PSA: You are good at being an “adult.”

In the fear of exclusivity I feel that it’s important to mention that obviously not all of these things are do-able for everybody – life is cruel and just outright unfair at times. But if you’re doing at least one of these things, take pride in your accomplishments and remind yourself that you are moving forward

You’re on your way home from work, you’re tired, frustrated and questioning when your life became so utterly draining. You think back to a time of pure bliss, running around in the sun all day – eating colossal amounts of junk without a care in the world. What’s were the worst things in your life? Being #6 on your BFFL’s myspace top friends and knowing you’ll have to eat cauliflower for dinner. Bliss. Although I think we can all agree it didn’t feel that way at the time.

We all have these days, cursing adulthood. Are you doing enough? Are you seeing enough? Is your life flashing by before your eyes whilst you’re spending everyday sitting in the same place, watching the same TV shows and drinking in the same pubs? Well, yes. Yes it probably is. Which is exactly why I think it’s important to take pride in the little things – the achievements you make every single day. Signifiers that you are actually pretty good at this adulting thing.

So with this I ask you to close down Instagram, stop overthinking the future and take a second to sit and think about how good you are at life.

Paying Rent – 

Ah yes, rent. The evil word we wish we could all avoid for as long as physically possible, because realistically who actually wants more than a third of their monthly earnings taken from them to fulfil their basic human needs? It’s ridiculous. Yet, unfortunately unavoidable.

The fact that you’re paying your rent and bills each month is brilliant. Annoying, yes. But also pretty impressive if you ask me.

Eating real food – 

I had strange realisation the other day which sparked this entire post – I could eat cookies for dinner. I’m completely in charge of my own life and wellbeing, if I wanted to, I could eat sweet treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead I make sure I eat my five-a-day, I bought a blender to improve my everyday diet, I USE CHIA SEEDS. ADULT.

Forgiving friends and letting things go – 

Do you remember being in secondary school and falling out with your friends every other week for completely stupid reasons? Maybe you sat next to somebody else on the bus during a school trip and it caused an explosive argument? *still apologising for this one 8 years on – it was just one bus journey Sammy, forever sorry, love me*

Anyway, noticing that these silly fall outs are irrelevant and learning to not sweat the small stuff is important in the art of growing up – otherwise nobody would get along. Oh, wait.

Leaving the pub after one drink – 

Obviously this is still something I’m terrible at and I don’t mean for one second that having alcohol related fun makes you any less of an adult. Embrace the pub. Have a jagerbomb for lunch. Whyever not! BUT on the rare occasions that you actually have something important to do the next morning, controlling that little person that tells you to do shots and going home early is an achievement if ever I saw one. 50 extra points if it’s a full on party. 100 if the person you fancy is there.

Crawling into work hungover –

On the flipside – we all find ourselves going out for one drink, walking home singing and preparing a questionable sandwich on a Wednesday night. Are you useless at work the next day? Of course. But did you call in sick? No, you didn’t! Because you’re an adult who appreciates their job. Proud of you!

Applying suncream

I learnt this lesson the hard way, with a white circle outlined on my chest after standing in a line to enter Boomtown for hours. Attempting to sleep in a tent with a completely burnt torso is NO FUN. Drink all the gin you can stomach and I promise you, you will still feel uncomfortable trying to drift off – not to mention everything will be covered in suncream because you learnt from your mistakes TOO LATE.

Wearing suncream without it being forced upon you is not only responsible but incredibly sensible. Classic adult behaviour.

Edit: have not learnt from my mistakes. Spent hours on the beach earlier with completely bare skin. Luckily living in England.

Understanding that everybody is different – 

I think it’s easy as a child to get confused about why things aren’t going your way and why people respond differently to everyday situations. Learning that everybody is a sum of their own individual experiences and using this to improve your own impressions and mentalities of different people is great.

Buying things you don’t actually want – 

Recognising that although you don’t want to spend £6 on cough medicine, it will make you feel better so you probably should is fantastic adulting. Who actually wants to buy a hoover? Nobody! Of course we’d rather spend our money on trainers – but we don’t. Why? Because we’re adults. Or, perhaps you get both because you’re unaffected by today’s crippling economy and housing crisis. Lucky.

