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Telling Tales - Why Instastories just isn't for me

Eagle-eyed followers of my Instagram may have noticed my face up at the top of their instagram feed on Saturday. Yes, I decided that seeing as I had a day off I would try this stories thing. I do occassionally binge others stories but to be honest it isn't really my thing - for pretty much the same reasons it turns out that it doesn't work for me as a platform. If you watched my story Saturday you'll have no doubt wondered what the hell was going on.. well so did I to be honest.

So here is it - why telling stories on Instagram just won't work for me. Plainly, because I'm not a video person I just don't see the point. I don't make vlogs because I much prefer to write, and I'm not really a watcher of them either as I prefer to read. Instagram already allows us to use video moments and of course there's the photos, so I honestly don't see the point of another place to pop these up. If I see something I want to photograph, I photograph it and post it. If its something I want to video I do it and pop it up. If I want to add text there are enough apps out there to help me do it. If there is something longer I want to share that is what these pages are for. I guess its a way to beat the algorithm and make sure that everyone gets to see all your posts, but that is what going to look at their profile is for right?

Maybe I'm missing the point, and maybe I'm not using social media the right way, but for me instagram and twitter are as much about sharing those random little moments over the day especially instagram. It's a platform that makes it awkward to share a photo not taken on your phone (thank god for dropbox) and yet we need some added functionality in the app for capturing the fleeting beautiful moments. Am I missing something? Snapchat was originally for sharing this stuff privately before it became celebrity-filled, and now instagram has jumped on the bandwagon. Its a bandwagon that wasn't needed if you ask me. So no, I'm not a instastories girl, maybe I'm just too simple in my social media needs. I don't mind thou, that's how I like it.

What platforms or functions do you just not "get" or do you have any wise words for me on that I'm missing?

Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around

Despite my resolve to be more invested in self care, it is not a new year resolution thing. It is a medical advice thing that just happens to have coincided with New Year thanks to work calming the hell down after the craziness Christmas. So while I might be trying to improve myself this January, I'm not quite full hypocrite.

We grab hold of this arbitrary number, and January 1st is fairly arbitrary, and decide it is the point to rejig everything and get ourselves together. We join gyms. we get fancy new diaries and planners and decide to get organised. There is dry January and Veganuary and oh so many fantastic offers everywhere saying new year, new you. It isn't real however, it is marketing and bluff and that it is reason for most of us it doesn't last past February.

We still have all the same problems as we had on December 24th, that magic time between Christmas and the New Year is only magical because you are (for the most part) off work and in your own bubble. In the bubble, the idea of coming out into a brand new existence bright and fresh has a great appeal. You spring into the new year refreshed and anew, and you can come out of the ashes of the last year raring to go forth into your new healthy life, a life that is exactly how you want it to be.

It is bull.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of fresh starts, of taking a deep breath and going forth with a plan and a mission isn't bull, the idea it needs to be attached to a date in a calendar is. A date, that frankly was picked at random, and changed several times over the centuries since it was decided upon. If you want to design the life you deserve and want, if you want to change things and be your own kind of you then do it. Do it today, do it next Tuesday, or starting at 3pm on the 18th of March, but don't get fixed that it has to be January 1st. Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

I mean lets be real here, there is so much pressure on January, that when you fail or flounder, you can end up figuring you stuffed it. It's rubbish of course, but at one time or the other we all feel that because at first we didn't succeed then it isn't for us. True of skydiving but very little else.

Yes we all take the impetus to change that is inspired but we shouldn't feel discouraged when we fail. Design the life you want, live the way you want and be the person you want to be. Not because of New Year, New You, and not because someone tells you. Do it because you want to, because the old is old, and that is no longer something you want to be. If you started on new years day then great, if you started today that is good too. The fact you started LIVING and not "coasting" is the thing that counts.

So I guess what I am saying is I have the impetus, do you guys have any tips?? 'Cos I might have the drive but I have no clue what I'm going. Well, some old things don't change. I never was good at spinning around without falling over.

Period self care for the disorganised

I am a total sucker for subscription boxes. Basically real snail mail makes me happy, and the idea that presents come in the snail mail that will make the day I end up spending surgically attached to the hot water bottle are the best thing ever.So when Pink Parcel* offered to send me one of their boxes to try out, when my period was due right before Christmas (I mean seriously that's like picking on me) I was more than game. It has all the products I need, and I'm not a tampon person so very happy that they will send all pads. As well as that some come in a little bag which is great for pick-up-and-go, there is also the present. The idea that once I subscribe I don't have to think about it and plan anything again is also a huge plus.

A little box of comfort, skincare and the all important chocolate to keep you sane and snug during those hard days. Tell them the best date to send it, the brands you use and that's it, £10.50 a month and you don't have to think about it, which for someone who always rushes to the shop on the first day of her period is a good thing. All the products and pampering a girl could want on those days its hard to be a woman - just add netflix.

