26 October 2016

Productivity, being a #girlboss and its toxicity to my mental health

Productivity, being a #girlboss and mental health. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Our world is undeniably in a capitalist haven right now. We're all encouraged to buy the latest thing, follow the latest trend, and pile anything that is marginally old onto our waste piles. And us bloggers are definitely not ones that manage to avoid that on the whole. Now, this post isn't a rant about recycling, but really a chat about the other side of this capitalist ideal: productivity. We're expected to work hard all of our lives, producing test scores as children, products, amenities or services as adults, and then a future for our next of kin when we get to an elderly age. Anyone who's worked in any kind of office or sales environment will have been forced into competition over stats. Either you get in trouble for not completing enough items of work off of your list, or for not creating as many sales as other people. It really is a cut-throat world out there. 

Working part-time should in theory allow me to escape from all of this, leading a peace-filled life culminating in relaxation and happiness. But that is not the case. You see, I've got this productivity bug. And I think a lot of you guys have it too. I mean, have you seen how many people own list pads? And how many of them own more than one?! I for one am obsessed. Working partly from home means I need to remember to get tasks done and keep up to date, so having a list pad is a good idea in itself. It's not such a good idea to use it as the holy grail for your life. I've even gotten to a point now where I write down 'fun' activities on my to-do list so that I feel productive even when I'm taking time out. Yep. 

From a young age, I've always been taught that I should be doing something productive, and if I'm not then I'm basically just wasting my time. Added to this notion, is as an adult, the media telling me that I need to be a #girlboss. To do this it seems that I need to drink 8 cups of coffee a day, sleep for only six hours and work for all of my waking hours. I think my problems start with the fact that I don't like coffee ...

The real problem is though, that I want to be a #girlboss. I want to be in charge of my own life, making a business working from home, but everything tells me that every ounce of my life needs to be productive in order to do that. And my mental health says no. I have days when I wake up and think 'nope, I simply can not face today, I just can't get out of bed'. The thought of showering and then getting up to work from home is way beyond me. But everything I see is telling me that I'm failing by doing this. I can see (and almost hear) my list pad calling to me, telling me to get my lazy ass out of bed and into actually doing things. Yet I really need to take time out to focus on my mental health.

It's this dilemma that really gets me: can't I be a sassy #girlboss who's going to be successful and has bad days? I'm starting to realise that yes, yes I can. Part of this awareness has come from the fact that I thought I had to make a choice: give up my dreams, or sacrifice my mental health and force myself to do everything on those bad days (which would definitely result in a breakdown, if I could even manage it in itself). I didn't want to do either of those things. So, I set to thinking: maybe my idea of being productive, being a #girlboss, that I've created from snippets all over social media isn't what it ought to be for me. Maybe mine involves taking time out to get my head together, or taking breathers between completing bits of work. Maybe that is perfectly okay.

There are some girls (and guys) out there who can do it - who can hack the 14 hour days and immense amounts of caffeine. But I can't. And slowly (very slowly) I'm learning that that's okay. I need my down time, I need my self care routine, and ultimately, I need to be happy. The whole point of this productivity thing is that it's supposed to make me happy, right? I'm meant to make more money, meet more people and do more things to increase my happiness. What then is the point of grinding myself down into misery? So, from now on, I'm going to keep my list pad, but not beat myself up if things don't go to plan, and celebrate all of my little victories, even if they don't seem to compare to other peoples'! 

I hope this post helps any of you out there who feel the way I do!

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24 October 2016

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask Review*

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Mask review. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I'm all over face masks usually - but a sleeping facial mask? I've never tried one. I've been through phases of attempting to moisturise overnight, believe me, but I've always just ended up with greasy, sticky skin in the morning as a result. Grim, I know. I always just thought that my skin simply wasn't compatible with this kind of thing.

So, when Korres sent me their sleeping mask as a surprise my heart sank a little - how was I going to let them know that my skin doesn't like overnight creams? But, they sent me a challenge to see if using it for just one night could make a difference to my skin. There's no harm in trying, right? 

So, I did my normal nightly cleanse, and then massaged a pea-sized amount of this into my skin. I was honestly astounded by what happened - it actually worked! I've been waiting years (seriously) to find a product that suits my sensitive, combination skin and finally I've found my perfect fit. Every time I woke up in the night (I'm a very restless sleeper), I touched my face because it felt so soft. I only just about restrained myself from waking the boyfriend up at three am to feel too. Only just though.

