Podcasts.

I’ve always been anti podcast and never really given them the chance and always dismissed them as a ‘boring thing’ but after having a look through spotify .., i’m utterly obsessed!

When there’s nothing on the tv or i’m on my way to work I like to listen to them.

I listen to a whole variety of podcasts from true crime stories to all about sex and relationships.

A few of my favourites are

– Hip Hop Saved My Life With Romesh Ranganathan

I’ve always been a huge fan of his stand up and I was surprised to hear he was such a huge hip hop fan.

His views on music and the way the industry is now are so funny. You don’t even need to be a huge fan of the music genre to listen to be honest.

Every so often he brings on a guest that ranges from a fellow comedian to footballers and no matter the guest the banter flows so well and it has me laughing endlessly. The banter he has whether it be poking fun at silly every day things or infamous ‘rap beefs’ I guarantee it’ll have you laughing.

The episodes with comedians Mo Gillian & Marlon Davis are must listens.

– Angela Yee’s Lip Service

Angela Yee isn’t everyones cup of tea but I enjoy her little tidbits on the breakfast club even though sometimes she’s on mute 😂

Listening to Lip Service is like sitting around the table with your girls and talking about anything and everything.

If you don’t like hearing about others sexual experiences then this isn’t the podcast for you because it’s full of brutally honest comments and stories and that’s what makes it so authentic.

She has a great guest list so everyone from John Legend to Sex doctors with tips on how to spice up your sex life!

The episode with Joseline from LHHATL (love and hip hop atlanta) is a must must listen.

Getting Curious With Jonathan Van Ness

If you’ve watched the rebooted ‘Queer eye for the straight guy’ on netflix then you’re more then familiar with JVN. He is every dam thing!

I came across his podcast whilst browsing through twitter and after reading what the premise of his podcast I instantly knew I’d be hooked.

For thirty minutes he sits down with a variety of people ranging from professionals to his friends to talk about what makes him curious.

The topics range from opioid addiction , brexit to just a general sit down with one of his good friends!

Some podcasts drone on and on for a good while trying to find momentum but with this podcast it gets into it straight away

What I really like about his podcasts are that there’s an episode for everyone every episode is different.

Must listen episodes are all of the episodes where he speaks with his queer eye cast mates / friends and The episode entitled ‘What Do White People Need To Know About Racism’

So I quit my job…

After much thought and back and forth I finally took the big push and quit my job of the last few years.

Teaching has always been something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember but recently it’s been more of a chore.

I don’t want to look back on my life and remember the years I stayed stuck in a dead end job just because ‘I have the degree’.

I want to wake up and be excited about what I’m doing , now I’m not deluded to think that the grass is always greener but whilst I’m still young and have the chance I’m willing to take the dive and venture out.

I’m extremely lucky to be able to pursue different career paths but first I need to think of what’s next.

Daydreaming is all well and good but that won’t pay the bills!

I’ve given myself six months to try new things and get a feel for something new but you’ve gotta have faith when it comes to these things!

  • Career paths I’d like to take.
    • Music writer / critic
      Photographer
      Open my own business !!!

    Inspiration.

    I’m so lucky to have a number of people in my life that are truly amazing and over the years they’ve inspired me to be the best I can be.

    Outside of family and people I know I have been inspired by a certain number of ‘Public figures’ now I’m not one of these people that blindly follows what these celebrities are doing and holds them on some kind of unreachable pedestal.

    Jonghyun

    I don’t even know where or how to start. My precious Jjong has been inspiring me along with the other members of SHINee for as long as I can remember. But he has a special place in my heart (I’ll explain why in another post)

    He wasn’t someone that came from a wealthy background or had it easy but he fought endlessly and struggled so hard to get where he was , that is something I take from him.

    As someone that struggles with depression it was so refreshing to hear a kpop artist be so open and honest with his feelings and not be afraid to speak from the heart.

    He wasn’t afraid to cry or show his sensitivity. Regardless of his personal struggles he strived to be the best musician he could but also stay so incredible grounded and humble.

    He wasn’t afraid to speak out about injustice and things that were seen as taboo knowing that he would get backlash and people with opposing views having an opinion.

    He inspires me everyday to never be afraid to express myself whether that be through writing or any other creative outlet.

    He inspires me continuously through the beautiful words he left behind. I’ll forever be proud to call myself his fan 🌙

    Beyoncé

    You’re probably reading this and thinking how can one of the worlds biggest stars be relatable or inspiring.

    Beyoncé is someone that makes me want to be the best.

    You would think that someone with that much talent and success would be so far removed from society but she is so humble.

