Thursday, 22 June 2017

Exploring Devon's Coastline

There are many things in Britain that are pretty much guaranteed. Queues, a Greggs on every corner, and someone trying to push a cup of tea on you are just a handful of examples. What cannot be guaranteed is the weather. Planning a day out in Britain is like trying to tame a bull. Just when you think the weather has been nice, the temperature plummets down to 8 degrees and you are frantically pulling the contents of your handbag out to find your umbrella (spoiler alert: you only find sunglasses and suncream). 

So, way back in May when we decided to take a little trip to the beach, I wasn't shocked to be met with gale force winds. But what that did mean was an afternoon spent on a pretty much empty beach. Which was favourable because we got slightly over-excited at the prospect of penny slots, ice cream, fish and chips, and rock pooling for a group of adults with only one child in the party. 

Westward Ho! has always been one of my favourite seaside destinations. Not only does it's name have buckets of comedic potential, it has all the trappings of a cute, British seaside town. It has the typical tourist gift shops, a few cute caf├ęs and fish and chip shops, as much  Hockings ice cream as anyone can stomach, and a lovely beach that has mixture of pebbles, rock pool areas, and sand. For this reason, it is super busy in the summer. And lots of jelly fish tend to wash up there which freaks me out.

But the best time, in my opinion, to go to the beach is in the evening. Nothing beats a walk along the sand once the weather has cooled a little. Especially if fish and chips is involved and, of course, fish and chips is always involved if you're with me.

Have you ever visited any of the beaches in Devon? Where would you recommend I travel to next?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Moving Outside Your Comfort Zone This Summer


Sometimes in life, things can get in the way of us being happy. Sometimes we can't control these things. I am a firm believer in weathering the storm in order to fully appreciate the sunshine that will inevitably follow. But there are also times when we create our own storms. We set ourselves up to fall. I know this because I spent most of my teenage years doing just that.

As a teenager, I was fairly preoccupied with my appearance. I had huge self confidence issues. For that reason, I hated summer. Well, I didn't hate summer, I hated what summer brought with it. I loved (and still love) long summer days; flowers blooming in every field; the smell of opening a new bottle of suncream; days at the beach filled with icecream and penny slots; and going on adventures with a picnic on your back. I hated the expectation of having to wear shorts; I hated swimming in public; I hated the jealousy I always felt seeing countless tanned, flat stomachs in crop tops. I hated that summer made me feel this way. I hate all the opportunities I missed because of it.

But I am now 21 and I swim in a bikini. I wear dresses and skirts. I don't waste my time anymore worrying if someone thinks my stomach is a bit podgy or if my arms wobble when I move them. Not everyone is made the same. So, look at these pictures as a protest against my own self doubt. It is warm so I am wearing a dress. Summers will no longer be spent in jeans and baggy jumpers.

It is not easy to work through your self-made storms. It takes a lot of time to find the cause(s) of the problem. For me, I took time off of Twitter as I found myself becoming more and more jealous of the women posting pictures on there. I stopped following insta fitness gurus and replaced them with body posi warriors. I pushed myself to wear things that scared me. Some days I wanted to run home and change back into a jumper and jeans but that is all part of the process. The first day that you wear a bodycon dress or a short skirt out, you probably won't feel amazing. Liberated, perhaps, but also quite scared. But as you keep pushing yourself, it gets easier.

My body is now celebrating. My shoulders and upper arms barely saw the light of day for about 6 years. My legs had never even heard of vitamin D. It took a lot of work but we are finally getting somewhere. And I am happy.

Dress: Topshop (here)
Bag: Primark (similar)
Sandals: New Look (here)
Sunglasses: H&M (similar)
Watch: Accurist (similar)

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