Function of Beauty: Haircare Review.

Function of Beauty (2)

Today’s post is something I have been preparing for quite a while, almost a year and a half in fact. You’ll find out why below but I’m excited to talk to you about Function of Beauty and why I love their products so much. Just as a disclaimer because this is a review; this isn’t a sponsored or paid post, there are no affiliate links within the post, I have bought all the products with my own money and it is of course, a one hundred percent honest review.

If you don’t know what Function of Beauty is, it’s a hair care company that can specifically tailor their products to your hair type and your hair goals. I first found out about the brand through one of my favourite YouTuber’s last year (I can’t find the particular video but if you’re not following Rach, she’s a lovely Australian content creator who bases her content around organisation, mindset changes, cleaning and routines; here is her channel if you’re interested in taking a look) and normally I’m not someone who buys a product through seeing an influencer advertising it, but I really liked the concept of the products and I had nothing to lose by it, so I thought why not? I’ve been using the products for around a year and a half now and the reason I held off on doing a review-type post was because I really wanted to have used it for an extended amount of time; not only to let my hair get used to the product but to see if I could see any real change. They are cruelty-free and vegan, so if that’s something you’re looking for, Function of Beauty pride themselves on this.

How does it work?

If you don’t know how it works, it’s a really simple process; firstly, you take a quiz about your hair and if you don’t really think about what hair type you have, this really helps you think more intuitively about what your hair needs are.

(When you first open the Function of Beauty website, you’ll be greeted with a hair quiz page. Maybe not this particular one as they like to change their theme, but it will be very similar)

You start with your hair type (either straight, wavy, curly or coily), moving on to your hair structure (either fine, medium or coarse) and your moisture levels (either dry, normal or oily). For me, choices were wavy, fine and oily.

Next up is your hair goals and this is totally unique for you and I really like that they do have lots of options. You can choose up to five, and my choices are colour protection, fix split ends, oil control, soothe scalp and shine. Because I have said that my moisture levels are oily (and they have been for so many years), I really want the option to help my oil control and to soothe my scalp. My hair is very fine and because I have my own personal issues with pulling at my hair and breaking it, my choice of fixing split ends was perfect. We all know that a shampoo or any other hair treatment out there can’t just fix split ends or make your hair less oily; however these hair goals aren’t there to work absolute miracles on your hair, it’s more so to help you control those elements in your hair.

You also get to choose the colour you would like both your shampoo and conditioner, as well as the scent and how strong you would like it. I really love strong scents so I chose strong every time. The first time I ordered I choose a lovely blue colour for both with a peach scent but my last two orders have been a stunning red and pink colour with a special subscription scent called “Naughty or (Sp) ice” and it was an older holiday scent from 2018.

(So this was my first order of the brand, and to go along side it, I got myself little miniature bottles to go with it, because I wanted to be able to take the shampoo and conditioner away, as we were due to go on holiday the month or so after)


(These colours and scents have been on both my second and third order. It’s my favourite combination so far!)

Cost and subscription management.

Let’s talk about cost because it is an important factor no matter what we’re purchasing. I have read comments online about the price of the shampoo and how it is more expensive than other brands and of course, there’s no denying that you could go into a supermarket or a chemist and pick up a shampoo and conditioner for less than £10. I’m all for buying what you can afford so if you genuinely can’t afford something, then you don’t buy it. That’s pretty much my philosophy for most things in life. What makes Function of Beauty worth it to me is their USP of being able to customise your hair care; being able to tell them your hair type, what you would like to improve on, the colour of the product along with the scent you would like and it’s strength. That’s something that this isn’t possible in a supermarket or chemist.

What I would also mention about the cost is the size of the product. As I mentioned before, I have fine and oily hair, and what comes with that is greasy hair that I have to wash every day (or every other day). Okay, I don’t ‘have’ to and I know that by doing so, I’m striping the oils within the hair, but I simply feel too self-conscious if I had to have greasy hair every other day. Despite me using a shampoo and conditioner once every day, the large 16oz bottles last me between five and six months. I’m not under-using it either, I’m using the exact same amount each and every day. A 16oz shampoo and the same sized conditioner is £39 or you can get the smaller bottles for 8oz for £29, and you don’t have to stick to the same set each time, and that includes the hair goals, scent or colour too.

Managing my subscription has been really easy, and they email me about a week or two before my products are due to be shipped and it doesn’t take too long to log on and change the delivery dates, if that’s something you need. I have had to put my orders on delay a few times this year because both my shampoo and conditioner lasted much longer than I thought, and I didn’t want any more to arrive until I was at least three quarters of the way down my current product. You don’t get fined for doing that, it’s totally free.

brooke-cagle-kvKSL7B6eTo-unsplash(Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash)

I absolutely love the Function of Beauty brand and I don’t think I could go back to traditional shampoo after using this. I’m perfectly happy spending my money with my hair care; I don’t buy expensive handbags or lots of make-up so I’m happy to spend my money on my hair instead. I would rather have my hair looking nice and no make-up rather than a full face of make-up and my hair being a complete mess (sadly my hair doesn’t always agree with how I first set it in the morning).

In terms of how the products have helped my hair, I couldn’t be happier. With the oil control, there’s really two sides to this; I’m a hair toucher and it’s so frustrating because 90% of the time, I don’t realise I do it. When I stick my hair up in a ponytail, my hair can last much longer because it’s not being touched. I could get away with washing it every other day, and while that might not seem like a lot; from having to have to wash it every day to then every other day, that’s a huge thing for me. When it comes to shine, I think we all strive for shiny hair and when I had my box-dyed red hair for over ten years, I absolutely loved the shine that bright red gave me. When I started to transition to blonde hair a few years ago, I thought the shine would die down but using both the shampoo and conditioner, it gives it a really natural shine which I love while not making my hair have that greasy shine.

