Why do I feel guilty making my own decisions?

(Just a quick note for any potential employers who may read this – don’t worry, I’ll turn up to any interview you may offer me. I’m only applying for jobs I actually want now…_

Today, I had a job interview that I cancelled last minute and didn’t show up to. It wasn’t because I couldn’t be bothered, or that I wanted to go do something else, or that I got anxious (although that can happen to me) I just knew it wasn’t right for me. However, I’m still thinking about everyone else’s opinions 3 hours after I’ve made that decision – why?

Let me give you some context: I’m 21, and I’m temping at the moment, after chucking in a job that was contributing to a lot of stress and illness back in August. This was a full time retail job that didn’t offer me any realistic career progression and I had been doing for almost a year with decreasing passion. I was signed off by my doctor and after a complicated few weeks travelling, I started temping.

I’m actually quite enjoying temping. It’s giving me some work experience, the money isn’t bad and my recruitment agent is brilliant. I like that I’ve got time to figure out what it is I want to do long term whilst not feeling tied down anywhere awful. But I can’t keep at it forever, I’ve got plans to get on with! I made a commitment to myself that the next permanent job I took would be in a field I enjoy, good enough money for me to start the next chapter of my life and wouldn’t jeopardise my health.

So as I sat in my car this morning, ready to turn one way out of a junction and drive off to an interview for a management role at a clothes store 30 mins away from my house, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I got about 5 minutes of the way there and turned round to go home instead – I can’t take a job in a sector I don’t enjoy, for too little money and a large risk of me getting too stressed and pressured again. Retail makes me hate the world. I don’t want to feel like that again, so no ta. An interview would just waste everyone’s time.

I went home and applied for some real jobs I might actually enjoy, and applied for a part time course that will help me on the way to my chosen career path, so it wasn’t a waste. So why, oh why, are the “just go and see how you feel” comments still floating around my head?

It was really tough to decide not to go to this interview, but I couldn’t get hold of anyone close to me and the internet wasn’t giving me the answers I wanted. I was looking for permission to bail – even though I knew what was right for me. I’d spoken to people earlier and voiced my doubts who could see my worries, but advised I went just in case. Well, I didn’t. I may have missed an opportunity I suppose, but I’m pretty sure I saved some time and an awkward feeling of settling for something I didn’t want. Again.

Why, at 21, do I feel the need to be affirmed in my decisions? I can pay my own bills, drive my own car, choose what I want and what I don’t want. Why do I need others to help me take appropriate action?

I feel like this post should come to some resounding conclusive thought, but it won’t. The quick answer is I don’t know why this was so difficult for me, and I don’t like that it was. But one thing is for sure – I said no to something I really, really didn’t want to do. And although that might be tiny, I’m really bloody happy that I did.

24 THINGS EVERY MILLENNIAL GAL THINKS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

1. Jesus, it’s 11am. Remember when I used to wake up at 6?
2. YES, a pyjama day I don’t have to worry about. Or do I need to dress up? Shit, I should have gone on ASOS for a Christmas Dress.
3. Did my Advent Calendar come with 24 doors? Or was it 25? I better have some chocolate to eat for breakfast or I’ll cry.
4. YAY, presents.
5. Who bought me socks? Maybe you could pay my rent for a month instead, or buy me Wine? Come on people.
6. Ooh, baileys.
7. Is it too early for alcohol? Fuck it, BAILEYS AT 11.30 BECAUSE CHRISTMAS.
8. Why do I have to get dressed because the cousins are coming over? They’re family, can’t they love me in my natural sloth state? Apparently not.
9. Sparkly eyeshadow for Christmas Day? Too much? Nah.
10. Definitely too much eyeshadow. Except my eyes have gone a bit blurry from all the Bucks Fizz so that might just be me.
11. I’ll be a good daughter and help cook dinner…WOAH maybe don’t interfere after all.
12. Where’s the Quality Street?
13. OH MY GOD, FOOD. So blessed, so happy, thank you for this lord
14. Except, oh, my potatoes are burnt/turkey is dry/gravy got forgotten. Oh well, I can still eat triple I normally would.
15. Is 3 slices of pudding too much?
16. Wow, definitely too much food. Cramps.
17. Am I meant to enjoy the queens speech? Does it make me more cultured if I say I do or do I sound stuck up?
18. JESUS, mega food cramps.
19. Oh god, I’m definitely drunk now. How much can I drink in front of my boyfriends nan?
20. Oh wait, she’s asleep/drunk too. No worries.
21. ALL THE WINE.
22. I need my bed now. I’ve already fallen asleep with my cracker hat on and I need help.
23. Hiccup.
24. Wow, Christmas is overrated. When I’ve moved out it’ll be better cause I can at least choose my own tree. NEW YEARS RESOLUTION.

BLOGMAS: HOW I’M FINDING VLOGMAS

How I’m finding vlogmas

Answer you’re expecting: Amazing!

Short answer: HARD.

Real Answer: still hard, but I’m learning a lot and getting a massive sense of achievement from it. I haven’t done any videos really this year…and this month so far I’ve gotten one online every day! (Apart from days 3&4 where it was a combined video (link) but COME ON, I really have piled on the pressure this year-have a look at my December stress)

I knew vlogmas was going to be tough but I really didn’t appreciate how difficult it would be to juggle it with a full time job and life too. For anyone considering doing it next year, I would say go for it but be as prepared as you possibly can! Spare camera batteries, a solution if something stops working, a schedule, an intro, get it all planned before you start. And don’t let ANYTHING distract you, because once your drop the ball it’s over!

What I find interesting is how everyone knows december isn’t full of Christmassy happiness. Life happens, but we still (or at least , I do) expect videos and blog posts to all go perfectly and be pretty little snippets of our lives. My decorations look great, but I very much cried when my laptop froze mid way through editing. I’ve had some super cute moments with family, but they’ve teased me about filming excessively too. Nothing is perfect, and I learnt to stop expecting it to be on day 3/4 (watch my meltdown here)

But I’m back on it now-and loving it. I can celebrate Christmassy awesomeness at the same time as being honest about my life. As jealous as I am of those perfect bloggers that get it all done and looking amazing everyday-i know life isn’t really like that. I hope you’re enjoying my vlogmas, with all the ups and downs included.

Subscribe here!

Lots of love,
Lizzie xo

BLOGMAS: GIFT GUIDE FOR A MUSIC LOVER

If there’s anything I can help you with, it’s this. I love music, I sing, I play. I buy presents every year for musicians in my life and always have. If you need to know what to buy your little brother who loves his guitar but you’re on a budget and WHO KNEW GUITAR STRINGS CAME IN DIFFERENT SIZES then slow down, grab a cuppa, open up Amazon and let me help. Deep breath, it’s easy.

The problem with music, is that when it comes to gifts, they either seem boring or way too technical. Sometimes, they are. However, I’m here to help you see the difference between boring rubbish musicians end up having to buy every so often (mic leads, ugh. Which I actually got some of for my birthday and it made it so much easier receiving them as a gift! Thanks Charlie!) and the shiny exciting stuff that looks like a load of junk to you but they’ll be playing with all day going “doesn’t it sound better like this?!” and you’ll have to pretend to know what they’re talking about. I’ll help you with that, too.

NOTE: ALL MY MUSICIAN FRIENDS HAVE TO NOT READ THIS POST AND NEITHER CAN MY BOYFRIEND OR YOU’LL ALL RUIN CHRISTMAS AND I’LL CRY.

EXTRA NOTE: If you ARE one of those musician friends, or the musician boyfriend, then here’s your present all wrapped up and secret to torment you. HA HA.

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IF THEY LOVE MUSIC, BUT DON’T PLAY:

Cheap and Cheerful: The old classic HMV voucher. You may think “meh, vouchers” but HMV IS LIKE THE HOLY LAND. Start from £1 and go as high as you like-but one thing I promise you is that they’ll be in the shop for about an hour or more deciding what to spend it on.

Mid-range: Instead of buying a CD (which is a bit old school, and they probably have it already) grab a vinyl from HMV (or any other record store-my faves are in Brighton.) it doesn’t matter if it’s a new artist or old, what genre-as long as you know their tastes a tad, the staff can help you. Bonus points if you can grab something they’ve never heard of-makes you look like a super cool music enthusiast that knows more about it all than they do. Evidently, check they’ve got a record player first. Alternatively-A Spotify subscription!

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Splashing the Cash: Gig tickets, a vintage looking radio (try Roberts), a great pair of headphones (Bose over Beats any day, trust me!).

IF THEY PLAY: GUITAR

Cheap and Cheerful: Picks, strings, a capo-for either of the first 2, you’ll need to know the size of guitar they use and whether they use any special type of pick-but as a general rule of thumb, go for some basics!

Mid-range: Pedals, or a pedalboard: You know when you go to a gig and the guitarists spend a lot of time stepping on something infant of them and you wonder how drunk they are? They’re stepping on pedals to get different effects from they guitar. You can buy looooads of different effects, and most guitarists have a few pedals already, but try a delay or a phaser if they’ve got some already. If they have none, start with distortion, it’s the easiest place to begin!

Splashing the Cash: A whole, new, shiny guitar. As a general rule, guitarists have a wish list of all the guitars they’re saving for, and know exactly what they want from their next model-so make it more special and take them to a good music shop to choose their own with a budget set for them. (GAK in Brighton, or a local one near you) take them to costa on the way back and make a day of it! (Beware: taking a guitarist into a guitar shop will take hours. Either leave them to it, develop a genuine interest, or take a whole bag of patience with you!)

IF THEY PLAY: A CLASSICAL INSTRUMENT (Like Piano, Violin, or Brass)

Cheap and Cheerful: Care Kit. You can get these for pretty much any instrument and they are so handy for general maintenance!

Mid-range: Sheet music. Figure out their favourite album and you can probably find the sheet music for it online-the likes of Adele, Biebs, and Taylor Swift all have sheet music released and this will make for a pretty good soundtrack to your Christmas Day.

Splashing the Cash: Concert tickets! Easy Peasy! (You don’t have to go with them, let them take someone who they know would enjoy it with them)

IF THEY SING:

Cheap and Cheerful: Vocalzones or Rescue remedies: Throat sweets and nerve reducing sweets for before gigs! Find in any local Boots when you’re doing your regular girly shop and obligatory make up shopping for your other pals.

Mid-range: A one off singing lesson with a local teacher! (If you’re from Kent/London, I teach and do gift vouchers, holla at me for prices!)

Splashing the Cash: A mic! You can get a basic one for great prices on Amazon, but here’s  the amazing one my boyfriend got me for my birthday this year, the Shure SM58, and I loved: (thank you Charlie 🙂 although if you are reading this you’re going on the naughty list for trying to figure out what you’re getting for Christmas and you’re getting coal).

img_4364I hope this helped you out a bit! If you’re a music lover, what do you like receiving at Christmas? Are you buying for any music lovers this year?

Lizzie xo

BLOGMAS: THIS TIME NEXT YEAR…

Christmas is brilliant, but I think everybody loves they New Year. Whether you love having the opportunity to start afresh, plan new adventures, or just get a bit schlozzled, it’s one of those opportunities that can’t be beat. I personally can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for me and I love the idea of a whole New Year ahed of me with no mistakes or sadness in it yet. An opportunity to learn from this year and try again on the things that didn’t go to plan. I saw this tag on alittlereadersblog.com, and I couldn’t resist trying it out myself-read to the end to see who I’ve tagged!

This time next year, I will have…

1. Moved Out!
As much as I love my family, I am so ready to move out and hopefully it will have happened in a year (or at least, I’ll be about to move, or looking at places to move into!) I don’t want it to be a pipe dream anymore, I need to spread my wings!

I’ll achieve this by: Working with my boyfriend to save money-less Nando’s😩 and maybe even monetising my various side hustles. Mo’ money mo’ money. (No, seriously, I need more money😭😂)

2. Be working with brands regularly on my blog: Since my blog started a couple of months ago it’s grown more than I expected, and I’d love this to continue! I’d like to work with brands more in a year and develop my own little corner of the internet.

How: Approach brands more! Don’t be nervous in asking for what you want, and don’t give up just because things take a bit of hard work and elbow grease. Persistence and confidence are key (WAY easier said than done.)

3. Be healthier: I know this is a sort of obvious one and it’s what people always say in January, but further than drinking more water and eating better I want to be healthier in my mind and my body. I need to prioritise this and good things will come.

How: take time for myself, learn to say no when I need to. Pursue the things I love and get support when I need it. And, yeah, drink a bit more water.

In 2016 I tried to take on way too much and I ended up not achieving all the things i wanted to achieve, and I burned myself out too. This year I’m going to live life a bit slower, take each day and each new opportunity as it comes, and continue to work consistently hard, but without expecting too much of myself. Where would you like to be in a year?

I tag the following bloggers to do this post-I hope you’ve got all the success you deserve in a year!

Daisy Ashcroft
Take heart Be Courageous
Walk Into This Week
Charlie Friend

Lizzie xo

BLOGMAS: WHAT’S IN MY BAG? FESTIVE EDITION

BLOGMAS: What’s in my bag? Festive Edition

Calling this a “Festive Edition” is a bit cheeky considering I’ve never done this blog post before, and it’s a bit different compared to what I usually write about. However, I would say it’s s bit more interesting in winter, so here you go! I hope this isn’t too short and I hope you’re interested…

Lipstick: Berry colours for winter! I’m loving Mac Whirl at the moment, the colours are just perfect and it’s long wearing too. I actually got this recommended to me by a waitress in my local Bills, which is a bit random, but shout out to that girl for helping me pimp up my winter lip game.img_4393

Hairbrush: Because my mane gets tangled af in this wind! This is my good old Tangle Teezer which I will never stray away from now-I truly believe they’re worth the money and they’re so much more comfortable to use than regular paddle brushes.img_4400

Diary: For keeping up to date with blogmas, vlogmas, seeing loved ones, work…and making myself feel like it’s a little less overwhelming! Mine is a standard A5 Filofax but I really need a new one, because the patent leather isn’t in the best shape anymore and my needs have changed since I bought this one a year ago.img_4399

Water-to combat that winter dry skin, as well as my moisturiser XXX. I keep it in my Cute Nutrition Protein Shaker (lord knows why) and I also keep my Cute Nutrition capsules in my bag-to try and remind me to take them! I’ve got the Dandelion Root capsules, which I find really effective, and the CLA capsules (which I don’t notice do all that much, to be completely honest. Maybe it’s more of an internal benefit.)img_4401

Phone-duh.img_4396

Keys-also duh. With a cute little sausage dog keyring from joules to make them a lot easier to locate in my bag (and cuter!)

Purse (empty from all the Christmas shopping. Help me Santa)img_4394

Hand cream: a must in the winter months! I’m currently using this dove one, which I really find helps long term, and isn’t too greasy.img_4398

Painkillers and soothers: I’m too prone to colds and sniffles to not carry these at all times.img_4395

And that’s your lot! This is a bit different from what I would be carrying in Spring/Summer/to a gig/to an event-would anyone like to see another variation?

Lizzie xo

BLOGMAS: MY DECEMBER STRESS

We all know December can be a tough one. With work, shopping, preparing for family and filled-to-the-brim schedules, it’s a mental month. Add the social pressures we put on ourselves and it’s kind of too much to handle. I can see why some people are massive scrooges.

Well personally, this is a different December than I’ve ever had before. There is a LOT more going on and whilst I’m excited, I am slightly worried I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Let me just say that I am not, in any way, complaining-I know I’ve got a very blessed life. I’m just slightly panicked!

First of all, there’s all your basic which-present-do-i-get-for-who and which wrapping paper is more appropriate and WAIT let me ask around and make sure no one got them that already. There’s the where am I going to be on Christmas Eve and how much alcohol can I get away with drinking in front of my boyfriends nan and do I need to feel guilty about eating all that chocolate?

But this year, I’ve added in “I fancy redecorating my whole room-LETS ORDER THE FURNITURE FOR 3 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE” and “Blogging? It’s great. I struggle to post around work sometimes though. LET”S DO A POST EVERYDAY ALL MONTH” and “I love YouTube Videos! A blog post a day isn’t enough, let’s do a video every day too! I haven’t ever daily vlogged before, I’m sure CHRISTMAS is the best time to start!”

So, yeah. That’s all floating around in my head. As much as I’m trying to prepare I just cannot ignore all the perfect bloggers I know who have had their posts scheduled for weeks and seem to have it all sown together and why is her Instagram so much prettier than mine? I’m sure they’re all either a lot better at hiding their stress than I am, or sitting back in their armchairs drinking a perfectly formed hot chocolate cackling at my scattiness.

I promised myself when I got back from Thailand-remember that?– that I would take things easy on myself and not take on too much. Lol, jk, one last little stress sesh to end the year. As if it isn’t entirely self inflicted.

The worst part is, this IS all completely my own doing. Right now, I’m writing this post instead of getting ready for work, because I love this internet-blogging-vlogging stuff SO MUCH. I want to have a great blogmas, I want to improve my YouTube Channel, I want to create some great content full of festive times and have my room looking all lovely for the new year. So damn it, I will. Have a lovely December everyone-if you’re not already following my YouTube Channel and my occasional panic-driven rants, you can here.

Lizzie xo

BLOGMAS: 5 WINTER TRADITIONS I LOVE

Winter is most definitely upon us. (Okay, not technically if you listen to those people that say Winter doesn’t start until January because of-what is it, daylight saving?-but if you’re one of those people I say AHEM GLOBAL WARMING and I’m already wearing my Christmas slippers as I write this post. So ha.)

New opportunities are fun, but old traditions are just as important. I have a few Winter traditions that I adore, and I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourites…

Dinner in a Slow Cooker
If you’re searching for Slow Cooker recipes, look no further than my Pumpkin Spiced Latte recipe here! There is nothing better than coming in from the cold to a warm house and an amazing smelling dinner. Plus, if the cold weather/darkness/ is getting you down, it helps to not have to worry about cooking once you’re home. There are so many things you can make in a slow cooker that you would never even realise, either!

Hygge Nights
If you haven’t heard of Hygge, you’re missing out, because it’s the technical term for lazing about. Well, not quite. It means to take time to make even simple moments meaningful and beautiful, to savour every second. It’s so important to me in the winter months, because having a guilt free lazy day is hard for me. I have to be productive in order to feel any kind of confidence, and obviously this isn’t always possible after a long day at work! Ensuring that you take the time to appreciate that down time and making it special-so important when Winter comes around.

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Revamping my wardrobe

This is more of a problem than a tradition! I love revamping my wardrobe, finding excuses to go shopping, investing in millions of jumpers…but this is a basic requirement, right? I can’t go through winter without a matching hat, jumper and scarf set.

Watching Vlogmas videos

Similar to Blogmas, a vlog every day until Christmas. For a not so subtle announcement, make your way to my YouTube Channel

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Picking out Advent Calendars

I’ve got some seriously fun ones this year! Make sure you keep an eye on the blog and YouTube Channel to see the ones I’ve got my hands on this year-they’re ace!

What are your winter traditions?

Lizzie xo

WELCOME TO BLOGMAS!

BLOGMAS: WELCOME TO BLOGMAS&GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hey there you lovely lot! Welcome to the very first post of my very first Blogmas!
Every day from now until December 24th I’ll be posting on my blog about Christmas and Winter lifestyle tips, with a little insight to what I’m up to. I hope you’ll follow my blog and get involved!

I’ve got lots of lovely stuff lined up for you-gift guide’s for those tricky musicians in your life, recipe’s, must-do’s for the festive season-the list is long and varied, with the classic musical and feminine themes. I hope you love it.

If you don’t know, Blogmas is a Christmassy-themed Blog post every day in the run up to Christmas-that’s 24 posts of festive fun! I’ll be taking on a lot for myself as that’s 24 sets of photographs to take, 24 topics to think of, posts to write….I can’t wait! Make sure you follow my blog to stay up to date with those! If there are any posts you’d like to see, make sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you’d like to see. I’m hoping it encourages me to get to grips with turning around blogposts quickly, and if I can do 24 consecutive days, well then there’s no excuses to miss any for 2017 is there?

My giveaway ended yesterday. The lucky winner is going to get their hands on some make up and lifestyle goodies, which I decided to giveaway after I hit 1000 followers on Twitter. I enjoyed hosting the giveaway so much, and you guys certainly seemed to want to get involved…so why not host another?!

Over on my YouTube Channel,I’m doing Vlogmas-a video everyday until December 24th! Lord knows why I’ve decided to take it on as well as Blogmas AND working full time. I must be mad, but I’m loving it! If you’d like to go and have a look at what I’ve got going on over there, I would love it if you went and subscribed. My YouTube channel is something I’ve fallen away from this year, so I wanted to come back with a bang-and celebrate Vlogmas with a cheeky giveaway!

Because the New Year is coming, with a chance to take hold of so many opportunities and make so many amazing things happen, I thought I’d giveaway a bundle of stuff that will help the winner keep their year in line-all you have to do is go and subscribe to my YouTube channel and answer the question I ask in my video, going live tomorrow!

I hope you enjoy both Blogmas and Vlogmas-and if you’re doing either, leave me your links below!

Lizzie xo

GIG REVIEW: BASTILLE

img_4174Now you all know I’m a music lover. And blimey, there is nothing on this planet that makes me feel the same way as live music does. The adrenaline and excitement rushing through your body when the drummer plays that beat that you know so well it’s become a part of you, that thousands of others around you were waiting for at the same time….I’m addicted, and I don’t care.

Bastille are a firm favourite of mine, and I’ve always thought it would be interesting to see them live just because of the intensity of their music. Although this was always on my bucket list from hearing their debut single “Pompeii”, my love of their music wasn’t the reason I went to see them on the 11th November.

My sister loves Bastille-knows all the lyrics back to back, of both albums. Adores them, and had never seen them live, so I thought it would be a nice treat for her 15th birthday (whilst very aware it would be a treat for me too! Not a treat, however, for dad who was nominated to pick us up from the O2 last thing at night)…

Before we even sat down, our night was off to a fab start-getting our tickets upgraded because I’m on O2! Instead of sitting right in the gods we were right at the front-thanks O2! Genuinely keeping my contract with them based on that. After shovelling down a Nandos we found our seats and were greeted by a rather rude pretentious character on the screens above us-a metaphor for the governments and organisations that run our society mumbling away and insulting invisible characters off screen. (deep. Real deep. I bloody love all that though) This character went on to introduce the show and voice the extra vocal bits around the songs.

OH. MY. GOD. They were even better than I expected. Initially I actually thought that Dan Smith was miming, his vocals were so on point, but I actually think he’s just that talented. Fair play. The unity of the whole band was explosive and you can tell they work incredibly hard together to create such a tight sound. I have even more respect for them than I already did!

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Can we just talk about Dan Smith for a second? Who writes beautiful, emotional songs without the audience even realising they carry such depth because his fantastic band keep it lively. Who sings about being single, grief, and the pain and beauty that naturally comes in the circle of life. Who has a reputation as a sensitive lad with soulful abilities and tastes. Who sings with such varied ranges, melismas, sounds a LOT like Morrissey-and his surname is SMITH?! That can’t be a coincidence. If you like The Smiths you’ll understand me, everyone else can just read on. Soz.

Over the course of the night, the band used the whole arena so well-jumping down into the standing area and walking through the crowd, right to the back, whilst performing the songs “Flaws”. Playing the cover “Rhythm of the Night” which has been one of the most successful covers of late, over two stages, the one at the front and one in the middle of the crowd. Singing “You and I” (an incredibly thoughtful and almost harrowing song, discussing the differences between gentlemen and bad boys seducing women-very interesting and the use of different techniques and octaves in that song is genius) from some of the seats in the very top tier-they honestly used the whole room like I’ve never seen anyone do before. I love that they thought about how to change things up and include fans that might not be right at the front, it made for a much more interesting show too.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have seen them live, and how min blowing the gig was. It was one of those gigs that will honestly stay with me forever.

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