Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Country Livin'

Last September, we moved 5 miles up the road from our old house to become country bumpkins. My dad is training to be a minister and we live just up the road from his church, sandwiched between a country road and the fields. Usually, I wouldn't think twice about how amazing  this is, purely because I have always lived a 10 minute walk away from fields, but now I really do live in the country. 

 It takes less than a minute to get from our house to the fields outside of our house which you can see from some of the bedrooms, and they are gorgeous. I can't believe I don't appreciate them as much as I should. My friends came down from London and absolutely loved it which it made me realise I should appreciate it a lot more than I do.


 You don't have to walk for long to appreciate how pretty it is. Its nice to just be out in the fresh air and doing something rather than just sitting cooped up inside. Its definitely one of my aims to walk more when I am home. 

 It only takes half an hour to walk round the loop but that half an hour is so calming and refreshing, as well as being good for me, so it is definitely something I'm going to try and make the effort to do more often.



Do you live in the countryside? Are you like me and take where you live for Granted? Are you wanting to change that?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Religious Studies | Frozen and Religion

 I have decided to start a new series, known as my religious studies series, where I will discuss ideas I have found interesting or different in my course and studies of religion. I know this may not appeal to everyone,  but it is something that really interests me and I thought I would share a few of my ideas with some of you because it might actually be of interest to someone! 

 My first post of this series is going to be Frozen and religion. I personally think Frozen is one of the best Disney films yet, I absolutely loved it. I have an Anna Bowl, two Frozen cups and a Frozen phone case and I'm closer to 21 than 5. Anyway, I really liked the message from Frozen and I saw some links to the Christian teachings. I am not a Christian myself, but as I have studied it for a long time and members of my family and friends are Christian, I feel as though I have a good knowledge of the teachings. My first two points are directly linked to Christianity, whereas my third point is just something we have discussed in my lectures which I felt fitted quite well with the Frozen film.

Love is Patient, Love is Kind - 1 Corinthians

 Love is the key theme in this film in my opinion. Love is what starts the ice because Anna makes Elsa so angry when she is declaring her love for Hans, but love is also what saves Arendelle from being frozen over forever. 

 Anna shows her love in going after Elsa and Kristoff, Olaf and Sven all show their love for Anna when she is hit by Elsa. True Love, Family Love and Friendly love all crop up at some point during this film. The main act of love though is when Anna is frozen and Elsa hugs her and shows she loves her which thaws her. This is when the sisters realise that love thaws evil and the ice begins to melt. Love being a key theme in Christianity, I think this is demonstrated clearly throughout Frozen. 

Sacrifice

 A key theme in Christianity is sacrifice. Jesus is said to have sacrificed himself for humanity's sins and the theme of sacrifice is one that comes through in this film as well. Although Anna sees Kristoff running towards her to save her, she sees that her sister is in trouble and immediately begins to run. Sacrificing herself to save her sister from Hans.

 Another example I would give is Elsa sacrificing her friendship with her sister to protect her. It was clear that they were incredibly close friends but then Anna is hit with ice. Elsa sacrifices being close to Anna and is locked away in her room and actually I saw this as a sacrifice on Elsa's behalf as she didn't want her to be hurt. 

Frozen and Feminism

 I think Frozen demonstrates some really important values. One of these is the equality of males and females. Usually it is the prince who saves the princess, but in this film it is the princess saving the queen and I think that is lovely, it shows that both males and females can have an equal impact on each other. It is a really powerful message and I think Frozen portrays it brilliantly as well.

Overall, Frozen is a great film, I think its impossible not to like it! It has some religious themes throughout it which I think is interesting because as far as I am aware disney isn't particularly religious - for me, it is a reminder that religion always affects popular culture, and popular culture always affects religion. 

 What have you thought of this post? Would you like to see more of this style of post?

Monday, 22 September 2014

University | 10 Tips for Freshers

 As freshers grace the halls of Universities around the UK, I thought I would do a little post giving tips for those who have just started. I'm just starting my third year at Canterbury Christ Church University and thinking back to 1st year just makes me so happy, it was amazing! 

