QuiteFranklii’s Thanksgiving Guide

Hi guys! I’m back!! (Apologies, I’ve had some health issues recently, and then my Macbook decided to give up on me, and so my little one week break from intense social media and blogging became more like three). To make up for lost time, I felt like it would be fun to catch you guys up with what I’ve been up to.

As you may or may not know, we are a multi-cultural household, as my husband is in fact American! (I am British). As such, over the past few years I’ve found myself embracing a new holiday, Thanksgiving!  Of course, as a lifelong foodie I didn’t take much convincing, after all- what kind of maniac would be adverse to a huge meal surrounded by loved ones? Since one of my greatest passions in life is cooking, and hosting parties, (not to mention the fact I always want to try my best to stop Austin from feeling homesick)-  I decided that this year I would introduce a few of my favourite people to Thanksgiving, and invite them all round for an evening of food, festive fun and cocktails.

Over the next few days, I hope to share with you some of the things that helped me to prepare for this holiday (I’m definitely still learning) including recipes that can also be wonderful at Christmas time- so don’t be put off if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving!!

First up will be my To-Do list, I really hope you enjoy it!

All my love,

Frankii x

Toxic Friendships Series | Cleaning Up Your ‘Squad’: Pt. IV


Regular readers, since in both my anxiety tips, and my graduate mental health posts, I touched on the importance of cutting ties with toxic individuals, I thought it only fair to share with you my own experiences, and some of the sorts of behaviours you should look out for and try to avoid when trying to lead a positive life. I created this series both as a form of therapy and a means of warning/advising others who may feel like they are in the same boat. I’m making this a series, as it was a little long to include several types of toxic friend in one post. I aim to post at 11am GMT each week until the series is done.

Ps. Please don’t be afraid to walk away if someone is damaging your energy. It does not make you a bad person to walk away from someone who is toxic. You deserve happiness! x


The One(s) I Hoped I’d Never Have To Write

For me, though I can be hard to get to know initially, my morals are such that after I’ve been with/through a certain amount of things with a person, I will generally love them almost as an extension of my family. This is something that never fully goes away. These are the most painful friendship breakups of all. The ones where you’ve grown together, but sometimes they start to grow in a direction you don’t like. The ones where the person in your memories doesn’t coincide with the person stood before you today. The ones whose energy has changed and become suffocating or poisonous to your own.

For me, and i’m sure for many of you out there, you may find yourselves holding on to the people in memories, even though they don’t exist anymore. You may try to turn a blind eye to the negative traits they’ve picked up, hoping and wishing for it to just be a phase. The fact is, that life changes us. Sometimes people grow apart, and sometimes they grow into people who- when you really make yourself face the music, you don’t recognise… or even like anymore. This whole series was inspired by a recent experience. If the person(s) concerned are reading this (which I doubt as the lack of support has been going on for much longer than I realised), know that I’m sorry.

This is to be my final post in the series, with a view to opening it up again later on if anyone has any ideas or requests on toxic friends I’ve missed. This one was particularly hard for me to write hence I saved it till last. I hope you all can build the courage to end friendships that are/become toxic no matter how long you have been friends, because ultimately holding on to people that don’t love and support you in a genuine, healthy way will only damage you, and impact your life negatively. It’s ok to let people go if their energy isn’t right for you.

 

Dear Ex-Friend,

Life changed us, stretched our relationship over distances that meant we grew apart. We saw each other less and less, and each time I would see you I would notice differences. Some subtle, the shifts in your energy… less so. Before long the person sat before me was someone I didn’t feel that I knew. The person I knew and loved was too crazy and fun-loving to even notice things that this new person would say out of jealousy or spite. We used to be like siblings, but we changed.

I grew drained as each time we met a new person would become the subject of your anger. I tried to love you through it, sometimes smiling through discomfort and worst of all joining in, really wanting to believe that these people deserved the words you were saying. Hoping that you’d only talk about people this way if they’d severely wronged you,  but before long I couldn’t miss the pangs of envy that tainted your conversations. The people you spoke of all had something that you wished you had, and though the picture of victimisation was one I wanted to believe, the green began to seep through the cracks.

