Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Graduate Diaries - So I Moved In With 5 Strangers

This week has been challenging to say the least. I left my job last Thursday (a job which I absolutely loved and all the people in it) after finishing a fixed term contract, and moved an hour away on the Sunday. Oh, and then I started my new job the Monday morning. Let's just say, it's been busy.

But, this week has actually been pretty good. Moving for work means that I am now walking to work and saving a lot of money on petrol and train fare, plus the extra exercise is much welcomed. I was worried about moving in with people I didn't know, and getting a room from Spare Room, but it has turned out great. The whole house is really nice, it isn't too messy or noisy. It's pretty much student living but with adults, which is quite nice.

My room is pretty big too, although I did wake up to a slug trail the other day. I now have lovely white salt lines around the edge of my room that look like I'm scaring away vampires until I figure out what to do about it. But, it could be a lot worse!

The job is also going okay. The first week is always a little weird, but I'm looking forward to getting more stuck in. It is a new role, so it is going to take a while for myself, and the team to get used to there being an extra person around but everyone is nice which is a bonus.

I have come home for the weekend just for a bit of familiarity, but next weekend I probably won't. I want to take myself out for lunch or coffee, do a bit of shopping and generally explore. Here's to the next 6 months at least whilst I am figuring out what I want to do with my life.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

DIY Alphabet Crochet Cushions

Whilst looking for potential wedding presents for my best friend's wedding (next weekend!) I stumbled across these adorable crocheted alphabet cushions. As I am a keen crocheter, I thought I would give it a go and make them myself as they would make the perfect personalised

I bought the patterns from this Etsy site. I am tempted to buy the whole book actually, but you can buy the patterns individually for a couple of pounds.

I then used this chunky wool, which I bought from LoveCrochet, to give them that comfy feel rather than using normal yarn I had. I found that I used almost two of the 100g balls, but it depends on the letter you are making. I also stocked up on toy stuffing, which I ordered from Amazon, and got to work.

If you don't know how to crochet, I would recommend Bella Coco's tutorials as they really helped me when I first started learning. The cushion patterns are really easy to follow and use just UK single crochets or US double crochets.

The idea is that you crochet the two letters, a front and a back, and long strip to make them 3D. You then crochet them together, stuffing as you connect the back to the middle strip. It took a while to get right, but I'm really happy how it came out. I then made one with her husband to be's initial, all ready for their new house!

These are a really lovely present, if you make them yourself, or buy them from Etsy, I can't wait to make more (I already have a lot of requests from friends and family!).


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Rejection, Rejection And More Rejection

The last three weeks have been crazy busy to the point when I was on the verge of crying almost every day, plus, my bank balance has been taking an almighty hit.

I'm back on the job hunt, with my traineeship finishing in about 6 weeks - cue crying and hatred of change. When I've finally felt like I have the hang of everything, poof, it's in finishing distance, and it sucks.

So I've been writing applications and was incredibly lucky to get interviews for them all. However, that's where the good luck ended. I didn't get any of them.

I was upset at the time, getting rejection e-mail after rejection e-mail, feeling tired from travelling almost every day to London and back, and feedback all along the lines of, "you have great experience and we didn't think you couldn't do the job, it's just that someone was better".

Someone was better. How can I get better?

A week later from my rejection heavy week, and things are starting to be put back into perspective, thankfully. I'm no longer crying, and worrying too much about the future. And goodness, I could be in a lot worse situation. A lot.

So, here's to rejection. It's only made me more determined to keep going and find the job that's right for me. And, that's it's also okay to have a little cry about life, because who really has their shit together?

Here's to great friends, collegues and family who have told me not to give up.


Sunday, 2 July 2017

Glastonbury 2017

I think I have finally recovered from Glastonbury, almost a week on. I came back on Monday tired, with a very sunburnt forehead and cut knees.

I had never camped before, and the idea of not showering or washing my hair for 5 days made me feel really nervous, but luckily the weather was on our side. Not too hot and no rain (!). The shower when we got home was glorious though!

It was an amazing experience and I would really encourage everyone to go at least once. The site is huge, and I love how much thought goes into each area, it definitely is an instagrammers paradise. The only downside was that there wasn't a huge amount of bands and acts that I really wanted to see, meaning I spent a lot of time following others around and wasting time. But that's the risk you take when you buy a ticket and don't know who is playing! The food was also amazing, whatever you fancied, you could buy it. I ate a lot of doughnuts, Thai green curry and noodles!

I did see some great bands, and Ed Sheeran was amazing. We went down an hour before he started to get a good spot and the atmosphere was incredible with everyone singing along.

