5 things I want you to do tomorrow

Friday 28 August 2015

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1. Smile at a stranger

It'll make their day and make you feel a whole lot better. You never know how much a simple smile can affect someone, it could be the only act of kindness they see or receive that day. 

2. Take some time out to do something that you enjoy

Whether it's reading a book, watching a film or TV show or something completely out of the ordinary, it's good to do something that you know will make you happy. 

3. Take a walk

It doesn't have to be long, or with any particular destination planned. Just go to the corner shop or wander aimlessly if you have to. Get some fresh air and have some time to think. 

4. Take some pictures 

I love taking pictures. It makes me feel like I'm more artistic than I actually am. And it's fun and relaxing, which is always a plus. 

5. Go outside and close your eyes

Listen to the sounds of the world. To people and nature. Let your mind wander - it's amazing where it can lead you when it has the chance. 


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Where's Your Happy Place?

Wednesday 26 August 2015

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Many people associate the beach and the seaside with holidays. Time away from school, the summer sun hopefully making an appearance and plenty of ice cream to eat throughout the day. But I'm not one of them.

Having grown up in a county known for its fantastic beaches I became accustomed to a beach nearby. They were the backdrop to many memories and events from my childhood. From leaving primary school, to leaving the country, the beach was always there, so it therefore brings back a huge mixed bag of feelings and memories. But no matter what I'll always associate the beach with home - even if it's a beach in Australia it will probably still remind me of my favourite beaches in Wales. 

The beach is my happy place, I suppose. All previous worries that I may have had seem to disappear when I'm on the beach. All that really matters to me is the book I have with me, my friends or family I am with and my current surroundings. 

I just feel a lot more relaxed and happy when I'm down by the sea, no matter where it is and I'm thankful that I come from a place that is has amble amounts of sandy coast for me, and many others, to enjoy. 

So you know my happy place, where's yours? 
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My Outdoor Cinema Experience

Monday 24 August 2015

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On Friday evening, me, my brother and my grandparents went to an outdoor screening of the film, the Blues Brothers (if you didn't say that in the accent I am utterly disappointed!).

Now, outdoor screenings I films seem to me as an incredibly American thing. The only previous experience I had had of them were from American TV programmes of films. They can be seen in anything from a tom on to Phineas and Ferb (you know the episode) and whenever I had seen them I was always dying to go to one. 

The British version was a lot more, well, British. It was run by a local theatre company and when we arrived we were greeted by hot dogs, popcorn and a whole range of hot and cold food stuffs. In the American films we usually see drive in cinemas, as in you drive your car and watch the film from inside. Alas, we sat outside in the open air, wrapped up in several layers and seated rather comfortably on hay bails or camp chairs. A two-man band played folk songs and folk versions of songs in a tent nearby and got us all excited. And what else could make it more British than a spot of rain everyone and again - or, indeed, throughout the whole film. But hey, I'm in Wales, what else could you expect?

The screen itself was at the bottom of a shallow hill in a clearing. We arrived over an hour before the film was due to start, yet we still had to sit relatively near the back due to the amount of people who had already found their places on the hill. However, we still had a good view as we sat almost directly opposite the screen and were at the very top of the hill. 

I don't know whether or not you have seen the Blues Brothers (it's been around for quite some time and is quite popular), but I would urge you to watch it. I have seen it twice now and each time it's been great. 

And who doesn't love a good car chase mixed with a legendary musical cast? 


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5 words with great meanings

Friday 21 August 2015

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As you may or may not know, I am a great lover of words (a logophile, if you will). I have developed a sort of obsession when it comes to language and the way we use words - the fact that we have given meaning to different sounds simply astounds me. I’m aware of how sad that can come across, but I just can’t help it; whenever I discover a new word or phrase I get excited over it and can sometimes become slightly obsessed with them. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to such words and their definitions, in case I need to check for a cool word at any time. So, I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you today, as a little insight into the little world of my weird and wonderful obsession.

1. Squiriferous

-To have the characteristics of a gentlemen. 
I’m looking at you Mr. Darcy.

2. Meliorism

-The belief that the world can be improved by human effort/can get better.
This word makes my insides go all mushy and fluffy – my faith in humanity is restored.

