Thursday, 26 December 2013

Taking a Hiatus


Sadly my Nan passed away at 11am yesterday morning and that coupled with the fact that I have exams in January that I haven't even started revising for yet which is very unlike me so I am going to take a short break from posting to spend some time with my family and get ahead on my exams so I will be back in the New Year to announce the winner of my Giveaway so make sure you have entered! 

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I will be back soon 


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 24

This is sadly the last day of the wonderful challenge that Linda ran and I really am going to be quite sad to see the end of it and not have an excuse to listen to Christmas songs on a daily basis!

Day 24- The Christmas Song
I am going to have this song on repeat all day because it is now CHRISTMAS EVE!! I am so incredibly excited about Christmas! I swear I really am 21 and not about 5 years old!

What does this song mean to you all?

And have a lovely Christmas everyone if I don't make it online tomorrow :)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 23

Day 23- God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
I had never heard of this song before but YouTube quickly enlightened me as to what was going on and I found a really good version of it by Glee! You should all check it out!

Had you heard of this song before?

PS. Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 22

Day 22- O Come All Ye Faithful
I love singing this song at carol services, especially the candle lit ones! Sadly I was working this year and couldn't go but I am sure I could light my new candle, stick YouTube on and have a similar effect, no, probably not. 

What do you think of this song?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 21

Day 21- Little Drummer Boy
I am going to be honest with you guys, I really don't like this song very much but I can't quite put my finger on what it is that rubs me up the wrong way about this song!

Do you like it? 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 20

Day 20- Silent Night
This is such a sweet and soft song, unless of course your school decides you are going to sing it in German one year, then it just sounds really angry, the German's do have a talent for that, bless them! I think that we had a primary school nativity based on this song one year but I am not quite sure and I am certainly not going to encourage my dad to dig out the old videos....

What does this song mean to you?

Filofax Advice Needed!!

The last term at University I was absolutely awful at sticking to any form of budget and whilst I didn't rack up massive debts and still lived within my means, I certainly didn't live as carefully as I could have done and my savings took a bit of a dent.

I have therefore decided that I am going to dedicate an entire Filofax to budgeting because I now live in a house as opposed to University halls and so I am responsible for paying utility bills and the like for the first time in my life... eeek! The idea that having a Filofax for budgeting will make me magically stick to my budget is unrealistic I know (I am not quite that naive!) However I do have the notion that it will be really easy to set up and get going and after reading this post by Steve over at Philofaxy yesterday I have now realised that this probably is not true and it will take some tweaking to get going!

I have finally managed to locate a Personal Zipped Holborn in Wine that was within my price range as I have had it in my head for the past few weeks that either this model or the Chilli Zipped Cuban would be the ideal organiser for my budgeting. Heres hoping I am not wrong! I like the security of having a zipper on an organiser that will most likely contain important documents and cash when paying bills as I am one of those old fashioned people who likes to go to the bank to pay things in 'real' money.

Filofax themselves sadly do not do very many financial inserts other than ones that are for tracking your spending from bank accounts which I tend to jot down on notepaper anyway, rather than the specific refills. I have been looking at these Organised Mum refills as I have heard great reviews about their other products but I am not quite convinced that these are exactly what I am looking for.

I am going to be trying to use the envelope budgeting system next term and I was just wondering whether any of the Filofax community had come across, or possibly created printables that would fit within this budgeting method? How do you manage your budget? Do you have a dedicated Filofax for it?

Please help!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 19

Day 19- Baby Its Cold Outside
All of a sudden today the weather has gone freezing! Maybe it is taking part in the challenge too?! Back to the song though, the guy who sings this, Frank Loesser for those of you who don't know, has such a nice voice, it reminds me of Frank Sinatra and that era which I absolutely love the music of!

What does this song mean to you?

I want a pushbike!

Lately I have really wanted to get a push bike again! My last one died a slow death during my teenage years as a paper girl (yes I really did used to wake up at 6am!) and despite having absolutely nowhere to store said bike in my student house and living on a massive hill that would be hugely impractical for me to cycle up and I am far too much of a wimp to actually free wheel down it, I have still spent many the hour of procrastination looking up various bikes online, stalking eBay auctions and going around my local second hand shops in the search of a student budget friendly vintage bike!

I love the idea of being able to go out and cycle in the Welsh countryside when I need to clear my head as it is such a scenic place and I really don't go out and take advantage of it enough! I could go on bike rides with my boyfriend when I am home during the summer and I could even save myself a fortune on public transport by cycling to work in the holidays! 

