Saturday, 26 July 2014

Off to the fringe! - Blog Hiatus

Am currently sitting on a megabus on the way to Edinburgh, I thought I would attempt to write a quick blogpost (so apologies for the typos - writing on a phone is not ideal!)

We have about 7 hours to go and it has not been too bad so far. I was expecting the absolute worst - actually there is a problem, there is no WiFi! But apart from that and a slightly stiff neck, it is going well. The SMASH soundtrack and my old iPod nano will keep me going.

Heading to the fringe festival for two weeks does mean that there will be a lack of posts for a little while - so sorry about that! (and sorry for the unorganized nature of this post!)

Have an amazing few weeks!
xxxx
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Just Say Yes!


Following my Blonde Aspirations post last week, I have given myself the challenge to say YES more. Like many, I suffer from anxiety and this, I believe, has held me back doing things that others have done. How I wish that I could just do things like going out at night, without worrying about it excessively. But seriously, what is the worst that can happen?

In an attempt to say 'yes' more, I applied and have the opportunity to work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year for two weeks. Whilst I want to be excited, I am so scared. I am staying with people who I don't know extremely well and have no idea what the experience will be like. Why I applied, at this moment in time, I have no idea. But there is no going back now...

So, as scary as this seems at the moment, I am setting myself the target, to saying YES whilst I am in Edinburgh. I have already taken the leap and am travelling 9 hours to get there, why waste the time that I have?

So here is to saying yes more... to make the most of the two weeks and to hopefully having an amazing time, meeting new people and to not let my anxieties get the better of me. It's only two weeks, right?


xxxx

(Image source)



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Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday Musings...


Just a quick Monday evening post, but just wanted to share something that I have been listening to for the past few days. The music is absolutely beautiful and Cristin Milioti (yes, the 'Mother' from How I met your mother) was in the original Broadway cast and she is such a great singer. It's definitely the perfect soundtrack to the lazy and dreary Monday which I have had today.

I have really been finding some musical soundtrack gems at the moment! - Plus, I desperately need some music suggestions, I have a 9 hour coach journey on Saturday and could really do with some new music!

xxxx


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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Backpack Wishlist


I will probably start university shopping in mid August as I only need to get a few things. This includes a backpack! I remember going into year 7 many years ago with a rucksack that was probably as big as me, that I filled with things that I didn't really need at 11 years old.

As I am living off campus next year, I need a bag that will hold all of my notes, stationary and possibly my laptop for a whole days work - as you can probably see by my selections above, I am going for function over style! But here are a few that I have had a look at over the past few days and may possibly getting one for next year.


1. Mi Pac Classic Backpack - £20 - ASOS
I really like the colour of this one and it may be quite easy to match with outfits. And the price is good as well. 

2. Eastpak Padded Pak'r In Pink - £40 - ASOS
Okay, so this one is slightly too high on the price scale, but don't know whether it is worth the investment of buying one that I know will be durable. Plus, if bought in pink I will feel like Elle Woods walking around campus. (if only I was doing law...) 

3. Mi Pac Spot Print Backpack - £22 - ASOS

4. College Backpack - £37 - Accessorize
Again, higher in price and a little more stylish that the others. I like how preppy it is, but don't know whether it would fit all of my stuff in there. Still, it's pretty cute! Plus Accessorize (and ASOS I believe) offer student discount!

What do you guys think.. are backpacks back in? 
xxxx
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Blonde Aspirations

I have always been a very safe person, staying in my comfort zone and doing what I feel comfortable doing. A lot as changed in the course of a year. I had always been the type of person who went to bed at 10pm each night and got anxious when I was out too late.

Going to university this year and moving out has thrown me into situations and experiences that I never thought I would experience.

Whilst 2014 has definitely been the year of change, there are still some things that I still feel like I am still afraid to do and take the plunge to do.

So I am setting myself a target to make some more changes and grow up more as a person. As a target to myself, I am proposing that from one year today, I will have dyed my hair blonder. Some may think that this is a vain and superficial thing to be proposing to change, but I hope that this could be the first change in a more ambitious life in the future.

(Now I have written this and documented it down, it means I actually have to do it... oh no, what have I done!)

(Original image source 1 2 3)

Also, as a slight side note, I am completely obsessed with SMASH at the moment (I am currently two episodes away from the end of series two!) - hence adding Megan Hilty to the post - as well as the 9 to 5 Broadway soundtrack, so check them both out!

What are some of the things that you are too scared to change about yourself or say yes too? 

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

University Room decorating ideas

University rooms, (or your own bedroom!) can be really dull and dreary when you move in. I definitely walked in and thought, I am going to have to live here for 9 months?! But worry not, there are some ways that you can make it a little more interesting!

