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! 


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.
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! 


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Things to do on at the Weekend

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


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Revision Essentials

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

2. Highlighters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some of your essentials?


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cocktail masterclass with Friction Free Shaving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, 10 April 2016

A rainy day in Oxford

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


Friday, 8 April 2016

An Ode to Grease 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Getting back into reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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