Let’s Talk: Body Confidence

Lifestyle

Body confidence.

Uhhhhiegfiesbdj. Even just writing those two words down and seeing them staring back at me makes my toes begin to curl up, which no doubt will shortly be followed by the rest of my body until I’m balled up like a little kitten. I want to start by saying that I had many reservations about writing this post; though I never know where a post is going to take me when I begin rambling, I know from the outset that a topic such as this is quite a sensitive one, one that is subject to many an opinion. It is also quite personal and will require me to chat openly to whoever is reading about my own experiences. It is only too often these days that when an individual tries to talk about body confidence, they are met with resounding groans and twenty-plus eye-rolls. That in itself is an issue.

Living in an age and society as we do, it is only fair to say that humans are their own downfall. The majority of huge social and political issues stand at the foreground of human ignorance. I think that body confidence is no different. This obsession (that only leads to remind me of that weird Black Mirror episode where every single person was judged on their social media platforms) with our online presence is beyond unhealthy but sadly, I think the effects are irreversible. Pre-conceptions of ‘beauty’ and appearance are damaging the mentality of (particularly) young children and adolescents. I’m fully aware that a post of this nature could come across as “preachy” so, to avoid that as best as I can, I’m going to chat about my own experience with body confidence, or lack thereof.

Honestly, I’d never had any major run-ins with the body police (the ones in my brain lol) until about two years ago. Up until then, I hadn’t really worried TOO much about it. Of course, I’d envied my friend’s long legs over my little stubby ‘I-have-to-take-three-strides-for-every-one-of-your-steps’ legs, or the way another friend could pull off a bandeau mini-dress because they weren’t a card-holder of the itty-bitty-titty-committee like myself, but all in all, I tried not to let it affect me in any way. I’ve always been petite, at 5ft 2, and had never felt out of proportion growing up.

Having had a ponder, I really think that what got me questioning my body confidence was starting university and turning 18. In particular, going out (both at home and at uni). I have never been (and never will be) someone who owns 20 different mini-dresses and matching pairs of heels. I am a jean-loving, trainer-wearing gal who, 9 times out of 10, is always in an oversized sweatshirt or t-shirt. That’s not to say that I’ve never been confident in my body, rather that I tend to favour comfort over anything else (stylish comfort, of course!!). Let me a paint you a nice little picture. An average night-out outfit for me is a pair of black jeans and some form of a crop top with a pair of converse or another variety of trainer. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to make an effort with my makeup and hair (hopefully making me look slightly nicer than I do having just made it in time for my 9am). So, naturally, the words “dressing up” cause alarm bells to start ringing…pretty loudly. Most of my friends absolutely love dressing up and use going out as an excuse to wear their newest dresses/jumpsuits (and so they bloody well SHOULD as they look like angels) when in reality, I can think of nothing worse. I actually get the fear when my friends try to take pictures with me on a night out because I know for a fact, regardless of whether I do look it or not, I will feel sub-standard standing next to them. Even wearing clothes similar to them, I kind of feel like a fraud, as if someone has over-taken my body and made me squeeze into this tiny outfit that in no way makes me feel good and subsequently, doesn’t make me look good. My friends will tell you that I am THE WORST person to take pictures of or with, because I just pick myself apart in every single one. I think being put in a situation where people assume you have “made an effort” to look your best, automatically invites in other peoples’ judgement, if an image is shared on social media, for example. You don’t know what your friend Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school is saying about your hair or your outfit. In reality, Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school probably doesn’t care the slightest bit that your leg’s at a weird angle or one of your eyes looks slightly bigger than the other. Whilst I KNOW this to be the case, it is harder convincing the irrational, negative part of your brain that 24/7.

