So 2016, what the hell happened girl? You were meant to be so good, you were meant to be all positive and a bloody ray of sunshine, you were meant to be 'my year'. 

Okay, maybe you weren't all bad, but let's be realistic... there were some pretty crap times weren't there? I mean, from the moment the year started, there just seemed to be a funny feeling in the air. There were some really sad instants, from the passing of Alan Rickman to Prince and David Bowie... something just wasn't right. However, even though I could give you a run down of the world events of the year, I think we're all pretty caught up on those, so I thought I'd give you (and myself) a little look back at the highs, lows and everything inbetween from my 2016. 


The year started off with a pretty good bang (I just read that back and it sounds really dirty, but it's not... just roll with it). 

The evening on the 31st December, I'd thrown a NYE get together at my house with all my friends, and let me tell you, it was the best thing I'd ever hosted (I'm not a very good host). It had everything from hilariously drunk moments, to emotional speeches (2, I gave 2 emotional speeches) and it just made me feel incredibly giddy for the new year that was to come. I had new career goals and so many exciting opportunities and plans ahead. I was sure that nothing could go wrong this year.

At the start of the year, I honestly can't remember much that happened. This either means, it was really crap and I've decided to block it out my memory, or just there's just nothing interesting to say about it hahaha.

In February/March, I finally signed my contract with my amazing modelling agency, IMM (honestly, some of the most caring people in the industry). I'd headed down to London for a test shoot and visited the agency afterwards, and just like that, all in one day, they handed me a contract and I WAS A MODEL, SIGNED TO A LONDON AGENCY. *happy dances*. Throughout March and April, I got to do some amazing shoots with some brilliant photographers and build up my portfolio. It was such an exciting time for me and I was conquering so much in terms of Anxiety and OCD. I was travelling somewhere new on my own and I was fighting against the regimented routine that was planted in my head. 

It was around this time that I also joined the gym - something I've always been terrified to do - so that was a pretty big deal for me. I also began learning to drive and hey hey hey, would you believe it? I've got my theory test booked for the end of January 2017, wahoo!

In April/May, I got to do some really fab blog collaborations: I got to be featured in The White Pepper's Spring/Summer Magazine and I also did a campaign with Pixi Beauty (which was one of my first every sponsored campaigns!). I worked with New Look too, and really started to see my blog growing as a career. 

In fact, May/June time was when I really started to want to improve my blog content. I wanted to improve everything from my photos, to my Instagram feed, my YouTube channel, to the topics I wrote about - I just really wanted to be 'better'. 

I turned 18 in June too, which was pretty exciting. I got myself a car for my birthday and had a lovely day spent with my parents enjoying cocktails at Rosso and Cloud 23.
Unfortunately, 2 days after my 18th birthday, my Grandad suffered a stroke, which honestly broke my heart. It sent me into a downward spiral for weeks and I was really scared to go and visit him in case it really triggered any dark feelings (I find that I don't deal well with things like this). I remember just wondering why the world was being so cruel. However, my Grandad is a proper trooper. Visiting him actually made me feel so much better - he has been so positive from the beginning of it and just hasn't given up over the past 6 months. He's now up and about again and is so super positive all the time - I feel incredibly proud of him.


In July, me and my friends all headed off for a 3 day trip to Amsterdam - it was such a fab trip. We visited everything from the Anne Frank Museum, to the Red Light District and just had some amazing quality time together before they all headed off for University. 

At the End of August, I did a Campaign for Cosmo's Fash Fest, which was another amazing opportunity. I honestly feel so so fortunate when brands want to work with me, and it just makes it even more exciting when it's big brand names like that. 

I know that inbetween all of these highs, I definitely had some incredible lows. It had been a year of big 'change'. I was changing my appearance and learning to accept myself, I was changing my life because I was embarking on two very 'out of the ordinary' careers and I was changing my attitude towards everything. And, despite the change bringing a lot of happiness, it has also meant that I've struggled a lot of times. There have been moments when I thought I'd have to give up or I'd never be able to change things. However, looking back now.. I've actually changed a hell of a lot, and alll for the better. I have been fighting my mental illnesses for over 3 years now and it's only really this year that I feel like there's a big difference.

Anyway, around this sort of time, I began writing reflective posts and opening up more and more about my mental health. I remember writing one particular post, which was actually a collaboration with New Look again, all about getting inspiration, and that's when it hit me.. I wanted my content to inspire people. I wanted people to come away from my blog feeling excited or encouraged or even just comforted. I wanted to create content that sparked emotion.
I wrote posts about mental health, masculinity, femininity, my life, hopes, dreams, fears, anything that sparked thoughts in my head, I just wrote about it. I've stuck with this style of writing ever since and I bloody love it. I love writing about what I feel passionate about. I love encouraging and helping others. I just love everything that this blog can bring.


In Septemeber, I got to do a test shoot with the amazing Jason Davis and Sammi (who, by the way, are two of the most lovely people I've ever met). It was so amazing to work with two people who are in the industry you're aiming to be a part of. (Plus, considering I've watched Sammi on Youtube since 2009, it was pretty big 'fan-girl' moment for me haha).
I then got to shoot with them for a second time in October, but this time for Novem & Knight. It was honestly one of my most favourite shoots to date and I adore the photos. 

At the end of November, I attended the Boohoo Blogger's Christmas Party in London, which was so so exciting for me. I hadn't been to a blogging event for yonks (do people still say 'yonks'??) and I knew I was going to get to meet sooooo many blogging babes that I've known for ages, but never met before. It was so much fun - there was a photo-booth and drinks and goodie bags to take with us. It was just fabulous!

This month I got to collaborate with New Look again and this time for a sponsored video, eeek! It was a part of their Christmas campaign and I feel so honored that they chose me to be a part of it. I also worked with Dorothy Perkins on their Christmas Campaign and got sent some incredible pieces, from Carat London and Daniel Wellington too, which I will be talking more about in the new year!

December has brought the best Christmas I've had in a long time. The run up to it felt incredibly festive and it has been so nice to have my friends home. I had a amazingly chilled Christmas Eve, watching Elf with my family, and our Christmas Morning was soo relaxed and happy. I felt so, as Beyonce would say, 'full' and pleased to be spending time with them all again. 

However, I won't lie, I've felt slightly down since Boxing Day. I've been dealing with a lot of paranoia and terrible body dysmorphia, but I assure you, I'm slowly picking myself back up again, setting myself goals and getting ready for a new, more positive (I hope) year ahead. 

"I realized there is no shame in being honest, there is no shame in being vulnerable, it's the beauty of being human"

This year will probably always be known as a pretty shitty year, but this will also always be the year that I conquered sooo much anxiety, sooo much sadness and sooo many obsessive behaviors. It will be the year that I learnt to except myself a lot more and see that I'm not always 'the worst' or 'the ugliest'. It will be the year that I got to take lots of exciting opportunities and challenge myself to new things. It will be that year that was 'pretty crap' but 'pretty darn good' too. 

I've realised a lot of stuff this year. I've realised it's okay to be me, it's okay to be sad sometimes, it's okay to struggle and that I'm allowed to feel however I want to feel, because at the end of the day, I'm human and there is no shame in that. 

So yes, this might have been an incredibly 'up and down' year, but at the end of it all, I've learnt a lot and had some fun times along the way too. 

On that note. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, with lots of happiness, and that all your dreams come true. (I feel like a fairy god mother, from a Disney film, saying that hahaha)

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So 2016, What The Hell Happened?


So 2016, what the hell happened girl? You were meant to be so good, you were meant to be all positive and a bloody ray of sunshine, you were meant to be 'my year'. 

Okay, maybe you weren't all bad, but let's be realistic... there were some pretty crap times weren't there? I mean, from the moment the year started, there just seemed to be a funny feeling in the air. There were some really sad instants, from the passing of Alan Rickman to Prince and David Bowie... something just wasn't right. However, even though I could give you a run down of the world events of the year, I think we're all pretty caught up on those, so I thought I'd give you (and myself) a little look back at the highs, lows and everything inbetween from my 2016. 


The year started off with a pretty good bang (I just read that back and it sounds really dirty, but it's not... just roll with it). 

The evening on the 31st December, I'd thrown a NYE get together at my house with all my friends, and let me tell you, it was the best thing I'd ever hosted (I'm not a very good host). It had everything from hilariously drunk moments, to emotional speeches (2, I gave 2 emotional speeches) and it just made me feel incredibly giddy for the new year that was to come. I had new career goals and so many exciting opportunities and plans ahead. I was sure that nothing could go wrong this year.

At the start of the year, I honestly can't remember much that happened. This either means, it was really crap and I've decided to block it out my memory, or just there's just nothing interesting to say about it hahaha.

