Being a warrior and less of a worrier- What happened in January?

Featured, Uncategorized

It is hard to survive when your brain is always at war with itself.

For as long as I can remember I have always tried to fit in, to be normal; to be liked by everyone and to never cause a fuss. I have this constant fear in my mind that I will never be normal. That no one ever likes me really, that I just seem to exist. It’s hard because I have some of the most incredible friends and family in the world and sometimes it STILL feels like the whole world is against me. It is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety what it’s like to live in constant fear. It is difficult to explain that a simple walk to the canteen fills me with dread. If you ask me why it does, I know my answers are illogical, but it doesn’t stop the fear from consuming me.

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When I was in my teens at maybe 15, my school sent me to some group therapy for self esteem issues, but all it did was make things slightly worse. It was hard to sit in a room and listen to people who seemed to have real issues that were worse than mine. I dismissed myself having poor mental health after this time as I felt I had no reason. When I reached sixth form the GP put me on beta blockers to deal with exam ‘stress’. I think that was when my panic attacks became most apparent. That things in my head were not as normal as I had tried to make myself believe. For the remainder of my sixth form education I tried to dismiss things that were in my head. How could anything be wrong when I have the most amazing family who love and support me? It wasn’t till I came to university that I realised that just because my life seemed amazing, didn’t mean that things in my head were always amazing.

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My anxiety controls me some days. It will tell me that my world is falling apart and even when I know that things are okay, my brain still tricks itself. It always comes at what feels like stupid times: when I am at dinner, when I am walking to my friends or when I am watching tv. What could possibly be wrong when I am watching TV? As I write this now I know that these things should be fine but sometimes they are not. Sometimes I just have to ride the wave of the anxiety and hope I am feeling better. I find it hard to cancel plans, and when I do I will sit and overthink about what I am missing out on, making my anxiety worse. So sometimes I will force myself to do things and then regret it. It is hard to find the balance of pushing myself and breaking myself. Thanks to some therapy, I learnt some tricks to deal with the stress of life, but it can be very impossible some days to apply the logical things.

I find life very difficult to process. I hate change and regularly obsess over decisions that will impact my life. I have to discuss problems over and over again before my brain can make sense of things. It can lead people to get bored of me but it’s hard to figure things out when you don’t always trust your brain. For instance, it is incredibly hard to decide if texting a boy back is the right decision, it seems trivial but sometimes small things like this will consume me. I just want to be loved and so texting a boy back I like may seem small but also I’m scared that if I go wrong I’ll be left with rejection. For bigger problems I have rang my parents way too many times, craving for them to make the decision for me. Big decisions scare me. The pressure that the choice I will pick will be wrong consumes me and leads me to shut down. I crave other people’s opinions on decisions in hopes they will solve the problems for me. Which I know they can’t. It’s hard when you are so fearful of your mind sometimes to pick an option. I know that if the option I pick is wrong, I will beat myself up about it for ages and freak out more when making another decision. I am trying to get to grips with everything happens for a reason, but in the moment if I can’t see the reason I just assume its been the wrong decision.

My anxiety has and will sometimes kill friendships/relationships. I fixate on what others think of me, I get obsessed with situations and want to be loved by those I love. My brain needs reassurance in some form that I am loved and cared about, when I don’t get that my brain freaks out. Deep down I know that all my friends love and care for me deeply, but some nights my brain manages to convince itself that they don’t. It is incredibly difficult to explain to people that while I know they care about me, sometimes my mind clouds that and I just need them to tell me or show me they do a little more. What I have struggled with is the fear that my friends will get bored of constant reassurance. It is hard because some friends just don’t get it. Which is fine, how can they understand that my brain convinces itself that everyone hates me. I know that sometimes they get sick of having to check that everything’s okay, so I will try to shut myself away. I am incredibly fortunate that some of my friends notice and will love me a little extra. I find it hard when friendships don’t work out how I have overthought them to.

I struggle to let go of friendships that are no longer healthy because I feel like there is something wrong with me. I blame myself and worry that just because this one friendship hasn’t worked out, that all my other friendships will fail too. So, even when I am being treated poorly I will still force myself to love them and hope things change. I am aware this isn’t healthy behaviour, but it is hard to change a stance I have had on friendship for 10 years. I recently discussed with my therapist that when I was in school I didn’t have many friends, or many good friends, so sometimes having good friends worries me. I am not sure how to be a good friend back, I am not sure why I suddenly deserve friends that love me. It sounds silly that my brain worries about having good friends, but I spent so long hoping to have friends who cared and it is scary to think I could lose them. I learnt to say thank you instead of sorry and it really is a much healthier mindset. I used to think I had to apologise for the way I was feeling but my friends have taught me that some of these thoughts are normal and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them. So this paragraph is finishing with a shout out to my TFL girls, Jade, Lucy and all my other incredibly wonderful friends. I am a mess but thank you for always loving me. Thank you for knowing the right things to say and for holding me a little extra when you don’t. Thanks for understanding that sometimes I find life extra challenging, but you take me under all your wings and walk me to dinner or take me home from the clubs. Thank you for helping me answer phone calls and knowing I will never ring unless I am really struggling. Thank you for accepting that I have to be ridiculously early for events and never ever late. I truly didn’t think I deserved friends who loved me this much.

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University culture is drinking, and sometimes that is the worst thing for me. Firstly, I panic that a group of people will judge me. Secondly, alcohol controls how you think and can lead my brain to freak out over unnecessary things. The constant battle at the minute is wanting to go out in case I miss out on things but also sometimes going out and getting too overwhelmed. I don’t want to go deep into this point, simply because I don’t really understand it myself, all I know is that this February I am limiting the intake in hopes it will save some of my sanity.

I could write a hell of a lot more about my anxiety but this post is already very long. Instead I will finish this section with some small points I missed. My brain sometimes fears the silence and so some weeks I keep myself very busy. I always try to do best by myself and by others. Life is challenging and everyday is a new battle. 

I can be hard to love but I promise loving me is worth it. 

My January review, January is always a hard month. It is the start of the year and I fill myself with constant pressure to make it perfect. This January has been far from it. There has been many tears, breakdowns and heartache, but there has also been a lot of joy too. I am determine to tackle my fears head on, and as I write this, even though I was incredibly anxious I managed to go to the SU today and still have a good time. 