These pictures show just one example of my struggle with body confidence. Now, I absolutely hate my arms. I know that’s a weird thing to hate but I rarely wear strappy tops that mean the tops of my arms are out. For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a dress with spaghetti straps for my course’s end of year party. You don’t even know how many pictures I had to take before I was finally KIND OF ACCEPTING of one of them. I felt so inadequate compared to how the rest of my friend’s looked and felt heavy and uncomfortable with my body in every photo. Even now, I still look at pictures from that night and pick out the parts about myself that I don’t like, that were only exaggerated by wearing something I didn’t feel like myself in. I also tend to ‘size up’ in a lot of my clothes, though my ‘correct size’ is usually one size down from what I end up buying. This is a habit I’ve let myself fall into as I really don’t tend to like form-fitting clothes as you can see every lil lump and bump. I know if my Mom is reading this she’ll be saying “oh don’t be stupid, you don’t have any lumps or bumps” but  the only way I can describe it is like this: you know when you have a spot on your face and every time you look in the mirror your attention is drawn to it and you feel like it’s ruining the whole vibe your face was going for today? However, when you mention it to your friend they say “oh, I didn’t even notice you had a spot”. I think that’s how it is with your body. I ended up sizing down and getting my ‘correct’ size in this dress, which only made it cling to me more and as a result, made me dislike it that much more. This should have been a fun time, but instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how uncomfortable and wary of myself I was.

It does make me sad that I can feel this way as I’m such an advocate for seeing the beauty in people. I think all of my friends are honestly the most gorgeous people, inside and out, and I will always be the first person to jump in and tell them they look fab or tell them they’re being stupid for talking negatively about themselves. SO WHY is it so hard to do the same for yourself???? I think the main thing that I do which I definitely should stop doing is comparing myself to others. Now, I know that many people complain about the Instagram explore page promoting unreachable standards of perfection, showcasing the most beautiful girls and best looking guys. However, this is not the type of comparison I’m talking about. I KNOW that if you take a picture in a certain light and from a certain angle that it can make you look a lot thinner than you are, or create a shadowed set of abs. I’m not naive to think that I will ever be a Victoria’s Secret catwalk model or have a figure like Tammy Hembrow’s, rather I end up comparing myself to people I know. I can vividly remember studying one of my friend’s faces and picking out every feature of theirs that I was envious of, or that I felt was better than mine. How utterly awful is that?? The funny thing is that the majority of the time, if you turned around to someone and said “god, I’d kill to have cheekbones like yours” or “I wish my lips were like yours” they will repay the compliment to you and say that they want your cheekbones and your lips. This just goes to show that just because you like the way someone looks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do. If you think about, you have to see your own face and body every single day. Surely, even if you stared at the nicest face or the most perfect body every day for the rest of your life, you’d get bored of it or start to notice the tiniest of ‘imperfections’.

I do agree that a happy person is a beautiful person and that (no matter how cheesy) true beauty is found in happiness (thank you to Roald Dahl for teaching us all that sacred lesson). I think when you’re happy and secure in yourself, it glows out of you like a beacon of light and people around you just know. Like, yeah, she’s/he’s loving their life. I think there are days when I feel that happiness but there are most definitely still days where I question my body and its worth. I have, however, learnt that most of the pressure that I’ve been putting on my body to look and feel a certain way is pressure that has been generated purely by myself and not by others. My body shouldn’t need to look a certain way for other people, my body should be for me and if anyone ever tries to tell you any different, they are so wrong. Feeling as if you need to look a certain way to fit into the “trend” of what is desirable is something that happens far too often. Health comes first and with it, happiness.

Body confidence is definitely a journey and I’m currently sat on the train (probably eating some form of snack I cannot lie), chugging along at a steady pace.

Let me know how you deal with body confidence issues as I find it super interesting hearing other peoples’ perspectives on topics such as this one. Once again, a little ramble for you all, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same.

Love always,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Gee’s Book Club #1

Books

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Hellooooo my lovely friends and welcome to the first instalment of ‘Gee’s Book Club’ (something I most definitely didn’t just title this post as I had absolutely no clue what else to call it). I thought it would be cute to start sharing with you the books that I’m reading at certain points throughout the year as if you know me, you’ll know I loves me a good book or five.

Summer has always and will always mean one thing to me: more reading time!! I’ve always been a bookworm and would rather spend my days stuck in a good book than doing pretty much anything else. Admittedly, I’m one of those weird people who can easily get through a book in a day (this makes my Mom very unhappy when I try to fit 7 days worth of books into my 20kg allowance to go on holiday – soz Mom). This summer I haven’t had as much spare time as I usually do, however I have managed to sneak in a few books here and there so thought I’d let you know what I’ve been reading and if these books are worth the hype (or whether you should save your pennies because – let’s be real – student pennies are PRECIOUS).

All The Little Lights – Jamie McGuire

“Falling is easy. The hard part is getting back up.” 

