I've been wanting to show my uni room on my blog since I arrived in September, so I think it's about time I show you guys around considering I go home in less than a week (honestly, I can't wait). My mental health has been struggling a bit recently, so a nice and easy post was perfect for me this week. So, welcome to my lil' slice of comfort...this post was definitely a good incentive to make me tidy up!
As you can see, I have a 3/4 double bed, a nice and big desk and lots of storage (and if you look close enough, you can see my boxset of The Office even though I got rid of my TV). Those red boxes by my chair aren't usually there, they're waiting to be filled with all of my stuff for when I come home!
I also have an en suite with a toilet and shower, but to be honest that's really nothing special.
Let's look a little more at my desk, shall we?
Here it is! I wish I could say this is where I spend most of my time, but I'd be kidding everyone...we all know I rarely get off my bed. I kind of have my desk split in half, all of my uni stuff is on the left hand side (printer, stationery etc) and then I have all of my skincare on the right. That really helps with keeping organised. And of course, I have loads of pictures and cards from home!
And then there's the most important thing, of course... my bed!
Okay, I’m firstly going to start off this post by saying how the hell are we a quarter of the way through the year?! Time really flies when you’re constantly distracted by mental breakdowns and procrastination (not a great combination, by the way).
Anyway, at the end of last yearI shared my goals for 2019 with you guys, so I thought it would be a nice little habit to get into to share how those goals are going every so often.
1. Immerse myself into blogging
I hate to gloat, but I think I’ve done pretty bloody good with this goal so far. I’ve kept to my regular blogging schedule, been to a couple of blogging events and I’m working on interacting more and more on my social media (still working on finding that perfect spot with Insta, but I’m trying). Blogging is probably my favourite thing in the world (besides The Office) and since the start of this year I’ve made some incredible friends through it, so this goal is going very well. I can’t wait to see where blogging can take me later in the year!
2. Sleep more/better
I was actually pretty worried about this one, considering my sleeping pattern literally disappeared in 2018, but I’ve been doing relatively good with my sleeping. I get up at the same time every day and I’ve set myself some ‘time targets’ for getting into bed and turning off technology etc. I do sometimes still get days where I can’t get to sleep until late, but on the whole my sleeping has definitely improved.
4. Learn to budget
My next goal of learning to budget is going about as well as you can expect it to go for a fresher. The problem is I’m a serial snacker. Everything else in my budget is fine, but I just have to go to Tesco and buy a load of snacks every so often because I’ve bloody eaten them all. I’d like to say I’m going to work on this, but let’s not kid ourselves. My snacking habits are going nowhere.
5. Stop putting things off
And finally, probably my biggest (and broadest) goal was to stop putting things off. Well, I’ve (successfully) applied to become a student mentor, applied to study abroad, been to two blogging events on my own and done a few other things that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. I can definitely give myself a pat on the back for those things, but I’ve also pulled out of a few things because of my anxiety and I do still put a lot of things off if I’m having a bad brain day. For now, I’m going to be making small steps and not focus too much on when I do put something off.
There you are, all up to date with how I'm doing with my goals for the year. I'm going to try and do these sorts of posts once every three months, so keep your eyes peeled! How are you doing with your goals for 2019?
In terms of money, being a student is shit. My student loan doesn’t even cover my rent and when I started university I found myself scrounging for pennies at the end of each month. I know it’s obviously going to be difficult to begin with because, for most people, it’s the first time you’re budgeting for your entire existence. Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be so tough! Here are some nice little ways of saving money when you need it most.
Download savings apps
For this I use an app called Monzo, but I know there are lots of different apps around. With Monzo, you can set up a ‘savings’ pot where you can have a setting on that puts at least a pound into the pot every day and every time you spend the price is rounded up and the leftover change is put into savings. It sounds straightforward and that’s because it is! I haven’t really noticed the money missing and in January alone I saved around £130. Like I said, you really won’t notice the money is gone and it makes saving much easier! With Monzo you can also budget how much you want to spend on certain things (eg travel and groceries) and you get a notification on your phone every time you spend.
