21.2.17

12 Things I Wish I'd Known At Sixteen



Looking back at any of my journals, you'll see just how naive I was as a teen. The long lists of dreams now seem ridiculously over ambitious and some down right impossible. Even more so when I remember just how fearful I was of life back then. Goodness knows how I planned to do half of the stuff when I wouldn't even say boo to a goose. Many years have passed now so I thought it would be interesting to write a list of twelve things I would tell my sixteen year old self if I could.


Dear Justine


1. You won't be married before the age of thirty and that's okay. Hell if you never get married that's okay too!


2. Stop being so afraid of boys. They're not an alien species although some might argue with that. Try talking to one once in a while. They don't bite.


3. The world isn't as scary as you think. Sure it's a scary place at times, but there's also a lot of good going on. Try and have a little faith in humanity. People will often surprise you.


4. Just because you argue with a person, that doesn't mean the friendship/relationship is over. People do row and it's completely normal.


5. You're not going to be able to change the world by yourself. Although changing the world frequents most of your goals lists, you need to accept that you can only do your bit.


6. Pretty soon you're going to be diagnosed with GAD. Later on down the line you'll also be diagnosed with OCD and depression. This doesn't mean you're a crazy person or a psycho. Ignore anyone that makes you feel as such. Yes you're going to have a really tough seventeen years ahead of you but once you come out on the other side you'll be stronger for it. Do not give up. Likewise, when someone tells you to 'snap out of it,' I'd advise stamping on their foot and running away! A joke obviously but I would indeed consider cutting anyone out of your life that brings you down. You don't need that shit.


7. You're going to start a blog. You don't even know what one is right now but trust me you're going to love it. It's going to give you a much needed confidence boost and you'll also get to know many like minded individuals. Some of whom will become really good friends.


8. Sadly, you're never going to be a Spice Girl (or any other pop star for that matter.) Sweetheart you just can't carry a tune! Do the world a favour and give that dream up.


9. You are not going to become a millionaire by writing a best selling novel. In fact you're going to have a love/hate relationship with your writing for many years to come as you battle with your mental health. Although writing has always been cathartic for you, don't force it. It will come naturally when it's ready. Oh and there are much quicker ways to get rich than writing a novel. Sorry to burst your bubble.


10. A bespectacled young boy called Harry is going to take the literary world by storm. Words like 'muggle' will become a part of daily life for a while. As will running at walls in the train station. Do not try this at home unless you're a descendant from a witch/wizard! :)


11. You'll make mistakes as you go along in life but you're only human. Treat them as a lesson learned and move on. Don't beat yourself up.


12. You're not going to be a teacher. Although you're going to college next week to enrol for your A-levels you'll panic and change your mind last minute. You'll end up doing a hairdressing and beauty course but this won't be your career path either. By some fluke (or maybe fate) you'll end up working for a dental practice where you'll stay. There you will grow and learn more about yourself and life than you realised was possible. You'll also meet some girls who will become your friends for life. Helen, Zoë, Dani, Tracy and the rest... :)



If you got this far, I hope you enjoyed reading. What do you wish you could tell your sixteen year old self? I could have carried on this list forever but that would make for a very long blog post. Have a fabulous week. I'm off for pizza!




Lots of love Justine xxx





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17.2.17

8 Things I'm Loving This Week





I do love a good lists post. Both reading and writing them. In fact I enjoyed writing this one so much that I might make it a regular thing. Without further ado, here are eight things I've been loving this last week.


1. Katy Perry's new blonde hair. How bloomin' gorgeous did she look at the Grammys?? It's got me desperately wanting to go get my hair done. Wouldn't mind her face either. She's beautiful!


2. My mood. This time last week I was feeling all over the place what with messing around with my medication. Two weeks back on the usual and I'm feeling somewhat calmer and content. Lesson learned there.


3. Bloglovin. There has been so many fantastic posts lately it's hard to keep up. Thank goodness for the save button hey? Mental note to self. Must read back over all at some point.


4. My ad slots being booked up for the next three months. It's nice to know that people want to advertise with me. Little old me!? I still wonder why but hey I'm not complaining and I'll work my backside off promoting you wonderful lot!


5. Tracy. My new work colleague, partner in crime and now also friend for life. (Sorry Tracy but you're not getting away ha ha!) She always seems to know what to say to make me feel better about myself when I'm having a down day and she lifts my spirits. I know loads of people but I can count my best friends on one hand and Tracy is now one of them. Oh and she's as nutty as me which kind of helps. If you like bespoke crafts, aromatherapy bath time treats or pretty keepsakes then check out her Facebook page Tracy's Treasures.


6. My nephews. It goes without saying that I always love my nephews but this week they surprised me with a visit at work. Just seeing their smiling faces makes me feel instantly happy.


7. My cute Valentines gifts. I hadn't expected anything so this was lovely.


8. My bed. I've been super tired lately so I've been going to bed early just to curl up and read. It's one of my favourite places to be.



