The emotional stages of moving in with a boy

So I've done it, I've taken the plunge and I now live with a real-life boy.  Yes, a real-life, breathing male.

There were a few moments of panic and worry, and quite a lot of nerves, in the weeks leading up to our moving date.

I quickly realised that he's going to see me at my absolute worst - first thing on a morning; last thing at night after a long day at work; with a hangover; with a stinking, snotty cold; straight out the shower with mascara pouring down my cheeks - there would be nowhere to hide!

We've learnt things about each other that we could never have known previously; we've discovered each other's bad habits; and we've found out that there will never be boundaries again when it comes to conversation topics at meal times (apparently it's ok to talk about faeces while I eat my weetabix at 8 o'clock in the morning)

Since moving in, there have been some emotional moments of panic - not least when I realised how many pairs of shoes and items of clothing I possess.  Sharing a space with someone is all well and good until you realise that your 'share' is considerably larger than theirs.

A little tip for all of you panicking about where all your clothing is going to fit - unpack it all before he gets chance, that way he can only fit his stuff in the gaps.  It's working a treat for me so far!

The only downside?  I have no proper shoe storage space and my many, many, many pairs of shoes are now in the bottom of one of (our many) wardrobes.  This would be fine if I didn't have a few trusty pairs of Primark/New Look pumps which, every girl will know, don't smell like roses after you've worn them a few times.

Yep, my worry about having nowhere to hide met me head-on just hours after I unloaded my shoes and laid them all out in the wardrobe when Tom opened it up and nearly knocked himself out.  He trotted downstairs and sauntered into the kitchen where he said, cool as anything: "I think we need an air freshener for your shoes in that wardrobe."

We learnt that my feet stank very early on.  The day after the air freshener remark, I was receiving a foot rub.  Suddenly, the foot rubbing stopped - I looked at Tom and he was smelling his hands and pulling the sort of face you pull just before you're about to be sick.

Incase he didn't already know, my feet can sometimes smell.

There are a lot of emotional stages to moving in, and living, with a male - the worry, the panic, the stress, the anticipation, the excitement...  And then, when you move in, there's even more excitement teamed with a lot more stress, anxiety, pressure, and more panic.

Everyone wants to come visit and be shown round; you don't want any mess left anywhere (to the extreme where even a solitary breadcrumb leftover on the kitchen worktop from making lunch makes you break out into a hot sweat until it is removed); and you perish the thought of someone walking around on your plush, fluffy, cream carpets without taking their shoes off first.

Surely I can't be the only person who gets freaked out by these tiny bits of mess and gets palpitations at the thoughts of the slightest of stains on my carpets? 

Aside from the general housekeeping worries, and trying not to sound like I'm his mum nagging him to clean and keep tidy, moving in with a male is a complete eyeopener.

I have a brother so I am aware of how messy boys can be (hair gel all over the bathroom taps, the shaving aftermath left in the sink, dirty socks thrown around the room...) but I've learnt it's different without a parent there to clean it all up.

There's the odd pair of pants left on the bedroom floor but, other than that, so far things have managed to keep very tidy and organised and clean.

He's obsessed with our Henry the Hoover and will have it out the second he spots a crumb or piece of fluff (I'm hoping that isn't just a novelty and that it will continue).

He's also shown his cooking skills to be pretty on point.  On one of our very first nights in our new home, I was treated to a meal totally from scratch.  I was locked out of the kitchen until it was ready and, upon being summoned to the table, walked in the door to be greeted with a scene of sheer destruction. (I retract part of that previous paragraph about things being tidy/organised/clean)

There was onion and spinach choppings all over the worktops and floor; there were used bowls and empty packets littering the surfaces; mashed potato all over the floor and dripping down the washing machine; olive oil dripped across the worktops; peelings from potatoes all over the side; and all sorts of mess on the hob.  The kitchen was like a sweatbox and Tom stood there looking like he had just come out of a bikram yoga session.

Just as I was about to have a Monica Geller-inspired meltdown I glanced across to the table and saw a beautiful meal on our cute little table - I'd even had a glass of wine poured and waiting for me.

It was at that point that I realised that with the bad also comes the good - you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

And, in Tom's case, you can't make a delicious meal us both without trashing the kitchen in the process!

I've also realised, in the 11 days that we have officially been living together in our own home, that me and the Xbox aren't going to be enemies after all.  I was worried that once the 32" television and the Xbox moved in, I'd be pushed to the side in favour of Fifa and Call of Duty and whatever other games he obsesses over.  But, in fact, I am actually counting down the days until we have internet and he can get back to his virtual gaming world.  That way, he will spend more time on it giving me more time to watch the soaps/trashy tv in peace (and will also give me some time to re-plump the cushions and clean up without him judging me!)

Surprisingly, all my preconceptions about moving in with a male have pretty much been quashed since we actually moved in together.

So far I think I have experienced more emotional stages because I've learnt things about myself rather than Tom -

  • I am seriously OCD when it comes to cleaning, the organising of the cushions on the sofa and the bed, the layout of the candles on the cabinet, the positioning of the chopping board in relation to the hob, and so much more..
  • My shoes smell (and so do my feet)
  • I can be distracted from mess for short period by a good meal and a glass of wine
  • I am excited to welcome the Xbox into our lives 
I've always known deep down that I have been like Monica Geller's soul sister but since flying the nest and moving in with the other half this has been consolidated.

The emotional stages of moving in with a boy definitely lead you to learning more about yourself and your bad habits, flaws and, in my case, super-organised/OCD nature than you have time to learn about your significant other.

Although, we have only been living together for 11 days so I am sure there is still plenty for me to learn about him.  After all, they don't call it the honeymoon phase for no reason...

You may also like: 17 things you learn about yourself when you move out.

17 things you learn about yourself when you move out

After living in my own home for just over ten days, I have already learnt a lot of things about myself/my partner/being a homeowner.  If you are considering buying your own home soon, this list should help you prepare for what is in store.  And, if you have already moved out into your own place, I'm sure you will be able to relate to many of the points.

1. You find you're starting to turn into your mum.
      'Well if you don't like it, do it yourself next time'; 
       'I did a wash yesterday, why wasn't it in the wash basket?'; 
       'I didn't buy those chocolates just for you!'

2. You would rather put another jumper switch on the heating.
     'It'll be on in an hour, just stick another layer on.'

3. You obsess over lights and plugs being switched off when not in use.
      'Oh it's like Blackpool illuminations in here!'; 
      'You won't be leaving all that on when you see the electricity bill!'

4. You will quickly develop OCD.
      'You're squashing the cushions, could you just sit up for a minute so I can rearrange them'; 
      'Who moved the candles, they're in a different order?'; 
      'Please use a coaster.'

5. You realise you'll never be able to afford to do anything again.
     'Oh yes, hello pay day! Oh, hello mortgage payment, council tax, electricity, water, gas, Sky, internet, food shopping...'

