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5 Ways On How To Support An Introvert Friend

introvertPhoto by Prasanna Kumar on Unsplash

I can remember a moment in school when I was taught the words ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’. They didn’t mean much to be at the time but now I know that it can be a handy word. If you don’t know what an introvert is, it’s basically someone who prefers time to themselves and find busy social situations difficult. If you looked it up in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’d see my face!

I’m pretty socially awkward and have been for years. It isn’t that I haven’t tried being social but they’re just not my scene. Unless it’s a Harry Potter quiz or I’m surrounded by friends, then I can handle. A lot of the time people automatically think that introverts are mousy and boring. That’s so far from the truth!

We can be just as fun as extroverts! You just have to take the time to learn how to love being friends with an introvert!

Spend 1-to-1 with your friend

If you know that your friend happens to be an introvert, try spending specific time with them.

There’s something nice and safe about not having to cope with a group of people and trying to make conversation with them all. That’s more likely going to put your friend off coming. You could go for lunch somewhere, look around some book-shops or even go to the cinema.

You’ll have their attention and they will have yours.

Try to understand what it’s like to be an introvert

One of the best ways to know how to be with an introvert friend is to picture what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Take time to see how overwhelming social situations can be for them, know what their boundaries are and find others to be social with them. Not every person will be a shy little butterfly and can probably handle being social, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a limit.

You’re not being over-the-top by understanding. To be honest, I’d be somewhat flattered that you’ve tried to find ways to help our time be fun for both of us.

Let them have alone time

Ugh.

I’ve had a few friends in the past who have pushed and pushed and pushed for me to come out. One of those friends turned up to my house without ringing first and starting banging on my front door. It was 8am on a Saturday so I didn’t answer. They then started knocking on my downstairs windows. Mum was not happy with her at all and I ended up cutting ties with that person.

I can’t deal with pushy friends.

If a friend prefers not to go out often, don’t push or try to ‘persuade’ them to go. There’s a difference between being geniunely understanding and allowing your friend time and not listening.

LET US BE BLANKET BURRITOS!

Don’t make them feel as if they need to be fixed

This is something that really frustrates me. It’s not just the odd friend who does this but family as well. I do know that most of the time they are only trying to help but it makes you feel like you’re a problem.

You don’t need to be fixed.

You aren’t being awkward.

Being an introvert isn’t some kind of character flaw. We do need pushes to get out there and not disappear into our little comfort zones. Believe me, I would totally love if I could stay home under my blanket reading. If your friend/loved one ever feels like this, try and help by reassuring them that it’s okay. If they don’t want to go out, that’s fine.

It might take us time to open up to you

I like to think that if a person is a real friend then they’ll have patience with someone.

Some people might mistake being introverted for being cold, distant or seemingly uncaring. That is so far from the truth! We just take our time to get used to a person and, if we feel safe, then we’ll open up. As soon as we do, you have us! Our loyalty, our true personality underneath the quietness and more!

Be honoured if you ever see what I’m really like.

I’d love to know if you’re either an introvert, an extrovert or even bits of both. I guess I do have extrovert tendencies whenever I feel really safe with someone. That’s normally when I do non-stop chatting, let you into my thoughts and…you’ll know.

What do you consider yourself as?

 

Lifestyle

Who Would I Have Nominated For This Year’s Oscars?

oscars

So…the nominations for this year’s Oscars were released today. A lot of people, including myself, are wondering what is going on with the voting these last few years. It’s like someone takes a look at the short-list and purposely hides all of the POC/female participants. Why else would the Oscars completely ignore some incredibly talented people? Other than being either racist, chauvinistic or picking while blind-folded.

Haven’t they learned over the last decade that white-washing and male-dominating categories doesn’t work?

It’s a new decade, Academy! You need to learn to look everyone.

With all of this happening, I decided to take it upon myself to teach the Academy what the nominations would be if I’d been in charge of deciding. All of the people I’m going to pick are my own opinions and sorry if I didn’t include your favourite person!

Supporting Actress

Nazanin Boniadi – Hotel Mumbai
X Mayo – The Farewell
Janelle Monae – Harriet
Brie Larson – Just Mercy
Florence Pugh – Little Women

Leading Actress

Awkwafina – The Farewell
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Best Director

Lulu Wang – The Farewell
Jordan Peele – Us
Marielle Heller – A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Lorene Scafaria – Hustlers

Supporting Actor

Leslie Odom Jr. – Harriet
Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy
John Lithgow – Bombshell
Timothée Chalamet – Little Women

Best Actor

Winston Duke – Us
Taron Egerton – Rocketman
Robert Downey Jr. – Avengers: Endgame
Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy
Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim

It would literally take me so long to explain my reasons for the people I’ve picked. To keep it short, all of the people I mentioned really stood out to me for different reasons. They all either pulled at my heartstrings, got me thinking or all of the above. That’s one thing that the Oscars are pretty decent at and that’s showcasing the odd film that shows a big transformation such as Renee Zellweger in Judy!

It’s sad that some of the films I loved last year and even this year haven’t even been nominated! I’ve heard so many incredible things about Just Mercy that I can’t wait for it to come out this week! I’m planning to do my annual ‘Oscar Winner Predictions‘ post later on in the week so look out for that!

