Monday, 21 September 2015

Getting Nakd*

After my month in Edinburgh where a daily trip to the £1 pie shop for a macaroni cheese pie (yes, this is a thing!) occurred way too much, Natural Balance Foods got in contact and asked if I wanted to review some Nakd bars, I immediately said yes.

I had never had a Nakd bar before, and to be honest, I hadn't really heard of them either. When the box arrived, I was surprised at the amount of flavours that there were. In the box I received: Berry Delight, Cafe Mocha, Cocoa Orange, Rhubarb and Custard, Bakewell Tart, Ginger Bread, Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Mint, Cocoa Delight and Pecan Pie - so many to choose from!!

I was surprised when I opened one. It doesn't exactly look super appetising. But boy did they taste good! I thought as a chocolate lover that I would like the cocoa ones the best, but I think the Gingerbread, Pecan Pie or Cashew Cookie were my favourite!

They are also SUPER good for you - wheat, dairy and gluten free, plus one of your five a day? Say whaaat?! They also list the ingredients on the back, usually consisting of dates, some sort of nut or raisin and sometimes flavouring, all squished together, making it feel super healthy.

Natural Balance Foods also have loads of other products which I am now sooo tempted to try! They also have some great tips on weightloss or just generally getting a bit healthier with foods, something that I definitely need to work on - getting more protein and cutting down on the amount of bread and carbs that I eat (okay, I'm not sure that I am ready to give up tiger bread yet!). Why not have a look at their blog and articles on "Energy Foods" if you are ready to take that next step?!

I have a few bars left over which I am going to attempt to keep for when I am back at uni for my lunch! 

Have you found any good new snacks recently? 


Friday, 18 September 2015

Musical duets I sing by myself

There's no denying that I am a musicals fan through and through. I would much rather listen to a musical soundtrack than today's Top 40! I also love to sing (although I'm not a great singer, it totally doesn't matter, because when I'm home alone, I'm a Tony award winner, right?), but unfortunately for me, some of my favourite songs require usually a male partner. Now I don't have one of these, so I have to be creative. Being an alto, I can sometimes sing the male parts as well, or I log onto youtube and find male only versions of songs (yes, I am one of those people, don't judge). So here are some of my favourites...

1. A Whole New World

What.A.Classic. Who doesn't dream of being Princess Jasmin (or Aladdin!) whilst singing this song?

2. Suddenly Seymour

I LOVE the music in Little Shop of Horrors and Suddenly Seymour is no exception. Whilst I never have a hope of playing Audrey, a girl can dream about singing this song with somebody right?

3. Sun and Moon/Last Night of the World

After seeing Miss Saigon last weekend with my family, I have been playing the soundtrack non stop. All the songs are absolutely beautiful, but these songs are just stunning!

4. Phantom of the Opera

Of course, who doesn't wish that they could hit that high note at the end. Well I certainly can't, but I can jolly well try in the comfort of my own home where only the neighbours can judge me! #altoproblems

What are some of your favourite musical numbers to sing (or try to!) 


Monday, 14 September 2015

It's Okay To Say No

I am a firm believer that a night in can solve all of life's problems (okay, so maybe not all of them). Okay, so maybe that makes me a loner that I have passed many a night out with friends, for some quality me time and the chance to spend all night in my pyjamas. Maybe that's something that comes with my introverted nature.

I am sure there is a moment in our lives when we have a "just say yes" thought, where we believe that saying yes to things will drastically change our lives. Whilst I don't believe that sitting waiting for things to happen is the way to live your life, I don't believe that doing things that you don't want to do is the way forward either. I have often written about my experiences of university, and the expectations that it came with. Being the fun, outgoing and lively student played havoc in my first year, making my anxiety flare as I couldn't live up to these expectations that the media, friends and family, and myself had put up for me. I wanted to be that person who said yes, but I soon realised that this isn't healthy.

That's why in my second year, I forgot all of those. Whilst I increased my social aspect in some ways, I learnt to say no. Saying no to a night out for example isn't going to make you lose a friend. They may be annoyed for the night, but they will soon get over it.

Whilst they say that life is too short to sit around all day, life is also too short to do things that you don't want to do. If I want to sit in, watch Bridget Jones and crochet, then no one is going to stop me. Why is there such a stigma about just saying a simple two letter word? No.


