Finding Balance within the Busyness?

We’re a few weeks into 2020 now, so the ‘goals’ have been set and we’re putting them into practice? Thinking positive at the end of 2019, I set some self-care goals which you can read about here and as I’m tracking the days that I complete them, it’s so good so far. But once that first week of January is over and things start to feel a bit more normal after the break, the slow pace of life over Christmas is naturally going to get busier. So the goals to look after yourself may be set, but how can they be turned into habits to make sure there is some kind of balance in our everyday lives?

I’m already a few days into the second semester of final year and recognised that as most of my modules have set deadlines within days of each other (yay), the next few months definitely won’t be quiet (I mean I kinda knew this but still, I’ve had the full realisation now). But rather than just applying this to a student lifestyle, I’m more questioning about how we can find balance in every aspect of our lives.

Can I have another holiday yet?

I don’t have the answers for finding balance in your everyday life, mainly because it’s different for us all and to be honest, I’m treading water at the moment! I’ve written about time and productivity on this blog which contribute to feeling ‘balanced’ as such, and although I can offer tips for these aspects because it’s how I try to do them, to me balance is a whole different ballgame. But I do think it’s important to somehow work out what balance means for you. To be able to take a step back from everything and put aside the mental to-do list of ‘important’ things.

When I think about my own balance in life, I find that I spend time worrying about what I haven’t done and put pressure on myself so does a true balance of aspects within our lives exist? In first year of uni, we were told that the ‘sleep, study, social’ triangle existed but realistically we would be able to only do two of those aspects well. A simplistic model I guess, but in first year, I’d like to think that I did the social and sleep aspect pretty well. Second year was definitely more study and social. But ideally, I want to balance all three – study is taking priority, but I want fun and sleep combined with that!

So I guess in some way, it’s all about understanding that we are all human, we have emotions so it’s completely normal and okay to feel overwhelmed. Be compassionate with yourself, take a step back and surround yourself with the things you love.

In a way this blog post is an open letter to myself, but one to you too – give yourself some credit, I’m sure you’re doing better than you think!

Setting Self-Care Goals for 2020

Creating goals for the new year might seem a little cliche, but I’m here for it. Has anyone mentioned that we are starting a new decade?

Time feels like it is going a million miles an hour at the moment and being in my final year at university, the obvious goals for 2020 will be completing my degree and hopefully securing a job for after graduation. Quite a lot of pressure seems to be riding on this year, right?

I do really like the idea of ‘starting afresh’, opening up the chapter to the new year and setting goals is one of the ways to get my thoughts in order. Thinking about the year ahead has made me realise that I need to make time for myself, so the goals for me this year will be more simplistic but hopefully easier to keep on top of.

Yoga once a week. I started 2019 going to weekly yoga classes but had about 2/3 months where I didn’t do any. That time made me realise how much I’d missed it, so getting back into yoga classes at university has been so good (and kept me sane!). The plan is to set aside time every week to do yoga, whether that’s a class, a YouTube video or a combination of my favourite moves.

Reflect and Journal as much as possible. I’m not setting a ‘measurable’ on this one but hopefully it’ll become a habit. This year I started using a bullet journal (you can read about my September bullet journal here) and it was set out in a way to manage blog posts/university/mental health. I want to do more of this in 2020 as I find the process of setting out my journal creative and by reflecting over time, this should help get my thoughts in order. I’ve also started working my way through Fearne Cotton’s Happy and Calm books which I’m finding really good so far!

Read 20 Books. 20 books for 2020 right? I’m a pretty quick reader when I want to be and give me a good fiction book, I’ll plough through it as quickly as possible when I’m hooked. I read 10 books over July and August but as soon as I settled back into University, my reading definitely took a back seat. Setting a yearly target (as inspired by TheAnnaEdit) will work through the ebbs and flows of my motivation for reading. I’ll keep track of this on my instagram if that is something you’re interested in!

Healthy Eating. A few years ago, I decided that I need to scrap the ‘new years diet’. Typically, I became frustrated that I couldn’t stay on track. Over the years, I’ve learnt more about intuitive eating (Tally Rye has really good info on this!) and being a vegetarian has made me feel better. I’ve got used to the recipes I make regularly now so 2020 will be the year of exploring more recipes that will be healthy and delicious!

That’s all from me for 2019! Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling ready for the New Year. What are your goals/resolutions for 2020? Let me know how you get on!

Im x

My Style Plan for 2020

From 2009 to 2019, I have technically become an actual ‘adult’. So back in 2009, it’s safe to say my 11 year old style was very different. We’ve moved on from the big chunky necklaces, the boot-cut jeans and the peter-pan collars, I hope? As we enter 2020, I’ve had a think about the staples I want to have in my wardrobe. I’ve seen plenty of capsule wardrobe videos on YouTube and although have attempted to create one of my own, I’m going to focus on this much more next year. By doing so, I’m hoping to have some classic ‘go-to’ outfits and of course, have less of an impact upon the bank balance!

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4 Tried and Tested Methods to Improve your Productivity over Christmas

I’m really not sure where the last university term has gone, it’s felt like a whirlwind. The conclusion that I’ve come to is that final year is a marathon, with sprints thrown in every so often. Not to mention the stress, it’s a constant weigh up of wanting to have fun and avoid stress but also not wanting to stress yourself out by having fun. And unfortunately, the January deadlines that seemed miles away at the start of October are now just around the corner. Fun, I know.

