A Chat about Resolutions…

Thoughts

To make or not to make resolutions, that is the question!

I believe that it is good to set goals and why not make new ones each year? You can set out your calendar for the new year and plan how you are going to achieve the goals you want to accomplish and how you can better yourself. I don’t, however, believe in the saying New Year, New You. I used to because I used to think it was useful to think of each year like turning over a new leaf, a fresh start but now I have realised that you are the same you – just like when your grandma asked you how it felt to be a new age, there was no immediate difference, no change but as the year began to go on and you got tasked with new responsibilities you began to feel older. That is how I think of the New Year, setting goals and plans in place to better myself because I am still ‘me’ even though the year has changed. I also believe reflection of the past year is good, the end of a year makes sense to use as a way to judge your own personal success on how much you have worked on being the ‘you’ you want to become.

So what are my ‘resolutions’?

  • To learn how to cook (I kinda know the basics but if I am going to university next year, I think I need to live on more than tomato pasta or beans on toast alone)
  • To be more consistent with my blogging – I love that I have got the opportunity to post my opinions on this platform and I would love to make the time to fit writing into my schedule.
  • To revise! I have got A levels this year and I really would love to get the best grades I can to get into the university of my choice.

As a student, and no ‘real’ career plan I’m really just basing my goals on my studies and doing what I love and hoping that that might bring me to where I want to be. I also have my yearly ‘reading goals’ to read more books outside of my lessons.

My top tips when making your goals / resolutions (whatever we are calling them!)

  1. Make a plan of how you are going to stick to it. If you are thinking of giving up smoking, begin by saying, ‘I’ll have 1 cigarette a day for a week’ then the week after that by saying, ‘i’ll have one every other day’, then ‘one a week’ etc. If you make a plan you are more likely to achieve your goal.
  2. Be realistic about what you can achieve in that year – if you have never really read for pleasure before and set yourself the goal of reading 20 books you are unlikely to achieve it (but set long term, so called ‘unrealistic’, plans too as Walt Disney once said, ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough!’)
  3. Reward yourself. Every time you reach a milestone, no matter how small, be proud of yourself and give yourself a reward – perhaps your favourite food, or a break somewhere.

I asked some friends and family about what they thought about resolutions…

They consensus was that it is stupid to think that that a new year is the only time that you can change things in your life, if you can’t achieve them any other time of the year why will you now? Many feel fed up of making resolutions only to give them all up mid January.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have an amazing new year and that you achieve all your goals! Spend New Year’s Eve happy about what you have achieved thus far, be proud of yourself!

See you for my 2018 review and what I am looking forward to next year up at midnight tonight!

 

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Reflection of 2018 and What I am Looking Forward to in 2019

Favourites

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Here’s a round up of all of my favourite things from this year….

Films (all released in 2018) that I have seen thus far:

I was going to include Avengers Infinity War to this list because although I did love it, it did end with me just having a lot of questions and i’m not sure that there was much of a plot for me to put it in my favourites of the year. Other notable films are Mamma Mia: Here we go again which had me dancing out of the cinema, it was such a feel good film and Leave No Trace which was a very thought provoking story about civilisation and the way we choose (or don’t choose) to live.

Music:

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There has been a lot of great music out this year and I have been building up my record collection but after much consideration these are my top 5 songs and albums…

  1. Jubilee Road – Tom Odell
  2. 73 – Rationale
  3. Nothing’s Changed – Isaac Waddington
  4. I know how to speak – Manchester Orchestra
  5. Ziggy Alberts –  laps around the sun

However, this year I have mostly been discovering and rediscovering older music that I have loved listening to including the soulful Teskey Brothers which remind me of great 60’s R&B/soul artists like The Drifters and Sam Cooke. Then listening to my usual old favourites like David Bowie, Queen and Stereophonics (the latter I saw at RiZe Festival and they were incredible).

Beauty:

Admittedly, I am not much of a beauty enthusiast – I much prefer skincare to make-up and I hardly ever purchase any – i’m pretty sure I’ve got make up in my draw that are years old and I tend never to really mix it up a bit. Nevertheless these are a couple of my holy grails.

– Origins Clear improvement face mask

Okay… so I may have only just received this for Christmas but I had to share because after using it a couple of times already my skin feels so much softer and smoother and it smells Devine!

Here’s me rocking my best look in this charcoal, golden colour face mask for your viewing pleasure aha

– Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

I use the shade 3.5 pale. I apply it with the bare minerals full flawless face brush.

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I discovered this last Christmas when my sister gave it to me from her advent calendar and I haven’t stopped using it since.

Moments:

– Pub in the park festival in Bath at the front dancing and singing along to Tom Odell.

