HUGE Summer Crop-Top Collection

I'm not sure what that bright yellow ball in the sky is, but it's warm and I LOVE IT. 

Summer in England is pretty naff to be honest. It's usually cloudy, breezy, cold or raining. However, recently the sun has made more of an appearance and it's definitely made me re-think my wardrobe choices. Therefore, today I'm showing you my entire crop-top collection, as this is what I typically tend to wear throughout summer!

My crop-top collection is HUGE so I'll leave you with the pictures of them now with a brief caption underneath of where I got them from. Enjoy!

Left: Topshop | Right: New Look

Left: Primark | Right: Hollister
Left: H&M | Right: Influence
Left: Primark | Right: Hollister

Left: Primark | Right: Miss Selfridge
Left: H&M | Right: Topshop

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and found some outfits you liked. Let me know in the comments what you tend to wear during summer, I'd love some fashion inspo :)


Why 'Change' Is A Great Thing


As we're more than halfway through the year, I've decided to reflect on how my life has changed DRASTICALLY since 2019 began. This has been the most topsy-turvy year I've ever had. For someone with Asperger's who relies on sticking to the same routine daily and struggles to cope with change, it's an understatement to say my mental well-being has been all over the place this year. But I'm finally at a point where I feel settled again. And settling into change is the best feeling ever (other than having your third hot chocolate of the day, which I'm currently on).

So today I'm changing yet again another part of my life in 2019. I am going to be posting regularly on my blog again (WTF). My blog was a huge part of my teenagehood ~if that's even a word~ and it helped me get my emotions out without annoying everyone in my personal life. As corny as it sounds, I want to start posting my thoughts on my tiny space on the internet again. 

I'm coming back to my blog, after a long break, as a changed person. My personality has changed so much this year. My hair has changed. My makeup style has changed. My living circumstances have changed. I've got a new job and a new placement and a new course at university. My relationship status has changed. 

Although change is scary (take it from someone who has multiple breakdowns and 'freak-outs' whenever a small change happens in my life), it can be great to develop your personality. And I definitely needed a developed personality. 

I'm hoping to add more of my personal thoughts to my blog. I want to talk about the changes in my life and invite you to do the same. I'm going to post whatever I feel like on my blog. Whether that's about makeup, travelling, books, Netflix, music, mental breakdowns, working, stressing over my dissertation, Love Island or how to make the best hot chocolate. This blog is going to be completely random but extremely personal.

Now I'll leave you with a picture of a dog wearing a bandana. See ya next time.


Why I Stopped Blogging & Filming YouTube Videos

If anyone has followed me on any form of social media over the past few years, then you'll know that I'm extremely inconsistent when it comes to uploading. I'll post one thing, then I'll wait months until I post again. I used to post consistently on YouTube until I took time away for three years, then I came back again for a few months, then I disappeared again! It's the same for my blog; I used to post extremely often but over the past few years I've severely neglected my blog. I've decided that today I'm going to clear the air and justify my reasons for being SO TERRIBLE at providing content.

Before university, my life was extremely stress-free. I would go to college a few times a week, and then the rest of my time was free for me to do whatever I wanted. So I'd blog loads and post on YouTube. But then I moved away to university, and that's when everything changed.

Whilst at university, I decided that I needed to do something more productive with my free time. Something to enhance my CV, something to tell other people about, something to be proud of. So I started volunteering for various different charities, alongside doing university. The workload for my studies intensified, and my "free time" was now spent volunteering, so I had to drop the whole blogging and YouTube-ing thing. 

Then I graduated (yippee)! I started posting consistently on YouTube again because I had LOADS of free time!! But pretty soon I messed it up for myself again.

I got a job. Then I started another university course. And then I started a placement. So this brings me to my current position... where I go to lectures, work a few days a week, go to placement for the other days in the week, and am currently working on 5 assignments and a dissertation. I have NO days off a week until the end of April. I don't have free time anymore, and if I do then it's spent working on assignments.

And that is why I cannot commit to posting regularly on my blog and YouTube. It's such a shame because I've just hit two amazing milestones (15,000 views on my blog and 1,000 subscribers on YouTube) and I want to upload loads to thank the people who support me, but right now I just don't have the time.

I genuinely love posting on social media. I love the way my Instagram looks right now, I LOVE my blog so much, and my YouTube channel is something I'm so proud of. But I don't earn any money from these sites, which means that I need to prioritise my current job and my studies. 

