10 pieces of advice I'd give to my teenage self


Dress: Pull & Bear via Asos, Bag: Southbeach via Asos, Jewellery: vintage (i.e. my mum's) and Missoma

While I may still be mistaken for a teenager on occasion, I am in fact now six whole years out of teenage life. Sad, but true. And at my ripe old age of 26 I've come to realise, after speaking to friends in their mid-twenties, too, that while we unfortunately haven't grown at all physically (well, in height at least), we've grown so much mentally. I honestly find it so bizarre to think how much I lacked in confidence and worried about stupid things as a teenager. So I thought I'd share my top 10 pieces of advice I'd give to my teenage self (I'm thinking early teens, tbf)...


1. You'll have days when you feel ugly af and consider plastic surgery, and days where you're really feeling yourself. Ignore them both, you're neither ugly nor the best thing since sliced bread. You'll soon learn not to take either feeling seriously.

2. Don't worry about your future career. Work hard, do what you enjoy, take chances, say yes to opportunities and you'll get to where you want to be, even if you didn't know it's where you wanted to be.

3. You'll grow in confidence. As you get older you'll worry less about what others think of you and you'll come to recognise your worth a lot more.

4. Stick to your guns and stay true to yourself. Whether it's a choice of what to wear, like when you asked your friend's opinion on what to wear for your 18th, took it and regretted it ever since, or a bigger life decision, you ain't gonna be happy with it unless it's YOUR decision.

5. Stop believing everyone else's opinion is more worthy. You have an idea, someone has a different one and immediately you think theirs must be better. Nope, not necessarily. Your opinions and ideas are just as likely to be the best ones as theirs are.

6. If someone doesn't treat you how you think they should, cut your losses and distance yourself earlier rather than later, you may think it's too painful, or too much emotional admin, but it'll only be harder later on.

7. Don't worry about the fact you're scared to be away from home or go on sleepovers, you'll grow out of it and end up going travelling and living in shared hostel rooms for almost an entire year.

8. Collect good people along the way. While you should drop those who make you sad, make extra effort to keep in touch with those who bring a smile to your face. Whether you catch up once a month or once a year, don't let the good ones go.

9.  Don't get the fringe.

10. There really are better things you could be doing with your time than manoeuvring virtual penguins and humans around virtual worlds. Log out of Habbo Hotel/Club Penguin and join the gym.

Yep, you could definitely be spending your time more productively

You will NOT be this flat-chested forever

Your first car will hold a special place in ur heart 4eva but the Lourdes bracelet will not
You think you'll never get over your first crush, R Patz, but you will. 

This is not cool and should never have been posted to Facebook. Take the wristbands off






Last minute Father's Day gift ideas





It's Father's Day is THIS WEEKEND (if you're reading this prior to the 16th June). In case it's crept up on you as suddenly as it has me, here's some last minute ideas that will actually seem like you've really thought about it...


The one who's into music. I got my dad something very similar to this last year and he loved it. Of course, think about whether they'd actually like it on the wall and have space for it also. Personalised song sound print, £30


The one who cares their appearance. The Personal Barber offers a subscription service which is like a beauty suscription box but for men. It's full of beautiful products both in essence and appearance. You can get a wet shaving subscription box for £24.95


The one who's always in the garden. Personalised gardening tools R SO CUTE. Personalised fork and spade, £12.99

Personalised Gardening Tools

The one who's addicted to golf. Personalised ball marker and tees, £16.99



The one who's a football fanatic.  A personalised *Insert football club* On This Day book. £12.99


The one who's into cars. I genuinely think this looks really cool and your dad would love it as an artistic addition to his beloved garage. Yellow garage tin sign, £9.99




My Top 5 Podcasts




As mentioned in this video, I got into podcasts when I had laser eye surgery because my recovery involved being more blind than ever and having to avoid looking at screens for a week so all in all, it seemed like the best, and frankly only, entertainment option.

Anyway, I'm weirdly grateful for being somewhat forced into them because I've since been listening non-stop since while carrying out mundane tasks such as getting ready, tidying up and making food (I say 'making food' rather than 'cooking' because being honest, haven't cooked a decent meal since getting back home and living with my parents).

While I started with intense and highly recommended murder investigation podcasts, I soon drifted and found my niche; wellbeing (I like things that are both entertaining but also have take-aways for self-improvement).

