-killer with a depth that I’ve never seen before. You really get to know the killer & why he does what he does. The Fall put Jamie Dornan (Mr Grey) on the map after his outstanding performance as the serial killer leading a double life. The Fall is the story of a sexually motivated serial killer and a female detective (Gillian Anderson) and their cat and mouse game as she tries to catch him. He plays an arrogant, psychologically disturbed killer who believes he will never get caught. She plays a strong, empowered woman who will stop at nothing to catch the man killing women across Belfast. This series is an absolute field day for anyone who loves criminal psychology!

I’m always looking for a brilliant new series to watch so please feel free to leave your favourites in the comments!

 

| I’ve Got Some Exciting News |

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I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA for the past month but I have a good reason that I’m about to explain…

To put it simply, I moved home to Ireland!

It’s still incredibly strange to me that I’m sat typing a blog post in my living room in Ireland but yet a couple of weeks ago I was writing my posts in South Africa. Talk about a big change!

To fill you in on how this came about, I was offered a job that I couldn’t turn down. I have been given an amazing opportunity & opportunities like that don’t come around twice so it was a no-brainer that I was going to accept it. While I’m incredibly lucky in that perspective, I’m also lucky in more ways than one. I have such a supportive and encouraging boyfriend who has made sacrifices to move with me. I know that it isn’t easy to leave your family & friends behind to start a new life; I know that all too well. But I’m very lucky that he did that for me without giving it a second thought. It’s one of the many reasons that I love him so much & I’m excited to build our new life together here.

We’ve got our place & I’ve just finished the first week of my job & so far we’re settling in & it’s been lovely. It’s been a crazy month & a big adjustment for the two of us but we’re excited for the future & what it has in store for us.

I can’t wait to take you on this journey with me

 

| Advice That I Would Give My Younger Self |

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Gone are the days of being young, naive & a little stupid. I’m now a mid-twenties gal with some life experience under her belt & I truly feel like I’ve come a long way since my younger days. If I had the opportunity to sit down with my younger-self to have a cup of tea & a chat, here is the advice that I would give: 

You really don’t need to have your life figured out
I mentioned this in my What I learnt As A 24 Year Old Post.  When we’re young we’re told that we have to get good grades in school & that we have to go to university if we want to have any chance at being successful in life. My school drilled this into me which, now that I’m older, I don’t appreciate. It’s such an old way of thinking! At the age of 17 when I was applying to universities, I felt like I needed to have my life planned out in front of me. That if I didn’t, I would be lost like a fart in the wind & I’d never make something of myself.  I’d like to tell my younger-self that this is utter nonsense. You don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life. You don’t need to have a solid plan that you have to stick to. I only recently figured out the path that I’m good at & that I’m destined for & I’m 25. Guess what? It isn’t what I studied at university for either. Life has a way of putting you on the path that you need to be. Just enjoy the ride & don’t stress about it.

There’s more to life than your weight
I’ve told you all about my weight struggles in my Body Image By The Skinny Girl post. I’ve suffered with being underweight my whole life & I’m open about it with anyone who wants to talk about it. When I was growing up, especially during my teenage years (because we all know how difficult body image can be when you’re a teenager) I tortured myself mentally about my weight. I would cry myself to sleep over it. I would change my outfit 10 times until I found the outfit I didn’t look ‘too skinny’ in & then I would go back to feeling bad about myself as soon as I saw my reflection in a shop window or a mirror. I would take every single stare,  every single look & every single comment about my size to heart & I would let it affect me. I wasted a lot of time hating how my body looked & because of that it still affects me today – although I’m happy to say that these occasions are very rare. I realised that there is so much more to life than your weight. My weight doesn’t define me & I just wish that I realised that at a much younger age.