Doing my general, weekly shopping online (toiletries and groceries) has literally transformed the way I buy. Doing your weekly shop online means that you can search for the items you want and you have the option to buy cheaper versions or see offers, instead of being limited to whatever’s in the shop. Shopping online also prevents you from bimbling around the supermarket and picking up things you really don’t need, like a £4 mug with cats all over it (okay, how could I have left the shop without it?!). Buying fresh food from markets will also help you save cash, if you can get to one.
Okay, so I know I’m talking about saving money but hear me out. If there are things that you buy regularly, especially toiletries, and you see the item on offer…buy a load of it. I do this with toothpaste and mouthwash a lot when they’re on offer for £1 instead of something insane like £2.50 – think of how much you’re saving in the long run! As long as it won’t go off anytime soon and you definitely need it or use it regularly, then buy it in bulk when it’s cheaper.
There are some basic tips to help you save as a student, obviously if you're on a low budget this will help out too! I haven't noticed changes to my day to day living but my bank account is much happier for these changes. Do you have any other saving hacks you'd recommend? Let me know!
Waaaay back in November, when I actually had money and was spending too much time mooching around Cardiff in an attempt to avoid essays and revision, I headed into Waterstone’s and bought too many books. One of those books was Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. As a white person who has never faced any race-related battle (and probably never will), I knew I had to pick this up. It was definitely worth the read! It's pretty fitting to chat to you about this book this week, as I've just finished writing an essay about racism in journalism so I'm allll over the subject.
The book starts off with a brief history of black people in the UK. I can remember once questioning why my GCSE history course contained one female and the rest of the course was dictated by white males, but I honestly didn’t realise how little I knew about black history in my own country. I actually didn’t know much (barely anything, in fact) about slavery in the UK…can you believe that?! So, there’s me being called out for my ignorance within the first few pages. I really appreciated the first chapter giving a briefing on black history in the UK because it makes it much easier to navigate the next few chapters.
The book discusses how corrupt the system is and I found the “Fear of a Black Planet” chapter particularly interesting. For example, a fully qualified black man (I’m talking degree level qualified) has as much chance of getting a job as an unqualified white male. I really don’t think I can explain how horrifying some of the stats were.
I also enjoyed a chapter named “The Feminism Question”, which actually reflected on something I’ve been pondering for a while. Why are feminists all for ‘women supporting women’ until it’s a black woman who needs that support? Reni chats about an interview she had with a woman in this chapter who clearly was not about supporting all women and it’s truly inspiring to read about her resilience.
I think what made Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race so impactful to me was that we are living in this moment. Reni talks about the past, definitely, but she also talks about present issues such as the case of Stephen Lawrence and the casual racism that, on the whole, British society has allowed in. I have always been aware of my own white privilege and I’ve always tried to speak up about topics that I feel strongly about and can use my voice for, equality and racism being two of them, but after reading this book I was insanely inspired to speak out about more things that I disagree with; with that said, please feel free to call me out if you ever think I’m being ignorant.
This post contains affiliate links.
Disclaimer: I have collaborated with Hunkemoller for this blog post, however all words and opinions are my own.
Okay, that title is a lie. Things do look good on me, but that thought runs through my head more times in a day than I’d like to admit. As a female who doesn’t fit the most popular beauty norms, I am definitely not as kind about my body as I should be sometimes.
I have big boobs, big hips and a big bum. Of course, I have a lil’ tum too, but I’m learning to love that. When I wear relatively fitted clothing, my body doesn’t look too bad. But the thing is, I hate wearing fitted clothes. Baggy t-shirts are my comfort dream, but looking like a shapeless marshmallow is not my ideal. It doesn’t help that I put on and lose weight extremely quickly, thanks to my PCOS. If I have a few days of bad eating, I can definitely notice it. Don’t even start me on how bad I look when I start my period. My stomach is honestly like a rock.
Finding clothes that look good on your body and also allow you to feel comfortable and confident is something that I came to terms with sometime last year. I now know that I will never step foot in a Topshop dressing room without wanting to cry, because they make their clothes for women who don’t carry a pair of DDs on their chest. Don’t even start me on buying trousers and jeans, unfortunately Fashion Nova are the only place I can buy a pair of trousers from that can get around my booty and hips and still accentuate my waist – and I really don’t want to support fast fashion.
