Keep Your Friends Close And Your Siblings Even Closer

Lifestyle, Positivity

Out of everyone that I tend to appreciate (and gush over) in my life, I think my siblings are at the lowest of that tier, and today, I want to change that.

So, for those of you who don’t know; I have three absolutely insane, gorgeous and brilliantly infuriating siblings in my life and I love them to pieces (and maybe a little bit beyond that? by shh don’t tell them haha)

I guess I always tend to overlook them because of the cloud of  ‘annoying sibling ahead’ blocking my view of how much I truly appreciate them. It’s easy to take for granted how much I need them in my life.

Sure they drive me up multiple walls, hundereds of times a day, in a million different ways (how is it that they know exactly which buttons activate extreme anger mode?) but I guess I wouldn’t even have had the strength to build said walls without them handing over the bricks to me? In other words, I wouldn’t be completely myself without them.

Sometimes I wish they would see themselves the way I see them; I know sound like a total awestruck little sister but honestly, sometimes they amaze me (and that’s not easy to do, believe me haha)

Enter big brother numero uno; passionate, caring and beyond brilliant, makes up the most random jokes in the history of the universe, the best at late night advice and if he ends up on writing a book on his success story someday, I’m going to be the annoying person in the back saying ‘I told you so’ haha

My big brother born second; the most driven and purpose-filled one of the lot, inspires me to strive for excellence and never settle for second best, spontaneous road trips, memory filled cameras, unbridled genius with a shot of much needed tea and birthday ice cream.

And lastly my sassy, savvy and unapologetically scintillating sister who reminds me everyday of what it truly means to be beautiful inside and out, gives me fashion advice (even when I don’t always want it) and is somehow always there for me when I need her, so like a superhero, but in big sister mode (and just a bit a lot more sarcastic)

Thinking about it now, I suppose alongside practicing deep breathing and lots (and lots) of patience, there’s actually quite a few tidbits of wisdomous (yes, that’s a thing) wisdom I’ve managed to pick up from these humans, who would have thought? (not me, certainly)

I’ve learnt that I need to push myself to prove myself because hard work has the loudest applause. I’ve learnt to never give up on my wildest dreams, but still stay realistic. I’ve learnt that there’s still so much more that I have to learn out there in the great wide world of wild opportunities, silver linings and colorless winters.

They’ve kept me guessing; learning the fine arts of diplomacy, negotiation and unadulterated bribery through chocolate. Sacrificing hours, dredging behind me in libraries, driving me places, reading to me, sneaking conversations well past bedtime and of course educating me amisdt squabbles for insignificant things. 

Knowing us, we’d probably agree on world peace and argue over the last piece of pizza (whoever ate it without permission is a disgrace. Truly)

From our mattress surfing the stairs to real life adventures, rain or shine, we’ve been together, and honestly? I’d have it no other way.

This is already so cheesy it could fill up a dip in itself, but I truly am, beyond grateful for them. 

If you have any siblings though, I think you’ll understand; it’s a universal role that they must play in being simultaneously the best and most annoying people on the planet. Let me know if you have had any fun experiences with your siblings and what you appreciate most about them in the comments!

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The Design Process: Indecisiveness, colours and too many options (ft a vote!)

DIY, Lifestyle

Hi everyone!

So I took a bit of a cheat day/break yesterday to work on the blog graphics and the whole website ‘glow-up’ haha

I thought it would be fun to blog about the process though because I always love reading these types of posts and I thought it would be interesting to see how my design sense (hopefully) evolves over time.

I did a three-part series a looong time ago during a previous blog makeover, and now looking back, I can’t help but cringe at my overly saturated color schemes and lack of cohesiveness as a whole haha, but I guess it’s just showing that I’ve grown? So I’m taking it as a beacon of hope during these aesthetically challenging times.

One of the biggest challenges that I face during designing anything is definitely my indecisiveness. It’s just too many things and colors and patterns that I want to put together and definitely not enough space to execute everything without turning it into a jumble sale of graphics.

Classic example right whilst re-designing the blog right now: I’ve been experimenting with ‘themes’ which are the WordPress equivalent to website layouts for my blog so it’s really hard to stay focused on just on an idea because there are simultaneously too many options and not enough. I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for but I found loads of similar alternatives so it’s taking me ageees to decide.

I would love to know what you guys think of it actually, so I thought I could have a vote on the layout options?

layout one; B&W Classic

I’m trying to decide between a classic ‘timeless classy blogger-y’ feel with just black, white, and pink with a layout like this? I love the whole minimal feel to it, and lots of edits will most definitely follow to change up the rest of the site. A part of me feels like it’ll be fun to try out something different, whilst the other part of me is urging me to move onto something with a bit more personality (indecision right here folks)

layout 2; White Minimal With Colour

I want to go for a layout like this because it reminds of the blogs from my vision board, which I want to try to incorporate into my blog, those cosy, subtle tones are really pretty but then again, it just seems kind of mundane at the same time, so I really don’t know haha

layout 3; Complete Experiment (with a bit of a plan)

This is the most adventurous one so far and it’s the experimental layout. It will require a complete top to bottom, parrots cage cleaned out, thorough sweep through, but I think its also the option that sounds the most appealing to me at this point?

