Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015

The time between Christmas and New Year is always a period of reflection for me. I'm not sure what it is but there's something in the air that makes me feel ready for change, and very reflective on the year I've just had. I like to think back over the year and what I've achieved, and where perhaps I'd really like to improve on things in the next year. 2015 has been an absolute whirlwind of a year, and is up there as one of my best years yet. I've loved the majority of the year, and I'd like to think I will be entering 2016 a much happier person in general. Although there has been some downfalls (including losing my family cat after 18 years, and not travelling as much as I had hoped) the year as a whole has been one that will be impossible to forget!


 2015 has been the year that:

  • I became a Religious Studies graduate from Canterbury Christ Church University, graduating with a fabulous 2:1 which I was so happy with. I was sad to see university go, but also ready to move on. My graduation day was one of the best days of my life.I felt so proud, and spent the day with my wonderful family celebrating my success which was really nice. Another bonus was that I got to be reunited with some of my university friends after a long summer apart!
  • I entered the world of work a month after leaving university. I'm finally used to the early wake ups, and am honestly really enjoying my job. I've learnt a lot of new thing and am growing in confidence in my role. My team is great, and I feel supported and happy so that's always a good thing. I'm excited to see what work brings for me in the new year - I'm feeling motivated after my break to learn new things and achieve a lot more.
  • My blog had a redesign this year, and I'm so happy with the outcome. I've grown my following on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin which I am so proud of, and have written some posts that I am proud of too! I even attempted blogtober and got to day 26 which isn't a bad effort. I've been struggling a little with motivation and content ideas recently, but I still love blogging so I've been taking it step by step, and will continue to do so in the New Year.
  • Dan and I took a huge leap and moved in together...with my parents.It's been fantastic, and I love that it also signifies us moving closer to our goal of owning our own place together. It's been a lot of fun living together so far and I'm looking forward to the new year so we can slow down a bit and enjoy each others company even more.
  • I stuck to my New Years resolutions. The first being to write one good thing about every single day in a gratitude journal. I loved doing this, and think I have found myself a new tradition! My other resolution was to stop washing my hair everyday, and my hair is in much better condition entering 2016 than it was at the start of this year.

It's safe to say that I've had a pretty successful year. I'm feeling pretty content and ready to face the challenges and highs of 2016. Having said that though, if time could slow down a little that would be ideal because I'm pretty sure I'm going to blink and I'll be writing about what I achieved in 2016, which would not be OK (just yet anyway...)!

How was 2015 for you?
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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas Traditions

Now that it is finally December, and Dan's birthday has been and gone, the christmas celebrations have begun. Christmas really is one of the most magical times of the year, there's a lovely feel in the air, and the promise of not only celebrating the past year, but also a sense of looking forward to the future and the exciting things to come.


Tradition One - Spending time with Family

For me, Christmas has always been hugely orientated towards spending time with family and enjoying the day with them which I love. We either spend it alone, with either set of grandparents, or sometimes even with extended family members such as cousins - but usually our Christmas' are small and focused on spending time together as a family. In the past couple of years, Dan and his family have become part of my Christmas too which is lovely.

Tradition Two - PJ's

Ever since I was very small, my parents tended to buy both my sister and I a pair of PJ's and it has become a tradition. We both absolutely love getting our Christmas PJ's and it makes going to bed on Christmas so much nicer - I love this tradition, because it is such a simple one but so lovely too!

Tradition Three - Getting the Tree

Getting the tree with my sister and dad has been something we've done since I was really small. I love that feeling when we are sitting in the car on the way home with a tree we know our mum will absolutely hate because it's "too big"! We always knew it was getting close to Christmas if we were off to get the tree, it was a great feeling.

Tradition Four - Wigilia

 My dad is half Polish and so every year we have a meal on Christmas Eve known as Wigilia, which is one of the ways Christmas is celebrated in Poland. I love having this tradition that reminds me of where I am from, especially as I am yet to go to Poland. It is a really special tradition, and one I hope to continue for years to come!

Tradition Five - Spending time with Dan

Since we have been together we have spent a day together somewhere which has felt so festive and Christmassy. Two years ago we had a day in London together, at Winter Wonderland, and last year we spent a day at the Harry Potter Studios which was great, especially as it was so christmassy - we really got in the spirit, and Harry Potter is something that always reminds me of Christmas. This year, as we are both working, I think we will probably just have a Christmas film day instead, as we are both just so tired!

What are your Christmas traditions?

