Sunday, 29 May 2016

What's In My Bag?

I have been meaning to write this post for about as long as I've been meaning to clean out my bag, which if you're wondering, has been a good couple of months. Before I begin writing, I would like to apologise for the quality of the photos, the lighting isn't very good... 

I should probably start by showing you my bag, and telling you where I got it. So, here it is: 

It's from Topshop, and cost me £28.00, with student discount. There were lots of different colours, including black, mustard yellow, and khaki, the one that I have. I use it for everyday use, and while it isn't real leather, it's lasted since January (with a lot of abuse!), so I would recommend it! I am not sure if it's still available online, but if you pop into your local branch, you may be able to find it in the sale. 
I have found that there is definitely enough room for everything I need, without it being too big, or too small. So that's definitely a plus. 

I'm going to jump right in to showing you what I have in my bag now..And nothing has been skipped because I didn't want it to be shown. This is what a real teenager has in her bag... 

In the small pocket on the front, I have... 

My 'first aid kit' containing plasters (I wear Docs...), a hair tie, hair grips, painkillers, and some cotton buds, in case my eye makeup smudges. I take this is pretty much whatever bag I have with me, I just take it out and pop it into another one. It's just pretty useful to have with me, and it keeps all of the little things that usually get lost all in one place. (I did get a photo of this, but I accidentally deleted it. Whoops.)  

A phone charger because we work on computers in college, so if I need to, I can charge my phone. No big deal, and pretty self-explanatory, too. 

A hand mirror, lip balm, and a nude lipstick because I like lip products.. And I don't really wear lipstick unless I find it in my bag.. It's a really nice shimmery nude, by L'Oreal, and Emma got it for me for Christmas. Thanks, buddy! The hand mirror is really cool, it has a magnifying side, and it's a pretty good size. It's quite useful to have around. 

A nail file, and a blue pen because they are useful things to have with you; people always ask for pens, and nail files, so it just makes life easier to carry them around with you. The nail file is from Superdrug, and is nothing special, but also pretty good.

In the big pocket, I have... 

My purse and an umbrella. My purse goes basically everywhere with me, and is from Accessorize. I got it for my birthday in October, and I don't think they sell them any more. I keep cash, coins, cards, and my driving license inside, so basically, usual purse stuff. Please don't steal it. The umbrella was a Christmas present from ages ago, and only really lives in my bag during bad weather. Not sure why it's in there right now...

As well as taking my purse basically everywhere, I also take my college ID with me. It entitles me to get discounted bus fares, and discounts in some shops and stuff. Pretty neat.

Gum, and polo mints, because I had a problem with chewing gum at one point, and I never got round to chewing all of the pieces in the bottle. And the mints are there because they taste nice.

Hairbrush, body spray, hand sanitizer, and an inhaler. Personal appearance, no B.O., and having clean hands are important things. I carry these things around as a 'just incase' thing, like if I'm having a bad hair day and need to tie it back, or I had to run for the bus and don't want to smell bad.. Or there's no soap or something when I need to wash my hands... The inhaler is there because I used to have asthma, and I just feel a little better knowing that I have it with me. 

Mini Jammie Dodgers in case I get hungry.. But they've been in my bag for ages and I haven't eaten them... Oops. 

Fifteen bus tickets and a couple of receipts. I get the bus to and from college, and bus tickets end up either in my back pocket, or in my bag. There may even be a couple in my purse... I'm pretty sure everyone just chucks random pieces of paper in their bags, so this isn't that big of a deal... 

And finally, in the little zip-up pocket, I have... 

Lady items. Enough said. 

I also carry my iPod, earphones, and my phone in my bag, but obviously they're not in there when I'm not out and about. 

I hope this was an interesting insight into my personality and my life and stuff?

See you around!
Dottie x

Thursday, 19 May 2016

I Am Fuelled By Coffee (Shops)

For the past few months, I have been spending an awful lot of time (and money!) in coffee shops. This is to avoid hanging out at college for the best part of an hour some days, before my lessons begin. Cheers buses...

This has resulted in two things. Firstly, my spending an awful lot of money, and using too much of my mobile data... And secondly, my better understanding how my mind relaxes, and how best to start my day. 

I adore the atmosphere of Coffee #1, the coffee shop I visit literally all of the time. It never really gets busy, and even if it is busy, it's never loud. There are some really squishy, comfy sofas, which are perfect for cuddling up with a significant other, in case you were wondering. All of the chairs and tables are mismatched, and yet it all works so perfectly. The walls are made from reclaimed bricks, or painted in a muted burgundy red.. It creates a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere, and the vibes are just perfect. 

