A Long Absence = Life Update

Hey guys, so, I have some explaining to do… you may have noticed that my blog posts have been wildly irregular at the moment, that’s for many reasons. I feel like I owe it to you to explain myself.

I feel like I keep this blog pretty open and impersonal in a way, that’s not necessarily a conscious decision but rather due to the fact that the posts I write don’t often reveal very much about me. I guess it’s kind of nice to be putting something out there on the big wide web and still feel slightly anonymous.

Anyway, because my blog is kind of open and impersonal I like it when I get to give you life updates, I’m not sure if it’s anything anyone’s particularly interested in but I guess I feel like through telling you what’s happening in my life I can in some ways justify my absence, I know it doesn’t need to be justified but as humans we feel guilty for things that we don’t do and because of that we try and find ways of making ourselves feel better about it by thinking of all the reasons why it hasn’t happened.

So, let’s begin!

Firstly – and I am sure this is something everyone can relate to – I have been drowning in the amount of studying I have to do, I know there’s a saying that’s ‘up to my neck’ but I felt like that wasn’t even close to being the truth, I am so out of my depth it’s scaring me a little bit, but I’m sure everyone feels like that. It’s the most bizarre feeling because a month ago or maybe even as recent as a couple of weeks ago every morning I would wake up and literally feel sick with stress, no lie, and every day would be hard to get through because I would sit at my desk and I would just work for ten hours every single day in the hopes that I could begin to get through the insane amount of work I had to do – luckily, those intense ten hour study sessions actually paid off and I am now drowning slightly less in work and all of the stress has just disappeared, it’s like suddenly I can breathe again but I don’t understand the transition from suffocating in stress to now feeling completely calm, but it’s a great feeling other than the fact that now I’m not stressed I’m slightly less motivated. But anyway, I know most teenage bloggers are going through exam stress and are putting off their blogs in favour of studying so you all completely understand and I am in no way saying I am in a worse situation and I think those of you managing to maintain a blog through all of this stress are absolutely amazing and incredible people – honestly I think you should be given a reward for all your hard work! But I just haven’t quite worked out how to manage my time in a way that caters for both studying, blogging, other commitments etc.

What else has been going on… I’m so busy I can’t even remember. I had a wonderful trip up into London a couple of weeks back and that was really nice, I went to visit my best friend whom I hadn’t seen since November and it was really nice to catch up with her! It had been long overdue and I did double studying the week before specifically so I wouldn’t ‘miss’ any studying while I was there and it was so nice to be able to just relax for a few days and be there with my friend and just feel like a member of society again rather than the introverted nerdy student that I’ve become over the last few months, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I would rather be indoors studying for a couple of months than failing my exams. We went on a lovely picnic in Regent’s Park and took lots of photos both of the park and of us together, the sun was shining, we did a bit of writing, we got to catch up, it was one of the best days I’ve ever had with her! Oh, and then we got lost on Baker Street (apparently that street goes on FOREVER!) but it was a truly amazing trip and one I wouldn’t change for the world. Although, I did get a migraine after coming back from Regent’s Park through being in the sun for too long… and maybe having a photoshoot which featured me lying in the grass and looking up at the sky, I would not recommend and that did prevent us from watching all the films we had planned to watch but it doesn’t really matter, there’s a time and place for everything. I was going to blog on this trip to London because not only were my friend and I using it as an opportunity to see each other but we were also going to use it as an excuse to just do the things we don’t normally get the time to do because we’re too busy with life, for example, reading, blogging, writing etc. etc.

Also, my cat died, which you probably really didn’t want or need to know and has probably just made this post quite depressing but yeah, I loved him to the moon and back and he was a wonderful cat. He was beautiful and you’d always wake up in the morning and go downstairs to see him sleeping on the sofa or an armchair curled up into this cute little ball of fluff and it was the most adorable thing! But he was old and we knew it was going to happen eventually – it was unexpected that he was going to die at that moment but he had been getting visibly older and less capable, but it just kind of added to everything else and it’s not really a reason why I haven’t been blogging because despite being upset, when he died it didn’t feel like an overwhelming loss or like a huge hole had been created in my life that could never be filled, it was devastating but it wasn’t like if a family member (or even my other cat who behaves like a dog, calls for me, cuddles with me all the time and whom I adore more than anything else in the entire universe) died so I wasn’t like in floods of tears for days unable to concentrate but this is a life update as well as being a post for me to explain all the reasons why I haven’t blogged.

Okay, another reason why I haven’t been blogging as much is because since last November I have been working on a fanfiction series – I am currently planning on it being 4 books long; which was completely unexpected but given the current state of the series 4 seems like a good number to get all the storylines completed in. Obviously I love to blog, it’s something I have a passion for but I also have a passion for fiction writing. I just love to write and I get different things out of both experiences. I like the feeling of being part of something that you get when you’re blogging, I like how on WordPress it’s like a community of people all sharing stories and opinions and interests etc. and there are just certain things I’m passionate about that I want to write about and I can’t really discretely put into a fictional story. But I also like the ability to escape that I get from writing fiction, maybe ‘escape’ isn’t quite the right word because I don’t feel like I need to ‘escape’ from my life but I guess it’s kind of a way to experience things that you don’t normally get to experience or to just create a world that can be however you want it to be; you can control the level of good and bad; the level of nice and horrible; the level of love and hatred and so on, you can put words in other people’s mouths and develop relationships and I enjoy it a crazy amount and have been getting really excited about my fanfiction series, maybe I’ll upload it onto Wattpad, maybe I won’t. I’m not sure. I’m going to finish all four books first. Anyway, I don’t really want it to sound like I’m prioritising fanfiction writing over blog writing but unfortunately it’s not exactly a choice, you see, the thing is, when I write fiction I think about it almost constantly and I am always thinking about what’s going to happen next or certain things people can say to others or a particular ‘moment’ that I want to happen, a cliff-hanger, a certain new character etc. and sometimes I get these really vivid images of a ‘scene’ I want to include and I know how I want it to read word for word and so I have to get my laptop and I have to write that scene whether I would rather be writing a blog post, watching TV or reading a book because if I don’t write that scene out there and then unfortunately the scene will be gone, and whilst, of course, I can write down a small memo saying I want to have a ‘marriage proposal scene’ or a ‘dramatic break-up scene’ or an ’emotional death scene’ I still don’t have the word for word details and – without trying to sound really full of myself because I’m really not – my first draft is usually actually the best draft, I mean everything needs a bit of editing after it’s finished but for some reason the way I write just comes out exactly the way I want it to first time, I do reword things sometimes or add things in that I didn’t think to add in the first time around and of course correct spelling errors but usually the way I’ve written it first is always the best so if I don’t get the words in my head down on my laptop then they all disappear and I can never recreate the word document on paper as good as it was in my head, if that makes sense.

