My Inspirations

We all have people we look up to, for so many different reasons. I thought for a long time about who really inspired me, and why. I feel like I’ve always refrained from idolising people; I don’t believe in putting people on these pedestals when I know that in reality, they’re just people who have worked hard to do amazing things with their lives. But I do look up to these people, because they are amazing to me, and I’m going to try to explain why they inspire me so much. They’re not in any particular order, just the order I happen to be writing them.

1) Lilly Singh

Better known as IIsuperwomanII on YouTube, I was pretty late to her party. I sort of knew about her when her video about how YouTubers make money went around a lot, but it was much more recently that I saw others of her videos and became addicted.

Lilly is driven, ambitious, persistent, confident, persuasive, energised, determined and grateful. I feel like she has fully owned everything in her life, she completely deserves everything she’s made for herself, because she’s done exactly that – no-one handed her any of her success, she made it. She encompasses so many of the qualities I aspire to have.

I think I’ve said before (I might be wrong) that I admire strong people so much, and anyone who defeats the obstacles that head their way and refuse to take no for an answer when there’s something they know is within their reach. It’s brilliantly clear in her videos that she does exactly that, and her approach to life is incredible. Having her to look up to just keeps me so motivated and encouraged, and it’s just amazing. This video of hers is exactly what I admire about her.

2) Barack and Michelle Obama

I know I’m not American, nor do I live in the States, but I have so much respect for the Obamas. The fact President Obama became the first African-American President is, in itself, an inspiration, but throughout his whole presidency (I was eleven when he came into office) everything I’ve seen them do and say has been so positive. Barack Obama hasn’t just been a politician, he’s been a person doing his best to do things right and make things better for others. In any of his speeches it’s so clear he actually cares about his job and his responsibility, and it actually makes me sad when you can see how sad he is that the one thing he’s had the least success with in his years in office is gun law because Congress constantly goes against him.

Michelle Obama is an inspiration to me because she isn’t just the wife of a powerful man, but she’s someone who also has an amazing sense of responsibility, and she has campaigned for girls and education and equality and to make the world better for the entire time. She was already a lawyer before she met her husband, and I admire her so much for speaking out about everything she believes in.

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3) J.K. Rowling

You can call it as cliché as you like, but I was born in 1997 a couple of months after the first Harry Potter was published, and I literally do not know a world without the works of Rowling. Her life story is well-known, and I admire her for many of the same reasons as Lilly Singh: determined, didn’t stop at failure, didn’t stop at depression. Philosopher’s Stone was rejected a dozen times before someone gave it a chance, and it changed millions of people’s lives – it shaped millions of children’s lives, including mine. The HP books are intricately designed, so much hidden symbolism, and they are truly a work of art.

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4) Demi Lovato

Again, Demi’s story is very public. But aside from the obvious, I admire the fact that when faced with the huge media attention surrounding her entering rehab, she didn’t just hide everything away from everyone. It must take so much courage to do what she did, and say yes, this is who I am, I have these struggles, and I acknowledged them and got help. I love how she didn’t feel like she was worthy of being a role model to other people because she wasn’t comfortable with herself, and so she strived to change that. And now she shows others it’s possible for them too. She made a huge comeback with a very personal, poignant song, and she embraced it all in her stride.

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This list is just a few examples, and is by no means comprehensive, of the people I look up to. There are of course so many other people who I think are so inspirational, for so many reasons, and listing them all would probably amount to something akin to a novel. At the moment, any time I feel dispirited or lack motivation, even one of Lilly Singh’s videos is enough to kick my butt back into gear. And having said my piece for today, I’m going back to writing my actual novel. Bye for now 🙂

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Ohh Deer Review

Disclaimer: not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been so excited for this – I discovered the Ohh Deer website somehow while procrastinating during a study period at school a few months back, and I kid you not, me and my friends spent the next hour and a half looking at every single item on the site. Safe to say we didn’t really get any work done that morning. If you aren’t familiar with Ohh Deer, they’re a “quirky illustrated gifts” site (their words exactly), and it’s basically full of everything you never knew you needed and more.