So here are some tips on making your room your own!

1. Photos 



(Image from pinterest)

Photos are a great way to take old memories with you. I think this is a really cute way to display them, or just pin some on your noticeboard. They are also good talking points. You can print some and get them sent to you from places like snapfish.co.uk which are actually offering 20 free prints when you sign up. 
But don't forget to add some space for new pictures with your university friends! 

2. Posters 

Posters are a great way to spice up a boring noticeboard. There will no doubt be a poster sale in the first few weeks of term, so definitely get some! Again, they can show your interests, such as a poster from your favourite film or tv show, or have some inspirational quote to keep you sane throughout the late night essay writing sessions (my Keep Calm and Carry On poster did the trick!). 

3. Fairy lights

(Image from pinterest)

Fairy lights can make the dingiest of rooms look nice. You can buy them online or in stores around christmas time. I suggest buying battery ones as it doesn't matter where you put them, you don't need a plug. Draping them over your noticeboard or using hooks to put them around your pictures or posters makes for the ultimate cosy evenings, especially in the winter months. 

4. Brightly coloured bed linen

I will definitely be purchasing some nicer coloured sheets and duvet covers as it can really completely change a room! Plus it can show a unique style and colour scheme. Primark is a good place to look if you don't want to spend a lot of money. Add some funky cushions and you're sorted! 

I can't wait to get to my new room in September to start decorating and making it a bit more unique. ! 
Do you have any more ideas on customizing your room? 

xxxx
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Monday, 14 July 2014

Primark Haul July 2014


I actually love going shopping by myself, and today was no different. I find that I buy things that I wouldn't usually buy (and sometimes things that I don't really need!). So here are a few of my picks from Primark over the last few weeks. No doubt I will be back in soon! 


Without further ado...! 

This vest top is something that I wouldn't usually pick up and try on. It is a little on the baggy side, which I really like and I think the pattern is something a bit different. For £4, what came really go wrong?

 I picked up this bag a few weeks ago on a quick visit (along with the owl tote bag). My go-to tan coloured satchel which I had had for about 3 years is a bit worn now, so I treated myself to a new one. With Primark, I am not sure how long this is going to last, but I love the detailing. I had to stop myself from buying it in another colour or the matching purse today! This was £8 whilst the owl bag was £1.50

I picked up this makeup bag for £3 and the plastic travel bottles for £1. I thought they would be good for taking my toiletries for my holiday. 

As well as these bits, I also picked up some black shoes for £6. They are super comfy and wide fit which is always a plus. 
The dark grey t-shirt was £4 whilst the black shoe liners were £1.50 

xxxx

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Why Elle Woods is my inspiration

I had always been quite academic through school, but when it came to my A-levels, I felt like I had a lot to prove.

On one occasion after my AS results, a teacher told me that she predicted, because of some of my work through the year, that I was going to go down a grade in the A2 exam, which would mean that I probably wouldn't be given an offer by the university I wanted. I was so upset and couldn't understand why she wouldn't give the encouragement to do as well as I could. 

Looking back, the teacher didn't really do a bad thing. It turns out I was made an offer even though my grades weren't what they wanted and she was only doing what she thought was right, but at the time, I thought my whole university plan would have to be second best. 

So, throughout my A2 exams, I took on the mindset that I was going to prove everyone wrong... and therefore took inspiration from my favourite film (and musical... don't forget that!) character. 
Enter Elle Woods. 


If you haven't seen the film (which I highly recommend to!) it is about Elle, a blonde girl from LA who gets dumped by her boyfriend after he confessed that he couldn't marry her because she wasn't serious enough. Then she tries and succeeds to prove everyone wrong, gets to Harvard and then works her butt off and it all works out dandy. 

Ok, so whilst I wasn't dumped by a boyfriend, I felt that it still gave me a huge kick to try and prove this teacher wrong and get the grade which I wanted, just like Elle did... and it worked. The character and film also have some great messages that I take with me in everyday life.


You can draw inspiration from anywhere - if it works, role with it!  


(all images from google images)
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Friday Film Reviews

This week has been pretty uneventful. Have spent most days getting up late and watching tv. Probably not making the most of my summer holidays at the moment, but am so relaxed!

I haven't been to the cinema since I went to see Catching Fire in November, so to make up for it, I went to the cinema twice this week and saw some great films. 


1. Walking on the Sunshine (watch the trailer HERE!


(Photo from IMBD)

I am such a sucker for a musical, so was so excited to see it when it came out. It has a quite 'Mamma Mia' esque cheesy feel to it, plus it's set to songs from the 80s such as 'How will I know' and 'The power of love'. So, as a lover of anything cheesy and 80s music, it was perfect!