I can’t comment on colour protection because I go for a colour treatment every twelve weeks or so, and it lasts the same amount of time as normal. My goal for soothe scalp is a little like my oil control; I have quite a problematic scalp due to my touching my hair, so I know that if I didn’t pull and touch at my hair, my scalp would be much better. I know that for my next order, I will be changing a few of my hair goals because I have been able to identify what works for me, and what doesn’t, and I think that’s what is important when you’re using any customised product.

(Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash)

What I should mention also, is what we probably think about a lot but not consciously. The bottles come with pumps automatically but you can decline this with your order at checkout. I bought miniature bottles as I mentioned under my first order photograph, and I have been putting my conditioner in one of the minis, so I don’t have two big bottles sitting out at all times. That means if you have a really small bathroom or not a lot of storage in your shower area, you can use your little minis instead of the two bottles. I prefer a pump method so I still use a pump for my shampoo but a squeeze method for me is much easier for conditioner; I thankfully had a pump left over from my first order so I used that for my current set.

I have even expanded to other products in their range; I love their leave-in conditioner and I find when I use this, my hair straightens much better. For my next order, I want to try their hair mask which I believe is a new edition to their range and I do love a good hair mask!

If you fancy checking the company out, you can find them right here; they also have an incredible page of information on all their ingredients which you can find here. I didn’t talk about ingredients specifically because I simply am not qualified to do so. If ingredients is something you want to find out more about, click the link above and you’ll be able to see what goes into these bottles. If you have any other questions, feel free to send them over to either my Instagram or my Twitter. Have a great week! ☀️

How To Plan A Room Makeover (Part One)

How To Plan A Room Makeover (Part One)

Planning a room makeover can be quite an overwhelming experience especially if you don’t have a fresh clean slate, so I wanted to create this starting guide to help you get started on the process. I believe there will be additional posts along the way once my plans come into place more, but as always, I’ll link them below when they are available.

I have always loved interior design ever since I can remember. I’m not interested in fashion, but when it comes to wall colours alongside decorative pieces, I could spend all day in a home ware store like someone would a clothes shop. I loved watching “Changing Rooms” in the evenings when I was younger then “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” came in my prime teen years, and I was absolutely in love with it. I also grew up spending hours at the weekends playing “The Sims” with building and decorating the house being my favourite part of the game.

When we first started working from home, we had to quickly turn our unorganised spare room into a temporary office and the more time I spent time in the room, the more ideas I have had for how I wanted to style it in the future. It’s a room that I had seen for so long as “that room that we need to organise” to “that room that I really want to make into a nice space”. Spending so much time in a room other than the bedroom or the living room, can really give you a mass of creative ideas and before we had to work from home, I just thought “Oh, I’ll get around to it eventually”.

corinne-kutz-eeqFjT6q_sQ-unsplash(Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash)

I believe there are a number of points you really need to consider before starting any decorating or purchasing process, six to be exact and I’ve listed them below.

Is it a priority?

When you’re starting with any project, whether it’s to do with work or your personal life, you can’t expect to jump in head first and do everything all at once. For example; if you really need a wardrobe because your chest of drawers isn’t holding all your clothes, those bedside tables that you really want, may have to wait. You’ll also probably want to plaster the walls and paint (or wallpaper) the room first before bringing any new furniture in or you will want to look at how much you can afford to spend before you start buying any materials.

What is your style?

If you know your style, you’re pretty much good to go on this front. However, if you have no idea where to start, Pinterest and Instagram will be your best inspiration. It’s best not to try and go for “the style of the moment” because we all know how fast that changes and unless you want to keep decorating, it’s better to try and find a style that fits you, rather than trying to fit in with the style.

haley-lawrence-aTskggcICgI-unsplash(Photo by Haley Lawrence on Unsplash)

What size is the room?

Knowing the size of the room is one of the most important things you need to know straight away because it’s a huge part of the decorating process. There is nothing worse than seeing furniture that you fall in love with or searching for that perfect wallpaper, but not being able to buy it straight away because you don’t know if the furniture will fit or how much wallpaper you will need.

We’ll take a bedroom for example; you may love your bed but want to change your bedside tables and your wardrobe so you have to take into consideration the size of the furniture you currently have and if you are able to buy something bigger. Two questions that you have to ask yourself also if you’re purchasing a large piece of furniture is will it fit through the door and can I get it upstairs? We all remember that famous scene from “Friends” where Ross shouts ‘pivot!’ (One of my favourite episodes!) but it’s an important lesson to still remember so many years on. You may have to build your furniture in the room, and in that case, it’s completely fine but if you’re having to bring something through the house and up the stairs, just make sure you can do that without damaging anything.

What are you planning to keep in the room?

If you’re starting a room from scratch, almost like moving into a new build, it’s so clean and fresh; this won’t be something that is relevant but if you’re re-decorating a room entirely, then you need to choose what you want to keep within the room. (I touched on this slightly above!)

blake-carpenter-IAt-hOgKDTE-unsplash(Photo by Blake Carpenter on Unsplash)

What is your budget?

This reflects back to my suggestion of looking at Pinterest and Instagram. Often we can come across images of these gorgeous houses with all the trimmings but they will be from multi-million pound houses and sometimes you feel like you need to spend lots of money adding to the decor. That can be the dangerous thing with taking your inspiration from social media, but as long as you know from the get-go that you only need to spend what YOU can afford, and not what you THINK you should spend. It might be the case for many people, I know it is for me; that you have to decorate in stages. You might be able to plaster, paint and wallpaper the room but you can’t afford to furnish it just yet and that’s completely fine because that’s what you can afford to do. You’ll also need to think about cost if you’re bringing in anyone external too. If you can do everything at once, that’s also great, but don’t feel pressured to do that if you don’t have the means to. Getting yourself into debt is something that you don’t want to do, all for the sake of a room make-over.

Are you being realistic?

