A few months back I was involved in a Twitter chat about Travel. We were discussing the impact that social media had on travel and whether that impact was positive or negative? I have to admit I was torn. Here was the answer I gave:

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It really got me thinking – if technology was able to have such profound impacts on a travelling habit, what is it doing to our relationships? In short, is technology helping or hindering relationships?

My initial thought was immediately a positive one. Living away from home and being in a long distance relationship, technology allows me to maintain relationships with those I wish were closest to me but can’t be. I am able to feel close to them, hear their voices and see their faces. It is the same with friends back home. Even now my friends from University are just a phone call away and I can always count on the group chat for a bit of motivation when I’m feeling down, usually in the form of ‘YASSS QUEEN SLAY’ (It’s kind of like I get to be a drunk girl in a toilet whenever I need it).

Other relationships that immediately came to mind was my relationship with other bloggers and people I have only ever come across through the world of social media. I have come across some wonderful people and genuinely feel as if I have a much wider support network than I would have had without social media. Naturally not every encounter is genuine one but that is surely the same when you meet people face to face. You can never truly know another persons motive and I think that not being face to face definitely makes it even harder, but online interactions have taught me a lot about the impact words can have on another individual and I have become a lot more considerate and empathetic.

However, there are certainly cons to the impact our ever-advancing technology is having upon of social interactions and consequently the relationships that we make. A very interesting (and important) point was raised in the chat by @wanderingpram.

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If we apply this reduced need to be social to relationships we can certainly see how technology has the potential to seriously hinder them. Sure, it is great that answers are now only a few clicks away but that means google becomes the local sat in a bar or the person walking down the street who looks like they know where they’re going. We avoid interaction because it is no longer necessary to the point that when interaction is necessary we recoil in fear. Being told by google that your search was unsuccessful is a lot easier than the feeling of rejection that potentially comes from face to face interactions.

Last year I secured a place on the News UK Summer Internship where we had to opportunity to visit Unruly a marketing and advertising agency based in London. When there we were given a tour of a ‘house of the future’. This house had everything! The mirror could tell you if your outfit matched and what Zara shoes would go best with those black trousers – ‘They’re currently in the sale, would you like me to order them for you?’ The fridge would order your butter for you if you were running low, the bath would run itself if you needed a soak – the house did EVERYTHING, all you had to do was log in. What might surprise you is that this ‘house of the future’ was actually a house of 2020 – 2 YEARS AWAY! Obviously the vast majority could never afford technology like this but it would be there as an option for some. This level of technology meant that you would literally never have to leave the house should you not want to. You would never have to interact with anyone again apart from the person who delivered your groceries that your cupboard ordered for you when you were running short.

Technology and the impact of social media is certainly not black or white. In fact, it’s kind of a messy grey sort of colour. The sheer pace at which technology is developing terrifies me. In the house of 2020 I was simultaneously in awe and horrified. I never want to be in a situation where I don’t have to leave the house. Face to face social interactions and fulfilling and allow us to develop as individuals. However, interactions on social media too have allowed for me to develop patience, empathy and a willingness to be proven wrong. Just as with everything in life, it seems to be a case of small doses. As Sirius Black ever so wisely said (how do I manage to bring everything back to Harry Potter?):

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

The impact technology has on relationships, whether it helps or hinders, is ultimately down to us. What matters IS the part we choose to act on.

Technology can never rival the closeness of face to face interaction, but the reality is that is not always possible and when it isn’t I am grateful for technology being there to give a helping hand.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, let me know in the comments below! 

Jamie x 

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Hey guys! Something a little bit different for you today (and on a Wednesday! 3 posts in one week? Christmas came early this year, ey?) I am so honoured to have been nominated by the lovely Emily for the Sunshine Blogger Award! She is an incredible blogger who has been such an inspiration to me and I am so glad to have her as one of my blogging friends. I would seriously recommend checking out her blog as she is a fantastic writer with such a big heart. I wish her all of the success in world. 

