Monday, 30 September 2013

Moving Out

Sorry my posts have been a little lack luster as of late. I promise you I have a good reason behind this, though. These last few weeks have seen me officially move out of my childhood home and into a student house ready for my second year to begin. As you can tell, my life has been a little hectic! However, now that I'm beginning to properly settle in, I thought I would show you a few things I love about my new room, and some of the things I've found most challenging about the experience so far.
Little bit of context before hand - I am still living in the same city as my family so am lucky enough to be able to pop home if I'm missing them or having a crappy day. I'm very lucky to be able to do this! I'm just beginning the second year of my English degree and so have decided to live closer to university purely to save time travelling back and forth 3 or even 4 times a day like last year!
I've lived in my student house for just over a week now. One of the things that's helped me to settle in so easily is that I brought some home comforts with me. For example, in the picture above you will see I brought some cushions. The owl one is handmade by my Grandma holds a lot of sentimentality for me. I also had quite a few photos printed which I haven't got round to putting up yet. I find that they're a nice reminder of my favourite people. This would probably mean a lot more to people who have moved further away from their homes. 

 Owls seem to be a recurring theme in my room actually! My grandparents bought me this amazing leaving gift. I have yet to name him (yes, I name inanimate objects) but he looks so cool glowing away next to me whilst I blog.

Another 'tip' I would suggest you do if you're moving out, is to decorate the blander areas of your space. It only takes simple things like some cheap fake flowers from Ikea dotted around, but they can soon turn a daunting room into a little haven for yourself. The same goes for posters or artwork - anything that you love really! The more things in your room you love, the more you'll learn to love it. I've brightened up my window like so:

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the gift boxes I hand painted, and turned into make-up and beauty product storage. 

These took me between 2 and 4 hours to complete and were super easy and fun. I popped down to The Works and took advantage of their cheap art supplies; 2 big tunes of acrylic for £5!! I then handpainted on one of my favourite ever quotes - a line from Les Miserables. They look great in my room as they add a bit of colour and stop everywhere getting cluttered with products. 
If you ever need inspiration for cute additions to your room like these, browse Pinterest. That site is my new obsession!

I've been very fortunate so far because there hasn't been a day where I haven't been busy so I haven't spent too much time missing home. It is difficult though. I find myself making an effort to talk to my Mum a lot more now than I did at home. I guess when you live with a person you end up taking for granted finding out about their day and things. It's only when you move away that you realise how much you did speak to them. The same goes for my sister really. It's kind of ironic that distance between us will probably end up making us closer.
So, that's about it I think! I would have provided better photos of my whole room, but I am yet to find a bookcase and some other things so there are still boxes around etc. I hope you've enjoyed this post. I think from now on, my blogs will tend to be updates of my life here at university - if anything it'll be more of a public diary ha! I love blogging so am going to try my upmost to find time to post as regularly as I can! I'd love it if you followed me, too.

Thankyou so much for reading. Have you moved out recently or ever before? How did you find the experience?

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Life in Letters

For today's post, I have taken inspiration from Alex Day and one of his recent videos entitled 'Life in Letters'. For those of you that don't know who Alex is; he is a British musician and YouTuber who runs the channel 'nerimon'. 
The concept for 'Life in Letters' is simple really - all you have to do is choose a word that describes something about you or your life to align with each letter of the alphabet! I thought this would be a good way of telling you guys a bit more about myself. If you would like to watch Alex's video (and I recommend that you do because he is brilliant), you can find the link HERE.
So, let's begin!

 - Ambitious.
I like to describe myself as an ambitious person. I set myself goals that are often challenging to reach, but I enjoy working towards something. 
 - Bossy.
I'm the first to admit that I can get a bit bossy when it comes to certain things. I was at my worst in school when I was helping to organise some shows. I've learnt how to listen to other people a lot more now though, thankfully!
 - Confidence. 
Confidence is an issue I struggled a lot with when I was younger, especially in lessons. I remember when I first joined secondary school I was far too scared to raise my hand during lessons even though I knew the answers. Luckily, I have now come out of my shell and am much more confident. I do still struggle sometimes though.
 - Drama. 
Drama and Theatre are huge parts of my life. In fact, taking part in school shows was what built my confidence levels up. I figured if I could perform in front of hundreds of people, I could do anything! Drama soon became my favourite subject throughout school.
 - English. 
On an equal par with Drama, English is also a subject I adore. It has been my strongest throughout my school life, and I am now doing a degree in it at university. I love reading different texts, and discovering many new and exciting ways of interpreting them. Language is such a powerful thing.
 - Friendship.
Friendship is so important to me. My friends are my favourite people, and I am lucky to have met and made many new ones in the past year since starting Uni.
 - Gatherings.
This year I attended my first YouTube gathering and I blooming well loved it!! I intend on going to many more, and hope to go to some that aren't solely about YouTube too. If you are interested in my Summer in the City experience, I wrote some posts about it which you can find herehere and here.
 - Happiness.
'Happiness is not a destination. It is a mood, it is not permanent. It comes and goes and if people thought that way then maybe people would find happiness more often.' - One Tree Hill.
One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite programmes. Too often I see people striving for 'happiness' as if it's an object that they'll suddenly wake up one day and have. 