This should be the last question you ask yourself and if you say no to any of the above questions, you have to re-evaluate. If you’re not giving yourself enough time, if you’re set your budget too high or if you’re not happy with where the process is going; take a step back and question why it’s not realistic.

designecologist-csVPdj60E1A-unsplash(Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash)

I’m really excited to add to this little series because we’re planning a room make-over ourselves so it will be nice to not only document it to look back on, but to share the process of how we went from zero to finished too. If you have any additional tips, please let me know over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Have a lovely week! ☀️

My Experience and Thoughts | Intermittent Fasting


At the beginning of the year in my Continue, Start and Stop plan, I wrote down that I wanted to explore the idea of trying intermittent fasting and currently while we’re on lockdown, I thought now would be the perfect time to try it so that’s what today’s post is all about.

As a disclaimer, I understand that talking about food can be a trigger for some because I will be talking about my own diet and restricted eating (in a time restricted sense) in this post. If that’s not for you, that’s okay!

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If you’re not sure what intermittent fasting is, it is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify what foods you should eat, it’s more focused on when you should eat. I found this really great article by Healthline (which I’ll link here) that has everything you need to know about the process. It includes the type of fasts there are, what scientific evidence there is to prove the benefits and the important side effects too.

For someone who craves routine, I was pleasantly surprised that I wanted to try something new with my diet but because it’s not been the greatest over the last year, I thought having a change up would do me the world of good. Another reason for trying this practice out was because I have been looking at the weight loss side of it; based on my last post about weight loss (which I’ll link here) it’s something I do think about, for the good of my own health and I wanted to see if this would steer me in the right direction. I’m not a fan of taking a complete food group out of my diet so this was a much healthier alternative for me.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I first started this process so over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking some notes on how I’ve been feeling and decided to talk about the four most important points for me.

(Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash)

I was surprised how fast I adjusted to not eating in the morning.

I’m a breakfast girl and the last time I didn’t eat breakfast was when I went to University so I’ve been doing it religiously for quite a few years. Now don’t get me wrong, while the week progressed; I started to become hungry at around 11am but at that point, I only had to wait an hour to start my eating for the day so that didn’t bother me at all. I was really surprised that I was able to adjust quite quickly because it was something that I was slightly worried about at the beginning.

It’s surprisingly helped me with my water intake.

I believe one habit that helped hugely was my water intake; every morning I would make a large cup of mint tea and I would also have a steel bottle full of cold water too so that equaled four glasses of water, half of my daily intake. If I did this twice before lunchtime, I had hit my water intake for the day. I think part of my problem before is that I was instantly eating a snack because I thought I was hungry but during this period, I drank more fluids and I realised that it was thirst problem rather than hunger.

I understand hunger from boredom.

I would say a lot of us have been there where we go into the fridge or the cupboard but we’re not really that hungry, but we think we need something to eat. I’ve done it and it’s part of the reason over the last few months I have gained additional weight. From doing intermittent fasting, I can understand hunger from boredom, and I haven’t actually eaten out of boredom once because the boredom time normally comes a few hours after dinner, but because I stop eating at around eight o’clock, I don’t experience that boredom hunger anymore.

Navigating my period around it was difficult.

Periods are rough, there’s so doubt about that, but with increased hunger and the emotional side of your hormones that come into play too, that makes intermittent fasting a little difficult. With this month being my first month of IF, I really wasn’t too sure what to expect when it came to my period. The very painful cramps didn’t help in the slightest but I noticed increased hunger for two days from about 9:30am. Now, I know that IF is about working your eating times around your schedule and not the other way around but I wanted to roughly stick to the same time schedule so I chose to stick it out until 12:30pm. I would say that this was probably the only negative of IF but in a more positive light, it really showed me that you can work this lifestyle around you and when you want to eat.; I just chose not to do it this time around.

charles-deluvio-PvAAYZx-yf8-unsplash(Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash)

Will I continue it?

For me, intermittent fasting has been a positive experience and I don’t see any reason not to continue practicing it daily. I don’t see it as restrictive (even though it’s giving you a restricted eating window) and it’s giving my body a message of when I should be eating; in the past, I found myself eating when I was emotional or bored, but this process has really taught me on how to listen to my body. I find the concept of intuitive eating hard to get my head around (there’s quite a few avenues to go down with that one!) but giving myself cut off points for food felt very intuitive because I’m training my body that I don’t need to eat at all times of the day.

The one exception during all of this and was actually quite an eye-opener was the experience around my period, as I’ve already explained. Because it’s the first month of this new way of eating, I wanted to keep to the same schedule throughout the month to see how I dealt with it, but I know that when this time comes around again, it will be easy to move my timings differently and I’ll still be gaining the benefits, but I’ll still be helping my body with that increased hunger and cravings.

Thank you, as always for taking time to read today’s post. I’ve really loved the intermittent fasting experience a lot more than I thought I would and I’m looking forward to learning more about it over the next few months. For any comments or feedback, feel free to let me know over on my Twitter and Instagram channels. Have a great week! ☀️

What Lockdown Taught Me About My Productivity.

What Lockdown Taught Me About My Productivity.

This topic has been weighing on my mind for a few weeks now because as someone who has been through from one extreme to the other when it comes to being productive and wanting to be constantly on the go, to struggling to do anything and then in turn, feeling terrible for not making the most of the day. I’ve been through both the highs and lows of both sides so it felt natural to talk about especially as we see the mixed messages from the online world about taking advantage of the more free time we have.