Hopefully by the end of April I can upload a lot more. But unfortunately I've become a workaholic who never has any free time! I hope that this explains why I'm the most unreliable person ever when it comes to my blog. Now that I've justified myself to you, I'm going to justify myself to my hamster as to why I haven't been able to spend time with him in ages. I hope he understands.


How Reading Books Makes My Life More Interesting

My life is extremely boring. All I do is go to lectures, go to work, go to placement, and plan my dissertation. I don't have much free time (I actually don't have ANY days off a week), I don't have any friends in my current city, and I'm struggling to find time to finish watching Gilmore Girls (my fave series ever btw). Living a rather uneventful life gets extremely mundane and boring. Therefore, at the start of 2019, I gave myself the goal to set aside time to read books a lot more.

I'm currently on my fourth book of the year, which is pretty impressive considering I'm potentially the world's slowest reader. One thing I've noticed this year so far is that reading books gets me extremely excited to live my life. The first book I read this year was a non-fiction about the brain and how it causes our weird behaviours*** (I'm a psychology postgraduate student so it's TOTALLY acceptable for me to enjoy these types of books) and it made me so interested in all the different types of lives people have. In complete contrast, I'm currently reading a fictional romance book about a girl living in New York who [surprise surprise] falls in love! 

I think romance books are probably my favourite to read because they're always so different to my experiences with romance. Most romance books sugar-coat everything and make relationships seem so passionate and affectionate all the time. In actual fact, they're really not like that. And real-life guys don't seem to have the capability of forming cute sentences about their true honest romantic feelings for you. So I like to read these books to allow myself to imagine what a perfect romance is like.

I also love books about astronomy. I find the idea of the universe and space really enticing. I love understanding how small the world is in retrospect to the universe. It makes me feel as though the "problems" in my life aren't actually that huge and they're not going to affect the planet, and I find comfort in the fact that I am an ordinary human like everyone else living on a tiny planet in the huge universe.

Basically, books are incredible. Time spent reading is never time wasted. Although I find it difficult to balance reading for leisure and reading for uni, but either way I am constantly learning something beneficial. If you don't read much, then I would strongly recommend trying to find a book that interests you. There are millions of books out there, and each one is written from a different perspective. My life will always be interesting if I'm reading books.

Now it's time to do an awful Saturday shift at my job where customers are always rude and see me as worthless for working in retail, but at least I can come home and read a book about a different life :)


*** 'The Idiot Brain' by Dean Burnett - would highly recommend.

My Favourite Things about Summer 2018

I'm currently sat in my bedroom at almost 11pm writing this spontaneous blog post because I wanted to get my thoughts out of my mind and into another platform: the internet. I haven't blogged much this year (because life has been busy and I suck at time-management) but I aim to resolve this issue through writing what I want when I want. Such as today.

I don't think I've ever been as happy in my life as I am now. 2018 has been wonderful for me. I've had the happiest past few months, and this summer has been incredible. I thought I'd share what has made me happy this year so that perhaps these things can make you happy too; as these things are all easily accessible for everyone.

The UK has been blessed with a huge heatwave this year. I've loved every single second of it. I love sitting in my garden with a cold glass of elderflower cordial with my guinea pigs chomping on grass in their outside hutch and my dog sunbathing on the decking. I love wearing summer clothes and applying my cherry blossom body lotion every evening after a cool shower. I love applying minimal makeup and feeling fresh and free. I'm just loving this weather and wish every summer could be this lovely.

World Cup
I've never been a fan of football. But something about the World Cup enticed me and I became obsessed with it. I loved the feeling of excitement when we scored a goal, and I loved turning to Twitter following a match to read people's thoughts. I loved having a BBQ outside and watching the match. England did so well this year and I'm really happy I was able to witness the cheerful nation we became.

Love Island
This was my first year watching Love Island and I can't believe I hadn't watched it sooner! Although I don't agree with the purpose of the programme (it kinda destroys the true meaning of "love" to be honest), it's entertaining and I love how active Twitter becomes whenever it's on TV. I feel part of a virtual community when I watch it, and it's a really comforting feeling.

This was my first summer with a job. I was lucky enough to be offered a job in something I'm enjoying so much, and that's a privilege which unfortunately lots of other people don't have. Each day at work is exciting and I'm proud of myself for being able to achieve this. I love that feeling when your shift ends and you can go back home feeling productive, proud and relaxed. 

This was a weird blog post. I'm basically just really happy, but that's all down to my own perspective. I've always had these lovely things about my life, but I'd never appreciated them until this year. Time being ungrateful is time wasted. Yes, I have my 'down days'. But I blame hormones most of the time, because I have no reasons to be sad. I'm appreciating each second of each day because my life may not always be this care-free. I wish more of us realised how lucky we actually are instead of dwelling on negativity.