Would I go again? Yes, probably, but not for a good few years. Check out the spotify playlist below with some of my favourite songs from the bands I managed to see.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Serious Questions For Real Adults

I have been working full time for 9 months now, and I have some serious questions for real adults that I desperately need answers too...

1. Will I ever not feel tired?
2. How do you make friends as an adult?
3. How do you find time to work out or go to the gym?
4. When do dates not become awkward?
4. Will I always feel like I'm 'winging it'?
5. How do I get more self-confidence?
6. How do you make it look so easy?


Sunday, 7 May 2017

6 Tips For New Drivers

Having passed my driving test 4 years ago and then going to university, I didn't have the chance to practice driving as insurance prices were too high, and I definitely couldn't afford a car. Fast forward to job interviews where it was required to have a driving license, I just ticked the box. But now, I have my own little car (Pete the Peugeot) and slowly building my confidence driving. Here are some tips that really helped me get more confident behind the wheel. 

1. Consider Refresher Lessons
If you haven't driven for a while, look into some refresher lessons. I found a local driving instructor before I bought my car took some lessons. Yes, it was expensive, but it really helped my confidence and practice driving again. It was also a really good way to practice some local routes before I had to drive them for work. 

2. Start Small
When I first got my car, I had never driven alone without a driving instructor. So, the first time I went driving by myself, I drove around my town on a Sunday afternoon. I then moved to driving on the dual carriageway and practised my route to work with someone else in the car before trying it alone on a quiet weekend morning. Confidence isn't going to come all at once. 

3. Experience Different Weathers
Driving in different weathers and times of the day are crucial. Drive a route you know well, and again, in small steps, try driving in the rain, in the dark and when it is sunny. 

4. Going solo
As much as the temptation it is to pick up friends and family and show off your new car and driving skills, it's better to feel confident by yourself before - and to also feel confident if you have back seat drivers! 

5. Google street view
If I am going somewhere I don't know very well, I will find the route on google street view just to try and familiarise myself with some aspects. This is particularly helpful for small journey's and knowing which exit to go off on roundabouts! 

6. Remember: other drivers don't want to cause accidents
One of my fears was merging onto a dual carriageway from a slip road. But I soon realised that people don't want to actively cause an accident and they will slow down and they will see you. When you're driving, realise everyone is doing the same thing as you. If you would slow down, it's probable someone else will do the same for you. 

What are some of your tips for new drivers?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

This week...

I've listened to...
(Also, guess who has got tickets to see them on their latest tour!)

I went to see...
Motown The Musical - Shaftesbury Theatre, London.

I've been watching...
Project Runway

I'm making...
A version of these crocheted letter cushions for a wedding present.

I've been Reading...
Jane Eyre.

I've eaten...
Oreo thins (so many of them!)

I've started...
A Bullet Journal!


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Doing it alone

Yesterday I went to the theatre alone. 

I am very used to doing things alone. Going shopping by myself is one of my favourite things to do. I'll go in my lunch hour or a weekend and secretly dread if someone asks me to come with me. So being alone is something I do all the time. But never have I gone to the cinema or taken myself to a coffee shop.

I'm usually worried I will see someone I know and they'll ask who I'm with. When I'm shopping, I just say I needed to pop in last minute and get some things, but this seemed a little different.

Walking into the theatre, I tried to think of ways I could disguise that I was there by myself. Looking around to see if I could pretend to find the 'person I knew', walking into the auditorium behind a group of people. It wasn't until I got to my seat that I started to feel a bit uncomfortable.

I don't know if it was a good or bad thing that there were 4 empty seats next to me. I started thinking that others may think that the person I was coming with couldn't come - yes, that would be a good idea. I was ready with an answer if anyone threw the question at me. Of course, no one did. No one cared.

The interval was also the problem. The people around me went to get drinks, icecreams and talked about the act they had just seen. I took myself to the toilet, which thank goodness had a large line so it wasted lots of time. I made it back to my seat just as the lights went down. A possible awkward situation avoided. Once the show was over, I clapped, gave a standing ovation and rushed out to get my train. And that was it.

It's weird how I felt about doing it alone. Whilst I thought people could be looking at me, people weren't taking any notice, and why would they? Modern society means that people don't talk to strangers, they don't start conversations with random people you're sitting next to on the bus or in the theatre. I don't go into a theatre and try and work out who everyone is with. In fact, when I went to see the new Bridget Jones film, the tiny town cinema was packed, and the only seat left was one in front of us in between two couples. I watched as a lady came in and asked to sit in the spare seat. I smiled, and forgot all about it by the end.