In February/March, I finally signed my contract with my amazing modelling agency, IMM (honestly, some of the most caring people in the industry). I'd headed down to London for a test shoot and visited the agency afterwards, and just like that, all in one day, they handed me a contract and I WAS A MODEL, SIGNED TO A LONDON AGENCY. *happy dances*. Throughout March and April, I got to do some amazing shoots with some brilliant photographers and build up my portfolio. It was such an exciting time for me and I was conquering so much in terms of Anxiety and OCD. I was travelling somewhere new on my own and I was fighting against the regimented routine that was planted in my head. 

It was around this time that I also joined the gym - something I've always been terrified to do - so that was a pretty big deal for me. I also began learning to drive and hey hey hey, would you believe it? I've got my theory test booked for the end of January 2017, wahoo!

In April/May, I got to do some really fab blog collaborations: I got to be featured in The White Pepper's Spring/Summer Magazine and I also did a campaign with Pixi Beauty (which was one of my first every sponsored campaigns!). I worked with New Look too, and really started to see my blog growing as a career. 

In fact, May/June time was when I really started to want to improve my blog content. I wanted to improve everything from my photos, to my Instagram feed, my YouTube channel, to the topics I wrote about - I just really wanted to be 'better'. 

I turned 18 in June too, which was pretty exciting. I got myself a car for my birthday and had a lovely day spent with my parents enjoying cocktails at Rosso and Cloud 23.
Unfortunately, 2 days after my 18th birthday, my Grandad suffered a stroke, which honestly broke my heart. It sent me into a downward spiral for weeks and I was really scared to go and visit him in case it really triggered any dark feelings (I find that I don't deal well with things like this). I remember just wondering why the world was being so cruel. However, my Grandad is a proper trooper. Visiting him actually made me feel so much better - he has been so positive from the beginning of it and just hasn't given up over the past 6 months. He's now up and about again and is so super positive all the time - I feel incredibly proud of him.


In July, me and my friends all headed off for a 3 day trip to Amsterdam - it was such a fab trip. We visited everything from the Anne Frank Museum, to the Red Light District and just had some amazing quality time together before they all headed off for University. 

At the End of August, I did a Campaign for Cosmo's Fash Fest, which was another amazing opportunity. I honestly feel so so fortunate when brands want to work with me, and it just makes it even more exciting when it's big brand names like that. 

I know that inbetween all of these highs, I definitely had some incredible lows. It had been a year of big 'change'. I was changing my appearance and learning to accept myself, I was changing my life because I was embarking on two very 'out of the ordinary' careers and I was changing my attitude towards everything. And, despite the change bringing a lot of happiness, it has also meant that I've struggled a lot of times. There have been moments when I thought I'd have to give up or I'd never be able to change things. However, looking back now.. I've actually changed a hell of a lot, and alll for the better. I have been fighting my mental illnesses for over 3 years now and it's only really this year that I feel like there's a big difference.

Anyway, around this sort of time, I began writing reflective posts and opening up more and more about my mental health. I remember writing one particular post, which was actually a collaboration with New Look again, all about getting inspiration, and that's when it hit me.. I wanted my content to inspire people. I wanted people to come away from my blog feeling excited or encouraged or even just comforted. I wanted to create content that sparked emotion.
I wrote posts about mental health, masculinity, femininity, my life, hopes, dreams, fears, anything that sparked thoughts in my head, I just wrote about it. I've stuck with this style of writing ever since and I bloody love it. I love writing about what I feel passionate about. I love encouraging and helping others. I just love everything that this blog can bring.


In Septemeber, I got to do a test shoot with the amazing Jason Davis and Sammi (who, by the way, are two of the most lovely people I've ever met). It was so amazing to work with two people who are in the industry you're aiming to be a part of. (Plus, considering I've watched Sammi on Youtube since 2009, it was pretty big 'fan-girl' moment for me haha).
I then got to shoot with them for a second time in October, but this time for Novem & Knight. It was honestly one of my most favourite shoots to date and I adore the photos. 

At the end of November, I attended the Boohoo Blogger's Christmas Party in London, which was so so exciting for me. I hadn't been to a blogging event for yonks (do people still say 'yonks'??) and I knew I was going to get to meet sooooo many blogging babes that I've known for ages, but never met before. It was so much fun - there was a photo-booth and drinks and goodie bags to take with us. It was just fabulous!

This month I got to collaborate with New Look again and this time for a sponsored video, eeek! It was a part of their Christmas campaign and I feel so honored that they chose me to be a part of it. I also worked with Dorothy Perkins on their Christmas Campaign and got sent some incredible pieces, from Carat London and Daniel Wellington too, which I will be talking more about in the new year!

December has brought the best Christmas I've had in a long time. The run up to it felt incredibly festive and it has been so nice to have my friends home. I had a amazingly chilled Christmas Eve, watching Elf with my family, and our Christmas Morning was soo relaxed and happy. I felt so, as Beyonce would say, 'full' and pleased to be spending time with them all again. 

However, I won't lie, I've felt slightly down since Boxing Day. I've been dealing with a lot of paranoia and terrible body dysmorphia, but I assure you, I'm slowly picking myself back up again, setting myself goals and getting ready for a new, more positive (I hope) year ahead. 

"I realized there is no shame in being honest, there is no shame in being vulnerable, it's the beauty of being human"

This year will probably always be known as a pretty shitty year, but this will also always be the year that I conquered sooo much anxiety, sooo much sadness and sooo many obsessive behaviors. It will be the year that I learnt to except myself a lot more and see that I'm not always 'the worst' or 'the ugliest'. It will be the year that I got to take lots of exciting opportunities and challenge myself to new things. It will be that year that was 'pretty crap' but 'pretty darn good' too. 

I've realised a lot of stuff this year. I've realised it's okay to be me, it's okay to be sad sometimes, it's okay to struggle and that I'm allowed to feel however I want to feel, because at the end of the day, I'm human and there is no shame in that. 

So yes, this might have been an incredibly 'up and down' year, but at the end of it all, I've learnt a lot and had some fun times along the way too. 

On that note. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, with lots of happiness, and that all your dreams come true. (I feel like a fairy god mother, from a Disney film, saying that hahaha)

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I'm very content with my life right now. 

This year for me was originally meant to be 'the best year of my life' and although I wouldn't say that it has been that, this has been a year of, as Kylie Jenner said, (she has come up in waaay too many blog posts over the past few months lol)) realising a lot of stuff. I know that I probably end up saying this at the end of every year, but I really feel like I have become 'me' this year. I feel so happy and like I'm constantly just being honestly and openly myself. I feel free to say what I believe, talk about what I'm passionate about, wear what I want to, look how I want to, be who I want to be. I feel like each month has passed by and every time those next 30 days would pass, I found another piece of myself that I seemed to have lost so so long ago. It's almost like I've been piecing myself back together, yet at the same time, it has ended up creating this new and much more confidence person. 

I very rarely feel ashamed of who I am anymore. I very rarely worry about what other people think. I feel so incredibly free. I walk down the street, most of the time looking wayyyy too overdressed (or on the other end of the spectrum, wayyyy too scruffy haha), with my head held high and not staring down at the floor, hiding my face in shame. I feel accepting of myself - I'll be honest, not 100% accepting, but I'm definitely at the highest percentage of acceptance I've ever been. 




A lot of people praise me for what I do. They tell me how 'brave' I am or that what I do is 'so cool' and I honestly feel so flattered that people think that of me, because, well yes, I work my bloody bum off to do this. I spend every day sat behind a computer screen, typing, scheduling, editing, answering emails and the rest of the time either plonked in front of or behind a camera. I spend my time trying to constantly be inspired and creative and positive. I want to help people, that's what this whole journey of blogging has now lead me to. I want to show people that things are going to be okay. 

Some people out there don't have that many supportive people around them. Some people struggle through things alone and isolated and I can't imagine having to deal with that. I was very very lucky to have (and still do have) some of the most amazing people around me through my darkest times. 

My family are 3 of the most wonderful people you could ever know. They are understanding, compassionate and basically have helped me save myself from something that I never thought I'd be free from. 

As i'm now at a point in my life that I finally feel like that huge weight has been lifted, I want to just say thank you. Thank you to my parents for letting me scream at them, for letting me cry, for letting me breakdown because of minuscule things. I want to thank them for the times they've hugged me or left me alone if I need space. I want them to know that I'm grateful that they understand and have understood, as much as they could, for the entirety of it. I want them to know that I struggle to show how grateful I am that they support what I do, in every possible way and I want them to know that they are constantly on my minds, as motivation, for me to be successful in what I do. 



Without my parents I would be incredibly lost and incredibly unsupported. They allow me to do what I love, every single day. They allow me to have little weird habits or feel down if it all gets a bit too much. They allow me to go and do amazing things and live my life and enjoy what I'm doing. It's just incredible to have two people who just want the best for you.

So, yes.. Hi Mum and Dad (you will definitely be reading because I will make you lol), this blog post is for you. This blog post is for you to come back to when you're ever feeling a bit crap or you just need reminding that you're amazing (and yes, very cool, Dad.) parents. This is for me to show you that I'm so so grateful for all that you do, and have done for me because like I said, I kind of struggle to show it sometimes.

