Friday, 29 April 2016

The Strength Project #6 ~ Verity Emelia Barnett...

"Fall 7 times, stand up 8"

I'm constantly blown away by the strength I see daily on social media as people overcome obstacles, celebrate little victories and post tiny snapshots of positivity when times are tough. I've followed Verity for a while now and her positivity in the face of her battle with severe CFS/M.E causing her to be mainly housebound, as well as sadly losing her Mum last year. Her unfaltering positivity online and how she constantly challenges herself and makes the best of her situation made me certain that I had to involve her in the project. Here's what strength means to Verity...

What does strength mean to you?

That's actually quite tough because strength can mean so many different things, the obvious one being physical strength..but to me strength means overcoming things you thought you never could, when everything seems against you, you continue to fight through and never give up! Also it can be as simple as getting up in the morning and facing the day ahead!

Could you tell me about a time when strength was evident in your life?

I think when I first became ill with m.e, strength was quite significant to me as it was quite a scary and daunting time, but I'd definitely say when my mum passed away from cancer last year. From the day she was diagnosed, everything in our lives changed! It was one of these situations when being strong is the only option you've got. When she died I thought I'd never get through it and I just wanted to give up, but here I am & I'm kinda pretty proud of that!

Do you think there's a link between mental strength and physical strength?

To some degree yes. When I'm most positive and strong, it definitely  makes me push myself more physically and it makes me far more determined! I think being mentally strong can definitely help you physically, not all of the time, but most.

Through your battle with cfs/me, do you think surrounding yourself with positive people is key to staying strong?

Most definitely! I'm lucky to have a pretty supportive family who keep positive, but people's attitudes around me has a definite affect on me. Whether it's positive or negative! I think if my family weren't as positive, then neither would I be. I also have a good community of online friends who some of them I consider my closest friends. They are always there for me and they have a good, positive attitude towards life! They really do help to keep me strong and happy!

Would you say your past has redefined how you view strength?

Yes! I think before I had cfs/me I didn't really go through anything that I had to be particularly strong for, I didn't really give it much thought. But when I started becoming ill at the age of 13, strength had a whole new meaning!! I had to overcome things I never thought I'd have to, I learnt to continue fighting and to not give up! Same thing with my mums whole cancer journey! My past has taught me that inner strength is just as important if not more important than physical strength

When do you feel strongest?

Due to having severe cfs/me I'm unable to do a lot of things most people would consider "normal" for instance..I can only walk for a minute or so, I can't do the little things most people wouldn't think twice about! It may sound silly but on "good days" when I have been able to leave the house or I have been able to brush my hair, that's when I feel the strongest! It's tiny achievements like that, that make me feel strong

Can you sum up what strength means to you in 3 words?

Ah man that's hard umm... Courage, gratitude, integrity

Verity recently uploaded a video all about M.E/CFS to help raise awareness about the illness so please take a few minutes to watch it!

Find Verity-

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Raw Brownie Energy Bites Recipe...

Since being ill I've been trying to eat better to help build up my body and give me some natural energy. There's so many recipes all over the Internet and 'health gurus' that are eating all sorts of strange ingredients, expecting us all to just have them lying around. I got the Deliciously Ella book, and don't get me wrong I love the recipes, but some of the ingredients she claims you 'need', you really really don't!

So I adapted her Raw Brownies recipe to be a little more kitchen-cupboard friendly and oh my god I'm in love! They taste absolutely divine and give me so much energy. I love these for mid-afternoon snacks or a treat just before revision. So indulgent but still packed full of good ingredients. Want to make your own?

What You Need...

1 mug of pecans (you can substitute these for almond or sunflower seeds)
2 mugs of dates 
6 tablespoons for cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
A blender/food processor

Originally Ella uses Medjool dates as they're bigger and gooier. But they're so much more expensive and honestly normal dates work perfectly. I just make sure to soak the dates in some boiling water before had to soften them a little. Ella also uses raw cacao powder, but again it's pricey and hard to find, so I just use cocoa powder. 

I added some chia seeds to the recipe as they're so so so good for you. They're packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, they're a source of protein and give you a natural energy boost. They also give the brownie a nice texture as it stops them being too gooey. But they're totally optional if you don't have them!

What To Do...

1) While your dates soak, throw your pecans into your blender/food processor and blend them until they're a crumb-like texture. (but if you want a crunchier mixture, feel free to blend them less)

2) Add in the dates, cocoa powder, maple syrup and chia seeds and blend. It will probably form one big lump, so when its all merged together then you're done.