Since then, it's become a firm part of my nightly skin care routine that I never want to do without again. It totally evens out my skin, making sure that it's soft, moisturised and not greasy. Another plus I found is that my 'worry lines' (I'm 22, I'm not calling them blaady wrinkles) on my forehead have basically disappeared since using it! I am honestly so impressed, and love using it. Finally, it smells absolutely divine - rose isn't usually my thang, but this is subtle and I've fallen head over heels.

Have you tried the Korres sleeping facial mask?

*Although products in this post have been sent for review, all opinions are as always my own*

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23 October 2016

How to deal with packing anxiety

How to deal with packing anxiety. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I have got some major news for you guys. Me and Tyler are officially moving into our first home together on Friday *squeals*. That means no more grotty student houses, or living in a one room outhouse that his parents own. Hallelujah. Although we've been living together for a good three years now, we've never been living on our own, so it's still quite a big step forward in our relationship. 

We're so ready to finally have a place that is just ours, that we can fill with little bits and pieces that mean something to us, and (most importantly for me) that we can host our first Christmas as real adults in. 

Almost everything is sorted out now, and a finalised contract between us and the landlord just needs to be signed in the next few days and then we're ready to get the moving truck (thank GOD my uncle owns a plumbing company haha) down to our new place. Once Friday is over, Saturday will see us making a lengthy journey to go to Bristol's IKEA and pick up all the new furniture and decor we need.

You see, I've been super organised about some things. I know what I want to go in each room. I've got my deposit and first month's rent ready. I've booked the time off work that I need for the moving business. I've even gone onto IKEA's website to look up all the furniture I want and jotted down the price to get an estimate. The one thing I haven't done? Started packing. Yep, I have four days until moving day and packing is non-existent. The one saving factor in all of this is that we only unpacked half of our stuff when we moved out of student housing - everything for the kitchen and a few other bits went in the loft and haven't been touched. 

With all this organisation, why haven't you started packing yet Steph, I hear you all muttering at your screens. Well, because packing is something that massively triggers my anxiety. Even the thought of it makes me want to shove the idea of packing into the tiniest corner of my mind so that I can (hopefully) forget about it. You see, my anxiety is largely based around the notion of being trapped, but it's more of a psychological entrapment than a physical one. For example, being in a lift or on a packed train doesn't really phase me. But, the idea of leaving my home and not being able to go back inside it for a few hours, ergo being trapped in the outside world, sometimes gets my hackles raised. 

The notion, therefore, of having to 'trap' my belongings in boxes, shut them up and then not be able to re-open them or make sure everything is packed properly stresses me out completely. Let's not even talk about leaving something behind, and trapping it in a house that I no longer have access to! So, I decided to write this post partly to procrastinate from packing of course, but also to create some tips both for myself and for all of you on how to deal with anxiety based around packing. Anxiety affects everyone in different ways, but hopefully these tips will be broad enough to help a few of you.

1.) Have an action plan. Packing up an entire house is a mammoth task, and can(/does) feel completely overwhelming. Planning can help make that task a little bit easier, and as an added bonus, it's the perfect excuse to procrastinate, hehe. Seriously though, deciding what you're going to start packing, what you're going to leave until the last moment, and what bits and pieces are going to be packed together will take a weight of stress off when it comes to actually packing.

2.) Start with one room and move to the next. About a year ago I made the mistake of starting to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now, I'm not saying it was complete bullshit, but basically yeah. It advised you to work with themes rather than rooms, e.g. collect all of your makeup together and then sort through it, deciding what you do and don't want. Now, this is all well and good until you've boxed up all of your makeup and then remember that you've actually hoarded a set of lipsticks in a random place you've forgotten about. You see how this can start to go off the rails? So, stick to one room, and package everything up until you have packed everything you can and then move to the next room. Starting with your least necessary room is always useful: a spare room or conservatory is a good one. 

3.) Declutter as you go. This is something that I always manage to do when I'm moving. Set up one bin bag for charity shops bits, one for the bin, and have a box for things you're keeping. This really helps in not feeling shitty when you get to the other end and have to unpack everything wondering why you bothered to pack Dinosaur Top Trumps when you didn't really need it.

