Blogger Spotlight | Bloggers I’ve Been Loving Recently

Quite a few months ago, Pooja from Life’s Fine Whine kindly nominated me for The Beautiful Blogger Award. I have wanted to share with you my favourite bloggers, and so combining the two means I have the perfect excuse to share all the blogs I love to read!

If I mention you in this post, please don’t feel the need to continue the award. However, it would be lovely if you could share support for your favourite content creators. It’s entirely up to you! 

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the blogger who has nominated you.

2. List 7 random facts about you.

3. Nominate 7 creative, beautiful bloggers and let them know about the nomination.

My Random Facts

  1. ‘Fluffy Towels’ is my favourite Yankee Candle scent.
  2. Non-fictions about climate change are possibly my favourite genre of book.
  3. Doctor Who is my favourite television series and I have been watching since I was a tiny toddler – but never found it scary! My favourite Doctor is David Tennant and I’m currently watching the 2005 Doctor Who spinoff – Torchwood. My dream is to one day feature in an episode of the programme.
  4. My cat’s name is Pikachu.
  5. I actually have a pet rabbit but I rarely share photos of her on here! She is called Tufty because in winter she grows a fluffy black ‘mane’ around her neck.
  6. My favourite colour is undeniably mustard yellow – but I used to hate it.
  7. My Spotify looks like this. Indie rock bands are my favourite although I do have a soft spot for One Direction because… well it’s 1D. After the release of folklore I started getting into Taylor Swift too, but I can’t say I enjoy her older albums that much :/

Zainab Chats

Zainab is a wonderful teen blogger from the UK who shares tips and advice directed towards an audience of teen girls. I think blogs like these are so valuable for young teens since they discuss a plethora of topics that are difficult to have conversations about. Besides her wonderful advice posts, Zainab enjoys posting book reviews and lifestyle posts. It’s the ultimate blog for any young teenager!

Simply, Ancine

Book blogs have always been a favourite of mine, many of you might remember my own book blog days! Francine is one of my favourite content creators and recently she moved away from lifestyle posts to post about her absolute passion: books. From recommendations to reviews, tags to teen fiction, Simply Ancine invites a community of book lovers to share their enjoyment of reading! The comment sections are like book club in itself. Couldn’t rave about it enough 🙂

Mind. Beauty. Simplicity.

Minimalism is an idea that I have been incorporating into my life since 2018, and the blogs I read around continually change my thoughts about the lifestyle. So many new ideas being brought to the table in every post! Mind. Beauty. Simplicity. takes these ideas and converts them into actionable steps. She talks about her own minimalist life, delivering comprehensive advice regularly. I love this blog so much and have recently been reading it more than ever!

Little World Of Rachel

Rachel is the most wonderful person, and kindly supports so much of my content! And her loving personality carries through into her writing, that is simultaneously chatty and informative. I love her unique takes on popular blog post ideas. Each post is refreshingly novel! While maintaining her amazing website, Rachel has the most beautiful Instagram too.

Real & Relatable 

Recently I’ve been *addicted* to Instagram Reels (a habit I probably need to break because I have been going to bed at midnight regularly…) but there are a few reasons why I absolutely love the content on Reels: informative, helpful, fun. Madeline delivers all of these in her own 15 second videos! I absolutely love her page on Instagram and how it interlinks with her blog content as well. So glad I found Madeline’s content because it’s incredibly well-written and unique. Click here for her blog… you will never regret it 😉

The Blog Girl

Where do I start? The Blog Girl is a beautiful blog run by Meg – a fellow UK based teen. She has such an adorable yet mature personality, and each post of her’s is a joy to read. I love the list posts from The Blog Girl, which are long yet not lacking in quality. Each point made is delivered with expertise and explanation. Although her blog is not completely centred around ‘advice’, I have learned so much from reading her content. As well as that, Meg is the best baker I have ever had the pleasure to know. She has a fab Instagram where she shares her own delicious creations! Getting to know Meg this year has been a pleasure I can’t wait to see how far she goes.

Meg also did a ‘Top 5 Favourite Bloggers of 2020’ post, similar to this one, so make sure to give that a read! Very kindly she included this blog in her top 5 which *ahhhhhdjhjdsjdkad* makes me so happy ❤

Hiddenzzz

Hiddenzzz blog is one of the most aesthetic places on the Internet. The content varies from book reviews, to positive affirmations. Hiddenzzz invites other creators to do collab style posts that are so novel and enjoyable to read! I absolutely love this blog because each post is a surprise – a good surprise – and so well-written. They also have a beautiful YouTube channel full of bullet journaling and (it wouldn’t be Hiddenzzz without it…) coffee! The vibes emulate my Pinterest dream board: light academia, bujos and hygge.