3) You can either roll the mixture into smaller lumps to create energy brownie bites, or flatten it into a tray to make a real brownie-like tray back. Either way, pop it in the freeze for an hour or so just to let it set.

And enjoy! So quick and easy to make, and trust me they're so yummy! I'm a little bit addicted.

Let me know if you try the recipe, or if you have any other healthy snack recipes!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

There's No Wrong Way To Have A Body ~ A Letter To High Street Designers...

Hi my name is Lucy and nothing fits me.

This is an issue that's bothered me for a while and I've wanted to discuss on here for a long time but I've found it so hard to express, but I'm going to give it a go...

A quote I love, and a mantra I try to tell myself a lot, is "There's no wrong way to have a body". I'm a big advocate of body positivity and believer that every and all body shapes and sizes are beautiful. However, if I'm honest, the past couple weeks have really damaged my relationship with my body and really challenged my self-esteem. Telling yourself that "there's no wrong way to have a body" only goes so far when numerous stores and pieces seem to be telling you otherwise.

Last week I was quick on the buzzer to order a number of items from the Archive By Alexa range when they were released. I loved the pieces and I was so bloody excited when I opened the parcel. Yet none of it fit me. And trying on 3 different items- a dress, a skirt and a playsuit- and having none of them fit nicely (or look at all decent) on your body, it does come as a real kick to your confidence. This isn't me slagging off Alexa's designs or the range as I love it, and all the pieces look beautiful on other people, but it became immediately obvious to me that these pieces were designed for Alexa's body shape, not mine. As a true pear shape, those clothes did not like my hips.

I then headed out to the high-street. No skirts in New Look fit me, H&M seems to insist I'm a size 14/16 (I'm a 10/12!), and primark only wants things to fit on either my boobs or my hips, but never ever both. And I'm not alone! I regularly talk to friends who also dread shopping as the sizings and fit of clothes only makes you feel sub-par.

All bodies are beautiful, and every body shape deserves clothes that not only fit, but make you feel amazing! Yet it's becoming more and more clear that retailers cater to this standard of beauty we see plastered over magazines and adverts. Cater for this dreamy, perfectly-in-proportion body that very few people have. And so many of us are left feeling locked out of high street stores that don't seem to understand that some of us have hips, or bums, or boobs!

Personally, my relationship with my body has changed a lot over the past years, and generally I've become more confident in myself and learnt to love my very strangely proportioned body. Yet there's something about high street sizings that really does get to me. I can't tell you how many times I've had a little cry in a changing room or left a shop feeling insecure or upset. I know in the grand scheme of things, a skirt in New Look not fitting me isn't the end of the world, but to me walking into a shop that has nothing to fit my shape, makes me feel inadequate and putting it bluntly, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with my body shape and that my body isn't good enough.

In 2016, when there's been such a movement towards the acceptance and celebration of different body shapes in fashion and a movement towards body positivity, why are some stores still only catering for this straight-up-and-down body and changing sizings to make a 10 more like a 6? Why are clothes still built around mannequins that are in no way representative of an actual real human body?

Things need to change. Stores really need to get on board with this wave of positivity and celebration and realise that women are not plastic mannequins, we are people with differing, but equally beautiful, shapes and sizes and contours. And we all deserve to feel beautiful.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Songs That Shaped Me...

Case of you- Joni Mitchell

I don’t remember when I discovered this track but I remembered it instantly became my favourite song as I listened to Joni’s album Blue on repeat for about a month. I never tire of this song, I think it’s so perfectly composed and the high notes oh man. Also the lyric “I’m frightened by the devil,/ and I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid” is probably my favourite lyric of all time. Falling in love with Joni Mitchell massively changed my music taste as it led me to liking more folk artists like Dylan, but also rekindled my love of acoustic/singer-songwriter type music as ‘Blue’ is like the epitome of a lyrically-perfect album so I think Joni brought me back to my love of really raw, simple music.

Always Like This- Bombay Bicycle Club

I remember the exact moment I first heard this song and I remember it blowing my mind. It’s probably one of the catchiest songs ever, like the perfect indie-pop song. But Bombay Bicycle Club as a band are one of the only ‘indie’ bands that I haven’t tired of because every album they bring something new to the table, constantly reinventing their sound which I love. Also, seeing Bombay live really changed my relationship with gigs are up until that point most of the concerts I’d been to had been more acoustic based with crowds of girls holding i-phones and screaming, so going to a gig where literally everyone is engaged with the music and going mental really opened my eyes to what a gig should be and the reaction live music should provoke.

