Not A Typical Teenager: 2015

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

5 Top Tips for Being Happy

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This post is about making yourself feel happier, and things that can help you feel happier. Within this post I will be giving you my top tips for making yourself happy.

1) Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep can be really helpful in giving you a positive mood rather than the moods we all get in without enough sleep.

2) Be Honest
Being fake with people can be really draining, so make sure that your honest with people about how you feel about them. However, don't go shouting at everyone you dislike, just because you can. Talk to them in a calm and collected manner and build bridges between you.

3) Embrace Sadness
No one is happy all of the time, and so when you do feel negative you need to embrace it. Cry it out, and don't deprive yourself of the cookie dough.

4) Eat A More Balanced Diet
Salad can be really good to eat, and I hate this because it means that my mother was right. But eating a balanced diet doesn't mean to deprive yourself of the foods you love, just remember that everything is good for you in moderation.

5) Try And See The Silver Linings
If your in a bad situation, moping and complaining about it won't get you anywhere. Do something about it. If your stressing about something that you can fix, then fix it. If you can't then there's no point in stressing about it.

Thanks for reading

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx



Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Late Night Thoughts

I am currently sat in bed writing this from my phone.

I don't need to look pretty. I don't need to do my hair or make up. I can just type my thoughts and that is enough.

I love this blog. It's like my own little corner of the Internet. My own little space where I can type my thoughts and pick my font and chose my background. I get to decide what you know about me and what you don't. I can talk about whatever I like without having to fear what people have to say.

This is why I blog more than I post videos on YouTube. I don't fear someone pulling my blog up in school in fear that they will find something embarrassing, because this is my little corner, where I get to write. I do fear someone pulling up my youtube, because I am aware that I am not the prettiest. I am aware that my videos aren't the best quality. And I do not need to be reminded of that.

With YouTube, I feel the need to edit a lot out of my videos in fear of looking imperfect. On my blog I can just write. I don't draft and edit for hours on end because I just want to write and for people to hear my thoughts. On my blog, I can have my imperfections comfortably and I can share them quite openly.

I love sharing my songs on youtube, and I think it probably works best if I do just that with it, share my songs; because I  would much rather sit back and type for 20 minutes and not care about being imperfect, than spend three hours on a YouTube video because I feel like I can't have any flaws.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 20 December 2015

All The Bright Places - A Kind Of Review


THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS POST

I read a book recently called all of the bright places, (which you can purchase here). This book is pretty sad, and I cried more than once because I can sort of relate to one of the characters. It’s a fantastic book, and I praise Jennifer Niven for blessing the world with this book, because even if it is sad; it’s real. Not real in the sense that it actually happened, but real in the sense that it can be related to. You can relate to Finch and his feeling of being ‘asleep’ and awake. You can relate to Violet and her feelings. She feels stuck and doesn’t know how to move forward.

I spoke to a friend who has suffered with mental health issues, and he said he related to the feeling of Asleep and Awake, and so it's definitely worth the read if you have struggled to talk to people about mental health issues and you want someone to relate to. It talks about the topic of mental health, and that’s something we need to talk about.
I’m not writing this post to talk about the book, (even though that’s all I’ve done so far!). I’m writing this post to talk about an idea within the book that I really like.

Basically, within the book, Finch, one of the main characters, has a wall. He calls this wall many things, but the idea is that anything he feels or thinks or any ideas that he has he can put on his wall with sticky notes. I think this is a fantastic idea, and I have bought a little pin board to fill with thoughts and ideas and memories and pictures and everything else that goes through my mind. A map of the mind.


The picture to the right shows you what I have done. I took his picture offline because my board isn't this full - I only started it on Sunday! But this is what I hope mine will eventually look like. I want it to be full.

I hope that this post has inspired you to read All The Bright Places or make your own pin board/wall. If you do decide to create a pin board/wall, make sure to email me or tweet me some pictures using the links at the bottom of this post so I can see how awesome they all look. (I'm generally a very nosy person). I hope to have pictures of mine up soon.
Thanks for reading. I hope to see some pictures soon !!

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx



Sunday, 6 December 2015

Guilty About Feeling Happy

I did a post not so long about mental health and self harm. It was quite a long post, but have a read.

This post is sort of going to link into that post.

I'd heard of self harm at a young age, but I didn't really have a clue that it was something that people actually did and it was something that so many people did do. Until  probably the age of 14, I knew no one who did self harm. I saw the world through glasses made of sunshine and rainbows.

This all changed, and after I found out that one person self harmed, I learned about so many people who did. So many different stories and reasons and I was left with a whirlwind of questions that had yet to be answered. At about the age of 15 and a half, I knew a handful of people that I was quite close friends with who self harmed or had other issues with mental health.

I found myself still feeling happy. Still always excited and smiling. I cried when I was sad, regardless of where I was and who I was with, but my feelings were always honestly displayed, which is why I usually wore a smile. However, after a while, I sort of felt guilty about feeling happy. I sort of had an idea as to what was causing my friends to feel the way they did, but I still didn't/don't understand it.

For me, it felt like everyone around me was sad, it felt like everyone around me was bottling everything up, whereas I just show how I'm feeling. If I am feeling something, everyone knows I feel this way. How could I possibly justify my positivity when the people I love were hurting?

The came a point where I sort of just gave in to the fact that I'm not going to ever understand what they are going through, and all I could do was be there for them.

I also recently found out that my being happy and clueless was actually reasonably helpful. I think more than anything the fact that I was really oblivious to how people were feeling was good because I believed how people displayed their emotions was how they were feeling and I just acted as if everyone else was happy, and my random conversation seemed to distract people from how they were feeling; which can sometimes be the best thing.

Moral of the story is that being happy can actually help other people, so if your happy when everyone else feels down, just talking at people can sometimes be useful.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post, let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx


Image via here

Sunday, 29 November 2015

5 Top Tips for Dealing With Stress

I am a 16 year old girl doing 4 A levels, an accounting course, and extra curricular activities. I think it's needless to say I stress out a lot. I find myself breaking down into floods of tears and not knowing what to do with myself. However, over the last year, I have found out some things that can help my stressing out.

1) Do something you love 
It's important to keep some time for yourself and to use that time to do something you enjoy. For me it tends to be reading, writing, playing an instrument or meeting up with my friends. Find something that calms you down.

