My 23rd Birthday | What I did

Hi all!

As of the 4th of July I became the ripe old age of 23. Yes. 23. I am not sure how this happened but there it is, 23 years old…

If i’m honest this year I wasn’t feeling particularly celebratory. I did not have the birthday feeling and haven’t been able to properly celebrate yet as my mum is recovering from an operation.

I have to say the night before wasn’t the best either but to avoid making this post negative I am going to skip over that and tell you that I kicked my birthday eve off by watching a Steven Seagal film with my parents. Steven Seagal films are some of my favourites, they are films I usually enjoy and had recently just bought the box set so on one went! My sister was out that evening and I have to say I actually really enjoyed spending time with just my parents, I don’t remember the last time I did that!

The morning came and a cup of tea and brioche were waiting for me, along with a balloon and present from my parents. I got some gorgeous white gold twisted small hoop earrings. I love them! My favourite length of earring is around that size, the drop earrings that hang just below your ear. I also got a mug with Guinea Pigs on which I absolutely love and have never seen this one in the collection before.

My dad dropped me round at my partners and I excitedly opened his present, the theme was ‘you only have one life’, him encouraging me to do things that I would like to do and set goals to work towards. I got a ‘Hot guys’ calender which has my name with a hot topless guy on every month, a gorgeous notebook and an experience day where I still need to decide what I’m going to do! Bless him ๐Ÿ™‚ <3.

For my birthday my partner and me took a day off work to go somewhere and, in true 23 year old style, I chose… THE ZOO! I love animals and haven’t been to the zoo in ages so off we went to Whipsnade zoo. The day was so lovely, we spent the whole day there and walked around every single animal enclosure there. Of course some of the animals we never got to see but the elephants were a highlight of the day as we were just in time to see them being fed. There were a lot of females and two younger elephants who came out holding each others tails! It was such a magical sight to see, and although that seems cliche, its always amazing to me how they interact with each other. The baby even found a ball to play with and started kicking it round the enclosure whilst running along after it! It was quite a sight to see.

Coming back from the zoo I decided that our dinner would be a picnic in the garden! A trip to Sainsburys later and we were armed and ready with all the picnic food we could manage.

Finally, to end the day I came home to see my sister and spent some time with her opening my present from her which included the Aladdin 3 film box set, a tribute to our favourite past time film when we were younger, a set of chokers and an elephant teddy to replace the one I lost at my previous job. She gave this teddy to me when I first went off to Uni so I ‘wouldn’t forget her’. I was gutted to not be able to get it back so she has kindly replaced it ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall it was such a good day and am looking forward to celebrating with my family when my mum has recovered.

What do you guys have planned for your birthdays?

Speak soon! x

 

Update & I’m back!

Hello all!

If i’m honest I never left… Quite frankly my job doesn’t allow me a lot of time to write my blogs and in the evenings I’m often at my partners. If i’m honest this is a rubbish excuse as he definitley wouldn’t mind me writing up a blog round his!

Anyway following on from my pathetic excuses, allow me to update you on the Optimistic Diaries!

After my last update there was a week or two where things were really good, me and my partner were going out a lot and, dare I say it, work was good. The past couple of weeks however, have been pretty tricky. Work wise I won’t say much, just know that I am enjoying the work but the atmosphere has been difficult. Although I am hopeful that this will be sorted eventually.

In other news my partner and I are looking for a house together! A big step going forward but an exciting one also. Although I can tell you that house hunting is one of the most frustrating and stressful activites ever! We have found a few houses we really like but when you phone up to book a viewing they tell you that the house has already gone…like two months ago! Although its been tough its also been positive as we have been able to get a bigger mortgage than we thought we would, which is always a nice feeling! The next problem is is that there is not a lot on the market at the moment and is currently at its lowest for 43 years! Trust us to look for something at this point… but! Being optimistic, there will be somehting out there, we just need to keep looking for the right thing.

