Even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it doesn’t mean that us Brits can’t get in on the action and take a moment to reflect on the past year and all the things that we are thankful for. This last year has felt both the longest and the shortest. Reflecting back, I have done and accomplished so much. I’ve learnt a lot, grown a lot and I have a lot of things to be thankful for.

I think the most important thing that I’m grateful for is the privileges I’ve had over the last year. Things haven’t always been easy but there was a turning point about halfway through when things started to get better and better. I was able to go on three different holidays (Rome, Lisbon and Crete) and I am extremely grateful for that. I had the best possible time and whilst I don’t think I’ll ever have a chance to do that again, the experience was more than enough.

I am grateful for the opportunities that have been available to me. And like always, I’ve taken them with both hands.

I am grateful for this piece of work here (my blog), having my own domain and my own space to write, explore and share with all of you. People actually read my posts!! I like to think this is the year of my blog and 2018 is going to be great! I got my first piece of blogger mail the other day and I’m super excited! Yes, I needed that Americanism. Again, I’m thankful to even be acknowledged by a brand because NEVER in a million years did I ever think I’d ever be at that level.

Lastly, I’m thankful to have the ability to live a life I love and to be able to do things I love too. And that puts me in a really privileged position which I’ll be eternally grateful for.

If this last year has taught me anything, it’s that hard work pays off. I’ve been brought up on the theory that to achieve and accomplish anything takes work, hard work. You’re never going to be given anything on a plate unless you work hard and put yourself in that position. Working hard opens doors and the feeling of walking through them is beyond what words can describe. It’s an incredible feeling and I wish you all the chance to feel that too.

What have you been grateful for this year?

Love, Aoife x

Have you ever been afraid to read a book? No? I suppose no one ever gets scared of a book but when I bought milk and honey, I was afraid to go near it. Not because it was bad or I thought it was going to be rubbish, but because I knew -I got this feeling- that in front of me was a really powerful book. A book that could make me happy and tear me to shreds seconds later.

Milk + Honey is a collection of poems split into four sections; the loving, the breaking, the hurting and the healing. Kaur articulates every feeling, emotion and thought that I’ve ever felt and haven't yet felt. She made me feel happy, sad, vulnerable and strong. Through her poetry, Kaur is able to teach a way of life that we’ve become accustomed too. She points out how we (especially females) have been forced to accept things as a way of life.

After reading this book, I definitely felt as though I’d been schooled in life. I felt as though I’d been taught to understand I’m a vulnerable creature and there’s plenty of loss in life. But I was also taught to appreciate life and there’s beauty in vulnerability. It’s the vulnerability that makes us human and being human is a beautiful thing. She also taught me that love is a very passionate emotion and we should be able to experience that and give everything to it.

Milk + Honey is definitely a book I would recommend. And I think everyone should read it at least once in their life. It’s the type of book that gets you thinking and tapping into/ confronting emotions that you’re used to hiding away. It’s the type of book that shows beauty in life, through the loving, breaking, hurting and healing. It’s a book that encourages hope and makes you look at the person you are and want to be. She writes about being whole as a person before you can give yourself to others. Kaur touches on the pressures of society and what is right for the mind and body. 

Milk + Honey has to be one the best books I’ve ever read. She changes the game on poetry and it made me fall in love with the written musical language. There’s so much emotion rooted deep down in the pit of your stomach that rises up into your heart (if you read it properly). If you’re debating what to read next, or you keep putting off buying the book. Buy it now! Because it’s the game changer you need in your life.

Love, Aoife x

P.S- I'm going to read her new book the sun and her flowers next. I'll let you know how it goes.

Self-improvement is something I've always been interested in. How can I make myself a better person? I've been at uni for just over a month and I'll keep banging on about it but literally, WTH! Life is well underway now and sometimes it moves too fast for me to catch up. We've been in November for a little while now, (I know I'm a bit late with this post,) and I've set myself up with a few goals for the new month. A few goals to make me better at who I am and what I do. With that said...

Get Organised. I feel like this will become an every monthly goal. I’ve got assessment dates coming up and homework, which I keep forgetting I have. Working out dates and sorting deadlines is definitely something I need to get on top of this month. And also, getting into a routine so I have a set work time and a set 'play' time.

Pamper myself more. I feel best clean, shaved (my legs!) and moisturized. I keep forgetting how important it is to look after and cherish your body, both physically and mentally. It’s definitely something I need to work on. And if my body is a temple, then it needs to be worshipped and treated right.

Sort out a blogging routine. I can't blog on demand, it's something that will come to me any time of the day even when I'm trying to sleep but I need to sort out times when I can blog and when to do uni work. I need to get on top of everything and post reguarly. Plus, I feel better when there's content going out.

Budget! I’m a uni student and budgeting is definitely something I have to do. Whilst I’m living within my means, I do need to sort finances out and start saving. Work out money for groceries and for shopping.

Lastly, I want to do something out of my comfort zone. I’ve been spending my nights in my room and it’s about time I went out one night. Whether I go to a club one night, or go the cinema by myself, or venture to the theatre. I want to do something different and be out there one night.

So those are some goals I’ve set myself for the upcoming month of November. I posted some of my monthly goals earlier in the year and they were so beneficial. I definitely kept most of my goals throughout the month. Self-improvement is always a good thing. And like I mentioned earlier, setting goals is one way of identifying something you want to work towards and putting that into action.

Love, Aoife x

Ted Baker is a brand I adore. Their designs are a mixture of class, femininity, and elegance all wrapped in beautiful pieces of clothing and accessories. I never thought I would be fortunate to be able to afford a Ted Baker item, especially not before 25. But life is good, and with an outlet just around the corner and added student discount, I decided to treat myself to a little something. Because we all deserve to treat ourselves every now and then, right?

Stuck between two beautiful purses, I finally came to a decision, choosing a purse that I felt was the epitome of Ted Baker. It is a classic Ted Baker design, simplicity at its best. And also, one that represented me and my style. I think elegance goes a long way in the world; its classic beauty.

The purse is a soft and subtle nude pink, detailed with a rose gold/ copper bow on the front and a pocket on the back. The inside is a gorgeous rich plum color with plenty of space for all my new cards. Oh and the lining, (if you didn’t know about Ted Baker lining then you need to), matches the nude pink with printed classic Ted Baker bows all over. I love the simplicity and this purse is beautiful.

Love, Aoife x