Big up yourself, you may still feel like a teenager, getting drunk and singing classic Britney might give you the most joy in the world and that’s okay! Just remember on those bad days, you’re doing well!

Dear Rugby

I feel like I need to watch Garden State and drink three bottles of gin before I write this. Just to get in the right mood you know. 

SO, I contemplated a ton of different structures for this post and I was gonna do a good ol’ fashioned listicle but decided I just needed a babble instead. As many of you will know (because I’ve whined about it for a year) I moved back to my hometown in August. London ate all of my time and resources so I ran away to drink gin in a field with my friends and travel around Italy.

After returning from my little adventure I reluctantly spent a few months in Rugby town, thinking that it would be the worst decision of my life. Much to my surprise, it turned out to be fantastic. I managed to reconnect with so many of the people I love, I laughed a lot at my own stupidity and I got a job in the friendliest pub I’ve ever entered. It was great.

As February rolled around I knew that it was time to leave so I scoured the internet for a new job in Brighton. Luck, fate or sheer coincidence was on my side as I managed to find a job that is perfect and I couldn’t be happier with it. However, this meant leaving my cosy home and everyone I love behind. I was under the impression that when it came to the time that I left Rugby I’d skip to the train station, shrieking with joy and flipping off everybody that I left behind. Oh, I could not have been more wrong.

I stumbled to the station, sweating out months of alcohol abuse and wondering how I was going to get through the day without my little gang. If truth be told, I’m still unsure. It’s the best and worst thing about living in a small town – everybody knows everybody.

Although this means gossip, pointless fighting and strange, almost incestual relationships – it also means that you constantly have somebody by your side. Whether it’s to go for a pint or to cry on when you’ve had enough. You become part of a beautiful, close-knit family that you’ll never find anywhere else. The people that know everything about you and still love you endlessly.

Do they irritate you so much that at times you can’t stand to see their face? Well, obviously. But it’s all irrelevant when it’s 5am and you’re screaming along to the songs that you used to love when you were 15.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve known each other for a decade and you have so many memories of being young and dumb together. Perhaps it’s just security and comfort. I haven’t really decided yet. Whatever the reason for it, I couldn’t be happier that it’s part of who I am.

So this is my confession that I would have refused to believe 6 months ago. I love my silly small town, I love my friends more than anything in the world and I LOVE MIDAS LOUNGE. (I mean, I’ve always loved you lot but Midas really did come as a surprise.)

I’m really going to attempt to get my blogging hat on again and be a bit more frequent but I always say this and am useless. Hope you didn’t hate the ramble, it’s a reflection of my brain at the mo. I’m really happy to be back in Brighton but there will always be a part of me that misses home.

 

Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Every January 1st people awake thinking “this is my year, I’m not going to do all of the horrible unhealthy things I did last year. Somehow in the past 12 hours I am new. I am different. And I will be better.” Gyms are flooded with people, Holland and Barrett run out of stock and Nutri Bullet make enough money to last them until the next New Year.

But come January 12th we’re all back to our old selves; inhaling chocolate because it’s all we’ve been thinking about for 12 days. We’re a very greedy species, we indulge far too often and let’s be honest – we don’t really care. So I’m here to give you ideas for realistic resolutions, perhaps this year it’s best to set goals that you know you can complete. You can save yourself from the disappointing reminder that you’re a terrible human being that procrastinates too much and will never be able to get through the week without a glass of wine.

Drink more

It’s important to support independent businesses and your local pub is just as good as that random health food shop you always say you’ll shop at but constantly fail to. You may think that partaking in dry January is a fantastic idea but the truth is, alcohol is good for the soul and down time is just as important as working.
Keep spending that hour on your phone in the morning

Yes, I suppose social media is ruining our conversations. Sitting in bed for an hour every morning scrolling through apps like a zombie probably isn’t productive. But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, you’ve got to get the likes. How else will you measure your self worth in this cold, plastic society?
Keep drinking very little water

Being hydrated is probably overrated anyway and let’s be honest, you don’t have time to keep going to the toilet during your busy day. Keep telling yourself that the health benefits of drinking water are a myth. You’ll be fine!
Ensure you have 6 hours sleep every night

8 hours is far too much, you don’t want to be too well-rested in the day. You need your lack of sleep and dependency on caffeine to stay alert and be at your best performance! This will also give you more time to watch more trashy television and ridiculous YouTube videos.