You are both incredible and amazing people; you are hardworking and unbelievably strong and without you, I would not be where I am today, doing what I love and finally feeling so very content with my life.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON DAVIS // STYLING BY SAMANTHA MARIA

Merry Christmas you weirdos ♥

(and also, a very Merry Christmas to anyone reading that aren't my weird and wonderful parents!)

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A Letter To My Parents


I'm very content with my life right now. 

This year for me was originally meant to be 'the best year of my life' and although I wouldn't say that it has been that, this has been a year of, as Kylie Jenner said, (she has come up in waaay too many blog posts over the past few months lol)) realising a lot of stuff. I know that I probably end up saying this at the end of every year, but I really feel like I have become 'me' this year. I feel so happy and like I'm constantly just being honestly and openly myself. I feel free to say what I believe, talk about what I'm passionate about, wear what I want to, look how I want to, be who I want to be. I feel like each month has passed by and every time those next 30 days would pass, I found another piece of myself that I seemed to have lost so so long ago. It's almost like I've been piecing myself back together, yet at the same time, it has ended up creating this new and much more confidence person. 

I very rarely feel ashamed of who I am anymore. I very rarely worry about what other people think. I feel so incredibly free. I walk down the street, most of the time looking wayyyy too overdressed (or on the other end of the spectrum, wayyyy too scruffy haha), with my head held high and not staring down at the floor, hiding my face in shame. I feel accepting of myself - I'll be honest, not 100% accepting, but I'm definitely at the highest percentage of acceptance I've ever been. 




A lot of people praise me for what I do. They tell me how 'brave' I am or that what I do is 'so cool' and I honestly feel so flattered that people think that of me, because, well yes, I work my bloody bum off to do this. I spend every day sat behind a computer screen, typing, scheduling, editing, answering emails and the rest of the time either plonked in front of or behind a camera. I spend my time trying to constantly be inspired and creative and positive. I want to help people, that's what this whole journey of blogging has now lead me to. I want to show people that things are going to be okay. 

Some people out there don't have that many supportive people around them. Some people struggle through things alone and isolated and I can't imagine having to deal with that. I was very very lucky to have (and still do have) some of the most amazing people around me through my darkest times. 

My family are 3 of the most wonderful people you could ever know. They are understanding, compassionate and basically have helped me save myself from something that I never thought I'd be free from. 

As i'm now at a point in my life that I finally feel like that huge weight has been lifted, I want to just say thank you. Thank you to my parents for letting me scream at them, for letting me cry, for letting me breakdown because of minuscule things. I want to thank them for the times they've hugged me or left me alone if I need space. I want them to know that I'm grateful that they understand and have understood, as much as they could, for the entirety of it. I want them to know that I struggle to show how grateful I am that they support what I do, in every possible way and I want them to know that they are constantly on my minds, as motivation, for me to be successful in what I do. 



Without my parents I would be incredibly lost and incredibly unsupported. They allow me to do what I love, every single day. They allow me to have little weird habits or feel down if it all gets a bit too much. They allow me to go and do amazing things and live my life and enjoy what I'm doing. It's just incredible to have two people who just want the best for you.

So, yes.. Hi Mum and Dad (you will definitely be reading because I will make you lol), this blog post is for you. This blog post is for you to come back to when you're ever feeling a bit crap or you just need reminding that you're amazing (and yes, very cool, Dad.) parents. This is for me to show you that I'm so so grateful for all that you do, and have done for me because like I said, I kind of struggle to show it sometimes.

You are both incredible and amazing people; you are hardworking and unbelievably strong and without you, I would not be where I am today, doing what I love and finally feeling so very content with my life.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON DAVIS // STYLING BY SAMANTHA MARIA

Merry Christmas you weirdos ♥

(and also, a very Merry Christmas to anyone reading that aren't my weird and wonderful parents!)

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There is so much pressure surrounding this time of year. If you're not radiating 'merry' or 'jolly' vibes, 24/7, it can begin to make you feel like a total Grinch, am I right? 
Last year, I told myself I wasn't allowed to feel depressed at Christmas. I was supposed to be full of joy and merriment, and not depression and anxiety. I told myself I had to do 'Christmassy' things and get out of the house and 'have fun'. I thought about it every day - as if I was 'wasting' Christmas by not playing the donkey in a nativity, or laughing in the snow whilst making snow angels. 
I wanted so badly to be excited and happy - Christmas has always been my favourite time of year - however, seeing as the year before (2014), I really hadn't partook in the celebrations very much, last year I put a lot of pressure on myself to make that Christmas perfect. 

I remember that, for most of the month of December, I had this constant question in the back of my mind: "why do I not feel festive?" or "why do I not feel like I used to feel at Christmas?" - I just didn't understand what was different. The year before last (2014) was obviously going to be different, I could comprehend that - I mean, I could barely eat Christmas dinner in 2014, where as now I could eat 6 plate fulls - 2015 was meant to be 'normal' again though... so why did I not feel the way I would 'normally' feel?



At Christmas, it can almost be like we're being brainwashed into having to be happy. It's like we almost feel like it's a 'duty' not to be down or 'ruin the fun'. Around us, all we see are festive lights and Christmas shoppers, and all we hear is Mariah Carey constantly on repeat - we don't really get chance to get away from it all. We spend an entire month wanting to feel happy and a part of the festivities, yet sometimes as human beings, we might just not be in the right place to be feeling like that. Sometimes we might have other things going on, other than Christmas. Sometimes we may have lost a loved one, or be suffering from an illness, or (a tough one at this time of year) be dealing with debt or money problems. Not everyone can just turn on the Christmas tree lights and feel 'ok'. 

Don't get me wrong, there's absoloutley nothing wrong with enjoying the festive fun at this time of year. I mean this year, I may as well be dressed as an elf every single day, because I've literally had Mariah Carey on repeat since the 1st and decked my room full of fairy lights and festive Yankee candles, however, last year, things were so so different - I wasn't in a 'good' place. 
There is absoloutley nothing wrong with not enjoying the festive fun either though. It's totally okay to want to just get Christmas over and done with, or to not even celebrate it at all. It's okay to be grieving or feeling low - at the end of the day, our mental health and other problems don't just get put on hold because Santa's coming to town. Depression doesn't stop at Christmas - in fact, it rises by a pretty big percentage.



I'm sorry that this post isn't very jolly or some kind of 'Last Minute Gift Guide' but I just want people to know that you don't have to force happiness just because it's Christmas. You don't have to act like everything is fine - we're all still allowed to struggle and deal with things, no matter what time of year it is.
I really tried to force myself to be a part of Christmas last year. I constantly told myself to cheer up or that I should be playing Christmas songs and dancing around, when really I wanted to hide away in my bed, under my duvet cover and just sleep until it was over. I wanted to be like 'Holly from 2012' who made everyone wear Christmas pajamas and wake up super early to give each other presents - but that wasn't 'me' anymore. In fact, I was 'Holly from 2015' who, despite not being in the depths of an eating disorder, was still going through a lot of shit. I wish I would have just accepted that.
It got to Christmas and I just ended up feeling sooooo deflated. I was trying to 'big up' Christmas, as if it was going to bring all of my happiness back - but at the end of the day, it wasn't going to do that, no matter how brilliant a time of year it can be.



So, my advice to you is, try your best to not let the pressure get to you. Try and focus on the people closest to you and your own state of mind. Don't be blinded by the twinkly lights and feel brainwashed by the loop of Micheal Bublé songs playing - just take care of yourself. Take one day at a time and don't force anything.
If you're not feeling up to 'rocking around the Christmas tree', then don't do it. It's okay for the same feelings you've had all year round or for the past month or so, to follow you into December. Our brains and bodies don't know that it's Christmas, so don't be hard on yourself if you're not radiating Christmas spirit.
If you feel like you need to take some time out or have break, then do it - your family and friends will understand. It can be such a wonderful time of year, but it can be incredibly stressful too. It's okay not to be okay.

Just like at any other time of year, I'm here if any of you need someone to talk to - I'm only a message away. I've also included some phone numbers and links below that some of you might find helpful, but if you're not up to talking then I just hope that reading this has helped slightly anyway.

Mind Info-line: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Samaritans: 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
Cruse: 0808 808 1677

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Dealing with Depression at Christmas




There is so much pressure surrounding this time of year. If you're not radiating 'merry' or 'jolly' vibes, 24/7, it can begin to make you feel like a total Grinch, am I right? 
Last year, I told myself I wasn't allowed to feel depressed at Christmas. I was supposed to be full of joy and merriment, and not depression and anxiety. I told myself I had to do 'Christmassy' things and get out of the house and 'have fun'. I thought about it every day - as if I was 'wasting' Christmas by not playing the donkey in a nativity, or laughing in the snow whilst making snow angels. 
I wanted so badly to be excited and happy - Christmas has always been my favourite time of year - however, seeing as the year before (2014), I really hadn't partook in the celebrations very much, last year I put a lot of pressure on myself to make that Christmas perfect. 