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This award is all about bringing positivity to the blogging community, and inspiring others to do the same. As it is voted for by other bloggers, there are a few rules that you have to stick to (not being a party pooper guys – they’re fun rules!).

RULES:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog so others can find them.
Answer the 11 questions which the blogger who nominated you asked.
Nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 different questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post and/or on your blog site.

Okay, let’s get started!

EMILY’S 11 QUESTIONS:

Why did you pick the blog name that you did?

So my blog is called jamieleejenkins.com (not very imaginative, I know). No surprises here but it’s called that because, well… that’s my name. I toyed with the idea of having a more exciting name but I am the most indecisive person in the entire universe and I couldn’t find something that I thought summed up my little corner of the internet. I decided therefore that the best option was to let my Mum decide and go for my name – what could possibly sum me up better? 

Name a blog that inspires you.

Without a doubt ruthinrevolt.com! She is such a ray of sunshine and I am so inspired by how hard she works. Ruth in a fantastic writer and her content is always so motivational. I would serious recommend checking her out as she deserves all the love and support in the world.

What is your favourite aspect of your blog?

I love having my own little space on the internet that’s mine. Writing has always been an absolute passion of mine but I used to really struggle with technical stuff. With a lot of hard work, I managed to pick up loads of new skills and I am incredible proud of how I have managed to develop my little blog. It’s never been about stats for me, but hearing how my work has helped my readers is so motivational and makes all the hard work worth while. I adore my blog and everyone I have had the pleasure of coming across through it.

Best blogging tip?

Everyone says it but it is so so true – Be authentic and love what you do.

When you love your work it really does shine through in the writing and it is such a great thing to see. I guess from this I would also say give yourself a break if you need it. There is no shame in having down time and no content is better than forced content. 

If you were only able to watch one film for the rest of your life, what film would you choose and why?

I am going to go with Forrest Gump. I think it is such a beautiful film that has me laughing and crying in the same scene. I adore the story line and think the acting is incredible. It has some really important lessons of love, life and loss. As Forrest said, ‘life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get’.

Where do you write the majority of your blog posts?

I’d love to say something cool like in a coffee shop in central London but that would be a massive lie. I do love writing out and about as it gives me some great inspiration and makes me feel like a proper little professional but the majority of the time I write sat at my desk at home whilst cuddling my puppies.

What is your favourite item that you own?

This was a really hard one but I am going to go with my MacBook. I honestly could not be without it. It helps so much when it comes to blogging and keeping in touch with the community and it is where I watch most of my TV (I’m a bit of a Netflix addict). I was torn between this and my phone but the MacBook won because, well… it’s rose gold. 

You are stranded on a desert island, but have your three favourite books with you – what are they?

I have recently got back into reading after my degree so this is such a perfect question! I am going to do with Angels and Demons by Dan Brown because I could read this 1000 times and still find something new in it. I think he is such a fantastic author. Next, I would go for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson for similar reasons. I have only recently read this book but I think it is fantastic – definitely in my top 3. Finally, I would go for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (one had to be Harry Potter, right?). I chose this one because it is one of my favourite books in the series and has one of my favourite chapters ever written in it – The Prince’s Tale.

Fruits or vegetables?

Fruits! I love fruit and vegetables but I have to give this one to fruit. I make a delicious dark cherry and chocolate protein smoothie for my post-workout that I am truly obsessed with. As good as veggies are I just couldn’t say goodbye…

What is the main aim of your blog?

I want to make people smile. 

The main aim for me was to help others through my writing and make them smile. Life can get pretty tough sometimes and I wanted my little corner of the internet to be a place where readers could gain knowledge, make friends and have a breather.

Any goals for the rest of 2018? List them below, and let us help you reach them. 

Yes, yes, yes! 

