Hello Bubblegum

Teen Screen Addiction

By January 22, 2016 tips

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Let me tell you a story…
For hours and hours I sat in my bedroom watching youtubers, scrolling through pinterest, looking at the lives of instagrammers and bloggers (comparing myself with them), and wasting my time reading about silly things including whatever was latest viral trend.

I would spend half of the night (when I was supposed to be sleeping) on my phone staring at the screen. I would feel angry and frustrated whenever I was not ‘connected’ to people via the internet. I just wanted to spend all of my time on the internet because what if I missed something important? I knew how bad this was for me but I kept doing it because I was literally addicted.

Not getting enough sleep made getting out of bed in the morning feel almost impossible. I would be up at midnight crying because I felt like I was wasting my life away (and I kind of was) but, what I would be doing at the same time the next night? Yep. I was on my phone. I am not even kidding.

I thought that being on the internet meant that I wasn’t missing stuff (I mean, I was online for nearly all of the monumental twitter trends).

In reality I actually was missing a lot of things. Spending time with family, helping cook dinner, going out with friends, being creative and doing art, sleeping and heaps more. But I wasn’t satisfied until I got my next dose of screens. It was like reality had become less real and the internet had become my reality.


I want this year to be a different story.

So I have decided to work on a few ways/techniques to gain better self control when it comes to screens. Just so you know, this is a work in progress. I don’t have all the answers. I am choosing to learn and grow while chatting to you guys about what helps me.

Make your bed a sleep only space.

Like I said, I used to spend hours laying in bed on my phone which was absolutely terrible! I recently got a really nice couch in my bedroom, which is perfect because I can limit my phone to the couch when in my bedroom and make my bed a no go zone till I am sleeping. I have successfully done this for almost a week now and it has been working great for me. Another option is to plug your phone in at night in another room. This way you are not seeing all of the notifications and getting tempted late at night to check them.

Limit the things you have to scroll through.

Something that has helped me get less sucked into spending hours online is unfollowing and unsubscribing to all of the random things I am needlessly following. Go through all of the people you are following on social media and unfollow all of the accounts that a) you don’t remember seeing in your feed or following in the first pace, b) anyone who uselessly spams your feed and c) any other accounts you can bear to stop following.

Maybe you are following a blogger on every social media and getting the same updates on every account? How about limiting the amount of times you are seeing that by only following them on one account. You can still get the update, just not a million times.

Another thing that really helped me was to unsubscribe to everyone I was subscribed to on YouTube so I don’t feel like I have to watch a heap of videos whenever I open YouTube, but I still can search for a YouTuber if I need/want to.

Find more productive ways to use your time.

A tip I was recently given was whenever you remember to get off screens or can’t think of anything to do other than screens was to write a list of anything and everything you want to accomplish in life big or small. Then, instead of going on your phone to stop being bored, work toward one of the things on your list. You will feel like you are being more productive with your time and you won’t be on screens. Often just starting something will give you the momentum to keep going on with other things instead of going straight back to your devices.

Understand That It Is Going To Take Time

This kind of problem is not going to be fixed in a heartbeat. It is going to take time, and the sooner you understand this the less disappointed you will be. Spending a lot of time on screens is simply a habit. Habits take time and hard work to change. I was recently given a metaphor that pretty much well sums up this. You created a grand canyon (your habit) by digging a hole shovel by shovel. To get the grand canyon to go away you need to fill it back up, shovel by shovel. What you put in is what you get out. Make sense?

Ask for help from your parents.

I know this may sound kinda strange, but most of the time our parents are there to help us grow and become better human beings. I am sure that they would love to work with you to reinforce the boundaries you set up for the amount of time you spend on screens. Maybe ask to sit down and have a conversation about it with them and come up with a plan of attack on decreasing the amount of time spent on your devices.


I hope you find some of these tips helpful and if you know any other ideas that help you out, leave a comment below and I would love to hear from ya! Best of luck!

xx Brittany

Blogging – Taking A Break

By January 12, 2016 lately, tips

lollies

Hiiiiiii 🙂 Ok, so this is a bit of a more chatty/ranty post than usual, BUT I am going to be posting again soon about screen addiction and how to overcome it so stay tuned for that and read on!

