Friday, 30 December 2016

Fox Crochet Cushion cover | Free Pattern

You will need
Cushion pad - I think this was 14 inches and I bought it from Amazon for about £2
4mm crochet hook
Orange, white and black wool 
Wide eyed needle 

1. To make the base of the cushion cover I crocheted 2 large circles, one of white and one of orange using double crochet stitches. 

I used this tutorial and simply expanded the number between the increases to make the circle big enough to fit over half of the cushion pad. 

2. I connected the two circles with a double crochet with the orange wool (which in hindsight I wish I had done with slip stitches or single crochets, but it still looks okay this way, it just gives it a bit of a rim), inserting the cushion pad half way through. 

3. To make the extras, I used the following pattern: 

Start with black wool & 4mm hook, make 2ch
Row 1: 3dc in 2nd ch from hook - turn
Row 2: 1ch, 1dc in each of next 3 sts - turn
Row 3: 1ch, 2dc in next st, 1dc in net stitch, 2dc in last st - turn
Row 4: 1ch, 1dc in each of next 5 sts - turn
Row 5: 1ch, 2dc in next st, 1dc in next 3 sts, 2dc in last st - turn. Change to orange
Row 6: 1ch [1dc in next stitch] to end - turn
Row 7: 1ch, 2dc in next st [1dc in next st to last st], 2dc in last st - turn
Repeat rows 6&7 until desired triangle is formed
I made it long enough that once the end is sewed onto the seam, the nose would go just over the middle of the circle.

This same triangle pattern is made for the paws and ears also.

Paws x4
Follow head pattern until Row 7. Repeat rows 6 and 7 four more times.

Follow head pattern until Row 4 (or desired length if you would like longer ears.

I then sewed these on using the needle and the orange wool. I added two sleeping eyes onto the head and attached the ears on top.

Voila - your own fox cushion cover!


Friday, 11 November 2016

Chocolate Crackles

I am loving baking at the moment. I try and make something new every weekend if I have nothing else planned. Although, the lack of flatmates means that I end up eating more than usual!

This week I was looking through my Great British Bake off baking books and and found a recipe for Chocolate Crackles and they looked divine!

100g dark 70% cocoa chocolate 
100g butter
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
Vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
Icing sugar

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a saucepan with simmering water
2. Once melted, stir in the butter until the mixture is cooled. 
3. Add the sugar and mix into a paste and leave for 5 minute to cool.
4. Add the egg, vanilla extract and flour and mix into a dough
5. Leave to cool in the fridge for an hour
6. Pour some icing sugar into a plate 
7. Shape the dough into spheres and coat with icing sugar. Place on a greased baking tray
8. Cook for 10-12 minutes on 200 degrees. 


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Review

I was a total Lush virgin.

In an attempt to sort out my skin, on the recommendation from twitter, and the lovely people who work in Lush (seriously, they are all so lovely and cool), I took the plunge and purchased a Cosmetic Warrior fresh face mask.

I was told about the different ingredients and a little bit was put on my hand whilst she was talking to me about my skin to see if there would be any reaction. It was so nice to be able to sit down with someone who knew what they were talking about, and so that you know you are getting the right product for your skin. I went in on a Tuesday lunchtime and it was pretty empty, hence them having enough time to sit down and properly talk to me.

The first thing that surprised me was how small the pot was. But, you do get a lot of product as it is pretty thick. I was told it would do about 6/8 applications. I definitely got more on the 8/10 scale!

Because it's fresh, it needs to be kept in the fridge, and it only has a month's use by. I know that the ingredients are fresh, but this is a bit of a downside to it, as it cost almost £7 and only lasts a month. But it's nice to know exactly what is in there, plus who made it which is pretty cute.

Yes, the rumors are true. It smells bad. I am getting used to it, but boy did it take me by surprise. With garlic, tea tree, eggs and grapes I believe, it is bound to smell a little fishy. But power through, the smell doesn't really linger.

I haven't seen a huge transformation in the way that my skin looks. It is slightly less red, but has broken me out a little bit. Maybe that's it doing it's magic. I have now got to the end and it hasn't completely transformed my skin. I use it before I go in the shower as it is quite hard to wash off by itself, and I don't really fancy my wash cloth to smell like the face mask. It is also very chunky, which feels really weird as you have bits of grape skin on your face.

I may purchase another pot in a month or so, just to have another go, but for now, it's back to the drawing board in the hope to get clearer skin!


Monday, 10 October 2016


The topic of mental health is something close to my heart, and to many others. Mental health affects everyone so differently, it's hard to generalize, and even if you have anxiety or depression for example, it affects people in different ways.

This is my story. 

I started to struggle with my mental health the summer before I went to university. I was spending most of my days alone, trying to pack, worrying about what was going to happen when I moved out of my home into halls. It was in this time I started to obsess about little things. I was convinced my teeth were falling out, that I was loosing lots of hair and I would wake up with a headache most mornings, which worried me more. 

Some of the worries went when I went to university, but some stayed. I was too scared to drink alcohol and go out, because I wasn't sure I trusted the people I was with. I then started to get chest pain and palpitations. I would sleep for 2-3 hours because I was too scared to fall asleep, I would be in the doctors multiple times and cry on the phone to my mum most nights. I didn't tell anyone I lived with, until I opened up to a girl who lived a few doors down. And that's when I knew that I needed help.

