meganatkinsonslife

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All I Want For Christmas Is…

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Blogosphere Subscription // I Can Do This Blog Planner // Little Miss Blogger Mug // Girlboss Workbook // Shower Cap // Dressing Gown // Loungewear Set // PINK Sherpa Quarter Zip // Silk Pillow // Diptyque Candle

HAPPY DECEMBER EVERYBODY! I’m sure you’re all as excited as I am about the first day of Blogmas, I’m so happy I’ll have new posts to read everyday whilst I snuggle up with my tree lights on! To start the month off, I thought I’d share with you whats on my list this year and hopefully get you into the festive spirit.

This year I finally gave blogging a proper go and found Blogosphere magazine to be SO helpful, which is why I’ve asked for a subscription for Christmas. I love the thought of receiving a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year and its something I can genuinely put to good use and enjoy, rather than throw away during a February spring clean. Plus, for just £30 you get four very high quality magazines, which means if you’re a fellow blogger stuck to what to ask for, its perfect to mention to your family to avoid those gift cards you probably don’t want and won’t use!

Another useful gift I’ve asked for its the ‘I Can Do This’ blog planner from Dot Creates, which includes pages to plan blog posts and YouTube videos as well as social media trackers, perfect for planning and organising all of my content in one place. I’ve never had a dedicated blog planner before so needless to say if I find this under my tree on Christmas Day I’ll be very excited!

To round off the blog themed gifts I’ve asked for, I’ve included the ‘Little Miss Blogger’ mug on my list. It’ll serve as a great blog prop and I’ll feel like an official blogger when I’m scrolling through Pinterest drinking my tea in it!

Fourth on my list is the Girlboss Workbook which I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on since I listened to the original Girlboss book! The workbook is like a wreck this journal for women who want to get sh*t done and includes everything from a CV template to advice on disarming people. Its also only £7.99, meaning its not a huge thing to ask for from family members or friends but its very useful and productive.

One thing I’ve been needing for months now is a shower cap and when I saw this cupcake one I couldn’t resist putting it on my list. Its a novelty gift but practical at the same time, and at just £5 its perfect to ask for or give as a stocking filler.

Moving from productivity to comfort, next on my list is this grey dressing gown from Topshop, the same one I’ve received for the last two christmases. Its one of the softest things I’ve ever worn but by August I’ve worn it so much its no longer like being in a fleecy cocoon, so I’m really hoping I receive another one this Christmas!

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Another gift I’ve asked for from Topshop is this set of ‘supersoft lounge wear’. I’ve also received this before but in a different print and a year later they’re still one of the best pairs of pyjamas I own. They’re slightly on the pricey side but they’re really high quality, and if you’re like me and spend 80% of your life in pjs you’ll definitely get a lot of ware out of them.

Incase it isn’t clear to anyone how much I LOVE comfy clothes, I’ve included this PINK Sherpa Quarter Zip on my list. Getting anything from Victoria’s Secret always feels like a luxury and I can’t quite justify the £75 price tag for this unless its a special occasion like Christmas, so I’m hoping the big mans feeling generous this year!

The next thing I’ve asked for is a silk pillow case which is also a bit of a luxury. Having suffered with bad skin for years I’m intrigued as to whether this will actually make a lot of difference, and if it doesn’t, getting out of a bath and resting my head on silk will definitely add a little something extra to my pamper nights.

Finally on my list is a Diptyque candle. After watching SunBeamJess talk about them all the time in her videos, I’ve been wanting to add a touch of luxury to my ever growing candle collection. At £25, the candle would be such a special gift to receive and would definitely be saved for special occasions!

That concludes my Christmas wish list for this year! I’d love to know what you’re asking for, is it anything included in this post? Let me know in the comments below! Megan x

 

October- The Month Of Self Care

Welcome to my fourth gap year update! October is by far my favourite month of the year and this one was a good one.