They don’t sell starburst at my local supermarket any more and I am so devastated! 😭  Yup, I made a whole post about that one simple and slightly annoying fact. I’m joking, I’m joking. On to the actual post now, nothing to see here! 😂


So, recently I had a chance to reflect on blogging and what it means for me. I was super busy at the end of last year and I just lost interest in taking the time to write blog posts and keep up with all of my social media. So I took a break for a bit. During this unplanned blogging break I had a chance to reflect on how I blog at the moment and what I want to change about it.

At one point last year blogging meant that I was spending hours upon hours scrolling through instagram, worrying about how many followers I had and stressing about whether my posts and images were ok. Living constantly in the world of blogging became really unhealthy for me.

I was frustrated because I really wanted to be a big blogger with lots of followers and page views. I was reading posts on how to become a professional blogger and they were talking about spending heaps of time and effort on stuff like SEO, perfecting posts and keeping a daily posting schedule. Was that what inspired me and got me excited about blogging in the beginning? No.

Having taken a while to think about it now, I do understand that it takes hard work and dedication to make money out of blogging. However that is not what I am trying to do right now. This is just a hobby. For fun. I needed to take a step back to realise that blogging doesn’t have to be as complicated as I had thought. It is only as hard as you make it for yourself. So I can take blogging as far as I want and keep it as small as I want.

It’s actually okay to take a break from blogging. My blog didn’t  really suffer much damage at all after a month or two of neglect. You guys are all still here and I am doing fine. My mental health is in a much better state now anyway.

I think I was just making blogging a bigger issue than it should be. Blogging ultimately should be a fun way for me to be creative in expressing my thoughts and ideas. Whether I am gaining 10 page views or 100, it doesn’t matter. These numbers don’t define my self worth and I can’t let them.

From now on I am going to limit the amount of stress blogging has over me. It is going to be a fun thing where I write posts and don’t worry about all of the rest of it. I will still be chatting with you all in the comments but I am going to limit the amount of social media I use and keep blogging a creative space for me to simply create content that makes me happy. That is a plan for now and I am super excited about the prospects of what this new year holds!

Is there anything you are going to simplify for yourself this year? Let me know down below!

xx Brittany

P.S. I am SO glad to be back guys!

Exam Revision Tips

By November 1, 2015 Guest Post, school, tips

pretty sharpies

I have just gotten through exams this year and so I have compiled a list of some really helpful study tips I have been using. Today I am also pairing up with Bethan from Bepbeee blog to bring you guys a double dose of study help! Bethan will be showing you some fun school DIYs so head over to her blog when you are done here to see those. 🙂

Listen to Music

Spotify and Pandora have great options when it comes to study music streaming. If you are really wanting to focus on studying hard I would suggest that you choose music you don’t know the lyrics to so you don’t get distracted singing along.

Create A Focused Environment

You really don’t want to be distracted all the time while studying because there is no way you will remember the stuff you are trying to learn. So make sure to have a clear study space on your desk with all the things that may distract you put away. If you are in a house with noisy siblings you can always drown out the chaos with your study music. 🙂

Don’t Procrastinate

Yes, I know it is hard but if you leave your studying or assignments to the last minute then your results will definitely not be as good as they potentially could be. So try to plan ahead and make sure you get going on your study early. Write down what day your exam is in your notebook or diary so that you can work out how much time you have to study and when you are going to fit it into your routine. Once you begin you create momentum for yourself and it will be way easier to continue.

Get Enough Sleep

You might be inclined to want to study really hard and long the night before exams. While this may let you learn a little more information you are also going to be very tired and you are not going to perform your best in the exam situation. Instead get a good night sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to rock your exams!

I hope this helps you guys out and don’t forget to go over to Bepbeee for those school DIYs. 

xx Brittany

Why You Need To Use a Notebook

By October 31, 2015 school, tips

Why-You-Need-To-Use-A-Notebook-Hello-Bubblegum

Shoutout to all ONE HUNDRED of my wonderful bloglovin followers! Finding that out made my day, so thanks again you guys! 🙂

Recently, one thing that has really helped me in all of the busyness of life is a notebook. I have been using it constantly and it has been amazing at making me feel less stressed and like my thoughts are in order. And because it has been working so well for me, why would I not share it with you?

What You Need To Get Started

I use a small spiral bound A5 notebook/sketchbook with no lines in it because it gives me a lot of freedom. I can write big or small, draw and generally have a super fun time! You can also decorate your notebook like I did mine this year by looking at my Pretty School Books post. I went for a pink theme, where I basically just only used a pink pen all through the notebook. Even though some pages are really messy and some pages are really neat the pink ink makes it all blur together a beautifully filled book that looks way less messy. If you want to know what stationery I use on a day to day basis check out the post What’s In My Pencil Case.