4.) Get a friend or family member over to help. My sister is my go-to for this (and everything really). I'm pretty appalling at organising myself so she stands there, sharpie at the ready, and tells me what to put in what box, and helps to get things ship shape. Sometimes it really helps to have an extra pair of eyes. And someone to join in on snack breaks, obvs.

5.) Put your favourite music/TV show on. When I'm doing something that makes me a little anxious, I like to have something on in the background. My go-to is Youtube videos. I can tune into them, and tune out of my anxiety. I think having something extra to focus on can really help. 

6.) Take time out to pack effectively. Packing in a rush after an 8+ hour day is always going to suck, anxiety or not. Packing on your days off, or booking a few in order to do it will help keep your mind free of work related stress (hopefully) so you can focus on the task at hand without being over tired. 

I really hope these tips were helpful! What do you do to make your packing less anxiety-ridden?

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19 October 2016

The Summer #BoxofLame

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

The Summer #BoxofLame from That Lame Company. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk
What's a blogger without a love for stationery? Seriously though, ever since I was little I've been obsessed with the stuff. Going into WHSmith at the end of August to pick up my new pens, pencils and pencil case for school was pretty much the highlight of my year as a kid. And I'm not going to lie, I do miss that little annual trip. I even miss fighting with my sister over who was going to have a certain colour of each thing (because we obviously couldn't have rubbers of the same colour, dur. My poor mum). 

I discovered That Lame Company way back in February, and I couldn't resist blogging about my first ever haul from their little online shop. Little did I know I would meet the lovely Chloe (who co-runs the shop) in a blogging event in June, and find out that she lives so close to me! You can find her blog here, and she's written a massive post all about the #BoxofLame, the work involved and the etsy shops she helped support through it. 

I picked up the Blogger Box of Lame, which was the largest and costliest of all three boxes they made. It came in at £25, but when I think about how much I would spend in a high street store on this stuff - I'm looking at you, Paperchase - it makes me realise just how much value for my money I really did get! Also, I would much rather support a small UK business trying to get out there and make a living for itself, than a massive franchise that couldn't care less if you made an order from them or not.

I was honestly like a child on Christmas day when this came in the post. Each box had something slightly different in it. That Lame Company worked with so many Etsy shops that only a handful of them were in each box. They also varied the prints from their own shop slightly (I think). So, even though I knew the box was coming, I had no idea what its complete contents were, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on what was inside.

Rather than talking through every little thing with you on here  (seriously, it would end up as a 2000 word blog post and ain't nobody got time fo dat), I've filmed my unboxing. I saved opening my box of lame for this so it's totally glee filled and I am more than a little excited to get into all the contents and revel in stationery heaven.

Before I leave you with the video however, I will say that I do have a few favourites so far. The little astronaut kitty post card from Raining Cats and Cake has already made its way in the post to my sister at uni. I love sending and receiving letters or notes in the post, and so does she, so this was the perfect way to brighten her day. I've also started making all my little Christmas notes and lists as well as ones for my new home in the Notes and Dreams notebook. This is basically my new happy place.

Here's the video: 

Did you manage to get your hands on one? What were your favourite bits?

18 October 2016

It's okay to say it's not okay

It's okay to say it's not okay. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Expectations are a weird one, aren't they? We're all expected to be normal, to be healthy, to cope with anything, to be social, to be pretty, and a whole host of other things I can't even remember right now. But what if that's all made up? What if no one feels like they have all of these things? What if we're all striving to meet these #goals that don't exist in real life? That is what I think is the case. 

This is something that has been bugging me for a few months now, and I really wanted to sit and think about it all before I wrote this (you should probably prepare a cuppa - this is going to be a long one). I don't know if it's mostly a British thing, stemming from the ol' fascination with that stiff upper lip, but we seem to live in a climate in which it's frowned upon to say no, or to even admit that you're not comfortable with something. And I'm not even talking about an ancient idea of being frowned upon, i.e. you won't get invited to that next ball to meet the man of your dreams (I really need to stop reading 18th Century fiction), but a tangible one in which saying something 'is not okay' can have serious repercussions on your life.

This post is kind of a call for things to change. For an environment to be created in which you don't have to put up and shut up, or face the consequences. An environment in which your voice matters, and you have the power to truly decide what you want. I'm asking all of you, and I'll be trying to do it myself, to actually stand up for yourself, and tell people when something is simply not alright, rather than glossing over it.