Apologies for preaching, but I needed to get my thoughts off my chest and spread some positivity. Normal posts will resume soon.


How I Became Happy

As my time at university is coming to an end, I've been reflecting a lot on my life recently. How my life has been in the past, how my life currently is, and how I hope to live my life in the future. When considering how university has shaped me into who I am today, I've come to realise how happy and positive I've been over these past few months. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but happiness was something that I really struggled with as a teenager. I had the world's happiest childhood which I am ridiculously grateful for (thanks, mum and dad!), but when I became a teenager something must've happened in my brain which meant that I reeeeaaallly struggled to be happy. I don't know why and I don't know how. To put it simply: I was miserable.

However, recently, I've been feeling like my old self again. The self I was when I was a child, when I was smiley and happy. Little things don't agitate me anymore. I've found myself noticing my cheeks and jaw aching from the amount of smiling I've done. I don't know why my perspective on life has suddenly changed, but I think I just woke up one morning and decided not to give a crap anymore about life stressors. I've had a whole new sense of awareness that in a world containing billions of people, I am one extremely fortunate person. My life so far has been free from distraught and terror. I'm in such a lucky position to even say that I'm a university student. And thinking about how lovely my home-life is with my family makes me feel like one of the luckiest people alive.

I've found that the key to happiness (for me, anyway) is gratitude. To always be grateful. Each time I have a problem, I always know that it could be worse. And for that, I am grateful. 

Everyone's life will have bad parts. Everyone will deal with these bad parts differently. But to be almost 21 and to have had no traumatic bad parts - well that's pretty damn lucky. 

I'm learning more about myself every single day, even if it's only little things like how I really don't like wholewheat pasta. Each experience that life brings me teaches me something new about myself. I'm in an extremely happy place in my life right now, and I feel more 'me' than ever. I thought it would be nice to document this and blog about it so that in the future, if I am ever in an unfortunately negative mindset again for prolonged periods of time, I can come back to this post and try to learn how to be happy again.

Thank you for reading this, and I am extremely sorry that this is my first post in 2018. Third year of uni has been busy, but I'm near the end now and I know that I'll have some more free time soon.

What can you do to make yourself happy? Make that a priority.


2017 was confusing...

2017 was the best and worst year of my life. Which is why I'm not sure how to react to it. Do I write a blog post about all the incredible things the year brought me? Or all of the crappy things I went through? Or both? Maybe I'll just write random things and see where it takes me...

2017 improved my personality A LOT. I went to Southeast Asia to volunteer my help at an Elephant Conservation Centre, I got my first job, I got my first tattoo, I got through some anxiety issues, and I forced myself to become more sociable. I became more confident, more forgiving, more friendly, and more understanding. However, this unfortunately didn't make me more happy.

I really struggle with my happiness, and I know the exact reasons why. But the reasons are not fixable at this stage in my life. I won't tell you the reasons, because they are completely unjustifiable and completely stupid, if I'm honest. But that sums me up as a person.

Although 2017 brought me some incredible achievements (travelling on my own, taking on more volunteering opportunities, being awarded my fourth scholarship, and getting a job), 2017 has also been a really difficult year for me.

Each day at uni is a struggle to get through because of various health issues. I won't go into too much detail, but I have issues with my body which I try to hide in lectures and seminars, and causes a crazy amount of anxiety when I struggle to hide this issue. Therefore, I have missed numerous things on my timetable because I feel like a failure and feel as though I can't get through a single 1-hour lecture without having a full on freak-out. 

2017 also damaged some relationships for me with people. Summer 2017 was the best and worst summer of my entire life, because I damaged a relationship with one of my favourite people but I also accomplished a 12-hour flight to Laos and got to meet lots of elephants. 2017 just confuses me so much.

What a crazy year. What a sometimes depressing, sometimes happy, mostly stressful year! I'm hoping to make some serious changes in 2018. I'm going to start with actually getting help with my issues (even though my doctor's appointments in the past have SUCKED), forgiving and forgetting with a certain someone, actually attending as many lectures and seminars as I can, and focusing on the little happy things in my life more. I'm going to be as sociable as I can (this is something I struggle with due to my Asperger's), and I'm going to make it a happy year. Not a confusing one like 2017, but a happy one.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year! I'm hoping this time next year I can say that I'm completely 100% happy in my life, whereas right now I'm a solid 68%.

Becky Stoakes. Powered by Blogger.