Tuesday, 31 March 2015

21 by 21

In just over a week, I turn 21. I'm still not entirely sure how this has happened.. could have sworn I was resting in my Dad's arms  a couple of minutes ago...



Hmm, maybe not then. In all seriousness, I am almost 21 and it's definitely fair to say I've had an interesting 21 years. So here are 21 things that I've definitely learned/realised so far in life!

1. Going to University was by far, the best thing I've ever done. You are thrown into the deep end, meaning you are essentially forced to learn how to survive in this world, which is definitely useful! Not only that, but I've met some of my best friends, had some amazing opportunities... oh and hopefully a degree!

2. A true friendship will survive distance

3. Sometimes you have to put yourself first, and that is OK. If you constantly please everyone, you will just get walked all over.

4. Grey's Anatomy, followed closely by Private Practice, are the best series ever

5. I am, and probably always will be a perfectionist. However, although this was once destructive, I am now able to use this to my advantage

6. If you get the opportunity to travel, do it. It's the most liberating and wonderful thing you can do

7. People will forget what you said, and they will forget what you did, but they won't forget how you made them feel

8. Red nail varnish is the first step to feeling instantly confident, sexy and successful

9. Staying angry with loved ones, only really impacts on your own emotional well being. You don't have to forget things but carrying around hatred and resentment isn't healthy. At the end of the day, life is too short.

10. Wearing a full face of make up is nice, but most of the time, eyeliner and mascara is enough

11. I am, and always will be, a daddy's girl

12. I love to read, but for some reason, I have to finish every book I start.. even if it's rubbish

13. I'm not a big drinker and I don't have to justify that

14. Eating healthier doesn't necessarily mean eating less

15. It's important to talk to people when you're down instead of bottling it all up. You aren't a burden, people do care and they want to help. Just like you want people to come to you, you have to go to them

16. Change is usually a positive. It may feel uncomfortable or scary, but if you do what you always did, you'll get where you always got

17. I am not superstitious and I don't really believe in luck. Therefore if you work hard, you will be rewarded and successful

18. Stand up for what you believe in. You only have one life, so it's important to fight for what makes you happy. If you don't, who will?

19. I may have been born in a small town/countryside but deep down I love the city. I love the fast paced vibe, the diversity and how you can lose yourself in hundreds of people. One day, I'll live in a city

20. If you've got a dream, go for it. You have one life so don't waste it

21. I wouldn't change a single aspect of my life so far because it's made me who I am today
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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Home Sweet Home

Yesterday, after a final shift at work, my Mum came to pick me up and bring me home for the Easter break. I'm not usually one for going home but this time, I can definitely tell it's the end of term because I'm really pleased to be home. I'd say I've come home for a break, but y'know, I've got assignments and a dissertation to finish! I was greeted by a yankee candle and box of my favourite chocolates though, to get me through, so it's not all bad ;) Here are probably my five top things about being home..


1. Free food. Most important thing, right? ;) Having milk reappear when you've finished a carton is just the best. I know it's a little lazy but oh well. No more workouts just to get food from the supermarket! And also, roast dinners.. you just cannot make a roast for one person!

2. HEATING. Although, not going to lie, I'm absolutely sweating after just one night. I genuinely have to acclimatize to my own house.

3. Being close to friends and family. It's not always easy living half way across the country, and the rest of your family are miles away. It's soppy, but it is nice just being 5 minutes away from my Nan's or a couple of yards away from your friend's so you can stop by for a cuppa. It's definitely something I'd previously taken for granted!

4. Knowing where everything is. I'm not saying that I don't know my Uni town, but there's nothing like knowing every little corner of your hometown. All of the tiny shops in which tourists probably wouldn't notice, all of the short cuts, country lanes, best views.. you get the idea. Saying that, I've moved house, so I guess I need to actually discover what these things are again!

5. My double bed. This is SO materialistic, but I do not care. Do you know how hard it is to go from a double bed back to a single bed?! I have not been able to starfish for ages (this is obviously really important..), and I am kinda sick of rolling over and falling out of bed! No, a double bed is definitely one of life's finest things.

Saying this, I'm sure after a week of being home, I'll be craving my own space again!

