Thursday, 9 November 2017

10 Things You Need To Be Reminded Of


1. You are under no obligation to be the person you were yesterday (or even five minutes ago) if you don't want to be

2. You are, however, under an obligation to yourself to get real about who you want to become

3. Once you figure out why you want something, you will become unstoppable

4. The way you treat other people, and speak about other people, says infinitely more about you

5. Every emotion you feel is valid, real, okay, and temporary

6. You deserve a dizzy, light-headed, elevated kind of love

7. You get out of life, love and people what you choose to put in -- always

8. There is no point dreaming about change if you aren't willing to spur, support, or be the change

9. There's an important difference between self-confidence, and arrogance

10. You are absolutely, indisputably wonderful


Love,

Annabel
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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

7 Things Training For The NYC Marathon Taught Me

picture source
Just this weekend passed, I ran the New York 2017 Marathon!!! Whilst I'm admittedly still on a high (or rather, hobbling around LA trying to recover) from the actual event and rush that comes from having hundreds of thousands (millions? I don't know the exact figure) of people cheering you on for 26.2 miles (42.2 km), the reality is that, for me, the marathon was so much less about 'the day' or race. The marathon was quite literally the entire process itself.

As with anything challenging, unique, and impossible to experience through articles, watching or studying, there are a lot of things I learnt -- about myself as well as others -- through taking on this particular challenge.

1. Where you invest your energy, and what you make time for, matters more than what you tell people you want to do/be. This was one of the most important things I had to embrace and come to terms with in the weeks leading up to the marathon; despite always being an active, fit person, and always saying that I wanted to run a marathon, I never gave 100% to this dream, even if I acted like I did. Deciding to do something means really deciding to do it; for me, this meant scheduling in my training program as equally, if not more, important than everything else in my calendar (I truly skipped a class one week to fit in my long-run, rather than miss it or shorten it -- I'm not condoning that, I'm just saying...). It meant giving up certain foods (and alcohol) for the purpose of long-term fueling my body. It meant saying no to certain social events that I knew would ruin my runs the next day, or waking up at 5am to run before brunch with friends. It was literally a commitment, and it was hard, but it needed to happen.

2. You can be afraid, and still keep going. This was a big one for me, and I think it relates a lot to my lesson above. I've always been a perfectionist, and hold incredibly high standards for myself (literally, instead of immediately celebrating that I ran a marathon without stopping, my instinct was to be disappointed in my time... why?), and I think on some subconscious level, previously when I'd 'tried' to train for a marathon, I hadn't given my all, for a fear of my all not being good enough. Whilst it's easy for me now to laugh at this unsupported worry, the reality is, it can be frightening to devote yourself to a goal, or a dream, when it is both distant and/or seemingly impossible. For me, this marathon was both, and I was terrified right up until the gun went off on race day -- it took a lot of courage (courage I didn't believe I had) to run with that fear.

3. It's going to be harder than you ever thought possible. Let's be real, nobody ever decides they're going to run a marathon (or anything of similar magnitude) and thinks for a moment it will be easy in any way possible. I certainly didn't. In fact, I tried to prepare mentally and literally for any possible mishap; I read articles on marathon racing, specific to the NYC course, read advice from professional and amateur racers, experimented with pre and post-race foods, focused on my diet and exercise, wore the right running clothes, found the right shoes...... I did everything I could possibly think to do. And yet, not only was the race harder than I expected, but there were challenges I hadn't even foreseen. For example, the rain was something I didn't expect, but wasn't fussed by. However, the subsequent chafing of my socks and sports bra of all things was something I hadn't expected or even experienced before. The sheer physical pain that I felt in my joints (knees, hips and ankles; admittedly, I have been struggling with injuries, but I'm sure this pain is relatively universal to anyone who runs around for ~4 hours) was worse and more unbearable than any other I'd ever felt. My stubborn mind would not, over my dead body, let myself walk, yet I was physically collapsing trying to run through the pain. It was awful. And I'd expected awful.

4. It's going to be more rewarding than you ever imagined was possible. Yes, even though I've admitted, to both you and myself, that the race itself was far more painful and challenging than even my overly-anxious mind had expected possible, I can't deny the honest truth inside me that I would do it all again. In fact, I probably will. There's no way to put into words the sheer happiness that takes over you when, among millions of people in the most famous city in the world, cheered on beyond imagination, you cross that finish line. I cried; partly because of the pain, but so greatly because I was so overwhelmed by the emotions of everyone around me. It's a lot; I don't know how else to phrase it. But if that moment, and that feeling, isn't truly feeling alive, I don't know what is.