I finished a course of CBT at university, but it consisted of about 5 sessions and I came out not feeling much different. Things in my social life changed though. I had a group of friends I trusted, and I eased myself back into social events and I remember the first week that I slept 7 hours each night, and it was total bliss. 

My second year was much better. I realized that keeping busy kept me from feeling anxious and obsessing over little things. And this worked for the majority of the time. Those feelings don't go away, but they were kept at bay, and this was probably the best year of university. 

The bliss was short lived. In the summer going back to university for my final year, things turned again, more concentrated of obsessing over my health. I checked, prodded and scratched my body until it hurt. I was feeling my neck every 2 minutes, checking for lumps, I then moved to my breasts, convinced myself that I had breast cancer and spent most of the time googling. I opened up to a friend, who would often find me crying in the evening, and I couldn't lie any more. 

Talking to my GP about it was the best, and bravest thing I think I have ever done. I then started another course of CBT, this time, I learnt techniques and tried to understand why I felt these feelings. 

Things are better. There was a time in the last end of final year where the worry of grades, a job and the end of an era threw me off balance. What I did was made sure that I talked about it. Talking through things with friends or family is okay. Admitting you are not okay is okay. People will be there for you, people will listen. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't take it for granted though. I know one thought can spiral it all off again. But for now, things are under control. I'm busy, but not too busy. I meet up with friends, but I also take weekends to myself. You will get to know your own body and mind. You'll know what works and what doesn't. And if you're still figuring it out, keep going. 

The internet is such an amazing place to realise you are not alone. Whilst I am totally against googling symptoms for example, realizing that life isn't all peaches and cream, that people experience hardships that are beyond physical and that there are other people like you out there, shows how important breaking the stigma of mental health problems are. 

So I urge you, listen to someone who is experiencing problems, talk to someone if you are worried about anything, because there are people who will listen.


Monday, 3 October 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 5

Moving back home after university was necessary. When I started university three years ago, I never thought about what I would do when it was over. And moving back home wasn't what I imagined I would have to do. But, for the time being, I am saving a heap of money, and it actually isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The only thing that sucks is seeing your friends move back to university or worse, move to London, and let me tell you the FOMO is real. They're having independent lives again, either studying or working in these fancy city jobs whilst I am back in my old bedroom being told to turn my TV down at night.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job, I love how close to home it is, that it is so laid back, and the industry is absolutely perfect for me, but there are points when I wish that maybe I was moving to London, being this independent city living girl and living with some of my friends who are either studying or working there. Their weekends look so exciting compared to mine which include food shopping and watching Netflix.

Plus, it's moving in weekend at my old university, and I see friends going back, moving into their new houses, ready for another year in a place that I love. I really really miss living with my friends. Someone to gossip with, stay up late with and talk about mindless things, people to bake things for, borrow clothes from or to go for walks with when you need to get out of the house.

Ah I could go on and on about the things I miss about university and the intense London FOMO, but maybe this time next year, I'll too be making the move to the city - I've just got to save a bit of money first.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Dissertation Tips

If you're going into your final year of uni, chances are you are going to be writing a dissertation (if not, you are incredibly lucky!). Your dissertation is a huge piece of work, but there is no need to be stressed out about it. So here are some tips from someone who learnt the hard way about writing their dissertation. (Disclaimer - I left my super late to do it, but still ended up with a mid 2:1!)

1. Start researching now
There is a huge chance that you will change your idea, but having some sort of plan is useful. Perhaps do some reading on the components on your dissertation, what you actually need to put in it, and look at some previous work in the area that you want to look into. Google Scholar is of course great, as is It could give you some inspiration.

2. Get in touch with your supervisor
Seriously, use your supervisor. Introduce yourself and tell them some of you initial ideas. That way, when term starts, you won't waste a precious hour with them thinking of a topic from scratch. They'll tell you if they think it is feasible in the time period, and if they have seen any like it in the past.

3. Talk to people who have done one previously, either friends in other years or ask to look at some examples.

4. Set aside some time each week to work on it.
If you have a day off, or even an afternoon, try and work on it, just like a scheduled lecture or seminar would be and try and keep to it weekly.

5. Don't compare yourselves to others
Shut out all the people who said that they have already written half of theirs. They're probably lying.

6. Ask for help
If you are struggling, ask for help. Whether that's from your supervisor, someone who is also researching your area or a friend.

7. Gather information/data first
Don't try and write up too much until you have collected your data. I wrote a literature review before doing any data collection, and then had to spend hours changing large chunks of it so it would fit with my results. Your data will really help shape your project and know what previous research you can look at.

8. Leave yourself plenty of time to write and redraft
Don't leave it to a week until the deadline to start writing. I would advise up to at least 3 weeks before, and a week to look over it. But if you get it done before, than that's brilliant too. But believe me, you will do a lot of editing!

9. Leave time to bind and print
Most universities will have their own or printing company, but even if they don't, most companies will want at least 24 hours if not more to print and bind your work. Make sure you know the place and time where it needs to be submitted and make sure you have time to print!

