Saturday, 28 November 2020

5 Ways to Make the Most of Online Learning

Guest Post from Not so Modern Girl


Students across universities in the UK are facing online learning in many subjects. Whether you prefer learning over Zoom or not, it’s important that you have a productive and successful University experience, and you know just how to make the most of this new, online teaching experience.


I recently graduated from the University of York, and my final term of University was all taught online as the pandemic started to hit the world. While it was only this final term that was taught online, it was one of the most important terms of my University career and it certainly opened my eyes to just how resilient students, tutors, and University departments can be. 


During my time getting used to this new mode of teaching, I found a few ways to make the most of online learning during that all-important final term, and hopefully, those tips can help the next round of students grappling with their University subjects.


macbook air beside gold study lamp and spiral notebooks with motivational print in background desk aesthetic
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash


Look smart


Even though you’re not going into class at University, looking smart and feeling ready for class is an important step to succeeding in your online classes. For me, if I’ve got my make-up and outfit on (just as I would if I went to University in person) I automatically feel more awake, more productive, and ready to start learning.


Obviously different routines work for different people- and some people love working in their pyjamas! But when you “arrive” at a class feeling smart and ready, I personally think it impacts the quality of work you can achieve.


Do the work beforehand


This is a big one. Of course, not every class can be your best! I’ve definitely been guilty of skimping on the reading before a class if I’ve been out with friends a lot that week, or if I’ve not been very well. 


However, I think sometimes it’s easy to feel that we need to prepare less if we don’t have to go into classes in person. We don’t have that shameful moment where everyone else has done the work, and we don’t feel stressed if the teacher picks on us and we flounder a little. 


But just because you can hide behind your keyboard, it doesn’t mean you should put in less work beforehand, and it’s a central part of making the most of your University experience!


Put your phone away


When classes aren’t in person, I think it’s super easy to lose concentration! During my final term, I often caught myself messaging my boyfriend or checking the news instead of concentrating on my Zoom call or online work. And if the tutor didn’t insist that people put on their cameras, it was the perfect excuse to check Twitter.


So, I think a great way to make the most of your lessons is to put away your phone and get rid of all distractions while you work!


Write up your notes afterwards


Making the most of online learning is all about finding opportunities instead of cursing the fact that you can’t see your teachers or classmates in person (which let’s be honest, isn’t ideal).


If things are online, it means they’re often recorded- which gives you a chance to replay the material in your own time! And after a class, you have more time to write up your notes or clarify certain concepts. Instead of running home or popping to another class, you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home.


Just because teaching is online doesn’t mean you get less contact with your tutors, as you can email or phone them to discuss your work- and it’s always possible to create group chats with your classmates and make the most of this time online.


Limit interruptions!


Interruptions are an annoying part of working online, especially if you’re engaging with other classmates during a Zoom call. So make sure to tell anyone you live with- friends, family, or housemates- that you’re starting an online lesson.


Finding a space you can work well is also important, and however, you work best you need to decide where to set up your computer for online classes. At the moment, it’s harder to make our way to the library or University café to work - so make sure to find a space with plenty of light, good Wifi, and easy access to snacks!


About the Blogger:


Eleanor is a blogger, writer, and avid reader from Sheffield. She has recently graduated from a degree at the University of York, and she’s since spent time working on her blog. She loves writing regular lifestyle posts and reviewing books and films that she’s enjoyed. Be sure to check her out via her social media and blog!

Pinterest: @notsomoderngirl


How have you been finding adjusting to online university? Do you have any tips that you use for online learning?


If you want to see more University-related posts you might enjoy what I wish I'd known before starting university and what to expect from your first year at university

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Shop Small: Christmas Gift Guide 2020

Christmas is fast approaching and now more than ever it is so important to help small businesses. I'm so excited for Christmas this year and, I've tried to spend more time researching the perfect presents for everyone in my life and I've tried to shop small. This has become a rather large gift guide and, there are some absolutely amazing small businesses in here so you're sure to find something that suits everyone. I hope you find something that you like for the festive season and remember to shop small!


red christmas bauble on brown paper christmas present
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash


For the Candle Lover:


Inside the Fragrance

Inside the Frangrance is run by the lovely Alisha who has some absolutely amazing scents to choose from. I have bought some of her wax melts for some people for Christmas and they look incredible - I love the design of the wax melts and they smell amazing. I'm a huge fan of all her Christmas scents and I love anything cinnamon related so some of her Christmas wax melts are a big win for me! 