January’s key events.

On the 6th of January my lovely mum dropped me back to uni. We went to Bills for our favourite breakfast. I miss family a lot when away but I know they are only a phone call away.

 

When my exams were finished I went and (awfully) played bowling with my friends. I only won the second game thanks to me being the only person to use barriers opps. Without them I would’ve 100% got 0..

On the 18th of January I held a senior res quiz. I freaked out a little worried that no one would turn up, thankfully people did. I got a little too drunk in viper afterwards.

Girls nights are always the best nights. We had a wine and dance party night on a Tuesday… future wine mums? I think sooo…

On the 23rd of January I went for a girly night out with some of the lovely girls I lived with last year. Turns out like bowling, I am also awful at beer pong. Will I ever find a ‘sport’ I am good at? Probably not, I will stick to my scrapbooking.

The 25th of jan I met up with Julia an old school friend and had a catch up about life. 

We got physical on the 30th of Jan and had a 80s workout themed social. Primark has some sick neon clothes in at the minute, so managed to find myself a last minute outfit. While also finding some bargains (a £1 skirt… yes please). The dance girls have been so important to my wellbeing this university year, every Wednesday is filled with a lot of love and a lot of fun. They really have become my family away from home and I am incredibly grateful to have met them all this year.

The last day of the month I visited a restaurant called Chakra with my blogger friend Ana (https://fadedspring.co.uk ), we had the most amazing Indian food and spend the whole evening gossiping about life. The perfect end to the month? I think so.

So to end, while anxiety plagued my brain I still managed to live. I had some ups and some downs, some days the bad out weighed the good. However, just because some months bad wins, it just means the next month you have to fight a little harder to make the good win. One thing I know for sure is that anxiety will not rule my life, I will win this fight eventually.

I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have discovered to help you live a little easier, so please do message or comment them. Just remember Jan is the Monday of the year, and so if it was rubbish, its time to make February your best month yet….

As always…

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

Dating at 20 SUCKS!

dating, Lifestyle, relationships, tinder

While I am only 3 months into my 20s, I already hate dating. When I was younger I had this plan in my head that I would be married by 25, and have kids by 30. Now I reckon I will be lucky to be married by 30 and have kids by 35. It seems that a) I am incredibly awful at dating and b) no boys want to date.

This is usually how dating goes, I fall for a boy and he doesn’t like me. When I was younger this snippet of Mean Girls used to make me laugh, now its far to real to laugh…

So here is my LONG list of reasons as to why dating at 20 is rubbish

1. Online dating is the worst. I have never hated anything more with a passion. Tinder is the worst place and while Bumble seems to have better looking boys I don’t think it is much better. One of my biggest worries is that if I talk to a guy online I am going to end up on MTV show catfish. I give up with online dating, if I am going to meet someone I am going to have to try the old fashioned way of meeting them in person… however hard that may be.

 

2. When you are single you are permanently mocked for having standards ‘too high’. I am incredibly picky in what I want in a guy, but that is purely because I am sick of disappointment. I could get with any guy and date them just for the sake of it, but if I don’t fancy them or see a future with them, then I am wasting both of our times. I would much rather keep my standards high and find the right person for me. If keeping my standards high means it takes years to find the perfect match, so be it.

3. Following on from the last point. Every guy I talk to seems to be so immature. It takes a lot of effort to wade through the idiots that are not right for you, and at 20 it seems that everyone is an idiot.

4. Boys are the worst at texting back…. Or they are the worst at texting back because they don’t actually have any interest in you… I think this era is hard to date in because unlike in the past we spend so much time trying to decode boys attention from how they are online with us, if they like our social media, if they text us or how fast they respond to a text. While I think if you are not getting many responses from a guy after a while then that is a sign that they aren’t interested in you. They could also just be busy… It is hard to distinguish but if you are regularly getting ignored it is probably time to put your efforts into someone new who will give you the same amount of effort back. You deserve someone who wants to talk to you and after all it doesn’t take long to respond to a text….

5. Nice boys are scary. Some nice boys are genuinely lovely, others use their nice boy pretences to get away with murder. Sometimes it sucks to date them, because when they do wrong to you all your friends stick up for him as ‘he seems so nice’. You and everyone else make excuses for he because he is NICE. Although he may have been nice originally, it doesn’t mean he’s always nice, so fyi if he is no longer nice bin him off. If you aren’t giving him a chance because he’s nice, maybe do?

6.It feels the only other place than online dating to meet boys is in clubs or pubs, and they are not good places to get to know boys. In clubs people usually have one goal and it is not to end the night married. Clubs are loud and are incredibly difficult to talk to someone in. Leading to people just looking for people with nice faces to hook up with. Clubs make me anxious because sometimes it feels like the whole club is full of boys judging how you look.

7. It gets to the point where instead of actually trying to find people to date, you just pretend to date them in your head. I have my whole life planned out with some boys, if only they knew it…

8. When you start talking to someone new and they ghost you off, you feel awful. I am an optimist, and sometimes it is the worst quality I have. I always hope and pray that the boy is different and he will like me for me. Only to be crushed back to reality and fill myself with sadness by picking faults in myself.You wonder what’s wrong with you and why they won’t want you. Was I too much? Did I want too much? I know in my heart that for the right person I will never be too if but right now all this rejection is hard.

9. It seems the whole world revolves around hook ups. I have never had a hook up and the social pressure to have one is quite intense. It feels like just because I haven’t had one there is something wrong with me. It sometimes leads to people trying to force you to get with any random-er that gives you attention, however I would rather not.

10. While my friends get into relationships and some start talking to new boys it leads to jealousy. Some of my cousins have started to get married and every wedding I go to I feel more alone. Above is probably me after watching a romantic chick flick.

11. The whole world seems to only want people with pretty faces and not with pretty hearts. So, after a lot of rejections you start to convince yourself that you are ugly and no one will ever want you. Online dating only looks at your face. In clubs boys only look at your face. It feels like there is no chance in the 21st century to date someone because of who they are and not what they look like.

12. Each heartbreak feels worse than the last one. You promised yourself you wouldn’t get into the same situation again, you wouldn’t fall again. You’d think by 20 you’d have learnt but you haven’t. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out that and face the same rejection. Some days your heart hurts and you think you’ll never find the one.