3. Redamancy

-The act of loving someone in return. 

4. Rastrophiliopustrocity

-A spontaneous combustion of creative spark that is followed by action in order to manifest and bring into existence.

5. Duende

-The feeling of profound awe experienced when viewing a piece of art, watching a performance or listening to music that has deeply moved a person.

What’s your favourite word and why? Tell me in the comments.

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The Value of a Lazy Day

Wednesday 19 August 2015

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As much as it is great for us to be productive and useful and to keep ourselves busy, we do sometimes need a rest. From time to time our day-to-day lives can get the better of us. With our workload piling ever higher into some sort of stress filled spiraling tower of doom, sometimes we need to take a break. In other words we need to step away from the work and have a little time to yourself.

A good lazy day can work wonders. Sometimes a long soak in the bath with a cup of tea, a good book and an equally good bath bomb is all that is necessary to make yourself feel a whole lot better.

Set a Sunday aside, specifically for you to stay in your pajamas and slob all day. Make sure that you don’t do any work, only doing things that you enjoy and know relaxes you. For me, that means writing or reading, preferably with some sort of tea by my side. I’ll curl up in bed, armed with fluffy socks, a notepad or computer and a book or two; I’ll be sorted for the day. I can disappear into a fictional world of my choice and forget any work that I have to do.  Just a few hours rest can help me feel better and more up to a challenge – making the prospect of completing that tower of doom more bearable.

It’s important that we unwind every now and then – clear our minds and take the time to enjoy just existing for once.

How often do you have a lazy day?
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The Wonderful Land of Tomorrow

Monday 17 August 2015

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Tomorrow is such a weird place. It’s a day that could hold anything and is always there, yet we can never really reach it - a bit odd when you think about it, but still rather fantastic. Tomorrow could be the end of mankind for all we know, but it could also bring something truly amazing into our lives.

Tomorrow you could be a completely different person to the one you are now. Tomorrow you could take up dance, or football, or rugby, or running, or any sort of sport that you want to. Tomorrow could be the day that you start a healthier way of living and find that you love it.

Tomorrow could be the day that you discover your passion; that one something that adds a special spark to your life. You could find that you’re a talented artist, writer, or musician. But hey! Who actually cares if you’re not naturally talented at something? If you work hard at it and enjoy it then you’ll be great.

Tomorrow you could help out a cause that you hadn’t known existed before then.

Tomorrow you could change the way you dress completely, for the fun of it.

Tomorrow you could start a new part of your education and it will be fine - maybe starting secondary school, your a levels, or university. You’ll find that most of your worries were over nothing, though sometimes that needs a little longer than a day to sink in.

Tomorrow you could meet the person you will become your best friend. You could meet some people who inspire you in a particular way – whether it’s to be the best version of yourself you can be or to strive to complete a specific task that you have wanted to finish for god knows how long. Tomorrow you could meet the love of your life and maybe not even realise it.

Tomorrow you could change the world for the better; you could make the difference that you know needs to happen. Tomorrow could be the day you decide you’re worth it and that you can do it.

Everything and anything is possible in the tomorrow, but we really have to act in the present, today, so that we know that tomorrow will hold something good. While tomorrow could be the best day in your life, you can’t count on it being so and can’t just rely on everything happening then. You have to work to make sure that your tomorrow is a good today.

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That Positive Little Corner of Instagram

Wednesday 12 August 2015

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Social media isn’t known for its happy attitude and loving nature. That’s a fact I think we’re all aware of. Twitter is almost famous for its aggressive nature, with new celebrity fights and spats developing nearly every day and people are constantly putting up negative images and statuses. It’s so incredibly easy for people to get caught up in all that negativity and then get down on themselves for know reason.

But I have found some hope.

I have found this little corner of Instagram that is completely dedicated to happiness and self-love. And you know what? I can’t think of anything that warms my heart more than others spending their days posting multiple pictures a day, just to make their followers smile and feel better about themselves.

When social media has such a reputation for negativity it can be hard for accounts like these to get noticed and for their voices to get heard. But somehow (probably when looking for writing inspiration) I, and many others, have stumbled upon these accounts. As you guys already know, I am a huge advocate for promoting positivity and believe that it is the key to, well, anything really.