Before long I couldn’t help but wonder what you’d be saying about me behind my back. As I distanced myself, I felt the hostility growing inside you. Instead of looking inwards to consider why someone wouldn’t want to be friends with you, you lashed out. Not to mention, as it turns out, I was right to wonder.

I cannot fathom what could have happened in a persons life, to turn someone I loved for their carefree attitude and mutual aversion to b*tching about others into someone who could be so nasty. I supported you through everything I could, and ignored new warning signs as long as I possibly could have. But even as I felt resigned to distance myself from the friendship, nothing could have prepared me for the betrayal I felt when I heard that I’d become the topic of dinner conversation.

When I started blogging, I knew I would be judged for it. That’s one of the reasons I made sure to really cut down my Facebook down to people that I know (or thought I knew) loved me. To be ridiculed for doing something innocent and productive with my spare time, to say things like “who cares what she has to say?” was bad enough. But to screenshot a selfie and to tear apart my actual physical appearance, my marriage, my existence… To be that spiteful towards someone you shared years of memories with- was unforgivable.

To you, dear “friend”, I honestly hope that some day you can fill the void or the chip on your shoulder and realise that the world isn’t out to get you. Treating the people who love you awfully isn’t going to wind up benefitting your life, it will only push people away till you wind up alone. I never thought I would have to say goodbye to you, and part of me hopes that in a few years time this will have all just been a phase. I truly hope you can recover the person you were, because I know that deep down this toxic person isn’t you. But until then, for my own sanity, I think I’ll have to put this one to rest.

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that soul-mates are not always romantic partners, or “the one”, or even necessarily friends made to last; but they may also be people you meet at a time in your life when you need each other for one reason or another. As they say, some friends come for a lifetime, and others just a season, but to me that’s no reason to say that you can’t cherish the memories you made together. Ultimately, you hold the pen to your novel. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was to fit in. When I met you, for what ever reason, I did. As we grew, our views on love, friendship and trust began to grow and change- and us with them. If you’re reading this, and you find I’ve left you behind, know that it was never easy for me. For me, when I love someone, I love them loyally and wholeheartedly. No matter what you’ve done, or how time has gnarled us, know that I wish you the best.

Love From,

Frankii x


**DISCLAIMER: This post is not directed at any one in particular, but there may be elements applicable to several people whom, for one reason or another, are no longer a part of my journey.**

5 Tips for Freshers/Freshmen!


Since I’m starting my Master’s at a new University next month (UEA), I was thinking about how daunting facing a new academic adventure is. University (NTU) held some of the best (and worst) times of my life, and your life really is about to change forever. Living away from home and studying something (hopefully) you love will help you to really grow and find yourself. It sounds cliché but though it’s certainly not for everyone, your experience really will be an intensely valuable one, and hopefully will contain some of the best days of your life. I’m genuinely very jealous that you are getting to do it for the first time! 

 Though I am still jittery with nerves and excitement this time around, I know that I can cope. I remember how anxious I was in the weeks leading up to my first day, so as an old Uni veteran now, I thought that I would share with you guys some tips and tricks I picked up in my first year that helped me survive the transition, and some of the things I wish I’d done differently! 

 


 

Ditch that fuckboy!

Starting off with a semi-serious topic, having seen many relationships fall to bits here is my advice to you: If you are not one hundred percent certain that your relationship was built to last, I would seriously advise you to consider entering University single.

The fact is, it is extremely difficult to make a relationship work long distance as it is, without the added burden of being a new student added on. Unless you are very lucky, chances are you will not be able to afford a social life on top of train tickets/fuel to go see your SO every other week unless he is attending the same establishment as you.

Then, from my experience, everyone in Fresher’s week is like a dog in heat. For many singleton’s, it is the ultimate opportunity to meet and *ahem* ‘connect‘ with new people. Even if you don’t think you are a jealous person, if there is even the slightest part of you that is insecure, ‘adulterous’ or jealous, Fresher’s week will probably bring that out in you. Temptation is everywhere, when you aren’t drunk you are probably very hungover and fragile, meaning that emotions will be running extremely high. You quite possibly may find yourself crying in the club bathroom arguing over the fit flatmate you saw in his pictures, even if there is nothing going on. (You have no idea how many girls I had to step over on the bathroom floor!) Sometimes however, you are right to be jealous. I’ve seen both boys and girls sleeping with other people knowing full well they were in a relationship.

