The Quarter-Life Crisis: How to make the most of it!

We are told our 20’s are all about living it up and having fun but in reality they can feel really a bit scary and uncertain. We’re finding out who we are as a real life adult with real life responsibilities. We often go through many break-ups; break-ups with boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, we break from our parents and move away from them into our own lives and in a lot of ways it can feel like we’re breaking up with ourselves, who we used to be and starting out again on our own.

With all that going on sometimes it’s hard to work out how to navigate things safely and effectively. So here has it, the top quarter life crisis markers and how to make the most of them.

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IDENTITY CRISIS

Wherever we are in life, whatever we are doing – whether that’s work, university or social groups – they all club together to form part of our perceived identity. When we move on and move away from that it can feel like we’re leaving ourselves behind.

So right now if it feels like you’re going through an identity crisis, it’s probably because you most definitely are.

The old you is a memory, while the new you is yet to be determined. It can be a tough time but there’s real beauty and benefits to an identity crisis that come only in times of transition…. you get a clean slate.

When the familiar is stripped away, you’re forced to search for more. When you can’t fall back on the old way of doing things, you have to find a new, better way. Only you can write your story, so get writing!

FEARING YOU HAVE FAILED

In your twenties, if you’re anything like me, you mess up – big time! You drink to much, say stupid things, push the boundaries, fall out with friends and sometimes you feel like you’re failing at every corner and need to get your shit together!

When this happens be consistent with trying. Be kind to yourself and persist with joyful actions. Do the things you love, say sorry, forgive yourself. Try everything and anything before you get a bit old and have to be sensible.

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FEELING LONELY

Since moving into to a flat on my own for the first time I’ve switched pretty indecisively between:

“I LOVE MY LIFE!! I can come home and things are EXACTLY how I left them, I don’t have to do someone else’s washing up, it’s all mine! I can walk around naked and it’s brilliant!! Ahhh this is so flipping goooooooood! I’M THE BOSS!” and…

“Why isn’t there anyone here to watch crap telly and eat sweets with me? Fml are all those wrappers mine? I can’t BELIEVE I have to do the washing up all on my own, it’s so so so unfair – how can there be that much I’m only one person!? *sob* it’s so quiet and boring here. I just want a cuddle with someone else in pyjamas and go through all the detail of what that bitchy girl at work said today. And yes, I have started talking to myself, that’s a problem….”

Whether you’re living on your own or not, it can sometimes feel like you’re doing things on your own. My best tip here is to learn to love this time. That’s easier said then done an it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little cry along the way, but there will be a time when you’re married with screaming kids and you won’t be able to try and million craft projects and fail at them, you won’t be able to have the tele all to yourself and watch crap shows with no judgement, you won’t be able to try that new recipe, have flour covering EVERYTHING and nearly burn the kitchen down. Use this time wisely and try try try new things all the time.

NO MOTIVATION

Now I’m all for getting on and doing stuff but sometimes seriously I just CBA. I usually find that this feeling comes when I’m not that interested by something anymore. I think it’s the right time to constantly re-evaluate the choices you’re making. So what you started that blog and now it feels like a chore – drop it! So what if you told everyone you were taking up dress making but did one class and realised you hated it – quit! Take a do-over and another and another and don’t get yourself stuck doing stuff that doesn’t motivate you beyond belief.

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Remember, the moment you leave who you were is the moment you begin the epic search to find out who you really are. THAT’s the fun bit.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Hell to the YES!!!

I’m sure you can see by the title that I flipping love Christmas. I heard someone say the other say that they wished Christmas started on Dec 23rd and finished on Dec 27th and I actually felt a little violent.

I love the rituals of Christmas and how families and friends can get together and do the same things year on year out and create memories together.

My favourite family tradition is making advent calendars which is something my lovely kind mum has done for us since we were little. The last few years I have picked this up and made them for colleagues and flatmates and dear friends but this years lucky winner is my darling man J. I mean he really does deserve it he’s both hot and nice and funny.