I’ve been a big fan of Mcguire ever since her Beautiful Disaster series was first published. Once I find an author that I like, I tend to buy every single book they ever write which is how I ended up buying All The Little Lights. Whilst McGuire usually writes for a slightly older “new adult” audience, I believe this to be her first YA fiction. Although I am now 20, I am partial to a slightly cheesy young adult novel every now and then (guilty!). Her characters are always so well-developed, in this case Catherine and Elliot, which really helps you get sucked into her literary world. This novel in particular follows the journey of Catherine and Elliot and explores their relationship as individually they both deal with trauma and family issues (sounds vague but am conscious of trying not to drop spoilers!!!). There is a relatively unpredictable twist at the end (by ‘relatively unpredictable’ I mean that I knew there would be a twist coming but guessed completely wrong what it was lol). Whilst the storyline of this book was not the most thrilling I have ever read, I still really enjoyed it all the same. Would deffo recommend.

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng 

“Everything she had dreamed for herself faded away, like fine mist on a breeze. She could not remember now why she thought it had all been possible.”

Ng was a completely new author to me this summer but I’d seen her novel Little Fires Everywhere hovering around in the book-world. On a whim, I purchased it alongside her debut novel Everything I Never Told You. This book focuses on the disappearance and death of Lydia Lee, daughter of James and Marilyn and is written in such a way that it explores their family’s relationship before and after Lydia’s death. If I’m being honest, this book didn’t hook me a great amount and at times I felt as if I needed the plot to move at a slightly quicker pace. I didn’t feel as if the plot-line was meaty enough to make up an entire novel, rather a few chapters. However, I did really enjoy the style of Ng’s writing so I would not be adverse to reading her following novels. I’ll definitely be giving Little Fires Everywhere a go.

He Said She Said – Erin Kelly

“North London to me then was a patchwork of islanded villages, reached only by Tube and never joined up above ground; circles on a map, separate as stars.” 

I’d been seeing this book EVERYWHERE a few months ago as the newest “thriller” must-read. There definitely was a hype surrounding this novel so I had to give it a go. I’m not going to lie to you, when I first starting reading this I had no idea where this hype had come from. The beginning of the book is very slow-paced which meant I found it quite hard to get into. However, from about half-way in, I was hooked. If the whole book was as good as the second half of the book, then this could have been one of my favourite reads in a while. I don’t really want to give much away (as I can’t without spoiling!!) but essentially, this book centres around a rape trial and plays very much on the “grey area” of what is considered as “consent”. That being said, this book deals with extremely current themes which I also appreciate. I’m v glad to have ticked this off my list.

So those are the most recent books I’ve had my nose stuck in over the past few weeks. I may have a pretty similar post coming soon as my fingers miiiiiight have slipped and I just miiiiiight have ordered a few more (hate myself but love myself). As always, loads of thankyous for reading and I shall see you (well, kind of) very soon.

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

August Faves

Faves

Helloooo lovely readers!!!

Ya gal is BACK. I know that I need to stop starting each blog post with an apology for my lack of routine and consistency BUT I am really, very sorry. That being said, I thought I’d make my 8th ‘grand return’ of the year with an August Faves. I always prefer my favourites posts in the summer months as I have more time (and more money) to try new things that I can share with you guys. August has been a jam-packed month so I shall stop rambling and get into what I’ve been loving.

What I’ve Been Wearing

In a completely non-shocking manner, August has seen very little warm weather in the UK. However, this did make me happy as I’ve been able to start wearing oversized sweatshirts and jeans again (pretty much what I try to live in all year round). I was in Topshop recently, buying something or other (is it bad that I can’t remember what it was??? Does this highlight my shopping addiction???) and these jeans caught my eye in the SALE RACK. If you know me, you’ll know that sale-rack-shopping is an activity I absolutely never like to partake in as I find it extremely stressful and feel as if I can never find anything I like. Also, I feel that people stand really close to you and hover over your shoulder whilst they wait for you to finish looking (wtf is that all about???). Anywho, I saw these jeans. They’re a dark blue denim pair of flared cut-offs (the Topshop “DREE” style). Now, I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans like this for what feels like forever – I’ve tried on so many pairs that either aren’t the right colour or don’t fit nicely soooo of course I didn’t have high hopes for these. As I was already in the queue, I didn’t have time to try them on and just bought them on a whim (which I would usually never recommend) but once again, I cannot follow my own advice. In a Sisterhood-of-the-Travelling-Pants moment, they actually ended up fitting perfectly and I have already worn them to death. They retail for £40.00 full price but I managed to snag them for £23.00 which I thought was a pretty fab deal. I now want another pair in black.

