Monday, 15 December 2014

The Year of the Travelling Filofax

During my teenage years The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants was one of my favourite book and film series; it was my go to film when I was feeling a little down. I loved the idea of this old pair of jeans, somehow fitting everyone of the girls and helping them through both of their highs and their lows.

I was lying awake in bed the other night and an idea occurred to me, at first I decided that I was mad and rolled over and went to sleep but I couldn't get it out of my mind over the next few days and so I have decide to try it!

So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The year of the travelling Filofax!

Now apologies for the quality of these photos, I took them in the evening as I was so eager to get this post up, what with the end of the year fast approaching (seriously, where did 2014 go?!). The Filofax that will be host to this is the Personal Holborn in brown- what will be inside it?

This is the fun part, I am starting the Filofax out with very few inserts, my intention is for this to be a starting point. I am excited to see what the participants will add (or remove) to the Filofax as it makes it journey around.

The starting point will be a zippered pouch, clear fly leaf, 2015 week on two pages diary inserts and some lined notepaper.

So what are the rules for taking part? There really aren't very many but just to be on the safe side, these are the following conditions:

1. To be able to participate in this then you must email by midnight on 31st December 2014 and indicate any planned holidays/vacations or other events which mean that you will be unavailable to receive the Filofax or post it on. Please also include your postal address.
2. You must not remove or tamper with the contributions anyone else has added to the Filofax prior to you receiving it. 
3. It would be appreciated if you sent an email to stating that you have received the Filofax and when you have posted it so that its movement can be tracked. 
4. The University Project cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage to the Filofax should it be lost in the mail at some point during its journey. Reasonable efforts will be taken to retrieve the Filofax should such an instance arise. 
5. Places will be filled on a first come first serve basis and the posting schedule (TBC) must be adhered to where possible. 
6. Participants must be willing to pay the postage costs and be aware that at times it may be necessary to post the Filofax internationally. (If you would like to take part but cannot afford international postage then please indicate this in your email and efforts will be taken to try and provide you with an in country pass on, but this cannot be guaranteed). 
7. The Year of the Travelling Filofax is open to participants worldwide. 
8. Any blog posts or YouTube videos which feature the Filofax must be sent to so that they can also be shared on this blog. 

So that is the boring part over with! I will keep the Filofax with me for the first week of January 2015 and then post onto the next participant in the list (TBA). I can't wait to see who wants to take part and where this Filofax will travel, what will be added to it, what adventures it will go through- I am really excited about seeing this unfold and I hope that you are too!

Please get in touch ASAP if you would like to take part, places will be filled on a first come, first served basis! 

Things That Made Me Happy #9

(found on Pinterest)

This week has quite possibly been the toughest of my life, its been hard work but it really has been worth it. I have a habit of being overly cautious, weighing up my risk of failure before I try anything new and often my anxious tendencies get the better of me, Throughout the past week I have had two interviews, resulting in many a sleepless night but I survived and in amongst the tough times have been some happy times too. 

1. Getting a place for my PGCE although one of my interviews went incredibly pear shaped, the other did not and I am thrilled to say that I am one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming a Primary School teacher- bring on the Stationery! 

2. Re-kindling my love for blogging although the blog has been a little quieter than I would have hoped this week, I am excited about the posts that I have planned for this week, keep your eyes on the blog tomorrow morning if you're a Filofax lover!

3. Dream planner on the way I managed to pull a few strings this week and I have a planner I have been lusting after on the way to me and it should be here early in the new year- excited much!

4. Signs of things to come the location of one of my interviews meant that it was easier if I spent the night at my boyfriends flat the night before; it was a very surreal moment that morning both sitting on the couch in our work clothes, hopefully there will be many more of those moments.

How have your weeks been? 

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Things That Made Me Happy #8

(Found on Pinterest)

This past week has most definitely been on the up! There have been several instances of good news and plenty of times where I have felt that warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach (and not just because of indulging in some take out... ahem!). I had quite a serious talk with my boyfriend this week and it has left me feeling much more settled and in control of things and I think I need to start trying to live by Taylor Swift's motto more often and just 'shake it off'.  Now onto what has been making me happy this week.