I suppose that the whole point of this post was to just make more people aware of these accounts and to let you know that if you ever feel sad, unconfident or just a bit helpless, you can search for these happy accounts and I guarantee you that they will lift your mood. If you follow me already then I’m sure you’ve seen me liking their pictures or following them. And if you just don’t know where to start finding these accounts then check Fridays post, where I’ll be showing you guys a list of my top 5 positivity Instagram accounts!

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Does GoodReads affect our reading habits?

Monday 10 August 2015

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GoodReads. Most of us book addicts are on there. We update what our current reads are and we rate books we have read. We keep track of our yearly reading goal and enter giveaways and like quotes. I love it – but sometimes I feel that it doesn’t do some books a favour.

There are so many rates and reviews on so many books that our opinions and judgements can become clouded when we want to read a specific book. Or is that just me? I find that if I pick up a book in a bookshop, that I personally find interesting and want to read, then I get back home with said book and look at its ratings and reviews, which may change my opinion on the book before I have even read it. If it has mainly bad reviews then I can get put off a book before I have even read it; if it has mainly good reviews then I will want to read it more.

Seeing as my opinion on books can go against the majority a lot of the time (as some of you may know I find many books to be overrated), this doesn’t always bode well for me. Sometimes a lot of people hate a book that I turn out to love and vice versa. It’s not fair for me to read all these negative reviews about a story that I consider to be amazing. People have different opinions on things – we like thing that other people hate, we hate things that other people love. Being opinionated makes us human (other than, you know, the whole biological, species, DNA stuff). But from now on I have decided that if I buy a book I’m really interested in, I won’t read its reviews until after I have read it myself and formed my own unaffected judgement on it.

Are you a GoodReads user? If so, how do you think it affects your reading habits?

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5 little steps to loving yourself

Friday 7 August 2015

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      1.  Wake up at a time that isn’t too late and isn’t too early, whenever possible.

I find that, when I don’t have to be anywhere particular,  and I lie in bed for hours on end, I tend to feel groggier and be less productive throughout the day. So, whenever I have free days (weekends and during school holidays) I try to set my alarm between 8 and 9am. This way I feel more refreshed and have more time to accomplish little tasks.

2.   Eat fresh fruit and drink lots of water.

Binge eating strawberries is one of my favourite things. Ever.

3.  Look in the mirror every day and compliment yourself.

When the words start coming from your own mouth you’ll start to believe them.

4.  Do things that make you feel happy, not what someone else tells you that you have to do.

Choose your career so that it goes along with what you love. Have hobbies that inspire and excite you. Live life through the things you love.

5.  Wear clothes that make you feel good.

So what if your top went out of fashion a few years ago? If you love it, wear it. You’ll rock anything that way.

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Summer Reading Slump

Wednesday 5 August 2015

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I said in one of my previous posts that summer is the prime time to catch up on reading, as those of us who are now on our summer holidays have a lot of free time to use up (to read that post click here). Sadly this has not been the case for me so far. Ever since reading two books that, to me, were rather tedious, I have been in the seemingly inescapable black pit that is a reading slump (Those books were The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Sorry if you really liked them...).

Yes, the reading slump hit me hard and fast, and for weeks I have been fighting to overcome it. The relief I felt when I finally finished the books that I consider to be the culprits for this dip in my reading habits, well, it was fantastic. I returned the first to my friend and the leant the second, and now I can get on with reading some better books. ‘Cause that’s the good thing about reading bad books isn’t it? To make you appreciate the goods and the greats even more. We are bound to come across mediocre books sometimes and just because they have slowed us down reading wise, doesn’t mean should let them drag us down completely. Sometimes books can be extremely well written, yet are read tantalisingly slow – as was the case with one of my reads. And if the book isn’t very well written, then take inspiration from that and tell yourself that you can do better. If you’re a young writer like me, then this can do wonders to your writing confidence when it may have been lacking a bit before.

This reading slump has left me feeling a bit helpless, but mostly irritated; discovering new books and their tales is something I am very passionate about and that, really, I consider to be a huge part of me as a person, and it’s frustrating to be reading so slowly. But I guess I just have to plough on and continue to read, hoping that the books to come will be better.

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