I would just like to put it out there that I have been doing ‘blog’ things despite not being noticeably active on WordPress, I haven’t completely been ignoring my blog although it might seem like that. I have a number of drafts waiting to be reviewed and edited and in fact finished but the problem is, I am so busy that when I do have some free time it’s usually late at night when I’m exhausted from whatever I’ve had going on in the day, I’m half asleep and what I really want to be doing is drinking a hot chocolate and watching TV and the few times that I’ve tried to write a blog post instead in those circumstances they just don’t sound right, it sounds like I’m forcing the blog post and I’m not fully connecting to the content – probably because I’m half asleep – also, often I know the point I’m trying to make and what I want the blog post to say but I struggle to actually come to the conclusion and write it in a way that sounds good, basically I need to not be blogging when really I should be sleeping but I do plan on reviewing those blog posts over the next few evenings hopefully and finishing them, editing them and then getting them published.

Lastly, before I go I would like to quickly mention that I have been attempting to be much more active on my social media sites so you can go and follow me on them (links down below). I have specifically been paying attention to my Instagram recently firstly because I took lots of beautiful photos in Regent’s Park in London when I went to visit my friend and also because at the moment Instagram is my favourite social media site, I just love how so much can be conveyed in a photo and how loads of people are using this app and sharing photos of either pretty things they’ve found in their day-to-day lives or more professional type photos or even pictures of themselves and what they’ve been doing with their day, I just think it’s such a nice idea and personally I’ve been becoming slightly disconnected with twitter recently but I want to try and get back into it soon. Make sure you’re following me on both of the social media sites just mentioned so you can keep up-to-date with what I’ve been doing even when I’m not actively publishing new posts on WordPress.

I really hope you enjoyed this post, make sure to give it a like if you did! You can follow me if you aren’t already to see any new posts as soon as they’re published! Also, feel free to leave any comments letting me know what you’ve been busy doing and how you’re coping with all the exam work/revision you’ve got going on at the moment – I would love any tips and tricks you might have on effective study sessions!

If you want to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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My First Time Tag

Hey guys, does anybody else experience that moment when you feel like you wrote a blog post a few days ago and then you go on your blog and realise that actually it’s been way longer than you originally thought? Yeah? Well that’s me right now. I am so sorry for neglecting this blog, basically exams have been catching up with me and I had a moment last week when I was just like, ‘I need to take a break. I’m not a robot, I’m human. I can’t just keep going like this.’ and so I took a break, other than that I’ve just been busy with work and commitments and activities, so I’m sorry. I also realised that there hasn’t been a singe day this year when I haven’t been stressed and that made me really sad…

Anyway! I have decided to do a tag that was quite popular on YouTube for a while and then I think everyone kind of did it and since then it hasn’t really been a thing, I’m a bit late to the party but thought it would be fun to give it a go!

Quickly, before we get into the post I would just like to say that this isn’t a tag where I tell you all about my personal love life or anything, I mean come on! Who do you think I am?!  This is a tag where I tell you about my first time doing particular things, whether that’s my first exam, holiday etc. either way, it’s nothing to do with sex.

So, let’s get into it!

My First Time Going To A Concert – Now this is a great story, so… my first real concert – I say real like that because I’d been to concerts with my Mum but this was my concert – was a One Direction concert, I know, I’m a legend! It was when they were touring their album ‘Take Me Home’, it was such an amazing night! I couldn’t stop talking about it for hours! It had been a bit of a day though, there were a few complications which I won’t get into about whether my friend was actually allowed to attend the concert with me because her parents weren’t sure if they wanted us going in on our own, but it all worked out and it was amazing! Surprisingly, I didn’t actually cry! The audience were amazing, One Direction were amazing, the experience was just incredible and I am so glad that it was the first ever gig I’d been to, I think of it with fond memories!

My First Time Crushing On A Celebrity – Haha… So… I was about nine-years-old I think, maybe ten. My Mum had finally let me watch High School Musical and I mean, come on, Zac Efron in the High School Musical days, you can understand why right? I mean, I was ten. But I was absolutely obsessed with those films. I remember watching the second one first, the third one second and the first one last but I was addicted, I would watch them all the time and I knew all the words. I even had a High School Musical karoke game on my Nintendo Wii! I’m also pretty sure I had a DVD which taught me the dance routine to ‘We’re All In This Together’ from the end of the first film. I don’t exactly know when I realised I had a crush on him, I think it just kind of happened and I was really young and didn’t really understand anything back then haha! I’ve moved on now though…

My First Time Swimming In The Sea – I don’t know why I decided to include this but I know that a lot of people think swimming in the sea is sacred or something, I hated it. I was visiting my friend and we’d come from another activity but we went down to the beach and it was a lovely sunny day, we were all lying around on the beach, my friend and our families because I was quite young, in fact we might have come from the swimming pool… but then suddenly loads of my friends and family decided they were going to go swimming in the sea and I’d never done it before so I thought ‘why not?’, so I went and got changed into my swimming suit and went swimming in the sea, by swimming in the sea I actually mean, I didn’t go very far out because I was too scared of drowning so I stayed very close to the shore and my feet kept hitting the stones at the bottom and it was really hurting my toes and I kept getting salt water in my mouth and basically I absolutely hated it.

