Monday, 30 March 2015

Easter Biscuits



I do love a spot of baking. If you have been a reader for a while, you may know that I am a bit of a fail in the kitchen. I always burn cakes or biscuits that I make. But, these didn't actually turn out too bad!

I used a recipe from milkbubbletea's 'Simple Sausage Dog Sugar Cookies' post and they turned out great. They are super tasty and really easy. Although some were a bit burnt around the edges (I think because I used butter to make sure that they didn't stick) they were actually a success. Plus they look super cute. I am definitely going to whip up a batch next weekend for Easter, as these ones have been munched up by my family!

100g Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
100g Caster sugar
275g plain flour


1. Cream the sugar and butter together - basically make it so that it comes together to form a paste like texture
2. Add in the egg and vanilla extract
3. Sift in half the flour and combine
4. Sift in the remaining half and use hands to combine into a dough
5. Roll out to 1cm thick 
6. Cut out shapes
7. Place on a greased baking tray at 190 degrees for 10 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges (they will harden when they cool, don't worry!)

The cookie cutters I used were actually from Poundland and I think they worked really well. In the sent I had a sheep, chick, rabbit (which I think is my favourite) and an egg shape. 


A Sunday afternoon well spent I believe! 
Because these were so easy to make, I am currently on the hunt for more cool cookie cutters. I currently have my eye on a set of Doctor Who ones, so watch this space!

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Confession: I don't think I like my university course any more


Disclaimer: This is a slight ramble and a little bit all over the place. I kind of just needed to admit this to myself! 

I love university and I love being a student, don't get me wrong. But this Easter has taught me that I am not hugely inspired by my subject choice any more. If I could go back in time, but still knowing the things that I know now, I probably would have chosen very differently.

I went back to my old secondary school at the beginning of the week. It sounds cheesy, but I always go in when I am home to catch up with some of my favourite teachers, it is so sweet to know that they are still interested and support me in what I am doing. Of course, conversation soon got on to graduation plans and my university course. For the first time, I admitted that I wasn't that interested any more.

Taking sociology was definitely the right decision at the time. I didn't know what I wanted to do, too scared to actually make the plunge and say that journalism was something that I was keen to pursue.  Almost 2 years on, and some of my modules are a bit of a drag and not what I expected at all. Maybe it is just the essay questions that I chose this year or the modules, but it really isn't what I want to be spending my time doing. But, there are some really interesting aspects, and some of it I am really interested in.

I am not planning at all to carry on with research or do a masters or Phd in sociology. Instead, I hopefully want to go onto marketing or working in theatre, which is the next thing I will come onto. I am quite involved in societies which have made my university experience amazing. The opportunities and skills I have learnt, I think, are more valuable than what I am learning in my degree. Maybe it is the uncertainty of what a degree in sociology can do for me. I plan to use these skills to get me a job in the next year or two, not necessarily my degree.

I don't know whether I am the only one that is feeling this. Am I really racking up thousands of pounds worth of debt for the experience and extra curricular skills and activities? Maybe. I'm not too sure. I'm not leaving university, I am too far in and enjoy the extras too much. 

But for now, I have 9000 words to write in four weeks and a whole loads of procrastination to get through. 

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Things I am looking forward to after exams



I am currently in essay hell. 5 weeks and 3 essays is totally doable right? And you have guessed it, I am currently procrastinating (as per usual) to start the first essay. I would seriously love to be in bed catching up on 2 series of Pretty Little Liars and eating my weight in chocolate. But instead, I am sitting at my desk, pretending to work.

So in an attempt to motivate myself, I am writing down the things that I am most excited to do after all my essays and exams are over. Hopefully this will give me the push to work hard but play harder in summer.

1. Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Of course this had to be at the top of my list. If you are a new reader, I went to the fringe with the production team of a show from university for 2 weeks, and it was seriously the best two weeks ever. I am so happy that I am going back this year for the whole 4 weeks as the PRODUCER of a show (I know, how scary!). There are lots of things to do before we head up in August, but I am so excited!

2. Netflix Marathons
I currently don't have netflix, but as a treat to myself, I am going to buy my subscription once I finish my exams. I am so ready to catch up with 'Orange is the New Black', 'House of Cards' and of course 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' and so many other shows that I have not stopped hearing about.

3. Spontaneous days out
What I love about finishing exams at university is the fun days out that we have. No one is up for doing anything in term 3 thanks to revision and exams, and it is the perfect way to explore the area and find some undiscovered gems. Plus, saving all that money not going out during revision period can be useful for something right?

4. Spending time with friends from home
I very rarely see any of my old school friends any more. I do miss it a lot. Coming home for Christmas or Easter is always a rush of trying to do work and seeing family, where in summer you have over 2 months. It is the perfect time to catch up!

