MY AUTUMNAL TO-DO LIST

Autumn is definitely one of my favourite times of the year. There are so many things that I love about it. But before you know it, Christmas will be here. Although there’s no pressure to make the most of each season, I always feel such joy when I make an effort. To avoid missing out and running out of time, I’ve decided to put a list together of all the autumnal things I want to do, what I’ve already done and anything I want to do differently next year.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

1. Drink a pumpkin spiced latte. I tried this for the first time this year, although I do enjoy the festivity of it, I don’t think it lived up to the hype. But I’ll most likely get another one next year…

2. Watch autumnal films. This year I created a list of films to watch over Halloween and autumn in general. This includes Casper, When Harry Met Sally, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Haunted Mansion, Jawbreaker, You’ve Got Mail, October Kiss, The Craft and of course, Hocus Pocus. I’m still working my way through these before I move on to Christmas films, but I’m loving every second of it!

3. Put together an outfit full of layering and autumnal colours. I’m pretty sure this outfit covers everything autumn, with the rust orange, check print and knitwear. I’m obsessed with it! I can’t wait to change it up with even more (and thicker) layers through winter.

Processed with VSCO with  preset
COAT, PINAFORE DRESS – TOPSHOP, JUMPER – F&F, BOOTS – PRIMARK, BAG – PAUL’S BOUTIQUE

4. Visit a pumpkin patch and carve one. So this year, I didn’t quite make time for this but I really want to get round to it next year. I’ve loved seeing the many amazing designs online.

5. Baking. This year I decided to make a toffee apple crumble which was delicious! However, my attempt to make parkin did not go so well…. so a shop-bought version had to do this time around. I’m still hoping to fit in a pecan pie before the season is up.

MVIMG_20191027_111716

6. Buy autumnal bedding, cushions and blankets. This is definitely something I want to do next year. I didn’t quite have the budget for it this year but I think it would be great to have, so I can bring a cosy vibe to my home every autumn

7. Get an autumnal jumper. I was hoping to get a classic orange jumper or knitwear with leaves printed on, but I didn’t find ‘the one’. I think this year I’ll stick to adding to my Christmas jumper collection.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

8. Candles, candles and more candles. I couldn’t resist purchasing a pumpkin scented candle to keep me toasty through the colder nights. I definitely need some more though!

9. Visit a firework display. This year, my warm cosy flat was too persuasive so I stayed inside on bonfire night. But next year I’m determined to make it a special occasion.

10. Create an autumnal makeup look. On Halloween this year I ‘dressed up’ my face with orange eye shadow and dark lips. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

MVIMG_20191027_111710_1

Now that the temperature has suddenly dropped and the rain seems never-ending, these small autumnal festivities can be really uplifting if you love this time of year too.

Although Halloween and bonfire night have already taken place, I’m not ready to give this season up just yet. Before we reach ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ I hope to tick anything remaining off of my list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY EXPERIENCE IN KOH SAMUI

It’s been quite a while now since I visited Koh Samui but I often think back to it on a miserable Monday morning, wishing I could snap my fingers and be back on a beach sipping cocktails. It was one of the best places I’ve ever been to and definitely the highlight of my Thailand trip. For me, the perfect holiday has to have a combination of activities and relaxation, and this had just that.

We started off our trip by visiting Chaweng Beach. The. Nicest. Beach. Ever. (No exaggeration) White sand, clear (and hot!) sea water, a cocktail bar to hand and a good book. Perfection! 

The next day we went on a day tour around some of the top landmarks of Koh Samui. We visited the Wat Phra Yai temple and Big Buddha. Then saw the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks which are rocks shaped like genitalia (amazing), and visited the mummified monk who died in the meditation pose and predicted his own death.

We then went to the Na Muang waterfall, but I was pretty disappointed with this. Although the waterfall was very pretty, it was so busy, the water wasn’t clean enough to actually go in it and there were lots of unethical elephant rides nearby which was quite upsetting to see.

We couldn’t resist getting some cheesy photos when we stopped at the incredible Lad Koh viewpoint. Then we ended the day by visiting Nathan Town and ate some incredible Thai food.

The next day was a completely unforgettable experience. We visited the Samui Elephant Sanctuary, where older elephants have been rescued from awful circumstances. They now live a lovely and content life being looked after properly. All money from visiting goes towards the sanctuary and all you do is feed the elephants bananas. No washing or riding is allowed. You’re even taught how to stroke them and stand by them properly, to avoid spooking them.

I didn’t think anything could top this but on the penultimate day of our holiday, we went on a boat trip around the Angthong National Marine Park. We went snorkelling in the sea, and for somebody who is afraid of water it was definitely a challenge but once my nerves faded, it was incredible. We kayaked in the ocean, visited more heavenly beaches, and climbed a very steep walk up to the Koh Wua Talap viewpoint. The walk was hard work (I would definitely not recommend wearing flip flops) but it was completely worth it to see the beautiful views.

Visiting Koh Samui was a once in a lifetime trip. It’s a place I will never forget, and hope I return to in the future.

HOW I BECAME ADDICTED TO SHOPPING

Shopping has always given me an instant burst of joy. I love clothes and have often felt like a new item in my wardrobe could unleash another side of me. A cooler version, perhaps. Or a version of me with an endless amount of confidence, sass and happiness. But of course, clothes don’t hold this power. It comes from your own mentality.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Although I’ve always preached the idea that wearing a great outfit can help improve your self-esteem, that’s really all about it can achieve. It can’t completely transform your mental state. But, nevertheless, I have turned to shopping many times in the past for an emotional pick-me-up.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

I noticed my shopping habit first becoming excessive when I was studying for my journalism diploma. I had just sat an awful exam which I already knew I had failed. I felt stupid, angry and disappointed with myself. As well as this, I felt panicked. I knew I would have to resit the test, but ‘what if I fail again?’ This idea was too much to comprehend. So, I went where I knew would bring me instant relief, Topshop.

I raced over to there as soon as the exam invigilator released us and once I had seen the familiar colourful window displays, I felt calm, almost like I was home. I brushed my hands across the clothes I definitely couldn’t afford, tried on outfits I felt would make me happier. And bought something. I can’t even remember what it was, but at the time it felt like it could change everything.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

When I starting earning a living, this became a regular occurrence. If I felt stressed, frustrated, or pressured I would run to the shops on my lunch break and return to work with bags in my hands and a grin from ear to ear. I couldn’t wait to wear my new outfit and when I did, I felt like I could take on the world.

Processed with VSCO with  preset
JEANS – JOANIE CLOTHING, BOOTS – BOOHOO, SHIRT – TOPSHOP (OLD)

But then, something stressful would happen at work and I couldn’t rely on my snazzy new pair of boots to get me through it. My confidence wavered. Soon enough, I would have to do it again. And again. It suddenly became very clear that I couldn’t rely on shopping anymore to keep my head above water.

It took me a while to not depend on buying clothes to cheer myself up. But after a while I decided to make some necessary changes to improve my mental well-being (which I discussed further here), instead of covering up any negativity with temporary fixes.

Processed with VSCO with  preset

Although I shop a lot less now, it is a hard habit to break. I don’t shop to improve my mood anymore but I do struggle to just treat myself to one thing. Instead I often go through phases of buying lots of new things and then nothing for months. But I’m getting there. Now I often shop my own wardrobe to recreate new outfits, and sometimes look to Ebay for second-hand items. And instead of buying heaps of fast-fashion, I try to invest in more long-lasting items.