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The confidence chronicles.

The confidence chronicles.



*This is a collaborative post*

"Confidence is a superpower, once you start believing in yourself the magic happens."

Confidence can take a lifetime to build and be knocked down in a matter of seconds. The truth is, most of us aren't confident in ourselves. The reasons for this vary on a huge scale and sometimes, sadly, some people don't ever build the levels of confidence in themselves that they need to feel good. For me, no matter how confident I can feel on the inside, the way I look always seems to drag me down. We all have our 'flaws' and things we wish we could change about ourselves and some things we will never be able to change. These things take over our brains and often turn us into someone who we don't want to be.

If you're like me, you will change other things about yourself to make you feel better if you can't change that thing, as much as you want to. I often feel uncomfortable about my acne, and I usually attempt to show my confidence via my hair colour. However, I do often worry about my hair and possible hair loss with the amount I dye it and the stress and depression in which I deal with. I had no idea until recently that depression can actually cause your hair to become dry and weaker, from low moods, a lack of energy and feeling drained which can eventually lead to hair loss! I found the article about this on Harley Street Hair Clinic which is full of interesting information about mental health and hair loss which I had no idea about. With my weight, my tattoos and bright coloured Dr Martens tend to give me that boost which I need. It's crazy to think what we see about ourselves that others don't see. Even those who seem the most confident, still have their struggles. 


Sometimes people don't struggle with their exterior appearance and more to do with what is within. I know that I struggle with talking to new people and groups of people in the fear that I come across boring and people don't actually want to know what I have to say. In some ways, this can actually be harder to overcome than the physical appearance side of confidence as it is you fighting against yourself. Although we can mask what we dislike on the outside, trying to lie to ourselves on the inside can often prove to be harder than it seems. Mind who is a mental health charity has some great tips about coming to terms with your low self-esteem and how you can get to the bottom of the issues to be able to allow yourself to continue to heal. Blast out those negative thoughts and fill the spaces with more positive ones. 

To me, my confidence does build every single day, week or month of the year. I've started to learn how to celebrate my successes, think about the 'good' qualities which I have and why they're good to have. I've also learnt how to stick up for myself more and become more assertive that includes everything from saying no to stuff I really don't want to do to taking control of your thoughts and not letting someone else do this for you. I totally understand this is not as easy as it seems but there a huge variety of resources in which you can use to help build your confidence on a daily basis and hit back against those negative thoughts.  

"Confidence is not they will like me, confidence is, I'll be fine if they don't"  


Confidence is about celebrating the little things you do, rather than focusing on what you weren't able to do. Making note of these victories for when your confidence is meter is a little low can be a great way to keep building rather than knocking it back down again. Spend time with those who make you feel great and who love you for you. My final piece of advice to those of you who feel this way is to reach out. Whether it is to a professional or a loved one, it's worth talking these things over, as often they can give you a whole new perspective on things. 

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Olivia Jade
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What has blogging taught me?

What has blogging taught me?





Back in 2013 when I started blogging it was never about the money, it was about the friends, the content, the community and most importantly our passions for writing. When I wrote my first blog post about Barbie cupcakes (soz, this has long been deleted), I remember feeling cool, like I had my own space on the internet, it was like a step up from Tumblr as it felt like truly mine and although I am pretty sure my photos were taken on some next level brick, at the time I was made up with the post. Fast forward to 2015 when blogging became an income for a lot of bloggers, the money was high and the stakes to become the next big thing were even higher. I was writing so much content just to keep up with the game, and I remember I ended up hating what my blog had become, I felt like I was just churning out rubbish four times a week and I decided to take a huge break. I wasn't sure if I'd even come backHaving a blog and your own social media channels feels at times like you're running your own little empire. Sometimes you create what is expected of a whole team with just you on your own. I have often considered, even now, going completely freelance to work on my content full time and not have another job alongside it. It would be so much harder than it is having it as an extra income like I do now, but it is something I'd love to one day be able to do. 