Planning Out Your Week

You know how sometimes you have a really busy week and sometimes you have a super slow and casual week. I used to use a diary/planner that was lined and dated but I found that I never really got into a habit of using it and it just took up space of heaps of unused pages. So now I have a page each week that I write a to do list on including events I have to attend so I don’t forget anything and it works great for me!

Getting Stuff Done

To do lists are the bomb! Seriously though, write a list of what you gotta do and go do it. It is super satisfying to cross off all the things that you have completed. Pro tip: Write your to do list for the next day right before you go to bed so you are super organised for the next day and ready to go to sleep without being stressed you will forget something.

Working On Blog Posts

I keep a running list of blog post ideas, inspiration and anything I can think of that would help my blog succeed all in my handy dandy notebook. Sometimes when I don’t have internet and I am pumped about a post idea I will write it all out in the notebook or just jot down the main points. You can also write blog stats and goals to keep you motivated.

Anything Else You Can Possibly Think Of…

Ideas, inspiration, thoughts, words anything that gets your creativity flowing for a new project is perfect to go in your notebook. Use your notebook to pretty much jot down every possible thing that you might want to reflect on in the future so you can clear your brain and feel more focused on the task at hand. 🙂

Let me know of any ways you use a notebook or any other programs that help you feel less stressed. I would love to know!!

xx Brittany

5 YA Books Series You Should Read

By October 18, 2015 Books, tips

Hey guys! Today I have compiled a list of some of my absolute favorite YA (Young Adult) book series, collected the summaries and told you what I liked about them so you can check them out. I promise there are no spoilers unless you call the official blurb a spoiler 😛 Here is a list of book series I have been loving and totally recommend. 🙂

Girl Online By Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)

If you don’t know who Zoella is then you are most likely in the same age bracket as my parents. Zoe began blogging back in 2009 and shortly after that she started posting YouTube videos. Today she has over 9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and is one of the most influential beauty bloggers around.  Here is the blurb to her first novel Girl Online:

Penny has a secret. Under the alias GirlOnline, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her quirky family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse at school, her parents accept an opportunity to whisk the family away for Christmas at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. There, she meets Noah, a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love—and capturing every moment she spends with “Brooklyn Boy” on her blog. 

But Noah has a secret, too, one that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover—and her closest friendship—forever.

I loved reading this book because Penny (the main character) showed me how as a blogger, or even anyone in this digital age needs to be careful about what they share on the internet. It was very eye opening and relatable while also being a happy sugary novel.

ALSO – Girl Online On Tour comes out REALLY SOON! The 20th of October to be exact. So now is the time to get both books without having to wait for the sequel. Yay! 🎉

Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Ally carter is an AMAZING author. I really love every single one of her books, but Gallagher Girls is definitely my favorite series of hers. The first book is called I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You. The series follows Cammie Morgan through her High School years of spy school. Here is the blurb for the series:

Most people know the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women as a school for the elite–manicured lawns, limo-lined driveway, and the best faculty in the country. But they have no idea what really goes on behind the ivy, or what the brochures mean by “exceptional”–that the Gallagher Academy is actually a highly classified school for spies.

The Gallagher Girls may be prodigies in espionage, but there are some mysteries even a genius I.Q. and serious combat skills can’t help solve–like how to keep your heart undercover….

Join CIA legacy Cammie Morgan and her fellow spies-in-training as they take their covert talents from the classroom to the field.

I have always really enjoyed spy stories and this one definitely didn’t let me down. To be honest, the first book in the series is my least favorite, mostly because of the love interest. But it is important to read because it sets up the series very nicely.

Embassy Row by Ally Carter

Another book by Ally Carter, Embassy Row book one (All Fall Down) was obviously good. It was a bit of a different style of book to the other books by Ally (a little bit more of a heavy theme) but that didn’t stop it from being great. I don’t often read books with a twist like this one but I really liked it.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

I don’t mind a little bit of romance in a book but I found it refreshing not to have that as a main focus. I am curious as to what happens in the next book and how Grace deals with stuff. (Sorry, no spoilers remember!) The next book, See How They Run, comes out at the very end of December!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson. What can I say? Rick Riordan is really good at making mythological characters come to life in the modern world. The way the book is written makes the old greek stories and heroes seem way cooler and Percy is just such a loveable character.