Have I also mentioned I’m 5’8”? So just to tot everything up for you; I have to shop in tall sections, big busted ranges and sometimes plus size sections so that I can squeeze my hips and backside into a skirt. ASOS have recently created a line for those of us with bigger busts, and the incredible brand Hunkemoller have swimwear and lingerie to suit any body type. They so kindly sent me a bikini from their DD+ section, and let me tell you that it fits like a dream. No more feeling shit for having to pick up an XL bikini just to fit the girls in and then tying it ridiculously tight around my back, or grabbing a pair of bottoms in a size up so my bum isn’t on full show, but then the front of the bikini goes all wrinkled and weird (girls, you know the deal).
If you didn't already know, Farrah Storr is one of my idols. As an aspiring journalist, she really is quite a woman to look up to (Cosmo has been my favourite magazine for years). I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Cosmopolitan networking event a few years ago and that was when I realised that this woman was a woman. So, when she announced she was releasing a book I preordered it immediately and patiently waited for months - my god, it was worth it.
Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link. It won't cost you any extra, but I will receive a small amount of money.
'The Discomfort Zone' is a mixture between Farrah's personal experience, others' inspirational stories and advice/information about your own personal discomfort zone. I had a relatively stressful year in 2018 (to say the least) and I really wish this book had come out earlier because it would have motivated me to power through some hurdles much better than I did.
The book discusses how we cope with failure and obstacles, I've learned that I'm an 'obstacle magnifier' meaning I perceive things to be so much worse than they are. It also talks about 'hustling' and (I wish I could say it was purely a coincidence) after reading I decided to do some of my own, so I've been emailing plenty of companies to get involved with my blog - I've pushed myself out of my discomfort zone and so far it's worked pretty well.
As always, thank you for reading! What helps you get motivated to be successful?
As I mentioned in my birthday post, something I’ve realised in life is that you should always be open to learning things about yourself. Well, something I learned about myself in 2018 is that I’m one of those people who always has to be doing something. If I’m not at uni I’m doing work, if not working then I’m blogging and if not blogging then I’m reading – and what about all that time I get off in between semesters? Throw me a 30 hour week and I’ll do some waitressing. My brain literally can’t switch off.
Something I learned very recently is that because I’m always doing something, I’m often thinking about what to do next. This isn’t just small scale, either. Not “I’m revising right now and will cook then write a post”, oh I wish…no. It’s “I’m at university until 2021 then I need to do this, this and this and then do this to be able to do this”. My anxieties related to my future are slowly driving me to insanity. So, here’s a chirpsy little post on why the hell am I so worried about my future?!
I think one answer that isn’t so worrying is that I’m super excited about my future. Visiting New York over the summer and moving from an incredibly small town in the countryside to a capital city has made me ecstatic to see all the places I possibly can and experience them in my own way. If I could, I would pack my bags and move to New York in a heartbeat … imagine all the other places I can see and fall in love with along the way! And let’s talk about how exciting growing my blog and getting settled into a career is going to be – I literally cannot wait.
Another pretty similar answer is that I’m constantly setting goals. I like bettering myself and I think goal-setting is a very positive thing for me. So, when I’m always making goals I want to think about things further into the future, career-wise, blog-wise and personal-life wise (my personal life has literally no goals other than to travel and own at least one Chow Chow). I wouldn’t be my goal-getting, ambitious self if I wasn’t thinking about my future all the time.
Thank you for reading my little ramble, Soph’s babbling posts are definitely back! Do you find that you worry about your future a lot or are you more of a ‘live in the moment’ kind of person?
A blogger writing their New Years’ Resolutions as their last post of the year? Are you really that shocked?! I wrote a similar post last year (‘drink less alcohol’ was clearly me starting 2018 with a good joke) and I just think it’s nice to note my goals down…so without further ado, here are my aims for 2019.