2) If you use social media, don't let it cause you more stress
If this is what you want to do with your spare time, then it can be okay. But I usually find if I have a spare hour and I spend the hour scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I come away feeling like I haven't really accomplished anything. If I spend an hour blogging or networking and promoting my blog on twitter I don't feel so bad. I feel like I have done something useful.

3) Try to combat what is stressing you out
What usually stresses me out these days is the thought of having to sit eight A level exams in the summer. So sometimes, the best thing I can do to combat my stress is some revision, because at least then I can say that I have done something productive towards what is stressing me out.

4) Sleep well
A bit of an obvious one really, but sleep can really help to put your mind at ease and help you to work more productively throughout the day.

5) Rant to someone
If there's anything I know, it's that sometimes all you need is a good shout about what it is that is stressing you out and a ear to listen to it. It can be surprisingly helpful. If you need someone to rant to, my inbox is always open. bracesandglasses128@gmail.com

Thanks for reading my top tips. If you have any to add, let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

image via here

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Dreaming of Bright Lights

Basically, I didn't know what it was that I wanted to write about today, but now I know and this is going to be cool. . . . Hopefully.

I watch this youtube called dodie clark (doddleoddle, view channel here), and she is amazing, but I just listened to her new original song and I've realised something.

Dreaming is a beautiful thing. Dreaming of where you're going to go and what you're going to be is really exciting. I think about it a lot, and I know exactly what it is I want to do and today I'm going to share that.

I love music. I always have. And I love writing songs. Many of you know that I write songs but I'm going to talk about that in a little more depth.

When I was in year 2, I picked up ballet and stopped after about 3 months, maybe a little more maybe a little less. I also picked up karate and then dropped it after probably the same amount of time. Neither were something I was particularly passionate about.

When I was 9, I auditioned for violin lessons in my school, which were free. I got in and picked up the violin. To start with, I wasn't really that fussed with it, but I stuck with it to see if it grew on me. . . . And it did. I think it really hit me when I first went to orchestra and I played in the junior section where all the beginners went. During the concert, after the junior and training orchestra played, the seniors came out. They were young people who were grade 3 or over. They played live and let die and I loved it. I knew that one day, I wanted to be part of that orchestra and play music that advanced.

I carried on with violin through year 7 and 8 and then picked up piano aswell. I also started percussion lessons in school. For all the instruments I played, I only payed for my piano lessons because they didn't run in school and I was having them privately.

Now, at the age of 16, I play in the senior youth orchestra for area and I love it. I reached where I wanted to all those years ago when I was eight. I still play piano, and I still love it, I have also played ukulele for a while now. I don't have violin lessons anymore, because I have to pay for them within school now as they took free lessons away, and I don't want my parents to have to pay £120 a term for me to have lessons.

So what do I want to do? I tell most grown ups I want to be an engineer, because that sounds realistic and it makes sense because I like maths. For A level I took further maths, physics and computing. Telling people I want to be an engineer seems pratical. What I really want to do is write songs Perform songs. Be a songwriter. Surround myself with music and play music with other people. To have the feeling of euphoria I get when I play and to feel the ecstasy I do when I write a good melody every day. I want to be onstage and perform things that I have written. I want to develop musical connections with people. It was why I started my youtube. I want to write and I want to perform.

Getting there is going to be tricky and maybe it will al become just a hobby. But right now, all I want to do is write music.

What is it you want to do? Do you think what you want to do is unrealistic? Do you think what I want to do is unrealistic? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Feeling Positive, Thinking Positive

This week has been a pretty good week in terms of my blog and my music. One day this week, I had my first email off of someone who reads my blog, and it was so exciting for me. It was the first time I really properly realised that people actually read my blog.

When I first started blogging, I have to admit that a lot of it was about the numbers. Number of people viewing my blog, the number of followers. Blogging was a chore just so that I could get more followers. More viewers. As I started to get into it a bit more and blog about things I actually cared about, the numbers became less relevant. I cared more about what I was writing than who was reading it. I started to get a few more comments on my posts, and this mattered to me a lot more than views, because it showed that people were actually reading entire posts and responding to them.

So when I received an email off of someone who read my blog this week, I felt so happy. It was really cool to be able to talk to someone directly about my writing and learn more about someone who already knows so much about me. I really hope that I will get to talk to her more often.

I also had something really lovely written about my song fitting in. It read:

"Very solid lyricism, your phrasing is deliberate without sacrificing syllable patterns or rhyme. I appreciate the positive themes to your music as well, it's not something easy to maintain without coming off like a bad disney special and you certainly are not that. Good job. :)

This is, again, something that made me really happy. To know that people are listening to my music and telling me what they like about it, it's really amazing. It really does make me so happy to read and to continue writing both my blog and my music.

I'd like to thank you all so much for your support. It means the world to me that you are reading this. It means so much to me that people are getting in touch. I would love to hear from more of you. If you want to get in touch with me, email me at bracesandglasses128@gmail.com

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

image via here

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Tears may fall

I am a confident person. I always have been. I don't really have an issue with getting up in front of people and talking about anything. I don't mind getting up on stage and singing while playing my ukulele. I've always been a confident person.

However, I do struggle with my emotions. Not in the way that you are probably expecting, but everyone always knows how I'm feeling. Now this usually isn't an issues, but it is when I feel sad, because when I feel sad I cry. I cry a lot. I can be in my house or in school and if I get upset,  I will cry.

This, unfortunately, does make me feel quite negative about myself. It makes me feel weak. I would really like to have better emotional stability than a 2 year old on public transport, but I don't.

The feeling weak comes from the comments that follow.

Why can't you just stop

This is ridiculous

Ash, there's no need to get upset

To people on the outside, there may not be a reason to be upset. I may not even think I have a reason to be upset, but if I feel the need to cry, I can't stop it. My eyes fill up and tears begin to run down my face. This can make me feel even worse. I feel like I don't have the strength to stop it. I'm not strong enough. I feel weak, and I put myself in difficult positions.

Weakness is not a feeling I enjoy feeling, but I suppose it's honest. I'm crying for a reason and my emotion is out in the open. I guess that to an extent it's better that people know how I feel so I can talk about it. I hate it when people nag me and ask me what's wrong, but then it's good because it reminds me that I am surrounded by people who care. When someone asks me what wrong, I tend to dissolve into more tears and sobs, and the same thing happens when someone hugs me; that's why I don't like it when people ask.