5. Work experience
Yes, I am excited to get some work experience this summer. Apart from going to Edinburgh, I want to find something to do with theatre to spend a week or two to build up my CV (as I have been going through so many 'what am I going to do with my life' crisis over the past few weeks. Of course, this isn't helping by the little amount of work I am getting done!). I hope to build some contacts and hopefully get closer to my dream of working in theatre marketing.

What are you most looking forward to in summer?

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Monday, 23 March 2015

How to be a Knowledge Ninja*



I was kindly e-mailed from 'Think Productive' who sent me the book "How to be a Knowledge Ninja" by Graham Allcott, the founder of 'Think Productive'. As I have been spending a lot of time essay writing and starting revision after the easter holidays,  this could not have come at a better time!

The book provides tips on how to balance and organise your studying and social life, something that I definitely struggle with! It also has exercises to do, which really made me realise all the things that I do to procrastinate.


The most useful part of the book for me was to find out what kind of learner I am. The book offers 3 types:  Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. I found out that I am a Visual Learner as I like to use diagrams, colours and symbols to learn and remember key pieces of information. There is then a section of ideas of how to use this information for revision tips. Most of them I already know work for me, but it can be useful if you are still finding your feet with revision. Hopefully I can use this to the full potential once I start revision, as I find spider diagrams really useful!

The book also has some ideas for how to approach your lectures, how to work through your reading lists and tips for group work and presentations. All essential stuff for a university student!

And Finally… Procrastination. If you have been reading my tweets or my blog for a while, you will know that I am the queen of procrastination. So I thought I would give some of the ideas in a book a go whilst I essay write.

Going Dark
Going dark refers to the turning off of electronic devices etc that could be used to distract us. I definitely use my phone to check twitter, facebook and e-mails, even though I know they will still be there in a few hours. The annoying thing about essay writing is that I am on my laptop, therefore the prospect of going dark can't really work. I did turn my phone off though and found that this really helped!

Setting Time periods
The next strategy I tried was setting a timer. The book suggests to use a timer of 25 minutes to get started on a project that you don't really want to do. Whilst reading for an essay, I set a timer for 25 minutes to carry out without any distractions to see how much that can be done. 25 minutes doesn't seem too daunting does it! I found that once the 25 minutes was up, it was much easier to continue productively.

Working around others
This is one that has definitely helped. I find working at home really hard when I am by myself. When my flatmates are in and are all working, it makes me feel guilty for procrastinating and not doing any work. Also working in the library also helps as seeing lots of other people working keeps my focussed.


I think that many of the techniques and ideas will help me with once I start revision as well as other general tips for essay writing, tackling exam stress and taking lecture notes, all useful things for a university student!


The book is £8.75 from Amazon, buy it here! And a huge thank you to Think Productive for sending me a copy! 

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

A few days in Prague








Welcome back to the blog - hope you have all been well! A mixture of end of term stress and then jetting straight off to Prague has been slightly surreal, but amazing! 

All 47 of us arrived at the airport at 6.45. We must have looked like a bunch of zombies walking through customs!We stayed at a hostel at Wenceslas Square which was such a great location and really close to the old town and other tourist areas. The city was surprisingly easy to navigate around and we soon found our way around. We spent the first day exploring mainly, the weather was beautiful so armed with a map, we walked for a few hours in the sun.

On the first evening, we went to a restaurant on the river. Despite the posh interior, the food was pretty cheap (£1 = approximately 35 Czech koruna) so only ended up paying about £12 for a main, a glass of wine and a dessert! Some people then went to a bar, but I was boring and went back to the hostel for an early night which was much needed.

The next day after having breakfast, we rode the metro to a high ropes course, something that had been pre-booked in advance for. It was a great bonding experience to get to know some other people in the society that I didn't know extremely know. You are literally putting your life in someone else's hands. It was a great experience and so much fun! In the evening we went to a burger restaurant and I had a great duck conti burger before heading to a bar. I stayed for a little bit before heading back for some sleep!

Wednesday we spent most of the day exploring. We started off with a tour to see the National Gallery  (which was the base of the library in Beauty and the Beast) and the Astronomical clock. The view was incredible and really made it worth the hundreds of steps we climbed! We then headed along the Charles Bridge over the river.

In the afternoon, we made the trek up the hill to the palace and near the castle. The weather was beautiful, and I may have got a tiny bit burnt! On the way back to the hostel, we stopped in at the Chocolate Museum (which included some free samples!) and a look in the Spanish Synagogue.

In the evening we went to a traditional Czech meal. We had a vegetable soup to start, with a selection of meats, vegetables and a flavoured mash followed by coffee and apple strudel. Did I mention that there was also unlimited free wine and beer? Let's just say a good night was had by all!

After surprisingly not waking up with a hangover the next day, we went on a Segway tour around the city. It was one of my favourite things that we did as we darted around the city and going to some of the places that I hadn't seen the previous days like the John Lennon wall. We spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and drinking coffee before heading back to the airport to go home.

