Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Quarter Life Crisis: 1, Living at 'Home' in your 20's.

Approaching my 25th birthday, I have found so far being in my early 20s has been a weird and wonderful time, well, mainly just weird. I have been in this strange transitional stage for, erm, all of my 'adult' life. I am more aware and more comfortable with who I am, and who I would like to be. This self-awareness has lead to an attempt of using some sort of jagged blunt kitchen knife carve some kind of a path from A, who I am now, to be B, who I want to be. In your 20's it kind of feels like you're thrown out of the boat and you've got no choice, you either swim, float or drown. I'm in the midst of drowning, and madly attempting to teach myself to swim.

We are  expected to answer many questions at this point in our lives, where we want to live, who we want to live with, how will we keep our homes, and how will we treat our sexual partners, are just a few of the things we are expected to establish.

Answering these questions as young adults is part of the way in which we shape the rest of our lives. This ranges from who we want to spend the rest of our lives with, where we want to spend the rest of ours lives, and what the hell we intend on doing. Now, I'm definitely a few steps behind many, the struggle I go through choosing my food at a restaurant, is a clear reflection of the uncertainty of my future - I just really don't have a fucking clue what's right for me, or I'm doing and I can seem to find the words to answer any of these big questions. In the pure hope that I'm not the only one with a feeling lost at this uncertain at the period in my life, I've decided to make a blog series on this quarter life crisis I seem to be experiencing. Maybe writing about it will help me or somebody reading to figure out, what the fuck the next step is.

Today, I wanted to talk about when you're little behind on your 'become a real adult list' (is it bad I actually wrote one of these?), and questions are unanswered - so you find yourself, a grown woman, with a lot of self-awareness (at least I like to think so), living in your Mothers home, sleeping in your single bed, in a bedroom which should have definitely become a guest room post finishing your university course.

I've recently left my job because I felt as though I was walking down the wrong path (more on that in another post). Given my current job situation (or lack of). I'm sure you've grasped by now, I'm not doing a great job of 'adulting' so far. Still living at home with my Mum and older sister (it makes me feel slightly better that I'm not the only one at home, although my sister has a very success career, and I'm definitely lagging behind her). I am not where I imagined being at 24 - I'd hoped to be taking over the world in some way, which becomes little tricky when I realise the world stretches far beyond of the walls of my Mothers house, and that sort of terrifies me. Since I have not been working 8-6 (I promise I will stop banging on about leaving my job soon) as I've always done since finishing University, I'm spending more time at home, in my Mum's house, in the middle of nowhere, and I have been spending more time with my mum who works mornings and is mobile, and oh my god, being home more, has made me realise, why it's natural to have moved out of your family home at this stage in your life, if not slightly earlier.

Of course, there is no denying there is a lot of privilege to it - I pay very little for rent, I have meals cooked for me, and my clothes washed - my responsibilities are pretty low, which initially sounds great, until you think, but then again isn't part of growing up, responsibility?  Surely that should be part of my life by now, I should be able to take pride in looking after myself, and keeping my own home. I know they aren't the most fun things, but they're the things which adults do, and I'm an adult, right? Having lived in a different city for three years whilst I was at Uni, I kinda found my own way of doing things, and sometimes it's nice to make things your own.

There are several aspects of ordinary life, which become harder to navigate when you're still living with your Mummy. When it comes to dating, which I'm really not doing much (well, any!) of, it's a little awkward when you're still living in the family home. I mean, it's not an issue to me until I get back into the dating world, but I'm feeling a little more anxious for when I do get there.  At this age, the lines of dating are so so much more blurred, and you kind of wanna figure things out before you have to introduce your partner to parents, whatever he/she might be to you, becomes a question which can not longer go so quite so unanswered, when family introduction are necessary... "hey mum I met this girl on tinder, we don't really know what this is, I mean we've been on a couple of dates and things might become something but they might not, yeah we're going to hang out my tiny bedroom with my single bed" Ahh, it definitely adds more confusion and pressure for a label when you might just be happy to go with the flow.