Something thats also a bit more positive is that I am restarting my driving lessons soon! Yes, after this frustratingly long amount of time from constant moving around I will finally be starting them back up. Thhis is one of the most frustrating things as I just want it over and done with but unfortunately my confidence has never been good and thid does affect my driving. However, I am with a driving instructor that I have been with before and like so this is a definite positive in the situation.

I have to say during my time away, initially I didn’t miss blogging as much as I thought I would, however, as time went on I kept looking at things or thinkg of things where I thought ‘that would be good for my blog’. I am so pleased to be back and hope you are all well.

Speak soon! x

The Optimistic Diaries | Week 16

Hi all, 

This week I had my – almost – full first week at work, it was both interesting and scary. Interesting because it’s something new, I set up my own computer for my desk space, got my computer login and managed to go through a few files. However, I’m not necessarily loving it ATM, the files have been started so everything is everywhere and everything feels all jumbled up and confusing. The work itself isn’t scary I just worry that I’ll muck up. 


Since being optimistic is my theme for the year and I havnt been sticking to it in my weekly blog, let me try again… 

Firstly setting up a computer I actually really enjoyed, I felt quite technical and had a sense of achievement. The only thing missing is a splitter so my dual screen can work! As for the work I do find it interesting I just want to get going on a pile of fresh files that are my own and I am excited for when I can eventually do that ๐Ÿ™‚ as for worrying about mucking up, I feel as though everyone makes mistakes and is going to make mistakes at some point. The managers say as long as you don’t send something to the wrong person it can all be corrected! I know this is true and that you need to make mistakes to learn so I’m going to try and be more relaxed at work to try and enjoy it more. 

In other news I was sad this week that I am unable to get a tiny ten week old guinea pig I fell in love with. I know that I shouldn’t until I have my own place etc but he was so cute! It’s difficult to see the positives in this for me, however, deep down I know that it is Better that I do not get another one this minute! I guess that’s more optimistic? 


More recently this weekend has been lovely! On Friday my partner took me out for dinner. He wanted to take me to Bournemouth (aawwwwww) but by he time we got back it was a bit late! We ended up in Basingstoke in Pizza Express enjoying a lovely meal! Unfortunately there wasn’t anything on at the cinema, but I didn’t mind as I was really enjoying myself! I found the rest of the weekend to be very similar to this, my partner was so loving and caring and we just enjoyed each other’s company, walking round Basingstoke, sitting in the sun with my boys, reading in the garden etc. The only bit that was harder was leaving him. We had such a good time together this weekend that I just wanted it to continue! Again it’s a struggle to think of something optimistic in this situation, but I keep trying to remind myself that we have had a really good weekend, we will probably see each other later on this week AND it’s a bank holiday next week. Surely this counts for something?! 
I guess over the whole I am feeling more Ready for this week and we shall have to see what it brings ๐Ÿ™‚ I am looking forward to my first proper payday in a while and seeing both my boys and partner ๐Ÿ™‚ bring it on?

How are have you guys been? Are any of you doing a challenge or theme for the year? 

The Optimistic Diaries | Week 15

Hello all,

This is a later post as I did not put anything up due to it being Easter. I hope you enjoy!

This week has been one of those love hate weeks. I started my new job so throughout the week I’m not going to have a lot of updates. I can say though that my training went well and I met some wonderful people who I get on well with. I have also been struggling with it as I keep panicking that I am going to do something wrong which, I know at some point I will as who doesn’t?! I think it’s because of what happened at my previous two jobs that it is playing on my mind. Although I know those weren’t my fault, I feel as though it has impacted massively on my self-confidence (the little I had) at work. I feel as though it is unfair that I and those immediately around me have suffered and I don’t want the same thing to happen again. I am struggling to let myself just enjoy the now at work because of this even though I know I can do the job. As you have guessed I am struggling to stay positive but am covering it well!