It was such an amazing experience. I am always a nervous traveller, but I felt completely at ease and relaxed.
Are you off on holiday this easter?


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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

BA Student Problems

The struggle is real...

1. The constant "it's not a real subject" from science students


2. People think that you do nothing all day due to your little amount of contact hours


3. Which is sometimes true, but they don't understand how much reading to have to do


4. Family members constantly ask you how your degree will help you in life


5. You are even starting to wonder that yourself


6. When essay deadline time comes around, and all the books in the library have gone


7. Using your seminar reading as procrastination from writing your essays


8. Spending ages writing said essay


9. Referencing said essay


10. And despite the hours you put into it, you still come out with a 2:2


11. Submitting an essay is a mix of celebration and worry that you haven't analysed enough

BA students unite! 
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Primark Haul March 2015



I absolutely love Primark Hauls, so of course, when I went back to return some things on a sunny Friday morning, I had to pick up some more and do a haul for you. Luckily, I tried all of these on whilst I was there, so no more unexpected trips back!

I picked up a few more bits than I expected, but let's get right on it!


I never usually buy a huge amount of clothes from Primark, I go mainly for all the accessories and extra bits! But I picked up a light blue patterned vest (£4), a long sleeved lace and striped top (£8) and an aztec print dress (£5) which I absolutely love! I was pretty happy with those.

And now onto the extra bits! I grabbed a £1 belt because I always loose my jeans belt! I also recently picked up some new heels for a ball I am going to next week, so I picked up some of the gel cushions (£1.50) (the heel shields are from New Look, but I wish I had waited until I had got to Primark! I also picked up an eye shadow brush (£1). And the scary looking bra in the corner is a strapless and backless bra. The jumpsuit I am wearing to the ball has slits in the back, so I am intruiged to see how this works. It was £5, so not hugely expensive at all. The necklace which I am in love with was only £2!

I also picked up a suitcase lock and some travel toiletries as this time next week I will be getting ready to go to Prague which is pretty exciting.

And that's it!

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

New Look wishlist





Spring is hopefully on the way, even though it doesn't hugely feel like it at the moment. I am hoping that the weather will start to warm up soon, I am definitely getting sick of wearing a winter coat all the time!

I am hoping to get a good spring wardrobe this year, so hopefully this New Look wishlist will put me on the right track!


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Sunday, 1 March 2015

My Week in photos #1

Hello, and Happy Weekend!

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. A mix of very little internet and a workload that I wouldn't wish upon anyone has again stopped me. I love reading posts like this, so hopefully you will enjoy this too. My week has not been hugely exciting, but the lack of wifi for a while has made me go a little crazy.

Monday


Monday was possibly my most productive day EVER. I missed my 9am lecture and the subsequent seminar in an attempt to write 1000 words of my essay, which I did! I have never missed a seminar before (however un-useful most of them are) so I was pretty on edge the whole time that I was going to miss my seminar tutor. But it was totally worth it. I am now almost finished my essay, with over a week until the deadline. winning.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a pretty busy day. I worked on finishing a few more bits of my essay and then had a society meeting in the evening. The buses were awful so I didn't end up getting home until pretty late, so I made myself a nutella cake in a mug half using a recipe and half just making it up. It ended up having the consistency of a sponge and wasn't actually that nice. I am still on the hunt for the perfect cake in a mug recipe, so any suggestions, let me know!

Wednesday

I decided to take Wednesday as a sort of day off. I had 3 hours of seminars starting at 9am and then society exections straight afterwards so I didn't really have much time to do work. Instead of being a good student, I then went ice skating with some friends, which was the most scariest thing of my life. I spent most of it holding onto the side and when I did eventually try without, I ended up falling over. This picture was taken soon after I fell over and hit my chin.

I now have a beautiful bruise on my lower back and a bruise on the bottom of my now very sore chin. Fun times.

Thursday 



The day that I got my wifi back! My laptop has been going slightly weird for a few weeks, and this week, my laptop decided to completely delete the wifi adapter. Not cool. But I ordered an external wireless adapter and now it works. Thank goodness. My life is complete again and my loving relationship with my laptop can continue, which also means cracking on with finishing my other assignments that are due in a few weeks.

Friday

Friday is my day off, so I usually spend it lazing around not doing anything that productive. But I had to go onto campus for an hour so I spent a little bit of it in the library and got a little bit of work done which was useful. As two of my flatmates have gone away for the weekend, my other flatmate cooked me, one of our friends and her boyfriend a meal of fajitas. I then finished the day with an early night watching one of my Friends DVDs. Perfect!

Hope you have all had a great week, and happy March! I can't believe that it is already spring, although the weather isn't looking too peachy today. 

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