Thursday, 26 February 2015

Willow Foundation | Will of Iron Triathlon

Charities are such an important part of our world, and I think as bloggers we are lucky enough to be able to have our own space on the internet to share charities and events that they are holding to promote them. Today, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the Willow Foundation which are a UK based charity. In fact, they are the only one in the UK that organises "uplifting and unforgettable Special Days" for the seriously ill who are aged between 16 and 40. Willow has been around since 1999 and they have arranged over 11'000 special days out for those with life-threatening diseases. Willow considers the special days to be a way to bring back some normality into the lives of these people and their families, or as a last chance for them to be able to fulfil one of their dreams.



On the 2nd May, there is an event called the Will of Iron Triathlon which will be raising money for the Willow Foundation. Unfortunately, due to my dissertation being due the day before it starts and me having exams days afterwards, I will not be able to take part but I wanted to share this event with you all incase any of you fancied giving it a try yourselves!

However, the beauty of the Will of Iron Triathlon, for those of you who don't want to complete the whole thing yourselves, is that is takes place over a week. You can split up the sections between a team of you and do one each! (Another option would be to divide the distance between how ever many team members you have but each of you complete the three sections). The event isn't just a one day thing so its up to you where you do your section, or the whole thing if you are brave enough..


You can either do the Full Ironman challenge, or the Half Ironman challenge.

Full Ironman Challenge: Swim: 2.4 Miles, Cycle: 112 Miles, Run: 26.2 Miles


Half Ironman Challenge: Swim: 1.2 Miles, Cycle: 56 Miles, Run: 13.1 Miles


So the event begins on Saturday the 2nd May 2015, and it will cost you £25 to enter.

If you are ready to take on the challenge, you can sign up HERE!



Make sure you check out the Willow Foundation page as well, they really are such a good charity and I'd definitely recommend checking them out. I think it is a lovely idea providing special days out for families who have been going through probably some of the toughest times of their lives.

You can follow Willow on twitter here to keep up to date with events and information about the charity as well.

Will YOU be taking on the challenge?
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

University | Realisation

 Despite the stress of third year, about two weeks into the term after Christmas, I had a realisation that in just under five months I will have finished my time at university, and in six months, I will no longer live in Canterbury anymore. It never really hit me until then, before it just seemed like something that we all knew was going to happen but was miles away from where we were. It really isn't though, and that thought makes me really sad.


Going to university was a definite for me. I've always known I wanted to go and from about year nine I think I knew I was going to study Religion because I've always enjoyed learning about what people believe and their cultures. However, back then I didn't know just how good for me university would be. Everyone has ups and downs throughout uni but I definitely think that for me, overall, the ups have outweighed the downs.

I've learnt so much throughout my time at uni including to believe in myself, just that little bit more. I've learnt about alot of things I'm very passionate about, and done better in uni work than I ever could have imagined. I'm more independent now than I've ever been which has unfortunately included spending (alot!!) of money, although I think I've finally come to terms with budgeting now with barely any time left to go. Better late than never!  Back in first year, I met Dan and its safe to say I've fallen head over heels. If I failed university tommorow, at least I'd have got him and some great friends from the experience. Coming to uni definitely teaches you the importance of family and friendships, and how much they do for you, with the added bonus of keeping brilliant old friends, and meeting amazing new ones too!

University isn't for everyone, but those of us who do go, in my opinion do learn a lot about ourselves. Its a good way to branch out from your family, as upsetting as it can be, and find your own way within the world.



I love Canterbury, and I know I'm going to miss it so much when I finish. I definitely agree that your university years go way too quickly, and they truly are some of the best experiences of your life so far! Who knew so many episodes of Gossip Girl could fit so perfectly into your day?

What did you learn from your university experience?
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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sharing the Love

One of the things that has popped up a little bit on my blog over the past 8 months has been the idea of Charity. I have always supported them, and eventually I'd really like to end up working for one so I wanted to do a little post today. Helping out those in need, even volunteering for that afternoon, or donating that £3 really does make all the difference. One of the best ways to make yourself, and others happy, is to make someone else happy.


I'd really like to do more for other people and charities, and I'd love to hear more about what other people do for them. I think its inspiring to hear about how other people have helped, so I thought I would start a hashtag called #ShareTheLove for people to write about experiences they have had with others, where others have helped them or they have helped others. With all the horrible things happening in the world at the moment, it would be nice to spread some positivity instead.

My little input will be that recently I helped my Dad at the Lunch Club some wonderful people run down at his church. A team run this event on the third wednesday every month, and they are all so kind. They invite some of the elderly people in our village to have a dinner and spend some time with other people. It was so touching to be able to volunteer here. The people were all lovely, and it clearly meant alot for them to be able to come and eat with some other people, especially as many of them don't get the chance to go out often at all.

If you do end up doing a post about your experiences with charities or helping other people, please do link me to it in the comments box below! Remember to use #ShareTheLove!

What have you done to help others recently? Do you think charities are important?


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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

University | Dealing with a Disappointing Grade

It happens to everyone at least once during your university life; receiving a grade you are disappointed in. It never happened to me in first year, or second year so when it did a few weeks ago in third year, its safe to say I was upset. I have been sitting quite comfortably on a 2:1 since first year, despite getting a couple of thirds and 2:2's in first year. In Second year, my lowest mark was a 62 so you can imagine my upset when I got a 58 on an essay, especially as I had tried so hard.

What do you do when you receive a grade you aren't happy with?

One/ Take a step back. Will this really impact my whole grade for the year? The likelihood is that it won't affect you that dramatically.