 - Internet.
Much like the majority of my generation, I am addicted to the Internet, most specifically social networks. I actively update and scroll through LINKS TO ALL 
 - Journey.
I wanted to use the word 'travel', but I have already thought of an idea for T. Instead, 'journey' is the word I've chosen. I love exploring new places, and would love the chance to visit many more. I hope one day to get the chance to travel all over the world. 
 - Kind. 
I have often been described as a kind person. This makes me happy! I live helping others in any way I can. 
 - London.
I love London. It's so easy to become lost in the hustle and bustle of thousands of people wherever you go. It also contains the West End, which is one of my favourite places in the world! I hope to live in or a short distance from London once I have graduated.
 - McFly.
McFly are my favourite band. They are the first band I ever properly followed, I have grown up alongside their music and have been to see them numerous times. One of my favourite memories from Primary school is sitting in the playground with two of my friends pouring over the lyric book to their first ever album, whlist debating who was our favourite. Oh, to be 10 again, haha. 

 - Nervousness.
Nervousness is something I struggle with quite often. I have an irrational fear of never being good enough, and never achieving things to the highest standard possible. Therefore, whenever I'm given an important responsibility I get nervous. I tend to thrive through this process though, so I'm okay with it now. 
 - Organised.
I love lists. I love notebooks. I love folders. I love labels. You might as well just say, I love organising and being organised.
 - President.
This year, I have been elected as President of my University's Musical Theatre Society. This means I have now taken on even more responsibility, but I am excited to lead a group of my favourite people. You can read more on this here
 - Quiet.
When I was younger, I was very quiet due to my confidence issues. However, after discovering my love for Musical Theatre, I came out of my shell a lot and am now much louder than I was before! I'll still be quiet and shy when meeting people for the first time though.
 - Reading.
I love reading, and always have done. Some of my earliest memories are either of reading, or being read to. Books are amazing in my eyes!

 - School.
I was very fortunate in that I loved my school days. Don't get me wrong, I went through a period of horrible bullying but luckily, I had teachers around me who managed to put a stop to it. School was easily some of the best years of my life, and hopefully most of my adult life will be spent in the same environment as I want to be a teacher. 
 - Tea.
I love tea. How very British of me! My favourite type has to be Earl Grey. Nothing beats a cosy Autumn evening curled up with a good book and a hug mug of steaming hot Earl Grey, in my opinion.
 - University.
As you will already know by now, I am currently studying at Universtiy. This September will see me start my second year of a BA (Hons) Degree in English.
 - Veracious.
This means to be truthful/honest (yes, I did use Google if you must know), which is something I like to be. Lying gets you nowhere, and can only cause upset. I'd much rather tell someone the honest truth and them be upset, than to hurt and deceive them in a much harsher way by lying.
 - Walking.
Walking is another hobby I enjoy. I'm sad that I don't get the opportunity to do this as often as I used to. I participated in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in school and loved it!
 - X.
I couldn't think of a word beginning with X for this. Everytime I tried, I ended up thinking about how weird it is that we use X's at the end of messages to symbolise kisses, and wondering who thought of that first....
 - Youtube.
I love YouTube. I spend more time watching videos on the Internet than I do watching television these days. This is probably obvious from my many mentionings of Summer in the City. Have I said how much I loved that weekend yet?! Ha. 
- Zoo Keeper.
Bit of a random one to end on, but when I was younger I desperately wanted to be a zoo keeper. My animal of choice to care for would be giraffes, I love them! I soon realised this wouldn't be the best career for me as I used to bawl watching wildlife documentaries, so I would definitely not cope with real life loss! 

So, there we have it; the alphabet according to me! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it wasn't too long and rambling for you! I get a bit carried away with things like this. I would love to see other people doing this, so let me know if you have tried it out or done something similar! Thanks for reading.



Thursday, 5 September 2013

On The Bookshelf: Harriet Evans - Happily Ever After

Today, I am posting my second book review on here. I recently finished reading Harriet Evans' 'Happily Ever After' and I quite simply adored it. So, what better is there to do than to share my love with you, in the hope that maybe you will enjoy it just as much? 

This Summer I've found myself splurging on luxuries I wouldn't normally treat myself to. I'd been trying to curb my spending but, as every book lover knows, bookshops are nearly impossible to go in without buying anything! I had tried to resist, but I knew once I'd read the first two sentences of Happily Ever After's blurb I just had to buy it. 

