Nothing you wear is more important than your smile. -Connie Stevens

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve been a little lost recently, been up and down for all the wrong reasons. I hate it. The annoying thing is I’m letting things affect me that I should’t be bothered by, that I can’t change or I should feel positive about but I’m just…..not.

I know people say “oh just get over it”, “it doesn’t matter”, “you’re better than that” but they aren’t you! Sometimes you can’t change the way you feel, no matter how hard you try but I don’t think you should be ashamed to speak about it.

I’ve had a lot of friends who have had depression and after seeing what they have gone through I think it’s sometimes good to get things off your chest, share your problem, even if others may look down on it. I’m not saying write repetitive attention seeking tweets, statuses, blogs etc. Speak to you friends/family on a daily basis and maybe write in a diary/blog what you feel and what you wanna do every now and again so other people in similiar situations can help each other out.

My issue is my self confidence atm. I just seemed to have lost it, I keep doubting my decisions and playing them over and again. The reasons can change month to month. However, recently what hasn’t helped is that I’ve had a lot of body issues recently, eczema and spots returning, horrendous bites and some weight gain. Even though others may say its not noticeable, you always notice these things about yourself. Then that’s all you can notice.

This I have found affects my judgement because to be honest, I’m thinking pretty low of myself atm. Currently it seems to be with guys (tbh recently it always seems to be). I just can’t work out what I want. I got jealous over an ex talking to someone for no reason, then one minute I think I want him back and I wonder why he no longer has any interest in talking to me or whats happening in my life even though we are meant to be friends. Then that leads to me thinking I’m boring unattractive, repetitive etc etc the list goes on. I think all this even though I know that I made the right decision and I deserve better. Then I have a great weekend hanging out with friends, got some confidence to actually interact with people who I didn’t know that well. Then the next day one of them asks me if I want to grab drink/ food hangout sometime aka subtle date invitation (I checked this with my friends haha).

This threw me off completely, because I still had the feeling of not being wanted from the rejection of friendship from ex, and no guys talking to me on my online dating, but at the same time this guy obviously saw something and he wanted to get to know me better. What I’m not sure.

I’ve had my friends constantly telling me the last year or so, to not be fussy with guys, give guys a chance, don’t just judge and say no, be more open minded. So I tried to think like this, so paused before replying to the guy. As much as I wanted to say yes, go on a date with this guy see if there was anything there. I couldn’t because I knew deep down that I didn’t have that attraction to him. When I saw this quote I knew I as right.

Why get into a relationship with someone you can’t see yourself with? That’s like purposely turning the wrong way down a dead end road.

I knew it wouldn’t be fair on him, especially as I’m not in the right head space right now and I’ve never believed in dating someone for the hell of it. Although I wish I did sometimes, and when I look at all the guys I have turned down, I think what if one of them was the one. Even though I know they weren’t, I can’t help doubting that. So now I’m still back to square one, no guy, no confidence, no hope. I just don’t know how to get out of this continuous circle.

I’m not quite sure what I can do because all I have done recently has failed. Then I read this interesting article from the Economist:“Using social media seems to make people more miserable?

I do with agree with. I think social media allows people way too much room to hide behind behind a screen, reading into statuses, photos, conversation on things that may not even be there. Allowing people to feel like they are in someones life because they know what they are up to, without really speaking to the person and having a human two way conversation. I think we need to remember what social media is meant to be used for.

Therefore, I’m off on holiday tomorrow so have decided i’m gonna switch off my facebook, twitter and try detox. This is gonna be harder said than done for me, as I am from the generation that is heavily reliant on it. So I feel I can upload a photo or an occasional status but I’m not going to trawl through newfeeds 24/7, look at different guys or friends profiles to make me feel better. I’m gonna live my life in the real world and not the cyber world.
I can honestly say I’m looking forward to it.

I will update you on my return as to how successful or unsuccessful I am, but all I am going to make sure i do it Smile! :)

Another similar blog post from a friend of mine on the same issues of social media. Take a look! “When did being direct with each other become so unpopular”

Also a great video suggested from the same friend: Computer’s kill conversation

It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action ‘Honore de Balzac’

June 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s nearing half way through the year so it’s come to that time to review back on what has past and what is yet to come. So in January I wrote a generic blog (‘An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in….’) based on new years resolutions and what I had in hope for the rest of the year.