10. Be proud
A dissertation is a hard thing. 10000 words or even more is a really big task, and you can feel like you are totally alone. But there will never be a greater feeling when it is all handed in!

Good luck everyone who is going into their final year! Make the most of the time you have and enjoy it! 


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 4

It's time

When I thought about writing about my experiences as a recent graduate, I was expecting it to be filled with my frustrations at the university system, my experiences with being unemployed and trying to find a job and how I cope with living at home. Unfortunately, or fortunately, things haven't exactly turned out that way. 

Life has a funny way of changing in the matter of a few hours. From crying in my room, telling my mum I am not unique or interesting enough to get a job that I really wanted, to going to the interview and being told 15 minutes later that I got it. 

So it looks like this is going to be my last post about my experiences as an unemployed graduate as I start work on Monday. Whilst I sit enjoying my last few days of freedom, I am actually looking forward to it. At the moment, my job is feeling more like something that will get me out of the house every day, give me the chance to meet new people and make new friends. Although my family say that within the first week it will feel like a slog, I can't wait to get some routine back in my life - although the prospect of being on a train at 8.30 in the morning is worrying me slightly! 

The job however is only a year long, so this time next year, I could be starting this up again. But for now, things are looking up. I'm excited about the future and ready to start the next chapter. Goodbye the student who would stress about an essay mark or forget to go food shopping that week, and hello to fully functioning adulthood. And I can't help but be very excited. 


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 3

An Update

It's been a while since I've done one of these, and let's just say a lot of things have happened since then. In my last blog post, I was sad, feeling really low, worrying about the future and generally feeling rubbish about the whole university system and the lack of experience that I have to enter the working world. 

Well, fast forward a week, and things are looking very very different. 

First up, I had my graduation on Friday. I was definitely worried about the day. The potential of looking like an idiot, falling on stage or my hat coming off gave me nightmares for days. Combine that with the stress of trying to keep the peace between my whole family, and I was a bag of nerves. 

Luckily, the day went off without a hitch. I didn't look too much like a potato (I hope), my family were on their best behavior, I celebrated with all my friends, and although it was absolutely boiling, Ifelt as though I had accomplished a huge achievement. I am now officially a graduate with a 2:1 degree with a BA (with honours) in Sociology. Hooray!
And secondly onto the big news is that I have a job, and it is my absolute dream job! I'm still a little bit in shock! I was expecting to be working in a really boring job for at least a year, but this allows me to kick start my career in the arts, and goodness I am excited! This also means spending the wages that I have not yet earned on new work clothes. Zara, I'm coming for you!

I start after going up to the Edinburgh Fringe for the final time (sob) with my best friends producing our amazing show for the second time. Just planning it all is getting me very very excited. 

I can't believe how much this week has turned around. It is so true that in the matter of a few days, your whole perspective can change. The funk won't last forever. And for those of you who told me not to give up, all I can say is thank you. 

Here's to the next exciting chapter! 


Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 2

I've now been home a week, and let's just say there have been a lot of ups and downs. The downs being arguments between me and my brother mainly, but they have been absolutely petty, but still not pleasant. Another downside is that my house is like a sauna. I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep since I have been here due to the heat. And I get super grumpy when I am tired and hot! Bring back winter!

The first few days were the hardest. I was tired, angry and clearly didn't want to be at home. But, I did meet up with a friend for coffee and cake which was nice. But apart from that, I haven't really left the house, which also put me in a bad mood.

But, over the last few days, things have got better. I've got my mum eating a lot healthier. No more frozen meals and ready made dinners, but I've cooked her loads of things such as sweet potato fries, bolognase from scratch instead of a jar and even gave her some avacado and toast which she actually ate. Slowly, but surely, we're eating healthier, and that really helps my anxiety. I also went out for a run this morning, and it wasn't that bad! I can't wait to make it a regular thing until I have a job and can afford to go back to a gym!

But, what has tainted this week is the dreaded job search. 

Job hunting is probably the most degrading activity. I spend most of my days browsing all the different websites I can find and trying different keywords, 'marketing jobs' 'marketing assistant' 'events coordinator' 'arts marketing', the list continues. Nothing at all jumps out at me.

But also, all those memes joking about the ridiculous experience criteria are actually true. Jobs that are already a junior or assistant level, and the pay reflects this, also require a year to two years experience.

I don't think I ever realized, when starting university, how hard it would be to find a job that you think you would enjoy, have the requirements to do it, and then be able to get there. Some of the jobs are great, but getting to London, whilst doable, is hugely expensive. I feel like I am at a total dead end, with no real help or guidance. I guess the only thing to do is keep applying for things that look vaguely interesting and useful, and wait.

Maybe I was expecting to find this amazing job that paid well and enjoyed, but I'll have to put those dreams on hold for a little while.

Graduate life is hard. I've already had one too many crying sessions over the last few days! Role on graduation next week! 


Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 1

I am no longer a student! My library card has expired and I only have until October to get my NUS extra discounts (let's be honest, I am very very sad about this!).