What do you prefer? Being at home or away?



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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Real World

As you are probably aware, this year I finish Uni. On Friday, I break up for Easter, for 3 weeks, and following that I have only 2 weeks of Uni left! Not going to lie though, as scary as it is that time has literally flown by, I'm ready to leave now. I need a new challenge, something different to channel my energy into..


However, that means in 6 weeks, I'm going to face the 'real world' head on. That scary place where there is always someone better, more intelligent, more qualified than you, has more experience than you. So far, I've been hiding under the security blanket more formally known as education. School, sixth form, university.. the place where you don't really face any competition and you are constantly supported. But the 'real world' isn't quite so accommodating, and it turns out experience is a pretty important these days. Although experience is pretty hard to get if you don't get any experience. Catch 22!

There was a specific module I did in year one of Uni, and to be honest, I thought it was awful. The tutor was the cutest woman I've ever met, but I struggled to take her seriously.. do volunteering to get experience? You're joking right?! I already have a part time job, thanks.

Despite this, something clicked in year two because I did do a hell of a lot of volunteering, and my god I am so glad I did! I want to be a clinical psychologist.. I don't have a plan B, and I don't want one either really. I'm stubborn, a perfectionist and I won't stop until I get what I want, but experience is definitely something I need in order to get me where I want to be. Opportunities don't just turn up on your doorstep, you have to go and grab them with two hands, and that's what I tried to do. I've volunteered for a number of mental health charities, a mental health ward.. I even flew to Thailand! And you know what? Even this blog is something I'm extremely proud to run, because all of this experience gives me something to discuss in the real world.

Getting experience is vital. Tutors don't just witter on because they want something to talk about.. they actually talk sense because they want you to do well, not to mention it looks good for the Uni. So listen to them when they advise you, they aren't nagging you really. Getting a degree is ace, honestly. But these days, it's not enough and you need to stand out. Make sure you give yourself the best start possible :)
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Life Lately | #4


So I kind of forgot about these posts but I am back on it! For all of you who wish me luck for my interview, thank you so much! Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, but onwards and upwards eh? Anyway..

I went | Home! I've only been home once, and to be honest, unless I have to go home, I never do. 4 hours, 3 trains and 2 cities definitely ain't worth it! However, I did get to sleep in my new room which I really like (and can't wait to decorate in a few months!), and I went to the local pub with one of my best friends. It was actually a really lovely night.

I read | The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion - you need a book when you are on a train for that long and in all fairness, this book did speed time up dramatically! If you've read The Rosie Project, which is the prequel to this, then this book is definitely worth a read. I've reviewed this book too :)

I bought | V FESTIVAL TICKETS! Can you tell me spending ban is well and truly over? But y'know, I think this is an appropriate time to use YOLO? I think it'll definitely be worth it! Let me know if you're going!

I watched | The Railway Man (and The Theory of Everything another 3 times - watch it if you haven't already!). But yes, the Railway Man was actually really good. I don't know why, but whenever I see a serious looking cover and Colin Firth, I automatically assume it's going to be boring but I'm always so, so wrong! Definitely worth a watch!


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Friday, 20 March 2015

The Rosie Effect


The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Until a year ago, forty-one-year-old geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date. Until he met Rosie, 'the world's most incompatible woman'. Now, living in New York City, they have survived ten months and ten days of marriage. But though Rosie has taught him the joys of unscheduled sex and spontaneous meal planning, life is still not plain sailing for Don. Not least with the sudden arrival of his best friend Gene, serial philanderer, who takes up residence on their sofa. Then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells. And soon Don must face her hormonally induced irrational behaviour as he prepares for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life - at the same time as dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace. Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie forever?

Firstly, I loved this book. I read it on my train journeys which lasted over 4 hours, so I practically devoured the book during these journeys. If you don't already know, this book is the sequel of 'The Rosie Project' which was a Richard and Judy pick, a few years ago! It's a book that let's you leave this world and enter the adorable world of Don. He is genuinely one of the cutest characters I have ever read about, so if you need a distraction or stress relief or just something to warm your heart, this book (and the first one) is a definite winner.
 
