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! 

Bloglovin / TwitterInstagramPinterest / YouTube

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. 

* * * 

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!

* * *

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

If you are interested in guest posting on my blog then please email me at

Bloglovin / TwitterInstagramPinterest / YouTube

Monday, 4 August 2014

Things that made happy #2

This week seems to have completely flown by and I found myself caught off guard this morning when I realised that it was in fact Monday and not Sunday! During the week I have been jotting down little things that made me happy and I have found that this has greatly lifted my mood.

1. Baking: On Thursday we found out that my boyfriend had passed his exams that he resat last month so I decided that a celebratory cake was in order. I made a Raspberry Bakewell and in his words 'you did good with this cake'... success!

2. No Fizzy drinks: I have read many articles recently telling me just how bad drinking copious amounts of fizzy drinks is for you and so last Monday I decided to switch my usual drink of diet coke to water and I am feeling SO much better for it!

3. Exciting emails: This week a series of exciting emails where exchanged between me and a fellow blogger, keep your eyes peeled on the blog on Wednesday! 

4. Getting a Haircut: When looking back through my diary I realised that it had been 19 weeks since I had had a haircut and so promptly got myself down to the salon for a trim and tidy up!

5. New shorts: I can't remember the last time I bought a pair of shorts (bar running shorts) because I generally don't like the pasty colouration of my legs and I'm quite insecure about the leg area of my body in general! However this current heatwave has pushed me to take the plunge!

Bloglovin / TwitterInstagramPinterest / YouTube

Sunday, 3 August 2014

My Week #31 PLUS Pimp My Filofax Competition

This week I am still in my Kate Spade organiser and I really do like the fact that it zips up, it was one of those things that I never really knew that I wanted in an organiser until I had it! My decoration for this week has been relatively basic but I have started to incorporate a project life card into the middle of my week, I haven't quite decided what I am going to write on them yet (as you can see from the blank back in the picture below) however I really like some of the inspirational quotes on them. 

This week has seen me have slighltly less hours in work, which has given me more time to crack on with my to do liist and make a dent in some of my summer reading that I have tasked myself with. I was lucky enough to have a day off yesterday on Saturday which is always a bonus during my summer holidays as my boyfriend has a Mon- Fri office job so my retail job can make it difficult to see him, despite the fact that we are no longer 80 miles apart!

Now onto some VERY exciting news! A few weeks back an email appeared in my inbox from the lovely Nike at Filofax asking if I would like to take part in a blogger challenge called Pimp my Filofax? As quickly as my fingers would type I replied, rather excitedly, saying that I would love to take part and a few days later I received an English Blossom Cover story Filofax. 

Taking advantage of the lovely summer weather we have been having, I quickly scooted out to my parents garden and took a snap of it against this cute little planter. 

The idea of the challenge was to decorate the internal pages of the Filofax and this is something that I thought long and hard about. I have been trying over the last few months to cut down on the amount of stickers and washi tape I have been using on my pages as I felt that it was distracting me from organising my time efficiently, which for me is the main reason I use a Filofax. I am also incredibly happy with my current main Filofax, the Crimson Malden and as I already have a Filofax dedicated to my Finances, I struggled to think about what I could use this little beauty for. 

Then I had an idea. My lovely Mum has been eyeing up my Filofax for going on 6 months now and although she originally had a Filofax years ago and was the one who got me into them in the first place, since swapping jobs a few years ago, she hasn't used one and instead opted for bound planners as they are generally slightly cheaper, all be it, less practical. I think she was on the verge of purchasing one a few months back and then our family dog got sick so she used the money she had set aside for a Filofax towards the vet bill, in true Mum style. 

However, seeing how I want to gift her this Filofax as a surprise, and my Mum finds the idea of stickers and washi tape all over her diary pages somewhat confusing, this left me with the dilema of how I was going to Pimp out the Filofax for her. So my way of pimping the Filofax has been to pretify the dividers and set up the Filofax in a way that when I give it to my Mum, she can start using it right away and won't need to buy anything else for it. 

I have added a set of Post it note flags, the Pimp my Filofax car a notebook and cute paperclip to the credit card slots of the binder. Then placed a project life card in the secretarial pocket. Perhaps my favourite part of the Filofax is the Olaf dashboard that I made for the organiser- one of Mum's favourite films at the moment is Frozen and I am pretty certain that this is her favourite line! My parents celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary next year and I think that this has something to do with the fact that her favourite line is 'Some people are worth melting for'. 

