Tuesday 27 February 2018 - the day that most of England has found itself absolutely blanketed with snow and also the day that I turn 25 years old. Yes, that's right, I'm officially halfway to 50 (yay) and whilst deep down I know that I'm not actually that old, I do feel as though I've learnt a number of valuable life lessons along the way. 25 of which I'm going to share with you in this post.

  1. Take care of yourself. Look after your mental and physical well-being, take time to properly rest when you feel exhausted so as not to burn yourself out.
  2. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you're too ambitious. Dream big and work hard!
  3. Your best friend as a teen won't necessarily be your best friend or even in your life by 25 and that's perfectly ok.
  4. Be true to yourself - don't allow the lives of others dictate the way in which you live yours.

5. Learn to love yourself. I touched on this in my previous post, but if you don't love yourself first then nobody else will ever truly be able to.
6. Say yes to activities and be adventurous. As much as a Netflix day is a good idea, you don't want to look back on life with multiple binge-watching sessions of Gilmore Girls being your only memory (even though it's a bloody great show and I'm very much #TeamLogan).
7. Travel, do a lot of travelling and you don't even need to go abroad to do so.
8. Sometimes you need to cry for no reason - let it out.
9. Always listen to your intuition.


10. Being a young woman in the workplace isn't an easy ride, but don't let anybody hold you back. You have just as much of a right to be there as your male colleagues. So take that seat at the table, lead the project, own the presentations and network whenever you can. Don't be scared to speak up if something isn't right and equally, speak up if you've done commendable work - don't be afraid to be a boss.
11. Read 'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg.
12. Education doesn't stop as soon as you leave school or graduate.
13. Take an active interest in politics and exercise your right to vote.
14. Learn to make your own decisions.
15. Tomorrow isn't promised. Stop putting things off and taking life for granted.


16. Embrace diversity. There are so many people from all walks of life, there are so many different places, different cultures and ways of life - celebrate them and embrace them, you'll be surprised by how much you learn in doing so.
17. Don't make excuses for people not pulling their weight. 
18. Fxck-boys are a part of growing up as a young woman, but don't let them define you. You are enough and one day you'll find someone who sees that loves you for who you are.
19. Body insecurities are still there at 25 but make sure you work to overcome them in a healthy manner. Don't repeat the same mistakes you made as a teen... don't starve yourself, be wise and learn the importance of a balanced diet/lifestyle.
20. Don't allow bad experiences with those girls deter you from forging females friendships again. Having strong, like-minded female friends is vital... build that sisterhood.


21. Know when it's time to have that last glass. The older you get, the dirtier the hangover.
22. Be there for your friends. Pick up the phone, ring/text.. heck, even tag them in a meme (such millennials), just let them know that you're thinking about them. 
23. Quit the job. If it isn't giving you the valuable experience that you need or if it's making you utterly miserable - quit and go after what you really want career-wise.
24. It's only skin. Problematic skin is a pain (quite literally), but invest in good skin care and eat well... that's really all that you can do. At the end of it all, there are bigger hurdles to get over in life.
25. There is hope and light at the end of that very dark and long tunnel, just wait it out.

LF
x

Photography by Stacey White


Feb 14 can only mean one thing, Valentine's Day. Ah yes, after a full month of having red and pink hearts, roses and chocolates shoved in our faces at every turn - everyone's favourite Hallmark celebration is upon us once more. It's an occasion that leaves many divided and as somebody who has been in a relationship for 5 years now, it's just not a day that really appeals to me as it doesn't make a difference.

Sure it's great to make time for the one/s that you love and to do something special for and with them, but it's important to state that being in a relationship does not necessarily equate to happiness. If you cannot make yourself happy, nobody else will ever be fully able to and this is something that I've learnt (and still learning) as I get more independent and older.


I've been rather open in previous posts about my mental health and certain insecurities of mine, and being in a long-term relationship doesn't automatically equate to sustained happiness over that period of time. Relationships are not easy and they're very rarely the images of grinning couples totally and utterly besotted with each other that social media will lead us to believe. As previously mentioned, the biggest lesson in love is learning how to love yourself - so today, whether you're in a relationship or not, take the time to be kind to yourself and do whatever makes you feel good.

Funnily, I booked today off work without realising the significance of the date and people automatically assumed that I was taking it off to embrace the love of Feb 14. The reality is that the last month or so has left me feeling insecure, unloving towards myself and very deflated. We all succumb to negative patterns of over thinking and whilst in the midst of that, we can very easily forget to love others because there's we aren't loving ourselves. Dangerously at risk of burning myself out, I took today off to relax, attempt to unwind and slowly learn to be comfortable with my own company - and I encourage you to do the same if you can resonate with these words.


Self-love is the most important love we will ever experience...