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

What did I tell ya? Good books. #percabeth #otp (I’m sorry, I just had to.) I am also in the middle of reading Magnus Chase the super new book by Rick full of norse mythology, and I am curious as to how it’s all gonna turn out.

Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan

Rangers Apprentice for all those medieval lovers out there who don’t feel like your average knights and dragons story. Will always wanted to be a knight but he is a bit more on the skinny side and didn’t get accepted into battle school. He has a different set of skills and they fit perfectly with another job in the kingdom. Rangers are like the kingdom’s special military spies and they answer only to the king working closely with the Barons to protect the kingdom of Araluen.

They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .

I have always been a bit in love with medieval stories! I love the fashion and the culture and ways of life! It’s really fascinating and these books are written nicely.

I hope you may have found some new books to read from here or maybe just agreed with me about how great these books are. Please comment your favorite books so I can have a look! 🌟

xx Brittany

Tips for Keeping Your Room Tidy

By August 23, 2015 school, tips

Tips For Keeping Your Room Tidy | Hello Bubblegum

When it comes to keeping my room tidy it really varies from week to week (or sometimes from even day to day 😁). One day it might be spotless with everything properly in its place and the next thing you know it looks like a bomb has hit it. Yup. A huge bomb of strewn clothes, bags and school papers. It is really frustrating because when my room is messy I find it super hard to be productive. So how have I learnt how to avoid this? Continue reading and find out, my friend!

Change It Up A Bit

The first thing I have to say is to make your room awesome! You want to actually enjoy the feeling of having a clean and fun place to hang out. If you love the way you have your room is decorated you are gonna want to keep it clean even more than if you hate being there. If you make a change in your room like some new posters or decorations on your desk you will see the change and it will remind you to keep your room clean. Then you can continue to admire your new style without peering over piles of stuff. It is a good idea to have a big clean out and then redecorate so you have more of a reason for keeping it clean.

Listen To Podcasts Or Music

Put on some music and have a dance party so that you can actually enjoy the process of picking up a dirty clothes and putting them in your washing basket. (I have been loving Melinda’s spotify playlist at the moment!) It makes it a million times more fun!

The podcasts I like listening to are Rhett and Link’s Ear Biscuits (they post YouTube videos over at Good Mythical Morning, interview YouTubers for their podcast and are pretty funny) and Elise Gets Crafty (her podcasts are really helpful and cover topics such as blogging and small business). So yes, I definitely recommend you search up some podcasts! 🙂

Make Sure Everything Has A Place Where It Belongs

If you want to be able to keep your room clean, it’s a fantastic idea to have a place for everything to go. That way when you want to find something you know exactly where to look and you don’t have to rummage through your entire room to find it. Organize the simplest things, for example something like having pen cup for your pens and pencils so they are not just lying all over your desk and maybe even a get a folder or box to put all of the notes and homework you get some school work in. That way you are not having them all over your desk and looking messy and they have a permanent place to go. The most important thing I can recommend for you to remember to put things back where they belong so your room stays tidy rather than weekly having a huge clean up. You will have so much more spare time without having to do a huge clean up all the time! 😃

Hopefully these tips have been helpful, be sure to comment what works for you!

xx Brittany

Tips for Growing Succulents

By July 12, 2015 craft, tips

I have been loving my succulents at the moment as you may have noticed, so today I thought it would be fun to show you what I do to grow more succulents. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned when looking after these super fun plants.

Tips for Growing Succulents | Hello Bubblegum

Where do you get them?

Well I got my succulents from my lovely grandmother’s garden. Basically I started with a couple of  cuttings from her plants and planted them and over time I have multiplied the ones I started out with. You can also buy succulents from a nursery or any store that sells plants.

Tips for Growing Succulents | Hello Bubblegum

Okay, so how do you multiply succulents then?

This is called propagation. First, you can either cut a top part of a succulent or pull off some leaves and grow baby plants. When pulling off leaves, be careful that you make sure all of the leaf came off, because if you rip the leaf the plant wont grow from it. Once you have the cuttings, you need to let the ends of them where they were cut dry over. Also after you gently pull off some of the leaves you can let the part of the leaf where it came off dry to grow baby succulents. They will usually only need about 24 hours to dry so just leave them alone for a day or so. After you think they are dry enough, you can carefully place them in some soil and water them lightly.

Tips for Growing Succulents | Hello Bubblegum

Tips for watering?

