Thoughts | 10 Things I'd Do If I Were A Boy

So I'd thought I'd unleash my inner BeyoncĂ© and give my take on what I'd do had the fates decreed to make me a boy. This isn't going to be a massive rant against the male species because I'm not going to lie, they are mostly rather lovely aren't they? It's just a girls take on the life of a boy. Simple.

If I were a boy I'd do the following:
Be thankful every single day that society hasn't told guys they need makeup. Enough said.

Be a gentleman. Little gestures like opening doors, holding bags. Manners win you lots of good points with us girls.

Unleash my inner James Bond and wear a suit at every opportunity. Just because.

Avoid lying to women at all times. Us girls can spot a lie a mile away and we will find out the truth quicker than you can come up with the lie in the first place. 

Always shower and use lovely aftershave. That's a given really isn't it?

Drop the macho act. We all know most guys aren't anywhere near as tough as they make out. You can forget the 'I never cry, I'm a bloke' pantomime and just not be afraid to show a bit of emotion every once in a while.

Over use the man flu excuse. Considering boys see it as their prerogative, I might as well make the most of it.

Take my top off when out and about on hot days. Boys don't know how lucky they are do they? Us girls are melting away whilst they get to breathe free.

Actually show some level of affection towards younger siblings/family members. Not only is it a lovely thing to do, us girls love it. This also includes pets, might I add, there's nothing better than seeing your other half cuddling your dog.

Not get so worked up over whether or not a girl know silly little things like the offside rule. (which many of us do; girls can like football too you know). In the grand scheme of things, just appreciate that we want to enjoy the things you do, even if we don't necessarily understand everything that's going on.

Take notes chaps.

What would you do if you were the opposite gender for the day?

Happy Mind | 3 Tips For Battling The January Blues

I don't know about you, but in my mind January is a bit of a pants month. It's likely that this opinion has come from my love of Christmas; as it's my favourite time of year, it's always a bit of a low point when the decorations go away and we're back to living our un-festive lives. We spend the best part of the month grieving the year just gone in a bit of a post-Christmas slump. 

But I'm determined that this year is going to be different. I am, in general, in a much better place mentally than I was this time last year and I want to stay like this. I want to kick the new year off to a good start and therefore I am determined to not be moping around for the whole month.

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the ways I'm going to be battling the January blues this year; three simple ways of working towards a brighter month. 

New Year, New Me
You know those new years resolutions you make every January 1st and then don't think about for the next three hundred and sixty four days? It's time to get your booty into gear and get cracking on them. New year, new me and all that jazz. Maybe you want to get into the gym and get back into shape post-mince pie season. Maybe you want to reconnect with old friends or start saving money. Whatever you want to do, get cracking on it now; it'll be a great distraction from the January Blues.

Spend Time Outside
The darkest months of the year are well known to bring on the blues, so try getting yourself outside and enjoying the natural light we do get. Decreased sun exposure (which is a given during the short winter days) leads to a decrease in serotonin, aka the 'happy chemical'. Popping yourself out into the fresh air and having a good wander will help to boost your mood dramatically.

Make Plans
The Christmas period is one rife with reunions with loved ones, but why does that need to stop come January? Have friends over for a film night; go out for a meal; plan a date night. I know we generally have to tighten our belts in January to recover from the Christmas present splurges but you can do some wonderful things with loved ones on the cheap, or even for free. Not only will seeing your nearest and dearest help to boost your mood, future plans will give you something to look forward to through the darker days.

What will you be doing to guarantee a brighter January?

Books | Reading My Way Through January

Due to 2017 being a rather hectic and all over the place year, my inner bookworm had to be buried for a while towards the winter months. This means that my poor bookshelf is practically crying out for love and attention. Even though I haven't been reading anything for a little while, I've still been book shopping like there's no tomorrow, so my "to-read" pile is now over-spilling with gorgeous novels. I've picked five titles which I'd like to read throughout January; although fingers crossed I''ll  manage to find the time to get my nose into even more titles.

About a month back I wrote my Twenty Before Twenty post, one point of which was to read fifty books. Considering I now only have less than five months left I better get my bookworm booty in gear, and these books are a great way to start. 

The first book on my to-read pile is Fractured by Ruth Dee. Fractured tells the story of a woman suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, coming as a result of being abused as a child. It describes how her life was torn apart by abuse and how she built it back together again, leading to her helping other people also facing Multiple Personality Disorder. I've never read a novel highlighting complex issues such as these before, but I'm looking forward to educating myself on the topics through a personal account.