One | Make sure you take the time to know your flatmates, and be considerate of them - You have to live with them for a whole year, its best to start off on good terms!

Two | Get involved as much as you can - go to freshers events (I wish I had gone to more!), sign up to societies that interest you and just generally get stuck in (you don't always have to go out to get involved, you could organise a dinner party or a come dine with me between your flat!)

Three | Work hard but play a lot more. Many Uni courses don't count first year in your actual degree, so whilst you have to work hard to make sure you are passing (40%) your modules, the workload becomes a lot heavier in second year so make the most of being able to go out and socialise in year one!

Four | Eat healthily/well. If you don't eat well you will end up running yourself down to the ground and making yourself ill

Five | Stay in contact with home - both your friends and family will want to know what you've been up to, and I'm sure you'll want to know what they have been up to as well

Six | If you don't like your course, talk to someone about it early on. It will be harder to change the further through the year you get

Seven | Ask for help if you need it - if you are struggling with uni work, talk to your lecturers or personal tutor if you have on, or if you have an issue in halls there is usually a warden you can chat too

Eight | Make the most of your student discount - always ask if shops have it because saving yourself money will become a new and incredibly exciting thing

Nine | Gain independance - I know you already have by moving away from home but making sure you do things like signing up for the doctors is showing you really know how to care for yourself

Ten | Enjoy yourself! This is the most important tip of all. You will be nervous and homesick at times but at the end of the day, going to uni is so exciting and such a great experience. Learn from your mistakes and have fun! 

 If you have any more tips for freshers, please post them in the comments below! If you want any more specific tips I'm more than happy to answer! You can comment or email me suitcaseandsandals@outlook.com if you would rather keep it private!

I hope these tips have helped at least one of you! I'm so unbelievably jealous, I wish I could do freshers all over again!


Friday, 19 September 2014

University | Room Tour

Welcome to my new room! I have moved in with three of my girlie pals from Canterbury and our house is just gorgeous. I've been so excited to move in, and couldn't wait to share my room with you.

My Room

 I love my room. I think it is the perfect size, the only annoying thing is that the wardrobe and bookshelf have been pinned to the wall so I can't mix it up a little if I get bored of the positioning of my room! But oh well...For now I like the way it is so fingers crossed I don't get bored.








My gorgeous pillow was made by my lovely boyfriend, Dan, last year for my 20th Birthday! I love it so much. Its so me, and goes really well with the rest of my room. My blanket is my uni blanket from my mum! Its so warm and colourful. My bunting is made by my Grandma and its so girlie! My room is full of things people have made for me which I think makes it even more special.


What do you think of my new room? Do you like how I've decorated it?

Remember to check out my MAC lipstick giveaway as it ends really soon! You can enter here. Good luck!



Sunday, 14 September 2014

Dolphins, Jet Skis and Shooting Stars

We are just back from a two week visit to possibly my favourite place on earth, a little town in Turkey called Davutlar. It was my third time there, and I already want to go back. You can see a guest post on Turkey I did here to give you a bit of background about what I have previously seen here. This post is specifically about the things we got up to this visit!


 Dan, and Gi (who is my sister's friend) joined us this year, and neither of them have ever been to Turkey before so it was nice for us to be able to show them some of our favourite things. For the first few days we took it extremely slowly. There is a massive pool on the Site we stay on, and for the majority of the day it is quiet. Literally, there are times when I have been in the pool by myself. It is amazing when you consider that this pool is shared by 50 villas, that sleep 8 people each.



 The first 'proper' thing we did was hit Davutlar Market on Sunday. I love this market, its so small but you can find loads of bargains there, especially little knick knack bits. I especially like this one because it isn't too hassley unlike the Kusadasi market (which we still did!). They also sell Gozleme, which are like pancakes I guess but they are amazing, I had the mince meat one and it is gorgoeeeous! I want to make it at home. Kusadasi market is a lot bigger, but I got a couple of goodies from there too.