Value yourself
It wasn’t until I hit the age of 22 that I really began to value myself as a person – especially when it came to dating. I dated people who were completely wrong for me & that I knew were completely wrong for me. But because I didn’t value myself as much as I should have, I stayed with that person. I let them treat me in a way that I never should have allowed. I don’t know at which point the switch flipped, but suddenly I refused to have anyone in my life who didn’t add value to it & who didn’t truly make me happy. Now I’m so happy to say that since that change I have found the love of my life who is a true gentleman who treats me better than anyone else ever has or ever could. It’s so important that we value ourselves enough to demand the love & respect that we deserve.

Don’t be scared to be yourself
This is something that I think a lot of young people experience because it’s with age & maturity that we sometimes learn the art of not giving a hoot. I used to care far too much about what people thought of me. I wouldn’t go out without makeup on in fear that, heaven forbid, someone I knew saw me. I wouldn’t do certain things in case people judged me. I just wanted to be liked by everyone. Now I really don’t care anymore. The reality is that the world is full of judgemental people who will judge you no matter what you do. So instead of worrying about them or trying to please them, worry about yourself & please yourself. After-all, it’s your own thoughts inside your head that you have to deal with, not theirs.

Stay young & don’t rush to grow up
When we were young, most of us remember thinking ‘I can’t wait to grow up’. I also remember many of the adults in my life at the time telling me ‘your childhood goes so quickly so enjoy it while you can!’ Did I listen to this advice? No. I wanted to grow up too quickly. I wanted to dress older, look older, feel older & act older. Now that I am older I wish that I could tell my younger self to be immature while I can. Having no responsibilities and no ‘adult worries’ is a wonderful thing that we only experience for such a short time. You never get to be a kid again. 

My word, life is so short
It seems like only yesterday I turned 18. Today as I write this I’m now 25. I know that I am still young but what scares me is that I’m half way through my 20’s already. The years are flying past at a rate I never would have expected. I wish I could give my younger self the cliche advice that we’re all given countless times – to enjoy life because it’s so short. I want to tell my younger-self to go out and do everything that I want to do. To tick off the items on my bucket list no matter how scary they are. My years are flying by & before I know it, it’ll be tied down with a house & kids so enjoy all the adventures while the opportunity is there & throw yourself into absolutely everything you do.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

| Current Lifestyle Favourites |

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You all know by now that talking about all things beauty related is my favourite pastime but I do like to change it up as much as I can, you know  with variety being the spice of life & all that. What better way to bring a little change to Beauty & The Blouse than to let you delve into my current lifestyle favourites. That way you can see exactly what I’m watching, reading & getting up to outside of the blogging world, so without further ado, let’s get started:  

Peaky Blinders: I am so happy that I’ve finally watched this series (well, seasons 1-3 because 4 isn’t on Netflix yet.) A few months ago I had made my other half watch the first episode, but at the time he just complained about how it was ‘yet another gangster series’ – What can I say, I like them (and to be fair to him we had watched a lot of them last year!) But fast forward several months I sneakily put it on again & got him hooked enough so that we could keep watching & it was SO good! In a nutshell, it’s set in Birmingham in the early 1900s & is the story of a family of criminals who run the city & is set around their attempt to take down everyone who tries to get in their way. The acting in this series is unbelievable & although violent at times, the story line is great too. I imagine that a lot of my readers have already or are already watching this series, but if you haven’t add it to your list – it’s a good one!

The Night Of: So I just binge watched this 8 episode series over the course of last week and holy heck is it great! After hearing that it had won an Emmy Award & after reading the description, I knew I would enjoy The Night Of  because any series about murder & I’m sold (as psychopathic as that sounds!) It’s the story of a college guy who meets a girl, they go back to her house & long story short, she ends up dead but you have no idea how it happened & he is charged with murder but denies guilt. Sound like a hell of a story line? It is! I was completely hooked & I’m so disappointed that it’s finished. Seriously, give it a watch. It’s an unbelievably great series that will leave you hooked & dying (excuse the pun) to know what happened.

