5 Things You’ll Relate To If You’re The Big Sister

In case you didn’t already know, I’m a big sister. There’s only 3 years between me and Rebecca which can be both a blessing and a curse in disguise. We talk like best friends, fight like cat and dog and laugh like hyenas; but isn’t that what sisters are for?

Today I’d like to share a few things that I’ve learnt about being a big sister recently. Of course, Rebecca is 18 years old so we’ve been partnered up for a while now, but it’s only recently that I’ve been able to sit back and reflect on our relationship. I think this is due to the fact that a lot of things have been going on around us lately. I moved out, she’s headed off to uni and now we seem to be getting along better than ever.

5 Things You’ll Relate To If You’re The Big Sister

  • Being the ‘Guinea Pig’ of the family.

    Yep I said it! Us big sisters are always the first to experience new things, and with that comes the fact that your parents will be experiencing for the first time too. Your first sleepover, your first night out and your first boyfriend are all things that you’re more than likely to experience before your little sister. Our parents are just finding their feet when it comes to these big steps in our lives, and this means that they tend to do things a little differently the second time around! In my household this means that my parents were a little more lenient with Rebecca.

  • Arguing with your little sister, and then worrying about her.

    Ah yes, she scribbled all over YOUR colouring book. She ruined your new top. She’s pestering you when you’re with your friends. We can all relate to these squabbles, and you might have even lashed out at your sister! There are many occasions where I’ve lost my temper with Rebecca and hit her or shouted. But you can guarantee that the minute she’s gone you worry about having upset or hurt her.

  • Fighting the urge not to get involved in her playground arguments.

    Nobody tells me sister what to do except me, and nobody gets to say anything mean to her. It’s the typical big sister attitude. I mean, it’s your job right? No doubt when she starts getting into little tiffs at school, as many young girls do, you’ll be biting your nails and using all of your strength not to get involved!

  • Coveting each other’s wardrobes.

    This might not apply to everyone, but Rebecca and I are very similar size wise. Admittedly she’s a little taller and thinner, and she does have bigger feet (I really drew the short straw,) but generally we’re able to share each other’s clothes. For some reason she always wants to borrow my clothes and I always want to borrow hers! I guess it’s a sister thing.

  • Being able to really laugh with her, more than you can with anyone else.

    You’re sisters remember! It’s not always bad, in fact most of the time it’s pretty great. I’m a firm believer that no matter how much you argue right now one day you’ll reach that age where you’re more friends than sisters. When that happens, you’ll have years of memories to look back on together and you’ll know each other better than anyone else. So when you get together and start laughing trust me you’ll struggle to stop.

So there’s a few things that I’ve learnt recently about being a big sister. If you’re a big sister can you relate to my points? Or alternatively if you’re the little sister; how are things from your point of view? Head over to Facebook and Twitter and let me know!

Rachel x

10 Blog Post Ideas For When You’re Stuck ★

Yes I know today’s post is very late, but I did feel like a little break was deserved after my last post; Sharing a Secret – Skin Conditions and Mental Illness.

You’ll be happy to hear that today’s post is a lot less emotionally draining. The final Blogtober challenge is ’10 Blog Post Ideas.’

I’m a pretty creative person, or you could say I’m a pretty crazy person, either way I’m never short of ideas. Hey, they aren’t always great but it takes a lot to stop my creative juices flowing. I guess this is probably due to my excitable nature.

So, in the name of Blogtober I’d like to share a few of these ideas with you. Next time you’re stuck and you really want to get something written up, think of your old pal Rachel and head on over here. I’m always happy to help where I can.

10 Blog Post Ideas For When You’re Stuck

  1. Share one of your collections with us.
    This could be your shoe collection, handbags, stamps, baking ingredients, craft tools. Everybody loves a good collection, and it gives us inspiration to upgrade our own collections.
  2. Teach us something.
    Really. Teach as anything. Think of your talents and then share them. It could be a makeup tutorial, crafts, a recipe or even a blogging how to.
  3. Try a ‘follow me around’ style post.
    This doesn’t have to be fun filled or packed with adventure. Show us what you get up to on a lazy day. These posts are so relatable, and it really helps your readers to understand who you are.
  4. Try something new, and document the experience for us.
    Again this could be a new craft, a new recipe, a new product or a new makeup tutorial; anything that applies to your niche really. It doesn’t have to be a big success either – if you didn’t like it then tell us why and give us a recommendation for an alternative!
  5. Create an up to date wish list, everyone loves a good wish list.
    Wish lists, for some, are the blogger’s bread and butter. If you blog about travel create a list of your dream destinations, if you write about makeup write a list of your dream products and so on. This is a great way to inspire others, and hint to the ones that you love around Christmas and birthdays!
  6. Tell us about something that annoys you.
    Oh I know, it sounds like such a sin. But I promise this will not ruin your blog. Tell us about your beliefs and values, or even something trivial like that man who was rude to you on the tube earlier. People will respect your honesty, after all we are all human and social media only shows us one side of someone’s life.
  7. Tell us a story.
    Story time seems to be a very marmite topic amongst many bloggers. I personally love it; especially when it’s done well. This could be a sad story, something funny that happened to you a few weeks ago or even something from your childhood. I think you will find that plenty of your readers will be able to relate to you.
  8. Share some throwback pictures.
    On those days where you’re feeling a little lazy and you can’t really be bothered to type up a whole post throwbacks can be your saviour. These could be pictures from your childhood, a trip you took last year or even a throwback to your very first blog posts. Everyone loves to see how far you have come, and again it makes you more relatable.
  9. Introduce us to some of your friends/family.
    I understand that some of you will want to keep that part of your life very separate from your blog, and that’s fine. However, if you’re given permission from friends and family introduce us. Show us a few pictures of you together and tell us what you love about them. You could even throw in a little story.
  10. Use your experience to create a relatable ’10 things that happen when’ or ‘5 things that happen when’ post. Check out my ‘8 Things That Happen When You Don’t Go To University‘ post and my ‘5 Things No One Tells You About Being A Grown Up‘ post for examples.