13. Fairly tales have taught us for years that Prince Charming will come and sweep us off our feet. When you reach your 20s, you start to release this probably won’t happen. To be honest, while I do want my Prince Charming I don’t want him to come and save me, because frankly I do not need saving. However it would be nice to have someone fight battles with you instead of alone.

14. In this day and age people can find your whole life on social media, which is scary as hell. So now even your online life is a chance for someone to want you, which is so scary. My friend Megan and I watched You on Netflix and it really was quite terrifying to see how easy it is for someone to stalk you online. It really does prove that you don’t know how trustworthy people are and that just because they seem decent, they may not really be who they seem to be…. (if you haven’t watched ‘You’ yet defo recommend, we binge watched in a day)

15. Some days it feels like all the good guys are taken (already!!!!!!) and all that is left are the ones that want to sleep around. Which is fine, if all you want to do is sleep around, but absolutely horrid if you want to be in a relationship. It is the worst thing ever when you start talking to a guy and think wow he’s great. Only to find out moments late that he’s great because he’s taken.

16. At the end of the day, true friendship will beat any rubbish dates, and so while I hold out for the ‘one’, I will continue to know my friends have my back.

17. I think the biggest lie I have ever been told is that you will meet the love of your life at uni, the boys I have met at university so far, are not boys who want to settle down. It’s gotten to the point where my friend Meg has now put a ban on me talking to Uni boys, cause even if she has a uni boyf the other uni boys are no good apparently (she’s not been wrong yet).

18. Boys suck.

 

19. At the end of the day, if I don’t find a man in the next 10 years…

20. I don’t have time for boys who don’t want me or for wondering if boys want me. I only have time to live my 20s to the fullest and have as much fun as possible. And anyway, your 30s are apparently the new 20s, I’ll try dating again then…

If you have read this and thought wow she’s the one for me (how could you not), I am taking dating applications over on my Instagram xoxox. (I joke but then I’m low key being serious….)

All the love,

Queen Clo xxx

Ps. NEVER LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS, YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST xxx

What happened in December?

What Happened In...

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Hey! Welcome to a new year! This year is going to be slightly different for Queen Clo, instead of one post now and then I’ve managed to finally get my life together and prepare 3 posts a month… The start of every month on the 7th (so I have time to last minute edit in case anything amazing happens on the last day of every month) there will be a review of the previous month. In the middle of the month I’ve hand picked some incredibly talented writers of all different styles and vibes to write a piece. These should be up by the 14th of every month (this may be starting next month but check my Instagram or follow the blog to find out). Then at the end of each month on the 21st there will be a random post that I’ve written. If you would like to write something for Queenclo.co.uk then please do contact me! Anyway! On to what happened in December and what I’ve loved/hated!!

December, the best month of the year but my goodness, also the busiest. Here is a whistle stop tour of all the love and adventures I had in December.

 

Walking in a WinterWonderland

Some of my girl gang went for a trip to winter wonderland to get us into the Christmas spirit. We found out that we are not good at fair ground games but we are good at laughing at each other. We were desperate for this big teddy that EVERYONE seemed to have, but it turns out it is a lot harder to bounce a ball into a bucket than we thought it was. In the end it seemed that Hook a duck was our level games. Ps. Always pee before going on the waltzers.

Dance Christmas Meal

I am so so glad to have joined dance socially this semester, the friends and fun times I have had, made my semester. Here’s to more drinking and laughter next semester.

TGI Friday Present Swap

Last Viper of 2018

Kirsty had the bright idea that we should dress up as Christmas trees…. With our new found love of the hot glue gun we glued fairy lights, tinsel and baubles to our Primark tops. If you’re going to dress silly at least dress silly with your friends. Thanks for never letting me do stupid stuff alone Kirsty and Amy. When looking back at the club photos my bloody mistletoe was in wayyy too many photos. It was one of the first nights out of the semester which I managed to stay till the end of. Note to self, drink more water when I get in from nights out, the rare hangovers I get aren’t my friend.

Reunion with Friends

 
Straight home from university and straight out for food with cocktails with Jade. 
 
 Edinburgh
 

 

3 and a bit incredibly busy but wonderful days.

Tuesday consisted mainly of flying to Edinburgh from Birmingham and going to a bar to watch some live music in a local bar. The band were not sure who scouting for girls were (disappointing) but played us an acoustic version of Abba which we loved.

Wednesday we went for breakfast at hula cafe, I very much enjoyed my porridge and hazelnuts. This may have been up there with one of my favourite meals of the break. The afternoon consisted of a free walking tour, I have been to Edinburgh many times but it was nice to hear the history from people other than my family. We headed for a quick dinner at pizza express to make sure we had plenty of time to look at the Christmas lights at the Royal Botanic Gardens. They were absolutely beautiful and we took wayyy too many pictures. The evening I got to catch up with some relatives I have which was a nice relaxing way to finish off a busy day. 

Thursday we went for breakfast at a community cafe. If you are ever in Edinburgh you should go to Grass Market, all profits go back into the community and you can even buy a meal to pay forward for a homeless person. The day consisted of visiting Edinburghs museum, a place I have never actually been even though I have visited the city many times. We had a lot of fun in the kids section upstairs…. and played all the games. I enjoyed seeing Dolly the sheep who is on display there (defo worth checking going to the museum just to check out Dolly). We spent the morning here but could have easily spent all day there. After we popped down to new town and had a wonder around. 

We went ice skating in the evening and spoiler alert I hated it. Turns out when you have no balance walking you’ll have even less balance on ice. After two goes round I called it quits as I did not enjoy it at all. I caught up with my Scottish babe Anais after dinner and went for some cocktails. 

Meg and I had breakfast at spoons at the airport. The airport process was quite smooth due to it being early on a Friday morning. When I landed I went straight to Asda to get that dollar to pay for my next break.

 

Christmas

 
For dinner we had Nan, grandad and great nan round. I had been absolutely spoilt this Christmas and it really made me grateful for the people I have in my life. 
 

Mum’s birthday

Drinks at the Botanist and movies in the evening. Mum and I finally got round to watching Mamma Mia 2 and it did not disappoint. Mamma Mia 1 and 2 with wine night anyone?
 