Saturday, 12 September 2015

A little Primark Haul - September 2015

I am very excited for Autumn and Winter fashion to be coming back into the shops. I much prefer shopping for a woolly jumper or boots at this time of year.

I popped into Primark quickly and picked up a few things. First is this scallop edged t-shirt. I have been looking for one for absolutely ages as I love the details on the sleeves and the bottom. I have a pair of trousers that this would go perfect with and I can't wait to try it out! For £6, this is significantly cheaper than the Topshop equivalent and I was thrilled when I found one!

Secondly, I picked up some more things from their workout range. I am planning to join the gym again in October, so treated myself to some new leggings and socks. The leggings are full length and cost £9.00 whilst the socks were only £2.

I couldn't leave without buying a scarf. This one is like a blanket, absolutely huge with christmassy and wintery tartan. I absolutely love it and for only £5, I couldn't leave it behind. If you can see, there is also a set of fairy lights which cost £2.50. These are so dainty, with simple copper wiring and little stars. I can't wait to put them up in my uni room, even if they are a bit fiddly to manage!

Have you picked up any Autumn/Winter fashion pieces?


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser

I'm back with another beauty review with a product I have been using non stop recently. After my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish ran out, I wasn't sure if I was ready to part with another £14, so instead I went hunting for another hot cloth cleanser to try out.

I have been trying to stay away from products for spot prone skin. I have realised that these really dry it out, making my skin look worse. I find that hot cloth cleansers help smooth my skin, making it easier to use concealer or other products afterwards whilst also helping to fight the red marks. I picked the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser for £5.99 on a buy one get one free offer, but I believe it is currently £2.95 and an absolute bargain! You also get a muslin cloth included, and although I prefer to use a flannel, this is also a huge bonus.

The cleanser is infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry, which boasts to leave skin feeling renewed, soft and ultra clean. I was at first worried with how this would react with my oily skin, but I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst not leaving my skin feeling as soft as when I first used Liz Earle, it was still a really nice feeling.

The formula is not as thick as Liz Earle, and I feel that I need a lot more to cover my whole face, but for such a bargain price, I don't really mind. I also wouldn't suggest using this around the eyes. I always take my eye makeup up before using this, so this may be a drawback for Cleanse and Polish lovers. As with the Cleanse and Polish, because of my spot prone oily skin, I have to ensure that I get all of the product off, but I always follow up with another cleanser, toner and a moisturiser for oily skin.

If you are trying to steer away from harsher skincare products, and don't want to shell out for Liz Earle, this is a great substitute, and always nearly on offer. Winning! 


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Why do we blog?

I don't tell anyone that I blog. I always wonder if people that I know and have met in real life know that I have been writing for the past year, on the internet for anyone to see. That's quite a scary thought.

I was having a conversation with my family the other night about how things have changed since we started secondary school (all the way back in 2006!), and talk quickly got onto the internet and most particularly vlogging and blogging. My family thought it was weird that people want to look at the lives of others. I kept my mouth shut. It's a really weird thing to explain why I like looking at blogs and watching vlogs. Partly because I am looking for inspiration, partly because I am interested in the way that other people live (I do study for a sociology degree!) and just because I am being nosey really. Luckily, my brother tried to explain why he watched daily vlogs by seeing a life that is different to yours.

I started blogging in summer 2014. I was bored and had been reading blogs, specifically beauty blogs for years, and thought that I could do that too. It's weird, because I don't mind complete strangers reading my blog, but the first thought that someone might know about my blog makes me worried. I'm worried that my close friends wouldn't understand, and that I would be mocked or judged for the things that I am posting.

I can't really explain why I like reading clothes or stationery hauls or why I like looking at recipes or outfits of the day. It's hard to explain that to people who don't read blogs or write themselves. I still wouldn't call myself a blogger. But what actually makes a blogger? Is it having thousands of readers, or working with lots of companies?

I guess blogging is something personal to us. I don't know if I will tell my friends and family that I blog, but for now, sharing parts of my life with complete strangers online is fun.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Uni tips - Masterpost

The beginning of term is almost upon us! I can't wait to get back, starting new modules, living away from home again and of course stationery shopping!

This time last year, I put together a number of "Uni Tips", and thought I would dig these out for the new freshers (or returning students) joining university in the next few weeks! Take a look and let me know if you read them!