Living at home definitely, comes with a pure lack of privacy. I am constantly asked where I going, and what I'm doing - I'll be honest it's never anywhere interesting, but I can't help but think,  what if wanted to do something I didn't feel ready to talk about yet? I'd feel a need to tell my mum where I'd been, I'd have to justify leaving the house, rather than just walking out, and closing the door behind me. It is not that I'm doing anything secretive, there's nothing private about anything I do, but I just think the opportunity to keep things to myself would be great. There's doesn't need to be a discussion every time I put on a darker lipstick as if I'm off to seduce the world when I'm popping to Co-Op because I've run out of tampons. I don't care if my skirt's a little short, and you don't need to know where I'm wearing it really, do you? It's not that I mind sharing this stuff, but sometimes it feels a little like I'm under police watch.

I have a lot of male friends, I get along with guys as much I do with girls, yet still, if I mention the name of somebody who might have a penis, I get family members asking questions. "Is he a friend, or a 'friend?'" "Do you fancy him, Clo?" The fact is even if I did fancy him I'd probably just say to you, "hey I fancy Pete" (maybe), and if I'm not telling you, it's most likely because I don't want you to know. I know this happens when you don't live at home, but if this we happening at a much less frequent rate, that would be great. Having guy friends around to hang out is just a tad annoying, in fact, having anyone over to hang out is annoying when your house is constantly filled with people (my sister has a lot of friends, so does my mums boyfriend), and your bedroom barely fits all of your furniture, let alone a group of young adult. My bedroom really isn't ideal for hosting events with more than 2 attendees, and but there are always people the rest of the house that you feel as though you're getting in the way of.

Alongside the how living at home makes you feel while being at home, they're a whole new realm of feelings you experience about living at home when you're not at home. I sense patronising tone from people when I tell them I live with my mum still. I'm sure 90% of the time, this comes from my imagination, I did not expect to be living at home at this point in my life, so I feel my own shame reflecting in how others talk to me. However, still, I sense this she-needs-to-grow-up tone, a she-can't-look-after-herself, everything's-handed-to-her-on-a-plate-by-mummy tone. It just doesn't make me feel all that proud of myself.

I have been extremely lucky with my family life, I'm not going to lie, some shitty things have happened, as they do - but I've not grown up in a household where arguments are the norm and bad feeling surround people. We all get along, and rarely argue - in fact, I don't think I ever really remember arguing with my mum, I remember a lot of tantrums from when I was younger (because 6 year olds have tantrums for time to time), but never arguments or bad feelings. I am very lucky, as I've gotten older, I've realised it's actually very rare to live in such a chilled out home.  I am also very sensitive, maybe this is a direct result of not being subjected to arguments and or much negativity growing up. When you spend a lot of time with people it's hard to keep your emotions from them. I'm finding this works both ways living at home. My sister could have a bad day at work, and take it out my me, usually by saying something completely meaningless but I'll find myself over analysing and upsetting myself. Alongside this, it's also challenging to not let your bad mood show to others. My mum is practically a saint and I appreciated every little thing she does for me - but I still have bad days, and it's difficult to make sure I'm the only one in the house my bad day affects, simply because she close, and it's hard to hide from who you're close to.

I understand with anybody I live with, whether family or not, moods, feelings and vibes will rub off on each other, however, it cuts a little deeper when it's your family, and I'm definitely over sensitive to things to do with my family, as we all get along when we don't it's a big deal - also sometimes I just want to deal with my shit myself, and if I'm not talking about something I'm feeling to my mum, it's probably reflecting in my mood nonetheless, and then I'm just being shitty to mum for nothing.

I'm am introvert at heart, and mainly like to be alone, this isn't the case for every member of my family, and I think sometimes they do not understand I'm up in my bedroom because I need my space to recharge, not because I don't want to hang out with them, I simply as I appreciate the quite my bedroom offers.

Just sometimes  you need space from these people to deal with your shit, and an outlet to express feelings that may seem unselfish and ungrateful but are just honest and human, so I hope that's what I've done here. As I said, I appreciate that I have the option to live with my mum and all the things she does for me, but at this funny stage of life, it's another question unanswered, the feeling of a step backwards and a lack of expected freedom.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Tanya Bakes: Cookies...

I am really not the baker, I've never really been into baking, yet out of curiosity and through a lot of mouthwatering Instagrams, I found myself picking up a copy of Tanya Bakes. As I not really into baking I decided to make something easy the first time I used this book. I went for the milk and white chocolate cookies because you can't fuck up cookies all that much can you?