1. Acceptance- in the past week I have been invited for two interviews for my PGCE (both of which are this week- eep!). It sounds strange but in the competitive world of teaching, it is rather comforting to know that there are people out there who read your application form and decided they would like to invite you to an interview- please keep everything crossed for me guys!

2. Meeting Goals- last week I hit my Christmas weight goal, several weeks early! I have never found it easy to shift unwanted pounds and so the fact that my hard work is starting to pay off is certainly appreciated.

3. Ordering a New Diary recently, my diary and planning situation has been a bit all over the place  (keep your eyes peeled for a post on this!) but this weekend after watching multiple YouTube videos I decided that I would take the plunge and order a PlumPaper planner which is designed for me to use from January-June (I went for their Student Planner, 6 Months option). Its only been a day since I ordered it and I am so impatient for it to get here already!

4. Discovering Yoga one of the benefits of a gym membership is the ability to try a lot of new exercise classes that you otherwise would not. This morning I tried my first Yoga class and it is safe to say that I am hooked!

5. Starting to re-read the Harry Potter Books my dad re-reads the Lord of The Rings books every winter and since I made the pledge to take more time for myself I have decided that I am going to try and get through as many of the books as I can this winter. I am always amazed by the things that I notice that I never have before, despite the many times I have read these books.


Posts that I have loved reading this week include Happiness Volume 90 by The Cup and Saucer, as selfish as it is, it is comforting to know that you're not the only one feeling on top of your game right now. I also lusted over Rosie's London Sunset and Christmas Markets and Laura's post on the topic of the hour.

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Taking time for yourself

I was browsing the internet the other day and came across this list on hello giggles dictating the '25 books every girl should read before she turns 25'. Now I like a good challenge and after struggling with the pressure of third year I have taken some advice from Carly and I am making time to read every day.

Currently, I am finishing off the Rosie Effect and after that I have earmarked the Husband's Secret to read for the Blogger's books club so although it might be some time before I get around to this but considering I have just under 3 years to complete it, I ordered the first book off of the list which is Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende and I can't wait to hunt down some of the other books!

What is your favourite thing to do to have some time to yourself?

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Radio Silence, Third year sucks

Wow, its like I shut my eyes and the last month or so flew by and now all of a sudden its December! Remember this post way back in the start of September about my thoughts on third year? Well third year is hard and well it hit me hard.

A combination of being a guinea pig on a new module and the UCU strike (thank heavens that has been suspended until January) have led to me being back on anxiety medication, something that hasn't happened for almost 4 years. They're really helping though and its true, you really shouldn't be afraid of asking for help when you need it. Please don't suffer in silence if you are going through what I did at  the start of the Semester.

So other than 12 hour library days, what else have I been up to?

1. Eating chocolate cake and still losing a little weight! 
I've been trying to adopt a healthier life style lately, and whilst I have still been eating cake like this, I have been doing so in moderation and I have also joined the gym. Although it is nothing drastic, I feel a lot more confident and I am actually starting to enjoy exercise, something quite ground-breaking for the girl who used to skip PE!

2. Social media dissertation project
Everyone who knows me personally, will agree that I am permanently on my phone looking at some form of social media so I am really enjoying experimenting what kind of impact using different kinds of social media has on the interaction and engagement of students.

3. Taylor Swift 1989 (+Buying Concert Tickets!)
As a rare Taylor Swift Fan who has been so since the VERY start, I was beyond excited about the release of 1989, despite the move to pop and it is safe to say I LOVE IT. Like a lot. I also managed to score myself the BEST seat I have EVER had for one of her concerts in June. As you can probably tell, I get very excited about all things Taylor Swift related.

4.Applying for my PGCE
I have sent off my application and so far things seem to be going well. I really hope this pays off so please keep all of your fingers crossed for me!

