Monday, 7 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide for a University Student

As I sat down trying to think of present ideas for my friends and family I realised that I am so much better at thinking of ideas for things that I would love for myself. So I thought if you have any friends or siblings or significant others that are at uni at the moment, it would be helpful for me to give you some ideas of presents they will LOVE.



Blender - I have discovered since being away from home that it is very hard to get fruit and veg into my diet, recently I have made more of an effort to do so and I have noticed such a difference and felt a lot brighter. An easy way to incorporate healthy food into your diet is to make smoothies, so a blender is top of my list this christmas. I love this one from Breville, the size means it is perfect for a breakfast smoothie I can have to go on the way to a lecture. Also it's pretty darn cheap at just under £20 and my flatmate has one so I know it's good value for money.



Diffuser - You may or may not be aware of my utter obsession with candles, but unfortunately we aren't allowed to burn them here :( but the next best thing is a diffuser. This one from Next is amaaazing, but if you're unsure go and give them a good sniff for yourself. I find the best ones are light floral scents with just something deeper to them. That way your room smells clean but it's still clear that there is a fragrance there. At £15 it seems a bit expensive, but my family have bought me diffusers from Next in the past and they just last forever.




Mug - You can never go wrong with a mug for christmas, I have quite the unhealthy obsession with mugs as I'm sure my Mum would tell you. I couldn't resist including this adorable 'Long Distance' mug which is so perfect for your friend or sister that is at Uni or just lives far away. They would be soooo cute to drink from when you're skyping or just when you miss them and want to feel connected to them. These are pretty decently priced at £20 for the two, the only thing is that you'll have to get in early as sometimes Etsy orders can take a very long time to arrive. 






Make-Up - When you're living on a budget, make-up seems like the most unjustifiable thing to splash out on, so this year I have put a few staple (and a teeny bit pricey) products that I know I will use and love. Benefit 'Roller Lash' mascara is an ultimate favourite of mine and I've also asked for an  eyeshadow palette because these are so handy to take back and forth from Uni rather than awkwardly carrying a million individual paint pots. I love the look of this one from NYX called the 'Dream Catcher' palette, I really like to venture out of the Urban Decay Naked zone and I have heard very good things about NYX. £13 makes it an absolute must as well!





PAJAMAS! - I can't think of anything better than receiving a lovely cosy set of pyjamas for Christmas. I practically live in pajamas whilst I'm at Uni, they make horrible essays and reading just a little bit more bearable. These two from ASOS are adorable and quirky, basically the perfect type of pyjamas. This is an easy, please all present.

So there you have it, my take on what your uni friend/sister/daughter/girlfriend wants for Christmas! All links are availible if you click on the item you like. I hope you're all doing well and starting to get into the festive spirit because I certainly am! Leave me a comment with what's on the top of your christmas wish list :)

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book Review: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Hello, remember me?? I disappeared for about three weeks but now I'm back! Uni has been a lot to cope with and adjust to so that has meant my blog has taken a back seat for a while. I do really want to get back into blogging though, it's a shame to just leave it after almost two years. (I know! Crazy!)

Today I have a book review for you, as you may know I adored 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak and 'I am the Messenger' has been on my TBR for a very very long time. I finally got round to reading it after living in fear that it would not quite match up to my one and only. 

The general gist of the story is that average, card playing cab driver Ed Kennedy's life gets turned upside down when he successfully stops a bank robbery and starts receiving playing cards in the post which set him challenges to help the lives of others in the town. Along the way he learns a lot about not only the people he helps but about himself too. 

Ed is very loveable just as the characters in 'The Book Thief' were, and the stories of the people he helped really touch your heart. Each character has so much depth, at first I hated Ed's friends and his Mum but as the story goes on you learn why they are that way. It teaches you that everyone has their own fight going on whether you can see it or not. To be honest I really didn't like Audrey, Ed deserves someone waaay better who actually cares about him and doesn't leave him dangling as she does through the entire plot. Yes she does have more depth to her but I despise female characters whose lives revolve around which man they're going to be with next.

Overall the book was really enjoyable: a nice easy read but with a lot to learn. I would recommend it if only to restore your faith in humanity. It is so important to do little things to help out other people. maybe not in the massive way Ed does but just little things to remind other people that they are not alone. Markus Zusak is a very talented writer and although 'The Book Thief' remains my favourite book written by him, this still is worth reading and supplied my demand for more of his gorgeous writing.

