Sunday, 19 February 2017

Just Take The Damn Compliment

Hey, how's it going?
What has everybody been up to?
Last week I flew from Tasmania to Adelaide to help my brother and his wife move back here. I had one day of really nice weather. Like I'm talking about a 35 degree day, then it immediately turned to 21 degrees and windy. Go figure. Like for real though, everywhere else in Australia is like a heatwave that won't end and here in Tassie it literally snowed on the mountains last weekend. Why don't we get a summer?
Winter is going to be long...

One thing I've always struggled with is accepting compliments. This is something that I've noticed a lot of other people seem to struggle with, especially girls.
It's strange and I don't know how it happened, because my parents have always been really encouraging, but I somehow got into the mindset where it felt arrogant to simply accept a compliment.
If someone complimented my hair, I would immediately feel slightly uncomfortable with the attention, then I would disagree with what they said. I would say something like, 'oh no, it's a mess today', then laugh awkwardly. Or I would try to divert the attention back onto someone else by saying something like 'your hair is way prettier'.
I could never just take the damn compliment. I always had to disagree, divert the attention or prove my inferiority by comparing myself to someone else.
Anyone else know what I'm talking about?
Unfortunately, I think a lot of you do.

Here's what I've learnt and what I constantly have to remind myself.
When someone takes the time to compliment you they're saying, 'hey I've noticed you and I see something so special in you that I need to tell you.'
They're not asking for anything in return (maybe they are but screw em' if they're that self interested), they just want you to know that you're beautiful, talented or appreciated. They want you to know you're loved.
No matter how shitty I am feeling about myself, that doesn't change what someone else might see in me.
They might not notice the thin layer or dry shampoo thats stopping the grease from showing in my hair. Or the pimple on my chin and the tiny stain on my shirt.
But they might notice the colour of my eyes or my outfit as a whole.
Everyone has a unique perspective, so when someone compliments you, take it. Accept their positivity and allow that positivity to brighten your own perspective.

I've learnt to say thank you as a reflex because I've realised that denying compliments is a sign of insecurity and only increases those insecurities. Accepting compliments actually helps build my self esteem and accepting them out of reflex is really useful because it overrides my instinct to deny the compliment. So I encourage you to practice that. Learn to say thank you and tell you're insecurities to shut the hell up.

The final thing I've learnt is to give compliments. If you see something about another person that grabs your attention, tell them. Tell your friend that her new shoes are cute, or that her makeup looks extra good to day. Tell your mum that that colour looks really nice on her.
I've found that giving compliments without any expectation of reciprocation, makes you more open to the idea that someone else might do the same to you. It also makes you notice the way others deny appreciation. I think it was watching others reject compliments and wondering why they wouldn't just take the damn compliment, that made me realise I was the same. That it was something that wasn't an attractive quality to have or healthy for my self-esteem.

So please, just take the damn compliment. Accept that someone loves and cares about you and let their words build you up. Don't let yourself make you feel even shittier. Let others brighten your day and let yourself see through their eyes.

If you have any thoughts you would like to add, please let me know in the comments. Like seriously, blogging to a quiet audience is boring as hell. Make some noise for me please. Thank you!
From Rachael,
With Love.

Monday, 6 February 2017

How To Grow Your Love For Reading

Hey, hows it going? Hope you all have a great first week back at school. I doubt it will be as horrible as you think it'll be.

I may have already mentioned this, but I'm a big fan of reading. There's nothing I love more than to sit in the sun with a good book and be swept into another world.
Books are so important in so many ways. They widen ones vocabulary, challenge your thoughts and opinions and can expand your imagination.
I know this because I'm studying english at university haha.

My love for reading began when I was a about 8 and a half. I really wanted my ears pierced so mum made me a deal. She told me that if I read twenty (or at least I think it was twenty) books then I could get my ears pierced. Now during this time we were actually travelling overseas for three months, so I had plenty of opportunities to read on all the train and plane rides. Unfortunately, because we were overseas it made finding books written in english a little more complicated. But I found the Rainbow Magic series and a few others and by the time we got to Paris I had well and truly completed the challenge mum had set for me and was ready to claim my prize.
From there I read Narnia, Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events and by the time I hit High School I was well and truly a reader.

Now, yes I do love books and reading, but sometimes I somehow forget this and get into a bit of a reading slump. This usually happens mid semester when I have to read several text book chapters, an Ancient Greek play or Roman poem and have to watch several hours of lectures per week. As well as speed read a couple of novels for school I haven't gotten around to finishing yet. Not to mention all those damn assignments that need to be written. All of this can make you a little word tired, so here are a few tips to grow your love for reading.

1. Read books that compliment your mood
If you're stressed out and have little time, don't pick up an epic fantasy 1000 pages long. Choose a book thats shorter, easy to read and with plots that makes you fly through the pages. I find this hard because I love really long epic fantasies, but sometimes I'm just not in the right headspace for them and reading them can feel like a chore. Also if you're in a bad mood, pick a book thats fun and happy. I dare you to read Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before and not feel all warm and fuzzy from it.