I was always worried about what being alone all of the time would do to me as a lone worker in my house all day. When reading up on the options I found out about Signature Works who have office space in Liverpool which can be anything to Hot Desks to work as an individual but it still allows you to be around others, giving you that social interaction or there are even offices to rent in Liverpool . and despite Liverpool being quite far away from me, this did get me looking into other options close by, and just like Liverpool, most cities offer a similar deal. I know Manchester which is not that far away from myself offers up Hot Desks which to work for a few weeks/months to be away from working at home would be ideal. Like Signature Works they offer networking and training events which can be hugely beneficial to your business. You can also use their office spaces for your own meetings which can be great when meeting clients. Plus water and beer on tap, doesn't sound too bad right? 



Being a freelancer I've learnt a lot about my own skill set, I've developed skills I didn't even know I had until I was put to the test of using them. I've taught myself how to file a tax return, what expenses are and how to keep organised when it comes to my income. I've also found out my photography skills are improving with every single picture I take. You learn to be proud of the content you create and love getting your name out there. When I first started it was a bit like 'my thing' and the idea of anyone I knew in real life reading it made me want to die a little inside, I was so embarrassed. Now, I stand by my own work like no end and I am not afraid to shout about it.

Sadly, with all good, there is usually a bad. I've also found out that like pretty much everywhere in the world there are good people and bad people. People who are only out for themselves and those who only want the 'free stuff'. It does put a bad name on all of us bloggers when there are people out there who are only looking for press samples or who take advantage of small businesses and their kind spirit. People become too big for their boots and forget those around them who helped them grow and this makes me sad to see. Like most things, you can fall from the top a lot quicker than it took you to climb up there in the first place. 




So what has blogging taught me? Well, I am in my sixth year now and haven't experienced much negativity during my time as a blogger. I've worked with some amazing brands and other creators and if you'd of told me this at the start of my blogging journey I would never have believed you. I've met people who I wouldn't have without the passion of writing bringing us together, people who come from all over the world and all different walks of life. I have also found out that I am very indecisive which I didn't believe before about myself and I like to change my style a lot. But that's what makes me, who I am. 


I'd love to know what you've learned from blogging in the comments!

*This is a collaborative post, but all thoughts are my own as always*

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Olivia Jade
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Birthday Wishlist 2019

Birthday Wishlist 2019



This is a collaborative post.

There are less than two weeks until my Birthday, which is somewhat exciting and rubbish at the same time, having a January birthday sucks *a lot* as nobody has any money, everyone is depressed as they've had to go back to work and Christmas is over for another year. Oh, plus everyone is broke and nobody wants to do anything. I am not alone in this as I know people who have their birthday so close to Christmas and even ones who are born on Christmas day (now that's a poor end of the deal) as a child it was the greatest thing having a Birthday so close as any presents you didn't get for Christmas could then move over to your Birthday wishlist. As an adult, the wishlists get smaller and more expensive, and for my 24th Birthday there so many designer pieces I'd love to get, my favourite brand Love Moschino is on OD's Designer Clothing and I couldn't help but lust over what could be. 

Love Moschino, Olivia Burton, Android Trainers and Boss are just some of the brands on site and they even have a sale currently. Which I have to admit is one of the few perks to having a January Birthday, sales, sales and more sales. Being able to get a lot for your money is always a plus. I thought I'd share with you some of my wishlist faves and I would love to know in the comments which of these items is your favourite.

Olivia Burton Mother of Pearl Watch-
Last year I got into wearing a watch after being gifted my own Adexe watch, and I couldn't imagine not wearing it now. For ages I've been lusting over the Olivia Burton watches and when I saw the Mother of Pearl watch I fell in love. It's such a 'me' item. 

Love Moschino Stud Clutch-
I was instantly drawn to this bag after seeing the colour and the studs and then found it was a Love Moschino item and I was completely sold, it's a gorgeous red colour and looks like a great bag for going out with as it has the chain on. I also saw their purse and had to add that to the list as it's a great size and will last for years. 

Swarovski Mickey iPhone 7/8 Case-
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of phone cases and I currently own around 10, possibly more. However, when I saw this Swarovski Mickey phone case it instantly caught my eye. This is the phone case of dreams for sure.

Olivia Burton Daisy Earrings- 
As much as I'd love to buy tons of earrings for every occasion my ears won't allow it. So I have to buy ones which are sterling silver, these are adorable and perfect for the spring and summer months. Adorable

Valentino Belt-
There's just something about having a designer belt isn't there? I feel like it makes any outfit that bit more stylish with a belt in tow. As you can tell I am digging the red this year, and this belt is timeless.