Next I'm looking forward to reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I've been wanting to read this novel for a little while now as the concept of a writing-loving introvert navigating the world of university is rather familiar. Fangirl is written by an author I've heard lots of positive comments about so I can't wait to give it a read. 

The next book I've recently added to my to-read pile is This Raging Light by Estelle Laure. This novel was described with a single sentence - Can you fall in love when everything is falling apart? - which intrigued me greatly and made me super keen to get my nose into it. This Raging Light features the protagonist suddenly seeing her friends brother in a new light; "How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?" . It's nice to see a novel featuring a relationship which progressed from friendship, rather than your typical love at first sight kind of scenario. It's how my boyfriend and I ended up together so I'm looking forward to seeing how the author explores it.

The book I'm currently reading is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. This book has rather dark tone to it; the protagonist (in whose voice the story is narrated) is a fourteen year old girl who has just been murdered and is looking down on earth as her family grieve. Despite the dark themes, I am absolutely hooked. I'm only two chapters in but the way the author describes the events of murder and also the grief being experienced is incredible. I'm completely in awe of the ideas and descriptions of heaven, and can't wait to see where the rest of the story goes.

The last book on my to-read pile is If I Stay by Gayle Forman; by far the most well-known novel out of the five. If I Stay tells the story of Mia whose family are in a fatal car accident. Mia is left in a coma and has an out-of-body experience where she has to ultimately decide whether she wants to stay in the living world without her family, or pass on. I started to read this novel when I was younger but never really got into it. The story line has always intrigued me though so I'm going to give it another go. 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you got any recommendations for me?

Beauty | Lush Boxing Day Buys

Would it be boxing day without making a few Lush purchases? This year Lush didn't hold an online sale - cue twitter loosing their marbles - so I had to take a trip into my local Lush the day after boxing day to get my fill of the sale goodness.

The mammoth Lush 2017 Christmas collection was just as decadent as it is every year. There were so many gorgeous bath bombs which caught my eye, so I was delighted to see them available in the sale.  Since making these purchases I've had many a soak in the bath, which has been a perfect way to spend the cold winter nights.

First to reach my basket was the Snow Fairy Jelly Bomb. The jelly bombs are some of the latest things they've been cooking up in the Lush kitchen and boy am I a fan. This one is in the staple festive scent of 'Snow Fairy', the epitome of pink sweet candy-floss goodness. The jelly bombs are lovely and moisturising, perfect for a winter pamper.

My next purchase was the Butterbear Bath Bomb. I just couldn't resist this little guy. It's got a super moisturising formula and does not have an overwhelming scent.

Next I picked up the Christmas Sweater Bath Bomb. This is my favourite festive bath bomb, it's scent just embodies Christmas as its full of spicy and warm clove scents. This bath bomb turns the water into a pinky red colour before letting off a gorgeous golden wonder.

Finally I went for the Sherbet Dip Bath Bomb. The scent is lovely and uplifting for the dark and dreary winter days. It's like putting a ginormous lemon sherbet sweet into your bath, so get the bath running and reminise of childhood sweeties.

Did you make any purchases in the Lush boxing day sale?

Happy Mind | The Power Of The Great Outdoors

There's just something special about being in the great outdoors. The crinkle of leaves underfoot; the whistle of the gentle breeze; the smell of wet grass after a rain storm. Just a matter of minutes spent exploring the outdoors can sweep aside any negativity that is consuming your mind.

Now that I live in a big city I do find myself craving the serenity of the countryside I was blessed to grow up around. My family home lies on the edge of a small city, close enough to the centre to reap the benefits of city life but also a stone throw away from the tranquility of the Fens.

At times when my head is restless and consumed with anxious thoughts, I like to wander off into nature and enjoy the sense of freedom and tranquility that comes with it. You should never doubt the restorative power of a long walk in the wilderness. There's something about being surrounded by nature that encourages you to be mindful; to take a moment to breathe during the hectic schedule of life.

Fresh air can be liberating for a cluttered mind. I love feeling the overall sense of calm that being outside brings to you, as you amble through forests and fields; admiring the flora and fauna that changes with the passing of each season. It leaves you feeling quite disconnected with the outside world, something which - in an era consumed by technology, pressure and fast pace - can feel like a, quite literal, breath of fresh air.

(Wouldn't be a forest walk without candid photos of the other half) 

As we wave hello to the new year I want to encourage you to take a break from life every now and again, and enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors; it'll  do you the world of good.