Have you read anything by Markus Zusak? I want to know what I should read by him next, or if you love his work just as much as I do (or not!). Leave me a comment!
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Sunday, 4 October 2015

University Book Haul


So, I made it! A week has passed now and I am feeling WAY more settled than I thought I would be. My classes don't actually start until tomorrow but as I was lucky enough to collect my books for the course, and I thought it would be rude not to share them with you!

As you can see there is a lot of heavy reading in store for me. I am currently trying to wade my way through 'The Odyssey' which is very beautiful but also all consuming, definitely not a light read! However, I guess this is a great place to throw me in and I graciously accept the challenge.

I have been dying to get around to reading Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' so I am thrilled that this is also on the course, Also we have some other classics: 'Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'Dracula'. But the other's seem a bit of a mystery to me.

Collecting these books has made me really excited to delve into the course, I think it's important for any reader to visit the routes of literature (hence why I chose this course) and now I have the chance to. I am considering writing posts about a few of these books as I go if only to tempt those considering a Literature degree. If this is something you would want, let me know in the comments.

At the moment I am trying to work out a routine to blog, I will keep you posted with any changes I decide to make. I hope you're all having a lovely day and if you're at school/sixth form/university I hope you're settling in well :D
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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


I am a self confessed fan of Rainbow Rowell, 'Fangirl' and 'Eleanor and Park' are two of my favourite books that I have ever read! So when I started to hear about 'Landline' as being something more adult I had to give it a go. 

The thing that I love about Rainbow Rowell's books is that she has this incredible way with creating characters which are so real and loveable that you need to read until the end just to see if they are ok. She showed off this talent even further in 'Landline' as a huge part of the book is just phone calls between the main character Georgie and her husband Neal, but even through this you feel as if they are real people as their personalities are so complete down to the minute detail. 

The concept of the story is that Georgie discovers a 'magic' landline in her family home where she can call Neal from the past which she uses to change the mess they have found themselves in in present day. I have to be completely honest and say that this just didn't work for me. I didn't really get the whole idea for a long time and thought it kind of detracted from the many other parts of the plot such as Georgie's job writing an up and coming show, her dysfunctional family and the strained relationship with her husband. The use of the phone calls was a really clever way for Rainbow to form her characters and their relationship but personally I don't really think the time travelling bit was necessary.

That being said it was definitely was it was hyped up to be: a signature Rainbow Rowell book but with an adult spin with much more adult problems. It was really enjoyable to read and to get to know these characters who were really three dimensional and interesting. 

Rainbow also has another book out called 'Attachments' which is said to be similar in the sense that it's adult rather than YA so I will definitely be giving that a go. I'm desperately trying to catch up before she releases any more so I can truly call myself a superfan which I most definitely am.

Leave me a comment to let me know if it is just me who didn't get the whole magical phone thing, or if you've read 'Attachments' and think it's worth a read!

Remember you can also follow me on BlogLovin and Twitter so you will never miss a post! 
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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Life Update: Off to Uni!!



The day has finally come, as of today I am officially an undergraduate!! I am studying English Literature at the University of Essex and I couldn't be more excited to throw myself into books and reading for the next three years. As you can tell from this blog, reading is a huge part of my life and it is so lovely to be able to learn more about it and hopefully get a job involving books. 

I am literally the last of my friends, or anyone I know for that matter, to be going so I have been getting very restless especially over this last week but I know I will be fine once I am there and settled. This is a huge shift in my life so please bear with me in terms of uploading blog posts, it is something I really want to keep up but I will just have to find a routine that works around my lectures (ahhh lectures!!!). 

So there's my little life update for now, I'm sure you will be hearing much more about my experience, I would love to do some posts giving tips for getting settled as I have found the whole process so confusing and stressful so I would love to help other people in the same boat!

Speak again soon!
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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Book Review: Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O' Porter


Paper Aeroplanes narrates the tough lives of two high school girls, Renee and Flo in their struggle to fit in with the crowd whilst also struggling with some quite serious problems at home. Although very different in character, the girls find comfort and friendship in each other and work together to make life just that bit more bearable.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who described it as a book that was really fun to read and reminiscent of the first years of high school. I totally agree with that but it was also pretty hard hitting, my struggles during high school were very very small compared to what these two poor girls went through. That being said there are laugh out loud moments and you really get attached to the characters which makes it all the more enjoyable to learn where their stories lead. 

Definitely give this a read if you're looking for something to make you laugh and cry in equal parts, also there is a sequel which I will definitely get around to reading at some point! Let me know if you've read this, or if you've read the sequel and think it's any good.