My First Time Performing On A Stage – So, there are two different stories for this. My first time performing on a stage ‘technically’ was when I was on holiday and I was camping and there was like a children’s ‘competition’, it wasn’t actually a competition but it was just an opportunity to showcase a young person’s talents and skills or something. But I sang a song on stage, with proper lights and a proper microphone and it was scary but I got through it and I really liked it! That was my singing career over. Then about a year later, I was on a theatre stage at my local theatre and it was my first ever drama performance and I had the lead part and it was terrifying because I’d never done anything like that before and I had a massive three page monologue to remember and it was just really scary but I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun! That kind of started my aspiration to be an actor really.

My First Time Buying Make-up – Some of you might think this is a bit of a stupid one for me to include but I thought I’d add it anyway, for a lot of people they’re not all that fussed about make-up, they’re parents don’t really have an opinion on it, sometimes they might wear it sometimes they might not. When I was growing up I was surrounded by all these TV shows that were advertising ‘pretty women’ and lots of make-up to me, this was the ‘ideal’, of course I was also surrounded by family games and trips to the park etc. I wasn’t an introverted child that sat indoors watching Hannah Montana but when I did watch TV that is what it would be, evidently as a young girl she was who I aspired to me. I wrote in a diary somewhere once that when I grew up I either wanted to work with dogs or be Hannah Montana. So my first make-up buying experience was one step closer to my dream career of being Hannah Montana! However I wasn’t actually allowed to wear the make-up I bought, I sneakily bought it on a day out with my grandparents when my Mum wasn’t with us in the hopes that she would then be guilt-tripped into letting me keep it and use it. It didn’t really work, I did get to keep it and I’m not sure how much of it I actually got to use but it was like ‘toy’ make-up, I bought it from Smith’s the toy store, I mean, it came from a toy store you can imagine how bad it was, but that was my first make-up buying experience. I have a much better collection now, don’t worry!

My First Time Properly Walking In A Pair Of Heels – This happened really recently I’m not going to lie, I actually think I might have spoken about this somewhere in a blog post before but this is ‘The First Time’ tag so I’m going to repeat myself. My first time walking in heels was last October. I had bought a brand new pair of high heels (in black) for a performance that I was going to be in later on in the month, I think I had about five days before the show and I’d never worn a pair of heels in my life! So, being the clever person that I am I bought them in my town after work and then I got the bus halfway home and decided to walk the other half, it was a nice sunny day despite being October and I was feeling in a good mood, I got about ten steps before realising that it had been a really terrible idea because I wasn’t only walking home in a pair of heels for the first time ever I was also walking home carrying a shoe box with the shoes I’d previously had on my feet and a bag of hay for my rabbit as well as my handbag and anything else I happened to be carrying, so I had my hands full and I was wobblying all over the place, I could actually see people laughing in their cars as they drove past. It was not a great experience, and then I had a show a few days later with these massive blisters on my feet but I still love the shoes to this day and wore them out for dinner a couple of months ago.

My First Time Owning A Laptop – This was a great moment for me! I can’t remember what made me decide that I wanted a laptop, maybe I thought it was cool or I had an actual reason, I’m not sure. I was ten when I got my first laptop, it was kind of checked pink with some flashes of yellow and purple, it was an absolutely beautiful laptop and I cherished it and loved it so much! It was pretty much my life and I have used a laptop non-stop ever since that day – almost seven years. There pretty much isn’t a single day that passes when I’m not using my laptop either for writing, reading, messaging my best friend, watching YouTube or Netflix; quite frankly I don’t know what I’d do without one now. I still own my first ever laptop actually, it’s sitting on my desk, it doesn’t work though (it did last five years though so we can let it off), it’s the smallest laptop you’ve ever seen in your life, it’s so adorable! If anyone saw it nowadays they’d think it was a child’s toy but it wasn’t, it was a legit laptop. It was a great first laptop and I will always think of it with fond memories but I’m now in love with my new laptop, it’s like my second life.

My First Time Breaking A Bone –Haha! I’m going to tell you an embarrassing story, something that I find embarrassing now and that I found embarrassing at the time. I must have been between the ages of 9-11 when this happened, basically, I broke my wrist. It wasn’t bad or anything, I was coming home from the shops with my brother and sister and my Dad. My sister decided to randomly chase me, as you do at a young age and it was all fun and games, I decided to be clever and run backwards to try and outrun her whilst running backwards, however, this didn’t go according to plan and I ended up tripping and I was going to fall right on my back and so instinctively my body tried to twist around so I could use my palms to stop me from falling, however I was falling faster than I could twist and so I ended up landing on my wrist – I didn’t know it at the time but it was broken. My Mum was at work and when she got home I told her what happened, she tried to test whether I had any strength in it before telling me to sleep on it and we’d see how it was in the morning and go from there. The next day when my mum woke up I was sitting at the table eating my breakfast with the spoon in my right hand – I’m left-handed – my mum asked me why I wasn’t eating with my left-hand and so like an idiot I told her that I just felt like it on that specific day, she asked me if it hurt too much to eat with my left-hand and I told her no it didn’t, so she asked me to eat with my left-hand. I put the spoon in my left-hand and although I could physically grip the spoon I couldn’t really do anything else with it, I remember trying to put the cereal in my mouth but my arm was too weak and shaky to actually get it there and cereal was spilling off the spoon all over the place, at the time I was really upset because I knew it was going to involve a trip to the hospital but looking back on it now it always makes me laugh. So yeah, I had to have a cast for three months I think and every single time I saw a doctor or nurse at the hospital that day I had to explain that I had broken it running backwards, which was really embarrassing.

My First Time Going To A Sleepover – I think I was relatively old when I had my first sleepover, I must have been about 11. I was so excited and happy that I was getting to stay round my friend’s house overnight – I thought this would instantly move me into the ‘cool person’ category, that once I had my first sleepover I may as well be Regina George minus the meanness. Except at this time I hadn’t even seen Mean Girls. But anyway, I’m pretty sure it was my friend’s birthday party and she was having loads of people but only two of us were staying the night. So she had her party – I wore this beautiful sparkly pink dress from either H&M or BHS, I loved it so much and in fact still own it! She was having some kind of ‘princess’ party or something (really funny if you could see her now) and her parents had hired these make-up artists/hairdressers/party people and they curled my hair and gave me gel eyeliner. It was a great first sleepover.