I really hope you enjoyed my little rundown of the blogs I am loving at the moment, along with 7 random facts about me. The Monday this post goes live is on the week I’m returning to school, which is scary more than anything. I am feeling anxious upon my return to the virtual learning world, where all the work you complete never feels like actual work because it only exists within the pixels of a screen. Perhaps with my New Year’s resolution of journaling (which I am keeping up with very well thank you XD) I might strike a good balance between work and relax time. But I am struggling to find that balance when there is uncertainty about how and when online exams will go ahead. Even the thought of it puts me off the idea of revising… I just- the education system does not support mental wellbeing of the students :’)

Leave a little random fact about yourself in the comments.

Happy new week!

Catherine x

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How To Create New Year’s Resolutions That Will Stick

No doubt you are all excited for 2021, and the fresh start it promises for all of us. The pandemic will not miraculously go away – but I am certainly wishing for a better year for the world. Along with any new year comes the exciting notion of resolutions! I will be setting a few myself. This is how I chose what goals to pursue. With the technique I am going to share in this post, hopefully you will find yourself more compelled to achieve your resolutions! Because, no matter how motivational, a Pinterest quote doesn’t solve everything…

The words: who, what, where, when, why, how will not be unfamiliar to you. In fact they might even bring back haunting memories of primary school English class (if you know, you know). Let’s take that academic connotation away and turn them into tools for success! (stick with me – this is going somewhere)

What

You must first determine your what. What do you want to achieve? From as small as baking a 3 tier cake, to creating a consistent meditation habit. Have in your mind what you want to achieve. Write it down if it helps! Don’t feel any of your goals are insignificant. Make a list of everything – big and small – you wish to do. We’ll narrow it down later.

You’ll be glad to see that I’m using a different candle in this post 😂

How

How will you complete your ‘what’? For each part of your ‘what’ list, write down a set of instructions or steps for success. My resolution is consistent journaling (very atypical). I will achieve it by opening my journal, picking up a pen and writing every day. 

It may be stupidly obvious! Yet breaking the task up will allow it to appeal to the brain more.

My January bullet journal set-up

Where

Might sounds a little ridiculous but it will help as the year goes along (also as the New Year’s buzz fades away). Where are you going to complete your goal? Again with my journaling example: I am going to journal in my bed. For exercising consistently – it might be a run around the canal every morning. Find your where. This is a bit like the previous step: it is breaking down your big goal into ‘digestible’ chunks. Also, the more boxes checked off the more accomplished you’ll feel!

‘No matter how motivational, a Pinterest quote doesn’t solve everything…’

When

I find the ‘when’ is the most useful (besides the why). Finding a when will allow the habit/goal to thread into your daily routine. Make time for your goals! Determining a ‘when’ means there will be less friction between you and achieving the goal. Throughout the year it will create consistency. If you’ve not heard it before (possibly one of the most important quotes of all time): consistency is key!

The mistletoe come twig doodle is starting to grow on me

Why

This is where we narrow down which goals are the most important to you. That list you created earlier? We need it again. For everything on your list think – or write down – a why. The ones you are most passionate about will have the most ‘why’. But don’t let this fool you! You can have perfectly valid goals that don’t need a why.

The process of writing the ‘why’ is very meditative. Between words your mind is getting more and more excited for the prospect of completing this final goal. The ‘why’ is also nice to read back on when you are losing motivation with your goal. At the start of the year you put a lot of thought into what you wanted to pursue.

I have a tiny calendar this month because I tend not to use the bigger ones

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while now, you will know of my fixation on writing to-do lists the night before. I think this is the best way for me personally because…

  1. The night before your mind is more alive, and it knows what is best for you. It knows what is needed to have a good following day. But say for example you wrote your list in the morning – your priorities wouldn’t be the same. You might be working for your own short-term comfort rather than long-term bliss.
  2. I believe this aligns with setting goals at the start of the year – but throughout the year losing motivation with them. Just because you are losing motivation with them doesn’t mean you should give up. Because past you (or ‘more awake’ you) probably knows what’s best. We do grow from our past – of course – but in this instance the past self is the more motivated self.
  3. But although it is important to remind yourself of why you initiated this goal in the first place, things do change. Don’t tie yourself down to a resolution if it isn’t benefiting you anymore.

I really hope this tips help you to consolidate what resolutions you wish to pursue and how you will get there. Hope to see you again on Friday where I will share my New Year’s Resolutions with you all. As a Slytherin, I have certainly been ambitious. But no doubt I will get there 🙂

What are your New Year’s resolutions/goals?

Thank you for reading and I wish you a very happy new year!

Catherine x 

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50 Things To Do In Winter | 2021 Prep, Getting Cosy, Being Present

Winter really excites me. The turn of a New Year is on the horizon and it marks a new chapter for us all. The weather doesn’t allow for socialising and the time spent alone can be isolating but, if used correctly, can be a time of self-improvement. I wanted to make a list 50 things you can do in Winter. Some of them are Christmas oriented, but the majority can be applicable for anyone no matter their religion! They’re all supposed to make you feel good, cosy, and confident.