    She inspires me to be confident, speak my mind and know that every damn day I’m flawless!

    She’s undeniably one of the best to ever do it but yet she still strives to be better! She doesn’t rest on her laurels and coast (which she could quite easily do) but she pushes and pushes to make sure she does better every time.

    She doesn’t settle.

    She’s so unapologetic for what she believes in.

    She inspires me everyday to love myself.

    Other people that I admire and whom inspire me are

    Viola Davis

    She has worked so damn hard to get the recognition she should of got years ago but she never gave up.

    Maya Angelou

    Just read her books and you’ll understand.

    She is so so important.

    Her literary works are a must read.

    Apart from the ones listed I don’t have any other solid inspirations but I’ll update this post monthly.

    I’ll include some quotes / inspirational posts below.

    music of the month – september 💫

    Another month is coming to an end and all in all it wasn’t a bad month… I guess.

    Honestly time is going fast , it feels like this month just went past so fast.

    Music is a hugee part of my life so I thought I’d share some of my favourite songs of the month so here’s my favourites of the month , I’ll leave a Spotify link to my september playlist at the end of the blog!

    Lil’ Touch -Girls’ Generation Oh!GG

    My queens came back and honestly it was a shock. I was convinced we wouldn’t hear anything from snsd as a group this year so this took me by surprise. It’s better then anything I could’ve ever expected. Sunny as a main vocalist !! Hyo finally getting the screen time and lines she deserves. Kinda disappointing that they haven’t performed it live yet.

    hopefully sm let’s them perform at the end of year shows but with Seohyun , Tiffany & Sooyong (imagine the slayage!!) 

    save me , save you – wjsn

    WJSN are a girl group that are truly the queens of aesthetic music videos. I was a huge fan of there last mini album so I decided that this time I would fully follow there latest release and they didn’t disappoint. It honestly sounds like it could be an anime opening it’s that good. Everything just works for this song ; Yeonjung comes through with her amazing vocals (like she does everytime!!) but also Seola & Bona killed it. 

    Ariana Grande – R.E.M

    ‘Before you speak, don’t move cause I don’t wanna wake up’

    Ari …. where do I begin with this song. It is nothing short of perfection. This song just makes me feel like I’m floating on a cloud daydreaming endlessly and nothing in the world matters. Ari’s voice is mesmerising and this is becoming one of my favourite songs of hers. I’ve never really paid attention to her music but I actually listened to all of her new album ‘Sweetner’ and it is a must listen. I can not wait until the day she puts out a full r&b album as she has the most perfect voice for it.

    Boss – The Carters

    If you know me then you’ll know that i completely adore Beyoncé which goes way back to her DC days. ‘Everything Is Love’ is the joint album that The Carters put out and sprung on the whole world with no promotion and no release date planned. I’m a ride or die member of the beyhive and honestly bey can do no wrong. Boss is my favourite song off the whole project and it’s so so underrated. Jay kills his verse and then Bey comes in with her smooth vocals and then her shit talking (talk about versatility , some of your favourites could never!!)😂 

    Also Blue Ivy has the most adorable voice her little outro is beyond cute.

    What’s the use – Mac Miller 

    When Mac released his K.I.D.S mixtape back in 2010 I was still in secondary school and I became utterly obsessed with him. I kind of fell off  his music and wasn’t following his career but his artistry and love of music is something that I admired about him so much. He wasn’t your average rapper and his music is truly one of a kind. ‘What’s the use’ is such a chill song and it’s been one of my most played songs this month. A few other songs off his latest album ‘swimming’ are a must listen are ‘come back to earth’ and ‘2009’

    Honeymoon Phaze – MNEK

    MNEK is truly so so underrated , his talent and artistry is undeniable. If anyone was more deserving of becoming more recognised and becoming huge it’s him ugh he deserves all the success in the world. Honeymoon Phaze is just that song. It’s so chill , the vocals & the way the song transitions to the next song is an experience it’s pure genius. I highly recommend listening to his whole album ‘Language’.

    Could’ve Been – H.E.R & Bryson Tiller

    People always go on about how R&B is dead but honestly you’ve gotta out of the mainstream and look for artists that are the ones carrying the industry right now. This song just reminds me of all of the iconic R&B collabs that were released in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Bryson Tiller and H.E.R are the perfect duo , this song is so dreamy and has such a chill vibe it really is a must listen. It sounds like something that floetry would sing so you know it’s good.