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Friday, 13 March 2015

What I've learned at University


I've previously mentioned that I'm due to finish Uni very soon, so here's some of the non-academic things I've learned whilst being here for 3 years!

1. Walking back from Morrisons with a rucksack full of bottles, and two shopping bags full of a week's worth of food = the equivalent of going to the gym. Walking to and from the supermarket keeps me fit, so can't afford a gym membership? No problem.. forget the car when you need to do your food shopping!

2. And on that note, it's possible to do a food shop with £10-£15 a week. Say goodbye to Waitrose and M&S, and learn to love Home bargains, Poundland and Aldi.

3. HEATING IS EXPENSIVE. So yeah, I should probably not sneakily turn it on when my Mum's out in future. Sorry Mum.

4. It's ok to be in your pj's for 90% of my time. A) it's comfortable, B) it's warm and C) it saves on washing!

5. You will never take not having a car for granted again. Walking, buses, taxis and trains are the transport options.. did I mention walking?

6. Soap nights will never be the same again. Especially when your housemates religiously love it and you have no idea what's happening and therefore need telling every 5 minutes.

7. Costa? Starbucks? More like a jar of 50p instant coffee from Tesco. Winner!

8. Don't wanna wash your bedding? Turn it over. You've bagged yourself a few more days with those sheets.

9. Pasta pretty goes with ANYTHING.

10. You may have moved miles away from home but your Mum will still find a way to pester you. Mostly on Facebook. Every night.

11. There's nothing better than a Disney film as a way of procrastinating.

12. However, there's nothing worse than an 8am shift on a Saturday. I'll probably thank my boss in the long run but now? Nuh uh.

13. I may a Psychology student but no, I cannot read your mind. Even if it is funny to occasionally pretend.

14. All of those cheap shower gel samples that your Nan collects from her coach holidays, and gives you for Christmas.. yeah, they are now a god send.

15. Group work probably teaches you the most important life lesson. You can't trust anyone nor can you let people walk all over you!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Passing Of Time


In 55 days, my final ever Uni assignment is due. So, in 56 days I will have officially finished University. Scary, huh? I think what's even more scary is how quickly time passes. Time is so precious to each and every one of us, yet we often sit here thinking 'where has time gone?'

Yesterday, I decided to take the day off assignment writing. I didn't feel 100% right and I'd had a pretty productive weekend so thought f*ck it, I'll watch films all day. I felt pretty guilty last night for basically writing the day off and wasting time but y'know what? Sometimes we have to take days off for ourselves. After all, we are human not robots. Our brains nor bodies are equipped to function 24/7, and therefore it's vital to recharge - to create time to recharge.

And it's weird that although we definitely do not control the passing of time, we are able to make time to do everything we want to do. We can prolong an evening by fighting exhaustion and we can rise earlier in order to see the sun rise. What even is time anyway? We choose to alter the clocks twice a year ourselves, and if we cross the Atlantic, we enter a new time zone.

“Time isn't made of anything. It is an abstraction. Just a meaning that we impose upon motion.”

So how can we ever really know what the time is? And does it even matter? I think we get so caught up in trying to chase deadlines, fit things in and criticising ourselves for not having enough time, that we forget to embrace the present - arguably, the most important moment in time.

So yes, I did take a day off for myself yesterday but maybe it wasn't wasting time at all. I have a very busy week ahead as usual, so recharging my batteries is perhaps a very good use of my time. Maybe it's something we should all learn to do more often? Just slow down every once in a while, play Sims, watch films and embrace the present moment in time..
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Healthy Eating & Deliciously Ella

Before I start this post, I appreciate the title could cause concern for some people given my history and past eating habits.. but bear with me and trust that I know what I'm doing :)

So, this year I have taken a proper interest in food, especially healthy foods. By healthy, I don't mean low calorie or low fat but rather foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, good fats and are good sources of energy. Foods such as nuts, nut butters, vegetables, fruits, grains, smoothies, oats.. y'know, foods that are actually nourishing and full of nutrients.

