Goals for 2019

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A new year has approached, and might I add, very quickly. Thus, thousands of people post their New Year’s resolutions in the hope that the year ahead will hold a somewhat better version of themselves. The 1st of January marks a clean slate for everyone, an excuse to change their lives or habits. For me, I want to set myself some goals – ones that are reasonable, and that I can work towards achieving. At the end of the year, I will review this post, and update you all on what goals I achieved and how things may have changed from now.

1. I want to find full-time employment.

This may not be my “dream job”, but I have to start somewhere. I just want to find something that I can be excited to start, and know that it will give me the valuable experience needed for my future career.

2. Read more and regularly.

I need to get into the habit of picking up my books and actually spending some time on them. I love reading, when I get myself into it. With other distractions, it can be easy to forget about reading.

3. Move out.

This is dependant on my situation, but I would at least like to be financially ready to start finding my own place by the end of the year.

4. Blog more and improve my skills in blogging.

I really want to make sure that I work on my blog more. I have had a lot of long breaks recently, which is great, but I feel like I need to spend more time on it.

5. Visit more places in the UK.

There are so many places that I want to go. I would really love to start visiting more places in the UK.

6. Stop worrying about the future.

I always get anxious about things that haven’t happened yet. The fear of the unknown. I would really like to try more to overcome my fears of this.

7. Start a new hobby or join a club.

Even if it doesn’t last all year, I would like to do one of these things in order to discover new interests.

8. Keep up fitness.

I would hate to see myself give up on the gym or exercise. 2018 was a great year for my fitness, so I would love to keep this up. Even if I miss a week, I would like to continue to exercise regularly.

9. Keep up my skincare routine.

Sometimes, I forget to follow my routine out of laziness – I want to try and keep my skin looking healthy – also drink more water!

10. Cut down on sugary drinks and food.

I have already started doing this, and I am really happy about it. However, I would like to cut down on a little more sugar this year.

 

So far, that’s it! It may not be a list filled with massive goals, but I like to stick to realistic goals. I have given myself one or two big goals – but I think that’s enough. Small steps.

What are your goals? I find that most of mine are similar each year, but I really would like to live in my own place by the end of the year!

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Career talk: every career I have ever wanted to do.

A career: the purpose of our existence. The end goal that will give us a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. We are taught to think about our career goals, and think about how we will achieve them. It has become the main focus of life from a very young age. As a result, we spend our lives stressing and worrying about what we want to do for the rest of our lives, being pressured to know just what we want to do. What do we like? What are we good at?

“Focus on your strengths” , “pick a career and stick to it”, “work hard in school and you will achieve your goals.” This is what we have been told all of our lives.

But what if we just really do not know what we want to do? Or what if our natural abilities and talents lie within a different area of work – one that we aren’t that interested in, or one that we realise isn’t what it’s made out to be. That’s the position I find myself in now. I have already recently graduated from university with a degree in English, and I am currently working part-time and applying for countless amounts of jobs. I spend hours doing career quizzes, writing down what I like and dislike in a job, working hard to understand myself and who I want to be as a person. Each time finding myself more lost than ever. 

I love to write, but do I just prefer it as a hobby? I love reading and analysing literature, but that’s not a job, is it? Teach, that’s what I’ll do. But then am I outgoing enough? Will I enjoy it? These are the questions I ask myself each time I try to think of my career goals. It’s because I have been conditioned to believe that there is one career out there for me and one alone. I must enjoy it and I must be good at it. However, that’s not what reality is. What if in fact, we are meant for many careers – at different points in our lives. Not just one forever. Or what if we are just meant to work to earn money, in any job, and use our talents and interests elsewhere? 