But before I get into the sad things about leaving my university house for the last time, let's start with the good. I got a 2:1 in my degree! All I can say is thank goodness. Spending all my Easter holidays in the Library, plus all the tears and stress really were worth it. I ended up getting a 65 in my Dissertation which I was incredibly happy with when you take into consideration that I thought I was going to get something in the region of 55! I graduate on the 22nd July and I am so excited to have a last minute celebration before leaving my university career behind.

And now onto the sadder parts of finishing uni. I've now packed up my university room and have moved back home. I always knew this would come as I can't afford to move out, but it still didn't make it any easier.

Moving home for holidays is always a bittersweet moment. I am close to my family and like being able to relax, but I don't have a my independence and freedom. I also don't have many friends at home either which is making this whole unemployment thing even worse. I'm not especially looking forward to graduate life at the moment, but I am hoping that once I get a job, things will get a lot easier. Hopefully I will get some of my freedom back and be able to save enough money to eventually move out.

But in slightly better news, I do have an interview next week, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to look forward too!

Let's see what the next chapter of life brings!


Monday, 4 July 2016

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ Review

My skin is a disaster. I never got spots during secondary school, but as soon as I hit my second year of uni, my skin has got worse. I went to the doctors about it a very long time ago, and they cleared up for a while, but came back with a vengeance - and I don't think I have had clear skin since. Please tell me I can't be the only 21 year old going through this! If skincare has taught me anything, it's that a product cannot be a miracle worker, which sucks for people like me who expect to start using a new product and your face be clear the next day.

I mainly turn to beauty blogs to see what the latest product is to try. One product that came up a lot was the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ with some bloggers claiming it got rid of their adult acne. I ordered a tube from Boots and decided to have a go. 

I've been using this for about a month and have almost finished the tube. For me, this is not a miracle product. When I started using it, it made my spots that I thought were now just scars, reactivate, and I have had some of the sorest and largest red spots on my face. I hoped that this would decrease slightly, and whilst it has, I still have extremely red and painful spots on my chin on a daily basis. 

The product also says it is for sensitive skin. I have never usually had sensitive skin, but this burned and stung when I put it on the first few times, something I definitely wasn't expecting. I didn't use this on my whole face for that reason, just on my chin and around my nose. 

Now, for the results. As I said, I have had some of the largest spots since using this, and whilst I don't know if it is this product, hormones, stress or lifestyle factors, I'm not sure this has made a huge amount of progress, especially when some of the reviews say it has been successful over a few days. I do think that some of my scars, those who didn't reactivate, are beginning to fade, but nothing amazingly noticeable. 

I'm still unsure about whether to buy another tube and see how things go. Because it was such a wonder product for others, I kind of want to keep going. That said, do I want to spend another £10+ on something that I don't know will ever work? 

Have you tried La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +? 


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Become a morning person

Whether you have to get up early for work, or just fancy a few more hours of daylight to make it through that to do list, these tips could definitely help!

1. Night shower 

Ah, the age old night shower or morning shower debate. I personally night shower, and I save so much time in the morning as I have already washed my hair the night before. No more going out with wet hair or trying to fight with flatmates in the morning. So all I do in the morning is head to the bathroom, wash my face and clean my teeth.

2. Prepare your clothes 

Whether these are clothes to go to work, lounge clothes or gym clothes, making sure you know where your clothes are so they are easy to slip on is a must. Otherwise, I would lounge around in my pyjamas for ages and never get out of bed!

3. Set an alarm 

When you are first starting out waking up early, I recommend setting an alarm, and sticking to it. No more snoozing!

4. Sleep earlier

This goes without saying, go to bed earlier, and you'll wake up earlier. I try to sleep, unless I am out, by about 10.30 or 11 if I am not particularly tired. Therefore, if you wake up at 6, you've had at least 7-7 and a half hours of sleep.

5. Limit your social media scrolling to 5/10 minutes in the morning

I would sit for up to hours in bed scrolling through instagram, twitter and facebook. Limiting yourself to 5-10 minutes or trying not to at all is a good way to get out of bed and get started for the day!

6. Don't dwell on the tiredness

This may be pure psychological, but the more I think about being tired (and the more I keep saying it to people!), the more I feel tired. Push through that to do list!

7. Keep the routine

Okay, so a few nights out isn't going to hurt, but try and keep a good bedtime routine. It will soon become normal!

8. Prepare breakfast

Make sure you have some time to prepare a nice breakfast. I think that an extra 5 minutes on breakfast is especially worth making it something nicer than plain cereal. A nice ripe avacado always gets me up in the morning! 

What are some of your tips for becoming a morning person? 


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Easy Scones Recipe

Now I'm officially in summer mode, I have been doing things that I didn't really have the time to do when I was revising. And this includes baking.

Whichever way you say it, they always turn out great. Cheese, with raisins (and my flatmate eats chocolate ones?) or just plain, I can't get enough. The best thing is is that they don't use eggs, which I always forget to buy. So I can still get your baking fix without going to the shop. Winning.

I used this BBC recipe to make these, and I think they actually turned out okay. Okay.. so they stuck to the grease proof paper a little bit, but I personally think it adds character and extra texture?

225g self raising flour 
1 Tbsp baking powder
55g Butter
25g caster sugar 
150ml milk
Milk to glaze 

1. Add the butter and flour together and rub into breadcrumbs with your fingertips. Make sure all of the butter lumps have disappeared into the flour. It is better to do this with the butter at room temperature. 