In other news I have, of course, seen my boys every other evening this week and this weekend they had a good wash (not that they were happy with this) and got to meet a little female Guinea Pig as my partner was looking after someone’s whilst they moved. Percy loved this, he wanted to show off a lot! She wasn’t bothered by this and it surprised me that Diesel didn’t seem fussed either, he is usually the one to start fights between them and he barely battered an eyelid at her! Over the Easter weekend we did have a lovely surprise as my Aunt and Uncle surprised me and my sister all the way from Scotland! We rarely get to see them so it was really nice to spend time with them. We showed the Windsor and the long walk then Windsor park on the Sunday. We also all went for a lovely meal, my partner included, that ended up turning into a very amusing night with wine involved! It was sad they went back on the Monday but it was so nice to see them as it’s so rare! We had such a good time and I feel grateful that I could have more recent memories of them.



My week has mostly been good with my partner too, although my feelings towards myself have affected us this week as I have been giving him more of my anxious parts and because he tends to be my outlet I have started a couple of heated discussions with him. We have made up although I feel anxious that I’ll start some more with him without meaning too. Hopefully I can keep these more under control as I know he doesn’t deserve it! Again this hasn’t helped me to remain optimistic although if I think about it we are still together and he has put up with me for FOUR years this year! I’m not sure why either but there we go! Hopefully I will be able to think more positively after this week after reflecting on this.


I am hoping that the next week at work will get easier both from this weeks reflection and the fact that I will get into it more as I find my feet but we shall see. I am struggling to find something optimistic to say as I write this so I am going to try my best to reflect as much as I can.

How was your Easter? Did you do much?

 

 

American Psycho | Bret Easton Ellis

Hi all,

I have another book review for you this week. The last one I did got some great feedback so thank you all for that! If you haven’t seen it yet and would like to then click here. I have always been intrigued by this book but over the past year I started to gain more interest in it when it came up in my Audible suggestions. I wanted to read the book first though before I listened to it so it went down on my Christmas list! I was lucky enough to get it and quickly started it.

  • Genre – Crime/Thriller
  • Title – American Psycho
  • Author – Bret Easton Ellis
  • Rating – 3.5/5


The book is set during the 1980’s and focus’s around consumerism and a wealthy group of individuals, in particular Patrick Bateman. Patrick is depicted from the offset as a ladies man and the definition of a psychopath. Charming and charismatic on the outside but inward he has no empathy or compassion for others. In fact quite a lot of the characters in the book don’t really care about a great deal other than themselves and materialistic items. There are often pages of descriptions about what Patrick and his ‘friends’ are wearing and how much they are spending which puts a big emphasis on materialism.


Initially Patrick is not depicted as a psychopath as such, more of a rich, bored guy who takes drugs and sex in his spare time. It is throughout the book that his psychopathic tendencies make their appearance. These slowly build from beatings of homeless men and the women who he sleeps with. Eventually these beatings escalate to much more graphic scenes of murder of multiple people, mainly women. As these escalate the way that Patrick narrates also becomes more erratic, sadistic and seemingly confused as to who he is.


I have to say that I read a LOT of crime books and non have been as gruesomely realistic as this when explaining the sex and murder scenes as this one. I for one wasn’t put off by this but I am pretty sure that some people would be. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting this, the way the scenes are told means you can imagine every single detail of what goes on as they are told from Patrick’s perspective, no empathy and objectifying the women, comparing them to a chicken at points. Saying this, I did find them well written, Patrick went from a bored, rich, stuck up guy to being a character that becomes dangerous and intriguing at the same time. You find yourself wanting to know more about him and what he is going to do next.

The first half of the book I found slow and although I understand why, didn’t find the descriptions of what designers the characters were wearing and the price of food very enthralling. I felt as though there were some that went on for way too long when it wasn’t necessary. An example of this was that for four pages Patrick discussed his thoughts on the first Whitney Houston album. FOUR PAGES. Why do I need to know this??? Is what I kept thinking, although luckily this was probably one of the longer sections where this happened. Apart from this I found the book to be very well written, I felt as though the internal monologues from Patrick helped to connect me with him and follow his journey his way, which I have to say is like no other I have ever read. Once I got to the last few pages there was a part of me that was pleased I had pushed on through the materialism and finished, but the other part wanted to carry on to see what Patrick did next.

I don’t feel as though the 3.5 I had to give this book is good enough to represent the way it was written, however, there were times where I really struggled to stay with the book which is why I couldn’t give this a 4/5. Saying this I would recommend this as there is a reason this book is cult status! I would warn anyone who doesn’t like graphic torture, rape/sex and murder scenes to proceed with caution, particularly towards the end of the book.

What are your thoughts on this book? Would you consider reading it?

 

The Optimistic Diaries | Week 14

Hello all!

This week has been a very positive, if not slightly scary week for me. On the whole it has been easier to stay positive, mainly because of the pure relief I feel! Things with my partner have also been really good recently and we seem to be on a steady wave of understanding where the other is at and what they need.

Monday was the day that brought with it the great relief. As you know Week 13 saw me get the results from an interview I did and they weren’t what I wanted to hear. Monday bought with it another opportunity for an interview for a place very close to where I live. Of I went and 40 minutes later emerged wondering whether or not that the time meant it was bad or good. The waiting game played out for the rest of the day until I got a phone call saying that they would really like to have me on board and was wondering whether I could start in a weeks time! I am so relieved to finally have at least something again! I have to admit I also felt very mixed as there are parts of not having a 9-5 job i will miss but I am more excited to be getting paid at the end of the month!

Tuesday came and I was still mulling my mixed feelings but was overall excited still. The day was pretty dull as I just did all the ironing and it was lloooonnggggg. The evening came and me and my dad went over to see my nan to sort something out for her, it was nice to see her as I havn’t done so in a while and she was pleased with my good news. On the way back me and my dad decided to have a McDonalds for dinner and I tried a burger I havn’t had before! I know I’m going all out… My dad also won a mini ice cream cone with the McDonalds monopoly and I got to finish off the cone…although that is my favourite bit! We ended up spending the evening watching a film together, an older Jean Claude van Damme one which actually I really enjoyed!


Wednesday morning was an early one for me, I covered the phones where my mum works as there was a big meeting so no one to do so. I did a few jobs for her and ended up trying to find some jewellery for my forward helix piercing. Overall a productive morning! The rest of the day passed without any eventfulness and I carried on with my usual routines. Thursday was also the same, nothing eventful to report.

Friday was a bit more exciting as I spent the majority of the day with my dad until he went off to work and I had a shower ready to go over to my partners that evening. I popped over to Sainsbury’s with my dad before I went as we went to chose some hair products for me. I have a love hate relationship with my hair, theres a lot of it but its very fine so doesn’t get much volume at all. It’s also very silky so anything you do to it doesn’t last very long unless its cemented in place! I ended up getting a gel spray and a gel so I will be testing those out. At my partners I saw my boys, who actually tolerated each other for once! After dinner we all went out to a lovely pub and had a really lovely evening.


Saturday was a busy day, me and my partner ended up car hunting and work clothes shopping. My shopping trip was pretty successful! I came away with some really nice tops to go with some trousers I ordered off of ASOS. Zara have some lovely stuff in at the moment… My partners car shopping was successful but he isn’t sure he is going to get a new one just yet, but it was nice to find one he liked. After dinner I tried on all my tops, they all fit, and me and him played Alien Isolation on Xbox before watching Kung Fu Panda 3 and falling asleep.


Sunday was such a beautiful day that we spent all of it in the back garden in the sunshine. I cleaned out my boys and they had a good two hours munching grass and enjoying the weather with cuddles in between of course! The rest of the time was spent relaxing and me thinking about my first day at my new job…EEEEKKKKKK!



It has been easier to be more positive but the relief that the week brought with it trumps all else at the moment. I obviously have worries about the new job etc but right now they are easy to deal with.

I hope you are all good.

Anxiety vs Logic | The ongoing debate

Hello all!

Yesterday I saw a Thomas Sanders video which featured him personifying the debate between ‘logic’ and ‘anxiety’ and thought that this is what happens to me on a daily basis and recently I’d like to think that my ‘logic’ side has been consistently winning…for how long I don’t know, but so far it has been a useful tool when dealing with anxious thoughts so I thought I would share it.

When you are anxious, or if you suffer from anxiety, you will instantly assume the worst and overthink/play the situation at hand whether it be a simple decision such as what earrings to wear or a much more difficult decision like what car to buy. Now, I am going to try and keep this post more light hearted rather than enter into a deep conversation, hence why I chose those examples. However, this does not detract from my point that logic can help anxious thoughts.

There have been many a time…many, many, many a time over the past years where my anxious thoughts have overridden my brain and ruined either the situation I am in and/or made me feel even worse. Recently I have been trying to out argue this side of myself with logic and, so far, I would say it has really helped. For example, when choosing a pair of earrings sometimes the sheer quantity of the amount you may have could make you anxious, the event, people around you, what you are wearing, whether they will be comfortable all come into play and just fuel the anxious part of your mind. Often such a ย small decision such as earrings becomes a mammoth task you have to overcome and, if you are anything like me, often a vote from those around me is what forms my decision. For me personally, this decision would be heavily affected by those around me. For example, if my parents had bought me one set of earrings and my sister another I would feel bad for that person if I didn’t wear them. This may sound stupid but that is what happens and this would then become a fight in my mind over who’s I had worn recently etc.

*breathe breathe breathe*

Queue LOGIC. Both of these sets of earrings are ones which I really love and realistically the people who I love know that I love both pairs of earrings regardless of what earrings I decide to wear on that day. Also I think its safe to say that, unless you have two lobe piercings, you can only wear one pair which is logic in itself. You see?

I have found that breaking these decisions down and constantly going over the process helps to quieten the anxious part of me and help me actually make a decision. Constantly repeating this process every time I become anxious has really helped me to control it more. Whilst this may not be the most useful example I hope you can see where I am coming from. Anxiety can have a point in itself, it just doesn’t put them across reasonably. Logic, and eventually reality, help to simplifyย the point that anxiety is trying to make and tone it down, that way you feel less anxious and have dealt with the thought/situation effectively.

The Optimistic Diaries | Week 13

Hello all,

Week 13 was a difficult week. There were many ups and downs and in the moment it was hard to really find something positive in the downs, however, hind sight is a wonderful thing and I feel proud that I can now think back and come up with some!

Monday and Tuesday were pretty standard days for me, I spent time doing chores and bits with my dad and I enjoyed spending time with him even if I did feel like his little minion following him around! I also saw my boys a lot as giving Diesel medicine when he didn’t want to have it proved to be tricky! Saying this I didn’t take no for an answer so I am pleased to report he had all his medicine when needed.

Wednesday was the start of a down for me as the feedback I got from a job interview was not the way I wanted it to go and it made me feel very down and useless. I had a bit of a cry and got a big hug from my dad which was, looking back on it a lovely moment. He also managed to cheer me up and put things into perspective for me. However because I felt really rubbish Wednesday was also the start of me feeling insecure in my relationship, I still don’t understand why my partner is with me and this week I have slowly been pushing him away. The only positive I could find at the time was that the blog post I did ended up being well liked which surprised me as it was a book review so if you are one of the ones who read that then thank you!


Thursday was a better day but I still struggled and felt pretty low although I managed to see my boys in the evening and get them out for some grass munching! Seeing them always makes me feel better and calmer in general so this helped.



Friday came and me and my partner had decided to go on a date night, meal and cinema, the standard date! We got dressed up and ended up having a long conversation about us and the way we felt which definitely helped to clear the air and made us both feel better. The night ended up not going to plan as the film times were no good and Nando’s was so packed we ended up going to Pizza Express. I did surprise both me and my partner though as on the way back I spoke about how lovely the evening was as even though nothing had gone to plan it was a lovely evening and we decided to do what we had originally planned the next night!

Saturday came and we gave the boys a good clean out and found a way to have them both out at the same time (they fight)! The evening again, turned out to be lovely, we saw the film Life, which was brutal but I am pleased I saw it. Whilst discussing the film we waited for our Nando’s takeaway and enjoyed it snuggled up watching yet another film in the form of Kung Fu Panda, a cult film in our relationship.



Sunday was again a lovely day, we decided that because the weather was nice we would go for a picnic and a canal walk. We sat for ages enjoying the sun and the food we got before finally mooching along the canal. It was such a lovely day, chilled and calm yet it felt like we actually did something.


So there we go guys, a more in-depth version of my week! I am definitely feeling more positive after the weekend so I am hoping there will be good news to update you on in week 14! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the weather.

 

Disclaimer | Renee Knight

Hi all,

I decided I want to start getting back into book reviews. I am such an avid reader and I set up a category within my blog for books, however, shamefully there is only one on there! So today I decided to re-start, not that I ever really started, the book category. Disclaimer is a book I actually first heard about on Audible. Since then I was waiting to pick it up in store, which I finally did!

  • Genre – Thriller
  • Title – Disclaimer
  • Author – Renee Knight
  • Rating – 4/5

‘Imagine if the next thriller you opened was all about you’.


This quote is on the front of the book and is what attracted me to it in the first place. The story centers around the main protagonist Catherine who picks up a book only to find that it is about her and a secret she has kept hidden for years…until now…


The book opens right at the point Catherine recognizes herself in the book and this sets the scene for the next few chapters. As you can imagine the book starts off pretty fast paced and you are thrown into the basis of the book head first. Throughout the book the chapters switch between the present and the past, each recounting versions around the event which, throughout the majority of the book you are lead to believe that Catherine is in the wrong and that she kept her secret to protect herself.

As the book continues and more and more characters become integrated into the novel the true events slowly begin to unravel which leads to a shocking twists to finish on.

The actual book itself I found mostly fast paced and the only bit I struggled with was after the first few chapters of the book, as it started so quickly I was left wondering where it could possibly expand to! The feeling didn’t last too long though and I ended up really enjoying the book and the progression. Although I enjoyed the book I did find that some of the character development was lacking, the husband for example had minimal development and background yet he suddenly became a figure you both hated and sympathized with at the same time who then became more insignificant at the end. I also found that Catherine’s son Nick lack lustre, he annoyed me throughout the book an I felt as though he was skimmed over especially at the point of finding out he takes drugs, I kept wondering why as although he didn’t have a close relationship to Catherine initially there was no explanation for him suddenly taking drugs and struggling to maintain a job.

Overall I would still recommend this book to anyone who is interested as the end for me was so gripping and made me forget my initial frustrations with the characters, completely redeeming it to a 4/5! For comparison this book has been compared to Gone Girl, and although I see some similarities, dark secret, troubled marriage, I am not completely  convinced it is comparable. Saying this I cannot think of a book I have read that is comparable.


Have you read this? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts below ๐Ÿ™‚

The Optimistic Diaries | Week 12

Hello all! 

These week I am proud to announce has been a more positive one ๐Ÿ™‚ the only bad thing has been that one of my boys had a vet appointment and is on antibiotics for a week, however, I’m not viewing this as negative as he’s getting better ๐Ÿ™‚ 

I had a job interview Friday which went well so I’ll have to wait until mid week to find out whether I have it or not so fingers crossed! 

The weekend saw me and my partner get a few dvd’s including the box set of Michael Macintyre and I LOVE him! We have spent a long time laughing at his dvds so far. 

We also went out for Mother’s Day and had a nice walk along the beach with some lovely weather to accompany us! Speaking of which the weather has started to get sunnier and I don’t normally like hotter weather but I am feeling pretty summery at the moment! 


I have felt more positive this week, it’s been easier to put things into perspective and think logically about things which has helped to be more positive about things. There have been a lot of things that have frustrated me recently but I’m trying to put them aside to focus on what’s happening on the day. 

I hope your year is going ok so far!