Sorry that the post is really short but I have had a challenging weekend. That said, I still wanted to post something because I still think it’s unfair how the nominations worked out this year! It’s all about balance and opportunity, not just money. If you’re wanting to read some amazing film reviews from a passionate company, you need to check out Cinematic Faves! Billie really loves films and you can tell that in the way she talks about the films she’s watched. She’s recently started a book giving initiative for Just Mercy to highlight the importance of the story.

Who do you think should have been nominated at the Oscars this year?

Lifestyle

How To Wake Up Refreshed & Ready For The Day

wake upPhoto by David Mao on Unsplash

Following my post on ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night?‘ and after reading a post by TheModeEdit, I wanted to touch upon on what I’ve recently been doing to help me wake up feeling more refreshed and less like I want to curl up and sleep more. I’m not always successful (Netflix controls my night!), but it has been working over these last few weeks. If even I can wake up well, anyone can! Remember: everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you.

Contrary to what social media likes to tell us, no-one has the answer to what makes the best morning.

Humans are unique and that means that it takes trying and testing different things to see what fits and whether those things would be beneficial to your morning.

Write down your thoughts before you sleep

This has been brilliant for me to have in my night-time routine!

I’ve been writing diaries on and off for 10 years and properly got back into writing in September. Writing every day has helped me remember any great days that I had. It also helps me recognise when I’ve had a serious struggle and left me with a lot to think about. I know what it’s like to think too much so, if I write down absolutely everything, I know I’ll sleep better. That in turn means I’ll have more energy in the morning when I get up!

At least that’s how it’s meant to work! Haha!

Stay off your phone when you wake up

I see you with your phone! Step away!

We’ve become a generation where we immediately grab our phones to check what’s been happening on social media while we’ve slept. A lot probably has happened and you probably have tweets and messages to read. However try waiting an hour before you grab it.

You don’t necessarily need to meditate in that hour. You can do whatever else you want. Make breakfast, exercise, listen to some music or sit and just listen to nature. I love listening to the birds and the wind. I find it resets my mind for the day and I’m more likely to get stuff done!

Drink water before bed and drink water first thing

You’ve all heard that we have to drink 7/8 glasses of water a day, right?

Well I can help you drink at least 2 glasses with this tip! If you don’t mind getting up during the night (unless you have a bladder of steel!), then a glass of water will end your day perfectly. The reason for having one first thing is because we all tend to dehydrate over night. I mean…we don’t drink anything for 8 hours!! A cold glass of water will not only wake us up but your body will thank you!

Keep your room dark and quiet

One thing that may leave you grouchy is waking up way too early.

There are a lot of people who love getting up early and, on occasion, so do I. What I’m not a fan of is having the sunshine blazing into my room at like 5am. It’s not fun! I can’t do super quiet but I can’t sleep if it’s super noisy. If I can have a dark room that is relatively quiet, I’ll get sleep!

How do you like your room to help you sleep?

Don’t have anything heavy to eat before bed

My mum unfortunately had this problem and she had a good reason. She was a nurse and, if you know anything about nurses or anyone else in the medical profession, they rarely get a chance to sit down on time for something to eat. They might sit down to have something but then an emergency comes through and they have to go and sort out that.

I can remember making my mum something to eat to take with her so she was able to munch when she could and she would come home without eating it. She would then end up either eating that or eating what I’d made for dinner at around 9pm.

No wonder she was kept awake!

It doesn’t necessarily matter what time you eat at, but more what you eat. If you’re hungry, grab some fruit like kiwis or bananas. You can also try walnuts (if you’re not allergic), yoghurt, trail mix and edamame.

Try not to nap during the day

This can prove to be a difficult tip if you have a mental health or chronic illness. If I’m seriously struggling, all I want to do is sleep. It’s a major challenge to get out of bed and get myself motivated.

What I have heard is that napping isn’t a great thing to do if you want to get a good night’s sleep. It feels great at the time but you won’t be tired before bed and so end up having to wait until early in the morning. As hard as it might be if you’re super tired but try to keep yourself awake as late as you can.

What tips do you have to wake up feeling refreshed?

 

Lifestyle Mental Health

What Things Keep You Up At Night?

night

I would sit up at night reading books or magazines to try and get myself sleepy. Sometimes it worked and other times I ended up with nightmares.

My brain can be so weird sometimes. There are a number of things that keep me up so maybe we can be insomnia buddies.

If you do struggle a lot with sleepless nights, don’t be afraid to go and see your GP about it. There could be other reasons for it such as pain, mental health and more. You can get help! Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to look at certain things that might keep you up and try and come up with ways to overcome them. I’m definitely not a medical professional! Just a person whose body hates sleep!

Negative thoughts

Everyone suffers a form of these. You don’t have to suffer from mental health to have negative thoughts about something. It’s unfortunately what makes us human.

My mind never shuts up with all the negative things it believes I’ve done that day. Maybe I forgot to let an elderly lady onto the bus first, maybe I lied about feeling good, maybe I didn’t go out. It could be the littlest thing ever and you get made to go over that thought over and over and over.

You can tell why I don’t get a lot of sleep.

What I’ve recently done to try and combat this is to start both writing in my diary and jotting down anything positive that happens in my day. I have to accept that I will think negatively about things, but that doesn’t mean I have to let it control me.