5. Hard-work, self-empowerment and dedication is contagious. This was much more unexpected for me, and whilst it existed along the entirety of my journey leading up to marathon race day itself, I only noticed it properly afterwards. The truth is, when one person decides wholeheartedly to chase their dream, in any regard, it empowers those around them. I'm not trying to sound all high-and-mighty in the sense that my undertaking of the marathon "inspired" people to do something similar, because that's not the case. What it does, however, is remind people (myself included) that the limit really isn't as close or as set in stone as we think it is. Culturally, there's an unspoken level of 'normal' or 'feasible' effort to invest in tasks that are relatively possible to circumstance. Shattering that feasibility -- training for a marathon whilst also keeping up with the use demands of an already-exhausting lifestyle -- reminds people that if one person can (certainly if I can), so can they.

6. Perspective is important, especially when it comes to your own sense of self. There are two major things at the play here, as far as I see perspective and satisfaction. Firstly, your personality; I know I'm an ambitious person, and that I can often be too hard on myself, and as I mentioned earlier, even crossing the finish line of the marathon, my instinct was disappointment in myself for not 'doing better' than I felt I did, or could've (should've?) done. I had to remind myself (and am still trying to remind myself) that I completed my (huge) goal of finishing the New York Marathon, despite all the challenges and doubt I'd struggled with. However, that self-talk for perspective is met with my second problem, which I've noticed on smaller scales before, but really felt/feel in the wake of this particular event; pride, in many ways and to many people, is equated with arrogance. This is a toxic equation that not only makes it difficult for myself and others to truly feel proud of their achievements, but also fosters that culture of 'not good enough,' wherein it's almost more respectable to not be satisfied with your own, hard-earned effort and achievement. This is crucial to self-confidence and the emotional fulfillment that follows chasing and completing your dreams; you need to (and I needed to) let yourself feel proud, and to embrace your own awesome.

7. You can do it -- but only if you want it. At the end of it all -- all the long runs in 100+ degree weather, the heat-stroke, the time management, the money, the emotional stress, the anxiety, the physical pain.... it can be done, but you have to undeniably, whole-heartedly, inexplicably want it -- no excuses. This is the most difficult lesson to learn and share, because it is arguably the most impossible lesson to teach or explain. All I can say is, chase after what you want; work out why you want it, and make it happen. If you find yourself making excuses, reassess the "why," because if that "why" is strong enough, so are you.


It feels surreal to me that I've finished with this goal, honestly. My day-to-day schedule is entirely freed up in a whole new way, my body is in recovery mode as opposed to 'prep' mode, and my mind is free to not worry about the upcoming mountain of pain that had loomed over me for so long. But, despite all the tears and self-doubt this journey threw upon me, I'm already feeling ready and stronger and excited for the next challenge. You absolutely can, and you absolutely will.

Love,

Annabel

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Spotlight On: Alfred's Tea Room

picture source
If you know me, you know that despite how much coffee I've begun to drink, I'm definitely a tea-over-coffee kind of person. If you know me 2.0, you also know that I'm a sucker for well-packaged products. I don't know whether this has to do with my love for interior design and decor, or my total out of control perfectionism, but I love almost nothing more than clean-cut, cute, original, well-presented products. And so naturally, since living in LA and seeing all the super-basic and kind of annoying Instagram posts that flood social media, Alfred Tea Room caught my eye. 

By the time I finally got around to getting to Alfred Tea Room, I had such high expectations, although to be honest, I didn't really know why. I mean, honestly, how good can tea get after a certain point? 

picture source

I WAS RIGHT TO BE HYPED, people. Completely right.

Now, disclaimer, despite having been back multiple times in the recent weeks, I've only tried one thing on the menu... and that's because it was recommended to me, was so good, and now all I ever want is the one, same drink.


If you're thinking of going, allow me to completely lock you into the best tea you'll ever have (pictured above); their on-tap, iced hibiscus, effervescent tea. YEP, it's a mouthful (and I'm pretty sure that's actually not the full name, but clearly, I can't even remember it properly). But it is DELICIOUS! If you like iced tea and/or kombucha, this drink is for you, promise.

picture source

In other news; I have heard really, really good things about the rest of their menu, particularly their macha lattes! The common Yelp consensus and that of my friends is that, without adding any sugar or sweetness, their macha is delicious and not too overbearing, which is a really good thing, because personally, no drink has every been as over-hyped as bitter macha lattes...

