23before23 #11: Getting a Job

Finding a job to match up with my Summer plans was never going to be easy, to be honest, I thought it would be impossible.


Although I’m not jetting off here, there and everywhere (a girl can dream though), my other half is still up North working hard who I want to see as much as possible, and I’ve had a couple of other things planned which has stopped me from getting a full time Summer job. That, and trying to find someone who will only employ you for 3 months is bloody tricky!


Luckily for me, the firm that my mom works for has a lot of archiving that needs doing before November time and they employed me to basically spend my day in a room alone filing tens of thousands of pieces of paper.


I’m not going to pretend that it’s my dream Summer job, or that it is even remotely enjoyable (although working alone definitely has it’s perks), but it has definitely got me into the right mind set for finding work when living back in Manchester in September. That and I’m currently saving for some place to live, which may seem a bit crazy planning a whole year in advance but all of the money I’m earning from this Summer job is going straight in the moving out piggy bank, which is actually super exciting because it means that I will definitely be on my feet firmly to have somewhere to live and being financially secure in a years time (oh adulthood, how I adore thee). 


Although I would love to be seeing more of my friends, and to be going to more festivals, I’m just focusing on how this job will benefit me in the long run and I’m very excited for future me!!


Journaling Maddie 



23before23 #10 Dying My Hair

When I was 12 I got dared by my sister’s best mate to dye my hair ginger…I did, I loved it, and the hair dye addiction begun.


I started to dye my own hair when I was sixteen, I remember so clearly having my last day at school, walking out, getting my nose pierced and colouring my hair purple to match my new nose stud. It is safe to say that I haven’t looked back since.


My hair has been every colour that I could have imagined since then, pink, purple, green, blue, black, grey, blonde, brunette, and every colour in between.


Honestly, I don’t think I ever want to give up colouring my hair, it’s always been a way of showcasing my personality and speaking for me without me having to open my mouth.


Recently my wonderful hairdresser Angela offered me a hair modelling job! She got some absolutely beautiful metallic colours in from the new milk_shake range and needed to try them out on someone and she said I’d be the perfect candidate. I of course said yes, who says no to a free day in the salon knowing that you’re going to leave with fresh hair?!


We opted for two colours to run through my hair, the metallic violet and metallic pink. The colours are beautiful and really add a shimmering metallic undertone, especially when out in this beautiful sunshine we are having!


I also want to add that the smell is something else, and I mean that in a really really good way!! The sweet scent is subtle but much more pleasant than the classic hair dye chemical smell.

I am so excited for a summer of experimenting with my hair!

Journaling Maddie 



23before23 #9 Going to a New Place – A Day Out In Halifax

As much as I would love to be on a plane to a hot country, sunning it up and exploring a tropical island, that just isn’t the case! Instead I am making the most of exploring the beauty of England this Summer time.


Just 20 minutes away on the train, it’s odd that I’ve never thought to visit Halifax before now!


Halifax is a little West Yorkshire town, known for the Piece Hall and it’s beautiful historic architecture.

The Piece Hall

Stepping off the train, the Piece Hall was at most a five minute stroll away, and was striking to set my eyes upon when we turned the cobblestoned corner. The majority of the day was spent pottering around the Piece Hall, weaving in and out of all the little shops.


Loafers is a coffee and record store, basically mine and Max’s two favourite things under one roof, so that was a great start for us! There was also a teeny baby sausage dog in there too which made the whole situation even better. After a coffee and listening to some records, we moved on around some of the other shops, mooching around, looking at some beautiful vintage clothes and the homeware pieces of my future dreams, before popping off to a cafe for lunch.



The Deli had a great range of food (there were so many tasty veggie options too which was great!) and drinks, so we stopped off there for some lunch before heading back out to look around the rest of the shops.



A definite favourite shop of mine was The Yorkshire Soap Company. The soaps, candles and other sweet smelling products were so beautifully displayed, I just wanted to bring it all home with me! Max picked up a Mango and Lychee candle that smells so divine even when it’s not burning.

2aba7c0b-a64c-4b45-9c6a-232d599cee81Gin Lane Shop was another obvious fave as Max is a gin fiend! We browsed some bottles and had a really great chat with the guy who worked there who was super clued up on all the different gins that they stocked.


Underneath the shop, they also have a bar where they serve the gins that they stock upstairs, so naturally we had to give it a go!


Sat out in the sun that decided to peep out for a short while, I tried a Rhubarb Gin with elderflower tonic and Max went for Manchester Gin’s Violet Liquor coupled up with Mediterranean tonic, which tasted just like parma violets, so if that’s your thing then I’d definitely recommend for a trip down memory lane.



We of course couldn’t leave the Piece Hall without popping into the old-timey sweet shop Spogs and Spice, jars stacked high of all the traditional sweets you could imagine from your childhood.


Finishing up in the Piece Hall, we weren’t quite ready to go home just yet, so wandered into the town centre where the cobbled streets are littered with shops, but also some lovely independent finds too. We ended up having a mooch around a record store which had such a good range of genres (of course, Max didn’t leave empty handed!) and was lovely to just have a good sift through.



The Piece Hall is a perfect day out for anyone and everyone, and I think that’s proven as when we were there, the place was full of people of all ages, kids with their grandparents, young couples, big groups of moms, dog owners and coffee lovers.


I would so highly recommend planning a day out there, especially in the sunshine because the building truly does glisten in the heat of the day!


Journaling Maddie xxx

23before23 #8: Raising money for a good cause

Earlier this year I asked for donations to Endometriosis UK, but if you missed that, I basically did a mini series all about educating people who were clueless about the disease, and if you want to, you can have a lil read right here!