I remember that, for most of the month of December, I had this constant question in the back of my mind: "why do I not feel festive?" or "why do I not feel like I used to feel at Christmas?" - I just didn't understand what was different. The year before last (2014) was obviously going to be different, I could comprehend that - I mean, I could barely eat Christmas dinner in 2014, where as now I could eat 6 plate fulls - 2015 was meant to be 'normal' again though... so why did I not feel the way I would 'normally' feel?



At Christmas, it can almost be like we're being brainwashed into having to be happy. It's like we almost feel like it's a 'duty' not to be down or 'ruin the fun'. Around us, all we see are festive lights and Christmas shoppers, and all we hear is Mariah Carey constantly on repeat - we don't really get chance to get away from it all. We spend an entire month wanting to feel happy and a part of the festivities, yet sometimes as human beings, we might just not be in the right place to be feeling like that. Sometimes we might have other things going on, other than Christmas. Sometimes we may have lost a loved one, or be suffering from an illness, or (a tough one at this time of year) be dealing with debt or money problems. Not everyone can just turn on the Christmas tree lights and feel 'ok'. 

Don't get me wrong, there's absoloutley nothing wrong with enjoying the festive fun at this time of year. I mean this year, I may as well be dressed as an elf every single day, because I've literally had Mariah Carey on repeat since the 1st and decked my room full of fairy lights and festive Yankee candles, however, last year, things were so so different - I wasn't in a 'good' place. 
There is absoloutley nothing wrong with not enjoying the festive fun either though. It's totally okay to want to just get Christmas over and done with, or to not even celebrate it at all. It's okay to be grieving or feeling low - at the end of the day, our mental health and other problems don't just get put on hold because Santa's coming to town. Depression doesn't stop at Christmas - in fact, it rises by a pretty big percentage.



I'm sorry that this post isn't very jolly or some kind of 'Last Minute Gift Guide' but I just want people to know that you don't have to force happiness just because it's Christmas. You don't have to act like everything is fine - we're all still allowed to struggle and deal with things, no matter what time of year it is.
I really tried to force myself to be a part of Christmas last year. I constantly told myself to cheer up or that I should be playing Christmas songs and dancing around, when really I wanted to hide away in my bed, under my duvet cover and just sleep until it was over. I wanted to be like 'Holly from 2012' who made everyone wear Christmas pajamas and wake up super early to give each other presents - but that wasn't 'me' anymore. In fact, I was 'Holly from 2015' who, despite not being in the depths of an eating disorder, was still going through a lot of shit. I wish I would have just accepted that.
It got to Christmas and I just ended up feeling sooooo deflated. I was trying to 'big up' Christmas, as if it was going to bring all of my happiness back - but at the end of the day, it wasn't going to do that, no matter how brilliant a time of year it can be.



So, my advice to you is, try your best to not let the pressure get to you. Try and focus on the people closest to you and your own state of mind. Don't be blinded by the twinkly lights and feel brainwashed by the loop of Micheal Bublé songs playing - just take care of yourself. Take one day at a time and don't force anything.
If you're not feeling up to 'rocking around the Christmas tree', then don't do it. It's okay for the same feelings you've had all year round or for the past month or so, to follow you into December. Our brains and bodies don't know that it's Christmas, so don't be hard on yourself if you're not radiating Christmas spirit.
If you feel like you need to take some time out or have break, then do it - your family and friends will understand. It can be such a wonderful time of year, but it can be incredibly stressful too. It's okay not to be okay.

Just like at any other time of year, I'm here if any of you need someone to talk to - I'm only a message away. I've also included some phone numbers and links below that some of you might find helpful, but if you're not up to talking then I just hope that reading this has helped slightly anyway.

Mind Info-line: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Samaritans: 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
Cruse: 0808 808 1677

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I think I've always been a bit of a competitive person. I've always liked the idea of being really good at what I do and the idea of 'winning', I suppose. The thing is, it never used to be to a degree where I would genuinely non-stop think about it. 
Sometimes, nowadays, I think I really struggle with the idea of not being 'the best' or 'good enough'. I keep getting these overwhelming feelings of envy when I see people doing well, but it's soooo weird because I don't actually think I'm envious - I actually tend to feel incredibly happy for others when I see them doing well, yet the emotion that my body feels just doesn't correlate with that. It's like my mind is saying 'Oh wow, that's amazing YOU GO GIRL!' and yet my body is sent into 'panic mode' and I suddenly feel extremely threatened and all the self-doubt sets in. 

I've had a lot of moments like this recently and it has really started to upset me. I don't want to constantly feel threatened and panicky when I see people around me succeeding. At the end of the day really, I'm not threatened - I know that someone else's success doesn't lessen mine. 

I've sat through these feelings, trying to figure out where they're coming from and it just hit me - I don't know why I hadn't realized it.
All these jealous and competitive feelings reminded me of how I used to feel at my lowest point. My lowest point when I would be stood on a scale, staring at myself in the mirror, being able to see my rib cage and spine, and yet telling myself I was the most hideous fat creature there was.
These feelings are coming from my lack of self worth and my inability, most of the time, to see that I'm not a total failure.




For my entire life, I have compared myself to others. I have told myself I would never be No.1 and I will always be lesser than everyone else. I never used to win things, and to be honest, I don't think I've ever come first in anything. I was never picked first in PE or made 'team leader', I was never really 'popular' - even when I was trying to claw my way into that crowd, and I was often told, many a time, just how 'not good enough' I was. I was called 'fat' and 'ugly', teased by older lads who also picked on my brother and I was basically never made to feel like I could be worth something. 

Don't get me wrong, my Mum constantly told me that I was worthy and talented, but let's face it, no one hears what their Mum is actually telling them until they're about 16 and it's too late to put most of the advice into context. 
Anyway, yes, I was just never really given the chance to have even an inch of self-confidence. It's only really now, in the past year, that I've finally realized my self-worth. 

You see, when you've spent so so so long feeling incredibly worthless, the moment that you realise that actually, you might have smidgen of worth, it's very very hard to not feel scared that it will be taken away from you. I think that's why I get threatened. I get threatened when someone else is being called 'pretty' or gets an amazing blogging collaboration because suddenly I just feel 'ugly' again and like I'm failing.
When someone is doing the same job or wearing the same things as me, and it seems like they're just absolutely killing it or looking insanely beautiful, it's like I revert back to all of the feelings I used to feel when I was that chubby teenage girl or that 'ill' girl that couldn't match the number on the scale to what she was seeing in the mirror. 





I think because of the fact that I went from being this kind of 'nobody', 'loser' character to someone who's doing something a bit out of the ordinary and also, very luckily, fell into a profession which is known for 'looking good', I feel a huge sense of envy if I don't feel like i'm 'winning' at it. It finally feels great to feel 'beautiful' sometimes or to feel 'successful'. If I don't feel like i'm doing 'the best' at blogging or being the 'prettiest I can be' in modelling, I can genuinely feel worthless.
That doesn't mean to say that I'm not happy for people when I see them doing well, because I totally am. The amount of times I see my blogger gals doing amazing things and i'm just like 'YES GIRL!' is wayyy too many to count and whenever I see models I know on websites or make up stands, I just feel so giddy for them. But, I guess it can just seem to trigger this part of my head that sends me into a 'I'm a failure' spiral.

I have to spend so much of my time trying to convince myself not to be envious or upset by things - it can really drain me. I've got all these conflicting emotions of happiness and jealousy and it's just like what am i even feeling?! 
It's not just even me that needs to convince myself to feel okay though. I feel like without reassurance from others that I'm 'doing good' or that I'm 'attractive', that basically, I'm not. I'm not 'doing good' or 'attractive'.

I feel like I have to keep up appearances now. I feel like I can't fall back on my game. I feel like I have to constantly 'do good' and 'look good'. I basically just put a lot of pressure on myself.
I don't want to be the 'fat' kid who never gets picked first anymore, I want to be the sassy Model/Fashion Blogger that I now get to be. I want to be 'beautiful' and to achieve amazing things. I want to inspire and influence and for people to tell me they love what I do. I want to know that I'm at the front of the race and not in last place and that I'm no longer the 'failure' I used to be.

Maybe, that's what this is all is. It's all just a competition with my inner self and not necessarily with the people around me. Or, maybe I am just a complete and utter competitive bitch... who knows? Nonetheless, I'd like to stop feeling like this or to at least know if any of you can relate to this weird mixture of feelings I get. Let me know (but don't let me know if you don't because I'll just get jealous of you. lol)

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Green With Envy: Why Do I Get So Jealous?