I cannot work out why, but starting the day with a coffee, or pot of tea just puts me in a good mindset, and the right mood for just life in general. I know that it's not even the caffeine that does it for me; I drink decaf coffee, and the tannins in tea prevent the caffeine from being released in the same way as in coffee. My morning coffee shop visits are definitely more of a relaxing experience than a 'wake up' thing, and I love it. 
It is way better when I'm not on my own, though... 

I think that it's important to find what works to help you relax, and you shouldn't be afraid to treat yourself once in a while! I mean, I do spend a lot in coffee shops now, because I have three or four coffees in a week, which is around £10.. Which, fuck, I have just released is way too much to be spending on coffee. Ouch. I need to get me a job...
But despite that painful figure, it is definitely helping my mental health, because I feel less anxious and stressed about going to college, and I actually quite look forward to it!

If you want to be updated on my coffee journey, you should definitely follow my Instagram. In fact, do it even if you don't care about coffee. I like Instagram and I need likes to fuel my ego. Check it out here

Bye for now, pals. 

- Dottie x

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Road to Body Positivity...

There is a difference between being vain and loving yourself. 

Self love is defined as a "regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic quality)" . 
This means that loving yourself is 

  1. Not something to be ashamed of
  2. Something that others may find attractive
  3. Something that is important for your well-being and general happiness. 
Basically, if you are not happy with the body that you have, you will find that this unhappiness may appear elsewhere too. ("We accept the love we think we deserve"). 

I saw this adorable little cartoon-type drawing about self love on my Instagram feed the other day:
I made it extra-large because it is very important for you to see and to read. (also credit to Beth Evans, who drew this). 

Self love is difficult. Everyone struggles sometimes, we all have days where we look in the mirror and wish that we could change this, or shrink that. I am going to talk about myself now, because that's the only way I really know how to explain what I'm trying to say. 

Okay. So. I am a UK size 10, which is a size 8 in the US, or a 38/36 in Europe, depending on where you're from. According to a 2013 news article I found (basically the following info is outdated and possibly now incorrect), the average women living in the UK is 5 foot 3 inches tall, weighs 11 stone (70.2 kg), and wears a size 16. 

To compare, I am 5 foot 6 inches tall, weigh around 60kg (around 9.5 stone), and wear a size 10. This means that I am below average. This could mean that my body is seen as desirable, I do not know. 

I still struggle with insecurities. I know that in today's society, many people see being slim as being attractive. That's the way it is. Skinny = pretty. Not true. And for the record, I'm not skinny, more curvy, I guess? There is a thing called 'thin privilege', however, and if you haven't heard of it, please check this out before you continue to read here. 

So yes, I may be 'lucky' because of my size, but that does not always equate to happy. 

I struggle sometimes with self love. I spend too long looking in the mirror, trying to erase any imperfections that I deem unacceptable. And I am going to talk about them. Not because I want people to tell me that my self-perceived flaws aren't even flaws at all, but to show you reading this that body positivity and self love is possible, despite seeing flaws and hating parts of your body. 

So, let's list 'em... Firstly, I feel that my legs are too big, and not toned enough. I don't like my knees. I have poor circulation, so my legs are kinda weird in that poor circulation way. My hands and feet are really quite small. I get lots of spots on my back. My belly has a little layer of fat on it, and my belly bloats a lil around the time of my period. Speaking of which, around the same time, I get huge, gross red spots on my chin. Not attractive. I wear glasses, I don't like my nose. I have hooded eyes, and I can't do winged eyeliner. 

Notice that I went from stating an opinion on my body, to talking about it like it was fact. It's not fact that spots are unattractive. It's what, for some reason, my brain has come to believe. I struggle with being body positive, but I don't let it hold me back. 

I wore a crop top to college the other week. I have purchased a few tops that reveal skin, such as my shoulders and my back. I wore a skirt to college just the other day, and I was proud of the fact that I thought it looked really nice. Yes, that's right, I wore a skirt, despite not liking my legs. And guess what? No one commented, I had no reason to feel insecure, and I even had a moment where I looked in the mirror and thought "actually, my legs look pretty good"
Understandably, it's difficult to feel body positive at certain times of the month, and it's okay to have what could be called a 'relapse', or a bad day. Hell, there are still days where I want to wear the biggest band tee I own because I don't like the way that my stomach looks. 

But, despite any insecurities that I may have, I still have body positive days. I have days when I am less positive.. But I still try, and make an effort, and sometimes, finding the perfect top makes me feel a million dollars, and helps me to love myself. 

Basically, I tried to expand on what the cartoon was showing. I hope it was okay? 

Basically, being body positive is difficult, and we all have lots of insecurities, or things we don't like about our bodies. We should not let those things stop us from loving ourselves, and the vessels in which we will travel the earth. 

Okay. Cool. 
Hope this made sense. 

Bye for now!
- Dottie x