2. Sleep more/better
I’m currently writing this at half past midnight when I’ve been up since 8am in an attempt to ‘create a sleeping routine’ … ask me how that’s going? I like to get up early to go to the gym and get a headstart at a more productive day – yes, I’m one of those people – but then my brain doesn’t switch off if I don’t get myself to sleep by 9:30ish. It’s like I have a little timer inside my head and once I’ve gone past that time, by brain decides to get shit done. I want to have a better sleep schedule this year and be much more strict with it, because it’s clearly not going so well at the moment.
3. Find a balance
I’m doing pretty well at the moment with my uni/social life/blog balance, but at some point I should probably factor a job into the equation (unless my job at home wants to pay me double, or someone wants to pay me £1,000 per post). I love working when I’m back home but I wouldn’t mind some extra cash while I’m at uni, which means I’m going to have to work out when I can slot some shifts in.
5. Stop putting things off
I’m a constant worrier and overthinker. I don’t often talk about my mental health on here simply because it gets me down, but my anxiety towards general existence will slowly push me into a corner of my room if I’m not careful. I recently read The Discomfort Zone by Farrah Storr (a post is on its way but I’ll save you waiting and say BUY IT) and it made me realise how much I need to grab things by the balls and stop putting them off. I’m really hoping this year I can push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit more each month. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a solo trip somewhere this year and say ‘screw you’ to my anxiety towards transport and travelling alone.
What are your resolutions for the new year? I haven't given myself too many this year in the hopes that the end result will be quality over quantity. 2018 really wasn't the best year for me in so many ways and I'm so glad to see the back of it, but at the same time I've really seen myself grow this year and, in an odd way, I'm very thankful for it. I'm hoping to make 2019 my best yet!
With Christmas right around the corner, I hope you're spending plenty of time curled up on the sofa in front of the TV (unlike those of us that work in hospitality). If you think you're all binge-watched out, then you've come to the right place, because I've rounded up the best shows that I'll never get sick of watching.
Did you expect to read the title of this post and not see The Office mentioned first?! As I said in my birthday blog post, I'm on my 7th round of the show and I don't think I'll ever get sick of it.
The mockumentary follows the incredible character Michael Scott, who regularly screws up at his job as regional manager of a paper company. I can guarantee you'll be in stitches at every episode, and those funny skits at the start of each ep definitely add to the comedy. It's possibly the funniest and most lighthearted show you could ever come across. I dare you to watch it and not become way too emotionally invested in the characters.
The Good Place
I'm not sure if I can actually put The Good Place in this post because I haven't even finished it yet, but seeing as this is my blog, I'm pretty sure I make the rules. The show follows Eleanor on her journey in the Good Place (heaven, but for the very best of the best)...except she's not meant to be there, and is actually a pretty shitty person.
I'm only on season two but I'm already wanting to start the series again. It's the perfect mixture of comedy and twists and it's wonderfully refreshing - not to mention the all-star cast.
Well, there are three shows that I can watch over and over (and over) again - ironically I'm watching The Office as I'm just finishing up this post. What are some shows you'll never get sick of? I'm always ready for a new binge.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Now that I've done my first semester, I feel like I can reflect upon my uni experience so far. Everyone (I mean everyone) talks about how great uni is; living with your friends, going out constantly, having freedom, being one long boozer - which it isn't, I hate to break it to you - but there are other things that definitely go unmentioned before you begin university. A few of these things are actually my favourite bits about uni, so come and have a peek:
1. The independence
Yes, I'm completely skint and most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing, but living independently is actually a heck of a lot of fun. It definitely helps that I like my own company, but choosing what to do with your spare time is really quite liberating and I love deciding what I want to do and eat each day. Let's not pretend I don't phone my mum almost daily, though!
3. The studying
Have I actually just said studying? Yes, why yes I have...hear me out.
You're studying something that you (hopefully) enjoy and you're surrounded by likeminded people who want to be there. I find my seminars, where we have big class discussions, to be the favourite parts of my uni week. It's so refreshing to talk about things that you actually want to learn about.
Fellow students, gather. Let’s talk about printing (cue all my readers groaning in unison). Paying £9k a year to then be charged an extra 10p per sheet?! Ludicrous – and don’t even get me started on if the document needs to be printed in colour.
