21 Things I Learned Before Turning 21

19 Feb 2019

Oh hey, I turn 21 on Wednesday 20th February. I have a lot of knowledge, although most of it admittedly is mainly pretty useless, but I thought I'd share a little bit as I reminisce over the past 21 years of life. 

1. Smile
You've all probably heard the saying that smiling burns more calories than frowning. In theory, it probably doesn't but smiling is always a good thing to do.

2. Hamilton is worth the hype
That's all I have to say on this subject but if you get the chance to go and see this show DO IT!

3. Più bello della vita non c'è niente
It may be a line from one of my absolute all-time favourite songs (La Vita by Il Volo) but it's also been my life motto since 2016, It translates from Italian as 'There is nothing that is more beautiful than life' and even though life can suck sometimes, that's a truth universally acknowledged but even in the low moments life is still beautiful and it's important to enjoy every little bit of it.

4. You will grow
Sometimes people ask me why I still have all my old Instagram photos still on my feed but I love scrolling through to see how far my content has come in the past (insert number) here. If you're not at the point that you want to be at now, whether it's physically, mentally or creatively you won't stay at that point forever you'll grow and develop and someday you'll be able to look back at what you used to be and where you are now and be excited for all that's still to come because we never stop growing.

5. Passion is power
BE PASSIONATE, that is my biggest thing. If you have nothing to be passionate about you must have a very boring life. I'm at the extreme end of the passion spectrum though and will get very very passionate about things very very quickly but what's the point in liking things casually? 

6. Freedom is a gift
I know where every country in the world is on a map and it's a skill that I am very very proud of. In some countries, they don't have the same freedoms that we have here and it's important to remember that so many of the things that we take for granted are punishable by death in many countries and people undergo things that we couldn't even imagine on a daily basis. (Check out the World Watch List from Open Doors)

7. Not for a minute was I forsaken
In Deuteronomy 31:6 it says 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you'. Not forsaken was the truth I spoke over my life in 2018. No matter how far we wander from God, He will never forsake us, no matter what's going on in our lives, He will never forsake us. My favourite worship song of all time is 'Here Again' by Elevation Worship and just getting to declare 'Not for a minute was I forsaken, the Lord is in this place', just always brings me so much joy and peace and comfort. It's the anthem I choose to sing over my life.

    8. Life's too short to keep hating Eurovision
    This is a PSA to inform you that the Eurovision Song Contest is more than just a trashy europop festival and deserves credit and respect in the music industry please and thank you. Honestly so many great songs and artists come out of the whole Eurovision scene every single year and so many people miss out on it because of the universal bandwagon of Eurovision bashing and I'm not about it. (This has absolutely nothing to do with the final of the Eurovision Song Contest being my favourite day of the year)

    10. I am who You say I am
    Sometimes words will be spoken over you and they can sometimes be negative but the only words that matter are the words that God speaks over you. In the words of Lauren Daigle, 'You say I am loved, when I can't feel a thing, You say I am strong when I think I am weak'

    11. East to West is an immeasurable distance
    If you keep walking north, you'll eventually start walking south but if you keep walking east, you'll never stop walking east. That means that in the Bible when it says in Psalm 103:12 'as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.' That our sins are completely stripped from us, there is no way to get them back.

    12. Niall Horan is the best member of One Direction
    I say this as someone who was a hardcore Harry Styles fan from the ages of 12-15. It's taken me a long time to accept but Flicker was the best album of 2017 and that is all. (Harry's still a close second though)

    13. Copenhagen is the city of dreams
    If you've known me for any length of time, you'll probably know that I am obsessed with the city of Copenhagen and I highly recommend that everyone visit it at least once in their life. It truly is my most special place.

    14. Take baby steps
    You can dream big, but realistically you're not going to get exactly what you want straight away, it takes time. Start by setting smaller goals before aiming for the overarching picture. Do the same with prayer, if you're finding your big prayers just aren't having the outcome you want, try starting with a smaller building block prayer. 

    15. Academic results aren't the most important thing in the world
    If you're stressing about exams and results, just take a deep breath. Am I saying that you shouldn't work hard to achieve the grades that you want, absolutely not, but if you don't end up with the grades that you were expecting or needed to get into the course you wanted etc. it's okay. I didn't get the grades I needed and at the time it sucked but looking back on it, it was the best thing that could have happened because it led me on a different path that was definitely the best thing for me at that time.