Maybe crying isn't always a weakness; it can be a strength. I am opening up to the people around me and if they ask what's wrong, I can get it off of my chest and begin to feel better. I would personally rather that than be able to hold it back and cry by myself; because that doesn't solve anything.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Monday, 2 November 2015

A Few Things About Job Hunting

Hi again, today I thought I would talk about looking for a jobs and how difficult it actually is.

I did have a job for a time, but as it was a summer job, I don't have a job anymore. Since I have started to look for another job I have learnt a few things.

Firstly, having a good CV is so important because of the amount of applications people are receiving, so make sure it is short but contains all of the key information that an employer may need to know.

I'm acting as if I know how to get a job, when in reality, I don't really have a clue.

Something else that I have learnt us that connections with people are vital. Some people I know have earned an interview by just talking to someone at the place they are applying for. If you know someone I do think it ups your chance of getting further in the process and possibly the end job.

In all honesty, I feel like this is more of a rant because I don't have a job, and I really do want a job. I would like to have that extra bit of independence and be able to spend my own money rather than sponge off of my parents.

How do you feel about jobs? Are you looking for one? Do you feel the frustration? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

14 Things I'm Fed Up of Hearing

As a teenager, I hear a lot of things from lots of different people that can be kind of frustrating, so here is a list of things that me, and possibly other teenagers, are fed up of hearing:

1) My you've grown

2) Ahhh young love

3) It can't be that stressful

4) What do you even need money for?

5) Just get a job

6)  You shouldn't spend so much time on social media

7) Your generation is terrible

8) Why are you napping again

9) You have lots anyway, what more do you need?

10) Why don't you go out?

11) Why are you out so much?

12) Why are you in?

13) Why are you in so much?

14) You don't need a job

The issues with lots of these phrases is that they contradict one another. It can get really frustrating that one person says one thing and then another says another and we don't really know where we are. We just need time to be confused. We need time to be young and stupidly in love. We need time to stay in and go out, but it's important that it's our choice and we should be left to make that choice ourselves.

Really sorry for the rant. Let me know how you feel about all of this in the comments.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Friday, 30 October 2015

Gaining a friend

I did a post sometime last year about losing a friend (click here for this post), and this is sort of carrying on from that. Very loosely.

When I say it carries on, the person I am referring to in this post is the same girl I stopped talking to.

Over the last 6 months, we have gotten closer again. And now, even though we are in different schools/colleges, we are as close as ever, and this is a really good thing, because it means that I can still go to her with my issues.

Don't get me wrong, I do still have other friends that I can go to with my issues, but in my opinion, if I am telling you my issues, then it should go vice versa. This isn't because I feel the if I tell you something  then you should tell me something. However, if you feel then you can't tell me your issues, then you won't give mean honest opinion, and sometimes I need that more than I need a shoulder to cry on.

It's really nice that we are close again, because I missed her so so much. And, like I said, I do have other friends who I am just as close with. But there is something about talking to friends you've known for ages. Friends who you have that many memories with just cannot be replaced, and I'd say that I have 3 friends like that. 3 friends that I have known for that long. 3 classics.

I would say that if you have drifted from a friend and you miss them that much, the best thing you can do is talk to them. Pop up on facebook, send them a text, go and knock their front door and ask for them. It may be awkward at first, but you'll be thankful that you made the first move and that things are okay now.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Views of A Level After 7 Weeks

Okay, I did I post not so long ago about what I thought A Level was going to be like (you can view that here), and I said at the end of this post that I was going to do another post about A Levels after I had been in year 12 for a few weeks. I will probably do this as a series, so this probably won't be my last post on this topic, but I just want to let you know how I'm finding it so far and what you can expect if you go up into year 12 next year.

For those of you don't know, I took Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. Further maths usually counts as 2 options, but I only took it in one so I'll end the 2 years with 2 A levels in maths but it only takes up one option

1) The workload does go up
I do get a lot more work to do in lessons now, but I also get a lot more homework now than I did last year, but I'm only doing 3 subjects this year instead of 11.

2) You'll get frees
As I took three subjects (and I have to do the compulsory welsh bacc - ugh!) I get 9 frees a week, which mean that I have time to do the homework for all of my subjects in school and have free time after school.

3) Teachers will be on your back
 I have had tests in each of my subjects after just 7 weeks. That's not really that long, and I've had a few tests, just so that teachers know where I am and where I need to improve.

4) For me, I don't think things are really that much more difficult
I'd say the subject that has had the biggest jump in difficulty has been maths. Things are moving incredibly quickly and some are finding the pace difficult to keep up with.

I think, for now, that's all I have to say, but hopefully I can bring you another post like this at Christmas. What do you expect from sixth form? How did you find sixth form? Do you agree with the points I've made? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When Being "Smart" Becomes Your Identity

Since I was young, I have always done well in school. I have always been a nerd. I have never been picked on because of it, and I have always had friends. I was never bullied, but among my friends/class, I was known as the "smart" one up until about year 9, when I found an entirely different group of friends who were all "smart" within their own groups. We formed the ultimate nerd squad.

I would say within my friend group, I'm probably still classed as "smart", but this can be a massive issue for me. When I was growing up, if I did worse than an A/A* on a test, I felt terrible because I knew that I could do better. I knew that I could have done more revision and got a better mark. The situation was not improved when people who had done better than me started asking me about how I had done. I found it difficult telling them how I had done to know that they were going to celebrate and sort of rub it in my face.

Another thing that's difficult is when you do really well and, with things like results day where everyone is getting results in a lot of different things, you start to ask other people how they did. Other people would do really well and I would congratulate them and would genuinely be really happy for them. Then they would ask me for my own results and I would tell them.

For anyone who doesn't know, in my GCSE's I had: 4 A*'s; 5 A's and 4 B's. I was incredibly proud of how I did. However, when I spoke to some people, they would say "Ahh right, but you're smart so you were always going to do well."

No. I really wasn't.

The exam I would say I worked the hardest for I would say was geography, in which I had a B. I did a lot less work for maths and got 2 A*'s. I worked just as hard as everyone else in most subjects. Granted, I could have done more, but I did a lot of extra curricular activities last year and I did need some time to chill and rest my head. I used my lessons in school productively and didn't really do much work at home because of this.

Generally, I think what I'm trying to say is that as someone who is seen as "smart", I put myself under an enormous amount of pressure to do well, and failure is something that I really struggle with because it's not something I'm very familiar with. Failure scares me. A lot. I guess it's just something I have to come to terms with, and something that is going to happen at some point in my life.