So here are my goals I set for the year and my progress or lack of progress so far:

    Blog at least five times a year

This will be my 5th Blog :) for the first half of the year, so I hope for at least 5 more for the second half.

    Start giving blood again at least twice a year

Unfortunately, no progress on this yet, I want to say I’ve been too busy gallivanting and working to be able to donate but this is no excuse. So I hope by the end of the year I will get up off my butt and contribute to this worthy cause.

    Visit 3 new places this year

So far I have visited Sivota in Greece which I loved and hope to return too soon. I also have plans inline to visit a couple of other places. So watch this space!

    Gain another Hobbie whether new or old

Still need to work on this a little, got a list of tennis clubs from a mate so hoping to investigate and join one ready for the summer(if it ever comes). Really enjoyed playing it in Greece and felt like ‘learning to ride a bike again’, natural. Even managed to beat many of the boys with a serve speed of 102 mph, yeah boy! I also investigated into water-skiing and wake-boarding after my adventure holiday. So watch this space!

    Win a squash match (^_^ please)

On the 19th of February I finally won my first match of the season 9-0 9-1 9-0 I had hoped onwards and upwards but unfortunately it was not for me this season! I missed out on a few close games due to bottling points but next year I hope to be more confident and win more than one.

    Put myself first, even if that means being honest and if it means hurting others
    AKA be more honest
    Don’t take crap from anyone I’m a decent person and deserve more. So stand up for myself and say what I think
    AKA Be more Confident

I think these two link well, as to whether I have achieved them… Well honestly I believe have partially. I think I’ve become stronger with what I accept from friends, boyfriends and how I stand up for myself at work. I am proud of some situations where I have been like no I deserve better and stood up for myself but there are a few moments where I’ve regretted not being like that. However, you can’t live in the past, so you learn from your mistakes and move forward.

    Get a suitable (not an arse) boyfriend within the next 5 years…..if not start buying animals to keep me company:)

Wow not sure really where to start with this one! Well I did get a boyfriend, however he turned out to be an arse haha! Haven’t started collecting the animals yet although I have been dog-sitting for my brother a bit more.
Regarding the boyfriend situation its been a tricky 6 months. I began to start liking a guy so I gave him a chance. It started great, but something just wasn’t right and I knew it. Of course I chose to ignore it because I really wanted it to work. As time pasted by nothing changed and that was the issue. I seemed to be making all the effort and he wasn’t even accomplishing basic things even the most rubbish boyfriends know to do. So I stuck to my previous goals and put myself first and broke up with him, so when my friend said she wanted to set me up on a blind date, I thought why not couldn’t be any worse. Onwards and upwards!

However, I am one of those people who believe the best in people so when my ex asked for a second chance saying he had changed I believed him. That didn’t last long and this time I stood up for myself big time! I made sure he knew it was over, I wouldn’t settle for any crap like that. To be honest I could of carried on dating him, would have been easy. Would have made my family happy, work mates happy but it wouldn’t have made me happy. When I look back I was miserable, I was stressed and to be honest a mess!

So I learnt my lesson and although I have been lucky to have quite a few guys express interest in me, I’ve said no to each and everyone of them, because I learnt I would rather wait for the right one then be with someone for the wrong reasons.

Being single doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are strong enough to wait for what you deserve

So I am still on the hunt for a non-arse boyfriend! Although easier said than done. Until recently I hadn’t realised how much my ex had hit my self-confidence! I no longer had that confidence to talk to strangers, to flirt, to put myself out there because I thought what was the point! I would dress sexily and talk the talk but when it came to biting the bullet I would run in the opposite direction. This annoyed me because I knew I did nothing wrong in my last relationship but that’s what got to me. If I be the perfect girlfriend and I still can’t keep the guy what’s the point! I felt so small, so unattractive, so useless.

After a little pep talk from some friends, I realised this was rubbish and I wasn’t gonna let him get the best because I’m better than him! He has a life that’s all over the place and I’m better not being a part of that! After all there will be someone out there who will be willing to fight for you. So like many other girls I’m keeping my faith in men and not gonna give up yet! The pet shopping can wait a couple of years! I’ll settle for my brother’s attention seeking dog Alfie instead.
AlfieBut he’s too cute!

    Get myself a flat deposit for Buckinghamshire area by December 2013

Last but not least! I am progressing on this one well. However, I may delay the buying the flat to buying a house instead and further into next year. This is majorly due to wanting to travel a bit more before I have a mortgage tieing me down. My friend is off to New Zealand soon for two years, so thinking of putting off the house and putting some of my money towards a trip over there.

