Finding Your Feet & Fitting In At Work | #ThisGirlEats

We all have times when we feel a little uncomfortable in our own skin. It’s hard to always feel like yourself, especially when you’re environment you aren’t used to with people you don’t know. It happens to some of us more than others, but I think it’s pretty much a universally accepted fact that trying to fit in and find your feet in a new job is always a challenge.

After being yelled at down the phone by strangers every day, I finally decided call centre work just wasn’t for me (although who on earth is it “for”?!) and applied for a few other positions, including one at a big, scary London office that I was well under-qualified for. But I thought, hey, what the hell?!

After that I thought practically nothing of it; I can’t even COUNT the amount of times I’ve sent off job applications and never heard back. It’s like they’d get lost in some sort of internet void as soon as I’d hit the ‘Send’ button. When this application was even acknowledged it was a surprise, so you can imagine my shock when I actually interviewed and then went and got the damn thing!

I was excited, happy and proud of myself but, of course, also anxious and nervous. It sounds mad, but it wasn’t the fact that I had zero experience, loads to learn or even the thought that I might not be very good that worried me about starting a new job; it was the thought of having to try and feel like I belonged all over again.

Before work picture in black peplum top and tartan skirt

When you’ve worked somewhere for a long time, it almost becomes your home away from home, right? We often refer to our colleagues as our “work family” and, sadly, many of us spend more time at work than we do anywhere else! You find yourself settling in, you realise who you get on with (and who you don’t!) and you pick up on all the little quirks of the place.

For me, the social cues of every workplace are different, and it’s figuring those out that often make it hard to feel like I fit in. I’m incredibly socially awkward and I get hugely anxious when meeting new people, especially in an office where the social side of things usually comes with so many unspoken rules.

I’ve only ever worked in small teams and casual environments, so moving up to a fancy London office with these equally fancy people was so nerve-wracking for me. There I was, being introduced to these slender, sophisticated women and suited-and-booted men, shuffling around in my Converses and talking about festivals with my skull tattoo creeping out of my sleeve…

Pink, blue and yellow sugar skull tattoo

I looked different. I felt different.

No matter where you are, whether it’s a corporate head office or a small team out in the sticks, a new job can sometimes feel like a whole new world. It’s still early doors for me so, if I’m honest, I still don’t think I’ve found my place just yet.

All I can do is think back to one of my earlier jobs, when I’d walk around the block at least twice every single day before going inside because I was so nervous about fitting in – and then think about how much I loved them all by the time I left. It takes time, but hopefully one day I’ll look back on how I felt at this point and laugh at myself because, now, it finally feels like home.

Check out similar posts:

Fuck Shame: How This Blog Snubbed My Career-Shaming Habit (Yes, That’s a Thing)

25 Things That 25-Year-Old Me Would Tell My Younger Self


Taking a Break: My Social Media Vacation | #ThisGirlEats

Like most people, I’ve come to accept that social media is just part of our lives these days. It’s there all day, every day, right at our fingertips and accessible in seconds, making it hard to take a break from it.

I’m such a sucker for tapping into social media on my phone at any given moment. I scroll through Twitter for my morning news, get updates from my family on Facebook and follow my friends’ lives through Instagram stories. Practically half my life is played out online; it’s just a habit I’ve fallen into and, to be completely honest, never really had any intention of breaking.

That is, until Reading Festival.

Pale Waves @ BBC Radio 1 Stage at Reading Festival 2019
Pale Waves @ BBC Radio 1 Stage at Reading Festival 2019

I spent five days in a field, surrounded by tents, portaloos and tens of thousands of other people, where my phone was rendered pretty much useless – except for capturing drunken candids on camera and using the torch to avoid tripping over the maze of guy ropes at night. But an internet connection? Forget about it!

I could just about refresh my social medias once a day (usually in a desperate attempt to find secret set rumours!) and reply to a couple of messages that managed to sneak through, but that was basically it. Endless scrolling was completely off the table.

At first I found it quite frustrating, but it ended up being a very welcome break that I didn’t even know I needed. It was so refreshing to not fall back on my phone and, as we were all in the same boat, no-one was glued to a screen and we relied on each other to fill the gaps.