My mindset around productivity previously and for so many years was focused on being productive every day. While I loved the weekends, I would feel so much pressure to do something that was note worthy during the downtime from work. As a lot of the world is currently in lockdown and for me at least, we’re only allowed to go shopping for essentials and we’re also allowed out for exercise; we all have more free time than we ever had before. (Obviously not counting parents in this, I’m not a parent but I don’t know if you ever get free time once children are in the picture…)

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(Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash)

For many of my behaviours, counselling was something that helped me in more ways than one and during this period, I have been able to circle back into that time about what I had learned. While I’m currently not taking part in my therapy sessions anymore (I’m still in contact with my therapist from time-to-time but I’m not going on a weekly or monthly basis anymore, however if I do need the support, I know I can book an appointment at any point) during that time, we were able to identify that this was one of the mindsets that was holding me back from just taking a break and relaxing. At the time, there were a number of factors going on in my life and would use the weekends to be productive because I was using the productivity as a coping mechanism for my unhappiness. I was pushing myself to write all these to-do lists and achieve all these tasks because that was the validation that I needed at the time. When I wouldn’t complete a to-do list, I got really frustrated at myself and I felt like a failure; even if I had completed nineteen out of twenty tasks, I didn’t consider that a “win” because I didn’t complete them all. I’ll be honest, that was a really really hard mindset to work through, it took much longer than I thought and while I still tend to get those tendencies, they’re not so common now but I did start to see them flare up during lockdown.

I absolutely love being productive, don’t get me wrong. There’s no better feeling than planning out your day with the tasks you have to do and when you get them all done, it’s fantastic. The problem lies, or at least it lies with me, when we’re being fed messages that we can only feel proud of ourselves or we only deserve to rest when we have been productive. That’s where the mixed messages on social media have been for me especially when we’re being told that we should be “seizing this opportunity” as much as we can.

jess-bailey-94Ld_MtIUf0-unsplash(Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash)

Now, I’m all for going after your goals, I really am. I love New Year’s Resolutions, I set up my own Continue, Start and Stop plan; while I might not always follow through on my own goals, I do try to as best as possible. When we all realised that this would mean working from home and eventually going into lockdown (in the UK at least) I was under the assumption that I was going to get so much done and to that point, I have achieved quite a lot (in my eyes at least).

This “opportunity” we have, even the wording I have trouble with because it’s not a holiday or even something that we can be thankful for. We’re in a global pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people have died and many more have been affected by the disease in one way or another. You don’t need me to tell you that of course but it’s not an opportunity, it’s a time where we can all be as socially responsible as possible and stick to the rules our governments have set for us, for no matter how long this will last. One thing we can be thankful for is that many of us are safe and well, and we are very grateful for our service workers; whether that’s in health care, our retail staff or our carers, and many more of those who are putting themselves in risky situations so we can remain safe.

riccardo-mion-DD8zES9GF_Y-unsplash(Photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash)

Over this period, I have found it important to think about the things that I have loved doing and that’s okay if that’s watching a couple of episodes of Community on Netflix or trying my hand at baking. If I write four blog posts in one day, that’s just as great if I had a nap and went for a longer daily walk. The former and the latter are both have a positive impact on my mental health and while it’s not in the traditional sense of being productive, it’s productivity in a way that I never thought I would be able to understand before.

This period has truly taught me that doing nothing is perfectly fine, but wanting to be productive and check those to-do lists is also just as fine. In my head, I knew that both scenarios were okay because I had been working on it during and post-therapy but I guess I’ve never been forced into staying at home as much where I could practice being still with both situations. Productivity is what you want it to be, and not something based off someone else’s standards, it’s only your standards that you should worry about, and even then, our standards are often far too high at times. We all need to give ourselves a break from time to time and I think that’s what I have appreciated from lockdown most of all.

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As always, thank you so much for reading and if you have any similar blog posts you think I should read, let me know over on my usual Twitter and Instagram channels. Have a great day!

Not Your Average 30 Before 30 List.

Goals_ Reflecting on October and November and What I'm Planning for Next Year. (1)

What I love about social platforms like blogging whether that’s through your own blog or through Instagram, is that we can all interpret subjects and topics differently and that’s exactly what I’m doing today on the blog with my own 30 Before 30 list.

If you know me, you’ll know that my relationship with films isn’t the best; I’m more of a television box set type of girl and more specifically, older 90’s and early 2000’s shows. I wasn’t a huge film fan even when I was younger, I used to go every week to the cinema with friends from school but I could never remember vital parts of the storyline by the time we got the bus home. Not much has changed since then to be fair…

At the time of writing, I have less than a year and a half until I’m 30 (We’ll get there in 2021!) and I know there have been a lot of tags similar to “30 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years” which is really great but that doesn’t really fit me and I don’t think I could name thirty so I felt like doing something outside the box. That’s where the idea for the films came from; I feel like it’s achievable and more importantly, it’s something I actually want to do.

Originally, I was going to write a thirty classic films list but there’s always a debate of what is a classic film, and since I haven’t watched that many films but there are so many on my “to see” list, I thought it would be an even better idea to write thirty films I want to see, regardless if there are classics or not. If you don’t know, my boyfriend loves films and when I told him I was planning on doing this, his little face lit up with excitement (that’s not a lie, it really did) so I guess this is our first collaboration together (I couldn’t write about films and NOT include him, could I?) He’s choosing fifteen films that he thinks I should really watch and I’m choosing fifteen that I really want to watch.

If you fancy taking a look at what films Scott has chosen for me, they are right here!

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2001: Space Odyssey.

Shawshank Redemption.

The Breakfast Club.

The Grand Budapest Hotel.

A Star Is Born.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.


Saving Mr. Banks.

Die Hard.

A Quiet Place.

Good Will Hunting.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Black Swan.

Little Miss Sunshine.

Mulholland Drive.

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I’m planning on keeping this particular blog post up-to-date until all the films have been watched. I’ll include the date too so I can keep track of when I watched it, because I think it’ll be good to know when my challenge was peaking.

Thanks for reading today’s post, I really appreciate it! Let me know on my Twitter or my Instagram if you have any feedback as always. Have a great week!

Getting Back Out On The Road Again.