I'm already planning my next solo theatre trip - I have a few days off at the end of the month and I have my eye on a £20 ticket to see Dreamgirls that has my name on it. Who knows, maybe I'll even take myself to lunch before, rather than eat home made ham sandwiches on the train.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Pancakes for one

Waking up craving pancakes but have no one to make them with? No sweat, I got your back. 

Just put 4 dessert spoons of plain flour, 1 egg and 6 - 8 dessert spoons of milk (add more if it isn't runny enough) and whisk together. Viola, the perfect amount for 2 pretty hefty pancakes. Fry with butter, smother in Nutella and fruit if it tickles your fancy and enjoy your fuss free pancakes all by yourself. Winning.


Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 6

I'm spending another weekend with absolutely no plans, and to be honest, that's quite the way I like it. Working full time is tiring, it's stressful and just plain annoying. But, it's easy to get into the rhythm. I am also trying to do at least something once a week after work, whether that's going to the cinema, going out for dinner or staying at work. Of course, sometimes this doesn't happen, but it makes me not feel so bad about not doing anything at the weekend. 

In my last graduate diaries, I was talking about the London FOMO. I am definitely not feeling that right now. Spending most of my day commuting, no thank you! Yes, it would be great to have a few more friends closer, and the independence wouldn't go a miss, but I am enjoying my home comforts. 

But, not being in London has meant I have finally bought a car, and although I may have to sell it by summer (as I will have to change job after my traineeship is over), I am loving the freedom. I can stay out later, do more things. I can't wait until spring when I can whiz off somewhere after work and it still be daylight. 

Whilst life is going well, I am starting to feel like I was this time last year. The great thing about my job is that I finally have some real life experience for my CV, the bad thing is that I have no idea what I will be doing when my 12 month contract is up. I can't believe I am already nearly half way through. I have met some amazing people and done things I never thought I would do. Of course, work isn't always like that. There are days I want to cry, days when I don't know what I am doing, but also days when I feel like I am bossing it. It's a bit of a mixed bag. But, what I am going to do next is the question... 

I still think I am incredibly lucky to have gotten a job so quickly after leaving university in a place that I love and close to home. Life is comfortable, and it's just how I like it for now. 

(Plus how amazing do these nachos look)


Saturday, 21 January 2017

7 things to watch on Netflix right now

1. Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
I am so happy that all the seasons of Fresh Prince are now on Netflix. I knew all the words to the theme song when I was about 7 or 8 and we used to watch it all the time. But, watching it as an adult is a totally different story as some of the topics that it brings up went completely over my head when I was younger, especially with showing inequalities and discrimination. It is still super entertaining and an easy watch, I still can't listen to Tom Jones without busting out the Carlton routine!

2. Sing Street
I am a huge fan of 80s films or pretty much anything set in the 80s so this is perfect. Sing Street is about a Northern Irish boy who decides to start a band after telling a girl he likes that he is a songwriter. It's sweet, charming, plus the music is great.

3. Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging
This film makes me cringe so so much, but you can't turn it off because of the nostalgia. Going to a party dressed as an olive and half fake tanned legs. What else do I need to say?

4. Episodes
I never watched Episodes when it was on TV, but it is an easy watch about a TV writing husband and wife going to America to make an adaptation of one of their shows. Starring Matt Le Blanc as pretty much himself and actresses who are older than they look, it is quite a light and funny watch.

5. Pride And Prejudice
I had only watched the  film, but watching the BBC adaptation, I can say that I love this one equally as much! Plus, this Pride And Prejudice has the famous Colin Firth scene...

6. Sense And Sensibility
On a similar note, the BBC adaptation of Sense And Sensibility is also fab. And *unpopular opinion time* I love Colonel Brandon as a character, possibly more that Mr Darcy! As much as I love Alan Rickman, I prefer this version to the film and definitely worth a watch snuggled up with a hot chocolate on a Friday night... this is definitely what I did last night.

7. A Series Of Unfortunate Events
I am so impressed by this series and I love it so much more than the film. It's strange, witty and Neil Patrick Harris is absolutely great. I was very very impressed, and as someone who hasn't finished the book series (I read up to the 6th book before giving up when I was younger), I can't wait to see what happens.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

This week...

I'm reading...
I Am Pilgrim 

I'm watching...
A Series Of Unfortunate Events

I'm eating...
More biscuits than I was hoping!

I'm trying...

I'm wearing...
This Zara dress with little cars on it

I'm listening to...
The Hamilton mix tape 
Ed Sheeran 

I'm excited for...
A week off work at the end of February!

I'm feeling...
Stressed but not sure why

I'm lusting over...
This embroidered dress from New Look

I've recently bought...
A 6kg Kettlebell (that will probably end up sitting under my bed!)

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