Do any of you have issues with this? I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments or get in touch with me via email bracesandglasses@gmail.com . Please get in touch.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Stop Taking our Sixth Forms!

I am a 16 year student who has just moved schools to do her A level.
Had it been my choice, I would have stayed in my own school
But it wasn't my choice.
The choice was made for me when my local government decided to build a sixth form college.
Now, don't get me wrong, I really really love my new school.  It is a fantastic school with good A level pass and fantastic opportunities available to me. And I am really enjoying it here. But the thing is, I don't have any teachers that I know already. I had been in my old school for 5 years, and I knew all of my teachers very well. I knew that if I was having a crappy day, I could down down to my music teacher and sit in the back room for a bit until I calmed down. I knew where all of the teachers would be hiding when they had no lessons, and more than anything, I had teachers I could trust and talk to.
In my new school, I don't really know many of the teachers. I don't know anyone in the younger years. I can't really talk to any of them and I don't really trust any of them as much as my old teachers. Why? Because the trust I had with my old teachers was built up over the course of the 5 years that I was there.
The college cost 33 million pounds to build. 30. 3. Million. That's a heck of a lot of money. Where I live already had a college, but I think the idea was that it was renovated and turned into a sixth form college. Some of my friends have gone to the college in my area and are in a form class with people a lot older than themselves. One of the best things about being is sixth form is being the oldest students in the school, yet when you go to a college, you can be among the youngest. In school, you get lots of privileges compared to the younger years, in a college you may still get those privileges, but the may be taken for granted because everybody has them.
I do believe that for some people, a college is probably a better environment for them to learn in. And one of the best arguments for a sixth form college I think I've heard is that it's a transition period from school to university. An opportunity for people to learn like they will at uni, with the same amount of support as they would in uni (obviously they can have more help if they ask, but if you don't ask, you don't get anything extra), but you can still live at home and have the same amount of support off of your parents. You can still live under your parents roof and scrounge off of them for food.
So had I been given the choice, I would still be in my old school. They gave us an opportunity to express our opinion, and most people said no. The college was built regardless of our opinion, and now it's us that are paying the price.
What do you think? Would you rather a college environment or school for your a levels? Do you think all education post-16 should become tertiary? Let me know in the comments.
Stay Un-typical
Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Are Stereotypes Important In Todays Society?

We all stereotype. Regardless of what you say, you stereotype. Pretty much everyone we meet we put into a catergory in our minds. We cannot help it and we all do it.

I was thinking about this the other day. Me and my friends do not fit in at all, and I have always said that I do not stereotype because I have been stereotyped and do not fit in because of it, but I hadn't really taken much notice of the fact that I had done exactly the same to the people who had isolated me. Disregarded me.

If I was to mention the 'IT' crowd, you immediately have an image in your head of who you picture within that crowd, and possibly feel like from that simple phrase, we know what they like to do and we feel that we know aa lot about them becasue of the catergory we have placed them under.

We like to have a tidy mind and we automatically make assumptions about someone so that we can fit them into a tidy little place in our mind and move on.

Will we ever stop using stereotypes? No, probably not. not now, not ever. They play a huge role in most teen films about high school which means that we will probably never be fully rid of them. Not aslong as people continue watching mean girls.

Antoher issue is that stereotypes are kind of pushed upon us from a very young age. If you have ever watched a Disney or Nickelodeon, you'll know that stereotypes play a part in some of the stroylines. Even more so in recent years. We all know that Zack was a 'rebel' and that Cody was a 'nerd'.

Although I do think that these programmes do sort of help the issue. The characters are relatable and you can identify with them and the stereotype that they fit in to. I suppose people will have different opinions as to whether or not this is good or bad depending on whether or not there was a character who you could relate to.

What do you think? Do you think that stereotypes are necessary? Do you think we could ever get rid of them? Let me know in the commments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Mental Health and Self Harm



**WARNING - LONG POST ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND SELF HARM**
People with mental health issues often write posts to people who do not suffer with them, about understanding and things, and I get that you are trying to educate people and to help people understand.

There are people who do not suffer with mental health issues, and are trying to understand what you are going through, so please help them.

This has been the gist of so many of my posts to date, and I don't just want to reiterate this point again. So I thought I would take this post in a different direction.

This post is about not suffering with mental health issues and about my experience; one which I haven't shared in this much depth upon my blog before.

I have helped 2 people through mental health issues (or at least attempted to), and they have been 2 very different experiences. I am not going to name names or pin point anyone, but just discuss my experience.

The first person was someone who self harmed, and was a boy. He had self harmed for a few years before I started talking to them and continued to for a while after I started talking to them. I didn't really know much about mental health or self harming then (not that I really understand that much more now). But I tried my best to help him.

I was always at my phone texting this boy, and asking him if he was okay. If there was even the slightest thing wrong I told he could tell me and I think most of the time he did. There were times where we would talk and he would all of a sudden just go. Not text me back. And I didn't know what to think. Had he done something horrific? Had he taken this all too far this time? I would cry myself to sleep. I worried about him so much.

Things started to get better for him, and slowly he stopped self harming. He put the razors away and left it. Now it has been a year and 3 months since he stopped self harming, and I am so happy and proud of him.

The second person I have attempted to help has been a girl. God, do I love this girl so much. She is really amazing and I have known her for some time. I have had some quite in depth conversations with her about how she feels and I sometimes find myself wondering how she gets out of bed in the morning, but she does. I never know whether things are getting better or worse with her, because I think she likes to keep her feelings to herself about it all in fear of upsetting others.

I don't think this post will do much.

Because when you are helping someone who is in this position, how can ever feel bad? How can you ever justify any negative emotion you have when you know that there are other people in far worse positions and in a far worse mental state.

I kept so much from this boy when I was helping him because:

  • I didn't want him to stop coming to me for help because I felt bad, because I really wanted to help him.
  • I felt like my sadness wasn't comparable to his sadness.
I never did self harm. My sadness was never that bad, but I just needed someone to cry to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that perhaps we need to tell the people we help how we feel so they can know that even the happiest people feel down sometimes; and even we need cheering up.

If you need anyone to talk to, my email is bracesandglasses128@gmail.com . If you need to talk to someone, please don't be afraid to get in touch with me.

Stay Un-Typical 

Ashleigh xxx

image via here

Sunday, 27 September 2015

15 Awesome Presents for Christmas!

Christmas is still a while off yet, but I know that pretty soon, parents all over the place will be nagging their children for a list of what it is they would like for Christmas. I know that I find it pretty difficult to decide what I want for Christmas because I can't think what it is that I want on the spot, and my mother ends up trying to find things that I want.