While I'm not sure Pink Parcel itself is something I would do long term as I'm fussy with things like skincare and chocolate, it is a really good concept. We all have beauty goodies and stuff already, but the idea of a parcel of stuff sent to you just when you need it is fab. It's not so much the pads and tampons as much as the other bits, the stuff to sort out my 'period face' and a few pamper bits that I don't have to think about. I am, however, judging this on one box in regards my fussy pants-ness. I got 'over' Birchbox very quickly for this reason, but if you love trying all things every month this will be up your street. It might have been down to the box I got thou as aside from the beauty bits, I was rather gutted that it was a scented melt and not a candle - I don't have the gubbins for those but a tea light anyone can burn.

Back to the positives, the thoughts behind the items in the box are great - comfy socks, something to make the room nice, something to make you feel pretty and then of course the bits to deal with period skin and cravings. As a way to deal with that horrible few days there is nothing out there to match that I have come across. If you want your pads or tampons sorted, with a few extra pressies to go with it, making shark week just that bit more survivable. You could make your own sure, but then you wouldn't get the joy of something hitting your doormat once a month that is designed purely to make it all better. Just at the right time the postman can bring you just what you need, and isn't that just what you want?

* denotes a press sample.  All opinions are, as ever, my own.

Blogger Christmas Presents

So as I previously mentioned I decided to join in with the Bloggers' Gift Swap this year. I ended up paired with the lovely Louise of Louise Chatters, who I'd never read before so that was really nice from that side. Shes totally lovely and you should definitely check her out. 

The important stuff now, what did I get? 


So chuffed by this, I mean its chocolate for a start.. which may or may not already have disappeared. The little sign is already pinned above my desk and I can't wait to do some colouring. What is cool is we got eachother really similar stuff. Chocolate is a must of course but also something to write in that will calm/vent anxiety and something to give a bit of a boost. The perfect little pick me up at Christmas. I also met a cool new person so I call this success.

Did you partake in any secret santa's or gift swaps over Christmas? How do you find them??

Adventures into Hygge

Although it seems to be everywhere I'm not sure that Hygge has actually made it to my part of the Sussex Coast. Intrigued by this tradition of coziness, which is being lauded as the reason the Danish are so happy, I resolved to get myself one of the multitude of books on the subject that have been published this Autumn. Alas, not one was to be found in any of the bookshops in my area and I wondered if the booksellers were trying to save me from myself and this idea of candles and cocoa was just far too much for us here at the very British seaside. Then again, its cocoa, and we do have an awful lot of candle shops so maybe it was just an oversight on the part of the local bookshops, so to Amazon I went.

The idea of Hygge is to be cosy, warm, safe and known. It is one of those terms like schadenfreude that is something I think we all understand when we thing about it, but no single word exists in English for it. It isn't a radical idea, it just seems to be one we've missed here in the English Speaking world as it is undefined in our language. And I think that, as they say, is the rub.

I've had this book now over a month, and with everything going on I'm still only a few pages in. It's not because its a bad book, the opposite, but more because it wasn't a new idea for me. It's something I have always strived for when feeling a bit meh. when I need that hug from the world. I cozy up and just pause, I'll spend the day at home with my favourite things, I'll take the time to cook my favourite lunch and sit and enjoy a really nice cuppa. And I realised, in a completely bizarre way, was that in my need to devour this book and comment on this fascination with Hygge, to catch up with every other blogger out there writing about it, I was losing my Hygge. That time out for myself, to stop and to ground myself and be in the moment became something I could do after I had been totally efficient and almost, in a way, became a reward, instead of something I do as part of being happy, instead of self care.

It is the thing about our culture I feel, and why British people are nowhere near as happy as the Danes. We strive and always look up, which while not a bad thing at all means we often forget to just BE. Sometimes I might put something on the to do list rather than rush to do it so that I can take "my time", and I used to feel like that was a failure, I should be ok without it. The Danish list higher on the happiness list not because of some secret they have over us, more so that they've not forgotten and blanked that part of the self that tells us we need to pause and stop - instead they have embraced it in their culture. It's something we could do with more. And I feel that is where the facination with Hygge has come from, the way the Danish embrace it almost gives us permission to listen to that inner voice. It's no longer lazy or unproductive or a waste - its Hygge. It's good for our happiness.

Have you read any of the books on Hygge? Have you started incorporating it into your life?

Posh Supermarket Mince Pies - Taste Test

It's the final showdown and its time to send in the toff's! Round three is all about the posh selections, can they top the average pie...?

Iced Mince Pies - Taste Test

It's that time again! The idea of iced mince pies is a new one on me, but usually they are the only type I have to buy in. I find a lot of pastry unappealing so replacing some of it with icing instead is a good thing. Who does them best, that is really the question here. Its round two, the iced challenge...