The benefits of unplugging

Sunday, 28 February 2016

I love my phone, I really do. I also love my tablet, my computer, my tv, and the family laptop. When you put it that way, it sounds like a heck of a lot of technology, and it kinda is. Apart from when I'm asleep, it can be a challenge for me to stay off all of these things- even for time slot as short as an hour. But it's really important that I have some me-time. Actual, real, quality me time. Over the past year, I've written a few posts about how important 'me' time is- such as Why it's absolutely essential that you take time out and Relaxing at it's finest. (Just to clarify, I class 'me time' as time I have to relax and recharge- to me, this doesn't necessarily mean being alone all the time). 

Today I want to take relaxation to the next level. I want to challenge you to unplug, and I'm going to tell you exactly why you should.
A few years back, when I was about 16 years old, I did a bad thing, as many 16 year olds do. My parents, being the loving, caring and protective parents that they were (even though I didn't see it like that at the time) took my phone and computer wifi stick from me, and hid it away. A few days passed, and I asked for them back. No luck. After two weeks of persistent begging, I decided it was time to give up- it didn't look like I was going to be getting them back any time soon.

It got to the point where I had read, and re-read all the books on my shelf, and had ran out of money to go out to town with. I had to improvise, and desperate times call for desperate measures. After two technology-less months, I started knitting. I literally sat in my room, knitting away while listening to green day at one point- now that's one thing that not many people can say they've done, lol. 

After three and a half months had passed, I got my beloved phone and computer wifi stick back, and was instantly hooked again. Yup, those three technology free months were not only thrown out the window, they were shipped right off to no mans land. I just wanted to forget all about it. Ew, torture.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, though, and looking back, I can see that even though my 16 year old self was completely against it, those three technology free months actually did a world of good for me. When I went to school, I didn't hide behind my phone, and I noticed that since I didn't have my phone out, neither did my friends. We had actual, quality conversations- and of course they kept me in the loop of all the internet drama. I leant a few new skills- like the knitting, yes, haha. I now have a few little knitted lavender pouches sitting at the bottom of a box somewhere under my bed...

The point is, it was actually really good for me to have that time to unplug. A bit like a technology detox. And I was never completely cut off from the people I talked to. If it's important, you can always find a way.

But you all, much like me, love your technology much too much to just let it go like that. I get that, really, I do. But you need to combat those excuses that you're making up. As you read this post right now, I bet that your mind is racing with possible excuses to get you out of unplugging.

But I need to communicate with people... It's really important
Taking care of yourself is really important too, though. You need to sort out your priorities, before you start cutting yourself slack because of this excuse. Besides, I'm not asking you to take 3 whole months away from your phone (I mean, if you want to then that's great but...); all I'm saying is that you need to take some time out. You could start it step by step, for example:
Week 1: 3 hours without technology
Week 2: 5 hours without technology
Week 3: 7 hours without technology (that's one hour a day)
Week 4: 15 hours without technology
Week 5: 24 hours without technology

But how am I going to arrange nights out and meet ups with my friends
I know a guy in my psychology class who doesn't own a phone. You wanna know something? He still manages to host parties with significant attendance, meet up with his friends and girlfriend, and communicate with them all. You can always talk to them, or if that's not possible, wait until your planned unplugged time has ended. It's really not that hard.

But how will I carry on blogging while unplugged?
This is such a huge topic in itself, that I think I might just write another post just for this, so keep a look out in the upcoming weeks. But for now, trust me when I say that you can blog while unplugged. Here are a few things you can do for your blog while unplugged;
-Brainstorm blog post ideas (This could be titles, descriptions of posts...)
-Keep a diary (seriously, it'll give you great content for your blog every so often, and help you find your voice on the days you've got the bloggers blues)
-Make a list of all the things you want to achieve on your blog
-Map out a monthly planner of your blog posts

Alright. So let's say that you've decided to be a wonderful human being and do what wonderful human beings do- unplug. What do you do during this technology free time? Here are a few of my favourite ideas... (no, knitting isn't one of them)

  • Colouring in (You know those cute adult colouring in books? Yeah, colour me obsessed)
  • Play an instrument. My personal favourite is guitar
  • Meet up with friends for a coffee date... and leave your phone behind. That's like two hours unplugged, and you probably won't even notice it!
  • Treat yourself to a pamper night- whip out the face masks and lush bath bombs!
  • This one doesn't take a genius to get... read a book!
  • Write a page in a journal a day
  • Go for a jog, or go to the gym
  • Pop some music on and sort out your wardrobe... it wont hurt!
  • Go shopping, and get fresh food to cook a meal from scratch with
  • Bake a cake, and then invite friends over of some afternoon tea. 
I dare you to unplug for a whole day this week. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

A surprising (creative) blogger award

Thursday, 25 February 2016

(Is this not just the cutest little button ever)

I've spent the majority of today looking for flats to rent in Glasgow, as I'll be starting university next September. I'm still not completely sure which university I want to go to, but I'm looking around. When I checked the comments on herelectricocean and noticed that the wonderful Nadia from C0ffeessions had nominated me for the creative blogger award, I was rather surprised. I've never really thought of my blog as being very creative, but I am grateful for the nomination!