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Friday, 18 September 2015

Goodreads Reading Challenge Update


This is just a quick one to let you all know where I'm up to on my reading challenge. This is the first year I have properly done it and set myself a target to aim for and to be honest I am proud of how I'm getting on. 

Being a Literature student means that this is a bit easier for me as 4/20 of those books I have read have been ones I studied for my A Levels but I've still managed to fit 13 in around them! I'm also quite close to finishing 'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. So this means I am so very nearly on track to making the 30 books by the end of the year! 

I don't know if 30 is pathetic to some people but I have never actually counted how many I can get through in the space of a year, maybe next year I will try 40 or even 50! It is also a great motivator (and excuse) to stick my nose in a book, cuddle up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and just forget the world.

Let me know how you're doing with your reading challenges!
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Book Review: 'Into a Million Pieces' by Angela Cook

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, unfortunately I didn't have the time throughout exams to pick it up and read it but I'm so glad I was able to read it now. 

'Into a Million Pieces' is a YA book which tells the story of two twins who happen to be succubi. This basically means that they have been blessed with perfect looks which can turn any man to mush, but they have been cursed with the inability to kiss or have sex with any men without potentially killing them or draining their life energy meaning that their 'victim' will be passed out in bed for the next few days. One of the twins, Jade, doesn't take any notice of this and is following the path her mother took before her: flirting with each and every man within a 5 mile radius and kissing plenty along the way. The twins' mother died when this addiction became too much for her. The other twin, Allison, is very very different, she disguises her perfect body and glowing skin with black clothes, and lots of black eyeliner and lipstick. Although most of the school think she is a freak, things get interesting when Ren Fisher starts paying her a little attention. 

This book had me hooked firstly because the whole succubus subject is not one I had actually ever heard of before, let alone read about. But it is also really interesting to see two completely different ways of dealing with this curse in the form of the two twins. Angela writes in a way that is so teenage and believeable that you could easily be reading a young adult best seller. I really formed a bond with Allison who I didn't really get to begin with just like everyone else at her school, and this meant I was so invested in the book as a whole! This being said, I would have loved a few chapters from Jade's point of view which would have been really interesting as the plot develops... (hint hint, spoiler alert)

I can be totally honest when I say I thoroughly enjoyed this, even more so because it isn't a big flashy book that every blogger/magazine/tv show has read already. It was such a privilege to read something so good that was just sent to little old me, I can't wait to see what else Angela comes up with because I'm sure it will be just as great if not better.

So if you are looking for something to read that is just completely different, give 'Into a Million Pieces' a go! And if you do, or have done already I would love to hear what you thought in the comments :) 
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Friday, 4 September 2015

Dreams: Exciting or Unrealistic?

As we are growing up we all start thinking about what we'd like to do or who we'd like to be in the future. This is always a really fun thing to do as we fantasise about where we dream of ending up at the end of the long journey that is life. 

When we are younger this can be huge things such as being a singer or an artist or even a princess, and while the last one may not be something you can work to achieve (or perhaps you can), these are all things as a child we fully believe will happen. We dress ourselves up in the privacy of our bedroom and sing along to our favourite songs in the mirror, pretending to be filming our debut music video. Yet when we reach a certain age we are forced to push these dreams aside and focus on something more 'realistic'...

In my case, right from the age of about 3 years old I wanted to be a singer. I grew up performing the role of Annie alongside our VCR in my lounge, then joining ballet classes, singing lessons and doing years and years of theatre school training up until the age of about 16. 

This was the point where people started to ask me realistically what I wanted to do when I was older. When I was younger I was asked and I would always say "I want to be a singer" and people would 'aww' and tell me to chase my dreams. But when I got older and I had to start picking GCSE options, A Levels or even my degree, music and performing was seen as something unrealistic and childish. People would laugh at me and point out that it was a one in a million chance.

I am really sad to say that over the years, especially at such an age where what you do and who you are is very easily moulded by the opinions of others, I listened to these people and let go of that dream to find something that I could tell people I wanted to do without receiving a patronising response. But the problem is that I am still searching for that. For my A Levels I chose more 'realistic' options like History, Spanish and English Literature and yes I enjoyed them and found them interesting but the jobs in those subjects don't make my heart race as much as singing and performing to an audience used to. 