Smirnoff Waterfall at Reading Festival 2019
Smirnoff Waterfall at Reading Festival 2019

I’m not saying that now I’m back in the world of hot showers and flushing toilets (thank god!) that I won’t go back to my old ways. I’m sure I’ll be tapping away on my morning commute and retweeting before bed as always; in all honesty, I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

But I feel grateful that a real break from social media was forced upon me because it does have its downsides. Whether it’s comparing ourselves to insta-models and their picture-perfect lives or getting wound up by Twitter trolls, there’s always one aspect or another of social media that takes its toll on our mental health. I don’t think we realise when we’re mindlessly tapping into these apps every day just how much that can mess with our heads.

I don’t expect us all to just switch off right here and now, but if you’re going away somewhere – be it a festival, holiday, mini-break or just to some sort of occasion or day out – perhaps consider logging off for a while.

You’ll thank yourself, I promise.

Foo Fighters @ Main Stage at Reading Festival 2019
Foo Fighters @ Main Stage at Reading Festival 2019

Dazed & Confused: Life in Your Mid-Twenties | #ThisGirlEats

Hi. I’m smack-bang in the middle of my twenties, and I have no idea what I want out of life.


When I was little, your mid-twenties was a whole different ballgame. That’s when “stuff” happened, you know? My parents, and most of my friends’ parents, had all us kiddies in their twenties, and pretty much all of them were married to boot. They had houses, proper jobs, big cars and their lives were pretty much sorted. It was work Monday to Friday, dinner on the table by six o’ clock and go to the local pub on the weekends. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But us lot? We’re a whole new generation, and we’re doing things very differently.

Growing up, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted and, more to the point, I thought I knew exactly when it would happen. I’d fall in love with my childhood sweetheart, get a good job, be married and have kids by 25 and live the rest of my days in my three bedroom, semi-detached house with a garden, two cats and a cocker spaniel.


I don’t know when I changed my mind about – well, all of it. Except the cats and cocker spaniel. But here I am, 25 years old, with no childhood sweetheart (my boyfriend is almost six years older than me so that’d be weird..), no house, no plans for kids and only just about to start my first ever job that actually leaves me with a few scraps after rent.

These days, it’s almost frowned upon to do any of those things in your twenties. With most of my social circles, if you’re walking down that aisle or sharing sonograms even at the age of 25 – when most of our parents were doing, or had done, exactly that – you can expect some raised eyebrows at the very least.

The weirdest part is, most of those raised eyebrows are from us! I’m one of the worst, absolutely recoiling at the idea of babies, feeling completely baffled by the world of mortgages, lying awake at night bricking it about having a “proper job”, and getting queasy with anxiety at the mere thought of a marriage proposal.

I think I might want some of those things. Maybe. One day. But the problem is, if I don’t want them now – at the age I always thought I would, and the age our parents did – when will I want them? Unlike my younger self, I’m clueless about what I want. And if I don’t even know what I want, how the hell am I meant to know when it’ll happen?!

I guess the truth is, I don’t. I don’t know when these things will happen, or if they ever will. Our parents think we’re at the age where we should be getting our lives together and they’re expecting those sorts of milestones from us, while our peers think we’re still way too young. It’s very confusing, it’s a lot of pressure, and it leaves me feeling like I know very little about my future.

But what I do know is this: I like my life right now. And for me, for now, that’s enough.


When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Opportunities | #ThisGirlEats

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Right?

But what if life gives you lemon, after lemon, after lemon? And what if you don’t want lemonade? What if you keep trying to reach for the cola, or orange juice, or water, but every time you think you’re getting close life just throws a whole load more lemons your way?

Our lives are full of obstacles. Some are self-inflicted by our own insecurities, while others are hurled at us out of nowhere. Relationships, health, work, things we might think we have control over can turn on their head in a matter of seconds and leave us wondering where to go next.

Things get a whole load more complicated than just “making lemonade”. We’ve all experienced moments that shift the entire dynamic of our lives right before our eyes, and it’s pretty impossible to spring out of bed the next morning like nothing’s happened (unless you’re some sort of superhuman, in which case please teach me your powers and show me your ways).