– RiZe Festival with my gals, arms around each other screaming our hearts out to Bastille.

– Trip to Paris and Bordeaux with my family (my favourite part was a much anticipated (brief) visit to The Louvre, where I finally got to see the Mona Lisa and other Da Vinci works)

Screenshot the photo below and let me know your 2018 favourites!

What I am looking forward to next year:

New film releases…

– The Favourite

– Captain Marvel

– Star Wars

New Book releases…

– the Testaments by Margaret Atwood

– The path made clear by Oprah Winfrey

Moments…

– Finishing A levels

– Going to University (Hopefully – fingers crossed! – depending on how well the above goes!)

– Whatever else life brings and unexpected last minute plans

I hope you have an incredible New year and that 2018 brings you lots of happiness and that you achieve your own personal goals! I’ll be back in early January with my first issue of DARE magazine – so stay tuned!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ❤ 🥳

 

 

 

Winter Clothing Staples

Fashion, Style

What to wear in the winter can sometimes be tricky, particularly as in England at the moment it is not that cold – here a few of my all time favourite things to wear in the winter and a few new additions to the wardrobe that I absolutely love and I predict will become my staples.

The most important thing I think when it comes to my winter wardrobe is LAYERS, Layers, layers. The huge chunky jumpers can be super cosy but difficult to layer so you can end up being rather hot or too cold. Solution? Chunky cardigans…

This one from And Other Stories (quickly becoming a new favourite store although many of the items are slightly out of my price range), is so cosy and easy to layer as I brought it in a medium so I can layer and it is not that chunky so I can still fit a coat over the top. My relationship with cardigans is not always a great one – I find it difficult to find ones in a style that suits me as I can end up looking completely drowned in huge long cardigans or looking like a grandma in others but so many friends look amazing in them – so you may be one of those people but if you aren’t, like me, do check And Other Stories out; I think they also do one in this style in a few other colours too.

Jeans are often a go-to in winter, they are so easy to wear with all the jumpers! However if, like me, you get a little bored with wearing the same thing everyday I would urge you to give trousers a go. These flared, legging, corduroy material ones from Stradivarius were really inexpensive at £19 and since buying them I haven’t stopped wearing them, they are so comfortable yet look really stylish for any occasion.

On the other hand, if you are on the look-out for a new pair of jeans I love this 80’s mom-style from Weekday, I brought them from ASOS as they are often putting them in the sale. Mine are a bit loose so I always wear them with a belt so if you are thinking of buying a pair maybe try going down a size. But they are SO comfortable, the denim is really soft and the light wash colour means they will be perfect to wear all year round.

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Turtlenecks – I love a turtleneck. You can layer them with jumpers over the top or for warmer days with just a coat like I am in the photo above which was taken down Carnaby Street in London. I am a huge queen fan and I loved the themed lights – It is still open if you want to go see them! The striped one is from Brandy Melville and the grey is one I brought from Primark probably 5 years ago – I tend not to shop there any more because everything is mass produced and unethical to those who make it (I talk in more detail about this issue with fast fashion here).

(The coat is from Zara last winter for those interested)

In summary my top 5 winter staples are…

  1. Thin Jumpers (Cashmere is probably the best but not a cheap choice)
  2. This And Other Stories Cardi
  3. A good pair of Jeans (which you can put tights underneath for extra warmth)
  4. Trousers (to mix things up a bit)
  5. Turtlenecks (you can’t go wrong)

But layering and a great coat is key.

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you all the best of luck for the new year, there will be the usual 2018 summary post going up on the 31st and one to start the new year with a little chat about resolutions so ill be back soon!

Thank you so much for reading – it means the world for you all to read and follow my blog!

With love & stuff

Accalia

10 Gift Ideas For Any Occasion

Beauty, Fashion, Favourites

With Christmas just around the corner you’re probably thinking about what to get for the special people in your life. It can be difficult buying presents for people for any occasion particularly if you are under a tight budget. Here are a couple of my favourite unique finds…

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For the Tavel lover – Scratch Map

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They can scratch off the places they’ve been on the map and plan trips they hope to go to. The idea is that they will try to scratch off as many places as they can. I have one of these my self and I love it.

If they are a student there are loads of gap year and bucket list books by lonely planet that you can get on amazon or any good book store.

For the book worm – Book cover locket

I think these are so unique, they do a variety of book covers so you could find their favourite classic novel to put on to the locket.

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For the film lover – popcorn machine and bags

I mean it is their own cinema at home!

or for the person who wants to get into movies… a scratch off 100 bucket list movies poster 

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(photo from amazons website linked above) 

For the music lover – (if they have vinyls) a vinyl frame, new earphones or portable speaker. For the person who I into hearing all the classics there is also a scratch off 100 albums bucket list poster.