I feel a LOT better now that I have admitted that I am not coping as well as I could be with third year and at times I succumb to the pressure to share the cherry picked aspects of my life on my blog, but for now- its going to be a mix of ups and downs,  As Robbie Williams said, life is a roller-coaster, just gotta ride it.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Whats in My Bag: The University Edition

As I am about to start my third year of University and lectures I would like to think that I have gotten what I carry in my bag down to a fine art; however, sometimes I end up carrying far too many things around and giving myself backache and then other times I find myself wishing that I had brought other things with me! This here is my happy medium. 

For my lectures this year I am planning on using my Longchamp Le Pliage bag in Large Size as I find this bag to be roomy enough, without allowing me to overstuff it. As well as the things pictured above, I also carry some additional things around with me for University but I will go into that later on in the post! 

On the top left of the picture is an Elba document file* which I use to store any print outs that I need for that day as well as any assignments that I need to hand in. Next is an Oxford Campus A4 Refill Pad* in a lovely pink colour (which unintentionally seems to be my colour scheme for this year at the moment!) and I also carry my keys, for obvious reasons! The refill pad gets used for taking notes in lectures, brain storming out ideas for projects and general university note taking. 

At the bottom left of the picture there is an A5 Oxford Campus notebook*  which houses all of my to do lists, lists of things that I need to try and read that week, books I need to get out of the library and so forth. As I like to try and keep my planner as neat as possible I find it much easier to house all of my University related lists that are temporary (usually only relevant for a week or less) into a notebook. I then have my purse which is actually designed as a travel wallet but as I am using the envelope budgeting system at the moment, it is the perfect size for me! Next up we have the Kate Spade Wellesley zip around planner which I absolutely ADORE, especially the inserts and it may even be that I have found planner peace with this one *crosses fingers*. And finally there is my pencil case in a lovely zebra print which came from Paperchase and I thought it was apt considering I study Zoology. 

Things that I also carry and are not pictured are a water bottle, my lunch if I have a full day of lectures, I also carry a Dictaphone which I keep in my pencil case as well as a pen drive. By the end of term I am sure that I will end up with a mass of receipts and junk at the bottom of my bag but for now I am loving its simplicty!

What do you carry around in your bag for University

PS if you love Oxford and Elba products as much as me be sure to enter their 100 days of converse competition! 

*Items were sent for me for review or purchased with money off coupons but all opinions are my own and I discussed products as though I had bought them with my own money. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Things That Made Me Happy #8

This week saw my 22nd Birthday on Sunday! I got well and truly spoilt by all of my friends and family, and yes, I'M FEELING TWENTY TWO! *starts humming Taylor Swift* It was my last week at home before I head back to Bangor tomorrow to start my third year which is also my final year. I'm definitely feeling like I should feel like more of an adult than I currently do. On to the things that have made me happy this week:

1. Discovering eco friendly cafes: On Friday I headed over to Liverpool with my best friend for a mix of birthday celebrations and goodbyes before we both set back off, We stumbled on a really cool cafe which I will be doing a full review of later on in the week :)

2. Getting a Coke bottle with my name on: When you have a name like Loretta, it is not very often that you can find your name on things so when my dogs (yes they are quite the savvy online shoppers) got me one for my birthday, I may have gotten a tad excited!

3. Shopping for new gym clothes: I have decided that I am going to join the gym when I get back to University, mainly for the classes and swimming pool but I am hoping that it will give me a good way to release all of the stresses of third year!

4. Downton Abbey! I am not entirely sure this one needs explaining?! Don't expect to hear from me for the next 8 Sunday evenings :P

5. Getting University Work: Whilst waking up to a 126 item reading list was not the highlight of my week, getting back into the habit of studying and preparing for third year has been more enjoyable than I anticipated!

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Student Cooking: Old El Paso Enchiladas

One of the things that I found most daunting when moving to University was definitely the notion of cooking for yourself! As I prepare to move back to Bangor on Tuesday, I decided that it would be a good time to start sharing some of my favourite recipes or meals that I like to make during term time and share recipes that anyone can have a go at! If you have any requests then please let me know! 

As I mentioned in this post me and my boyfriend decided to have a go at making our own Enchiladas at the weekend and having had previous success with their fajitas kits we thought that this kit was most definitely worth a try!