The rules are as follows:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Share five facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15-20 bloggers and add their links
  • Notify the bloggers you included
  • Put the rules on your post
So here are five facts about me...

1. I was born in the near Cheshire, however I moved around a lot as a kid and have been living in Scotland for the past 12 years of my life, so my accent is rather confusing for a lot of people
2. I'm a huge punk rock fan. A lot of people are surprised when they hear this, because I am a pretty girly person, and am in love with all things cute and pink, but there's nothing I love more than a good punk rock/pop concert!
3. I have a really bad fear of hospitals and trains. I have no clue why, because I've never necessarily had a bad experience of either, but I get really freaked out and panicky when I have to go to a hospital or on a train.
4. There's nothing I love more on a weekday than going home after a long day at school, cuddling up in bed with a hot chocolate or a coffee, and switching on my TV to watch home and away. 

5. I've been working at the wonderful McDonald's since mid-January, and I'm (kinda surprisingly) really enjoying it.

Now it's your turn!
❀ Ailish
❀ Sarah
❀ Ellie
❀ Mia
❀ Ash
❀ Eleanor

Relaxing at its finest

Sunday, 21 February 2016

January has always been one of those months. You're thrown right back into the deep end after the Christmas holidays, and all of a sudden you have a tonne of responsibilities again. It can be really difficult not to get overwhelmed with all of it, as I'm sure plenty of you will know from experience. Then comes along February, the 'Tuesday' month. For me, Tuesday is my busiest day of the week, and the same can be said for February. From Valentines day, to concert capital (Honestly, how many concerts can you fit into one month?!), to studying like heck for exams, and getting swamped by work, February never fails in surprising me with a heap of wonderful yet exhausting things to do.

However, even though it can be a stressful and overwhelming time for me, I've been trying to remind myself that it's okay to take some time out. Here are some of the things that I've been doing recently to help wind down...

Play an instrument
One of my favourite things to do when I'm angry or frustrated is playing my guitar. I love how when I put all my attention to the chords and strumming pattern, the world seems to slip out of focus. When I'm playing guitar, my problems don't seem smaller; they simply don't exist. According to one of my favourite books Calm by Michael Acton Smith, playing an instrument is a form of meditation, so it's no surprise that I feel so much calmer after half an hour of strumming away.

Go on a walk
When it's bleak and rainy, the last thing that's on your mind will be to go on a walk, but hear me out, it's actually wonderful how good a walk can be for you. I'm pretty lucky in that I've got the choice between a canal and a golf course/river to walk along, but I'm sure you'll have something nature-y near you- and if not, you'll just have to make do.

Burn a candle
You probably guessed it from the picture, and this one isn't exactly surprising. But there's something so therapeutic about sitting down, and striking a match to light up the candle. Breathing in the warm, luscious scent that fills your room, as you watch the tiny little flame as it flickers around. Personally, I would recommend Primark's Sea Salt and Lavender scented candle, which I bought to treat myself during my prelim exams. It's got such a subtle yet really lovely scent that honestly just warms me up and it's so relaxing- although it is a bit of a distraction!

Get into a chill TV series
Scrap all that drama, and treat yourself to 30-60 minutes a day of chill time. I've really liked watching backdated episodes of gogglebox which you can get all for free on the All 4 app. It's so nice to just switch off and forget about everything that's going on, and quite frankly with life being so busy and stressful, it's more important than ever that we take time to switch off.

What do you like to do to switch off?

6 Things Sunday

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Hello friends! So I want to start up a new post series, but knowing me I will definitely not be sticking to a routine in posting it weekly, monthly, or whatever. You guys know what I'm like- with my Thursday thoughts series, and my 5 happy thoughts... the only series I've actually stuck to a schedule is the 1st playlist, and that's only really because I can't exactly post the 1st playlist on the 3rd of the month, haha!

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent. Again. Forgive me, please. Here's my first ever 6 things Sunday post...

