Goals of November.

November has arrived.

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2016 is just speeding by. October was a month of mixed emotions and events for me. I had some downs and tears but some great moments and memories too (finding out the gender of baby #2 especially made October special). On the blogging front I achieved some small milestones that made me especially proud, like:

They are relatively small achievements, but ones that have made me super proud and happy especially as I put lots of blogging effort in throughout October. Reflecting has made me aware of these achievements and given me a bit of motivation to continue on in the direction I am going. November isn’t usually a positive month of me. This time last year, we found out that our landlord was selling and we needed to be out of the house for January (which over the Christmas period wasn’t ideal as you can imagine and I cannot believe it’s been a year), it’s also the fifteenth year anniversary of my mothers death too. So you can see why I am a bit gloomy going into this eleventh month of the year. With it being the beginning of the month I thought it was perfect to set some new goals and go into November with a positive mind. Here we go:

  • Hit 2000 Twitter followers
  • Hit 200 followers on Instagram (this is my newest social media platform so want to be realistic) 
  • Reach 50 followers on Pinterest
  • Beat Octobers monthly views
  • Post at least three times a week
  • By the end of November, have a least first week of December’s posts scheduled (eek I can’t believe it’s December next month!)
  • Take part in a twitter chat at least once a week

Again, these are small goals but I would rather be realistic and have a shot at hitting them, then deflate myself if I fail to do so as they were so unreachable. So November, let’s be having you!

loll

Do you have any achievements you are proud of from October? Do you have a particular goal you want to reach by the end of November? 

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5 quotes to embrace happiness.

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Sunday is often a day we reflect, make plans for the following week and mull over the week we have just had. I’ve seen some small improvements and successes in my blog (well I like to think) and this makes me proud, positive and happy. So on that note why not keep it nice and light – rounding off the week with some quotes that make us feel all happy and mushy inside. Here’s five of my best:

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Each quote can relate and mean something different to every person, so I’m not going to say what they mean to me as this s purely a reflection post. Instead I’ll leave you with this, remember that there is only one of you in this world and you are brilliant. Learn to love yourself, overly love those important to you, remember making mistakes is human, learn from you every day. You’re your own best teacher. Embrace you. Be happy!

loll

What makes you happy? Do you have a favourite happiness quote? Anything this week that has lifted your spirits?

6 things we can learn from Friends Characters.

Friends is a considerable love of mine and hub-to-be. They never get tiring to watch. It’s a series that make viewers smile, laugh, cry and ultimately feel how the characters do. I’m sure many of you have a favourite Friends character or episode or saying. Recently, Comedy Central ran a public twitter poll wanting to find out the nations favourite Friend and the winner was….Ross Geller. The geeky dinosaur loving, divorce having, ‘we were on a break’ saying palaeontologist. It got me thinking about how all the characters can connect with us in some way – even if you have an undeniable favourite.

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Phoebe – the free spirited, life loving blonde who makes us feel happy with her quirk spirit. One of the things that truly stays with me about Phoebe is how she is able to get me absorbed in thought over if there truly is a selfless deed (In The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS). Even though she is the ‘uncomplicated’ character, she really does provoke us to deliberate the deeper meanings of things. No matter what life throws at her (the suicide of her mother, death of her grandma, abandonment of her father, estrangement from her twin sister are just a few of the minor events she has experienced to say the least) she is most definitely the merry, uplifting Friend. She allows us to see that yes, life can be cruel and unexpected but it doesn’t have to define you. And we can all learn a lot from her. On your down days, just think what would Phoebe do?

Ross – the nerdy, palaeontologist father of two. Ross is pretty logical. The episode The One With The Lottery sees the group convinced they are going to win the lottery (thanks to Phoebes positive outlook anything) but Ross is the only friend who brings logic into it. Even when he later gets involved, he chooses to spend his money in the most sensible way out of them all. Ross reminds us that it’s okay to be smart, to like things that are different to others (he’s forever being teased for his passion of dinosaurs and science) but also reminds us that you can be overwhelmed and slightly dumbfounded by love no matter how logical  about life you are – (I’m sure we are all aware of his undiminished love for Rachel).