Love Moschino Tee-
The final item on my wishlist is from Love Moschino *shocker*, this studded heart t-shirt would be great to wear on a day to day basis to work and would look great dressed up and down dependant on what you pair it with. 

*This post is in collaboration with OD's Designer Clothing, but all thoughts are my own and if anyone fancies buying me anything off my wishlist, *hint hint Will* I'd be super happy. 

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Olivia Jade
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2019: Same sh*t, different year?

2019: Same sh*t, different year?



My social media is filled with roundup posts of 2018, with people sharing the good, the bad and everything in between about 2018. Those who have had a bad year can't wait to close the door on it and for some, it has been the best year of their lives. For me, it's just been another year. The year has been a good one to me, but other than getting engaged, nothing massive has happened. I am happy for those who have done amazing things this year, or who have achieved great things, I've seen so many of my followers having babies which are adorable. This year has been a lot of going to work, writing posts and attempting to go back out into the world as much as I can. I met one of my best pals, and I couldn't quite imagine facing 2019 without her. 

As cynical as it seems people always use January to make these changes, and most of us don't stick to them. I spend the first half of 2019 trying to remember when referring to the date that we are in 2019 and not 2018, as well as forgetting things are this year as opposed to next year and don't even get me started on the fact of when I am finally used to 2019, it's almost over. The pressure to start the new year as a new you is too much for me. I don't want to be a new me, maybe a slightly revised one at best. I pick small targets which I'd like to complete in 2019 but I don't want to feel bad about them if I fail them, because life is too short for making yourself feel guilty over a new years resolution. 




I admire those who set those resolutions on January 1st and manage to stick to them, all the power to you. For people like me, I find it hard to commit on January 1st to anything new. I find it cliche and I feel the pressure too much. Yes, I want to lose weight and go back to the gym, but am I f*ck doing it in January when everyone else will be doing the same, no thanks. I plan to cut down the number of takeaways I eat in a week (it's bad), but I know being the person I am, it's impossible for me to cut them out completely right away. Working towards cutting them down is an achievement in itself. I've done new years resolutions in the past many times and always end up beating myself up when I've failed them and that's not what I want to start the new year on. 

My 2019 goals are pretty much the same as every year, keep my head above water, go out and enjoy more things, possibly lose some weight and join the gym (at some point) and enjoy life as a 24-year-old would (It's my birthday in 13 days, woo). This year I have an additional 'goal' which is to start planning my wedding, I know in reality it is probably a long time away, but at the same time, I know nothing about weddings. Each day of the year I strive to make myself a better person, smile at people more and even learn new things and that won't change for as long as I can help it. 



The point of this post isn't to sh*t on those who are buzzing for the new year and have amazing plans, I promise. More for those like myself, who struggle with the idea of huge changes, or feeling like they haven't achieved anything huge in 2018, because that's ok too. This year, if I can give you any piece of advice is take it as it comes, I've spent far too many years trying to make things happen and forcing myself to do things I really didn't want to do. Live 2019 for you, and be kind! Happy New Year all. 
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Olivia Jade
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Hosting the ultimate games night #1

Hosting the ultimate games night #1



Weird Crushes: 55 Hunks
Weird crushes game

When my friends come over these days we often opt to play a game of some kind, I may be turning 24 in a matter of weeks but going out is overrated and playing games with your pals are much more fun in my opinion. Recently I've been gifted some games from Firebox and decided to review each of them for you and let you know if they're worth your hard earned cash. I have a part two of this coming too as I have some other awesome game recommendations but decided to split it up so this post isn't *too* long. 

Weird Crushes, British Hunks £9.99: 
Think the childhood classic, Top Trumps but with British celebrities, politicians and the addition of Ian Beale and Phil Mitchell from Eastenders. This game is the battle of the fittest *literally* and can be played with as little as 2 players. The cards make me laugh as they have a bit information on each person on them. Oh, and I'd love to know who made the ratings up for these cards as some of them are questionable. I mean, who decided that Danny Dyer deserves a 10 for sex appeal and why doesn't Louis have straight 10s as he clearly deserves them. 