You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are- Keaton Henson

This was the first song that has ever made me full on cry. Keaton Henson is such a rarity of an artist that I honestly think it was fate that I accidentally clicked on the wrong link on you-tube which led me to this song, best mistake I’ve ever made. Everything Keaton makes is so simple and so raw that its simultaneously heartbreakingly painful and heartbreakingly beautiful to listen to, he has a way of forcing you to feel something. Keaton Henson serves as a reminder that simple, honest art is often the most effective and, like Joni, kind of brought my music taste back to the essence.

Gloria- Patti Smith

Patti Smith is a woman that changed me, firstly through her book Just Kids and then through her music. She so ridiculously powerful but also so wise and honest. I think she’s magical and she’s definitely a woman that I see as one of my main inspirations. Gloria is the first song I ever heard of hers when a friend bought me her album Horses, and I remember thinking it started pretty slow but then it builds and builds to this massive climax where Patti is screaming the lyrics and the band is so loud and everything is so manic, I love it. It’s an album that’s so beautiful and so bold and so empowering; Patti seems to have something so unique that it’s impossible to not get hooked.

Chelsea Hotel no2- Leonard Cohen

Cohen is another artist that I found through his book first, but this song is probably my favourite song and I don’t even know what it is about it. It’s so short and so simple but tells a story. This song, along with Patti Smith’s book, introduced me to the Chelsea Hotel and all the history surrounding that one place that it’s become a total obsession reading about all the people that stayed there. And I think that’s why I love Cohen’s song so much as its so peaceful and tells one of the billions of stories of the hotel in such an eloquent way.

Holocene- Bon Iver

Holocene is one of those songs that I always forget about, but then the second I hear the intro I fall back in love. It was the first song I ever heard of Bon Iver’s and it really changed the way I view music. I think after Bon Iver I became more aware of like the cinematics of a song, you know how when you listen to a song and it makes you feel like you’re in a music video or a film or something. That’s now a quality that’s really important to my music taste as one day I plan to write a film and it’s going to have the most perfect soundtrack ever that will 100% feature this song.

Go Your Own Way- Fleetwood Mac

This song is the perfect song to listen to after someone has broken your heart (or just really annoyed you) I love songs that take a situation like breaking up and totally go against what would be expected, like rather than writing a sad ballad, Lindsey Buckingham wrote Go Your Own Way which is the perfect middle-finger-I-don’t-need-you song. Fleetwood Mac, on a whole, are probably my favourite band, I think I could happily listen to them forever. And obviously, Stevie Nicks is an incredible woman; Stevie Nicks and Patti Smith are like my Holy Grail inspirations.

Dancing In The Dark- Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is like my not even guilty pleasure, he’s great. This song changed me as it was like a revelation that when you’re sad you can just listen to some up-tempo classic 80s hits and everything will be A-okay. And this life lesson has seen me through a tough year, so thanks Bruce.

Last Goodbye- Jeff Buckley

When I heard Jeff Buckley for the first time, I realised I’d never heard anything like Jeff Buckley before. He’s so different from your normal male singer/songwriter but its so hard to define why. Buckley’s work is so soulful and his album Grace is so varied but each song punches you in the face either through some lyric that hits you in the heart, or by the instrumental. Jeff Buckley contained the amount talent of at least 5 people, each of his songs creates such a moment that its hard to not feel the emotions within the track. My love for him grows daily and so many of my favourite songs are by him- Morning Theft, Lover You Should've Come Over, Calling you etc. (He also did so so so so many incredible covers of songs by artists like Bob Bylan and Nina Simone) Buckley's music is both vulnerable and powerful, and I think that's what I love about it.

I want to know what some other blogger's fave songs are so I'm going to try and turn this into a tag! So I tag-

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Strength Project #5 ~ Lucas Jones...

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference."

As a writer I understand the strength it takes to write your emotions, but I've always thought that it must take a whole new level of strength and courage to then take your emotions and share them with an audience. I've been lucky enough to work with Lucas several times before, I bloody love his band and his artistic intensity and honesty has always inspired me so I knew he would be the perfect person to chat to about strength through the eyes of a musician and a poet...

What does strength mean to you?