Even though I fell head over heels in love with books and that is what I am studying for my degree at University, at the moment I can't see what job I want at the end of it. To be honest I really feel the gap that performing has left in my life. For this reason I am really eager to join musical and theatre societies at University and perhaps start doing small gigs. In that way I feel more secure in my path but I can still get back the rush and happiness I used to have when I was on a stage in my spare time.

The point of this post is to tell you to never ever do what I have done. If you have a dream that you long for with every fibre of your being then go for it and never look back. Yes maybe it will be difficult to get in to but you will never know if you don't try. Never settle for something that other people tell you you should be doing, when you get there you won't truly be happy because you have lived your life how someone else wanted you to. 

I would love to know your dreams growing up and the dreams that you have now! Are they any different? Leave me a comment below :)

You can also follow me on BlogLovin and Twitter so you will never miss a post! 

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Book Review: Allegiant (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

I didn't know how to write this review without referencing it's incredible and impactful ending so apologies for the spoilage (if that is a word).
As someone who has read both Divergent and Insurgent, I would call myself a follower of the series rather than a 'fan'. Don't get me wrong I fully connected with the characters and I loved the concept, but it just doesn't stick out to me as an amazing trilogy. However, Allegiant was the perfect way to finish it off and managed to bring out a strong bond with Tris and Tobias which I wasn't aware I had. 

Firstly, Veronica Roth is the ultimate troll as she not only placed Tris and co in this supposedly Dystopian world where there was nothing outside but the remains of our world, fooling them in to believing that their four factions compromised the entire earth, BUT SHE FOOLED US TOO! This genre went from post apocalyptic to I don't even know what category in a matter of pages. This is such a crazy but clever idea that keeps the reader on their toes. 

The structure of the narrative was also beautiful as we got to see inside the mind of the mysterious Tobias, his character development from a Dauntless to a Pacifist was very interesting to witness. Also, you could clearly see that Tris' confusing but intense love for him was definitely reciprocated which was comforting to know as Roth doesn't make Tobias an easy character to figure out from the outside. 

My only problem with the narrative, as I have found with the whole trilogy, is that the plot progression becomes slightly too slow and requires more reader effort somewhere around the middle, However in all cases it is worth pushing through to make it to the shocking endings, this one being the most incredible of all. 

This is the only book I have ever read where-in the protagonist dies. That sounds really lame as if I really haven't read many books but once you think about it, it is a really difficult thing to do if the one dying is the narrative voice. Roth was so daring to make this decision as for some it can feel like a let down but for me it was so emotional and shocking, I have to admit that this is the first time in a long time that I have had a good old cry at a book. However when you look back at Roth's inclusion of Tobias in the narration then you can kind of guess where it is going. 

What makes the Divergent trilogy special for me is the characterisation, the plot itself can be slow at times but I always have to go back to it to see where Tris and Tobias have ended up. For me Roth ended their stories in the perfect way, Tris dies a martyr leaving behind her a world free of oppression and segregation. This is the way she has always wanted to die, just like her parents so she would feel like she had made them proud. Tobias is also left feeling like he has finally found the place where he fits in in the world and seems the most content he has ever been (but obviously with a huge chunk ripped out of his heart, hence the tears on my behalf).

For me, this was the best of the trilogy. It does always seem to end up this way with any series but Veronica Roth outdone herself with emotion, characterisation and generally insane concepts that were very very unique in the dystopian genre. 

If you have read this, which I hope you have otherwise I have just ruined everything, let me know what you thought of 'Allegiant', Did it live up to the others in the trilogy? Or did you feel like the ending was a complete cop out? 
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Girl Code


While I was on holiday in Tenerife, my sister and I came across the girl about our age who was just so rude I had to write a post about her. We were queueing up to go and watch a show and she turned round, looked us up and down then gave us the filthiest scowl I have ever seen in my life. Bear in mind that my sister and I were just chatting away probably about what we were going to have for dinner etc, yet with one look she decided that we were the scum of the earth. 

I felt like this broke some kind of Girl Code that we females of the planet have in place. Throughout the night, every time we walked past to get a drink or food or go to the toilet she would whisper to her sister and repeat said scowl. It got to the point where I felt so self conscious I wouldn't even get up from my seat to walk past her. 

As a part of the gender that is seen by society as somewhat inferior, should we not be building up each other's confidence? What harm does a smile or a compliment do to a stranger? The only reason I can think that this girl would be so incredibly rude and mean is because she felt threatened that she had other girls to 'compete with', but why should this be the attitude we have? Everyone would feel better for giving or receiving a compliment and building another girl or another person in general up. If the world worked in this way we would create a much more positive and happy environment. Not one full of hostility and competition. 