  1. I want to smash my first ever job! I start next week (eek!)
  2. I would love to hit 5000 blog views and Twitter follows, which may be optimistic but let’s see.
  3. Continue with my mental and physical health journey and see out 2018 the happiest yet.
  4. Book a holiday for next summer with my savings from my job.
  5. Maybe earn a little bit of money from my blog.

Watch this space guys! 

My 11 Questions:

  1. Who is your biggest inspiration in the blogging world?
  2. When you’re feeling down what is one thing that is guaranteed to make you smile?
  3. Summer or Winter? Why?
  4. What are 3 things you have learnt from blogging?
  5. What are your 3 favourite things about yourself?
  6. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
  7. What is your best childhood memory?
  8. If you were hosting a dinner party and could invite 5 people, dead or alive, who would you invite?
  9. And what would you cook for them?
  10. What would your top tip be for practising self love?
  11. What are your goals for the rest of 2018 and how can we help you smash them?

I AM NOMINATING: Charlene, Cara, Vikki, Britt, Lupe, Samantha, Dalindcy, Rachael, Jade, Daniela, Alys

I have chosen then 11 bloggers because I adore their content and have had the pleasure of meeting them either online or in the big wide world and I think they are absolute rays of sunshine. I cannot wait to see the nominee’s responses!

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time. 

Jamie x 

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Happy 7th of December guys! Something food related for you today. Something that I have found really interesting is how certain foods have become ‘trendy’. Restaurants have been a hit with Instagrammers and suddenly the once pretty unheard of avocado sits on the #instafamous food throne, surrounded by his good friends, coconut oil, donuts, freak shakes, smoothie bowls and ice cream that looks like cute, little flowers… I could go on, but I won’t. I went to Wagamamas for the first time a few years back, solely because I wanted to ‘instagram’ my food. I kind of wanted to explore this a little bit. How can we explain the rise of the avocado? 

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Follow my Instagram for more cliched pictures of my brunch.

The other day I ordered two tops saying ‘Let’s Avo-cuddle’, I didn’t want to admit it but I had become that person. I wanted tops with avocados on, a phone case with donuts, anything covered it peaches to represent my struggle for the sought after peachy bum. I am a total sucker for it. But why? Why all of a sudden am I stressing my #yokeporn and avo won’t quite look aesthetic enough. Apparently you can even get the infamous Avo-toast in McDonalds.

Now, Avocados have a load of health benefits that I’m sure you don’t need me to go into in great detail (you’ve all seen the ‘good fat’ meme, let’s be honest…). But there are loads of foods out there that are good for you that haven’t had their big break. It partly comes down to taste. Supermarkets have sussed when their avocados are at their best. Like bananas, avocados are better when they’re a little soft, hence the ‘ripe and ready’ packs you can now pick up from your local supermarket. But, let’s be honest, this really isn’t enough to cause the stir it has done. I’m not going to insta my banana because it’s looking pretty darn ripe and ready. In reality, it comes down to a lot of very clever marketing and the neoliberal consumer culture that we live in today. Just like Nandos, which everyone went bloody crazy for, the avocado has faced a marketing overhaul. The rise of the lifestyle blogger and coffee shop/brunch culture has aided it on it’s journey to the top. Journalists when off to South Africa and the Avocado became an ‘all year rounder’. What with this and the massive talk about all the health benefits, it’s really no wonder people started putting it in their trolleys. There has also been a huge change in the way we perceive fat. Fats are no longer the enemy and we are now more aware of the important role it plays in our diet (thanks to clever marketing, of course, but important none the less), and so the avocado has become a whole lot more appealing. Social media has also seen vegans and those who live off plant based diets step into the limelight. Even I have been influenced by this lifestyle and changed my eating habits thanks to it. A lot of these recipes rave about the avocado, it goes in puddings, breakfasts, dinner, tea, desserts. Anything you can think of!

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Seriously, go and follow me. I need to beat this algorithm and I promise it’s not all avocados. 