I wonder if Santa will bring me a pushbike, or whether I can pick up a good deal in the January sales- watch this space!

Do any of you own a bike?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Dog is Not Just For Christmas

I have been driving my boyfriend, friends and family crazy lately with puppy pictures and I really cannot wait until I have my own place and I am in the position to have my own puppy! My desired puppy currently is an English Springer Spaniel, I mean just look at his little face!

However, as much as I want a puppy, I would NEVER get one for Christmas! Puppies may look all cute and innocent but they are incredibly hard work and in my days of pursuing a Vet degree, the amount of work experience I did in rescue shelters during Easter where there were countless dogs just a few months old that had clearly been Christmas presents and were no longer wanted, it breaks my heart! Both of the dogs I had growing up were rescue dogs and yes they came with a few teething problems, but what new pet doesn't?! However they are now the most loving and loyal dogs that you could ever ask for, all they wanted was a bit of love and attention!

A quick browse of my local Dogs Trust website came up with 57 lovely dogs that all need a new home, some will need a more patient and experienced owner but I really cannot stress how worthwhile it is to put the time and effort in with a new pet, even if it is not from  rescue centre.

My family dogs are currently 16 and 14 years old which is an incredibly long commitment for someone in the early twenties to be making, I cannot guarantee that I will be living in accommodation that allows pets or that I will have a job that gives me the right amount of time and money to be able to properly look after my new four legged friend.

So if you are thinking of getting a puppy this Christmas, especially as a gift for somebody else then please just make sure you have done your research and you know what you are getting yourselves into!

Do any of you have dogs that were from rescue centres? Or dogs that were Christmas presents? 

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 18

Day 18- Away in a Manger
My little brother is famous for turning around in church and announcing to the people behind us that he knew this song and it was really rather good, which consequently had the whole church in fits of laughter (this is one of those moments I hope he doesn't read my blog as I will be in trouble if he does! :P )

What does this song remind you of?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 17

Day 17- Santa Baby 
This is an all time classic for most girls and I always feel a little bit more sassy whenever I am singing along to this on the radio or whilst putting up decorations, or sadly revising!

What does the song remind you of? 

Tuesday Things That Excite me #4- Reading other Blogs!

It was through reading other blogs last May that I decided to create my own! I still really love reading other people's blogs and so I thought that I would share with you all a few of my favourite ones that I anxiously wait for updates from currently! 

1. Nine Grand Student
The girl who writes this blog is clearly a girl after my own heart! She does  the most amazing cooking series on her blog that I am hoping to use more of in the new year, she is also paying the ridiculous £9000 fees for university and she also owns a Filofax and is in a long distance relationship! It really is slightly creepy how similar we are!

2. The Cup and Saucer
I only recently discovered Alice's wonderful blog after briefly chatting with her during the #lbloggers chat that takes place over on twitter on a Sunday night. The Cup and Saucer features everything from warm fluffy socks and fantastic looking recipes!

3. Handbags and Cupcakes
This was one of the first blogs that I started reading! It is just so good! As the name suggests there are a lot of fabulous cake recipes and Rachel also has a handbag collection that is truly envious! She has a Cambridge Satchel and a Mulberry! Rachel is currently on her year abroad in Germany and there are a lot of really awesome posts about Germany at Christmas! I am so jealous!

4. Laura's Haven
Laura who writes this blog is actually from the same place that I grew up, small world, eh? She posts a wonderful lifestlye and fashion blogs which will have you itching to go out and purchase most of the things she reviews! The photographs on her blog are really something special so you should take a look!

5. The College Prepster
Carly who writes this blog is pretty much living every girl's dream! She gets paid to wear clothes, take awesome pictures and attend glamorous parties! Blogging is her full time job and it must be really cool to work for yourself, although I bet there is a fair amount of work involved in it too! Looking through the archives of TCP there are a lot of posts from when Carly was in college and she has some really useful studying tips that are worth checking out!

Other favourites of mine include PhilofaxyThe Londoner and Student Life!

Which are your favourite blogs to read?

Monday, 16 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 14, 15 and 16

I was doing really well at posting this on a daily basis but sadly this week my Nan hasn't been so good so I have had very little time for blogging, hence I am playing catch up once again! Sorry guys!

Day 14- Winter Wonderland
I have mentioned this NUMEROUS times before, probably slightly excessively, oops but the idea of snow, Christmas trees, roaring fires and hot chocolate (with little marshmallows, of course) would quite simply be my winter wonderland! Well it has to be better than the one in Milton Keynes right?