I paid their site a visit last week, because I wanted to get a couple of little things to give to my two closest friends before I go to university. They’ve both been amazing for the last couple of years, and I’ve relied on them so much, and it’ll be so weird not seeing them every day. I did order it quite late in the week, so I hoped it would arrive in time for tonight’s blog post. Thankfully, the delivery arrived yesterday, and I love everything in it.

So, without further ado, here’s what I got:

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‘I Fell’ mug

This one’s for one of my friends, and I thought it was quite funny because we’ve both been competing to learn French in our spare time, which seems to be in surprisingly large quantity this summer, so it’s an interesting race. (Although I’m totally winning.) It’s a bone china mug with a drawing of the Eiffel Tower fallen over stretching around it, and I got it in the sale for £4.95, though I think they’ve reduced prices even further now.

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‘Twat’ coaster

This is for a different friend, and I love it because it exactly matches the sense of humour we both share: random, nonsensical insults. We constantly insult each other with the best of intentions. It’s basically like Merlin and Arthur’s relationship in the TV series, we both love each other but we love to hate on each other at the same time. I got this for £1.50 in the sale.

‘Elephant anatomy’ coaster

How cute is this? I love elephants, they’re beautiful animals, and I bought this to take to uni with me. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not the only elephant-themed item in my possession, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This was £2.95, I think at full price, but so worth it.

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‘Good use’ deer wrapping paper

I bought this for 95p to wrap the gifts for my friends (probably quite obvious but hey-ho). I just thought it was really cute – it’s not themed, so it’s perfect for what I want to use it for. It’s also made out of 100% recycled paper, which just makes it even better.

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Greeting cards

These are all blank inside, and I got 6 of them on a 3 for 2 deal, and a seventh because my dad’s birthday is coming up. They were all 50p each in the sale, so in the end I got 7 cards for £1.50, which is not a bad deal by any standards. The cards are all printed on 100% recycled card and come with brown envelopes made from 100% recycled paper. I really like the Ohh Deer cards because they’re cute, quirky and funny, without sounding like they’re trying too hard – something I dislike about most cards from card shops. The designs are all amazing, and there are so many more on the website.

And that’s everything I got! I hope you liked this post, I definitely recommend visiting Ohh Deer, particularly if you’re looking for gifts. They don’t send paper invoices, they do it all by email, so you can change the delivery address and send a gift straight to a friend if you like. Everything I bought was made in the UK, which makes a refreshing change, and the artists get a direct cut of the sales. Overall, great website, great products, great service.

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Simple Feta Salad

It’s been a while since I did a food post, so that’s what I thought I’d do today! This is an easy, tasty salad recipe which I love – especially because I don’t eat tomatoes, which seem to be in pretty much every other salad ever…

The Salad

  • Spinach leaves
  • Bistro salad (lamb’s lettuce, beetroot and mixed chard – I just buy the pre-packed stuff from Sainsbury’s)
  • Red onion/spring onion/white onion, chopped however you like
  • Garlic and herb croutons
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
  • Olive oil

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Personally, I just layer these in the order I’ve listed them, the olive oil just used in place of any other salad dressing. I love this salad because we usually have all of these ingredients to hand in my house, other than the croutons sometimes, and it’s super easy to chuck together. It’s also perfect either as the focus or as a side salad, which I love pairing with a slice of quiche and some coleslaw.

Today, however, I needed to use up some trout, so I thought I’d put it with that – it was a pretty simple method of cooking the trout, just grease some foil with oil or butter, put a little butter and herbs (I like parsley) inside the trout and cover it with the foil, perhaps with some butter on top if you want, and cook at 180 (fan) for 25 minutes or so.

And here was the finished result (excuse the lousy presentation… and the fact the trout lost its tail):

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