I think I've always been a bit of a competitive person. I've always liked the idea of being really good at what I do and the idea of 'winning', I suppose. The thing is, it never used to be to a degree where I would genuinely non-stop think about it. 
Sometimes, nowadays, I think I really struggle with the idea of not being 'the best' or 'good enough'. I keep getting these overwhelming feelings of envy when I see people doing well, but it's soooo weird because I don't actually think I'm envious - I actually tend to feel incredibly happy for others when I see them doing well, yet the emotion that my body feels just doesn't correlate with that. It's like my mind is saying 'Oh wow, that's amazing YOU GO GIRL!' and yet my body is sent into 'panic mode' and I suddenly feel extremely threatened and all the self-doubt sets in. 

I've had a lot of moments like this recently and it has really started to upset me. I don't want to constantly feel threatened and panicky when I see people around me succeeding. At the end of the day really, I'm not threatened - I know that someone else's success doesn't lessen mine. 

I've sat through these feelings, trying to figure out where they're coming from and it just hit me - I don't know why I hadn't realized it.
All these jealous and competitive feelings reminded me of how I used to feel at my lowest point. My lowest point when I would be stood on a scale, staring at myself in the mirror, being able to see my rib cage and spine, and yet telling myself I was the most hideous fat creature there was.
These feelings are coming from my lack of self worth and my inability, most of the time, to see that I'm not a total failure.




For my entire life, I have compared myself to others. I have told myself I would never be No.1 and I will always be lesser than everyone else. I never used to win things, and to be honest, I don't think I've ever come first in anything. I was never picked first in PE or made 'team leader', I was never really 'popular' - even when I was trying to claw my way into that crowd, and I was often told, many a time, just how 'not good enough' I was. I was called 'fat' and 'ugly', teased by older lads who also picked on my brother and I was basically never made to feel like I could be worth something. 

Don't get me wrong, my Mum constantly told me that I was worthy and talented, but let's face it, no one hears what their Mum is actually telling them until they're about 16 and it's too late to put most of the advice into context. 
Anyway, yes, I was just never really given the chance to have even an inch of self-confidence. It's only really now, in the past year, that I've finally realized my self-worth. 

You see, when you've spent so so so long feeling incredibly worthless, the moment that you realise that actually, you might have smidgen of worth, it's very very hard to not feel scared that it will be taken away from you. I think that's why I get threatened. I get threatened when someone else is being called 'pretty' or gets an amazing blogging collaboration because suddenly I just feel 'ugly' again and like I'm failing.
When someone is doing the same job or wearing the same things as me, and it seems like they're just absolutely killing it or looking insanely beautiful, it's like I revert back to all of the feelings I used to feel when I was that chubby teenage girl or that 'ill' girl that couldn't match the number on the scale to what she was seeing in the mirror. 





I think because of the fact that I went from being this kind of 'nobody', 'loser' character to someone who's doing something a bit out of the ordinary and also, very luckily, fell into a profession which is known for 'looking good', I feel a huge sense of envy if I don't feel like i'm 'winning' at it. It finally feels great to feel 'beautiful' sometimes or to feel 'successful'. If I don't feel like i'm doing 'the best' at blogging or being the 'prettiest I can be' in modelling, I can genuinely feel worthless.
That doesn't mean to say that I'm not happy for people when I see them doing well, because I totally am. The amount of times I see my blogger gals doing amazing things and i'm just like 'YES GIRL!' is wayyy too many to count and whenever I see models I know on websites or make up stands, I just feel so giddy for them. But, I guess it can just seem to trigger this part of my head that sends me into a 'I'm a failure' spiral.

I have to spend so much of my time trying to convince myself not to be envious or upset by things - it can really drain me. I've got all these conflicting emotions of happiness and jealousy and it's just like what am i even feeling?! 
It's not just even me that needs to convince myself to feel okay though. I feel like without reassurance from others that I'm 'doing good' or that I'm 'attractive', that basically, I'm not. I'm not 'doing good' or 'attractive'.

I feel like I have to keep up appearances now. I feel like I can't fall back on my game. I feel like I have to constantly 'do good' and 'look good'. I basically just put a lot of pressure on myself.
I don't want to be the 'fat' kid who never gets picked first anymore, I want to be the sassy Model/Fashion Blogger that I now get to be. I want to be 'beautiful' and to achieve amazing things. I want to inspire and influence and for people to tell me they love what I do. I want to know that I'm at the front of the race and not in last place and that I'm no longer the 'failure' I used to be.

Maybe, that's what this is all is. It's all just a competition with my inner self and not necessarily with the people around me. Or, maybe I am just a complete and utter competitive bitch... who knows? Nonetheless, I'd like to stop feeling like this or to at least know if any of you can relate to this weird mixture of feelings I get. Let me know (but don't let me know if you don't because I'll just get jealous of you. lol)

Want to recreate this look yourself? Shop the look below:



Pretty lingerie is something all girls need in their life, am I right? I mean, I know that I love a good pair of comfy granny knickers, but nothing gives you that boost of confidence like slipping on some sexy lingerie and dancing round to a bit of Bruno Mars (okay, that might only be something that I do, but you get what I'm trying to say).

A brand that I've collaborated with in the past and was so so impressed by was B.tempt'd. They sent me some lovely pieces a few months back and I just instantly fell in love - they're still some of my favourites to wear today. Lucky for me, they're so bloomin lovely that they kindly sent me this gorgeous set the day too.   



This is the Ciao Bella Wineberry Bralette and Tanga Brief. Now, this isn't usually a colour I'd opt for in underwear - I usually like to wear black or more neutral colours, however I was definitely willing to give these a try considering the lovely designs.

The bralette is my favourite. It has gorgeous lace and delicate bow detailing with a scalloped edge which I really like. It's so super comfortable, which is something that is sooo important to me when it comes to a bra and yet, it's also super supportive.

The briefs are so sexy and feminine - they're a little less comfy than the bralette, but sometimes style is pain (or just constantly feeling like you have a wedgie (seriously, I'm all about comfy knickers) hahaha). Again, these are made from a gorgeous floral lace with a lovely little bow detail and are semi sheer, making them that little extra bit cheeky.



B.tempt'd honestly have some of the most gorgeous pieces and designs, you really do need to check them out! Also if you would like to shop this post, then you can do so below... go go go!

Shop this post:


Lovely Little Lingerie with B.tempt'd


Pretty lingerie is something all girls need in their life, am I right? I mean, I know that I love a good pair of comfy granny knickers, but nothing gives you that boost of confidence like slipping on some sexy lingerie and dancing round to a bit of Bruno Mars (okay, that might only be something that I do, but you get what I'm trying to say).

A brand that I've collaborated with in the past and was so so impressed by was B.tempt'd. They sent me some lovely pieces a few months back and I just instantly fell in love - they're still some of my favourites to wear today. Lucky for me, they're so bloomin lovely that they kindly sent me this gorgeous set the day too.   



This is the Ciao Bella Wineberry Bralette and Tanga Brief. Now, this isn't usually a colour I'd opt for in underwear - I usually like to wear black or more neutral colours, however I was definitely willing to give these a try considering the lovely designs.

The bralette is my favourite. It has gorgeous lace and delicate bow detailing with a scalloped edge which I really like. It's so super comfortable, which is something that is sooo important to me when it comes to a bra and yet, it's also super supportive.

The briefs are so sexy and feminine - they're a little less comfy than the bralette, but sometimes style is pain (or just constantly feeling like you have a wedgie (seriously, I'm all about comfy knickers) hahaha). Again, these are made from a gorgeous floral lace with a lovely little bow detail and are semi sheer, making them that little extra bit cheeky.



B.tempt'd honestly have some of the most gorgeous pieces and designs, you really do need to check them out! Also if you would like to shop this post, then you can do so below... go go go!

Shop this post:





I finally feel free. I never thought I'd say that. I never thought I'd have a day again where my brain wouldn't force me to do certain things at certain times or to feel a certain way, or to be overcome by panic or fear because of something so minor, other people would think I was mad. I just never thought it was going to happen.

I'm an incredibly strong person, I know that. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to have weaknesses and boy oh boy, do I have a bunch of them.

Now, I know I talk a hell of a lot about Mental Health and the things I'm going through. I've touched on Eating Disorders and talked a vast amount about Depression and Anxiety, but one of the illnesses I suffer from, that I tend to keep incredibly quiet, is OCD.

OCD is something that I never imagined that I would be dealing with. For years I just thought OCD meant that you wanted to frantically clean your apartment from top to bottom, six times over, like Monica off friends or something. Dear God, was I wrong. OCD is one of the most horrific and consuming mental illnesses and has caused me so so much change in my life and the people's lives who are around me. Don't get me wrong, all of my illness combined have obviously been a huge source of my problems, but OCD is definitely one of the ones which likes to lead it all.



Let me take you back to about the middle of 2014, which is where I would say this all began.

I've always been a very organised person. I've always been very punctual and hated being late or even 'just on time'. I like to be early and ready for things.