My 19th birthday present? A printer. I couldn’t cope with the thought of spending a fortune on printing at uni when I could have a printer at home. I’m one of those people, lecture readings have to be printed out so that I can annotate and highlight relevant information. When my readings are up to 100 pages long, I’d rather run a marathon than pay for all that paper (and I hate cardio).
Of course, getting your own printer means you have to fork out on those ridiculous ink and toner costs – you may as well just pay a small fortune for the bloody uni paper, right? WRONG. I have found the answer to your prayers, all of your financial problems solved. Well, not all of them but you sure will save some money, and who doesn’t love saving money?!
Picture this, being able to buy cheap ink and toner cartridges that are 100% compatible with your printer without having to spend a small fortune for the branded stuff that is "the only thing you should put in your printer".
Which Cartridge sells all the best ink and toner cartridges for a fraction of their branded price (think BeautyPie, but for printers). All you have to do is hop onto their website, put in which printer you own - get it, WHICH printer? - and the site shows you ink and toner cartridges for the best prices as well as branded cartridges, if you can afford to fork out; but, to be honest, why would you when there are so many drinks you can buy with that leftover money?
So, save yourself some pennies and grab your ink and toner cartridges on Which and you can thank me later over a drink(which you can afford with the money you’ve saved on printing).
Christmas is easily my favourite time of year. There's nothing I love more than having nothing else to do other than enjoy amazing food, drink allll the alcohol and watch heartwarming films (let's forget that I work non-stop over the Christmas period at a bar). One other thing I really love about the Christmas season is choosing and giving gifts to loved ones; there's really something magical about picking out something for your nearest and dearest.
This year I want to spread my love of gift giving with my lovely readers, so I'll be writing a (probably small) series of Christmas gift guides. An amazing brand named Zimpli Kids ever so kindly sent me a few of their bestsellers to try out, and I couldn't recommend them enough! If you're looking for something that the kids will love, creates virtually no mess and is wallet friendly,then these are the gifts for you.
You can't beat fake snow, there's no doubt about that. I've bought fake snow every year for the past three or four years now, it just really adds to the Christmas magic. It's only £4.99 for a pack of four bags which will make around 15 snowballs each, and instructions come inside. You can find these bad boys at your local The Entertainer. While these are great for the kids to play with fake snowballs in the garden, fake snow is also super cute to use as decoration (it does dissolve, though) and I'll definitely be putting mine outside the house come Christmas time. Why not use some leftover powder for Santa's footsteps?!
As I mentioned above, this fake snow will dissolve so it's relatively mess free - win, win! (Cute penguin decoration not included, but you can find him at Paperchase)
I can remember having Gelli Baff as a child, so I feel really nostalgic writing about it right now. As a child, I saw bath time as a time for creation and playing (thanks to my mum for faffing with bubbles, and my stepmum for playing every made up game I could think of) and Zimpli Kids' Gelli Baff and Slime Baff make it even more fun.
Slime has really taken the world by storm over the past year or so - I know my eight year old stepbrother likes to make a mess with it. Slime Baff allows for the kids to play with slime without getting it into the p*ssing carpet (as I've definitely said on multiple occasions). Not only is it super easy to create - just add the powder to your bath - but it can also be diluted with more water and drained away, no harm done; trust me, the drainage in my halls is shocking and the slime went down relatively easily. How much fun will this be for the kids?! You can even put some in a bowl, if you've got more patience than I do.
Gelli Baff is the exact same as Slime Baff, just with a chunkier, gel sort of texture instead of slime (if you hadn't already guessed!). The Gelli Baff can't be drained as easily as Slime Baff, thanks to its texture, but Zimpli Kids have already thought of this and have thrown in a dissolver which turns the gel back to water. Once again, no mess!
Bath time will get a whole lot more fun with these two products, or you can even make them in a big bowl for the kids to play with outside (if I can do it in a tupperware tub, you can too!). You can buy a single use of Gelli Baff or Slime Baff for £4.99 each, or you can buy two uses for £9.99 each. Both products come with instructions and the Gelli Baff comes with a dissolver for each use. Don't these just make the best stocking fillers?
Disclaimer: The products used in this post were gifted.