A more recent purchase that I’m loving has to be this contrast stitch black jumpsuit from Bershka. I bought this for £25.99 and think it is the PERFECT transition piece to go from Summer clothing into Autumn/Winter. It’s a jersey material meaning it is suuuuuper comfy and the trousers flare out at the bottom. The tied-belt detail allows for the jumpsuit to give you a waist that is really flattering whilst not suffocating you or ‘digging in’ in any way. In fact, I loved this so much that I bought exactly the same jumpsuit in a different, more Autumnal pattern which I also cannot wait to wear. I think these jumpsuits look so nice on their own and can be dressed up (like in the pic above) but can also be dressed down with a high-necked t-shirt or turtle neck and trainers when the weather gets a lil colder (which, I hate to say it, will be very soon). Would deffo deffo deffo recommend these.

What I’ve Been Watching

If I’m being honest, I haven’t actually had that much spare time to get sucked into many new Netflix series this summer (although this makes me sad, I guess it is a good thing that I’ve actually been doing something with my life). However, I did manage to watch the new Netflix original film adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I am absolutely living for Netflix turning the books I read when I was 13/14 into films (also including The Kissing Booth) as it makes me feel weirdly nostalgic. I really enjoyed TATBILB as I thought it stayed relatively true to the original text and I used to be obsessed with Jenny Han’s books. Would deffo recommend this if you’re feeling an overeating-icecream-and-crying-with-your-friends-over-stupid-boys night.

What I’ve Been Listening To

So…I saw Hamilton. I cried. I died. I just about everything-in-between’d. That being said, naturally I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat for about six weeks. My new fave song is Wait For It and I also like Aaron Burr, Sir. Honestly the music is just so magical and I feel like no words I will ever write can do it justice so I’m just going to leave that there.

I’ve also had the Bring It On soundtrack playing constantly as in this academic year, I’ll be directing Musical Theatre Society’s production of it. Again, most of the music is written by Lin Manuel Miranda so it has the Hamilton-vibe. My fave songs are Do Your Own Thing and We’re Not Done. In all honesty, I love the whole soundtrack and I’m very scared that by the end of the show, I will definitely not love the whole soundtrack.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I really feel like there has been no good music released into the charts this summer?? Usually, summer is my favourite time for music but this year I still feel like I’m waiting for someone to release something (ANYTHING) good. I’ve been listening to Robinson and Folly Rae quite a lot but they’re not what I would class as “mainstream” artists so pls can we have some more jams.

What I’ve Been Using

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Every single time Anastasia BH brings out a new eyeshadow palette, I know I’m going to love it. With the exception of the non-blendable Subculture, ABH churns out the best palettes, in my opinion. When I saw the NORVINA press launch photos, a part of my heart squeezed at the ENTIRE ROW of shimmers and the bluey-purple shade, Soul. My lovely parents bought me the palette as a birthday prez and I have honestly used it every day since. The shadows are allllll super-blendable and have little to no fallout (including the shimmers) which I think is insane. If I had to give one teeny tiny little criticism, it would be that the only real transition colour Incense is rather dark so for pale gals like myself, if you’re using the palette exclusively, you have to use a very light hand to avoid black-eye-syndrome. Other than that, this product is gorg. It retails at the generic ABH palette price of £43.00 but I really do think you get what you’re paying for. Absolutely love.

What I’ve Been Doing

Half of my August was taken up by a summer course for Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. It was a very intense two weeks but I had the best time and learnt soooo much. I met some fab, like-minded people and was taught by some of the most incredible teachers. I was literally like a sponge, trying to soak up every piece of information or advice they gave me.

I then had the absolute pleasure of watching one of my family friends, Alex, perform in their professional debut as Oscar in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre. It was lovely to have a catch up and also to see Alex achieving his dreams. He was fab, as he has always been. On the note of shows, as previously mentioned, I also saw Hamilton. I felt as if I’d been waiting forever to see it and I was so nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It honestly blew my expectations out of the water. I saw the 2nd alternate as Hamilton and he was INCREDIBLE. I’m still not really over it.