Succulents are designed to survive with minimal water in the sun. I like to have mine look super green and healthy so I like to water my indoor babies once every couple of days if the soil is dry. Basically don’t water unless the soil is completely dry. 😉 Also I like to use a spray bottle for my little succulents because it is less flooding for them than a glass or something else.

Tips for Growing Succulents | Hello Bubblegum

Here is a photo of some of the succulents I have grown and multiplied by using these tips. Good luck in your succulent adventures. Also, if you have any questions feel free to comment them below and I will be sure to reply!

xx Brittany

Tips To Help You Stop Stressing Out

By July 9, 2015 school, tips

pens and bubblegum

Thank you all so much for all your lovely comments recently! My play went fantastically and I had heaps of fun, each night was better than the last! It is really entertaining to do a play that asks for audience participation. You never know when the audience is going to react so it really keeps you on your toes. That being said, through the week before the play I was kinda stressed and I used a couple strategies to help me get through the week that I wanted to share with you guys. 😊

Write Lists

Sometimes, when I am stressed, I will write a list of all the things I want to get done on a piece of paper so I am not worrying about forgetting anything. This is really helpful and can make me feel much more but sometimes I write too much By filling up a page with things that are not actually all that important have completely stressed myself out because of all the stuff I have to get done.

Let It Go and Don’t Cause Yourself Extra Stress

While I am not saying you should abandon things that are necessary for you to do like school assignments and such, sometimes you just have to let go. Don’t worry yourself with things you don’t have time for. If you are finding yourself stressed out that you don’t have the time to get everything done maybe you need to take a step back. Have a look at the situation. What is more important to you? Being happy and content with everything you have completed or stressed out and unhappy with what you haven’t done. It is kind of a glass half full/empty moment.

Let Your Mind Take a Break

If you are stressed out and your mind can’t focus on one task it can be super frustrating. Lately I have been using an app called Simply Being where it plays nice music or nature sounds and has a relaxing voice guiding you through five minute or twenty minute meditation sessions all about not changing anything and just simply being. It is really great to let your mind go and have a moment to simply be, I definitely recommend it. 😆

This week is a rest week for me, the play is over, it is the holidays and I am kinda sick. So instead of worrying about not getting everything I can possibly do done, I am taking each day as it comes. I am giving myself a chance to let go and relax for a while, letting go of everything that stresses me out.

What do you do to help yourself stop stressing?

xx Brittany

One Year of Blogging!

By June 30, 2015 fun

pretty pencil case

I have been blogging for a whole year! Say what?! Thinking back on the past year, I would have to say it was pretty big! While I have done so much through blogging in the past year, I am still kind of upset with myself that I didn’t post very much.

If you are new to my blog then you may not know that I actually started blogging on a different blog called Bubble Gum & Beach Balls Blog but after a while I got sick of the extremely long name and changed it to Hello Bubblegum. Then a couple months ago I moved my blog to a wordpress website and got this domain name rather than the crazy long www.hellobubblegumblog.blogspot.com. Having the short www.hellobubblegum.com is so much better!! 😋

As you know, I wish I could have been blogging a lot more than I have been. It seems that every time I sit down to write a blog post I want to start off with the cliche ‘sorry I haven’t written a post in ages, I have been super busy with life’ kind of beginning.I stop myself from doing that because I know that whenever I see someone begin like that I most likely didn’t notice the blogger hadn’t posted anyway. Is that the way you feel when you read those kind of posts?

After saying that, I would love to let you all know that I am a week away from the performances of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ a play my drama group and I have been rehearsing non stop for the last few weeks. Excitement! We had our dress rehearsal with an audience yesterday which was super fun but we still have a little bit to work on between now and this Thursday for our opening night! Being the main character Jack means I have a lot on my shoulders but I am confident it’s gonna be great!

Wow! So yeah, it has been a year since I started blogging which is kinda crazy! Even though the past year has been super great, lets hope the coming blogging year is even better!! 🎉😄

xx Brittany

Watercolour Girls & Plants

By June 16, 2015 Art

At school in my art class we have been doing traditional Japanese art. The first thing we did was watercolour landscapes (here is my first attempt) then we did two Japanese Geisha Girls, one traditional and one contemporary.  The first picture is my contemporary girl and the other girl is the traditional girl. I also love plants as you might have noticed. The artworks with the patterns and plants and the cactus are the ones that I did at home for my goal to be more creative without using screens.

contemporary-japanese-girl-painting

cactus-painting

traditional japanese girl

art-journal

What have you been doing to be more creative without screens lately??

xx Brittany