I won’t have any fun quirks like I do with the built-in layouts, but perhaps that’ll just give me more room to interject that charm into other corners of my site.

I’d love to know what you guys think of all of this in the comments! Please do vote for the layout which you feel would be the most fun (and aesthetically pleasing) to execute.

The layouts are all just examples, of course, I already have a couple of ideas up my sleeve to really channel in the ‘blog vibes’ through each of them, so really the hardest part now is ‘The Big Decision’ (gulp)

oh wait, it’s a democratic decision, so you guys are going if for me haha no pressureee and thank you

 

 

 

 

The Story Of Celia (and what I learned from her)

Lifestyle

Whether we believe it or not, we all have this innate spark of creativity within us. But, how we execute this creative germ is a different story altogether.

A few weeks I thought I’d cultivate a bit of my curiosity and try out something different; pottery. I know, I know, it sounds like the most random hobby ever, but I suppose that’s what happens when curiosity (and boredom) drives your decisions.

Anyway, I had this old pack of potter’s clay lying around (I don’t know how old it was but I’m assuming at least two or three years old?), the packaging had come off entirely, and it was as hard as rock, but I was blissfully oblivious about the repercussions of said issues.

My only real preparation going into was something I’d heard somewhere; that you needed lots of water of activate your clay. But something told me it was also going to get very messy.

I couldn’t have been more accurate. Half an hour in trying to bring the clay to life with water, and somehow I was soaked and the clay just looked like had been lucky to avoid a drizzle in a desert. (Hard as rock and as stubborn as one too )

Somehow though, whilst I’m now looking back with a critical eye, at that point in time, I was having so much fun. There’s just something impossibly satisfying about molding something with absolutely no personality into something worth writing stories about.

If you are ever in the need of a finger or hand work out (although why you would need such things is beyond me haha), I’d recommend experimenting with clay.

Your fingers start to kill you whilst you are carrying out your purposeful mission to make a pot with personality, but after a while you kind of get used to it. I’ve always hated the saying ’Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, but in this case I have to (grudgingly) admit that whoever said that was right about pottery.

Honestly though, the process is really calming and fun, it’s like yoga but with clay? Perhaps once you are done, both you and the pot can be centred (very important for pots with the wheel by the way haha)

Anyway, back to the story: after two days of clay filled ecstasy, I emerged out of the shadows proudly withholding my masterpiece; Celia. The World’s best not so ugly, bursting with personality- pot!

Celia was a magical little thing (yes, you may have noticed I’m using the word was. Be patient, the sad bit’s coming) She was shaped like a star on top and was short and impossibly imperfect, but she had a charm about her that once you looked at her a few (twenty) times, she really looked quite charismatic.

It sounds a bit dramatic saying all this for a pot, but we often tend to exaggerate the stories of the past and just history in general, so I suppose this incident is no different

Celia had lived a happy life for about a week, soaking up the sun and getting that tan she knew she deserved, and then moving to the shade for a quick getaway every night. But her short life ended with a bang. literally. It was so unexpected.

You see, ladies and gentlemen, Celia was no ordinary pot. She was one that hardened on air alone and I didn’t put her into a kiln or anything so she was quite fragile.

All of this was immaterial, when I heard the heart stopping sound of her life being ripped to pieces by gravity.

She was broken beyond repair, and I was devastated, (yes, you may get some tissues and weep a little with me)

Anyway, after her death, I was too traumatized (and out of clay) to make her a friend to carry on her legacy.

But Celia’s spirit didn’t die that night, although the rest of her certainly did. (I’m sorry for the pot metaphors, I just can’t stop using them haha)

I returned home with a thirst to recoup my losses. I attempted to make another one, but after a while I just had to come to the conclusion that Celia, although merely a pot, could not be replaced.

And so today, I picked up some fresh clay and began crafting my next character; Alanna, the fighter, warrior pot and all round enigma.

I suppose the moral of the story is that whilst Celia was lovely (in her own pot-like way), I had to move on from her to realize that there were others waiting to be molded too.

And I also learnt that pottery can be beyond fun once you have the right equipment. The third time around, I was better prepared with my diverse assortment of make do pottery equipment. (in case you are interested; a sponge, a random kitchen gadget thing that was a spatula with a fierce edge, a clay rolling pin, childhood edition, and a glittery orange pencil to stab things in place, which now that I think of it sounds unnecessarily aggressive)

But honestly, all you really need is patience and a bit of imagination.

Oh also, it might sound weird that I’ve depicted ’Celia the pot’ as an actual character, but when I think; I think in words wrapped up with rainbows of colors so it’s impossible for a pot to remain a pot when it has the capability to be so much more haha

I really hoped that you enjoyed this random (but fun) lil story about my new pottery obsession. Are there any surprising hobbies you’ve gotten into recently? What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever come up with? And who knew pots could teach you so much about life? I certainly didn’t, but then again I don’t know the answers to any of the other questions either, so let me know in the comments!