2. Switch up the genre
Whilst every story is unique, genre's often contain the same cliches and plot devices. I always find that if I read too many books from the same genre in a row I get bored. Even if the book is fantastic, my reading experience can be damaged by the other books I read before it. This definitely happened to me during the dystopia phase. I often use stand alone contemporaries as a sort of palette cleanser between series.  

3. Reread the books you love
Am I the only one who feels a certain type of guilt whenever you go to pick up a book that you've already read? I have so many books on my to be read list that the concept of rereading feels counter productive. But there is a certain comfort in rereading a book that always invigorates me and reignites my excitement for new books. Not to mention it is a lot easier to relax while reading an old book. You know where the story is going so it's easier to be swept along by it and enjoy the general experience of reading. 

4. Set Goals
Every year I set a challenge on Goodreads for the amount of books I want to read. This year I have set the goal of 50 books, and the website actually tracks the number of books you've read. You just mark the book as 'currently reading' or 'read' and the website tells you if you're on schedule, or how many books you are behind. I'm currently 2 books behind schedule and last year I was six books off reaching my goal, so it's okay if you aren't always on top of things. But I find having the goal is a major motivator because it's is something that I have decided to try and achieve. The more you read, the more your love for it grows. 

5. Talk about books
I love discussing the books that I've read and getting recommendations off my friends. With some of my friends one of the first questions we ask each other is 'have you read any good books lately?' Talking about books always makes me so much more excited about reading and I love it when a friend recommends something and being able to back to them saying I've read it. Also if you don't have many friends who read or who don't read the same books as you, try watching book reviews on youtube or finding a blog that does great reviews. Personally I love reading Emily May's reviews on Goodreads and watching PolandbanasBOOKS booktalks on youtube. 

If you want to see what books I've been reading and what I rated them, add me on Goodreads here. Also if you have any tips on how to grow your love for reading, let me know in the comments. 
Have a fantastic week! 
With Love,
From Rachael 

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Makeup Diaries no.1 | You don't need it

    Hey, how was everyone's Australia Day, or if your not from Australia did you have a good week? My Australia day ended up being pretty chill, I mostly sipped Iced Watermelon Mocktails and listened to the Triple J's hottest 100 as I baked macarons and passionfruit tarts for a bridal shower on the weekend. At the bridal shower we had a donut wall, which is honestly one of the prettiest and most delicious ideas ever! Check out my instagram to see photos, I haven't posted any of the shower yet but will in a few days...

    ANYWAY, so today I wanted to talk about makeup and share with you some of my thoughts on the subject. From the age of about 13 girls are faced with the decision of being the type of girl who wears makeup or the type who doesn't. Some girls start wearing as much as they can as soon as they can, while others might decide to only wear mascara for now and change their mind in a few years. And others decide to never wear makeup at all, or only on special occasions.
    But the thing is, everyone has a different relationship with makeup. Makeup makes some girls feel stronger, more confident. Others feel prettier wearing it and more themselves. Some people even feel extremely uncomfortable and insecure wearing it. It's strange how it can create so many different reactions in people, and yet it does.

    But I think that is something we need to remember, and I think that a lot of people don't. Often on the internet I come across beauty bloggers and vloggers who create these beautiful makeup looks but forget to teach their viewers about natural beauty and how to be confident without makeup. Beauty bloggers and vloggers are incredibly talented and I know not all do this, but I often find they're so focused on the makeup aspect of beauty they forget about the natural, authentic part.
    This is part of the reason I have a love hate relationship with makeup. I love how it can enhance your natural beauty, but I hate it when I feel insecure without it, or when I see people who are incapable of being seen without it.

     Makeup is not something that we actually need and people are still beautiful without it. I believe society should stop encouraging girls so young to wear it on a daily basis, because that just encourages them to be dependant on it. 13 year old girls are insecure enough as it is and while makeup may temporarily make them feel more confident I believe that not wearing makeup until you are completely (or as close as you can get) confident in your natural appearance is far more beneficial to your self esteem. I personally only wore mascara until I was about 17, and I'm not saying you should necessarily do the same, but because of that makeup is something that I can take or leave most days. I am quite confident being seen without makeup and often wear it more for fun than anything else. I just don't think it's good to be reliant on something to make you feel beautiful.

That's all I have to say on the subject of makeup for now, but I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings towards makeup in the comments. I hope that my thoughts are useful to you and that they will give you the confidence to have a go at not wearing makeup for a day, or the confidence to feel okay about not wearing it when all your friends do. There is nothing wrong with loving makeup and wearing it, just remember that you don't need it.
With love,
From Rachael

Monday, 16 January 2017

From Rachael with Love

Hello and welcome to my blog.

This is my first post in this space and I'm pretty excited. If you hadn't guessed my name is Rachael and for my first post I thought a quick  introduction might be in order.

Currently, I am 21 and in my second year of university where I'm studying business and english. I love reading, baking, throwing stylish parties and travelling.

This blog is a place where I am going to share with you what I have learnt about friendships, growing up and working out who you are, as well as fun things like cute recipes, book recommendations and makeup loves.

I want this blog to be a place where you can interact with me so make sure you write a comment introducing yourself and with what types of posts you'd like to see. Also make sure you follow me on instagram to keep updated. Bye for now!

With Love,
From Rachael xx

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