10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

30 September 2016

London, UK
Reading lifestyle posts is like a hobby to me. I’m incredibly nosy, so I love browsing other articles about the blogger or their life – it helps me to feel like I know the person behind the words and the photos. There aren’t a whole bunch of ‘tag’ posts on Anika May, but I love writing them and seeing the reaction of commenters. It’s nice to know if there are people similar to me or completely different!

#1 I’m obsessed with everything Marvel.
I was never into comic books as a child. Ever. I didn’t know who Captain America was until I accidentally downloaded The Winter Soldier in 2015 and fell into the world of Marvel. I was completely oblivious to The Avengers coming out in 2012 until watching my first Marvel movie. After seeing ScarJo and Mr Evans dominate the screen, I rented all Marvel films from The Incredible Hulk to build up my knowledge and understanding of the cinematic universe. The Winter Soldier literally changed my life. Not only did it encourage my weird devotion to my husband, Chris Evans, but also got me into a whole other world of comic books and characters. I haven’t been to a convention or anything, but I just adore the films. The DC films are also entertaining for me, but I feel like Marvel has a magic touch when it comes to making movies, I could watch Avengers, The Winter Soldier and Civil War every day and be happy.

#2 I’m super into American Football.
I have absolutely no idea how this happened. Like Marvel, it’s not something I grew up with and a world I didn’t know existed until I was in it. In 2014, I watched a video of Tom Brady’s quarterback highlights on YouTube and was incredibly impressed. From that moment the New England Patriots kind of became my team and I have supported them ever since. I also really like the Broncos and the Falcons – it’s a shame not a whole bunch of people in the UK know about the NFL. As a kid, I had family members who liked Manchester United (I’m sorry) and other football teams, but no mention of what goes on across the pond. Nowadays I’m trying to follow every game as the season starts up again. For me, it’s an entertaining sport that brings out my competitive side; plus the Super Bowl is a monumental event with amazing performers! Go Pats!

#3 I aspired to be a fashion designer as a child.
During my younger years, Stardoll was my life. I don’t know if it’s a site that’s still as popular, but it’s still going. When I fell in love with dressing dolls up, I decided I wanted to dress people up too. My mum used to be a fashion designer for brands like Next, Debenhams etc – so I would always watch her sketch wonderful styles and sew all day and night. Sadly, I didn’t pick up the sewing gene but I did get a few drawing skills from her. Designing clothing is still something I do for fun on occasion, and can often find myself doodling outfits on any spare scrap of paper, but in reality, that hectic career is not for me.
#4 I used to publish my own magazine.
Fashion is in my blood, it’s something I will always love, even if I’m not the next Anna Wintour. Between the ages of 8 and 16, I created my own magazine (the name is just too embarrassing to reveal) and would hand it out to my friends at school. I remember doing everything, from the contents page to my own adverts. Microsoft Publisher was my very best friend during those stages, and my mum would be furious after each month passed because I’d print around 20 copies of a 15-page magazine just to give to my friends. Yup. The magazine was very similar to Shout or Mizz (throwback or what?) and I really thought it would become a world-wide phenomenon. Eventually I realised it doesn’t work that way.  

#5 I’m terrified of dogs barking.
When I was around seven, I was in a park with my dad and younger sister, who would have been about three years old and still in a pushchair. We were casually walking through a large park in Leeds, and I spotted three German Shepheard dogs jumping up at a tree and barking at their owner – who was only controlling the fully-grown dogs with a small stick. I don’t know what triggered it, but the dogs just came for me and my instinct was to run (the complete opposite of what you’re supposed to do). The chased me, while barking and eventually caught up, biting and clawing at me until my dad reach me and pulled them off me. Since that day, dogs barking always makes me jump, even if I’m familiar/friendly with the dog!