Gorgeous Sustainable Fashion Pieces You Need To Know About

Style

Hi everyone!

So sustainable is a huge buzzword in the fashion industry right now, and I couldn’t be happier about it, so I decided to write about some amazing sustainable finds! I do hope that this ’trend’ is here to stay because if every brand was a bit more sustainable, our planet would be all that much better for it, and there’s nothing more timeless and understated than preserving the planet is there?

The unfortunate thing about sustainable fashion though, is that it’s quite difficult to find pieces that are both unique and affordable. I scrolled through tons of websites but most of them practically sold the same clothes with different price tags; it’s disappointing and quite frankly demotivating, because it gives off the impression that fast fashion would be better in terms of wearability and just overall ‘unblandness’ (yes, that should be a word haha)

So I decided to do some deeper digging, and share a couple of my favourite sustainable fashion pieces with all of you, to prove that, yes, it is true, you can save the planet whilst looking gorgeous. #facts

Some of these pieces are on the pricier side, but most of the stores have a sale or ’outlet’ where you can get them for half off or even less!

Okay, I know what you are thinking: why that pattern?? Hear me out, okay? I think this is one of those pieces that grow on you the more you look at it. It’s bold, unapologetic and absolutely stunning when worn the right way.

As soon as I saw these shoes, I just knew I had to include them in this post! I absolutely adore little details on classic pieces and those tiny gold studs on the heel of the shoe (which features that gorgeous silhouette too) just made fall in love with them.

I’m not usually a big fan of red and lace together, but this broderie anglaise dress just made me reconsider everything haha. I don’t love the squareness of it all, but the detail is just too intricate to ignore.

This looks like one of those questionable pieces as first sight too, but it’s definitely one you can’t ignore. It’s as if an artist decided to make a dress her canvas and painted her dreams on it, all that color and detail really makes it stand out!

I love it when shoe brands experiment with patterns and color, it just adds so much personality to mundane footwear. But in this case, with that classic oxford cut and the ‘British countryside walk’ pattern, I honestly think they nailed it. So. Pretty.

The last piece I chose was minimal yet understated. The white shirt underneath the denim makes the design really shine, although it’s simple. Sometimes less really is more and this dress is a prime example of that.

I really hope that you enjoyed this post, and that you can now appreciate with me the beauty of sustainable (and unique!) fashion. This is something I’ve always enjoyed and I’m so glad to be able to share it with all of you!

Now I want to hear from you; did you have any favourites from this post? Do you want to support more sustainable brands too? And what’s your fashion sense like, humour me in the comments haha

Keeping The Bitterness At Bay With Nutella Filled Donuts!

Baking, Lifestyle, Positivity

Hi everyone!

So, I’ve always been a fan of spontaneous baking and I just thought this week’s chaos could use a bit of nutella, because it is a well acknowledged fact that while Nutella does not solve everything, it does seem to make life just a bit sweeter for a while.

I decided to make some donuts because donuts are amazing (obvi) and I just found out that Italian filled donuts are called ’Bombilini’ (fancy and cute? I think yes) which fascinated me haha.

Now that I had no excuse not to make them, I rolled up my sleeves and got to it! It honestly the perfect baking weather too; windy, rain falling ever so often and just cozy vibes all round.

I know it seems like the instructions are dreadfully long, but trust me, its really quite simple and if I can make them, anyone can haha.

I found this recipe from this website and I modified it to make it easier and made a few changes here and there, but credit goes to them for the great recipe!

The process in pictures:

I know this post is about keeping the bitterness at bay, but sometimes bitterness needs a lot more than sugar to stop it from coming back, it needs action.

Whilst you are waiting for these donuts to rise, I’d recommend signing some very important petitions to support #Blacklivesmatter. There’s so much strength in togetherness, and it really only takes about five seconds but it can make a huge impact! Here is the link for one of the petitions I signed recently; it was in honour of Breonna Taylor and demanded justice for what she endured.

Petitions are truly a great way to show support and fight for the cause, especially if you can’t protest or donate any money, and it really does make such a difference! Petitions for George Floyd lead to his murderers facing serious repercussions and massive mindset changes for a lot of people, so don’t underestimate the power of your signature.

I really do hope that you enjoyed this post and sign a petition (or twenty) and if you are looking for a sweet distraction, the donuts definitely help too! (yes, they were absolutely delicious and I don’t want to share but I made too many so I have to)

A Bit Of Positivity To Brighten Up Your Day + FREE Graphics!

Positivity

Hi everyone!

So today thought I’d do something a bit different, I’ve learnt time and time again to never underestimate the power of words.

So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite phrases and words, in graphic form, to share a bit of hope.

Who would have thought we’d live through a global pandemic, a systemic revolution, whilst seeing the world at the brink of destruction and now at a place somewhere in between? In a way it’s kind of incredible. All of our lives have changed, most far beyond recognition, but all good is not gone.