Being on my phone before bed

Yeah…I’m one of those that brings their phone to bed and plays on it before they sleep. I know I shouldn’t have any electronics in bed and there is a whole scientific research saying that the blue light keeps you awake. I do have a method to my madness, I swear!

Some of the ways I fall asleep is by listening to music.

I can’t do with solid silence. My brain automatically tries to add different sounds into the silence and they are nightmare fuel! During my childhood I used to be terrified of a guy I would call ‘The Tamberine Man’. I would never see him but I would hear the sound of his tamberine and awful things would happen soon after. My adult brain now tries to undo all that conditioning by saying that the sound had actually been people outside my bedroom window making noise. I think my half-asleep brain just made it into something it wasn’t!

Still hate the sound though!

My iPhone has a setting where I can time it to turn the light from blue to red. The red helps make you tired so, between that and the music/Calm app, I would feel very sleepy. You’d think I would sleep after that but nope.

Pain

Enter the life of a chronic illness sufferer!

My fibromyalgia is such a party pooper when it comes to me trying to sleep. I’ve had so many nights when my legs have either be super painful or so restless. One of the reasons why I can’t go on coaches is the fact that their leg-space isn’t much. You used to have pitstops to service stations where you could stretch your legs but there isn’t anymore. At least on the coaches I go on. Sitting in your seat for 4 and a bit hours is not fun!

Back to sleepless nights!

My legs do the exact same thing they do on coaches. They become painful and very jumpy. You could be lying in bed and your leg suddenly jumps. I can usually feel it growing in my foot and then it travels up my leg. It has had me in tears on a few occassions.

Currently on medication (gabapentin and baclofen) to help combat the muscle spasms and the pain. Not perfect but better than agony!

Can’t get comfortable

There are other reasons other than pain that keep you up at night.

Apparently the top reason for not being able to sleep is because you can’t get comfortable in bed. The main cause for that? An out-of-date mattress. This isn’t a sponsored post (though I wouldn’t mind the opportunity! Haha!)…just passing on what I discovered from my local mattress man. He said that you have to change your mattress every 8 years since it can get out of shape after so many years.

It gets bumpy because of springs and it sags, doesn’t support you as well as it used to and might even make your allergies worse.

Noisy neighbours

Oh, do I have experience with this one!

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably have heard that I’ve had quite a few problems with noisy neighbours. They would blare their loud music for hours! The longest was just over 6 hours! It’s bad enough when you have to deal with this music during the day, but when you have it at night? Ew. It doesn’t help that I’m sensitive to loud noises.

I’ve had to go down to talk to them at 11pm to tell them to turn it down! You can imagine how difficult it would be to sleep with something like a party happening down below you.

How do you cope with this?

You can either buy some ear-plugs to block out some of the noise or wear some noise-cancelling headphones. These are kind of more temporary options. You could report them for nuisance noise or let them know personally how the noise is affecting you!

What tends to keep you up at night and how do you deal with it?

Lifestyle

How To Deal With Making Friends In Your 30s

friendsPhoto by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Making friends can be a seriously tricky business growing up. I think we all remember those super awkward moments at school when you try chatting to someone for the first time. It’s awful! Feel sorry for us socially awkward who tried to hide from all contact. Friends were like a currency of school life. Depending on who you made friends with ensured what your time at school is like.

It’s not quite like all the scenes we see in high-school TV shows/films!

You make friends, you lose friends.

Not a lot of fun when you fall out with people you might have known from primary school. Surprisingly, I didn’t fall out with any of the people I knew. They just grew in their confidence and I kind of stayed socially stumped. That said, I am still friends with a handful of people I’ve known since I was 11. One of these people actually bullied me early on and we’ve seen past that since he joined the Army and apologised!

What school doesn’t really ready you for is making friends when you are an adult.

Sure you can meet new people at college, university or even at school but they are usually acquaintences. You speak to them at that particular place but it doesn’t go any further. According to an article I read last year, we don’t become emotionally mature until our 30s and sometimes even into late 40s.

I second this article! I might not be the most stable mentally anyway due to my mental health problems, but I’ve always felt like I have moments where I’ve acted like a teenager. Mood swings, randomly crying and all those wonderful feelings! The elderly may suffer a lot with loneliness if they are house-bound or have no family, but even younger adults can feel really lonely!

HA! I made it sound like I was young.

Why do we need to have friendships in our 30s? You need minds that know what you’re going through. You share how you’re feeling about things, chat about when you were all at school and makes you feel less lonely. Woo! Plus you get to meet up with them for long chats or even go on holiday with them. The perks of being a grown-up! There are a few ways you can make friends at this age!

Find something that connects

The way I’ve made most of the friends I’ve made in my 20s was through sharing a common interest. As you can guess, that was through Harry Potter and blogging! These have led me to being able to talk to strangers and even bonding with them.

I’ve gotten the chance to connect with so many quirky people like me and they have truly made me feel special! If you see someone wearing some merch for something you like, compliment them about it. That’s the first step! You can then tell them that you also love that thing.

Makes life so much easier!

