A Letter to my Teenage Self

Dear Amy,
I am not sure why I am writing this, because I am pretty sure you won’t listen to a word I say because you know best. However you are 13, and you don’t. You are going to get some things wrong. I don’t want to stop you getting all of those things wrong, because getting things wrong is how you learn not to do them again. It’s how you learn how to do things right. It’s little things like that that make me, me now and not you then. I guess I am writing this now, to just remind you of a few things, in an attempt that you don’t fret so much, don’t waste too much time on silly things.
Don’t waste your time on people that make you feel bad about yourself. Those girls that tell you, you are not pretty enough for a boyfriend are not your friends. Those girls who lie to other girls about being in your company are not your friends. Those girls who call you names are not your friends. Don’t waste time trying to get them to like you, do not lower yourself to their level and do the same thing to other girls. Girls can be bitches, don’t be one of those girls.
Remember that no matter who you are at secondary school, they will find something wrong with you. For you it will be the fact you have red hair, that right now, you hate. Your mum keeps telling you that women pay hundreds of pounds to get their hair that way…. she isn’t wrong. Plus, red heads don’t go grey as quickly, just remember that when they are calling you names. You will come to love it, and people will find you attractive because of it. Promise. Remember everyone is being picked on for something, just remember that it doesn’t affect you as a person, the fact they are calling you “ginge” doesn’t mean you are a terrible person, in fact, it makes them the terrible person. They are probably trying to detract from the fact that they unhappy with something about themselves. So shrug it off. It doesn’t mean anything to you.
Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, leave it. Don’t be forced into a situation just to follow the crowd. You are better than that, following the masses has never really been you, and will never be you. Standing up for yourself and finding your own voice is a much more respectable trait then being another face in the crowd.
Appreciate the fact you can eat whatever you want right now. It won’t always be that way. Eat as many doughnuts as possible.
Keep writing. You will stop and wish you hadn’t. Keep singing. You’re not any good but it makes you happy. Keep dancing like an idiot, anybody trying to look cool dancing looks like a fool, not you having the absolute time of your life…throw those shapes.
Bras from Primark are a waste of time. Save your money.
Wear your retainer. You will be annoyed that you didn’t.
Grow out your fringe. The photos will come back to haunt you when 29 year old you will post them on the Internet for all to see….
Don’t smoke. It is a stupid habit. It will cost you a small fortune, and you will stink. You will regret starting. You will no doubt start anyway, but it sucks, and your parents WILL know… even if they don’t say anything until you are in your twenties.
Your Mum knows more then she lets on.
Boys are not everything. Having a boyfriend does not make you valuable or worthy or any better off then you are now. Appreciate your own company.
Someone will tell you in a few years “Never regret the things you have done, regret the things you didn’t do”. Remember this. You don’t know if you don’t try. Be brave. Do your best.
Remember, you are alright. You are more than alright, you are good. Be you and things will work out okay.
Amy (29 years old)

Birchbox – Who? What? When? Where? How?

I thought we would have a little chat about Birchbox for those who don’t know what I am on about and for those who do, a little more information!
I initially subscribed to Birchbox with the first attempt of this blog in 2014 with the aim of doing an “unboxing” with each months box. However, I found that I wasn’t hugely interested in writing about each item, some items I would save and not use straight away to judge properly and as you know..the blog fell to the wayside. However the Birchboxes did not, they continued to come and my addiction to beauty products was fueled further.
So what is Birchbox? Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that sends you 4-5 sample beauty products each month. Some months as a treat there is a full size item! I have had quite a few nail varnishes, and my most favourite item of all… a beautyblender!!
These babies cost £26! (A ludicrous amount to spend on a make up sponge if you ask me, however I do love it and desperately need a new one – just cant bring myself to pay that much!)
I have received mascaras, primers, face washes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, snacks, oils…. I could go on.
Each box also comes with some tips, an explanation of your products and when you go to their website you can fill in surveys about your thoughts on the products and the box itself.
Birchbox Reward Points – This is what has kept me subscribing with Birchbox and not trying another service at the moment! For each box you pay for you get 12 points, for each survey you complete you get 5 points. For each £1 you spend in their online store you receive 1 point.
For every 100 points collected you get £10 to spend in their online store! I love this, since I have become completely hooked on a couple of products I save up my points to get about £20 at a time, and treat myself to some beauty products I usually wouldn’t spend that on.
Anyway, this all sounds a bit like a hard sale, but its not. I just love to get things in the post, and I really enjoy getting my Birchbox each month. Each box cost £10.00 plus £2.95 delivery, but you can subscribe for cheaper if you pay for more boxes at a time.
If you are interested in receiving Birchboxes each month please click here and get 50 points added to your account to get you started!