New Years Eve
 

Jade and I headed to Uxbridge to visit Kirsty. Joined by Megan too this is our Zante to squad. We had such a funny night and got very drunk. As cringe as it is, it really is amazing to have friends who love and support you through everything in life. I ended up in a and e on New Years day because I’m a mess, and Jade didn’t hesitate to take me, what a gem she is.

 

What have I loved or hated?

I very kindly got sent a Winter Retreat, which is a self care handbook by Build A Life You Love. If you’re anything like me you probably lead a busy life and forget to schedule in time to look after yourself. During winter my mental health takes a slight decline, I’m not sure whether it is because of the cold weather or what, but sometimes during the month I feel very crappy. The Winter Retreat allowed me for one weekend to stop think and breathe. If you don’t have a weekend to spare that’s okay, each section in the book can be broken up into daily doses of things to do. It is filled with quotes all the way through (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I loveeeee my quotes haha). It really has been my saving grace this winter and has helped to keep my mind calm during the busy festive period. I have been given a discount code Chloe10 for 10% off, and you can get the book here https://buildalifeyou.love/winter-retreat/ Also! From today there is a digital version of the retreat that’s also available to buy, which is perfect if you want to take it away with you.

Another thing I’ve been loving this month is my new foundation. I struggle with very oily skin and find that most foundations come off my chin and cheeks almost instantly. I’ve tried a whole host of primers and have really been struggling. I decided to swap from my trusted urban decay one back to my teenage love benefit (thanks mum for making me obsessed with a brand I struggle to afford). Touch wood, it has been one of the best foundations. I am desperately look for a full coverage foundation that will last me on nights out, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I have moved away from my red eyeshadow and branched into more of a gold colour. Will see if this continues for 2019. As I write this I have done one night out in red eyeshadow again, so seems I have already slipped back into old ways.

TGI Fridays, this place is my favourite place all year round and the Jack Daniels chicken strips are forever my favourite food. We had our girly present swap meal here and it did not disappoint. Will always be obsessed with you TGI Fridays.

The one thing I hated this month was flying, I am not a frequent flyer but I normally don’t mind it. The flight there the pressure in my brain was intense and it made me feel incredibly poorly for the day. On the flight home no headache, but very cramped seats and it felt incredibly stuffy. Thank god it was only an hour flight, and I don’t have another flight booked till July.

My goals for this month are to spend more time focused on tidying my life (and most importantly my university room) and to take a weekend to relax (and probably do some sections of the winter retreat book again).

I hope this year is the year you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

Struggling with Happiness

Lifestyle, Mental Health

I craved happiness just as much as the next person, but the past few weeks I realised this was making me feel more broken.

When you speak to many people about life, the vast amount of them will probably tell you the fundamental objective of their life is to find happiness… (and I was one of those people too). I think the thing that people forget most is that happiness is not a destination. It is a socially constructed mood, and like all moods, it is not going to last forever. It will come and go. It is NOT a permanent state. I honestly do understand why people crave it to be a destination, why would you not want to feel ‘happy’ all the time… but it’s not and it is incredibly hard to accept that. Until people understand this they won’t be able to truly get to grips with happiness.

We seem to spend so much time and effort forcing ourselves to find this feeling, and in the process make ourselves sadder than we started. Happiness is not a choice, and is not as easy to find as people lead themselves to believe. Having an attitude is a choice, being happy is a feeling, and people seem to get feelings and attitudes muddled up. Please remember that there isn’t ever going to be this cure and everything in your life is perfect. Happiness is simply a by-product of living, and not a state of mind you can force yourself to be in. What you can force yourself to have is a more positive ATTITUDE, which well help you find more frequent periods of happiness.

If you were to search happiness online on Amazon, I am certain you will find many books on how to transform your life in order to be happy. They all seem to miss the point that it is okay to not be happy all the time. It is okay to feel like absolute shit. BUT it is NOT okay to feel like shit because you cannot find happiness.

Some days I feel so awful and wonder what is against me. What is stopping me from finding this amazing feeling? Other days, I’ll feel on top of the world and wish I could bottle those thoughts and feelings. It’s called balance. As cheesy as it is, it is ok to have bad days in order to find good days. I can find it such a battle when I am sad for a period of time, and the pressure to be this ‘happy’ cheery person is sometimes made worse by feeling like I need to feel like this for others. Half of the battle with myself is wanting to be happy so others don’t worry about me. Lately, I have become good friends with my sadness. Sadness visits me quite regularly, some days it breaks me and some days I break it. I used to feel incredibly scared to have periods of sadness, not knowing what to do with myself and would desperately crave to feel better. It took some understanding in to why I didn’t want to be sad to change my mindset.

One thing that consumed me about not wanting to be sad, is the worry of how my friends will feel about my sadness. In my life at the minute, I have some very accepting friends, who love me even when I am sad but I also have some friends who don’t understand my sadness. I hate that when I am sad  I need constant reassurance that I am still loved, and my sadness sometimes clouds the judgement I hold. That’s what scares me with my sadness and why I used to fight to be happy, is I am not sure what’s real and what my sadness has created. The thing I learnt is true friends don’t mind reassuring you that everything’s okay, and these friends have made the sad periods I have to be slightly less scary. I worry about my friends an incredible amount, I think because I know the battle with sadness can be hard, that I want to be there for them, like I needed past friends to have been there for me. I think I’ve got to the understanding that it’s okay to tell my friends I’m sad but it’s not okay to depend on them to make me feel better. For I have learnt that in the end, I can eventually feel better and HAPPY on my own. So, in short, what I’m saying is allow sadness to visit and then allow it to leave for happiness to come back. Don’t chase or crave the happiness, just wait patiently for it to return. Breathe. Spend time alone or spend time with friends. Go for a walk…. The other early morning sadness had gripped me hard, so I took myself on a walk of my TINY university campus (its actually quite scary in the dark lol)…. just to clear my head so I could sleep. The thing is I didn’t walk in order to become happy, I went on a walk to find some peace and then the next day I woke up feeling a little brighter.

It turns out, that some super smart scientists did some research and found that as people craved to be happy, they became more unhappy. The pressure and feeling of desperation to be happy makes people less happy. How ironic. Getting these books, losing that weight to make you happier, forcing yourself to do activities because you will think they will make you happier will get in the way of you feeling good.