I remember that I was in my last year of high school, so Year 11 is what we call it here in the UK. I would come home from school, get changed, watch TV etc etc, just like any other teenager I guess. But when I started to develop my eating disorders, that's when the routine began to become obsessive and things began to get out of control (or into the control of my mental illnesses if you like). I began rushing my way home, speed walking so that I would get back to my house before 3:30pm. I'd began to focus entirely on the clock and for some reason, I will never know why, specific times of day began to become more and more increasingly important to me. Anyway, considering it takes me about 20 minutes to walk to the high school, this was pretty optimistic. I only got to leave the class room at 3:00pm, before having to battle through a sea of teenagers and make a long winded journey to my locker on the other side of the school. I'd often get filled with panic if it reached 3:15pm and I was still about a ten minute walk from home. My heart would race and I'd feel overwhelmingly anxious, wanting the people I was walking with to hurry up, but also trying not to let them see the panic inside of me.

The reason I would rush home is because I'd instantly get through the door and I'd began dedicating that time after school to exercising. Of course, this made sense, because I was slowly but surely becoming Anorexic. I wanted to fit in as much exercise as I could before 4:30pm (the time in which my brain told me that 'the time for exercise' was up), which is when I'd then sit and watch an episode of my favourite programme, Friends. Yes, I'd become so obsessed with this routine that I even dedicated time for a TV programme.

In my house, my Mum would usually cook our tea before my Dad got home from work later in the evening, so that she could get us fed and everything before he got back. I'd been used to eating my tea (dinner, what ever you want to call it... I call it tea haha) at around 5/5:30pm all of my life and so, as you can probably guess, I'd then dedicated that time after watching an episode of Friends, to eating food. However, I'd only allow myself to begin eating at 5:00pm on the dot. Not a moment before, not a moment after, it had to be 5:00pm. I'd often begin to panic if I missed the 5:00pm mark and it was suddenly 5:01pm - it felt like the world was going to end.
After eating, I would force myself to sit still, in one place, for at least an hour, because I'd read somewhere on this crazy place we call the internet, that moving after eating made you fat (just FYI, this isn't true in any way). So, I'd sit and sit and sit and I'd barely move a muscle.



This routine went on and on and on, and it gradually began to consume my life more and more and more. I began not letting my Mum cook food for me so that 1. I could control what I was eating (again, that's the Anorexia for you) and 2. I could ensure that I would have the food ready and waiting for me to eat it at 5:00pm on the dot (like I said, I always like to be early and ready for things). Doesn't that sound like fun? lol, nopeeeee, it doesn't, does it?

As the months passed and I left school and headed to College, I began to become more and more unwell. This crazy routine that I'd created for myself after school oh so long ago, had now stemmed into something that consumed my entire day. It consumed every single thought that I had. It made me feel numb.

Gradually, my OCD developed and, of course, so did my Anorexia, my Depression and my Anxiety. They all molded into one big illness that had grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let me go.

I began to make myself to wake up, every day, at 4:30am. This was so that I could drink 4 pint glasses of water and make myself a measly bowl of porridge without any of my family seeing or 'judging' me. I wanted to just be alone and for no one to see all of my weird habits or notice me doing 'disordered' things. (Of course, forcing yourself to wake up at 4:30am is pretty disordered... so I think they noticed haha).

College is something that really caused me to realise what I was dealing with here. I was miles away from home at College, not just a 20 minute walk round the corner from school. I couldn't speed walk home or make it back before 3:30pm. I was still at college at 4:00pm. It caused me to have probably one of the biggest breakdowns I've ever had (and I've had several lol). I'd be trapped on a double decker bus full of students, feeling like I wanted to cry, almost every single day, because more than 90% of the time, that said double decker bus would be stuck in rush hour traffic and my OCD would be screaming at me in my head because this 'sacred routine' of mine was entirely out of sync.

It got to a point where I'd be having panic attacks in the canteen just from thinking about it and I'd be getting my Mum to come and pick me up early so that I could be home in time and not have to go through the trauma. Eventually, I couldn't even bring myself to get on the bus in the morning. The idea of not being in control or able to escape just made me freeze up from fear inside.

It really has become one big blur to me now, but I vividly remember one morning where I broke down after pacing the floor in my bedroom for a good 2 hours, trying to convince myself I'd be okay to get on that bus and go to College and that I could get through it. I couldn't get through it. I could barely convince myself to walk out of my front door, never mind be trapped at college miles away from the comfort of my own home.
I sat on the end of my bed with my Dad and cried. I cried so so hard, and yet it was weird because I still felt absolutely nothing. I felt so in control of my life and yet I was sooooo out of control. I was confused and stressed and constantly anxious. I'd lost any form of freedom that I'd ever had. My brain was filled with numbers. Nothing but numbers and the thought of the next time I would allow myself to eat. That's all I could think about it.



My OCD began with some little routine after school one day that I began to repeat and repeat and repeat and it turned into this huge obsession with time. I wanted to control all the time. I controlled the times I ate, the times I slept; everything in my life had a specific timing. I never realized how free I was before I became consumed by the time that was on the clock.

OCD had such a huge effect on my relationships with people and how I spent my time: I could no longer just spontaneously go out with my friends or have a lie in on the weekends. I had to drop out of college and that meant not seeing my friends every day, and my family had to start accommodating for my controlling habits or else I'd have breakdowns and panic attacks stood in the middle of the kitchen because it was 5:02pm or some stupid other reason. It caused me to drift from my friends, missing out on fun nights and days out and it caused me to lose the time I used to spend with my parents in the morning or in the evening. It caused me to cry and to scream because I wouldn't be home in time to do a specific thing that my brain wanted me to. It became absolute madness. Nothing about my life was 'free' anymore. Everything I did was controlled.


Now this isn't actually a post about me being 'cured from OCD' or something, because to be honest, I think there's always going to be a little part of me that needs that control. That's what mental illnesses can do to you and I'll be frank, it's something that is sooo tough to just be 'cured' from. This post is more about me beginning to let go and take back the freedom that I've not well and truly had for the past 2 years.

Don't get me wrong, I've made soo much progress over the past few years - I honestly don't know how I managed it. I just had to start telling myself that my compulsions were irrational - that my compulsions weren't going to control me and that other people's lives weren't controlled by a clock, so why should mine be? I've made loads of these little changes - things that other people wouldn't even notice - and they've just slowly but surely, made loads of those irrational compulsions disappear. However, there are obviously bigger changes that need to be made to fight those bigger and tougher compulsions.

Since about June this year, I've been contemplating the idea of changing (and by that, I mean bigger, more 'life changing' changes). Because, yes, until recently, I was still waking up at 4:30am and isolating myself an incredible amount from the people I love. I've still been letting OCD stop me from hanging out with my friends or spending time with my family and it's not something I want anymore. I've spent the past 6 months telling myself, 'I'll change tommorow. Tomorrow I'll wake up later. Tomorrow I'll do it.' But, let me tell you guys, it's is f*cking terrifying; change is an absolutely terrifying thing. I kept chickening out. I kept fearing all these irrational things that could happen if I changed things (all completely ridiculous and very unlikely to happen, but you know, I've got a wild imagination)Until, one day, I just really had to say 'fuck it' and I did it. I woke up at 7:00am and I felt sooooooo immensely proud of myself that I cried whilst looking at the clock and just staring at that time, '7:00am' (I never thought I'd write such an emotional sentence about a clock). It felt so amazing to not see the numbers '4:30am' and to not feel compelled to panic. I felt relaxed, free and 'normal' for the first morning in the past 2 years and it was bloomin' wonderful.

This isn't to say that I'm completely free from everything now, and that I don't still like to do somethings at specific times, because I do. It's just become 'routine' to me in my day-to-day life, but for me to break one of the most inconvenient and difficult parts of my OCD, that to me signifies sooo much change and growth.
It's weird because although, yes, I do sometimes feel like I've got to do something at a specific time, I can also tell myself that it's okay not to have done that at that time, or to even do it at all. I am now actually in control of what I do and it feels so good. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and like I'm really finally 'okay' again.

I'm at such an amazing point in my life right now. I feel soooo happy. I feel so content. I feel so free from worry and obsession and it's just amazing. I can't even describe it.

So, let me tell you. If you're suffering from OCD, or any other mental illness for that matter, and right now, you feel consumed and like you can't breathe, please keep going because one day, you're going to have that moment, like I did, where you finally feel like you can take a deep breathe again and like everything is going to be fine.

It's taken a lot of guts for me to write this post. My OCD is something that I honestly feel pretty ashamed of and one of the things that, I feel like, would make people think I'm absolutely insane, but I finally feel okay to open up about it. Yes, you might be reading this and be thinking that I'm a total nut case and you can't comprehend what I went through at all - but that's okay, because someone out there will and that's the whole point.
It's okay to be dealing with things and it's okay to talk about them. I hope that someone out there reads this and it makes them feel a little less like there's no way out or like they're not the only one with some weird ass habits that other people might not get. We're all a little bit irrational sometimes but I just want to show that if you feel like you'll never have a single rational thought again, you will.