6. Your plans for the week are now centred around who is putting the bins out and how the housework is being split (because you can't afford to do anything else).
     'Well I did the bathrooms and the dusting this week so can you do them this week and I'll do the hoovering?'

7. Your shopping habits will change dramatically.
     'Shall we go to Aldi, Morrisons or Tesco this week?'; 
     'We need to go to Homebase'; 
      'Have you seen them new pans in John Lewis?'

8. You will realise you should've paid more attention in design and technology at school.
     'Dad, can you come and hang this on the wall?'; 
     'Dad, will you come and put our new furniture together?';
     'How do I check if this works?'

9. The thought of having a dinner party excites you.
     'Let's not go out on Saturday night, come round to ours and we'll have a dinner party and drinks.'

10. You quickly learn how to make a culinary masterpiece out of leftovers.
     'Yeah, it's just some bits I threw together out of the fridge.'

11. 'Use by' dates are rarely adhered to.
     'It went out of date three days ago but smells fine so I think we'll be ok.'

12. You will never really learn how much pasta or rice is enough.
     'We'll have to take this for lunch tomorrow because I made too much.'

13. You realise why your parents got so annoyed at you not loading and unloading the dishwasher.
     'Yes, the machine washes the dishes itself but it can't open the door and load it on its own and put the clean dishes away as well.'

14. 'Shed envy' becomes a thing.
     'Where did he get his shed from?  I wanted one like that!'

15. You will suddenly find yourself analysing other people's houses and their choices of decor.
     'Ooh, I like your lamp where's that from?';
     'Oh, their kitchen was awful!  It had all these gaps and the worktops weren't as nice as ours.'

16. Some things will never have a proper home.
     'Oh just put it wherever there is a space.'

17. You sometimes sit and look around and wonder 'wow, all this is really ours and in our own home'
     And, I imagine, that will never get old.

You may also like: The emotional stages of moving in with a boy


Has the true meaning of Christmas been lost?

This year's Christmas was a bit different from all my previous ones.  There were a number of reasons why - the main one being I didn't get to see or speak to my brother.

My brother is at university in America and should have been home for Christmas a couple of weeks ago.  But, after an accident involving his passport and a washing machine, he was unable to come back.

Due to having no internet yet in our new home, I had to speak to him on FaceTime while I was at mum and dad's.  Because of the time difference and Christmas dinner plans, though, I didn't get to see or speak to him properly on Christmas Day.

It's not until someone important isn't there on Christmas Day that you realise that spending time with the people you love is all that Christmas is really about.

It's not about the Michael Kors watches and bags or the new laptops and tablets.  It's not about who can upload the picture of the most impressive haul of presents or who has the most expensive new piece of jewellery. 

It's not about who has the most presents under the tree or who has the best, new designer clothes.

Those things are all lovely, and it's always nice to be spoilt and to be able to spoil people, but Christmas is about more than just material things.

It's about family, friends and love.

Don't get me wrong, I received some lovely presents and felt very lucky as I opened them at various points in the day - but none of that mattered because I wasn't able to share the day with my brother.

I can't help but feel that the true spirit of Christmas is lost these days.  I'm sure I've been guilty of focussing on the materialistic things in the past but it seems more and more people are losing sight of what matters at this time of year.

It's not until you're without someone important for the day that you realise what it is really about.

It's renowned as a time to give presents and, for some, the level of present giving demonstrates the scale of love.

Personally, I love giving presents - I love seeing people's happy faces when they open them.  But presents are just a small part of Christmas and what it's about.

Christmas is the season of goodwill.  It's about showing someone you care and sharing the love with those closest to you.  It's about spending time with family and friends and making new memories while recalling those from Christmases gone by.

It's about sitting down together at the table for Christmas dinner without the interruption of smartphones and technology.  It's about talking and laughing and family and friends.

I felt incredibly lucky this Christmas - I got some lovely, thoughtful presents and was very spoilt.  But those presents weren't why I felt lucky. 

I had a new family to spend part of my day with who made me feel very welcome and loved.  I got to see my mum and dad and spend some of the day with good friends.  Then, we were able to go back to our own home at the end of the day.

The only thing missing from the day was my brother, and all the presents I got meant nothing because I didn't get to see or speak to him.

There was always going to be the first Christmas that I wouldn't see my brother and, while it made me sad, it helped me see what Christmas is all about.

Material things are brilliant but I'd settle for love, family and friends over presents any day.


I came, I saw, I conquered.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post called Looking to 2014 - I reflected on what had been good about 2013 and made myself a list of things I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year.

When I wrote that list back in January I didn't, for one second, think that this year would have gone the way it has.  I have achieved everything I set out to, and so much more.

Here's a quick round-up of what I wanted to do:

1. Stop snoozing my alarm so much
    Pretty much straight away I stopped hitting the snooze button all the time.  Rather than giving myself 55 minutes to snooze my alarm, I just set it 55 minutes later (for the time I actually need to get up).

2. Think less, do more
   Yep, I definitely do more now.  Of course I still sometimes worry 'what if' - but you only get one shot at life, there's no time to dither.

3. Follow my heart
   Looking back, it's a bit cringey that this was one of my goals for 2014 - but I would say I definitely followed it (so much so that I have ended up working with my other half!)

4. Find a job doing what I love
   TICK TICK TICK! Not only do I have one job doing what I love, I have TWO!!  I spend Monday to Friday as a news reporter at the Selby Times, and work as weekends as a broadcast journalist/news reader at Minster FM.  A year ago, I definitely wouldn't have thought I'd be saying that!

5. Move out (again)
   This was the most unlikely of them all but, on Friday 19th December (just 12 days before 2014 ends) we will be moving into our own little house with my other half.  Not only have I moved out (again), I have bought a house with someone.  If you'd have told me in January that I'd be waking up on Christmas morning in my own home I would've laughed in your face.

6. Stop dwelling on the past
   This became even more relevant this year and I have definitely stopped doing that now.  What's done is done and can never be undone.  All you can do is learn from previous experiences and apply what you have learnt to the future.

7. Go on holiday
   I went!  Two weeks in Djerba in July was amazing.

8. Find someone to go on holiday with
   The Goodliff/Nancarrow/Hughes party stepped in just at the right time and provided me with a surrogate family for a fortnight.  I had the best two weeks with them and couldn't have asked for a better group of people to go on holiday with.

9. Find something to smile about everyday
   I didn't think this would be as easy as it was.  At some points at the beginning of the year it was tough, but everyday I managed to find at least one reason to smile - and it really made a difference.

10. Get over my fear of speaking on the phone
   Starting work as a journalist, I had no choice but to conquer this one.

So there it is - it's been a busy year!  On top of all those things:
I got myself a brand new car
I saw Michael Buble (again!)
I celebrated with family for weddings and milestone anniversaries
I went to Coronation Street
I had an amazing weekend in London with my best friend at Summertime Ball
I got my first tattoo
I spent a month in London (living with my surrogate family <3) and had some amazing experiences
I celebrated my best friend's engagement
I got drunk on free champagne in a box at Old Trafford
And I got to spend the best part of the year with the best person ever.