Chat with people you already knew

New friends are great but why not reconnect with people you’ve already met? Remember those friends at school that you might not have chatted to for years? Friend material! You already have that first hurdle done and you’ll have a bunch of things to catch up on. They might be married and have kids now or have started a career you couldn’t have guessed!

It’s never too late to start chatting again. I actually chatted with a girl I met when I was 5 over Facebook a year ago so it can be done! If any of my old school friends see this, let’s chat!

Take your time

We might be getting closer and closer to being middle-aged (we old!), but we still have a bunch of time to meet people. Don’t feel like you have to rush things with someone just so you have that one friend. You have more time than you meet! If that person really becomes your friend, they won’t be going anywhere.

Don’t be afraid to chat with someone different

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve grown up, it’s that I have found myself drawn to a number of different people. Back at school I would only talk to adults or people in my class. These days I have friends who are parents, teachers, nurses, tattoo artists and actors. You meet so many incredible people over the years and I’m honoured to know that I have such a wide group of people to gush over!

I had one person last year say that I seem to know more people who are considered ‘different’. Whether it’s because they are LGBTQ+, disabled or from another country. We’re all the same at the end of the day! Plus they put up with me so that’s handy! Haha!

It’s okay to have younger friends

I always feel a little weird with this one but then I accept that there isn’t anything wrong.

What is the one thing that connects almost all of my friends?

They are a few years younger than me. I think the youngest of my friends is 20 and she is like the oldest-minded 20-year-old that I know! I’m more her age than she is and she constantly tells me too! My best friend is even in her mid-20s! I used to think that I must be creepy to only go for people who are younger than me. Why didn’t I have friends of my own age?

The answer is that I’ve always been like this. Even when I was at school, my close friends were younger. I was in Year 11 and had friends in Year 8. I didn’t see age as something that should be stop me from chatting. If we have something in common and we enjoy each other’s company, then we can be friends! I’m pretty sure my brain is still stuck as a teen anyway!

Start afresh

There are going to be a few times in your life where you move home. Whether you’re staying in the same general area or moving to a different part of the country for work, you have the same chance to start afresh. It can be really hard to make friends when you know absolutely no-one but it can also be fun. You can start chatting with your neighbours, join in events in your new communuty and talk.

I did this when I moved to my flat and made friends with my elderly neighbour! I can now happily go over to chat with her, drink tea and she even gave me a birthday card yesterday.

What tips do you have to make friends in your 20s/30s?

Lifestyle

7 Goals I’m Going To Achieve In 2020

2020

Welcome to 2020 on my blog! We made it! I hope you all had a brilliant night however you decided to celebrate it. I was happily in my PJs, in bed, and going in between watching Graham Norton and Netflix. Before it hit midnight, I did try to watch the fireworks on BBC One but I thought they were pretty rubbish. Craig David was really good though so was glad his music brought in 2020.

Now that we’ve started a new decade, I’m in the mindset of setting myself goals. There are a couple of quotes that I’ve fallen in love with to describe how I want this year to go:

“Don’t call them dreams. Call them plans.”

“Don’t tell people your plans. Show them your results.”

The reason why I’ve been sharing resolutions on my blog is to have proof online that I’ve set myself goals/targets/whatever you want to call them for all to see. If people see that I’ve created these, I’m more likely to do them. Though that didn’t exactly work out last year but it will this year! I’ve tried to simplfy my 2020 goals so that I don’t confuse myself and can get to work.

Reduce my antidepressants down to 100mg

This is a big, big thing for me and will only work if I dedicate myself. I’m going to be starting therapy sometime this year and I’m wanting to lower my dose by the end of the year. What some people don’t know about antidepressants is that you can’t just stop and start your medication. They can give you some nasty withdrawal symptoms and could be damaging to your body if not taken seriously.

I’m currently on 200mg (the highest dose) so I see 100mg a realistic goal to aim for. It’s giving me plenty of time to take my time and keep my body happy.

Start volunteering

While I’m sorting out my mental health I want to be able to start doing something meaningful. I’ve been doing a Work and Disability programme to help prepare me for applying for work. The general consensus is that I won’t be able to handle a full-time job right now (which is true) and that volunteering will help me get recent experience and references.

I’ve applied for a call-line called Elderfriends where you get to chat with anyone elderly who is lonely. I figured this might work since I could do this from home and it’s flexible. We’ll see if they contact me back!

Read 50 books

If you love books and go on GoodReads, then you will know that the site holds a reading challenge. You decide how many books you want to try and read during the year and you get to document all the books you do. Last year I managed to read 30 books which I’m very proud of. This year I’m aiming for 50!

You never know what the year will throw at you so any book I read is a win! If you’re doing the challenge, good luck and have fun!

Visit a relative

The only time I’ve seen a relative in the last decade has been at funerals. So morbid!

Most of my Mum’s side of the family live in Northern Ireland whereas my dad’s side live in Birmingham. I don’t have too many left down South but I do have an aunt who I chat to every month on the phone! She’s 80 so there is no chance of her travelling to see me. I really want to go and visit her in case the inevitable happens. I’m just worried that I’ll be super awkward chatting face-to-face!

