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 According to Blink 182, no one some seems to like you when you're 23 but what if you're 27? How are you supposed to feel?

The truth is Tom Delong, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker had a point when creating this song. It clarified that you can't please everyone and that sometimes we make mistakes. However, in those moments when you feel like you've been hurt or misunderstood you will learn from your unfortunate mishaps and find yourself again. You'll learn to walk away from time wasters, toxic friends, f***boys and grow to become a person who doesn't need someone else to define them.

Since turning 26, I've learned so much about myself and my self-worth. It's crazy how 365 days can change how I felt about my body, views on dating and becoming an adult but it did!

So here are 27 things that have learned since my birthday:

1) I stopped wearing makeup, and I've never felt happier to go bare-faced in public.

2) I no longer feel ashamed for having cystic acne as I use my skin journey to help others to feel comfortable in their skin.

3) I stopped aspiring to look like another woman as I no longer hate my body

4) I stopped worrying about what I ate and allowed myself to eat out more often, and I bloody love brunch!   - It won't kill your macros, Jo.

5) I stopped feeling guilty for having rest days as my body needed a break for the gym - Missing 1, 2 or 3 days won't ruin your progress. 

6) I allowed myself to say yes to more opportunities and spend time with the people that matter the most to me.

7) I started blogging again and used my voice to inspire others to open up about real issues that matter.

8) I've learned to stop spending money on clothes I don't need

9) I donated half of my wardrobe to charity and helped raise money for the Stroke Association and Mac Millian cancer research

10) I've made some incredible new friends

11) I stopped worrying about the way I looked going on dates. Turning up in up with no makeup isn't unattractive it's showing that you're confident in who you are.

12) I've learned to give myself a time out and maybe enjoy a cheeky Netflix and chill on my own

13) I've learned to try new dishes and not be scared of spicey food

14) I've understood why people love coffee, and I can't function without a good cup of Joe  ( no pun intended)

15 ) I've learned to give myself a proper skin care routine and wear SPF more often.

16) I've reduced how often I use heat tools on my hair

17) I've learned about gut health and how important it is to eat a balanced diet - Trust me it has clear up my skin! 

18) I've learned to make the most my weekend and spend it exploring a new destination

19) I've learned to plan my blog content and schedule it in a way which is practical for me

20) I've understood that I shouldn't feel guilty for going out and having fun. 

21) I've learned that you will plateau when it comes to fitness so switching up your routine is a good thing!

22) I've started running again, and I love going out once a week on a 10-15k run.

24) I've started to go to more gigs

24) I've taken the opportunity to travel more and love the idea of seeing more of the world

25) I started to be more creative on my social media platforms by sharing video content on my Instagram

26) I kick started my youtube channel and I've started to film weekend vlogs.

27) And finally, I stopped chasing for someone that wasn't meant to be. I  didn't look for love it found me, and he's the perfect match.

When it comes to my skin care, I like to keep things easy to manage when it comes to my evening routine.My go to products are affordable and ideal for anyone who has sensitive skin or cystic acne as they’re made from natural and pharmaceutical products.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that most days I don’t wear makeup. However, if I do, I always ensure that I take my foundation, mascara, and lipstick off with make up wipes and cleanse my face with my Magintone facial brush. But if you're looking for an alternative and want to try a different type of beauty gadget. I reccomend checking out
Panasonic skin care UK facial range as their products help look after all types of skin.

My first step is to remove my make up with Simple wipes as I find that they’re the most gentle facial wipes to remove waterproof make up. If you’re someone like me who wears matte lipstick, liquid lipstick or waterproof mascara, these soft wipes will help get every trace of eye and lip make off!

After a few wipes, I’ve been able to remove the majority of the makeup that I’ve worn throughout the day or night. However, it doesn’t remove all the remaining makeup and dirt from my pores.

To make sure my skin deeply cleaned, I always reach out and use my Uriage cleansing gel as the clear formula lathers up and removes any remaining trace of the foundation of my face and leaves my face feeling nice and fresh.

Finally, as my last step, I use my Vanishing Cream by Lush to moisturise my face as that much needed hydration and leaves my skin feeling soft.

When it comes to planning birthday get-togethers, I'd like to say I've mastered what it takes to plan the perfect weekend. However, when it comes to planning my special day, I always try and make the day fun for everyone.

As I was turning 27, I wanted to do something different too my previous birthday does.  I knew that going out clubbing and drinking on a night wasn't me anymore.  Instead, I prefer going out for a nice dinner, having one or two fancy cocktails and then wake up without a hangover. So what was the solution? Let's do boozy brunch!