Here, I've compiled my top 5 from those murder mystery early days to my current entertaining and informative go-tos.

Wellbeing


1. Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee 
This amazing podcast by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who has written two books and features in BBC's Doctor in the House, has weekly episodes featuring guests from across the health and wellbeing industries, all of whom he converses with about health, happiness, stress and generally just getting more from life. His conversations are always interesting and exciting, but my main reason for loving them is his focus on ensuring each provides the listener with practical advice they can apply to their own lives and situations. For example, if you're vegan and the guest is advising a high protein diet – Dr Chatterjee would ensure the guest explained the best way of achieving it within those parameters.

Investigative


2. Serial (Series 1)

This was the first podcast I listened to. My friends had listened to it while travelling, so to be honest, it's the only one that had really entered my radar. It's a murder investigation theme following the mysterious death of a high school student in America. I only listened to series 1 because it was one whole story rather than episodes featuring different tales/topics as the second two (I think) series are. Like with Teacher's Pet (below) I was gripped and just wanted to get to the end.

3. The Teacher's Pet

This comes in second because it kept me totally enthralled and distracted while my eyeballs were undergoing painful healing transformations. It's a weird tale, and has resurfaced as a court case thanks to this podcast which brought it to global attention and highlighted the need for further investigation (and actually includes a lot of investigation). Essentially, an Australian wife and mother 'went missing' without a trace and no one really questioned whether or not it was suspicious despite the fact her husband, a teacher, was having an affair with one of his students whom he moved in pretty much as soon as his wife disappeared. Have a listen and judge for yourself.

Girly chat and love


4. Millenial Love
In this podcast, two millenial members of The Independent's lifestyle team chat dating situations we face these days including navigating Tinder, Bumble and Hinge etc (along with hilarious real life anecdotes). It's funny, relatable and honestly feels like you're chatting with your friends. Episode titles include 'Breaking the stigma of being (perpetually) single', 'How do you know when to walk away from someone?' and 'Social media stalking and how to escape a bad date' – LOL.  Whether you're single, dating, in a long-term relationship or simply intrigued by the wondrous world of millennial love lives, this podcast is worth a listen. I learned a lot from this, including what 'Zombie-ing' is and that it has happened to me on multiple occasions.

Comedy/political satire


5. Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4
I enjoy the Friday Night Comedy podcast from BBC Radio 4 because, especially in the current age of Brexit, it's genuinely hilarious. It's a satirical take on the week's political events which to be honest, is my preferred way of catching up with what's been going on – I tend to get most of my political updates directly from the comedic satire. Best keep things light-hearted.



Let me know if you have any further podcast recommendations!

SS19 top trends

SS19 trends you can get on board with now and keep wearing right through to Autumn.


Large, sporty sunglasses

Loewe
Stella McCartney
Each x Other

         
       
         
       
     
    

Neutrals

Max Mara

Fendi


         
       
         
       
     
        

Tie dye

         
       

                 

     

        Green 


Tibi

Molly Goddard

Balenciaga

         
       
         
       
     
        

Cargo pants

Fendi

Jonathan Simkhai

Claudia Li
         
       
         
       
     
        

The Day Dress

Alexander McQueen
Ulla Johnson

         
       
         
       
     
       

1980s

Dolce & Gabbana
Moschino

Marni


         
       
         
       
     
        

Cycling shorts


Chanel

Sportmax
Roberto Cavalli


         
       
         
       
     


Boilersuits

Stella McCartney

Hermes

Isabel Marant

         
       
         
       
     
        

St Mary's Inn Review & Itinerary for a weekend in Northumberland


Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at St Mary's Inn near Morpeth. I was actually really, really excited about this as I've been meaning to explore Northumberland more since the days I wrote for Living North magazine and was constantly writing about it and researching it online. For some silly reason, I'd never gotten around to exploring Craster, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth or any of the other lovely places I'd written about (despite them being so close to Newcastle, where I lived!)

So when the invitation landed in my inbox, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was I being given the best excuse to explore, but I'd also be able to check out one of the region's most exciting new hotels, St Mary's Inn. After seeing a couple of bloggers mention it, I couldn't wait to see what the fuss was about. Read on to see if it lived up to expectation (I'll go through my itinerary after the review)...