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

5 Things to Do When You are Having a Bad Week

Last week was terrible. I did my best at work, but with the other member of my team away, and everyone being so busy due to the season, I didn't get it all done. I hate doing this, and I find it quite stressful at the best of times. I also had a car crash. My first ever one, and I hit a deer on the way home from work. It was petrifying, and my car is now off the road and costing me £500 to repair. Thankfully, the deer was OK, and I wasn't hurt - but still, it was pretty rubbish. HOWEVER, despite having a terrible week, I got through it, and I feel so much better for that.


Here's a few things I like to do when I'm having a bad week.

One/ Have a super early night - One night last week, I came home, had dinner and got into bed at around 8 o clock. I was too tired to even consider reading my book, and eventually fell asleep. Although I was still tired the next day (always so so tired!), I felt so much better for just giving in and giving my body the rest it clearly needed.

Two/ Have a bubble bath - I am a Lush addict, and there truly is nothing better than getting warmed up in a Lush bath. My bath bomb of choice was Intergalactic, and I truly felt like a space princess. The water was such a dark blue, and was sooo incredibly sparkly which is right up my street. There is nothing more relaxing than just lying in a sparkly bath.

Three/ Take some time out to relax with friends and family - On two occasions I went out to the cinema last week. I saw "He Named Me Malala" and "The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 2". I love going to the cinema, and find it really relaxing. I'm definitely pleased that I took the time out to go and see both of them.

Four/ Communicate - Communicate that you are finding things tough, things are always a lot better when you have people rooting for you and encouraging you to keep going and to get things right. I find this incredibly helpful, and I'm lucky to have supportive people in all walks of my life.

Five/ Start your day with a cuppa - I always always start my day with a cup of tea. It's my favourite, and I love having a hot drink to start the day and get me going. Continuing with these things during tough weeks will always make me feel better, and know that the challenges won't always be there.

Having a tough week is always rubbish, but these are just a few things that I find helps me get through the week no matter what has happened. Finding way to cope with having a bad day or week has helped me so much, I always feel a sense of achievement knowing I got through it.

How do you cope with a bad week?
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Life

 Life is getting busier by the day; I'm busy at work, I'm busy at home, I'm busy during the week and I'm busy at the weekends too. Recently I've not been able to read as many blogs as I want, and you've probably noticed that I've been posting less and less. So I've decided to take the pressure out of it for a while until things slow down at work and in life in general. I'm going to post as and when I feel like it, because I've been feeling as though I should be posting, which has made me want to post less and less despite missing blogging alot.


My blog is something I am proud of, and something I want to last not just fizzle out. So instead of worrying about whether I have posted or not, I'm just going with the flow until the craziness stills a little and I have more time to be able to write the posts I want to be writing instead of just coming up with random ideas to fill the gaps.

But, I'm really enjoying instagram at the moment, and I will ALWAYS be tweeting, because who doesn't love twitter? You can find my tweets here and pop over to my instagram for pretty pictures of my food, my village and as many Lush bath bombs as my purse will allow. Hopefully some Christmas snaps will make their way up soon too, which everyone seems to be just as excited for as I am, which is ideal.

Stay warm and cosy in this absolutely frozen weather..
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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Reasons To Be Thankful

 I've had a short and spontaneous break away from blogging after thoroughly enjoying blogtober (well, blogtober until day 26), and it has done me wonders. I have missed blogging though, and missed reading blogs even more - I love reading them, especially in the mornings before work. It helps me to start the day off in a good mood, knowing I have already had some time to myself.


Blogtober was a fantastic experience, and although I didn't complete it fully - posting 26 out of 31 days is still a good achievement I think. I did really enjoy it, and admire people who blog everday so much - it was definitely a good challenge for me! My own schedule is usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday but I have decided to switch it about slightly. I will now be posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, just for a change!

During my random hiatus, I have been feel incredibly lucky. My gorgeous drives in the work are full of positive and happy thoughts. For me, there are plenty of reasons to be thankful, and recently I've been feeling incredibly lucky and positive about things in general. Writing them all down will remind me when I have moments of feeling exhausted and a bit low. 