As someone who was quite late to the party with boozy brunch party, I always liked the idea of having a tasty brunch dish or late breakfast with a fresh Bellini or glass prosecco.  I knew that this would be the best option for my friends and me as it fitted into their schedule and allowed people to get home safely and rise the next day without a painful headache. 

For my birthday brunch, I reserved a table at Banyan in Leeds as the bar was based in the city centre and was convenient for everyone to too. The menu catered to a range of dietary requirements and they had a mixture of drink choices gave the option to have bloody mary's, a glass of bubbly or a pint of beer - on tap of course!  

Outfit wise for the occasion, I wore this lovely heart printed dress from Nastygal as the retro style of the midi dress was the perfect frock to wear for a day to night scenario. Plus as it was my birthday, I wanted to wear something different and out of my comfort zone as I don't usually wear a long dress or anything close to my body.  

I purchased this bikini last year from New Look

Luckily with the power of social media, we're able to educate ourselves about the normalities behind bikini bodies. Whether that's seeing curvey frames, body scars, stretch marks or muscular women. We can see that many men and women are no longer afraid to show their beauty and embrace their flaws.

However, I know for many of you out there that the thought of exposing your bodies in the sun by the beach or pool is terrifying - I get it I've been there. For years I filled myself with so much anxiety before going on holiday I used to dread stripping off down to my swimsuit in front of strangers because I was bigger than my cousins, friends and my ex-boyfriend.

I used to get myself so worked up thinking that I needed to be slimmer before I went on holiday. I'd try anything to try and fix a problem that was in my head and restrict what I ate to lost weight quickly. I knew deep down that I was doing wasn't healthy and that I needed to work on mental health and accept what's in front of the mirror- ME.  

I realised that the problem wasn't my weight as I knew I ate a well-balanced diet and worked out regularly in the gym, but it was what I see looking back at me.  I hated looking at my reflection as I'd nitpick everything I didn't like about my figure such as my curves like my big hips or not having a big enough bum.

I would also ignore what people tell me about the way I looked. I'd reject compliments and believe that I was still too fat.  However, over time, I knew I was making myself feel bad for no reason as to why should I feel the need to look like someone else? It was then that I noticed that I needed to accept my imperfections and just be myself! 

High Waisted style bikini - ASOS

For the first time this year, I felt relaxed on holiday and not filling myself with so much anxiety about the way I looked. I didn't let the past take over my future and my new memories with someone that believes in me and encourages to share more about being body positive.  I felt like it was important to remind myself that I'm fine just the way I am and that I can grow as a person and tell you all that you are beautiful just the way you are. 

Self-love is about accepting YOU and doing that means you've got to overcome every layer that makes you powerless. My biggest weakness was my relationship with food and body image. I overcame BED and bullying; however, the trauma of both those experiences did haunt me as an adult. I'll admit and say that it wasn't easy but didn't let it defeat me. I've stopped following influencers that made me compare my body, I've unsubscribed to magazines that made me feel like I need to stop treating myself and I've now grown to be a much happier person inside and out.

Last year, I went on a one of a kind trip to Florence for my birthday. My family kindly came together to take me away to Italy as they knew that I’ve been lusting to see more of Europe.

I feel in love with Italian culture after my trip to Venice. The beautiful architecture, colourful homes, and Italian food and language is what kept me wanting to see more.

I found out about this fantastic getaway four days before my birthday. I remember my mum letting it slip that I was going to Florence. I was genuinely taken by surprise as I didn’t expect such a thoughtful gesture.

It was an experience and weekend away that I needed at the time as my mental health was taking a toll on me. Going away with my loved ones reminded me that there’s so much more to see in the world and experience as a person.

My favourite spots were the dome and cathedral, the Ponte Vecchio bridge, gardens and seeing the world famous The birth of Venus painting and Statue of David.  The food was also incredible as you got a real taster of Firenze cuisine which had a mixture of cheese and meat sandwiches, pistachio carbonara or gelato or tiramisu for dessert- honestly it was heaven!

Over three days, I was able to view the whole city without it feeling rushed. I visited some of the cities most historical locations without having to queue as I purchased a weekend pass from the tourist office and a spot in advance or
45 which gave us early access to see the dome get and incredible view of the city.

If you're planning to book a trip to Florence soon, I'd recommend checking out Lonely Planets travel guide as it helped set up my itinerary for a city break.

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