Unless you trust them implicitly, please think about whether it’s worth it. Fresher’s week is such an incredible and fun experience for most, and I hate to think that you might spend it sad or jealous over someone who won’t even matter in 5 years time. I know many people who severely regret wasting their time in fruitless relationships that prevented them from experiencing Fresher’s to the full with a clean slate. I’m not saying immediately set out and ditch your partner of 7 years, but definitely talk about it and ensure you’re both on the same page. If this lad/lass is probably not the father/mother of your children, rip the band aid off early and ditch them.

 

Embrace the anxiety

This may sound strange, but anxiety is good. If you weren’t a little nervous, you’d probably be a psychopath. For many, uni/college is the first time they’ve ever lived away from home, let alone with a group of complete strangers. If not, it’s still an entirely different situation. Fortunately, adrenaline is a great confidence booster, and since everyone is probably feeling the exact same way, you will find that conversation starts extremely easily. If your Rep’s do their jobs right, they will get you all together and gently force you to engage with other people outside of your flat, provide ice breakers and drinking games. (My fresher’s reps at NTU were totally amazing and went above and beyond the call of duty. Remember that if you are in trouble you should definitely seek out someone in a Rep shirt and ask them for help. That’s what they are there for!) You will find you have new friends almost immediately, with everyone clinging to everyone and finding great comradery in your new situation! (If you do suffer from anxiety, you can find tips for coping here)!

 

Brace yourself for hangovers!

If your religion or beliefs dictate that you can’t drink, I would definitely recommend joining a club or society for people within your church or at the very least one for people who share similar interests.

If not, brace for impact guys and gals. You will be not just allowed, but encouraged to drink all week long, and to go out every single night. This is because it really does help loosen people up and makes making friends loads easier! This is amazing, but if you’ve ever heard the term “Fresher’s Flu” and thought it was a myth you were wrong. It is very very real. Because you are either drunk or hungover consistently, you will find your voice strained, you’re covered in bruises and probably very emotional and fragile for afterwards. Here are my tried and true livesaver’s for hangovers:

  1. Before you begin your sesh: place a 2L bottle of water, a banana and a glass of water with salt and sugar in it next to your bed every night. Down the glass and eat your banana first thing when you wake up. This sounds insane and gross, but its science. You lose potassium, salt and sugars from being drunk and dehydrated. Putting this back into your system first thing might help you recover quicker. Google it, its a thing. I promise.
  2. After your sesh: if you can stomach it, try and have eggs for breakfast. If you’re vegan or otherwise dislike eggs, oats/porridge contain something called ‘Cysteine’ that helps your liver to break down the toxins.
  3. After your sesh: not trying to turn you all into pill poppers and addicts, but pro-plus or caffiene tablets/coffee could be your saving grace if you feel your energy flagging as the week goes on. See also vodka redbulls/jagerbombs.
  4. After your sesh:  Have a warm shower, then flash it cold to finish. Again, maybe I am mental, but there’s a reason a lot of entrepreneurs swear by a cold shower. Consider athelete’s having an ice bath too. It just really wakes you up and helps to get rid of the brain fog.
  5. After your sesh: make a round of tea and discuss all the hilarity and probable bad decisions you made the night before! Nothing makes a hangover worth it like story time with your new pals.

 

Don’t just stick to people in your flat

Make sure you remember there are people outside your flat that you probably have way more in common with than the weirdo in room 6. If you’re lucky your flatmates will be great, but after a few weeks they will probably get annoying and you will need friends who don’t steal your milk and don’t argue over dishes for 3 weeks straight. I really wish I’d joined a society while I was at uni, or in the very least not been ill all the time so I could have attended more. Make the most of your experience!

 

Leave your door open!