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (4)

Happy Sunday all! It’s been a little while since I’ve been blogging, it’s definitely been a busy few months for all the right reasons and while we’re currently (at the time of writing) in a crisis of the Coronavirus, I wanted to talk about something I’ve been working on recently to distract myself and that’s getting back into running (again!) and if you haven’t read my “2020: The Year of Running?” I’d recommend reading that first.

Towards the very very end of the year last year, I was on a roll with the running and on New Year’s Day, Scott and I went out for a lovely run to one of our local parks and it was great. I didn’t care about the time at this point, we were just glad to be out for a run. However… that’s where it stopped for a while. That’s the thing about the dark mornings and the dark evenings; you might be the type of person who can get motivated during these times but for me, it’s a time that can get me quite down especially after a day of work and I couldn’t think of anything less appealing than going to the gym or out for a run. (However, I love going to the gym, but getting myself out for a run was much harder)

So initially, I was training for the Craic 10K race that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day every year in Belfast. However, due to the Coronavirus, many races like these have been cancelled or postponed until a later date. It wasn’t something that shocked me because of course, it’s the right thing to do but I was aware that there was a high possibility of this happening. 

The next postponed date in June gives me quite a lot of time to improve my timings which I think will give me an aim for the next few months. I’m 100% confident that I can run the distance because I’ve done it before (and if I wasn’t confident, I know that would be about the mindset rather than the physical challenge).

For the meantime, we have no other races booked because we don’t know what position the country will be in over the next few weeks or next few months.


I’ve started running on the treadmill more recently than I ever have before. I tend to get bored on the treadmill but I find that I get intimidated by outside sometimes; I would make excuses to run with Scott but in all honesty, I was worried about not being able to run the length of myself. While I was trying to get out of my own head, I found the treadmill in the gym really helpful because even though I wasn’t going a full 5K distance, I was still pushing myself and working out my perfect pace, so I was still doing the work. 

Our most recent run went really well in fact; we ran 8K (or five mile) altogether and only stopped twice. Scott and I normally walk for about ten minutes or so before we start our run, to give our bodies time to warm up, we’ve found it’s a perfect warm up tactic for us. 

It started off at a slower pace but we had talked about not worrying about the time, the distance was more important. You have to choose one or the other when you’re getting back into running, so, because we were originally preparing for the 10K race, that’s why we choose distance. I was really surprised how clear my head was; if you’ve read previous blog posts of mine, you’ll know that mindset is a huge barrier for me and if I’m not in the mood to workout, I CAN NOT push it.


We ran down one of our favourite routes that goes towards the water and we were absolutely fine until we got to the park where the beach is partially exposed. That’s when we discovered that some families have no consideration for anyone but themselves. As a runner, walker and cyclist, I’m very aware that we all need to be aware of our surroundings. I let others runners run past me, if a cyclist is behind me and I don’t realise until late, I instantly move out of the way. If there is a large family, I try my best to give them room but I get frustrated when a family take up an entire path and I believe that’s where my limit ends. It ended up putting me off my run a little and it was frustrating. I know now that we need to take another part of the route next time to make sure that doesn’t happen again but if we’re all more aware of our surroundings, then it will make everyone’s journey a much happier place. (Rant over right?)

Apart from that one issue, I was happy with the run. We did over the 5K distance that I wanted to do, my breathing was fine throughout the majority of it and I was so pleased that my head let me go further than I originally thought. Our time was 1 hour and 5 minutes and while I wasn’t concentrating on time, it’s hard not to reflect back on what you used to do. 

IMG-20180902-WA0010-01.jpeg(Our old race numbers from a few years ago!)

I was talking to someone about this on Instagram this week about my mindset when it comes to running. It’s hard not to reflect on what you used to do; my fastest 10K was 1 hour and 4 minutes so for a 8K to have a slower time, it can have an effect on me but I’ve found it really important to be present in my runs and I know the more I run, the faster I will be. That’s how I originally became faster; my first ever 5K was 40 minutes and it got down to 30 minutes and 2 seconds and all that was because of hard work and consistency. I also have to think about where I was in my life at that point, I wasn’t particular happy in my job at that point and I used it as a distraction, whereas now I’m very happy with so many elements in my life that part of me doesn’t mind that I’m slower, because I’m now a lot happier.

I’m currently working on what my running goals are going to be, now that I’m getting back out there more often. Whether I will post them on the blog publicly, I haven’t decided yet. Thank you so much as always for reading today’s post and if you have any tips or advice surrounding this, you can let me know over on my usual Twitter and Instagram social channels. Have a great week! 🌻

Here’s The Thing About Depression…

Here’s The Thing About Depression...

Here’s the thing about depression… it can strike at any time, for any amount of time, and sometimes there’s not even a legitimate reason, it just happens. In today’s post, I discuss how I have been dealing with it lately.

Lately, my life has been pretty great. I started a wonderful new job at the beginning of the year which I love; I’m getting on top of my diet and my fitness routine, I’m happy with my social life (it’s busy but not too busy) and my relationship with Scott is as strong as ever. That’s the thing that I’m struggling with… my life is lovely at the minute and I can’t really complain. I’m not stressed on the daily anymore and I’m able to switch off a lot faster than I ever was able to before. Unfortunately that depression switch can turn itself on at ANY point, and I’ll admit that I still struggle with that..