The kit itself contains soft tortillas which stand up on their own and are considerably less messy to eat on a date night than traditional enchiladas as well as herbs to add to your sour cream and a sauce for your mince. The only additional ingredients we needed where tomatoes, lettuce (both of which were already in our fridge), mince, grated cheese and some sour cream- a fairly simple and shopping basket. 
First off, mix your herb sachet in with the sour cream and set aside in the fridge for later (We used a sachet from McDonalds, cost 20p)

Next, chop the tomatoes into thin slices and also set aside in the fridge for later. 
Heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add in your mince for browning (We used a 500g pack of beef mince from Aldi costing £1.99)

Once your mince is brown, add in the sachet of sauce and stir through until coated evenly. 

Then stir in 50g of grated cheese (We used pre-grated cheese from Aldi, costing £1.49 for 250g).

Next heat up your tortillas in the microwave and part fill with the beef mixture. 

Finally top with some shredded lettuce, your sliced tomatoes and sour cream from earlier and then sprinkle with cheese and Instagram to your hearts content. 

The kit itself cost £2 (on offer from £3 in Sainsburys) and the rest of the ingredients cost us £3.68 meaning that it was £5.68 in total for us both and there was even enough left over for his tea on Monday night bringing it in at around £1.90 a portion; this is slightly more than my usual teas cost but for a date night or in favour of getting a take away its definitely a more budget friendly option! 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Things That Have Made Me Happy #7

Me, approximately aged 3!

1. Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix It was announced this week that one of my favourite TV shows of all time was to be released in its ENTIRETY on Netflix this October, I used to watch the show back when it was on Nickelodeon years and years ago and I am already hoping that I don't have any important deadlines around that time! 

2. Sam Smith's Album I know that I am rather behind the times with this one but I ordered the album from Amazon last week and I have pretty much had it on repeat ever since. 

3. Looking at Childhood Photos It is my 22nd Birthday on Sunday and so last week I was feeling rather nostalgic and decided to dig out some of the photos from when I was younger! Is it bad that I really want a coat like this for this winter?!

4. Trying New Foods This past weekend me and my boyfriend decided to try out making our own Enchiladas using a kit and I was pleasantly surprised with the results (blog post to follow!) 

5. Your comments on this post. It took me a lot of courage to hit publish on that post and your response has been well and truly overwhelming. Thank you so much guys! 

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Thoughts on Third Year

In a little over a week I will be packing up my parents car, saying goodbye to my boyfriend, family, dogs etc and heading back to Bangor for my third year. I should be excited, but quite frankly I am not. For the past month I have felt a pang of dread knowing that my long summer holidays are almost up and I am going to have to face reality. 

I didn't really enjoy my second year very much and the highlight (and probably the only thing that got me through) was my Field Trip . Third year doesn't have any such trips and the amount of hard work it is going to involve is starting to overwhelme me. Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly happy to complete work in the Library, do the extra reading and so forth; the problem lies in the fact that I picked the wrong degree and as a consequence find many of my modules boring and uninspiring. Luckily, I was able to pick my modules this year and I have managed to select those that I at least find somewhat enjoyable. Right now, my mindset is that finishing this degree is a means to an end of getting to where I ultimately want to be: doing my PGCE. 

I got a First in both my first year and second year overall and so there is almost the expectation from friends and family that I am going to get a First overall for my degree; I am less convinced and think that it is more likely to be a mid 2.1 due to my lack of interest in the degree and the fact that my modules this year are a lot more exam based and there is less coursework to boost my overall grade. 

I am sorry if this post comes across as a moan and or a rant but I really just needed to get it off of my chest and put it out there that not every student enjoys their degree and is passionate about what they are reading. I also wanted to let Freshers know that if you are not enjoying your degree, course or University then you should stick it out until Christmas, but if things havent changed then you should probably seriously consider whether you are doing the degree that is right for you. I had doubts about my course very early on in my first year and I wish now that I had taken the advice I was given and left: £27,000 of tuition debt alone is not something to be taken lightly. 