Monica – the organised, clean freak with a passion for cooking. Monica is super competitive and has such a drive about her. Whether that’s from going to overweight to super sensual or achieving her dream job as a chef. She shown to be the most overpowering and controlling one out of the group, almost having this constant need to be liked (as shown In The One With All The Candy) but all this is easily forgotten about in her quest to find love and start a family. Monica is mothering, caring and attentive. She shows us that no matter how organised and efficient you like things to be – sometimes life happens, you can’t control it and you need to deal with things in a way you hadn’t planned for. She also inspires us to be a little more organised and competitive – having a get up and go attitude as strong as hers can’t be a bad thing.

Joey – the food loving, flirty friend, who seems to be the least organised but most loving of the bunch. Joey teaches us to enjoy and embrace life, even when you have no idea where it’s going. Many a time we see Joey in need of help from his best pal Chandler, going round in circles in his career choice and never committing to a relationship (for too long anyway). Its how many of us see our life at times. Finances suffering and our career moving leisurely BUT we never see Joey in a tiff or low about it. Instead he teaches us to pass every bridge as you come to it, have a heart as big as your tummy and live to eat (rather than eat to live).

Rachel – the once immature, spoiled girl turned independent fashionista mummy. Rachel most definitely teaches us about independence. In the very first episode we see her abandon all she was ‘supposed’ to be. She jumps into a world that is unknown to her, and we see her struggle with the adjustment at times (like in The One With George Stephanopoulos, which see’s her end the episode realising she has ‘magic beans’). Rachel goes from spoilt daughter to coffee waitress to exceeding in the world of fashion. She teaches us you have to work where to get where you want to be and that life can be tough, she teaches us that even when life is going well and the unexpected happens (like her pregnancy to on/off love Ross) that change can be good.

Chandler – the whimsical, sarcastic child of erotic writer and gay trans superstar. Chandler is without a doubt the one who has the biggest guard out of the group. He frequently reminds us that comedy is his defence mechanism. He teaches us that we are human and we make mistakes. We see him kiss his best friend’s girlfriend after discovering he has feelings for her, his best friend’s sister after getting too drunk, we see him freak out and go AWOL before his wedding, we see him make a bold career move and quit his job to rekindle and find his passion and we see him have a constant battle with smoking. Throughout the series Chandler reminds us that it’s okay to be human and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

There you have it. A quick round up and insight into how I think each Friends character can teach us something – I could go on and on and on. Oh and by the way my favourite Friend is Chandler!

loll

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Why I’ve fell out with media, celebrities and pop culture.

After stumbling over a couple of fantastic posts such as Smash It Like A Girl by Mad House Mum, do read, my mind has been awash with thought. There was another incredible post on the pressures boys face but unfortunately, for the life of me can’t find it in my bookmarks or history to reference. She did a previous post in the past on the pressures teenage girls face too. If you do know who I’m referring to please comment so I can edit it in. With these posts ringing fresh in my mind (and clearly a theme forming across the internet), they prompted me into thinking about this area in more depth. Just a word of warning, this is a little bit of a rant post.

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We are all well aware we live in an age of technology, smartphones, celebrity trends and media. Easily we can read the latest celebrity news by opening up an app or with a simple search – even Snapchat has introduced magazine/celebrity content to their story feature. Pop culture is ruling. Celebrities bring trends, which go hand in hand with pressures to stay on top of trends in order to stay ‘current’ and ‘cool’. Sometimes this can be an extremely positive thing, raising awareness regarding certain issues and taboo. On the other hand, we can be left questioning certain statements…much like I was.

A few nights ago scrolling through Snapchat stories – whilst deep in battle of re-sleep training which you can read about here (plug plug plug) –  I came across an article about a Kardashian/Jenner. Now this high profile, celebrity family is plastered everywhere and frequently feature in tabloids, so this wasn’t at all a surprise to me. The article in particular was discussing an interview with the youngest member, Kylie Jenner, for Complex Magazine. Now before I go on Kylie Jenner has achieved many great things which I deeply applaud and commend, even establishing and smashing her own business empire at the age of 19. Being voted Most Influential Teen by TIME (which I was unaware of until researching, proving my point further down) will hopefully allow her success to positively encourage and motivate teenagers of today – to strive and work hard for their own goals. I truly hope she becomes a role model to our future adults for those positive, incredible reasons as oppose to only appearance based, shallow trends.

I completely recognise that being branded a celebrity does not take away your human right, they are underneath it all still people like you and me; in the full interview Kylie shows this humane side and a little bit of who she is behind headlines by discussing troubles she has faced as a teen. These include anxiety, bullying and pressures she too has felt, hopefully this resonates to teens feeling similar pressures that she is in fact only human, she does and can feel the same as many of us because of similar issues.  But back to my point, when browsing through Snapchat I came across a little breakdown of the article. Keep in mind many teens use Snapchat as a platform to socialise, having access to this article just as easily as I did – and being Kylie Jenner, they are most probably going to open it and have a look at what she has been up too. Now, from the get go, this story headline was purely focused on Kylie’s infamous lip fillers which instantly annoyed me as many headlines do and then very quickly, almost instantly included these quotes from Kylie:

‘This guy I kissed was like, “Your lips are really small but you’re a really good kisser”‘

‘From then on, I just felt like I saw guys staring at my lips. I felt like no one wanted to kiss me.’

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Taken from Kylie Jenner Complex Cover. 

Reading this, I had to take a moment. Kylie was 17 when she first got lip fillers. Celebrity or not, she was still a teenage girl who felt the pressures of society,  the influence to look a certain way and the need to appeal to others. Having read the full article, and can I just say it is definitely an eye opener in understanding her achievements but still the images included focus on the need to look a particular way,  Kylie went on to say:

‘Oh, yeah, I got my lips done’? What are all those moms going to think about me? These kids, my fans, they’re going to think I’m crazy. I didn’t want to be a bad influence. I didn’t want people to think you had to get your lips done to feel good about yourself.’

What really irritates me, is why the media grabs your attention by zoning straight in on her lips, relating it to how it can influence the level of attraction and feeling someone has for you. As a teenage girl reading that, I would want to make sure I had full, ample lips (enter the craze of the Kylie Jenner Challenge which she in no way promoted or encouraged by the way – seeing teens attempting to plump lips by sucking glasses, yeah it wasn’t pretty see picture below for proof). Like teens don’t have enough awkward moments in life and mini hormonal break downs about their first puppy love – materialist fads like this don’t need to be added.

I did some light research and discovered that Their Girls’ Attitudes Survey, which 1288 women aged 7 to 21 took part in, discovered that 87% of girls between the ages 11 and 21 thought women were judged more on their appearance than their ability which is only proven when comparing the full article to the snippet I stumbled upon via Snapchat – and one in five girls between 7 and 11 years said they had been on a diet – which is saddening and worrying. You can find the full article on this here.

Why must it always come down to appearance? In this day and age, why is someone who is so current within teens  and media, and young herself, being focused prominently on appearance when she clearly she has achieved great success at the age of 19. Surely it’s healthier to have her business and achievements focused on much deeper. How is any young girl meant to feel that their ability is being recognised more than their appearance when headlines like this are everywhere? If you went to any teenager or anyone for that matter, and asked them to tell you one thing about Kylie Jenner, you will probably more than likely get a response relating to appearance. It’s the sad truth. And Jenner isn’t the only celebrity happens with. Appearance, unfortunately seems to be the ‘it’ thing at the moment.

The age we knew when we were younger is very much fading into the distance. Technology is very much a prominent means, I mean I’m typing this on a laptop connected to wifi providing me a wonderful connection to the internet – which as you will agree, a clear lifetime away from our childhoods. With this, social media sees celebrities available to their fans easier than ever and in that more articles reviewing them as products not people are frequently our social media feeds – I’m sure it will only keep developing and ‘evolving’. Sure the world will always have fashion icons and different trends will come and go – but what will our children and teens take from all this information available, especially when it’s a world so focused on keeping up with trends and how we should be looking a certain way.  As a mother of a 21 month old girl, it makes me question the kind of pressures, that will be unnecessarily added to her life. Pressures felt more due to media and how celebrities are portrayed. What and how will she feel in 15 years time? Will she be one of those 87% feeling women are judged more on appearance than ability? I hope not. Will she be made to feel her lips have to look a certain way and try silly methods to try and achieve them? Will she still be reading gossip columns focusing on assets and how they can determine whether someone finds her attractive?  This applies to both genders too, it’s present and clear across  both genders. You don’t even have to look or long to see it.

I hope times will have shifted, movements evolved and that we will see a happier, healthier and safer age of teenagers. Who knows? I guess for now all we can do is support and uplift our dear ones, helping them to understand that beauty isn’t defined by a look or by our appearance – to help open their eyes to learn how to appreciate their own beauty inside and out whilst they mature and develop.

loll

What annoys you most about the world we live in today in regards to media? Will pressures on our teens and selves ever ease?

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