So how is everyone else doing with their resolutions? Better than me I hope. Just remember:

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

During a conversation at work today my colleague expressed her insecurity of how since she had left university she had lost the confidence of knowing how to dress herself. Seems like such a silly thing but she had got so used to her friends picking stuff out for her and providing her feedback of what was good and what was bad, that when she returned home to living with just her boyfriend she found herself lost.

Having friends are great for this kinda advice they can steer you in the right direction, build up your confidence and get you to look and try on things you may never had even bothered with. However as I explained to her, this can only go so far because at the end of the day only you truly know what suits you and what you feel confident in. As corny as it sounds you just have to listen to your gut!

So my advice to my colleague was don’t crazy and try follow all the wacky fashion trends atm. Start basic and build up. Find what suits you, what you like, what you feel confident in and then be more adventurous in small ways like a different skirt but with a plan top, or a fancy handbag or pair of shoes.

Speaking for myself I have a few classic styles especially when it comes to dresses.

    Shift dress
    Sheath dress
    Square neck tunic dress
    Maxi Dress

Also a few standard accessories:

    Black waist belt
    Brown waist belt
    (1 thin, 1 wide)
    Plain black shoes
    Plain neutral light brown shoes
    (one pair of flats, one pair of heels)
    Black bag
    Brown bag
    (one small, one large)

Yes you may see a pattern there. Hmm black or brown?
However, these are neutral colours which will go with anything so are very safe options. Start with these then build up to other colours. I like orange and dark red!

Here are a few of my favourite outfits

So back to my title quote:

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

This quote not only reflects how you dress but yourself directly. I find if you dress more confidently, you act more confidently. You speak up, you show yourself more, you do what you want more! So basically win win! At the end of the day all you have to remember is to be yourself!

Stop being afraid and start living instead

May 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Currently I going through serious Holiday blues! Last week I was lucky enough to be in beautiful, hot, sunny, Greece. Now I’m in gloomy cold rainy England. Close right? :/

My current holidays have been very much about adventuring, travelling and being quite touristy e.g. New York, Amsterdam, Australia etc. This holiday however, was a completely different adventure. This was about pushing myself, trying new things but also taking a breather and relaxing at the same time.

Along with 5 friends I jetted off to Greece to the Neilson Sivota Resort for a sailing and sporting holiday. Now i’m sporty but i’m not exactly a waterbaby so I was a little nervous!

My friend was a season traveler on these types of holidays, however for me it was all new but it didn’t matter because when I arrived I signed up for a few activities and got on my way.After that I didn’t stop!

We started with a kayak tour around the opposing island into the hidden caves and further into the sea to view Corfu and Paxos Island a little closer. Got caught in a mini storm but made it an even more unique experience. Even managed to pick up a starfish friend along the way. Followed by a session of tennis were I was a bit rusty but the coaches were patient, knowledgeable and helped me get back into the rhythm of it. Not sure if that was just because they wanted to genuinely help or to stop losing so many balls that I was hitting over the fence. Oops!

After that I was hooked!
My days consisted of:

  • 2 hours of Windsurfing everyday to complete my level 1 (hell yeah)
  • Learning to Water-ski and progressing from bar to rope
  • Several hours of tennis coaching in the red hot sun
  • Abs class to keep the stomach in check due to the amounts of mouth watering food consumed from the resort restaurant

All these were mixed with time spent by the pool, in the restaurant, oh and by the bar :D

The food was a nice spread of a variety of things, I felt very spoilt for choice. Only three nights were not inclusively included. The hotel provided options to buy and stay in (one night being a bbq), however we decided to venture out down into Sivota town and try some really traditional Greek restaurants. We tasted the greek cuisine in both restaurants right on the corner of the harbour. They both did a good selection, had good service and the view across the harbour at sunset is breath-taking! Make sure to grab a drink from the Bamboo bar or Baracudas and sit back and enjoy the view. Although beware, the greek alcohol measures are a lot more generous than the UK. So watch out because the climb up the hill back to the resort is a killer.

