Friday, 7 August 2020

How to be Your Own Motivator

Guest Post by Paige Eades
Motivation can be hard. Life commitments, personal relations, mental and physical health can all have a part to play in keeping yourself motivated, happy and successful. How many times have you tried to do something; sat down and just found yourself struggling to find the energy or spirit in order to execute it?

Me too. I tried thinking of ways that I could become self-sufficient in motivating myself, and not having to rely upon anyone else to spur me on. Think about how much of a machine we could all be if we each knew what makes our motivation cogs turn? It would be a success explosion! These are some of the ways I like to motivate myself; so hopefully they come in useful to someone else too.
coffee, plant and book on marble background - how to motivate yourself

Saturday, 1 August 2020

5 Tips to Manage Greasy Hair

Greasy hair has been the absolute bane of my life for years! It's something I still struggle with on a regular basis and I can feel very self-conscious about if my hair is beginning to look greasy. Often I ask whoever I'm with if my hair looks greasy or how greasy does it look on a scale of 1-10 to try and gage whether it's okay or not. Over the years, there are some things I've found that definitely help to minimise the levels of grease on my head!

Saturday, 25 July 2020

5 Days in Prague: Travel Guide

I've had this post sitting in drafts for months on end and given the madness of the world recently it didn't seem appropriate to post a travel destination but now that we have fewer restrictions I thought I would finally unleash this post out into the world for you to enjoy!

Since my parents went to Prague to celebrate their wedding anniversary a few years ago it has made its way onto my list of places to travel, so last year myself and my boyfriend decided to take a trip to this lovely city as a quick break before we headed back to university. Here are some of our favourite things that we did!

Saturday, 18 July 2020

5 Simple Ways to be More Eco-Friendly

Note: Affiliate links are used on this page where I may earn money for products mentioned in this post. However, I will only recommend products that I wholeheartedly recommend and believe are of value.
Nowadays, it's more important than ever to start thinking about small ways we can help the planet and look after it. There's been a huge surge in the beauty industry and a drive towards consumers wanting more ethical or 'planet-friendly' products and options. I'm by no means perfect and there are definitely lots more ways I could adapt to help but I thought I'd share a few really simple things you can swap in your life to help just that little bit.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Why You Should Take a Gap Year Before University

Guest Post by Love, Em!

Taking a gap year can unlock so many opportunities as you have a whole year to explore, gain experience and try new things. The possibilities for your gap year are endless, and it can be hard to decide what to do. From travelling to volunteering, here is why you should take a gap year before heading off to university!

two women by mountains travelling
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Saturday, 4 July 2020

5 Hidden Gems in Stratford-upon-Avon

Now that lockdown has been eased and we have a lot more freedom to travel (!!) I thought I'd share some hidden gems of places to visit in a town very near to me. I've lived near Shakespeare's hometown all my life and it's somewhere that I probably take for granted as I walk past his house most weeks. As an English student, I sometimes hear my coursemates talking about Shakespeare, the RSC and Stratford and how they'd like to visit or have visited and it makes me laugh cause Shakespeare's actually quite a big deal for English students! It's only when the town has been so quiet that I've realised just how popular a tourist destination it is and how odd it is to be walking around without the steady stream of tourists that normally occupy its streets. Now that there are fewer restrictions in place, I thought I'd share my favourite places in and around Stratford and things to do whilst you're there if you ever fancy a visit!

shakespeare birthplace, stratford upon avon, shakespeare

Sunday, 28 June 2020

50 Blog Post Ideas

Sometimes it can be really difficult to keep the momentum up with blog post ideas and it's easy to get stuck in a rut or lack some inspiration. Here's a list of ideas to help if you find yourself needing some new ideas for all sorts of topics!

Sunday, 21 June 2020

6 Simple Ways to Transform Your Morning Routine

6 simple ways to transform your morning routine

I am 10000% a morning person. Not a get up ridiculously early in the morning person but still relatively early. I find it's the time I'm most productive, have the most energy and I like being up and ready to go. There are some things I think that really helps to get me pumped up in the mornings and ready for the day so I thought I'd share my top things to do to transform your morning routine!

Sunday, 14 June 2020

5 Products for Acne-Prone and Oily Skin

Note: Affiliate links are used on this page where I may earn money for products mentioned in this post. However, I will only recommend products that I wholeheartedly recommend and believe are of value.
My skin is one of my biggest annoyances. Don't get me wrong, it's not awful - but equally, it isn't brilliant. It definitely has its flare-ups and it's quite rare if I don't have any spots or blemishes which is my main gripe with it. I also have incredibly oily skin, to the extreme and its texture could definitely improve. However, having said all that, there are definitely some products that help it to improve, or at least help reduce its time as a spotty, oily mess which is my state of being 90% of the time.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

My Home Hair Dying Experience | Garnier Nutrisse Crème 10.01

I've always been the type of person who gets their hair coloured at a hairdresser as I don't quite trust myself (or anyone else) to do it. During lockdown, my hair has grown a lot in the past few months meaning that I have incredibly dark roots and therefore my hair is resorting back to its greasy ways after washing so I was getting towards the stages of desperation. I asked my hairdresser what sort of colour would match and off I went to buy a hair-dye during the weekly food shop!