Grace Etc

Grace Etc sells vegan-friendly and cruelty-free candles in some amazing scents! She sells Movie Night scented candles which sound incredible and perfect for someone who's a film fan too! If you're reminiscing about holiday season then there's also a Lime in the Coconut candle which sounds like the perfect scent if you know someone who wishes they were abroad! 


For the Foodie:


Vinny

Vinny's vegan snack boxes sound incredible! You can purchase a single box or gift a subscription to someone if you want to make Christmas happen for every month of the year. They allow you to pick your own snacks for the box or you can leave it as a surprise. I think this is such a cool idea and I love that they support independent vegan food brands too. I'm such a big snacker myself and I always find myself wandering the food aisles for something new to try so Vinny gives you the chance to find a new favourite snack every single month!


Slab & Tipple

If you like chocolate then this is the Christmas gift for you! Slap & Tipple handmake all of their chocolates and they really do have a flavour for everyone! Some of my favourites are white chocolate with honeycomb, milk chocolate with salt (I'm a big fan of salted chocolate!) and dark chocolate with raspberry! They even have a vegan range and sell handmade fudge so if you know someone with a sweet tooth then check out Slab & Tipple!


Treat Trunk

If you know someone who is looking to try some healthier snacks or is too busy to create their own snacks then Treat Trunk have you covered. You can gift a one-off box or buy a subscription which means a whole bunch of healthy snacks will be delivered to your loved one's door. I love how they focus on picking healthier alternatives to what you might regularly snack on so it's a great Christmas gift that also allows you to discover some healthy and delicious brands!


For the Home Lover:


Benji's Shop

Benji's shop have some absolutely gorgeous bits and bobs that are perfect for Christmas! I have found myself scouring their website in the past few months looking as there are so many items that I love (*hint to any of my family reading this*)! They sell so many lovely pieces for around the home and their Christmas decorations are so cute too! Some particular favourites of mine are the Woodland Planter, Silver Moonshine Earrings and any of their mugs or bowls. I genuinely love the entire website so much so that I could buy everything on their website if I'm not careful!


For the Drink Lover:


Say it with Champers

If you fancy going one better than just a bottle of bubbly for Christmas then look no further than Say it with Champers. They let you the personalise the label of your bottle to tailor it to whoever you wish to gift it to which is such a cool concept! Personalised gifts are some of my favourites to receive and if you know someone who is a fan of champagne then this is perfect to make their gift extra special!


Friary Drinks

Friary Drinks have some absolutely amazing sounding drinks flavours that I have already purchased a few for my family for Christmas which I am sure they will love on Christmas day! Their Christmas range have so many incredible sounding flavours in their whiskey and gin liqueurs that are perfect for your festive tipple - ginger, apple, cinnamon, cloves, orange and nutmeg! If you want to buy an alcoholic beverage that screams Christmas then Friary Drinks have got you covered!


For the Fashion Lover:


Sew Totes

I absolutely love a good tote bag and use them all the time when I'm at uni as they're so handy for so many things. Sew Totes have the most adorable designs, I am a particular fan of the star sign totes as I'm a sucker for anything with Libra on it! Bry even makes personalised designs so you can create the perfect tote bag for someone in your life! They make such a fab gift and are perfect for Christmas!


So that's it for this mammoth small business gift guide! Like I said earlier there are some absolutely incredible businesses out there with some amazing and unique gifts that really will suit everyone. I hope you've found some Christmas present inspiration and found something that you love. I've personally loved shopping smaller this Christmas and found it so rewarding buying things I know someone will love but also supporting small businesses too!


Have you been shopping smaller this Christmas? How's your Christmas shopping going? 

If you're after more Christmas content then check out some of my favourite Christmas films on Netflix!