However, last week I walked with a great bunch of people in order to raise awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis. When I first started talking to my friend Amy we were discussing our chronic illnesses (casual, as you do), and she opened up to me about her ulcerative colitis, something that I had never heard of before! She opened my eyes to something new and seemingly terrifying, I got told what to do if she went into flare up and all the likes of that, however she wore it like a badge with such power, and I really admired that about her!

Last year a small group of us did the walk and it was great fun despite the rain (it was in Manchester though so what did we expect!), and we raised some money and awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

This year the team grew and we all pulled together and travelled to Manchester for the day to walk 5K in order to raise some awareness and money!

The money already raised is mind blowing, but there is never enough or a cap on these things, so if you wish to, any last minute sponsors and donations will always be greatly appreciated, and can be made via this link right here:



Journaling Maddie x

23before23 #7 Going veggie

As I entered recovery for a long standing eating disorder, I made the decision to become vegetarian. Whilst to some this may seem counter productive, for me honestly I just wanted to rule out foods that I was particularly uncomfortable with before meal plans created by a clinician were thrusted at me.

I’ve never been big on meat, it’s just not for me, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to say hello to vegetarianism (again, I failed myself before with a drunken kebab, tragic I know).

It has been around a month and a half since I committed to being vegetarian and I can’t see the promise of a drunken kebab swaying me again!

The inevitable question I constantly get now though is, “so when are you planning on going vegan?!”. It’s a tough one, don’t get me wrong, I get the whole spiel, I’ve heard it way too many times and I am in agreement, veganism is an incredible step to take however for me right now it is not the right move! Going through eating disorder recovery means that I have to be as open as possible and restricting too much would cause an uproar that I’m not willing to deal with on top of the emotional distress of recovery itself.

I’ve been super lucky to have Max be so open to my transition to becoming vegetarian, he cooks and eats vegetarian meals with me too which has been a massive help!

Our fave meals to cook at the moment are stuffed peppers/mushrooms, vegetarian chilli and Mexican style salads with halloumi.

Can anyone point me in the direction of some different vegetarian meal options that we might not have heard of?! I want to keep things new and exciting!

Much love,

Journaling Maddie 


23before23 #6: Catching up

After detoxing myself from TV for a long time during deadlines, I’ve spent the past few weeks catching up big time on some TV shows that I’ve been missing out on. This might seem super lame, but TV is my down time so allowing myself a couple weeks to catch up really does feel rewarding!

My fave shows that I’ve been catching up on so far, and would totally recommend, are as follows:

  1. Hollyoaks. I’ve not missed an episode of this in the past four years! Since being at uni, I’ve saved up the daily episodes to binge watch at the weekend and I’ve been loving the story lines they’ve been showcasing this year. Of course, there’s always going to be the far fetched murder lines and cheesy school teenage romances, but they have covered in fine detail three really important, real and relevant storylines, one about youth homelessness, another about domestic abuse and another tackling mental health.
  2. Love Island 2018 has not long started and I am deep in all the goss and drama, each year I’m convinced I won’t get as hooked, yet, here I am, sat in front of the TV every night at 9pm ready and raring to find out what’s happening next!
  3. Netflix has been curbing my need for crap TV that’s super easy to binge watch! The Next Step and Lost & Found Music Studios (it’s rubbish, so judge me) are so easy to binge! I’ve recently finished Netflix original Love which I would recommend to absolutely anyone who loves a light hearted rom-com series.

There’s so much that I need to catch up on though still!

My mom has an obsession with Emmerdale and Coronation Street, so I am secretly looking forward to going home and watching some of that with her too. I’m ages behind on my original Netflix bae Orange is the New Black and at some point I am ready to jump back on that band wagon!


Do you have any TV recommendations?!


Journaling Maddie


23before23 #5: Catching some Zzz’s

Going to uni has totally butchered my sleeping pattern.

I take sleep for granted then I hit exam season and it’s like ooooo I could sleep all day and all night and avoid all responsibility or I could actually get a solid night’s sleep and not feel horrendous. However I seem to naturally be drawn to over sleeping, under sleeping and ruining my mentality totally.

Over the past month or so I have tried to really work on being more strict with myself, and my goodness the difference it has made is just incredible.

I’m definitely going to put into practice a strict, but doable, sleeping schedule this summer while I have time to experiment with what times are agreeing with my body etc. etc.

Getting a good nights sleep honestly changes the way I function, this time last year I would be up til 3am, just working, reading, watching TV or YouTube, now I struggle to get past 10pm hahaha (old person alert).

Looking back at my habits before, I was so grouchy, impossible to get out of bed in the morning. I think a lot of it was depression taking over, but I feel as I’ve got a better control over those feelings, sorting my sleeping pattern was a hell of a lot easier to tackle!

What worked for me was changing my habits that I was doing directly before bed time. So now I eat earlier, get all the TV out of the way earlier on in the day, go for a little walk to get some fresh air, do 15 minutes of anything like a quick cleaning frenzy, then cuddle up into bed with a book and a hot water bottle and my eyes are struggling to stay open for much longer than half an hour!

Do not fight those eyes closing!! If they are closing and heavy they are telling you that you are tired and need to sleep, listen to them! If you fight it you will just be overtired and consequently struggle to sleep when you try to. (Trust me, take it from someone who would stay up in to the early hours to chat to friends, or just binge-watching YouTubers then wondered why I felt completely ruined the next day).

I want to try meditation, and exercise a lot more over the following months, so hopefully it will all piece together like one giant puzzle.

Any good sleep tips?

Journaling Maddie x