So I have decided this year, I am going to fashion a list of things that could be given as gifts. Things you can give to other people or put on your own list. I'll leave links next to the items as I believe that many people won't know what certain things are. All links will take you to amazon. Also, there will be a mix of presents for both genders. Here we go:

1)  Doodle duvet - I had one of these last Christmas and they are fantastic. As a GCSE student, I used it for both doodling on, and for revision purposes

2) Doodle Pillowcase - To go with your doodle duvet ;-)

3) A Ukulele - Any instrument will suffice. Something that could become a hobby. Cheaper ukuleles can be bought, this is the uke I bought to start with

4) Animal Crossing - If you are buying for a sibling, and they own a DS, this game is fantastic. I spent so long on it as a child and I still want the new one. Get either animal crossing wild world or new leaf.

5) Earphones - I can guarantee that if someone has one set of working earphones, they won't turn down the extra pair.

6) Music Pillow - I think this is a fantastic gift. It basically allows you to plug your phone into your pillow using a USB cable and listen to music through the pillow. |It's a really cool gift.

7) A Doodle Alarm Clock - Most teens nowadays use their phone as an alarm clock, but an alarm clock would be used if bought, and this one is just a bit more special.

8) Tech Touch Gloves - Gloves that have special fingertips which allow you to use you phone with the gloves still on.

9) Nail art pens - Basically nail polishes with thin brushes so that you can do your own nail art.

10) A Shower Speaker - Because who doesn't love a bit of music in the shower. I haven't got one of these myself so I don't know how good quality they are, but the concept sounds good.

11) A Smart Phone Projector - Again, I don't own one, but the idea is fantastic.

12) A Bubble Wrap Costume - Okay, so maybe they'll role around in it once and that's all, but it'll be so much fun!

13) A Ripstik - It's like a skateboard, but it has 2 wheels. It's a lot of fun to ride, and will get you out of the house, because it does take a while to learn, I have a classic style one that I love. Definitely recommend that you buy one made buy razor as the quality is fantastic. (possibly a different colour to the one linked).

14) Cards Against Humanity - **WARNING - SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND THIS GAME EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE** I have played this game a few times and it can be a hilarious game, To the point where people are crying with laughter. not to everyone's taste.

15) Monopoly - I someone does not own monopoly, or have it in their household, then get it, because it's a game that everyone needs to win and lose at least once in their life.

So, this may not have been a long list but they are some ideas from a teenager as to what you can buy for a teenager for Christmas or a birthday. Have you got any of the items in the list? Do you have anything to add to the list. If so, let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Wishes

When we are young, we wish upon everything we possibly can. We throw pennies down wishing wells with our eyes squeezed tightly shut. We wish upon eyelashes that fall from our eyelids. We will even say that passing planes are shooting stars so that we can make just one more wish.

So what stops us from wishing as we grow older? Why do we stop believing that our wishes cannot be granted? I don't think it's that we stop wishing completely, I think it's just after having made so many wishes and not having them come true, we lose faith.

I think that making wishes upon these things is a good thing. I find that it helps me realise what I really want. What is out of my hands and what I have the power to change.

So keep making wishes on everything hat you've ever wished on. They may not grant your wishes, but perhaps they will help you realise that you don't need a star to make a wish; you just have to try yourself.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

"Too much on your plate"

Tomorrow I start a new school to undertake 4 A Levels: Maths; further maths; physics and computing.

Next Monday, I also begin an AAT course that I will attend every Monday evening.

I am a member of my local youth cabinet and forum. I participate in a research group, am undertaking my dofe, along with attending piano lessons, violin lessons and orchestra.

I am looking for a part time job as well.

I understand that this is a lot to undertake, and I know that it will be a massive task. I am already pretty anxious about this year, but I have been told by way too many people that I need to chill and that I should do less.

Most of these people have their own children, and some have done the same subjects as me, others different. But I know how much I can handle, and I now that this is a massive task. So stop reminding me, and have some faith in me. I struggle enough by myself, I don't need you reminding me how badly this could go.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Are Soul Mates Real?

A soul mate is the idea that there is one perfect person in this world for everyone, and that we spend our lives trying to find them.

Me, my boyfriend and another one of my best friends were walking around talking about this and we came to this conclusion;

Chances are that you are romantically compatible with more than one person on this earth (although there will be varying degrees of compatibility). Now, there is a total of 7.2 billion people on this earth (roughly), and the average person is probably compatible with 50 million of them. (please do not take these statistics as fact, we were just looking at possibilities). This means that the average person would be compatible with 1 in every 144 people they meet.

However, there will be language barriers. only about 2 billion people speak English as a first or second language, so if we take that figure into account, it means that only 27.8% of the original 50 million you would really have a chance with, as unless you are willing to learn more languages, that would be the number of people you could communicate with verbally.

That takes the figure of 50 million down to 13.9 million. This sounds like a lot of people but it means that only 1 out of every 518 people is someone you are romantically compatible with. This, again, doesn't sound too bad, but you have to get to know someone before you can find out if you work together, and this takes time, and we don't all have the time to get to know 518 people to the point where we can make a full decision.

So do soul mates exist? I don't know, but what do you think? Do you think there is one perfect person for everyone? Or do you think there are more? What do you think of the statistics I have fabricated (although they seem pretty realistic to me)? Have you found your soul mate? Let me know in the comments

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

image via here

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dear Me

This post is for me, and what I would tell myself if I could back 3 years ago. Just a general rambling in all honesty. But read on if you want some possible motivation.

You. Are. Worth. It.

I know that this is hard for you to see now, but you are worth it. You are about to make some amazing friends who you will have so many adventures with. People who will appreciate you being around; people who even miss you when you aren't. You will help people out of the deepest holes. Next summer will be your best so far.

You haven't even thought about blogging or writing music at this point have you? You think that orchestra is the only thing that you can do musically? You think that you'll always have those vile abominations that give you a funny jaw line? You think that the boy you 'like' at the minute is worth it?

The next 3 years of your life will be the best. You will realize that you cannot be beautiful to everyone; but that doesn't mean that you aren't beautiful; because you are. There is someone who tells you that everyday. You have some fantastic friends who don't just tolerate you; they like you!

Your parents will remain incredibly supportive and believe it or not, Dad doesn't threaten to kill your boyfriend. However, he will pay you generously for your kick ass exam results.