Day 15- Once in Royal David's City
I go to Church with my family on Christmas morning every year and we almost always sing this song then, I am fairly certain that there is an extra verse that you sing on Christmas morning! Whenever I hear this song on the radio or in carol services I am immediately reminded of Christmas mornings.

Day 16- Sleigh Ride
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that there were Reindeer in my University town last weekend and I got really excited about it! Unfortunately there was not the opportunity for sleigh rides, maybe next year eh?

What do these songs mean to you? Are you excited for Christmas yet? 

My Week #10

Sorry about the poor lighting on this picture, my phone was not cooperating! This week I came home from University for a glorious 5 weeks away from the Welsh town of Bangor and I now have a lot more time to spend with my family and boyfriend which makes for one very happy camper! The fact that I am working for 4 of these weeks is less happy but I am sure that I will be less upset about it come pay day!

I am finally free from assignments after just one night of having to stay up until midnight to complete my work, not bad going! I do however have two exams after Christmas so I can't forget about University work completely but luckily I have made notes as I went along so I don't have too much excess preparation to do for my exams. I have my first ever 'application' exam in January so that one could be interesting!

How was your week?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Coin Purses

Next semester I am hoping to be much better with my money than I was this semester! Whilst I didn't spend more than I had in my bank account, I didn't manage to save as much of my student loan as I had hoped! I am one of those annoying people who likes to have everything planned really far in advance and so I am already thinking about what I am going to do when I graduate! Everybody knows that finding a job in the current climate is no mean feat and so I would like to have some savings ready in case I cannot find a job. 
Therefore next semester I am going to stop taking out my bank card with me, try to stay off eBay (I get far too competitive on that thing!) and maybe even start to part with some of my massive stash of clothes and other items I have built up over the years (half of which I never wear!). My plan is to get a coin purse and take out my weekly allowance each week and only spend what is in my purse, once its gone, its gone so to speak. I am hoping that this will filter out most of my impulse purchases as if I want to buy a new pair of shoes or something then I will most likely need to wait a few weeks to save up for them (and by the time I have, I may well have changed my mind about wanting them!).

I am therefore in the market for a cute, yet practical coin purse: I have spent the past hour browsing the internet and here are a few of my favourites.

The Sydney Frame Coin Purse from Fossil priced at £29

Anna Smith LYDC purse from eBay at the bargain price of £2.99

Jessica bunny clip frame purse from Accesorize at £12 (£10.80 with Student Discount)

Monochrome Panda purse from New Look at £3.99 (£3.60 with Student Discount)

I would happily buy all of these purses, but that would considerably go against the idea that this purse is for saving money! Which is your favourite? Do you have any other coin purses you would recommend?

Friday, 13 December 2013

Inspirations #3- David Attenborough

This one probably won't come as a surprise to those of you who have been following my blog and know a bit of my back story will know that I am a Zoology Student and I think any student who studies in this field will have at some point seen one of his numerous documentaries! 

Going into fangirling mode, David Attenborough was one of the main reasons I decided to pursue Zoology as my degree (okay, initially I wanted to be a vet but I didn't have the academia for that!) and since I have never been one for partying I often spent my teenage Friday nights catching up on his current documentary series or searching YouTube for ones that I hadn't yet seen. 

I commute back and forth from University on a pretty regular basis, usually every other weekend and I have been trying to give myself the train journeys to do some reading, whether it be fictional or journal papers for my assignments but FINALLY this semester I managed to complete one of his most famous books, Life on Earth. Reading his book couldn't have come at a better time as I was starting to fall out of love with my assignments (mostly due to the ridiculous amount of work and pressure I was under) but this book gently nudged me back onto the right track and I am no longer dreading going back to University after the Christmas break! 

I am still undecided as to whether I want to go into a Zoology related career or opt for something like teaching or maybe even writing instead but luckily I have another year to get through that ! I keep jokingly saying that Attenborough will have retired by the time that I graduate and I can have his job but I think in reality his shoes might be a little too big for a recent graduate to fill, as much as it would be fun! 

Do you love David Attenborough too? What do you like the most? 

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 13

Day 13: The twelve days of Christmas
This is a song that is one that most Primary schools have performed at some point or another during their Nativity play and I am pretty certain my dad has a VHS somewhere of me being one of the days in this song in a hideously nineties costume! Thankfully VHS players are rather rare these days!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I absolutely adore this Christmas song and I have been humming it for far longer than it was acceptable to do so! I think this song paints the perfect image of what an idealised Christmas would be like.