#findthehappy – Week 2

FIND THE HAPPY – Week 2 – Monday 13th April 2015 – Sunday 19th April 2015

See last weeks blog post for an explanation of #findthehappy

Happy #1: The sun shone this week. My new ray-ban sunglasses were on my face a lot and this made me happy. Palmeira Square, just outside where I work looked so beautiful this week with the lovely flowers.
Happy #2: I had literally the most super awesome bubbly bath with lush karma bubble bar and Himalayan bath salts. Set up the tablet on the sink so I could watch YouTube videos, and had a cup of tea in my favourite mug. Just wonderful.
Happy #3: April’s Birchbox arrived. Delivery was a little late this month, and communication from them needed some prompting but once I had heard from them it came pretty quickly, (perhaps I was being a little impatient!) The box was good this month. It included another Korres body milk which I am addicted too. This one was bergamot pear and smells soooo yummy. I am a bit obsessed with the citrus one (I am now on my third! Unheard of!) but might have to get this one too. It also had a full size coral nail varnish which I am looking forward to trying. I will probably do another post about Birchbox, for those who don’t know what I am blathering on about, you will no doubt see me mention it on occasion.
Happy #4: Saturday was my Grandmothers 81st birthday. We all gathered at my Aunties house for the most EPIC roast dinner ever, there were 3 legs of lamb… (I will add there were 14 people!) It was delicious and it was really lovely to spend time with my family. Jezz was very happy because there was Banoffee Pie(pronounced Banno-fey in comic style), his favourite for pudding. Nom. 
I have had this stuck in my head for the past week. I am dragging you down with me…
Happy #5: Skiing. Well I am not sure if this is a happy or not, yet. But it was a nice day and something I will definitely look back on so it’s going down! 

I had my very first ski lesson on Sunday! 

I was terrified. It seems the older I am getting the more terrified of things I am getting. It went okay. I fell over 3 times in my 3-hour lesson. About 2-hours in I wanted to cry and give up, falling down was quite a knock, especially when it involved a terrifying conveyor belt lift. It was quite fun going down when you got it right, but I did feel a bit like my lesson was a bit rushed and I really didn’t grasp the concepts fully. Just when I started to get the hang of something we would move on. There were 10 people in my class, right at the maximum so I think this is probably why we were a little pressed for time. 

I am very much in 2-minds about it now. I didn’t hugely enjoy it, but I didn’t fully hate it. I was terrified and psyched myself out a bit I think. I want to like skiing, but I am not sure I do yet. I need to have a think and look at the lessons and how I am going to play it. I would be tempted to take the first 2 lessons again. I certainly do not think I am going to be ready for a ski holiday any time soon. 

Aside from all this, it was a really nice day. Jezz and I got up super early and drove to pick up our friend (who is quite an experienced snow boarder) from his house in London. We stopped and had a breakfast wrap from McDonald’s (mmm naughty) then continued up to SnoZone in Milton Keynes. I had my lesson while the boys did their thing. They carried on a couple of hours after me and I had a little wander around the few shops they have there (might have purchased some pricey Roxy tops in the sale) and then sat with a cappuccino watching all the skiers. Once they were done we headed back to London and had Chinese, dropped off our friend and then came back to Brighton. Shower and bed. Exhausted! Skiing is hard work.
A photo posted by Amy Teresa Elliott (@amynoos) on



The concept

I consider myself somewhat of a positive person, or at least I try to be. I had a bit of a sucky time of it a few years ago, and I decided that life was too short for negativity or regret. I will always try to make the best of the situation or if something bad happens try to look at it in such a way to see what I can learn and take away from it. Sometimes easier said then done, but essential I try to live my life as a “glass half -full kinda gal”. So the idea behind “Find the Happy” is to draw 5 things each week that have made me smile, or happy. Something that it is worth remembering at some point. So on the days when it’s hard to find something to smile about, I will have a list of things that I can look back on that have. 
Feel free to join in an list your 5 for the week also. #findthehappy 