2014 has taught me that it is impossible to plan your life.  Whilst you can have ideas and preferences in place, major things will happen at the most unexpected time.  

This time last year, I was just finishing work at City of York Council, ready to begin my journalism course.  I had hoped to be pretty much qualified by now and be looking to move down South to find a job.  Instead, I am still on with my NCTJ qualifications but have a full-time job as a journalist and a freelance job that I love!

My blog has also taken off quite dramatically.  Earlier in the year, when I wrote the post about 'No Make-up Selfies' my blog got over 250,000 views thanks to being shared on social media.  Since then, I get between 5,000 and 10,000 hits a month - okay, I'm not up to Cosmo standards yet but for a little blog like mine that is quite impressive.

I used to have a life plan, where I envisaged the age that I would be settled down, married, having children etc.. But life is unpredictable and spontaneous, and I would hate to miss out on something exciting and new just because it didn't fit in with the plan I had made for myself.

2014 has been an amazing year and I already have some amazing plans lined up for 2015 which include darts, Ed Sheeran, a hen do, a wedding, and lots of exciting trips.

New Year's Eve was never one of my favourite nights out of the year (although I have had some amazing NYE nights out in the past) but I always felt a bit of a lemon when it came to the countdown and the kissing part.  This year, there'll be no stress about going out or making plans to go somewhere - me and my other half will be spending a nice, quiet night in our new home with some food and drinks.

Life is very good at the moment and I cannot wait to see what 2015 is going to bring.

Merry Christmas to all you lovely people and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year x x 


How I lost weight without even really doing anything - A review of 'Skinny Medical'

!!! There are pictures of me in a bikini in this blog post.  Please avert your eyes if you are easily offended/distressed/upset !!!

Everyone wants the same thing when trying to lose weight - to do it without having to eat healthily or go to the gym.

When I started my course of Skinny Medical I had all good intentions of sticking to their comprehensive diet plan and a strict exercise regime.  But, like most things, the best laid plans often go awry.

I picked possibly the worst 30 days to take this course of tablets and to stick to a healthy eating pattern - there was my birthday, my best friend's engagement party, we visited friends down South, it was Halloween... I don't think I've ever eaten so much cake or eaten out so frequently.

So I wasn't expecting great things from these tablets.  I've not had time to go to the gym because of work (and birthday outings) and I've not been eating very healthy at all.

But regardless of all that, the tablets have had a considerable effect:

It seems like these are the perfect option for people who want to lose weight but don't have the time to go to the gym and stick to a diet plan.

I eat relatively healthy anyway, so I doubt living off fast food and takeaways would see the same results, but I did eat a lot more cake than I would normally.  And had a lot of meals out (not that I would have changed that, it was my birthday!)

I don't like to call them 'diet pills' because that saying always conjures up negative connotations but I can't think how else I would describe Skinny Medical.

They are brown capsules which, at first glance, I thought were massive! (I'm not good at taking tablets) But a big gulp of water and it was fine.  They didn't have the nicest of tastes so sometimes I needed a bigger gulp of water to take them with - but a nasty after taste for a couple of seconds was a small price to pay.

The course Skinny Medical that I took was the 30 day option.  That involves taking one tablet twice a day (one before breakfast and one before lunch) for 30 days.

Skinny Medical advertises itself as being the quick, stress-free solution to weight loss by tackling the four main areas needed to successfully lose weight.  It claims that it burns fat, blocks carbs, suppresses your appetite and leaves you feeling more energised.  All the things you ever want when looking to lose weight!

I thought, at first, it all sounded a bit too good to be true - but I'm open to trying anything if the results are as good as they promise.  And for me, it seems they were.

I can't comment on the science-y stuff, but looking at my before & after pictures I would say it must have burnt some fat.

They definitely suppressed my appetite though.  I've cut my portion sizes in half some days because I've got fuller quicker and not been anywhere near as hungry.

I'm not sure I would say I was more energised, though.  At the end of a busy day at work I didn't have the energy (or the willpower to be honest) to drag myself to the gym to exercise for an hour or so.  I'm kicking myself a bit now for that because I imagine my results would be even better had I put a bit more effort in.

Even so, they seem to have worked wonders given the unusually unhealthy few weeks I have had.

Skinny Medical offer different length courses, depending on how much weight you want to lose and how long you want to give yourself.  There is the 30 day course, which I did, a two month course and a  four month course.

They provide a comprehensive diet plan which allows you to carry on eating all the foods you enjoy, without cutting anything out, and gives you a day-by-day guide as to what are the best foods to eat.  With all the will in the world, I wasn't able to stick to the diet plan.  With hindsight, I probably shouldn't have started taking the Skinny Medical product a week before my birthday - but hey ho, it must work to some degree for me to eat like I did and not exercise yet still achieve results like I have.

Unfortunately, my scales at home are broken so I haven't been able to see how much weight I have lost.  But weighing myself has never been something I have been very keen on.  As long as I look and feel ok, that's all that matters.

A 30 day course is £34.99 - quite reasonably priced really.  This is recommended as the starter pack as it gives you an idea of how the product works and lets you see if it is going to work for you.

A two month supply is £54.99 - a bit more pricey but if it works for you, that's a lot of weight loss you could see.

Finally, a four month supply is £89.99 (currently reduced from £149.99).  This is described as being the best value pack as you get loads more for your money.  If you know the product works for you, and you want to buy in bulk (not necessarily to use for four consecutive months, but to stock up and use for 30 days at a time) this would be for you.

If you are wanting to try the product, though, I would recommend starting with 30 days.  Any longer than that, if you aren't sure what it will be like for you, is a lot of money to spend.

I would highly recommend it to anyone, male or female, to give it a try.  If it's worked for me when I've been eating out, eating cake, drinking lots of alcohol and exercising the bare minimum, I imagine it could work wonders for those who give it a proper go!

But, if you are like me and are busy and don't necessarily have the time to commit to the gym and a healthy diet, this could be the ideal weight loss tool for you.

Diet pills have always worried me and I've always been a bit cautious - but I think I'm onto a winner with these ones.  Great job whoever is behind Skinny Medical.

If you are interested in giving it a go yourself, especially in the run up to the Christmas party season, visit their website by following this link to find out more about the product, the diet plan, and the different length courses on offer.

If you've got any questions or queries about my experience using the product, any side effects or anything else feel free to contact me using the contact form.


What is luck? A few things to consider if you've had a bad day

Last week, like millions of others, I sat down and watched Lynda Bellingham's heartbreaking last television appearance.  To see her so bubbly and excited about her plans for the Christmas she never got to see was quite difficult to watch.