Get decent and open your door as soon as possible. It makes you way more approachable. At my uni we got told off for propping all the fire doors open but it meant that it became a bizarre sort of hippy community with the whole block of flats. We made friends with most of the block and ended up walking in and out of peoples rooms when we were bored or hungover needing a pal. Harry Potter marathons are necessary in that first week, I’m telling ya. We even ended up pre-drinking to GBBO. No regrets.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys found this post helpful or at the very least entertaining! If you have any questions or want any advice, especially if you’ll be joining the Trent Army in September I would love to hear from you! Either reply in the comments or find me on twitter @quitefranklii ! Be sure to share this with anyone you think would find this useful and i’ll see you guys in my next post! 

Francesca x

 

Toxic Friendships Series | Cleaning Up Your ‘Squad’: Pt. III


Regular readers, since in both my anxiety tips, and my graduate mental health posts, I touched on the importance of cutting ties with toxic individuals, I thought it only fair to share with you my own experiences, and some of the sorts of behaviours you should look out for and try to avoid when trying to lead a positive life. I created this series both as a form of therapy and a means of warning/advising others who may feel like they are in the same boat. I’m making this a series, as it was a little long to include several types of toxic friend in one post. I aim to post at 11am GMT each week until the series is done.

Ps. Please don’t be afraid to walk away if someone is damaging your energy. It does not make you a bad person to walk away from someone who is toxic. You deserve happiness! x


The Fake

The fake, otherwise known as the user, similar to the narcissist but not as malicious or draining, these are the friends that are only there when the sun is shining. The friends that appear when they need you and expect you to bend over backwards to support them but with reluctant or no reciprocation. You will find that they have no interest in really getting to know you, or supporting you and your goals- this is realistically because to them you are just a means to an end, someone to fill an empty slot in their schedule. If your plans don’t revolve around them, or their idea of fun, they will be disinterested and suddenly come up busy. You are their booty-call buddy, a convenient way to pass the time (yet they have are quick to guilt trip you for cancelling on them). They will constantly and consistently bring up other “friends” in conversation, and talk negatively about them, assuming you are too stupid to realise they do the same to you when your back is turned. Common phrases include “Oh my god, have you seen how fat she’s gotten?” and when intimidated by people doing better than they are (my personal favourite): “look how much she loves herself!”

Dear Fake

I don’t have much to say to you, because you were unable to hold my attention for long. You thought you were the next Regina George, but you turned out to be just another entitled loser. I feel sorry for you that you’ve become so insecure and bitter that you feel threatened by other peoples happiness and success. I feel sorry for you because you will never know true friendship while you continue to step on the people that love you to build yourself and fill the voids in your ego. Pulling up screenshots of people in group conversations to comment on their appearance, talking about peoples fluctuations in weight as though the number on the scale defines your value as a human being on this earth. You never learned that real Queens fix one another’s crowns and build each other- and i pity you as you’ve never felt the incredible empowerment that comes from mutual love and genuine support. The real tea is, you aren’t confident enough, funny enough, or witty enough to make Regina George work. Most of all, you are not clever enough. People will always spot you, whether it takes a week or a month, and grow tired of your lack of loyalty.

I’m always reluctant to discuss other women negatively unless I trust you implicitly and they have previously done me severe wrong. Even then, I tend not to think about them. One of my favourite quotes is:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you end up getting burned”.

Realistically, the only person you are harming by holding on to bitterness and resentment is yourself. That crap will bubble and spread inside of you like a toxin, and soon you will find yourself having poisonous thoughts. My hope for you, “friend” that one day you learn to let go of your insecurities, to stop lashing out when you feel threatened or envious, and ultimately, to love and be loved in return.

 


 

Dear Ex-Friend,

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that soul-mates are not always romantic partners, or “the one”, or even necessarily friends made to last; but they may also be people you meet at a time in your life when you need each other for one reason or another. As they say, some friends come for a lifetime, and others just a season, but to me that’s no reason to say that you can’t cherish the memories you made together. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was to fit in. When I met you, for what ever reason, I did. As we grew, our views on love, friendship and trust began to grow and change- and us with them. If you’re reading this, and you find I’ve left you behind, know that it was never easy for me. For me, when I love someone, I love them loyally and wholeheartedly. No matter what you’ve done, or how time has gnarled us, know that I wish you the best.

