Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Monthly Roundup // January 2020.

I've learnt a lot about myself in this new year already. It's been only a month but I've experienced quite a lot. It's often hard to reflect back on our lives because often we become so focused upon the bad things that have happened and not the happy moments. But I think that's because as humans we are just destined to be pessimistic. It's installed in our brains, much like procrastination is.

January started off with new years and our annual Christmas party. Often I look back at these with sadness, not because the nights were bad. I was surrounded by some people I can call my closest friends but because of a small percentage of people who deemed to bring negative energy. One thing I am taking from January is how easy it is to be dragged into people's drama. You don't have to be friends with everybody. It's incredibly important to live your life for yourself, and not on the terms of other people. If they've fallen out with somebody doesn't mean you have to follow in suit. While also, don't let people walk all over you. It's not worth it.

January made me realise who my true friends are. I'm so lucky to have the people I have in my life. The friends I surround myself with and my boyfriend Christopher who truly adores every part of me. Despite being an anxiety mess 24/7. (Something I actually started therapy for this month. Don't ever feel you can not ask for help, you can and asking for help makes you a stronger person). I'm so grateful for my Rainbows family and the volunteering I do there to help form part of a social circle for the girls.

January has made me realise how many times I say no because of my anxiety. I'm by all means not becoming a yes person all the time and climbing mount Everest, but I want to start working harder. Working smarter and enjoying my time off to the maximum capacity I can.

In summary, don't let others negativity rule your life. Don't let anxiety make you afraid to get help and leave your house. Love the people closest to you. Love your life. and don't forget to breathe.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sundose* A Personalised Vitamin Supply Review.

*AD -This Blogpost contains gifted items*

Vitamins and supplements are an important addition to our lifestyles to ensure we are able to maintain our general well-being and health. They are something that most of us should be taking daily, but let's be honest it's something we often forget to do. It's kind of like exercising, we know the importance but we often lack the motivation to succeed. This is where Sundose comes into play and why I've loved using them.

So what is it?

Sundose is a Polish vitamin company that helps take out the stress of working out what vitamin and supplements we need to take. With a personalised formula that is based and focuses on the questionnaire, you provide answers too. The questions ranging from being based on your own lifestyle and well-being and also your health and dietary needs. For me, when answering the questionnaire it was very apparent my needs were to be focused on improving my energy levels, due to my struggle of getting out of bed in the morning that in turn is affecting my day to day concentration and productivity levels. 

Once the main 62-page questionnaire has been answered a nutritionist will message you to ask in regards to a few extra questioning in regards to if you have had a recent blood test in the last three months. What you want your supplements to focus the most on. Like I said above, my energy levels is what I picked here. Lastly, what flavour you want for the drink formula part of the vitamins. Importantly I picked Orange as you can never go wrong with orange flavoured products.

When your vitamin supply has arrived, It arrives in a small handy orange box that encloses your 30-day sachets. This orange box makes it incredibly easy to slot into your fridge as that is where these need to be kept. So make sure you have enough room to store them! (Making room was something I forgot to do and had to frantically rearrange my incredibly messy fridge. I am slightly envious of all the Mr's Hinch fans who have the perfect fridge layouts as mine never looks the same). 

But Really, What Does It Contain?

Depending on what supplements you are recommended, your supplements may consist of both tablets and a drink powder formula filled with a mix of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 acids probiotics and antioxidants. These change depending on how you answered the questionnaire and what are best to fitting your lifestyle and dietary requirements. A note to place here is that I found with the drink powder it's best when mixing it with water to let it stand for 5/10 minutes and mixing it every so often to make it taste the nicest. 

In Summary. 

Overall, I've been trying these vitamins for over a week and a half now and have seen some general improvements with my health. My productivity on a day to day basis has really improved and my ability to stay concentrated for longer means I'm getting a lot more done in regards to studying for my University degree. Although I haven't seen much help when it comes to getting up in the morning, I do find my energy levels are supplemented in regards to I'm having more energy in the day. This means I'm able to actually do a lot more after my workday has finished and I'm not just sat on the sofa struggling to stay awake past eight o'clock. This new burst of energy is so new to me and I just love how perfect Sundos is for if you are on the go and need something quick to drink on your way to work or with your breakfast in the morning. 