So, would I recommend it? Is this a question? Is the Pope Catholic?

(oh, and don't worry, there's a coffee room for you coffee-addicts, too!)

Love,

Annabel


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Sunday, 22 October 2017

My College Snack Addictions

Healthy, somewhat affordable, delicious snacks that you can keep in your college dorm/under your bed are not easy to come by -- as a junior in college (help), I feel as though I've been going back and forth between certain snacks for the past two and a half years -- some are delicious but ~iffy~ when it comes to your health, whilst others are great for you, but not for your budget.

As I'm currently training for the New York Marathon (help, 2.0), healthy snacks have been my focus lately, to make sure I'm not hungry, but also not loading myself up with foods that will hinder my physical performance. Below are my current obsessions;

1. La Croix -- okay, I realize that this isn't food, BUT, I am literally obsessed with La Croix, and I'd be lying if I didn't have it on this list. Really, I should be sponsored by them; that's how often I drink it. Personally, I'm hooked on the original & lime flavors, and I find that when I'm in that awkward kind-of-hungry-but-it's-less-than-an-hour-until-dinner phase, the effervescence tides me over easily! Also, if you buy them in bulk, they're super affordable!

source: serious eats

2. Trail Mix -- sounds pretty boring, right? NOPE! The most financially savvy way to snack on nuts/seeds/dried fruit is, of course, by buying in bulk. By doing this, you simply buy those nuts/seeds/fruits that you personally love, and mix them altogether! (There's nothing worse than buying a $10 bag of trail mix and spending your entire day trying to avoid those stupid walnuts/whatever you personally hate). I buy a stack of zip-lock bags, and pre-package them every week or so as I run out, so that when I'm running between classes (or late for classes), I have a healthy snack bag literally sitting there ready to go, and I know I love everything in it!

source: simple healthy kitchen


3. Rx Bars -- I adore these bars (personal fav is the choc-mint one, wow), and they are honestly surprisingly clean as well! I don't eat these daily simply because they are somewhat processed and unless I've done a long run, I feel a little weighed down by so much dried fruit (some have a lot of dates in there), but when you're craving energy/sugar/food, this works. Only downside; they're not that cheap per bar (another reason I don't eat them daily)...

source: simple again


4. Bobo Bars -- Another delicious, healthy, cheaper (but still, eh-ish?) option for an on-the-go hit of energy! These are honestly so delicious (esp. if you like nut butters.... wow), and they fill you up more than you would've thought! For a while, these were a staple in my daily snack diet... I was equally as hooked on these as I was on La Croix! 

source: bobo bars linkedin


5. Roots Hummus -- Personally, I try to avoid oil where I can. I'm not as wary as I have been in the past, in the sense that I still eat vegetables that were cooked with some oil and what not (definitely didn't used to want to eat that...) but I still am nowhere near putting oil on my salad or something. In saying that, I ADORE Roots Oil-Free Hummus. It's delicious, and honestly a little more dense than other hummus' that do have oil, which means I find myself needing less than those other delicious, addictive brands. Plus, the consistency is thicker, which makes it really yummy as a spread on rice thins!

Roots Hummus

In addition to these 'Top 5' that I am literally addicted to, I also love rice cakes, carrot sticks, fresh fruit, sugar-free granola and a personal love of snap peas. However, without a kitchen and fridge, I appreciate that it can feel virtually impossible to eat healthily on a budget.

Whilst I'm constantly looking for a bargain, I do want to say to remember that it's important to (most of the time) view your money on a salad or smoothie or sushi bowl as an investment in your health. That's not to say you can or should spend all your money on Poké (if I could, I would), but it is to say that, sometimes, you need to let yourself spend a little extra for a little extra.