We also booked on to the trip to Parga, nearby neighbouring village. A 16th century Venetian castle sits on top of the mountain side and is definitely worth the climb up. Although the stairs are steep they wind through rows of traditional market shops and the views at the top are spectacular! There is a bar situated within the castle walls, this is a must do to sit, enjoy a drink and take in the views. We ate at a lovely restaurant called The Real Greek and got some interestingly named cocktails from The Sugar Bar. They are owned by brothers and sisters. So make sure you speak to the waitress to get the free house wine and shots!

Night time entertainment at the resort was looked after by a great guy called Jack. So friendly, bubbly and talented. He hosted a live performance session, acoustic karaoke and a quiz night. Our team ‘Quiz on your face’(hehe) some how managed to win and got the price of a free group photoshoot with the lovely Claire. Claire and her colleague are there all week taking photos and you are able to request them to come and take photos at any event. All the photo prices are very reasonable and brilliant quality. See her group ClareEdmeadPhotography for more details.

Was really sad to leave. Was an absolutely beautiful location, brilliant reps and instructors who were a great laugh! Most of all I definitely miss the heat and sun. Here’s a few photos to sum up my amazing experience (courtesy of my friend Jane, Jenny and Claire.

Overall, I was glad I didn’t let anything hold me back and I tried as much as I could. I certainly learnt to have more confident and just go after what I want and don’t let anything hold me back. After all you only live once!

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins

March 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last couple of weeks have been pretty tough for me, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and had to face a lot tough decisions but I like to think I’ve come out the other side stronger.

Through a slow and at times painful journey I have realised you can either sit back and watch life past you by and do the same thing over and over again or stand up and do something about it.

There has been so many moments recently to do with work, relationships, home life, friends; general day to day things where I’ve stepped back and thought where is this going?

So many things could be made easier if people woke up, got out of their ruts and were willing to change. Not completely change but change to improve themselves, their lives and others lives for the better. At work I watch people huff and buff over the smallest things and shut their ears to other people who want to help. In the end pushing these people away, losing respect and causing the same miserable situations. Then no-one learns to appreciate anyone else. No one wants to apologise, compromise or just take a moment to say is this worth it? or do others know what they are doing is worthwhile?

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Its the same with relationships people tend to talk and talk and talk about what they want and what they’ll do, but when it comes down to it its all talk and no action. No one ever fights, it’s far easier just throw it away and blame it on some thing or someone else and wallow in your own misery.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Seuss
I have learn that those people who truly care about you and want you in their lives will make it known at the highs and the lows and no matter how crazy you can be, they will stick by you and be crazy too.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

So over the past couple of weeks I’ve learnt to let go of a lot of things, accept some things won’t change, compromised on some situations to make it easier for others and myself, but also to stand up for things that I think I deserve. It’s been hard but at the end of the day, I know in the long term its for the best. One thing I hate is seeing people upset or struggling, so I have also tried to pass on this advice to friends and be there to support them through the hard times. It’s not always been easy and it’s hard to think of the right thing to say, if there is a right thing. However, if people can see you’re trying it means more than you think.

At the end of the day if you aren’t happy do something about it! Change how you act, change how you feel and remember never give up on something you really want! Because you have to remember “Even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward.”

That’s all for me, time to prepare for my first ever wedding party tomorrow and its a barn dance. So need to sort out what to wear so I can mosey on down….. Blog of the night to follow :D

Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York

March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am a very fortunate person that my oldest brother lives and works in New York, USA. After having lived over there fore 3 years I decided i had left it long enough and decided to go visit.

One thing I would suggest before you go to New York is plan, there is so much to see in NY and if you are only there for a short time you want to make most of it.

When I arrived I had the lovely delight of delving straight into New York public transport. I hoped on the Airtrain then the subway across Manhattan to central New York. It is true what they say about NY the subway is filled with the weird the wise and the wonderful! You see day to day people, then glamorous women, tramps, crazy people and singing a Capella groups. Everyone just going along there way.

My first full day was thanksgiving, I was lucky that my brother lived on 72nd street so we popped to the end of the streets to watch the balloons and floats fly by. This is a definite must, even if you can only see the balloons its amazing to see some iconic figures so large.

Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!

We then took a nice walk from 72nd street down past the Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, past P-Diddys Bad Boy Entertainment straight into time square. The walk is lovely with art statues along the walk and there is no better feeling than walking into the thick of times square and taking in the aura of the amazing atmosphere.

