I am Bronwyn. My closest friends and family call me Bee. I have a little scar next to my eye from standing on a chair in nursery, shouting at the top of my lungs for a marmite sandwich and an undying love for foam bananas. I’m terrified of zombies (despite the fact I know they don’t exist). Having worked in a baby shop and children’s nurseries- I know a ridiculous amount about babies without ever having had one (and for some reason I could list off 15 pushchair brands, but struggle to recall what I learnt last week at Uni). I love cats, but fear them equally- for I find them peculiarly unpredictable creatures. I study history because I enjoyed it and it seemed to close the least doors for me in life. I’m an open book, my emotions are splashed across my face the second I feel them, I’m oversensitive, silly 80% of the time, prone to over-apologising and ultimately imperfect, but not insignificant. I am a people person. I like to please. I am working on accepting that not everyone will like me all of the time- and that’s OK. I have been, and still am, vulnerable at times and have found confidence isn’t borne out of things going right, often confidence grows when, quite frankly, the shit hits the fan.
I am a work in progress. I am enough. I belong. I am me: perfectly imperfect.
Remember you are too. Your best is enough. You belong. You are fiercely loved. You are perfectly imperfect.
Lately, I’ve been focussing on taking a chill pill. I have become one of those people who get overly frustrated by dawdlers. I end up going to a dark place when walking behind those that should be in, what I would call, the slow-lane of life. I’ve often thought that if I were to become PM, I would enforce a ‘fast lane’/ ‘slow lane’ system.
I’m honestly a good person, like 99% of the time. But there is nothing that fills me with more rage than when somebody starts walking slowly in front of me.
Just to clarify- I don’t get wound up by people who genuinely can’t help that they walk slowly… I’m not a monster. It’s just that there are inconsiderate people who turn me into a tutting ball of rage.
I wondered whether I was the only one that felt this way and found a pretty funny theory from someone else online:
“The secret is to do nothing. Do not adjust your speed. Continue at a constant rate. If collisions occur, then the slow walkers must accept their fate. Like a rock in a river, they will be swept up in the current. . . or be eroded to sand in the riverbed.”
I mean- what?! I’m part nodding with agreement, and giggling with guilt that I know I’m just a speed walker at heart.
Speed walking is one of those things I wish I could put on a CV, it’s a skill of mine. There is a 6 year age gap between my sister and I, so walking to school meant holding onto the buggy. Aka, running alongside the super fast speed-walk of a rushing Mother.
Anyway, this tutting rage that slow walkers force upon us speed walkers. This rage is multiplied when in crowds. There is nothing worse than being in a rush and stuck in a crowd at the same time. Granted, other people need to get places too… but move out the way. If you’re really feeling the rage/ seeing red, you do the totally melodramatic huff as you barge past them. Just in case the tutting wasn’t picked up. Maybe even chuck in a dirty look if they’ve managed to push all your buttons.
But deep down, you know you’ve been a slow walker, a dawdler or just a tourist in your life too. But that’s totally different, because when I dawdle and people barge and tut at me- they just need to chill out, oh my gosh.
Over the last week I have seen so many articles focussing on how bad Easter eggs are for you. Ranging from calories to how many burpees you would need to do to burn them off… for real?! Though I am not surprised, it is pretty sad to think that Easter (and the opportunity to eat Easter Eggs) comes round once a year, and we are being told not to enjoy it!? These sort of articles just make people feel bad. Unnecessarily. Because sometimes you need a treat. There are so many of us worrying about our health anyway, these articles are just damaging, not only to our idea of a healthy balanced diet, but to self confidence too. So here are my thoughts on eating Easter Eggs at Easter time!
Having a healthy balanced diet: I treat myself. Otherwise, quite frankly, I’d go loopy. I have tried diets- and they just make me miserable. A healthy balanced diet means I eat good 80% of the time. In the other 20% I make room for Easter Eggs, the odd glass of wine and a meal out if I choose. Depriving yourself is really bad, deprivation simply leads to binging, which leads to unhappiness. AKA, a vicious cycle, and an unhappy you. I do not claim to be a nutritionist, but if you check any out, they are forever disproving myths surrounding diets. Often they prove that a healthy, balanced diet is the way forward. So as I’m sat here, hell yeah I’m eating an Easter Egg!!