I designed a couple of graphics with quotes that you can download and use as a wallpaper or a little reminder when you are feeling down.

This is a quote by Thomas Edison

This quote to me just screams optimism and just hardcore facts really. It’s so unbelievably true that we never know what we are capable of until we stop underestimating ourselves.

This is a quote by Neil Gaiman

I absolutely loved this quote by Neil Gaiman. When I first read it, I just knew that I had to share it with all of you!

It just radiates hope and good vibes ahh I just love it haha

And it’s such a unique way to put a spin on things! Life’s perils just sound so much better when they are imagined as war against dragons.

I think this one speaks volumes, because it’s always so tempting to give up when things aren’t going our way. It’s almost always never easy to keep going, but the end result will be worth it!

As you can probably tell, I really enjoy experimenting with different graphic styles haha but I’d love to know what you thought of them, and if you had any advice for me to improve?

Do you have any powerful words that you aspire to live by or just find really motivating? Let me know in the comments!

The Power Of Letting Go and Learning to Say No

Lifestyle, Positivity

Today, lovely humans reading this post, I feel more empowered than I’ve ever felt; I feel lighter, breezier, happier and just all around more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time.

Why? Because today I learnt how to say no.

You may have gathered, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, that I’m a people person. I love talking to people, learning more about them and their incredible lives.

However, my extroverted-ness has unfortunately led to me becoming a bit of a people pleaser as well. I’m the kind of person that’d rather give up something for myself if it would make someone else happier.

And all that’s well and good in small doses. Up until it gets overwhelming, and you are giving more of yourself to everyone else than what’s necessary? And then it just becomes unhealthy, because no one’s truly happy at that point are they?

Well, I learned all these golden nuggets of wisdom today and thought I’d share a bit of what I learned on my blog with all of you!

Firstly a little background information haha, just for privacy reasons I’m going to be a bit vague but try to get the general gist across.

So a while back, a couple of friends and I started working on a project which was meaningful but intense; it took a lot of effort and usually for projects like this one, you need to work with the right people who are willing to commit to that kind of intensity.

After months of trying (and failing) to pull things together, it just wasn’t seeming to work out; the strings just seemed to be coming apart. It’s not that the people I worked with are rubbish, they are all lovely humans, it’s just that they just weren’t right for me to work with.

And that’s perfectly fine. It’s okay to accept that, some people, no matter how great they may be, just aren’t great for you. Because we are all different, we think differently and just function differently overall, so things don’t always work out amidst these differences.

It took a while for me to really let that sink in, because the truth is; I didn’t want to accept the fact that the people I’d known for so long and loved, weren’t the right people for me to do this with. Sure, we could still friends, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

But there’s a point when it’s all or nothing, when you have everything at stake, when you finally realize that there’s no end goal here. We are all travelling but are we all really stopping at the same destination?

So, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make and let go; months of long plans, unspoken hopes and heavy disappointments. It felt kind of like flying a kite, except mine had gotten too heavy to be worth holding on to and now, it was set free.

It’s exhilarating realizing the kind of power this gives you. It was a startling reminder that whatever choices I made, were just that: choices. And if it didn’t seem to be the right one, then I could always change that.

It reminded me that I wasn’t stuck or rooted to one spot, and honestly taught me the power of words all over again. If I didn’t like the place I was standing in, then I could always move or speak up at least.

Because letting go doesn’t mean giving up, saying no isn’t equivalent to quitting on your dreams. It’s just something that you need to do before you open the doors to more opportunities. If you’ve already thrown the key before finding the door, then there’s no purpose there; the opportunities will move on and the door will remain untouched.

So this isn’t goodbye or good riddance, it’s gracefully letting go, to embracing the new choices that unfold, as opposed to mourning the ones that simply weren’t up to par.

I’ve learned to hold myself at a standard higher than that. Most definitely not because I think that I’m superior or inferior to anyone else, but simply because I owe it them and myself, to constantly improve, to learn, grow and challenge myself far beyond the boundaries of simply going with ’yes’ because it’s the easy thing to do.

Have you dealt with any similar experiences in your life? Are you a bit of people pleaser too? Any life lessons you’ve learnt recently? Let me know in the comments!

I Tried to Code a Website in an Hour, Here’s How it went.

Lifestyle

Hi everyone!

So, Coding has become quite a noteworthy part of my life during the past few months. For some reason it is just so satisfying to know that this great vast land of the interwebs can be challenged by a few thousand lines of code (or a few million haha)

Anyway, programming has always fascinated me and I’ve always wanted to seize the opportunity to learn more languages (Carpe that code y’know?) But I’ve never had the opportunity to fully give myself a chance to commit to a new coding language!

Well, my friends three days ago all of that changed.

I decided to take the plunge and delve deep into the organized chaos of HTML. And I must confess, (and this may sound like it’s cheating) but HTML technically isn’t a programming language? It’s a mark up language which is a bit different. But the way I reason it; it’s still code and it’s still fun, so no excuse to not go for it!