Old school R&B music: The past few weeks have been so crazy for me & I’ve had an absolute ton of work to get through. I love being busy so I don’t mind having a big to-do list but sometimes you need a little bit of motivation to get you through the mountain. Music is usually the best way to keep me motivated & I really enjoy listening to music while I power through my work. However, my iPod needed a serious update as I’ve been listening to the same music for far too long, so I took to YouTube & rediscovered all of the old R&B music I used to listen to back in the early 2000’s. You can find one of the playlists I’ve been listening to here. I’ve been that chick dancing at her laptop for the past week & boy, it makes working so much easier. Click the link, put your headphones in & go back in time – you’re going to love these tunes!

Eating well & training hard: Back when I wrote my goals for the month of January I had mentioned that I wanted to stick to my training & healthy eating plan. I’m still continuing with this & I’ve been eating well as well as training a lot in the gym & I’m loving it. I feel so much better and I’m starting to see the changes in my body which is making me even more motivated. My stomach is more muscular & doesn’t get bloated & I’m starting to see more shape in my arms & shoulders which I never had before. I said that I would get into my best shape in 2018 & I’m loving doing it (which is surprising from a girl who always loved junk food!)

Movie dates: My boyfriend & I have been going to the movies a lot recently & it has been so wonderful. We’re both big movie lovers so it is such a pleasure getting to spend quality time together on cinema dates. In South Africa they even have a Pizza Hut inside some cinemas so you order your pizza before your movie starts & they bring your pizza to you while you watch the movie. You can imagine how much I’ve been loving eating a big ol’ pepperoni pizza while watching a blockbuster movie. Delightful!

The Book Thief: I’m such a lover of curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea & a great book & just getting lost in the words. But I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been so busy recently that I really haven’t had the time to read much this year. Certainly not as much as I would have liked to at least! So with this in mind, I’ve been trying to make a much more conscious effort to read when I can. Even if it’s just half an hour here & there. I’m currently reading a great book called The Book Thief & while I’m not even a third of the way through this book yet, I already know that it’s going to be a great one. It’s written from the perspective of Death during World War ll & is the story of an albeit naive, young girl who has been sent to live with a German family where she begins to learn what it’s really like to live in Germany under Hitler’s rule. Well, that’s what has happened in the third of the book that I have read. It’s such an unusual read that is really well written & if a book can educate me at the same time, its always going to be a pleasure to read.

What are your current lifestyle favourites? 

 

| What I’ve learned from living in a developing country |

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So for those of you who may not know I’m originally from Northern Ireland but I moved to South Africa in 2016. It has never been my plan to settle here permanently but I really do love this country & I’ve learnt so much since moving here. 

If you’ve never been to South Africa then please add it to your bucket list of holiday destinations because it is a truly beautiful country with amazing people, delicious food, gorgeous scenery, a rich culture & there’s a hell of a lot to do here. Sadly however, South Africa is still classed as a developing country. While there are so many opportunities to be successful here & it really is an amazing place for business, there is still a high unemployment rate (26.6% of South Africans are unemployed compared to the 4.2% in the U.K) and there is a lot of poverty (30.4 million South Africans currently live in poverty). 

Having been born & raised in a 1st world country I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly since moving to a developing country & this has led to this blog post. I want to talk about the things I’ve learnt since moving here because it might make people who’ve only ever lived in 1st world countries think. This can be a touchy subject for some & I just want to throw a disclaimer out there that I write this blog post with no intention to offend or upset anyone. I am very grateful to come from a 1st world country & I am also very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to live in a developing country. 

Here is what I’ve learned since moving here:

We are so lucky to have our benefit system
As I mentioned South Africa is rife with poverty. 1 in 2 people here live below the poverty line. That poverty line is only R441 per person per month. Do you know how much that equates to in pounds? £26.42 per month! That’s only 88p per day! Can you imagine trying to pay for everything you need with so little?! It breaks my heart that so many people can’t afford what they need. In this country if you’re unemployed for any reason there is no help for you. You’ve got to find your way yourself. Now I know that there are many problems with our benefit system & there are many reasons why it frustrates those of us from the UK, but the long & short of it is that we are so lucky to have it because when we need it most, when there’s no income coming in – it’s there for us.