I also turned 20 this month which was a weird one. I really don’t feel like I’m old enough to be ‘in my twenties’ but I’m super excited to see what they bring. I did have a mini quarter-life crisis the night before my birthday which pretty much went like this: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!!??!!? But I quickly got over that after a G&T or four. I had the loveliest time on my birthday: I went for lunch with my brother, Tom and then chilled with my family. The next day, I went to for food and drinks at Pitcher & Piano in Birmingham with some of my favourite people – it was so so lovely.

Later on in August, I helped assistant direct a production of ‘Fame’ at my old musical theatre group which was the most rewarding experience. I got to work with two students specifically on their vocals and seeing how much they improved both technically and in confidence over the space of just a few days was so amazing (and even sliiiightly emosh – may have cried the tiniest bit out of proudness in the show).

Currently, I’m on holiday with the fam in sunny Portugal. It’s been super nice to chill out and READ BOOKS. So far, I’ve read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and All The Little Lights by Jamie McGuire, both of which I’d recommend. We’ve been chilling at the beach and eating lovely (bad) food which I’m trying to enjoy before I start my hard-core healthy lifestyle when I get back home.

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On that note, I’m thinking of my next post being something related to body confidence and/or dealing with the consequences of the pressure of physicality and appearance that young adults (in particular) face. Do let me know if that’s something you’d like to read as it’s something I’m feeling super passionate about at the moment.

Lots of thankyous for reading my rambles once again & I hope you’re having or have had a lovely Summer.

Until next time,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

A Little Catch Up #2

Lifestyle

Helloooooo lovely people!!!

What’s this? A blog post??? An actual, fully published blog post? I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I have returned (again)!! I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that I simply cannot uni and blog at the same time. I thought I was a great multi-tasker (and don’t get me wrong, I still tell everybody I am) buuuuuut that’s evidently not the case. I think a little life update is welllllll over-due as I owe you an explanation for my complete lack of blogging over the past few months (I’m the absolute worst).

Where have I been?!?!

So uni is hard. I can’t lie to you, second year has hit me like a tonne of bricks. Through many a late night in the library and emotional breakdown, I have finally seen the light at the end of tunnel in the form of my summer holiday.  I have had the CRAZIEST final semester of second year, which, realistically, I only have myself to blame for. Something inside of me thought auditioning for a musical, co-directing an MT showcase whilst having two performance exams within the space of two weeks was a fab idea???? Ok honey pie, nice one. Looking back now, I don’t regret a single second but, if you’d have asked me at the time how I was feeling, I may have burst into tears as a result of the stress (lol). So many of my friends would come up to me and say “I really don’t know how you’re doing it all” and my response was NEITHER DO I. That being said, I thought it would be cute to give you a little insight into what I’ve been up to uni-wise in 2018.

The Wedding Singer

One of the biggest parts of my year so far has to be the university musical. This year I was fortunate enough to have been cast as Julia in our production of The Wedding Singer (you’ve probs seen the film. A baby-faced Drew Barrymore wearing a hideous selection of 80’s clothing and Adam Sandler being…well, Adam Sandler). The rehearsals for this show took up SO MUCH of my time, I practically disappeared for a while. Luckily, most of my friends were also involved in the production so it didn’t mean that I was missing out on spending time with them – we were all just being little hermits together. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I loved every part of it. Post-show blues are still in full force.

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The Last Five Years

As soon as The Wedding Singer ended, I hopped straight into rehearsals for The Last Five Years, where I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to play Cathy, a character on my musical theatre bucket-list (who, realistically, I never thought I’d get the chance to play)!! This was a really special production for me because this show has always been one of my all-time faves so getting to be a part of it was honestly incredible. It also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and work with a group of brand spanking new people who turned out to be a bunch of absolute angels. Whilst this show came about at an incredibly stressful time for me, it was the release I needed to stay SANE so I’m super thankful for that.

Socialisin’ (Well, trying)

I like to think that I’m quite the social butterfly, especially when it comes to uni. BUT I’ve most definitely been in hibernation over the past ten weeks or so which makes me sad. That being said, there were a few events/birthdays/REQUIRED FRIEND TIME situations I could not say no to. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the people I have met at university are honest-to-God some of the best people I know. Whenever I’m stressing (which is a lot I cannot lie to you) or upset, they genuinely lift me up so much. Sooooo of course, a night out or two is necessary every once in a while (or twice in a while, or three times in a while…).