Today I milked the Internet for its full weight in free resources and challenged myself to learn the basics and more within the day. The language itself is relatively simple so it was easy to grasp,

however;

I’m very competitive, and me being me, I simply wasn’t satisfied with just knowing the basics but mastering them haha, so I challenged myself to try to build a little website in only an hour.

The rules were simple:

  • Build a functional website with at least two webpages
  • Take no longer than hour
  • Resource access is unlimited but the timer will continue regardless of research conducted (so basically I wasn’t allowed to waste time on googling ideas on how to make my site pretty haha)
  • IT CANNOT BE A DISGRACE TO THE EYES (the most important rule of them all)
  • First and foremost; comfy pajamas. Yes, I was coding in the night, there’s just a whole ‘official programmer working on top secret project late at night’ vibe that I was working towards and it only felt right to honour it. (the only thing missing was the ticking time bomb? Oh wait I had that too haha, I only had an hour. oops)
  • It felt good to be working towards something though, I started off on quite a good note, I had my basic outline of code written and was starting to kind of bridge the gap between the details and flesh out the site, when it happened.
  • What was it? You may ask? If you guessed ambition and unrealistic ideas that I must definitely couldn’t get done in under an hour then you were more definitely right. But of course, I had to give it a go anyway haha
  • Quicky backtracking here, in any other ordinary scenario I would have been absolutely delighted to execute my ideal fantasy of what a cool website would look like. However, I definitely didn’t consider my lack of skill and experience as well as the fact that this was my first time attempting to code an entire website!
  • So, I marched down imagination avenue buzzing with ideas, heedless of the warning of the ticking timer beside me. You see, I had this idea where I wanted to expand on my ideas from yesterday’s post and kind of build a little website to share resources to learn more about anti-racism and other important causes.
  • Roughly about half an hour in, I thought I’d include a few graphics to make the site look a bit more interesting and professional. What I didn’t anticipate however, was how it would look against the pake pink background of my now much beloved pride and joy.
  • Spoiler alert: it looked horrible.
  • After realizing the a disastrous hole I’d dug myself into, I changed course and started designing another webpage because at this point, I was committed to this project and by default, extremely determined to finish this challenge.
  • Surprisingly, the writing up of the code for the second webpage was so much simpler than it was programmimg it for the first time (and HTML is fairly simple so that’s saying something haha) I decided to get a lil fancy and embed a video in there too, just because the video was something that I’d heard about and I thought the concept behind it was too amazing not to share! You can actually check out that video here.
  • I was quite disappointed that I couldn’t do more with this page, it looks really boring and bland to be honest haha, but it’s still fully operational so I guess that’s what matters in the end?
  • Like I mentioned earlier, I think I could have gotten a lot more creative by incorporating more graphics and visual content here? There’s so much opportunity lying underneath those layers of code haha (it might look a bit complicated but trust me, it was beyond easy!)
  • In contrast, this page turned out a bit better than I expected! I wanted to write up a few mini blog posts and see how it would turn out as well but I think I definitely overestimated my time limit and typing speed haha (please ignore the horrible color clash of graphics though!)
  • I’m glad that I was able to incorporate links and the video into it though! It makes it look a bit more put together when it’s really not that organized (I did warn you earlier, organized chaos haha)
  • I’d say I’ve definitely learned a lot from my hour long coding frenzy though! (okay, I may have been a little more laidback than I thought I would be, there was no panic, only a lil too much planning)
  • Here’s a little list of my HTML lessons:
    • If there’s an issue, it’s probably a lot less complicated than it seems
      Alignment is SO SO important
      Having a rough outline of how you want the website to look visually in your head is really helpful when it comes to designing it!
  • All in all, I actually had a lot of fun! I’ll definitely be working on my programming skills though haha, the aesthetics definitely leave much to be desired. Maybe I can do an update post after a month or so to see how I’ve improved? Hmm
  • Going back to the rules;
  • Have I successfully managed to complete this challenge? I’d say yes!
  • My webpages may not have been the prettiest, however they were operational, I didn’t exceed my time limit and whilst it’s not exactly a Pinterest blogger’s aesthetic haven of a website, it’s not completely hideous either? I hope at least haha
  • Now that I’m done, I finally feel qualified enough to offer my own professional coding advice to all those beginners out there.

    Up until an hour ago, I was you, until I wasn’t.

    Now, time for more advice haha

    • In order to really channel those ‘top secret tech spy’ vibes, I’d recommend downloading an app designed specifically to write code on. I used Atom in this post but I’ve heard that there’s tons of really amazing ones out there! It makes the whole programming process that much easier and more aesthetic.
    • I’d also recommend taking notes when you learn your basics, like a cheat sheet of sorts, so that you can remember the most important components of the language.
    • Lastly, challenge yourself! Even the best coders need to have projects to keep their skills sharp and you and I are no exception. You don’t have to go overboard like I did haha but giving yourself projects to work towards is a really fun way to expand your coding vocabulary whilst still improving on those secret agent skills *conspiratory wink*
  • I’d definitely recommend learning HTML, or any other coding language for that matter, it’s actually a lot easier than it looks and is pretty fun too! I already know quite a bit of Python but would love to hear if you guys have any suggestions on other cool languages to learn? (or if you’ve had any fun experiences with programming too?) I’d love to know!
  • P.S: I’d love to elaborate more on the resources that I wanted to share on my ‘unofficial’ site so let me know if you want to know more about that as well in the comments!
  • What CAN WE Do? A Reading List To Learn More

    Lifestyle

    Hi everyone!