But what about my weight? I have never, ever, stepped off of the scales feeling anything but inadequate. For me standing on the scales is the worst possible thing I could do for my mental health. I could be on a real health kick, for weeks- but the minute I step on those scales, I can lose it all. I automatically go from feeling positive about myself and expecting to see a physical difference, to thinking ‘pass me a chocolate bar, this healthy eating has done sod all for me’. Every time I do the same thing. I get upset, I compare myself to others, I wear baggy clothes for a few days (and binge) and then I give myself a pep talk. Because they really are only numbers. They don’t define me, nor my worth, or my health. I have always been heavier than I expect. But I end up assessing my life in general. Do I eat healthily 80% of the time? Yes. Am I active on a daily basis? Yes. Am I in a positive mindset the majority of the time? Yes. I know I am healthy.
One day will not make me gain weight: Have you ever gone to the gym and lost weight after a day? Nope. So this one day of eating an Easter Egg will not make you gain weight. Think of this as a day off. Granted, one day at the gym gets you one step closer to where you want to be, but these moments of indulgence will not have an impact on the long run. Especially not when mixed with a health diet the majority of the time. If you feel bad, go to the gym an extra time this week or squeeze in an extra 15 minutes work out.
Easter Egg Guilt: We live in a world where people are counting calories left, right and centre, there are apps for it, books for it and DVD’s for it. The celebratory seasons are the worst for it, whether it’s Christmas or Easter (the two biggest seasons of enjoyment), we have calorie counts rammed down our throats. When the reality is: I love skittles and wine. Sometimes I don’t ‘deserve’ them, but quite frankly the idea of ‘working for’ these indulgences is ludicrous. It’s two days a year. Real life has to come first sometimes. I am certainly not prepared to start turning down pudding at the Easter roast dinner, or ask everyone not to bother getting me an Easter Egg this year. Life is for enjoying!
What I am trying to say is, future you isn’t going to think ‘I’m really glad I didn’t eat those Pringles on the 28th February’, it’s all about moderation. If you’re working towards a goal, whether that’s a number, a shape or simply a healthier lifestyle- patience is key. Results don’t happen over night. So allow yourself an Easter treat (or multiple), maybe it will give you that extra reason to stay good for the rest of the week, or work that little bit harder in the gym. In my case, I feel like it simply gives me a boost, my enjoyment this weekend will allow me to have a healthier mindset throughout the rest of the week.
We are entitled to enjoy our food. Life is for living and enjoying. Look after your body and treat it sometimes.
Spring has sprung! With every new season I get super excited to change up my beauty products. I have a big box of makeup, but the tippety top ones get put in my makeup bag. Spring, to me, means lighter and brighter colours, and a spring spruce up of beauty products and skincare routine!
So today I thought I would share with you my favourite spring products so far. I will try and keep the pointless chatter to a minimal and run through the products I have been loving this March- and will be using into Spring!
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, in Petal Shimmer: £18.50. A super soft textured lip gel with a deliciously sweet scent. I really dislike lipglosses that are goo-ey, when it feels like you’re applying slime to your lips! This just feels really natural and give my lips that little plump. Plus, there is very little colour to it, so it’s subtle and perfect for nipping out. I usually wouldn’t spend this sort of money on lipglosses (being a student/cheap skate) but I got this for Christmas and would totally buy it again when it runs out. They do this is several shades too!
Batiste Instant Hair Refresh, in Rose Gold: £1.48.This is one of my ride or die products. I use this almost daily. Recently, I have had SUPER knotty hair, and I have tried everything. When I went to my hairdresser she suggested washing my hair less often (before I was washing it almost every day- yup, bad habit I know!). So I’ve been trying out washing it less frequently and doing more exciting things with my hair to disguise the second/third day hair grease that is totally natural (but still ew). If you fancy checking out some of these hair style click here. Dry shampoo instantly refreshes my hair, banishing my oily roots and gives my hair a makeover without any water. It’s quick, easy and smells divine! My personal favourite is the Rose Gold, or the Cherry. I put it in the night before (anticipating the oily roots in the morning!) so I wake up feeling fresh.
