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31 October 2016

Stop Getting Your Shit Together

Belive it or not, I've just got back from a morning run. A run which clearly, ended up being one of the most insightful hours of my life. So whilst lying here in my bed of blankets, curled on the sofa catching up with the latest Grey's Anatomy, I decided I want to write it all out. Ironically, in this split second, I have short-term, got my shit together.

But this is a rare, rare, treat and not always the case. 

Once upon a time, the phrase 'pull yourself together' was one that never really bothered me. All I'd have to do is get my homework in on time, turn up to school, and make sure to eat more vegetables. 

Now, the thought of pulling anything, ANYTHING together, fills me with dread. Where would I start? My personal life? My academic life? My blog life? My love life? Because right now, none of them are particularly 'together' in anyway. 

And this morning on my run, I decided, that is totally, 100% OKAY. 

I am currently trying to split my life between reading for my final year dissertation, writing out essays for current modules and applying for graduate jobs in positions I don't even know I want. 

For the longest time I thought I'd go into journalism,  not even hardcore journalism, since the age of 15 I could see myself writing features for Glamour and Cosmo. And then, when I actually tried out writing for the local paper and student paper, it turns out, I don't actually like being told what to write. Hence why I love this lil blogging journey of mine, because inspiration comes in my jammies, and I can crack open my laptop in a second. 

For the last week, I've been in a panic. Because I haven't pulled any of my shit together and my motivation has been on the floor. I just about dwindled through life, 99% of the week spent hiding in my duvet and drinking tea to avoid any sort of responsibility. But the truth is, the only one putting pressure on me, is myself. And whilst I'm a true believer in self motivation, there is a line, and I know this week, I crossed the threshold of sense. 

I thought talking to adults would make me want to pass out, how I am technically included in this 'adult' word, but am I really???? Really really??? Because the truth is, nobody ever really has their shit together. Human beings are largely just a beautiful giant entity of individuals who occasionally luck out and have their life go in the right direction. But even the cleverest, most bright and talented of us have those days where they're in a constant state of feeling as if they've just woken up after a 3 hour nap. 

I'm not saying you don't have to work hard. You need to pull up your socks and work your arse off if you want to get anywhere. But, along the way, you don't need to always know what direction you're going in. Just keep going. Keep applying for jobs and keep writing essays. Keep travelling the world and working up the ladder in your dream job. 

The pressure of having yourself together is entirely on you. Give yourself a break, you might have dropped your biscuit in your cuppa, but for the most part, you're doing as good a job as everyone else at muddling through life.

Ciao for Now!

14 October 2016

The Meaning of Grown Up Friend Love

Growing up, I would say there were two kinds of people, either you were my friend, or you were my enemy, no inbetween. One Valentine's day, when I was too young to actually 'get' it, I insisted on sending a card to every single person in my class.

I've just got a lotta love to give.

As you get older and change schools/class/years you realise there isn't actually room to give everyone in your life a Valentine's day card. There are some people who end up not deserving one, and others who you may have thought would always get one but actually, with time and distance passing, you realise you don't want to give them one.

Social media makes it very hard to cut ties with people. Even when you stop talking, there's a constant reminder of people's presence through status updates and tweets. And part of life as a grownup is knowing it's okay for distance to exist. 

When you're at school, your friendship group is, essentially, your life. They're the girls and guys who know you inside out and back to front. If you're not with your family, you're probably with one of them. Some people have loads of friendship groups, and some have 3 choice friends, but either way, they're your life. 

Even as I type this I'm reminded of the time my 'friends' stood me up on the day of prom and went with other people. Or the time I called into work sick because I didn't want to face the girl who the day before had been my 'friend' only to start bitching the very next day. Or the one who decided to spread I was a lesbian because I called them out on being homophobic. 

And at some point along the way, I became friends with most of those girls again, because it made life easier. 

But friends shouldn't be chosen for ease. Friendship takes work and understanding, it's 3am calls when you're drunk and haven't seen each other in over a year. It's snapchats of your face in the ugliest pose possible with the caption 'remember me'. It's knowing you can see each other every single day and still sit and talk to the early hours.

Sometimes it's awful and hard to accept you've grown up and moved on from people. Things change and people change, travelling, university, getting out of the place you grew up in, they are all part of the growing up process and if you're the same person you were going into it all, as when you come out, I'd say you've done something wrong. 

There's no rule for best friends. You don't have to have one best friend in the entire world. But, when I think of the friendships 17 year old me had, compared to the friendships I have now, I know I can count on each and every one of them. From the friends I live with and see every single day, to the ones I talk to once a month (if that)... grown up friend love is knowing whether it's been 5 minutes or 5 months, if you call them up, they will come and help you bury the body.

Ciao for Now!

10 October 2016

Delicious Gooey Banana and Nutella Muffins

I think most of us will agree, here in the UK, autumn has well and truly settled in. Yesterday, it was drizzling all day. 

And although the progression from 30 degrees to -1018392 is not one I particularly enjoy, myself and my housemates do take comfort in homely foods. Stews and casseroles and soups, I've even made and frozen a vegan chilli, ready for whenever I can't be bothered to properly cook. 

We've all been on a bit of a lifestyle kick, and what with half the house having the flu, we've been feeding ourselves up on goodness and 5-a-day meals.

But sometimes, sometimes, you're allowed to give yourself a day off. Treat yo'self. And if you're going to do it, do it real good... 

Which is why on Sunday, I found myself making the most delicious muffins. 

The smell of them cooling was enough to make my stomach grumble, there's no better smell than the smell of baking.

I'm not just here to tease you with photo's though, here's my recipe for these little bites of happiness.