As for my other aunts, I do plan on seeing them. It’s just a little trickier. I have to try and save up some airfare to fly over and it wouldn’t be the happiest of circumstances. I want to scatter some of Mum’s ashes where she was born. I’ve got the documentation to fly over with her ‘remains’ so it’s just a case of saving. My chats with them are less frequent since I definitely feel awkward around them! Maybe 2020 will finally push me out of my comfort zone and get me chatting. Family is family at the end of the day.

How do you guys handle visiting relatives you don’t see often?

Watch 2 plays (Local/London)

Before you say it, I know that seeing 2 plays doesn’t sound like a lot but it is for me. I haven’t seen a play in over 2 years (it was Cursed Child!) and I really miss seeing theatre. The actress in me wants to be on the stage along with the cast and there are so many amazing plays to see! I have my eyes on The Ocean At The End of the Road but it’s sold out! Fingers crossed that some return tickets come back so I can see Sam Blenkin on stage again! He was the last guy I saw playing Scorpius! 2020 is the year of theatre for me! Emmie, you better be reading this post!

Other plays I’m loving the sound of are:

  • Endgame (with Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming)
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Dragons and Mythical Beasts
  • Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield)
  • My Cousin Rachel (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield)
  • Trojan Horse (Derby Theatre)
  • W*nk Buddies (Derby Theatre)

I reckon I’ll be able to see at least 2 this year especially the ones in Derby! Those sound really interesting!

Decorate part of my flat

My dad may have been a painter/decorator but I did not inherit any of his skills! I attempted to paint in my old house and it looked so bad! I literally cringed every time I had walk down the corridor to the front door. Part of me wonders whether I should try again and take my time or get someone else to do it.

Getting a pro to do it still counts as achieving my goal, right? I really want to get at least one room done this year so it looks like someone capable lives in my flat!

Write in my diary every day

For the last decade I’ve written a diary.

Have I written in it every day? Heck no! I’ve literally had months upon months of nothing. I can usually do a couple of months and then I stop. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy writing it but sometimes you just don’t want to read about your bad days. I’ve managed to do write every day since last September! The fact that I’ve lasted this long could mean this goal might actually happen for the first time ever!

Have you got any goals set for 2020 or are you just going with the flow?

Lifestyle

8 New Year’s Eve Ideas To Celebrate 2020

new year's evePhoto by Jamie Street on Unsplash

The day is almost here! Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and the final day of 2019! This decade feels like it’s lasted a lifetime compared to the one before and I’m so glad to be saying goodbye to this one. Something that I see all over Pinterest at this time are all the pins of party/celebration ideas for New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re having people round to yours to celebrate or just staying home, it doesn’t matter.

Everyone celebrates differently! As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.

It’s never too late to look up ideas for tonight. I always see people rushing around shops buying balloons, confetti and alcohol right up till late. Hopefully some of these ideas help you decide what you want to do if you were still unsure. I’ll be in my PJs and relaxing if you wanted to know! Haha!

1. Create a balloon clock

If you’ve got kids, then you can help get them excited for the New Year by making a balloon clock. It’s exactly as it sounds. You blow up 12 balloons, add numbers to them and, as each hour gets closer to midnight, you pop a balloon. I only heard about this recently but it would even get me excited!

2. Create a time capsule

Since it’s the end of the 2010s, this is the perfect time to make a time capsule!

Grab little items that you feel described this decade and then, when you hit the 2020s, we’ll be able to see what we loved this decade. It can be songs, words, styles…you name it, pop it in there!

3. Have a scavenger hunt

This can be for any age! I got this idea from Pinterest and it kind of makes me wish that I had a group of people to do this with! You get to choose specific times to go and look for something. For example you could say ‘It’s 7:45pm! Go to the room that has all the yummy food!’. Depending where you are, you can decide what to pop on the clues!

4. Create New Year drinks

This idea can be used for one person, a couple or a group of people. It works! Create yourself some New Year drinks. You could either make some fruity mocktails if you don’t drink (this is what I’m planning) or some champagne jello-shots. Never had a jello-shot since they kind of sound a bit gross but have fun either way!

5. Play some games

I know I’ve mentioned a couple of games you can do but these are some more! One of my US friends told me her family play something called ‘Don’t Look Back’. It involves 2 people: 1 person stands behind with either a big party hat or a bucket and the other person has a ball. They have to try and get the ball into the hat/bucket without looking behind them.

I love the idea of only looking forward and not back to the past!

6. Have a 1920s-themed party

This idea is a little late for tonight (unless you’re a miracle worker or own a party shop!), but it can work for the other years! We’re technically entering the ’20s again which is awesome and that means you can dress up! It sounds like so much fun to wear a flapper dress, do my hair into a bob and try the Charleston! If you know ‘The Great Gatsby’, then why not try a mini version of that! There is a character called Daisy so I think it would be perfect for me! Haha!

7. Create a wishing tree

If you can’t come up with some resolutions, come up with some wishes for 2020! You can use one of those fancy white trees or even from some painted branches from outside to hang little wishes from. If you can’t have a tree, then use a jar. Write a wish, put in the jar and you can then revisit the jar on the last day of 2020 to see if your wish came true.

8. Have a Noon Year’s Eve Party

Let’s face it: kids get grumpy when they’re tired. Heck, I get grumpy if I get sleepy! Trying to stay awake until midnight is no easy feat so, instead of partying until then, why not have your family party at midday? Everyone will be awake! You can still have all the fun of a night party and then you can just chill out and enjoy any fireworks in peace. I might do that for next year!