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The Summer to Autumn Capsule Wardrobe

So we’ve hit the point in August where everything is just really rainy & cold haven’t we? We’re still clinging onto the summer clothes in our wardrobe with the hope that it will eventually brighten up & the sunshine will return, but we need a jumper to be at the ready for when it’s freezing in the house because you’re DEFINITELY not putting the heating on during summer.

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Lets Talk: How to Maintain a Positive Mindset

Maintaining positive mindset isn’t always easy. In the height of the social media world, although it’s great, sometimes everything looks perfect.

However, a positive mindset does not mean that everything is perfect. To me, it’s more recognising how I’m feeling, but knowing that I can & will be able to achieve my goals, aspirations etc.

Typically, I do tend to assume the worst, especially when I am aiming for something. My A-Levels are a prime example here, I knew what I wanted & I’d put so much hard work in & although they are not the be-all & end-all, I knew what I wanted but I still convinced myself that I wouldn’t have got it.

To put it straight, I’m hard on myself & often that increases my anxiety & clouds my ability to have a positive mindset.

For those of you who may be in a similar boat for many different reasons, so here’s a few ways that hopefully will be able to help & support a positive mindset.

Take time for yourself

Simple eh? But it’s one that I tend to ignore the most. I prefer to distract myself, especially from the thoughts in my head that are tearing me down. But it’s important to take a step back, note down what you’re feeling & write down what you have achieved whilst feeling like this, no matter how small or big that is. Write down what you’d like to do & that means that one day you can strive towards it.

Remember you’re not alone

I always remember the saying ‘a problem solved is a problem halved’ & practising this it may make your negative thoughts seem less daunting, less scary. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with, let them listen & lift you up, it may be surprising what a relief it is to talk about everything that is going on. There are also plenty of charities that may be able to support; Mind offer a range of different helplines.

Find your Self-Care ‘routine’

This completely depends on what works for you. It may be doing a skincare routine, getting out for a walk, run, football etc, or it may be finding your creative outlet. It’s important to look after yourself & to take time to breathe. Sometimes I don’t realise how anxious I am until I take some space, for example, going for a walk & noticing the difference in my mood.

So, I’ve written this post with the hope that it’ll support anyone to find the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – it’s a tricky journey but cherish the days when you feel ‘okay’.

Let me know the ways that help you stay positive?

I’m always up for a chat so you can drop me an email at theimlifeblog@gmail.com or send a dm on Instagram or Twitter.

Im x

The Ultimate Veggie Pie Recipe

When I decided to become a vegetarian, I found myself loving all the new recipes I could try & all the Linda McCartney treats available. But I found myself lacking a ‘go-to’ option for a roast dinner. Pretty much a Sunday staple during winters in the UK, especially Christmas Day.

For this pie, you can use whatever veg you like, whatever veg you’ve got left in the fridge – it’s completely up to you!

I’m all for simple & easy cooking so here I present the ‘ultimate veggie pie’ recipe…

Veggie Pie Recipe (makes 4 portions typically)

Core Ingredients: 1 Onion (red or white), Tin of Tomatoes, Sprinkle of garlic powder (or add a clove of garlic), 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of oregano & 1 Pack of Shortcrust pastry (I used Just Rol)

The Veg I used this time: 1 courgette, pepper & leek, 1/2 aubergine & 1/2 tub of mushrooms.

Start by chopping up all of your chosen veg into medium sized chunks, before starting to fry the onion on a medium heat for around five mins. Add the chopped veg to the pan & stir for around another five minutes.

Then, pour the tin of tomatoes into the pan, mixing with the veg. Add the seasoning (sprinkle of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of oregano & paprika). Leave the mixture on a low heat for around 15 minutes, whilst prepping the pastry.


If you’re like me & want for a quick recipe, then using shortcrust pastry from the packet is easiest. But if you want to make your own pastry, then I take my hat off to you!!

Using a sprinkle of flour on the surface (if it’s a student kitchen, hopefully you’ve got some clear surface left?) & on the rolling pin, splitting the pastry into two squares & rolling to fit the dish you are using. Line the bottom of your dish with one of the pastry squares, making sure there is enough to hang over the edges & scoop the mixture into the dish.

All you’ve got left to do is cover the top of the pie with the second pastry square. Pierce the top of the pie just in-case your mixture decides it wants to try & escape in the oven. Briefly brush egg or milk (vegan option) over the pastry for a golden crisp pastry.

Cook for 30 minutes at 200 degrees & ta-da, you’re sorted for a veggie roast dinner!

Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ veggie recipe?

Im x

Easy Skincare in 5 Minutes

~This post contains affiliate links denoted by a * ~ Please see my disclaimer ~

I always used to say that I ‘didn’t have time’ for skincare, but in reality, I wasn’t giving myself time for it. At the same time, I was frustrated by having dry skin – it didn’t feel as though any moisturiser worked & the skincare routines online always seemed a few too many steps for me & the time I had. So with a bit of trial and error, I’ve streamlined the skincare products that I *try* to use on a daily basis.

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