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Finding Motivation for the Last Mile…

It’s true that the last mile is always the hardest. Hands down this past two weeks of uni have been very difficult for me in terms of my motivation. I am a very motivated person, but something is happening in these last couple of weeks – and I know for a fact by the memes people are sharing on social media that I’m not the only one! :’)

I’m hoping this post will also be relevant to those of you who are close to completing something that you’ve been working hard on, or that you’re looking forward to finishing. Below are a few of the things that I think about when my motivation is running at an all time low!

  1. Don’t let your effort be for nothing.

You’ve worked so hard for this, so don’t even think about taking your foot off the gas pedal because of the way you’re feeling currently. I’m a big believer in living life with no regrets – so don’t regret your lack of hard work in the lead up to something great. You may feel tired, you may feel drained, but these are all temporary feelings which will soon be over. Don’t wish that you had of worked harder.

2) It will all be over soon.

Within no time this will all be completed, you would have achieved something great, and how you feel now will be a distant memory. Bare this in mind, you’re so close to completing something great, its a matter of short-term pain for long-term gain. I find it also helps to think about how you will feel once it is all over, use this feeling to get you to the finish line!

3) Keep sight of where you want to be.

On a beach living the free life, please 😉 The only thing that is going to get you there is your present self. Work hard now, and your future-self will thank you later. Nothing worth having comes easy, so put in the effort now. Remember why you started in the first place – you’re closer than you’ve ever been to achieving this.

Keep pushing, because now is not the time to stop…

Jazzy B ❤

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To Whoever Needs to Hear it…

For many, it’s exam season which means stress is running high and time is running out.

I not long ago handed in my dissertation, which I am still so happy about, and although I don’t feel it was perfect I am proud of the hard work I put in. I sacrificed a lot of time and sleep and now it’s a waiting game to see what I get. In the meantime, it’s another essay and an exam to revise for!

I’m seeing all over my social media people complaining about how stressed they are, how anxious they are feeling and how hard they are working. This turned my attention to how we feel about ourselves during this stressful time.

The thing I hate most about exams is that I don’t feel they are a true representation of a persons abilities and hard work. Learning just to excel at an exam and learning because you enjoy the subject and want to explore it more are unfortunately two different things. I feel in today’s society the education system (right the way from secondary to university) forces everyone to learn to pass an exam. The sheer volume of stuff you have to cover just in order to pass an exam now (especially A-levels) is ridiculous.

But to whoever needs to hear this, don’t let your exam results define you. You may be chuffed or you may feel disappointed with the outcome, but you should never let your results change the way you think about yourself. After all, they are not a true representation of your abilities or the hard work you have put in. Maybe I’ve been in education for too long, but there is far more to life than letting a grade alter your self-perception and making you feel worthless. It’s just a grade. It will not hold you back from achieving what ever you dream of in the future. Don’t be disheartened.

Keep things in perspective. Admittedly, the deadlines placed upon students make it easy for a healthy perspective to be lost. It forces you to push everything to the side and fixate on that one thing until it’s complete. Although this is a good mentality to get things done, its also very mentally draining. Every year after uni I feel so burnt out and need a week where I do absolutely nothing apart from gym and eat good food! I’m needing a lazy week!

The exam stress will all be a distant memory soon. Work hard but remember to keep things in perspective,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Self-image – From a psychology students perspective.

If you’re frequent user of social media you’ll be no stranger to the negative comments and feelings of inadequacy that can come about through using it. A few people I follow have used the platform to expose some of the comments they receive on a daily basis, and the harmful effect it has had on their confidence and self-esteem. This made me think about self-image and just how fragile it really is.

According to Self-perception theory, as proposed by Bem (1972), self-image operates on both an intrinsic and extrinsic level. We learn about our own attitudes, beliefs and emotions through observing our own behaviour and thoughts (intrinsic). These beliefs are then reinforced or challenged by the feedback that we gain from others (extrinsic) – it’s here that the vulnerability arises. Depending upon certain factors such as resilience, confidence and self-esteem will determine the extent to which we allow the feedback of another to challenge the view we have of ourselves.

Self-perception is more like a process as opposed to a fixed state, and so naturally we will encounter individuals throughout our lives who can be detrimental or beneficial to our self-image. The view of ones self is particularly fragile amongst adolescents, as this age group is more vulnerable to the effect of poor self-image and regulating irrational thoughts (O’Keefe & Clark-Pearson, 2011). There is also research to highlight the negative effects of self-image, and they’re pretty serious! For example, a frequent negative self-image amongst adolescents has been linked to symptoms of depression, social anxiety and even suicidal behaviour (Savilahiti et al, 2018; Schreiber , F., & Steil, R. 2013; Sitnik-Warchulska 2016).