It’s true, avocados are good for us but balance is key. I love avocados, but chucking an avocado, kale and coconut oil into every smoothie I have is not exactly going to be good for me. It’s like peanut butter. I’m allergic to peanut butter so I don’t have this problem but everyone is drizzling peanut butter over this and spreading it over that. Peanut butter is another food product that has seen some clever marketing strategies. But it’s all about moderation. These things are good for you. I bloody love an avocado (although a lot of this is almost definitely down to what I have been told I should love as a wellness blogger) but you can get too much of a good thing and a calorie surplus is a calorie surplus, however you get it.

The rise of popularity of the avocado means that demand is becoming far greater than the supply and the avocado industry is struggling. This means prices will rise, which might mean the avocado has to avocaGO (I’m sorry, please don’t judge me). But what will come next? Social media is relentless. There are more and more lifestyle bloggers sharing their fantastic posts about their life and inevitably creating new #foodgoals.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about how they in fact don’t like avocados or pumpkin spiced lattes, or fitness bloggers who don’t drink monster (I’m talking about me with this last one…) so will we soon see another food take the avocados place in some sort of game of throne-esque show down? Who knows? But what I do know is this, whichever food it is, there is a marketing team out there somewhere ready to hit us with health benefits, pamphlets and instagram posts on a clean white backdrop. Let’s just hope it’s not the sprout… 

Jamie x 

Good morning folks! Something a bit different for you today. I’ve decided to do The Christmas Tag! I love doing stuff like this and thought it sounded super fun so hopefully you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed thinking about my answers.

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Favourite Christmas Movie?

Love Actually, without a doubt! I think it’s such a feel good film (I mean, apart from the cheating and stuff…) and it’s got some of my absolute favourite actors in it. It’s one of those films that you watch snuggled up on the sofa with your box of Quality Streets and a fancy hot chocolate.

What are your favourite Christmas colours? 

Hmm, this is a tough one! Our tree is always decorated in reds and golds, which is super festive. I also quite like Burgundy. Anything that’s deep and warming and maybe a bit sparkly.

Do you like to dress up or stay in your PJ’s for Christmas Day?

I tend to have my festive PJ’s on in the morning and then whip on my Christmas jumper after all the presents have been opened. It doesn’t last long, just whilst we all eat dinner and then the PJ’s will be back. Only this time it’ll probably be a pair I got as a gift with some fluffy socks and my dressing gown. I never get super dressed up but it feels weird sitting at the table in my PJ’s.

What do you eat for Christmas Dinner?

Literally everything you could possibly imagine. Mum really does go all out. Turkey, stuffing, mashed and roast potatoes, brussels and chestnuts, Yorkshire pudding, all the vegetables, pigs in blankets… I really could go on. We then have a special pudding. None of us like Christmas pudding so it will usually be a homemade cheesecake and ice cream or something like that! One year we had a warm chocolate brownie and it was incredible!

Best gift you have ever received? 

I really don’t know, this is too hard! The one that stands out to me is that Mum got me a place on the Sylvia Young Summer School, which was amazing. I also don’t know if the puppies count as a early Christmas present but if they do then them 100%. Mum is the absolute best at buying presents so anything she gets me will be amazing!

Peek at gifts or be surprised?

It shames me to say it but I really am a peeker. I don’t go out of my way to look for my presents but that’s only because Mum would definitely find out and be mad. I only like surprises if I’m not expected a surprise so, when it comes to Christmas gifts, I find it really hard not to do some investigation.

Favourite Christmas memory?

When I was little we went to Lapland. I was still at the age where I believed in Santa and it was really magical. We stayed until Christmas Eve so I still had Christmas Day at home, which was even more magical because I had met the man himself a few days before. The whole holiday was amazing, I remember sledging, husky rides, making snow angels in proper, powder like snow. It really was a magical Christmas! I still love Christmas now but it was a lot more exciting when I believed in Father Christmas.

Favourite Christmas Song?