The NHS is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted
A lot of people have a lot of negative things to say about the NHS but unless you’ve lived in another country where they don’t have it, it’s difficult to see why it’s amazing. Here my partner & I pay an absolute fortune a month (about £240) in medical aid (medical insurance) which covers us if we ever need emergency hospital treatment. A lot of the time this only covers some of your medical costs & doesn’t include things like prescriptions, gp visits, dentist appointments, opticians – nothing outside of hospital care. Sometimes medical aid won’t even cover you if you get cancer! It’s insane! Do you know how difficult it is to pay that much money as a ‘just in case something happens to me’?! The NHS is a godsend & in my opinion is one of the best things about the UK. Everyone, including those who live in poverty, will always been seen by a doctor, will always be given emergency medical care & will always get their prescriptions because they’re free. In a developing country many don’t have that luxury.

We are born into a country of wealth & opportunity
Here’s a little story for you to explain what I mean by this: it’s common in South Africa to have a helper, or a cleaner as we’d call them in the UK, who cleans your house for you. We have a helper called Teresa who works for us 4 days a week & she’s a lovely woman who is originally from Malawi in South East Africa. She moved from Malawi to South Africa which meant leaving her daughter behind (she lives with her grandmother) because they had no money in Malawi & she wants to save enough money to take care of her family. She has worked for us for almost a year & during this time she hasn’t been able to see her daughter. Helen was born into a very poor country with little opportunity so she had to leave those she loved the most in order to take care of them. In the UK we are born into a country that can offer us so much & we really take that for granted.

There is so much more that I could say on this but these were the biggest points that I wanted to share. My advice is to travel the world as much as you can, especially if you can’t or don’t want to live in another country for a while. Travelling is one of the most enriching experiences & it will truly make you a better person. Those of us from 1st world countries are really so lucky & blessed compared to so much of the world. Don’t take it for granted! 

| 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me |

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I’ve mentioned a bunch of times on my blog that I love to learn about people, their life & their personality. Call it nosiness if you may but I’m incredibly interested in people & what makes each of us different. That is why I have been absolutely loving the ‘5 random facts tag’ that’s been happening on Instagram recently. If you haven’t seen this yet (I’m not sure where you’ve been!?) but it’s essentially where you post 5 random facts that people may not know about you on your Instagram stories & then tag others to do the same. Simple right?

It was this trend that inspired me to continue this trend & to give you a more in-depth look into what makes me unique by giving you 20 random facts about me that you may not know!

Fact 1
I was born without a thyroid. Crazy right? Thyroids are pretty damn important things & for whatever reason my body decided it wouldn’t make one. It happens to only 1 in every 40,000 babies born in the UK so it makes me pretty unique.

Fact 2
I pride myself on my ability to eat a sh*t tonne of food in one sitting. For someone so slim, I can pack it away.

Fact 3
I’ve been in 2 flipped car crashes. I wasn’t driving when either of these happened but they were pretty hectic. I’ll never forget the sound of the metal crunching & I’ve been such a nervous driver ever since. I like to think I have one heck of a guardian angel watching over me

Fact 4
I am addicted to crisps. I can eat a share bag of crisps in one sitting without any problem at all. I don’t know why they even bother to call them share bags! They are my kryptonite.

Fact 5
I have lived in 3 different countries. I was born in the Northern Ireland then I moved to Scotland at the age of 18 to study. I now currently live in South Africa & have done for a year & a half.

Fact 6
I don’t really like children who aren’t family. (I feel like such a bad person even saying that!) I do want kids of my own someday but I’m just not in any rush to have them because I know how demanding they can be & how much my life will change once I have them.