Love,

Annabel


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Monday, 31 July 2017

turning twenty one



twenty one things twenty one has given me;
1. don't hold onto things that don't deliver joy and love in your life
2. listen to the kind of music that speaks to your soul and shakes your skin
3. there is no right or wrong, only what you believe
4. everyone you meet, you meet for a reason
5. time doesn't heal all wounds
6. but you can heal your own wounds, if you want to
7. being alone isn't the same thing as being lonely
8. letting go isn't the same thing as losing touch
9. your thoughts shape the reality of the people you meet, too
10. the second you stop trying, you lose
11. if you can't laugh at yourself, you're missing out on the joke
12. your reflection is subjective
13. the sky is a mirror, and the ground a ladder
14. take photos, put them in a box, and forget about them for a while
15. don't overthink it - nothing good ever came from it
16. the time you spend with someone is defined by the quality, not the quantity
17. regret and guilt will kill you if you're not careful
18. treat yourself as you'd treat your friends
19. cry if you must - but then keep going
20. your youth runs out the moment you forget what makes you curious
21. chase after the person you love; the chase is love






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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Please, Don't


If you ask me why I'm sad, I'll tell you some rainy story that sounds like it should've come from a Nicholas Sparks novel, or perhaps from an on-stage tragedy that got a bad review, but certainly not from the life of a young girl. 

If you ask me why I'm sad, I'll tell you a story about knights and kings and queens and jesters, as though the magic of medieval tales might make true the quests and dragons and deception that I recount as gospel.

If you ask me why I'm sad, I'll laugh in your face and tell you that I'm not sad, and that actually I'm just a little tired from staying up late the night before, having fun and being anything but sad, because no, truly, I'm not sad.

If you ask me why I'm sad, I'll look at you and wonder whether you already know the answer or whether you're just good at reading people or whether I'm not any good at acting or whether you'll be able to tell if I lie to you or whether I should just ignore you.

If you ask me why I'm sad, I'll ask myself why I'm sad, and I'll realize that I don't exactly know why I'm sad.

And that, I guess, makes me kind of sad.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

Magical Moments


Initially, when I started writing this morning, all I had was a title: Things I Can't Quite Say. Needless to say, I wasn't really getting anywhere (shocking, I know). And then it occurred to me that I was typing, deleting and re-typing some soppy, semi-poetic ballad of sadness that I felt, and felt the need to get out of my system. 

You see, I'm not good at talking to people. Not about 'real' things -- about my problems or why I'm sad..... honestly, I'm not even good at admitting when I am sad. And it occurred to me recently that my own insular self-security system was chipping away at my happiness from the inside. I had hit a point in my life where I was flooded in what I like to call 'Guilty Feelings'. I felt guilty for feeling sad about things that had happened, when I know things can always be worse. I felt guilty for feeling happy, when I know that it's not time to feel happy, yet. I felt guilty for doing nothing, and guilty for busying myself away from facing my problems. I felt guilty for just about everything.

So, naturally, when I sat down to write, all that was coming was guilt, sadness, and a little regret. How lovely. Just what you wanted to read, right?

Luckily for me (and you), my friends know me better than I do, and my writer's block led me to picking up a book that was made for me for my recent birthday. Within this book, my friend created nine chapters, each explained as a celebration of my personal life and character; friendship, courage, compassion, humility, laughter and madness, happiness, freedom, adventure, and gratitude.

Flicking through the book (all 129 pages of it!!!) I realized that I was, once again, failing to adhere to my very own advice. How often do I publish articles that focus on perspective, gratitude, authenticity and self-forgiveness? Almost always. Yet I wasn't filling myself with the understanding I would've piled onto a friend in the same situation. Flicking through pictures and recounted stories drew the guilty feelings out -- I laughed and cried and all the messy in between, and for the first time in a long time, I liked letting go.

And this is what matters. Yes, the 'magical moments' themselves were wonderful -- the travel and the laughter and the evolution of friendships -- but what really matters are those moments when you feel utterly, truly, wholly loved in the wake of their passing. 

The ability to hold onto the heat of a moment long after it has past is the ability to let yourself live a little more than you might've though possible. 


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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Paleo? Vegan? Both?


A question I've been by those around me a lot lately; "are you still vegan? What do you eat? What's your diet like? Why?"
And believe me, I've been asking myself the exact same question for a while now (perhaps that's why people keep asking? Because my answer keeps changing?). For about two or three months, I've been toggling with my ratios of foods, trying to find some kind of healthy, delicious, financially savvy and convenient lifestyle for food and drink. I feel like I've been trying just about everything.