Don't forget to let me know in the comments what you've been loving this week.


Justine xxx



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16.2.17

Steal Away: 20 Blog Post Ideas On Blogging




Today I'm back with another from my 'Blogging Tips' series.

My last blog ideas post went down a storm so I thought I'd do another. This time around all the ideas are based on or around blogging. Most won't cost you a penny except maybe numbers thirteen and twenty. Of course if you already have props then you won't need to go out and buy any to photograph. The whole point of 'props on a shoestring budget' is to utilise what you already have to save yourself from spending. And who knows what ideas you could inspire in others? Get creative and look around the house for random items.

If you're anything like me then you'll have seen so many gorgeous backdrops in photos from various bloggers on Instagram and on their blog posts. I have a yearning to go and visit many of these and when I do I'll be taking plenty of photos that's for sure. Obviously it will involve travel money so it's one on my 'To Do' list. *Sighs

I hope you find something of use on the list below. Feel free to take any, just be sure to share your blog links in the comments section so I can have a read once you're done. :)


1. How To Protect Yourself Online (Domain Privacy)


2. How To Organise The Perfect Blog Event


3. What's A Plugin?


4. Why You Should Go Self Hosted


5. How To Fall In Love With Blogging Again


6. Blogging: The Legal Side


7. Twenty Blog Post Ideas For Spring


8. Find Your Niche Or Risk Being Lost


9. Blog Titles: How To Hook The Reader


10. How To Be A Success In A Minefield Of Bloggers


11. How I Gained Followers On Bloglovin


12. How To Make Money From Your Blog


13. Blog Props On A Shoestring Budget


14. Become A Journey That People Want To Follow


15. How To Build A Better Social Media Presence


16. Eight Of The Best Bloggers


17. Find Your Voice/Writing Style


18. Five Must Read Blog Posts


19. Blogging Jargon Explained


20. Amazing Places For Blog Photo Backdrops



Until next time...



Justine xxx





Image via Pexels

14.2.17

Don't Feel Alone



Hello lovely people. Unless you've been locked in a broom cupboard or hiding under a rock, then you'll have realised that today is of course Valentine's Day. But never fear! This is not going to be another gushing romantic post so you can rest assured and settle down with your glass of wine or tipple of choice.

I don't particularly like Valentine's Day. For starters, I'm single. There's going to be no grand romantic gestures taking place in my household tonight. And secondly, I hate seeing what it does to other people that aren't in a relationship.

Obviously I get that it's hard to ignore the red hearts adorning every shop surface and the picture perfect flowers popping up on your Instagram feed. But try not to let it bother you.

I'm sure most of us would love a knight in shining armour to come along and sweep us of our feet and one day that might happen. But in the meantime, don't let one day of the year get you down. If you're single, look to the positive! Enjoy the freedom while you have it. Pop on a dvd and relish in the fact you can watch what you want tonight with no arguments over who gets the remote control. Scoff a whole box of chocolates if you fancy and don't feel guilty about it.

I'm going to be curled up in my pjs with a glass of white wine and I can't think of anything better right about now. Whatever you get up to, try not to feel alone. Remember that there's always someone to talk to, even if that's just little old me! :)



Lots of love Justine xxx




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10.2.17

5 Must Read Blogs




Hello lovelies! Today is all about sharing some blog love. If you follow me on Twitter then you'll have noticed that I like to share my latest favourite blog reads with everyone. Of course I'm also aware that not everyone uses Twitter so I thought I'd use GGD to share five must read blogs that I've come across in the last few months. Curl up with a brew (or glass of wine) and enjoy.


1. thirteenthoughts

Paula's blog is now one of my regular 'go-to' reads. Whether she's talking beauty, lifestyle or blogging tips, her posts are always spot on and I love her use of photography!

2. HannahGale

I honestly think I must have been hiding under a rock not to have discovered Hannah's blog before now. She posts about fashion, blogging, beauty and life, (in fact just about everything) but the reason I love Hannah's blog most is because she always keeps it real.

3. poppiesinoctober

Erin's blog is simply gorgeous to look at. I love the layout, the photography and just like me, she loves to write. I was super excited when I read that she is writing a novel. She blogs about lots of topics including mental health, lifestyle, literature and motivation.

4. Flourishing Freelancer

Dani writes about writing. Literally. Her website is full of useful posts on how to be a better blogger and freelancer. If you're a writer, blogger or aspiring writer, go give this one a read.

5. Girl Untold

Girl Untold is so much more than just a blog. Created by Sarah who has suffered from various things such as mental illness, addiction, eating disorders and self harm. GirlUntold is a movement to share her story, empower women and tackle society's pressure to be, look, act and think a certain way. (Sarah's own words - how can you not love a motto like that? Go show your support and give her a follow.)


Have you any recommended blog reads to share? Please leave any links in the comments section below.


Justine xxx




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