Furthermore, there is research that directly links social media to contributing to a negative self-image (Mclean et al., 2015). Social media provides the perfect environment for challenging a persons self-perception. You chose to put yourself out there and so you will inevitably be judged (or even scrutinised) by others, potentially challenging the current view of yourself, leading to mental discrepancy.

It’s obvious from the research that a negative self-image can have detrimental effect on mental health, so whats the solution? To me, I feel it comes down to resilience. It is easier let the views of another tamper with something as fragile as our self image, but first we should consider a few things. Start by questioning the intentions of the person who is giving you their opinion of you. How much do you value their opinion? Nine times out of 10, you won’t know the person nor their intentions, and so in this case ignore their viewpoint. Why should we even consider letting someones view on ourselves be tampered with when we don’t know why they have said this comment in the first place? I’m not saying to disregard everyone’s opinion and views on yourself, but instead give yourself the power to be selective about who’s opinion you let influence your self-image.

Be resilient, believe in yourself and If all else fails…there is no better feeling than cutting out the haters from your life :’)

I could write so much on this, but I wont give you an essay to read this time 😉 If you’d like me to write more posts in this style just let me know! Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

References:

Bem, Daryl J. “Self-Perception Theory.” In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Vol. 6, edited by Leonard Berkowitz. New York: Academic, 1972. Print.

O’Keeffe, G.S., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). Clinical report: The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0054

Savilahti, E.M., Haravuori, H., Rytila-Manninen, M., Lindberg, N., Kettunen, K., & Marttunen, M. (2018). High beck depression inventory 21 scores in adolescents without depression are associated with negative self-image and immature defense style. Psychiatry research, 263, 61-68. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.02.040Get rights and content

Schreiber, F., Steil, R. (2013). Haunting self-images? The role of negative self-images in adolescnet social anxiety disorder. Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 44(2), 158-164. Doi:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2012.10.003

Sitnik-Warchulska, K. (2016). Self-image and suicidal and violent behaviours of adolescent girls. Healthy Psychology Report, 4(4), 303-314. Doi:
https://doaj.org/article/367ae2de3ede4f55a0ad21a7e36c84e8

McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., Wertheim, E.H. & Masters, J. (2015). Photoshopping the selfie: self photo editing and photo investment are associated with body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48(8), 1132–1140. Doi: 10.1002/eat.22449 h

Blog

Are We Wrongly Recognising?

First of all, a big sorry for the lack of posts on here! I think the festive period and the start of my dissertation got the better of me, but I’ve managed to organise my time…and now I’m back 😉

I was thinking about recognition and what gets others recognised, and it occurred to me that recognition tends to favour the elite. You only have to scroll through Instagram, flick through a magazine or turn on the TV to see those who are the best in their niche, getting recognised – and rightly so. They have worked hard and no doubt have sacrificed a lot to be where they are today. This is why I love the iceberg metaphor of success; it reminds us not just to focus on the current success of a person, but to admire the consistent hard work that got them to where they are today.

However, what I do find strange is that as a society we appear to mostly recognise those who are the best in their game. This isn’t just on social media, I’ve noticed it throughout uni and school too, with only those scoring the highest on an assignment or those who do the most volunteering for the uni, getting recognised. This baffles me as to how we fail to recognise those who work hard day in day out. It’s almost as if we value the outcome of hard work more than the process that got us there.

Recognition to me means praising the hard work and good intentions of those of all abilities and skills, not just the crème de la crème. We should be praising dedication and hard work irrelevant of the outcome. We are not just a product of our success!

So this post is dedicated to those of you who work long hours, yet still make time to go to the gym, and smash your fitness and personal goals. It’s for the grafters who work hard with no complaints – you’re doing great ❤

Jazzy B xx

Blog

Live In the Now.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my motivation towards university, as admittedly it’s been a lot lower than what it usually is. Although this doesn’t worry me, because I know my determination will see me through, it made me question why I feel the way I do.

The other day on my Instagram I read a quote which made a lot of sense to me;

If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”


― Lao Tzu

I think there is a lot of truth in this, especially as I have been feeling anxious recently due to deadlines, dissertation uncertainty etc (all things which concern the near future). When relating this back to my own motivation levels, I think it can be said that I’m living in the future, instead of appreciating where I’m currently at. I’m so excited and ready for what the next chapter holds after uni, that sometimes it negatively affects how I’m viewing the present moment.