Firstly I halved the ingredients - it says it makes 10 cookies, but when I'm just baking for fun, I don't really need to make 10 cookies. However I did still, however, end up with 9 fairly sizable cookies, I guess the recipe is to make really giant cookies!

I loved using the book because the instructions were so clear and simple. I think sometimes when book instructs you, not matter whether it's a cookbook or a life advice manual things can be over complicated and it all becomes drawn out and confusing. I mean, if I need to crack an egg into the mixture, just say "crack an egg into the mixture" not "select one sizable free range egg, take that to your ingredients which had previously all been mixed together, if you tap the egg on the side of the bowl you can then break the egg, pull the shell away and place into the bin or set aside, now you are ready to combine your egg with your ingredients"... You get the picture, right? I may be exaggerating there, but I do find this type of thing is common in books. This book, however, is definitely more to the point than I'd expect which makes it much more simple, for me, the none baker, who is baking to follow.

It didn't take all that long to create the cookie dough, more than anything chopping the chocolate was the most time consuming - but overall I found the process to be quite therapeutic - unlike previous stressful baking experiences I've had - my clumsy and all round sloppy lack of accuracy doesn't go down well in the baking world, I try, but I have a careless personality when it comes to these things. 

 I found separating the dough into balls a little more frustrating because I felt as though I need a bigger baking tray, I ended up using two which was just a little inconvenient as the ones on the top cooked faster (plus, more washing up.. which is really not the fun part). I also found as my cookie spread out the slightly went into each other (Tanya does warn about this in her book, and well it's obvious) I pretty much knew this was going happen but my baking trays we're a tad too small to allow loads of room. It wasn't a huge issue it was only slightly, and they were easy enough to separate from each other once they'd cooled. 

I also kept mine in the oven a little longer than the book suggested - although it says they will still be doughy and set as the cool, I just felt they needed that extra few minutes. 

And once they cooled, I enjoyed a cookie and some milk - yum!

The cookie we're pretty delicious, as cookies go, and the book made me realise I can actually enjoy baking when it's made easy. 

Tanya Bakes is filled with such lovely pictures, it's made me want to become one of those people who love baking... you never know, maybe one day! I did find it to be the perfect Sunday activity, and a great excuse to give myself a good sugar rush through the week by snacking 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Aria Inspired Make Up.

It is not secret now that I am well and truly obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. You know the obsession is getting a little too intense when you find yourself taking screenshots of your laptop as you watch  because you love a character's makeup look so much you're just dying to recreate the look. Yup, that would be me, doing that, I told you, obsessed! (please tell me somebody else has done this before?).

Anyway, I found myself falling madly in love with Aria's make up the other day as I rewatched an old episode of PLL, so had a go at recreating the look.
 I'm no makeup artist, and it's definitely a pretty simple look (sad news, I'm still not looking like Lucy Hale, yet) but I quite like how it turned out. It was a blue eye look, with just of smudge navy shadow along the top lash line. Alongside a simple base and lip - so nothing too complicated, yet still a look I would not have experimented with if I hadn't found myself admiring Aria's make up.

 Here's the makeup I slapped onto my face to create this Aria inspired look:

NYX BB Cream - A simple base light base I like to use.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Vanilla - this is perfect to brighten those dark under eye circles, I will warn you, it is slightly drying.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit, using the shade Java to add a light contour to my cheek bones and jaw line.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in the shade Luminous light to set everything in place and add a subtle glow to the skin

Zoeva Sunpower Palette (no long available, sorry!) I used the bottom left shade to add some colour to my cheeks. I noticed Aria blush is a little more red toned than I usually go for, so I selected a more red/pink blush, rather than my usual orange, peach toned shade.

Soap and Glory Glow All Out to add a subtle pink highlight to the look.
Benefit Brow Zings - To fill in those brows -  I tried to keep them both thick and tidy like Aria's perfect brows (serious brow envy!)

Bobbi Brown Brow Gel - to tame and texture the brows. 

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette - using the shade Stark all over the lid to create a neutral base, and the beautiful blue shade Danger blended out along the lash line to add the blue drama to the look.

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara - This mascara is great, it gives a really full lash look to my quite rubbish eyelashes, I really need to buy the full size.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless - I find this mascara is great for defining all of the lashes and perfect to using on the bottom lashes, so I pop some on to give the eyes that finishing touch on this look.

Laura Mercier Lipgloss in the shade Rose Bud, for a natural looking pinky gloss to the lips to match Aria look.