For anyone – books

I don’t think anyone can go wrong with a book, it can be about anything they are interested in from gardening to traveling. There are loads of thoughtful books on Urban outfitters if you need some ideas.

 For the fashion aficionado – The new fashion rules by Victoria Magrath

I have followed Victoria’s blog for a long time now and she has the most amazing style and knowledge of fashion – definitely something a fashion lover would love to delve into.

For the Make up addict – Makeup storage or a set from their favourite brand. ASOS do some great ones by a variety of brands or if you want to go more upmarket SpaceNK do some beautiful sets as well from bath and body to lipstick and eyeshadows.

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For the foodie – something for the kitchen or you can get books of the best places to eat in different cities.

For the sentimental – A photo book

I recommend Snapfish as I have used them before – the quality is really good and they are the cheapest company I can find that do them. I did one for my Dad documenting all the places we had travelled to and adventures we had been on. You can customise the pages yourself, adding text, changing the layout of the pictures and the background.

For anyone – Candles or bath things

Everyone likes gifts that they can use to relax. My favourite bath oils are from Aromatherapy – they can be a bit pricy but smell amazing.

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I hope this little guide helps! Do you have any go to or unique gift ideas that you love? Tell me in the comments 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

The Dangers of a Social Media ‘Overdose’

Thoughts

Social media, created for social network and for users to share and create content – to keep people in contact with each-other. The idea was an incredible one, we can now have friends all over the world and keep in contact with them, however as with all things it has its downsides particularly when it becomes over used. So I ask you – How often do you use social media? And are you aware of how much time you may be spending on it?

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The problem:

You may be wondering why I refer to a social media ‘overdose’ in the title of this post, this is because using social media and mobile phones has been proven to be really addictive. When you get messages or likes on your recent post a hormone is released, the same hormone that is released when drinking alcohol or smoking. It’s this ‘happy’ hormone that makes all of these things so addictive. So just like you can overdose on these things you can overdose on social media.

Some apps such as Snapchat deliberately make using it addictive. In this case it’s the use of ‘streaks’, having to send a photo to your contacts every day that becomes really addictive; people using the app have to add sending ‘streaks’ into their daily routines, often making it a priority first thing in the morning. I was at a party recently in a place with no signal and no wifi and in the morning it was like a meltdown because they had a ‘timer’ meaning they were going to lose their ‘streak’ unless they sent a photo right away. I know so many people who get like this with Snapchat and I used to feel it too until I realised what I was doing and how pointless it really was to get so caught up in a number next to a name. So I deleted snapchat for a while and only re downloaded it so I could keep in contact with the friends who have been trying to contact me on there. When I deleted it so many people messaged me, so annoyed that we had lost our streak and I was so relieved to rid myself of that pressure, to not have to think first thing in the morning that I need to go on Snapchat.

Having a social media addiction is not a mental health disorder in itself but being addicted to it can cause many other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression because you’re counting the number of likes and having people unfollow and unfriend you. Many people also spend more time on their phones than spending it with people face to face, this lack of true social interaction can make people feel lonely, anxious and upset.

The health secretary is urging tech firms to enforce minimum age rules and I do think that this has got to be a really great thing to happen, I never had a phone until I was 11 and even then it was a little pay as you go phone but I loved growing up playing outside with friends, dressing up and doing role play; so many kids now just play games on their devices instead of getting dirty outside.  Many of the tech giants don’t even allow their kids to have mobile phones or social media platforms.

However this is not just an issue for kids, I often see parents picking up their kids from school and their child is trying to tell them about their day yet more often than not that parent is looking down at their phone. The misconception of social media use, I think, is that its just the young generations that use it but it affects all age groups because in the modern day they have to use it in work.

How can we reduce our social media use? 

In the new update for iPhones, Apple have added a feature where you can put a time limit on using certain apps so you can truly see just how long you are spending on instagram or snapchat or Pinterest. You can then tailor your social media use to your life.

The best way, however, to reduce our time spent on social media is simply to be wary of when we are using it. For example; when out to dinner with friends, put your phone away and turn it on silent. Sometimes we all need time without the distractions of our mobile phones; to simply be with your own thoughts, it’s in these time that we can be innovative and come up with new ideas.

To summarise, as the saying goes ‘everything in moderation’, using social media can be a positive way to spread messages and create content but using it too much and letting the likes and follow count get to you can cause a problem. Talk to people and take time for yourself to do things you love and use social media only when you’ve done these things; don’t let social media control your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I found it really fascinating researching the impact social media has on our lives in the modern day – if you want to find out some more here are a few links to some books and websites you might find interesting….