So what do you think? Am I overreacting or do we need some kind of 'Girl Code'? Let me know in the comments and we can create our own :)
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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Life Update: The Future



You may or may not have noticed my absence over the past week or so, this was due to the stress and excitement that surrounds A Level results day...

After a really disappointing set of results for my AS Levels, I was so so motivated to work as hard as I could to achieve what I needed to be able to go on and study English Literature at University. Thankfully this hard work paid off when I woke up on the morning of results day to see I had been accepted in to my first choice, the University of Essex. 

This was such a relief for me and such a surprise, I had decided that perhaps A Levels just weren't for me and perhaps I didn't have what it takes to study at University. But luckily I proved all my teachers wrong who thought my grades last year were due to lack of effort or skill, plus I made my parents and my boyfriend super duper happy when they didn't have to find the words to tell me it was okay even though it really wouldn't have been. 

So this past week I have been starting my preparations since I hadn't even looked in to what I might need in case I didn't get in. I am so excited as I have already met some of my house-mates who seem lovely, and I have chosen extra modules (including one in Spanish which I am thrilled about), also (perhaps most importantly) I have purchased my freshers wristband so I can enjoy the intense two weeks of activities/partying/making friends. 

I guess this means my life is pretty much sorted for the next three years which is a scary but also comforting thought because the big bad world is still locked away for a while. I am hoping that Uni life will bring some interesting blog posts and definitely a whole lot of book related knowledge that I can share on here. I am excited and you guys should be too!! 

As I an pretty much clueless about what University requires of me other than hard work, cooking skills and general stamina to party but also study, please comment below if you have any tips of what to pack or what I need for my actual course etc.

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin or Twitter, both these links are in the side bar to your right so you can make sure you never miss a post :)
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Friday, 14 August 2015

Book Review: One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley


Carrie Fletcher (ItsWayPastMyBedtime on YouTube) made this video all about this book and the project behind the story. She explains it much better than I can so give that a little watch to give you some context. This book is written by Jodi and narrates her inspiring and quite frankly tragic experiences: contracting a brain infection from a tick bite which left her immobilised on her right side and triggered a chronic fatigue disease to top it all off, but it ends in a very uplifting way as she describes how this led to the incredible project which is 'One Million Lovely Letters' (OMLL) which not only gave her purpose and dug her out of a very dark place, but also it helped thousands of others all over the world who were also struggling in their day to day life. 

In a nut-shell, OMLL asks people in need of guidance or help to email Jodi to which she sends a hand written 'hug-in-an-envelope' to brighten their day and remind them that they matter. The project has been so successful that now Jodi has a team of people to meet the ever increasing demand she is receiving. 

It was so incredible to me that Jodi took on something which so drastically changed her life yet she was still determined to help others. Even when she was fit and healthy she would leave little notes on trains or buses and write a thank you note to leave with the bill at a restaurant. I think this is something everyone should try, we have this misconception that once we leave the comfort of our homes we should steer clear of all strangers as they could be murderers or 'weirdos' but quite frankly 80% of people we see in the street are just like us and our families, facing the same problems we face. How much effort does it really take to compliment their shoes or to ask them about the book they are reading on the train? This could make their day or even just make them smile, not only that but you feel good yourself for finding this connection with a total stranger.

If you are inspired my Jodi's story and want to help with her prohectm her website http://onemillionlovelyletters.com/howtohelp/ she is asking for 'lovely letters' for an exhibtion called 'Find The Right Words' where people can visit and take the letter that most speaks to them which can be written and donated by you. Or there are other little opportunities that pop up which you can read about to support Jodi's wonderful work. 

I had to write a post about Jodi because I just found the whole concept so touching and inspiring, even more so because this is totally off her own back. If I can help even by raising awareness on my little blog then I will be so pleased. I will definitely be sending in some letters for her exhibition too! Sometimes we get so caught up in our own worlds and our own problems we forget about everyone around us. Let me know in the comments or tweet me @whatmelthinks if you want to get involved too or if you plan to send in a letter to help her out :) 
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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Life Update: Holiday to Tenerife

Just under a week ago I got back from a 10 day holiday to Tenerife with my family. It was so needed for everyone as my sister and I have had a year of revision and exams and my parents both work so hard all year round in there jobs, Holidays are always something that we all treasure and look forward to.