You will spend so much of your time and money in Costa, but you will have some of the best memories there. You'll get a boyfriend! I know, crazy. You are happy without him, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't make you happy.

Some things will never change though, so just remember to cherish the girl who put a scalpel in your leg; because even though you will make some fantastic friends who you wouldn't change for the world, she was there first. Before any of the others, she was there. Keep her close.

Love you lots,

Ashleigh xxx

Monday, 24 August 2015

Guest Post By Jenna Lloyd

Mental health problems are more and more prevalent in today’s society and chances are that if you’re reading this, you either know someone or you are someone who is fighting the battle everyday. So often, people who are living with mental health problems and even those supporting someone doing so can find it difficult to speak out about their experiences, partly because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health but also because there are often so many different emotions involved for each individual.

Having had my own experiences with mental health problems, I wanted to write a sort of open letter to others without trying to encompass all experiences. I wanted to write things that I was either told by dear friends and family, helpful professionals or simply things that I now know that I so desperately needed to hear at the time, so here it is:

To you,

The strength that you possess, you should be so proud of.

Many people in your life will be trying to label you, trying to identify you as “ a ____ person” rather than “someone living with ____”. These problems don’t define you though. It is really important for you to recognise that the latter still places the emphasis on YOU. The beautiful, kind person that so many people are thrilled to say they know. Not the problem currently sitting on your back, trying to convince you that that’s all you are now. You are so much more, you always have been and you always will be.

Ultimately, these problems are yours and yours alone and although that is intimidating, it can also be reassuring to know that no-one else can take them on or tell you what’s best for you to do with them. Only you will be able to find a way to handle them and if you can’t beat them straight away then that’s okay too. It shows amazing strength to face difficulty every day.

The problems are yours, but this isn’t to say that the people who want to help, to listen and to support you should be pushed away. It can often seem like the best thing to do, especially when it feels like you are a burden to them. I need to tell you now that you aren’t. Truly caring about someone means standing by them through the most difficult times. Truly caring about someone is for who they are, not what they are living with.

Although it doesn’t feel like it, there is a point in the future where things feel better. I’m not going to echo the saccharine sentiment that “things GET better” because there isn’t always a fix for some people but I want to stress that things can FEEL better. There are people just like you who love, live and achieve their dreams and many have done it still not ‘in recovery’.

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like your way of coping isn’t good enough and always praise yourself for what you do.

You are brave, you are loved and things can feel better.

From me.”  

I blog over at princessparasox, where you’ll find all of my social media accounts, or you can contact me privately anytime with an email to jennalouiselloyd27@gmail.com.


If you would like support, check out this site: http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

Monday, 17 August 2015

Dear A Level Student

I am a GCSE pupil, who is receiving her results this Thursday and will be starting year 12 in September.

This August, I have heard so much from A Level students about how difficult next year is going to be. About how my options are going to be difficult and I'm going to cry a lot due to the amount of stress I am under

I get that if you have had a difficult experience that you may want to share this and advise against me doing these A Levels. I get that.

What I don't get is why you are belittling my results for GCSE. There have been numerous tweets on Twitter saying "GCSE students worrying about their results when you can get a B with no revision." All of these kinds of tweets come from the people who have done their A Levels. I understand that they are more difficult, but please stop belittling what I am going through to make yourself feel better about failing your A Levels.

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Feeling Creative

So this post was done on a Monday night, but I have no idea when it will actually be posted, this is just because I am feeling particularly type-y this evening.

I told all of you that I went to a festival, and I don't know what has happened to me during that time but since I have come back I have been feeling particularly creative. I have feel like I have been motivated again. I want to write more music and do more blog posts (good thing it's blogust :-)).

There does have to come a point where I actually use this creativity. I wrote a song this evening aswell as this post about being creative. I guess what I am trying to say is when you feel motivated to do something, don't leave it hang around. Don't wait or leave acting upon your creative mood, because you never know when it will disappear again.

Thereis a massive difference between dreamers and doers. If you are a dreamer, then you can become a doer, but it's a lot more difficult to go the other way about things. Many people say they will do something and then never get around to it because why should you bother? It's not because people are lazy (although that can play a part in it), it is usually because people lose their motivation. Just please use your motivation wisely.

Stay Un-Typical


  • Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

3 Issues of Braces

I have had braces for just under 4 years now, and I have to admit that they aren't all that bad NOW. (To hear about my whole experience so far, click here).Since I have had them, I have learned how to deal with them, so here are a few struggles you can expect:

Food gets stuck in them - a lot
If I have learnt anything from having braces, it would be don't eat bread when you are no where near a toothbrush or water to sloosh around in your mouth and always carry a toothpick (or a bobby pin in emergencies).

Having them tightened hurts
Try your best not to have an appointment at the orthodontist less than 4 days before an event you will be eating at, because if you do, you'll be eating soup.

The wax is useless
So when you first have 'train tracks' you will be given this wax that is made out of vegetable oil (I think), just in case the braces start to rub the inside of your mouth, and they will. The thing about this wax is that you can only apply it to dry places, which is unbelievably stupid because your mouth is wet. When you eventually manage to get it on your teeth, it will last at most an hour, and it comes off when you eat.

These are 3 of the issues I have had. Have you had braces? Have you got any issues to add?

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Monday, 10 August 2015

Festivals

I would like to start this blog post by apologising for not posting for the last 3 days. I attended a festival at which my phone was refusing to let me type within my blog.

Festivals are fantastic, that is what I learnt this weekend. It was really cool to go somewhere and camp with all of my friends and then watch and listen to some live music.

I even got to go on stage myself. I did covers of pompeii and with or without you. It was a fantastic experience and I would love to go again.

If I could give anyone any tips it would be take toilet roll and nose plugs; the toilets aren't pleasant.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Friday, 7 August 2015

Youtube Culture

YouTube is a massive part of culture nowadays generally, but there is a culture with in YouTube which has been under speculation recently both by viewers and you tubers themselves.

The way that YouTube has changed over the last few years has been massive. Some you tubers are practically celebrities. There has been talk about the length of cues at meet and greets, and how younger viewers look up to you tubers.

Everyone who has a YouTube channel does not show everything. What we see is a glossy version of someone's life. The thing with YouTube is that viewers feel that they are more relatable than mainstream "celebrities".

You tubers have a chance to do a fantastic thing, I just hope that they use what they have wisely.