Here’s a list of every role I ever wanted to do and be:

  1. A Fashion Designer. When I was around ten years old, maybe even younger, I always dreamed of owning my own store and designing my own clothes. I loved to draw and create new things, so this was something that I knew I wanted to do. I drew designs in books and had a whole sketch pad full of them. But then, I got older, and realised that my passion was not realistic in the tough industry of fashion. 
  2. A Teacher. During the time that I wanted to be a fashion designer, I also wanted to be a teacher. I admired the teachers in my school and loved how they were able to decorate their classroom with lovely displays, and teach lots of interesting subjects. I also loved the idea of ticking everyone’s name off on the register. I even made my own at home and would pretend that I was a teacher myself – dragging my poor siblings into it and making them do work. To this day I still consider the profession, but as we get older we realise that a career isn’t always meant to be our dream job, but they can come close to it. I think teaching is still up there with professions I would still like to try.
  3. An Architect. After discovering The Sims, and loving it, I realised that I wanted to design houses as a job when I got older. I would draw plans of houses and would love building cool designs and finding ways to make the houses better. Then, I would create them on The Sims. I knew it was my dream job. To be honest, it still is. During my A Levels, I studied two Art & Design subjects and tried to see what I had to do in order to become an architect for myself. Unfortunately, you had to be really good at maths to even get a place. So that was one of my dreams crushed. And one I believe that I would really have enjoyed. Maybe the reality wouldn’t have been as cool as I thought it was…who knows? I still love watching Grand Designs and creating my own buildings on The Sims – and that’s good enough for me.
  4. An Archaeologist. I used to love watching Time Team with my mum growing up. Sometimes it bored me, but other times I would be so interested in the things they discovered. I have always loved history and being in a job that involves working with real pieces of history was something that I knew I would love to do. Of course, this dream job wasn’t a big dream of mine, just one that I considered while I was at school. I still think about a job in history now. My degree in English focused on a lot of history, even public history: I wrote another blog about the memoirs of a person who was born in the 1800s. I loved every second of writing about his life for all to read. A job in public history is still something I would be interested in doing – but jobs like that are few and far between, unfortunately.
  5. A Magazine Editor/ Full-Time Writer. Ok. So this has been my ultimate dream job since I watched 13 Going on 30 and The Devil Wears Prada. I have read the I heart Paris, and I heart New York books by Lindsey Kelk, and dreamed of being a writer for a glamorous publication. I wanted to write about beauty, fashion, travel, books, and relationships, all while being paid for it and having my own sparkly office. Yes, this is still a massive dream of mine – but it also isn’t realistic. The magazine industry isn’t as thriving as it once was, now that digital has taken over. All the routes into this kind of job are very competitive, and you have to either have to work for free at an internship – which not everyone can afford, since it will most likely have to be in London (pretty much all magazine companies are), or you have to be so lucky to know someone who works there. I do not. I know that there are smaller publications to gain experience from, but even with this experience, it seems like the magazine industry is just too competitive to even get a full-time job in. Now, you have to settle for freelance work with the possibility of waiting weeks to get paid. I just think that, for now, blogging fulfills some of my passions for writing. Anyway, I would have to move to London to get anywhere near the success that I want in this type of profession. Right now, that just isn’t something I can do. Maybe in the future, once I have found a different way to earn a steady income, then I may chase my dreams of becoming a full-time writer in London (Or I may realise that the cost of living just isn’t worth it – paying more than double the rent for a small room or flat that’s not even in the centre? I don’t think so).

    person using green typewriter on brown wooden surface
    Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
  6. Author. Similar to my dream of being a magazine editor and writer, I have always thought of writing my own book and having it published. This is definitely something I can still do, in the comfort of my own home and in my spare time. The only problem is, it can take years to write the perfect book – and whether it sells enough to become a full-time author is a different question. Nonetheless, coming to terms with the fact that I may have to keep my dream of being a writer as a hobby or part-time commitment, while fulfilling a different career, has given me a little more comfort. I have now realised that I can still be a writer, while also working in a different career or job until I “make it” – if that ever happens.

In conclusion, I have realised that we can be many things throughout life. In my case, I can write, draw, design, and fulfill all of my interests and passions in my spare time. I do not need to do them in a job. If I happen to find myself in a career that does allow me to do these things, then that will be perfect, but for now, I just need to realise that I don’t have to get my career right the first time. I can change and try new things. We all can!