In her interview on Loose Women, Lynda described herself as lucky.

This really struck a chord with me.  Here was a lady who had a limited number of days, her life was being cut short because she had terminal cancer, and she was describing herself as lucky.

I often refer to myself as being unlucky.  I've never won the lottery, I never win the Daybreak or This Morning competition, my car would always break down (touch wood that's not happened for a while, though), and other trivial things like that.

Seeing Lynda Bellingham refer to herself as being lucky made me feel like the worst person in the world.  She was there facing this horrible situation with such poise and grace, finding a positive even at the darkest of times.  And here I am in good health with two jobs I love, planning my future with my other half, a supportive family, great friends etc. thinking I'm unlucky because I haven't won the Euro Millions.

A lovely, lovely lady I know has recently been diagnosed with secondary, incurable cancer.  This is after already having breast cancer a few years ago and beating it.  Rather than thinking like the world has got something against her, she is filled with so much positive energy.  She's one of the happiest, smiliest, most uplifting people I've probably ever met.

Seeing these two incredible women face unthinkably difficult times in their lives with so much positivity has inspired me recently.

Too many people are too quick to think that whatever problems they are experiencing are the worst thing in the world.

There is always someone worse off than you.  That's not to mean that your problems aren't worthy of being worried about or worthy of a bit of a stress and upset, but thinking about the bigger picture will always make you realise that you are luckier than you realise.

I'm renowned for making a mountain out of a molehill and over-thinking every tiny detail, but to call myself unlucky I don't think is warranted any more.

Everyone has things that are sent to test them, it's how you pick yourself up and tackle it that defines you as a person.  Lynda Bellingham proved herself to be a strong, inspiring woman who fought hard not to let herself be defeated or deflated by her disease.  My friend is exactly the same - positive, uplifting and inspiring.

If you've had a bad day, or someone you know has, instead of dwelling on everything that has gone wrong or upset you or annoyed you, sit and think about all the positive and good things in your life.

If someone who has just found out their life is going to be cut considerably short can keep a smile on her face and keep a positive attitude, you can definitely find at least one thing to smile about on a not-so-good day.

Whether your car has broken down and you've got to fork out to fix it, or you're having trouble at work, or you've split up with your other half - there's always at least one thing you can find to put a smile back on your face.


Shopping and dating - do the same rules really apply?

I don't know a great deal about the dating process and being in relationships - I have very little, if any, experience in either area.  Until earlier this year, I could probably count the number of dates I'd been on without needing to use my toes as well.

I only tend to write about things that I know a lot about (hence why there's never a lengthy feature on the conflict in Syria or the threat of IS) and, given my lack of knowledge and experience, never considered writing a blog about dating (certainly nothing positive, anyway).

But while scribbling notes about dating and relationships, I discovered that I knew more than I realised. I think I've learnt more in the last five months about going on dates and being in a relationship than I would have ever wanted to learn from spending years dating a load of wastes of time.

A good friend of mine described the whole dating process like the feeling you get when shopping in T K Maxx - you know there's probably something in there, deep in the middle of all the rails of crap.  But do you really have the effort to rifle through all the things you know you don't want, and don't like, just to find that one, perfect thing?

And is it possible to ever find the 'perfect' man that you have painted that picture of in your mind?  It's like going shopping for a new outfit and knowing exactly what you want down to style, colour and cut.  As soon as you know what you want, you can't find it anywhere.  And the more you describe it and paint yourself a mental picture of it, the more elusive it becomes.

Finding a good man is like finding a pair of heels that won't cripple your feet.  There's nothing worse than sticking with a pair of shoes that kill your feet just because they look nice - faking their comfort every time someone compliments you on them.  You have to put time into finding a good pair of shoes.  A pair that fit perfectly and you don't have to pretend to be happy with.  To do that, you need to be prepared to look outside your usual comfort zone of the New Look court.

The more you over-think the reasons behind your single status and worry about why nothing is happening for you, the worse everything seems and the less likely it is to ever change.

Becoming worried and obsessed over finding what, you think, to be your perfect, ideal man only leads you to overlook the one standing right in front of you.

Earlier this year I decided to stop worrying about the fact I'd been single for so long and stop actively trying to find a significant other.  I'd been single for over four years and had had enough of chasing all the wrong ones and trying to force something to happen with just anyone.  I didn't want to settle for second, third or fourth best.  I was proud of being single for so long and vowed not to change my relationship status for just anyone. (See here)

Then, literally a matter of days later, BAM!

I've rifled through the junk on the racks at T K Maxx to find something worth the hassle; I've found the pair of heels that I don't have to pretend are comfy; and I've found the perfect outfit without even realising it was what I wanted.

My point is, it may sometimes seem like the end of the world is near when you're single and can't find the one you think you're looking for.

It's like when you've been paid and you go on a huge shopping spree - you can never find anything you like enough to warrant spending your money on.  You don't just buy things for the sake of it, you save up until you do see something that you like.

That's why, in my opinion, dating and shopping are easily comparable.  Neither can be rushed, forced, and you can't make someone do it if they don't like it.  You should never waste your time/money on something that's not totally and completely 100% right for you.

I'm happy that I no longer have to waste my time in T K Maxx, on the off-chance I might find something worthwhile.  My shoes still fit perfectly, and are getting more comfortable by the day.  And I've realised that you never really know the 'perfect outfit' until you find it.


The transformation of caterpillar into butterfly

For the majority of my teenage years I tuned into Galaxy FM (later re-branded into Capital) and listened to Hirsty's Daily Dose. I laughed along with Hirsty, Danny and JoJo and felt like I knew them as friends.

But it turns out you never really know someone at all and that the person you see and hear everyday may not be the person they truly are. Putting on an act everyday of your life must be exhausting. Pretending to be someone you're not must make you dread waking up every morning. And that's what it's been like for well-known breakfast dj Simon Hirst. 

This weekend, Simon Hirst made the decision to announce to the British public that he is half way through gender re-assignment therapy and, from now on, will be known as Stephanie. 

In her interview, Stephanie said she has struggled for most of her life to hide who she really felt she was. 

The courage, bravery and, ironically, balls that she has shown the last few days to stand up and speak out about this has made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I feel an outpouring of pride towards Stephanie, like I would towards a friend who had just achieved something remarkable. 

To think of all those thousands of mornings that I listened to Hirsty and relied on him to lift my mood before school or college, now knowing how low he must have felt trapped inside a body that he didn't feel was his makes me feel really sad. 

Whilst the majority of responses to Stephanie's revelation have been incredibly supportive and heartwarming, there are some who find it difficult to comprehend and understand. 

To see the outpouring of positivity and love towards her restored all my faith in humanity. People are too quick in this day in age to attack anything, or anyone, that's different. To see Stephanie immediately accepted for who she is, and millions supporting her through this, made me feel very proud to be a part of this county and country. 