FIND THE HAPPY – Week 1 – Monday 6th April 2015 – Sunday 12th April 2015

Happy #1: Lush bath bombs. I bought 3, a bubble bar and a face mask on the Saturday leading up to this weekend and had used most of them before Monday had begun. But I used some this week so they can be counted in my list! Dragons egg is my absolute favourite (so far – haven’t worked my way through their entire line yet). It is fresh, citrussy and fizzes up a dream! The middle is filled with beautiful orange and gold that makes the bath water a beautiful colour… and if that wasn’t enough there is also popping candy in it for some extra big snap crackles and pops to your bath. Love it.  Buy it here = Lush Website


Happy #2: Half price Easter chocolate in Waitrose. Nuff said.
Happy #3: Finding out that the BBC version of The Musketeers has been renewed for a third series. I was pretty sure I was the only person in existence that was obsessed with this show. If only for the marvellous theme tune…
Happy #4: Walking in the sunshine along Hove seafront to Brighton town centre with a large vanilla latte with some of my favourites. Brighton is literally the best place to be when the sun is shining.
Happy #5: Steak cooked in the George Foreman. Although I managed to burn my foot in the process. (There is a reason they say to let it cool down before you clean it!) Washed down with asparagus, grilled tomatoes and homemade mushroom sauce. I would have taken a picture but I ate it too quickly. Nom.
See you next week for more #findthehappy, feel free to join in! I look forward to hearing about what has made you happy this week.

Blog attempt #2

So here is blog attempt #2 (actually #4 or 5 but those are hidden in the depths of the internet and even I wouldn’t be sure where to find them)

Turns out I am not that great at sticking to a routine, or at least creating a new task to add to my existing routine. Last years concept and idea of blogging quickly became a stress and a chore. Which it shouldn’t be. It is supposed to be fun. So I stopped. 


I have been thinking more and more about trying again so here we go. I have also decided then rather then setting off with a subject matter in mind, we are just going to go and see where it takes me. Bit like splashing pain all over a canvas with the hope that something comes of it… maybe a poor analogy… a brain storm (are we allowed to use that any more? Last I heard the politically correct term was “board blasting” so as not to offend people with epilepsy…. *eye roll*) about things I like to write about, back to the original idea of journalling I guess. 

I love reading blogs, in particular this one Sprinkle Of GlitterLouise writes with such charm and wit and about a little bit of everything. Also quite addicted to her YouTube channel(s) too…. funny how compelling it can be to watch someone go about their day to day life. Anyway, Louise has recently been listing her “happies”… so I thought I would try this. It is a bit like the concept of the happy jar seen here on pinterestI would like to “find the happy”. 

Anyway, enough of my rambling introduction. Thought I would whiz off a quick “I’m back” message, lets see how long this lasts. Happies to come soon…
P.S. 6 months and 6 days until I am 30. Eak.

Happy Friday!

I think Friday is my favourite day. 

Been a very very busy week, no time to write witty posts or investigate the weird English language! However have been storing up some ideas in the noggin for future posts. Keep checking!
In the meantime here is an image to brighten up your weekend. Have a good one!

Funny ol’ English! Codswhallop!

What a brilliant word this one is! Codswhallop… ooooooooh what a load of codswhallop!! It’s meaning “nonsense” You would use it as a rather lovely way of explaining that something is nonsense…

“David said to me that he could eat 12 pizza’s in one sitting… what a load of codswhallop”.

I feel a bit like this word has gone out of fashion, I will endeavour to use it more!!

So, where does codswhallop come from? 

It is widely accepted that “codswhallop” comes from the tale of a man named Hiram Codd who in the 1870’s patented a bottle for fizzy drinks that had a marble in the neck, which would act as a lid as the pressure from the gas in the drink sealing the bottle. The marble was pushed into the bottle releasing the gas and the drink was consumed. 

Whallop was a slang term for beer, and Codd’s Whallop became a term used by beer drinkers to describe beer that was gassy or weak. I am guessing that Codd’s invention was not all that great then! 

Some other theories describe “Codd” as referencing codd-piece, whallop still being the slang term for beer. Also, “Codd” literally as in the fish. 

So there you go! I am sure Mr Codd would not be best pleased to know that his invention has now become a term for something that is nonsense. 

“They are using my invention to describe something as nonsense – what a load of codswhallop”.

Blog Block

So only a couple of weeks in and I have already missed a week of posting. Not good enough Amy! It is amazing, I have spent months with little ideas buzzing around my head of what I could put on my blog and what hilarious things go through my head but as soon as there is some where to put them…

The above image was actually sourced from a rather brilliant blog post about over coming writers block, writersrumpus.com. Liz the writer suggests reading a book to help inspire. Now for me, I have found great inspiration from reading other blogs, and from watching endless videos on youtube. What a wealth of information out there to get my noggin working. Yet  the translation from brain to blog seems difficult,  think it is most likely because I am lazy… and Eastenders needs watching. 
Anyway, I hope that this will not become a habit! I will endeavour to post at least once a week, if not more. I have some more funny English sayings for you and also a monthly feature on beauty subscription boxes… no clue? Me either.. we can go on this journey together. 