    So I was planning on doing a fun post today but my heart is heavy and somehow it just doesn’t feel right for me to let it pass without talking about it.

    While I’ve always known that racism was a war that hadn’t yet left the battlefield, I suppose I wasn’t aware of how bad the casualties were, and still are at this point in time. It’s absolutely awful that it had to take incidents like Mr. Floyd’s injustice to shock me out of my blind euphoria; out of thinking that things are okay, because clearly they are not.

    According to the history books, racism ended with slavery, almost a hundred years ago, but as the truth is being uncovered, it clearly runs far deeper than a sense of ’I don’t like the way you look’ or the colour of your skin.

    I don’t think there is a right answer as to how or why racism even exists, but what I do know is that I don’t want to stay complicit when I know I can help out, and I thought that I’d share my awareness reading list as a means of hoping that we can learn more together, from each other and from the incredible people around us.

    Regardless of whether you are able to participate in peaceful protests or donate to the organizations committed to the cause of #Blacklivesmatter, there’s always something that we can do to contribute our effort towards making this planet one that harbours more hope than hate.

    • The Shadow Of Liberty by Kenneth C. Davis
    • Stamped Racism, Anti racism, and you by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X Kendi
    • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson

    • Monster by Walter Dean Myers
    • So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo

    I’ve put together a list that includes both fiction and facts just for a bit of diversity in the genres. I would love to know if you have any suggestions to add to this list and if you’ve read any of these books yourself?

    I don’t want this discussion on my blog to be just a one-time post where I simply share my reading list and stop there. Racism is something that has to be combatted everyday, and in light of that, once I’m done reading these books I want to continue the conversation and share what I’ve learnt, and hopefully then we can all benefit from each other and fight this battle in the same armor; with empathy and compassion.

    To everyone who has been a victim of racism, I’m beyond sorry that you had to go through that, It is not okay, it shouldn’t have happened because you definitely did not deserve it, you are loved and you are most definitely not alone.

    Stay strong, safe, educated and aware,

    But most importantly,

    It’s through a dream that Martin Luther King Jr managed to make such an impact, and accomplish such great actions, so let’s take a leaf out of his book and do the same!

    I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.

    Lifestyle

    Hi everyone!

    I’ve officially run out of reasons to not blog so I’m back! Everytime I stop blogging and start again it always feels like I’m doing something illegal because blogging is supposed to be consistent and fun, whereas sometimes I think I just blog whenever I feel guilty for not posting in six months.

    Consistency is something I’ve always struggled with, I love starting new projects and find it so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all, that when the whirlwind dies down a bit, it’s hard to stay afloat as opposed to looking for something else to sweep me away and take me higher up the ecstasy ladder.

    In a way I think that’s why I kind of enjoy the thrill when it comes to deadlines too, because it gives me something to focus on without the risk of losing motivation, because in those cases, I have no choice.

    But my blog is something I started up as a hobby and intending to pursue it without drifting hasn’t been easy.

    In fact for the past two years, I’ve been blogging sporadically, everytime the ideas threatened to spill out, I pulled up my drafts folder and just wrote until the colours dimmed and the torrent of words eased.

    But even after all this time, writing up a blog post is still thrilling, it’s exciting to know that all the words trapped up within your mind are able to take shape and form into coherent images and stories that somehow miraculously get understood by everyone else.

    However, after the first year into blogging, as with everything else, the excitement kind of wore off for a bit and although the ideas kept coming, the desire for the words to flow, just didn’t.

    But my love for blogging (as with every other hobby in my life) remains constant and I’d love to give myself a chance to work on it without the glitter blinding me (although in almost every other instance, glitter is never a bad thing haha)

    So I’m challenging myself to run with my thoughts and do something I’ve never done before.

    I’m going to blog for a month straight.

    Anything, everything, may it be random or magical, will be going into my blog posts, it’s going to be fun, crazy and maybe just a lil bit dramatic but it’ll definitely be something I’m going to look back on and laugh. (gosh it sounds like I’m introducing you to a documentary about my life or something haha)

    I want to take the time to revel in the joy of writing again and rediscover the community that I loved so much. (okay again this may be a bit much, but I really do feel this way haha and I did say it was going to be dramatic)

    I also think, this is in a way, my way of deciding if I should say goodbye to the blogging world and acknowledge it for all it’s fabulousness or decide if it’s really something I want to re-prioritize in my life.

    So, what can you expect?