Love From,

Frankii x


**DISCLAIMER: This post is not directed at any one in particular, but there may be elements applicable to several people whom, for one reason or another, are no longer a part of my journey.**

Toxic Friendships Series | Cleaning Up Your ‘Squad’: Pt. II


Regular readers, since in both my anxiety tips, and my graduate mental health posts, I touched on the importance of cutting ties with toxic individuals, I thought it only fair to share with you my own experiences, and some of the sorts of behaviours you should look out for and try to avoid when trying to lead a positive life. I created this series both as a form of therapy and a means of warning/advising others who may feel like they are in the same boat. I’m making this a series, as it was a little long to include several types of toxic friend in one post. I aim to post at 11am GMT each week until the series is done.

Ps. Please don’t be afraid to walk away if someone is damaging your energy. It does not make you a bad person to walk away from someone who is toxic. You deserve happiness! x


The Limpet

A “Limpet”, based on a crustacean that lives clinging tightly to rocks, this is my term for those insecure clingy friends. These are the friends who will bombard your phone/social media when they don’t hear from you for a while; send you on guilt trips every time you can’t hang out or need space; chastise you for having other friends, and require constant and consistent reassurance.

Dear Limpet, 

I’m sorry that life has been so unkind that you’ve ended up insecure. I’m sorry that you asked me if you were annoying so many times that it got annoying. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be happy for you when you entered new relationships, because I knew how your insecure attachment style made you think everyone who smiled at you was ‘the one’.

I loved you for your sweetness and your unyeilding loyalty, but soon I felt that you were becoming less and less yourself. First I felt you adopting my hobbies and interests, though never having experienced them before. Then I felt you adopting my mannerisms and opinions- never one to disagree or challenge what I had to say. I wanted to know you, and I thrive on intellectual discussions. I silently willed you to disagree with me even once, but it never came. I wanted to know you and grow with you, but I soon realised it is hard to be friends with a reflection.

The truth is, as a true introvert, we were never a friendship built to last. I need my own space, I crave it for energy. To me, my own company is like a cool breeze on a stifling summers day. To you, with a predisposed fear of abandonment saw this as a slight. Friend, though you were kind and constant, I could not sustain the amount of emotional energy your friendship required me to give. I found myself needing more and more time alone, time with friends who knew themselves well enough to trust that I would always return after a day or so to myself.

I hope that one day you find yourself and grow. I hope that you find opinions and interests that are authentic and your own. I hope that you stop trying to be everyone except yourself, because until then you will always feel insecure and unaccepted- since the person you are presenting isn’t the real you trapped inside anyway. I hope that one day you understand that I didn’t “abandon” you or “cut you off”. I hope that you can learn to put your insecurities aside in order to walk in my shoes and not feel betrayed by my absence. Perhaps one day when you know yourself we will meet again- and I won’t feel harassed or pressured every time I see your name pop up on my phone. x

 


Dear Ex-Friend,

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that soul-mates are not always romantic partners, or “the one”, or even necessarily friends made to last; but they may also be people you meet at a time in your life when you need each other for one reason or another. As they say, some friends come for a lifetime, and others just a season, but to me that’s no reason to say that you can’t cherish the memories you made together. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was to fit in. When I met you, for what ever reason, I did. As we grew, our views on love, friendship and trust began to grow and change- and us with them. If you’re reading this, and you find I’ve left you behind, know that it was never easy for me. For me, when I love someone, I love them loyally and wholeheartedly. No matter what you’ve done, or how time has gnarled us, know that I wish you the best.

Love From,

Frankii x

 


**DISCLAIMER: This post is not directed at any one in particular, but there may be elements applicable to several people whom, for one reason or another, are no longer a part of my journey.**

Toxic Friendships Series | Cleaning Up Your ‘Squad’: Pt. I


Regular readers, since in both my anxiety tips, and my graduate mental health posts, I touched on the importance of cutting ties with toxic individuals, I thought it only fair to share with you my own experiences, and some of the sorts of behaviours you should look out for and try to avoid when trying to lead a positive life. I created this series both as a form of therapy and a means of warning/advising others who may feel like they are in the same boat. I’m making this a series, as it was a little long to include several types of toxic friend in one post. I aim to post at 11am GMT each week until the series is done.