I cannot imagine how difficult her life has been until this weekend. The sheer torture it must be to wake up every morning knowing you're not the person everyone thinks you are. Being trapped in a body and boxed in a life that you know isn't yours must be one of the worst things to experience. There's no escape from it. Ever. 

The fear of what people will say and the unknown must have terrified her for such a large part of her life. 

I hope she knows now that her honesty and courage have left her regarded in my mind, and probably many others, as one of the bravest people I've known.

The world has come a long way and so has Stephanie. 

She proves that standing up and being yourself is the most empowering thing you can ever do. Don't ever shy away from who you are and pretend to be someone you're not just because you don't think society will agree.  You never know, it might surprise you. 

There are sure to be millions of people out there who are going through exactly what Stephanie has. She has shown all of those people who are struggling with their identity that it is ok to be you. To not shy away or feel scared about being yourself. 

People have their own ideas of role models - usually they are celebrities or sports stars. To me, Stephanie is one of the best role models out there. If her revealing her battle to the world helps make it easier for one more person going through what she's been through, then it's all been worthwhile. 

I hope Stephanie will be back gracing the airwaves soon, I'm sure everyone is dying to hear her back permanently. 

Until then, I hope she feels supported and loved by her millions of fans and all of us who grew up listening to her and view her as a friend. A friend who is too inspiring and brave for words. 

The caterpillar who has transformed and blossomed into a beautiful, confident butterfly. 


45 thoughts had by girls while getting ready for a night out

When getting ready for a night out, every girl has a routine which she follows while getting ready.  It's the same every time - the same questions, the same dramas and the same thoughts.

1. Is this going to be a heels night out or not?

2. What time will I need to start getting ready if I have to wash my hair?

3. Is this going to be a night worthy of shaving my legs for?

4. Why can I never find any kirby grips?

5. I think I'm going to wear my new heels.

6. Oh, but they're peep toe, that means I need to paint my toe nails.

7. I want to wear my cream skorts but that means I will need to fake tan.

8. Do I have time to fake tan?

9. Am I going to need to undergo a course of hair removal before tonight?

10. I don't want to pull, so I'm not going to shave.

11. What time shall we start pre-drinking?

12. I better not drink too much before I have done my eye make-up.

13. I don't know what to wear.

14. I'm just going to straighten my hair.

15. I am getting really good at this tanning my back/flexibility thing.

16. My hair looks flat, I wonder if I've got any dry shampoo.

17. Why can't I do smoky eyes without looking like I've been punched?

18. I'll try back-combing my hair.

19. Did I have pictures taken last time I wore this or can I wear it again?

20. Shall I wear the skorts or trousers?

21. If I wear the skorts, I can't wear my new top.

22. If I wear the trousers I'll have to wear the strappy heels that hurt my feet.

23. Mabye I'll just wear a dress.

24. I wonder what I can eat when I get home.

25. I'm just going to have to put my hair up.

26. Why does my forehead look so big?

27. Have I drawn my eyebrows on evenly?

28. I need more wine.

29. I still don't know what I am wearing.

30. I'll just take a selfie 'so I can see what my make-up looks like'

31. I look great *uploads to Instagram and Facebook*

32. #selfie #drunk #girl #fridaynight #woo #goingout #blonde #brunette #babe #happy #redlips #smokyeyes #party #brows #me #love #excited

33. I hope I've used enough hashtags.

34. The taxi is coming in two hours - I'm not dressed or drunk.

35. I'm not going to drunk text anyone tonight.

36. I don't like how I've done my hair.

37. I'm just going to wear the skorts.

38. Do I look like I've got man legs?

39. Maybe I should wear the trousers.

40. Screw it, I'm wearing a playsuit.

41. I best not break the seal before I put it on.

42. I need more wine.

43. Taxi will be here in ten minutes, have I got my lippy in my bag?

44. Shit, haven't got my keys or my ID.

45. I'm finally ready, let's go!


Why 'don't send naked photos to someone if you don't want them online' wins ridiculous argument of the week

'Don't send naked photos to someone if you don't want them online' is an argument I have seen a lot this week after naked photos of some high profile, female celebrities were posted online and shared by millions.

In my opinion, that argument is right up there with the ridiculous 'she was wearing a short skirt so she was asking for it' statement.  That is never, ever an ok argument.

For a woman to share intimate photos with a man is a big deal, and there has to be a lot of trust there.  To those in a relationship, I imagine swapping the odd saucy picture now and again is commonplace.  But what happens when the relationship ends or goes sour?

Of course, taking such photos and sharing them with someone else opens you up to an element of risk and with 'revenge porn' on the rise, sending intimate photos to someone is more dangerous than ever.

The internet, social media and technology are constantly evolving and developing and 'revenge porn' is changing right with it, becoming an increasingly big problem.

Some websites have even been created with the sole purpose of uploading 'revenge porn' pictures, often with the pictures linked to the victims' social media accounts and sometimes even including their full name and personal details such as their address.

The first rule of sending a saucy, naked photo is to cut your face out - everyone knows (or at least should know) that.

But this apparently foolproof rule doesn't save you from the shame of  'revenge porn'.   Most of these sites include intimate, personal photos of women with fully clothed, full-length images of the victims right next to them.  Distinguishing features such as the same bedroom decor, the same mirror, the same hair colour or the same freckle are all pointed out - these people are hell-bent on making sure their victim is totally humiliated and known to all.

Of course, there is nothing to stop these people matching 'headless' naked bodies with fully-clothed pictures, claiming that it is the same person - these horrible people will try anything to shame someone.

Women in the UK have reportedly been forced to shell out hundreds of pounds to remove their images from sites such as these, some of which are porn sites based in the United States.

The consequences of falling victim to an incident like this can be life-changing.  Women have committed suicide after their nude photos were shared on social networking sites; careers can be ruined forever; and relationships pushed to breaking point.

Next month, a proposed change to the law could stop these personal photos being shared online and used as 'revenge porn' once the relationship ends.  Unfortunately, technology is advancing so quickly that there are worries this will be too difficult to police and enforce.

To say that someone shouldn't send naked photos to someone if they don't want them online is stupid.  The only reason most women would send such photos to a guy is if they trusted them and, in most cases, loved them.

Opening up to someone and having that intimate relationship is something that should remain between two people, whether the relationship ends in a bad way or not.  No woman deserves to be treated like that, especially not by someone she once trusted enough to have such photos of her in the first place.

60 things you'll hear when you live with girls

Whether you live in an all-girl household or its mixed, when females live in close proximity with each other for anything length of time, you are bound to hear some of the following phrases/questions/statements uttered on a regular basis:

1. "Has anyone got any kirby grips?"

2. "How should I have my hair tonight?"

3. "Is this going to be a 'heels' night out?"

4. "Can I get in the shower first or do you want to get in?"

5. "Are you wearing that dress I borrowed once before?" *No* "Oooh, can I borrow it then please?"