#6 I got lost in Buckingham Palace.
Way back when, during the solid years of 2005, I went on a tour of Buckingham Palace and ended up in a random room full of paintings and a whole wing away from my mum and sister. We visited the London landmark for fun and managed to get tickets on a unique tour on some of the more intimate rooms of the palace. Somehow, Little Miss Daydream here, managed to get lost from the group, so I tried to find them myself. I specifically remember climbing under velvet rope and thinking it was a good idea – it wasn’t. The tour guide eventually found me before any guards did, and tried her very hardest to try not to strangle me on the spot. I’d entered a restricted area of the palace… oops.
#7 I don’t have a middle name.
I feel like middle names are a fact you know about someone when you really know them (or if you’re evil and want to use it against them one day). Well, I don’t have one! My full name is Anika Hunt and that’s it. My mum and dad didn’t think I needed one and liked the idea of a first and last name. My siblings don’t have middle names either, that seems to be the running theme in our little family. It’s not something I’ve ever been upset about because it’s something I never had! What’s your middle name?

#8 Anika May was not my first blog.
I guess blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do without actually knowing. My first blog was called On The Hunt and was this embarrassing domain my dad helped me set up. It was basically a space for me to complain about anything and everything, but then Twitter came along and I could do that multiple times a day. My second blog was called Mannequin Mode and I actually had it for more than a year. It was through a website called blog.com (which just vanished one day) and I went all out with blog posts. I tried to post every day, even creating a Tumblr account, in the hopes of becoming the next Lauren Conrad and interning for Teen Vogue.

#9 The Sims used to be everything to me.
I’m hoping I’m not alone here, but I loved The Sims. From The Sims, to The Sims 2, to The Sims 3 – I loved them all. I still have a box under my bed full of expansion packs for each series. I haven’t bought The Sims 4, simply because I wouldn’t have enough time to play it and lost interest as I got older. I still think the game is legendary, you could live basically any life you wanted: a mermaid, a vampire, a celebrity or a housewife. There were no limits with the game and I think that’s what made it so fun. Of course, I played with cheats to speed a few things up, but still loved the whole creating process, and spending two days building the dream family and house before getting bored and starting again!

#10 Reality TV is my weakness.
In my life, there’s not a lot of drama. There isn’t really anything going on that’s a cause for concern, and my friends are all pretty chill so we never really argue over much. However, reality TV is a completely different ball game. The obviously scripted and totally fake shows are my favourite: Love & Hip Hop (all versions), The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Real Housewives, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and so on. They’re total trash TV, scraping the barrel level, but I love it! It’s hilariously entertaining to me, especially the clearly scripted parts. Plus a little window into the lives of other people’s lives satisfies the nosey side of me. 

Bolder, Brighter...and Bluer

27 September 2016

Eldwick, UK
Everyone has a colour they always fall back on. The one colour that is certain to suit your skin tone or gives you that extra boost of confidence. Everyone has a colour. My colour usually black, but when I’m trying to encourage myself to let a little colour into my life, my colour is 100% blue. I try to stay away from navy blue (because it’s a little too close to black), so bright blue is totally my comfort colour.

I picked up this dress from TK Maxx in their end-of-summer sale for only £4 and it’s a piece I’ve had to pluck up the courage to wear. Mainly because it’s a unique addition to my wardrobe, my style is usually pretty straightforward and never over-the-top. Although I wouldn’t go as far as saying this dress is over-the-top, it’s definitely a little different for me.

The first thing I love are the flared sleeves, I haven’t worn flared sleeves since I was about 8! They’re just so much fun to wear, I spun around about 30 times before we actually got these photos taken. Patterns aren’t usually my thing either, I’m a pretty basic person (no word of a lie) so I dress quite simple when it comes to an everyday look. It was actually the patter (ft. colour) that drew me to this dress which was sat in a jungle of sale items and out-of-season styles. Cold shoulder tops are a new love of mine, after wearing this yellow top during the summer, I grew more confident in wearing them!
Despite summer being over, I’m still totally loving this discount dress. The colour is certainly my new safe colour, and although it’s bright I feel comfortable rocking it! Black accessories are idea for a dress like this because I didn’t want anything to take away from the pattern or colours. A white bag and shoes would run the risk of clashing with the sleeves and I’d never want that!
Dress // TK Maxx
Shoes // Converse
Bag // Topshop (similar)
What's your go-to/comfort colour?

How I Deal With Negative People

24 September 2016

London, UK
It’s not difficult to come across a negative person. Sometimes I’m a bit of a pessimist without even realising. However, on occasion, you come across those people that bring nothing but unfavourable views on just about any situation – and always manage to magically appear just when we don’t need them. Destructive energy can really bring down a healthy environment, and I’ve learned a few ways to handle it without allowing the damage to really get to me.