    For starters; a lot of changes, I’m going to be pushing myself to my most creative limit (I don’t know if that’s a thing but I guess I’ll find out ahh) so expect a lot of random insanity coming your way! (not screening in every cinema near you!)

    I’m planning on re-doing my blog (like I do every year), baking lots of cookies and learning things that I’ve never learnt before!

    Join me in my quest to blogging serenity and we shall embark on this adventure together (yes, I’m absolutely terrified and yes, I’m also very excited)

    Lets see how this goes, shall we?

    We Are All Heroes + A Compilation of World-Saving Ideas To Do From Home

    Lifestyle, Positivity

    Hi everyone!

    All day I’ve just had this itching desire to return to my blog and type up this post, so here I am now!

    Now that the whole world is in official ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ mode, I just thought that I’d share a bit of perspective and a couple of unique ideas on how to stay at home whilst living out your greatest dreams.

    I know, I know, it’s so tempting to curl back into bed with your pajamas and watch Netflix until 2am, and then wake up the next morning and live life vicariously through the sims on your laptop.

    Unfortunately though, there’s only so much you can watch until it feels like your brain is slowly melting into an unproductive pile of goo. However, the thought of being ‘productive’ still seems too much for your mind to take; with everything else that’s going on in the world, how can you even muster up the strength? Right?

    Well, not exactly.

    Now I don’t know about you, but ever since I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the idea of heroes, whether it’s a powerful superhero or a brave princess, the distinct qualities of self-lessness and bravery always stood out to me.

    I wanted to be exactly like them, and I don’t just mean in the sense of the whole ‘surprising superpowers!’ boost but just the feeling of accomplishing something amazing, you know?

    Nevertheless, it’s not really everyday that you come across a mysterious land in need of saving or magical powers from mystical sources. In fact, life is we used to know it was really quite mundane (or so we thought at least)

    But now, all of that has changed. And it’s like a horrible nightmarish version of a fairytale (except without the unicorns and the magic) has morphed into our everyday routines and it feels utterly surreal.

    So I suppose there’s two ways that we can look at the situation; we can either be the heroes or the weapons in the background placed for both aesthetic purposes and for playing an antagonistic role in the whole scenario.

    I’ve decided that I want to be the hero, and guess what? All of you are heroes too.

    Why? Because you are choosing to be an active part of defeating the monster, slaying the dragon, fighting against the enemy that is the virus, simply by staying home. By practicing social distancing, by doing your best to offer support to the frontline warriors who continue to conquer the battleground; the doctors, nurses and medical professionals.

    As heroes, it’s easy to feel hopeless in situations like this, because this time, unlike all the other situations we’ve been trained to deal with, we aren’t allowed to go directly ‘head to head’ with the villain. In fact, we aren’t allowed to do very much at all, except stay indoors and wash our hands.

    Every hero is driven by the desire to help, save and protect. And during times like this, we are doing just that. The only difference is that it’s just slightly more unconventional heroics, but mind you, it’s still helping to save the world and that’s what matters.

    Now it’s time to step up to the great responsibility we’ve been entrusted with; the future of the planet. Everything we care about and love is at stake and it’s up to us to decide which roles we want to continue playing and how we can contribute in a way that’s less ‘dare-devil detrimental’ and more ‘ingenious indoors’

    No hero is perfect, so whilst it’s easy to complain and get back into bed, we have duties to attend to, unusual as they may be. Hey, no one ever said that saving the world was easy.

    I came up with a little list of things that we can do to carry out our heroic duties without causing any additional chaos to the innocent civilians.

    Create Art.

    Now I know this sounds like a bit of an odd way to ‘save the planet’ but here’s my thought process on this. Art is something that brings joy to people when they need it the most, it has the power to inspire, bring awe and delight. Therefore, since a touch of happiness is exactly what the world needs right now, you have no excuse!

    Pick up your paintbrush, brush off the dust on that pottery wheel, write the novel you’ve been day-dream writing in your head. There’s no better time to contribute your genius.

    Oh, and important noteworthy tip here: No capes and no second guessing! Whatever you end up making doesn’t have to be perfect or brilliant. Your first painting isn’t going to be the next Mona Lisa and that’s completely fine! You aren’t doing it to impress the art critics, you are doing it for all of those people that you love. To make their days just a little bit more colorful, to bring back the beauty that is life itself.

    Oh oh and to add to that; get creative! And I mean that in every liberal sense possible!

    Don’t limit yourself to just one medium, if your inner artist is calling out for a stop motion cacti war, just do it! (If you want more details, I’d be happy to elaborate haha)

    Every good hero checks up regularly on her/his fellow heroes and comrades. This situation is no exception, so video call your blood kin and those around who keep your cape untangled (and by that I mean the people who keep you sane haha)

    This crisis calls for a lot of things, but most of all love and community spirit, so shovel it all out online!

    No hero is complete without the fancy gadgets or cool superpowers, or in our case our creativity and enthusiasm, (I know it’s not the same folks, but in this case we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got!)