Living in the future is something I think we all do at times, especially if you’ve been in full-time education for what feels like a lifetime! As much as I have enjoyed my degree, I do believe that our education system encourages anxiety due to the silent pressure and expectation placed upon students to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives upon graduating. I’m very much somebody that when I have a goal in mind, it’s all I think about. Although this can have its benefits, it can also cause anxiety and a lack of appreciation for where I’m at now.

Of course, living in the future doesn’t just relate to education, it’s far broader than this. Every year most of set new years resolutions (goals which we believe will better ourselves or another in the future), we work hard and save for something we want in the future, we do so much to benefit our future selves.

But what about now? 

It’s so important to stop, take time out, and reflect where you’re at now. Having goals and a future incentive to work hard in the present is great for motivation but we have to know when to stop living in the future. A little appreciation for where you’re at now will go a long way! This is exactly what I’m trying to do – I have a clear plan for what I would like to do when I graduate, and I’m so excited to get to work on making this a reality, that I feel it’s becoming a distraction to what I’m currently trying to achieve.

Just live in the now – you never know what will happen tomorrow or next week and that’s the beauty of it. The future might not be all that it cracks up to be, and then you’ve set yourself up for a lot of disappointment, whereas right now we have the power to make each day exactly what we want it to be. Look forward to the future, cherish the past, but most importantly live in the now…

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Foodie Finds – October 2018

These posts seem to be getting later and later :’) Since starting my third year of uni, I feel like my dissertation is taking over, but I know it will be so worth it in the end! Also, how is it Christmas next month?! Crazyy! I was only able to find a few things this month as most of my time was sat in front of my laptop, but here are the goodies!

1) Nature Valley Salted Caramel, Pretzel, and Almond Popcorn Bar45747793_272937843350503_7681665157696585728_n

I thought this was quite different compared to your standard cereal bar. The texture is so light, and it tastes delish. Each bar has 89 calories which is so good for how yummy it tastes. Would recommend as a light pre-workout snack.

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2) Asda Reduced Sugar Granola

I have been on the hunt for a low sugar granola forever! A lot of people think granola is healthy, and although what it’s composed of is (to some degree), the amount of sugar that gets added counteracts this. There is only 1.1g of sugar per 45g of this which is so good when considering other granolas can be around 10g of sugar! You get exactly what it says with this, a natural tasting, and low sugar, granola perfect for adding to greek yoghurt.

3) Engevita Yeast flakes, B1245797654_894882637368939_4760867549925605376_n

Admittedly it does look and smell a bit like fish food, but I’ve been adding it to every dinner and I love it. The only way to describe the flavour is that is taste’s a bit like cheddar!  I think it adds depth to any dish without being as calorie dense as cheese. Also, research suggests that it can lower your cholesterol and boost immunity, so it’s a good thing to be adding to your meals.

45740567_259402118076348_5332040342789160960_n4)  FibreOne Triple Chocolate Cake Bar

You know when Fibre One comes out with something new, it will be a winner. This is so chocolatey and delicious, that it tastes like it should be way more calories than what it actually is. How they managed to make it taste so good for only 89 calories is a mystery! It is like eating a chocolate brownie but with added crunchy bits…yum!

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Comparison – the thief of joy

I think this is something we are all guilty of…

It’s so easy to open up Instagram and compare yourself to the first person that comes up on your feed. You may not even notice you’re doing it, I think half the time this is something we do subconsciously, and then wonder why we don’t feel any happier after spending half an hour scrolling endlessly through our feeds.

For me, I believe social media is great depending on how you use it. Of course, you will feel like you’re not working hard enough on your goals if you’re comparing yourself to a model on Instagram who does this for a living. It’s no wonder social media will make you feel inadequate, in turn lowering your self-esteem and self-confidence. It begs the question, why do we continue to use it in this way?

I am all for social media, apart from its tendency to encourage self-scrutinizing comparisons. I think it’s a great way to connect with others and open yourself up to many opportunities, however, I do feel strongly about the way in which we use social media. By becoming more optimistic users I feel we could reduce some of the issues and feelings that Instagram and other social media can cause. For example, optimistic use could be using it to provide yourself with inspiration, motivation, and connectivity. When you know how to use it in the right way, it really can be an amazing community to be part of.

Moreover, I think another crucial step is to have a social media cull and ask yourself do the accounts that you follow make you feel good and provide you with motivation? If no – bin them, you don’t need the unnecessarily high standards on your timeline giving you ammunition to alter your self-image.