Avoid complainers
From time to time, I find myself complaining when I really shouldn’t be. Yet, there are people in the world that could be at Disneyland, on a hot summer’s day, with an endless supply of ice cream, and a fast-track ticket to every ride in the park and still find something to complain about. People like that, are people we must avoid. I don’t mean cut them off like they never existed, but actively choose not to over-associate with the negative and unthankful vibes.

Negative people are often also negative to themselves. I know this myself, as I used to be a pretty big ‘glass-half-empty’ girl, and always had a pretty sad mindset. When dealing with negative people, I have really learned to just try and understand why they’re so down on everything, rather than become instantly insulted of affected myself. There could be a way bigger story we just don’t know about, so getting wound up over a comment is simply pointless.
Choose your battles
As mentioned before, getting wound up over the slightest thing is nothing but a waste of energy. Of course, it’s important to stick up for yourself and I am the queen of being petty at the most unimportant times (just check my Twitter), but I still try to pick my battles. I certainly don’t argue with keyboard warriors over the internet – mainly because they’re the worst people online and never worth my time.

Don’t dwell
There’s no dancing around it, sometimes a comment can stick with you for life. Sadly, there’s not always a lot to be done. I still have the negative thought that one person decided to tell me back in 2009 still popping into my brain every so often and the key thing to do is never dwell on it. At night, if something negative is on my mind, I distract myself until I forget. Whether it’s YouTube videos, funny Vines or just Chris Evans in general, I do what I can to get the idea out of my mind.

Change the subject
It’s not always easy to deal with negative people when they’re right in front of you. One thing I like to do is just change the subject. For example, someone could be bringing their downer thoughts all up in my business and I just completely change the subject… to literally anything. It could be the weather, GBBO, or even the bus timetable; just something to get away from those destructive feels.
Embody positivity
I believe in people being able to vibe off of each other. When I come across someone that’s really bubbly and sweet, they brighten my mood; and that’s why I think it’s important that humans interact with each other in this way. Not everyone can be a Positive Polly 24/7 but trying hard to keep that smile up is an easy way to deal with negative people. It could even be possible the find something not to complain about.

Just ignore it
Easier said than done. But it’s got to be one of the simplest ways I deal with negative people. Basically just ignore every down-putting comment they ever say. Water off a duck’s back. Not that it’s an easy task but remembering to ignore makes it easier to ignore… if that makes sense.

Promote praise
Believe it or not there are people out there that chose to be negative because they’re just mean. One thing I noticed at my old job, is that my boss sometimes struggled to make my life a living hell when I was so nice to her. She could ask me to do the most mediocre of jobs, but I’d still compliment her on her dress sense (which consisted of patterns vs patterns and leather ft. tweed). She still hated me, that’s for sure, but she never got to me.

W7 Colour Me Buff Eye Colour Palette | Review

21 September 2016

Harewood, UK
I’m crazy about eyeshadows. They’re becoming quite an important factor in my life and I’m embracing the obsession. The number one reason I love to collect shadows is because you can always mix it up, especially with palettes. Eye shadows can be altered to suit any outfit, and create any style. From the sexy smokey eye to a simple nude lip, I love ‘em all!
I have a lot of bright colours with eye shadows, but a nude palette is something I was lacking. I have reviewed both the Maybelline and Collection nude eye shadow palette, and finally decided it’s time to try another W7 review. I already have the W7 In The Nude palette, which I loved, but I have to say I love the Colour Me Buff palette that little bit more. The texture in Colour Me Buff is different to In The Nude, as the shadows are a lot more silkier and apply very smoothly, almost like a cream; whereas In The Nude is dustier.
The first thing I adore about the palette is that the shades are much more like nudes. Although the shades in the In The Nude palette are a little more pinky and are much lighter. I do like the shades, but as my skin tone is quite dark, I’ve found that over time some of them blend together and just look like the same colour. On the contrary, the Colour Me Buff palette has the light shades but they have defined colours that show up well on my eyelids. Sadly, I did initially swatch the shades on my wrist, but they didn’t show up as well as I’d hoped (mainly because this skin on my forearms is a lot lighter than my lids and a very different texture).
I managed to pick up the palette for £4.20 and a huge factor for me is pigment, and luckily the palette delivers. The colours in the palette are true to their shade and Onyx, which is basically black, actually shows up black. I’ve used some palettes before that include black and it just shows up as a dodgy grey. The shadows also stay put for a long time – very important. W7 is an inexpensive brand so I wasn’t expecting a holy grail level of eye shadows but they definitely work for everyday use. I’ve found that I don’t need to ‘top-up’ when wearing them and they stay well for a night out.  
I would totally recommend this palette to anyone who’s looking for a simple set of colours that will work on all skin tones. They stay well, and this could be because of a creamier texture in contrast to other W7 palettes I’ve tried. The twelve shadows are a lot of fun to play around with them, and versatile for different looks - perfect for autumn!
Have you tried any W7 Eye Colour Palettes before? What did you think?