You can’t always just slap on a smile and make the best out of a bad situation, despite that British stiff-upper-lip mentality that is inherently ingrained in anyone born this side of the pond. But maybe you can find opportunities.

Things like this very rarely just fall into our laps. We have to work for them, make an effort for them, learn and struggle and strive for them. It’s hard to get into this motivated mindset when you’ve taken a knock-back, but if you can muster up some gumption and get yourself back out there, this can be the absolute best time to open up new doors in your life.

Think about it – what have you got to lose? If you’ve already taken a hit, what else is there to be afraid of? The worst (or, at the very least, something a bit shitty) has happened, so now is the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and GO FOR IT.

They say that when one door closes, another one opens. But you’ve got to make yourself walk through it, or you might never find out what’s on the other side.




Embrace Yourself: Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Being Alone | #ThisGirlEats

I don’t know if it’s having an independent personality that makes it easy for me to say this, or if it’s just because I’ve always been a natural introvert, but I’ve always felt it’s so important to embrace being alone instead of being afraid of it.

I’d like to point out right away that being alone is very different to being lonely; you can be alone and still feel support from a strong, loving network of family, friends and co-workers around you. Being lonely sucks and can wreck havoc on your mental health, and I don’t think there’s a soul out there who likes to feel lonely.

But feeling comfortable and confident enough to be happy left alone with just yourself for company is, for me, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself.

Standing alone on Santa Monica Pier 
Standing on Santa Monica Pier

I think growing up an only child really planted the seed. I didn’t have siblings to play – or fight! – with. I didn’t have an older brother to sneak me out and take me to cool places when I was too young to go on my own, or a little sister to fuss over and take care of. I spent hours as a kid making up my own imaginary games or reading quietly to myself and it taught me to be totally cool with my own company.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a social butterfly either; I often wish I was more extroverted and there have definitely been situations where this “only child syndrome” has held me back.

But throughout my life I’ve met so many people who, for whatever reason – insecurity, anxiety, uncertainty, instability, dependency – think that being alone is the worst thing that could happen. I’ve known people who have put themselves in dangerous situations just because they’d rather be with someone who isn’t good for them than no-one at all.

It’s hard to admit. It’s even harder to overcome. Sometimes it’s damn near impossible to actually realise you’re in that predicament in the first place, because being in a bubble with someone, even if it’s an unhappy bubble, is easier than bursting out and facing the world alone.

And, hey, that’s a legitimate fear. The world is a scary place, especially when you’re braving it on your own. The last person you’d want to be left out here alone with is someone you don’t trust, understand or love – and what do you do if that person is yourself?

But the first step towards embracing who you are is getting to know yourself when it’s just you. Alone. No facade, no showing off, no pretending. When you can just sit quietly by yourself and feel at home, that’s when you really get to know who you are.

Standing alone at the entrance to Disneyland Paris
Standing at the entrance to Disneyland Paris

There are loads of reasons people don’t like being alone, and that’s fine. But if you’re scared of being alone, I’m here to tell you that you really don’t need to be. No-one knows you better than you, no-one can guide and support you better than you, no-one knows how to care for you better than you.

Stepping out into the big, wide world alone is super daunting but, trust me, YOU GOT THIS. Have faith in you.

Why ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is Basically My Favourite Movie Ever | #ThisGirlEats

Have you seen ’70s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show? If not, do it. Like, right now. Why? Because it’s basically the best movie ever.

Okay, so technically, technically, Grease is actually my absolute favourite movie of all time. I watched it as a kid and completely fell in love with Danny Zuko and ’50s poodle skirts and have known every word of dialogue ever since.

It’ll always be my favourite at heart but, since growing up a little, I’ve realised that a movie about how the girl has to change herself appear sexier, more promiscuous and pretend to smoke like a chimney just to get the guy to like her while, in the meantime, the only effort he’s put in is wearing a cardigan – well, it’s hardly a feminist statement, is it? 🙄


But an incredibly close second, and probably my favourite movie as an adult, is Richard O’Brien’s 1975 B-movie parody horror rock ‘n’ roll musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Why, you ask, has this wacky, nonsensical, corset-and-suspender flick taken up such a beloved space in my heart? Well, because hidden somewhere in between Tim Curry’s unbelievable legs is a message that never fails to resonate with me.