2. Stir in the sugar and the baking powder (plus any extras you want, whether this is cheese, raisins etc. I chose to just make plain ones). 

3. Add the milk and stir together into a sticky dough

4. Turn out onto a floured surface and cover it in more flour. I found the dough very sticky, but with a little bit more flour, it started to firm up enough to roll out. 

5. Use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle covered in cling film works equally as well!) and roll out the dough about 2cm thick. 

6. Use a cutter (or a jar, lol student life) to make them into circles and place on a greased tray. 

7. Brush with some milk and place in the oven at 220 degrees (Gas Mark 7) for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and risen. 


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Is University Worth it?

On Wednesday morning I had my last ever university exam (and let's hope last exam ever), and I couldn't be happier that it was over. I've spent the last few days doing some life admin, watching a lot of Ru Paul's drag race and generally catching up on some much needed sleep. 

It seems only yesterday that I moved into my dingy halls, and now I have made friends for life. I've had more close friends than I ever have before, I've been to places I didn't think I would ever go to and I've been a part of and done some amazing things. It's true, that university has been the making of me, and I don't think I would be the person who I am today if I decided not to go. A bold statement, but I think it's true. 

I moved 3 hours away from Kent to the University of Warwick. Moving away was a very scary thought at 18, but it was the best decision I could have made. It made me appreciate my family a lot more, find out more about myself and give me the chance to meet new people. I feel so much more confident in myself and my abilities and has really taken me out of my shell. When you're thrown in on day 1 with a bunch of 19 strangers, you need to make the effort and put yourself out there. 

Fast forward almost three years later, I'm living with my best friends, had the chance to perform in musicals, sung with an a Capella choir, taken a show to the Edinburgh Fringe and hopefully be graduating with a good grade. University isn't just about your degree. For me, my degree is only a very small part of my university career. 

I've talked about my degree before. So I didn't wholly love my course, and there were times, especially in final year, when I thought what's the point. Studying the history of science is not going to be useful for everyday life, and the workload and stress was getting to me too much. But I'm glad I kept going. Honestly, it was my friends and my extra curriculars that got me through. 

University isn't all peaches and cream. It's stressful, you'll fall out with people and you'll experience feelings you have never felt before. I've battled with my anxiety which began in my first year. But surrounding yourself with people who understand, and who will love you know matter what is the main thing. 

So is the debt and stress worth it? At the moment, I think so. I cannot thank this experience enough, and when I look back, I won't remember the times when I was worrying myself stupid or crying over my lack of dissertation writing. I'll remember the amazing memories, the people I met and the places we went. Some people 'find themselves' when they go travelling, I found myself at university. I look back at how far I have come and can't help but smile at the awkward teen who was too scared to introduce herself to a next door neighbor. 

 Now, I'm ready for the last few weeks in Leamington before heading home and onto the next chapter. 


Friday, 27 May 2016

Things I want to do after graduation

The end of exams is coming around very very soon (as in 5 days time!). Whilst obviously procrastinating, I have come up with a list of things that I want to do after I graduate - apart from finding a job obviously! 

- Improve my blog 
- Read up on SEO 
- Crochet a blanket
- Learn how to code - HTML
- Look for online courses
- Read books for leisure 
- Write more
- Learn how to draw
- Take weekends in Europe to see my friends 
- Binge watch Netflix shows I have been putting off watching
- Learn a language 

What do you want to do when you finish university or this summer? 


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The One Where I Hand in my Dissertation

It's all over! 10579 words, 48 pages and a whole lot of stress later, it's all done. Of course, I have absolutely no idea what mark I am going to get, I can hope for a 2:1 but I seriously have no idea at all. But at the moment, I can't let that bother me, as it is all handed in!

I remember in March, I was in my supervisors office almost in tears because I was so upset at myself for how little I had done. I remember saying to her that if I get anything in, it will be a miracle. She basically told me not to be so stupid and that I can do it, and I have! 

Whilst I definitely don't recommend leaving the majority of it to the last month like I did, I do think that especially at my university and department, a dissertation is blown way out of control, making you think that if you haven't been working on it since the previous summer, that you were being stupid and you won't get it done. That is definitely not the case and thank goodness to my supervisor who was so realistic about the whole thing. 

After we handed in our dissertations, we went with my course friends to Las Iguanas afterwards and had happy hour cocktails and food, which was a great end to dissertation life! 

But for now, it's back to revision for me! My last exam is the 1st of June, so with just over 3 weeks until my first exam, the cramming begins now! 


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Friction Free Shaving

 I went to my first ever blogger event in Birmingham run by Friction Free Shaving*, a new monthly subscription service that provide blades and razors for as little as £3 a month. 

For someone who always forgets to change their blades and who is too lazy to buy any more (and the fact that they are too expensive!) I think this is such a cool idea. At the event, we were all given a box with 4 blades and our own personalized razors with our names on them. Pretty neat right?! 

The one that we were given was the 'Samantah' at £7 a month with a 5 bladed head. This is the most expensive one, but they start from £3 with 'Faye' which is a two bladed head and 'Frankie' for £5 which has a 3 bladed head. As you can see, a whole lot cheaper than leading brands at Boots or Superdrug. 