Here is a picture (yes it is lovely isn’t it):

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Another tradition we have in the Few family household is helping mum prep Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. She is so incredible and amazing and cooks the most wonderful Christmas lunch for us all (I know everyone thinks their mum’s Christmas dinner is the best but in all seriousness my mum’s is actually the best). On Christmas Eve we make the stuffing, stuff the turkey, make the breadcrumbs for the bread sauce and wrap the sausages in bacon – it’s a whole ordeal but the house smells amazing and we always have a vat of mulled wine on the go which makes everything better.

We also make the booziest Christmas cake in the whole entire world back at the beginning of December (or sometimes mid-November so we can get more brandy in it!) It’s so delicious and is a family recipe which always makes it more wonderful. Every year I think I’m going to make my own but then I remember that candied fruit is hard to find and I have no money and decide just to inhale mum’s one instead.

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On Christmas Eve mum usually let’s us open one present from under the tree as well (oh boy!). Even though the youngest of the siblings is now 20 we still excitedly receive this as a very special event.

On Christmas day itself dad always chooses a Christmas CD to play whilst we’re having dinner. They’re all ancient and we’ve probably listened to them a zillion times but it’s still lovely. Dad also whacks out the musical christmas tie I gave him about 10 years ago, it barely plays a tne anybut it’s just a standard part of Christmas for us now.

Ahh I’m SO excited – tell me, what Christmas traditions do you have?

Make your relationship great.

I am blessed to be in a very loving relationship with the most wonderful man. Before meeting him I took two years out of being in relationships; the first of those years was very much not of my choosing (no one would have me… I tried lol), the second very much was of my choosing and one of the best things I have ever done.

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I knew by the disastrousness of it all that I wasn’t doing things right in my previous relationship and I had a real sense of wanting to be the best girl I could be on my own before bringing a boy into all that.

So I set out on a journey to learn everything about myself which started off with a trip to Bath and crying that I had to eat in a restaurant all on my own. Since then I have learnt so much; about myself, about us as women, about men, how we work, how they work, what’s important to us both individually and together as pairs and I want to share that with you.

Disclaimer: I am a feminist. This post isn’t about girls working hard to fix relationships and the boys doing nothing. There are MANY things a boy can do to make a relationship better – some of those things will be the same as ours and some of them will be different. But how they contribute is down to them. I have zero control over how whoever I’m with behaves and tbh it’s not really my problem. If they work at the relationship too, great. If they don’t I will probably stop being around them and would encourage you to do the same.

Here are some things I have found have helped my relationship thrive this time around:

1. Be his biggest cheerleader. One thing that makes me really sad is seeing people putting others down and even more so when this happens between two people who are supposed to be building each other up on a daily basis. I think sometimes us girls can get caught up in boy-shaming, you know where you join in with your mates to whinge about your fellas? I’m sure lots of us have been guilty of this (including me). Take a minute to think about his kind soul and how jokingly putting him down might damage that a little bit.

2. Have your own life. For me, one of the funnest things about being with a boy is sharing your lives together and having someone to babble to about all the cool stuff I’ve been up to – to do this I NEED to have something to share! Go out and do some stuff! It’s super fun and he’ll definitely find you sexier for doing your own thing and having something to chat passionately about.

3. And let him have his. One of the main things my guy friends say they struggle with in their relationships is there girlfriends getting upset when they have boy nights. This baffles me – I WANT my man to hang out with his friends, how else is he going to let them know how great I am? 😉 On a serious note, I think guy time is really important for our boys, just as girl time is with us. We wouldn’t accept him not letting us have a girly night in with our best friends so why should he accept us throwing a tantrum about his?

4. Stop the nagging. There is nothing in this world that is annoying/frustrating enough that it deserves a nag. There are many better ways to communicate then nagging. If you’re nagging because you’ve asked him politely loads of times already and he’s still not doing something – chuck him and find someone who’s on the same page as you.

5. Tell him your favourite thing about him. Being British, we often shy away from letting others know how great they are. I truly believe if we can push through this with our partners, our relationships will thrive. The first step is noticing, truly noticing their specialness. The second step is telling them about it.