I think there's a common misconception that being strong means that nothing phases you and that you can get through anything unscathed. That's not true, that's silly. That's a 1920s, post-war ideology. That way of thinking is anachronistic. We all know that us lot - Generation Y, millennials, YOUNG PEOPLE, whatever you want to call us-  are a lot more sensitive. And I think that's a wonderful thing. Because everyone secretly always has been. Humans just are. We're incredibly sensitive creatures. And speaking from a male perspective, I feel that as a result of our collective upbringing, we've reached a point where it's OK for boys to cry. And there's beauty in that. Strength isn't shutting off your emotions and never letting anything get to you. It's letting everything get to you and being able to utilise that to further your own personal growth and support those around you.

Could you tell me about a time when strength was evident in your life?

Times in which I properly consider my own strength only really exist in retrospect. You never stop to think 'Wow, I'm dealing with this really bloody well.' at the time, when something shit happens. (Can I swear? Forgive me if not.) You just get on with things. Having said that, the first thing that springs to mind in terms of strength being evident in my life is when I quit my job and decided I was going to focus purely on pursuing a career as an actor and musician. Because, you know; Goodbye stability, goodbye money, hello constant rejection, hello me vs the world. The first year of which required an incredible amount of strength and persistence to not have a full on mental breakdown and shoot myself. (Kidding. Sort of. Not really.) I mean, I'm still essentially in the exact same situation as I was then but I have my footing now. It's all slowly but surely coming together. Or maybe I'm just used to it. But either way, it's been pretty hard - Not real life hard, not war-torn-countries-hard. I know my problems can never be THAT severe in the grand scheme of things but everything is relative. And I've managed to make some pretty cool things happen despite the odds.

Some of your songs manage to be simultaneously so open and vulnerable yet really bold in their expression. Do you think there’s a certain strength in being able to take what you feel and put it into words?

Oh absolutely, 100%. The only strength available to us is in our honesty and our vulnerability. That's all we have. When people truly open themselves up and expose their souls, it can be uncomfortable for some people because they've trained themselves to be a closed book. But when we're as close to the truest, most honest version or ourselves possible- Be it through a song or a poem or a painting - I believe that's when we're most at one with the infinite connective wiring that binds all humans and living things together. And if that's not strength, then I don't know what is.

Do you think creativity is vital to your strength?

I couldn't agree with that more. For me anyway, that's definitely true. The source of strength varies from person to person; Some people go to the gym and find confidence and a sense of enlightenment in that, whilst others write make-up blogs. And each are just as valid as the next. Whatever your outlet, as long as it stems from a place of honesty and purity, it's something to be cherished. For me, writing and making music and acting are some of the only things that really make sense to me, so that's where the vast majority of what I consider to be my strength stems from. Being able to make something that no one in the history of humanity has ever created before, even if no one ever hears or sees it; That's an infinitely mind blowing concept to try and wrap your head around.

When some of your work, especially your poetry, is so personal and honest, you must almost have to relive those emotions every time you perform. Do you think that helps or hinders your strength?

That's a really interesting question. In terms of a performance, I think people like to see raw emotions. If you cry on stage and it's real, that's a moment. If people resonate with that and want to cry with you because they understand it, that's a m o m e n t. You can't fake that and it would be incredibly transparent if you tried to. However, I'd be lying if I said that you always come off stage feeling the buzz that you'd expect having just played a gig. That expression about leaving your heart on the stage can be a little too real sometimes. There is somewhat an emotional price to be paid whenever you're letting people see the real you. The more-naked-than-nude you. But I guess it's always a positive to feel anything. So ultimately it probably helps you grow as a person to be able to tap into such emotions so frequently.

Ultimately, do you think sharing your emotions builds strength?

Yes, I do. People want to share their emotions with each other. It's a basic human need to talk about how you feel. I mean look at Twitter. That's literally all Twitter is. People sharing their emotions and others saying 'That's how I feel too!' However, with that in mind, I think that sharing your emotions only builds strength when they're shared with people who have your best interests at heart. If you spend your time pouring your heart and soul out to people who would be happy to see you fail, you're shooting yourself in the foot and then the face and then the heart. And if you do that consistently it can be incredibly corrosive to the soul. It's absolutely crucial to be surrounded by the right people in order to live w happy life.

You have a little sister! What’s one thing you wish you could teach her about strength?

That she is the life force that keeps the world spinning and if at any point she doesn't like the direction things are heading, she has the ability to change everything and anything until she is happy.

What’s one song that makes you feel strong?

There's a piece of music on YouTube called 'THE MOST RELAXING MUSIC IMAGINABLE' which is a pretty intense title for a song. I found it as a joke when I was 14 with a brother of mine, playing darts in his mum's loft. And now I actually listen to it pretty regularly; 40% because of the nostalgia and 60% because it's a bloody tune.

