True relationship goals and why we need to stop settling for less.

Valentine's Day is creeping up on us, and it's given me a pause for thought, about what relationships are capable of being, and why we so often settle for something that is by no means good enough.

I stumbled across these videos this evening, and stayed up far too late watching just one more after just one more...

My first response to the first one I watched was that their honesty and love for each other was achingly beautiful. They're clearly best friends, and such a team. 

This next couple are much younger, and have only been together for 2 months, but her attempts to describe how wanting to say that she loves him gets stuck behind her teeth is painfully accurate. The question "What are you hesitant to tell me?" is such a heavy one to ask a loved one.

Kat and Christina demonstrate such an understanding, and a willingness to emotionally connect. I adored the line, "I don't want me or my deafness to stop you becoming the person you are supposed to be." They remind us that love and a loved one is supposed to cheerlead us, and allow us to be the very best version of ourselves.

The next one reminded me of the fact that so much goes unsaid, when we believe it to be much more explicit than it is. That we need to tell people they are loved and supported, and not presume they already know.

This final one I wanted to share is actually a follow up from the couple's first video. The first was from before the birth, this one is after the baby has been born, perhaps a year later. They've been married 11 years. Sidra describes how they almost got a divorce, and she describes that love is not enough. What is needed is an active choice; each and every day, to choose each other. She also states that she feels there will never be enough time, that time passes so quickly, and so she reminds herself to live in the present. To enjoy and appreciate the here and now.

Listening to these couples, in different stages of relationships, with different challenges, reminds me of the power of creating a foundation of love, support and trust. They all demonstrate such a freedom to acknowledge their own needs and feelings. They remind us that love should make us feel free and able to face any challenge, and that you're two whole people coming together, not two halves.

On the flipside, some of the comments under these videos were people saying they now realised they'd not had decent partners or friends, and that seeing a healthy love on the screen made them see what they should be holding out for. We're all too guilty of somehow settling for less.

What is so brilliant about this video project is that this is not a fairytale version of romance, but a real reflection of how awesome (in the true sense of the word) love can be. 

A life lesson I've really embraced in my 30s (and the challenges of being an only child)

A myth that haunts many only children is that we're selfish, whereas in actual fact we're just not so practised in thinking of others. The difference being that we're not mean, or unkind, just sometimes lacking the habit of considering the needs of others alongside ourselves. This can manifest itself in things like only children not offering a guest a drink, as we'd just presume you'd ask for one. 

I read a book about only children once that explained that as we had little experience of our things being damaged by others (or food being eaten by others) we find unexpected changes in our possessions more challenging to cope with. If an only child leaves a chocolate bar in their room, it will always be there when we return. Things don't get changed unless we change them ourselves. The book explained that it isn't selfishness that makes us not want to share our chocolate bar, we'd just rather pay to buy a second one for you.

I digress. In my 30s, as a mature only child, I became self aware enough that sometimes my nature means that I don't always consider the feelings of others as much as I'd like to. I don't think I'm a mean person, nor did I mean to behave selfishly, but my tendency to just focus on my own little bubble meant I wasn't the person I'd like to be.

So this is an area I've been working on, and will continue to work on. To be kind. To be thoughtful. I'm not attempting to change my personality, just to enhance certain elements of it. 

I also believe that what we seek, we should first find. If you want more love in your life, you need to become more loving. If you want better friendships you need to become more friendly. If you want more joy, you must first become more joyous. 

I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be, but am I kinder than I was a few years ago? For sure. Will I continue to stretch and develop my thoughtful muscle? Hell to the yes.

Which rucksack should I buy?

I've developed a need for a backpack, and oddly enough don't have one. I immediately thought of ASOS, as although I don't buy loads from there, I know I like their search functions. Here are the backpacks that have first caught my eye!

I'm not usually a fan of pastels on me, but this French Connection bag caught my eye.

This Aldo bag is half price, but I can't decide if it will look too shiny in the flesh.

This one perhaps looks more matte?

This one is rather practical looking, lots of space I guess.

B. Makeup Brush Cleanser Review

b make up brush cleaner review

My name is ReeRee and I rarely clean my makeup brushes. There, I've said it. I use them daily, but perhaps wash them every other month. Yup, not very often at all.

I'm just not someone bothered by the idea of germs,  I think they generally keep our immune systems alive and kicking. I reach for the soap when the brushes are clogged and don't work as well.