Has anyone else gotten to this stage in their degree and realised that it probably isn't right for them? If you have any advice then please do comment and let me know :) 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My Most Marketable Skill Campaign

As I have mentioned before, I took a gap year before starting University and as a result I have spent most of this summer watching many of my friends graduate from their degrees and head off into the 'real world'. Whilst taking a gap year was most definitely the right thing for me to have done on a personal level, it also worked out pretty well academically (or so I hope!). I feel that I went into University with a much more mature attitude than many of my peers and I knew where I wanted to go after my degree which has definitely given me the drive and motivation to get through some of my not so favourite modules. 

Back in July Webucator got in touch with me and asked me if I would write a post about what I felt was essential for success. In today's job market, many of my friends have had to settle for jobs which are not their ideal graduate career choice in the short term whilst waiting for the right opportunity to come along.  Being a year behind so to speak I have  had the chance to look back and realise that even though I am hoping to progress to the field of teaching, I am by no means guaranteed a job at the end of it (or a place on the course in the first place!) 

After a long think I have decided that my most marketable skills is being organised. I am an avid fan and user of my Filofax and I am forever buying my loved ones diaries and organisers! 

My boyfriend insists that one of the main reasons he landed the graduate job he did was because he had done a LOT of research into the company he was applying to and as a result he was more or less able to lead the interview. Very impressive! So being organised also has the ability to help you actually get the job in the first place. 

Whether it is keeping track of deadlines, shifts at work during summer or just day to day tasks, my Filofax helps to keep me on the right track and there is definitely something therapeutic about putting pen to paper. 

I also think that the right Filofax can make you look the part at an interview and it would be a great place to keep a note of any questions that you want to ask the interviewer at the end so you don't forget in the heat of the moment! If I was hiring somebody then I know one of the main things I would be looking for is good time management skills and I feel that being organised goes alongside this!  

So there you have it,  that is my most marketable skill- what is yours? 

Thank you to Webucator for asking me to write this post, it really got me thinking! 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Things That Made Me Happy #6

Wow it has been almost two weeks since my last post, sorry! I received some very hurtful comments via email and to be honest with you all it made me doubt whether or not to continue with this blog but then I realised that it is wrong to let the bullies win. So on a more positive note, here is what has been making me happy:

1. This comment Taylor Swift left on Instagram to a fan who was being bullied

Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.
It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your tears turn to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.
You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinion of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.
Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in the hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight. Forever on your side, Taylor.
After the comments that I received this really rang true with me. 
2. Pumpkin spiced lattes

This was not only my first pumpkin spiced latte of the season, it was my first pumpkin spiced latte EVER. I know, the shame! I think that it is safe to say that I am hooked.

3. Royal baby announcement!
I get way too excited about everything related to the royal family so I was beyond excited to hear the news this morning that Kate is once again pregnant. Congratulations!
4. Getting organised
As I am under a month away from going back to Bangor for my third year I spent my days off last week sorting out all of my paperwork and starting to pack my belongings up ready for my move.
5. Fluffy socks
I really do like winter. I bought myself new socks last week to cheer myself up and celebrate the start of colder temperatures. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Things That Made Me Happy #5

1. Shake It Off Whilst this might not be the best Taylor Swift song that I have ever heard, it is still new music from her and I like the overall message of the song. I just hope that I see more of her songwriting on the Album in October...

2. Mrs Doubtfire I still don't think that I am over the passing of Robin Williams but this led to my local Odeon putting on a showing of Mrs Doubtfire which rather shamefully, I have never seen the entire film before this screening but the DVD is now most definitely on my wishlist! 

3. Birthdays This week was my boyfriends birthday and I really enjoyed planning things to celebrate it! Plus there was cake and whats not to love about cake! We spent the weekend watching Mrs Doubtfire, gorging on takeout and chocolates and working our way through the entire Season 1 of Smallville. 

4. Days Off Working in retail often means that there are hideous stretches of shifts to endure but this past week I managed to sneak 3 days off and I also have 3 days off this week too. Bliss. 