Let Your Dreams Fly

17 September 2016

Eldwick, UK
One of my favourite ways to get inspired is to find quotes online. Obviously, I have a Pinterest board dedication to my favourite wise words (because I have a Pinterest board dedicated to everything) and a small collection growing on We Heart It; a website I've recently been introduced to and am slowly getting used to. There a quite a few quotes I absolutely love, so I wanted to share them on Anika May to inspire all and let your dreams fly!

"Get mocked at for as much as you can, fail as much as you can, but don't quit. Let every mockery, every failure, be a source of inspiration for you to reach for greatness, and that greatness will silence your critics." - Ajaero Tony Martins

"Never be ashamed! There's some who will hold it against you, but they are not worth bothering with." - J.K. Rowling

"Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again." - W. Clement Stone

"When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure." - Mary Kay Ash

"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - Ray Kroc.

"Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life." - Ray Bradbury.

"Don't try to be original, just try to be good." - Paul Rand

"Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me." - Arianna Huffington

"It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what's left?" - Jim Carrey

"Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning, because what you don't know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else." - Sara Blakely

Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.” -  Ray Bradbury

We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses; but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.” - Steve Maraboli

Lace-Ups and Leather

14 September 2016

West Yorkshire, UK
I’m not big on cold weather, that’s probably the only down side to the summer ending. However, autumn means plenty more opportunities to wear my leather jacket, and I will always jump at the chance. I’m very passionate about leather jackets, as you will be able to tell over the next few months, and I can’t wait to dust off my collection and add to it.
I’ve always had a weird love for jackets, they’re so much fun to wear. It’s nice to be able to change the vibe of a whole look with one item, like a coat of jacket. Sometimes I can wear a leather jacket in a really casual setting, but also to something more formal. On the other hand, I can find blazer-style jacket or a collared khaki coat that is super stylish and little more chic. It all depends on my mood. For most days, a leather jacket will do for me, usually faux leather because it’s way cheaper and just as good.

I have recently become obsessed with these lace-up block heels from Next. Block heels are a big love of mine because they’re much easier to walk in that the barely-there sandal or even wedges. I never go for heels that are too high, in case I want to wear them in a casual setting like today. The first thing I was drawn to was the style, lace-up is on trend and easy to wear (I have a weird struggle with buckles). When the shoes arrived at my home, I realised they’re actually faux suede *heart eyes*, which always looks awesome against contrasting fabrics like denim. Because the colour is neutral, all the attention doesn’t have to be on the shoes and I can wear something with an eye-catching pattern, like this cotton tank top.

I managed to bag this top for £3 in the TK Maxx sale and have been bargain hunting in their stores ever since. It’s easily one of my favourites, simply because there’s so much stuff! I got a playsuit for £5 and another knitted jumper for £2! I was so excited about the new buys I tweeted around twenty times in five minutes, my followers were so confused. My top was a fun piece to add to the top over my favourite bright denim jeans and Topshop handbag. 
Top // TK Maxx
Jacket // Miss Selfridge (similar)
Jeans // ASOS
Shoes // Qupid at Next
Bag // Topshop (only available in red)

Kill Them With Kindness | Journal

12 September 2016

Oslo, Norway
I like to consider myself a nice person. When I comment on a blog post with a compliment, or point out a strength in someone - it's genuine. I hope others think so too. But sometimes it's really hard to be a nice person. Pressure builds and builds and with nowhere to channel the negativity, it just bursts out and hits the receiver by surprise. Rather than do this, I much prefer the kill 'em with kindness route.