I tend to hide away from my depression because in my head, if I hide away from it, it’s not there. I find it hard to give myself some compassion that this is something that I will likely deal with for most of my life. I can’t hide from it, I can certainly control it with the correct treatment but sometimes you can’t control everything. It slips in when you least expect it and it’s difficult to understand why, especially when we live in a world that we’re always told that “someone has it worse than you” so automatically you feel bad that those feelings slip through the cracks and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t complain. I have a roof over my head, I have a warm bed at night, I have food on the table and I have a body capable of movement; that’s what everyone desires right?

wp-1580680048986.jpg(Capturing the beautiful pink sky a few weeks ago in Belfast City Centre)

That’s the thing with depression… it comes in many forms and it’s not just feeling sad. Most of the depression I have lived with has been multi-functioning so I’m fortunate that I can get up in the morning, go to work every day and carry on with my life, but that didn’t mean I didn’t struggle. When I was unemployed, getting out of bed was sometimes the hardest thing to do that day but that particular feeling hasn’t been very strong in quite some time. Wanting to sleep more, emotional eating with the sweet treats, not being interested in activities I used to enjoy (Ie. the gym or writing blog posts are two of many), not wanting to meet up with friends and simply staying at home are what I am dealing with at the moment and these are especially tough during the weekend. I’m very lucky that I love my job so I have a distraction during the week, but once it hits home time, I have started those feelings come back again and as I mentioned, the weekends are a little harder to deal with, and I think it’s because I don’t have that “going to work” mindset.

Scott is pretty quick to notice my change in behaviour and when I beat myself up for letting it get to me, he’s also very quick to say “you have something that sometimes you can’t control, and that’s okay” and it truly is a control mindset. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t touch alcohol; I like to be in one hundred percent control of my mind and body, so having an imbalance that I can’t control all the time, that’s very tough for me. I know that having bad days or bad weeks comes with the territory and I know that if it was a friend in this situation, I would be talking so differently, but we tend to be so much tougher on ourselves, rather we would be to a friend.

wp-1580680221534.jpg(Down by Jordanstown beach during the Summer)

I still have quite a hard time coming to terms with the fact that everything can be fine yet my head tells me a different story, Scott has described it as life being great but it’s almost like my head is looking for something to go wrong, which sounds like me. I’m normally looking for the negative in things so that theory sounds correct. It’s tough when you have all these things planned out for after work or during the weekend but within a snap of your fingers, you just want to go home and sit in silence or go to bed early. Not only do I feel sorry for myself, I feel bad that I’m changing plans for Scott too. He always says not to worry about it because he is very understanding but when we don’t get to do what I had originally planned, it’s really frustrating for me.

I know this didn’t really have a start, middle or an end like most of my posts do, and while this conclusion wasn’t planned, I guess it’s ironic that this whole process hasn’t been linear either so why should me talking about it be also? Anyway, as always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post, I really do appreciate it ❤️

2020: The Year Of Running?

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (1)

Aah running, it’s always been such a balancing act for me; I love it because I can see instant progress but I hate the way it makes me feel sometimes. Thankfully I don’t get too much of the latter anymore. Today’s post however is talking about my first run back a few weeks ago, how I felt and what changes I’ll be making to move forward with my running goals.

In a previous post about how last year (2019) wasn’t my best year of running (which I’ll link here) I talked all about why I thought it wasn’t the best year in terms of my running and what went wrong. I had an incredible 2019 for the most part but it was just that my fitness wasn’t at its best like it should have been.
Getting ready for that first run again was tough, not in the sense that I had no idea what to expect but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to run at all. I didn’t know whether I could run 100m never mind one mile, and I had been putting it off for a couple of weeks. Scott would suggest that we go for a run, and I would quickly suggest the gym instead, but I always knew in the back of my mind that running was more important to him, and I felt bad. I felt bad that I was more than likely, holding him back from doing what he loved, because I couldn’t get past my worry.

Starting that first run back was better than expected; I was able to run 5K without stopping and I didn’t think I would be able to do that for at least the first few runs. I was incredibly proud of myself because I had been so worried for weeks that I would never be able to run again. When you say it out loud, it sounds ridiculous, right? I stopped running on a regular basis and now all of a sudden, I feel like I’m never going to be able to run again.
There are so many quotes about not thinking about the past and living in the present, that this one in particular seems perfect for what I’m trying to explain: “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” Thinking about how you used to be (especially when you were at your best) can be emotional at times and it can actually put you off pursuing something (like I did for quite a few weeks).
In anything, when you have built a skill and you feel like you have to start over again, it can be difficult. You never know if you’re going to get back to that stage again and it can be even harder going back to square one and doing all the leg work. For me, it was all about speed; when I first began running, I was at a 45 minute 5K and then my best was 30:02 (yes, two seconds off 30 minutes!) and now I’m at around 38 minutes. Sure, it’s not forty five but it’s not close to my absolute best. I would say that was the hardest part of getting back into a running routine again; knowing that I wasn’t going to be as fast and having to deal with that, whether I was okay with it or not.. When you haven’t ran consistently in just under a year, what can you really expect? It’s like anything really; if you learn a language for a year and then stop for nine months, it’s going to take a while to get back into again.

I can tell you about how I felt getting back into running again and how I’m not happy with having to start very close to the beginning again, but what changes do I need to make? Am I going to make running a priority again? Am I going to make a plan?
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about how to start budgeting (which you can read right here), I talked about having a “why” and while we’re not talking about money in this post today, the subject is still relatable. It’s important to have a “why” and especially for your goals (whatever they may be) because if you don’t, you’ll simply be less motivated to move forward with them and failure will be more likely. In order to make something a priority, you need to assess your time, your why and where you would like to move further with it in the future.
For me, running and overall physical fitness is a priority for me, so it’s important to me to make sure I look at what time I do have and when I can fit my goals into my time. I work a normal 9-5 schedule which I absolutely love, but I get tired very easily. I don’t have a chronic disease and having someone close to me that has one, I can only imagine what someone goes through with that type of illness. I have always had a sense of tiredness since my early teenage years and it’s always something that has stayed with me. Having no solution can be difficult but I know that so many other people have it worse than me, and it’s something I do have to remember.
I know that scheduling two runs during the week and a slightly longer run at the weekend will be the starting point for Scott and I, and we may substitute a run for a gym session but it’s equally as important to improve our overall fitness and not just our cardiovascular health. We’re also planning on signing up to a few races over the year too, because then that will help us aim for slightly larger goals, whether that is distance or speed.