5. Blankets and Hot Chocolate The shift in the British weather has made it acceptable to dig out the wooly blankets and make hot chocolates laden with marshmallows. I must say, I do like Autumn. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Birchbox- August 2014

This is my first ever beauty post! I'm not your typical girl who has grown up being obsessed with beauty products and it is in fact something that I have only recently started to pay more attention to. I have seen a few bloggers across the net mention Birchbox and so I decided to take the plunge and ended up getting myself a 6 month subscription! This is my second of the 6 months and my third box overall and is quite possibly my favourite box to date!

In my box I received:

Nude ProGenius Omega Treatment Oil: I haven't actually used this yet as I am currently working in a restaurant and my skin has gotten quite oily of late but as soon as I am back at University, I shall be trying it out!

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: I still have a sample size of the Liz Earle to use and it is a toss up for me which one to try first! I must admit though that the Vasanti has a more appealing smell for me.

Chella - Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil: This is probably the only product that I am not overly thrilled to have received as it is probably a little too technical for me at the moment but I still don't feel like it ruined the overall box.

Supergoop Daily Correct CC Cream - Light / Medium: CC products are something that I have been itching to try and I was super excited to receive this, I have only used it the once and whilst I feel the shade is a tad too dark for my skintone, it won't put me off using it again. 

Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect: As someone with very curly hair, products like these are a life saver! I have used this once and I did notice that my hair was nowhere near as tangly in the evening as it usually is. 

My lifestyle extra was also The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, sadly only the first chapter though! I plan on saving this until I need a new book and then reading it to see if I like it.

All of the subscribers also received this little Travel pouch which will come in handy for me when I travel to visit my boyfriend at Weekends during University.

Overall, I am very impressed with Birchbox and think that it is an excellent way for beauty novices like me to try out some more new products that I may not have even heard of before! If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox then if you follow this link then you will receive 50 Birchbox points, worth £5 to spend in the Birchbox shop! 

PS. Did you like this beauty themed post? Is this something that you would like to see more of on The University Project?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Things That Made Me Happy #4

I've been in a pretty bad mood all of this week and I have struggled to put my finger on exactly what the cause is, however, I think that it is weeks like these where it is even more important to focus on what has been making you happy.

1. Moving my room around! When I went away to University, I was moved into the box room of my parents house and ever since I have not been completely happy with the layout. This week I finally got around to rearranging it and I am much happier with it now. Let me know if you would be interested in a room tour.

2. Results day Whilst it may have been 3 years since I got my own A-Level results, this year my social media and work friends all seemed to do so brilliantly and almost everyone got the results that they deserved and first choice of University. And before anyone starts, this does not mean they are getting any easier.

3. My second and third nominations for the Liebster awards Two very lovely bloggers kindly nominated for the award again this week and I am currently working my way through their wonderful questions!

4. Discovering new TV series on Netflix House of Cards I am looking at you! I may have only watched the first episode but I can already feel myself getting hooked on this show.

5. Taylor Swift live chat announcement: All summer I have been waiting for her to announce the release of her latest album as due to her previous pattern, she usually releases a single in August and the Album in October, ever since getting new music from my other favourite artist, Ed Sheeran I have been after more Swifty! 

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

REVIEW: Central Perk, Liverpool

Friends is one of those shows that I must have seen every episode at least ten times over by now but still really enjoy watching it and so when they opened a Central Perk in Liverpool, I was beyond excited! After passing my theory test a few weeks back, I found myself outside and decided to treat myself!

I ordered a pecan brownie and when the lovely waitress asked me if I would like it warmed with chocolate sauce, there was only really once answer! I am pretty impressed that I had enough self restraint to take a picture before demolishing the whole thing (which definitely did not take as long as it should have!)

I love the interior of the place and I really do think that they have gotten it spot on! They also play the Friends episodes on a loop and I found it a really great place to just sit and relax for an hour. 

As I had already veered away from my new found attempts at healthy eating, I decided to push the boat out and in true American style opted for a Vanilla coke Float.... yumm! If you ever find yourself in Liverpool, you can find all of the information you need on their website here

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Things that Made me happy #3

Wow, sorry for the lateness of this post! Working in a retail job has made me completely lose track of the days and I have been convinced that today was Monday for the majority of the day! Anyway, onto the things that have been making me smile this week:

1. Still getting butterflies I have been with my boyfriend for just shy of three years now and whilst getting ready for a date the other night, I caught myself having butterflies and it made me smile. I don't ever not want to have those feelings. 