I recently saw an article about ‘Post-Olympic Syndrome’, it spoke about the sadness that athletes feel after the Olympics. They have trained so hard for many years with their eyes on GOLD, and then after that, it is hard for them to see what is next. They’ve ‘lost their purpose of life’. It takes some time for them to get back to normal and understand that winning was not the happiness, yes it would have been amazing, but there were milestones and events that made them happy on their journey to the Olympics which they can focus on instead. My point is, that even after an athlete has won, there’s still a feeling of emptiness and what’s next. It is okay to feel empty after you’ve been happy, accept the period of emptiness but don’t stop living, keep going on with life till it returns… We need to put more emphasis on each journey of finding happiness rather than actually finding it. The journey back and forth from happiness is truly more significant in our lives than the actual feeling. We will always face sadness, but we will also always get periods of happiness too.

If you’re sad right now, it may not feel like it, but happiness will be on its way. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but she’ll be back soon.

As usual, enjoy some of my favourite photos of the past few weeks:

BRING BACK MY PINK HAIR?????

When your little cousin is also your best friend. What more could you want on a Saturday than a pj party with a unicorn…

I was bloody freezing in this outfit, but big love to Meg for taking me to Bristol to have a day away from university issues.

Army social was sooo much fun, however don’t send any of us to war, especially not Mollie Dicks….

I look like a toe but my favourite babes to not watch football with.

Jumper weather is here and I’m loving itttttt! My current favourite is this one, which my dad picked out when we were on holiday in Florida!!! CUTE!

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

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The freshers I fell back in love with my body….

Lifestyle, Mental Health, University

Before I actually start on this post, I need to discuss something else. I have had sooo many of you message over on my Instagram and by email, so here is me making a separate note instead of writing the same thing multiple times. Fresher’s can suck. Uni can make you feel lonely and can drain you, but it can also be the best time of your life. This fresher’s I have experienced big highs and the worst lows. I have had cocktails with the girls and been to some lush places with them, but have also cried in the smoking area on them. It is one or two LONG weeks of events, where you are constantly having to put yourself out there to meet new people. I struggle to gage where I stand with new people, and it makes my anxiety go wildddd. I worry that I am not spending enough time with people, I worry that the people I am spending my time with people who do not actually like me and I worry that at the end of it I will be left lonely. If you ask some of my friends I have panicked over very trivia things because there seems to be this constant pressure that you have to make fresher’s perfect. Spoiler alert, you do not. If you check on my Facebook and Instagram, you’ll see that I say am having the time of my life (a lot). That’s not a lie. Some days I am having the best time, but other days I am really not. However, it isn’t what I write on Facebook because it isn’t what I want people to know. SO what I want you to take is that, yes I loved fresher’s but at times I really hated it too. Understand that fresher’s will not be this miracle where by the end of it you have made all the friends you need for the year and you’re done. Its normal to feel homesick and contemplate why you’re here. Eventually this place your living will feel like another home and honestly when it gets to that stage you never want to leave.

This is my second freshers, and while last year I went to some events and made new friends, I can’t say that I loved it. This year it has been totally different. I have a new group of friends, my very own girl gang, and while we have now only been friends for 3 weeks, I couldn’t quite imagine university life without them. Its thanks to them that I feel more empowered (and that my bank balance is looking slightly poorer).

I would never wear crop tops, in fact I actually used to hate them. I didn’t feel I had the stomach or belly to make them seem attractive. Thanks to some drunken antics I wore a crop top on the first viper Wednesday (student night out), and while I did look fat, I didn’t hate that. We seem to shy a way from calling others fat, I always say wow I look so chunky but funky, and my friends will always be like oh no, don’t say that youre not fat. Truth is, I am, I stand at a size 18 and have more rolls than I will ever have abs, but I am okay with that. While I will rejoin the gym at some point, it is not because I want to be skinny anymore, id just quite like to be fit enough to climb stairs without getting out of breath…. (maybe that will never happen we will see). The thing the media has implanted into our heads is that we need to be skinny to wear certain types of clothes, we don’t. Why should I not wear what I want in fear of not being attractive to guys? Confidence is more attractive than my body ever will be.!!?!?!?!

I have learned to love my body, it is my home and it has looked after me. The thing is I have had to learn to love my stretch marks and my rolls, and it took me a long time to be comfortable. That’s why it used to scare me that people in the club would look at me and judge me, for they have not seen the stories that have lead to my body looking like this.

Anyway, here is a breakdown of some of the clothes that I have worn this freshers, bare in mind these were for themed events, I am mental but I wouldn’t normally dress up as Wally for night out by choice. For those of you that haven’t had freshers yet, be confident and stand proud.

Follow @charles_hammond1 on Insta x o x 

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

How to survive FRESHERS!!!

University

Welcome to the relaunch of Queen Clo!! I am so so excited to show you all what I have been working on. First up is this post, all about my favourite week of the university calendar, fresher’s week! It is in collaboration with the wonderful UcaDO, which is the new peer-to-peer app that’s launching soon. I think it is important to only work with brands that I think will be beneficial for you, that’s why I love UcaDO, at the minute if you pre-register at ucado.co.uk/students/ , you can be in the chance to win £100 each week! If you’re about to become a fresher or are currently a university student, that £100 would be a wonderful way to start (back) at university! So, about the app, it will do more than help you find your next home and build your credit rating; it will also keep you connected to useful local knowledge, and be on hand to help you get the most out of your uni days. Do let me know in the comments if you preregister, here’s to hoping it’s one of you who wins the £100!!

Now on to the post….