'This is a story of a girl who doesn't believe in happy endings. Or happy families. It's the story of Eleanor Bee, a shy, book- loving girl who vows to turn herself into someone bright, shiny and confident, someone sophisticated. Someone who knows how life works. But life has a funny way of catching us unawares. Turns out that Elle doesn't know everything about love. Or life. Or how to keep the ones we love safe. Absorbing, poignant and unforgettable, Happily Ever After is a compelling story of a fractured family and a girl who doesn't believe in love.'

I mean, come was I supposed to resist that?! Luckily, the story itself not only lived up to the blurb, but went beyond it. Set in London and New York, you follow Elle through a large section of her life as she begins her career at a publisher's. I found this book to be so captivating because of how real it feels. Elle is such a relatable protagonist that I found myself thinking that if I met her in real life, I could easily be friends with her. The plot doesn't always go the way you expect - again echoing the troubles of everyday life. It isn't a glitzy, slushy romance, instead I felt like I wouldn't be surprised if I found out at the end that it was a true story; I think that's what I loved most. 
Most of the novel focuses around Elle's career and the choices she makes within this. As a self-confessed book lover, I enjoyed reading about the process of publishing books too. Evans explores a couple of Elle's family situations too, as a kind of sub-plot running throughout which I found especially moving. 
For me, I felt the main message of this book is to do with the dilemmas you can face throughout your life and deciding what is most important to you. Elle struggles as she finds herself and we join her on that journey. The book sees her discover what makes her successful, what makes her happy and deciding whether these are the same things, and if they're not, which is the most important to her. 
It's quite simply the classic case of choosing to follow your head or your heart; something I believe we can all relate to whoever we are and whatever we do. 

That being said, if you love books, romance and honesty, I highly recommend you buy this. I finished it a good few weeks ago now, and I'm still in that 'post-book-depression' stage! (For those of you on a budget too, you can pick it up in The Works for just £1.99!)

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you've read Happily Ever After, or if you will now! I love finding new books to read so if you have any recommendations, please comment below.
 Thanks for reading!



Sunday, 1 September 2013

Summer Round Up!

So it seems I have been pretty poop when it comes to blogging this week! However, seeing as it is now September - where the hell has this year gone?! - I thought it would be a good idea to do a 'round up' type post of the things I've been up to this Summer.
2013 has been a hectic year for me; normally my summer's pass by in a dreamy haze of reading, eating and strolling around with friends. This year has seen me do so much more than that and I have loved it! 

My first year at university kept me brilliantly busy so when May came round and my exams were over, I was very happy to spend some down time relaxing at home in the garden. This didn't last long before I found myself spending many a golden night in a pub garden surrounded by my friends. A few of them have now got cars meaning that we're able to take a short trip out of the city to cute village pubs. When we weren't sipping drinks in the sun, we have been chilling round each other's houses chatting and playing games. Although evenings like this aren't necessarily the most adventurous or outgoing, I adore every minute. I'm a firm believer of it not mattering where you are or what you're doing as long as you're surrounded by good people! I've been very fortunate to get the chance to do this a lot this year.

Cake and drinks in the sunshine! (Posted from Instagram)
July found me travelling up to Nottingham for my close friend's (and soon to be housemate!) birthday! This was so much fun. The pre-drinks were themed as Alice in Wonderland and we spent the whole day catching up, baking and decorating ready for the evening. I wrote a post dedicated to the weekend which you can check out HERE

August has been my favourite month by a mile. Not only was it my birthday, (I mean, who doesn't love birthdays?) but I got to spend my birthday in London watching my favourite musical on the West End for the first time. Talk about perfection. Les Mis was absolutely brilliantly fanstastically amazingly mind-blowlingly spectacular. As you can probably tell by the vast amount of adverbs, I LOVED it. I still can't describe properly just how it made me feel; I always end up in a rambling mess of feelings like I am now, haha!
But that wasn't all... I also went to Summer in the City too! The gathering was so great, I had the opportunity of meeting some of the people who inspire me most in the world, as well as listening to some awesome music and great comedy surrounded by like minded people. If you'd like to read more about losing my SitC virginity, I complied 3 posts which you can read herehere and here.
I had such an awesome August, 2014 has a lot to live up to.

SitC 2013
This Summer has been one of the best of my life, and I hope Autumn continues the same way. I'm looking forward to watching the trees turn golden and being able to wear my favourite comfy baggy jumpers! 
This September I'm taking a huge step and moving out of my childhood home into a house near uni with two other students. I will also be fully starting my role as President of a society too so I'm feeling pretty nervous about it all! Hopefully by the time Winter comes around, I'll still be feeling as happy as I do now! 

Thanks for reading! What have your summer's been like? Do you have anything coming up in Autumn that you're looking forward too?