150g white sugar
250g self-raising flour
150g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large bananas
A pinch of salt
As much nutella as you like (I recommend 5 tablespoons)

Preheat your oven to 180degrees/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a muffin tin with 12 cases. In one bowl, use the back of a fork to chop and mash the 3 bananas (don't make it too smooth- it won't taste as good!) before combining with the flour, salt and vanilla extract, thoroughly mix together and set aside. In a separate bowl add the eggs one by one to the butter, folding each one in. When the final egg has been added, combine both mixtures, folding them into one another until they are completely mixed. Fill each cupcake case a third of the way with the cupcake batter (be sure not to use up the entire batter) then go back and add a small heap of nutella into the centre of each mixture. Go over the cupcake mixture once again with the batter to evenly cover the top of the nutella. At this point you can also use a toothpick to lightly swirl the mixture together so there is an essence of chocolate in the rest of the cake too. Bake on the centre shelf in the oven for 20 minutes, before taking them out and leaving them to cool. 

Baking procrastination now I'm back at university may be the best form of procrastination...

Ciao for Now!


7 October 2016

How to Get Up In the Morning and Adult (When You Really Don't Want to Adult)

It's 7:30am and your alarm has just gone off. For the 6th time. Because hello snooze button.

Sometimes getting up in the morning is the biggest chore of the day, and once you're up and showered, you wonder where that dread ever came from. It may be early morning but you can totally do this.

But then there are those days when all you want to do is pull the cover over your head and snuggle back down into the duvet. Preferably with a furry animal of some sort snoozing next to you. I understand, it's pretty tough to remove yourself from bed when bed is just so damn comfortable. 

Especially when, once you're finally up, your mental to-do list is piling up to the point of drowning

Which is why I've come up with my top life tips for how to a) get up and b) function as an adult, when Jane the Virgin is calling your name.

 Get yourself a radio alarm
Do you ever have that feeling when your alarm goes off and your stomach just drops. And then any time you hear the same noise/song you want to cry because it reminds you of being jolted awake?? I used to set my favourite songs as a way to wake up on the right side of bed... and so far have only succeeded in ruining said songs. Which is why I decided to get myself a radio alarm clock. Every morning I'm awoken by a different song or the sound of a presenters voice. And for the first solid 3 months, I definitely felt like I was in a film (all films have radio alarms). It made the waking up process a whole lot easier and I highly recommend it. 

Write Your To-Do List the Night Before
To do lists can be both a blessing and a curse. But mainly, they stop you overloading your life. If you don't have a diary, write down what you need to do tomorrow the night before. It'll stop you from taking too much on board and give you goals for the day. Goals are good. We like goals.

Have a Hearty Breakfast
If you're anything like me, food is probably the best motivator in life. I tend to wake up a bit earlier so I can sit in my dressing gown and properly eat breakfast rather than rush down a piece of toast and swig of orange juice. Having something in mind or prepared is a bit of motivation to get you out of bed when your stomach is growling. Overnight oats sitting in the fridge, eggs benedict or just a bowl of your favourite cereal. Have something in mind to get you out of bed.

Early Morning Gym-ing
I wonder how many people will skip over this section? I have to admit, I am a morning gym person (not quite 'gym bunny' yet). I know, deep down, despite the morning struggle, I will not regret working out in the morning. If you don't like classic gym workouts, sign yourself up to a morning class. Once you've been, you're done. That's it. Your exercise of the day is over before 9 o'clock. To add to that accomplished feeling, exercising earlier also gets your brain into gear and ready to tackle the day. It's a highly recommended tactic from me, but I know it's quite (very) acquired. 

Colour Code Your Diary
In my first year, I took on a bit too much. And sometime in March, I called my mum up in tears, threatening to drop out and telling her the pile of work and commitments I had was too much to function. Which is when she gave me some good old mum advice. Think of the load as a pack of cards, and split them up into suits. Or into numbers. However many piles you need, split up your load and prioritise them. Which is exactly what I did. And through this mental exercise, I then decided to colour code my diary so I know what is what, and more importantly, what I need to accomplish in the day versus what I could potentially do if I have time but, no biggy. It helps get your life in order and you get to buy colouring pens. Win/win. 

No Phones Before 9am
This is something I did in exam season last year. I put my phone on 'calls only' (just incase of emergency) woke up through my radio alarm, and didn't look at my phone until 9am. Technology is wonderful, but it also makes you feel like you need to be in contact with everyone and everything 24/7, when in reality, you don't. Give yourself an hour of peace and quiet, don't look at your phone or laptop, have a long morning shower and eat that breakfast I mentioned. 

Have Something to Look Forward to
Even if that's putting your feet up at the end of the day, watching your favourite show or going out for a meal with people you love. Have something to motivate you to reach the end of the day, no matter how big or small, you managed to adult for a day, you totally deserve it. 

 No Matter What, Get Dressed
If you can feel yourself craving a duvet day when you know there's stuff to be done, get dressed, put on some lipstick and go get 'em. It might be a 'me' thing, but I feel automatically less motivated without makeup on, which isn't because I'm uncomfortable looking au naturel. But I associate the ritual of getting ready to tackle the day with putting on a bit of makeup and looking my most presentable. It's much easier to go back to bed if you've still got your pyjamas on.

Obviously I know it's hard to get up in the morning if you're not a morning person, but hopefully these tips will give you a bit of inspiration.. it's not as hard as it seems I promise!

I hope you are lovin' my new blog layout. I feel all very professional, this is my own motivation to get back into blogging properly.. fingers crossed this marks the re-start of Alice's Antics!

Have lovely weekends everyone!

Ciao for Now!

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