You may be thinking already: you're being so vague Steph, what the fuck are you actually talking about? Well, I'm going to be splitting this into four categories: work, sex, relationships and mental health. 

Work

Work is something that I've always been terrified to say no to. I work in the customer service industry, so frequently get asked to come in to cover someone when they're sick. Now, even if I've already had plans to do something on my day off, or really need a rest from work I find it really hard to say no. And why? Because from a young age I've always been taught to make myself useful to employers. So the idea of saying no to me would involve the manager or supervisor on duty being upset with me, perhaps my shifts would drop, or perhaps even if they were looking to get rid of someone, all those times I hadn't come in would rack up against me.

The same goes for extending shifts, or being asked to perform extra duties without a pay rise. Ultimately it's not okay. You are under no obligation to come in on your days off, you are under no obligation to add to your already long list of work duties, and it's perfectly fine to say no. 

A similar thing goes for being asked to do something you're uncomfortable with. In a previous job that I worked in a bar I needed to tell an aggressive middle aged man that I wouldn't serve him anymore alcohol because he was far too drunk (it was 3pm, I have no idea what he was doing). I was absolutely petrified. I went to my manager, asked what I should do, and he told me to simply tell him I wouldn't serve him, and was I okay with that? It took all the guts I had to tell my manager that no, I wasn't, I felt unsafe and nervous because it was my first time turning someone down for drinking. This actually worked out beautifully: my manager offered to come and help me, and provide back up if it was needed. It really taught me that it was okay to say I wasn't okay with the task at hand, and now I let people know all the time, and ask them for help.

Sex

This is a bit of a big'un. And before I start I'm going to give you all a trigger warning for rape. We've got this very strange culture at the moment, in which speaking out about rape is shunned. And this is not okay. If you've not been following the Ched Evans story in the news recently, then you may have missed all of the online bullying that has occurred as a result of it. Ched Evans' defence team paid a woman's previous sexual partner/s a massive sum to come into court and testify to all of the sexual kinks she had. This was in order to overturn the ruling that came a few months ago that he was guilty of raping her. Partly due to these witnesses, the ruling has now been overturned.

As a result of all of this, the media has been awash with victim blaming recently. Hundreds, or even thousands of vile tweets have been sent out about the woman in question. And even more worrying is that those who have stood in defense of her have been attacked by twitter users supporting Evans. 

In this climate, in which we're bombarded with massive stories like this, is it any wonder that the majority of rape victims don't speak out? And in a world in which far too often the victim is asked whether she had been drinking, what clothes she had been wearing, and whether she was sexually active amongst other questions by police handling these investigations. This is something that is 100% not okay. And if you have ever been one of these individuals, mistreated by the justice system or the media, what they did to you was not okay, and there should be no shame in admitting that.

On a similar note, rape, or sexual assault is not always violent and not always committed by strangers. Even in a long term relationship, if someone forces themselves upon you after you have said no to sex that is still rape. And even if they apologise afterwards, or even just make excuses you are under no obligation whatsoever to make them feel better. Let them cry, let them plead with you, but don't ever be convinced into thinking that what happened is okay. Even if you tell family, friends, teachers, anyone and they pass it off as being fine, remember that it is not, and you have the right to feel upset and angry at what has happened. 

Relationships

I'm not just talking boyfriend/girlfriend shizz here, I'm talking everything. If a friend is being a bit of a dick, making jokes you're uncomfortable with or talking about you behind your back, then you have the right to tell them you're not happy. Hiding how you feel, and letting people use and abuse you (which I did with friends for far too long) will just end up with them getting away with worse and worse things, and with you just ending up miserable.

Family is another big one here. Yes, there are supposed to be bonds of love between you and all of your family, but what if they have been fractured or broken? What if they've hurt you in a way in which you could never bear to do to them? It's okay to be hurt, and you do not have to forgive them. Family is a bit of a weird one: unlike with friends, if you cut one of them out, it is likely to have an impact on your relationship with the rest of them. This is one I find very very hard to deal with. Saying that something is not okay is very hard to do to a family member, as they can easily become upset, and nobody really wants that. But, unless you tell them, whatever is on your mind is going to stay there, and what you're unhappy with is going to continue to happen. 