Yes, there will be days where you compare yourself, even to those accounts that you find inspiring, but I think this is an inevitable risk we take by signing ourselves up to social media. My main point here is to be aware of how you use social media, and if you need a break from it – take one. Ultimately, you are in control of the way social media makes you feel and that there are solutions to overcome this. We are all on our own journies, we are all doing enough, and we all need to focus on our own personal growth and stop the comparison. You are who you are, irrelevant of likes and followers, and you should embrace every part of you.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Foodie Finds – September 2018

A little bit late with posting this, but better late than never! This shows what a busy month September was for me, but probably the best month of the year so far! I went to Egpyt for a holiday which was incredible, I turned 21, and to top it all off I also started my third year of uni!

But I’m officially back and full of blog ideas! Despite this busy month, I still managed to find some goodies…

1) Whey Box cookies & cream protein sachets43356915_312586136236288_6768224763157413888_n

I wanted to include this mainly due to the convenience that this gives. I bought two sachets to take on holiday with me, as you never know where you are going to get your protein from when abroad :’) I rate the protein highly on taste, texture, and it also mixes well, so it’s a good option for if you want a quick protein hit on the go.

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2) Fulfil chocolate hazelnut whip

One of the best protein bars I have had! I’m a big fan of the hazelnut and chocolate combo and this really does it justice, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a more chocolatey protein bar than this. Whenever I see it when I’m out, I just have to buy it :’) Definitely would recommend if you’re a Nutella fan!

 

3) Minimoos vegan honeycomb chocolate bar43318838_276645512971876_621280454024101888_n

I was craving some chocci, and this somehow managed to find it’s way into my basket! This was my first time trying any vegan or gluten-free chocolate, and I certainly couldn’t taste any differences. I think the honeycomb is a great addition to this bar, it’s a yes from me! Also, I think it’s the perfect size as I realise with myself I can’t open a bar of chocolate and finish it all…so you’ll be safe with this if you’re like me!

43313674_296929884472683_5817522220200624128_n4) Fulfil triple chocolate deluxe protein bar

Back at it again with another protein bar (help!). I’ve been looking out for this one for quite a long time, and it didn’t disappoint. I like fulfil bars because of the added vitamins that they include, which other bars often don’t. Very chocolatey, very delish = a chocoholics dream.

 

5) Candy Kittens Eton mess43437576_269592967020590_8240858440663040000_n

Saving the naughtiest until last! Someone actually bought these for me, but when I tried them they just had to feature in the foodie finds! Eton mess is one of my favourite summer desserts and these sweets do it justice, for sure! Also, they are vegetarian and gluten-free.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog

How to Overcome Homesickness at Uni

This is something that I really didn’t think I would experience.

I am so independent, and I couldn’t wait to get to uni to have my own freedom to live exactly the way that I wanted to live. BUT in the first few weeks, I felt so homesick that I seriously considered quitting uni altogether. I would get the train back home every weekend, and would absolutely dread it come Sunday when I had to travel back. It’s when you are put in a situation like this that you appreciate all the things and people that you feel lost without.

In my opinion, starting uni is one of the hardest things to do as you become so accustomed to having a long summer off, doing what you want when you want, allowing you to get somewhat complacent, then suddenly September comes and so many changes arrive all at once. It’s not just the moving to a new area, it’s all the things and loved ones you are forced to leave behind, the new friendship groups you have to make, getting accustomed to how uni works (making sure you don’t miss the dreaded 9am 😉 ) and getting involved with that uni lifestyle. On top of this, you have freshers week which as fun as it is, it is very exhausting …sleep deprivation and homesickness definitely do not go hand-in-hand!

To me, homesickness is not a sign of weakness and I think everyone experiences it to a degree when they first start. I think that is where half of the problems occur as people don’t know how to deal with it, and will often turn to other coping mechanisms (especially alcohol) in hope to overcome this, but that is the worst thing to do! I think it’s best to acknowledge it, accept it, and understand it – you will feel like this at times, it’s perfectly normal when going through a major life change such as this.

I’m now in my second year, and I haven’t felt like this at all! I always feel a little lost when I first start uni after summer, due to the extreme contrast of seeing loved ones every day and then suddenly once every three months…But I learned last year how to deal with these feelings and I’d like to share them with you ❤

1. Home is everywhere

If you truly look and are mindful of your surroundings then reminders of home can be found everywhere. I came to uni with stuff that would help me feel connected to home such as photos, ornaments, candles etc, anything that will make you feel grounded.

2. Stay Connected with your Family

I think students think when they come to uni they have to paint a perfect picture to their loved ones that everything is okay, but that is simply not the case. I certainly didn’t, I made it very clear to everyone how I was feeling and they all helped me so much and made me feel very anchored. My mum actually sent me up a mindfulness book to help me overcome this. I was always Facetiming my family, friends, and my pets :’). Use whatever social networking helps you, I used Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and these all really helped.