The movie, at its core, is all about embracing who you are. Accepting every part of yourself, be it your appearance, sexuality, desires, ambitions, and welcoming them all with open arms, sometimes with reckless abandon but mostly with an open mind and big dreams.

You see it when the fabulous Frank N. Furter bursts out in the most exceptional sparkly corset and smashes down barriers – let’s not forget this masterpiece came out over 40 years ago, a very different time! You see it when conservative couple Brad and Janet have their sexual experiences broadened and, after maybe ten seconds of hesitation, happily go along with it. You see it in the whole idea that “freaks” and “weirdos” are out there living their best lives and not caring what the world outside thinks about them.


Don’t dream it, be it.” Of all the great Rocky Horror lines, that’s my favourite. I’ve even had it scrawled in a tattoo across my collarbone, I love it that much! It’s simple but to the point – whatever you want, whatever your hopes and ambitions may be, whoever you want to be, don’t just sit around waiting for the right moment, don’t just dream it. Be it.

Now, that’s a better message than sewing yourself into leather pants and getting a perm just to impress a guy, am I right? 


5 Things I Do Every Day to Help Me Love Myself | #ThisGirlEats

It might not look like much, but I try my best to do these five things every day because they genuinely push me to bring out my positive side.

We all know that learning to love yourself is a tough journey, but doing just a lil’ something every day towards achieving that is a step in the right direction.

1. Reflect – literally!

It’s not always fun, but I make sure I look in the mirror every damn day. I stand there, even if it’s just for a few seconds before bed or a quick check before I rush out of the house before work, and look at myself.

I do it because it’s a practise. It takes discipline, after years of abusively picking apart my reflection, to stand in front of the mirror and appreciate what is staring back at me. I might not be head over heels in love with it every day – let’s be real, who is?! – but I always take a moment to look at every lump and bump, every freckle, every stretch mark, think positive thoughts and shove that inner saboteur (thanks RuPaul 😉) out of my mind.

2. Tidy space, tidy mind.

If you’ve ever surprised me with an unexpected visit to my flat, you might not believe this next one. But I genuinely do feel that – when I’ve got the time! – having a neat, clean, tidy environment helps me thrive creatively and keep a clear head.

It’s hard to keep on top of chores and no-one wants to waste their free time doing housework, myself included. But I do make a conscious effort to do some kind of tidying up every day. Even something simple like finally getting to the bottom of the washing up, clearing away long-lost clutter, putting laundry away instead of just letting it pile up.. the list is, unfortunately, endless. But just doing a little something to organise my home really feels like I’ve got my shit together.

3. Make a list, check it twice.

I find lists incredibly therapeutic. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I always write down whatever’s on my mind in a list that I can tackle bit by bit. It makes things feel more manageable and gives me a chance to stop suffocating and start breathing again.

The one list I check every single day is my ‘2019 GOALS’ list. It’s got several broad, open-ended goals – “Improve blog content and engagement”, “Learn to love yourself and your body” and “Save money and get out of your overdraft“, for example – to achieve this year. Every night, before bed, I ask myself what I’ve done that day to help towards any one of those bullet points. As long as I’ve helped myself get one step – even a teeny tiny baby step – closer to any one of those goals, I feel like I’ve done a good job for the day.

My '2019 GOALS' list
My ‘2019 GOALS’ list

4. Smile for the camera.

It sounds very stereotypical of the social media selfie generation but I do try, as much as possible, to take photos of myself. I know that makes me sound very “millennial” but it’s really not ’bout that – it ain’t all full face paint and insta model, let me tell ya!

The reason for this is to make sure I step up and be seen every day. It’s easy to let yourself fade into the background and shy away, especially if you’re introverted like me. But if you force yourself to point the camera in front of your face every day it means you have no choice but to really look at yourself. I don’t often do anything with these photos, they’re not necessarily for anyone else to see, but I can flick back through them anytime as a reminder of each day. I try to take photos of me, for me, as much as I can.


5. Make friends with food.

Girl, if I could count the hours I wasted stressing over what I ate… Well, I can’t find a funny way to finish that sentence but, trust me, it’s A LOT.