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

 

Lifestyle

My Hopes For Blogging In 2020 (inspired by Amie)

Hopes for BloggingPhoto by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I recently read a fascinating post by the beautiful Amie (TheCurvaceousVegan) where she spoke about what her hopes for blogging are in 2020. So many wonderful things happened in terms of blogging this year, but there have also been a few big things that haven’t.

With 2020 only a handful of days away, I wanted to come up with some of my hopes for blogging next year and maybe they will start to happen.

More diversity in the blogging world

There are so many diverse bloggers out there. It could be your race, your religion, your sexuality or your disability that makes you different from others. I honestly want to see more bloggers in these brackets getting the same opportunities as other bloggers. Brands have started taking steps in the right direction but we need bigger strides. If there are press events, disabilities need to be considered. Let everyone get the chance to go on that press trip, do that photo shoot…

Stop the drama

I am so tired of seeing drama in our community.

It doesn’t matter how nice you are or how much you have done for people. It always seems to happen. If someone gets the wrong idea about something, rumours spread like wild fire and everyone comes with their pitchforks! If it’s totally obvious the person has done wrong, I tend to just keep myself to myself. I can’t get involved with drama if I don’t get involved in the first place. If a person has been unfairly targeted, then I just unfollow the people targeting.

I don’t like confrontation even when I’m interally screaming at the bullies. It has broken my heart this week that one of my best blogger friends was targeted so much this week that she has deleted her Twitter. No person should ever be made to feel as if they need to delete their social media to escape. Opinions are fine but I just prefer if people kept them to DMs. You never know what a targeted person could be going through offline.

More natural, less editing

One of my big blogging triggers for Instagram is that I’m too scared to post the pictures I do have because they don’t look as edited as others. We live in a blogging culture where you feel like you have to edit your pictures or make what you post seem ‘perfect’. I find it rather sad that a lot of big bloggers seem to spend a fortune to get the on-trend looks/accessories, use certain angles and go to different places for views. I love seeing how other people live but I wish we could just post pictures.

Nothing crazy done to it.

I think next year I want to post pictures of what I want. I’ll edit them a teeny bit because I like a bit more colour but stop trying to be like others. It makes Instagram a very difficult place to be and I do love photography!

Stop comparing

THIS! THIS RIGHT HERE!! Out of my hopes for blogging, I want this to be one for both myself and my friends. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s probably to do with my point above where celebs have made their lives so perfect that we feel like we need to show the same. It’s not physically possible! No-one’s life is perfect even those who are super rich. It might seem like it in the pictures we see but we won’t see the publicists working behind the scenes to set out that moment or the 100s of photos taken to get the right one.

Pay bloggers

A goal I’m hoping all brands will take under their belt is to both pay bloggers and to pay us on time. I’ve seen a lot of tweets from friends who either haven’t been paid at all or have to wait months. I never quite understand why some big brands choose to send a product to be reviewed and not to pay. It’s important for a blogger to know what they’re worth (even though I have no clue!) and not allow themselves to taken advantage of.

You are all worth it.

What are your hopes for blogging in 2020?

Fandom Lifestyle

What I Got For Christmas in 2019 (Harry Potter, books…)

What I got for Christmas

Happy Boxing Day! I still have zero clue what meaning this day has but I know it’s a nightmare for my friends in retail. I love getting the chance to be a bit nosy and see what everyone got for Christmas. Even if you don’t celebrate it, I hope you had a great Wednesday anyway.

For the last few years all of the presents I get on the big day are ones that I buy myself. This isn’t as sound as sad as it seems. I have a list of items that I have my eyes on through the year and, if I still like them, I buy. Part of me thought that would be the case this year, but thanks to a Secret Santa and a uni friend, I had surprises!

It was great to feel like a typical Christmas for the first time in a while.

What I got for Christmas (for myself)

Hufflepuff Notebook (£7.99)

I’ve been drooling over this notebook for so many months and I could never justify getting another notebook. However, after almost a year, I just decided to get it! It’s so pretty! I love hardback notebooks! They last super well and the Hufflepuff design looks incredible!

What do you think I just use it for next year?

CHANEL No5 Deodorant (£36)

I bought this a few months ago before I knew someone was going to give me a pocket spray of it. This fragrance has such an important meaning to me since it was Mum’s favourite scent. Dad got it for her anniversary and I got carried on at Christmas. I really missed smelling this and it always makes me feel elegant when I wear it. You know the person who randomly smells their clothes to breathe in that nice smell? That’s me! Haha!

Thank you, Hannah!!

‘Live in the Moment’ 2020 Diary (£9.99)

I can’t find the link to this specific diary but WHSmith officially have some of the nicest diaries! I’ve been using their ones for around 10 years now and I’m never disappointed! I love getting the creative covered ones that are bright and hardback. This year I chose to get this quote because I need to learn to live more in the moment and not negatively.

Literally cannot wait to start filling it with all the dates I have for next year. I have a certain way of writing in my diary and it makes me more happy than it should!

Fellow stationery nerds get me!