So, my first tip is not to pack too much stuff to bring to university. I am the worst for being an over packer, I visited my friends for a week and took the biggest suitcase you can imagine. So, when moving into university you can only imagine the amount I bought, we have a Land Rover, which is a fairly large car and I filled it…. The worst part of it all was that I lived on the third floor of an old building with many, many, steps. On moving in day, I almost died having to do the stairs many times. In reality, I didn’t need half of the things that I had brought with me. I think in my head it was once I had moved I wouldn’t be able to bring things back again with me, and it all needed to be there NOW. When in reality, in September I didn’t need ALLLL my winter clothes and I could’ve brought them back when I visited home in October. Think practical and what you actually need. Worst comes to it you can get things you have forgotten posted to you, (thanks mum for sending me my laptop charger, opps). Also, I found shopping was an incredible way to bond with new friends, so bought more stuff, which I did not have space for in my little room. So, take this into account with how much you bring. Below is a picture of me suffocated with stuff in the car. Just know, this year only my essentials will be brought with hahaha…

Tip number two is to bring a doorstop, I actually took two… My doorstop became so handy within the first two weeks of uni. Firstly, I had it in when I was moving my stuff in which saved me the hassle of trying to hold my door open. My spare doorstep I gave to the girl opposite me (big up Sophie Mould, who I now adore. Mould, you were a dream to live opposite and I’ll miss you next year😭), and it was a great way to meet her. After moving in, I left the doorstop in to allow people to walk past and come in. Having a doorstop shows you are open to people coming in to socialise with you, I actually became friends with the people who came to visit me. When you first start out making as many friends as possible is crucial, because it allows you to see who is going to be your types of people, and after all you are with these people for potentially three years, so it is worth being sociable and meeting people at all opportunities.

When choosing what kitchenware to pick do not buy it from IKEA!!! I swear everyone buys it from them because it is cheap, but it is a nightmare to work out who’s items are who’s when they are all left on the draining board… I ended up having green glasses, pink plates and red cutlery, cause at least I knew they were mine. Another note, it might be worth investing in a mini fridge for your room! I adored the 30 girls I lived with, however annoyingly my food and drinks would sometimes go missing from the fridges…. This year, I will be taking my own mini fridge down with me, so at least I know my food is safe in my room. Plus, I am mega lazy, so if I can make breakfast in my room it may save me 10 minutes in the morning which I can have in bed…

Fresher’s flu is real and it kills you off!!! I had fresher’s flu in the second week of university, which led to a nasty throat infection! Not what you want in your first week. I had never heard of fresher’s flu, and so didn’t think to bring cold and flu tablets or Lemsip, but trust me you will need them. Even if you manage to be the lucky one who doesn’t have it, I can guarantee someone else on your floor would be very grateful for having some of your Lemsip. However, it seemed last year my WHOLE floor had fresher’s flu!! Just remember to drink plenty and to get enough sleep alongside your partying! Also get your meningitis jab, I had viral meningitis this year and it was not pretty!! Luckily because I had the jab I didn’t get bacterial meningitis, which would’ve made me a lot sicker. It does not take long to get done and could potentially save your life.

Next, do not feel like you have to go to every single fresher’s event. My university has two weeks of fresher’s, and realistically I cannot afford to go to every event. Some of the events are in central London, so although the entry is included in my wristband, the expensive drinks and commute are not. That’s why personally I will not go to them, as it will cost me way too much money and effort. Also, it is quite nice to have a night or two in just chilling out and getting used to your new surroundings. When you stay in, you can get to know the people you are living with so much better than you can in a club. In a club, usually you are trying to yell to each other to be heard, at least at your home you can talk about who you are and not worry about if they can hear you or the ringing noise in your ear from the music at the same time you’re trying to speak. Below is Hannah and I enjoying a face mask, during freshers week it is so nice to find time and chill out, plus my face very much needed replenishment.

Now, talking about fresher’s events, check the schedule and see which ones are themed nights. This year I know that there is Zoo Party, back to school disco and where’s Wally, to name a few, so I have pre-bought all my outfits. This saves me the stress of last minute buying the outfits. I am the worst for not having outfits ready, and I know if I don’t have a suitable outfit I will panic and throw a mini meltdown, leading me not to go out. So, do your research and now what you want to wear! If you’re short on cash, you can make yourself fit themes very easily. Below, we just ‘painted’ our faces to fit zoo parties theme!

My favourite thing about being a student is the student discount. Imagine just getting money off for being at uni, a win!! Now, my favourite discount is 30% off at Zizzi’s, meals out are a great way to get to know friends more, but they can be expensive. Having student discount makes you save a few £££ and leads you to be able to do more with your cash. Unidays is a perfect app to join, as is getting an NUS Card, but there are also many free websites you can join too which will send you the latest student deals. Get looking and joining.

Go to your fresher’s fair!! At my fresher’s fair, I got free domino’s pizza and what felt like hundreds of free Yazoo milkshakes… You get some great freebies, who doesn’t love freebies?! Also, it is the perfect way to speak to new people as there will be many people wondering around the stands. Sign up to any societies and clubs as they are also a good way to make friends who have similar interests in you. Sometimes there may be companies hiring for jobs, so give them some of your details so they can contact you about applying. Having a job at university can really help with allowing you to have fun and not live in your overdraft.

Next, STAY SAFE!! When on nights out it is easy to have a false sense of safeness, but please do not ever leave your drink anywhere unattended and watch when it is being made. Sadly, I became aware of a few different friends who had their drinks spiked and became very ill. This is not how you want to start your university experience, so do keep your eyes out. My new thing is to always have £10 note either in the back of my phone or in my purse, you never know when you need it, I am so used to getting Ubers that when my phone has died I panic because I have no money. At least with the £10 you have an alternative way to get home with a taxi. However, it can be used for more than taxis, but save it for when the emergency strikes and you need it. I think it is also incredibly important to save someone you trust as an emergency contact in your phone, while I have both my parents saved as A Mum and A Dad, and saved on speed dial, I also have my friend Abi saved too. If there was an emergency at university and my parents couldn’t get to me, at least Abi (who I lived with), may have been able to come help faster than my parents trying to send help. (Abs if you didn’t know you were my emergency contact, this is you now being aware, opps, don’t kill me….). It is also so important to register for a doctor’s surgery and to know where it and a hospital are. You never know when you may need them in an emergency so already become familiar as to where they are!

Now, the real key to surviving fresher’s is to remember that you may feel broke at the end of it and the homesickness may begin to kick in, but fresher’s week is not what normal university life is.  Sometimes during fresher’s, I felt a tad lonely because everyone I lived with was so busy, but once your course starts and everyone settles down that’s where you begin to have proper meaningful friends. So, while fresher’s week is happening enjoy yourself as much as possible before the work kicks in!! Good luck!

Added Tips from people on Instagram

1. From @teganpersephone : Have your own washing up bowl and keep it in your room with your dishes in so you don’t have to touch other ppls dirty dishes you can move the gross bowl out the sink and put yours in.