If you're a Bieber fan like me, you'll know November 13th is the date that the Purpose album released three years ago. Well, did you know it's also my birthday? I turn 19 today (which I'm finding very daunting, 19 is not a childhood age anymore) so I thought it would be nice to share with you 19 things that I've learned in my 19 years...should I say 19 again?
1. It can take you a while to find who you are and be true to yourself (a huge cliché, I know). I only realised last week that the place I became most myself was at my workplace back home, and I've stuck by that person through moving to uni in Cardiff (I may have held back on the intensity a bit to begin with). It's pretty nice to be able to say that, on the whole, I like the person that I am.
2. Finding time for yourself is super important. This can be self-care/mental health days or simply giving yourself a half hour or so to read a book - I've set myself the challenge of reading at least a chapter of my current book each day, so that I can switch off.
3. You don't need loads of friends, or to be the most popular. I love having a handful of close friends, and the phrase "quality over quantity" is definitely true when it comes to my friendships.
4. Animals will change your life. I cannot express enough how happy and soothed a cuddle with my dogs or cats makes me feel.
5. Sometimes, things don't go to plan. Your world can be thrown upside down, but you will feel better once you're out the end of it.
6. Exploring new places is one of the best things to do with your spare time. I urge you to travel and explore (even if it's just locally) as much as you can.
7. You should always try to be nice to people, you never know when you may be making someone's day!
8. I hate to sound like a teacher, but getting things done early will reduce stress massively.
9. It's important to understand when and where you're at your most productive.
10. You are always learning things about yourself, make sure you're open to this!
16. You're allowed to crave a Chinese every day of the week.
17. Effort is a two-way thing; it's important to recognise who is and isn't worth your time.
18. Not wearing makeup everyday can lead to a shit load of compliments when you go all out - but also, you should wear as much or as little as you like.
19. Simple home comforts are definitely under-appreciated before you move into halls, I've now learned that nothing can replace a nice hot bath (and that next year's student house must have one).
If you read my recent post, you'll know that I'm trying to dedicate more time to reading now that I don't have to constantly study books for A Level English. Not only am I try to read more but I'm also trying to learn about more things and 'expand my brain', so the next book I decided to pick up was God: A Human History of Religion by Reza Aslan...and oh my god (if you pardon the pun), it blew my mind.
The book revolved around Christianity a little too much for my liking, I would've liked to have seen more major religions included too. However, I can't stress enough how interesting God was and how much I've learned - I was texting people every 2 minutes with a new piece of information. If you're wanting to read something non-fiction and insanely interesting, I'd definitely recommend.
Do any of you read non-fiction - and if so, do you have any recommendations? Let me know if you'll give this book a read, I can guarantee you'll learn something! As always, thank you for reading.
You only have to ask a member of my family to find out that I'm a very messy person. I often have to tell people that while my personal spaces are often super cluttered, I have to be very organised in my mind. You may be thinking, what on earth does that mean? Well, here's a quick post on how I keep myself mentally organised, despite my surroundings (sometimes) being a tip.
Quick side note: I say I'm messy, but I really try and tidy up after myself! (This usually means I tidy my uni room about three times a day, though)
Another way I keep myself organised is to have a routine. I've really struggled with settling into a routine at uni and to be honest I'm not sure I've fully mastered it yet, but it does make a difference. Even though I feel like I'm constantly catching up on sleep, I set myself an alarm for the same time each day; it means that I can get more done in the hours I have and my body isn't being messed about (except for Friday nights!). I also try and set myself "study times", these differ from day to day based on when I'm in university but they really help with discipline, because sometimes I can procrastinate like my life depends on it.
This one may sound a little hypocritical, but a tidy and organised space really does help with an organised mind. I can say that I know where everything is in my room even when it looks like a bomb's exploded but, let's be honest, no one wants to wade through a pile of gym clothes to get to their notebook. Like I said earlier, I try and tidy up after myself as I go along but often I really am like a little tornado. To (sort of) combat this I give my room and bathroom a big clean every Friday, which is conveniently the day I finish the earliest. I do the whole shebang - pick up crap off the floor, organise and clean my desk and shelves, hoover, bleach and clean the bathroom and shower etc - and it makes me feel much better and more mentally organised. It would be nice to not have to do a military-operation clean up once a week but nobody's perfect!