    Black Pearl – Sunmi

    Sunmi is someone who’s career I’ve been following since way back in the day , I’m talking Wonder Girls ‘Nobody’ era. I’ve always adored Sunmi’s stage presence and her personality off stage. To be honest I wasn’t a fan of her latest comeback ‘Heroine’ so wasn’t expecting much from this comeback but she blew me away. Every song on ‘Warning’ is nothing short of perfection , (the whole album is a must listen she doesn’t disappoint) She is so versatile in her music but ‘Black Pearl’ is everything. Her vocals have improved so so much and it’s honestly one of my favourite kpop songs of the year.

    Hi High – LOOΠΔ

    Coming into 2018 I said to myself I wouldn’t start stanning for any more kpop groups but that failed! Finally after introducing them one by one for over a year they finally debuted as a full group. When this was released I was not a fan and to be honest thought it was mediocre but after watching their debut stage and listening to it another 10 + times it grew on me and now I am utterly obsessed!! It is such a perfect debut song to bring them all together as one group. I also have the biggest girl crush on Kim Lip (she’s so gorgeous)

    It’s hard to choose between ‘favOrite’ and ‘Hi High’ as my favourite song so I’ll just link them both!

    I could add in untold songs but I’ll just link my september spotify playlist

    Who am I?

    Who am I? it’s such a hard question to answer because we all each have individual layers to us. It’s something that I was asked the other day and to be honest I had no answer , in all fairness it’s quite difficult to answer.

    I’m the big sister to three.

    I’m the one who misses you more then anything but my pride wouldn’t let me admit that to you.

    I’m the shoulder to cry on for my little sister when things are getting bad at school , I’m the best sister in the world (according to my sister!!) when I let her have a bite of my food or when I treat her. I’m the second mum to my sister when she wants to tell me things or give her advice on things. I’m her partner in crime that’ll laugh at her dumb and silly jokes. I’m the big sister that is extremely protective.

    I’m the Kpop & K R&B plug for my little brother when he needs music recommendations. I’m the crappest sister in the world when I don’t do something as soon as my brother demands me too! I’m the prettiest girl in the world when he wants a favour.

    I’m the big cousin that has to hunt slugs with my baby cousin , i’m the best cousin in the whole wide world when I play teenagers or when I build a fort. I’m the person you lay on when you’re both feeling tired and want to watch slime videos 😂

    We can all be defined by being sons/daughters and brothers/sisters but who are we really…

    I look into the mirror and study my face but fail to recognise who is staring back at me.

    I guess i’m someone that wants to be loved and accepted for all that I am

    I’m Lauren

    Who loves to read untold amounts

    Who wants to find her ‘Prince Charming’

    Wants to be accepted flaws and all

    Who wants to desperately be happy …

    I’m the kpop lover

    I’m the kdrama watcher

    I’m the girl who daydreams endlessly

    I Don’t want to be defined by the girl who has crippling anxiety or the girl that has suicidal thoughts.

    I want to be just Lauren , just me.

    Friday Thoughts.

    Confidence is such a mystery to me at times.

    Sometimes I’m extremely confident and then other times I revert back into my shell.

    I think back to all the opportunities i’ve missed out on.

    Ever since I was little my Mum has always taught me to be confident and love myself. You’d think after all those years I’d be a pro at self love and confidence.

    The truth is I’m not.

    Weight has always been a sensitive subject to me , well over the last few years it has been.

    I know facially i’m beautiful (that’s just my own opinion!!) but body wise that’s where I majorly lack the confidence.

    I was never the ‘big girl’ in fact up until the middle of secondary school I was ridiculously skinny.

    The cheeky odd chicken and chips after school changed that in an instant.

    Since then my weight has fluctuated over the last few years and with that brought unhealthy habits.

    The constant starving myself for a while then eating again , then I’d miss meals and come up with some excuse why I wasn’t eating.

    Now my weight is something that doesn’t bother me but it’s always in the back of my mind that I’ll forever be alone because someone might think I’m just a little bit too fat for them… when matter of fact is that someone will just like me for me.

    You live your life for you

    no one will root for you more then you’re rooting for yourself

    love yourself first and everything will fall into line

    You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

    Under My Skin.

    The whole point of this blog was for me to open up and lay my soul to bare so that I could actively help myself get better through a ‘creative outlet’ so why does it feel so hard to do?

    When I think back through my late teenage years I can see just how big a part anxiety played on my life but I’d just dismiss those feelings and worries to normal teenage stress; whatever that was. But looking back it wasn’t that extreme as I was still doing everyday things and could switch my overthinking off even if it was just for a few hours.

    The real problem I have that started a few years ago is the never ending skin picking. At first I thought it was a habit but for the past two years it’s been a huge problem that has affected my life. Whenever I have idle hands I’m constantly looking for tweezers or anything I can see in reach to pick at my skin. The endless trips to the shop having to by tweezers to satisfy my ‘addiction’.