Six things I've done this week

1. Arranged my first two shifts at McDonalds (heck yeah, your girl has finally got her stuff together and gotten a job!)

2. Cooked almost every day of the week, apart from that take out we had on Friday...

3. Sat my first prelim (practice exam)

4. Stayed in my pyjamas all day

5. Watched three movies with Kevin Hart

6. Bought a heap of stationary that I didn't really need

Six things I want to do in 2016

1. Go abroad without my family

2. Be more independent 

3. Go to the gym at least once a week

4. Meet a tonne of new friends at University next year

5. Read at least 3 books a month

6. Write more letters

Six things I want to buy

1. Nike Roche's

2. A really pretty beige handbag

3. A laptop for Uni

4. A Happiness Planner

5. New Gym gear

6. More stationary?

Six things I wish I had time for today but DON'T

1. A movie marathon

2. To take a tonne of cute photos for herelectricocean

3. A long hot bath with some lush bath bombs

4. A shopping spree with my girls

5. Going back into bed and curling up with a new book

6. Video calling my long-distance girls

Six things that inspire me

1. "You have the right to endure and that is something struggle can never take away from you"

2. "Stand up and be your own person. Be proud of who you are and show your scars and laugh in the face of those who tell you there is anything you can't do"

3. "Flying is simple, hitting the ground is hard"

4. "One small positive thought can change your day"

5. "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting the rest of our lives"

6. "Wear pink underwear. Today is going to be fabulous" (I'm sorry... I just had to!)

Six things I'm afraid of

1. Being alone

2. Scaring other people

3. Worms

4. Really windy storms

5. People who don't like music

6. Being forced to eat a mushroom. Or a banana. Eugh. 

Single is okay

Friday, 12 February 2016

Hi Everyone! I'm Vanessa Best, and I run Simply Me. Sara invited me to do a guest post which I am happily doing that for her! So here goes! These are just a few random thoughts and some advice for you all.

It's February and that means everyone is looking for their special someone, but you know what?! Its okay to be single during valentines and the month of February. I mean who needs boys, right? They are so much trouble. 

Recently I have been in a lot of boy drama. Long story short, a boy liked me, and I also liked him. We hung out a few times, and then I found out he wanted things which I didn't. I put an end to that and now we see each other in the hallways without giving each other a second glance. That's alright.

I want this message to come across loud and clear; Don't do anything you don't want to in a relationship. DO NOT LET GUYS TAKE ADVANTAGE. There are to many good guys out there for you to let one stupid idiotic guy do what he wants. END OF STORY. 

I'm still upset about this because I really did like this guy but he turned out to be just like the others... Whatever. 

Jealous by Labrinth, and the playlist BREAKUPS on Spotify is my lifeline right now. From sad meaningful songs to songs like Stronger by kelly Clarkson, it's so comforting and inspiring! 

40 lifestyle and beauty blog post prompts

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Hey troops! Today I wanted to write a post targeted more at bloggers, although if you're into journalling this post could be right up your street. 

A wee while ago I published a post containing 100 blog post ideas, which surprisingly turned out to be quite successful, so this time I wanted to do something similar, but a bit more specific/adaptable. 

Below are 40 post titles which you can change to suit you, and interpret as you wish. Happy blogging!

20 beauty blog prompts

1. What other beauty bloggers have taught me

2. Lip balms I love

3.Spring fragrance favourites

4. 6 things I've learnt lately (About beauty)

5. Spring makeup essentials

6. Beauty roundup

7. Products I love

8. What I wore on my face

10. What I wore on my hair

11. What I wore on my nails

12. My evening pampering essentials

13. Dry skin heros

14. 5 must-have budget makeup products

15. 5 mascaras that live up to the hype

16. March Beauty favourites

17. 6 Products worth the splurge

17. A gift guide for the beauty product addict

18. Top 3 high street contour pallets 

19. My thoughts on *insert beauty brand name* products

20. My must have beauty tools

20 Lifestyle blog prompts
  1. When wallpapering isn't an option
  2. Getting to know other bloggers
  3. Motivational Monday
  4. What other lifestyle bloggers have taught me
  5. Six things Sunday
  6. 10 things that inspire me
  7. 10 things I'm grateful for
  8. 10 things you should do for yourself
  9. 9 adorable diy's for valentines
  10. How I use my planner
  11. 16 tips for people starting Uni in 2016
  12. Thursday Thoughts
  13. This week in 7 pictures
  14. Being my own cheerleader
  15. My 2016 birthday wishlist
  16. 5 things to try out this month
  17. Favourites from my shelf
  18. My morning ritual
  19. Why failing can be good
  20. 20 ways to spread a little joy

Well, I hope you found this useful! Let me know if you end up using any of these prompts- I'd love to see what kind of posts you create with them!