First, I re-introduced egg/fish/chicken into my diet. Why? Because at college, I don't have access to a full kitchen, nor the funds to continually buy and store fresh produce as I ideally would like to, and the 'vegan' options available to me (I live in my sorority house, where meals are made en-mass) were simply not what I wanted -- they were either tasteless, or delicious, but not good for me (think lots of sweet potato fries basked in oil...)

After that, I went down more of a Paleo pathway, trying to use my reintroduced fish/chicken/egg elements to keep me fuller for linger, replacing the calorically-dense carbohydrates that, I felt, had contributed to a little extra unwanted weight upon my body. 

Additionally, I tried (again) to completely remove sugar from my diet, however, traveling back to Sydney and reuniting with friends often seemed to mean sugary-cocktails, champagne, treats and 'special occasions'... every single day...

Consequently, the past two-ish weeks since, I've been trying to re-find that place. Searching for some much-needed weight loss, I re-adopted the paleo pathway, admittedly appealed by the age-old "cutting carbs will help you lose weight!" That said, I also felt that a paleo diet wasn't quite what I wanted -- I actually really had enjoyed my time eating a plant-based diet, and had it not been for my circumstances, I probably would not have stopped at all. 

And that is when, thankfully, whilst looking for some paleo snack recipes, I stumbled across my middle ground: Pegan. (No, I swear I'm not making it up...). You guessed it: paleo + vegan = pegan

Granted, this combination seems at odds with one another; although when you look at the diets as they exist, both fundamentally promote eating whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods in their natural form, regardless of whether this is in a hunter/gatherer sense or a plant-based one.

You see, if we base our decisions solely off research, things get complicated, especially when we are talking about weight loss. Why? Because both Vegan and Paleo diets, if you research them, have promised and delivered weight loss in their own dimensions. So how on earth are we supposed to decide what the ‘best’ pathway is?

Now, I again concede that the combination of two, differently but equally specific diets (I suppose? They're less difficult than you'd imagine, though) may make you flee at the doubling of difficulty, but honestly, from what I've read, it's a lot less 'intense' than you may be thinking.

For example,whilst absolutely no animal product exists within a vegan, plant-based diet, lean meats and egg, from what I’ve found, is optional on a Pegan one. This really comes down to individual preference, lifestyle and your own macro-dependent satiety. The consensus, however, is that if you do choose to incorporate chicken, fish and egg into your Pegan diet, these animal products should be treated as garnishes, not meals in themselves. I personally am planning to transition with fish, chicken and egg upon occasion, however I will be making a conscious effort to essentially halve my animal product presence on the plate, and double my veggies in compensation.

One thing that the two diets agree upon, however, and that is not lost within this blend; No dairy. This isn’t coincidence — yes, some people can tolerate dairy because they have adapted to, and it tastes absolutely fantastic, the negative impacts that dairy will have on the human body simply isn't worth it. You can read more about the downsides of dairy here and here as a start.

Of course, in wake of eating predominantly whole, unrefined, unprocessed, organic foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners are an absolute no-go. Honestly, though, sugar shouldn't really be a regular part of any diet, if we are being 'ideal'.

I won't ramble on any further, especially since I myself am so new to this middle-road diet (I'll keep you updated!), but for a more in-depth, doctor-approved, super-interesting introduction into the Paleo-Vegan (Pegan) diet, I recommend starting here — Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog post on his personal experiences with peganism. 
As always,
Love,
Annabel

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Small Ways to Save a Dollar


When you’re twenty-something, studying, maybe working (maybe not), and trying to live, money is something that is undoubtedly always on your mind. And whilst you no doubt know that prioritizing and budgeting will be, if they aren’t already, you’re new best friends, you may not have realized just how far saving a few dollars every here and there goes… Implementing these strategies (and some of your own) into your daily life can save you more money in the long run for those things are more .. important? .. to you (so basically, food).

