Putting Yourself First // When Is It Okay?

We're taught from a young age that in order to be a kind, selfless and generally good human being, we should put others before ourselves. The concept is really rather lovely; put others first and you'll be rewarded by them putting you first too, meaning everybody is happy and we'll live in a world full of bunny rabbits and rainbows.

So for years I've lived by that rule; agreeing to plans when I'd really rather have a night in, accepting overtime to cover for someone at work even if it means exhausting myself, listening to other people's problems without boring them with mine.

Despite the fact that I may have neglected to look after myself for the sake of other people every now and then, putting others first makes me feel good. Put simply, it's nice to be nice isn't it?

But sometimes it takes a bit of a kick to realise that actually, shocker, it's alright to put yourself first too.

There comes a point where you've put other people before yourself for so long that you hit a wall; you have nothing left to give because you've given it all away already without taking the time to replenish yourself.

They say you have to look after yourself before looking after other people and I think that may just be true. If you're not happy yourself then how can you make other people happy?

So in answer to the question posed in the title of this post; it's okay to put yourself first whenever you need to.

Believe it or not, you can still be a good person even when you put yourself first. You can still give to others without running yourself into the ground.

Like everything else in life, it's about that ever elusive balance. We probably won't find it or get it completely right, but we can try to do our best, not only for others, but for ourselves too.

Photos: Ashton Gibbs
Hull, UK

Style Clash // LOOKBOOK

I love the feeling of putting items of clothing together that on paper really shouldn't work and should clash really rather horribly, but that in reality look absolutely bangin' (that's the technical term) and make me feel ten times cooler than I actually am.

It's the little things in life isn't it?

So in celebration of all things clashing, I've put together a lookbook of some of my favourite recent examples. Enjoy folks...

I've always been a fan (slight exaggeration, I wasn't a fan of this when I was a baby, but 'I've been a fan since around the age of 15' didn't really have the same ring to it) of dressing things up or down; putting something smart with something casual like a pretty dress with chunky trainers or a floaty (spell check seems to think that 'floaty' isn't a word and I strongly contest this) blouse with joggers.

Another contrast I love is pairing pretty and feminine with something slightly more grungy (I'm so edgy) such as florals and leather or a skirt with biker boots. And to really be controversial I have to say you can't beat a good print clash. Gimme stripes with polka dots, florals with gingham; throw it all on and see what happens.

Amy x

Hull, UK

The Coffee Shop Guide // HULL

Sorry to be such a cliche millennial, but I spend a fair amount of money on coffee. Nothing makes me more content than a leisurely weekend coffee with a friend and nothing perks up my working day quite like a takeout coffee on my lunch break (in my v. hip and bougie KeepCup, obviously).

Having visited just about every coffee shop in Hull and the surrounding area I thought it'd be nice to do a little guide to my favourites just in case you love coffee as much as me. Here we GO;

T H I E V I N G  H A R R Y ' S  //  Hands down the best coffee I've ever had, not just in Hull but ANYWHERE. Bold claim, I know. Thieving Harry's is on Humber Street by Hull Marina; ideal for a wander, pretty views and feeling like you're not hipster enough to be there. If you like your coffee weak then it's not for you, but if you like your coffee weak you're only pretending to like coffee anyway aren't you?

J - J A Y ' S //  My go to town centre spot for my lunchtime takeout, complete with healthy (ish) snack. J-Jay's is extremely vegan and veggie friendly (if you ever fancy treating me my regular is an almond milk flat white and a peanut butter slice) and the owners are lovely and friendly too.

Z O O  C A F E  //  I'm a bit of a Newland Avenue junkie because there are so many great coffee shops down there, but if I had to choose just one it would be Zoo. It's a vegetarian cafe and it's absolutely chocka full of plants (yes I just used the word chocka in a blog post, when did I stop being able to form real sentences?). I recommend the iced oat milk latte in summer, with a side of avocado and feta on toast, obviously. 

B A R I S T A  //  SORRY it's another one on Newland Avenue, but just get yourselves down there alright? Barista is relatively new, both the interiors and exterior are dreamy and the breakfasts are mouth-wateringly amazing. It goes without saying the coffee is excellent too, hence why I've included it in this post...

I pondered whether to include more coffee shops, but I really just wanted to do the absolute best ones and focus on good coffee so there ya GO.

Amy x

Hull, UK

Call Me Monthly // MAY

Fun fact: while writing the title of this post I accidentally misspelt May as Amy and that's actually my name so that's interesting isn't it? Okay, fun fact over. Here's what I've been listening to, reading and watching throughout May...dive in pals.

I've been really quite appalling at taking any outfit photos this month so I don't really have a 'wearing' section and you'll have to just take my word for it that I've been very into floaty dresses (see above), mustard and generally beige clothes.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds // I'd Pick You Every Time

The Kooks // No Pressure

Laura Marling // Night Terror

Bastille // The Descent

Feist // My Moon My Man

Natty // Bedroom Eyes

The BPA // Toe Jam

Yeah Yeah Yeahs // Gold Lion

Coldplay // Princess of China

DMA's // Do I Need You Now?

Listen on Spotify 

Line of Duty // There certainly aren't any spoilers here because I've only just started watching this from the very beginning. So far I'm not as gripped as I expected to be from what everyone else says about it, but I'm soldiering on so we'll see.

Game of Thrones // Yes this was in the last monthly round up, but I couldn't not include it when it's been the finale and all that could I? No spoilers here either, but I think I was a little underwhelmed. 

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay // I finally got round to reading the book everyone and their dog has been talking about and I bloody loved it. It's in equal parts funny, gross and heartbreaking and is just so real. Would 100% recommend if you're as late to the party as I was. 5/5.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty // I love Liane Moriarty's books, but I'd say this was my least favourite of hers so far. It was good, but a little far fetched. 2.5/5.

Amy x

Please Can We Stop Measuring People By Their Achievements?

Society as a whole tends to judge people on the things that don't matter so much; having a good job, being a straight A student, being able to afford your own house in your twenties.

Society as a whole is kind of missing the point.

Why does it matter if someone has a good job when they might actually hate said job so much that it's making them really unhappy?

Why is being a straight A student more important than being a kind, honest and giving person?

Who cares whether you own your own house or not as long as you have a roof over your head and you're grateful for it?

We're brought up to believe that there are certain things we should achieve in life, usually by a certain age and done in a certain way.

To be seen as functioning adults we should find a job that not only do we love, but that earns us a decent amount of money. We should find a person who we love, who we'll marry and start a picture perfect family with. We should buy a house with the decent amount of money that we earn from the job that we love and fill it with the picture perfect family we're supposed to have.

Tick all those boxes and society will tell you that, yes, well done, you've done an excellent job at living and you should now be very happy. 

But, (excuse my language please mum) that's all bullshit really isn't it?

The same things don't make everyone happy. Ticking boxes doesn't make everyone happy. Sometimes boxes that are ticked end up with a big red cross through them instead.

Life isn't about doing what you think you should do. It's about finding what makes you really, truly happy.

And hey, maybe ticking those boxes does  make you happy, and that's fine too.

Either way, we need to start judging people for who they are rather than for what they are.

Ultimately it comes down to that awfully tacky and overused phrase you do you, which I never thought I'd use in a blog post, but I suppose it sums up my point quite nicely doesn't it?

Amy x