We stayed in a beautiful villa at Costa Adeje which is around the south-west of the island. We were lucky enough to have our own pool and the location meant we were a 5 minute walk from literally everything: supermarkets, taxis, restaurants, the beach. 

So we had the most lovely little break together full of heat (sometimes into the 30s!!) and lots of cocktails. I didn't want to ramble on but I just thought I'd upload a few of my pictures :)













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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Advice For Controlling Anxiety

As some of you may know I suffer with anxiety and have done now for about 3 years. As you can probably imagine, during this time I have learnt a lot about what calms me and what triggers my anxiety. I know this will change for each individual and what makes me anxious may not make someone else feel the same way, but if I can help anyone it would make me feel amazing.


Find out what triggers your anxiety:
For me personally this is mainly long journeys, where I am trapped in my seat such as in a car or on a bus or even on a plane when I don't have an aisle seat. Or working long hours whether this is on my blog or for school.

Find ways of working around them or taking gradual steps to conquer them:
In the previous examples this was through taking the train to places instead of driving so I can walk up and down the aisles if I need to or pop into the loo if I need to calm myself down a bit. And during my revision or working of any sort I had a cut off time of 8pm so I had a few hours before bed to watch a TV show, read a book or take a bath to calm down before going to sleep. 

Meditation:


I cannot emphasise this enough for anyone who suffers from stress or anxiety. If you told me about this three years ago I would have laughed and pictured crossing my legs on the floor and saying 'ommmmmm' but this isn't what meditation is. There are lots of apps and videos on YouTube which guide you through meditation and if you get the hang of it you can practice it yourself but I always prefer listening to someone else's voice instead of my own, particularly if I am in a very anxious frame of mind. The main app I use is called 'Calm.com' and I have used it for over a year now, unfortunately they have introduced a really hefty subscription fee which I don't think I can afford to pay but they have a free 'lite' version where you can still get access to some of their recordings. Or if you want to search YouTube just type in meditation and thousands of results will come up with very specific benefits, for example I used one the night before my driving test to 'Calm Driving Anxiety' and it really helped. I meditate at least once a day, usually before bed.
    Have a pamper evening:


    This might just be me but I love to set aside a whole evening before a day that I know may make me anxious just to pamper myself. I usually put on a face mask, run a bath, and paint my nails so in the morning I feel confident enough to face whatever is worrying me that day.

    Get a 'Worry Book':


    I keep a notebook beside my bed that I use whenever I am worrying about anything or just feeling particularly anxious and I write down literally anything that comes into my head that I am worrying about usually during the early evening then put it away and go to do something else like watching TV or being with my family, then when I am in a calmer state of mind I draw a line under all my worries and try to fix them in my mind. This could be planning a way around it, or just positive sentences to make the worry seem less scary. This is a particularly useful tip if you are worried other people will think your worries are small and silly, you are ultimately comforting yourself. 

    Talk to someone:

    If your anxiety gets really out of control and starts to ruin your every day life then it is really important to talk to someone about it. Whether this is a parent or a friend, you need to find to courage to share this worry with somebody else. I know that sounds so simple written down like that, I know it isn't but for me it was really the first step towards dealing with anxiety. Then if you feel you can, have a chat with your GP about it. The NHS were so helpful with me and sent me on a course which taught me so much about what anxiety actually is and how to deal with it and although I don't advocate taking pills, they prescribed me with some beta blockers which I rarely use (probably not even once a month) but they just help to slow my heart rate down and help me out a bit if the anxiety gets too much. 

    Keep talking:
    It is just as important to maintain communication with someone as it is to start it. Luckily I have people who are really supportive around me so I feel I can always have a little cry to my Boyfriend or my Mum when things are really getting to me. Getting another perspective on a worry is always really helpful for you to see it in a different way, or even just so they know you're worried about something so they can help you through that day or leave you a little note to give you a confidence boost (my Mum is amazing for that).

    That, in a nutshell, is what has helped me to deal with my anxiety over the years. I can't say I have 'overcome' it as I still have days when I want to crawl back into bed and never go outside again, but I have learnt how to deal with anxious thoughts and how to prevent them from manifesting in the first place. I really hope this has helped somebody, let me know if it has in the comments and add your own tips if you have any! 

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    Friday, 24 July 2015

    10 Years Time


    Me about 10 years ago hahahaha
    For a lot of people the future is scary, but I love to sit and day dream about where I see myself in 10 years. What started this was my Grandad complaining that so many people go into university and get to the age of 20 without actually having any ambition or goals. It kind of woke me up to the fact that now I'm 'officially' an adult I should be thinking about what I want to do in my adult life. I have always had dreams but I wanted to try and think of something achievable so I can look back at the age of 28 and see how I have done.