I’m going to end this post here as it is much longer than originally intend but I enjoyed it so much! I didn’t realise quite how much I was going to enjoy it until I started writing it! I would really love to do a part 2 as I’m liking this ‘get to know me’ aspect of the blog, if you have anything you’d like to know ‘my first time’ experiencing do let me know in the comments and I’ll make another post!

If you enjoyed this post please make sure to give it a like, leave your comments down below – maybe even share your first time experiencing some of the things I’ve talked about, I’d love to read them  – if you don’t follow me already make sure to go and do that to read all of my new posts as soon as they’re published!

If you would like to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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Top 6 Books/Series To Read

Hey guys, so, today I discovered that it was World Book Day yesterday! I’m so sad that I didn’t realise sooner! I mean, it’s only a day late but I wish I could have acknowledged it properly yesterday but I think I got caught up a little with having 200 followers and studying and things like that. However, I have decided I’m going to catch-up today, I am going to write a blog post on my top 6 books/book series that you should totally read! It’s not going to be 6 individual books and 6 book series because I’m not sure I have 6 individual favourite books… that’s a lie, I probably do haha! Anyway, let’s see how it goes.

1. Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get A Life By Maureen McCarthy:

I think I’ve mentioned this in other posts before but this book is my favourite book of all time. Unfortunately I’ve never had the opportunity to re-read it because it’s quite long and I’ve been reading other things but this book is incredible! It’s an Australian Classic and it’s about three university students in their first year. They’ve all moved into an apartment together and despite being from completely different backgrounds and basically completely different worlds they all have to get along and live together for three years. The reason I love this book so much is because it’s completely based on reality. This might not appeal to other people but there is nothing overly dramatic or unbelievable, yes, there are dramatic moments but they’re all things that could happen in real life, for example, someone cheating on you, a relative getting sick etc. and it’s just about three really relatable young women trying to find a way in the world. It’s great, I would highly recommend.

2. Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan Matson:

This is my second favourite book ever, again, nothing overly dramatic happens. Well, it’s kind of dramatic. It’s a book about two girls; Sloane is very much an extrovert, she gets on with everyone, is really energetic and enthusiastic, loves to go to parties etc. and her best friend, Emily, is a bit shy and doesn’t really get on in a party environment and is a bit awkward, a wallflower. Then one summer Sloane disappears, leaving behind a to-do list (bucket list) of things for Emily. Things that Emily would never dream of doing, that make her nervous and scared. Things that she would only do with her best friend. If Emily completes the list will her best friend come back? Whilst it sounds like a big kind of Pretty Little Liars type mystery, it’s really not. Sorry to disappoint. It’s a really funny, really summery and happy novel about a shy girl finding her way in the world, finally finding her own feet and coming out of her shell and it’s just a fantastic read for a summers day. Or if you miss the summer and want to be back there again. I definitely think I’m going to try and re-read it this summer.

3. The Wolves Of Mercy Falls Series By Maggie Stiefvater:

This is one of my favourite trilogies, even now and I read it when I was… 11-12? I think the ideas in the story are so unique and I just love the characters. The main couple in it are absolute goals. The trilogy consists of; Shiver, Linger and Forever. It is a series about werewolves. And a girl that falls in love with one of them. I know you’re thinking ‘how are the ideas unique?’ basically, and this isn’t giving anything away, the werewolves are only wolves in the winter. They transform into actual wolves and then in the summer they remain human until it gets cold again. I just think it’s a truly great idea and really adds a twist onto the story, because it’s a whole season (and a half?) when they’re not human. They don’t transform into humans once unless they get hurt dramatically. There’s lots of drama throughout the trilogy. Some truly amazing characters that I can’t help but fall in love with. It’s just great. There’s also a spin-off book called Sinner about one of my favourite characters from the books, which I also own and which is also amazing. I would highly recommend these books if you’re someone who loves anything supernatural and you’re dying for a new werewolf series to sink your teeth into – I would say reading them in the winter or cold nights are the best because it’s great to be able to snuggle under a blanket and read this great series but it really doesn’t matter when you read it, it just gives you a nice cosy and warm feeling and a sense of winter when reading it, I don’t really know why. Isn’t it amazing how books can do that though?

4. The Maze Runner Series By James Dashner:

I mean, it’s not like I haven’t mentioned this series enough on my blog, is it? But, I’m going to mention it again. I read the first book a couple of years ago now and absolutely loved it! I still remember the chilling feeling’s I got from reading it. There’s this one scene that is truly awful, it’s absolutely horrible to read and really well written and I remember reading it at night before bed because I was so gripped and I read that ‘scene’ and I was like, ‘how am I going to be able to sleep now? Just how?’, I did manage to sleep but I think I read for a couple more hours. There are so many great scenes in the first book. The second book, The Scorch Trials, I have to admit wasn’t as good as the other books in the series. I felt like there wasn’t as much going on but boy did it have it’s moments. When there was drama there was drama, there were moments when I just couldn’t understand why I was doing this to myself or why James Dashner had written this because there were some real twists and horrific moments! The third book in the series, The Death Cure, I absolutely cannot fault it. I cannot recall a single moment when I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, the story was really fasted paced, really dramatic, full of action, and also one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever read in my entire life. No lie. I’ve never cried at a book, and this didn’t make me cry either but boy I wanted to. I don’t know why I don’t seem to cry at books but I just don’t. However, there were multiple scenes in this book when I could feel my heart aching, like, it was actually painful to read the book at times because it was so sad. If you’ve read the book you will completely know what I’m talking about. But, there’s something that happens and James Dashner doesn’t just make it sad, he takes it to a whole new level. A level that destroys your soul (if you believe in souls.). And then there are two prequels. The first one is The Kill Order, which I haven’t read. The second is The Fever Code which was so amazing! And oh my god the twists! It destroyed my life a little bit. If you’ve watched the films, whether you’ve liked them or not, read the books. They won’t let you down.

5. Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell:

I’m not sure if this is actually in my top 6 but it is a book I read quite recently and absolutely loved! But there are so many great books I’ve read. Just some of them were a long time ago and I remember reading them and liking them but not how much I liked them. I absolutely loved this book! I think one of the reasons is because I could see a few similarities with Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get A Life but it was just really refreshing. I love how the author told two stories in one. Basically, it’s about two identical twins Cath and Wren. They are both starting university and moving into dorms etc. Wren is the party-girl, the popular one, the one that likes to be social. Cath would much rather stay in and read a good book, study or write her fanfiction. Cath’s fanfiction is where the two stories come into it, the author has cleverly laid out the chapters in such a way that we both get to read about Cath and her life and also get to read her fanfiction as she writes it. So, we’re being entertained by two stories which is just great! I love that about the book. As an avid reader, writer and hard-working studier. I can completely relate to Cath, also, as hard as it might be to believe I am actually quite a shy and awkward person. I just feel like she’s a really well written character, entering a big and scary new chapter of her life that everyone gets anxious about and this is just a really good, down-to-earth and relatable book. I would highly recommend reading it!

6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon:

I was originally only going to write about 5 books for this post but then I remembered this book that I read relatively recently and I know they’re turning it into a film this year and I just had to write about it. I know I wrote about it in a favourites post quite a while ago, but I’m going to mention it again. Everything, Everything is about a girl who is quite literally allergic to the world. She has to live in an air-tight, sterile house so she doesn’t get sick and die. Her only friends are her mother and her live-in nurse. When she gets new neighbours she can’t help but be intrigued by the new boy next door. She wants to get to know him. But how does someone get to know another when they can’t leave the house? This book had such an original storyline and everyone was raving about it so I couldn’t help but read it. It was so amazing! Beyond anything I ever thought it would be. It’s also got the biggest twist of any book ever, I think. I would highly recommend reading this book, be open-minded and prepared for absolutely anything.

And there we have it, a list of some of my favourite books. I really want to re-read them all now! Maybe I will. Maybe this summer or sooner I will re-read all of the books in this list because I just love them all so much! They’re just truly incredible books. Make sure to leave a comment below letting me know what you did for World Book Day and some of your favourite books – maybe you can even suggest some to me!

If you enjoyed this post please give it a like! If you aren’t already then go and follow me to read all my new posts straight away!

If you want to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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200 Followers?! + Q&A Questions

Hey guys, so I know I’ve been really bad at keeping up with this blog over the last month and the only post I published last month was my January Favourites but it’s been hectic, I’ve been studying like crazy, busy with activities, there’s just been a lot going on basically.

But… I logged onto my blog today and to my surprise discovered that I now have 200 followers! Which was absolutely amazing! And now… this is where I go on to talk about how much I appreciate it, the usual really. But instead of just talking about my never-ending love of everyone who supports and engages with my blog I’m going to talk about my blog and how it came to exist and what it means to me.

So, I was always quite fond of the idea of having a blog. It wasn’t so much building up a following and interacting with others, whilst I love reading comments and posting them on other people’s blogs it was never a motivating factor in getting a blog, but ever since a young age I was always writing (I remember writing a Doctor Who story when I was younger, I guess you might call it a fanfiction now but it was just a story I wrote using the characters of Doctor Who and then my Mum typed it up onto a document for me.), I love/d writing fiction and from the age of 6 always wanted to write a novel. I have kept a journal since I was about 9-years-old, I was always writing these little documents which in my head were ‘blog posts’ I just didn’t have a blog to actually publish them, the reason I was writing these is because; I guess my brain just needs to write things down, it just wants to write and I feel like a blog is a completely unique form of writing, you write about things that you don’t normally get the opportunity to write about, for example, one of my favourite things to write on my blog is favourites posts, a blog is the only place where I properly get to share things that I’ve been loving in that way. I think it’s just such a great opportunity to have, or another example could be the home-education Q&A I did quite early on in my blog, that was a unique opportunity to answer lots of the questions home-educated people get asked. Also, political posts and humanity posts, both things that I have very strong opinions on and don’t get the opportunity to write about in the same way when writing fiction and it’s all well and good writing about it in my journal but it doesn’t give you the same satisfaction because it’s more like having a rant to yourself or, as my best friend would say, venting. It’s not sharing your opinions with the world in the hopes that somehow it will create change.

So, once I got older I started asking my Mum, or begging rather, to let me have a blog. It was so important to me and I had NO IDEA what I was going to do if she said yes, I must have been about 11 or something, I didn’t know anything about website design and probably didn’t even understand where to start. All I knew was that I wanted a platform to get my thoughts heard, to interact with people who understood where I was coming from and could relate to me in a way that I didn’t really get in the real world. A community that I could really feel a part of in a way I never had before. But, unfortunately for me my Mum didn’t want me to have a blog at such a young age (which, looking back was probably the right decision because I had no idea where to start or how to properly run a blog, I most likely would be terrified. And yes, whilst my blog needs a lot of editing and the design isn’t all that great – something I plan on dealing with in the summer – it’s a blog that I absolutely love having and that truly feels like mine. I understand how to work it and I feel like I can handle anything that the blogosphere might throw at me because I’m not young, under-educated and vulnerable anymore.) another motivating factor that my Mum had for not letting me have a blog was that I didn’t have a specific genre or topic I was going to be writing about. But that’s not the kind of blog I wanted to have, and I couldn’t explain that to her properly when I was younger but I just wanted a kind of lifestyle blog that was completely unique to me and that I could write whatever I felt like writing, whatever spoke to me in the moment or whatever I was passionate about, because let’s face it my interests and passions are going to change over the lifetime of this blog. But, I turned 15 and decided that I was going to start a blog with or without her permission. Yes, it was a ‘secret’ blog for awhile, but it wasn’t like a malicious secret blog, I wasn’t starting it because I was a rebel and wanted to defy my Mum’s wishes or views or anything. It was more that as I got older I suddenly felt that I didn’t need permission anymore and eventually I told my Mum about it and she was completely cool with it, so it’s all good.