What were the titles of the last 3 posts you published?

Thursday Thoughts #5

Saturday, 6 February 2016

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on you;re own. And you know what you know and YOU are the one who'll decide where you go"

Choices. These past two years have been all about choices for me, and now I'm about to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. It's rather daunting, and I can't really believe that I'm already at this stage of my life... but I'm here, and I have a decision to make. It's no longer about deciding what subjects I want to take for the next school year. It's no longer about deciding what I want to eat for the next week, or what I'm going to wear to that party, or even prom. Gosh, prom is soon.

I need to decide where I'm going to spend the next 4 years of my life. And gosh am I finding that difficult. 

I've done my research, I've googled everything there is to google... I just. Can't. DECIDE! 

All my friends are pretty certain where they're going to be going for university; they have their lives mapped out for them. And then there's me; stuck with several unconditional offers to study Business Management. 

I want to move out, but at the same time I want to stay at home. I would love to be more independent, and throw myself into a completely new situation in which I can start a completely fresh chapter. Moving out would be great for me. But Strathclyde has one of the best business schools in around, and it looks incredible.

For now I'm in between boats. I can't decide where I'll go, but hopefully I'll come to a decision soon. I'm sure I'll be happy wherever I end up.

Are you deciding/Have you decided where you're going to be studying next year?
Do you have any tips for choosing universities?

How to survive at a Punk Rock concert

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Ben from Neck Deep
You know the type I'm talking about. Crowd surfers, circle pits, and complete madness. I love it, but it can be scary if you're new to the punk scene or it's your first few gigs. Getting a ticket to a punk rock concert for the first time is like getting a ticket to get beer chucked at you, as you're crushed into a space so small you can hardly breathe- at least that's what it was like for me. It's worth it though, I promise.

Last Tuesday I went to see Neck Deep and State Champs in Glasgow, and oh my gosh. Since my friend and I are going to see All Time Low in a few weeks we decided not to splash out on standing tickets, and we got balcony tickets instead, which was a real eye-opener. When you're actually in the crowd, you never really realise the extent to the madness that's going on around you; you just kinda go along with it and stand your ground. Standing on the balcony gave us a perfect view of the stage, but it also gave us a perfect view of the crowd.

Crowd surfer gets lifted over the barrier
First off, drink lots of water before you go to the gig. It's a punk rock concert- if you don't, you'll get dehydrated real quick. Oh, and since you'll be drinking a lot beforehand, make sure you go to the toilets as soon as you get to the venue. The last thing you want is to get in the crowd with a good view of the stage, and then have an urge to pee... especially during the concert! If it's a small one, you can always go during the support act. 

Don't take water in to the venue; you won't be allowed. I made that mistake several times at my first 3 concerts, and each time I was told by security that I couldn't take my bottled water in. As disappointing as that is, if you go up to the bar and ask for tap water, they'll usually give it to you in a plastic cup. Ask for ice with it, especially if you're standing, cos you'll really appreciate that refresher when you're all hot and sweaty. However, you might want to down it before the circle pits start to form.

If you want to avoid circle pits (which to this day I still do), the best thing for you to do is stand near the sides, or the back/very front of the venue. Circle pits usually pop up in the centre of the venue, and they can be pretty wild, so do take care! If you're in a circle pit and you see someone fall down, please please please grab their hand, and pick them back up. "We're all friends here, and we don't wanna see anyone get hurt" as Alex Gaskarth said last February. Gotta love him.

Crowd goes wild during State Champs performance
Thirdly and finally, if you wanna get a real good view of the stage (and the people on it) but aren't up for queueing up for hours on end, squeeze your way up through the sides. Honestly, this is the best hassle-free way to get a great view, and trust me, it is a great view. Last March I went to see Lower than Atlantis and PVRIS at the Garage, and my friend and I managed to get right up at the barrier literally just from squeezing our way down the right hand side after the support act had gone, and I managed to get a hi 5 from (Queen) Lynn Gunn at the end of their set. 

Take care, and tell me all about your punk rock experiences in the comments below!