English is a funny ol’ language…

Howdy Readers!

So, my job in the real world is in an English Language School. Nothing all that interesting or exciting, I work in administration but I have previously worked as an English teacher for a short stint in Turkey. 
I work 2 days on reception a week and have a great deal of interaction with the students, which can bring up some interesting conversations. I was once asked by a student “What is the difference between fate and destiny?”. MIND BLOWN! How do you answer a question like that? The student simply wanted to know the concrete difference between the two to explain to her friend about her boyfriend. After ‘umming’ and ‘aahhing’ for a while I could not really give her the answer she desired. 
Working in this field really makes you self-analyse the words you use and weird sayings that we have. More often than not you realise that they make no sense at all. So I have though that as a long running feature of this blog, (hopefully once a week) I will take one of these bizarre words or phrases we use on a day to day basis and try to find out the origins! I hope to try and make a bit more sense of these funny idioms that we use and therefore become a fountain of useless knowledge, and if you are reading this… then maybe you will too!!
So today’s idiom is:
“More than you can shake a stick at”
“There are more empty bottles of wine in my recycling than you can shake a stick at” 
(say what you see? 😉 )
You would use this idiom to describe there being a lot of things. Wiktionary describes the phrase as an adjective ‘occurring in abundance; of a large quantity; many”.

Out of context…. eh? More than what? Why would I shake a stick at these thing? Why on EARTH would me shaking a stick at something mean there is a lot of them? 
Having trawled the internet, it seems that there is no concrete answer to this one, not a good start to my weekly feature! A common thought about the origin of this saying is that it comes from shepherds counting sheep in their fields using their crooks (walking stick)… they would use their crook to count out the sheep in their herd. 
It also seems that it is quite an old saying, and first recorded in the USA. It was first found in the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Journal in 1818. “We have in Lancaster as many Taverns as you can shake a stick at”… sounds a bit like Brighton! 
So there we go, if someone asks where does “more than you can shake a stick at” comes from, you can tell them… err… I am not sure! But you can impress them by saying it was first recorded in the USA in 1818 and people think it has something to do with shepherds counting sheep. 
So until next week I will put the etymology websites away. If you have any phrases or words you would like me too look at do leave a comment and I will see what I can come up with. 

Letting go…

Letting go of things has always been a bit of a problem for me. I have held onto regret, guilt, anger, grudges for longer than I should. Always. Regret in particular is one thing that knotted in my stomach, replaying scenes over and over in my head until I feel like I might explode. It is a funny thing not being able to let go. Like some weird gone-wrong wiring in the brain. The need to replay something over and over again to traumatise yourself and cause yourself the most distress possible. Bizarre and very very annoying.

I was made aware this weekend that I had made a bit of a break through with one such thing. I won’t go into too much detail, but I found myself in the company of someone from my past that was party to one of the more distressing and anger inducing times in my life. Someone that was party to one of the worst betrayals ever. For a long long time I was angry, so angry I would lie in bed and think over and over about it, asking questions and reliving the whole thing. Even long after the whole thing was done and dusted with. I had not seen this person for about 3 years, maybe longer, and always dreaded the day it would come. We have mutual friends so I knew that one day it would happen. I found myself, with some of my best friends, some other friends and this person is there… and I laugh. I felt nothing any more. A very very close friend who is fiercely loyal was fuming, raging and I was calming them down. It didn’t matter any more. I had let go. I was not angry, I was not sad, I was not happy by any means but I was just indifferent. As I stood there in my new life, surrounded by some people from a less than happy time from my life and I was okay. I realised I hadn’t thought about this person or what had happened in a long time.

I guess time really is the greatest healer. I am in such a happier place in my life right now that none of that matters. Funny thing was, I know that this person is still a mess. Still in that place, lost, messed up and alone. I guess I am growing up, I don’t have time to hang onto that anger any more. I don’t have the energy, there are so many better things going on right now that I do not have to be angry any more. It is nice. It was unexpected but nice.

I feel good. I am good. I am happy. Learning to let go of anger without really realising, my brain just naturally seemed to work it all out. I guess time really is the best healer.

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