To be honest, I do I know a lot about food. I had an illness which was based on knowing the ins and outs of most foods, which kinda taught me a lot (maybe too much). I am also doing my dissertation on food, the other end of the scale though.. obesity. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I knew a long time before all the press started to slate sugar and glorify fats, that's this is probably the healthiest human diet. However, I've never really followed this diet because god forbid I actually eat something with calories in it...

Anyway, now that I'm much better, I am starting to embrace this way of life. Last year was a year in which I realised I could eat what I wanted in moderation (chocolate, sweets, cake..) and not become huge. However, doing that everyday isn't good for my insides and I'm pretty sure that as I age, my metabolism won't remain this good forever. So, when I stumbled across Deliciously Ella's blog, I immediately fell in love with her philosophy. Ella has used a plant based, gluten free diet to recover from a rare illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. She focuses on counting goodness, not calories. Let's just say, I bought her book within a week of devouring her blog.


Both her book and blog are filled with delicious, healthy recipes. However, the difference is that when you eat them, they don't necessarily taste healthy. For example, sweet potato brownies, nutritious Nutella, quinoa pizza, banana pancakes.. the list goes on and on.



I've not actually tried many recipes yet, as being at uni means I lack kitchen appliances and space to cook but when I move home in 8 weeks(!!), I plan on trying these recipes out. However, my favourite so far is the quinoa with almond butter dressing.. it's so good.

Whilst I really have been enjoying learning more about foods and what is good for your body, I can safely say that I won't ever adopt this lifestyle completely. Firstly, buying nuts, super foods, seeds etc is actually kinda expensive and although it's healthy, there are other things that I'd rather spend money on. But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I could never restrict my diet ever again. I never want to be in a position where I'm 'not allowed' something because it's full of refined sugar or I can't have pizza because it's not gluten or dairy free. For me, being healthy is about nourishing my body but also saying yes to having an ice cream with my friends on a hot afternoon, sharing pizza every once in a while, and going out for celebratory meals with my family. Health is made up of both physical and mental health, and for some, this diet might be perfect for your mental health but for me, it is far too restrictive.

So, I shall continue to enjoy foods from this book/way of life but I will also be enjoying a creme egg or two every now and then too.
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Not That Kind Of Girl


Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham

This book, written by Lena Dunham, is about Lena's life and what she's learned along the way. It contains short essays/stories about various aspects of life, for example night's out, diets, school life and relationships. The book is split into five sections - 1. Love & Sex 2. Body 3. Friendship 4. Work
and 5. Big Picture. In each section, Lena documents what she's learned, mostly through mishaps and embarrassing encounters!

I won't lie, I bought this book because it's received SO much attention from bloggers/youtubers so it had to be worth the hype, right? I resent spending too much on books so tend to keep them on my amazon wishlist until they drop in price, and I just to happened to check it when this was £1.99, so I snapped it up immediately!

I REALLY wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. I don't like negative reviews but I struggled to finish this book. I didn't really find it funny and I found her writing tone a little dull. There were some chapters that I enjoyed, mostly the first two, but after that the book just seemed to get progressively worse. I am under the impression that this book is similar to those written by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and I was all for reading books by those too! However, I've been put off a little now.

I think what I've learned, is don't just buy a book because it's received a lot of 'hype'. Following the crowd gets you nowhere...!

Have you read this book? Is it just me that didn't really enjoy it?
 
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hello March


I know I say this all of the time, BUT HOW IS IT MARCH?!

The passing of one day, now means that deadlines are looming and next month, my dissertation is due. And in two months, I finish uni. It's just crazy. February has flown by so quickly that days seem to have molded themselves into one, and it's the weekend before the week has even begun. I must admit, I am definitely ready to leave Uni now, but at the same time, the amount of work that needs to be done before that can happen is something not worth thinking about, because it really is terrifying.

However, I am welcoming of March. I am impatiently awaiting the sunshine, spring, and the opportunity to leave my house without a chunky blanket scarf and parka coat. I am looking forward to shorts, dresses and sunglasses totally way too optimistic for British spring time but hey!

March will fly by as I will be as busy as ever, but that isn't necessarily a negative. Life should be full, bursting with endless opportunities.. and I would take 6 hours sleep over having no purpose, ambition or something to do, any day.
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