Mental Health

This is a massive one. There is such a stigma around mental health, and it actually makes things quite hard to talk about. If you tell your boss or friends or family that you're stuck in bed with the flu you'll get some sympathy and tips on what to do. But, if you tell them you're stuck in bed because your mental health state is terrible, you'll get a lot off disbelieving glances and the advice will probably come along the lines of 'suck it up and get out of bed'. They are both illnesses, and ones that can be very serious. And in both cases you should be able turn around and say 'I am not okay' and find a friendly ear. If there are no friendly ears then you need to switch out your listeners.

Saying that something is not okay to do with my mental health was a very hard thing for me to do, and I had to go on a massive learning curve in order to come to the place I am today. One example of how inconsiderate people are is something that still scars me to this very day. When I first started university, my self harming was very bad, and only a handful of people I trusted knew about it. 

One day I walked into the kitchen, having forgotten to cover myself up, and one of the international students seized me and held me up for the other eight or so students in the kitchen. He got up in my face asking 'what the fuck was this, and what the fuck had my boyfriend done to me?' I can't remember the rest of what was said, I just know that I backed into a corner, with a little rabbit in the headlights expression and didn't respond. Thankfully my friends came to the rescue, ripping him away from me and telling him how not okay that was. Yet, after it happened I was nice to him, I pretended everything was okay, and for over a year I considered it my fault for having gone into the room without covering up. it was only much later that I realised I should have said something: I should have made him realise how not okay it was, I should never have blamed myself for what happened. 

This is just one example of an incident in which my mental health was brought up, and I was judged for it, and I accepted it. So many people are doing the exact same thing right now, and I want all of you to know that you should not accept this. You have the right to stand up and make them realise they're the one with the problem for acting like an asshole, not you. Just like any other illness, mental health is a part of you, but it is not you, and it does not mean you should put up with shit from other people any more than anyone else does.


All in all, it is perfectly okay to say it's not okay in any situation. Let your voice be heard and fight for the right you have to respect yourself and your situation. 

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17 October 2016

My Top 5 Halloween-Worthy Lipsticks


Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk


For the entire time that I've been editing these pictures, 'this is Halloween, this is Halloween, HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, Halloween, Halloween' has been circling around my head. 20 points to you if you know where I've got this from *wink face emoji*. 

Halloween is now very nearly upon us, so it's time to get Pumpkin carving and picking out a fancy dress asap. I have no idea whether I'll be in a state to be able to celebrate Halloween this year, so I'm totally living vicariously through all of you and this post. BUT, there is a pretty darn good reason for this - I'm going to finally be moving into a real home on the 28th October, eeeeeek! Enough of that talk, I'll go into everything more once we're moved in, or I might even dedicate a post to it some time in the next 11 days. Let me know if you'd like to hear more about it. Anyway, let's get onto my top 5 lipsticks for Halloween!

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

1.) NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Stone Fox. I actually saw this on Siobhan, aka The Beauty Baker, and decided I have to have it. It's a little more blue toned than I first anticipated, so doesn't come out as a flat gray as I had hoped. But, it is the perfect colour for creating a corpse-y look, or adding a touch of darkness to a witchy Halloween outfit.

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

2.) MAC Sin. Let's face it, we all knew this was going to be here. This is such a blogger cult favourite for a dark vampy lip, and would definitely suit any sultry vamp costumes out there. This one is a little drying on my lips (boo cracked winter lip skin), so I used my Korres jasmine lip butter first to make it easier to apply. 
Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

3.) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Moscow. I actually bought this one for my blueberry inspired makeup look video. Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is a lip colour that I think would look perfect if you decided to dress up as the corpse bride (if you haven't seen the film, then go treat yourself asap!). 

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

4.) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Buenos Aires. Now, this is a little different to the rest. Although it didn't transfer too well onto my lips, it does have a pretty darn good staying power. This is one I would go for if I wanted to be Pumpkin themed, or would be a fab light nude for any kind of ghostly appearance.

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Top 5 Halloween Worthy Lipsticks. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

5.) NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen. Until I got the pictures sorted for this post I had no idea how similar this and MAC's Sin are! This is a slightly lighter toned red however, with fewer blue undertones in it. Again, it's the perfect vampy lip, and would be great for daytime as well as the spooky night itself.

I had so much fun picking these lip colours. What would be on your top 5?