2. From @stephanie_may16 : Bring a box of tissues, for freshers flu, crying of laughter (and sadness). A spare towel to mop up spilt drinks? And buy toiletries when they’re on offer as they’re so expensive

3. From @lucywheeler_ make sure you turn up to your first lectures because that’s where you meet your course friends!

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

World Kindness Day

Lifestyle, Mental Health

I have had this post about kindness in my drafts for a little while now and was unsure when best to post it, and at dinner being told today was ‘World Kindness Day’, it seemed like the perfect day. Enjoy.

I want to live a life that is beautiful.
A life that is worth people reading about, something that shows how successful I can be, and how I have accomplished many tasks. When thinking about if I was to write a story on my life the bits I’d include are the exciting and successful things. But thinking about the small acts of kindness I do on a regular basis, I question how much of a book they’d fill. I think kindness is beautiful and is worth reading about, even more than the greatest successes. Make kindness your plot of the story, the one thing that keeps you going when nothing else you do is going right. Make your whole life story be all about kindness, devout your life to it.

Kindness blog xIt may seem extreme to devout your life to kindness, and you may think ‘well people have not always been kind to me, so why should I be kind to them’, but that’s the key to kindness, it’s something you do that makes you feel good too. The stance of they’re not kind so I won’t be kind leads to a negative situation for you and leads to negativity creeping into your mind. I urge you to continue to be kind even when others are not to you, spread kindness around like it is Nutella on toast.  When you get up instead of focusing solely on your aspirations, you should focus more on how you can do them kindly and how you can have an attitude of pure kindness. When someone hurts you in any way, instead of finding ways to get back at them, refocus your brain and teach it to show kindness. It is more important to spread love and kindness than being mean to someone to hurt them too. Being mean may feel like a win at the time but in the long run, it’s not good, it doesn’t show you off in the light you wish to be shown in. Not only will you feel good about your actions if you show them kindness, you will maximise the amount of love you can achieve from the nasty situation.

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While I think it is important and beneficial to be kind to others, it is crucial to also be kind to yourself. I was once told ‘If you were speaking and treating your friends as you treat yourself would they still think you were kind?’, it made me see that I was always trying to be kind to others but was neglecting myself. In between being a kind person to others and running errands, are you treating yourself with the same amount of care? If not today is the day you start being kinder to yourself more too.

 

We live in a time where the world is so cruel, and it’s the small acts that people do on a regular basis that keeps the world going around. So today, at the end of world kindness day I ask you to do one kind act for someone else and one act of kindness for yourself. Life is too short to be a mean and uncaring person.

 

All the love,

Queen Clo xx

 

A Letter To My Future Daughter…

Lifestyle

Hello friends!!! Sorry for not posting in three months, oppss… Exams were rubbish but at least they’re over. After writing a letter style in an old blog post, I decided to do another one. I found it really enjoyable to write, I hope you enjoy reading it. A lot of family around me have just had children (by the way, they are soo fricken cute!!!!) and it’s exciting to think that one day (at least 10 years away haha) that I will have mini me’s around too!

Dear Future Daughter,

I want you to never ever beg ANYONE for love. You are worth all the love in the world. If no man or woman loves you at a certain time, remember I love you and I always will. There’s so much more to life than seeking the love of a significant other, you are whole and amazing on your own. Most importantly, I want you to love yourself. It can be so difficult but you will get there. If you love you and I love you, then it does not matter if no one else does.

Stand up for what you believe in. When everyone else sits by and allows things they don’t agree with to carry on, I hope you stand strong. I hope you put them right. One thing I am passionate about is educating others and helping others to see my points of view. I want you to educate me on what you care about but be prepared to hear other peoples views. Just because they are not the same as yours does not mean they are wrong. But, if you feel someone is being unjust call them out and even call me on things I say. I promise I will always support you and I cannot wait to one day learn from you.

Body image is hard, and I know you will face body issues like I have. It has taken me so many years to learn that my body is mine. I struggled with what to wear and how others looked at it. My body has stretch marks and is fat, but I will continue to dress how I please. I promise you are perfect and are a masterpiece. Your worth cannot be determined by your looks or weight, so continue to be nice. Your weight and your looks are merely nothing if you have a nice personality. It seems rubbish but I promise it is truly what is inside that counts. No one whats a beautiful person with a nasty mind…

Your mental health always comes before school. If you are struggling, talk to me. We can work together on strengthening you. If you don’t want to talk to me, I get it, but please talk to someone. There is no need to battle your demons alone, there will be someone that can help you.

People suck! They will break your heart into a million little pieces and pretend they’re not the one to blame. They will leave with a flimsy excuse and I know you will blame yourself but it is not you, baby girl, it will never have been you. They will be a coward and you just have to be strong. Do not let them question who you are. You have the ability to love and your love was never too much. They just were not capable enough to have all of you. While you struggle with a heartbreak you will learn so much about yourself, much more than you ever do when you’re at a high. I want you to cry about this person, I want you to cry until there are no tears left. As you stop crying learn from whats happened and begin to grow again. Your heart will heal itself and eventually, you’ll meet someone who is perfect for you.

Sometimes it is okay to disregard the opinions of others if they are not positive in helping you grow. This world is full of people that feel the need to judge the actions of others. You do not know what is happening with others so try to judge as little as possible love. The ones who truly love you will not stir up trouble in your life. Learn the difference between those who are trying to help you and those who are just trying to cause drama in your life. You do not need people who want to cause inconvenience in your life.

One comment I always have hated is how I am un-lady like. What the hell is a lady supposed to be like? If I or anyone else makes that comment ignore them… You are a lady and that does not define the actions you should take.

It takes less than 5 minutes to message someone to check if they’re ok. Text that person you’ve not spoken to in weeks but know is having a rubbish time. Your support could be important to them and if it isn’t, what loss was 5 minutes of your time for texting them…

Work your little butt off but remember to party harder. Whatever you want to do or be in life I will support you but you need to work for it. You get nowhere in life for free, you need to work for it all.

My most memorable moments have come from volunteering. Time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it, but volunteering is never a waste. Always help others where you can. I love working with the children I work with. I have learnt and grew from the children and adults I volunteer with. The skills you learn from volunteering are skills I could not have got from anywhere else.