The Noodle Game £15.99: 
This game is one that all the family can be involved in and can be super competitive. The rules work by each player having a bowl and a matching pair of chopsticks, all of the noodles are in the carton (the box) and then the players take it in turns to pick up a noodle from the box and get it from the box to their bowl. The other players can attempt to get this from you, however, they can't move their chopsticks from their bowl until the noodle is away from the box. The noodles are a variety of sizes, so at the end, you have to count them up to find out who won. The concept is great, but the fact the way you count the noodles point value is by size and the sizes can be hard to tell apart, a colour scheme would possibly work better for this game, although I assume they made the noodles the colour in which they are to keep them looking authentic. 


Make Your Own Gummy Pizza £7.99:
What is a games night without pizza right? You can opt for the traditional Domino's which is always a solid choice, however, thanks to Menkind you can also get a gummy create your own one, which is much more fun and would be a great prize for the winner of the games night or just to snack on throughout the night. 

If you HAD to... £16.99
This game is one of my favourites ever, it's such a simple concept but gets everyone laughing and also you get to a learn a little more about the people around you. The way in which the game works is, everyone is dealt cards and then you go round the room and take it in turns to be the judge, the idea is you give the judge the cards they'd hate the most and then you have to sell them your idea as to why it is the worst for them. You can decide what circumstances apply to the card, e.g. live your life as Barney the purple dinosaur, the judge may ask you if this is forever, and then you can decide how it would play out. The first to five is the winner, however, we kept going for ages when we played. It's a great drinking game or just one to break the ice at a party. Think Cards Against Humanity gets personal. 

If you had to
If you had to

Have you played any of these games? If so, what were your thoughts? 

*These games were gifted to me by Firebox, however, all thoughts are my own as always and I loved playing each one, and they're 'special' in their own way. 

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Olivia Jade
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2019: Travel, Targets and Taking Back Control.

2019: Travel, Targets and Taking Back Control.




This post is in collaboration with Jet2. 

I can't believe how many days are left of 2018, we are swiftly moving towards 2019, and this time of year is often full of reflection, accomplishment and future dreams for most. Each year we start out of with the biggest goals and often don't' accomplish them. For the last two years, I've gone for the approach of not trying to make each new year a new me, more like a more refined version of me and it helps with relieving the pressure of needing to change. This year I set myself some mini goals which were things as simple as getting my hair cut often to help it grow, nail my skincare routine and do more social things and I am happy to say these were all something I was actually able to do! My 2017 goal was to return back to the blogging after struggling to commit to my blog after a tough few months, and my goals were just to stick to blogging at a pace in which I felt happy, I got rid of my 4 times a week posting schedule and went for a when I can type of approach and my content has become a lot more substantial and I've fallen back in love with writing, two years later I am still loving it. So I hear you say, what about 2019? I want to make 2019 a year where I actually go and see some places, experience some things and live a little more. 


With the help of Jet2, I think this may be something which is actually possible. With a lack of funds being one of my top reasons for struggling to be able to explore. I've learned that Jet2 have a variety of package holidays that include flights and accommodation which helps when looking into the planning process as it feels like one less step to worry about. Their site is full of helpful tips including advising you what is nearby, how far to visit different locations and shares a variety of reviews from other customers. In their brochure, it even tells you the cost of a pint in the local area which I think is a great added touch. When looking at city breaks section of their site, it advises what is great about the hotel you want to stay, what you can do and also some information about the place. As much as I'd love to go back to America (without my parents in tow) for my anxiety, I feel like I need to try to tackle a city break or two first. 


In 2019 I'd love to visit Venice in the warmer months as I went as a teenager and remember there being so many great things to look at and enjoy but I didn't have long in Venice so it would be great to spend a weekend there and then Berlin or Krakow around Christmas time to really experience what the Christmas markets have to offer. As much as I enjoy visiting the Birmingham one most years it would be amazing to experience this in another country. Jet2 kindly sent me a hamper full of goodies which you would find at a traditional Christmas market and it's got me in the mood for planning myself a weekend getaway for early December next year. The photos of these places which I've seen on other blogs look amazing! 2019 is going to be the year I attempt to take the plunge and break out of my comfort zone and jump on a plane, train or even boat to visit new places. 