When do you feel strongest?

On stage or on a film set. That's when everything feels balanced and the world makes sense. Or if I'm being entirely honest, just lying in bed with a woman I really care about. It doesn't get much better than that. That's the safest place on Earth.

Can you sum up what strength means to you in 3 words?

Honesty. Faith. Love.

Lucas's work is always earth-shatteringly good. I've talked about his band many times but I honestly can't recommend that you take a moment to listen to his poetry and music. He's going to do big things, I just know it.

Find Lucas-
Back at it again this The Strength Project series, let me know what you think about them!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Magic In The Muse...

I first encountered Robert Mapplethorpe inside a book I bought for £2.99 randomly in HMV on an autumn day in 2013. Patti Smith's Just Kids changed my life; it sent me spiralling into a fascination for 1960/70s New York and welcomed me with open arms into the private emotions inside Robert and Patti's intensely, heartbreakingly beautiful love. Patti and Robert's trust in each other and the way they lived for art inspired me so much that it honestly took over my life and still effects me so greatly. I even wrote my A-level literature coursework on the value of Just Kids as I've never connected to a book like that before in my life. It's incredible and I can't recommend it enough.

I couldn't believe it when I heard that Robert's work was going to be shown so close to where I live! The exhibition was beautiful done and I felt so lucky to be able to see his work up-close and personal. The Bowes Museum always has amazing exhibitions so I can't wait to see what they do next.

"I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth"

Robert Mapplethorpe was an artist. He photographed the stars of the 60s but refused to cater to social restrictions and taboos. His work is a contradiction dealing with controversial subject matters in a way that's both intense and subtle, it's both influenced by and totally rejects his religious upbringing, it manages to capture the stars of the 60s in a way which is raw but still connects to their ego, their 'brand'. In her book Patti reminiscences about her soul-mate Robert presenting him as a man of conflict, with so much life inside of him she thought it impossible that she would ever know all the sides of him, and I think that really shows in his range of work.

But for me it's the portraits I love. I love how Robert managed to take these huge 60s icons like Andy Warhol and Iggy Pop and photographs them in a way which humanises them. The poses are so natural and effortless but shows their spirit. They're not superficial, they're powerful.

Honestly I got a little emotional just walking around as I feel so close to Robert and Patti, I love their love and I can't suggest enough that you take 5 minutes to google their story as it's so beautiful and inspiring. Robert managed to capture the time they lived in in a way that doesn't cater to the stereotypes but immortalises the people and helped to breakdown the boundaries. It's raw, black and white, simple but so so powerful.

Robert Mapplethorpe; the Magic in the Muse exhibition is on at the Bowes Museum till the 24th April and if you're under 25 you can register at get in for free. GO! (and read Just Kids) Also a documentary all about Robert- Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures- is being released on 22nd April and I'm so. bloody. excited, can't wait to see it. Robert was a true artist and a truly interesting, complex man, I can't recommend enough that you take some time to discover him...

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Skin Saviours...

The past couple months my skin has totally transformed and become so much clearer. It may be due to the insaaaannneee amount of anti-biotics I've been on lately, but it's probably due to the fact that I've created the perfect routine for my skin and settled on products that really really work for me. So I thought I'd share my skin saviours in case you're still on the hunt for your holy grail skincare.

Freederm Exfolitating Daily Wash
Freederm Sensitive Facial Wash
 I've used the sensitive face wash for yeaaars just because I love how gentle it is and how soft it makes my skin. It's so soothing and really helps to calm my skin either after a breakout or simply to keep it looking happy and glowy. I never really used to exfoliate as being overly rough to your skin can boost oil production, but I recently got this daily wash and I love it. I only use this once a week, but the exfolitating particles are teeny so aren't too rough but make my skin feel really properly clean.

I also use the freederm moisturiser and have used a whole bunch of their other products but honestly if you want to try their range, go straight for the face washes. Their other products are good but can be quite harsh and intense, the face washes are super gentle and work so well for me.

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush
You hear a lot in the blogging world about cleansing brushes as so so many brands have released them at all level of prices and intensities. However I got this No7 one for Christmas and I finally understand the hype. I was worried that using a brush on my face daily would be too harsh, but the spin settings and the softness of the bristles make it really gentle on the skin. Using this with my face wash is a dream as it creates the perfect lather and triples the clean feeling. Since using this brush my skin has been so smooth like baby's bum smooth and I saw visible results within a week.