3. Talk to your flatmates.

Everyone is in the same boat as you! When I felt bad I would always talk to my flatmates about it. However, I think the key thing here, is that you don’t compare your experience to another’s – we all experience the same event differently, and just because someone may not be feeling as homesick as you, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it at all.

4. Go home

Failing all of this, then go back home and visit those who you love! Touch base for a few days and you will feel so much better and refreshed on return. Uni will certainly make you realise how much you value your family and friends (and a nice home-cooked roast…make sure you binge on them before you come to uni because they will be very missed :’) ).

Although overcoming homesickness is mostly about finding what works for you, I hope you can adapt some of my tips to help you out! Uni is a great thing to do and it will open up so many doors and opportunities for you – make sure you enjoy every moment, as it will go by quicker than you think.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this was helpful.

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, Treats

Vegan Biscoff Tiffin

OH. MY. probably the best tiffin I have ever tasted! First of all, I should really explain what Tiffin is, as I was unaware of how many people hadn’t heard of it before! It is a dessert typically made from crushed biscuits, golden syrup, raisins, and chocolate. I think the texture is what makes tiffin so unique as it melts in the mouth, but you also get a juicy burst of flavour from the raisins and a sweet crunch from the biscuits.

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Tiffin is one of my favourite things to make because it is hassle-free, and doesn’t require lots of ingredients. It’s one of those desserts that you can guarantee will go down a treat!

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I’m collaborating with the lovely Blogtastic food to vegan-ify some classic desserts and sweet treats, and so naturally I wanted to put a vegan spin on one of my favourites. This tiffin is made using Biscoff (yes, they’re actually vegan!), and I think it only adds to the flavour! Sometimes tiffin can be quite rich, but I find with the addition of biscoff biscuits it balances out the sweetness from the chocolate.

When I shared this with family and friends, I didn’t tell anyone that it was vegan. I think people always expect to taste a difference between vegan and non-vegan desserts, but with this tiffin, you really can’t! I was actually told it tasted better!

Ingredients:

(makes 9 squares)

  • 4.5 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 150g of unsalted butter (I used dairy free flora)
  • 250g of vegan chocolate (put 50g aside)
  • 50g of white chocolate
  • 250g of biscoff biscuits, 100g put aside
  • 150g rich tea biscuits

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Method:

  1. Measure out all your ingredients beforehand and line a square tin with greaseproof paper or cling film (I used clingfilm) with enough to overhang the tin.
  2. Place a glass bowl over a barely simmering pan of hot water and add the 200g of chocolate, butter, and agave nectar until melted. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, crush the biscuits in a food bag until there are no large pieces of biscuits left.
  4. In a separate bowl add all the dry ingredients (raisins, rich tea biscuits, biscoff, and remaining chocolate, broken into pieces) and mix.
  5. Once the chocolate has cooled, gradually add the dry mix, until it starts to come together.
  6. Spoon into a square tin, and pack the mixture down with the back of a spoon, then leave to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  7. Melt the remaining milk chocolate to coat the top of the tiffin, then once completely set, repeat for the white chocolate and drizzle all over.

In terms of storing the Tiffin, this all comes down to preference! If you like a bit of bite to your tiffin store it in the fridge, but otherwise, it’s perfectly fine out of the fridge. To serve, I crumbled biscoff on top and topped with raspberries, but you could also serve with a scoop of ice cream.

I hope you like this recipe,Vegan-Lemon-Meringue-Pie-Marked-2-632x741

Jazzy B ❤

 

For more vegan dessert inspo be sure to check out this lemony goodness!

Below are the links to all of the delicious vegan desserts that are also part of this collaboration:

JULIAJulia from Julia Recipes who has made a coconut-lime vegan tart that looks incredible!

 

A slice of honey

Sarah from Slice of Honey has made some vegan shortbread cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle

 

 

Ally from Allybakes has made a ginger coconut ALLYpear cake – I bet this tastes amazing!

 

 

 

Anthea from SaltyBiscotti has made a Antheavegan chocolate salami

 

 

 


img_1801Winola from The foodscape has made this delicious vegan banoffee pie

 

 

mayaMaya from Maya’s Beehive has made a blackberry pie with a walnut crumble

 

 

cupcakesTeresa from Cupcakes and Couscous has made a chocolate caramel tart…how amazing does this look?!

 

 

strudelKathy has created something different with her berry and brie vegan strudel!

 

Reka from Holy Whisk Blog has made some beetroot brownies holy

 

 

 

Marie from Sugar Salt Magic has made a vegan lemon coconut frangipane tart vegan lemon