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As always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post and if you have anything similar that you think would make an interesting read, you can leave it down below in the comments, over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Have a lovely week!

Simple Budgeting Tools for the New Year.

Simple Budgeting Tools for the New Year..png

January, also known as the longest month of the year, because we’re trying to survive after the festive season. Budgeting is really important if you need to pay off debts after this period or if you want to do something more pleasurable. In today’s post, I’m going to be talking about some tools you can use to budget and how you can start to do it too in a few simple steps.

I absolutely love January because I’m a goal-oriented person so while it might sound totally cringy, I love goal setting and January is the perfect partner for that. The one downside of January however, is how long it feels especially when it comes to your finances. Getting paid early in December might feel like a dream at first but reality soon hits when you look at the calendar for the next month and realise how many weeks it is until you are next paid. If you’re like me, it’s the last day of the month. We’ve all heard about Blue Monday which is said to be the worst day of the month due to the financial strain of the previous month.

(Photo Credit: Pexels)

There are three types of people in this world; those who like to record manually, those who like to work digitally and those who don’t know where to start. If you’re reading this blog post, I would say more than likely, you are the third person. Trying to find the right system for you can be overwhelming and it all comes down to what type of person you are and your time management skills.

You’re a manual person… if you love having everything written down in a notepad or your own worksheet and you have the time to make sure that everything is accounted for. The manual route is a great option if you are someone who isn’t great on technology and would rather have personal information like your expenses filed in a cabinet in your office or your house.

You’re a digital person… if you want everything accounted for but you know that you don’t have the time to write every single expense out. The digital route is also a really good option if you plan to keep your expenses on file in one designated place so they are easily accessible.

How I budget for this time of the year.

I use an Android app called “Money Manager” (which I’m sure is available on the Apple store too) and while it’s a digital system, you could say it’s a manual version. You have to input the data yourself and I personally love how you can customise each expense with each symbol as well as making your own expenses. I tend to sit with the app while going through my mobile banking app and adding in each payment alongside the date and a description of what it was. I tend to do this on a Sunday evening as I wind down for the week ahead. 

(Photo Credit: Money Manager on Google Play Store)


These recommendations are friends recommendations and what works for them. Monzo seems to be quite popular at the moment, not only because it’s an online bank with some of the best interest rates but it can also help you with your spending. It has a function on the app to tell you what categories you are spending the most, which is a lot like the app I use, except Monzo does it automatically for you. If you don’t want to change your bank, I know that most of the commercial banks have something very similar on their apps (I know mine does!)

Both Google and Microsoft have several templates that you can customise to suit your style if you prefer having all your information on a worksheet. You can also make these to suit your financial needs, whether you want one huge sheet for the year or if you prefer to break them up over weeks and months.

money-pink-coins-pig-9660.jpg(Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels)

Who doesn’t love a traditional money box? I personally find this is an old school option because I don’t tend to carry money with me all that often but I think it’s a really good option for the loose change you may have sitting in the bottom of your purse or even the coins you have around the house. I bought my boyfriend a money box that can detect which coin is going into the box, and it added it up for you too. (He will happily admit that he loved seeing the figure go up!)

If you don’t think the coin option would suit you, there are a number of apps including Tandem and Monzo that will round up your purchases to the nearest pound and it adds it into your savings. There’s even an app called Moneybox and it adds the spare change into an investment fund. All you have to do is add an app to your phone and connect it to your bank account, and you’re good to go!

Make sure you have a why.

We’re always being told that we have to do something that everyone else is doing, which brings me to my most important point; if you don’t want to budget, don’t do it. There is nothing worse that forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do just because you think you should do it. My guess would be that if you didn’t want to sort out your finances, you wouldn’t be reading this post but I think it’s really important to make sure you have a “why”. Why do you want to save money or figure out your finances? Are you saving up for a holiday or a home renovation, or maybe you want to find a way where you’re not so tight every month. Whatever your reason, you have to make sure it’s a good reason for you or you might not stick to it as much as you think.

Thank you so much as always for reading today’s post! I know it can be hard to start budgeting but you need to find the right method for you, and I hope that my post is able to help with that, even as a starting point. I also have another post I wrote two years ago which gives a more in-depth look at how much to save (which I’ll link here). I hope you have a lovely start to the New Year!

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan: 2020.

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan_ Mid 2019.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a few years now, you will know that I have been experimenting with goals and resolutions while trying to find the best solution for me. After watching Muchelle B’s video last year about the Continue, Start and Stop plan, I gave it a go and it’s been the best tool for me so far. If you fancy having a read of the previous post, (linked right here) and in today’s post, I’ll be talking about my plan for early to mid 2020. (It’s a long one so you may want to get yourself a drink for this one!)

What is the Continue, Start and Stop plan?

If you haven’t read my first post on this, I highly recommend you do because it has the complete backstory on why I wanted to try this method. However, I’ll give you a short version of what the plan is. It’s simply a plan where you lay out what you want to continue doing, what you would like to start doing and what you want to stop doing in your life. When I did my updated six month plan (linked here), I added a back-on-track section, because there were things that I didn’t need to necessarily start but I wasn’t continuing them because I hadn’t practiced them in a while.

I’m a cliche New Year, New Me type of person and I have zero shame in that. I love the fresh start of a new month or a new year, it’s just the way that I like to work. I love having goals to aim for, I’m very much a goal oriented person; however over the last few years, I noticed that my standard practice of setting New Year’s Resolutions wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to. I knew I had to mix it up so I tried three goals every three months, then last year I tried two goals every two months as well as this Continue, Start and Stop plan. I was able to concentrate on the goals for 2019, but it’s possible that I was still taking on too much with the plan and individual goals but I did try and tie them together as much as I could. 