  • I have a wonderful boyfriend, who I now live with, which is going fabulously. It's lovely to always come home to Dan, and be able to just relax, and offload to someone, when we need to. I love snuggling up in the evenings and just being completely chilled out with him.
  • My family are incredible. I have grown up within a family who provide ever-lasting support, and I am lucky enough to have been close to my grandparents throughout my lifetime. I feel grateful to have such a wonderfully caring family, which now also includes Dan.
  • My friends. I am lucky to have friends from when I was in year 8 still, and newer friends too. Seeing friends is amazing, and really helps with the work-life balance. I always feel so much better if I've seen a friend, and had a good catch up.
  • I really like my job. I was worried about getting a job after uni - what if I didn't? What if I hated it? But, I landed a job within 2 months in roughly the area I wanted to be working in (admin) and I'm loving it. It doesn't stress me out anymore, because I know what I am doing, and this is the main thing for me. I feel thankful that I have a job, and a job that I am enjoying as well.
  • The place I live is gorgeous. We have countryside literally outside our doorstep, and I feel grateful that I've properly been able to see the change in the seasons this year, rather than living in a town or city. My drives to and from work can be truly stunning!

I feel so thankful, and lucky, to be feeling so good at the moment. I am tired, understandably - going from being a student to working 42.5 hours a week is tough - but I am really enjoying it, and finding happiness in the people I am surrounded by. It's nice to be back blogging too, of course.

What reasons do you have to be thankful at the moment?





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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blogtober | A Reminder

 A short but sweet reminder today, that you should always take time out for you, and the things that you love to do. I've struggled this week a bit because I have been so tired, but having such a lovely and generous family and friends has really picked my spirits up, I've had a fantastic birthday weekend and feel so very spoilt and grateful. When you feel low, or even just generally it is so important to take the time out to take a step back and enjoy what YOU like doing.


Have eight cups of tea a day. Go to 3 gym classes a week. Spend fantastic evenings drinking prosecco with your friends. Dip into your favourite book, or read a completely new one. Have a date night with your loved ones. Make the most of the time you have with your family, they are precious.

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in what others think you should be doing, or what you think you should be doing according to what's "in" in society, so this is a little reminder to myself, and you if you think you need it, to just do what you love. Life is too short not to do so, which is why I will be spending my evening snuggled up on the sofa with Dan watching revenge, because that's exactly what I love to do.

A little reminder to relax, and enjoy yourself - taking time out for yourself will make you so much stronger and better for the things you don't enjoy as much as that bath, or those cups of tea. I work so much better when I've had time to myself, and to relax.

Do you remind yourself to take time out?
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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Blogtober | It's my Birthday!

"I'm feeling 22-ooooh"

 It seems quite bizarre to be writing the words "I'm officially 22", and if I'm honest, I still feel as though I am just about to turn 18. I cannot even believe how quickly the past FOUR years have gone, and that I am now verging ever so slightly closer to being a proper adult. I have the full-time job, and some of the expenses of a proper fully-fledged person, and it really doesn't seem real.

My 21st year was incredibly. I finished my degree with a very high 2:1 and graduated. I holidayed in Rome, and Kefalonia with my favourite person ever. Me and Dan had our second anniversary as well which was lovely. I had some fantastic times with both my friends and my family, including my graduation in September which was easily one of the best days of my life. I have reason to feel proud of what I achieved in my 21st year, graduating with what I did, and finding a job almost a month to the day after leaving Canterbury. I've also grown up in myself, and realised how incredible my friends are. I would be lost without them. 

 I have moved back home with my parents, which seems to be quite a common thing now-a-days - to finish uni and move back home. I like it, I'm very lucky to be so close to my family and not really consider living with them a chore in the slightest. I like where I live. I used to find it trapping, and a place that reminded me of mistakes I made in the past. However, I now know that it is home and always will be! I'm over those mistakes now. You live and you learn.

I can feel myself cringing at what I am writing, so I am going to leave it at that. You have 365 days until you can experience this type of post again - happy 22nd year to me!

Do you find your birthday a period of reflection?
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Friday, 23 October 2015

Blogtober | Positivity #3

I haven't done one of these posts for ages, but I feel that now the weather's getting colder, and the nights are getting darker - what a perfect time to be a bit more positive. As much as I love A/W it can be more challenging to be as happy and positive as you are in the summer months with the sunshine. There is always space for a bit of positivity though, no matter how the temperature plummets.



Being Proud of Yourself

Sometimes it can be hard to think about yourself, and be proud of what you have done and what you have achieved but I think it is important, and very positive to do so. I think reflecting on what you have achieved yourself can push you to carry on with those dreams that you have which will have such a positive effect on your mood. It might be a big achievement, like getting the degree you wanted, or it might be as simple as choosing an apple over the chocolate bar in the cupboard - it doesn't matter as long as you feel proud of yourself.