13th Doctor Funko Pop (£9.99)

With the new series of Doctor Who starting next Wednesday, I think I timed getting this particular Funko Pop perfectly. It doesn’t take much to find out how much I have fallen for Jodie’s Doctor. She is so cool, intelligent, that usual Time-Lady quirkiness and Northern grit!

Got to say I missed a Northern Doctor since the 9th Doctor!

I wish I could have gotten her in her long jacket but I just couldn’t find that one when I was in The Entertainer. I hope to collect another next week for my birthday so fingers crossed I can get it!

RWBY: The Official Companion (£14)

This was a gift I got myself during my trip in London to see Ali! We headed into Forbidden Planet so I could look for this book and I almost didn’t get it. We were kind of pushing it a little for time to get my train but we fought! Steven Moffatt had been signing there an hour before and I missed him. I was gutted.

Thankfully a lovely guy who worked at the store pointed me in the right direction. It was even reduced from £28 to £14 so highfive for the fangirl luck. It’s £22 on their website right now! RWBY is an incredible show if you love fairytales, the Brothers Grimm and fantasy. It’s so fun to watch and really has you on the edge of your seat.

What I got for Christmas (from others)

Dumplin’ and Puddin’ (£7.99 each)

Both of these copies came from my amazing Bookish Secret Santa. It was my first time taking part in it this year and everyone was so nice! We even have a Valentines one planned for next year so that will be super exciting for this spinster! I watched Dumplin’ on Netflix and it was such a heart-warming and thought-provoking film. If you haven’t watched, please go check it out. The sequel Puddin follows the same kind of idea but with someone new and a whole different situation!

Severus Snape Funko Pop (£9.99)

Look who decided to show up at my Christmas! HE’S ALIVE!! You can never go wrong with a Harry Potter Funko as a present. At least in my books!

The Secret Language of Cats (£7.99)

Ever want to know what the heck your cat keeps meowing at you? This book is going to teach me all the subtle things about what sounds mean in certain situations. Very scientific with the whole looking at phonetics so, Santa, you might confuse me while I read this!

Bomb Cosmetics Funkadelic Gift Set (£8.40)

Never tried bath bombs in my flat bath so that is going to be an experience! According to the little leaflet on the top of the box, it has inside:

  • Paper Tiger Bath Creamer
  • Pure Therapy Soap
  • Sun Seduction Bath Creamer
  • Free Spirit Soap
  • Hypnobath Bath Blaster

I’m going to have a very chilled start to 2020! I love it!!

Hotel Chocolat Nano Slab Gallery (£10)

I had wondered what this was when I was received it. The box it was in made me think of a board game at first but I was so happy to see chocolate! I’ve never tried chocolate from this shop before but it looks so yummy! All the different slabs of chocolate are going straight to my thighs!

I’m doomed! Haha!

‘Angel Wings’ Yankee Candle (£15.99)

My first thought on unwrapping this candle?

WHOA! THAT IS A FREAKIN’ BIG CANDLE!!

I’ve never owned a candle this large before so it was a shock to see. Not an unpleasant one! It smells SO good and I can’t wait to burn it throught the year. It’s going to make my place smell gorgeous. I’m super grateful to Santa for getting me this especially with it being called ‘Angel Wings’. Perfect for my parents!

I never expected any presents from anyone I knew. I don’t live anywhere near family so was expecting just me and me alone. However, someone believed that I should be blessed with incredible friends this month. What I got for Christmas is going to last with me for a long time.

Thank you so much to Ali, Gemma and Joe for thinking of me!

What did you get under the tree this year?

Fandom Lifestyle

My Highlights From The Last Decade (2009 – 2019)

decade

I can’t believe I’ve managed to get through another decade. This last decade has been one of the toughest of my life due to losing 4 of my relatives. I also was diagnosed with severe depression & anxiety, had 2 big operations and had me saying goodbye. Though have been many, many heartaches that had me questioning my life, there have been highlights scattered in between.

This won’t be a photo-heavy post at all since I don’t have many photos from the last 10 years. It’s definitely a family thing! I just don’t like having my photo taken much. I want to share what I’m proud of accomplishing so I can begin 2020 with a fresh mind!

2009-2010: Started a nursing degree

That’s right! I was almost a nurse! A Children’s nurse to be exact. I had done an Access to Higher Education course on 2009 and thought that doing the degree would make my mum proud. If you didn’t know, my mum had been a nurse for over 30+ years at this point and I did love children. I was accepting onto a course that only had 4 places available and had had to figure out maths! I am hopeless at maths. I’m not even joking with you…I struggle with multiplication, division and even substraction.

Somehow I was able to pass that exam with ratios and weird sums.

If I started this degree, why am I not a nurse now?

10 months into the course, I chose to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision because I desperately didn’t want to disappoint my mum by being a drop-out but, during an adult placement, I saw something horrific. It involved a child too. I questioned whether nursing was for me for a good few months and my tutors tried to get me to stay. Eventually I decided to go for my mental health.

2011: Started a theatre degree and graduated

In 2011, I started another degree!

I have to thank a friend, who was on the course, for pointing this out to me. I didn’t even know my university had a theatre course until then and it finally gave me freedom! The only career I’ve ever wanted to do from a child is acting. I heard all the usual stuff about how it wasn’t a proper career and that I wouldn’t have a life if I pursued it.