    1. To be content with my career which will hopefully involve writing and books, and to feel as if I am progressing through it to reach a stable position where I am comfortable.
    2. To be married or engaged, in my mind mid to late 20s has always been the age that I want to settle down and think about starting a family. Hopefully if number 1 happens I will be financially stable enough to do so!
    3. To have travelled a lot with my boyfriend, I'm thinking weekend getaways to Paris or New York, and a holiday to Australia or New Zealand. 
    4. To have found a house in an area where I am comfortable living, eg. not too far from my parents that I can't see them at least once a week but also the right location for my job.
    5. To maintain the close relationship I have with my family. This won't be hard because I am a huuugely family orientated person but I will put in all the effort to see my lovely family as much as possible.
    6. To be happy. Ultimately this is the biggest goal for me and if none of the above happen but I am still totally content with where I am and where I'm heading I will not have a problem. And probably by then I will have grown an awful lot and made entirely new plans for the next 10 years! 
    What are  your goals for the future and do you think we should all know where we are aiming in life? Leave a comment to let me know. 
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    Tuesday, 21 July 2015

    Beauty Review: BaByliss Curling Wand Pro

    As a girl who was born with hair that is absolutely dead straight, it has been somewhat of a challenge to find a way of curling my hair to change up my look a bit. I am someone who loves experimenting with new hairstyles, I always have to have something going on for me to feel nice and presentable. I have spent so much money over the years on various curling irons and tried plaiting my hair or wrapping it round a headband while I sleep but nothing worked... until now! Dramatic I know, but a friend told me about this and it was so cheap I had to try it! From Argos it costed me only £19.99! So I got it home and gave it a go.


    My hairdresser had told me before that curls hold better either straight after washing and drying your hair or on hair that hadn't been styled already and that is definitely what has worked best for me. To show how it works I did a very simple ponytail which a curled, but when I took it out to go to bed I discovered that this was actually a really good way of curling thick hair without having to section it all off and it achieves a very natural loose curl which is just what I wanted.



    As you can see the iron has 4 heat settings which you can use depending on how thick your hair is or how well it holds a curl. I used the 180 setting because my hair is quite weak already because I've had the ends bleached and I find this works well enough that the curls last until the next day.



    To actually curl your hair it's as simple as wrapping it around the barrel which is completely safe as they provide a glove to prevent you burning your hand. Then hold for 8-10 seconds and let the hair drop leaving a curl like so. When you finish curling, wait for the curls to cool and then comb through them with your fingers leaving a more natural wave.



    It is really as easy as that, my only issue is that the ends don't quite curl but this may be just down to my technique and possibly just something I need to work on, but I find that once the curls drop the ends blend it well enough. Another problem I have had with it is that I had quite a nasty burn on my neck from it, this again may just be down to practice and now I am a lot more careful when using it, but it is something you need to be cautious of before using it. 

    I would really recommend this curling iron if nothing else seems to be working, for this price it's worth a try! I would also love to hear any of your hair curling tips and also how to get the curls to stay put as this is something else I need to work on. Let me know in the comments :)
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    Friday, 17 July 2015

    Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

    This is probably a slightly unconventional choice to review on a blog like mine but hey I'm going to give it a quick review anyway! But I promise NO SPOILERS, because I think this is worth a read for anyone.
    This book is obviously highly valued in the world of literature and I feel like anyone who would totally slander it is missing the social message hidden between the pages. Orwell actually published this in 1949 predicting what life would be like in 1984 which is so interesting and insightful especially since I have just finished a history course studying Stalin's Russia to the Cold War. To begin with I didn't really get where this was set as there were huge references to Russia's totalitarian regime from 1929-1953 such as the continuing 'Five Year Plans'. However, Orwell predicted that this would spread to England and communism would triumph over capitalism. As this definitely did not happen, it is really interesting to see the alternate universe of what would have happened if it did. 