    16. Take care of yourself
    While putting others needs first is a great thing to do, you have to be very careful to strike a happy medium, make sure that your needs don't get pushed under the rug while you're trying to keep other people happy. As an enneagram type 9 this is something that I definitely struggle with (I once ate ramen with chopsticks in Wagamama because I didn't want to ask for cutlery and you think I'm kidding) and it's definitely one of my goals this coming year to be more assertive in my opinions and take charge of what I want to do more often.

    17. Pursue what brings you joy
    Without sounding too much like Marie Kondo, the things that bring us joy should be at the forefront of our lives. I was asked recently where I find my joy and it will be different for different people, some people will like being with people, some people on their own, some people inside, some people outside. Whatever it is that brings you joy, pursue it.

    18. You can't be good at everything
    I'm the kind of person who likes to do everything but then gets annoyed whenever someone is better than me at something, in my case I am horrendous at anything sports related, I have no hand-eye coordination (which is weird for someone who can dance I guess) but give me something musical I can do it, I am woeful at art but photography I can do. It's a weird thing but work on the skills and talents you know you have and don't stress too much about the ones that you can't do. 

    19. English isn't the only language
    In school, we were very lucky to be able to learn 3 languages and introduced to language at a young age. I wasn't great at languages in school (I actually think I got worse as I progressed rather than better) but after I left school I picked up Italian and loved it a lot more because I was learning it for me and not just to pass an exam. Also, the music industry in other countries is also thriving and just because you can't understand the words to a song doesn't make it a bad song.

    20. Hate doesn't come from religion
    Plucked this straight out of the mouth of Sana Bakkoush in Skam but it's true. So often you see religion getting bad press because of things but true religion is about love and acceptance. If we are to love as Jesus loves, we're called to love all people, even people we don't agree with or people who live very differently to us. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God and it's only through Jesus that we are made whole so who are we to judge others when the Bible specifically says the opposite. 

    21. I have so much still to learn
     I may have learned a lot in the past 21 years but I know that there is so much more still to learn and I can't wait to see what these next 21 years will bring!

    Single on Valentine's Day

    13 Feb 2019

    Ah Valentine's Day, the day to celebrate love in all its forms and as my one true love is random and useless facts I'm starting off this post with a fun fact. So most of you probably know that Valentine's Day is named after St Valentine who is the patron saint of Love, Happy Marriages and Couples but not only that but he's also the patron saint of beekeeping, epilepsy, the plague and even against fainting so I'm spending this Valentine's Day trying not to faint while looking after bees in true homage to St Valentine himself.

    I'm kidding of course, I am however spending it alone for the 21st year in a row. So I'm an expert in all things 'being single on Valentine's Day' because yes, in theory it is just a commercial concept and there shouldn't only be one day to celebrate love yada yada but sometimes it can suck a little when everything around you is crying out love, love, love but you're not really feeling the love. In this post I'm going to talk about self-love and all the ways that you can show yourself love this Valentine's Day but I also wrote a post recently on finding satisfaction in singleness so if that's something you need to work on I'll link it here for you as well! So without further ado let's get right into it.

    You do you!
    Take some time to do things that you want to do, whether that's watch a movie, read a book, go shopping, go for a walk, go for a drive, order your favourite food or even doing some bedroom karaoke (that's definitely what I'll be doing), make this day all about you! I once ordered myself a pizza on Valentine's Day and was so excited for it to arrive that I opened the door to my flatmate's boyfriend who had flowers for her, while the only guy I ended up talking to was my delivery driver who got lost on his way to the flat!

    Take some you time
    Relax, run a bath, put on a face mask, light a few candles, take a nap (what better way to pass the day than by sleeping ammiright?) (I say this as though I regularly take naps) or whatever it is that relaxes you, just chill out. Take some time out of your busy, busy life and just spend some time chilling and relaxing.

    Treat Yo'self
    I mean if no one else is around to, why not take yourself out! Buy yourself lunch, or that new product you've been eyeing up, or even just a bar of chocolate (the day after valentine's day is great for this though because they're all on sale, pro tip!) Just get something for you, no judgements.

    Or not all about you
    There are plenty of ways to show love that don't involve romance and one of my favourites is by giving back. You'll get to make a positive difference in people's lives and you'll also feel great doing it. Have a closet cleanse, donate some food to a local food bank, or volunteer somewhere, do some good!