Got to be Fairytale of New York! I like to pretend to be both of them and have a little duet with myself.

Favourite Christmas Scent?

I love the sweet smells, like the Christmas Cookie Yankee Candle! It smells so good you could eat it and always makes me think of Christmas. Also, this is weird, but the smell of the decorations when you first get them out. It’s not necessarily a nice smell, kind of musty, but it always means that Christmas is coming!

Best part about Christmas? What does it mean to you?

Christmas is all about family. That might sound a bit cringe but it’s true. We don’t have a massive Christmas, it’s really just my Mum and Wayne, but it is so lovely to spend quality time together with no other pressures. I love just chilling in the evenings, snacking of leftovers and watching festive films.

So that’s that! Instead of tagging specific people, if you read this and fancy giving it a go then do it! I love reading other people’s answers so let me know if you do. 

Happy 4th of December guys!

Jamie x 

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Hey guys! Something a little different today. I have been tagged by the lovely @OutOfTeaBag from outofteabags.com to do my very first tag! Definitely go and check her out, her answers are great. Anyway, here it goes…

1) What is your favourite candle scent? 

I love Yankee candles (I got my obsession from my Mum there)! I love sweet, sugary scents so my favourite is probably Snowflake Cookie – one of their Christmas range.

2) What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? 

Probably Katharine Ryan. I met her at the Cosmopolitan Self Made Summit and she was the funniest, kindest and most inspirational person I have ever met. Think she would make a hilarious big sister, plus she is super fashionable so we could share wardrobes!

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3) What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? 

This is a tough one! Does Maxx Chewning count? He is absolutely hilarious and we could go training together and everything!!

4) How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? 

I love a good wedding! I’m thinking about 25. Gives me time to get my career under way and have saved up money for us to start out lives together. I admit to having the odd look at dress ideas now though…

5) Do you know a hoarder? 

I wouldn’t say I was a crazy hoarder but I do love things with a bit of sentimental value. I keep all the cinema tickets and little bits and bobs from dates with my boyfriend and stuff like that. I like to save things that would probably be meaningless to other people but remind me of happy times.

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6) Can you do the splits?

Not even close! I keep practising but I’ve kind of accepted it’s never going to happen. Even when I used to dance I could never do the splits.

7) How old were you when you learnt to ride a bike?

Confession time. Unless it’s a stationary bike in the gym, I can’t really ride a bike. I can kind of go in straight lines but if I have to turn a corner I have to jump off and turn it myself!! A bit embarrassing really…

8) How many oceans have you swam in?

Now you’re testing my geographical knowledge. After googling it, I think I’ve been in 2 – Atlantic and the Pacific.

9) How many countries have you visited?

I’ve been to 8 countries, some multiple times! My favourite so far is probably America – I absolutely adore Florida! In Europe, I really liked Berlin and Paris is beautiful. I would really love to travel more. I love exploring new places.

10) Is anyone in your family in the army? 

No. I have the upmost respect for anyone who is though. Such a brave and selfless career.

11) What would you call your daughter if you had one?

Well, my boyfriend is Irish so it would have to be an Irish name (this will absolutely terrify my boyfriend if he is reading this…). I really like the names Ava and Aoife, although the latter has already been taken by another family member so we can’t have that one!

12) What would you name your son if you had one? 

I really don’t know! I always find boys names so much harder than girls.

13) What’s the worst grade you’ve got in a test?

I got given a U in my A2 RS but it turns out they had lost my paper and we had an absolute disaster to be completely honest! I had been predicted an A. Luckily I still go my place at University. Still winds me up…

14) What was your favourite TV show as a kid?

Probably not the typical kids TV show, but I used to watch Friends all the time. I didn’t always get the adult humour back then…

15) What did you dress up as for Halloween when you were 8?

Mum always got really into my Halloween outfits when I was little. I was pretty much always Count Dracula. It was never anything cute, she really took scary to the extreme!