As mentioned before, I did a six month update of my plan last year and I believe that was one of the best ways not to overwhelm myself. While I’m a cliche New Year goals person, I’m also one of those people who want to change everything overnight, and as much as I know it’s the wrong attitude sometimes, I get sucked into it. Having that split over the six months will be much more beneficial and it gives you a better viewpoint on what has changed and what hasn’t changed. 

With this plan, I’m not going to go through each activity, because you’ll be here all day if I did. Most of them are self-explanatory and I think it’s important to note that these are my goals and what I want to work on for my own reasons. That’s the really good thing about goals and resolutions, we can all find our inspiration from other people and alternatives online, but it’s all about what you feel like you need to do to improve yourself. 


What do I want to continue?

  • I have been planning mornings or afternoons at one of my local coffee shops for a few years now; you might be the type of person who can work from home but I haven’t trained myself to do that so my best work is done outside of the house. Whether the work is goal setting, blog post writing or planning the next few weeks; the new environment gives me some mental clarity. It’s something I can do on my own for a few hours whereas Scott doesn’t like working in coffee shops, he works so much better at home, so it’s always nice to come home and talk about what work we got done that day. I try and limit my mornings out to possibly twice or three times a month, but that will all depend on how much money I have to spend (those teas and coffees can add up without even noticing, which I’ll discuss in a moment) and the other activities I have planned.

  • Money management is something I have been able to stream line into my life quite easily, I’m able to work out quickly how much money I have left to spend on certain activities and when I know I have to pull back until the next pay day. I still question why this isn’t something we are taught in school; I took a Learning for Life and Work GCSE (I would also say one of the most pointless GCSE’s, I wish I had chosen something else) and we weren’t taught anything like this so it’s been something that I’ve been learning throughout adult life. Once you know what’s going in and more importantly, how much is coming out, then you’re able to establish what you can and can’t do.

  • During the Christmas period, Scott and I both managed to get back into a gym routine. (I know, it’s a VERY strange time to do this!) and we’ve been really enjoying it. What I needed to do and I had noted it on my plan last year that I needed to have a plan for the gym. Some people can decide what they’re going to do when they are there, but I’m definitely not like that. I’ve found that Instagram is a great tool especially for HIIT workouts, so I can use my wireless headphones and watch the video quickly before doing the exercise. We’ve also moved to evening workouts rather than morning workouts; this is because I kept saying “Oh let’s get up early and go to the gym before work” and for two months, that NEVER happened because I was so tired. This meant restructuring our routine and we found having the time off around Christmas gave us that freedom.

What do I want to start?

  • I don’t tend to set weight loss as a goal anymore but it’s something that I have been wanting to work on for the last year. I’ve gained a little more weight than I would like, and I spoke about this in my weightloss post quite recently (which I’ll link here) so having monthly weigh ins will be a strategy that will help me. I know it’s not all about the numbers but I know where ideal weight is meant to be so with more walking, more gym workouts and eating better, it will fall off naturally.

  • For Christmas, Scott bought me a calligraphy set alongside a Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook which has a really cool concept of being featured in the library once you have completed it and sent it off, and it ends up travelling around the United States. I’ll link the website here so you can see what it’s all about for yourself. I want to incorporate calligraphy into this project because then I’ll be able to see my progression throughout my sketches. It also has a deadline too, so it means that I definitely need to have it done before the mid-year point.

  • Intermittent fasting has always fascinated me, Scott is a big fan of it and used this method for the majority of last year so it’s something I want to explore more. I tend to get quite hungry in the mornings though so that’s one barrier that I might struggle with, but for setting it for one monthly, it will give me a taste (excuse the pun!) of what it is like without forcing myself to do it forever.


What do I want to get back on track?

  • My “back on track” is very much centered on physical health and that wasn’t even intentional. Meal prepping my lunches and drinking the correct amount of water was something I used to be so on top of but over the last few months, it hasn’t been a priority for me and I ended up not eating as nutritious as I should have.

  • While I’m continuing with a regular gym routine, I only started running again after four months off (and I didn’t realise it was that long until I checked my Strava) so building up a running routine again is one of my top priorities this year. I absolutely love running and while I have to be in the right head space for it, I love when I’m constantly getting better whether that’s with distance or with speed, the feeling is like no other.

  • My relationship with Scott is wonderful and I feel quite lucky that we seem to be a very strong couple. We don’t fight all that often and most of the time, we’re able to talk it out. We absolutely love living together but even before we moved in together, we noticed that we were hanging out in the house a lot in the evenings and the weekends. There were a lot of factors in this of course, I’m always tired in the evenings and it’s hard to push yourself to do anything apart from lie in bed or have a nap. There was also stress from work so the last thing I wanted to do when I got home, was to go out anywhere. Scott knows the challenges of this of course and he is very supportive but I want to be committed to having mini dates with him; they don’t have to be expensive and even if it’s quality time together on a walk around the city, at least it’s not another night in the house.

What do I want to stop?

  • Three of these activities are back on the “stop” list; not getting up when my alarm goes off, needing a sweet treat every day and pulling and twisting my hair. These three are incredibly hard to stop doing altogether; I spoke about emotional eating in a previous post but I don’t think the sweet treat is about that anymore, I’ve just become so accustomed to having something sweet before or after dinner that it’s a habit now. A habit that I would definitely love to break. Of course, I am all about balance but I know the difference between balance and eating for no reason, and this is definitely the latter.

  • I also talked about pulling and twisting my hair, and how I thought it may be down the lines of dermatillomania or trichotillomania. Obviously, I haven’t been diagnosed with anything but on that basis alone, it’s not as simple as just stopping. I still haven’t found anything that works on a permanent basis (other than my boyfriend telling me off, ha!)

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A lot of reading I know but I hope it gives a better insight on my plans and goals for the next six months. If you have anything similar that you think I should read, please let me know either down below in the comments or over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading and have an amazing week! 🌻