Be Determined

Sometimes you just really aren't in the mood, and that is fine but if you can push through with determination you might end up feeling great about yourself. I have a new motto which I spoke about here. It helps to keep me motivated throughout the day because I know all my least favourite jobs will be done and dusted! I always feel so much better about myself after a day that I knew I would much rather be snuggled up in bed, but conquering that and getting on with it feels fantastic.

Spend time with friends and family

There is nothing quite like spending time with people you love, and I find it always makes me feel very positive. If I have a nice day out with the girls, or a great evening in with Dan, I always find myself feeling so much better about things which is always great. It's also a great break from the things which you might find challenging as well which could bring your positivity levels down a peg or two.

When the weather is darker, it does get harder to be more positive but when you are positive it does make it that bit better. I do love Autumn/Winter a lot but sometimes the darkness and the weather can drag the mood down so I do try and find ways to keep happier and more upbeat. Spending time with my family is always a mood booster, but so is thinking about what I have achieved. Being determined helps me to stay focused and work towards my goals!

How do you stay positive in the colder months?
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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Blogtober | Driving Pet Peeves

 I have a love-hate relationship with driving. Sometimes it is my favourite thing in the world, and I love the freedom that it gives me. Other times, I'm reduced to tears and almost always swearing loudly at the drivers who "shouldn't be allowed to drive" because there are obviously so many of them. Driving home from work the other day I thought this would be a great post to write - because I think people can sympathize and also because it's great to get things off your chest. I have many pet peeves about driving and other drivers but here are the ones that really really get me annoyed.

My baby micra 

40 mph drivers

Those idiots who drive dangerously slow on faster roads, but as soon as you hit the 30 mph zone off they speed - where is the logic in this?! It makes me so angry when it takes me longer to get home because I'm stuck behind one of these for them to then speed off as soon as we get to my village.

Lorries overtaking lorries

 This is probably one of the worst. You are making progress on the long and very boring motorway, then bam out comes a lorry. Overtaking another lorry. My idea of driving hell. It's so dangerous because it takes them so long to pass them so everyone in the middle lane overtaking the lorries then has to pull out. It's just a very frustrating thing!! Why bother as well, they'll hardly get much further on.

Non-indicators

 Is it really that hard to flick a switch and let people know where you are going? No, it really isn't. I hate it when you are waiting to pull out at a junction and the person turns even though they knew you were waiting. I hate it when you are about to turn and you are behind a non-indicator. There's just too much mystery to deal with in that situation. Make it easier on your fellow drivers and indicate!

Road Closures

Ah yes, the road on the way to my work closes for two weeks next week. Guess what this means for me? Having to leave 10 whole minutes earlier which means 10 whole minutes less of sleep. I'm less than impressed. It's even worse when you don't know the area and are following those stupid "diversion" signs that usually tell you to turn off AFTER the turning or something, very helpful.

Rush Hour Traffic

Have you ever met a person who actually likes and enjoys sitting in traffic? It's one of the most tedious things, especially if you are tired and have had a bad day. Waiting in a traffic jam is such a mood killer, and makes any bad day much much worse. I know it's unavoidable, but I can still moan about it.

As much as driving does frustrate me, I do love driving and know that I am lucky to be able to drive. I think it's something I do take for granted, but there are definitely things that do annoy me about it. Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if everyone knew proper driving etiquette?

Do you get frustrated when driving?
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Blogtober | Book Review | We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

 I have seen this book reviewed so many times in the past couple of months, and knew that it was something I really wanted to read. After finding it for 75p in a charity shop, I snapped it up and began delved in. I like this book because it is more challenging than some of the books I usually read and some of the bits the narrator of the story, Rosemary, spoke about reminded me of some discussions I've had in my classes before which I liked.



The story is set in the "middle" of Rosemary's story as she states early on in the book, but there are flashbacks to her past once she accepts that the only way forward for her is to acknowledge some events that happened from the age of 5 years old. They have shaped her life since, causing her to lose two siblings and taking her to a specific place for her college studies. If I'm honest, I don't think the blurb gives a huge deal away about her story which I quite liked. When I found out the big part of the story as such, I really was very surprised and didn't expect it all.

Having said that, I think it was a pleasant surprise. The story made for a much better read than what I initially predicted it to be - in fact, thinking back I wasn't hugely sure what to expect but I knew the story as it actually is, wasn't what I expected. It was an easy to follow book, but more challenging because it made me think more about different ethical questions which obviously as an RS graduate, is right up my street. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to read something really interesting, but equally something that will get them thinking - it isn't TOO easy to read which I definitely enjoyed.