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I Feel Free: How I Dealt with OCD




I finally feel free. I never thought I'd say that. I never thought I'd have a day again where my brain wouldn't force me to do certain things at certain times or to feel a certain way, or to be overcome by panic or fear because of something so minor, other people would think I was mad. I just never thought it was going to happen.

I'm an incredibly strong person, I know that. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to have weaknesses and boy oh boy, do I have a bunch of them.

Now, I know I talk a hell of a lot about Mental Health and the things I'm going through. I've touched on Eating Disorders and talked a vast amount about Depression and Anxiety, but one of the illnesses I suffer from, that I tend to keep incredibly quiet, is OCD.

OCD is something that I never imagined that I would be dealing with. For years I just thought OCD meant that you wanted to frantically clean your apartment from top to bottom, six times over, like Monica off friends or something. Dear God, was I wrong. OCD is one of the most horrific and consuming mental illnesses and has caused me so so much change in my life and the people's lives who are around me. Don't get me wrong, all of my illness combined have obviously been a huge source of my problems, but OCD is definitely one of the ones which likes to lead it all.



Let me take you back to about the middle of 2014, which is where I would say this all began.

I've always been a very organised person. I've always been very punctual and hated being late or even 'just on time'. I like to be early and ready for things.

I remember that I was in my last year of high school, so Year 11 is what we call it here in the UK. I would come home from school, get changed, watch TV etc etc, just like any other teenager I guess. But when I started to develop my eating disorders, that's when the routine began to become obsessive and things began to get out of control (or into the control of my mental illnesses if you like). I began rushing my way home, speed walking so that I would get back to my house before 3:30pm. I'd began to focus entirely on the clock and for some reason, I will never know why, specific times of day began to become more and more increasingly important to me. Anyway, considering it takes me about 20 minutes to walk to the high school, this was pretty optimistic. I only got to leave the class room at 3:00pm, before having to battle through a sea of teenagers and make a long winded journey to my locker on the other side of the school. I'd often get filled with panic if it reached 3:15pm and I was still about a ten minute walk from home. My heart would race and I'd feel overwhelmingly anxious, wanting the people I was walking with to hurry up, but also trying not to let them see the panic inside of me.

The reason I would rush home is because I'd instantly get through the door and I'd began dedicating that time after school to exercising. Of course, this made sense, because I was slowly but surely becoming Anorexic. I wanted to fit in as much exercise as I could before 4:30pm (the time in which my brain told me that 'the time for exercise' was up), which is when I'd then sit and watch an episode of my favourite programme, Friends. Yes, I'd become so obsessed with this routine that I even dedicated time for a TV programme.

In my house, my Mum would usually cook our tea before my Dad got home from work later in the evening, so that she could get us fed and everything before he got back. I'd been used to eating my tea (dinner, what ever you want to call it... I call it tea haha) at around 5/5:30pm all of my life and so, as you can probably guess, I'd then dedicated that time after watching an episode of Friends, to eating food. However, I'd only allow myself to begin eating at 5:00pm on the dot. Not a moment before, not a moment after, it had to be 5:00pm. I'd often begin to panic if I missed the 5:00pm mark and it was suddenly 5:01pm - it felt like the world was going to end.
After eating, I would force myself to sit still, in one place, for at least an hour, because I'd read somewhere on this crazy place we call the internet, that moving after eating made you fat (just FYI, this isn't true in any way). So, I'd sit and sit and sit and I'd barely move a muscle.



This routine went on and on and on, and it gradually began to consume my life more and more and more. I began not letting my Mum cook food for me so that 1. I could control what I was eating (again, that's the Anorexia for you) and 2. I could ensure that I would have the food ready and waiting for me to eat it at 5:00pm on the dot (like I said, I always like to be early and ready for things). Doesn't that sound like fun? lol, nopeeeee, it doesn't, does it?

As the months passed and I left school and headed to College, I began to become more and more unwell. This crazy routine that I'd created for myself after school oh so long ago, had now stemmed into something that consumed my entire day. It consumed every single thought that I had. It made me feel numb.

Gradually, my OCD developed and, of course, so did my Anorexia, my Depression and my Anxiety. They all molded into one big illness that had grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let me go.

I began to make myself to wake up, every day, at 4:30am. This was so that I could drink 4 pint glasses of water and make myself a measly bowl of porridge without any of my family seeing or 'judging' me. I wanted to just be alone and for no one to see all of my weird habits or notice me doing 'disordered' things. (Of course, forcing yourself to wake up at 4:30am is pretty disordered... so I think they noticed haha).

College is something that really caused me to realise what I was dealing with here. I was miles away from home at College, not just a 20 minute walk round the corner from school. I couldn't speed walk home or make it back before 3:30pm. I was still at college at 4:00pm. It caused me to have probably one of the biggest breakdowns I've ever had (and I've had several lol). I'd be trapped on a double decker bus full of students, feeling like I wanted to cry, almost every single day, because more than 90% of the time, that said double decker bus would be stuck in rush hour traffic and my OCD would be screaming at me in my head because this 'sacred routine' of mine was entirely out of sync.

It got to a point where I'd be having panic attacks in the canteen just from thinking about it and I'd be getting my Mum to come and pick me up early so that I could be home in time and not have to go through the trauma. Eventually, I couldn't even bring myself to get on the bus in the morning. The idea of not being in control or able to escape just made me freeze up from fear inside.

It really has become one big blur to me now, but I vividly remember one morning where I broke down after pacing the floor in my bedroom for a good 2 hours, trying to convince myself I'd be okay to get on that bus and go to College and that I could get through it. I couldn't get through it. I could barely convince myself to walk out of my front door, never mind be trapped at college miles away from the comfort of my own home.
I sat on the end of my bed with my Dad and cried. I cried so so hard, and yet it was weird because I still felt absolutely nothing. I felt so in control of my life and yet I was sooooo out of control. I was confused and stressed and constantly anxious. I'd lost any form of freedom that I'd ever had. My brain was filled with numbers. Nothing but numbers and the thought of the next time I would allow myself to eat. That's all I could think about it.



My OCD began with some little routine after school one day that I began to repeat and repeat and repeat and it turned into this huge obsession with time. I wanted to control all the time. I controlled the times I ate, the times I slept; everything in my life had a specific timing. I never realized how free I was before I became consumed by the time that was on the clock.

OCD had such a huge effect on my relationships with people and how I spent my time: I could no longer just spontaneously go out with my friends or have a lie in on the weekends. I had to drop out of college and that meant not seeing my friends every day, and my family had to start accommodating for my controlling habits or else I'd have breakdowns and panic attacks stood in the middle of the kitchen because it was 5:02pm or some stupid other reason. It caused me to drift from my friends, missing out on fun nights and days out and it caused me to lose the time I used to spend with my parents in the morning or in the evening. It caused me to cry and to scream because I wouldn't be home in time to do a specific thing that my brain wanted me to. It became absolute madness. Nothing about my life was 'free' anymore. Everything I did was controlled.


Now this isn't actually a post about me being 'cured from OCD' or something, because to be honest, I think there's always going to be a little part of me that needs that control. That's what mental illnesses can do to you and I'll be frank, it's something that is sooo tough to just be 'cured' from. This post is more about me beginning to let go and take back the freedom that I've not well and truly had for the past 2 years.

Don't get me wrong, I've made soo much progress over the past few years - I honestly don't know how I managed it. I just had to start telling myself that my compulsions were irrational - that my compulsions weren't going to control me and that other people's lives weren't controlled by a clock, so why should mine be? I've made loads of these little changes - things that other people wouldn't even notice - and they've just slowly but surely, made loads of those irrational compulsions disappear. However, there are obviously bigger changes that need to be made to fight those bigger and tougher compulsions.

Since about June this year, I've been contemplating the idea of changing (and by that, I mean bigger, more 'life changing' changes). Because, yes, until recently, I was still waking up at 4:30am and isolating myself an incredible amount from the people I love. I've still been letting OCD stop me from hanging out with my friends or spending time with my family and it's not something I want anymore. I've spent the past 6 months telling myself, 'I'll change tommorow. Tomorrow I'll wake up later. Tomorrow I'll do it.' But, let me tell you guys, it's is f*cking terrifying; change is an absolutely terrifying thing. I kept chickening out. I kept fearing all these irrational things that could happen if I changed things (all completely ridiculous and very unlikely to happen, but you know, I've got a wild imagination)Until, one day, I just really had to say 'fuck it' and I did it. I woke up at 7:00am and I felt sooooooo immensely proud of myself that I cried whilst looking at the clock and just staring at that time, '7:00am' (I never thought I'd write such an emotional sentence about a clock). It felt so amazing to not see the numbers '4:30am' and to not feel compelled to panic. I felt relaxed, free and 'normal' for the first morning in the past 2 years and it was bloomin' wonderful.