The 1st Playlist #February

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Well, January is out of the way, and this month is the month for new hope, and of course a bit of romance! With Valentines day coming up, I thought I'd theme the songs around romance, just to get you in the mood, if yano what I mean ;) ;) ;)

I want to write you a song - One Direction

Yours - Ella Henderson

Kiss me - Ed Sheeran

You're my girl - Fairground Lights

I wont give up - Jason Mzaz

Marry me - Train

About a girl - The Summer Set

What I like about you - 5 Seconds of Summer

You are enough - Sleeping At Last

Chasing hearts - Breathe Carolina

Toxic Valentine - All time low

James Dean & Audrey Hepburn - Sleeping with Sirens

If I'm gonna fall in love - A rocket to the moon

Your life over mine - Bry

Unconditionally - Katy Perry

Beside you - Mariana's Trench

Heart like yours - Williamette stone

Beautiful day - Joshua Radin 

A drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope

Learn to kiss - Dancing Years

Love yourself - Justin Bieber

A lovely liebster award

Monday, 1 February 2016

Hey troops! Today I opened up my emails to a lovely surprise... The lovely Dottie from had nominated me for the Liebster award!

For those of you who have no clue what the Liebster award is, don't worry- neither did I. From what I've managed to gather from my research (i.e. googling it...) it's basically an internet award which is all about raising awareness for bloggers that don't necessarily have huge followings. 

In Dottie's words, here's how it works:
  • Someone nominates you. In their post, they will have answered 11 questions, then nominated 11 bloggers with less than 1,000 followers or readers. They will then create 11 questions for the 11 bloggers to answer. (I couldn't find out the actual blog figures, so I based this on who had less than 1,000 twitter followers)
  • These bloggers will then answer the questions, nominate the 11 new bloggers with less than 1,000 readers/followers, and create 11 new questions... don't forget to put links to their pages!! Oh, and make sure you contact them/comment on their blog to let them know!
  • And so the cycle continues...

Dottie's Questions:
1. What would be your desert island album? (Basically if you could only listen to one album for the rest of time what would it be
Oooh, that one's tough... Well, it has to be by All Time Low, I love those guys, so that narrows it down. Hmm. Probably nothing personal by All Time Low.

2. What is your favourite quote, and why
"You have the right to endure, and that is something struggle can never take away from you" Because it's got such an important and empowering message, and it can apply to almost any aspect of life. So, whether you're struggling with school, work,  friends, illness- basically it fits in anywhere.

3. What three people do you look up to the most, and why
Halsey has to be one of them, and my explanations are here and here.
Alex Gaskarth because he cares so much for his fans, and even though he has an anxiety disorder, he still goes out and does tours 90% of the year. He's just such an inspiration, and a lovely caring person.
Jemma from because she's such a sweet, caring and beautiful person! Her blog is incredible, and I love how she's created the wonderful community that is #TheGirlGang

4. What was the last album you purchased?
Sounds Good Feels Good by 5 Seconds of Summer

5. If you could see any band (ever to exist) live, what band would it be, and why
I mean, by the end of this month I'll have seen them three times in the space of a year, but All Time Low. It's always gonna be All Time Low.

6. Coffee shop or restaurant, and why?
Coffee shop... The vibe is just so chill, and the music is always on point. Also, I find coffee shops really great places to go to boost creativity.

7. Do you prefer going to the cinema, or watching movies at home?
Watching movies at home

8. What medium is best for playing music?
I don't really know, to be honest! Can I say live? I'm gonna say live.

9. Do you have a "Usual" drink in a coffee shop?
Yes and no... It depends which coffee shop I'm going to; so for example in starbucks I'll usually have a gingerbread latte in the winter and a vanilla frap in the summer, whereas in Costa I'd just go for a hot chocolate. 

10. What three words would you use to describe your style?
Edgy, different, creative

11. Why did you start your blog, and how do you want its future to be?I started blogging as a little 12 year old girl who wanted to be a famous writer, and then when I was 14 I gave birth to, which is know known as herelectricocean. I started this blog with the sole purpose of writing enough articles for a portfolio for my application to study media at university. However, around summer last year, I decided to actually invest in my blog, and I've learnt so much from it- I hope I've improved a little too! I want to keep a personal touch to my blog, but I would love for it to grow and reach out to loads of new people to inspire and motivate them.

My nominations:

Your Questions:
  1. What is your favourite piece of stationary?
  2. Which three bloggers do you look up to?
  3. What are your three favourite posts? (from your blog)
  4. What do you look for in a friend?
  5. Can I follow you on pintrest?
  6. What do you love to do to relax?
  7. What three songs always make you smile?
  8. What movie have you really enjoyed this month
  9. If you had to use a chat up line on your celebrity crush, what would you say and who to?
  10. If you were to write a book about your blog, what would the first line be?
  11. What three posts are you hoping to publish in the next three months?
Well, that's it folks! I hope you've enjoyed reading this post, and have maybe even learned something new about me! I really enjoyed answering Dottie's questions and brainstorming some of my own. I look forward to reading all my nominee's answers!
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