1. How to enjoy clubbing sober

2. How not to act on moving in weekend!

3. Living in Halls 

4. How to budget like a boss

5. Being Organised 

If you are heading to University for the first time this September, good luck! You are in for the best 3 years of your life. Enjoy it, because it will go faster than you think!

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Edinburgh Fringe 2015

If you've noticed (or not noticed!) that I have been a bit absent on social media and on my blog recently, it's because throughout the entire month of August, I was in Edinburgh taking part in the biggest arts festival in the world. This was my second year, but this time, I was there for the whole month, and the producer of a show, so the pressure and the stress was on!

I treated myself to a first class ticket up to Edinburgh (as it only cost a few pounds more), so I left on the 1st August from London Kings Cross ready to take the four and a half hour journey up. Can I just say that first class is amazing. I was fed and watered through the whole trip, plus free wifi, so who could complain?

The first few days were filled with meetings with the venue, sorting out the flat and making sure that everything was running smoothly. To be honest, most of my hard work had happened before we arrived, however, I wasn't slacking throughout the month!
I ate a LOT of Macaroni Cheese pies!
A usual day would consist of waking up late and flyering on the Royal Mile from about 1. I would then go and see a show in the afternoon and continuing flyering before my show which was at 5.30. We could then do what we pleased afterwards, but we were usually too tired to do anything. Trying to sell your show to unenthusiastic strangers wasn't really that fun - you have to get over rejection instantly. However, what made it fun was being with all of my friends.

It wasn't all work though. I saw some amazing and inspiring shows. My personal favourites were Christina Bianco. You probably don't recognise the name, but you would recognise her Youtube videos. She sings songs in the styles of Broadway and music stars. She was absolutely hilarious, plus she is an incredible singer. Her show "Party Of One" deserved all the raving reviews and it was one of my favourite moments. I also caught a few musicals including "Ushers:The Front of House Musical" which was perfect for a theatre and musical lover like myself, and "Zanna Don't" a musical set in a high school where it is cool to be on the chess team and normal to be gay. I also caught "Baby Wants Candy" and "Showstoppers", two professional improvised musical troupes from America and the UK respectively which blew me away by their improvisation skills and talent.

Climbing up Arthur's Seat was also a highlight. The view made the hour walk worth it. I am not very outdoorsy, but once I made it to the top, I felt like I could concur anything.

  If you ever get the chance to go the Edinburgh Fringe, take it with both hands. Meeting other theatre lovers and putting together a show made me realise that this is what I want to do with my life. I want to create theatre, I want to produce art. I want to meet all the people and be surrounded by people who love the same thing that I do. The atmosphere was electric, and although it was probably the most tiring and stressful month of my life, I think it is the month that I am most proud of. This is the biggest project I have ever worked on, and I feel proud of myself for coming out the other end, overcoming all the pressure and telling myself that I can achieve something big.

What have you been up to this summer?

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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My First Year || Interview || Olivia

1. What course do you study?
 I’m currently studying Tourism and Marketing 

2. Did you move into University accommodation or stay at home?
 I stayed at home for university which not so many people do but i didn’t feel ready to leave home, I thought I would be the only person living at home but that wasn't the case at all. There are so many people who are living at home, so if you will be living at home for the first year don’t worry like I did! 

3. What have been some of your favourite parts of university so far
Some of favourite parts of uni so far has to be meeting new people from all different places and backgrounds! I've also really liked my course and finding out that I had passed definitely has to be a highlight for first year!

4. What have been some of your worst parts of university so far?
Worst part has to when you have a deadline and it you still don’t understand the title of the assessment! Other than that I haven’t had any bad parts!

5. Are you happy with your choice to go to university? Would you change your course?
I am very glad I went to uni as its a completely unique experience. I always said I wouldn’t go to university, but if you weren’t considering its definitely worth looking into! I do like my course although looking back I'm not sure I would choose to do Tourism again although I do enjoy it!

6. Do you have any advice for Freshers coming to university this September or any words of wisdom?
My advice would be get involved which as much as possible even if you’re living at home ( which I wish would have done more of)  as it will allow you to meet new people and have new experiences! Also don’t leave your assignments till the last minute, I know its easier said than done, but honestly you’ll regret it if you do! 

7. Describe your first year in 3 years
Unique, Interesting and enjoyable 

Olivia's links - BlogTwitter 

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