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My Current Favourite Podcasts

Podcasts have become a style of communicating that really seems to have exploded in popularity over the past few years, but despite this I've always been somewhat reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Having assumed I preferred the format of YouTube videos and blogs because of my love for visuals and aesthetics, the idea of a podcast in which I could only listen to discussions and conversations seemed to fully counteract my initial assumption of why I loved the world of YouTube.  Having since branched into the podcast sphere, I've realised that my love for vlogs and blogging actually stems from how relatable I find those mediums and the means of connecting with others on topics that I find important and interesting, and podcasts are the perfect extension of this! I think the emphasis on sound alone also means podcasts delve deeper into topics and discussions as there is no way of distracting from the content in the way that YouTube can with expensive equipment and high quality filming!   

Since starting my placement year and spending my weeks in London, podcasts have become my go-to on my morning and evening commutes and have helped tube rides and train journeys fly by. I'm still relatively new to the podcast world, and as a result my favourites are mostly focused around the world of YouTube, but nevertheless I thought I would share some of those that I've loved for anyone else branching into podcasts too! 

1. Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles are two YouTubers and bloggers whose friendship and humour have cemented them as two of my favourite internet ladies, and so when I heard they were bringing out a podcast I couldn't wait to see what it entailed. 'At Home With' is a 10 part series in which Anna and Lily explore the homes of 10 successful women within the beauty, fashion and writing worlds, delving into their homes and talking all things interiors, mental health, skincare, food, babies and more; you name it, they've discussed it! I love the candid nature of this podcast the most, as even with some of their most high profile guests it really feels like you're having a chat with your close pals. Their questions are insightful and well thought through, giving listeners an open and honest conversation about the career journey's of each guest, instead of relaying the same stories and facts that most will already know as fans of the beauty and fashion world. Notable episodes that stick in my mind include those with Zoe Sugg, Giovanna Fletcher and Jo Elvin but each episode is truly unique and entertaining! With episodes ranging from about 35 to 50 minutes long, they're the perfect cooking dinner/journey to work/relaxing in the bath length so I would highly recommend as easy listening if you're new to podcast world.

2. Another YouTube focused podcast next, and this one is perhaps my favourite of them all! Estée Lalonde is a Canadian YouTuber, Blogger and Author who I have watched religiously for years, after falling in love with her infectious personality, beautiful home and style and gorgeous family. Her podcast 'The Heart Of It' is a perfect extension of her unique style of content and distinctive aesthetic that really carries through in audio format, with the first episode looking at the idea of protest and it's importance, power and relevance in today's society. Estee speaks of her own personal experiences as well as featuring Nina Donovan, the 19 year old poet behind 'Nasty Woman' which exploded into the spotlight after this years Women's Marches. The production on this episode was exceptional. The audio quality, sound effects and precision that clearly went into the planning and execution of the first episode of The Heart Of It left me so excited for the future episodes which discuss topics such as tattoos, travel, identity and feminism. Estée truly is such a captivating personality, both on YouTube and through her podcast and if you were to take one recommendation from this post I would love it to be this one!

3. My third podcast recommendation is a little different to the above two, however perhaps the addition I was most surprised to enjoy! True Geordie is a podcaster and YouTuber featuring a range of guests across his channels and interviewing them in a candid and casual way. The episode of his in question featured Alfie Deyes, someone else I have followed online for a number of years now and initially felt I knew a lot about (until this podcast!). True Geordie episodes are on average about two hours long, however his chat with Alfie lasted for three hours and I listened to the entirety! When I first went to download the podcast I thought I had read the duration time wrong, but it was in fact three hours long, and to my surprise I was gripped throughout! Geordie had previously criticised Alfie's YouTube content, and invited him as a guest on his podcast both to apologise for their past discrepancies and discuss everything from privacy, money, fan experiences, clickbait, relationships and more! It was probably the most insightful podcast I've come across, partly because it was so long meaning the detail was above and beyond anything else I've heard  before, but also because of how honest and open the discussion was. If you're a fan of YouTube in general it's the perfect one for you and I'll definitely be listening to more True Geordie podcasts in the future; his honest approach was really refreshing.

Let me know what your favourite podcasts are and if you listen to any of my recommendations then please share your thoughts; I'd love to know what you think of them! 

(You can find all of the above podcasts via iTunes!)

A Reflection: Anxiety and The Teen Years

In the weeks leading up to my 20th birthday back in August and the subsequent months following I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about my teenage years and reflecting on how I spent them. I think it’s only natural upon hitting a somewhat milestone birthday or on entering a new decade to look back on the previous years, often with a sense of nostalgia and fondness, but as well as those feelings I also had an overwhelming sense of missed opportunities. I don’t want this post to instantly become all doom and gloom, but I thought it might be insightful to some or relatable to others to discuss the ideas of the regret that come along with a mental illness such as anxiety. As the worrier I am, it’s a topic that’s been buzzing around my head for a little while now and I’m hoping putting pen to paper (so to speak) will push me to edge bit by bit out of my very established comfort zone.

Anxiety is the sort of mental health issue that can manifest itself differently in every sufferer, and in my case it mainly comes into play in terms of meeting new people, social situations and dealing with change (not much then, lol). As a result of my qualms with social situations and feeling extremely nervy about putting myself ~out there~ I missed out on countless nights out, holidays with friends, parties and celebrations and doing the crazy, reckless, spontaneous things that are so synonymous with finding yourself and experimenting as a teen. I know I’m not alone in feeling I missed out on so many opportunities like this, but I think the important thing to remember is how to channel the regrets you might have into determination for future adventures. Looking back I now realise how although saying ‘yes’ in those situations would have felt difficult, nearly impossible in fact, it would have only given me more confidence and hope for all other opportunities that I since missed out on. Of course in hindsight it’s easy to look back and say I should have pushed myself out of my comfort zone with more determination, but I truly think it’s important to reflect on these situations in such a way that gives me an incentive to try harder in the future.