6. Don’t soundboard on them all the time. I love being able to have a good old moan to J about something that’s frustrated me but sometimes I forget he is a human being and probably can’t listen to me for hours on end. More and more, I’m trying to think of my relationship like a bank account (stick with me here!). Sometimes I will need to make withdrawals of their time and energy which is totally fine as long as I make sure I’m making deposits as well.

7. Listen. I read that we listen for an average of 7 seconds before we are thinking about what we are going to say next. Being able to unselfishly listen and really hear what someone is saying it one of the biggest gifts we can give to someone as it’s unlikely they are getting it in other areas of their lives.

8. Try not to use phrases like, ‘you always…’ or ‘you never….’ it’s very unlikely that someone always or never does something. These words slip out for me too sometimes but I’m trying to limit those times as I think they can be really damaging.

9. Ask his advice. I’m the first to say I always think I know best. This sometimes gets in the way of me realising that my man is a clever person who can add value and make suggestions I might not have thought of. Even if he can’t help you this time, I think it’s important for him to know you appreciate what he has to say about something you’re deciding on.

10. Have proper date nights. Whether you live together or not, whether you have kids or it’s just you, proper date nights are super important. This is about intentionally spending time together without stopping to do the washing up or something similarly boring. It’s about reminding each other that you’re two humans who can laugh and have fun and love each other fiercely despite all the daily stuff we get caught up in. It’s about making an evening or a day that little bit more special and making an event about being together because your relationship is that important.

11. Share you vision for your lives together. Talk about what you love, what you hate, your wildest craziest dreams for your life time and what you want from your time on earth. Talk about having children or that you don’t want any, talk about where you want to be in 5/10/20 years time. Talk about how you want to travel or buy a home or go to Italy. Just basically talk, tell each other everything, share your hopes and wishes and ask him to help you with them.

Giving up my comfort Zones

“Comfort – a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint”

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I am a pretty awkward person. There are many things I find uncomfortable: public speaking (though this is something, with practice, I am learning to love), people looking at me for too long, receiving compliments, walking from the changing rooms to the pool in a bikini, exercising in public, silences. I think I’m pretty much an expert at feeling uncomfortable. I have also become even more accustom to it since my accident (broken hip = disaster) as, if there is one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty, having to try to sleep laying flat on your back with a broken hip does not leave you in ‘a state of physical ease and free from pain or constraint’.

It is natural for us as humans to want to shy away from feeling uncomfortable and we tend to box ourselves in because of it. I whimsically dream of being one of those ‘free-spirited’ people, the ones who backpack around Europe and sit down for hours with the homeless learning their stories. I dream of telling super funny jokes, makeing people laugh and not caring what I look like. The reality is I plan trips I never take (I don’t have the money, time, insert excuse here…), I’ve been late to work before because I couldn’t decide what to wear and I’ve been known to throw a mini tantrum in Superdrug when they ran out of my favourite BB cream (Mabelline New York, Fresh Face BB – it’s cheap and it smells nice).

Sticking to what feels comfortable, staying in our comfort zones make us feel safe and secure and like we’ve finally got everything sorted. But what if it’s these things which are holding us back from stuff, what if it’s these comfort-boundaries that stop us seeking change and growth.

As you know, something in my life I desire to change daily, is how brave I am. To do this, I need to make it my number one priority.

Some of my comfort zones that stop me from making this change are:

1. Having money – I worry about giving up my tendency to binge-buy from boohoo.com if the path of bravery leads me away from an income I’m happy with

2. My Family and friends thinking I’ve done well for myself – basically I don’t want to be that weird girl who jacked in her job to go and build an orphanage in africa (actually that sounds kind of fun, but non-the-less I can think of many who would find that positively bizarre)

3. Routine – I am known as the planner, I am nothing if not an itinerary writing, diary abiding kind of girl

In my search for bravery, I am trying to let go of these things which are holding me back. I would LOVE to know what things you feel are holding you back from bravery…

One Hella Recap: my summer adventures in pictures.