I liked the characters to an extent, although I did feel like we knew a 'overview' about most of them rather than really getting their characters. I'd have liked to learn more about her dad really, I think her mum was near enough explained by the end but I would like to have learnt more about her dad's motives for the things he did and his career. Rosemary was a likeable character though which is always good considering she was the main character so who you spend the majority of the book with.

'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves' is a great read, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I think it's likely to be one I read again in the future and get a different, more in depth look on it, if that makes sense.

Have you read 'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves'? What did you think?

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Blogtober | 21 Pictures for 21 Years

As I near my 22nd birthday, I thought it would be nice to put together a post filled with 21 photos from the past year. I love remembering great things I have done in the past year when it comes to my birthday, and it's always a time of reflection and being grateful for me, as you can read here.

I have had a fantastic 21st year. I graduated from uni, saw some gorgeous places and got my first proper job. I've learnt a lot, and I think I am more confident than I've ever been before. I'm learning what it's really like to be an adult, which has it perks and it's downfalls. I celebrated two years with Dan, and we moved in together (with my parents, but hey minor details!) which has been pretty fantastic.

Kicking off this year of photos in style is my Disney 21st which was obviously a fantastic memory. Most of these pictures represent good and happy things that happened during my 21 years. Unfortunately though, turning 21 has meant it was time to say goodbye to my lovely cat Benji who I'd had since I was 4 which was pretty upsetting. He was a fantastic cat though!
























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Monday, 19 October 2015

Blogtober | Charity Shop Haul

 I love charity shops. They always feel so incredibly homely. Shopping in them is also one of the greatest things. You are giving to the charity, which is always a great thing, and you can find some true bargains. I have loved trawling through the rails in charity shops recently and have found some absolute treasures. It's amazing what you can find, and as they say 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' which I completely agree with when it comes to charity shops. The things people no longer wanted can easily be the things you have really wanted for ages.

Clothes/Shoes/Accesories


 These gorgeous Hobbs boots were only TEN POUNDS. I had a little look at the prices of Hobbs boots when I got home and I literally couldn't believe my eyes, this was such a bargain find. I was in Colchester in a vintage charity shop which was pretty cool and found them. I had been looking for a pair of boots like this for ages, and know that they will last me a long time which is obviously great too.



Whilst we were in the vintage charity shop, I also found this gorgeous patent black scalloped edged bag. I thought it would be perfect for slightly posher events like going for cocktails or to a meal or something. I absolutely love it, and it was only £3.50.

Books


I was browsing Cosmo, and found an article on Lily Koppel, who wrote a book on astronauts wives. I knew I wanted it immediately, but as I have quite a long reading list at the moment, decided to wait until I had birthday money. That was until I found this book for £2 at a charity shop in Medway. I couldn't believe it because it is such a random book!


As I say, I have a huge reading list and I always like to look in charity shops for the books I want to read as they are so much cheaper. I found Wild in one in my little town and I am really looking forward to reading it.


Another book on my reading list that I found in a charity shop was 'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves' and I am working my way through this one now. I am really enjoying it, but because I have been so busy it seems a bit stinted. This was only 75p, such a bargain considering how much it would have been normally, and the money is for a good cause too which I love.

I have been really lucky with the bits I have found in charity shops recently. You really can't beat having a browse to see what there is on offer, I love it. I also love knowing that my money will be going somewhere that really does need it. Obviously I'm still going to shop in the big chain stores, but hopefully I will be using charity shops more as it is one small way that I can do my bit. Another great thing is that I can hopefully recycle some of my bits and bobs to the charity shops that have served me so well recently.

Do you like shopping in charity shops? What has been your best buy?

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Blogtober | Chicken Jambalaya

 Chicken Jambalaya was a recipe my mum found, and we were both really up for giving it a try. It is described as a Creole recipe and is said to originate in Louisiana, USA. It does kind of remind me of Paella a little bit though. So yesterday, we decided that we would give this dish a go ourselves! It was fairly easy to make, although we both felt it might have been easier to cook the rice first then let it absorb the flavours of the sauce instead of cooking rice in chopped tomatoes which did take a very long time - next time we make it I think we will cook the rice with stock then add that to the rest of the recipe to make it a little bit easier on ourselves.