Monday, 1 June 2020

Monthly Musings

The month's March to May have been unusual, to say the least. I feel as though the months have blurred into one and the days have become one long expanse of time. I thought this post would be quite nice to look back on once this crazy time is over and I'd love to know how your months have been during lockdown!

Monday, 25 May 2020

How to Keep Busy in Lockdown

I probably need to take my own advice if I'm writing this blog post as I have most definitely been guilty of boredom throughout lockdown. Don't get me wrong, I have been trying to amuse myself but after however many weeks we've spent social distancing the momentum and motivation are beginning to dwindle. Here are some suggestions of things to keep you occupied if you find yourself looking for something to do, but also remember, it's okay to do absolutely nothing and take time for yourself.

1. Something Arty
Art has never been my strongest subject, I was never awful but also never brilliant (everyone I know will remember the wonderful tree I painted for my GCSE that was promptly cut out by my art teacher) but lockdown has been a time to whip out those old paints again. I made Easter cards for my boyfriend and nan that turned out rather well and I also bought a paint by numbers which I'm slowly working my way through. Equally, if painting isn't your thing then you could get a colouring book, some engraving or sequin art or just plain old pens and paper. Now is the perfect time to get creative even if it doesn't go particularly well.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

DIY SOS: Lockdown Edition

Myself and my mum absolutely love anything interior design-esque and we both constantly want to update rooms in our house by painting them again or just adding a few new bits and bobs to spice things up a bit. With lockdown at the moment, this has only made things worse and we've found ourselves browsing the boards of Pinterest for inspiration and this was the result.

We wanted a slightly tropical theme but mainly just lots of splashes of bright colour throughout the room. It isn't perfect yet as we'd like to get different cushion covers and a brighter vase for the bedside table but it's a work in progress in quarantine. As soon as the shops are open again we'll be straight out there hunting down the finishing touches for the room, but, for now, we're fairly happy with it.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

How to Host an Online Quarantine Quiz

I'm a huge fan of any sort of quiz, though I'm not 100% sure why as I don't tend to do all that well on them. Since the UK's lockdown, there has been a huge increase in the number of quizzes, quiz questions and ways to make the best quarantine quiz possible. Naturally, myself and my friends hopped on the bandwagon and I decided to make a quiz for us to keep us amused through the many weeks of lockdown. Here are some of my tips on creating the best quiz possible!

Monday, 11 May 2020

Students Amidst a Pandemic

Amongst this global crisis, it's clear to me that one group in society seem to have been forgotten and left to deal with the consequences of the virus both academically and financially alone. The government have, so far, failed to address any of the issues that university students face at the moment with the policies across universities also varying greatly.

Life as a student at the moment is confusing and frustrating, to say the least. Some universities have continued to work to regular deadlines, others have chosen to extend, others have scrapped exams and assignments entirely, some have decided to adopt 'no detriment' policies and others have made assignments compulsory but they do not count.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Best Lockdown TV Shows

Lockdown has been a time where its been even more acceptable to binge-watch shows more than usual. I've watched some great tv shows in recent weeks so I thought it would be nice to share some top picks of things I've watched and thought were amazing! Without further ado, here are my top recommendations.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Top 5 Quarantine Reads

Note: Affiliate links are used on this page where I may earn money for products mentioned in this post. However, I will only recommend products that I wholeheartedly recommend and believe are of value.
During the current lockdown in the UK, I've been finding myself reading a lot more - which is quite the achievement considering I'm an English student and should be reading a lot anyway! It's been so nice to have more time to read novels for pleasure rather than for a module and I've been well and truly taking advantage of this and have found myself reading some books I've thoroughly enjoyed.

For that reason, I thought I'd share my favourite lockdown reads so far. I'm sure they'll be plenty more by the time we come out of lockdown! Incidentally, there are only three of the books mentioned in the picture below but that's due to the fact that the others have been lent out to friends before lockdown!

1. The Flatshare - Beth O'Leary
The Flatshare focuses on the lives of Leon and Tiffy as they navigate being flatmates who have never actually met each other (at least to start with). They're also not flatmates in the traditional sense as they also share a bed, though not at the same time, obviously... The Flatshare has been a book that I have found myself devouring, willing the characters to meet and get on. The notes they leave around the flat for each other are my favourite part of the novel and I loved watching the relationship between them blossom. If you're after a book to get you feeling more positive during quarantine then give this one a go!

2. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin
Tessa, dubbed a 'Black-Eyed Susan' by the media is the only survivor of a serial killer. Years later, the black-eyed Susans so-called killer is about to be executed but Tessa knows that this isn't the right man. Someone has been leaving her flowers in various places in the years after the trial and the novel slowly reveals the real killer as more evidence and forensics come to light. I did not expect the ending at all with this book so that's always a plus and I found myself guessing (incorrectly) right until the very end. If you're a psychological thriller fan then definitely check this novel out!

3. Where Angels Fear to Tread - E.M Forster
If classics are more your thing, or you fancy trying something a little less contemporary then any novel by Forster is fantastic (his A Room with a View is the inspiration behind the blog name). The story is set in Italy and follows Lilia as she falls in love with Gino but it is not all smooth sailing. She soon marries him and becomes pregnant, but Lilia's English family disagree with the marriage and believe that the child would be better off brought up in England so they embark to retrieve the child from Gino's care. It's a novel concerned with societal expectation, family and love. Despite being a 'classic' it's very easy to read and digest and it's also an incredibly short book with a twist that I didn't see coming.

4. Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams
If you're looking for a bold and vivacious character then look no further than Queenie. The story follows Queenie as she navigates life in London as a Brit of Caribbean descent. She's just split up with her boyfriend, Tom, she's struggling to be noticed in her job and her family don't seem to listen to her. If that isn't enough, she's trying to fit into a world that can never understand her. Queenie is a novel that examines life in both a comic and dark way, exploring issues of race, sex, love and family all in a deeply gripping and highly enjoyable way - I would definitely recommend!

5. The Tattooist of Austwitzch - Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Austwitzch is a remarkable novel, based on the true story of Lale Sokolov who worked as the tattooist in the most formidable of concentration camps during Nazi rule. The book follows his encounters and story through the many gruelling years of camp life and the desperate need to survive. It is a novel that reminds you never to give up despite the adversities you face and prompts a reader to never lose hope. It's such a touching and unforgettable story which everyone must-read!

Those are my top picks at the moment for books. What have you been reading?

Saturday, 2 May 2020

losing friends and why that's okay

Female friendships, in my experience, are never plain sailing. Primarily throughout sixth form, there were, shall we say, difficulties in my friendship group. These so-called 'difficulties' resulted in a meeting between the said group and someone from our school (a meeting I am still salty about because there was no need for it to happen and for school to be involved as we were all adults but that's another story..). But that is beside the point. Since going to uni these friendships have drifted quite considerably and I've realised that's okay.

For some context, there were 9 of us in this group and we had all been 'best' friends since we met in reception. So we're talking about 15 years of friendship here. But as we grew up we began to split apart into 2 sub-groups. It just so happened that the majority of one sub-group went off to uni this year and the other did not, perhaps cementing the split?

So uni started and everything was fine, or just papered over the cracks fine maybe. We'd all vowed to keep in touch and for a while we did. For my birthday in October friends from home came to visit me and made my birthday such a lovely day. We spoke occasionally and when I came home there were meet-ups if others were back as well.

But as the year progressed, the conversations stopped, the meet-ups were arranged and uni people who were back were often not there or invited and things changed. It became much more of an effort to talk and make conversation. I felt like things became one-sided, it became down to me to start up a conversation, to check up on someone, just to ask how life was going or to make the effort to actually keep in touch and suggest meeting up rather than it being a two-way thing. It came to a point where I decided to just cut people out, whether that's right or wrong, it's what I did. I became fed up of constantly being the person maintaining things and now that I had new flatmates, course-mates and a boyfriend, I didn't want to feel like a nuisance. Plus I had so many new people to juggle that we stopped messaging.

Don't get me wrong I still have friends from back home. Those of us that went to uni made such an effort to keep in touch and we saw each other regularly whilst being away and when back at home. These were the types of friendships that I wanted; it didn't feel totally one-sided and that we were friends for the sake of history. We both genuinely wanted to keep in contact so we did and things still work between us and we're all very good friends.

So first-year resulted in me gaining and losing friends and that's okay. People move in and out of your life constantly and whilst we had so many good years as friends and fond memories, I know that now, whilst we will always be friendly and civil (probably), we will never be as we used to be. As we've all gotten older we've drifted in and out of friendship with the starting of university being the final nail in the coffin so to speak. Losing friends and drifting apart doesn't make either of you bad people. Sometimes it's better to lose those where things just weren't quite working in order to make time for those where it does. But most importantly, it's okay to lose friends. It happens.

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