Week 1

I went into October feeling really positive, I channeled my new year vibes and convinced myself October was going to be much better than September and that it was a fresh start, and I was right. I started the best month of the year by watching this seasons first episode of  ‘Saturday Night Live’, albeit not live from my living room…on a Sunday morning. Even so, it gave me the autumnal vibes I needed and I feel SO content now knowing I have new Kate McKinnon videos to look forward to every Sunday. Things also picked up for me job wise during the first week of the month and I got a trial at a local coffee shop. I went for six and a half hours expecting to serve old people cake and coffee and instead was put in a room with fluorescent lighting and told to load and unload a dishwasher for the entire thing (thats a lie, I also took the bins out, what a treat). After being to scared to reject the job offer when the manager asked me infront of everyone else whether I wanted to work there, I went home, cried and text her saying I wouldn’t be taking the job. I know you have to start somewhere and it may sound like I’m scared of hard work, but I value my time and mental health more than washing dishes for minimum wage. I promised myself and my parents that I’d get a job by the end of the month, and after rejecting the job offer at the cafe, I was given three job interviews in one day. All three were for retail stores, the first being a telephone interview, the second a face to face interview and trial and the third a group interview. They all went well but I had one in mind that I really wanted but didn’t think I’d get because of my lack of experience. Two days after the interview, I was offered the position and I couldn’t be happier. I was even offered more interviews, so after feeling hopeless and applying for over 150 jobs without hearing anything back but rejections, I got six interviews and a job offer in one week. On the same day I was offered the job, I started a film academy. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and as I mentioned in my last gap year update I am not one for drama lessons or drama games, so when the course leader announced we’d be playing ‘shuffle monster’ I wanted to walk right back out and never come back. I didn’t though, I decided it was at least worth giving it a try for a day and I actually came out with some really good ideas and the confidence to talk to new people.

 

Week 2

The second week of the month was a lot more productive. I made the spontaneous decision to have a bath, which won’t sound like a big deal to some, but I’m a shower person so to sit in a candle lit bath for an hour listening to an audio book was an absolute treat. I made my way through the audio version of ‘Girlboss’ which gave me SO much motivation after having none at all during September. After finishing the book I was more than ready to get my sh*t together and started the ‘Simplify Your Life Challenge’ which was one of my main goals for the month. The main aim of the challenge is to have a decluttered, organised environment and mind which will allow you to be more productive. The challenge was made by Michelle from ‘muchelleb’ who I’ve become absolutely obsessed with recently, who also runs a self development themed book club I’ve decided to join. The combination of taking some self care time, taking motivation from others and doing practical things to take back control of my life meant that by mid October I was back on track and out of my September rut and to top it all of, I had an interview to work at a summer camp in America next year!

Week 3

The highlight of week three was going to see Mamma Mia the musical at Sunderland, I’ve mentioned before how much I love going to the theatre so to be able to spend another night there with my family was lovely! Things did start going a little bit downhill this week though, I slowly started losing motivation and still hadn’t made any progress with my blog or YouTube channel, but I was making time for self care and more baths which is always a good thing!

Week 4

The majority of the last week of the month was spent at the film academy I’m going to, which meant I was travelling back and fourth a lot and didn’t get much else done. By this point, the minimalism challenge had gone out of the window half way through and I wasn’t making much progress with anything else either. The month was of course finished off with Halloween though, which I’ve realised is a night much better spent inside giving out treats than walking in the cold singing to get them.

Overall Feelings On The Month

October has probably been the most positive, productive month since I started these updates in July; it was the spooky season, I got a job, started a film academy, focused on self development and made more time for self care. Although I lost motivation towards the end of the month, I’m taking as much of October’s positivity as I can into November!

Social Media Goals

Just like last month, no social media goals were set for October. I haven’t been doing any blogging or YouTube so there was no way anything was going to grow, but I’m going to try my best to get back on track next month.

Last Months Goals

I’m SO glad to say last month’s goal of ‘Finish America photo diaries’ has FINALLY been ticked off. I went to America in March and these posts have been hanging over me ever since and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to finally have work up that I’m proud of as well as memories of my time spent in the USA.

As I said, I got half way through the ‘Thirty day simplify your life challenge’ so I didn’t quite reach this goal, but I am proud of myself for getting through the physical decluttering and I’m sure at some point in the near future I’ll dedicate a couple of hours in bed with a cup of tea to get through the mental decluttering part.