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14 October 2016

The Coat That Launched A Thousand Smiles

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

£25 Primark coat that oozes confidence. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I've been pretty low on confidence for the past year or so, and in fact probably for as long as I can remember. As I've gained weight though, it has gotten worse. I get so caught up in considering myself a bit of a lump (and fat shaming from some close quarters really doesn't help with that), that I had gotten to the point of thinking that wearing nice clothes wasn't worth it. It was obviously going to look gross on me anyway, dur. BUT, that is not the truth. And yes I still have days when I feel like that, but do you know what,  most of the time recently I've been feeling like a boss: a girl in control of her own life, and the way she looks. And I love it

Now, I'm not going to say that this is 100% down to this coat and the perfect Autumn heeled boots (£15 in Primark - basically a must buy) that I almost always wear with it, but I'll give it a good 60% of the credit. I've been upping my self care routine recently, and making sure I keep up to date with tha (let me know if you want to hear more about this by the way - I'd totally be up for doing a post on it!). This has definitely had a major impact on the way I'm feeling, but I have to say, getting some new staple items in my wardrobe was an important thing that I overlooked.

Clothes shopping is something that I don't do on a frequent basis at all, and gaining weight has meant that this has led to a bit of a lack of confidence on my half. It's all well and good trying to save money, but when you're crying over the fact that the third dress you've tried on from your wardrobe in a row won't fit, it doesn't feel that great at all. 

So, as I'm now back to working, I decided to stuff the clothes buying ban and head out to a girl's best friend: Primark. Now, my old town *weeps* didn't have a Primani, so the cheapest place to get clothes was H&M - fairly inexpensive for t-shirts, not so great for wardrobe staples. You can imagine my joy at discovering that the town I moved to in June has a glorious three story bloody store. Literal heaven. 

Me and this coat basically fell in love at first sight. I saw it and knew I needed it. This was just confirmed when my sister and my boyfriend both agreed that they loved it (possibly the first time all three of us have liked the same item of clothing ever). And the best part? Dear old Primark, you loveable sod, you priced it at £25. I honestly absolutely adore everything about this coat. The fact that it's light enough to wear during the day, but the faux fur collar keeps you snuggly in the evening. The fact that the belt ever so slyly cinches you in at the waist a little. Most of all though, I love the way I feel with it on. Honestly, wearing this makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. I don't know whether it's the collar making me feel like an Elizabethan Queen, or the fact that it's the only coat that has fit me perfectly in months. Either way, I've lost count of the number of smiles that I've beamed at people whilst wearing this, or the grins I've given myself in the mirror on the way out of the house.

Do you have a staple item in your wardrobe that makes you feel like a boss too?

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13 October 2016

Making Drool-Worthy Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie Bars

Making chocolate chip oat cookie bars! Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Baking is my main form of stress relief, or as I like to call it, procrasti-baking. I basically put everything off until after I've made some yummy goodies and feel a lot more calm and less anxious. So, because I bake once a week usually as part of my self care routine, I bring my bakes into work and we all share them on a Sunday shift. I don't know what it is about eating roast dinner that brings out the worst in people, but Sundays always seem to mean that we have our grumpiest customers in. 

These were possibly my most popular yet, and they were definitely something I could eat a whole tonne of. Because of the oats and the use of dark chocolate, they weren't overly sweet, so you never got to a sickly stage of consumption (which has both pros and cons, hehe). 

As always with my bakes, they didn't go quite to plan. BUT, I did actually use ingredients that made a perfect recipe this time. What went wrong was my baking tray size: it was too big so the mixture didn't end up going all the way to the edge. Thus, instead of coming out of the oven as a perfect rectangular bake, it looked more like a giant cookie. And god was it a tasty one. 

Ingredients:
225g butter (softened and unsalted)
175g light brown sugar
110g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
225g plain flour
280g oats
300g dark chocolate chips

Method: 

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease your pan with some butter and lay a sheet of baking paper in it. 
2.) Cream the softened butter and both types of sugar together.
3.) Add the eggs individually, stirring after each one. Add the vanilla essence. 
4.) Stir in all of the dry ingredients, including just 150g of the chocolate chips .
5.) Press half of the mixture into your baking tray. Cover with the remaining half of your chocolate chips, and then cover this with the second half of your mixture. Think of it as a chocolate chip sandwich *drools*.
6.) Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and leave to cool for 45 minutes.

What's your favourite thing to bake at the moment?

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