It’s been a long, long, loooong process, but these days I try to make food my friend instead of my enemy. It’s not always easy, and I definitely hear that lil’ devil creeping up on my shoulder trying to dupe me into feeling guilty, worried or anxious when I’m eating – that bitch just won’t back off! But I can honestly say that forcing my negative thoughts to change track when it comes to food has brought me closer than I’ve ever been to loving and accepting myself. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.



Don’t Blame People Who Buy Detox Teas – Blame the Culture That Promotes Them | #ThisGirlEats

Tea detoxes – skinny teas, tea-toxes, etc. – are a diet fad that has stuck around like a bad smell for years now, promoting flat tummies and rapid weight loss just by drinking a couple of magical cups of tea every day. Who knew it was so easy?!

Well, most of us know that, actually, it’s not. Almost all of these tea detoxes contain ingredients that work as laxatives and digestive aids which give the illusion of weight loss but, really, just make you go to the toilet all day. Makes sense that you’d loose weight if most of it goes down the loo!

Thankfully, people have started to see the light with these skinny tea diets and many influencers are now urging their followers to avoid like the plague. Loads of the brands that sell these “miracle” teas use celebs with massive online followings to promote them – Khloé Kardashian, Cardi B and Iggy Azalea are just a few recent examples – but, luckily, people are finally fighting back.

An unfortunate side product of this, however, is that some people who have joined the crusade against tea-toxes are directing their frustrations towards, in my opinion, the wrong people.

I’ve been there, in that place. I’ve been that young, insecure teenage girl with serious body image and self confidence issues, battling feelings of anxiety, desperation and helplessness. I’ve seen the ads for these “amazing” tea detoxes, sharing before and after photos with noticeably flatter tummies that I so badly wanted and testimonies from customers who swear they lost 20lbs in two weeks just by drinking a few cups of tea. I fell for it.

All it takes is twenty quid and a couple of cups a day, and all my insecurities would be gone? Sounds too good to be true – sign me up!

Shameless mirror selfie taken somewhere along my recent journey to loving myself.
Shameless mirror selfie taken somewhere along my recent journey to loving myself

When people see a young girl online tweeting about how she’s thinking of trying a skinny tea diet, or posting a photo of her tea-tox haul with a caption about how she’s excited to try it out, a flood of comments soon follow, brandishing her stupid, ignorant, unhealthy, all sorts.

But she’s not. She’s naive, sure, but she’s just another victim of this diet culture. She’s just a girl looking for a way out and falling into their traps. One day – hopefully – she’ll learn to love herself, she’ll realise that these fads are dangerous and looking after her body comes first. But she’s not the bad guy here.

If you want to blame someone, look at the companies that sell the damn things in the first place. Teasing audiences with photos of miraculous weight loss, tempting us with their discount codes and trying to promote products under the facade of health when, in actual fact, they are ridiculously dangerous.

We’ve also got to point the finger at celebrities who are telling their young, impressionable followers that losing weight is apparently important enough to fill your body with laxatives twice a day and worth damaging yourself with quick fixes. I know advertising for brands helps you lot earn that dollar but, please, think about what you’re doing. Think about the times you’ve been in a bad place, when you haven’t loved yourself and would’ve risked anything to help you get out of that funk. Think about that before you propel this kind of bullshit to your fans (or at least be honest, as Jameela Jamil hilariously demonstrates in this parody video).

Young women aren’t the ones to blame here; don’t let the brands trying to sell unhappy people a fake dream and celebs refusing to take on the responsibility that comes with millions of followers get away with it.

Feeling the Positive Effects of Social Media (Yes, They Do Exist!) | #ThisGirlEats

Social media can be a scary place. Trolls, cyber bullies, hate groups – it’s no wonder most of our parents are technophobes and the older generations boast about how things were “better in my day!”.

Well of course it was better in your day Susan, the bank was handing out zero deposit mortgages like nobody’s business, the planet wasn’t dying at a catastrophic rate and you could buy two pints down the pub with a fiver and still get change!