  1. Make coffee at home, OR, drink your coffee black (cheaper and often better for you)
  2. Walk everywhere you possibly can (I’m talking anywhere within a 1 hour walk… no trains or buses or subways or metros)
  3. Bring food from home to work or campus between classes
  4. Don’t drink your meals — they probably won’t fill you up as much, and an $11 juice is not financially savvy when you’ll be buying a snack in a few hours
  5. Get onto Groupon and other discounted apps — they have everything 
  6. Ditch your gym membership and work outdoors
  7. Try to buy neutral clothes that won’t go out of fashion in two months, so you can have a solid wardrobe base all year round (and hopefully for more than one year)
  8. Wear less makeup = buy less makeup (and makeup is expensive)
  9. Carry cash per week, and make the rule that you cannot  spend any money other than the cash you have on you
  10. Remember chores? Offer to do housework, babysitting or any other job for friends, family and neighbors 
Love,
Annabel
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Friday, 16 June 2017

Healthy Food You'll Love - Delivered

source: new york native
Healthy food and convenience are not often (if ever) synonymous -- however, thankfully for us, the struggle has not gone unanswered. There are now an abundant of health-food-on-the-go delivery services sprouting up all over the place (pun intended), and as life would have it, us weird people (aka those that prefer eating healthy) have now found a new struggle to grapple with: where to choose. Listed below are just a few of my favorite online stores and health food sites... feel free to find & share your own, too!

1. Sakara -- This online food boutique (literally) stocks everything from salad dressings, teas and meal plans, to popcorns, chocolate that's "proven" to help your skin, and nori chips of all flavors you could wish for. Oh, and the packing is amazing  (yeah, yeah, I'm a sucker for nice packaging...)


2. Paleo Angel -- Whilst the menu offering here is more limited than the abundance of Sakara, their paleo power balls are amazing for on-the-go snacks that are surprisingly low in sugar! Personal fave: chocolate always...


3. Bearded Brothers -- Again, the menu is simplistically based around energy bars, but boy are they good energy bars... and similarly as convenient and good for you as the paleo power balls!


4. Artisan Tropic -- For those salt-loving chip addicts, this one's for you: plantain & cassava chips like you've never tasted them before. And given the taste and goodness, they're surprisingly affordable!


                                                      


5. eXo Protein Bars -- Yep, it's pretty much what it sounds like (because why not try every protein bar under the sun?!) Filling, tasty, and made even better by the fact that they come in a ton of different flavors!




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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

How To Hold Yourself Accountable


We all have dreams — and when we turn those dreams into goals, we are making the conscious decision to pursue them. Today, we hear frequently, out of our own mouths or another, that we “lack self-discipline” or “motivation”. Whether this is in pursuit of a health goal, a career goal or a social one, every change we make in our lives starts out as a conscious effort, rooted and relying upon some degree of discipline. So, how do we hold ourselves accountable?

The first step to keeping yourself on track, is making sure that the track you’re on is realistic. Don’t create a plan that you can’t integrate into your daily life, just because someone else has managed to plug it into theirs. We’re all different — cater your goals to your own life: they’re your goals after all. Tip: when you’re creating your plan, have intermittent ‘check-in’ dates along the way, so that you don’t get to the end of your three month or six month plan and realize that you fell off the wagon three weeks in. 

Infiltrate your life with as many reminders, prompts, inspiring pictures and forced habits as humanly possible. Annoy yourself with how present your goal is. Download apps (and allow notifications!), create inspo boards, change you iPhone wallpaper, your computer desktop, put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror… whatever it takes. And more.

Next, make sure you tell people about your goal — that way, the  you’re out with friends, they’ll not only ask you about how you’re going (and you want to be able to say “great!” don’t you?), but you’ll also act in front of them in a way that fosters your goal. Eventually, this will become a habit no matter where you are or who you’re with.

Finally, make sure that you wake up every morning thinking about your goal, and go to sleep envisioning yourself having that goal. I’ve written an article a while ago about the Law of Attraction, and its ability to draw your goals into your life (you can check it out here), and I truly, wholeheartedly believe that employing this mindset and lifestyle will uproot and renovate your everything for the better.

Finally, ask yourself before everything you do — “what do I want more?” — and after you do something — “did that make me happy?”

Being self-reflective is more powerful than being imaginative or ambitious.