6. "Can I use someone's hairspray?"

7. "Has anyone got any dry shampoo?"

8. "Did you know Ben & Jerry's is on offer at Morrisons?"

9. "Did someone lock the door?"

10. "Shall we order cookie dough?"

11. *Lying in bed, hear a man's voice in the house* "WHO'S THAT?!" *Promptly texts all occupants*

12. "David Beckham, though"

13. "Should I get a fringe?"

14. "Those are man's shoes...who has a man in the house?!"

15. "I need to do a wash, I've only got my 'period pants' left"

16. "What nights are we going out this week?"

17. "Taxi will be here in ten minutes - has everyone got their bags and had a wee?"

18. "I've not eaten anything yet today"

19. "I can't stop eating today"

20. "I need to go to the library this weekend" *Spends the entire weekend in bed watching Revenge*

21. "Can I get away with not wearing a bra?"

22. "David Beckham, though"

23. "I haven't shaved my legs for weeks"

24. "I bet my legs are hairier than yours"

25. "I'd better start getting ready now because I need to wash my hair"

26. "Anyone want to go get cake?"

27. "One more episode, then I'll get ready"

28. "Is he fit?"

29. "Does he have any fit brothes?"

30. "I'm really bloated"

31. "I'm going to do my washing today" *Cue every available surface area covered in clothes and underwear*

32. "When I get married..."

33. "I need a big poo before I can wear that"

34. "Our bathroom is disgusting" *Nobody does anything about it*

35. "Let's watch The Notebook"

36. "That's just like that time in Friends when..."

37. "Does anyone have an eye liner sharpener?"

38. "Have you got any spray?"

39. "Will you tan my back please?"

40. "Can you tell I'm not wearing any pants?"

41. "Today is a fat day"

42. "I'm not going out this week, I have no money and loads of work on" *Wakes up the next morning in a pool of self-loathing and shame with the hangover to end all hangovers*

43. "David Beckham, though"

44. "It's ok, I only need a body shower"

45. "He was a dick anyway"

46. "Is it too early for wine?" *Never*

47. "Why don't we look like Michelle Keegan?"

48. "I think I'm pregnant"

49. "She looks so much better in that than me, I'm going to the gym tomorrow."

50. "I can't be bothered going to the gym, wanna get a Chinese?"

51. "Frizz is an issue today"

52. "I wish McDonald's had no calories in"

53. "Have you seen his new girlfriend?!"

54. "Let's Facebook stalk her"

55. "You're a million times better than her"

56. "Let's get wine"

57. "I think I have another stretch mark"

58. "What is my hair doing?"

59. "Which Instagam filter shall we use?  I like Valenica."

60. *After a few glasses of wine* "I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!"

Being a girl and living with girls is the best, isn't it?!


To fart or not to fart? That is the question.

There's a Sex and the City episode where Carrie farts in front of Mr. Big for the first time.  He laughs straight away but his reaction leaves Carrie humiliated.

In true, female fashion she freaks herself out thinking that he will now lose interest in her and find another non-farting female. (Note: these don't actually exist)

She explains to Samantha what happened, saying: "It wasn't a choice, I'm a human!"

Samantha replied in her unique Samantha-style: "Men don't like women to be human.  We aren't supposed to fart, douche, use tampons or have hair in places we shouldn't."

We aren't supposed to poo either.

But most women do at least a few of these things - farting being a daily activity.

The sign of a good friend is being open enough to talk about natural bodily functions.  The sign of a best friend is not being afraid to display them.

One of my best friends once instructed me not to touch her or she would fart.  After bursting into a fit of giggles, I realised she was a friend I wanted to stick around.

But farting in front of a guy? WOAH.  Why is that such a big deal ?

Of course, farting on your one-night-stand while mid-spoon is probably not the best way to go.  (FYI, telling them about your little windy episode the next morning is probably not a good idea, either...)  That may send them running for the hills quicker than sitting in bed reading a bridal magazine the next morning.

But, following on from my blog last weekend about 'how do you know when you have found 'the one', I think feeling comfortable enough to fart in front of them is definitely a sign; for them as well as you.

It lets you both know that you feel relaxed enough to completely be yourself in front of him - something which you may not have realised until that moment.

The way I see it, it is too hard pretending not to be human.  If I feel comfortable enough to veg out in my pyjamas with my hair in a scruffy top knot and with no make-up on, you are already lucky enough to be in an exclusive minority.

Women have a tough enough time as it is keeping on top of hair removal, spot treatments, and concealing our eye bags without having to worry about holding everything else in.  

I obviously understand the rules of society and social norms and wouldn't fart in a lift or in any enclosed public space.  But with those people I feel comfortable around/love, with whom I must spend lengthy periods of time with little opportunities for a quick 'wind break'?  I can't hold it in that long, that just creates bloating problems and nobody wants that.

If you accidentally let one slip before you, or he, is ready - style it out and laugh it off, they'll react much better if you're cool about it than if you start to display signs of a mental breakdown.

Then, before you know it, you'll be weeing with the door open and shaving your legs on a weekly, rather than daily, basis.


How do you know when you have found 'the one'?

Those of you who know me will know that I have never really been a relationship kind of girl due to my bad luck/choices with the male species.

Neither am I a 'woman of the world' with a colourful lifestyle, I'd like to add.

A few months ago I wrote a blog outlining the positives of being single for such a long period of time.  I was really just trying to justify my long-term single status to my dad & brother, who seem to have an unusually keen interest in my relationship status.  Don't worry, though, guys - I am quite alright, I know what I'm doing.

Reading back on that blog now, I have to smile to myself.  I still strongly believe that the moment you stop looking for something, or someone, you find it straight away.  But how do you know when you have found 'the one?'

I am guessing they don't wear a sandwich board with 'I'M THE ONE' emblazoned on it in big, bold, easy-to-read font which flashes in a multitude of colours.

Given that I don't live locked in a dragon-guarded tower, I can hardly assume the man who rocks up on horseback in full armour to rescue me is 'the one'.

Nor can I assume that 'the one' will appear outside my window with my favourite flowers and begin serenading me with my favourite Ed Sheeran song. (Note: my favourite Ed Sheeran song is Thinking Out Loud for future reference for anyone.)

It's also safe to say I won't receive 365 letters, one everyday for a year; especially as letter writing seems to have been killed off by the email and social media.

I doubt anyone is going to write me a song to let me know they are 'the one', and I can't see anyone hiring out a banner to fly across Selby or partake in a bit of sky-writing.

Hollywood and Disney have left me very unprepared for this moment of my life, creating very unrealistic scenarios which I can almost guarantee will never happen to me.

Let's be honest, if I went all Andie Anderson on a guy he definitely would not turn out to be 'the one' and I would probably successfully lose him in less than 10 days.  Of course, it helps that she is stunning and Benjamin Barry had an ulterior motive.  But, nevertheless, she discovered that even after her over-the-top baby talk and insensitive naming of his penis that he was 'the one' when he chased her down on his motorbike.  (Apologies for the How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days reference but that's one of my all-time favourite films!)