I really hope you enjoyed reading this. If you have any comments about careers or what you wanted to be growing up, then please let me know below! xo

 

My Favourite Ways to Include Veggies and Fruit into My Diet

Being healthy and eating food that makes you feel good is so important. You can eat pizza, chocolate and cakes in moderation – just as long as you also balance your diet out with healthier options. I am no expert in nutrition, but I would like to share some meal ideas for anyone who finds it hard to think of healthy and tasty meals (or anyone who wants to be and feel healthy).

Personally, I do eat pizza and chocolate as well as the odd fizzy drink. However, at times, this can make my body feel unhealthy. Therefore, I like to make sure that I am feeding my body with the health and energy that it needs. Of course, I understand that not everyone has the same tastes, and so the things I love may not be to someone else’s liking – but I hope that it gives you inspiration to try out different ways to eat healthy!

First things first: think of what you enjoy eating.

There must be a selection of fruits and vegetables that you love to eat – for me, I love kiwi, bananas, melon and strawberries (I love most fruit, but these are my favourite). In terms of vegetables, I love pretty much all of them! My favourite ones being potatoes, sprouts (I know), carrots, broccoli, peppers, and red cabbage.

These are the foods that you need to try and have at least five portions of a day. Remember, from what I have researched, this can be tinned, frozen or fresh. I have found that tinned carrots and baby potatoes are just as good as fresh. The carrots come soft in the tin, so are useful for making soups, quick stews, adding to bolognese, or for having on the side of your meal. As for tinned potatoes, they are also useful for making quick stews or soups, as well as adding to salads or on the side of a meal.

Frozen vegetables, as well as onions and peppers are very useful and are a cheaper alternative to buying fresh. Both work equally as well and although fresh can be better for some meals, if you want or need to save money, I recommend going for frozen – especially for things you don’t use regularly enough to buy fresh. Fruits can be a bit difficult in terms of having fresh or frozen. This is because frozen fruit only tends to be useful for adding to porridge, yogurt, or for making a smoothie. I usually go for fresh fruit as I prefer the consistency of it – but give frozen a go to see if you like it!

Now that we have discussed the many ways you can get and store healthy fruits and vegetables, here are 5 of my favourite meals and snacks that I eat to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my diet:

1. Simple fruit and yogurt

I love to use strawberries or melon when making myself a bowl of fruit and yogurt. Personally, I like to use plain natural yogurt with a little honey to add to my bowl of fruit. This is my favorite choice for breakfast or for a snack at lunch time. This really helps to keep myself feeling healthy and fresh for the day.

2. Healthy Salad or Wrap

When I want to prepare something healthy for my lunch, I always opt for a nice pasta salad or wrap. For a pasta salad, I like to use tinned tuna along with peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes to create a tasty meal – I like to use tuna infused with lemon and herb to give a nice flavour to the pasta as well as occasionally adding chunks of cheese for my dairy intake. For wraps, I use cooked chicken, along with peppers and spinach or green salad leaves. I then add a drizzle of mayo or salsa – depending on whether I have a cold or hot wrap. These meals can easily be created into a vegetarian option by using meat alternatives.

3. Carrots, Cucumber and Peppers with a Dip

This snack is my go-to for when I need to eat a bit healthier. I like to cut up fresh carrots for the nice crunch, cucumber, and red peppers to snack on. Then, I usually buy a pre-made dip, such as hummus, to add a bit of excitement to my snack. You can make your own dips, if you like, and to make hummus, you just need to blend olive oil, chickpeas and a few other things together – here is a couple of links that I found that show you step-by-step how to create the perfect hummus:

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/quickhummousandolive_71473 

https://frommybowl.com/best-hummus-recipe/

4. Bolognese 

This has to be one of my favorite meals on earth. It is so easy and relatively quick to make, and you can incorporate so many veggies into it! Also, this is a great way to have a vegetarian-style meal using quorn mince instead of beef mince.

All that you need to create the perfect bolognese is:

  • Two tins of chopped or plum tomatoes.
  • 250-500g of beef or quorn mince.
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
  • 1 tsp each of basil and oregano (dried or fresh).
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 tin or a handful of tinned carrots, chopped (can also use fresh, but may need to be boiled to soften beforehand).
  • Celery, chopped.
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (fresh or frozen).
  • Red pepper, chopped (optional, but good to add more veggies).
  • Pasta – 2 handfuls for each person.
  • 1 beef oxo cube (beef mince version only)
  • Olive oil.

