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!


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Favourite Blogs

I love reading blogs. That's why I started mine a few years ago. If I ever decide I don't want to blog anymore (which I have been very close to doing multiple times!), I will definitely still keep my twitter account so I can catch up with everyone else's! Here are a few of my favourites lately...

#1 Fox Socks
There's something about Charlotte's blog that makes me feel super relaxed. Whether it's posts about her dog, something funny that happened in her workplace or about books or TV, I love how effortless her writing seems. Her photography is equally beautiful and I just feel all fuzzy when I read it.

#2 Halycon Velvet
Samantha's wardrobe is one that I just want to steal. I am also a really bad ASOS shopper, so I head over to her blog to see the latest things she has picked up for some inspiration. She also makes me want to be more adventurous with my clothing options!

#3 Lashes Of Lifestyle
Chloe's blog just makes me hungry! With posts with recipe ideas, restaurant reviews, as well as lifestyle bits thrown in, there's a good mix of everything!

#4 From Roses
Rebecca's blog also makes me feel very relaxed. I think it's the dreamy dainty pictures and I love her style of writing. Her blog posts are simple, relate able and so varied. She writes from beauty, fashion (I especially love her what she's been wearing posts!), lifestyle, blogging advice as well as everyday advice. I can scroll through for hours!

#5 Hannah Gale
I haven't met anyone who isn't in love with Hannah and her blog. I love how honest, real and hilarious her blog posts are, whether she's writing about a bargain coat from M&S or dealing with periods and other girl problems. All hail the queen of lists.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Wild | Book Review

I've never written a book review before, simply because I never read. I couldn't stand the idea of reading whilst at University. Coming home after a day of 'reading' in the library, the idea of picking up a book seemed a lot of hard work when instead I could scroll through the internet to my hearts content.

However, since starting work, having time whilst waiting for the train and now getting bored on the internet, I love reading.

After watching Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life when *Spoiler* Lorelai goes to hike like Wild, I remembered that I was given the book last Christmas, but as expected, it sat in my book shelf. So once I had binged watched Gilmore Girls, I grabbed the book.

I had tried reading books like this before. Books where woman go on self discovering journeys. I never finished Eat Pray Love. The book is still sat on my desk, the bookmark poking out as if it wants me to finish. I expected I would do the same to this book, but I didn't.

The book is based on Cheryl's own experience whilst hiking 11000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother, a divorce, drug abuse and feeling disconnected from her family. I found the character (well, I suppose Cheryl) to be likeable - I rooted for her through the whole book, I wanted her to finish her journey so bad.

I loved hearing about the people that she met along the way, from those who gave her somewhere to sleep, to the friends who shared their beers and the ones who gave her much needed advice, like how to order new walking boots. I liked how almost all of the people said she was tough and that they had never met another woman walking the route themselves, but it's almost like she doesn't believe it.

I liked how her backstory was interwoven into the plot. We found out aspects of Cheryl's life before walking the PCT, but not too much which I think was a good thing. I finished feeling so inspired by what she had achieved and how she powered through, despite blistered feet and aching bones. The story was simple, but powerful.

I have to admit, I did a little google about Cheryl, what else she had written and how her story ends. I would love to know what happened afterwards, where she ended up living and if she ever reconnected with her family.

If you like gripping stories, cliffhangers and unexpected twists and turns, this probably isn't for you. But for a little bit of inspiration, a true story, this is definitely worth the read.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Primark Haul

Working near a Primark is lethal. Whenever I fancy a quick walk at lunchtime, I'll most likely end up in Primark having a quick snoop around. I've found some great things recently - although I really think they should have an online shop!

I use this backpack everyday for work. It's the perfect size for my lunch, purse and book for the train journey. At only £10 it was an absolute steal, and looks like lots of the ones that are in topshop and New Look at the moment. It's also super easy to fling over my shoulders and run for the train at the end of the day!

I am such a lover of knitted jumpers. I always go for black, blue or burgundy, but this time I decided to go for something different. This is super warm and cosy, and really cheap at £10 too. I usually wear with black jeans and boots for work which is perfect.

These dungarees were a bit of an impulse purchase. These are the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe, just because there is not really a proper waistband, just buttons on the side. What I don't like about them is that the top flap is a little bit shorter than I wanted. But at only £15, I'm glad I didn't buy a more expensive pair that would have cost double the price, but I have had some great compliments whilst wearing these.

This blouse looks so autumnal, it is my favourite thing in my wardrobe. I was asked to attend a meeting at work, but I realised I was having a bit of a casual wardrobe day, so I rushed to Primark and picked this top up quickly. For £8 I didn't mind if I didn't hugely like it, but it looked a lot better on than on the hanger, and it worked perfectly for the meeting.

What have you picked up in Primark recently?


Monday, 14 November 2016

Blank Notebooks

I vow to fill a whole notebook.

I always wander through Paperchase and swoon over the beautiful notebooks. A5, hardback, spiral bound, soft bound, patterned, plain. And I always wonder, if only I had something to fill up one of these beautiful notebooks with.

I've tried keeping diaries, secret ones with locks on them that I would attempt to write secret things in, until I realised I didn't have anything personal to write. Writing about the weather and my school lessons was not very exciting. At aged 9, your life isn't really diary worthy.

I then tried to have a year diary. I bought one a few years ago, vowing to write down every university deadline, meetings and important things in it. Again, this lasted a few weeks, as I realised it was easier to write them on a big A4 sheet of paper that I stuck next to my mirror so I wouldn't forget. But somehow, I still managed not to notice it.

Then the craze of bullet journalling came along. My bloglovin timeline and instagram full of beautifully created pages. It wasn't until I somewhat started one that I realised that I wasn't creative enough to make the pages look beautiful. If I carried on trying, I would rip all the pages out in fustration as they didn't look pretty enough.

But, I was determined to change. Armed with my £5 birthday Paperchase treat, I marched straight over the notebook area and picked one on.  settled on a blue one, with yellow raindrops in it. And I vow to fill it up. I've realised it's not about being perfect. It doesn't have to look beautiful. I started by writing out what happened in my day. It turns out my life as a 22 year old isn't any more exciting than my 9 year old days. So I quickly stopped that.

I'm now using it for lists: What books I've read, what films I've watched, blog post ideas, favourite blogs, favourite instagrams, favourite songs. Working in a theatre means I have many a tickets to stick in, using the washi tape I purchased but never found a use for. I write down recipes of things I've made as I knew I would never remember the webpage I found it from. I even sat in an evening and wanted to practice some hand lettering. That went in the book.

Who knows, in years to come, I'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Why did I need to fill up this notebook with such mindless and useless infomation. But for now, I like it.


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. 


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

I'm Currently...

The Crown 

Sense And Sensibility - Jane Austen

Primark Knitted Jumpers

Chocolate Crackles

Tea, and lots of it

Boujois Healthy Mix Foundation

Hummous on everything (can you ever eat too much?) 

The cold weather 

Walking home in the dark

Looking forward to
Buying a car! 


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!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Banana Cupcakes

1. Weigh 2 eggs and note the weight
2. Measure butter, self raising flour and caster sugar with the same weight
3. Mix all the ingredients together with a small amount of vanilla extract
4. Mash up a ripe banana into a paste (don't worry about getting all of the lumps out)
5. Add to the cake mixture and mix
6. Pour into cupcake cases
7. Bake for 15/20 minutes on 180 degrees


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.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

September Favourites

The Tudors

After finishing Gilmore Girls, I have been trying to find another TV series to get my teeth into until November. I have tried watching The Tudors before, but this time I am very much hooked, although I know obviously what happens at the end. If you're a history buff, or even if you're not, this is great to get your teeth into!

I am also loving that the Great British Bake off is back, and of course gutted that it will be moving to Channel 4.

Bridget Jones
I LOVED Bridget Jones's Baby, it was everything I wanted and more from a sequel to my favourite films ever. I also spent September reading the books for the first time, and my commute in the morning gives me the perfect excuse. There were even times when I chuckled out loud on the train whilst reading them which never usually happens. Classic Bridget.

 New Gadgets 
I also treated myself to a new phone this month, moving away from Window's to an Android and it is great! I finally have a functioning snapchat and Instagram on my phone and everything is good.

Reconnecting with old friends
Moving back home, let's be honest, absolutely sucks. But, the good thing about it is being able to reconnect with some of my friends from school. We try and now make it a weekly thing where we try and do something, either dinner or movie night. It's nice to have lots to talk about with people who are in the same boat as you! 

What have been some of your favourite things from September? 


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Eat. Sleep. Work. Repeat.

My student days are well and truly over. No more lie ins or making fancy breakfasts. No more staying up until midnight because you don't have to be out of the house until midday. And definitely no more skipping days because you just don't feel like it. I have left the world of student life behind and entered the scary realms of actually having to be an adult.

Yes, I've started full time work, and all I can say is thank goodness it is in a field and industry that I absolutely adore. Yes, getting up at 6.30 everyday is still a chore, and having to fit in food, a shower and some me time in all before 10pm is a little challenging, but, having a job I enjoy does make things a little easier. 

One thing I am finding hard is watching the majority of my friends either going back to uni, or moving somewhere else to work or study for their masters. Being back at home does have it's perks. Of course, the money situation is great, as well as having my dinner on the table when I come home, as I get in an hour after my mum. But, of course, it's the being back in my tiny bedroom and not living anywhere near my friends which is the hard part! 

Weekends are also the ultimate struggle. Do I fill it up with visiting friends, or do I veg out for a few days? I am trying to do every other weekend seeing friends, whilst spending the other in front of my laptop watching Netflix and pretending that I've done my chores! It has also meant that I have reconnected with some of my friends from school who I are now in the same boat as me, either having moved back home and working, or who have been here the whole time we have been away. We try and plan something every other, if not every week, whether it's coffee or dinner which is nice to get out of the house. 

Life is ticking along nicely, work is stressful, but in manageable amounts - but my first pay day made it all worth while! 


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! 


Friday, 19 August 2016

The Acne Scar Coverup

I've talked in the past about my skin troubles. I feel like I have tried everything and anything to get rid of it. But whilst I am trying to get rid of it, something that actually helps my face not feel as disgusting and oily is putting makeup on. I know this is probably counteractive, but I never realised how much more confident I feel with makeup on. 

After using some of these products, I feel completely transformed. No longer am I hormonal spot girl, but I just feel a little bit more like myself. My main problem area is my chin, so this is where I focus most of my time. It does require a little bit of touch up during the day if I can be bothered or days when my skin is particularly bad, but these will suit me fine for now!

I first prime with the L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base. I sometimes skip this step, but if my skin isn't feeling hugely smooth, I will pop some of this one. I usually let this sink in for a few minutes before getting on with the rest of my makeup. 

I then go in with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hour foundation. This is quite a high coverage foundation, and I really like the way it goes on and covers any imperfections. I use the Real Techniques expert face brush to do this. 

If I need extra coverage around my chin, I will then use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I adore this sponge, as I pat in the concealer rather than spreading it around the spots, ensuring that they are totally covered up. I haven't tried this for my who face, just because I don't have time to pat it all in, as the brush is a lot quicker. However, I think the sponge is well worth the money, and I am really impressed. I will then finish with some powder and I'm done. 

This doesn't always cover some of my more stubborn spots, but it does the trick as a great base. 

Do you have any favourite products to cover acne? 


Thursday, 18 August 2016

4 Current Favourites

I haven't done a favourites post in quite a long time, just because I hadn't been up to much. But now I have some favourites that I can't wait until the end of the month to post!

1. Edinburgh 

I have just come back from 2 weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe festival with a production, and I was so sad to leave. We stayed in this beautiful apartment (found my yours truly) right in the middle of the city, and experienced the Fringe. This was my third year, and unfortunately my last, but I know I will be back one day.

2. Gilmore Girls

My days have been filled with Netflix since finishing university, and I have watched far too much Gilmore Girls, but can you ever really have enough? Lorelai is my absolute favourite TV character I think. The show has so much charm, it's just adorable, and light relief from the recent intense Pretty Little Liars. I have one more series left and then I have a Gilmore Girls hole until November when the revival comes in.

3. Propercorn

No, I am not sponsored to say this, but propercorn - I believe - was the only thing to get me through Edinburgh. Ah it is so damn tasty, and my favourite is definitely the vanilla and coconut flavour. Yum!

4. Rings

I am not a huge ring wearer, but I picked up this little gem from a stall in Edinburgh, and I love it! It's small enough to not get in the way, but also with a pretty leaf design on it.

What kind of things are you loving at the moment? 


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! 


Friday, 15 July 2016

'Clean' Eating

Before I dive into the post, a quick disclaimer. In no way am I saying that clean eating, veganism etc is wrong. Just because I don't necessarily agree, doesn't mean I judge those or not like those who are. It works for some people, but not for others. 

The concept of 'clean' eating is all over the internet. I spend a large amount of my time on social media, and especially being exposed to the blogging community, the phrase, is thrown around a lot, as well as 'What I eat in a day' posts and recipe ideas for a healthier, well life life.

II've had issues with my body image a few months ago, and this was at a time when I was staying at my university house by myself and writing my dissertation. I was stressed out to the max, and after a somewhat indulgent Easter, I thought the only way I would feel better was to eat healthier. I cut most carbs from my diet, eating salads for lunch, and vegetable curries for dinner. I was watching workout videos, healthy eating videos and looking on the #cleaneating #healthyeating instagram hashtag. I thought it was going to make me feel and look amazing, but in fact, it just did the opposite. About  two weeks later, I was tired and stressed, so I decided to F*** it basically and started eating like I usually did, but with adding extra vegetables in and cutting down on the chocolate.

I then watched Grace Victory's documentary 'Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets' on BB3 yesterday. I absolutely urge you all to watch it as it was eye opening. Her interviews with a trained government approved dietitian showed that these diets that are promoted so often aren't actually healthy or good for you. Interestingly too, none of the bloggers/youtubers are trained dietitians and have no formal training into what is right and wrong. Grace actually bought a license to be a nutritionist for £30 online, which took about 20 hours of 'work'. That is so scary, that it can be done so easily by anyone. The documentary also bought up the amount of influence that bloggers and youtubers have on people. I think this too is quite a scary thought.

I don't know where I stand on the whole clean eating thing. I know that it is definitely not for me. I know what works with my body, and that's making a few small changes and going to the gym. I do this because I want to, and that's the main thing. Clean eating may work for some people, but is it really that healthy?

But I think there needs to be a lot more information about it, exposing the good and bad, as well as information into ensuring that all essential nutrition is being obtained and that this information is regulated. The stories of people who have seen and followed these clean eating blogs who have had eating disorders is terrifying, as well as a clinic in London saying that they have many clean eating bloggers actually attending the clinic for body image or eating problems. Even though I did not experience it on the extreme at all, it's so easy to be swept up into the idea and lifestyle, so much so that it can and has taken over the lives of many. Is this healthy?

I don't know, of course I'm not trained to say. But as a 21 year old woman, exposed to all of these clean eating advocates, I'm sorry, but I can't do it. Hand me the white bread and chocolate.


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Instagram Lately

I love Instagram, but find that it is definitely the hardest to get any growth on. After setting up my separate blog Instagram in January, I have loved taking pictures of my favourite products, what I am reading or mainly what I am eating! I'm actually quite proud of my Instagram feed, but take a look for yourself!

If you like what you see and fancy giving me a little follow, you can do that HERE! 

1. The first day my pale legs saw the world this year! It was a beautiful sunny day and I had just finished my exams, so we spent the day lying in the park and reading. 
2. From the same day as before, but look at the perfectly blue sky! 
3. I had done a cheeky book order from Amazon ready for my summer goal of reading again for pleasure! Check out that post here 
4. Soap and Glory's Righteous butter is my favourite summer product, perfect for making you feel a million dollars (check out a review here)
5. Treating ourselves to a subway 2 days before my last exam
6. Because if you don't instagram your revision, did you really revise at all?
7. A classic avacado on toast. I was clearly running out of things to instagram! 
8. I love using postcards from Paperchase as instagram photos or blog photo props. Once I've used them, I then send them to my friends! 
9. I like to think I am a world class toasty maker. This particular one had chicken, pesto, sundried tomatoes and brie! 