Fact 7
I have an allergy to face paints. I can’t tell you how much that destroyed me as a kid. (I did still get my face painted now & again but I paid for it in the form of the red, painful skin afterwards)

Fact 8
I am so particular about the way things are organised. My wardrobe is organised by ascending length (e.g. strappy tops followed by short sleeved tops followed by long sleeved tops)

Fact 9
When I was at school I really wanted to go on to study psychology so that I could become a criminal psychologist but my careers teacher talked me out of it. Part of me wishes that reincarnation really does exist so I can follow that career path in my next life. Shame on my old careers teacher for talking young, impressionable people out of their career choice.

Fact 10
I am a feminist. I know that people tend to flinch when they hear that word nowadays because of the negative connotations but I am proud to be a woman & I will continue to do my part to fight the fight for equality.

Fact 11
I am someone of two extremes. I’m so relaxed in my every day life & not much worries me yet I’m such a wimp & I’m scared to do a lot of things. I know how confusing that sounds!

Fact 12
I hate tomatoes yet I love tomato ketchup & pasta dishes with tomato based sauces. To me they taste totally different!

Fact 13
I’m made up of 80% leg. I’m 5 ft 8 & yet I wear a 34″ inside leg jean. My dad is 6 ft tall & wears the same length of jeans as me! It makes jeans/trouser shopping really quite difficult sometimes.

Fact 14
I’m both an introvert & an extrovert. I’m very outgoing & chatty & make friends easily but I also really enjoy time by myself & I feel exhausted if I’m around lots of people for long periods of time. Typical qualities of both personality types.

Fact 15
I am a Harry Potter nerd. I grew up watching it & reading the books & I’m pretty sure I know most of the lines in every movie. I’m dying to go to the Harry Potter Studios in London.

Fact 16
I can’t cook much but I can make a damn good lasagna & I can also bake pretty well. My brownies are what I’m known for.

Fact 17
I grew up with most people thinking I had some form of eating disorder (even though I ate like a tank) & being really nasty towards me because I was always naturally so tiny. I never did have an eating disorder & I never wanted to be so small. It still affects my self-confidence even now but thankfully I’m okay with it most of the time.

Fact 18
I like to think of myself as mildly psychic. When I’m dreaming random scenarios pop up in the middle of my dreams & they come true. It’s not deja vu because I remember them when I’ve woken up & I can remember it happening in my dream when it happens in real life

Fact 19
I love animals so much that I can’t watch animal movies/documentaries because I couldn’t handle seeing an animal left alone or hurt. Animals are such a gift so it breaks my heart seeing them alone or hurt.

Fact 20
I’ve had the same best friend since I was 4. That’s a friendship of 21 years & by today’s standards that longer than most marriages!

I really hope that you all found this post interesting & that it’s helped you to get to know me a little better & also that it didn’t put you to sleep! 

 

 

 

| January Goals |

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Well here it is, 2018! Can you believe it?! I just can’t believe that people born in 2000 are now turning 18 and are legally allowed to drink. I feel like the years are passing by so fast & I’m getting old a lot quicker than I’d like.

But no one wants to listen to little old lady over here so let’s move swiftly on. With this new year comes new goals for the year. I don’t believe in the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing but I’m still a believer in setting goals. So let’s get right into my goals for the month of January!

Goal 1: Book my first smear test

So in November last year I turned 25 & where I’m from this is the first year that you are requested to go for a smear test. However since I now live in South Africa it is up to me to find a gynaecologist & book my test myself. I won’t deny that I’m nervous to get my first one as I don’t know what to expect & of course I’m worried that it will be painful. But with that being said I do know how important it is that I get one. There are so many stories out there of women who have had lucky escapes only because they religiously go for their regular smear test so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Goal 2: Save where I can 

So you may have seen my tweet (if you’re not following me on Twitter then you can follow me here – I know, shameless self-promotion, right!) that I have booked to go home in April & I’m so excited that I could squeal. By this time I won’t have seen my family in 9 months & I won’t have been home in almost a year & a half so as you can imagine it’s well overdue. With this trip coming up I want to save where I can not just this month but also for the next few as I’ll need plenty of money while I’m there to go on lovely outings. And with the Rand to Pound conversion I’ll need to save as much as I can!