So there you have 10 blog post ideas for the next time you get stuck. I hope this helps some of you next time you’re lost for ideas and you’re really wanting to get a post up! What are your suggestions for blog post topics? Let me know on Facebook and Twitter!

Rachel x

Sharing A Secret – Skin Conditions And Mental Illness

Blogtober day thirty’s topic is very appropriate, and you’ll know why if you were tuned into BBC Radio 1 at around 6pm yesterday.

Today I’d like to talk to you about the link between skin conditions and mental illness. I’d like to share with you a secret – my own struggle.

If you’ve been here a while, or know me personally, then you’ll know that I have battled with pretty severe eczema for a couple of years now. You’ll probably know that it caused me a lot of physical pain. But, what you probably don’t know is that my mental wellbeing also suffered as a result.

Staph infection 1Right foot

Inflamed ankleStaph infection 2Left foot

My Eczema Made Me Depressed

During the worst periods of my eczema I battled depression, anxiety and complusive behaviours. In fact, I spent a short while on anti-depressents before I decided that it wasn’t the right route for me.

The problem with skin conditions is just that, they affect the skin. This in turn can effect our perceptions of ourselves, and the way that we think others percieve us, thus lowering our self confidence and increasing our anxiety in social situations.

This is exactly what happened when I was suffering badly with my eczema, and it still does happen to me. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, I was disgusted and reduced to tears at the sight of myself, I felt hopeless and worthless, I became anxious at the thought of difficult social situations and I developed repeptitive behaviours as a way of coping with this. I still do now. Even now I find myself getting nervous and itching at my feet, or pulling fabric between my toes as a sort of way of soothing myself.

Things Need To Change

You probably wonder why I’m sharing this. I mean, I know Blogtober required me to share a secret today. But why did I choose to share this particular, sensitive one?

Well, it’s time for things to change. We need to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Because mental illness is all around us. Fact: 17 in 100 people experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lifetime. Fact: A 2009 study found that 9.7 in 100 people experienced mixed feelings of anxiety and depression that year alone. And these are just the figures that are reported, the real numbers are likely much higher because of the stigma that is attached to mental health.

The fact of the matter is that having a skin condition affects the way you feel about yourself. Eczema, psiorasis and acne are very visible conditions. It is true, occasionally people aren’t very understanding and can be mean about your condition. But the truth is that there isn’t enough support out there for people with these conditions. I battled with eczema for two years before I was placed on anti-depressents. Not once in that time did anyone ask me how I felt. Not once in that time did anyone notice that something was wrong, even when I broke down in tears in the nurses office having my feet bandaged one Friday night.

Even when I decided it was time to ask for help. When I couldn’t sleep and I was starting to cruise through life, days at a time, emotionless and lost. I was simply placed on medication and sent away.

I have decided to share this secret with you today because I don’t think it should be difficult for us to be able to talk about our mental health. I hope that this helps some of you to speak out, or listen, when it comes to your own and others mental health.

To learn more about eczema and depression, visit this article on netdoctor.co.uk.

Rachel x

Blogtober Day Twenty Eight – My Christmas Wishlist

I will catch up. I will catch up.

I know I’ve been falling behind a little on Blogtober – sorry! There is no real excuse other than I haven’t felt much like writing lately so I haven’t been wanting to force it. Luckily for me, and you, today’s Blogtober challenge is something that I thoroughly enjoy; writing my Christmas wish list.

Yes I know I’m 21, definitely not a kid, and Santa does not exist but it is a tradition for me. Plus it makes it easier for others when doing their present shopping and ensures you don’t have to put any of your gifts on eBay in January. Win win I say.

My Christmas Wishlist

Midi Stack Party

These downright gorgeous Midi Stack Party rings from Daniella Draper!
Days of the Week Lipstick set

This irrestistable Days of the Week Lipsitck gift set from Clinique.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette

The Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette which is pretty high up on my list this year.