Set in Italy, the story is about Maddie who, on man-detox, meets Raff and after 5 weeks, they agree to get married. She then flies her sister Taylor out to Italy for the wedding, but Raff is Taylors 'summer romance' from 3 years before and he has never forgiven her. Throw in some friends and an ex boyfriend and you've got a plot. However cheesy it sounds, it is such a feel good film. I am really not into depressing and hard hitting films, so this was perfect for me!

(plus we got tickets on Orange Wednesday and got student priced tickets so also saved some money as well!) 

2. Jersey Boys - (also give the trailer a watch!


(Photo from IMBD)

Yes, another musical! I went to see the stage show in London a few years ago and absolutely loved it. The atmosphere was amazing and the actors were amazing - so again, I was very excited to see this film, and I wasn't disappointed. I was expecting the worst, but when 'December 1963' came on, I still felt that rush like I did with the  show. I loved how they used mainly actors from the stage show to portray the characters as the singing was spot on. 

The film/musical is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and as predicted set around their songs such as 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and my personal favourite 'Who Loves You'. Unlike Walking on Sunshine, the songs were performed as the band performed, not a random outburst of song. Have found myself humming or singing the songs, so will definitely be digging out my Jersey Boys broadway cast album as I do some chores today!

Although I haven't been out to much, having a treat like going to the cinema has been great, and to see two musicals?! - even better! 
xxxxx

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Sorry... not sorry

Whilst browsing the internet, like a usual morning, I came across a news article about a Pantene advertisement in which women are encouraged not to say sorry.

Like the video, using the word 'sorry' is a word that I say everyday for unnecessary reasons. I thought that this advert was brilliant and it has inspired me to say sorry less and use it for events that I truly need to apologise, not for asking someone to move out of the way for example.


Here is the video below....





Here are some more adverts that I also think are great. I hope that there are more adverts like this in the future to inspire more people!



So love yourself ladies!
xxxx
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Banana Pancakes - Student Bites



I was browsing Pinterest this morning and found a recipe for banana pancakes only using two ingredients! They are a great way to use up old bananas (as I am not a fan of spotty bananas) and are surprisingly tasty!

Ingredients 


1 large egg
3/4 of a banana
These are the measures that I used as I didn't want them to be overly eggy

Method


1. Chop the banana into a bowl and mash with a fork
2. Crack in the egg and mix well, preferably with a whisk until a smooth batter is formed
3. Add a little oil to a pre-heated frying pan
4. Spoon some of the mixture into the pan - I was able to do 2 at a time
5. Wait until the bottom is cooked and flip over with a spatula - okay, so this took a bit of time and the first batch did stick. But you get the hang of it!
6. Serve by themselves - or with fruit or even better with chocolate spread. 



I was a little sceptical, but they were actually so so yummy! This made about 6 small ones. They obviously took a bit longer than my usual breakfast, but will definitely be making these for my flatmates next year and they are super cheap!

xxxx



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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Summer Reading List #1

I have a few books on the list of what I want to read this summer. After 9 months of putting off reading anything other than the key readings for my degree, I am looking forward to reading for pleasure rather than for a deadline.



1. Losing You - Susan Lewis 

I have borrowed this one from my mum after forgetting that I had a few others in the pipeline ready to read. I started yesterday and have read 2 chapters. I quite like Jodi Picoult books and hopefully it will be like one of those. I look forward to reading the rest of it, it is quite good already and the reviews are really good.

2. The Casual Vacancy - JK Rowling

I bought this book when it came out in 2012 but have never got round to actually reading it. I started it early last year, but never continued, probably due to school work. I saw online that there is also going to be a TV adaptation on the BBC with Michael Gambon (who played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films) to play one of the leads. I am a huge Harry Potter fan so look forward to seeing what else JK Rowling can do.

3. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (not pictured)

I absolutely loved The Huger Games and Catching Fire books and films. Unfortunately, last summer I quickly read Mockingjay and found myself really confused and a little disappointed. I hope this summer that I can read it again before the first film comes out and hopefully enjoy it a bit more and take more notice and time of characters that enter the story.

However, unfortunately whilst writing this post, a friend of mine from uni sent me a reading list for one of my modules next year. Whilst it doesn't look like I can completely disregard preliminary readings for my degree, I am looking forward to reading these books during summer and hopefully be able to squeeze a few more in. 

Once these ones are finished, I hope to finally catch up on the times and read The Fault In Our Stars and Divergent, but will see how it all pans out! 

xxxx
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Monday, 7 July 2014

What to pack for University - Part 2

Here is part 2 to the essential packing guide. This covers Bedroom and Miscellaneous items! Again, some of these are optional, but this is what I could think of!