Valentine's Day is all perspective in my opinion and I really believe that if there is an abundance of self-love and appreciation, then days like today will be easier to embrace and enjoy - no matter how you want to celebrate (if at all).
So Happy Valentine's to you all, remember the importance doing whatever makes you feel your best and give yourself extra love today and always.

LF
x

Photography by Stacey White

As a blogger and millennial, you would expect me to love social media and all that it has to offer.
It connects me with brands and fellow content creators. On a personal level, it enables me to connect with friends and family around the world - but all that aside, I've grown to hate it.
Sure hate is a strong word, but over the last few months, I have become completely disillusioned with social media.

When I first started blogging I quickly realised that I needed to up my social media game and at first it was great, I tried really hard to make some platforms purely professional and manage to keep others quite personal. However, I soon found myself falling into an awful routine.
Wake-up: check Instagram and Facebook
On the morning commute: check Instagram
At my work desk: check Instagram
During lunch: check Instagram
On the evening commute: check Instagram
During the evening: spend most of it until I would sleep checking Instagram
Wake-up during the night: check Instagram
Even whilst sleeping, I would be thinking about Instagram and whether or not my numbers had gone down. Worrying about whether or not people had liked my photos. It had become an addiction and one that needed kicking to the curb!


My addiction/obsession left me feeling completely uninspired. I struggled to write, struggled to take photos, struggled with my creative thinking and held no desire to share my life with others online. 
I began to compare myself with other content creators and every image that I scrolled past would fill me with dread because I had fully convinced myself that my content was sub-par and not worthy of being seen. I felt like a fraud, I would have friends/family and friendly strangers telling me that I was "doing so well" and that my feed looked "really good," when in reality I just didn't see what they were seeing and I was forcing myself to keep up with the Joneses in order to be accepted in the online sphere.

I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation I was in, to take time out and realise why I started blogging in the first place. I loved writing and creating but this was sucked out of me with every new algorithm that was introduced, every new requirement that was needed to be noticed and every new creator that would appear on my feed.


I deleted all the social media apps on my phone and even went to the extent of blocking such sites, just in case I had the urge to check them within my browser. It was difficult at first, but as time went on I started immersing myself back into the real world, I wasn't concerned about posting my every move or any new life event online. In terms of creativity, I was actually able to have a clear head and think of ideas without comparing them to anything and anyone else's. I allowed myself to be vulnerable again with being a creator and really went back to basics (and by that I mean the days before social media took over).

I'm glad that I took the time out needed, it has been very beneficial and now I'm determined to post what I want and when I want. The obsession with posting at a particular time in order to get the most likes and comments is a thing of the past - I just want to do things my own way and hopefully, enjoy using social media in a healthy way. 

LF
x

Photography by Stacey White

A few weeks ago I received an unexpected email in my inbox from CaseApp, a Swedish company specialising in custom phone cases and laptop skins - the lovely team asked me if I wanted to collaborate with them and design my own items. I've always chosen safety over style when it comes to my phone cases, apart from two years ago when I opted for the latter and proceeded to drop and smash my phone on tiled flooring (I most certainly regretted switching things up in that scenario). So I was pleasantly surprised to see that CaseApp not only offer a range of beautifully designed cases but tough ones at that - upon that discovery, I made my mind up about a collaboration there and then.

I had already made the decision to create a custom design, then came the difficult bit - deciding exactly which products I wanted to design and the pattern that I wanted to go with. I trawled through the CaseApp Instagram feed, as well as Pinterest searching for inspiration but in the end, I opted for the most basic pattern of all, white marble (don't all applaud my originality at once) and placed my blog favicon on it. Product wise, I obviously chose a tough phone case to ensure that my new phone is fully protected and I also went with a laptop skin for my MacBook Pro as it's nearly seven years old now so it's about time I gave it a new lease of life.


The CaseApp range caters to almost every major phone model, so there is bound to be one for you. There is a large range of designs already on their website from nature and animals to destination images and collages - although if none of them appeals to you, then you can always create your own at no extra cost!
On the topic of cost, a standard phone case is £19 but for £3 more you can have a beautiful yet sturdier case from their 'tough' range and it's definitely worth it. The extra layer of silicone does make it slightly more difficult to press the volume and power buttons, but that's my only gripe! MacBook skins are also £22 and are very easy to adhere to the laptop - if you don't own a MacBook, don't be put off as there many other skins available for various brands and products.

I am very happy with the service provided by CaseApp, it only took a few days for my items to arrive and they are packaged in a small brown box (for the case) and flat cardboard for the skin, making it easier to be posted through the door which means that there's no waiting around at home for your items to arrive.

These products would make brilliant gifts for anybody and for any occasion. You can use my 20% discount code LOLAFAITH20 if you want to make an order, or alternatively, you can head on over to my Instagram page to enter my first ever giveaway where you can win a CaseApp product.

LF
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