What does this song mean to you?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Keep going, its almost the Christmas Holidays!

I was browsing Pintrest the other night as a form of procrastination and I saw this image and it really resonated with me! With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela I felt it was fitting to use one of his quotes in a (hopefully!) inspirational blog post about not giving up or losing momentum before the Christmas holidays!

For reasons that I have never fully understood, universities like to set  all of your major pieces of work to be due in on the same day! I have friends on some courses who have had 6 pieces of work due in on the same day, now that requires some serious planning and hard work to pull off (this is where a Filofax is helpful ;) ). The end of Semester one also brings with it the start of Christmas celebrations and it is easy to feel like you are missing out when you are sat in the library, yet again, trying to finish all of your work to the highest standard you can do. 

I am one of the lucky ones who only had two pieces of work to hand in before Christmas and so I managed to finish mine at the start of this week giving me the freedom to come home slightly earlier and enjoy the Christmas tree being up for that little bit longer and spend more time with my family and boyfriend; the best things about the festive period in my opinion! 

But if you are reading this as a form of procrastination against the many assignments you have not yet completed then enjoy this little break, go and make yourself a cup of tea, maybe get a sneaky mince pie too and keep going! It won't be much longer before you are on your way home for Christmas holidays and can spend your nights under blankets with the fire on, working from the light of the Christmas tree! Of course many of you will have exams in January but I personally am giving myself a little break from University work until after Christmas Day (and Boxing Day too probably!) before starting to work again! Ideally I would leave it until after New Years but I am going back to my part time job while I am home in order to try and boost my bank balance back up so I will have to balance revision with my shifts and the numerous meet ups with friends and family that occur over the Christmas period. 

Have you finished for Christmas too? Or are you still burning the midnight oil in the Library?

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 11

Day 11: O Holy Night
I must admit I had to look this song up on Youtube because it didn't immediately spring to mind when I read the name of it. I don't really have any memories of this song but it certainly seems like a nice traditional Christmas song, the kind that grown ups would listen to at posh Christmas parties whilst sipping on mulled wine and nibbling on little canopies and mince pies.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 10

Day 10: All I want for Christmas
I keep jokingly singing this song to my lovely boyfriend whenever he asks me what I want for Christmas! I have actually struggled to come up with ideas for everyone who has asked me this year, probably because I have done a bit too much shopping this term, oops!
One of my favourite things about Christmas is getting to spend time with my family and this year we are spending it with my Nan and some other family members which will be nice and I will probably go around to my boyfriends house in the evening and spend some time with his family. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge- Day 9

Day 9: White Christmas
I am most certainly dreaming of a White Christmas this year, although if it could just wait until I've made it down the A55 and home for Christmas then that would be great! Is anybody else hoping for snow this Christmas?

A very muddy field trip

As part of my Conservation module at University this semester we have had several little field trips out to various different local sites so that we could see for ourselves what we were learning about and we have had the opportunity to hear from the people that run or work in these places about the issues that they are facing and what they think the priorities in Conservation should be! This Field trip here was to Pentre Brew Gaerwn Marshland (got to love Welsh names) it is a RSPB managed site but I got the impression that it is one of their less commercial ones as the paths were incredibly treacherous and I didn't spy any signs or visitor centres that their usual reserves have.

During the Victorian era this site was actually a coal mine and the picture above is the remains of the old coal tower! It was slightly scary when the instructor then told us the marshland we were about to walk over was above the old mines (that hadn't been filled in!) and all of our wellies started to sink down into the mud and we had visions of finding ourselves tumbling down into an ancient mine. 

Despite the worries of falling into the mine, the scenery that we were walking through was just so beautiful that I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures in order to share with all of you guys! 

Very muddy wellies after making our way across the Marshland!

This might just be me being a little bit special but I love the way that twigs from different trees and bushes intertwine together- just me? okay then moving on...

Pretty country lanes and streams! Sights like this make me remember why I chose to go Bangor University in the first place! I live in a seriously pretty place, if only I had more time to actually go out and see it! 

Pretty reed beds! I wonder what wildlife was lurking here hiding from the group of 30 or so students trampling through!

I was so glad I had opted to wear my Hunter wellies as I did end up knee deep in mud at one point and my wellies saved me from getting my tights muddy! I opted to wear a floral skirt with my wellies- just because it is winter doesn't mean I can''t still wear some of my lovely summer stuff!