I tried it out when I got back from the event, who knew you could get so excited by shaving products. I wasn't used to the weight of the razor, as they are considerably heavier than the normal ones you get in the shop - it was actually quite nice to have something substantial to hold. 

Each monthly box also comes with 4 blades which they recommend to change weekly, but I expect they would last longer depending on how often you shave. 

I was really impressed with the product and the company. It's so nice to meet the people behind the product, and it just adds so much to their brand!

Why not check them out! 


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Things to do on at the Weekend

1. Go to a new coffee shop and blog/work/hang out with friends
2. Scourer Pinterest and find a new cake or recipe to make
3. Find some new podcasts
4. Go charity shop shopping
5. Watch a film you haven't watched in ages
6. Sleep
7. Meal plan and cook for the week 
8. Binge watch some TV
9. Go for a walk
10. Spring clean 


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Revision Essentials

1. Coloured Pens 
An absolute staple. Who knew writing notes in purple could be fun

2. Highlighters

3. Flashcards 
I like to easily break down my revision into chunks, whether it is writing down key names or theories, they are easy to look through before bed and on the train. 

4. Snacks
I am trying to limit the amount of unhealthy snacks that I eat during revision. I have swapped chocolate for raisins, nuts and fruit, as well as having a larger breakfast and lunch than  usually have. 

5. Tea
Just keep the tea coming is what I say! But make sure to drink plenty of water too (I need to work on this!) 

6. A Cracking playlist 
I love listening to film soundtrack instrumentals when I revise. My current favourites are The Hobbit and Star Wars which can be found on Spotify

7. Comfy clothes 
Especially if you are at home (or in the library, I'm not judging), comfy clothes are so important. I recommend getting changed out of your pajamas, otherwise I feel like I'm going to bed.

8. A Plan
Making sure you have a revision plan is such a thing that you're told to do at GCSE isn't it! But I stand by it. Planning what topics you have to revise and when you want to do these is really helpful for me. Just don't get panicked if this doesn't work out. I am always too optimistic with my times. 

9. An evening off
I always start revision early and finish early. I very rarely work past 7pm and make sure I have the evenings off to chill, see friends and basically make sure I don't become a social hermit. Don't let it rule your life.

10. Pretty Stationery
Of course, this is an absolute must!

What are some of your essentials?


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cocktail masterclass with Friction Free Shaving

On Saturday I went to my first ever blogger event in Birmingham with Friction Free Shaving. It was a cocktail masterclass in Bar Opus near Snow Hill. Friction Free Shaving is a monthly subscription service of razors and blades.

I was so nervous as I had never been to one of these things before. I met up with Beckie and Jodie at the station and we ran down to the bar as we were running a little late. Luckily, we didn't miss anything and we were thrown into the masterclass straight away. 

The first cocktail we made was made from Limoncello, Gin, lemon juice and lemonade, and the second was made from honey, whisky and milk(?!) which was sprinkled with honeycomb. I actually really liked the taste of this one! 

The last one was this layered one. I can't remember at all what was in this one, just some coloured syrups topped off with Proessco. We used this special spoon thing to make all the ingredients layered, and I don't think mine came out too badly in the end. 

After the event, I had some time to kill before my train home, so we went to this wine bar called Loki. You basically are given a tab card and you go around the shop buying samples of what wine you want. So basically like a wine vending machine. By this time, after 3 cocktails and few samples of wine, I was feeling quite happy!

The event was so nice. It was weird being in a room full of people who blog too, everyone had their cameras out and meeting people who they had talked to online. I wish I had talked to a few more people, but I had great fun. It was such a nice break from university work!

Thank you to the lovely people from Friction Free Shaving, who organised the event and gave us each our own personalized shavers, an FFS t-shirt and lots of other goodies!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

A rainy day in Oxford

On Monday, we randomly organised a trip to Oxford for the day! I had never been before, so we had a little wonder around the city, went in a few Starbucks to shelter from the rain, walked around some of the university colleges, bought milkshakes (I had a lovely Kinder Bueno one!) and went punting on the river. Here are a very small number of snaps from a very rainy Oxford. 


Friday, 8 April 2016

An Ode to Grease 2

Who doesn't love a good movie sequel, and what better, a sequel to he cult musical classic Grease. I mean seriously, what could go wrong. In my eyes, nothing. 

I first received Grease 2, aged 7 in a double pack video with Grease. Yes my friends, it was that long ago. I found myself watching it more than the original. Was it the cheesy songs, the so bad it's good storyline or the adorable male lead? I guess I'll never know. 

Fast forward over 10 years and I've rekindled my love. And, I still know all the words to Cool Rider and Reproduction. Yes, there is a song about reproduction. 

Let me set the scene. It's what like a year since our original Grease favourites graduated. The T Birds and Pink ladies still rule the school, but it is now motorbikes that are the coolest way to get around. Cars are so last year. 

So, Michael Carrington, Sandy's cousin from England (yes, seriously), has started at Rydell High and falls in love with Pink Lady Stephanie - played by a very young Michelle Pfifer. To win her heart, he becomes this mysterious biker and no body knows his name. She thinks he dies, he doesn't, and saves the school from the evil Scorpians, who frankly look far too old to be in high school.