 

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Exams, Exams, Exams

This semester I really had to wise up and realise that however much I liked being sociable or however much my course could frustrate me at times, I, in actual fact, enrolled at university to get a degree and getting a degree required taking EXAMS (*noise of someone vomming*).  As I study Theatre, as well as essay-writing for coursework, we also have performance exams (as you’d expect) which require, you guessed it, MORE rehearsals. Here’s a little sneak-peek into the average conversation of mine:

Friend 1: Hey G, we’re going for drinks at 7. Do you wanna come?

Me: Ohhhh I totally would but I have rehearsals.

Friend 2: Hiiiiii, you going out later?

Me: I wanted to but I’ve got rehearsals!

Friend 3: Shopping tomorrow?

Me: REHEARSALS.

You get the idea. I’m honestly a broken record of “sorry I can’t, I’ve got rehearsals” and this semester was no exception. I was rehearsing for 4 different performances at the same time. ARE THERE EVEN THAT MANY DAYS IN THE WEEK?!?!?! (Overdramatic moment. Can confirm my awareness that there are in fact seven days in a week). I had an experimental theatre performance, a dance performance, The Last Five Years and the musical theatre Summer Showcase allllll going on at once. Honestly am amazed I made it out alive. Chin bloody chin to me.

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Shindiggin’

And fiiiiiinally, I attended the end of year celebration for my course, which we call Shindig. This is where everybody studying for a Theatre degree, across all the years, gets together and – to put it bluntly – have a massive piss-up. It’s always a looooovely affair, with everyone dressing up and making an effort (which is rare for my jeans and trainer-lovin’ self). This year there was major stress around dress shopping, not only for me but some of my friends too. Admittedly, going into town THE DAY BEFORE the event with no backup options is not the smartest of moves (which I found out mid-meltdown in the Topshop dressing rooms) buuuut eventually I settled on this little gold number from Topshop. It retails at £26 (which my student budget was thankful for) and I have linked it for you because I am an angel. Although it wouldn’t have been my first choice in an ideal world for this particular event, I ended up being a pretty happy gal and having a fab night. Shindig also involved a very great moment for me when I won the “most likely to always have a glass of wine in their hand” award. Proud.

 

 

So there you have all my excuses for being a terrible blogger. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me (lol) and hopefully you’ll love all the content I’m planning on uploading over this summer. I’m really wanting to get more into the beauty blogging realm, posting makeup looks so do let me know if that’s something you’d want to see/read. However, I am going to Portugal on a girly trip with my lovely Mom next week so keep your eyes peeled for some (fingers crossed) pretty, scenic pics on the old Instagram (follow me: @geeblogs) and potentially a post on here too.

Have a lush week & I hope to be back very soon (look at me being all non-committal and not making promises that I’ll break…I’m learning!!!!).

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Twitter: @geeheasel

Catchin’ Flights, Not Feels

travel

I love a good holiday as much as the next girl. That feeling when you step off a plane and get assaulted by the heat (something we don’t know the meaning of in the UK) is up there with one of my faves. I personally didn’t take a gap year – after Sixth Form, travelling didn’t really appeal to me; I couldn’t see myself doing the typical backpacking round Asia at all. But, over the past two years, I’m pretty sure I’ve caught the travel bug because now, I want to visit everywhere. It’s got to that point in the year where I’m so ready for a holiday so I’ve compiled a list of the places I’d looooove to travel to the most.

New York

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This one could be classed as slightly cheating as I’ve actually already been to New York twice. BUT it is my favourite place in the world and I would go back pronto if I was given the chance. Anyone who knows me knows I am a city girl at heart, feeling completely at home in London. NYC is basically London on steroids so, naturally, I was always going to fall in love with it. I love the food, the shopping, the buildings, the people – the general vibes of being in New York really appeal to me and I could definitely see myself living there in the future. It holds a cute little spot in my heart.

Los Angeles

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If I could get on a plane right this second and go anywhere in the entire world, it would be LA. Not just because I want my Miley moment hoppin’ off the plane at LAX (I mean, I do but that’s besides the point), but because I feel like I would love it there. I want to do all the typical tourist-y things: shopping on Rodeo Drive (I’m an actual Julia Roberts wannabe), visiting the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame before potentially (definitely) tracking down Zac Efron’s house. I just need to purchase some horrendously oversized sunnies and I’ll be good to go.