I was buying a new makeup brush and saw this spray cleaner, and decided to give it a whirl.

b makeup brush cleaner

The instructions are: "A conditioning brush cleanser that disinfects and cleans cosmetic brushes. Gentle formula - Suitable for use on both synthetic and natural bristles, and gentle enough for everyday use. Antibacterial - Scientifically proven to remove bacteria. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Made in the U.K."

I gave each brush a two spritzes, and smooshed the brush against my hand and then a tissue. I was surprised at how much makeup came out. It definitely didn't remove every single bit of makeup, but I was very happily surprised at how much cleaner they were! I imagine if my brushes were less dirty to start it may have removed more!  Each brush needed maybe 8-10 spritzes in total.

What I really liked about the product is that it means you can wash your brushes in bed (like I did) or while watching tv, which just makes the whole process less of a hassle!

Would I rebuy? Definitely!

 

My new bullet journal and the perfect bullet journal stickers

new bullet journal.jpg

You may have heard about bullet journals, whether via me or the internet world in general, but they've really helped me feel like I control my life, rather than it controlling me. Well, step back, make way, and welcome my brand new bullet journal.

I wrote last month about having used a bullet journal for a year, and how I've adapted and grown with it. They're really flexible and can be whatever your life requires from it. I won't repeat what I wrote there, so go and have a gander if you're interested in how bullet journals work.

In that last post I also lamented at how hard I was finding it to find the right journal for my bullet journal number 3. I want cute pages, but it needs to fit in my handbag. I'm not a fan of lined paper either. But I finally found it. Joanna Basford's Secret Garden Journal, which has plain pages with a small illustration on each spread.

Not only was I super excited to receive the new journal (because a new diary means the start of a new chapter), but I ordered some bullet journal appropriate stickers too. And who doesn't love stickers?

Oooh stickers.....I was so excited to open this package, you wouldn't believe. Or maybe you would.....stickers are darned exciting.

Gold stickers are hard to photograph but you get they idea! These are from Me & My Big Ideas , and colourful ones pictured above are also from them and can be found here. The small booklet is from La De Dah  (not actually stickers) and Grace Taylor

the happy planner

I'm still waiting for the delivery of this set too! I definitely got excited ordering them!

Body image is such a complicated beast

reeree straight fringe

Body image is such an odd thing.

I wear clothes that are generally 10/12 (8 in some random pieces). I eat pretty well, and exercise isn't a complete stranger to me, and I know that my body, despite not being in the best state its been in, fits into the general 'acceptable size' that society says is standard. And yet I can catch myself having thoughts that are pretty out of control.

I haven't been pleased with my body recently, and headed off to try a new gym. I find before/after pictures really motivating so I took a few snaps for some new before shots. The camera was a bit low, and despite knowing that they're vaguely distorted, I found them pretty shocking. Shocking that the picture is of a woman who wears 10/12 clothing. That I must be some sort of fraud, or my clothes are flukes.

It's fucked up isn't it?

Anyhoo I'm strict with my thoughts, so I ran to the gym, got over myself, and decided I'd use it as positive motivation to get stronger again. Boom, my inner core needs to watch out!

A few tips for joining a new gym?

1. Proximity matters. Close to home or work, but close to something. Or you'll fail to even get there.

2. Don't over invest. You don't need swanky gear, nor do you need the swankiest gym. These can be earned if you prove you'll stick to it long term.

3. Don't just stick to the bike machine and running machine. If you're wanting to change how your body looks, embrace a bit of strength training is your best friend.

Valentine Lingerie - splurge and save options

Valentine's Day is creeping upon us once more, and maybe you want to be clever and buy a gift for your partner that is really a gift for yourself? Sneaky but genius. It can be the perfect time to treat yourself to some new lingerie!

We all have different budgets, and February can be a tough month after recovering from January, so I thought I'd share a few lingerie ideas, with both a splurge and save option.

Expensive lingerie is often made with beautiful fabrics, and quality manufacturing, however it's absolutely okay if you can't or don't want to spend your money on it. There's something out there for all of us!

This gorgeous black number for £895 or...

 this one for £14.99?

This bra for £85 or...

this one for £36?

This babydoll for £160 or...

this one for £36?

This bra for £32 (as I type in the sale at £22.40) or...

this one for £10?

Are you using Feb 14th as an excuse to underwear shop? I may have to!