I’m also very pleased to say that my third goal for October, ‘Get a job’ has been achieved. I got a Christmas position I’m really happy with and I’m glad my life has some structure again.

Next Months Goals

-Put in as many hours at work as I can

-Post to my blog and YouTube once a week

-Start my new year planning

Hope you enjoyed another update on my gap year! What was your biggest achievement of October? Leave a comment and let me know! Megan x

September- The Month Of Uncertainty

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 22.41.07.pngAnother month of my gap year is over and not much progress has been made. I’ll warn you, this isn’t going to be a very positive post because this month I completely lost interest in everything. I haven’t done anything special or productive and I’ve pretty much felt uncertain and lost for the whole of September, but I’m going to document it anyway, because I want to be able to look back on an honest account of my gap year in the future.

Week One

Week one was pretty bleak. My motivation was low and I didn’t really have a purpose to get out of bed since I was unemployed and uninterested in my blog. I’d been applying to tons of jobs and got rejected from all of them and I was losing hope of ever getting one. A YouTuber that I’ve been watching for a while now is ‘muchelleb’, who has a channel dedicated to living your life intentionally. In one of her videos she mentioned the importance of positive affirmations and since I’d been playing with the law of attraction concept during August I decided to give affirmations a go, and I can confidently say…they.are.LIFE CHANGING! For the whole month I’ve been sitting down regularly to make statements that make me feel secure, such as ‘I am making small improvements to my life every day’ and ‘I am making a conscious effort to look after my physical and mental health’, and combined them with ‘brain dump’ journaling, which really helped pull me out of week one’s rut.

Week Two

Week two was pretty much the same, applying to jobs, getting rejected, not making an effort with my blog, getting stressed because I wasn’t making an effort with my blog…you get the idea. Throughout the week I continued journaling and writing positive affirmations and had a night at the theatre to look forward to. My family and I had booked tickets to see ‘The Addams Family’ musical in Sheffield, in which Carrie Hope Fletcher was playing ‘Wednesday’. I’d been watching Carrie’s ‘Watch Me Wednesdays’ for months leading up to my show date, so needless to say when I arrived at the theatre and found out she had to drop out of both performances on the day I was going, I was devastated. Don’t get me wrong I know she couldn’t help it and it was an amazing performance regardless, but it was just upsetting that the one thing I was looking forward to during two very bleak weeks wasn’t what I expected.

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Week Three

Two of my friends and I went to see the ‘Kingsman’ double bill release day midnight showing during week three, which really picked my mood up.

IMG_3050.JPG.jpgSince we were going to be watching four hours worth of film I went all out and baked Kingsman cupcakes and brought a blanket and slippers to the cinema and had an amazing night. Then I did something ridiculous. Anyone that knows me on a personal level will know that I’m incredibly introverted and shy. Drama lessons at school were my absolute worst nightmare, but for some reason last year I had the urge to take them again. I never actually took one and the need drifted away after a while when I accepted acting wasn’t for me. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for my brain to move on and during week three of September I convinced myself that acting lessons were exactly what I needed to overcome my shyness. After watching a ‘muchelleb’ video recommending you do something completely weird and random to get yourself out of a rut (which is still excellent advice that I’m trying to take), I booked in for a trial session at a local drama club and even started watching videos on how to get into drama school (I jumped the gun there, clearly). When it came to the night before the lesson I was up until 2.30am worrying and ended up emailing the teacher to cancel so I had enough peace of mind to go to sleep. I decided anything that causes me that amount of stress just isn’t something worth doing, and I think I’ve finally realised I’m better behind the camera than infront of it. I don’t regret booking the lesson because at least I proved to myself I had the nerve to push myself that far out of my comfort zone, but it definitely caused my mood to plummet right back down for a while which wasn’t great.