16) Have you ever read Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight? 

I have read all of them! Harry Potter is my favourite, Twilight my least.

17) Would you rather have an American or British accent?

British. I quite like my accent.

18) Did your mother go to University?

She didn’t. I’m the first in the family to go actually!

19) Are your grandparents still married?

They are!

20) Have you ever taken Karate lessons?

No but I would have loved to!

 

21) Do you know who Kermit the frog is?

I certainly do! Think most people do since the infamous meme.

22) What was the first amusement park you went to?

Probably Alton Towers.

23) What language beside your native language would you like to be fluent in?
Definitely Italian! I think it is such a beautiful language.
24) Do you spell the colour as grey or gray?
Grey

25) Is your father bald?

He’s not but that bald patch is getting bigger (much to his dismay). 

26) Do you know any triplets?

I do. We had triplets at our school.

27) Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?

Titanic. I think I’ve only seen The Notebook once and I don’t really remember it.

28) Have you ever had Indian food?

So many times. I absolutely love it!

29) What’s the name of your favourite restaurant?

I couldn’t choose so I’ll have to give you a few! La Coppola (Italian), Wing Wahs (Kind of like an all you can eat of every take away food and then a massive chocolate fountain). If I had to pick my favourite chain it would probably be something Italian.

30) Have you ever been to Nandos?

More times that I care to admit.

31) Do you belong to and warehouse stores? (Costco, Bookers etc)

I don’t actually. Don’t really know what they are!

32) What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?

Blane I think!

33) If you have a nickname, what is it?

I don’t really have a nickname.

34)  Who is your favourite person in the world?

My Mum is my best friend in the world!

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35) Would you rather live in the countryside or the city?

My plan is to live in the city for a few years whilst I’m young but then move to the countryside when I’m a bit older with a cute little dog.

36) Can you whistle?Kind of.

37) Do you sleep with a night light?

Sometimes. I have a light you can dim a bit which is nice and relaxing.

38) Do you eat breakfast every morning?

Of course!! Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I actually go to bed excited for breakfast!!

39) What medical conditions do you have?

Nothing too serious! Touch wood.

40) How many times have you been to hospital?

So many times!! Like 5 or 6 I think.

41) Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?

Yeah! I love a good cartoon.

42) Where do you buy your jeans?

I’ve never actually found a pair of jeans I really like and that fit really well. Any recommendations, hit me up!

43) What was the last compliment you got?

That I looked nice without makeup, which made my day! I never leave the house without make up so that was really nice to hear.

44) Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?

Every single morning! I have really vivid dreams.

45) What flavour tea do you enjoy?

Another shocking confession! I don’t actually like tea. I know, I know!

46)  How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?

Maybe about 12. I’m really not sure! I only wear about 3 different pairs though.

47) What religion will you raise your children to practice?

I will teach them about all different religions and they can choose to follow one or not. I am not religious myself but my child can believe in what they want.

48) How old were you when you found out Santa wasn’t real?

I think I was about 8 or 9. My stepdad accidentally let it slip whilst I was still awake. I kind of had an inkling but it still cut deep.

 

49) Why do you have a blog?

I love writing and sharing my thoughts with people. My fitness journey has really helped improve my mental health and I want to share that experience with others and make health and fitness (both mentally and physically) accessible and honest.

50) Name 5 of your favourite albums ever

1. Blue is the Colour by Beautiful South

2. Hot Fuzz by The Killers
3. Heaven and Hell by Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler
4. Arctic Monkeys by AM
5. Battle Born by The Killers
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Since we’re sharing new things, here’s a picture of me not in gym clothes! Shocking…

Absolutely loved doing this tag and trying something a little different. I’ll get back to my usual fitness posts soon but might pop in some new content. Let me know what you fancy. Planning on getting ore lifestyle content up during my holidays. If you fancy giving this tag a go, let me know as I would love to give it a read. 

Jamie x 

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