So, now I have a blog. That’s my story I guess. The reason lifeofaninspiredteen exists. I’m not sure I can tell you the story of my blog name, although I wish there was something really meaningful behind it or something. I remember finally deciding, ‘what the hell, I’m going to get a blog’ and then there was the process of thinking of a name. I think the way I came up with the name was, I knew it was going to be about my life and so I really wanted to have it obvious that it was just a kind of general blog about me and my thoughts, interests, etc. so that’s where the ‘life of’ came into it and then I had to think of the end part of my name and keeping my anonymity. So, then I had to decide a catchy way of describing who I was and my personality. My best friend is always calling me inspired and inspiring, because I find a lot of things interesting and find a way to inspire myself using basically anything as a stimulus. I just love being inspired, whether it’s to study, to travel the world, to do an activity, whatever it is I love to be inspired. And… I’m a teen and so I juggled being inspired around with ‘life of’ for a little bit and then ended up with my blog name – lifeofaninspiredteen. And that’s it. After saying I couldn’t tell you the story of my blog name, I told you the story of my blog name.

Almost done, now we’re onto the cheesy part. I never ever thought I would get to 200 followers, especially not after less than a year. I don’t want to be all depressing and be like ‘I’m not that interesting. I don’t understand why anyone would want to read what I write.’ because I don’t bring myself down like that and I don’t want to criticise the readers of my blog because they obviously do find what I write interesting which is great and I love that. But, I think the reason I’m surprised I reached 200 followers is because I was never writing for anyone else, it wasn’t a concern whether I was going to be interesting to anyone else it was that I was doing something I was passionate about and I was doing it for myself. Obviously I knew that what I was publishing was public and people could read it and were going to read it but I never viewed it as something I was doing to gain followers or have loads of views or anything. So, when lots of people were reading what I was writing and following me it was a bit of a surprise but not because I didn’t think people were going to read it but simply because I never really thought of it happening. Every single follower I get really excites me but I decided that I shouldn’t write an appreciation post after every new follower so I only write a post when I hit ‘landmark’ followers. But, I remember getting excited about my 5th follower, my 2oth follower, the 45th follower etc. it never ceases to amaze me how many people find their way to my blog and leave lovely comments, it basically never ceases to amaze me how nice all the bloggers on wordpress are. Or all the ones I’ve had the pleasure of encountering.

Okay, lastly, I’ve decided that to celebrate 200 followers I’m going to do a Q&A, there isn’t a specific subject so just leave any questions you have for my below, whether it’s about my blog, my education, my routines, my life, my diet, literally anything that you’ve ever wondered about me leave them in the comments below and I will write up the answers and publish them in a post soon – but, disclaimer I won’t answer all questions, if I feel uncomfortable answering any or feel like they might put my anonymity at risk then I won’t answer them.

This concludes the end of my post – please like it if you enjoyed it, leave any comments below as I love to read them all! Also, if you aren’t following me already make sure to do that to keep up with my new posts!

If you would like to get in touch, my e-mail is – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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January Favourites 2017

Hey guys, so it’s that time again! For a monthly favourites post! I’m so excited, so many great things are in this month’s favourites post. It’s also the first favourites post in the new year. It’s also my first ever January favourites post!

So let’s get into it!

TV SHOWS:

I’ve decided to start with TV shows because there are so many from this month that I’ve ben loving, I could almost write an individual post just on TV shows.

CasualtyThose of you in the UK will know that this is a medical drama show on BBC1 every Saturday. I went off this show for a while and had stopped watching it, yet, somehow I got dragged back in and at the best time possible as well as the story lines were so gripping and I was desperate to find out what happened next. This is definitely a programme you should consider watching if you’re looking for something simple to watch at the end of the day.

SherlockOh my god, can we please talk about the new season? Wasn’t it amazing? Okay, so, I was never a huge fan of Sherlock, I have to admit (please don’t hate me) I watched it with my family but it was never anything I was passionate about watching. But, then came season 4 and it completely blew me away. Episode 2 was absolutely incredible! The acting was great, the story line was compelling, it was just amazing. I hope Benedict Cumberbatch wins an award for his performance in that episode because it was truly phenomenal. The season finale was also fantastic, it was so gripping and tense and I actually struggled to watch it at times and found myself covering my face with my hands, but it was great all the same. I would highly recommend buying this on DVD when it comes out!

Gilmore Girls – This is going to sound ridiculous but I only watched one episode of this show this month and yet I’m recommending it to you. That might seem a bit soon to be suggesting it to you but the first episode left such a great impression on me that I had to put it in my favourites. I can’t wait to watch more of it but I’ve been busy watching other shows. This show had me very pleasantly surprised because it was one of those shows that everyone was talking about and I assumed that it would just be another one of those TV shows that were okay and you could watch but didn’t actually have any interesting elements to them – Gilmore Girls definitely proved me wrong!

Nashville If you read my 5 Shows To Binge Watch post then you will know that this show is my all-time favourite TV programme, it truly is the one to watch. This month season 4 was released on DVD in the UK and as I don’t have the TV channel it was aired on I wasn’t able to watch it on live TV so had to wait, you have no idea how incredibly excited I was for this season and I have to say that it absolutely blew me away, it was very definitely one of the best seasons, if not the best season of the entire show! I loved seeing some of the lesser characters truly grow into great and important characters in this season and there was some very empowering and awareness raising storylines on both sexism and homophobia. It was just a fantastic season, I would highly recommend this show – if you do watch it let me know in the comments what you think and who your favourite characters are!

BOOKS:

I actually only have one book for you this month as I haven’t been reading very much and that book is;

After Ever Happy By Anna Todd – This is the final book in the After series that I have been raving about for the last few favourites posts, it was truly great! All of my least favourite elements of the book were lessened and all of my favourite parts heightened. The characters developed in truly great ways and I found myself falling in love with lots of the characters all over again. There were lots of dramatic moments in this book and lots of truly swoon-worthy moments in this book. I’m really sad I’ve finished this book series and I really hope they make the film soon! I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending and I felt it jumped forward to the future way too many times but overall it was a fantastic book and a great series.