Love,

Annabel
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

My Go To Playlist Right Now


Yea, babe, no way — LANY
BRB — LANY
Good Girls — LANY
It Was Love — LANY
We Won’t — Jaymes Young & Phoebe Ryan
Good Grief — Bastille
Fake It — Bastille
Now or Never — Halsey 
Strangers — Halsey & Lauren Jauregui
Get What You Give — Felix Cartal
Up and Up — Lennon & Maisy
Without You — Oh Wonder 
When We Were Young — Adele
Send My Love (To Your New Lover) — Adele
We Will Rise — Majestic Sounds feat. Stevie Tonks
Perfect Places — Lorde
Saw You In A Dream — The Japanese House
Somebody You Found — The Japanese House
Only You — Selena Gomez
Whatever It Takes — Imagine Dragons
A Change of Heart — The 1975
Stay a Little Longer — Lostboycrow
Verona — Lostboycrow
Where It All Goes — Lostboycrow
Ocean Eyes — Billie Eilish
Bored — Billie Eilish
To Build a Home — The Cinematic Orchestra
Medicine — Daughter
HEAVEN — Troye Sivan
Stargazing — Gnash & Vancouver Sleep Clinic
Someone New — Banks
Your Touch — Sonny Alven, Olivera
Addicted to Love — Florence and the Machine
If I Go — Ella Eyre
The Story Never Ends (Piano Version) — Lauv
Circles — Eden
Fumes — Eden
And — Eden
Rock + Roll — Eden
XO — Eden
Drugs — Eden
Sex — Eden

Say Something Loving — The xx

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Expect Less


All our lives, we are told to expect greatness from ourselves — that other people expect greatness from us. Why? Why do we tell our children, friends, family, colleagues and even acquaintances to hold themselves to a higher standard? What do we think this will achieve? Perhaps we believe that adhering to this ‘higher standard’ way of living will in turn promote and produce an actual higher standard of living. That if I expect myself to get a good job right out of college, climb the corporate ladder and settle down by 30, completely financially comfortable and content; that’s the life I will lead.

But what if we’re wrong? What if all of this — all the times we tell people to work harder, dream bigger, push further — doesn’t foster greatness, but rather, discontent? We’re hypocrites, after all: telling one another that happiness is what matters, and what we should strive for, but that we should push ourselves and expect more from the world, as though that may somehow lead to happiness. Perhaps for some, it does. For most, I would argue, it doesn’t.

You see, if the ‘number one thing’ we need in life is happiness (whatever that means), then, in my opinion, the most important tool to get there is gratitude. Being truly, deeply, fully, universally grateful for what you have, and what you don’t have. Without the ability to employ a little perspective, a little confidence, a little self-love and a lot of thanks, how can we ever hope to feel happy?

And so now we see the problem: sometimes, you need to choose between your happiness, and your expectations. You cannot have both. What I suggest is that you find the fine balance between pushing yourself, working hard, dreaming big — and staying grounded, looking around, and thanking the universe for what you have now. After all, wherever you are in life, there is always something or someone to be thankful for.

Love,

Annabel

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Fashion Trends to Get Behind

























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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

How To Stop Negativity From Overruling Your Life


Negativity, as much as positivity and optimism, is both contagious and sporadic in everyone’s lives — nobody is immune to bad days or self-deprecating thoughts. That said, whilst negative thoughts are in some ways simply a part of life, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be dealt with, and even brightened up a little.

The first step to take, is a step back. Employ a little perspective into the situation — what do you have? What are you good at? What makes you lucky in life, and in yourself? These are all important questions to ask yourself when everything seems to be going against you; the best way to conquer pain is through perspective.

After this; do something you love. Why? Because it makes you happy. It’s truly that simple. This could be hanging with friends that will take your mind off the problem for a little while, council you out of your predicament, or remind you how kickass, fabulous you are. That said, sometimes, people are not what you need — solitude can be a friend. In times like those, I recommend turning off your phone (don’t you dare scroll through social media when you’re feeling like this…), playing some music, painting your nails, taking a walk (literally, anywhere, anytime), watching a movie, playing in a coloring book (not a joke) or just making lists (lists solve life problems: fact).

Eventually, your nails will be painted, your Netflix account drained, and your positive affirmation too repetitive. This is when you must do the inevitable: face your problems. This is the absolute worst, most annoying, most painful and undesirable step in coping with your inner negativity — however, it is also the most essential. It will probably involve lots of tears, torturous emotions and hugging of pillows, but i promise, it will get better.

Finally, when you’re coming to the end of your negative downpour (a few hours? a few weeks? doesn’t matter), you need to give yourself a break. Honestly; relax. Life is way too short and silly to spend all your time in a puddle of self-pity. Have a bubble bath, buy yourself a drink, get that new dress you’ve been eyeing, go for a run. Do something for yourself, that will benefit you and make you feel magical. After all: you are.

Love Always,

Annabel
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Coachella 2017






















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