    Anyway, by this I mean, make do with what you have at home to stir up some crazy solutions! Rise to the challenge and dare yourself to create the best cookie combination in the world (I’m already envisioning mine!) or make the best pizza you’ve ever made!

    Or take a step further and go insane with the possibilities, you’d never know if pineapple cookies were any good unless you tried it, right? (Okay maybe that wasn’t the best suggestion haha but you get the point!)

    Anyway, this will keeps your skills (and utensils!) sharp for when you truly need them, it’s like training practice, but for food (and your future, of course)

    Just because we are stuck at home doesn’t mean we must abandon all hope. There’s still something we can do to keep our hearts full and that’s to help out!

    Whether it’s donating a couple of spare veggies to your neighbor or through official charities such as the the WHO fund, the Global Giving fund or even ones that are closer to home, it’s bound to help make a difference, no matter how small or large it may be.

    If you aren’t at home, then a massive hero salute to you, because you are carrying out the courageous tasks of being the phoenixes in this time of desperate hope. Thank you to all of you, whether you are immersed in the healthcare sector or the service sector, for all of your hard work and for continuing to sacrifice to keep the world alight.

    So there’s the little list of ideas to practice some home-based heroics! I left the best one for last; your opinion! I’d love to know what you are getting up to whilst battling out this pandemic.

    Let me know in the comments down below.

    We all may not be able to partake in the battle but we still can do our part in winning the war, stay heroic, stay safe and most importantly; wash your hands!

    I’m Not Giving Up.

    Positivity, Sasha Chats

    Hi everyone!

    Today’s post comes to you with a mix of happiness, exhaustion and a bit of despair (an odd combination, I know haha but if you add a fruit, it’s practically an emotion smoothie!)

    So I’ve realized that I’ve come to the part of this challenge where I’m starting to lose my glittery momentum when the ‘end’ seems too far to trudge towards and the demotivation is starting to sink in slightly.

    But (and yes, there is a but)

    I’ve also realized this: I’m trying too hard. And I’m simultaneously not trying hard enough.

    In my quest for perfection, I’m losing hold of the fact that primarily, I’m human. I’m seeking something that doesn’t exist, because whilst perfection is unattainable, working hard isn’t.

    In that sense, this challenge might just be the force that tips the balance for me, it could be the time in my life where I learn to prioritize doing what I enjoy doing, whilst still not losing my love for it and not giving up on something the moment the novelty wears off.

    And just spilling my thoughts in writing this in itself is already showing me; the more I write, the more I realize how much I love it.

    It’s definitely not the easiest process in the world (why is it so hard to edit something you just wrote?) but I think this one month has taught me so much more than my sporadic weekly posts did, in terms of discipline (such a ‘school’ word to use but turns out it’s actually surprisingly important for ‘real life’ too?? I’m not prepared for this) and creativity as well!

    Coming up with something new to write each day, is exhilarating so much so that I’ve already planned what I’m going to blog about for the whole of next week haha. But like I mentioned earlier, as easy as it is to come up with ideas, the execution itself is so much harder.

    More so now than ever, because this time, there isn’t a deadline or a mildly infuriated person behind me, no waggling fingers and ticking time bombs with disastrous consequences. It’s just me, my words and my horrible time management skills (although I suppose accepting it is a start haha)

    I’ve also started setting myself to a certain standard and I don’t feel accomplished when I’m doing something half-heartedly, so it’s all something I’ve had to come to terms with; looking for that realistic balance between writing something that I can complete within the day that lives up to my expectations as opposed to a bland post written up just for the sake of it being out there?

    I don’t want to put out meaningless words into the void of the internet, there’s already so much that’s horrible being generated every day, I simply don’t see the point in adding to that.

    So, for the rest of this month, that’s what I’m going to aim for; learning from my mistakes, strengthening my skills, and keeping it positive and meaningful.

    At the end of the day, I know now, that I’d rather go to bed exhausted and hopeful rather than wake up dejected and regretful, you know?

    I also have the sudden urge to read my brother’s stack of non-fiction books, so brb as I learn more about this world that can be both compelling and catastrophic in the most literal sense of both the words haha.

    Let me know if you’ve faced similar struggles and realizations and share your life wisdom in the comments down below!

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    IT’S OFFICIAL; The Blog Makeover Is Underway

    Lifestyle

    Hi everyone!

    Just wanted to type up a quick post to say that; it’s official and it’s happening! The annual stylish dreamer site upgrade has begun and hopefully it’ll be better than ever.

    I’m so so excited for this! I’ve been absolutely itching to change things up, and I thought now’s the perfect time to do it.

    So, what can you expect? Well, hopefully a cleaner, more minimal aesthetic with lots of personality!

    I’ve always loved the look of a clean white blog, but never thought that it felt me without colour and patterns so I’m going for somewhere in the middle this time round.

    Here’s a mood board of what to expect:

    Well, I suppose I’d better stop writing and start designing haha. Let me know if you have any suggestions for anything I can fix to improve my blog; both content and graphics wise!

    Keep dreaming