Nightwalker Batallion Sherpa Duster Coat

This Nightwalker Batallion Sherpa Duster Coat from Nasty Gal that is all kinds of bad ass.

'R' Alphabetty Mug

This cute little ‘R’ Alphabetty Mug from Qtique.

Bombay Sapphire Gin Balloon

This complete essential! Bombay Sapphire Gin Balloon from Ocado.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Collection

It wouldn’t be a Christmas wishlist without some chocolate, I’m dying to try this Christmas Collection Gift Box from Hotel Chocolat.

ASOS Lookout Caged Pointed Ballet Flats

These fierce Lookout Caged Pointed Ballet Flats from ASOS.

Ted Baker Bronwyn Exotic Leather Matinee Purse

I could do with a new purse right now and this Bronwyn Exotic Leather Matinee Purse by Ted Baker is all kinds of lush.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Foil Effect Phone Case

I have a new iPhone 6S and it needs a case, this Marc by Marc Jacobs Bronze Foil Effect case is just the ticket.

So there you have my Christmas wishlist! What’s on your list this year?

Rachel x

Blogtober Day Twenty Six – What’s In My Handbag

To be honest with you, I’m not sure how to feel about these posts. What is the purpose of seeing inside my handbag? Does it tell you how prepared or messy I am? Is it just an opportunity for spoilt people to brag?

My Handbag

I’m still not sure, but I suppose what Blogtober wants Blogtober gets. If you take anything away from the disorganised, weird contents of my handbag then I hope it’s not to live your life like mine! My handbag by the way was from New Look a couple of months ago – I’m pretty certain it was only £19.99.

The Contents Of My Handbag

The Contents Of My Handbag

  1. Doggy treats for Yogi
  2. Pina Colada flavour loose tea (check out my Blogger Box Share post to see where this came from)
  3. Boots Lens Cleaner
  4. My Ted Baker purse
  5. My Nikon L830 camera
  6. A 2015/16 diary I got from Tesco
  7. Two Biro pens
  8. NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray
  9. My glasses case
  10. Two Clinique Chubby Sticks (one in the shade 01 curviest caramel and one in the shade 09 roundest raspberry)
  11. My car keys
  12. A plain notebook I got from Tesco
  13. A random packet of tissues
  14. A cute cork notebook I bought on holiday a few years ago

So there you have the contents of my handbag. Generally it always looks like this. Full of bits and bobs that I don’t really need and the usual culprits like a purse. What’s inside your handbag? Tweet me a picture!

To be honest with you, I secretly rather enjoyed sharing with you a little bit of my life. Perhaps these handbag type posts aren’t so bad after all!

Rachel x

Blogtober Day Twenty Five – My Secret Hobby

Today’s Blogtober challenge requires me to tell you a little more about my hobbies, I was the one who decided to add the secret part.

Secret, because nobody knows or even suspects that I do this.

My secret hobby is ADULT COLOURING.

Animal Kingdom Colouring Book Cover

I know what you’re thinking – weird, nerdy, only children colour or perhaps you heard the word adult and your mind wandered straight to some place naughty. You’d be wrong. Adult Colouring is much more intricate than anything a child would do, and let me tell you it is incredibly soothing. In fact, many adult colouring books are advertised as being ‘stress relief.’

My adult colouring book is themed around the animal kingdom. Admittedly it was a little bit expensive, but the garden centre probably isn’t the best place to go if you’re thinking of taking up colouring as a hobby. Personally I’d recommend you check out Amazon and Ebay first.

Animal Kingdom Colouring Book Inside

Once you’ve purchased your colouring book all you need to do is choose your medium! I use fineliner pens, but it would work equally well with coloured pencils or crayons. The only important thing to ensure is that whatever you use the tip is fine enough for you to fill in the details.

Animal Kingdom Colouring Book My Colouring

So there you have it, my secret hobby. What do you get up to in your spare time?

Rachel x

Blogger Box Share 2015

This year I have been very lucky to participate in the first ever Blogger Box Share!

In case you don’t know what that is. It’s basically a Blogger event where you are matched with a Blogger who is similar to yourself in terms of niche and size. You each have a budget of £10 of your own money which you use to fill a box full of surprises for your Blogger Box Share partner!

I was paired up with the wonderful Alice-Megan! We exchanged a few ideas after finding out we were partners and came up with the idea of basing our boxes around our local cuisine. I being from Louth, Lincolshire and Alice-Megan being of Sheffield we had plenty of surprises to fill our boxes with.

So, drum roll please, here are the contents of the Sheffield themed box…

thumb_DSCN0388_1024

You’ll probably recognise a couple of the brands above, Bassetts and Thorntons, which isn’t a huge surprise as I’m pretty sure they are popular all over the UK! However, the rest of the contents of this box are a mystery and I have to say i’m particularly excited to try the Pina Colada flavoured loose leaf tea!

If you’d like to see what I put in the Louth box for Alice-Megan, check out her post here.

What would you be most excited to try out of these goodies?

Rachel x