Because It’s You, Emporio Armani: £48-£89. This is by far the most expensive product on my March favourites, buuuut it’s my absolute favourite. I am terrible at describing smells, so I’ll let Armani do it for me: it has notes of raspberry and neroli, rose absolute, vanilla and musk. Trust me, it’s lush. As a student my bank account quivers with the idea of buying this for myself- so I always ask for it for Christmas or grab it in Duty Free! When I was 12, my parents went to New York and came back with the Emporio Armani Diamond. I had been using it up until last Christmas, when I decided to spice life up, and try their newer one. And I am obsessed. I am an Emporio Armani girl for life.
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum: £8.99.I work with Botanics and lemme tell you, they are amazing! They constantly impress me with their amazing collections and high quality products. This concentrate serum is fantastic for adding that extra glow to your skin. Though I love the darker shades of Winter makeup, by the time Spring comes I’m itching to have that glowy, golden tint to my forever pale skin. You can buy this from their website here, or at Boots. I highly recommend!
Hollister Solana Beach Travel Mist, in Raspberry Waterlily: £5. A big throwback to school, everybody had one of these bottles in the bags! I still love the smell, it’s a super fresh body mist. Plus the size makes it really easy to carry around if you fancy freshening up.
I Heart Revolution Blushing Hearts Goddess Of Faith: £4.99.This is ridiculous value for money, as it’s huge, lasts ages and is super pigmented. I would own every single one of this collection if I could. This particular colour suits my fair skin tone really well and gives me that extra glow.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: £21.50.This is a super-curling and lifting mascara, aka a roller for lashes! This is one of my all time favourites. As someone who has pretty short, straight eye lashes, I find this makes them look significantly longer and far more volumous. I have it in the Black shade. I also think the product itself is super cute!
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer: £4.19.Tried this donkeys years ago, and have never gone back! Long lasting concealer, that doubles up as a base for eyeshadow application. I use the shade 1 (and am itching to try their new shade 0) and apply it to any imperfections and blemishes, as well as under my eye, down my nose, on my chin and on my cupids bow to highlight and sculpt my face. Love. It. Plus- £4.19- barrrgaiin.
Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover: £5.49.This eye make up remover literally melts the makeup off my face! It’s fab. Again, all natural and removed all traces of make-up from around the eye area, while the botanical infused formula soothes. All the ingredients that go into these products are from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Palace. If you haven’t been, I definitely recommend a visit. The gardens are beautiful, especially for a picnic in the spring! Click here to order it from boots!
GALifornia Powder Blush Travel Size Mini: £12.50. This blush is a mixture of bright pink and with shimmering gold and adds a sun kissed glow to your skin. It’s perfect for spring!
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Paint Matter, in the colour Hollywood Beige: £6.99.This comes in multiple colours, but this is by far my favourite! It’s a soft pinky nude and lasts up to 8 hours. It makes for the most flawless pout and smells delicious.
Tanya Burr, in Wild Safari and Birthday Cake: £6.99.These are my absolute favourite lipsticks. I have several of the other colours too. They’re so reasonably priced, smooth to apply and hydrating to my lips. Plus, the colours range from nudes to fun colour pop shades. I love the bright coloured lips in Spring, I feel like it can pull an entire outfit together and make a real statement.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick, in Mehr and Velvet Teddy: £16.50.I often switch between these two, or combine them. Velvet Teddy has a more brown tone to it, and Mehr is more of a raspberry tone. I personally love matte lipsticks as I feel they can double up as sheer lipstick as well, by adding some lipgloss, or even a lip balm on top. MAC lipsticks last such a long time too. Both these colours are subtle, but make my lips look fuller and plumper.
So there you have it, my March favourites, and the makeup I shall be wearing into Spring. I hope you enjoyed reading this!
I am a free, independent woman, who don’t need no man. (This is not to say I don’t very much appreciate my man, but that’s by the by!)