You will need:
  • Peppers
  • Onion
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp of Chilli Powder
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 225g of rice
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Chicken
  • Spring Onion and Tabasco Sauce for finishing off

How to make it:
  1. Cook the chicken, and cut the peppers, onions and garlic and put into the pan to begin to fry off - the recipe says to use sunflower oil, but we decided on fry light instead. Add in the chill powder (we opted for 1/2 tsp but next time I will go for 1 tsp). Let this cook for a few minutes. 
  2. Add the rice and cook for another minute but stir whilst letting it do so
  3. Put in the chopped tomatoes and stock cube. Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat so it does not burn. Cover with a lid so it can simmer.
  4. After it has simmered for 15 minutes, add the cooked chicken, cover once more and cook for roughly 10 more minutes so the rice has time to properly cook and go tender.
  5. Once the rice is done, season with Tabasco Sauce and spring onion. The recipe also suggested having peas on the side which we unfortunately didn't have in but next time we'll do this because I think it would go really well!
Chicken Jambalaya is a reasonably quick, delicious and fairly healthy dinner to make. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be making it again. It might even make a nice lunch for when I am at work although I think I would make it primarily vegetable based so I didn't get too sleepy in the afternoon!

Have you ever had Chicken Jambalaya? Do you like the sound of it?
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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Blogtober | Learning

 I love learning new things, and always have done. I used to love school as a child, and although I moaned when I was older I never truly hated it like some people do. University was a completely new style of learning and one I did really love. Since finishing, I've missed learning new things for fun. University is completely different from learning at a new job. Although I like my job, and really enjoy learning new things, I loved learning what I learnt at university and I have missed that. As Oscar Wilde said you can never be overdressed, or overeducated and I completely agree. I hope I continue to learn, and learn for fun for the rest of my life.


One of the goals I set myself this month was to learn more about something fun and to do with my blog, and something that I specifically mentioned was SEO. So one night this week, I sat down with my lemon green tea (amazing btw!) and a brand new notebook from my Grandma. I got the highlighters out, and began to make notes about SEO. I've always been SO confused by this beforehand. Even though I will always read a blog post about it if I stumble across one, I don't think it ever goes in as well as it did the other day.

The first reason for this was my mood. Sometimes when I am reading blogs I am in a huge rush, either getting ready to go for work or to watch something with Dan at the weekends. I take in blog posts, but I don't maintain the knowledge to use when I am working on something else. Obviously this is bad for my knowledge of SEO and being able to put into practice what I've learnt. This time I was serious, I was in the zone and I was ready to learn lots of new things to make my blog better. Secondly, I was ready to learn with my essentials such as a cute notepad, a lovely hot drink and my favourite pens and highlighters. Writing things down always makes them stick with me for longer and I could recall what I learn that night to you now because of it.

The final ingredient for my learning session was two fantastic blog posts written by two fellow bloggers. I first learnt alot from Katie's post 5 Simple SEO Tips For Bloggers. I learnt about things like the Search Description which I had never even heard of before in my life. It was a really interesting read and I got lots out of it, thank you Katie! After this, I headed over to Jasmin Charlotte because I remembered that she had done an entire series on SEO which you can find here. I've only read the first two posts but I learnt a lot. Jasmin made SEO really approachable and I loved reading her posts, thank you Jasmin! So glad I have some more to read - which of course I will be doing with my gorgeous new notepad. If you are looking to learn more about SEO I'd really recommend you head over to these as they have been so helpful to me.

I'm so pleased I took the time out this week to learn something new, and something very useful at that. I'm just off to check the permalinks and keywords I learnt so much about during my little session. I think I'm going to dedicate some time weekly to learn something new because who knows where I could be this time next year if I keep on learning - SEO expert? Fluent in Spanish, Polish and Italian? We shall see..

Do you like learning new things? What have you learnt recently?
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Friday, 16 October 2015

Blogtober | A/W Outfits

A/W is the season for fabulous footwear, gorgeous warm knits and jumpers too. I love wearing boots and feeling all warm when realistically, it's bloomin freezing. There are so many gorgeous pieces out there at the moment and I couldn't help myself but to create an outfit guide for some of the looks I might go for this A/W season.

This is my favourite season for clothes. I love the colours, and the fact that you can layer up to make yourself warm when England is giving it's best A/W weather that we all know and love so very much. I absolutely love wearing boots when it is as cold as it gets, and the chilly weather is a great excuse to just buy those boots I've been wanting for ages. The cold is also a fantastic excuse for a new coat -  I actually treated myself to the gorgeous one in this post. I knew I wanted something warm, yet nothing too furry like my other coats are and this one caught my eye immediately.