The dividers that came with the organiser where the blue and green coloured 1-6 dividers and so I covered the tabs of the dividers with some of the Kirstie Allsop washi tape as it was flowery and I felt it fit with the English Blossom theme. I found a tinker-bell sticker pictured below that I put infront of the 2014 diary tab as this is Mum's favourite Disney character!

Inside, I have set up the Filofax into the following section:

1) Personal Information: Mum has a lot of usernames and registration numbers etc that she needs to keep track of for her job and so I can see this section being really useful for her. 

2) To Do: It is a close competition between who makes more lists out of me and my Mum and so I have created a list section complete with some additional To-Do pages and some of the Day Planner Filofax pages. 

3) 2014 Diary: Very luckily the Organiser came with both a diary for this year and for 2015! Previously when Mum had a Filofax, she separated her years in different tabs and

4)2015 Diary:

5) Contacts: The size of my Mum's family is bordering on ridiculous and so a contacts section is definitely a must for her and now I found a use for the tonnes of contacts pages I have had lying around in my room!

6) Lists: I had a sneaky look at the lists my mum has in her current diary (shhh don't tell her) and disovered a whole array of things she keeps a track of in there- like Clubcard and Nectar points, madness! In order to make sure that this Filofax is perfect for her I have included ample list making space for her and added in some of the Filofax Finance pages for her to track various savings and budgeting projects. 

I really hope that you guys like how I have pimped out the Filofax and I am keeping my fingers crossed that my Mum will also like it. The great news is that Filofax are running a competition over on their Facebook page and if my photo gets the most likes, I will receive a whopping 6 Filofax organisers to give away to you guys! If I come either second or third place then I will receive 3 to giveaway! So if you like my design and want to be in with a chance of winning a Filofax, then please head over to the Facebook page and like my photo! 

Bloglovin / TwitterInstagramPinterest / YouTube

Friday, 1 August 2014

Spending Ban Update July and No Spend August

Okay, confession time! My 100 day spending ban has well and truly failed! I think that I was rather naive to think that I could cope with a 100 day no spend ban having never done one. The more I had to resist purchases, the more I started to think about how long I was going to have to do that for and when I fell off the wagon, I pretty much decided that there was no way I could keep it up for another 90 days! (yes I only lasted  10 days, the shame!). 

So this time I am going to try a no spend August as some of the people that I follow on Instagram are doing the same thing and I think that having a little added support will be a deal breaker. Also 31 days really isn't that long! 

The rules are fairly similar to last time:

1) No Sticky Notes, Washi Tape or other Filofax related Stationery: Last time this rule was no stationery whatsoever but I quickly realised that there was stationery I needed to buy in preparation for my third year of University and with all of the back to school offers, it would be foolish not to take advantage and stock up on folders, ruled paper, plastic wallets etc. Putting it simply, I am not allowed to purchase any stationery unless I have a valid reason for doing so, and being cute doesn't count!

2) No Clothes: Last time this rule was a little bit more lax and I had quite a few exceptions, however as this spending ban is only for 31 days, I am sure that I can survive that long without buying a new clothing item!

3) No toiletries: The current stash that I have will easily last me at least 31 days throughout August, and I will be recieving my Birchbox during August and so that should hopefully cover the need to try out some new products!

4) No new bags or handbags: This was one of the rules from the previous spending ban that I actually managed to stick to, so I am hoping that I will be able to keep it up for another 31 days!

5) Limit buying random food and take out: I have cut down considerably on this since starting my 100 day spending ban but if I am honest with myself then I could still cut down more and I am hoping to do this over the next 31 days. 

6) No new books: Again, this is one of the rules from last time that I stuck to pretty well. The only books that I purchased where textbooks from my recommended reading list for third year of University as well as Tampa for the Bloggers Book Club. 

7) Nothing from eBay: I well and truly broke this rule, I am pretty sure that I have a slight eBay addiction and despite selling off some of my belongings on eBay since I started the spending ban, I have definitely spent more on there than I have made. This time I am going to delete the app from my phone as this is the main way I make purchases and start bidding on things that I really don't need!