I’m the only one that can make myself take these opportunities, I’m the only one who can force myself to say ‘yes’ even when my mind is screaming ‘no’ and I’m the only one who can really reflect my words into actions and make a change in my 20s. Hitting the big 2-0 (I honestly feel so old) has given the fresh perspective I needed to recognise where I can improve and challenge myself and I’m really, truly excited about the future and the idea that it will involve happiness and spontaneity. Below are some of the things I’ve done since being 20, both as a reminder that I’m doing a good job of fulfilling the promise I made to myself, but also to anyone else feeling the same sense of sadness about pushing themselves. GURL U CAN DO IT.

1. As a birthday treat for myself and Scott, we booked a hotel in Brighton for 2 days to celebrate entering our 20s together and it was THE best decision I’ve made in such a long time. We went on the pier, wandered the shops, ate way too much Italian food and cuddled on the beach. I was determined to start my 20s as I mean to go on and I’m so proud I actually did it and made some of the loveliest memories I have of Summer 2017. I love that our birthdays are two days apart because it means I have him by my side for all the achievements I set out for the next year of my life. 

2. Another beach getaway next (there’s no stopping this gal), I headed to Margate with my dad and sister for the August bank holiday weekend and explored a city that had been on my ‘To Visit’ list for years! Although Margate was a tad different to what I expected (read: our b’n’b had newspaper as wallpaper and dolls heads everywhere) it was still so lovely to visit another UK beach destination and see Dreamland in the flesh, which let me tell you, WAS SO DREAMY. 

3. I’ve been to two hot tub parties in the space of two weeks, one very spontaneous and one planned after the first one was such a success. I spent both evenings with some of my best pals who I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like because we’re now spread across the UK at different uni’s, so it was so lovely to get a little bit tipsy, eat nachos and cookies in the hot tub and laugh a LOT. 

4. I've landed myself my DREAM placement as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK and I honestly couldn't be happier career wise than I am now. The last few months of being 19 were spent interning at a variety of places and although on the whole I learnt a lot, I did have a few negative experiences along the way. Despite those not so great times, it's actually been a blessing in disguise in helping me full appreciate my new role and I feel so excited for the future. It's actually only my second day there and I thought I would feel so much more anxious than I do so maybe my baby steps are all making a difference!

5. And finally, an achievement that will ensure I end 2017 on a high. Scott and 7 of my friends are heading to Edinburgh for New Years Eve for a few days of exploring, laughing, eating and drinking some amazing food and seeing in 2018 in style. It was a big decision for me to book this trip yet now I only feel excitement towards it. 

I know this post has been fairly short and sweet compared to my usual ramblings but I truly hope it's provided hope for others in the same position or provided a perspective of an illness you have no personal experience with. Thank you so much for reading (as usual) and I would love to hear of any achievements you've made this year <3 

A New Chapter

Trousers: Topshop Similar HERE / Shirt: H&M  Similar HERE or HERE / Bag: Topshop Similar HERE / Jewellery: Accessorize and Dorothy Perkins or Similar HERE / Shoes: Primark. Similar HERE.
The title of this post and the reality that comes along with it is something I've been so excited to share, despite the 'pinch me I'm dreaming' feeling still lingering along with it. I've mention my degree and placement year plenty of times here on my blog and other social channels and I've found documenting the ups and downs of the process to be so therapeutic and a real outlet for all the highs and lows I've experienced. Since moving to London in May and beginning my interning journey, I've spent a lot of time trying to narrow down exactly where I want to go with my career (and life!) and in the process have felt every emotion from inspiration and motivation to being so overwhelmed that my most preferable option seemed to be hiding under my duvet with some Alpro chocolate milk. Not an effective solution I can assure you. Despite stepping out of education for the first time and moving to the Big Smoke alone being totally overwhelming experiences, I feel like over the past 4 months I've finally established where I want to go with my career and how I plan to get there. I adore fashion. The personal expression and creativity, the ability to be totally and unapologetically yourself, and career wise, I adore the fast pace and collaborative efforts behind so many success stories. Of course it took me some time to adjust to my new lifestyle but as of now I can finally step back and see how many obstacles and anxieties I've overcome during the past 4 months which fills me with so much hope for the future! London can be a lonely place, and I think my only real wish is that I could have had my closest course pals/boyfriend/family/friends by my side. Despite that I think the experience has proved to me that I am capable and that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

My latest new chapter is one I'm the most excited for yet, as in less than a week I'll be starting my new role as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK! I've never come across a position I feel so excited at the prospect of or that I can 100% see myself fulfilling and I feel so lucky to be on such an exciting new journey for the next 6 months. Of course I will keep my blog as up to date as possible along the way and can't wait to throw myself into this new adventure! Social media and content creation should have been such an obvious route for me, having worked on my blog and other social channels so hard for so long and I can't tell you how crazy it feels that soon I'll be able to channel the love I have for my hobby into an industry role! I wanted to share this post initially to keep you all updated on my new adventure, but also to show that hard work really does pay off in the long run and if you're caught up right now in whatever struggles life is throwing at you, just know that it will only make you stronger and more capable in the future. I can't tell you how many times I've cried down the phone to my dad or on how many occasions I've worried tirelessly over the future but in the end, things somehow seem to slot into place just when you need them to most. Lots of love to you all!