As A/W is my birthday season, I usually tend to buy quite a bit as you can imagine. I've definitely got my eye on some of these beautiful chunky pieces. You really can't beat pulling on that gorgeous jumper or cosy dress when the mornings are icy cold and fresh.


Coat | Bag | Dress | Knee Length Boots | Ring | Watch


Bag | Ankle Boots | Gloves | Coat | Jeans | Watch | Jumper

I absolutely love these pieces and think that these would both be comfortable but also fashionable choices for the chilly weather. I am SO in love with that watch! I usually don't like faces without numbers but this one is just stunning, I'm a little bit obsessed. Jeans and dresses are the perfect way to stay warm in the cold, are comfortable but equally look nice too so it's a win-win situation all round. Darker colours are a must in my wardrobe for the A/W season!

What do you like to wear in A/W?

*PR collaboration


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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Blogtober | Home Vs. Away

 Recently, I've had some conflicting feelings regarding whether we should travel or whether we should save for a house. I may be young but I want both badly - I know how hard the property market is at the moment, and I want to be in a position of strength in case it gets any tougher. I'd like to be able to save and own my own place, but equally, I'd love to be sitting on a beach in Thailand, or exploring NYC. I have a feeling that this one's going to be a rather chatty random post..


I know that both Dan and I eventually will travel, that is a given. BUT we're not the back-packing type. I find things quite stressful and just know that we would want our own space, and to have a safe comfortable place to be based rather than staying a hostel with people we've never met. I wish I wasn't like that, but I know it would make me feel uncomfortable. There are obviously still cheap ways to get around this but I know staying in hostels would probably make it cheaper so this is problem number one.

I'm also itching to explore. I want to see places I've never even known about, and I want to experience cultures I've never experienced before. OBVIOUSLY, I want to experience the food too, because how good is food!? Throughout my studies I have learnt about so many incredibly places, and I want to see the religions I have loved learning about since I was only 10 to come alive in the countries they initially began in and those they are present in today. Plus, I've heard some of these places have pretty gorgeous beaches and amazing weather so there's that too.

Finding the perfect house is just as high up on my list. I am on Right Move stalking the gorgeous houses on there regularly, and love to look both realistically and absolutely out of my mind impossible because it is just far too much fun not to. I'm always finding gorgeous prints and pieces that would look great in the home I envisage regularly, but I don't have the space for all these beautiful things that there are.

I think buying our own home would be such an achievement too. I've begun saving and it is so satisfying seeing that balance go up and up, and can't wait to reach the levels that I have been hoping for (and more if possible!). I don't even know where we will end up living, but I do know that we will make the house our own and this is why I am so excited.

If things were easy, I'd buy a house, rent it out, travel the world and then come back to our dream home. But there would be mortgages to pay and I don't even know if it would be a possibility. One can dream....

Do you feel the same as me? Or did you? What did you do?
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Blogtober | TV Show | Revenge

Recently someone from work lent me the first season of Revenge, and I am officially well and truly hooked on it. I would really really recommend it. I love that it isn't predictable because that is just one of the most annoying things in a TV programme, and it is really clever. It's also great that he actor of Eric in Gossip Girl is in it, and also the young Jenna Rink in 13 going on 30! I am so bad with names so actually felt quite proud to have known some of the actors...


Revenge is based in the Hamptons and focuses on a girl named Emily Thorne. I'd say she is in her late 20's and she wants revenge on the people that put her innocent Dad into jail back when she was a little girl. These people live in the Hamptons and, with no family left, she moves herself there to plot against the people who plotted against her father - leaving him dead in Jail and her locked up in Juvy for her entire childhood. I love the fact that from the first episode she is plotting against these people in ways that you would not expect - it is really cleverly done and I really enjoyed the first episode.

I thought I might be a little scared by it (considering I was actually really scared of PLL!!!) but it is actually absolutely fine. I just find myself wanting to watch it alot more than Dan does, but we have decided to watch it together so I will just have to wait. We are only about 6/7 episodes in so far but I can tell that this is going to become a regular thing for us to be watching. I already want to keep watching so I can put together the pieces of what happened in the first episode.

Although there are a lot of plot twists and changes this is something easy to watch and the perfect way to unwind and relax after a day at work. Especially as the weather changes and becomes colder and colder, I know that this is going to be a series which we watch quite regularly and I am totally OK with that. I'm so pleased I gave it a chance because it is something I may not usually have chosen to watch but I have surprised myself by absolutely loving it!