Goal 3: Stick to my training & healthy eating plan

In December my boyfriend & I decided that we wanted to become super healthy & get in the best shape of our lives. We’re both slim people so we’re not doing this to lose weight. Instead we just want to tone up more & to feel even better on a day to day basis. When you eat crappy food it just leaves you feeling bloated, tired & crappy & who really wants to feel that way. So we’ve gone pretty extreme & cut out junk food & instead our plates are now filled with chicken or fish, veggies & rice. We’re also cutting down on red meat (I can tell you I’m already missing steak & lamb chops) while going to gym & doing high intensity workouts 5 days per week. 2018 WILL be the year I get into my best shape but for now January will be able adapting and focusing on sticking to this new lifestyle.

Goal 4: Get better at getting up early 

I don’t know about you but I was always one of those people who had to have 9 hours sleep every night in order to function adequately. The problem (and the blessing) of being an entrepreneur is that you can sleep as long as you like because your working day is how you want it to be. I’ve decided that I want to become a 7am riser so that I can get on with my work earlier & then close my computer earlier so that the rest of my day is my own. I will no doubt be exhausted for the first week of this but like anything else, it just takes a little routine & I’ll soon get used to it. Time to become the early bird!

 

 

| December Goals |

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I think I’m still in shock that we’re in the final month of 2017. I feel like I’ve blinked & this year has almost passed! This month is going to be a strange one for me, really strange. And it is with this realisation that I wanted to talk about my December goals (and also because I haven’t written a goals post in a few months)

Goal 1: Deal with spending Christmas somewhere else
This is my biggest goal for this month & I know that it isn’t going to be easy. For the past 24 years I have never spent a Christmas without my family let alone on the other side of the world. Honestly, I’m already struggling with it. I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit as it’s hot here, there are no Christmas decorations up in the house & I’m not doing my traditional Christmas outings & activities. I’ve been hating seeing everyone (especially family & friends) posting about it on social media. It’s difficult being without your family & friends at this time of year & Christmas in South Africa just isn’t the same. At all.
My goal for this month is to make the most of this. I’m getting to spend Christmas in a new country & I’m getting to spend Christmas with my love which I’m thankful for & I know he’ll do his best to try & make it special for me. Now it’s just up to me to make the most of this situation & to enjoy the festive period as much as I can, no matter how un-christmassy it may feel!

Goal 2: Relax
2017 has been one of the most hectic years of my life & it has also been one of the toughest. In my What I Learnt as a 24 Year Old post I lightly touched on this if you want to take a look. Basically, it was the biggest learning curve & it’s been pretty damn stressful. With the arrival of the festive period & going on a week away, I just want to relax & unwind for a little while. While I’ll have a little work to do here & there I want to limit this a lot so that I can get the break that I’ve earned. I’ve worked a lot this year & I’ve learnt a lot this year so it’s time to give my tired brain & body a rest!

Goal 3: Learn to cook a turkey
So I’m 25 & I’ve never cooked a turkey & the only reason that I’m making the big life decision to do so is because I’m spending Christmas with my boyfriends family who don’t like to eat turkey. So I’ve decided that I’m going to cook my first turkey because I cannot imagine a Christmas without my traditional dinner & if I’m not having Christmas at home, I’ll bring Christmas at home to South Africa. Wish me luck & pray that I don’t burn down the kitchen, I’m going to need it!

Goal 4: Reflect on my year
As mentioned this year has been crazy for me, but it has been a year when I have learnt more than I ever could have imagined I would. I started businesses, failed, got up & tried again. While at times I’ve felt that this year was a complete failure, if I really spend the time to look at what I’ve gone through & where I am now, I really should be proud of what I’ve achieved. I want to spend some time & write in my diary all the things that I’ve faced, overcame & achieved because I want to keep it as a reminder to never give up!