What do you think about you tubers and YouTube culture?

Stay Un-typical

Ashleigh xxx

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Youtube vs Blogging

I have had a YouTube channel for about 8 months and a blog for 14. Having done a little bit of both and having read other blogs and watched other you-tubers, I have definitely picked a favourite.

When social networks first became a big thing, I think youtube was definitely the one we should have picked. I say this because there are people making millions form posting videos online, whereas people who are on tumblr don't make money from tumblr.

I started a YouTube channel to promote my music and to show people what I can do, but it kind of feels like I'm just jumping on the band wagon. Doing something that everyone else is doing. I think that because a few people have done incredibly well, a lot of people think they can have the same success, and it's just not the case.

I feel that blogging is so much easier for me personally. When you create a video, a lot of editing has to happen and uploads take forever, whereas with blogging the words just seem to flow out of me. An idea is enough for a good blog post.

Plus, everyone in the blogging community is so nice. No one has ever said anything bad to me and all criticism is done so politely that it is more difficult to feel offended than not.

I prefer blogging because it is so much easier to connect, and I feel there is less of a hierarchy.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Samsung or iPhone

Samsung or iPhone. iPhone or Samsung. Me and my friends have had many conversations about which is better for what you want out of a phone. I am a strong fighter for Samsung as I really love the layout, but I am going to compare the two.

iPhone
iPhone's have become more and more common over the last few years, and I would say that they are now the most popular phone you can buy. It has a good layout and are all incredible phones. The app store is easy to work and the internet connection on them is really good. The reason I haven't converted to iPhone is because the battery life in them seems to decrease a lot more rapidly than that of the Samsung. iMessage is a fantastic idea. The emoji's are also really cool

Samsung
The app store on Samsung I find is a bit more difficult to use, although I find that there are more apps on the Samsung. I also like that you can still Bluetooth music from phone to phone with ease. You can use Bluetooth from Samsung to any other phone apart from the iPhone's. There are now emoji's on the newer Samsung's, but iPhone did have them first.

The issues I take with both of these companies is that the advancements of the phones between 5 and 6 is minimal. They are just more expensive with no real leap in technology. All we can do is hope for more in the future.

What are your opinions? Do you prefer iPhone or Samsung? Why?

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Making Tough Decisions

Decisions are something that we all have to make, whether we like it or not. I have recently been faced with such a decision, and I want to try to help anyone in a similar position. If you are trying to make a decision, here are a few tips:

Make a pros and cons lift of each option
The one that comes out the best is the one you pick. make a pro +1 and a con -1, this way you can tally up the scores and pick which option comes out on top.

Ask others for their opinion
Try to ask people who are unbiased and who won't be impacted by your decision  but still care about the choice you make. If you ask someone who is biased, they will pick the choice that will benefit them.

Set aside some time
Don't just leave it until you have to make the decision on impulse, as you may make a choice you didn't mean to make. If you have an advance to make the decision, try to do so.

Sleep on it
A good night sleep can clear your head and so when you wake up, your judgement isn't clouded.

Hope these help

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Monday, 3 August 2015

5 Tips for Learning a Musical Instrument

Picking up a musical instrument was the most exciting thing going on in my life at the age of 7, and now at the age of 16, I still love picking up my violin and being able to play. Since 7, I have also picked up other instruments, like the piano, ukulele, etc. There are lots of people who sort of think about playing an instrument and 'dabble' in doing so, but very few stick at it. If you are looking to start playing an instrument, then here are some tips:

1) Buy a decent instrument.
Don't bother buying a £10 uke, or guitar. If you really want to learn, your going to have to splash out a little. For example, my uke (a tanglewood that you can buy here) cost me £50, but I got a lot for my money. (To read my review of my uke, click here).

2) Make a habit of practising.
Making practise a habit means that it won't feel like a chore, eventually. The first few weeks are the hardest as the habit takes some time to develop, but just stick at it.

3) Look into the possibility if lessons 
Okay, so maybe you don't want to pay for lessons because you have made the assumption that they will be expensive, but just look into it. Sometimes lessons can be reasonably cheap. Don't only look with private tutors. Some music shops will offer lessons for an incredibly reasonable price.

4) Pick something that you want to learn to play
This will really help as it will give you a goal. If you start to learn piano but don't really have a goal piece, chances are that you won't stick at it. If you pick, say, fur elise, you may be more likely to keep playing until you can play that piece.

5) Pick decent songs to learn the instrument
I think a lot of the time the biggest issues with someone who wants to play an instrument is that they think it will be ages until they can play anything of substance. However, in music, lots of songs use only 4 chords. This means that with 4 chords, you'll be able to play some pretty decent stuff.

These are my tips. Give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 2 August 2015

7 Top tips for creating a CV

Handing a CV in to a company is daunting regardless of what age you are, and in school's they don't really teach us how to do it any more. I had no idea what to do when I wrote my CV, but now that I have done so and handed a few in, here are a few tips has to how to write your CV:

1) Make sure you put down contact details
It is useless handing a CV into anywhere if you don't put on your contact details because you want people to get in touch, and there may be some companies who want to get in touch with you, and so it is paramount that you have contact details on your CV.

2) Make an appropriate email
When MSN was rife back in the day, we all had a Hotmail which was probably something ridiculous like "rokergirl" or "pixiechik". That's really not an email you want to present to a possible employer. Create a more appropriate email for you CV, one with your name in possibly.

3) Keep it to a page
It's easy to ramble on about yourself, but most shops get roughly 200 CV's handed in a week, and so yours really needs to stand out in the crowd. Having a short CV which gets to the point will stand out - and save on printing costs.

4) Do not overuse bullet points
The idea of bullet points is that they jump out at you, so when you use them for everything on a page, it makes them pointless. Use them for the most important things. Otherwise you can use a '-' or a paragraph (keep paragraphs to about 4 lines.

5) Tailor them to the place your going
Don't just make a basic CV and hand the same one out everywhere. If your going to a shop that sells clothes, mention that you have an interest in fashion. Little tweaks like this *may* make a difference

6) Proof read
Not just once, but until you can remember it backwards. You need to make sure that there are absolutely no spelling , punctuation or grammar mistakes whatsoever. There are so many CV's being handed into these places that one mistake will mean that you're disregarded. If you don't know whether that big word you used is being used in the right context, replace it with a word you know. It's better to be right than to be unsure.