So, this time, it's the guy that changes for the girl, which I quite like. He's a hopeless romantic, in love with a girl he could never get, but she doesn't want any of it until he dresses in leather and wears a helmet so he is all mysterious and sexy. 

So the songs aren't as iconic as the original Grease, and the characters do kind of suck. But I can't help but still love it.

Plus, if you want to listen to a song called Reproduction, sung by students and their teacher in a biology class, I'll leave it for you below. They were clearly running out of song ideas. 

You'll be singing it all day. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Getting back into reading

When I was younger I was a bit of a book worm. I loved reading, and I would always read really really fast.

But since I have got older, I know it's a rubbish excuse, but I just haven't had the time. I don't think I have read a whole book, front to back in about 5 years, which is so bad. The internet has taken over, and instead of reading a book before bed, I'll scroll through twitter and instagram, which of course isn't that productive at all.

I swoon over people, and other bloggers, who read so many books and are inspired by them, or connect so much to a certain characters

So, on Wednesday, as I was on my way to campus, I downloaded and listened to Emma Gannon's podcast Ctrl Alt Delete - first of all, download it and listen to it now! - and she was interviewing the author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert. I'd heard of the book and film, but obviously had never read it. After feeling so inspired by the podcast (again, listen to it and you'll understand why!), I smashed 6 hours in the library and left feeling pretty good.

I then decided to get off the bus a few stops early, so I could walk through the town, and I popped into the Oxfam bookshop and picked up my own copy of Eat Pray Love. I started that afternoon and I can't wait to carry on reading.

I'm also planning my next book purchase including "Reasons to stay alive" by Matt Haig and "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes. Once I graduate from university, I am also planning to read all the classics that I've never read, including To Kill A Mockingbird as well as some Jane Austen, and I cannot wait!

Have you got any book recommendations for me to read next? 


Monday, 4 April 2016

A quick smoothie recipe

- Handful of frozen berries
- 3/4 strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 3/4 of a banana 
- A few spoonfuls of  natural yoghurt (or frozen yoghurt)
- A dash of milk (add more if too thick) 
*optional* a dash of fruit juice 

Blend it up. Bish. Bash. Bosh

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Monday, 28 March 2016

The Highs and Lows of University

It's so scary that I'll be graduating soon. It looks as though my last exam is on the 1st June. I'll then have a month and a half until my graduation on the 22nd July - how crazy! I can't believe that this time three years ago, I was revising for my A-Level exams to get into university and now I am almost finished.

I was contacted by Student Hut to do a little colab with them on the highs and lows of University. If you're looking for a university or course, they have loads of reviews for current students, perfect for anyone wanting to go to University or who are off in September!

Although I have said some of the things that I'll miss about uni in a previous blog post, there are still so many highs of university life!

- Moving away from home
I truly believe it was the best thing that I have done in my life so far to move away from home for University. I am at a university about 3 hours away in a place that I had never been before, which sounds daunting, but is amazing. I've become more independent and confident, so much so that I find being at home too suffocating!

- Meeting best friends
It's true what they say, you meet people that are so much like you at university. I've found that my friends that I have made at uni are now closer to me than the ones I had at school. You'll find people with the same interests, hobbies, work ethic as you. And, unlike school, there are so many people to choose from!

- Joining a society
I cannot stress enough that societies are what makes university experiences. You don't remember those days in the library that you had stressing over your degree. You remember the trips, the activities, the tours, the memories with a society. Whether you're into sport, crafts, performance, technology, there is a society for you filled with people who are thinking the same. It's a great way to meet people in other year groups.

- Freedom!
Unlike school and home, you have the freedom. You can buy what you want, do what you want (within reason obviously!). You can go to the shops in your pyjamas! You can hop on a train and go exploring for a day. The possibilities are endless.

- Student Discount
I never want to have to pay full price for anything again, that's until my NUS Extra card runs out in October *sobs*

- Living in Halls
Although I loved the majority of my flatmates, I hated living in halls. Working and sleeping in the same dingy room was confining and depressing. There was never silence, never a time to yourself and it all just comes a bit too much sometimes.

- Student Accommodation.
You've made it out of halls... oh wait, you're now in the world of private landlords and estate agents charging you extortionate amounts for old, cold, damp and moldy houses and flats. Just because you're a student, doesn't mean you can live in inadequate conditions and be played by money hungry landlords! (Luckily my landlord this year is great. We got a new cooker the other day because the door wouldn't shut and it's wonderful).

- If you're not loving your degree...
I'll put my hands up and say that I don't wholly love my degree. I've written about it here before, but it all becomes a bit too much when you actually have to do work! I know that's what you're there for, but it makes it worse when you're not as passionate about it any more.

- Money
The whole student loans system just sucks. End of.

Do you agree with any of these?


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Mental Health in Exam period | University

If you're doing GCSEs, A-Levels or studying at university, you'l know that the Easter holidays is never a break. Exams and deadlines are looming, and your mental health can start to suffer. I know that my anxiety increases when I get nervous or stressed, and especially as I am in my final year, I am worried about how it is going to affect me. So here are some tips that I'm going to use, and I hope it helps you too!