I knooow! Even on the first day of my degree my lecturer told us that 99% of us wouldn’t get any work.

People think theatre must be an easy and relaxing degree compared to the others but it’s actually the opposite. My course had everything included: stage management, script-writing, stage management and more. It was to make us completely ready for the industry! I loved everything about my course even the moments I really struggled. They made us work!

I was the first one on my dad’s side of the family to graduate from uni so I’ll always be proud of that! Being proud of everything I’ve done is a major thing!

2011: Fangirled at the final Harry Potter premiere

Having fangirled at almost all the Harry Potter premieres (except the first two!), I couldn’t not go to the final one for Deathly Hallows: Part 2! I knew that every fan would want to be there so I did what I hadn’t done for the others…I camped overnight. I couldn’t do the week that a few fans did but sleeping out in Trafalgar Square is an experience you don’t get too often.

It was so much fun though!

I was a bit too scared to sleep because I didn’t want to get mugged by anyone who snuck in so I gave Mum a camp chair so she could. It’s amazing how you can ignore how hard concrete is after almost 19 hours. Plus I did make friends with some Potter fans around me! I got interviewed by Radio 1, had my photo in the Evening Standard and had memories to last me a lifetime! It’s crazy to think we said goodbye to the Harry Potter cast this decade, especially since we grew up with them!

2012: Attended the Paralympics

2012 is definitely a moment in the decade that the UK will remember for years!

We got to host the Olympics and Paralympics with London being on the world stage for all to see. I’d actually auditioned and was accepted to be a volunteer at the Opening Ceremony but had to pull out due to life. I remembered being glued to the front of my TV watching all the events I could!

You might not know but I’m a big fan of athletics, swimming/diving and equestrian! There is nothing like the thrill of seeing your favourites trying to win gold!

While everyone else was desperately trying to get tickets for the Olympics, I applied to go and see the Paralympics.

I’ve always been interested in how a person adapts to a situation like sport, whether they had a disability they were born with or had one through an illness/event. Didn’t matter to me one bit. All I wanted to see was the athlete and how they did their thing.

When I heard that I was able to get the tickets to sit in the arena and watch, I was super excited! It had a double motive in that it was also a 60th present to my mum!

One of the incredible things I witnessed was seeing blind athletes doing the triple jump. They had a person at the end of the sand-jump who was there to help them perform. They clapped to get them running to a decent speed and then stopped when it was time to hop, skip and jump. Majority of them landed right in the pit which was incredible! Though one did miss a little bit and knocked one of the officials off his chair!

My favourite Paralympics had to be Richard Whitehead, Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock!

2013-2016: I started blogging

Who remembers when I was PromptsbyDee?

If you’ve known me for a while, you will. When I first started blogging I was planning to be a theatre/lifestyle blogger. I would chat about what plays I loved, what I’d been to see…basically a super bad version of Carpe Diem Emmie. Theatre is a big love of mine and I genuinely wish that I could see plays super often. However money and life just didn’t let that happen.

That’s why I turned to my other love: fandoms.

Unfortunately I lost that site when my domain and hosting ran out after looking after Mum. Caring took up more of my time so I decided to put blogging aside for a while. It wouldn’t be the last time you saw my face this decade!

2014: Won a competition to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s wax figure unveiled

You see that picture at the top?

That was one from the event and, ever since then, I keep popping up on the odd Madame Tussauds ad. It’s crazy seeing my face scattered around the internet! I googled before writing this post and apparently my ugly mug was on/in:

  • The Today Show
  • Madame Tussauds Website
  • The Metro
  • Vanity Fair
  • Wales Online
  • The Mirror
  • The Express

I look so awkward!! The girls I knew (Irene and Charlie) look really professional in any shots they’re in. I look a bit like a dork! At least I got to wear a deer-stalker!

2015: Visited Los Angeles

This had been a dream of mine for so many years! I think every actress pictures themselves in Hollywood filming at a studio or attending premieres in Downtown LA. When my mum told me that we could go after not being on holiday for over 14 years, I may have screamed. Not only were we going to LA, we were staying at the Beverly Wilshire right opposite Rodeo Drive.

It was mind-blowing!

I’ll be honest and say that I did cry for the first couple of days due to feeling unbelievably awkward. I felt so out of place compared to the beautiful and rich people I saw around. Thankfully a super lovely lady who worked at the hotel made me feel really special. We chatted, got to see her almost every day and she gifted me a gorgeous red lip gloss from Sephora. She’d been wearing it every time I saw her and I kept saying it looked nice! Haha!

Mum and I felt like stars! Guests at the hotel were able to be personally driven to anywhere we want to within a 4-mile radius and then picked up. IN A FREAKING BENTLEY!! I thought I’d get fined for even breathing funny in that car. The guy was great and gave us great advice on where to check out. My highlight had to be seeing Jennifer Lawrence buying coffee at a place called Urth Cafe! OH MY….I literally stopped breathing at the sight of my girl crush. My decade was everything including her! Hunger Games, memes, her winning an Oscar! She even said thanks when I held the door open since I did automatically without seeing who I was holding it for!

I personally can’t think of any other highlights after this since my world has been pretty dark since then.

If I ever do come up with other highlights for this decade, I’ll add them in.

What have been your big positives of the last decade?