7) Download an online template
It's pretty difficult to make a CV from scratch, so just download a basic template and personalize it. Add a little personality with your words. Don't go adding flower borders or word art, but make it your own

Hope these help, and good luck. Let me know if you have any extra tips in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Saturday, 1 August 2015

How to Blog as a Beginner

I began my blog over a year ago now, and there have been times where I thought it wasn't going to be worth it. However, over the last year, I think I have a pretty decent list of how to blog and keep going with your blog as a beginner.

1) Don't let the numbers get you down
It's very easy as a blogger at the beginning to just give up because no-one really reads your blog, and even if they are, you don't think there are very many of them. You need to remember that blogs with a large viewership take a long time to build up. You need to accept that you are going to have to work hard if you want to build up an audience

2) Make blogging a habit
Post however often you want, but try to post reasonably often so that you maintain a steady readership. I posted everyday when I first began blogging, but then after a while I kind of lost steam and blogged less often. This is okay, just give your readers a little warning if your gong to take a break, otherwise they will check your blog as often as usual and won't find any new content. They will eventually stop coming to your page. Let them know roughly when you will blog again if you do decide to take a break that is longer than your usual interval.

3) Write about what you're passionate about
Don't write about what you think your readers will want to read. Write about the things that you want to write about and eventually you will find a following of people who want to read what you want to write about.

4) Start a few social media pages
In all honesty, the only social media platform I use to promote my blog because it is the easiest to use. I didn't open up a Facebook page because the only people you can really promote that to is friend, and not just anyone, whereas twitter, you can promote your blog to anyone.

5) Enjoy it!
When it starts to become a chore, you know that you either need to take a break, or write about something your passionate about, regardless of your view count.

6) Connect with other bloggers
Try to talk to other bloggers in the comments of their blogs, on twitter, etc. Make sure to try to expand your audience, and the best way to do this is by connecting.

Hope this helps all you beginner blogs, and please keep writing. There is always going to be someone out there who wants to hear what you have to say.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx



Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Mortal Instrument Vs The Infernal Devices

Both The Mortal Instruments, (TMI), and The Infernal Devices (TID), were written by Cassandra Clare. Both of the series' are fantastic, with TID, a series of 3 books, taking place before TMI, a series of 6. If you haven't read these books I highly recommend them, and they can be purchased Here for the first TID book (Clockwork Angel) and Here for the first TMI book (City of Bones). (If you are planning on reading them I suggest you read this afterwards as it may contain some spoilers).

On the left is the TID series. On the right is the first 3 of the TMI series 


General Plot line (Won't be in extreme detail as there is so so much to say about them).

TMI - The way that Clary ends up with Jace and his identity crisis due to the amount of last names he has throughout the books is really good. I love the way that Sebastian/Johnathan  evolves as a character from an ally to an enemy. I also think it was fantastic to have Alec and Magnus end up together as I felt that Alec broke out of a stereotype as a strong male warrior and I think that that was the intention of Alec having a relationship with Magnus. The way that family is portrayed in this novel is also something that could be discussed and really does follow the saying 'the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.'

TID -  Loved that these books were set in England and Wales! Thank you so much Cassie, for remembering that Wales exists! For that I am so truly grateful. The fact that Tessa came from America was good as she was just as naive as the reader. The love triangle keeps it all interesting and the way the love triangle resolves itself is perfect. The way that Tessa kills Mortmain is also really creative and I did not see it coming at all. I liked the way that everyone was so young as it really showed how mature and responsible people can be even though they are young.

Best Book of the Series (Obviously this is opinion).

TMI - For me, I think it has to be City of Glass, (which was the third book). I felt that there were a lot of twists in this book that I did not see coming and I felt that the end of the book was so perfect that Cassandra could have left it there and just ended the series there. The way the next books progressed was a massive surprise but City of Glass is my favourite out of the series.

TID - I think my favourite book from this series is Clockwork Princess. I loved the way everything resolved itself. I thought the final battle was incredible, and the book was generally a very good book, especially when on a 4 hour flight. I cried at the end. I was quite literally weeping. I didn't want to see Will die. It was so sad and then Jem swept in with his violin and there were just too many feels.

Will Herondale or Jace Herondale

For me this is the biggest question. I read TMI first and so for a long time, Jace was my favourite fictional love interest. However, I must admit that I preferred Will. I can understand that Jace had been taught not to love and such, but he moved to the institute when he was about 10, and we meet him when he is 17, which means that he has been shown love and could possibly have learned how to love within these 7 years. I have realised since reading TID that I saw how he treated Clary and didn't really pay much attention to how arrogant he was, and I think that would annoy me. Will, however, has valid reason to be horrible for everyone. Will shows his love by being horrible. So (sorry Jace), Will is may favourite Herondale so far (just in case Cassandra whips up another book.

Overall
I think that both books have their own strong points, and it is hard to pick a favourite. But as I do love the historical London location and the entire plot of TID, I think I would have to say that it is my favourite series, but TMI is definitely a close second.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: Tanglewood Soprano Ukulele

I recently bought a ukulele, (as some of you may know), and when I was looking around for the best ukulele as a beginner, I wanted to get the best value for money. I wasn't really sure what kind of ukulele I needed either.

Then, I went to see Dodie Clark lie and afterwards, when I spoke to her (ahhhhh!!!), she recommended Tanglewood. I gave it a google and I picked out a soprano ukulele.

If you are going to buy a ukulele as a beginner, do not buy a cheapy £20 uke. I say this for 2 reasons:
1) You have to tune them up over and over again, (more so than any other new instrument).
2) The sound isn't as good and will last you until you learn howto play your first chord, when you will need something better.

My ukulele cost me £68, but has since gone down in price to about £50. I would highly recommend the uke I've got because it stays in tune and makes a pleasant sound with the strings that are originally on it. I know that £50 sounds like a lot for a beginners ukulele, but it will last you a long time and remains suitable even if you become a more addvanced ukulele player. The tuning pegs do become loose every so often, but that is very easily fixed by turning the pegs ever so slightly so that the instrument remains in tune and the peg stays still.

Overall, I would recommend this ukulele to anyone who is thinking about starting to play and going to take it to a reasonable level. It has 15 frets, but is cheaper than a concert ukulele, which only has 3 more frets than this, but can cost up to £20 more.

If you are interested in buying your own ukulele, please click the following link: Tanglewood Tribal Spirit Travel Soprano Ukulele. This link will take you to the amazon page of the ukulele I have. Please take a look.

I hope you have enjoyed my review.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx