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: 

Head
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.

Ears
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!



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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.



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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. 

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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!





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Monday, 10 October 2016

#WorldMentalHealthDay


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.




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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.
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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 academia.edu. 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! 



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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? 





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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? 




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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. 





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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! 




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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! 


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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!



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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 +? 

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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? 



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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. 







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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. 









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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? 



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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! 



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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Let's talk about body image


Things have been going a little too well in my life recently. University work is going okay, everything I needed to get done in the Easter holidays was done with a week to spare, 
 and my health anxiety is actually not too bad for the moment. So naturally, I found something else to focus my worries and stress about, and for the past 4 weeks, it's been my body.

I knew that I wanted to eat healthier than I did on Easter weekend, so when I came back to uni, I stocked up on fruit and veg, ditched buying chocolate and had a go at eating more healthily. I started running outside (I go to the gym anyway, so not a hugely big deal). But recently it's got to the point that if I don't eat my 5 a day, it starts to stress me out. I can't wear something without thinking that my stomach looks huge or that my jeans are too tight, and I absolutely hate this feeling, as I'm never somebody who usually worries about this kind of thing. It's about making some more healthy choices but carrying on with your day. But at the moment, it's a feeling I just can't shift.
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Body image is a strange thing. I know that most pictures in magazines or on instagram are photoshopped. With filters added and you can fake anything in a quick snap. But still, we strive for these goals that only a minority of women will actually achieve.

If I'm feeling unhappy and un-confident about my body aged 21, how are those girls in their teens feeling? They don't have the same life experience and they've been brought up in a world where image is everything, and where social media rules.

So that's it, I'm deleting My Fitness Pal buying a packet of biscuits and focusing on more important things, like finishing my degree and having the best few last months of uni.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Currently Listening: Podcasts




1. Women of the Hour 
I've never really seen a lot with Lena Dunham in and I was really surprised with how much I loved it. The episodes cover things from friendship, to love, sex, work. They are an hour long, so I have to sometimes do them in a few sittings, but they are so interesting and engaging to listen to.

2. Ctrl Alt Delete 
This is my go to, waiting for the bus podcast. Emma Gannon talks to authors, actresses and just amazingly inspirational women who have been doing great things online. The interviews typically cover issues such as creativity, working from home, embracing yourself and acknowledging your talents. I always finish listening feeling super inspired!

3. Inside the West End
I only discovered this a few days ago, but it is an essential for a west end theatre fan.  Ben Morris and Rob Copeland interview west end stars such as Tim Minchin and Killian Donnelly and find out how they got involved with theatre, all the auditions they have been on etc. It is so interesting and I can't wait to listen to more.

Are you a fan of podcasts? Which would you recommend?

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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! 



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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 


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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?



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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!






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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. 





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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.




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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? 


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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A marble cake fail



Yep this happened. I was so upset whenI cut it open and it wasn't all marbley like on the pictures!
Alas, it has turned into a chocolate and vanilla layer cake, and it tasted pretty yummy!

If you are so inclined to try this and hopefully do a better job than me, here is the recipe below from the Cadbury website.


100g Butter
100g Sugar 
100g Self raising flour 
2 eggs
25g cocoa powder 
Vanilla Extract 
Loaf Tin

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and mixed
2. Add the flour, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth 
3. Seperate the mixture into two and add the cocoa powder to one of the halves
4. Line a loaf tin (I usually do butter and then grease proof paper
*Now this is where I went wrong*
5. Spoon the mixtures into the tin and mix use a knife to slice through the mixture, making a marble effect. 
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven Gas Mark 4/5 

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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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