    All in all don't feel the Valentine's pressure and just take some time to focus on you and reflect on all the things that you've accomplished this past year. Also remember that self-love isn't just a Valentine's Day thing, it should be an all the time thing. Get that me time and in true St. Valentine's spirit, just try not to faint! 

    UPDATE: I'm on Bloglovin'

    11 Feb 2019

    Oh hey, little miniature update but I just joined Bloglovin' so now it's even easier for you to keep up with what I'm doing!

    Excited for this next chapter!

    Alice x

    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

    Influencing 101: How to get started

    1 Feb 2019

    It's 2019 and times are changing. For starters, I said I was going to write more on here and that is yet to happen (oops) and it seems like everyone and their cousin is now a social media influencer right? But just what is Social Media Influencing, and what does it actually take. I don't class myself as an influencer, I prefer the term content creator because, for me, that's closer to what we do, we create content for both ourselves and for brands who like our content and want us to help promote them. Content creation is harder work than it sometimes looks but if it's something that you're interested in getting into, here's a couple of tips and tricks that helped me get started.

    1. It takes work
    Creating content for Instagram is not easy work, if any of you have ever been on shoots with me you'll know that! It's not simply taking a selfie and captioning it 'wow today's a good day to go and kick some butt' however some day's that might be what you do but you have to curate it, I typically have a weekly list for my Instagram content of what I want to post that week, and yes usually it will change and vary throughout the week. Again with sponsored and gifted content, it's not just about snapping a photo of the product and sticking it up on your feed with your discount code attached, it's important that all content you post, branded or not, feels authentic. Your posts shouldn't feel as though someone else has forced you to post them, they should still feel like content that you want to post yourself.

    2. Don't sell yourself out
    It's important when working with brands that you only partner with brands that you actually like and use products from. It's important not to just settle for any brand that approaches you and only go with brands that you'd be happy to be affiliated with. (also keep an eye out for scams but that's a whole other ballpark) Remember that episode of Hannah Montana when she was asked to promote that raspberry perfume but was allergic to raspberries? It's just like that. Don't let the premise of getting paid for something or getting something for free taint your authenticity. On this note for people who aren't bloggers/influencer/content creators or whatever you want to call them, please note that all our sponsored posts are actually not just us selling ourselves out but actual content that we've worked really hard to create for your viewing pleasure.

    3. Disappointment is inevitable
    Not every opportunity that you apply for is going to be successful and that's okay, not everything will be handed to you on a silver platter, you've got to work for it but that's not the only disappointment that you'll face. No, perhaps the biggest disappointment you will face is after you've spent so much time creating content only for your followers to just completely ignore it because it's 'sponsored content'. It's a known issue that sponsored content generally tends to not do as well as non sponsored content and although it sucks, it's just a way of life. People don't understand how much work goes into posts and also just assume that we're only posting them to get paid. So please don't be disheartened if your hard work doesn't pay off with the likes you were expecting, it's okay! You're better than Instagram likes anyway!

    4. Engage and explore
    People are way more likely to engage with someone who feels like a real person and not just a robot churning out content left, right, and centre. Make sure you engage with your audience it's a two-way relationship, give love to your fellow creatives and they'll likely give you all the love back, if other creatives have inspired you, let them know! It's a tough community and we've got to support each other!

    5. Just do you!
    Make sure that any content that you create reflects you, don't try and put out lies online to make yourself seem interesting, authenticity sells! Don't be afraid to get a little weird with things if it's the way you like to do things. Everyone's experiences are different and so will approach things in different ways, things that work for me might not work for you and vice versa, find your niche and own it!

    6. Have fun!
    While it is a lot of work, it is also a super fun job to have. If you're not enjoying the content you're creating, or feel burdened to post constantly, take a break, you come first before your content, it may cause your engagement to fall for a while but once you come back you'll create even better content than before and don't be afraid to experiment, if you have fun creating, you'll create better content!

    Thanks for reading, if you're interested in getting started on an influencing journey, I'd love to point you in the direction of Brandbassador which is my favourite way as a micro influencer to get authentically connected with brands and it's a super great way to get started! Also if you have any other questions related to the mysterious world of social media influencing I'd be happy to share some more of my experience with you as well as some other ways to connect with brands that I use!