Thank you for giving this little post a read, I really think it's important to have a clean and organised mind to ensure that you're on top of things. My next goal is to be less messy at home! What are your organisation tricks?
I've always loved reading; as a child my nose was always stuck in a book and at school my favourite subject was English Literature. Unfortunately my love for English Lit meant that my love for reading had to take a back seat as I studied it for my A Levels, and I can honestly say I don't think I read more than two books for fun during my entire time studying. Now that I've got some free time I've been reading much more and I thought it would be nice to share some books I've enjoyed every now and then. So enough of my rambling, here's a book I loved.
My mum recommended The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan to me after she read it during our trip to Bournemouth and she couldn't put it down. We both have a very similar taste in books so I took her word for it. To be honest, it took me a while to get into the book as I found the start a little slow and the chops and changes in the timeline are a little confusing but once I'd got into it, I really got into it.
The Keeper of Lost Things follows Laura on her task of fulfilling the last wishes of her employer, a writer. Laura must reunite the (incredibly random) lost items that her employer has collected over the years with their owners. Along the way Laura befriends a wonderful character named Sunshine who will honestly fill your heart with joy, and of course there's the love interest of Freddy, who Laura thinks she isn't 'enough' for and will make you want to rip your hair out.
I think my favourite part of the book was how easy it was to fall in love with the characters, especially Sunshine. I also liked how the ending gave you a very good amount of closure, something not all books do which can leave me struggling to read something new for a while. One thing I wasn't so keen on was (without spoilers) that the plot was a little unrealistic at times, but I understand that this was crucial to the story and it's definitely just my personal preference.
If you're looking for a lighthearted story that will have you a little bit teary (but in a good way) at the end, then The Keeper of Lost Things is right up your street. It's a lovely novel that will definitely warm your heart.
As always, thank you for reading. I'm hoping to write about books more often, now that I've actually got time to read them. What are some books you've enjoyed recently? Please drop me some recommendations!
I'm really not sure how to start or even write this post, so I'm apologising in advance for the inevitable bad writing. As those of you who have read my posts in the past will know, I started university and moved to Cardiff in September. After moving in, I managed to publish a pre-written post, but then I disappeared. So, where have I been?
I've been loving university and I've made some friends already, as well as bagging a job. I headed home this weekend for the first time since moving and it's given me a new lease of life and I'm definitely feeling ready to come back to my blog, so please let me know what you'd like to see. I was planning on doing Blogtober and Blogmas this year, but I'm not going to push myself too much!
Thank you so much for reading/coming back to my blog after my unexplained absence. This post may have seemed a little pointless and 'sulky', but I promise I've got some good stuff planned!
I rarely write about food or cooking on my blog, but that's because I don't do a whole lot of cooking at home. Now that I'm off to uni, I think I'd like to make a habit of writing about some recipes I've tried out and enjoyed. I came across this lamb kofta recipe online and really loved them, so why don't you give it a go yourself?
So there's the easy lamb koftas! They're so quick and straightforward to do, and if I can afford to I'll love making these at university. Let me know if you've tried them out, and please recommend some recipes to me as I'm dying to try new things.
I haven't written a post in my 'Happy Moments' since I fell in love with Washington Square Park over two months ago (!!). If you're new here, my Happy Moments series is where I write about things that have happened recently that have made me really happy. My third post is bittersweet, as the things that have made me happy are people who are all going their separate ways this year.
I sometimes refer to my job on my blog, but I never go into a whole lot of detail about it. Well, I've been working at a restaurant for just under two years and I've met some people who I'm now lucky enough to call my best friends. If you read my post about friendships earlier this year, you'll know I was pretty willing to cut a fair few people off - but none of these!
If you've read my 'Life Update' or 'A Level Results' posts, you'll know that I received my A Level grades and I'm off to uni. While I think these posts of mine may be a little repetitive, I want to touch on how I had to go through Clearing and how the entire process really impacted my mental health.