Two/ Talk to your tutors. As I was unhappy with my grade, I decided to speak to my tutor for the same module in second term. Its so important to me that I get a 2:1, and I will be so disappointed if I don't because I have worked so hard. She spoke to me more about why I didn't get the grade I wanted to, and was really encouraging - helping me to work out what I would need this year to get my 2:1.

Three/ Know what to do Next Time. Have you read the comments from your tutors? This is the best way to know how to improve on your next essay. Keep that essay close by when writing your next one so you have something to refer to, and know not to make the same mistakes again!

One poor grade won't affect your whole one overall, so try not to let it affect you that much. There are plenty of ways to make your grade higher, you just have to be proactive about it! I think getting that grade can sometimes push yourself to work harder, you'll be more determined to achieve the goals you want.

How do you cope with getting a grade you aren't happy with?

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

CCCU Student Volunteering Week

You may or may not know, but I'm currently in my third year of a Religious Studies degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. Recently, I was offered the opportunity to blog for the university during Student Volunteering Week about finding a volunteering placement which I'm very excited to be doing. I was also lucky enough to also be asked to be a Student Events Coordinator for an event happening during that week. So I thought I'd share a little bit about it, incase any of you are local to Canterbury and wanted to be involved, or if anyone could donate anything.


The idea of the event is three pronged. There's an S (student), a V (volunteering) and a W (week). CCCU, UKC (University of Kent) and Canterbury College will be teaming up for this event.

S = Soup - There will be two groups involved in this element of the event. One group will be based in Canterbury town centre, and they will be handing out soup to the members of the public for a small donation (Donations will be going to Catching Lives). Another group will be handing out soup to the homeless in Canterbury.


V = Vocals - There will hopefully be a group of musicians from each of the participating institutions to play some music for the public!

W = Woolies - We are hoping to collect lots of scarves, hats and gloves to hand out to the homeless when we are giving them soup. It is so cold here, and hopefully we can make a difference even if its just really small! If you are local to Canterbury, and have any old woolies you would like to donate (or even if you are't local and you are willing to send them!) please do email me; suitcaseandsandals@outlook.com.

We are also looking for reliable volunteers in Canterbury, so if you are on the off chance a student at CCCU and wanting to get involved, please email me for more information.

What have you been involved with recently at University?
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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Netflix Tag

I was so happy when I stumbled across The Netflix Tag created by Annie Writes Beauty! This is definitely one of my favourite tags to have ever found, its a brilliant one. As a student, Netflix is pretty much integral to my survival and I absolutely love it, but then again - who doesn't?!


1. What are your favourite series to watch on Netflix?
I absolutely loved Gossip Girl, Life Unexpected, The Returned and Orange is the New Black!

2. What are you currently watching on Netflix?
I recently started Pretty Little Liars, but I've had so much work to do recently I haven't got too far! Plus I'm an absolute wuss and won't watch it at nighttime...

3. If you could have any series, old or new put on Netflix, what would it be?
Probably something from my childhood, like the Queens Nose or Ghost Hunters! They were so great.

4. What is your one peeve about Netflix?
Sometimes it can take ages to scroll through and find something to watch. It could be organised a bit better I think!

5. What are your essentials for a perfect night in with Netflix?
My hot water bottle, friends, family or Dan, blankets and lots of snacks!

6. Recommend one series or film for someone else.
I would definitely recommend Life Unexpected - its not one that is talked about as much but its absolutely brilliant. The Returned is also really good. I watched this on normal telly in first year but recently saw it was on Netflix now which is brilliant!

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you do end up doing the Netflix Tag please let me know in the comments! I have absolutely loved reading these tags.

What have you enjoyed watching on Netflix?


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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Positivity #2

I can definitely say that I have been keeping up my positivity, and feeling so much better for it! Usually I'm so stressed out around now thinking about all the work I have to do, but surprisingly I'm not - definitely no complaints!

I thought I'd do another one of these posts because it reminds me to be grateful and positive, whilst hopefully sharing a little bit of positivity to someone else who needs it to! A few things I have been grateful for recently would have to be:

  • getting a 2:1 in my first essay of my final year - this really boosted my mood and my confidence, making me feel a lot more positive about graduating! 
  • seeing my friends, family and Dan - my parents came down to visit me, with my sister and this really made me feel more positive about the work I have to do. Dan has started placement but I was able to spent lots of time with him, as well as going on a few nights out, for coffee and for meals with the girls which were really fun too!
  • keeping my room tidy - if my rooms tidy I find it easier to be positive so this is something I've been working on to keep things easier for me when I have work to be doing
Its been quite a good positive January, so I'm going to share some more quotes I found on Pinterest which I liked and thought were quite positive.


What has made you feel positive recently? Do you have any quotes to share that you find positivity boosting?

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Student Stationery

I absolutely adore stationery; I remember being that when I was younger, buying a new bag, pencil case, pens and stationery ready for the new school year was one of the most exciting things ever! When we went to Florida in the summer, I came back with enough pens to start my own class... Especially being at uni, I go through so much stationery so theres always more I'm lusting after so I thought I'd show some of the bits I've found recently which I fell in love with. All of these pieces are from paperchase and they are beautiful...

Notebooks, List Pads, Journals




Clockwise from top left

Pens, Highlighters and Pencil Cases

Clockwise from Top Left
Pencil Case | Pencil Pot | Pink Pen | Condiment Pen and Highlighter | Lippy Pens

Filing/Storage


Clockwise from top left

Paperchase are fantastic! I absolutely love the products they sell. These would be the products I'd use the most as a student - so much writing, highlighting and sooo many papers to store away.

What stationery do you use most as a student? Do you like paperchase and the things I have chosen?
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