As much as it pains me to say - I know I will never look like Lucy Hale, but I do love this Aria inspired look. What do you think? I love the touch of blue on the eyes.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Step Outside.

Something that has been playing on my mind a lot recently in comfort zones, and stepping outside of them - I'm pretty sure I've been heading more toward the centre of my comfort zone, spending more and more time at home in my own company - and I've gotta tell you not a whole happens in the middle of comfort.

I'm quite introverted and very shy, I think as I've grown into my somewhat adult self, I have found myself becoming more introverted and shy than ever, surely it's supposed to go the other way?! Often I find myself saying no to experiences or even spending time with friends because I could possibly be put somewhat out of my comfort zone. In turn, I've become a bit of a hermit, spending a lot of Saturday nights (well every night) home in my Pj's indulging in a little too much Netflix. Alongside feeling socially well, fucked, I'm also not experiencing all that much. I'm not meeting new people, I'm not going to new places and I'm not really having a great time either. I do still spend time with my really close lovely friends, but outside of that very small group, I don't have much of a life. I have no problem with having a small group of friends, I love my little group of friends, and I would never want to change that. Nonetheless, this does not mean I should be terrified of meeting new people or interacting with strangers, or even acquaintances and I irrational fear of this should not prevent me from experiencing a life beyond my bedroom.

I keep finding myself not doing things which I have a desire to do, out of a fear of change, a fear of trying something new and experiencing something different.

For example, as part of my Uni course, we did life drawing once a week, and I love every second of it, I never felt more relaxed than when I was in my own little world concentrating on my drawing, and putting all my energy into creating lines on paper. Since moving back home (over two years ago), I've missed those Friday mornings life drawing. I have also researched where I could go for life drawing in my local area, yet still, I've not been. In my head, I think it's a nice idea... but what if something embarrassing happens? What if I have to talk to new people? What if I don't feel welcome there? What if I realise I'm really really rubbish at drawing? And well, at the end of the day, what if these things happen? Yes, it might be uncomfortable, but is the world going to end? No, it's bloody well not. And if it's an unpleasant experience I don't go back, but at least I've killed the curiosity. These questions seem to create mist across what I want to do, rather than walk through the mist until I can see clearly, I opt for not leaving the house - but I'm never going to get anywhere if I don't move.

Not that I get invited to many, but the blogging events I do get invited to, I don't attend. I always have a valid excuse, it's too far to travel, I'm busy that day, I can't afford the travel , etc etc, but the main reason is, it's way outside of my comfort zone. Firstly there being around new people, who I've never met, having to make small talk - there is nothing I dislike more than small talk! I have 0 desire to talk about the weather,  and I'd be very surprised to hear somebody else enjoyed discussing last night rain - water has fallen from the sky every now and then for the entirety of my life, I'm completely over that that happens now, and I'm sure you've come to term with it too. I'd rather sit in silence than have an uncomfortable, forced conversation, that however is deemed unacceptable and rude. 

With all these thoughts buzzing around my busy head (seriously a lot goes on in considering my pea of a head), I not really taken the time to think, what is it's not awkward? I already know the people attending these events have a lot in common with me, and what if I actually find myself connecting with people, heck I could even make friends. Connecting with someone and making small talk are worlds apart - but you never really know which you are going to get. However, I believe one valuable conversation holds a so much more meaning than an evening wasted on small talk. So what if I go to a blogger event, and I'm right, and it's awkward and I feel uncomfortable and I have to talk about myself which I don't particularly like doing - what if in this time, I find one person whose conversation inspires me, is it worth the rest of it? Yes, it is. - However not going I'm cutting off the experience altogether. And if I go to these things, and it's a pile a crap - it's still going to build my confidence, which I'm sure you're realising reading this is definitely something I need to work on. I'm all about the self-improvement, and I want to start experiencing more. I'm sure it will do a world of wonders for my writing and my social skills.

So all in all, with my ramble over, I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's time to start walking through the mist. I'll keep you updated on my experiences as I attempt to start stepping outside a little more (both outside my house and my comfort zone), I'm sure I'll have some funny stories to tell (which will only be funny to me in hindsight, once I'm over the awkward feeling), and I'm sure I'll meet some valuable people, and memorable experiences as soon as I start saying yes a little more. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Room Restyle.