FILMS:

Nerve – Okay, this film was possibly the highlight of my month where favourites are concerned. I got this film for Christmas and had wanted to see it in the cinema but was too broke and friendless to do so haha! Anyway, I’d been wanting to watch this film for ages and only got around to it this month, however, it did not disappoint, with a fantastic cast and a unique storyline based on the book by Jeanne Ryan this film was one of the best films I have ever seen. It was funny, cute and dead terrifying! I was on the edge of my seat terrified of what was going to happen next. Not only all of that but it really raised the issue of cyber-bullying and anonymity in a way that I have never seen done before, it was just a fantastic film! It was so gripping and widely entertaining, I would truly recommend this film for a sleepover, date night, or any other kind of night (or day) just watch this film. You will not regret it.

BEAUTY AND HEALTH:

MUA Wet Look Liquid EyelinerThis month I have really got into wearing liquid eyeliner, including the whole winged eyeliner effect. I don’t know why but I go through stages of wearing liquid eyeliner and then stages of not wearing it, but I bought this eyeliner because I was in a show and needed to have winged eyeliner, it is truly great, it’s easy to apply, really cheap and yet good quality. It’s a wet look eyeliner so it looks shiny and not all dry and crumbly when it’s on your face. It’s long lasting. You do have to put quite a thick layer on your eyelid and it feels a bit weird while it dries but once it’s dry you’re good to go. Would definitely recommend.

Simple Eye Make-Up RemoverI bought this from Superdrug this month because it was on offer and I was really struggling to get my waterproof mascara off at the end of the day as it was waterproof and didn’t wash off easily. At first I thought it might be a waste of money buying a product like this because it looked like liquid in a bottle and I thought it wouldn’t work, however, it worked like a complete charm and now I can go to bed with a clean, mascara free face and then my eyelashes are all fresh and ready for the next day. I was really struggling with my mascara when I wasn’t getting it off easily because I would believe that I’d got it all off but then the next day I would be putting mascara on and all my eye lashes would stick together and go all clumpy and horrible looking, I blamed this on the mascara and thought it was just because the mascara was rubbish, turned out I just couldn’t remove it at the end of the day. This eye make-up remover has been an absolute star and really saved my eye lashes and entire make-up look.

Boots Extract Mango Lip Balm – I got this lip balm in a set with a vanilla one and a strawberry one a couple of Christmases ago, I quite often get dry lips in the winter and this lip balm saves the day. It smells nice, it’s not gloopy or sticky on your mouth, it makes your lips shine but it also makes them look natural and it really helps clear off the dry skin and make them soft and smooth again. And the little pot it comes in is really handbag friendly and small. *Unfortunately they don’t make it any more as it was strictly a Christmas gift so I can’t leave a link.*

Head And Shoulders ShampooI have allergic reactions to lots of different shampoos and conditioners and they make my hair look really dry and life-less. I was using a shampoo a few months ago that was making my head go all flaky and disgusting and it was just making me feel bad and it wasn’t doing my hair any good. I changed to this shampoo quite recently and it has been an absolute hair life-saver, it has made my hair soft and easy to brush, it’s taken longer for my hair to get dirty and need washing, it’s made it’s shinier and more alive looking and the shampoo itself is both blue and really easy to massage into your scalp. I would highly recommend this to everyone but specifically to people who have difficulty finding good shampoos, it will change your hair care experience!

Aussie Dual Personality: Curl Defining and Soft Feel Serum –  Okay, so I’ve become slightly obsessed with hair care this month and yet at the same time I have become completely lazy with my hair care ritual. Anyway, much like me struggling with shampoos recently I’ve really been struggling with the ends of my hair, my hair kind of needs cutting but at the same time I refuse to get a haircut because I’m trying to grow it and I know everyone tells you trims are necessary to have long hair but there is no such thing as a ‘trim’ when you go to the hairdressers, they will cut a third of your hair off before you can do anything about it, so I’m boycotting hairdressers for that reason but my hair is dry and slightly damaged through curling and straightening it, so, I started using this serum that we had lying around the house, what I would do is at the end of every day I would pump some of the serum onto my hand, comb it through my hair and then put my hair in a plait for the night and then low and behold in no time at all my hair was shiny, smooth and lively looking and I felt really great about my hair and it was helping with the dry ends and my hair was looking healthy and long again. This is definitely something to add to the shopping list!

This has been a long favourites post but we have finally come to the end. I really hoped you enjoyed reading it and it gave you some good ideas for things to watch, read and incorporate into your healthcare routine. Do let me know in the comments if you use any of these products or watch any of the TV shows or films or read the book, also, make sure to share some of your favourite things from January in the comments below as I am always looking for new things!

If you enjoyed this post make sure to give it a like and follow me if you aren’t already to read my new posts as soon as they’re published!

If you want to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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My Biggest Life Lesson

Hey guys, the other day I was sitting on the sofa and it was one of those moments when you just sit there and reflect on everything that’s happened recently, whether that be in the last week or the last month – or even in the last couple of months – anyway, I was sat there and I was thinking about my exams and the future and where I hope to be at the end of the year and everything I hope to have achieved and then I was reminded of this life lesson that my Mum taught me recently. And I remember her teaching me this, I’m not even sure she meant for it to become quite as important to me as it is now, I think it was just the way she worded her thoughts but they stuck with me and that talk became the biggest life lesson I have ever had.

I decided to share that life lesson with you guys because it really helped me handle my stress and helped me come to terms with how much work I had to do and how little time.

My Mum taught me this life lesson when I was getting stressed about GCSEs and I was panicking about the subjects that I don’t enjoy and I was saying that I no longer had enough time to revise, I didn’t think, that I’d been too lazy over the last few months, too laid back and I hadn’t done any work and now I’ve destroyed my life, I won’t get into sixth form or college, I won’t go to uni and I’ll spend the rest of my life cleaning toilets or something, as you can tell, completely dramatic and over-the-top but stress can really get to you sometimes. Anyway, my Mum, in response to this, said completely matter of fact, “There’s no point getting stressed, you are in the situation you are in now, so you just have to get on with it.” This was the thing that taught me such a big lesson and really made me open my eyes, she was completely right and whenever I get stressed and feel like I’m going towards that manic panicky feeling I always think of what she said and am reminded that there is no point stressing about what I should have done three months ago, at the end of the day I can’t change what I was doing three months ago I can only change my attitude and behaviour now. I can’t change the past and I never will be able to.