Walt Disney is the worst culprit, with Nicholas Sparks a close second.

If I lost my shoe on a night out, I can almost guarantee that the male who found it would do one of three things:
1. Use it as a weapon in a mass brawl
2. See how far he could throw it as a demonstration of his masculinity & sheer physical strength
3. Try it on when none of his mates were looking just to see what it would be like to wear heels
He certainly wouldn't be trawling the surrounding area with a search party to find out who the shoe belonged to.

Maybe I need to be looking for more subtle signs instead of the ones Disney and Sparks make us think are the right ones.  Romance isn't dead, it's just not going to be like a fairytale.

Perhaps it's just simple signs I should be looking for, like seeing something he would like and my thoughts immediately drifting to him; or being genuinely upset for him when his team loses, despite my hate for them and the constant joking with him about it; or not wriggling out of a night-time spoon, despite sweating like Lee Evans and him snoring in my ear, because my moving might disturb his sleep and wake him up.

Knowing that just hearing his voice will make me smile when I am in a bad mood; always getting butterflies when I see I have a text from him and when I know I am seeing him soon; and still laughing every time I hear the story he has told me countless times are surely more recognisable, realistic signs that I have found 'the one' than waiting for some grand, romantic, Disney-esque gesture that is never going to happen?

Disney never outlined any of the above in any of his romantic stories, neither did Nicholas Sparks, but that doesn't mean they can't be signs to us normal, everyday people.

Maybe one day I will be able to answer my own question but, until then, I will keep my eyes peeled for the guy sporting the flashing sandwich board while keeping an eye out for those more subtle signs.


Can you ever win 'the dating game'?

It doesn't matter what game you are playing - tennis, darts, chess, snakes & ladders - every game has a winner.  And the dating game is no different.

It doesn't matter how many books or articles I read which claim to be a comprehensive guide to successfully playing a role in the dating game, I never seem to come out on top.

To read, the rules seem simple enough:

  • Be the best version of you
  • Always let a guy make the first move
  • Find out the need-to-know information
  • Try keep yourself busy
  • Look good without overdoing it
  • Smell good
  • Don't tell him your life story
  • Keep any weird habits to yourself
  • Don't kiss on the first date
  • Never sleep with him on the first date
  • Work out if he is your kind of guy
  • Don't reply to text messages straight away and never double text
  • Don't use Whatsapp
  • Never add him first on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
  • Don't be too available
  • Don't let him stay over
  • Don't date a guy who plays games

I could go on, but it will only remind me how terrible I am at following these 'rules'.

In principle, these rules are a simple, easy-to-follow guide.  But, to put into practice, they are actually very difficult.  When you are faced with someone that, you know, is a serial womaniser or has a terrible reputation, it doesn't matter how many self-help books or dating guides you read - you will still end up falling for their charms and, probably, getting hurt.

I, like most females, have a habit of falling for the wrong people - the 'bad boy' or the 'man slag' that you think you can change, the commitment-phobe, the player...  After too many wasted tears on these losers, I have learnt to keep my cards close to my chest and hide my emotions.

Whilst this isn't a tip in any of the books or articles I have read, it's the one I have found to work.  If I like someone, there is absolutely no point telling me to play it cool and not text them first, or not to accept a Saturday date after a Wednesday because, every time, I do the typical female thing and lose all control of my senses and what the correct protocol is to follow.

Whether the person is a serial cheater, a lothario, or a ladies man with more notches on his bed post than he's had hot dinners, they'll find a way to charm themselves into your emotions, and your bed, no matter how much you try and fight it.  That's why they will have the reputation that they do.

Despite what they may have you believe, men are very clever.  They know how to read women, how to charm us when we are pissed off and, most importantly, they know how to play us.

I will still keep buying and reading these books as they are released in the hope that, one day, they might have some advice which can actually be put into practice.  Until then, though, I will continue to play in a game that I have no idea how to be successful at in the hope that one day, it will just click.


My 28 day transformation and final Bootea results


Two weeks ago I wrote a review of Bootea and my experience so far (which can be read here if you are interested at all).  Today I finished my 28 day course and will now give my final review.  
I will try not to repeat myself too much, but apologies if that happens. 
28 days ago I was very fed up with my body.  Despite exercising at the gym 3-4 times a week and eating healthily, I didn’t seem to be losing any weight (on the scales or in my appearance). 
I had seen lots of good things about Bootea so decided to give it a go. 
I stepped up my gym attendance to 5 times a week; trying to do at least an hour of cardio and interval training while there, and finishing off with some toning and core exercises.
I didn’t change my diet too dramatically.  The eating plan, provided for free by Bootea, recommends you cut out meat from your diet.  I didn’t cut it out altogether but I did reduce how much I ate; only having meat in one meal every other day.  Instead, I ate a lot more fish.
My previous review contained the horrible before image and my progress half way through.  For those who didn’t read that, these pictures are demonstrated below:

After just 14 days there was a noticeable difference in my body shape. 
Not only that, I felt better in myself.  I had more energy, I was sleeping better, and my appetite was smaller.  I became more motivated to go to the gym, I got fuller quicker, and my skin improved as well. 
Some of this may have had something to do with the vast quantities of water I have been drinking, though.  I have always drank lots of water due to not liking tea or coffee but, while doing the teatox, I have been drinking between three and four litres a day.  I think the people at work must think I have some sort of problem the amount of times I am up and down to the toilet in the day!
These benefits continued in to the final two weeks of the course.  I also carried on with the exercise and healthy eating.
After 28 days, here are my results:

Overall I have lost just under a stone.  But I wasn’t bothered about losing weight – nobody ever picks me up so I don’t care how much I weigh!!
I was just bothered about looking and feeling better – which I certainly do now!
I’ve managed to buy holiday clothes (including a selection of lovely crop tops – CROP TOPS!!! I would never have dreamed of buying them for holiday 6 weeks ago) and finally don’t feel horrible in everything I wear.
It’s just 5 weeks now until I go on holiday so I am hoping to keep improving the bikini body.  I am going to have a couple of weeks break from the teatoxing and will do a 14 day course just before I go away, just to shift any last minute bloating.
I still hate my ‘before’ picture.  Taking that and having that on my phone is the best motivation for sticking at it.  On a Sunday morning when my alarm goes and I think about turning it off and going back to sleep, I remember that picture and get straight out of bed and to the gym.  I will keep that picture forever; maybe even put it in my purse for those moments when I’m at work and I need some chocolate to get me through the afternoon. 
I have worked really hard alongside drinking the Bootea.  This may mean that my results are better than some other people’s.  It also may lead people to think that the tea doesn’t work and I would have lost weight anyway, but I haven’t done anything different to before I began drinking the teas.  They have just given me the results I wanted to keep my motivation high and to spur me on to continue. 
To whoever is behind Bootea – thank you for making me feel happy and confident in my own skin again!
To get 20% off your Bootea order, visit this link

You may also like: How I lost weight without really doing anything

After my last post a lot of people were asking me questions about Bootea. So, for those who are curious but don’t want to ask, here’s what you need to know: 
Do I just drink tea all the time?
No.  Bootea isn’t a meal replacement ‘diet’ – they are really dangerous.  Bootea is to be used alongside a healthy, balanced diet (there is a meal plan available ‘for maximum results’).  It is made up of one cup of daytime tea every morning, for the duration of your course, and one bedtime cleanse every other night.