If supplements and vitamins are something you have been wanting to try out but been struggling where to start, Sundose is the perfect brand for you. With the code 'lucyjade' you are able to get 20 pounds off your first order!

Have you ever tried vitamins/supplements before or is it something you already do on a regular basis? Please do let me know! 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Is Endless Scrolling A Bad Habit Of Yours?

I know, I know. It's something we are all told, but it's also something we are all guilty of doing. How many times have you climbed into bed at half ten at night, told yourself you'll have a look on social media, a scroll on Instagram for five minutes and then it ends up being midnight by the time you next look at the clock. It's not good for us, the blue light is bad for our eyes and tricks our brain into alert mode. Making falling asleep much harder than it needs to be. So with all that said this is why I've decided to ban phones and screens in the bedroom.

Your bedroom needs to have that balance and divide of being the place you sleep in, and not the place you work or relax in. I know, it's hard but there are plenty of activities to do before bed that help us wind down and relax in a way that is better for us in the long run.

1. Read a Book. 
Reading is so good for us and our brains. It helps our creativity, it helps us wind down and it's almost like a telly show, just without the moving pictures. I am very aware reading isn't for everybody and I stand in a kind of unique situation here seeming I read books for University on the regular as part of my English Literature degree. I, however, also enjoy reading in my spare time also. Now the type of book really doesn't matter, as long as you are reading something you enjoy, it's not only stimulating your brain but it helps to wind you down from the day a lot better than any screen could do.

2. Journaling.

Journalling is something that is not for everyone. But journalling is also something that differs for every single person. For some filling out their to-do list for the next day is great as it means you don't have to think about it when you wake up the next morning. Or some take journalling as a more approach of writing down how their day went what happened and how they overcame whatever occurred. For me, I think both work equally as well so it's a personal choice of what you may want to do or try.

3. Colouring.
Although this is something I tend to do while watching telly, I know I'm one of those people who can't sit still. I've always got to have something in my hand, but I find colouring such a relaxing activity. It helps put my mind at rest especially after a busy day at work or just studying for university. You don't have to concentrate hard either so it's great if you suffer from regular headaches like I do.

4.  Practising gratitude. 
There is just something quite wonderful about the whole idea of just lighting a candle while sitting in bed and just closing your eyes as you let your thoughts drift through your mind as you remember the things that matter to you in life.

What is your go-to habit before bedtime that really helps you get to sleep better? I would love to know.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

My Top Reading Picks of 2019.

2019 was a whirlwind of a year. It seemed to fly by and now we are already in a new year, and even a new decade. So as we reflect and look back on the previous year I wanted to talk about my favourite books I have read in 2019.

Reading is something relaxes me when I am highly anxious and I love being able to be transported into another world. I mean maybe that is why I am studying an English Degree. Talking about my degree the first book I want to mention is one I actually read because of my degree and writing an essay on it. An essay I am meant to writing right now but instead, I am writing this.

Hotel World by Ali Smith. 
Although I had to read this book for university it still holds a worthy mention in my top reading picks purely for the amazing style any of Ali Smiths books are written like. It throws many literacy features and 'rules' out of the window to accommodate the topics of political capitalism and dealing with grief and the grey area between life and death. For some, its a bit more of a heavy read but Ali Smith tackles these type of topics in a very comical basis that makes you forget how heavy the topic is. Even if you don't need to read this for an academic purpose like myself I think you would still very much enjoy it.

Another on my list that I read as more of a pleasure read that also deals with grief theming but in a more of a girly drama book compared to that of Ali Smiths contemporary novel is,

After You by Jojo Moyes.
The second in the well-known book series of 'Me Before You'. After you focus on the life Lou lives after the ending of the first one. I read this during the Christmas period and managed to finish it just after the new year so technically I wouldn't say I read this in 2019 however I felt it was worth the mention. I'm just going to put this out here and say It wasn't my favourite read out of this list and you may be thinking at this point why I've mentioned it in my best picks. But let me explain. If you are to read this as a stand-alone book, I feel it is not for you. The flow of writing and storytelling wouldn't make much sense, as it follows on from the previous book. On the other hand, if you have actually read 'Me Before You' or watched the movie.

Although this is not really a book I feel these are a worthy mention. I recently started a magazine subscription to Breathe.

Breathe Magazine. 
Breathe magazine is a magazine that is focused around health and well-being and self-care. Something I find incredibly important as these days there isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done so we always focus on the work we need to do and the tasks that need to be completed as opposed to actually taking care of ourselves. Like most things, a lot of things are easier said than done and we find giving advice to others easier than taking the advice ourselves actually.

We all a love good classic novel, or maybe that's just a thing for me as an English Literature student. But I couldn't write a list about my top collectable reads of the year without one. So this leads us to our next one.

Far From The Madding Crowd By Thomas Hardy. 
This one is very different from the others upon our list, so please stick with me as I know classics are not what everyone loves. But because of Far From The Madding Crowd being a realism novel, it has a sense of relative to our everyday life. It's also a rather easy read in regards to the language that is used in the text. Often I find when I have to read a classic book for my degree, a lot of them become a struggle to read as the language choice from the time they were written become almost like a blockage. In all, if an English degree is something you want to pursue or even briefly look into and the type of things you would study, I feel this is a good starting point.

What was your favourite read of 2019?
I hope you enjoyed reading this little blogpost!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A New Year But I'm Still The Same Me // Why You Should Never Change Yourself For anybody.

I'm a little bit late to the party here, seeming I am writing this on the 14th of January but the first two weeks of the new year have been a bit of a whirlwind time, to say the least, and I properly wanted to sit down and think about what I wanted to write about and where I think I am heading with this blog. A trend I have noticed from the likes of social media platforms and talking to people in my everyday life is a focus on goals and resolutions when a new year, (Or even a new decade) Is around the corner. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not opposed to the aspect of setting ourselves goals and working on ourselves for the better because as humans I feel we are always able to improve ourselves. But my problem when it comes to this type of goals is that they are attached to something of a significance holiday so people are in turn somewhat 'expected' to make goals.

And a lot of the time these type of goals are centred around losing weight and improving fitness levels, a career change or a promotion or even just reading more or buying a car/learning to drive and this is because we pick these goals as we think it's what we have to do to become a better human being. We don't need to change ourselves for anybody. This is one of my main points I have really been focusing on for 2020. During 2019, I became far too consumed with what everybody around me was doing, focusing on how they, in turn, live their lives rather than focusing on my own and what I need to do. So just because people around you in your lives are doing all different types of things to do, there is no need to make it a competitive thing and compare yourself. Every person in life is on a very different track and no two people are the same.

I hope you are having a great start to the new year and the new decade, and I would love to hear your thoughts in regards to goals and the new year. 
Until next time, thank you so much for reading! 
Toodlepip Lovelies 
Lucy xox

Monday, December 23, 2019

Mary Poppins // A Theatre Review.

On a gloomy Saturday evening in the last week of November, my boyfriend and I headed up to London to see the wonderful Charlie Stemp and Zizi Strallen in Mary Poppins. Although you may have never heard of the musical production that is Mary Poppins, I am pretty sure you would know of the Disney movie version.

There isn't much that differs between the two, however, one of the key differences you will notice is the musical soundtracks, and let's be honest the songs make most of the west end performances, par the acting! The West End performance has had a lot more songs added to it, to enhance the story that unfolds on the stage while also creating some alternations and setting changes to the most iconic Mary Poppins songs there is, these being 'A Spoonful of Sugar' and 'Supercalifragilisticexplidocious'. I didn't have much of a problem with these alternations but was a little disappointed that Mary Poppins didn't wear the well know White holiday dress for Jolly Holiday and instead opted for a bright pink one.

But let's have a talk about the new additions that graced the stage. One of my firm favourites was the song 'Being Mr's Banks' and the reprised version also. There is something about listening to this song be performed upon the stage that really moved me. The lyrics and acting were both filled with so much emotion that makes you feel a sense of relation to how the actor is feeling and to everyday life. Something I love is how an actor or a song and plot line can make you feel invested more and more into the musical. 'Being Mrs Banks' makes you feel the emotions she has been torn between the woman she wants to be, and the woman her husband wants her to be.

Although I loved 'Being Mrs Banks' I was not the biggest fan of the 'Playing the Game' song. I felt that the entire scene was very uncomfortable to watch and terrified me slightly when the giant toy came to life. I don't want to spoil the show too much as there is a lot of magic that centres around the production and Mary Poppins itself. For a show like this, what more could you expect? The magic is a key piece to the show and adds an extra level of wonderfulness that any Disney production needs. I loved how magical Mary Poppins bag was without the movie tricks the original pursues. The set of Cherry Tree Lane house was also a firm favourite as I loved the way it unfolded and folded itself up almost like a giant dollhouse. The set being this way added that extra bit of specialness.

Overall, If you love Disney and Mary Poppins is your kind of thing I think you would extremely love this and Charlie Stemp as Burt and Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins are the real icing on the cake for this version of Mary Poppins. Together they create the best dynamic of the two and mould themselves perfectl]y into the characters while acting. Making it such a pleasure to watch. I really enjoyed my time watching this show and would really recommend you go see it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little theatre review and have a lovely Christmas!
Toodlepip lovelies
Lucy x

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Theatre Shows You Need To See!

Hello! I’ve seen quite a few musicals and plays in my time. Ranging from in West End it’s self and also within the theatre that’s local to me, that being the cliffs pavilion within Southend. So I comprised a list of theatre shows you absolutely have to see whether you are a seasoned theatre-goer or a new beginner.

The Phantom of the Opera. (Probably one of the most iconic theatre shows). You can not go wrong with a theatre classic and phantom of the opera is just that. Filled with classic opera ballads that really test the vocal cords of its cast it’s a story full of love and tragedy. You’ve probably heard or even seen the movie, although I feel it’s not up there as one of my favourites; You will not regret seeing the iconic chandelier scene in such an immersive version of theatre. Phantom of the Opera is a 9/10 for me.

Les Misérables. This show is another firm favourite of mine that I have actually watched the production twice now. The first being the London West End run and the second being the Les Misérables all-stars concert run. Both were amazing examples of how incredibly talented West end performers are, these being old well-known celebrities with the likes of Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, but also newcomers like Rob Houchen. It's a fine example of classic literature based upon history being turned into a stellar production. Les Misérables is a 10/10 for me and my favourite West End show ever. 

Come From Away. I'm not sure if you can see a theme following here but I enjoy shows that have a meaning behind them. Come from Away is a musical that's based upon the events of 9/11. This show means a lot to me due to I was alive when 9/11 unfolded. Come From Away documents the events in a respectful way and I ended up leaving the show as a crying and bumbling mess. Come from Away is a shorter performance compared to the others within this list but you don't tend to feel as though you are missing anything. I give this show an 8/10.

The Book of Mormon. Now I wasn't going to add this one, because I wasn't the biggest fan of this show. I loved the songs but felt the humour wasn't really there for me. However, my boyfriend loves this show with a passion and wanted to add his opinion on here. So beware it does contain a lot of dark/dry humour so if that's not really your thing then I wouldn't recommend. Nether the less my boyfriend rates it as an 8/10 as it is one of his favourite musicals. 

Heathers! Heather and Heather! I mean, the opportunity to make that joke was there... I just had to take it alright. Seeming Heathers is coming back to the theatre scene and embarking on a UK tour it is only right I mention this stellar production. Heathers reminds me very much of old fashioned Mean girls and is an old round fell good show. I saw it last November with Carrie Hope Fletcher as Veronica Sawyer and fell in love with the happy and the low parts. If you take anything from this post I would totally recommend you see Heathers the most. It's a 10/10 for me. 

What West End/ UK Tours have you seen and would recommend? 
I hope you enjoyed this little post and thank you for reading!
Toodlepip Lovelies 
Lucy x