Ps. Please don’t be afraid to walk away if someone is damaging your energy. It does not make you a bad person to walk away from someone who is toxic. You deserve happiness! x


The Narcissist

Deceptively charming, these are the friends who genuinely lack the ability to care for anyone except themselves. You may think I’m being dramatic, in which case I’d suggest that you are just lucky enough to have never met a true narc. There is a difference between self love/confidence and narcissism. A narcissist will only “care” about you when you have something they want or need. If you cannot be used to inflate their ego in some way, you are an irrelevant afterthought. The issue with a narc is that they are some of the best actors out there. They will make you feel like your bond is unbreakable, but they are ruthless and remorseless. Their ego will always outweigh any affection they have for you. They are the eternal martyr, always wronged but never wrong, they make you feel special by saying awful things about everyone in their lives “except you”, all the while listening to and saving your weaknesses for later. Your harmony lasts until you stand up to them, or in their way.

Dear Narcissist,

I remember you most for the summer that I needed to laugh. Boy, did we laugh. I was your go to for fun, nothing serious, and in part, I knew that. I didn’t reject it because I needed it too. I could never have trusted you, because I’d seen the way you abused the trust of others. But we had fun. I knew then you could never really love me, because you were too consumed with yourself. You post pictures where everyone looked awful, spare you, then let your conceit grow into thinking you were always the best looking in the room. You had an excuse for every bad thing you’d ever done, and acted as though the world was against you when you felt the consequences of the negative energy you’d fed into the world.

Even though you knew I was bruised from being cheated on numerous times, you insisted on tarnishing my belief in humans even further, and I found myself lying to partners for you out of love. Innocent people who loved you. People you would later claim were ‘crazy’, or terrible when they stood up for themselves or realised they were worth more. I found myself saying words I promised myself I would never say. I hate to lie, but I did for you. “No, she’s not cheating on you! She would never!“, “No! Of course he hasn’t been flirting with me, or telling me he wished you were ‘more like me”! That would be awful!” I coached you through your grief when your best friend died. I stayed up to talk to you every night you were struggling, while you told your [ex]-girlfriend was some crazy stalker. The same way you talked about her, even when you shared her bed.

I accepted all your flaws, and told family who hated you that they misunderstood you, because we had too much fun. Because you made me feel special. Before long, I realised that all conversation between us had one common ground- you. I became tired of treading on egg-shells, and for being berated for standing up for myself or giving you advice. I became tired of listening to you talk about the things you had been bought by lovers, and family you admitted to caring little for. Tired of you belittling my relationships based on the material value of yours compared to mine. Carefully and subtly reminding me that I was less. I only realised what you were because suddenly when the sun wasn’t shining you weren’t there. When I needed you most, you were absent, because you couldn’t feed from my energy.

But then I realised. I didn’t need you. I never did. I found myself, and did it when I was far away from you. I realised I was not less. I am beautiful. My soul will always be a breath of fresh air compared to your toxic radiation cloud. My relationships, though few, are healthy and whole- and that makes me the richest woman in the world. My friend, I met you in the summer and we had a blast, but when the winter came you were nowhere to be seen. I hope one day you become as wealthy as I am.

Dear Ex-Friend,

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that soul-mates are not always romantic partners, or “the one”, or even necessarily friends made to last; but they may also be people you meet at a time in your life when you need each other for one reason or another. As they say, some friends come for a lifetime, and others just a season, but to me that’s no reason to say that you can’t cherish the memories you made together. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was to fit in. When I met you, for what ever reason, I did. As we grew, our views on love, friendship and trust began to grow and change- and us with them. If you’re reading this, and you find I’ve left you behind, know that it was never easy for me. For me, when I love someone, I love them loyally and wholeheartedly. No matter what you’ve done, or how time has gnarled us, know that I wish you the best.

Love From,

Frankii x

 


 

**DISCLAIMER: This post is not directed at any one in particular, but there may be elements applicable to several people whom, for one reason or another, are no longer a part of my journey.**