I wish I could have learnt this life lesson last year when I was preparing for my GCSEs and getting really, really stressed, it just so happened that I was okay anyway but I really needed that life lesson this year as I am much more stressed than I was last year. Hell, last year I didn’t even start revising until April when my exams were in May. This year it’s only January and I’m getting incredibly stressed, thankfully that life lesson has really calmed me a lot. I know that I will use this life lesson for at least the rest of my time as a student if not longer because exams will always be stressful, I can’t comment on what might be stressful after my time as a student but I do know that for as long as I’m at sixth form and uni I will be thinking back to these words.

Maybe this life lesson isn’t as helpful to others as it is to me and let’s face it, my Mum probably worded it in a way that she knew would have the greatest impact on me because she knows me. But that one sentence has really given me the opportunity to handle my stress in a way I never thought I would be able to do, yes, I still get very stressed and sometimes it feels like it’s almost suffocating me but at the same time I think back to those words and know that nothing can be changed. That the only thing that can be done now is for me to suck it up and get the work done. The only way for me to not fail my GCSEs as I fear so heavily that I will is to remember those words, grab my textbooks and work my ass off until it’s done.

I am so grateful to my Mum for teaching me this life lesson, whether it was intentional or not and I really hope that you can learn from that life lesson too and that it helps you in some way. With exams coming much too quickly I’m sure you all need as much motivation and support as you can get! I know I do. Do let me know in the comments what’s been the biggest life lesson you’ve ever learnt and who taught you it.

If you enjoyed this post please give it a like and follow me if you aren’t already to be able to read all my future posts as soon as they’re published!

If you want to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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2016 Acknowledgements

Hey guys, so, I’m always a little lost as to what my ‘introductions’ should exactly say, sometimes I say something along the lines of – ‘I hope everyone is having a great week’ but that’s just a bit boring, isn’t it? A bit business e-mail style. If you have any ideas, do let me know in the comments, along with any other ideas on how to change my blog – I am always looking for ways to improve my blog, and whilst we’re on this subject then please feel free to let me know if you have any post ideas that you would like my to write up and publish and I will see what I can do.

Anyway, you may have a slight idea from the title about what this post is going to be about, let me explain. Firstly, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, not a post about 2016, can’t we just forget that year already? Haven’t we discussed and reminisced it enough yet? Let’s just move on.’ Unfortunately, I can’t do that, because I was ill on the day I was supposed to post this and I think it’s really important, maybe others won’t agree but I have to write this post. I have read many posts this month and in fact last month talking about 2016, there were so many people talking about what a terrible year it had been and how it wouldn’t be missed and that they were so glad it was over. I think no one really thought about focusing on some of the good parts of that year, I understand that some people believe there was nothing good about that year, and maybe they were right, who am I to judge on what year they had had but at the same time I feel like there were many people that were glad it was over because of all the history-making political things that happened, all the bad things but I feel like last year really shaped me and taught me a lot, it made me realize a lot of things and I know other people feel the same. Anyway, I would like to write a post talking about all the people that really helped me in 2016 and all the people I would like to acknowledge for everything they did for me, as stupid as it sounds. And yes, before you say anything, I know this isn’t a book.

Firstly, I would like to thank my Mum for always, always being there for me no matter what phase I’m going through and how stressed I get. Her continued support and patience with me continues to inspire me, as does her kindness, selflessness and knowledge. She is always there when I need to talk things through and willing to make helpful comments that help me with a dilemma or confusion that I’m having. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her.

I would like to thank my sister for being there when I need a distraction from my studying, someone who will always, always, without a fail make me laugh and smile and take all the stress away even if it’s only for a short amount of time. Someone who reminds me that I will always be a child at heart, someone I can muck about with without feeling stupid and silly, someone who makes me feel like there’s nothing to worry about and as long as I have family and friends then everything will be okay in the end. Without her I genuinely don’t think I would be as happy as I am.

I would like to acknowledge my brother who is always there when I just need to have a simple chat, someone I can go to and have a good catch-up but someone I can also joke with and who’s there if ever I need a hug. Someone who will mock and tease me and remind me that I will always be his little sister no matter how lost and grown up I think I am, he will always be there for me. For this I will be forever grateful.

I would like to acknowledge my best friend for being there for me throughout the past year, someone who I can go to and talk to about anything and and everything. Who won’t judge me no matter what crazy thing comes out of my mouth, who will listen to me like it’s the most interesting thing in the world when in reality she couldn’t care less. Someone who is both my complete opposite and my twin at the same time and who keeps me on my feet and reminds me who I am when I get so overwhelmed with work that I forget. Who’s continued support and belief in me continues to astound and bewilder me yet I love her for it, more than she will ever know. She’s someone who has no awareness of quite how brilliant she is and yet she makes me so happy and so motivated and inspired. She has no idea how much she has improved my life in the three and a half years that I’ve known her and I am glad that last year we got the opportunity to grow even closer.

I would also like to take this time to thank anyone who supported me and gave me the opportunity to develop myself as a person. I would like to thank anyone who was there for me when I needed them or even if I didn’t need them. Anyone who believed or had faith in me when I didn’t have it in myself. Anyone who gave me the opportunity to realize who I am and what I wanted out of life and was part of shaping who I was then, who I am now and who I hope to be in the future. I will be forever grateful to all of you forever.

And lastly, I would like to thank both all the citizens of the UK and the US for teaching me that life is incredibly unexpected, that nothing is ever certain and that you can’t always get what you want, no matter how hard you wish for it. People are not always on your side even when you wish they were or would be and it doesn’t matter how much you reason with them they simply will never accept the truth, they will insist on being blind to it simply so that they don’t have to admit to being wrong. It was an absolutely invaluable lesson and one which I will never forget.

So, I know this was a bit of an unusual post and not really anything I would usually post, but I just thought that I owed it to all the people who had been there for me to acknowledge it even if they won’t read it and never know about it. Get involved by acknowledging someone that played an important part in your 2016 in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post please give it a like and if you aren’t already you can go and follow me and have my future posts put into your reader or e-mail as soon as it’s published.

If you wish to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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