10. These homemade American pancakes, made by my besties, were perfect! Nutella plus some heated up berries! 
11. I lost my Five Guys virginity in Birmingham and ordered an Oreo Milkshake. Although it tasted like a liquidized version of a Mcflurry, the excitement was real. 
12. After an intense cheese and wine night, we took a walk around my university town and I found this beautiful house and I couldn't help but picture it! 
13. The view from our walk. I loved that you could see the whole town! 
14. We had to stand on our chairs to get this shot of our breakfast that we ate whilst watching Tony Awards Videos
15. Of course, an instagram shot of food on a duvet cover
16. Possibly another day at the park!
17. I was actually so happy with this photo! I tend to bake when I am bored, and this was the result. Check out the recipe here
18. I tried to practice curling my hair. Instead, it fell out within half an hour and it took me ages to brush out the hairspray. Damn you thick hair! 

19. Sweet Potato Fries are my favourite thing in the world, and I finally perfected the recipe to make them crispy and yummy. Check it out here
20. I've been trying out a kind of bullet journal. It's not very detailed and used mainly for my to do lists, but I thought I would jazz them up with some washi tape! 
21. I recently did a review of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. If you're interested, check it out here
22. Another Paperchase postcard!
23. My attempt at a bullet journal. Although mine will never be as pretty as the ones I see on Instagram, I will get there one day! 
24. I went boating in Stratford Upon Avon with my friends and it was a beautiful day! 
25. I bought my flatmate a label maker for her birthday, and it actually worked really well! We had loads of fun labelling everything! 
26. I mentioned this in my summer reading list and finished it on the way to London a few weeks ago. 
29. This was on a train to London for a job interview. I was clearly very bored, but I quite like the blurryness! 


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!


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

I don't think I could ever get sick of these sweet potato fries. So much healthier than normal fries (and so much nicer too), these are the perfect to add to any meal.

It has taken me a while to perfect the recipe so that they aren't too soggy. These however are the perfect crispness, and full of flavour. 

- Sweet potato 
- Oil (vegetable or oil is fine)
- Salt
- Pepper
- Plain flour
- Mixed Herbs
- Powdered Garlic (Fresh garlic would also work) 

1. Cut the sweet potato into small chip shapes. Try to make them all the same size if possible so they cook more easily. 

2. Put them into a large bowl and sprinkle with a tea spoon of plain flower and mix. Seriously, trust me on this one. 

3. Add two tablespoons of oil (dependent on how much sweet potato you have used) and mix to coat the fries.

4. Add generous amounts of salt, pepper, garlic and mixed herbs and mix. 

5. Add a pinch more of flour and mix. 

6. Put onto baking tray, spread out easily and cook on a high temperature (I usually do Gas Mark 7/8) for 30-40 minutes, but keep an eye on them as you want them crispy, not burnt. 

Voila! The perfect sweet potato fries that taste amazing. I've also heard that soaking the raw fries in water for 40 minutes also promotes crispiness, but who has time for that?! I think flour is the secret ingredient, and they taste just like  you can get in restaurants. 

Have you joined the sweet potato revolution?! 


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. 


Monday, 6 June 2016

Summer Book Haul

For far too long, I have been wanting to read more. However, as per usual, life gets in the way, mainly dissertation and course reading in my case. However, now exams and my degree is finally over, I have set a goal to read more for pleasure, rather than to read for my degree. I recently ordered a few books to keep me motivated through exams, and I can't wait to read them. If you've read them before, please let me know what you think! 

So I have already started reading this one. I have about 150 pages left, and I am loving it so far. I know how it is going to end, as it is a little predictable, but I am not sure I am ready for it. I am also really looking forward to seeing the movie. I know there is a little controversy about the casting decisions and not using a quadriplegic, but I am sure Sam Claflin will do an amazing job, as will Emilia Clarke and Louisa. 

This was on the recommended section of Amazon and I thought why not. A few people have recommended it, so I am looking forward to reading it. I have realized I am quite a sucker for a romantic film/book so hopefully this won't disappoint.

My friends who do English Literature find it quite sad that I have never read some of the classics. I love the film of the Great Gatsby so it is only right that I read it. It is only a little book so I should finish this quickly - perfect for a Sunday afternoon with no plans! I can't wait to read some of the other books that I definitely should have already read.

This book has been all over my twitter and instagram, and as soon as I read the description, I knew I had to read it too!

What are some of your summer reads? Any recommendations of what to read once I've finished these? 

Twitter | Bloglovin

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? 

© A Little Button. All rights reserved.