This post is made in collaboration with my dear friend Meg, but you may know her as The Blog Girl or @baking.by.meg! We collaborated before, way back in summer. It was absolute pleasure working with Meg so we’ve decided to collaborate again, this time on a 50 things to do in winter post! Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to come up with so many ideas. But, if there isn’t something here that floats your boat, Meg has another 50 things on her blog. Click here to see the post! Please also follow Meg’s Instagram, she is the most wonderful baker and you will surely enjoy her content.

Let’s get into it!

  • Create a really extravagant, over-the-top hot chocolate
  • Have porridge for breakfast 
  • Make a Christmas Pinterest board
  • Read an entire book in a day
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com
  • Blankets
  • Make some wintery wallpaper for your phone, laptop etc
  • Bullet journal Christmas movies you want to watch
  • Write out your New Year’s Goals and how you will achieve them
  • On a frosty morning, brew a cuppa tea and drink it outside
Photo by Ivars on Pexels.com
  • Drink lots of hot water – but make sure you don’t burn yourself!
  • Go for an early morning walk
  • Cook up a big breakfast: hash browns, egg bread, beans – the lot!
  • Practise calligraphy so you can impress people with your Christmas cards
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com
  • Make a Pinterest board for your 2021 manifestations 
  • Do a series on your Instagram (12 Days Of Musicmas, Takeover Tuesday, What I Wore Wednesday)
  • Bake gingerbread 
Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com
  • Go for an afternoon walk to see the early sunset
  • Watch the sunrise 
  • Learn how to knit
  • Sort out your emails and unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists
  • Unfollow people who won’t bring your positive vibes in 2021
  • Plan content ahead of time!
  • Prioritise revision for end of term tests
  • Sort out your wardrobe 
  • Determine what gifts you’re getting for people for Christmas
  • Bake mince pies
  • Get a nice planner for 2021 or set up your bullet journal for the next year
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com
  • Watch telly in your duvet on the sofa
  • Sort out your room thoroughly
  • Sell things you no longer want
  • Video call your friends
  • Do a Secret Santa
  • Change your bedding to something more seasonal
Photo by Jan Kopu0159iva on Pexels.com
  • Decorate your room
  • Go for a walk with your friend
  • List out everything 20 things you learned in 2020
  • Spend time with your family
  • Play board games
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
  • Try some interesting new tea flavour
  • Bake something unusual
  • Listen to the birds
  • Whip out your colouring book and settle down for a cosy afternoon with a good film and get colouring 
  • Learn different zentangle patterns 
  • Set a Goodreads goal for next year
  • Make pom-pom room decor
  • Start a scrapbook
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
  • Read through old letters
  • Find a penpal to start writing to
  • Go through a recipe book and tab things you want to make
  • Sort though old photographs 

This list has a balance of looking forward to the New Year, and being grateful for the moment. Let me know if you try any of these! I’d love to see your pics on Instagram.

What do you want to do this Winter?

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

5 Plastic Items To Completely Boycott

Disclaimer: the most sustainable thing you have is what you already own. Please don’t throw any of these things away if you already own them. Use them carefully, and wisely. The idea is not to buy new ones. Please don’t feel ashamed if you own some of these – because even I do! If you can avoid them, however, please do. 

This is our home and we are destroying it. Not only our home, but home to millions and species and trillions of animals. Beside global warming, there is the large issue of plastic. How it is sourced, where it is used and where it ends up. Every part of the plastic cycle is dangerous to our planet. Saying no to it as a consumer decreases the demand from the supplier. We are in an oil shortage, and using oil for things like straws is stupid (especially when there are non-plastic alternatives!). 

This post will detail 5 plastic items and why you can and should stop buying them. Let’s get into it.

Single-Use Plastic Bags

The shops say they’re single use, but if you ever buy them rest assured you can actually reuse them way more than once. That doesn’t excuse purchasing them, but please don’t be deceived by ‘single use only’ because that’s a whole load of crap. 

In my house, we keep our plastic bags because we know they’re not recyclable. We’ve not bought any for years, apart for those bags that tortillas wraps come in. Again, we do supermarkets use such excess packaging? *rolls eyes* Not only is there a charge on plastic bags in the UK now, but they’re also unnecessary. Be prepared and bring your own bag. 

Plastic Drinking Bottles

One reason I love ‘real’ and public school is due to the fact that you can meet so many different characters in such an institution. I know of one that won’t drink tap water because ‘it doesn’t taste nice’ and only drinks from plastic bottles. Wonderful. It’s such a joy to live in a world of ignorance. 