I have also done a post about the impact technology and social media has had on ways we get information and its contribution to creating ‘fake news’. Have a read here —– Fact Or Fiction

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for festival packing

Travel

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Last weekend I went to RiZE festival in Chelmsford. It had an amazing line up – Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Bastille, Rag n Bone Man, James bay… the list goes on. Whilst there my friends suggested I wrote this post as they both couldn’t believe I had brought so little with me. So here are a few of my tips for festival packing…

 

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1. Pack light.

For RiZE festival I took a pair of trousers, shorts and 2 tops so I could mix and match my outfits. Then I recommend bringing a couple of jumpers, one you can use as a pillow by putting it inside a pillowcase and another if it gets cold at night in the tent or in the evenings although to be honest, when you’re in the crowds of people dancing its pretty warm anyway.

2. Check the weather.

If it’s not going to rain you will only need a couple of pairs of shoes. I just wore my timberlands because I knew it wasn’t going to rain all weekend, if theres a slight chance I would bring flip flops because then if your feet get muddy you can just wash them off. However if you know its going to rain its time to bring those wellies out.

3. Remember toilet roll and hand sanitiser.

At any festival the toilets are always a problem, they usually run out and its much easier if you have your own.

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4. Bring a small bag.

If you have a big bag they are unlikely to let you into the arena, and if you only have a small bag and have packed lighter it will take less time getting through security.

5. Invest in a bum bag.

They don’t cost very much, Im pretty sure mine was the cheapest one on amazon but they are incredibly handy – you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your bag or leaving it anywhere and you can keep all of your valuables close to you.

These are only a few tips I have found that work for me but, obviously, you may have to pack more if its longer than a 2/3 night festival. But  I hope you have a great time at what ever festival you are going to, they are such a laugh and amazing fun particularly when you are with a good bunch of people and there is a great line up – have the best time 🙂

 

Sustainable Fashion

Fashion, Style

Sustainable fashion is a concept that I have recently been intrigued to find out more about, with the environment and what we can do to help being in the news so heavily in the past few years. I recently read an article by Marnie Woodmeade for Huff post In which she discusses how far the fashion industry has come in terms of sustainability, in which she claims ‘Is on the rise’ but ‘Is not enough’.

Wikipedias definition of sustainable fashion:

“Sustainable fashion, also called Eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. It can be seen as an alternative trend against fast fashion.”

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Plastic and how we can reduce its use has been in the news a lot in the recent months, with the plastic bag tax and the reduction of plastic straws. However, another way in which we can reduce our carbon footprint is by reducing the amount of clothes we throw away. With shops opening that sell cheap quality clothes, we have become a throw away society – we buy things that are ‘In trend’ and throw them away after only a couple of uses due to the bad quality.

I hadn’t realised how much waste the fashion industry produces until doing a bit of research on it – according to Edge (used by Huff post) ‘the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world’. Apparently ‘Last year alone, 12.8 million tons of textiles were discarded’.

Reducing Waste

Vivienne Westwood was one of the first designers to be an advocate for reducing waste in the fashion industry and she recommends that consumers “Buy less. Choose well.” and to “Make it last. Quality, not quantity.” And she mentions that “Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.” Her recommendation is to buy good quality clothes that suit your own individual personal style, to buy items that you will still love in years to come and will last that time. Westwood has also been a pioneer and activist to climate change, openly talking about her concerns – she says to the guardian ‘I’m just hoping that people will realise that climate change is on our doorstep.’

These ‘good quality’ clothes don’t need to be expensive, there are many reasonable priced shops that do some great quality, unique clothing too. My personal favourite is Zara, sometimes little rips can form in the clothes but I have not brought anything yet that I couldn’t sew back together easily.

If you do have items you no longer want, why not make a bit of money by selling them online. My favourite is depop, its easy to use and is mostly used by people who want to sell and/or buy clothes but there are many others out there too such as eBay or shpok, Or you can give the items to a charity shop – one mans trash is another mans treasure.

For some other ways to think about how to shop more ethically heres a great article by ‘ELLE’ titled the lazy girls guide to sustainable fashion.

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Brands That Focus On Sustainable Fashion

There are also certain brands who are making an effort to be more conscious of where they’re sourcing the materials to make clothes, who is making them and the chemicals that are being used to make the materials, here is an article by the independent highlighting some of last autumns best sustainable fashion brands. And here is another by Marie Claire. I found these really interesting because some of these brands are ones that I’ve never heard of before and I will certainly consider shopping in some of these in the future.

These aren’t all high end brands, many high street stores now are making an effort to keep the environment in mind, for example, H&M came out with a collection a couple of years ago called H&M conscious that focuses on ethically sourced materials.

Being conscious of your clothing choices and reducing waste of clothing is only a small step but it will certainly make a huge difference to the environment.