Budapest

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My brother visited Budapest around two years ago now and honestly, he still hasn’t shut up about how fab it was. It’s one of those places I would love to go for a relaxing long weekend, sitting in the sun drinking pretty lil cocktails. It’s supposed to be a really pretty little quaint place which I love the sound of. I’m hoping one of my friends and I may sneak in a short visit at some point this year (wishful thinking)…

Reykjavik

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A slightly different end of the spectrum here but I would loooove to go to Reykjavik. I’ve wanted to visit Iceland for a good while now as I just think it’s so bloody pretty – I mean, look at the little houses!! One of my fave things to do on holiday is to go for walks and explore the surrounding areas to where I’m staying, hopefully discovering somewhere cute to eat along the way and I feel like this would be easily done in Iceland. I’d also love to go to the Blue Lagoon – it looks amaaaazing and is deffo on my bucket list.

Florence

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I think my love of pasta has led my heart to Italy. I’ve been to Rome before which was lovely and a fun little cultural experience but because of this, was slightly tourist-y. I’d love to visit a less tourist-filled place in Italy and Florence has most definitely taken my fancy. I can see myself sat in a cute little cafe, drinking freshly-squeezed OJ and eating a generous portion of tiramisu without a care in the world. I’d also love to go to a vineyard because your gal loves herself a good glass of wine.

So those are some of the places I’m hoping to travel to over the next few years. Have you been to any of them? What would be on your list?

Lots of love,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Women Are F**king Fabulous

Lifestyle

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In light of it being International Women’s Day today, I thought I would write a little post emphasising what it means to me to be a woman in this day and age – in particular, paying homage to all of the women who have lived before me and those who will live after me. Although I reflect on this each IWD, this year seems slightly more prominent due to the endless campaigning surrounding the ‘#MeToo’ movement combined with other stories being published in the media covering similar topics.

Having grown up in a family with three brothers and no sisters, I’ve always viewed both genders as equal. If my brothers were playing outside, I wanted to play outside. If my brothers had to finish their broccoli before being allowed dessert, I had to do the same. If my brothers were wrestling with each other, you can bet I was there too throwing a good punch or five. What I’m trying to say is that I never received any preferential treatment or felt that I couldn’t do something that the boys could do because I was a ‘girl’. This mindset has most definitely followed me into my teenage years and early adulthood. I’m such a firm believer in it being possible to achieve anything you want in life, if you put the right amount of work in. I don’t think gender even comes into play. I feel fortunate enough to say that personally, at this point in my life, I have never felt oppressed because of my gender but I’m not naive to the fact that once I get into the workplace, this may change, which alone saddens me. Why should I be worried that I won’t be as valued in the workplace as a male? Why should I be earning less money than a male for doing exactly the same job as them? I’ve never been able to grasp the concept that whatever sits between your legs determines what you can do in life and in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I’m also not blind to the fact that things like the gender pay gap can’t be changed overnight but what I want to see is movement towards this development happening.

Each IWD I like to think about all of the women who have inspired me to become a badass, independent gal who has her life together (still waiting for this to happen). As cliché as it might be, my Mom is top of that list. When she was just a little bit older than myself, my Mom moved two hours away from her family home to work in a completely new town and build a life for herself. From there, she went on to have four children spanning from age 6 to newborn whilst STILL WORKING – she honestly is a real-life Supermom. I do not know how she juggles everything and makes it look so effortless – she has never once compromised her career or her family for the alternative but has somehow managed to happily succeed in both. THAT is what I want to be and do when it’s my turn.

I think it’s so important to recognise these stand-out women in our lives who help us shift and grow until we end up on our little paths in life, heading to where we need to be. Women are f**king fabulous. We are strong-minded, intelligent, warm and loving souls who somehow manage to carry the weight of a whole other human inside of us, helping them grow and giving them life which I think is pretty incredible (!!!!!!!) whilst also kicking absolute ass in any career path we choose to pursue. Women should celebrate each other: the successes and even the failures because as a collective, we genuinely are unstoppable. It’s crucial that our generation of women stick together and become a driving force that allows the females who will follow us to swim in a pool of proudness at the thought of being a woman.

I’m super proud to be a woman.

G x