Week Four

By week four I still hadn’t got a job or even an interview, but I did receive a call to tell me I’d gained a place on the ‘British Film Institute Film Academy’ for 15-19 year olds, which was an opportunity I’d worked really hard to get during the application process. Although the programme is only one day a week and I still didn’t have a paid job, it gave me a sense of purpose going into October. It was also annual conkering day during week four which well and truly put me in the mood for pumpkin spiced lattes and mustard coloured everything!

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Social Media Goals

I literally have nothing to put in this section because I was so disinterested in my blog and Youtube during September I didn’t even bother to write posts never mind promote them and grow my other sites. I’m currently working on implementing the 80/20 principal into my social media and quite honestly at this point I’m considering leaving Instagram all together and focusing on the growth of my other platforms. Hopefully when I get my blogging motivation back the same will return for my social medias. Until then I’m just going to give myself the break I need and stop focusing on numbers.

Overall Feelings On The Month

September was an uncertain month. My moods went up and down and I didn’t really achieve anything, but everyone has uncertain periods in their life and ultimately I’ll get where I need to be, I just need to make next month better than this one.

Last Months Goals

-Bulk write, edit, photograph and promote posts

-Be at least a week ahead with posts and videos at all times

-Book my first solo trip

Needless to say, all of these goals failed miserably. I feel like I’ve failed every goal I’ve set in all three of my gap year update posts so far. I am working on it though, everyday I’m adding small strategies to my life to become a more motivated, productive person so I just have to accept that self improvement is a slow journey and I’ll get there eventually.

Next Months Goals

-Finish my America photo diaries

-Complete the ‘thirty day simplify your life challenge’

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-Get a job

Sorry if this post was a bit rambly and negative! I promise October will be more positive and productive! P.S How was September for you? Did you achieve everything you set out to? Megan x

 

What I Learned From My Social Media Detox

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 14.11.49.pngSocial media can be toxic. Don’t get me wrong, making autumn Pinterest boards and stalking people’s Instagram feeds can be fun, but when you’re being fed a constant stream of negative political news, it can get pretty overwhelming. Over the last six months or so, I’ve got WAY better at limiting my social media usage; I NEVER procrastinate by mindlessly scrolling down my twitter feed anymore and most weekends I delete all my social media apps and take a break. Recently, I went on holiday with my family and had a five day social media detox…and I didn’t miss the internet one bit. I paid attention to real life, enjoyed my surroundings and didn’t worry about tweeting to let everyone know about it.

My break from social media was partly prompted by Copper Garden’s post about losing her phone at sea, and Hannah Witton’s video about her break from the digital world. Both detoxes had positive results, so I decided it was about time to have one myself. I will point out that I did actually use my phone throughout the week for music and downloaded Netflix shows, but even though my apartment had wifi, I was not once tempted to use it. In fact, I liked being disconnected from the internet so much that when I turned my phone off aeroplane mode out of habit, I switched it straight back on. It sounds weird to say, but I actually became scared of notifications; I didn’t want any messages to come through because that meant I had the job of replying to them, and if I didn’t, it would constantly be in the back of my mind.

Bare with my metaphor here, but being away from social media made my life feel like a full glass of 100% pure orange juice. Whatever I was doing I was 100% focused on experiencing and enjoying it, and now I realise that life with social media is like a glass of cordial; Its diluted and you’re never really focused on one thing if you’re checking your phone every five minutes. My social media detox taught me a valuable lesson; if I want a better quality of life, I need to make sure I designate time to certain activities so everything I do feels like 100% fresh orange juice. If I’m watching TV, I’m paying attention to the storyline, not having it on in the background whilst checking twitter. If I’m writing blog posts, I’m putting all of my energy into them, not writing a few sentences then checking YouTube. If I’m checking social media, I’m catching up on the people worth paying attention to and the content I’m actually interested in. Nothings getting diluted anymore.

I’d recommend taking a social media detox to anyone, whether you’re on holiday or not, its nice to take a break from the sometimes overwhelming digital world. Megan x

P.S Have any of you taken a social media detox before? If so, did it impact you positively? Leave a comment and let me know!

P.P.S I have nothing against actual cordial juice. I drink it more than fresh orange juice, but lets just appreciate the metaphor.