   One of my favourite things to do in Turkey is go out at sea on a boat trip. The boat trip is something I have done every time I have been to Turkey and it is honestly beautiful. The views you see are something else and it is just nice to be on the boat. I had heard that there was a chance of seeing dolphins in the wild, but I know that it is incredibly rare after talking to other people on the site. However, this time we actually saw them! It was so amazing. The captain drove us right over to the dolphins, and Dan was able to get on the plank at the front of the boat so the dolphins actually swam under him! Honestly, it was one of the best experiences ever. I felt so lucky!





 One of the bonuses of holidaying where the Turks holiday is that it is incredibly cheap. We decided to Jet Ski because it only cost 60TL (£18 roughly) for me and Dan to have a go for 10 minutes. Such a good price! It was quite scary but super fun too. Neither Dan nor I had ever done this before so it was really cool to be able to do something like this in one of my favourite places.


To carry on with the theme of a holiday of firsts, I also saw two shooting stars above the mountains. I have never seen shooting stars before and they were so pretty! 


  All in all, our holiday in Turkey was so relaxing but we saw a lot as well. I always hate coming home because I never feel as relaxed as I do there. Fingers crossed we'll be back soon!

Have you ever been to Turkey? Would you like to go?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Holiday Fashion | Turkey

I love getting dressed up for dinner whilst I'm on holiday. Here are some of the outfits I wore whilst we were away!

  Necklace: New Look
Playsuit: TopShop
Sandals: New Look


Dress: Missguided
Bag: ASDA
Shoes: New Look



Dress: ASOS
Bag: ASDA
Shoes: New Look
Ring: Turkish Shop
Nails: Em's Nails



Playsuit: Missguided
Bag: Zatchels
Shoes: New Look



Dress: TopShop
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Kusadasi Market

Hope you like some of the outfits I chose to wore on my holiday! I love my black playsuit so much, and can't wait to wear it with my new necklace from the Kusadasi market.

What is your favourite of these looks?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Review | Eat, Pray Love

Eat, Pray, Love is the 2006 autobiographical novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, which was turned into a film as well in 2010. It is one of my all time favourite books, and I've read it multiple times since reading it for the first time on holiday in Turkey when I was 19. It is one of the most inspiring books, and I always feel so empowered and ready to take on a challenge after reading it. The film is a pretty good adaptation too which made the magic of the book last a little longer! 

Update - this year (2016) a new book has been released called "Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It" and I'm currently working my way through this book now. It's just as inspiring as the book itself, and it's so nice to read the stories of what this lovely book empowered people to do!


  The story follows Elizabeth who decides, after "a bitter divorce and a rebound fling" that she wants to head off into the world, specifically Rome, India and Bali, to refresh herself and realise what she has. Starting off in Rome she learns Italian which is something she always wanted to do. I think this is a lovely part of the story because for me it shows her to invest in herself and the things she has always wanted to do. Investing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do, and I love that Liz is an advocate of this!



 She then heads to India. As a religious studies student this section of the book really appeals to me as it is about her time in an Ashram in India. I loved hearing about some of the religion in India and about Elizabeth finding enlightenment in this Ashram. However, I was actually writing a dissertation on gurus, and I suggested looking at this and apparently there was some uproar about the guru that she followed in the novel although I'm not quite sure what it was. I did still find it interesting though and in my opinion it still has some worth because it was Gilbert's personal experience of religion in India. I did enjoy reading about Liz's determination to get something out of her time in her Ashram despite struggling a bit at the beginning.

 Onto Bali, and we meet a medicine man. This is one of the loveliest parts of the novels for me. Elizabeth helps a friend with little money to be able to build a house which is one of my favourite bits of the book, it's so nice to see everyone coming together for this woman and her family. By now, Liz has learnt to let herself be who she wants to be. The blurb says that being in Bali leaves 'her ready to love again' through the medicine man helping her to find peace and I definitely think that sums it up well. Liz meets a man here, and it is so nice to see her find happiness at the end of her journey (or, you could say the beginning!). 

 Overall, I just really love the way this book is written and I find it so inspiring. It makes me want to travel and see amazing places, learn more about religion and wander around Italy eating pasta and gelato whilst following what I want to do, and who I want to be. For me, the story of Eat, Pray, Love is a transformative novel both for the reader, and for the author! I can't wait to read this book again...

