My Top Summer Reads

It’s holiday season, which means that many of us will be deciding which books we should pack (or download to our Kindles) for that summer sun-lounger read. Here’s a selection of my favourite books worthy of some time this summer.

Inspirational Reads

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the alchemist

The Alchemist is up there as one of my all-time favourite books. Given to me as a present last year, I read the whole thing within a couple of days and have been recommending it ever since. It’s an easy read with a lot of life teachings told metaphorically through a fable. Coelho is a respected author, whose work I have had recommended numerous times. If you enjoy meaningful books then this one’s for you.


The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

the secret

Not such an easy read but definitely a worthwhile one. It’s sure to get you thinking and feeling a lot more motivated. I found this book particularly useful when going through a tough time with my career and (ex-)relationship but have kept it’s teachings with me ever since. Who doesn’t want to know the secret, right?!


Ones You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before you

Now a film, Me Before You is an emotional journey, which displays different views towards a very sensitive topic (I won’t say what, as not to spoil the book). In my eyes the book is nearly always better than the film, so if you have watched the movie already I would still recommend. This book had me in tears and not tears of laughter, which might not be what you want when on your jollies but if you are looking for a gripping read then this book won’t let you down.


The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

the girl on the train

Another one that’s now a film but that I think is better to read. The Girl on the Train is full of twists and turns, keeping you on your toes throughout the entire book. It’s about exactly what the title says- a girl on a train- who witnesses something that is to change her life.


A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

A place called here

Ever wondered where lost things go? That sock that is no longer a pair, those keys that you just can’t find, even down to missing people? Surely they can’t just vanish from the face of the Earth. Well, this novel introduces a girl who is determined to find exactly where missing things go and manages to do so when she goes missing herself…


Back To Business

Make Instagram Your Business by Sedge Beswick

make insta your business

This is great for any budding bloggers or even anyone who loves the gram. It has Beswick’s pick of her top 100 Instagram users, who have turned their hobbies in business. Great for if you’re looking to do the same for yourself or even if you just want to find some new accounts to follow. I may or may not be featured on page 137…


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

think and grow

OK, so I have a confession… I haven’t actually read this book yet. However, I’ve had it recommended on several occassions and have it sat on my bookshelf for my next read (as soon as I finish my current book). So, this will be my summer read for sure and if my recommendations are trustworthy, it will be a good one!



Feeling Insecure? I’ve Got You!

Insecurities are something that creep up on all of us at some point in life. Chances are, there will always be something that we would want to be different. We all get a little down every now and again or wish that we could change that thing about ourselves. Do you know what? It’s completely natural.  I’m sure you know the saying, ‘Nobody’s perfect.’ Well, it’s kind of true. Each and every single person is unique and even though there may be somebody that you look up to- that person who radiates confidence, a role model or someone who encapsulates your idea of perfection- it’s likely, if not certain, that they have their own insecurities too.

I definitely have parts of me that I would like to be that little bit different. However, I’m at a stage where I have learnt to love myself as I am, ‘imperfections’ and all. Of course there are areas that I am working to change through exercise and a balanced diet but there are also areas that neither exercise nor diet can effect and that’s OK. Learning to love each and every part of ourselves is almost never an easy journey. We all have days where we feel incredible and others where we feel not-so-incredible. Here are my tips on how to beat the insecurities on those not-so-incredible days.

  1. Make a list of what you like most about yourself. It can be absolutely anything from the colour of your eyes to your smile or that you get freckles in the sun. It can even be something that isn’t physical such as a personality trait or that you like your laugh! List at least five things and when you’re feeling down revisit them.
  2. Determine whether there is anything that you can do to make a change. Sometimes there are things that we don’t like about our body or behaviour that we can actually do something about such as losing or gaining weight, toning up and even improving our skin through sleep and diet. Assess whether you’re taking the right steps to help you see changes (to your body, attitude and confidence) and they may happen sooner than you think.
  3. Realise that sometimes you don’t need to change… Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we ‘should’ look like that we forget to appreciate what we do look like. I’m a regular height athletic girl working in an industry where I’m ‘supposed’ to be super tall and skinny. It used to bother me and I would always wear heeled boots to castings, that was until I realised that my power is me. As soon as I took that on board, I saw that my confidence and career took a turn for the best.
  4. Sleep! You would be surprised at the effect that sleep can have on both your body and your mentality. I always find that when I’m tired I feel more bloated, my eyes aren’t so bright and I can get grumpy. As soon as I catch up on sleep I instantly feel more refreshed and body confident, as well as being in a better mood! We’re always tougher critics of ourselves when we haven’t had enough sleep, so make time for the Zzz’s.
  5. Take time to focus on yourself. Do you feel better when you have freshly painted nails, after a nice long soak in a bubble bath or even after curling up on the sofa watching your fave movie? Dedicating time to do things that make us happy can have a real effect on our mindset. Set aside time each week to do something that you really love.
  6. Stop comparing to others. For me, this is the biggest factor that feeds insecurities especially with the rise of social media and celebrity influence. It’s not always bad to compare but if you find that it’s bringing you down then you need to stop or simply even change who you are comparing yourself to. Perhaps you don’t like your body type and keep comparing yourself to people with a completely different figure, this is only going to be detrimental. Why not show some love to people who are similar to you and who rock their features with confidence. Remember, you are you and that is your power.
  7. Go offline. On the back of Tip 6, social media can be a main cause of insecurities. If you do find that you’re spending far too much time online, have a little cleanse. Even just a day offline can work wonders.
  8. Do a little life clear out. OK, so not all insecurities stem from within. Sometimes, it can be the people and things that we surround ourselves with that are the problem. I’ve personally previously been in a toxic relationship that had a huge effect on my confidence. It wasn’t until I removed myself from the situation that I was able to fully love and be myself again. Often we don’t consider that impact that who we choose to spend time with has on us. Are there any friends that you need to keep at a distance or a relationship that’s doing more harm than good? It’s not always the more the merrier.
  9. Exercise! OK, so it’s not everyone’s fave thing to do. I get it. But exercise has been proven to boost your mood through the release of endorphins, which are known to trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercise doesn’t just have to be for physical benefits you know.
  10. Spend time doing something that you’re good at. From playing a sport, to painting, reading a book or cooking, whatever it is that you know you’re great at, do it! I love to run and am good at it so I always feel great when I’ve been on a run, even if I wasn’t initially feeling in the mood to go on one. There’s something about taking part in the things that we’re good at that gives us a real confidence boost. Try it and see.

A final reminder from myself that every single person feels insecure at some point in their lives. It’s completely natural to feel that way but doesn’t mean that there is actually anything to feel insecure about. Be you, it doesn’t get much better than that!