Eat any (vegan) food that you want  

I don’t know how many times I have to say food is love before the world agrees. Restricting calories and going on silly diets will only make you unhappy. Who wants to sit at work all day dreaming about pasta to go home and eat a salad? You’re only gonna snack afterwards. Do yourself a favour, eat the pasta. Or if you really want to do better this year, eat a pasta salad.
Avoid the gym

You’ve walked to the pub, you’ve done some pretty brilliant drunk dancing. You’re good for the week! You don’t want to tire yourself out before work tomorrow.
Remain happy in your messy room

Tidying is futile, it will just get messy again in a few days. Save yourself some time and live peacefully amongst the chaos. PLUS messy people tend to be more intelligent…this random article says.

Cancel that yoga class

We all know you’re only going to go once and there’s no point getting to know people just to let them down. Maybe try and do a yoga YouTube tutorial at some point this month. That’ll do!
Watch more Peep Show

I have nothing satirical to say about this, it’s just a brilliant resolution that we should all work towards.

A positive spin on 2016 (if you can believe it)

I feel as though 2016 will be known as the devil year for a very long time. So many terrible things have happened in the past 12 months, I’m unable to keep count of them. I found myself lost in thought on a train a few weeks back and started to think of positive things that have happened to me this year and without meaning to brag, it really hasn’t been THAT BAD. In many ways, this year has ruined me. So much has happened and everything in my life has changed. Thankfully, some of the events of 2016 have been fantastic and it’s always better to focus on the positives. So here are some of the nicer things that happened to me during this Black Mirror year…

I left England for the very first time,

Sadly, until I was 21 years old I’d spent my entire life in the UK. For years I’d been desperate to get out but time, money and a fear of the unknown held me back. It wasn’t until February of this year that I finally hopped on a flight to Budapest. I was what can only be describe as a fear-ridden zombie walking through the airport, I cried on the plane, the air hostess had to calm me down. It was all very embarrassing, particularly after ten minutes in which I realised flying is nothing to be worried about, if anything it’s pretty boring. Not to mention, the Hunger Games is hard to enjoy when you can see a woman in your peripherals praying you won’t have a panic attack.

I stepped off the plane expecting the air to feel different, inhaled deeply and my nose filled with the stench of fuel. In the same holiday I travelled over to Vienna; went ice-skating, fell and cut my head open. I had to get stitches and acted as though they were amputating my leg. It was definitely a holiday for firsts.

 

I decided to try out veganism…

…and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I finally have a healthy relationship with food and I feel so much better in myself. It may sound silly because for many people veganism is simply not eating animal products but I feel as though it changes your everyday life, it’s inspired me to be healthier and aware of what I’m putting in my body (unfortunately meaning I’m also more aware of all of the bad stuff!) Veganism has undoubtedly had a positive impact on my life and has introduced an abundance of fantastic food into my very accepting tummy (I love you tofu scramble, never leave me.)

 

I got published by Cosmopolitan,

Fast forward to April and I had my first internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was quite literally a dream come true and the entire experience was unreal. Particularly when they decided to publish my work! If you fancy having a nose at it, click here.

 

I faced many fears, 

When I started University I was hit with a crippling angst and for years I purposefully avoided events, activities and people. I dodged absolutely everything I could, whether it was the dentist or simple activities like swimming. .

This year I entered in the sea for the first time since I was 8 years old, I went to one of the biggest (scariest) waterparks in the world AND I even visited the dentist without crying. I know that these are simple everyday tasks but after years of not even being able to be myself in a room full of my friends – I’m so proud of where I’m at.
I spent a FANTASTIC weekend at Boomtown with my pals,

I’d just returned home after spending 4 years away from Rugby and drifting away from so many of my friends. Being able to spend time with them at arguably the best place in the world was unreal. I’m pretty sure I’ve never laughed as much as I did throughout the course of that weekend.
I travelled around Italy with my best gal, 

I’m still in shock that we stuck to a drunken plan, I had been dying to go to Italy since seeing the Lizzie McGuire movie in 2003 and it was even better than I could have imagined. The food was everything. It was undoubtedly one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen and spending time with Jen after a year of living apart was perfect. I literaly think about it every single day, if you ever see me looking at my phone, I’m not contacting anyone, I’m looking at pictures of food from Italy (okay food from everywhere, but they are the closest to my heart.)

 

I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

and it was AMAZING. Still not over it, probably never will be. I really want to write more about it but I don’t want to be the person who spoils it for you. Nobody deserves that.

 

My blog had it’s year-aversairy

I can’t believe that I’m still posting on this blog nearly a year and a half later. I remember sitting in my third year bedroom, terrified for the future and itching to get some of my angst out. Furiously typing with no idea of where I was going with my babble. I like to think it’s gotten better over time but I’m probably far too self-critical. The main thing is that even though I post every once in a blue moon and spend half my time berating myself for failing to write anything – I’m still here and people are still reading what I have to say. This makes me a very happy person and hopefully in the New Year I will stop neglecting my little blog and develop it further.

 

I think it’s easy to dwell on the harder times in our lives, it’s simpler to get frustrated with what we can’t change and accept that everything is crap. But I truly believe that if we all took five minutes out of our day to think about the brilliant things that happen in our daily lives, we’d all be much happier people.

Happy New Year friends, here’s hoping it’s a good one!

 

SOS! My drunken self is ruining my life.

Let me count the ways in which drunk Claire just loves to annoy me…

Eating the best food 

Have you ever woken up after a night out and the cruel drunk version of yourself has eaten your entire advent calendar? I know friend, I know.

I love food. I love food more than anything else in the world. The thought of eating a giant bowl of spaghetti gets me through the day. Burgers get me through the week. What I’m trying to say is that if I’ve been thinking about something for a while, I’m very excited to eat it. So when I get home drunk and inhale it without a second thought, it really breaks my little sober heart.

There is no hurt like waking up to see a few lashings of BBQ sauce on a plate that once held such delight.

Drunk texting 

I’m that girl that decides to avoid any awkward situation or confrontation…until I’ve had a few drinks. I will then proceed to send you mass amounts of babble describing exactly how I feel and why I think you’re a knob. Is it irritating and embarrassing? Well yes, yes it is. But I know you’ve all done it too so you can’t judge me.

Telling people overly nice things 

This may sound like a perfectly normal and lovely thing to do but unfortunately I’m weird. I constantly find myself telling people incredibly over the top things that if I heard from a stranger, I would purposefully avoid them for the rest of my life.  Examples include “I saw your dog on Instragram and actually cried” and my personal favourite “I feel like you’re probably meant to be my best friend, let’s hang out.”

Over the top dancing that’s supposed to be comedic but really, really isn’t  

At the time I think I’m hilarious, then I wake up the next day and realise that people always remember the drunk girl that was air-spanking her friend in the middle of the dancefloor.

Making friends with complete strangers that I’ll never talk to again

My contacts list and the notes on my phone are full of random names and numbers of people that I know for a fact I will never bump into again and if I do, I will probably ignore because Hi I’m socially awkward sober Claire, oh you met me when I was drunk? That’s brilliant. Nope, you don’t have to tell me what I was saying. I’m good, thanks though.

The funny thing is at the time I am SO happy to be talking to these people and I almost always end up going to my friends after and saying the words “I just made a new friend, we’re going to go to Brunch tomorrow and sing our song at karaoke.” Okay maybe not those exact words but you get the jist.

Ruining my shoes 

The amount of discarded alcohol and mud that gets on my shoes while I’m out baffles me. Why is it that when we get drunk we become these creepy, overly affectionate creatures that are no longer able to control their limbs? Stop stepping on my foot, stop spilling beer on my shoes, they are my BABIES and I love them too much to see them die like this.

Forgetting vital info 

If you have something really important to tell me, do not do it when I’m drunk. I’ll wake up in the morning with snippets of it in my brain – but never enough to actually remember the specifics. Just enough to annoy me for weeks afterwards.

Throwing everything everywhere

Every now and then the drunk version of me is actually very considerate. She’ll leave all of the important things I need from day-to-day in a neat pile for easy access. She may pick me an outfit if I have work the next day. Heck, sometimes she even showers in preparation for my inability to get up in time.

Unfortunately, more often than none, this is not the case. Most of the time I wake up confused and very, very late. My keys are in the kitchen, my purse is in the loo and my phone is SOMEWHERE in my bed. Now not only am I running round trying to find something unstained to wear to work, I’ve lost everything, I’m stressing out and I don’t even have time to think about the fact I’m going to be sick within the hour.

Making plans that I don’t want to do  

Cycling from London to Paris in two weeks? Great! Going to a rave in Newcastle that requires us waiting in the freezing cold for hours before we can catch a train home? Count me in!

Or more realistically… “We should definitely go for brunch tomorrow, I’ll be up and out at midday, definitely. What even are hangovers anyway?!?”

Drunk Claire probably would do this stuff, drunk Claire is fun and up for anything because wooooo jagerbombs. Unfortunately, sober Claire is a sensible and boring old soul that knows for a fact that if she can’t even go to brunch, there’s no way she’s cycling to Paris. Sorry friends.

Giving away surprises 

I can’t keep a surprise on the best of days, literally can’t handle it. I just look at the person, smiling like a maniac and repeat to myself “don’t say anything, don’t say anything.” Chances are, if I know something that I can’t tell you, I’ll completely avoid you for my own sanity.

THAT IS until drunk Claire storms in, arm around a complete stranger that she insists is her best friend and inviting you to the Go Ape daytrip she’s currently planning. All before saying “oh wait, never mind that’s the day of your surprise birthday party.”

Common Vegan Myths Debunked

I too once uttered the words “I could never be vegan.” 9 months later it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 

I’m sure you’re all thinking “oh great, another vegan preaching about something I will never think twice about.” Unfortunately this appears to be a popular opinion and often people are too quick to jump on the anti-vegan bandwagon as opposed to learning more about the movement and considering it as a lifestyle choice. As a child my life revolved around breaded chicken and anything made by Cadbury’s. As I grew older and discovered the dark side to these “treats,” I couldn’t bring myself to participate in the cruel and quite frankly, gross animal agriculture industry. Over the albeit brief time I have been vegan I’ve heard a multitude of complaints and excuses so I thought it was about time I confronted some of these and finally debunked common vegan myths we hear everyday.

“Vegans are protein deficient”

Protein deficiency is incredibly rare in modern society, it is present in a lot of food and it’s shockingly easy to consume an appropriate amount of protein each day from a solely plant-based diet. Here are some examples of protein rich plant based foods. It genuinely confuses me that people still believe that protein is only present in animal-derived products – in 2016. I mean, come on guys.

“Veganism is far too expensive” 

Okay so I can see why people think this is the case. I also walk around Whole Foods questioning who can actually afford to do a food shop there. However, realistically the products that are expensive tend to be meat substitutes which are in no way essential within the vegan diet. Staple foods such as rice, vegetables and pasta are affordable and extremely versatile. Am I going to treat myself to Booja Booja every now and then? Well yes, yes I am. But I definitely don’t need to – and without luxury items such as that, my average food shop is inexpensive. Also, I don’t mean to be catty but I’m sure meat costs a fair bit.

“I enjoy going to restaurants far too much to be vegan”

Veganism does not effect the glorious activity that is eating out. I mean, obviously don’t walk into a steak house and expect a variety of vegan options but there are so many restaurants that cater to the vegan diet. A lot of popular restaurants now have vegan options including Zizzi, Pizza Express and Wagamamas. AND there are a ton of independent cafés and restaurants across the world that have growing, delicious vegan menus. There is also a fantastic website called Happy Cow that gives you vegan options in restaurants from all over the world.
If animals didn’t get killed, the world would be overpopulated” 

Animals are bred for consumption, if more people cut animal products from their diet, breeding would decrease. Thus making overpopulation not even nearly a problem.

“They’re bred to be killed anyway” 

Using this logic, if you impregnated a cat with the intention of killing her kittens, that would be okay. Yes? No. Furthermore the idea that we are breeding anything with the intention of slaughtering needs revising.

We have canines, we’re obviously supposed to eat meat

To begin, there are animals with much bigger canines than us that survive on a purely plant-based diet. Secondly, the fact that we have these does not change the fact that humans can thrive on a plant-based diet. With this in mind, there is literally no reason that we should be killing innocent animals and eating them – other than “bacon is so good though.” *facepalms all over this society we’ve found ourselves in*

“All vegans are health nuts” 

There seems to be an idea that all vegans are mega healthy. That they wake up in the morning, drink a litre of water, do some yoga and eat a watermelon. That is not the case. This diet can be adapted to suit every individual person. If you want to eat 10 bananas for lunch, great, good for you! If you’re more of a 15″ inch pizza with a side of carbonara kind of person (same) then go with that!

“Cows need to be milked”

Cows are the same as any other mammal in that, they need to produce breastmilk to feed their young. To produce Cravendale, a calf is taken away from their mother in order for dairy farmers to take the milk we use. If we were to stop drinking cows’ milk, these poor cows wouldn’t just roam around uncontrollably lactating – they would use their milk to feed their children, as it should be! As an additional point, male calf’s are deemed useless on dairy farms, taken away and killed. PLEASE tell me how this is worth your strawberry milkshake.

Similarly, male chicks are also worthless and are therefore killed shortly after birth. Female chicks are also kept in captivity, treated terribly and killed when they are no longer profitable to farmers.

“We need to test products on animals so that we know they’re safe” 

At this stage in modern society, we’re so advanced that most research is unnecessary and happens purely because of outdated laws stating it must. There are so many products that are no longer tested on animals and companies that use alternative methods for checking the safety of cosmetics and other household items. When it comes to medical research, there are also alternative methods of testing which can totally eliminate the need to use animals, Dr Hadwen Trust is a brilliant charity that  fund research for this and have worked on a range of illnesses such as Leukaemia and Diabetes. There are other options, we do not need to exploit animals for our own gain any longer. 

If you’re interested in turning vegan there are so many helpful websites, books and other resources to make it easier than you can imagine. Also you can always just pop me over a message and I will bestow all of my vegan wisdom upon you – or point you in the direction of someone that has actual wisdom on the matter. Click here to see the presentation that opened my eyes about veganism if you’re interested in learning more!!

 

 

 

9 types of people you’ll meet when returning home from Uni

Going to Uni is a glorious time, filled with hope and independence you wave goodbye to the people you love and try and contemplate moving to a new city and paying for toilet roll. Unfortunately for many of us, living away from home is incredibly difficult and before you know it, you’re back in the same dingy club you threw up in on results night. Now I’m not one to stereotype (jk it’s who I am,) but I am certain that these people exist in every small town in the country and you will absolutely meet them upon returning home.

 

  1. The ones that have stayed the exact same:

They’re still hovering around clubs, drinking the same thing and talking about memories from 6 years ago. They’ve been around for so long, they’re practically part of the furniture and you find yourself questioning whether you’d be able to tell them apart from their 18 year old selves.

  1. The ones that became real adults:

They’re parents, have real careers and are saving for a mortgage. You’re happy for them but can’t help think of a time in which they were grinding on some stranger to Rihanna’s hit song “S&M.”

  1. The Judgy Aunts:

No I don’t know what I’m doing with my future, yes I do think my degree was worthwhile and no, I don’t want a job with your friend’s husband’s cousin, thanks.

  1. The Old Fling that you had completely forgotten existed:

Whilst doing your best “oh hi I didn’t see you there” you shimmy towards the door, repeatedly telling yourself that you were young and stupid so it’s okay.

  1. The friend from years ago that you still love:

You’re completely different people now but you still get excited about seeing them and discussing all of the dumb stuff you used to do. Hopefully you’ll actually end up grabbing that drink you’re always on about with them.

  1. The “Twelve Year Olds” that are now eighteen:

Yes they are allowed to drink legally now and no matter how much you deny it, you were doing the same thing as them three years ago.

  1. The Fresher that goes to your Uni:

You end up yelling a variety of places that you can get cheap drinks at and going on about how much they’re going to love University – whilst hiding how jealous you are that they get to experience it for the first time.

  1. The smug ones that are exactly where they want to be:

Great, you have the perfect job, I’m so glad that you landed on your feet. Now please walk away so I can sob into my glass of wine.

  1. The people that are in the exact same boat as you:

Thank you for keeping me sane, you fantastic people you.