Are the side effects of the bedtime cleanse bad?
The bedtime cleanse contains natural laxatives, but this isn’t a reason to be put off.  I didn’t notice any difference and my friends who have also done it haven’t really either.  But, obviously, everyone is different.  Bootea recommend that you first try the bedtime cleanse on a night when you aren’t going anywhere the next day, so you can assess how it reacts with you.  Your body soon gets in to a routine, though.

Will it work if I dont exercise?
I am no Bootea expert, but I wouldn’t have thought it would be all that effective if you didn’t try to do everything they recommend.  They recommend exercise and healthy eating for ‘maximum results’, and they wouldn’t recommend this if you didn’t need to do it.  I can’t imagine it being all that successful if you continue to eat rubbish and don’t do any exercise.

What does it taste like?
I hate tea.  I don’t drink any hot drinks (except hot chocolate when it’s really cold).  I was a bit nervous about the taste, having never had green tea before, and the first day was horrendous.  I gipped, gagged and couldn’t even finish the cup!  But after a bit of googling, I found that putting honey in can sweeten it up.  I started doing that and never looked back!  It may take a bit of getting used to if you have never tried green tea or don’t like it but, if I can start to like it, I think anyone can!

Do you just lose weight from your tummy?
My tummy is the most notable place that I have lost ‘weight’ from.  I suppose this is because where most of your bloating is and where a detox will flush all the rubbish out from.  However, because I have been exercising a lot I have noticed slight changes in the rest of my body.  I would say, though, that the only place other people would notice it on me would be my tummy.


A guide to understanding women.

It’s one of the most over-used phrases by the male half of the population: ‘women are so difficult to understand’.  Men across the world struggle, on a daily basis, to make sense of the complex, ever-changing female and her actions.

It’s true, to some degree, that women are complex characters who take a fair bit of time to understand.   

But, it’s time to let the gentlemen of this world know that women are not as complex as you have been led to believe. 

We are very simple creatures, really.

Here are 10 things you probably didn't know/understand about women before today.  Maybe now you will see we aren't that different from you after all:

  1. We understand the offside rule.
Most women have seen Bend it Like Beckham and the handy demonstration with the French mustard and the terriyaki sauce.  We know how it works.

  1. We poo.
Yes, sorry guys, but it’s true.  We poo.  Once a day, twice a day... We even talk about it with each other.  Not so dissimilar to men after all!  We also fart.  It’s unlikely that it was just our ‘skin rubbing on the leather seat’ or the dog.  We only fib to save yourselves; we know how much the images of people like Mila Kunis, Michelle Keegan, and Margot Robbie having a big poo really upset you. 

  1. Just because we are crying doesn't mean we are sad.
Women cry all the time – hormones are a dangerous thing.  We cry when we are happy, sad, confused, angry, worried... We’ll cry at Coronation Street, X Factor, Made in Chelsea, the news, Crufts... Don’t question or mock it – we can’t help it!

  1. Girls talk.
We tell each other everything – no matter how big or small (literally, in every sense of the word...).  Just like you brag about things to your mates, we do the same.  But we don’t just brag – we tell every, single, tiny detail no matter how insignificant it may seem.  So, whether you have done something good or bad, we will know.  If you have a reputation as a wannabe lothario who sees himself as the local area’s biggest and best pulling machine, no doubt one of your conquests will have warned other women about this.  We tell each other everything from sex experiences, to how you eat your food, to what colour underwear you wear, to the school you went to and the area you grew up in.  So don’t be alarmed when, upon meeting our friends for the first time, they already know everything about you (including the size of your feet and your dental records).

  1. We know how to drive. And park.
If we have a driving licence, that means that someone has deemed us capable and knowledgeable enough to drive a car on the road, with other cars.  We have a piece of paper which states this.  We can also park said car after we have driven it on the road, with other cars.  We may have our own unique style of parking, preferring to explore more unusual angles and positions within the lines, but we can park nonetheless.  At the end of the day, our car insurance is cheaper for a reason.

  1. We don’t like being wrong.
Just like men, we don’t like being wrong.  We’re stubborn and will very rarely admit if we are in the wrong; again, just like men.  Chances are we know that we are wrong anyway, which means we know that you know that we are wrong, and this realisation is worse than you making us admit it.

  1. We don’t want our own, we just want some of yours.
Whether it be chips, crisps, onion rings, ice-cream, pudding in a restaurant or any other tasty food goods - we don’t want our own; we’re watching our figures, remember.  But, we would like a bit of yours.  There’s no magical explanation as to why this is, maybe it’s a form of FOMO (fear of missing out).  Similarly, you don't want to buy your own shampoo or moisturiser - you just use ours!

  1. We never forget.
Whether it’s the fact you didn't comment on our new hair or you spoke negatively about one of our friends once, four years ago, before you’d even met her – we remember everything.  So don’t be surprised if, during an argument, we bring up something that happened weeks, months, or years beforehand.  If it’s relevant, we’ll use all the ammunition we can lay our hands/memories on.

  1. We change our mind a lot.
It’s a woman’s prerogative.  We like to keep you on your toes, after all.  

  1. We don't nag.
If you picked up your dirty pants from the floor the first time we asked, we wouldn't have to continue to ask.  If you remembered to flush the toilet and not wee on the seat/floor, we wouldn't have to keep reminding you.  It's not nagging, it's gentle reminders.  Just like you gently remind us when you need a shirt ironing or a cup of tea making.

Overall, I think you will agree that women and men are not all that different.  Many of the traits associated with men are also easy to see in women.

Of course, there are aspects of our personalities which differ from female to female and can be somewhat confusing, complex and complicated.  But, with enough practice and perseverance, you will never have to utter the words ‘women are so confusing’ ever again.  Maybe, instead, you will start to see how similar males and females actually are.

And next time you do think about questioning why we are crying at a cat on the news, or complaining that you don't understand why we act the way we do, remember that you aren't the simplest of codes to crack, either.  Blowing hot and cold more often than a faulty boiler; mood swings that could rival our PMT phase; tendencies to enjoy shouting abuse at people in China over a headset while playing a game aimed at prepubescent teenage boys... I could go on.