Don’t do something because everyone else is doing it. It does not make you cool.

What ever happens in your life I will love you and always be there for you!

Love,

Your future loving mum xo

 

Hopefully, I will be back to posting monthly as I have many drafts, but they all need editing so we will see! Hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to know what I am up to when I haven’t posted in a while please check my Instagram Queen.Clo !

All the love,

Queen Clo xo

 

You should be loving someone…

dating, Lifestyle

I am a sucker for love. I love love. I love reading about love, watching films or shows about love and I love falling in love. You can fall in love with anyone and anything!!!  

I love my dogs, so felt they deserved to be shown on my blog haha!


The most important person you should love is yourself, but this can sometimes be the most difficult person to love… When you fall for others, how much do you actually know about them? When I fall for the cute person I walk past, I know very little. When I fall for someone I may have been speaking to probably a little more. However, we may think we know lots about the people around us, but we don’t know what is actually going on in their head and what they truly look like. Just like they don’t truly know all about us either. With yourself it’s different. You know every lump and bump, scar and scratch, and ‘flaw’ that your body has. You know what goes on inside your head, and sometimes you may not like it. These thoughts can lead us to wonder how anyone can love us, and we make ourselves feel hard to love. There are nights that I will sit and think ‘jeez, I am a mess’, and it leads me to doubt how to love myself. Though I remind myself that I may have these imperfections, but that doesn’t make me any less deserving of love. I was always told that it is ‘what is on the inside that counts’, which on some days seems untrue, although luckily for us all it is. Looks will come and fade, it’s how your brain works that will always stay loveable. On days you doubt whether you are worth love, I promise you are. When feeling self-hate focus on your many positive qualities. Leave your harsh criticisms of yourself behind and instead look at your strengths and the amazing traits that make you, you. Side note, even if you don’t love yourself, you are still worthy of the love of others.

You cannot force someone to love you and you should not feel the need to beg someone to love you. Love is either there, or it isn’t. If someone doesn’t love you, it does not mean you should stop loving them. Just like you can’t force them to love you, you can’t force yourself to stop. They still deserve your love, even if they do not feel the same. This world is so full of hate, that I think it’s crucial we all spread a little love from time to time. There are different types of love, and we are all worthy of all of them. I have a different love for my family than I do for my friends, and I’ll have a different love with my friends than I’ll have to my future partner. It’s important to remember there are lots of opportunities to feel love. You don’t need to be in a relationship to feel love. I think this can be a common misconception amongst my generation. It’s like people are desperate to be in relationships, in hopes they will feel love, but they are missing the love that is all around them. If you feel unloved, look around you carefully. People do not have to say I love you, for them to love you. They may say ‘text me when you’re home’, ‘I appreciate what you do for me’, ‘don’t forget your seatbelt’, ‘drive safely’, ‘get some sleep’ and if you listen hard enough there are many more. If you look there’s many around you that love you.

For anyone who knows me, will know that I am a full on person, and this does not stop when I love. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad. I think its important to not hold back when loving. It’s true that love can be hurtful, but I would rather know that I put all of my love into a situation and it not work out. Than regretting not putting all my love in. It can be so scary to love people and to in turn depend on them, but we need love and people to help us grow. Don’t shy away from love for the fear of being hurt, because doing this will make you shy away from finding happiness. You cannot help who you fall in love. Which means in some situations you will face the hell that is unrequited love!! Even if they don’t love you back in the way you wish, they may still love you in other ways! Remember, if someone you love is treating you rubbish you deserve better. Unrequited love will always suck, but you will get over it… I promise. Don’t let the fear of them not loving you back stop you from loving them! 


All the love,

Queen Clo xo

Cry Baby Acceptance, Please?

Lifestyle, Mental Health

Hello friends! March seemed to have flown by and I’m not ready to be a month closer to exams… (Boo!!!)

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” ~Charles Dickens

Anyone who knows me will know I’m the most tearful person to have ever walked the earth… I don’t even have to be sad to be crying. Anything and everything will make me spill tears. I like to think I’m the biggest crybaby… and yes, I am proud of this…


The above picture is when I heard One Direction’s new album, a year and a half ago, and it is safe to say I was very emotional… I was so happy that I couldn’t contain my tears. I think these tears were for the song ‘If I Could Fly’.

I HATE HATE HATE how people believe crying is a sign of weakness. I have many weaknesses, but my tears are not one of them. We seem to live in a society that is becoming more and more emotionless. We want to fit the mould of being happy and jolly humans, whose lives are perfect. However, this is not the case. We’re not happy all the time. It’s totally normal to be upset and to cry. It’s totally normal to need to cry every day too. We need to allow each other to cry and cleanse. We need to allow men to openly cry more too! Men have been taught for so long that if they cry, they lose their masculinity. Which is so wrong. We need to teach them that it’s okay to cry and it doesn’t make them any less of a man. Instead of laughing or mocking when they cry, we should simply offer support. Crying is not being weak, it’s being human.

Personally, I struggle explaining why I’m upset to people. I find it very difficult to articulate the right words to get across my emotions. Instead, I tend to bottle things up, which isn’t entirely healthy, but that’s just what happens. I know in my heart it is probably better to face the feelings head on, and so I have learnt to find my own way to cope. For me, crying is the way, it allows me to release the emotions I have stored up. The act of crying helps me to confront the issue I’m facing and eventually will help me move forward. It can help calm me down from the situation and make me feel at peace again. It’s like my own therapy.  Sometimes, all I need is a long cry from a situation and then I’m perfectly fine. If you feel the same, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Carrying around emotional baggage is not good for your emotional health, so really, if you want to improve your health and you don’t want to talk about it, crying can be the best way. If crying makes you feel better then do it. Cry as much as you need. Cry cry cry!

I believe that crying can be a way to show great strength. It takes a lot for people to be able to cry and show their vulnerability to others. One that Just because I cry at everything, doesn’t mean I’m not strong or fierce! My tears do not determine my strength. I’m a strong queen, who just likes to cry. Deal with it!

So I ask, please don’t make fun of me for being an ’emotional wreck’. Just accept that I am. I’m okay with being one, and if you’re not okay with me being one then I don’t need you. (Bye hater😉)

All the love,

Queen Clo xx