For thanksgiving dinner, I hopped on the Ferry over to Staten Island. If you want to see the Statue of Liberty but not pay the dollars for a tour then hop on the ferry which is free and travels right past at a good distance away for some nice photos. Although theres not a lot to see on Staten island so you may just want to hop straight back on the ferry and return which can be a long journey.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry

The great thing about visiting at thanksgiving is that Black Friday follows! Which is great for any shopping enthusiastic or anyone who wants to save a buck or two and do some early Christmas shopping (GBR TO USD exchange rate is great atm).
I was lucky to have my brothers american girlfriend to show me the ropes and battle the crowds. Starting in Soho making our way up to No Soho where we then crossed over into Little Italy for some Gorgeous Pizza at Lombardi’s Pizza on 32 Spring Street which is known as the first pizzeria in the United State. The restaurant was very busy so you have to not mind waiting, however it is very vintage styled with classic elements such as white and red checked table clothes,the pizza was presented nicely on a pedestal. I can honestly say it tasted delicious especially paired with some fresh ice tea:)

My friend arrived the next day where we ventured to the national history musuem followed by a walk through central park (make sure you get yourself a map as it is very easy to get lost). Central park is beautiful in the autumn and full of little treasures, don’t miss the strawberry fields or the Alice in wonderland statue.

Strawberry fieldsView in central park

We then cut through to Fifth avenue and had a stroll down stopping for a cup of tea and bite to eat and to warm ourselves up. Didn’t pop in any shops, a little too expensive for us. Then headed to the Schwartz shop to see Bigs piano and play with the toys and gorge on sweets. Must see for kids! Definitely fit in a trip to Shake Shack if you can, the burgers are amazing and long running iconic restaurant of New York.

In the evening we were lucky to manage to get some tickets to watch the Brooklyn Nets play in the brand new Barclay Stadium. Was a great match against Portland trail blazers filled with entertainment of dancers, cheerleaders and fun games. I would suggest it as a must do! Just over the road is Modells this is brilliant for picking up merchandise for all teams and the american big 4 sports and for reasonable prices.

Barclay stadium Brooklyn Nets

The next day i headed down to wall street, saw the bull, battery park(where you catch ferry for statue of Liberty and you can get broadway tickets, Also the men in Black building opposite). Then wandered along to the piers on the east side. From South Street SeaPort you can also pick up cheap broadway tickets with much smaller queues those in battery park and time square.
From here I headed back up John street to Broadway where you can get great long views of the new 9-11 memorial towers, then head right up to city hall and the park before joining the path to cross Brooklyn Bridge.
I have to say Brooklyn Bridge was my most memorable moment of the trip, the walk and views are breath taking. Once you get to the end i suggest you head right to the parks and then catch the tube back.

Brooklyn Bridge9-11 Memorial

Other stops on my map were:

  • Union Square for the Christmas Market
  • Flat iron building
  • Maidson Square Gardens
  • Grand central station
  • Bryant Park for ice skating and Lighting of the tree
  • A classic American Comedy night
  • Views of the Empire State building

My final day we wanted to make it a memorable one. Starting off with delicious but humongous pancakes just off from the tube station at 72nd street. We decided to go up the Rockefeller building for the view of the city, as you get some great history and perfect view of all the sights including the empire state building. We went up just before sunset and was definitely worth the wait in the cold winds! We then headed back to time square where we went to Ellen’s Stardust dinner where you have future west end stars sing and dance around you whilst you eat. Brilliant experience which just made us want to go see a show. The thing with New York is there is so many productions to see its hard to decide but we went for Spiderman! Which was amazing, brilliant music from Bono(even plugging his own u2 song) and the acrobats have you with your mouth wide open for most of the show. Second must do, is see a show!

DSCN3580

Overall, I loved my trip to New York and its hard to put into words the way it makes you feel and all the sights you see! I would say you need at least a week there depending on your pace. Of all the sites of New York i would say the Must see must do big 5 are:

  • 1- See one of the 4 american sports
  • 2- Go see a show on broadway
  • 3-Go across Brooklyn Bridge
  • 4-Visit Shake Shack!
  • 5-Go up the Rockafeller for an amazing view

February 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

AverageJo:

Perfect for me right now!

Originally posted on Single For 1 With The Duke:

black couple 2

No one likes to feel misled when it comes to relationships, or anything for that matter. No one enjoys being a part of a big game that they did not sign up for. When it comes to the opposite sex, it starts with some type of attraction. However, attraction is not enough.

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