I had an amazing summer. It’s was full of wonderful things and wonderful people and I totally got caught up in the madness of it all. This happens every year and that is why I love it when Autumn comes and I can take a breather and a stock check of all that’s been happening.

So I present you, a one stop shop of my summer adventures:

My lovely eccentric 65 year old neighbour Karen got a kitten.IMG_20150810_183525

My lovely new friend Phoebe successfully helped direct an outside play.IMG_20150812_211120

My lovely handsome bf J brought me these flowers saying “I know you like flowers that look like weeds” (do i?!)IMG_20150812_212145

My dear friend Shell had her Hen party, part of which was held at my lovely new (ish) flat:IMG_20150815_093428

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I got to celebrate my boyfriend J and that he does and all that he is on his birthday (the first of many together hopefully!!) :IMG_20150830_144603P.S. Yes, I made this cake

We got to attend the above mentioned friend’s wedding and it was just the best:IMG_20150905_194116

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I went to my very first baby shower at the cutest tea party venue in South London:IMG_20150912_162728

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Whilst in London I stayed with my old flatmates new flat and ate homemade Chinese food (YUM!!):IMG_20150912_202508

And ate the best Italian brunch ever:IMG_20150913_111911

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Let’s get on with Autumn and have a crunchy-leaf filled blast ❤

When you suddenly realise you’re only human.

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So I’m sitting in bed (yes it is only 10pm and yes I’m basically a granny in a 25 year old body) feeling guilty that yet another evening has gone by with zero writing on the agenda. Yes, I cooked up a killer omelette, yes I caught up on celeb bb, yes I looked smugly around my tidy flat and thought ‘oh, aren’t I wonderful’ but no, I did not pick up a pen and paper and no I did not crack open the laptop and hop onto WordPress. Why? I really truly have no flipping idea.

For the past month I’ve been totally stuck – every single day I’ve seen people clicking onto the blog and imagined their annoyance that I haven’t bothered to throw out a few lines, I mean seriously how hard can that be right?

But I’ve found it really really hard. I think a lot of it is to do with me trying to find my feet in Brighton, trying to figure out what you do AFTER you move cities and are actually flipping living there. It is really quite bizarre. I’m trying to do well at my new job and I’m having to “friend date” (you know when you’re not quite sure when it’s cool to ask for their number or make an inappropriate joke?) which is totally awkward and tiring #justlikemealready. My flat has been a total nightmare though thankfully it seems to have sorted itself out now (two bug infestations later!!) and I haven’t found a lovely church yet to hold me together.

It’s been a bit tough (as well as wonderful at other times) and I’m having to realise that I am actually only a human being who might not be able to hold it all together all of the time. However much I like to think I’m superwoman and have this shit together, I totally don’t and I’m learning each and every single day. And I think that’s just going to have to be ok ❤

Recap time: special birthdays, pride and celebrating generally.

This week I had the complete pleasure of spending the day with my mum and dad for their birthdays. Their birthdays are only two weeks apart so on Saturday we had a BBQ in their back garden and it was so lovely to spend the day with them. One of my favourite things about being back in Brighton is that I’m getting to spend more time with my family.

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On Tuesday I was supposed to have date night in with J but his car broke down half way up to me (sob story). We’ve both been really busy at the weekends lately and even though we’ve seen each other it’s not really been quality time which in my books is super important. It was a little tragic as I’d tried a new vegetable tagine recipe for the occasion. On the plus side, I stayed in and drafted this post and possibly definitely ate two portions of the dessert I brought us all by myself #swingsandoundabouts

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On Friday night a guy from work was leaving and a girl from work had her birthday so a group of us went out to celebrate all that they are and all that they do and it was such fun. We went to the Hare and Hound which not only looks awesome but also serves La Chorizo food which is that amazing Mexican joint I was telling you about – dream.come.true.

As I was pottering about over the weekend I got to spend some time revelling in #brightonpride15 sites and oh boy were there some sites. I love Pride because it’s such a joyous time of celebrating who we are with all of our good, bad and quirky bits included.