Saturday, 14 November 2020

6 Tips to Stay Productive and Organised at University

AD: This post contains sponsored content


I'm currently in my final year at university now (which is scary as the real world is looming) and in that time I have managed to survive my first couple of years and have learnt to adopt some ways that really help me to stay on track and keep organised. With the switch to online university, it's more important than ever to keep on top of your university work and find ways that work for you to stay organised. Here are the best tips that I've been using to stay productive whilst at university.


white notebook next to silver macbook and mug of coffee
Photo by Reina Lovefull on Unsplash


Ask for help

This is something I never used to do that much in first year as I was always the type of person who never asked or needed much help in school. However, university is a completely different way of learning and your lecturers are there to help you if you don't understand something, want some extra time to discuss a query, or even if you found something incredibly interesting and want to discuss it further. More often than not in my third year, I will email my lecturers or attend their office hours to sound out ideas for an essay if I'm struggling or want an opinion. They are more than happy to give you some advice and steer you in the right direction. This really helps me to stay on track if I get stuck and usually after a quick 10-minute meeting you have a much clearer idea of what to do and where to go next that it will stop you from getting stressed and letting everything else you have to do get on top of you as well!


Use to-do lists

I am such a huge to-do list user - I write one most days and I find it really helps me to get everything in my head down onto paper so that I know what to do and where to start. Even writing down the smallest tasks like 'do washing' or 'make bed' makes me feel more productive and organised as they're things you can do quickly and get the ball rolling. I also find adding things that aren't study-related helps to keep me motivated as there isn't a huge overwhelming list of university work to do. Writing things down helps you to visualise clearly what to do next and the satisfaction of ticking something off of your to-do list is always a great feeling too!


Plan your meals and food shop

This is something I'm still working on but making a list of what you plan on cooking for the week and then using that to make a shopping list is a great way to stay organised and also save you some money. This is especially important if you have dietary requirements or follow a vegan diet as you won't always know what's available on campus. I always walk into the shop and get suckered into buying food I don't need or random bits that don't make any meals so planning ahead and thinking about what you might eat is so useful for staying organised and maintaining a balanced diet that doesn't just consist of pasta and pot noodles, especially if you have dietary requirements too!


Stick to a routine

Making sure you have some sort of routine in your day is good for staying organised. I know that I am definitely a morning person so I make sure to get a decent nights sleep, go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up at roughly the same time each day. I find that whenever I have a day out of routine my motivation and energy crashes as it feels so out of the ordinary therefore I try to stick as much as possible to get up in the mornings and getting started with my day ASAP. 


Back up your work

During first year, it's made pretty clear that if you lose your work that is not a good enough excuse for not having work. If you want to stay organised always make sure you have your work saved more than once so if, for whatever reason, something goes wrong and you can't access it you don't have to start all over again. Personally, I always use google docs for whatever work I'm doing as I know that I can always access the latest version wherever I am rather than constantly saving different versions to memory sticks or emailing work across. 


Use a planner

I am a huge fan of anything stationery related so I absolutely love shopping around for my planner every year and it's something that is a staple for my university life that I'm not sure I could live without! Having a planner saves me at university as I can write down all my deadlines, make a copy of my timetable and write down anything important in my day. It really helps to block out your time and plan what you need to do and when for. I try and carry my planner with me all the time so I can quickly refer back to it or add something new if I need to. It's such a useful tool for staying organised as you can quickly make notes and keep track of where you are.


If you're in the market for a new planner or some new stationery to keep you on track this year at university then the people at Mal Paper have got you covered. They have some absolutely gorgeous pieces to help you stay organised and they're also giving away a £50 voucher in November and December if you enter their competition! All you need to do is sign up to their newsletter and tell them what your number one goal is! If you're looking to treat yourself, or someone else for Christmas then look no further! 


Those are my best and favourite ways of keeping productive and organised at university. It takes a while to get used to university life sometimes and you'll soon find what works for you but I hope you've found something there useful! 


What do you do to stay organised? Do you have any tips and tricks for productivity? 

Saturday, 7 November 2020

The 6 Beauty Essentials You Need

Note: This post contains gifted items. All opinions are my own. 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.