Bedroom 


 - Duvet / Pillows / Linen - even though my university provided bed linen and duvets and pillows, I took my own ones from home with me to give me some home comfort.

- Blanket - Again, one was provided, but it is nicer to have your own
- Favourite Teddy - enough said!
- Lamp - one is not always provided
- Alarm Clock - ready for those 9am lectures!
- Under the bed storage boxes
- Clothes airer - Because paying for the tumble dryer can get expensive
- Photos / Posters - Especially if you are moving into halls, these will make your room feel a little bit lived in
- Fairy lights - can make the most clinical looking rooms look instantly cosy.
- DVDs - A great ice breaker
- Laptop / Chargers - Taking a laptop to university is so so handy
- Printer - same with having your own printer. Beware, flatmates will want to use very often!
- Suitcase 
- Books
- Clothes/bags/shoes - Also recommend bring some fancy dress - eg school uniform, geek glasses - the standard stuff
- Extension cables - Because there are never enough plugs
- Stationary - Notebooks, pens, folders, paper will not be provided
- Diary - Paperchase do some really lovely ones, but also some universities also sell them in their giftshops
- Washing powder/detergent
- Iron - My accommodation didn't come with one. Useful for if you are actually going to iron things, or if you are me, stop by week 3 and just hang everything up
- Toiletries - Again obvious. 
- Plastic drawer set - I had shared bathrooms, so bought one of these to put my toiletries in as had no other storage! 
- Toothbrush / toothpaste 
- Towels

I also bought some first aid type things with me - which earned me the nickname of 'The flat pharmacy'! 

- Painkillers - Perfect for nursing that morning hangover
- Plasters 
- Bite Cream
- Savlon cream
- A sewing kit - Not exactly first aid, but useful none the less!

So that ends the essential packing guide for freshers! Hopefully this will cover the basics, but remember that if you forget something, you can buy it there. You seriously won't be the only one! It is never too early to start collecting and packing! 
Am hoping to update frequently with some other tips and experiences as well as some lifestyle posts and some of the best student deals in the UK. 

 Watch this space! 

xxx


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Sunday, 6 July 2014

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What to pack for University - Part 1


As I sit surrounded by boxes and bags of my university possessions from first year ready to be unpacked, I realised how much stuff I had taken with me which I probably could have done without. So here is my 'What to pack for university (part 1)! This will cover Kitchen and Food essentials...

Kitchen essentials

If you are living in self-catered accommodation, you will need basic kitchen equipment to be able to cook and eat your meals. This seems very self explanatory, but it is easy to forget something! I will emphasise increasingly to not buy expensive equipment. Even though not intentionally, you will loose some of this equipment by the end of the year.

I suggest buying from shops like Wilkinson, 'The Range' and supermarkets. IKEA is also a good bet - but remember, so many people will buy their equipment from there, making it incredibly hard to distinguish your own equipment from others!

Also, raid your parents kichen cupboards for things that they don't use. This can save money and time!

- Saucepans - I recommend one small one and one larger one
- Frying Pan 
- Wooden Spoon / Spatula
- Mugs
- Glasses / plastic beaker

- Jug
- Vegetable Peeler
- Chopping board
- Cutlery -
Preferably more than one set, you won't believe how often things go missing

- Plates - At least 2
- Tin opener
- Cereal
- Tupperware - These will be your new best friends
- Sieve
- Colander 
- Tongs - Not essential but useful for hangover breakfasts and cooking bacon
- Plastic Mixing Bowl 
- Baking tray
- Pizza tray - You seriously don't know what else has been on your cooker shelves!
- Measuring scales - Small ones are great, especially for the keen baker or for measuring rice and pasta
- Pyrex oven dish - Again, not essential, but useful for pasta bakes and for the advanced cooker, lasagne!
- Sharp Knives
- Cling film and foil 

Following swiftly on from kitchen essentials, foaod basics should also be included - these are things that your parents could get you!


- Pasta - And lots of it!
- Rice 
- Pasta sauce - Pesto is a personal favourite of mine
- Fajita spice packet
- Chopped tomatoes
- Soup
- Tuna
- Chocolate / biscuits

- Chocolate spread - chocolate spread and toast is the perfect midnight snack
- Cereal 
- Baked Beans / Spaghetti hoops 
- Oil
- Salt and Pepper

These are just a few suggestions to start stocking up your own food cupboards. They are great things to get before you get to university, just so that you could survive for a few days without going food shopping!


I know how scary it can be, especially if you are still waiting for results, but starting early is the best method, so you are not rushing around near the end of the summer holidays.

xxxx




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