 Have you ever read Eat, Pray, Love? What did you think of it?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Bloggers I love

 Today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite blogs to read. I think immediately after reading this you should all go and visit the blogs I post here because they are truly fantastic. I love their content and style and I thought they were worth sharing with you all. 

Blonde Vision

Blonde Vision 
is a blog that I found very early on when I started blogging. Lauren, who writes the blog, is so lovely and I especially love her posts about her travels. However, she blogs about a lot of different subjects so there is something for everyone! Personally, you should head right over there now to check out what she has to say!

A Yellow Brick Blog

 I absolutely love Kirstie's blog, A Yellow Brick Blog. She does the most amazing 'Dress like Disney' posts where she finds clothing which looks like what the disney character would wear. You should really check them out. She also has a youtube channel and I always get so excited when I see a new one, I love the friendly style of her videos!

Dulcie Avenue

Dulcie, from Dulcie Avenue is not only gorgeous and lovely, but a fantastic blogger too. I love heading over to her page to check out what she has written about recently. Her OOTD posts are some of my favourite, I love seeing the clothes she wears. 

Emsypickle

 Emsypickle is written by the lovely Emsy. I love her lifestyle posts especially, and her fashion posts too, she always looks gorgeous! I have really been enjoying her GBBO series recently, her yule log looked incredible. Her holiday post made me so jealous too, it was gorgeous - definitely one to check out.

Love From Be

Be from Love From Be is one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers. I especially like the way she is honest with her readers, and speaks highly of other bloggers she likes, its really nice to see! Her DIY posts are great too, I love seeing what she has been making recently. 

Mapped Out

Georgia from Mapped Out is one of the reasons I started blogging so I'm very grateful to her for that because I love it. I have followed her blog since November last year when it began and it is easily one of my favourites. She always looks fantastic, and I love reading her lifestyle posts too. Her guides are extremely helpful and I have already directed my sister to her University checklist page. 

 All of these bloggers are amazing and you really need to check out their blogs right now! I love how they all have their own way of writing and blogging but still manage to draw me in every time. Hopefully this post will have helped you discover a new blog you love, or taken you back to one you already know of and love too!


 Have you read any of these blogs before? Do you have any recommendations of blogs I should read?

Monday, 1 September 2014

University | So Far

 I can't quite believe that I am heading into my third year of University in a few weeks time. It literally seems like yesterday that I was the fresher who arrived and who's Dad dropped her box of alcohol on the stairs stinking out the halls for weeks. Yes, I was known as 'Alcohol Girl' for a while too. I was more upset about the fact that I had lost some of the alcohol I spent hard-earned money on (might I add the box lasted the majority of the first year, and I only recently threw out some of the Sourz Cans I had decided against drinking so I didn't have to worry).



 Freshers was a blur of some work, but mainly play. Even if I said I wasn't going out, I would end up in the kitchen downstairs in my disco pants with a vodka and coke in my hand, always. There were three of us in the flat upstairs (we were third floor, grrr!) and seven in the flat on the ground floor plus numerous friends spread out across the city. I finished with 60%, and I was chuffed.


 Second year involved a lot more hard work on my behalf and boy did it show. I raised my grade by 6% and ended up getting no lower than 62 all year (including two firsts which I never thought possible!). I was shocked but very happy, despite being incredibly lost for the first month or so and crying alot on my bed worrying about how on earth I was going to finish the degree, I had actually done really well. There were fun times too though, highlights were birthdays (obviously!) and house parties which resulted in a stupid amount of bottles having to be thrown away from one night. The summerball was another highlight, as this year ALL of our friends were there which made the night even better. 




Now the real work starts. I've sat a lot of times this summer pondering what on earth I'm going to do my dissertation on, and now in a couple of weeks time it will all become real once more.


On the bright side, I'm so excited to be sharing a house that is a 15 minute walk away from Dan's, living with three of my closest friends in Canterbury, doing a course I love and having at least four 21st birthdays already booked in for the first month that we are back! I'm excited to get stuck back in, and I think last year prepared me more for my third year so hopefully I won't feel as lost in the first few weeks!


 Are you at University? Do you have any tips for third year? Or questions/advice needed if you are a fresher?
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