 

| Body Image by The Skinny Girl |

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Let’s talk body image. It’s one of those topics that can touch every woman because whether we admit it or not, it has played a big part in our lives growing up. I want to talk about body image from one perspective & one perspective only. It’s the side of body image confidence that we never really hear about because the media has twisted it completely. It’s the side of body image that doesn’t always have a voice & by writing this post I intend to give it a voice – it’s the body image of the ‘skinny’ girl.I hate the word skinny & I always have. For me it has so many negative connotations around it & my insides continue to squirm when I hear it even at the ripe old age of 25, but I’m going to use it for the purpose of this post.

So let me give you a little bit of a background – I’m that skinny girl. I have been very slim my whole life which has a lot to do with a thyroid condition that I was born with (but we’ll not get into that) so I have never been this slim by choice. Now when I say slim I don’t just mean slightly smaller than average – I mean that my legs were minuscule & shockingly tiny. I hated them more than could imagine. Growing up I had serious confidence issues & was so self-conscious about my body. While I am no longer as skinny as I was as a teen, I’m still tiny but I’ve just learnt to accept it & deal with it. But I’ll never forget the things that people called me, the sly comments & the judgemental stares. That is the reason for this blog post – I want to talk about what it’s like to be a skinny girl in today’s society & how harmful it can be.

Now I want to add a little disclaimer here because body image can be a sensitive topic for many: I am in no way undermining those who are overweight or what they go through mentally when it comes to body image. I am simply giving my perspective from someone on the opposite end of the spectrum because it’s something that is rarely talked about.

The media has shaped society’s thinking around weight massively. We’re constantly seeing and reading about celebrities losing & gaining weight featuring unflattering photos & nasty articles. It’s a horrible world & can hurt so many peoples self-esteem. A pattern that you’ll notice if you pay attention, is that according to the media anyone who is too thin MUST have an eating disorder because no one can naturally be that thin. It is this thinking that can be so detrimental to people like me who are naturally  underweight. Throughout my life I had to constantly explain myself when people made comments like ‘you’re so skinny, do you not eat?’, ‘you’re too thin, you need to go eat lots of burgers’ & so on. The problem was that because the media had shaped society in such a way no one could understand that I could possibly be this size if I ate a normal diet.

This is where society is so wrong. As a ‘skinny’ girl I have received as much criticism, as much judgement & as much hurtfulness as someone who is over weight but people struggle to or can’t see or understand that. People assume that we couldn’t possibly understand how a larger person feels but I’ve stood in front of the mirror & cried about how I look, I’ve felt self-conscious in every outfit I tried on and I tried to hide my body because I felt it was ugly. So the reality is that those of us who are very underweight can relate to those who are overweight more than you think.

There has also become an acceptance in society that if someone is too slim, that it’s okay to tell them. You would never go up to an overweight person & say nasty things but if it’s a ‘skinny’ person it’s perfectly fine to do that. I am not saying that overweight people never get horrible comments made at them by lowlifes, I’m just saying that people feel like they have a right to tell someone that they’re too thin because ‘its for their own interest’ or because ‘society says it’s okay’. I’m here to tell you that you have no right to comment on anyone’s weight. Ever.

This may have been a slightly long-winded blog post but I just wanted to create awareness about what you say & how you act towards ‘skinny’ people. We have feelings, we’re sensitive about our size & we feel body issues like anyone else. I didn’t choose to be this size & it’s very, very difficult for me to change it. My challenge to you is that if you don’t already, treat ‘skinny’ people with the same respect as you would anyone else because you have no idea how they feel about themselves. Don’t make comments about their weight. Don’t make them feel inferior, worthless or bad about themselves.  If I ever have a daughter with a similar body shape to mine, I would never want her to feel what I have felt & neither would you.
Basically, be nice & don’t be a dick!