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One of my favourite parts of the week was completing the first stage of the office refurbishment in my new job. It’s so great to see everyone’s hard work pay off and if I do say so myself – it looks flipping fantastic.

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What did you get up to this week? ❤

THINGS I LOVE: living on my own, present shopping, my massive TV.

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 My lovely flat, decorating it how I like it #livingbeautifully

 Writing with piano music playing softly in the background

 J giving me his massive massive TV (sooo many channels!!!)

 Freckles and a tan

 Trying new recipes

 Shopping my presents for my two wonderful parent’s birthdays in the Laines

 Snuggly rainy Sundays

 Bossing it at work

 Making new friends

 Adventuring around Brighton

 Wearing sandals every day

❤ Making my own berry, yoghurt and nut smoothies in the mornings

 Winding down to Spotify and candlelit rooms in the evenings

Big love,

Kerry xx

How to survive the job you hate.

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I am a big believer that we should completely LOVE what we do for work. For most of us, it is where we spend the majority of our time and I find it heartbreaking that people sit there day after day literally hating life because they aren’t doing something that energises them.

Now, you know that I do love a risk taker; and I adore the fantastical idea of just quitting your job without a plan. That said, I am super practical and I understand that this isn’t most of the time the best or most sensible way of doing things.

So bring it! My top tips for surviving a job you hate until you can get out…

1. Remind yourself WHY you’re still there. Are you saving money to buy a house, start your own business, go on a wonderful holiday, working towards being debt free? Knowing the point of why you’re there is essential to staying motivated when your alarm clock goes off in the morning.

2. DEVLOP your life outside of work. Your 9-5 might be a shitfest, but you can still enjoy the rest of your life. Snuggle up on the sofa with a new book, start painting again, learn how to make jewellery, start a blog – don’t let your lack of love for your job consume everything. If you’re getting home at 6:30pm you’ve still got 4-5 whole wonderful hours to spend in whatever was pleases you.

3. THINK about why it’s making you sad – is it the long hours, the workload, the sector – let this mould your decisions on your future plans.

4. Bring YOU into your workspace. Put a pic of your fam on your desktop, bring in fresh flowers, find a confidant and have special lunches.

5. Be THANKFUL that you have a job and all the abundant blessings that brings – a roof over your head, food on the table.

6. Stay away from the GOSSIP. Get your head down, do your bit, and go home to the things you love. Don’t get caught up in the messy stuff.

7. Set yourself a DEADLINE. Make a plan of how to get out, look into retraining, update your CV, talk to your partner – you totally totally deserve to do something you completely adore. We all do ❤

Recap time: Festivals, weddings, and the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. ever.

I love it when the weather gets warmer and the evenings get longer and it begins to get acceptable to have a cold beer in the middle of the day (oh yes!)

Last weekend I did something very exciting, yes you guess it, I saw snoop dog live. Potentially not something on my bucket list but it was nostalgic all the same.

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I saw him at Mutiny Festival (along with Katy B and Labyrinth) and the start was a bit rubbish as it took about an hour to get a drink but then got great because half the people went home which massively freed up the beer tents (bonus!)

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The downside of the weekend was that some drunk girl punched me in the back of the neck and I accidentally did The Macarena right into a road sign and bruised my eye but you know it’s swings and round abouts sometimes.

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(The gorgeous man planting a kiss on my head is my totally wonderful boyfriend; sometimes I wake up thinking how did I get so lucky? Flip me he’s a hottie #soznotsoz)

Today I got back from my second Festival, Rox, a festival in my hometown which gives a platform for local bands. My boyfriend’s two cousins played and were bloomin’ fantastic.

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Now, I bet your wondering what the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth ever is (naughty girl) – it was a burrito, a sweet potato, squash and feta burrito no doubt.

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I found the most amazing Mexican street food restaurant in Brighton called La Chorizo and I’m not kidding I nearly wet myself with excitement.

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It’s the most colourful place I’ve ever been in and I fell in love.

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Here’s to another great week #letslovelife