    It was also really weird to see how much Orwell's novel has impacted our modern society, for example the tv shows 'Big Brother' and 'Room 101' are both references to '1984'. Big Brother is the leader of the society who is all seeing, which somehow got transformed into D-list celebrities trapped in a house, smoking and drinking whilst we all watch them. Yet you can see where they were going with it... Room 101 is a reference to a place where those who defy the leaders of society and they are forced to face their worst fear, again this was represented in a show where three celebrities moan about things that annoy them such as 'Welsh people' in one case. I'm sure this wasn't quite what Orwell had in mind when writing but it is really interesting that the ideas of this novel are so prominent today without us even being aware!
    In general, '1984' demonstrates the luxury of freedom of speech and creativity, even if you haven't ever studied Communist Russia this is really interesting to read to gain an insight into what we very narrowly escaped. The fact that Orwell predicted this would happen shows that it was a very real threat!

    Okay, the literature side of me escaped for a bit there. But seriously just read it! If you have then leave a comment with your reaction to it, everyone I speak to seems to have a different idea about what it means! 
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    Tuesday, 14 July 2015

    My 18th Birthday

    So yesterday was my 18th birthday and officially the best day of my life. Last night I promised myself I had to document it somehow so I thought what better way than on my blog? This is a very different post for me but it's always good to try new things!

    My family had planned the whole day as a surprise for me, all I knew was that I was busy all day. By the time the day came I was really curious to know what this big surprise was, usually I'm quite good at sniffing out clues but they had covered their tracks so well that I did not have any idea what I may be up to that day. 




    First of all I opened my presents! As it was a big birthday Mum let me pick out a handbag and pair of shoes that I wanted to treat me.



    Mum had also picked up on other things I had been saving up for such as this gorgeous jumpsuit from Topshop and the kimono from Quiz. 


    Also, it wouldn't be an 18th birthday without celebrating the fact I can legally drink, so my parents bought me a beautiful champagne flute and a mini bottle of champagne to drink from it! 
    My sister got me a photo frame of us both in which now has pride of place on my windowsill. 

    After that we had a breakfast of croissants and tea which was amazing and my family had decorated the table with lots of '18' confetti with two 18 candles which Mum creatively stuck into a potato. (You have to love her) 


    Then it was time to get ready and get on the road, Mum and my sister got in the car with me and all I was told was how long it was likely to take to get there. We eventually arrived in the beautiful town of Bury St Edmunds and to be honest at first I didn't know what exactly there was to do in Bury but we arrived at this shopping centre called 'arc' which is a thing of pure dreams. It literally has all of my favourite shops in it!


    After a little look round the shops Mum told me it was time for lunch. I have always said to Mum that I would love to have a cocktail on my birthday as I'm not really big on alcohol but cocktails are much more my kind of thing. We walked down the road and arrived at a cocktail bar called 'Ivory', the only cocktail bar my Mum could find anywhere near us.

    I had a 'Pretty Lady' cocktail which consisted of Peach Archers, Apple Sourz and Creme de Cassis shaken with Orange juice over ice. As first legal drinks go, this was definitely a winner.

    Then we got back to shopping, Mum told me we had to be back at the car to get home in time to meet my Dad for a meal so we headed back. But just before we got to the car park Mum said 'I think we have time for one more treat' then lead my down the road to a Spa where I was booked to have my make-up and nails done!! This was so exciting for me because I've only had my make-up done professionally once before and I felt very glamorous for a meal out in the evening.

    We arrived at my favourite restaurant in my town 'Zizzi's' and were walking in to meet my Dad when I noticed my boyfriend sitting there too, when we got to the table literally my whole family had come to surprise me and joined us for the meal. 


    For the final surprise of the day, as if my emotions could take any more, the cake was brought out and I might be being bias but it is the most incredible cake I have ever seen! Mum had asked me months ago what my top three books and musicians were and she had used it to put onto the top of the cake. The woman who made it for us had made my Mum a cake for her 50th and it was almost as amazing as this one (but as this was mine it was just that liiittle bit better). 


    So that was my wonderful birthday. I realise I have gone through every possible adjective to describe how totally astounded I was by the whole day but it is so hard to put into words what this meant to me. The fact that my family had put months of time and effort into putting this together makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. 

    As I sat around the table at Zizzi's I couldn't believe all these people had given up an evening to surprise me and make my birthday even more special, even those members of my family I don't get to see very often. It is safe to say that at the end of the day I felt very overwhelmed from all the attention just for little old me, which is why I need to document how lucky I am. My incredible boyfriend has actually still got a surprise day planned for me next week and made it to my meal even though he really isn't very well which made my day completely perfect. 


    This day was the best day of my life and such a good way to start my 'adult' life. Now I have to find a way to show everyone involved just how grateful I am which is near enough impossible! 
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