Method:

  • Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil once heated.
  • Add the mince and brown.
  • Add the red onion, celery, carrots, and red pepper.
  • Stir until all mince is completely brown and add both tins of chopped tomatoes.
  • Stir and add the oregano and basil, along with the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the pasta to a pan of boiling water along with a drizzle of olive oil to avoid sticking – stir occasionally.
  • Crumble the oxo cube into the bolognese and stir. Lower the temperature to allow the bolognese to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is soft, drain and serve with the bolognese.
  • Eat and enjoy!

5. Making a soup or stew:

One great way to include veggies into your diet, and how I like to, is by making a good old homemade stew or soup. By using potatoes as the base, you can add whatever vegetables you like to make a stew or soup – just blend it all together with a cup or two of boiled water – give it a go and try out what works the best! For stews, adding chicken or beef if you like meat is a great way to add some protein or a bit more flavour to your stew. By using some stock, you can create a tasty stew. Have a look online for different ways to make a stew or soup.

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5 Things I Do To Stay Calm and Relaxed

Life can get busy and stressful at times. Which is why it is so important for us to allow time for ourselves, so that we can stay calm and more relaxed. It can be difficult for us to allow a little “me time” and it can easily be forgotten about due to other commitments that seem more important. Our main goal each day should be to focus on ourselves a little more; to forget about stress, and take a moment to breathe.

This is why I have decided to share with you five things I do to help myself stay relaxed when life can get stressful. It is all about taking care of your mind as well as your body! Self-care does not just mean to look after ourselves from the outside, but the inside too.

1. Run a bath, play smooth radio or a relaxing playlist of choice, and forget about the world…

We all have most likely done this countless amounts of times. However, some of us can forget about how important the most simple rituals can be for our well being. Get some candles, (safely) light them and place around your bath. Get yourself a bath bomb or your favourite bubble bath, and relax while you listen to music. Try to do this once a week or at least once every fortnight. Pamper yourself while you are at it using a face mask and hey, grab yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and soak in your tub of relaxation.

2. Go for a walk…

Take a walk in the countryside or find your local park and take in the fresh air and beauty of the outdoors. Nature is a beautiful thing and if you can, try and surround yourself in it by going for a walk. My favourite kind of walk is during the summer in the late afternoon or evening. There is nothing better than walking through a field during a warm summer evening, watching the sun gradually set. There is beauty in the most simple of things when you start to notice it more. Walking is also very beneficial for you both mentally and physically. Take someone with you for company if you want, but do it either way.

3. Get creative…

Paint, draw, write. It’s up to you, but whether you are an artist or not, being creative is very calming for the mind. I find that painting or drawing can really help me to relax. Writing also can be very relaxing for me, especially when I can release my thoughts onto paper. If you are stressed or feeling down, write it down. Everything you are feeling or thinking, just take a pen and paper, and write everything down. You will feel better for it and it may just help you understand yourself a little more.

4. Listen to music…

This may be obvious, but music can lift your spirits and make a stressful situation much better. Turn on the radio or play your favourite music – I love to listen to Whitney, Nora Jones, Coldplay etc to really help me feel calm and relaxed and in a better mood. If you have a garden, sit outside and play a little music in the summer, or dance around your house and feel relaxed and stress-free. Another tip: if you’re really stressed or cannot calm down, take a moment to just breathe. Breathe in deeply and slowly, in and out. Repeat to calm down your heart rate and get back to relaxation.

5. Watch a film or read a book…

After your relaxing bath, or at the end of the evening when everything is done, get yourself in your comfy pjs and watch a film or open a book and start reading. Just let yourself escape from the outside world and allow time for yourself. Make a cup of tea or your favourite drink and enjoy. Make time to do this every week, you will thank yourself for it. Prioritise these things – not just work and other commitments. Looking after yourself is the most important thing you can and will ever do. It’s not being selfish, it’s called self-care and realising that is very important.

Now you have read about the things that I do to keep myself calm and relaxed, why don’t you try it…Leave a comment below about the things you do to keep yourself relaxed.

xoxo