Have any of you guys been on any interesting field trips with your school or university? 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

My Week #9

This week was really light in terms of lectures so I have just had to try and finish my two remaining assignments! I spent the day in the Library on Wednesday and made a lot of progress but since then I have been feeling like it is the Christmas holidays and haven't made much more progress- oops! I will have to crack on next week and finish off my report so I can go home for Christmas. 
It is my housemates 21st Birthday on Monday so we have had a lot of people in our little student house today and it has just about resisted bursting at the edges! We also had one of our friends from London staying this weekend which has been super nice! 

What have you all been up to this week? Are your Christmas holidays in sight now?

Ps have you entered my giveaway yet?!

Piccolo Pixie Advent Challenge Catch up- Day 6, 7, 8

I honestly did intend to do this challenge daily but it is my housemates 21st Birthday this weekend and so we have had so many people coming around that it is has been really difficult to blog!

So here are the songs and what they remind me of!

Day 6: Santa Clause is Coming to Town
This song reminds me a lot of Christmas movies because I am pretty sure that it is featured in like 90 percent of them! It also reminds me of standing in line as a child waiting for the Santa's Grotto.

Day 7: Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Following on with the media theme this reminds me of Christmas adverts on TV before it turned all competitive!

Day 8: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
We always sang this song at my secondary school Christmas Carol service and so we would be singing this from late October in assemblies in order to make sure we all had it down to a tee ready for the big service in the Church on   the last day before the Christmas Holidays.

What do these songs remind you of?

Friday, 6 December 2013

New York! New York!

Whether it is because I have been watching too much Gossip Girl and Friends of late I'm not sure but recently I have had the desire to go to New York! I mean it just looks incredible! I have spent many an hour procrastinating from my University work by looking up flights, hotels, things to do and considering selling a kidney on the black market in order to be able to afford such a trip on a student budget!

I have no idea who I would go to New York with! My boyfriend doesn't have a passport and isn't really the travelling or holiday type of person and I'm not sure my friends would see the appeal as much as I do! Nonetheless it is still definitely on my list of places that I want to go to some day!

So what would I do in New York you ask?!  Here are my top ten things to do should I ever get the chance to visit!

1. Central Park

Apparently this park got its inspiration from my local park (not sure how much truth is in that though!) but this park is in pretty much every movie and TV show set in NYC that I have ever seen and it always looks like the most amazing public space! If I was visiting around Christmas then I would most definitely have to go ice skating here!

2. Central Perk

Who doesn't love Friends? And one day dreaming of sitting on those sofas without a care in the world... Whilst I have been to the Central Perk in Liverpool and it was amazing, it doesn't quite have the same attraction as going to one that is actually in NYC, sorry Liverpool!

 3. Empire State Building
I mean you can't go to New York and not go here, theres some law against that right?

4. Met Steps (and the Museum of course!)

The Met steps are possibly one of the most iconic things in the early Gossip Girl seasons and so I think it would be really cool to go and eat yoghurt on them (lactose free of course!) and the reviews I have read about the museum itself make it sound like such an amazing place!

 5. Ground Zero Memorial
9/11 is still something that I can remember my Dad explaining to me what had happened and that the scenes I was seeing on the TV where real and not from a movie. I think it is really nice that they have made the memorial here and would really like to go and visit it someday. 

 6. Public Library
As a lover of books and old buildings, this place seems like the perfect place to sit down and get lost in one of my favourite books! It might even inspire me to get some of my work done! 

 7. Grand Central Terminal
I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that the main place I remember this station from is the Madagascar movie! And the infamous scene of Serena returning in Gossip Girl of course! I'm not sure I would actually catch a train anywhere but I would still like to go and visit- it looks so pretty!

 8. Shopping!!
Okay so if my boyfriend ever reads this post about me wanting to go to NYC then shopping on my to do list will put him right off the idea haha! But I am a girl, and New York has some incredible shops, it would be rude to not go and take a look!

9. Statue of Liberty

This is one of those sites that just like the Empire State building, you just have to go and have a sneaky look at while you're in the city! I think it would be really pretty to go and see this at sunset and snap a few pictures!

10. Take a Yellow Cab

And after all of my sight seeing I would definitely need to get into a yellow cab to get me safely back to my hotel room for a good nap before heading out again, well the city never sleeps right?!

Have any of you ever been to New York? Or are any of my lovely readers from there?!