    Dermatillomania is the official name of the disorder and trust me at first the name baffled me.

    It petrifies me to even think of being intimate with someone in case my scars are seen and assumptions are made. I can’t even change my top around people in case they see my many scars or the weird raised scars I have from my endless self inflicted wounds. Im constantly thinking ‘will people think i’m some kind of freak if tell them how I got them’

    Knowing that I’m causing scars and irreversible damage to my skin is something that I’ve just learnt to accept. I know how wrong and damaging it is yet I can’t stop??

    Whenever I see something that looks just about healed the tweezers are out again and I’m back at it. The never ending cycle starts once again.

    A whole wave of anxiety hits me and I’m back at it. There was a time that I went a few weeks without any picking at all and I can honestly say I never felt better but one blip and I was back at it. The past few weeks are where I’ve learnt that old habits die hard.

    All of that anxiousness is taken away once I start picking but when I finish the inevitable shitty feelings of ‘what have you done’ & ‘you’ve ruined your body’ hit.

    I’m determined to stop doing it , I know I can. I now currently have zero tweezers and when I can feel myself getting anxious I’m just going to do anything/something to distract myself. I’ve got this! (I think!!)

    Twenty Random Facts About Me.

    Since I’m new to all this blogging ish I thought hmm why not make a random post with twenty random facts about me. It’s kind of nerve wracking to put things about yourself out there but here we are!

  • 1. When I was born I had six fingers (one extra finger on each hand!)
  • 2. I love to sleep , could sleep for days.
  • 3. When I was five a photo my uncle took of me was used in a national ad campaign in America
  • 4. I’m actively trying to learn Korean and Japanese
  • 5. My favourite anime of all time is Sailor Moon
  • 6. When I was in secondary school I used to play for the school’s netball team.

    7. I did gymnastics for a number of years.

    8. Clueless is one of my favourite films of all time.

    9. My favourite author is Dorothy Koomson , I adore her work.

    10. I know all of the words to all three of the high school musical soundtracks.

    11. When i was 12/13 I won a stardoll competition and got invited to the Karate Kid premiere where I got the chance to meet Will Smith and family.

    12. I have six piercings.

    13. I can’t stand dogs or cats.

    14. My middle name is Louise.

    15. SHINee , Girls’ Generation and Beyoncé will forever be the greatest artists of my life. No one comes close to the impact they’ve had on me.

    16. I have plans to get a couple of small tattoos.

    17. I love playing the sims , i used to spend countless hours downloading additional content.

    18. I’ve known my bestfriend for 12 years.

    19. It really irks my soul when people read and text and blatantly ignore it.

    20. I am obsessed with the Real Housewives of New Jersey & Atlanta. Nene and Teresa give me life.

    23&Me

    Your twenties are meant to be ‘The best years of your life’ so they say, when in reality they’re far from it.

    22 was the worst year of my life. Starting the year of 2017 happy and healthy and that all changed in an instant. Constant anxiety and the constant panic attacks turned me into a HOT MESS. Constantly scared to leave my house in the fear that I would never return and the constant fear of doom never being that far. The constant trips to the doctors which turned into siting in A&E for hours on end. I can remember sitting in the hospital with my sister laying on her shoulder sobbing as I had convinced myself there was something wrong , there just had to be something wrong. Taking out my phone and typing goodbye texts to my loved ones in case i didn’t make it.

    I distanced myself from my closest friends as I didn’t want to be seen. I’d always been that girl in secondary school; the funny one , the confident one , the outspoken one and then to drastically change from all of that to a nervous wreck was something that even i couldn’t comprehend so how could i expect others to understand or see me like that?

    Sleep was a thing of the past , my mind was constantly on overdrive. Staying up all night binge watching crap or just staring at the walls to past the time. Terrified that if dared close my eyes for a second I’d never wake up. I had developed the habit of having my left hand on my chest to constantly check my heartbeat , the untold number of pulse checker apps I’d sit and download as if I was some kind of doctor.

    Mentally i was at my lowest

    Relying on my family and deciding that this wasn’t how i wanted to live were the two main factors of me getting better. I’m not miraculously cured of my anxiety and depression but i am better.

    Throughout the middle of the year things started to get better and I was kind of feeling like the old me again. Of course there were times when everything and everyone sucked but I was feeling better.

    Fast forward to September 2018 a little after my 23rd birthday and I’m slowly but surely getting there. Don’t get me wrong my mind still works overtime sometimes and I still have those few moments where I get down but learning that I will get through the dark times and that there is hope are the things that have helped me overcome the darkest and hardest time of my life.