St Mary's Inn Review

St Mary's Inn room

I loved the little touches in our (huge, btw!) room, like the Northumberland guide book and amazing tray of tea (green, peppermint, Earl Grey and English Breakfast), coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits!

As soon as we arrived, I fancied a bit of a freshen up, since we had been exploring all day (see below for details!). The bathroom, as it turned out, was my favourite part of the room with its huge window, high ceiling, plus massive bath and shower. How chic! And of course, perfect for doing your makeup in.

St Mary's Inn bathroom


St Mary's Inn room refreshments
The complementary refreshment basket of dreams
After a little bit of a refresh, we made our way downstairs for a three-course dinner. I went down the sea food route for starters AND mains with crispy king prawns followed by fishcakes, while my mum went for prawn cocktail and steak. I was so pleased with my starter choice though, it was bloody amazing with an accompanying home-made mango salsa.

The fishcakes came highly recommended by the lovely staff member, Sarah, and I definitely back her up - they were amazing! I love capers as well so this addition elevated them in my eyes.

St Mary's Inn prawn starter
Crispy King Prawns with Mango Salsa and Siracha Sweet Chilli Sauce

St Mary's Inn fishcakes
Cod and Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Caperberries and Parsley Beurre Blanc

Prawn Cocktail
St Mary's Inn steak
Steak
Let's not forget dessert either which, as usual, was a highlight for me. Luckily my mum is big a chocolate fanatic as I am so I got to try BOTH the chocolate options, my mum's was a special while mine is a permanent fixture (yey!).

My mum's was the chocolate delice with salted caramel, cherry and white chocolate ice cream, and mine was the chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream. It was honestly the richest, most beautiful chocolate tart ever and perfectly complemented by the ice cream and tangy raspberries. I also tried my mum's (obvs lols), which was a bloody delight! We were really struggling at this point, and I'd fully committed to letting my mum struggle on alone until she stumbled across a soft caramel centre in the depths of the delice, at which point I had to pick up my fork and participate once again. NEVER BEEN SO FULL. But well worth it.

St Mary's Inn chocolate delice
Delice
St Mary's Inn chocolate tart
Chocolate tart

After a couple of delicious flavoured G&T's, we had a lovely night's sleep and woke up for more food. We'd chosen our breakfasts the day before and after much deliberation, I'd gone for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on sour dough, and my mum had opted for the full English. Again, no regrets with my choice, the eggs were so perfectly cooked and I love smoked salmon. My mum also loved hers!


St Mary's Inn smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast

St Mary's Inn full english breakfast
Add caption
St Mary's Inn breakfast
There were also juice, fruits, muesli and cereals on offer, but I couldn't fit them in


St Mary's Inn blogger food review
Desserts and gins... what a dream
After breakfast, we were shown around the beautiful building. With its lovely fireplaces, local art, cosy pub and friendly management team, it really does feel homely, fresh and very much what I'd expect from a Northumberland Inn, to be honest! Scroll for our itinerary and tourist-style snaps...


Day one: the beautiful little fishing village of Craster & a short walk along the coast (about 7,000 FitBit steps!) to the amazing, derelict Dunstanburgh Castle and back.
Craster to Dunstanburgh coastal walk
The beautiful coast on the walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle

Craster, Northumberland boats
Craster

Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland blogger day trip
Me looking like I own the castle lol, great pose hun
Sheep near Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland
An endearing herd of sheep we walked past, or ran, in my mum's case, as she was terrified

Day 2: Whitley Bay for a little explore and beach stroll, then on to Tynemouth for a coffee break and wander around the high street

Whitley Bay beach
Whitley Bay beach
Fashion blogger outside Spanish City, Whitley Bay
Outside the beautiful recently refurbished Spanish City building (yep, the one from the Dire Straits song). It's now a restaurant and champagne bar
Fashion blogger at Spanish City, Whitley Bay
The beautiful interior of Spanish City, plus my #OOTD. It's the perfect place for an Instagram outfit snap!
Tynemouth beach and priory
Tynemouth 

Mister Woods Coffee, Tynemouth
Mister Woods Coffee, Tynemouth


I hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to visit St Mary's Inn and the beautiful Northumberland coast! 

Find out more about St Mary's Inn and book your stay here www.stmarysinn.co.uk