I digress…

Anyway, yes, social media can be a breeding ground for negativity. One minute you’re bombarded by online slanging matches between strangers on Twitter, the next you’re stewing in a pit of jealousy over beautiful influencers showing off their perfect(-ly filtered) lives on Instagram. It’s a minefield.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. These sites give us the option to mute, block or unfollow people that make us feel, well, shit – and that’s brilliant! But what’s even better is finding people who make social media a bearable – maybe even positive – place to hang out.

I’ve enjoyed scrolling through my phone so much more since I made a conscious effort to erase the trashbags and put some bright, affirmative, supportive women at the forefront of my feed.

Now whenever I flick between my apps (the modern day equivalent of channel hopping while the ads are on, right?) I’m confronted by educated words of self-love and self-confidence, photos of women who are happy in their own skin and promote body positivity and blog posts bursting with advice and encouragement and reassurance.

I know social media is always going to be dangerous to navigate – you can never be sure when a bigoted idiot will pop up spouting nonsense and retweeting Piers Morgan with the caption “He just has the balls to say what the rest of us were thinking!” You can’t win ‘em all.

But by just filling my timeline with people who make me feel good about myself, inspire me to do better and brighten my day I’ve found my phone a much more pleasant companion.

Let’s be honest, we spend half our lives with our heads buried in social media so we might as well make it half decent place to be!

If you want to check out some of the awesome people I follow, here are my top picks!

  • Lucy Mountain – calling out fake diets and making fun of fitness fads (@thefashionfitnessfoodie)
  • Stephanie Yeboah – plus-size blogger advocating fat acceptance (@nerdabouttown)
  • Helen Anderson – all about that self-love life! (@helenanderz)
  • Amy Kennedy – vegan food at budget prices (@amythevegan)
  • Jen Brett – stamping out diet culture and promoting positive body image (@jenbretty)
  • Emily Clarkson – straight-talking blogger who oozes confidence (@EmilyClarkson)
  • Jameela Jamil – star of ‘The Good Place’, creator of the @i_weigh movement and voice for loving the skin your in (@jameelajamil)
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher – musical theatre star and general ray of sunshine (@CarrieHFletcher)

Healing My Unhealthy Relationship with Food | #ThisGirlEats

Me and food, we’ve got a love-hate relationship. Sometimes it’s my best friend, sometimes it’s my enemy. The problem is, no matter how unhealthy my relationship with food might be, I need it to, y’unno, stay alive. That’s the bottom line, right?

I’ve got an ongoing battle between my love of food and the issues it causes me when it comes to weight, body image and self-consciousness. It’s something I’ve never known how to overcome and, truthfully, never thought I could.

But lately something has changed. I don’t know if it’s the conscious effort I’ve been spending on positive self-image, the incredible body positive women I follow online, or just the fact that I’ve coloured my hair recently and it looks great (not even gonna lie). We all know that when a gal changes her hair some serious shit is going down!

Pink and purple hair

Point is, even though I’m probably at my biggest right now, have stretch marks all over my body and took an incredibly lax approach to shaving my legs this winter, I have been feeling so much more positive about myself, my body and my relationship with food. My mind is like a sat nav, healing my deep-rooted problems with food and rerouting itself down a much better path.

I think this revelation started when I read Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Eat Up’ last summer. It made me start to listen to my body and really enjoy food instead of always fighting against it – you can read more about my thoughts on the book here.

Since then, I’ve definitely realised how negative it is to think some foods are “bad” and that I should feel “guilty” for eating, and that really made a difference.

For example, when me and my boyfriend go out to eat now it’s not about feeling bad for the three-course meal we’ve devoured and how we have to pop open the top button on our jeans on the car ride home. It’s about the quality time we spent together; the laughs we had trying to order items from the menu we couldn’t pronounce, the ideas we came up with for the future while dipping dough balls into garlic butter, the holiday we planned over a margherita pizza, the content quiet between us as we savoured delectable, sweet spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream.

Pizza Express margherita pizza
Pizza Express margherita pizza

It’s about getting out of the house and enjoying what life has to offer. It’s about loving food and company and conversation. It’s about caring for ourselves and nourishing our bodies, minds and souls. It’s about looking after relationships with each other, with ourselves, with food.

I currently have the healthiest view of food and myself that I’ve had in a long, long time. I don’t really know how it happened, or why it’s happening right now. But it is, and I’m happy.