If my mum is reading this she won’t realise that was sarcasm.

Bring your own drinking bottle! Please! They’re so much more convenient anyway, and having a snazzy metal waterbottle always makes you feel like a boss. They are very affordable from Wilko, Home Bargains and other home stores. But if you can’t afford a metal one just get a reusable plastic one. If you use it long enough, you can offset all of the previous single use bottles you have bought. 

Shower Gel

If you are prescribed shower gel for a skin condition then ignore me. You know what is best for you.

Soap bars are genius, and thankfully lots of mainstream brands are starting to make them. Use these in place of bottled shower gel where you can. These bottles are largely non-recyclable! Still, you should try to prevent your consumption of plastic and crude oil in the first place, regardless of where it will end up. 

The shower gel I use is called Faith In Nature. It’s a small sustainable brand and you can take your recyclable bottle made from recycled plastic to be refilled at certain shops. My mum bought it for my birthday back in August and I have yet to refill, so that’s pretty good going! 

Plastic Straws

They’re bad. For so many reasons. Even recyclable straws are too lightweight and small that they don’t make through mechanical recycling sorters. They get disposed as rubbish, and once in landfill of litter they will break up into tiny microplastics that pose large danger for marine life. Fish and other Sealife will intake the tiny plastics. And if you eat seafood, then that will be you too. 

Alternatives: metal straws. Sturdy reusable plastic straws (not the best option, but better than nothing).

Cling Film

Not only does thing film cling to your food, but it clings on to the planet and doesn’t biodegrade. They are quite a few alternative to cling film these days, including beeswax wraps. And even then – beeswax isn’t how we would ideally do things. Try to avoid using cling film in the first place. Where you normally use it, consider whether it is necessary.

Made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) it is seldom recycled. I also found this on the Internet to do with PVC: “PVC contains dangerous chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary dangers to children.” Source here.

I suppose it goes without saying, but PVC is not considered eco-friendly. It is made by a chemical reaction between chlorine, carbon, and ethylene and because it causes the release of other harmful chemicals, it does a lot of harm to the environment. Source here.

Thank you for reading blogmas day 17! Not a very Christmassy style post, but I hope it warns you and gets you ready for a greener, healthier 2021. I will be posting more about sustainability on the run up to Christmas because we can be really wasteful at this time of year. As a nation, landfill increases to an insane amount over the holiday period!

What are you wishing for this Christmas?

Stay safe everyone,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

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Self-Care | Chats With Cath

Welcome back to blogmas day 16!

A couple of weeks ago I posted this to my Instagram story. It had a very positive response and I think it is worth sharing here of WordPress too.

Because my blog so often talks about productivity, it’s important to define what productivity is. 

I would say it’s using a given set of time effectively in any situation.

For example, I have a headache but I have lots of school work to do. In that situation, I would take a rest and wait until the headache goes away before I tackle any work. It’s listening to my body. And if I need to rest, I need to rest.

On Saturday I had a lie-in until 9 which is very unlike me. I was disappointed in myself for not waking up at the right time, but then I winded back a few steps. My body needed that rest. My mind needed that lie-in. And without it, my day would have been less energised. 

I felt it was important to address this as my blog so closely focusses on studying! I’m not always working at my desk. I’m not always happily working at my desk. Everyone has bad days.

By the time you’re seeing this, it will be my last day of school in 2020. That’s crazy. 

This year has flown by. There have been some moments that felt slower than others and they stay alive in my mind.

I can’t wait for the new year. Though of course, I don’t want to wish away the end of this one. 

2021 excites me with its uncertainty. Hopefully it will be a better year for the world. But if not, let’s support each other. Love. Kindness. I will be carrying those two on my back in 2021 like wings. 

Enough about the future, let’s talk about the now. More specifically, self-care.

I asked you in my post the other day how you like to practise self-care. Your comments were a joy to respond to. 

This time last year I shared a post named ‘these aren’t your regular self-care tips’ and it’s a post I am still to this day proud of! 

However, in 365 x 24 hours a lot changes, so let’s talk about how I practise self-care these days.

  • Eating nutritious food, less of the processed stuff that makes me feel rotten
  • Waking up and going to sleep at consistent times
  • Always preparing for the following morning
  • Exercising. Making myself go outside even when I don’t feel like it.
  • Taking breaks form social media guilt free
  • Journaling
  • Taking photos of precious moments, or by taking photos turning things into precious moments

Self-care isn’t a face mask on a Sunday. It is what you consistently do. 

This post flows like a stream of consciousness, and stutters and stalls like a conversation. 

I just wanted to write something from me. Almost like a letter. And I hope you enjoyed reading.

What have you been up to today?

Along with some boring things that you wouldn’t care to read about, I baked some gingerbread men! I am yet to ice them but I think I’ll do that when the Strictly Results come on. 

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com