People who know me will know I get overwhelmed very easily and when I was told that I'd need to decide in two days about moving to somewhere I'd never even been I immediately went into 'freak out' mode. The next day, I'd done a complete U-turn and decided I was going to take a year out. I really enjoy my job and I was hoping I'd be able to get some work experience and travel slotted into the 12 months between now and September 2019. I really didn't want to 'waste' a year, but it honestly seemed like my only option.
En route to visit some family the day of my deadline, my mum and I took a detour to Cardiff so I could get a feel for the city and see if I wanted to defer and go there in 2019. I think sometimes you just know and I immediately really liked it. I was still anxious and unsure of what to do so I phoned up and asked if I could defer - to which they said no. Cue more stress, panic and a biiiig emotional meltdown.
Sorry if my uni related posts seem a bit samey but it's been nice for me to get the whole process out without having to shorten it to one post. The entire week after results really knocked my mental health and I'm glad to say now that I've got a uni place, accommodation and, of course, some freshers' tickets that I'm in a much better place, but that's not to say anyone is meant to take the same path. I guess this is just me saying that I did what I knew would be best for me in the long run and that I'm proud of myself for taking the bull by the horns.
How do you react when things don't go your way?
This past year has been beyond stressful and exhausting in every sense of the word. While I've actually managed to somewhat switch off over the few months between my last A Level exam and results day, all of this stress and exhaustion began to pile back up in the weeks coming up to the big day; I'm not going to sugar coat it, things got worse before they got better.
So, I got my results. I'm actually really pleased with them except for my English grade (which I'm getting remarked), but unfortunately, despite all of my hard work, I didn't get into my first choice university. If you've read my 'future plans' post, you'll know that I no longer wanted to go to my insurance uni so I had to go through the whole clearing process. I will write about the struggles after I got my results and how the whole clearing process went in a second post, however you'll know from my 'Life Update' that I have got a place to start at Cardiff University in September.
Anyway, thank you for reading this little ramble. I promise the second post will be more cohesive. How did you cope when you got your exam results? Let me know!
(PS a little update as this was meant to go up last week: my English grade was remarked and it went up!)
I rarely (read: never) write about my proper personal life on my blog, and I really think it prevents me from creating a true, raw bond with my readers. After having a pretty hectic time recently, I thought I'd write a little life update based around my previous 'future plans' post.
Well, there's a little life update for you! Are you going to uni this year? Or if you're already there, how did you find the beginning? Let me know!
With all of these beautiful, bikini clad Victoria's Secret models swarming my Instagram feed I can often find it hard to appreciate and love the body that I was born with. The phrase "body positivity" is thrown around too much for my liking and I think it now lacks depth, because what does "body positivity" actually mean?
People start their own blogs for all kinds of reasons and I think everyone has their own unique story and background for theirs. I love reading about why other people decided to go into blogging, so here are a few reasons why I wanted to start putting my thoughts onto the internet.
2. I love sharing my experiences with people. Whether it's places I've been, things I've tried or just stuff that's happened in my life or things I've learned about myself ... I just love writing it all down and sharing it with the world. I also really like looking back on past posts and seeing what I've been up to.
Okay, that last point may have been more so why I stick to blogging but even so, I honestly love doing this and I love getting positive feedback. Running a blog is so much fun and if it ever becomes difficult to do (which happened around my exams), I am reminded of how much I enjoy taking the time out of my busy days to sit down and write out my thoughts. As always, thank you for reading.
Please don't take this post personally, it is simply an observation I've made - and please note, I am speaking for myself in this post and use 'we' very lightly. This may also seem like a bit of waffle, because I really am just typing my thoughts.
With the rise of social media and seeing celebrities such as the Kardashians always having the next best thing, I think we've become a lot more aware of what we have in comparison to others - be it our lifestyle or our actual belongings. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford certain luxuries and I know many people save for a long time before treating themselves to a sought after item. My question is; why? Why do we care so much about owning products purely because of their label? I know I'm very guilty of it.
I recently visited New York, and couldn't wait to show off the two new designer bags I'd bought while I was there, yet I failed to tell my followers and Snapchat friends that I'd bought both of the bags half price. The same with my purse and card holder, both designer - one was a gift and the other I bought for a bargain on Depop. Why do I want to show off my labelled items when I know that I haven't paid the full price for them? Does that make me a fraud?