This No7 brush is only £24.95 which is such good value compared to some other brands, so if you want to try one out definitely have a look at this one as there's no point spending a ridiculous amount when your skin might not love it.

Lush Mask Of Magnaminty
This is another product that I've used for absolutely ages as I can't find another mask like it. I love cooling masks but I hate spending the money on Lush's cold fresh masks that only last like a week and make your fringe smell weird as. This mask in dreamy as the peppermint instantly cools your skin so has the same effect but lasts way longer. The cooling effect and the exfoliating particles in this mask give you the ultimate fresh faced feeling unlike any other mask. My mum, my sister and I all adore this mask, AHHHH I just love it! This is an essential for me.

Holland & Barrett Tea Tree Oil
I'm a tea tree oil addict, I love the smell of it so so much. I like using this pure oil as an instant treatment as its all natural and works so so well to get rid of breakouts before they even happen. It's a super simple product but I think everyone needs a little bottle, even just to smell!

Clinique All About Eyes
My Nana gave me this two weeks ago as all the anti-biotics and being ill has given me the worlds biggest black eyes. Like literal panda right now, could be in a zombie film. I'm not sure if this helps my eye bags but oh boy does it feel gooood. The cream is so soothing and instantly makes me feel more alive. My eye bags have definitely faded so maybe this is doing the trick, but I'll let you know my verdict in a month or so.

What are your skin saviours? And any tips to make me look less like a zombie, hit me up!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Revision Tips...

It's the Easter holidays which means exams are looming and I'm stressed! Being in my final year of sixth form I'd say I'm pretty solid in my revision technique and I've learnt little tricks that really help me stay focused and make the most of my time. So I thought I'd share some study tips as so so many of us are stuck revising at the moment...

1) Plan Your Time

For me I think planning my time and making revision timetables is super super helpful as it ensures your revision is focused and you're not just doing the topics you like. Also planning out what I'm going to do every day has helped me a lot recently as I've been back and forth to doctors/hospital with INTENSE tonsillitis, so knowing what I need to do each day/what I missed doing when I was away allows me to keep on top of my revision. Not only that but it means that each day you have a set goal and once you're done, you're done. It makes revising way more rewarding!

Confetti Spot Weekly Planner HERE
I got these weekly planner sheets off a family friend who owns Little Cherub Design and I looove them! They're super cute but also provide plenty of space so I can write down exactly what and how I'm going to revise each day, and you get a whole pad of them so there's plenty of sheets. Having timetables as cute as this makes the whole thing seem much less daunting. 

2) Be Specific

This is a recent tip I learnt and I've found it really helpful. When planning your revision, be specific about exactly what you're going to revise. For example don't just say you'll revise 'history', write down the specific part of the course you're going to revise e.g. the origins or the terror. Similarly for english lit I find it really helpful to choose specific themes to prompt my revision. 

Similar to planning my time, this really helps me cover more content and avoid just revising the things I like. V helpful, V beneficial. 

3) Change Your Scenery

Up until this year I always used to revise in my room, upstairs, alone. However recently I've started revising in my dining room and It makes me so so so much more focused. Not only is there less distractions but I think having people around keeps you on track as you're less tempted to just go on YouTube or whatever. I think changing where you revise helps to refresh your mind as being in one place all the time can drive you a bit mad. So move to a different room or even head out to a library or a cafe, I guarantee it will help you focus. 

4) Don't Just Make Notes

I think the hardest part of revision is knowing how to revise, like what to do. It's so easy to just copy out all your notes and call it revision, but this year I've been using other revision techniques like making a lot of mind-maps, using past exam questions to focus my revision, taking quizzes, making posers etc. Getting some colourful paper or some huuuuge sheets of paper and coloured pens is good as it means you can make some intense revision posters that look b.e.a.utiful. But also I've been using a site called Quizlet to make revision quizzes for quotes or terminology which are really useful as you get to revise the content as you put in all the definitions etc, but also you can get an app and do your quizzes whenever! Definitely recommend checking that site out.

The Student Room is also a must for revision and student life in general. Not only is it full of help forums for subjects, uni applications etc, but they recently launched this 'Level Up Your Revision' scheme and O M G it is my life saviour. Loads of teachers have put resources up for every subject ever and you can find notes, quizzes, presentations, mind-maps and more for your specific exams. I've printed out so so so many things and they're so useful for revision! 100% definitely sign up and have a look at that.

What are your best revision tips? Let me know cause I neeeed them