I've been feeling pretty down recently, probably not helped by the cold weather and being stuck inside the flat for a while now. But things are looking up! I have started a new job and lots of other changes are on the horizon. I've been absolutely loving Instagram at the moment and I've found it to be a really positive and friendly little corner of the internet. I am trying to post almost everyday with a mixture of food shots, places around London and some lifestyle bits too so check it out here!
Whilst scrolling through, I came across a blogger called Bee who has a lovely, smiley feed which you can look at for yourself here. I went over to her beautiful blog and read her post on '15 Reasons I Am Happy Today' which made me feel so positive and happy, so I'm spreading the positive vibes and writing some of my own.
1. My Other Half
I started out as a bit of a relationship cynic, as a child of divorce surrounded by lots of broken relationships, thinking that you had to 'go through' several people before finding someone who is right for you. Then I met J. He is, more than anything, my best friend and has taught me so much about myself and life in general. His family opened my eyes to the possibility of maintaining strong relationships throughout the ups and downs thrown at you, and have given me so much more faith in the success of our own. We have been together for 5 years now, despite all judgements made about 'young love', and are still fully and completely loved up! Yes, we have the odd argument but most of them are resolved by the time we go to sleep and we never hold on to things for more than a day. I am in no way suggesting that I am an expert. All I know is that he makes me completely and thoroughly happy!
2. Planning the Future
We’ve always been a bit beyond our time, planning our dream house in the first years of our relationship and just generally behaving like an old married couple! But recently we’ve been talking a bit more seriously about future plans like living as just the two of us, getting married, getting a dog and having little ones. All I have ever wanted is to be a mum, so all of this just feels like everything is falling into place and it’s not too far away! I think he gets a little tired with my complete excitement whenever we even hint at chats like this, but it makes me so so happy!!
3. Supportive Family
The last few weeks have been pulling at the anxiety strings a bit. With several stages of interviews to go through and trying to be the most confident version of myself, I've been feeling rather up and down. It's during moments like this that I realise how incredibly lucky I am to have such a supportive family network around me. I almost started to complain that I had so many people to phone to make my new job announcement, but stopped myself when I realised that I have people to phone. So many people have lost loved ones and have these happy moments tainted by the thought that they can't tell these people the happy news. So I am extremely happy that I still have so many of my loved ones around me who are cheering me on from the side lines.
4. Extended Family
Your family can change and expand in so many ways over the years and I've always been a strong believer in family not simply being blood relatives. I think this stems from having such a close relationship with my godmother and her family, whose values also inspire this. Her family taught me about the beauty of being wholeheartedly welcoming and always hosting to the max! Her parents would always be prepared for visitors with a table of bakes that would have fed about 5x the amount of people attending. I am so happy that my family has extended to include her and her children, as closely as if she were my mum's sister (they have been best friends since their early school days).
5. Successes & Achievements
From a young age I was told that I should be going to university and when it came to the time for me to choose, it just felt like it wasn't the right option for me. Instead, after 6th form, I found The Fashion Retail Academy and studied Visual Merchandising. This was a great option as it meant I could follow my other half to London and we could finally live together. When graduating, I set a goal for myself that I would like to work my way up in design and eventually work at a trendy design agency. I am so proud of the fact that I was able to reach this point straight away and reminding myself of this motivates me to see that you can do anything you put your mind to!
(Note: the above photo is from a Burberry launch that I went to whilst at college.)
6. The Sunshine
We may have had another blast of snow, but today we have sun streaming in through the living room windows and it's put me in a great mood. There are good things and bad things about the seasons but I do like that perfect middle spot when the the sun is out but it's not so hot that you're sweating on the tube. I have had far too many commutes with my bright red face shoved in some stranger's armpit! But it looks like spring is finally poking it's head around the corner so scarves and sunglasses here we come!
7. Instagram Positivity
As I mentioned in the intro, I am absolutely loving Instagram at the moment. I'm fairly new to it all and so far it's been so lovely and positive. It has unexpectedly really boosted my confidence (unexpectedly because it seems like I'm just sat on my own glued to my phone screen), has massively helped tackle my feelings of anxiety and, to be completely honest, loneliness. Up until recently, I had been spending a lot of time at home on my own during the day, while my boyfriend was out at Uni, so having something to motivate me has been fantastic. I have really been enjoying the photography side as well as lovely little chats and interactions in the comments. Thank you to everyone who has followed me and is supporting what I'm doing!