Every now and then I like to jiggle things around in my bedroom. I get bored easily, and as my space is small, I feel it's extra important to make sure I love every corner of it.

As I was feeling a little uninspired, I decided playing around with my interiors might help, so I rearranged my bookshelf, swapped some bits onto my bedside table, jazzed up my window seal, and took my time to shake up the homes of my little trinkets. After a while, I began to feel inspired my the space around me again.

I'm slowly but surely getting my gallery wall together, what do you think of the picture I've got so far?

I liked to have a real mixed bag of images on my wall - from colourful photographs which I have taken to black and white prints I've fallen in love with. Alongside the mix, match of different sizes and frames, the area may look a little all over the place, but that's what I love about this wall.
The essentials, of course, sit on my bedside table (I'm sure you remember this from my previous post), I've switched things around a little here! Of course, I need to make sure I keep some of my go-to skincare products, the book I'm currently reading and my glasses.

Fresh flowers really help to brighten up the space! I love the pinks and white in these flowers, they're the perfect colours for my bedroom. I'll have to pick up another bunch soon!

Some more reading material and a notebook to jot down poetry have moved to my window seal. I love to have books scattered all around my bedroom every part of my room, as books bring me so much joy.
Who doesn't look a bit of greenery? I think these plants look great on my window seal, I really need to get my ass to a garden centre to pick up some more house plants! I'd love to have a big ol' green leafy plant in a beautiful pot sitting on the floor in the corner of my bedroom. Plants really bring life to an area!
Because with a little lipstick on you can take on the world

You may recognise this bookshelf (I wrote about it here), I also had a little jiggle around in this area to change things up a little. My bookshelf is my favourite part of my bedroom to play around with!

I find when things stay in the same place too long, the lose their life, and we begin to look through them. With these small changes I've made to my bedroom I feel as though everything came back to life. It's not perfect, but I like how I've styled things, for now. What do you think?

Monday, 19 September 2016

Fairy Godmother Nails.

I always think you know when you've picked a good shade for your nails, when after painting them, you can't stop looking at them. When I realised my nails kept catching my eye because of my love for the colour, I decided it was probably also worth writing a blog post about. The nail polish in question? It's the Tanya Burr Cosmetic Nail Paint in the shade Fairy Godmother. The shade is a stunning icy blue, grey colour. It's got some purple tones to it, and isn't that far off being white either, the colour is unlike any other nail polishes I own. 

I also love the formula and the price of the Tanya Burr nail polishes - they apply evenly, you get a decent amount of wear out of them before the chipping starts, and they are pretty inexpensive, at just £4.99 you can't really go wrong! 

I seriously love this shade, I can see myself wearing this a lot more as winter comes around, I think it's the perfect way to add a smudge of colour to a monochrome outfit. 

What do you think of this colour? I think this could be my new favourite nail polish!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

3 Self Help Book that Actually Helped

There's a stigma which surrounds self-help books, which makes people think they're only for those who are at an all time low and are desperate to improve their lives. However, these books are there for anyone who fancies picking them up, and I don't know of a single person who does not want to improve who they are. Today I wanted to share 3 self-help books which have stuck with me - that's right, that can actually help (and it also does not mean I'm pathetic for looking to printed words for help, it means I wanted something useful to read). 

  1. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson - This book helps to put things into perspective. One thing which has stuck with me  since reading this is if something is not going matter in a years time, it probably doesn't matter all that much now. When something trivial play on my mind, I now try to consider whether it will bother me in a year, usually that answer is no, and I begin to feel at ease once more. Another thing this book speaks about is that you will never complete your to-do list and in some way that's comforting. This book is full of other little gems which remind you some things just aren't worth the worry.
  2. He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo - There have been far too many times I have found myself investing in a guy who is blatantly not interested or worth my time and energy. This book simply helps to figure out these harsh realities that your friends might not tell you, which allows you to move on, and find people who are worth your time. It's to the point, and both harsh and empowering to read.
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo - If you want a big clear out, this is the book to read. This will make you want to get rid of most of your stuff, and make you realise how much of your stuff is just collecting dust, alongside this, you will begin to appreciate the things which bring you joy. This book also talks about how to store things, and how to create a space which you love. I got rid of so much stuff which just cluttered my room after reading this, and I'm so much happier with my space now.
What do you think of self-help book? Have you found any helpful?