Best of all, I think it's going to get me thinking about the situation that Emily is in. I don't know whether I would be able to forgive people, or if I would want revenge like she does. There is more to it than what I have explained as I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone - just incase - but I think she may be going into this whole revenge thing based on something that she has been given by her father 10 years after she last saw him. Who knows whether it is true or not, I guess I will just have to wait and find out...

Have you seen Revenge? What did you think of it?
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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Blogtober | V&A Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition

 When Georgia from Mapped Out told me there was a shoe exhibition on at the V&A museum in London, I was sooo up for it. I love shoes so much, and knew it would be so cool to see lots of different shoes from the ages. There were old shoes, new shoes, disgusting shoes and shoes that I have literally fallen in love with which is always a tricky thing. It's horrible falling in love with a pair of shoes, and realising that you will probably never be able to afford them.



 You pre-book your tickets, and there are new admissions every fifteen minutes. Tickets are only £12 which I didn't think was bad at all. We got there early because we were meeting our friend for lunch, but it was still really busy. If you are going to go, I might suggest going when people generally eat their lunch because you will miss the queues going round. It was quite a small exhibition too so there were queues in front of every part which was quite frustrating at times.

Unfortunately you couldn't take pictures inside of the exhibition which really was such a shame - I really wanted to showcase it on my blog. BUT, I guess it makes it even better if you do decide to go yourself. I loved the little quotes that were dotted around the exhibition, and there was a lot of information. A recurring theme was obviously that shoes do have the power to change your life - and there was a lot of focus on shoes in fairy tales and things like that.

"Shoes help us to achieve our dreams"

 We saw some absolutely incredible shoes downstairs - from Cinderella's glass slipper and Marilyn Monroe's shoes to shoes that were literally a toe post on a metal platform, and the tiniest shoes ever that were worn by the women in China who bound their feet. Some of the shoes were absolutely stunning, I fell in love with a fair few pairs. However, there were some pretty disgusting shoes too, and some that looked SO uncomfortable (a couple you had to balance on your toes, and some women had to be supported by their maids!). I loved the fact that they included some really old shoes too - it was an exhibition of shoes through the ages!

Another really cool part of the exhibition was the upstairs. They had people's personal collections of shoes which I loved - it was such a great idea. I was only disappointed that I hadn't been asked! I have shoes everywhere!! It was a really personal touch and I liked that they included this part in the exhibition too. 

The Pleasure and Pain exhibition was fantastic, and I'm so pleased we went - thank you for suggesting it Georgia! I can't recommend it enough. It is also perfectly situated in the fashion area of the museum so we were able to mooch around there too and thankfully we could get some pictures of what they offered there.



Have you been to the V&A Shoe exhibition? Do you love shoes?
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Monday, 12 October 2015

Blogtober | Colchester Castle

 My dad promised me a day out in the summer, and at the weekend we decided to head to Colchester Castle together. Both of us love history, and this was the perfect place for us to visit - under an hour away and under £5 with our student cards to visit. I had been once before, back in primary school and had such fond memories of it so I was super excited to visit.


Colchester Castle is the biggest Norman keep in Europe, and is actually built over a Roman temple that was destroyed by Boudica, the celtic warrioress. I love learning about the Romans so this castle was perfect. Colchester was actually named the capital of England during the Roman period of time, and many ex-Roman army centuries settled there with their families so there are a lot of possesions left from these families. My dad tried his hand at chariot racing, whilst I favoured dressing up....


 The castle has recently been done up, and I think it looks fantastic. It isn't huge but I like that because it means it isn't daunting but there is plenty there for you to see. There was a lot of interactive stuff for young children too which I thought was superb - although even me and my dad enjoyed those parts! I really enjoyed looking at the jewellry from the Roman ladies - I can't believe how good condition they are in still after all of these years. I was equally impressed with the coins! They had such detail on them and have remained in mint condition if you'll pardon the pun...




This is a monk reading a book! I loved him - soo cute

 The castle exterior was also gorgeous. it looked picture perfect even in the chillier October weather. There were some ruins outside the castle, and inside there is a well too which was really cool. I remember when I went on my school trip we went downstairs underneath the castle and it was a room that were the early remains of the temple which the castle had been built upon.


 I had a fantastic time at Colchester Castle with my Dad and will definitely be returning again. I can't believe how reasonable it is with my student discount and it is only £7.50 for a fully priced ticket which is fantastic for a castle. I really liked the fact that there was a logical way around the castle. It was basically a physical time-line which was fabulous, it made it so much easier to focus on the history of the castle itself.

Have you ever been to Colchester Castle?

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