This isn't to say that I'm completely free from everything now, and that I don't still like to do somethings at specific times, because I do. It's just become 'routine' to me in my day-to-day life, but for me to break one of the most inconvenient and difficult parts of my OCD, that to me signifies sooo much change and growth.
It's weird because although, yes, I do sometimes feel like I've got to do something at a specific time, I can also tell myself that it's okay not to have done that at that time, or to even do it at all. I am now actually in control of what I do and it feels so good. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and like I'm really finally 'okay' again.

I'm at such an amazing point in my life right now. I feel soooo happy. I feel so content. I feel so free from worry and obsession and it's just amazing. I can't even describe it.

So, let me tell you. If you're suffering from OCD, or any other mental illness for that matter, and right now, you feel consumed and like you can't breathe, please keep going because one day, you're going to have that moment, like I did, where you finally feel like you can take a deep breathe again and like everything is going to be fine.

It's taken a lot of guts for me to write this post. My OCD is something that I honestly feel pretty ashamed of and one of the things that, I feel like, would make people think I'm absolutely insane, but I finally feel okay to open up about it. Yes, you might be reading this and be thinking that I'm a total nut case and you can't comprehend what I went through at all - but that's okay, because someone out there will and that's the whole point.
It's okay to be dealing with things and it's okay to talk about them. I hope that someone out there reads this and it makes them feel a little less like there's no way out or like they're not the only one with some weird ass habits that other people might not get. We're all a little bit irrational sometimes but I just want to show that if you feel like you'll never have a single rational thought again, you will.

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I'm always on the hunt for inspiration. I'm always looking to feel that spark of creativity to light up inside of me. I often get asked what exactly it is that inspires me to write about the things that I do or, how exactly do I get inspired? Well, today I'll fill you in a little bit.

1. IT'S ALL IN THE EYES

(This kind of covers all of the other points that I'm going to make in this post, but oh well...) 
Yep, these little baby blues of mine do a looooot of seeing, observing, learning and all that jazz. Without seeing and experiencing things (lol I feel like Kylie Jenner), I would be very much lacking in inspiration for my blog. 

You guys know that I like the write about my life, my experiences and my opinions. I often see things or will be going through something and that's when inspiration will hit. I might find myself looking at an old photo or see someone tweet something that reminds me of how I've felt before, and that's what will make me think 'today, I'm going to write about this....'. Sometimes, it might just even be the fact that I've cried about something or I've seen someone smile so big that it's filled me entirely with joy, and I'll just get the urge to write, to document and to remind people that it's okay to feel a mixture of emotions or to be going through something. 

Inspiration is literally everywhere and I always get this excited feeling when I come up with something to write about. My eyes draw in on things and it's like *BAM* and I've gotten all inspired!


2. EMOTIONS

A lot of my writing comes from the emotions I'll be feeling in that moment. For example, if I'm feeling a bit down and crappy, I'll most likely decide to write something surrounding the topic of Depression or Anxiety. Whereas, if I'm in a tip top mood, I'll probably write some mushy, emotional post about how proud I am of myself or something haha. It really does depend how positively or negatively I'm feeling. 

I like to write very openly about emotions because I used to be so ashamed of my own feelings. Nowadays I just write how I feel, how I think and what I'm going through because you'll realise, we're all going through similar stuff and feeling similar things - it's good to not feel alone.



3. LIFE 

Without a load of crappy things happening to me in my life, my blog wouldn't even exist. Nowadays, the majority of my blog posts are written in reflection on my life experiences and the things I'm going through. I want to write content that's encouraging, helpful and inspiring. I want people to come away and feel like they've understood something new or finally feel like they're not so alone. I just want to use my life experiences to help other people... that's kind of it (with a splash of fashion thrown into the mix at the same time haha).


4. FASHION

Of course, this blog relies a lot on the fact that I love fashion. Without being inspired by fashion and clothes, it would be very difficult to call this a 'Fashion & Lifestyle Blog' wouldn't it? haha. I'm inspired by fashion 100% of the time anyway, but I love documenting it all here on my blog. It's incredible to see my style evolving and what trends I'm loving at a certain time in my life. I find that even putting an outfit together can cause me to want to write about a specific Mental Health topic or something. Like I said earlier, there's inspiration everywhere.

I'm also always very inspired by some of the fabulous brands I get to work with and the gorgeous pieces they send me. For example, here we have this lovely little dress from Jarlo London! This is the Juliet in Blue and it's so so gorgeous. It's not a dress that I'd usually grab for, but I love trying out something new and the bardot neckline and fishtail style just screamed 'Holly choose me!'

I do have to say, you definitely need boobs to wear this dress... I had to stuff my bra with tissue paper to stop myself from flashing my neighbors whilst shooting this outfit haha, but other than that it was a perfect fit and super figure flattering! The lace detail all over just makes the dress feel that little more special and the skirt at the bottom is just so beautiful - I love it!
It's beautiful pieces like this that I can just take so much inspiration from. I could have written a post about 'trying something out of your comfort zone' or 'why it's okay to stuff your bra' hahaha!

Anyway, hopefully you found this post insightful or helpful in someway - I'd love to know how you get inspired, let me know down in the comments!

You can shop this look here:


Baby Blues with Jarlo London


I'm always on the hunt for inspiration. I'm always looking to feel that spark of creativity to light up inside of me. I often get asked what exactly it is that inspires me to write about the things that I do or, how exactly do I get inspired? Well, today I'll fill you in a little bit.

1. IT'S ALL IN THE EYES

(This kind of covers all of the other points that I'm going to make in this post, but oh well...) 
Yep, these little baby blues of mine do a looooot of seeing, observing, learning and all that jazz. Without seeing and experiencing things (lol I feel like Kylie Jenner), I would be very much lacking in inspiration for my blog. 

You guys know that I like the write about my life, my experiences and my opinions. I often see things or will be going through something and that's when inspiration will hit. I might find myself looking at an old photo or see someone tweet something that reminds me of how I've felt before, and that's what will make me think 'today, I'm going to write about this....'. Sometimes, it might just even be the fact that I've cried about something or I've seen someone smile so big that it's filled me entirely with joy, and I'll just get the urge to write, to document and to remind people that it's okay to feel a mixture of emotions or to be going through something. 

Inspiration is literally everywhere and I always get this excited feeling when I come up with something to write about. My eyes draw in on things and it's like *BAM* and I've gotten all inspired!


2. EMOTIONS

A lot of my writing comes from the emotions I'll be feeling in that moment. For example, if I'm feeling a bit down and crappy, I'll most likely decide to write something surrounding the topic of Depression or Anxiety. Whereas, if I'm in a tip top mood, I'll probably write some mushy, emotional post about how proud I am of myself or something haha. It really does depend how positively or negatively I'm feeling. 

I like to write very openly about emotions because I used to be so ashamed of my own feelings. Nowadays I just write how I feel, how I think and what I'm going through because you'll realise, we're all going through similar stuff and feeling similar things - it's good to not feel alone.



3. LIFE 

Without a load of crappy things happening to me in my life, my blog wouldn't even exist. Nowadays, the majority of my blog posts are written in reflection on my life experiences and the things I'm going through. I want to write content that's encouraging, helpful and inspiring. I want people to come away and feel like they've understood something new or finally feel like they're not so alone. I just want to use my life experiences to help other people... that's kind of it (with a splash of fashion thrown into the mix at the same time haha).


4. FASHION

Of course, this blog relies a lot on the fact that I love fashion. Without being inspired by fashion and clothes, it would be very difficult to call this a 'Fashion & Lifestyle Blog' wouldn't it? haha. I'm inspired by fashion 100% of the time anyway, but I love documenting it all here on my blog. It's incredible to see my style evolving and what trends I'm loving at a certain time in my life. I find that even putting an outfit together can cause me to want to write about a specific Mental Health topic or something. Like I said earlier, there's inspiration everywhere.

I'm also always very inspired by some of the fabulous brands I get to work with and the gorgeous pieces they send me. For example, here we have this lovely little dress from Jarlo London! This is the Juliet in Blue and it's so so gorgeous. It's not a dress that I'd usually grab for, but I love trying out something new and the bardot neckline and fishtail style just screamed 'Holly choose me!'

I do have to say, you definitely need boobs to wear this dress... I had to stuff my bra with tissue paper to stop myself from flashing my neighbors whilst shooting this outfit haha, but other than that it was a perfect fit and super figure flattering! The lace detail all over just makes the dress feel that little more special and the skirt at the bottom is just so beautiful - I love it!
It's beautiful pieces like this that I can just take so much inspiration from. I could have written a post about 'trying something out of your comfort zone' or 'why it's okay to stuff your bra' hahaha!

Anyway, hopefully you found this post insightful or helpful in someway - I'd love to know how you get inspired, let me know down in the comments!

You can shop this look here:


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