As I keep blabbing on about, I used to work full-time and my boss was basically evil. There's no sugar-coating it because she didn't like me and she made sure I knew it. Regardless off this, I tried as hard as I could to keep my cool, and managed it - just about. I would smile when she spoke to me, listen carefully and maintain eye contact (as if I actually cared about what she had to say) and always answered "yes" when she called my name rather than "wut". Over time, I could actually see that my constant happy personality and kindness towards her even though she couldn't stand me was irritating her. So I started to do more. That's when I learned the real meaning of KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS.

I'm not a big fan of the Selena Gomez song, but this is the best advice I have ever received. Haters don't come around often, so usually I'm unsure with how to deal with it. Sure, it's normal to have a good cry and vent to someone, but the most effective method I've used is a smile. Just a smile. There's never any need to go overboard, as when someone intentionally tried to hurt you, the last thing they're expecting is a happy face.

It could be really easy for me to just yell at anyone who has ever upset me, or write a rude comment back (as I've actually received some on Anika May). Sometimes commenters don't like me and want to tell me. Rather than see it as an insult, I take it as an opinion. And in the words of Chipmunk: "Opinions ain't facts, take 'em in and let them go". Replace the spite with a smile.

I'm a pretty sarcastic person, so minimising the hate with a smile can be difficult when the smile is almost a smirk and the eyes are squinting so hard it's a struggle to see. That's not the kindness I'm talking about. Genuine kindness, letting the words roll off your back, is the ideal way to handle adversity. I've done it before, and I'm sure I'll do it again. Smiling face with smiling eyes 

Feelin' Seasonal

8 September 2016

Burley in Wharfedale, UK
Since September hit us, I’ve been feeling different, but good different. I don’t know what it is about this time of year but I always feel a lot more motivated than usual; maybe because I can sit in cosy coffee houses and watch autumn blow by, rather than stick to a plastic deck chair and try not to get sunstroke. I do love summer, but autumn is an easy favourite. It’s the biggest season in fashion, the prettiest season in nature, and the cosiest season in the year. Whenever I’m feeling inspired, my go-to app or site is Pinterest. I do still adore Tumblr, but that has one specific theme running through it. On the other hand, I can create as many boards on Pinterest for whatever I like and fill them with my favourite things. As announced on Twitter, I made a few new boards over the past few days and had to share them on Anika May.
One of the best things this season has to offer are the cosy nights. It’s surely a struggle when you actually have to go outside and brave the chilly winds, but wrapping up in a big cotton blanket with candles, apple cider, your favourite slippers and the falling leaves outside is a perfect evening. Even campfires during this time of year are amazing because everyone can cuddle up and keep warm. In the UK, autumn means Bonfire Night, which equals fireworks and sparklers for everyone too!
I used to always say winter was my favourite time of year. There’s something about snow that makes me feel really happy, even though I get sick of it after a while. You can guarantee winter will roll around and I will be complaining about being cold and wishing I was back inside again, I’m annoying like that. Nevertheless, I do like how pretty snow looks and the excitement felt when the first icicle of many appears. Wrapping up in warm clothes is so much fun, and winter results in plenty of woolly hats and oversized jumpers.
Although I thought ‘Autumn Vibes’ might be similar to cosy nights, I couldn’t miss out the vibes from my favourite season in one board! Autumn is such a beautiful season, and brings out amazing colours in the trees – it never ceases to amaze me. Fashion wise, I love the layers autumn brings, and the new tones that match the theme of the season. I own a lot of cardigans, so this time of year is the perfect few months to put them to use. Similarly, my bedroom has slowly been filling with candles and is now ready to burst – I can’t wait to use them!

I’m a spring baby (hence the May in Anika May) so I have a soft spot for that time of year. One thing I really like about spring is that it brings those amazing shower storms, and the beautiful blossoms. In the town where I live, there is a main street that runs through to the next one. This wide road is littered with blossom trees from beginning to end, and when the wind blows, it looks like it’s almost raining petals. Plus, the lambs are born in the spring time, and watching them jump around makes me heart so happy.
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