1. Make a plan
Plan plan plan. I never stuck to a revision plan when I was revising for my GCSEs and even A-Levels, but with everything else going on, planning what I am going to do each day is essential..

2. Commit
Decided you're going to have a library day? Stick with it. Get up, make a nice breakfast, pack a nice lunch (I always go browsing on Pinterest in the evening to see what things I can make!). If you're going to have a day off, commit to it. Don't feel guilty, just go for it!

3. You do you
You are the only one to know what works for you. And you do it! Don't feel pressured into working a certain way or doing things you want to do because other people tell you you shouldn't. .

4. Don't compare
Don't compare yourselves to others is an easier thing to say than to do. They'll be people who work all hours of the day, and even make you feel bad that you're not doing the same. If a certain way works for you, then you do it. I personally find that working in the morning and afternoon is best, and then I take the evenings off to relax.

5. Relax
With that said, make time for yourself to relax! Finish the day watching some Netflix, do some baking or just read a book. Taking some time away from your essays and revision is so so useful. Make sure you do it!

6. Spend time with friends and family
Easter is also the time to spend with you friends and family. Whether you're heading home for a few weeks, or staying at uni (like myself!), take a day off to explore the local area or just relax with your friends. Don't become a social recluse and lock yourself in your room. It's not fun, and not beneficial! If you are worried about missing work, make a library or work day with your friends. It doesn't sound fun, but knowing your friends are there will help too.

7. Eat healthy or Go to the gym
I always make the mistake of overeating when I am revising. I'm planning to swap the unhealthy snacks for fruit and smoothies, so that I don't come out feeling groggy and sick! I also make sure that I always have time for the gym, even if it is just for half and hour in the morning or evening. It makes me feel so much better, especially after a long slog in the library.

8. Talk to someone
If things are getting too much, tell someone. Whether it's your parents, friends or even your GP. This is a stressful time and it's no wonder that things are getting hard. There are so many charities you can call, like Mental Health Matters  which often have lines open 24 hours a day. Don't suffer in silence.

 You are so much more than your grades and productivity. Be kind to yourself.  


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Breakfast ideas

I'm all about breakfast. Seriously, is it not the best meal of the day?! I usually reach for a quick slice of toast (usually with just butter because I haven't had a chance to go shopping) or cereal (my favourite in Krave, but only when it is on offer because no student can afford £3 cereal!) As revision period looms and dissertation panic is in full flow, I've decided enough is enough.

Yes... I have become one of those people who instagrams their avacado on toast. And I'm not even sorry. 

I LOVE them! I buy the 4 packs from tesco that come in handy one portion sizes. They take a few days to ripe and then they are ready to eat. I usually mash them up with just some salt and spread it on toast. Yum. 

I also poached an egg for the first time the other day and it was so much easier than I thought.

Crack the egg into a mug and out some water on the hob. Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling and stir is quickly. Wth the water still swirling, place the egg in. Hopefully, the water will make the White wrap around the yolk, although this didn't happen first for mine, so I had to swirl it around a bit more! Leave it for like 4 minutes and gently take out with a slotted spoon. And then open the yolk and take an instagramable photo! 

And why not just put your eggs and avacado together. Gotta get those gains. 

In all serious, having a breakfast that I look forward to really sets me up for the day. It's seriously worth the less time in bed!

If all else fails, you treat yourself to some Krave. You deserve it! 


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Term 2 round up | University

I've officially finished all of my formal teaching at university. I've finished my penultimate term! Goodness, that is so scary to say out load. The last 10 weeks have absolutely flown by, and graduation is getting ever and ever closer. This term has been somewhat better than the last.

1. Started CBT
Early January, I began having weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions for my health and general anxiety after going to the GP in December. These have shaped most of my weeks at University, and I am so glad that I made the leap and talked to someone. 

2. Had my first assessment centre
A few weeks ago I went to a graduate assessment centre for a job. I traveled to an around London for the first time by myself, had someone buy me a coffee as I sat in Starbucks filled with nerves. I didn't get the job, but I was proud of myself for just making it to London. Onwards and Upwards! 

3. Skipping lecture
This term was the most amount that I have skipped lectures ever! I did have a good reason though - it brings up my anxiety levels so much. I made the strategic decision to not go to the ones when my mind starts to wonder, or if I could get them online. Probably bad, I know, but being able to relax a little more has helped things in the mental health department a lot. 

4. Rehearsals
I joined a show this term as well as continued in the a capella choir. Doing extra activities really structures my day, and I'm think I'm more productive because of it! It's these activities that have really made my university career the absolute best. 

5. Haircut
I took the leap (or well the hairdresser did!) and I cut off like 4/5 inches of my hair. It took me ages to get used to it, but now I absolutely love it. I feel like a whole new person, ready to take on anything. 

6. Grades
Luckily, my grades have been consistent all year, gaining 2:1s in all of my essays and assignments that I have had back. Thank goodness is all I can say. 

7. Friends
This has been the term that I have met and made loads of friends, as well as working on previous friendships with people that I know I'll stay friends with after university. It's a shame that I have only got to know people now, but there is still plenty of time. 

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