I have always been very set on this. My life is my life. People can add to it, but my life will always remain exactly that- mine.
One of the best, most valuable life lessons that my Mum has taught me, is the Cherry on the Cake Theory.
Metaphorically speaking, the cake is life. In life we should surround ourselves with people we aspire to be like, people that make us happy and (most importantly) people who add to our lives. That make our lives that little bit sunnier. People come and go- and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s really easy to find someone special and fall for them, hard. My Mum has always maintained that this someone should be ‘the cherry on the cake’. They should make life better. But they should not be the cake itself.
My Mum knows a lady who lost her husband at an unfortunately young age. While they were talking she asked her how she managed to cope with it, and the lady responded that she had her own life too. That her husband wasn’t her entire life. He was, naturally, a huge piece. But she kept a piece for herself.
The point is, no matter how happy you are with your partner, it’s so incredibly important to keep your own life too. Keep in touch with your friends, have your own hobbies- have your own life. You’ll have more to talk about, you’ll be happier and you’ll never feel isolated.
In a world that is so stressful and highly emotionally charged, it’s easy to take on other people’s problems. Research has even shown that emotions can be contagious, you can potentially ‘catch’ fear, anger and joy from people without even realising it. This is something I know I do. I am very susceptible to ‘catching’ people’s emotions. It’s something I really struggle with.
Are you an emotional sponge?
Being an “emotional sponge” isn’t always a bad thing. Being sensitive towards other peoples emotions, I like to think, can make you a better person.
The question ‘are you OK?’ is majorly underrated. Those three words can make someone go from feeling alone in a situation, to having an outlet. Being sensitive means you observe emotions far more than others. Being an emotional sponge means you probably worry about how someone is feeling perhaps more often than others, and can read situations differently.
Though, sometimes it’s easy to take on too much. I find this incredibly easy to do.
So, in being aware of my sponginess, I hope to be able to deal with it better and use it to my advantage. Here are a few ways I have learnt to deal with my tendency to be an emotional sponge.
Answer this: is this feeling mine, or someone elses?Sometimes I feel such strong empathy for other people, that it can genuinely dictate my entire day. From the moment I wake up I can find myself concerned for somebody else’s emotions. I often have to put it into harsh terms, with the question: ‘is this any of your business?’Because half the time- it’s not.
Recognise the difference between empathy and sympathy.Empathy is where you feel other people’s emotions, whereas sympathy is simply the compassion. If you empathise you’re putting yourself in their position. It’s better for you, and for you to guide other people, when you’re sympathetic, rather than emotional invested.
Express yourself.This is something I find so difficult: saying when enough is enough. It’s important to be honest, to say ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you’. When you sit for hours and hours, listening, it is unbelievably easy to be a sponge. This is the one I find the most challenging, because often I feel that to back off can feel like you’re abandoning people.
Distance yourself from the suspected source.If you know specific situations or individuals can bring your mood down, and perhaps you’re particularly vulnerable to it at this time, remove yourself from the situation. I find this equally hard, especially as I like to help people and despise seeing people feeling isolated.
Talk to other people. If you’re concerned for somebody it’s easy to take on the role of ‘the rock’by yourself. But speaking to other people about it really can help. This keeps your own mental health in check. I always remind myself that I am far more helpful if I, myself, am happy.
I refuse to think of being sensitive as a weakness. To me, it is a strength. But sometimes you have to put number one first and that means taking a step back. I’ve learnt to accept that I am not responsible for others.
This is a personal struggle I am attempting to overcome- I want to be more sympathetic in life and a little less empathetic.
Taylor Swift was writing songs about heart ache, being a teenager and boys right about the time these things were coming into my life. This is something I am forever grateful for, because there is nothing better than listening to a song you can totally relate to!
Her song, ‘Fifteen’, was one I was listening to in the car the other day with my friend Hannah. The song tells you that ‘in your life you’ll do thingsgreater than dating the boy on the football team’. Not only is this totally TRUE, it’s got me thinking: if I could go back, knowing what I know now, what would I tell my younger self?
So here are a few of the nuggets of wisdom I would give young me.