8. Seeing the Pretty Side of London
Another thing that has changed thanks to Instagram is my appreciation of London. Moving to a big city has been pretty daunting and, even with moments of success and independence, I still seem to fall back into being a little afraid of the outside world. My ambition to take photos of things bigger and better than my morning coffee has pushed me to go out and not be afraid of 'looking silly' taking photos in the street etc. It also means that I stop and look around me rather than timidly rushing around with my head down just getting from A to B. This has made me really enjoy and appreciate my surroundings, seeing the pretty side of the urban space around me!
I did a little bit of home baking with my grandma when I was small, our favourites being Cranberry Flapjack and Malteser Fridge Cake amongst others, but it's only since meeting my boyfriend that I have really got into baking. He was the baker of the family, having also baked with his grandma, and has taught me so much. We are now well known amongst family and friends as the ones that make the cakes, constantly baking stylish birthday cakes, novelty cakes and extreme gingerbread houses. This is something that I love to do and it's so great that we can work on them together - even if it does mean bickering into the early hours of the morning over a Mini car replica cake! I'm also starting to bake more on my own too, with my very popular chocolate chip cookies and not so healthy blueberry muffins. (Click here for the recipe!)
10. Newly Discovered Mr. Kate
Watching YouTube videos is one of my favourite things to do in my down time, catching up on the latest ASOS hauls, monthly favourites, vlogs etc. but I have recently discovered a new absolute favourite...Mr.Kate. Kate and Joey are so bubbly and fun that their videos instantly cheer me up. I know that I'm a little late to the game on this one, but it does mean that I could binge watch the whole of their 'OMG We Bought A House' series which was fab! I now feel so inspired to up-cycle and DIY almost everything in the house when we next move!
11. Cuddles & Little Videos
Every night me and my other half get into bed and watch what we like to call 'little videos' to chill out before we go to sleep. This mainly consists of slightly geeky media analysis videos and the odd fan theory (no judging please!). It doesn't really matter what we're watching but it's a lovely part of the day where we get to just be together, be warm and be chilled out. I highly recommend setting this little bit of time aside in the evening if you spend the day apart at work etc. It really helps to make you feel closer as a couple...and it makes you warmer! (Comment below if you would like to see a blog post on things I've learnt from my relationship).
12. Comforting TV Shows
I am a complete home bird and truly believe in the "let's stay home" motto. There is nothing better than settling down on the sofa in pyjamas and putting on your favourite cozy TV show! Ones I'm loving at the moment are Friends (obviously), The Repair Shop, anything Mary Berry, The Great British Bake Off, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Desperate Housewives and many many others. There's something so lovely about the nostalgia of watching boxsets of shows like Friends, which I used to watch all the time with my best mate, because it takes you right back! It also makes me so happy seeing my other half giggling at one liners by Joey and Phoebe that he is hearing for the first time when I've heard them a hundred times before.
13. Dancing to Motown in my Kitchen
Cooking the evening meal is massively improved by a lovely bit of Motown. I may get some strange looks while I'm jiggling away across the kitchen floor but it instantly boosts my mood! You can easily find great Motown playlists on Spotify to start you on your crazy dancing journey and I highly recommend keeping a bluetooth speaker in the kitchen for spontaneous Stevie Wonder outbursts. I don't really get to do much proper singing anymore but the oven top doesn't seem to mind me belting out some "Heard It Through The Grapevine" and it makes me feel better!
14. Little Adventures in the Car
Ever since he passed his test, my boyfriend and I have been running around on little adventures in his Metro. This gave us some much longed for freedom as teenagers and we would drive up to the highest point of our little town to look over at the city lights. Since then we have still been doing our little night time drives, but this time it's been around London, driving through Piccadilly Circus, past Harrods and beside Hyde Park. It also means that we can do little trips all over the country and even over to France. It's the moments inside the car that I really love though - singing really loudly to The Greatest Showman Soundtrack and having super deep chats while crawling up the motorway.
15. ASOS Next Day Delivery
This is a really materialistic one but it has made life so much easier at the moment. I finally signed up for Premier Delivery on ASOS and it's bloomin' fantastic! It's a single payment of £9.95 for free next day delivery for the year. Obviously this is not sponsored by ASOS (I have a loooong way to go before a collab like that comes my way!) but I just wanted to share this great find because it's been so handy. I've really gone off shopping in stores at the moment, partly because I disagree with the current lack of inclusive sizing in so many shops, so this has meant that I can use my bedroom as a big dressing room and try out pieces with what I already have in my wardrobe.
Just writing this list has made me feel so much more positive and helped me appreciate the wonderful parts of life at the moment. If you're feeling at all down, you should definitely give this a go! Comment below with some of the things that make you happy too!
Some useful links:
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