For 2019, I am hoping I can keep my anxiety at bay and visit the places I want to visit and explore this country (a work in progress) as well as others. For anyone who has travelled or been on trips with anxiety/other mental illnesses, how did you overcome your fear and just do it? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@dungareesdonuts) as I'd love to discuss it further with you. As far as my other 'big' goals for 2019 go, I am yet to set many, however, Will and I did get engaged this year so it would be great to start the wedding planning and begin to save for a deposit towards our own house. For the smaller goals, I want to keep this year's goals going, as well as adding getting a better sleep pattern in place, and also cutting down the amount of time I spend on my phone as since Apple has added in the reports to share how much time on a weekly basis, I've spent looking at my phone it has shocked me (anybody else shook by how long they actually spend on their phone?). I want to spend less time looking at the screen and more time enjoying life. 


Let me know in the comments what you want to achieve in 2019 and also what goals you set yourself for 2018 and did you manage to complete them?
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Olivia Jade
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Would You Have Counselling Online?

Would You Have Counselling Online?


When you’re experiencing a mental health issue, it’s important to seek therapy or counselling. There are many ways to do this, whether you decide to work with a counselor in your local area or someone online. It’s a personal decision. Seeing a counsellor face to face has its advantages. You get that face-to-face interaction, and it can feel good to talk with someone in a physical space. However, for some people, online counselling is an option that feels more intimate to them than going to see a therapist. Let’s discuss some of the reasons that online counseling could work for you.


Convenience
Online counselling is exceptionally convenient. You can see your counsellor wherever there is a reliable Internet connection. It’s convenient in the sense that you can choose where and when you look at your therapist online. You’re able to speak with them via video chat, messaging, or over the phone. You get to pick whatever modality works the most efficiently for you. Your counsellor is adaptable and will work with your schedule. Plus, you won’t get stuck in traffic on the way to therapy!

Remote Areas and Accessibility
People who have disabilities or live in remote areas where there is not a large selection of therapists or counsellors tend to gravitate toward online therapy platforms. It’s a great alternative when you don’t have a large variety of mental health professional you'll find in the database of an online therapy site that there are more options than you might imagine, making it easier to access a specialist. Sometimes, your mental health needs are highly specific, and there are not people in your area that can cover those concerns.

Social anxiety
Sometimes one of the barriers to getting help is social anxiety. People who struggle with social interaction might have difficulty connecting with a therapist, so online counselling is an excellent alternative to sitting in a therapist’s office and talking with them in person. Online therapy provides a sense of intimacy that isn’t necessarily there when you’re working with a counsellor in a physical space. The person who is speaking with their counsellor feels connected with them because they are using their own devices - whether that’s a tablet, phone, or laptop. They get to choose how they communicate with their therapist, and that can relieve a lot of anxiety.


Communication styles
Every human being expresses themselves differently and has different preferences for how they like to communicate. Whether that is through voice, seeing somebody visually, or text. With online counselling, you can choose which modality of communication will work best for you and your counsellor. It helps because you can dictate the treatment, in a sense. You know your learning style, and you understand what makes you able to grasp the concept of new coping skill. Therapy isn’t just a place where you talk about your problems; it is a teaching place as well. You want to make sure that you get the information you need in a way that you will understand it. Maybe you’re not sure which mode works for you yet. You can try out different kinds of communication, such as text, video, and messaging. It’s helpful to experiment to see which of those gives you the best results. You and your counsellor can work together and decide what the most optimal communication style is for you.


Getting help is easier than before
Before online counselling, people may have hesitated to get help. Technology has made it easier than ever before to seek out a therapist and find someone who you connect with to get mental health services. Companies like BetterHelp offer a variety of different counsellors to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find one that meets your needs. It can be anxiety-provoking to try and get mental health care, but online therapy can relieve some of that stress by making it easier to find a therapist who specialises in your needs. An online mental health professional is dedicated to helping you stick to your schedule and to accommodating your needs. You have the right to get the help that you need in the way that you need it, so give online counselling a shot.


*This is a guest post written by Maria Miguel on behalf of BetterHelp, however, I had full editorial rights over this post. 

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Olivia Jade
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