Put number one first sometimes (that’s you). Give yourself some TLC, investing in yourself is never a waste of time. If you take care of you, you’ll have far more energy to help others.
The people around you should add to your life.According to Jim Rohn, you become like the five people you spend the most time with. So choose carefully.
Your sensitivity is not an imperfection. Your emotions are the good stuff. We live in a world of non-stop comparisons. Let go on who you think you should be and celebrate who you are. You are worthy.
Say the words ‘are you OK?’ more often. People need to know they’re not alone. That people care. They’re four little words, but can mean so much.
Asking for help is OK.You are not a burden. a) people love helping and b) how would you feel if the tables were turned? Asking for help is not the same as losing control. Never feel isolated. (And never underestimate the power of a cup of tea and a note pad. Write everything that’s on your mind onto that notepad- it helps with perspective).
If you have the power to make someone happy… do it. The world needs more of that. A text, a phone call, a postcard, a hug, even a cheeky tag on facebook.
Accept that not everyone will like you and that’s OK. Keep doing you. We all want acceptance.
Stand up for what you believe in.Your beliefs are not odd, despite what other people think of them.
Your best is ALWAYS enough.
Plans are nice, but you don’t always need one.Sometimes not having a plan can actually be the best plan of all.
When in doubt, listen to Taylor. She is completely right. There is so much more to life than boys. You will realise bigger dreams of yours.
Here are the 10 pieces of advice I would give younger me.
16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness. 3 in 4 mental illnesses start in childhood. 75% of young people with mental health problems are not being treated. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. A study recently showed that more than A THIRD of teenage girls in England suffer from depression and anxiety.
These are some scary figures. Though social media is not the only reason for this, I think it has a huge impact. Our lives are not perfect, but nobody’s is. We’re humans, we all have sadness, worries, family issues, friendship struggles and all the crap that goes in-between. But we don’t publicise it online very often because it’s private, we don’t want people knowing.
Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing everyone else’s seemingly magical life can leave you feeling alone in life hurdles. It’s hard not to think everyone else’s life is perfect when you only ever see the best bits, the fun, the laughter, the happiness and the celebration of life. But this isn’t ReALiTy.
We all do it, we show the best bits of our lives. We need to talk more, and by talk I mean honest talk. Social media is never an honest representation of how that person really feels. Ask people how they are doing, even if their lives seem rosey through Instagram. A simple ‘hey, how are you?’ can open an honest conversation about LiFe.
Putting on a ‘brave face’ is so easy when you’re sat behind a phone, or a laptop, uploading to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. But let’s be ReAl, we all know its a bunch of fibs. Life is beautifully imperfect. You have to have the bad days, for the good days to shine so bright.
Yesterday, I posted on my Instagram about an email I got from my Dissertation Tutor, that quite frankly was a pile of poop (if you want to check it out, click here). Again, something I haven’t really discussed on Instagram, Twitter or my Blog is the University Strikes. Something that has affected me in a HUGE way. But I haven’t spoken about it much as it’s one of the naffest parts of my life right now. But yesterday, as I sat at my desk, opened up my emails and was told that my Dissertation (that I have practically written over the last 4 weeks) included themes my Tutor deemed ‘irrelevant’- I decided I would talk about it (following a melt down and a pep talk from my boyfriend). Due to the strikes, I have had little to no contact with her, so cracked on with my work, thinking all was good. I thought my dissertation plan had been approved- as I hadn’t received feedback- and I would make the most of the 4 weeks of strikes. Anyway, I decided to email back saying that I had already written these sections and I believed they were relevant. I even told her why, in depth. So I’m awaiting a response and hopefully I will have convinced her.
This totally HoNeSt Instagram post, written with puffy eyes and butterflies, gave me some of the best feedback I have had to date. People were so sweet, giving me encouragement and saying they had experienced similar things. It made me realise, people identify a whole lot more to the ReALiTiEs. These realities of life include the down days.
So if you’re feeling low and you feel comfortable sharing it on social media, you could touch someone else who is struggling. We all fight battles, some of which nobody knows about. Some days are a little bit foggy and we have to realise its OK not to be OK all of the time.