2. Getting on top of finances I am still attempting to follow my August spending ban and this week I have started to use a Pocket Filofax Finchley as my wallet/budget organiser and I will do a post or video on my set up once I have sorted out my system. 

3. The return of GBBO I really like this time of year in terms of TV. Great British Bake Off is one of my favourite shows of all time and whilst time restraints have left me unable to partake in the #BloggerBakeOff so far, I am hoping to have a go at a few of the recipes as the season progresses. 

4. YouTube Videos I am trying to experiment a little bit more with the beauty products that I use and almost by accident I stumbled across Vivianna does Makeup and I am slowly working my way through the videos on her channel! 

5. Buying a 1kg jar of Nutella... this one is self explanatory!


Three posts that I have loved reading this week are Handluggage Snoop by Rosie of The Londoner, Generation Sensible by Rachel of Handbags and Cupcakes and Study tips by The College Prepster. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

GUEST POST: Thoughts on Heading to University

Today I am SO excited to introduce you all to Sabina from her self titled blog, sabina who in her words is "an 18 year old just waiting for the dreaded results day". I remember those days well and don't envy her right now! I contacted Sabina and asked if she would like to write a post on her thoughts about her upcoming University experience and here is what she had to say. 

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The first emotion I feel as I think about student life and moving away from home is excitement! Embarking on the milestone in your life that is university is pretty scary, and there is a lot to sort out for the actual move, as well as mentally preparing yourself for what is to come.

Having said that, I am ecstatic about living independently; I know others may be terrified by the thought of having to do their own laundry and cooking their own meals (if you’re going for self-catered), but for me it’s an opportunity to decide how I want to go about things; for one I aim to eat a lot healthier!

What do you actually need?!

Chances are the room you will be living at in halls won’t be as large as your bedroom at home (unless you are super lucky or have decided to rent privately), so you will need to imagine what you’ll be able to fit in there. Clothes, shoes, bathroom essentials, stationery and homely comforts are to name a few. My firm university choice is 5 hours away from my hometown, so it’s not like I can jump on the train and pick up anything I’ve left behind!


I imagine that the move and settling in will become more of a priority at the start of the academic year than the actual course itself! But I think once the adrenaline of fresher’s week is over, I’ll be able to focus on the studying aspect of university: this is the reason you have packed up your life in boxes and chosen to dive into the deep end of living independently. I’m not too worried about working at this level – A levels have been the hardest thing I have had to do this year but I really feel as though it has prepared me for this – and there is plenty of support available! I have read that a lot of universities give you a ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ who are 2nd years that are doing the course as you – they are there for you for any questions you have if you don’t feel like talking to a staff member. This ‘family’ feel is another thing that calms down my nerves!

Getting out of your shell

If you are already a super confident person who can approach anyone and make friends in an instant,  you will be in your element in fresher’s week! But for a lot of people this will be the first opportunity to meet people you haven’t grown up with or shared years of your life together in high school. I had the chance to takepart in NCS last year which was one of the best things I’ve ever done, so this isn’t such a worry for me as I have experienced meeting new people and living with them for 2 weeks. It is very exciting and slightly daunting, but the way I see it, everyone is in the exact same boat as you so don’t be scared to approach people and introduce yourself!

Something else worth looking out for (which is what I am doing) is checking out what clubs/societies are available that you can sign up for and join whilst at university. This will be a break from your studies but it’s also a great social event where you can meet people who have similar interests to yours. Again, checking out what the city has to offer is a must for the weekends/free time you may have. I’m definitely one of those people that depends on the internet to search for places to go/see!

Right now I can only hope that I have managed to get the grades so that I can experience what many describe as the best years of their lives!

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I absolutely loved having Sabina here on my blog and reading her post reminded me that I was feeling very similar a few years ago and now here I am about to start my third year of University!! I also wrote a post for sabina yesterday which you can find here all about what I wish I'd known before starting University! I

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