Now, I'm not someone that wears a lot of makeup on a regular basis, unless I'm going somewhere more snazzy. I try to do my makeup as quickly as possible as I can't be bothered for faffing around in the mornings with 16732 different makeup products. My routine takes under 10 minutes I'd say but can be done quicker if I'm in a rush. These are the products that I deem my absolute makeup essentials, though the products and colours I often switch up throughout the seasons. They form the basis of any good makeup look so I'd thought I'd share the beauty basics that you need to have stowed away in your makeup bag!


makeup items close up, cosmetics assorted on white background
Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

Friday, 30 October 2020

100 Years of Solitude: Why Don't We Know About Latin America

Guest post by Elizabeth Sorrell


Spoilers


I was 17 when I read Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I felt insecure that I had only read literature from Spain and wanted to branch out into Latin American novels and poetry. Little did I know that I was about to fall into a rabbit-hole of research on all things Latin American (I don’t speak Portuguese, so I have a major Hispanic bias). I have latched onto many different aspects of Central and South American history, politics, and culture: the Guatemalan Civil War, extractivism in Colombia, and the Ni Una Menos movement that started in Argentina are just a few of the topics that I have thrown myself into. 


I study English and Spanish, but I’m pretty sure I only would have done English if it weren’t for One Hundred Years of Solitude, so academically and emotionally, I owe it a great deal. 


low angle photo of temple with latin american flags
Photo by Filip Gielda on Unsplash


Many, many things annoy me about education in Britain, but one of the first grievances I had was that unless you specifically studied Spanish, you wouldn’t know anything about Spain or Latin America. We know about the French Revolution in the 1700s and the Weimar Republic in Germany, but most people in my year were not aware that there was a civil war in Spain and a 36-year dictatorship that followed. This was even more so the case for Latin America which remains a mystery continent to people who haven’t consciously set out to learn more about it. General knowledge of the Hispanic world is seriously lacking in Britain, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is one literary example as to why that is.

One Hundred Years of Solitude


One Hundred Years of Solitude follows a century of the Buendía family tree. It is set in the fictional village of Macondo in Spain, but many plot points are allegorical to Latin American history, particularly that of Colombia. Most copies of the novel come with a family tree at the beginning as the names can get a little confusing (there are multiple characters called Aureliano or José Arcadio or Remedios) but the idea of legacy and the clinging to names that have left such tragedy behind is very touching to me. 


It opens with Colonel Aureliano Buendía facing a firing squad and remembering back to the day his parents (José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula Iguarán) took him to discover ice at a traveller’s fair. Time is non-linear and the tradition of magical realism is at the core of this novel, with Úrsula living to the age of 120 and a child being born with a pig’s tail. But one of the most poignant examples of magical realism is the worker’s strike.


José Arcadio Segundo is the only survivor of a massacre of workers on a banana plantation for an American fruit company when they demanded better working conditions. The army opened fire on the workers until José Arcadio Segundo wakes to find himself on a train of corpses to be thrown into the sea like rotten bananas. Yes, an American fruit company was responsible for the dire working conditions of Hispanic labourers and repressed their attempts to unionise and protest. Gabriel García Márquez didn’t just make this up. 


La Matanza de las Bananeras is a real historical event that occurred in Colombia in 1928 when the Colombian army opened fire on a worker’s strike asking for a six-day working week and compensation for accidents at work among other basic demands that we in the UK take for granted today. The death toll of the workers ranges from 100 to 5000 due to censorship of the event, and there is little information on the details of the matter. Nevertheless, it remains in Colombia’s historical memory and One Hundred Years of Solitude has worked as a historical source to recount the event along with other writers such as Álvaro Cepeda Samudio. I think it is events like this and their coverage that dissuades us in the United Kingdom (and even more in the United States) from learning about our history with Latin American countries. It is not uncommon for American, Canadian, and British corporations to exploit the natural resources and labour in Central and South America, from extractivism on indigenous grounds to the Chilean dictatorship of General Pinochet being called a ‘strong friend of Britain’ by none other than Margaret Thatcher, not to mention her ending a programme for Argentinian refugees during their inconceivably violent military dictatorship. 


The concealment of Britain’s dark legacy of colonialism and neoliberalist intervention requires the ignorance of the countries that have been on the receiving end of it. A lot of the political discourse follows the usual 20th-century pattern of trade benefits outweighing the loss of civil liberties and thousands of lives in the process. I can understand why we didn’t learn about Latin America at school unless we absolutely had to for historical context. But to continue hiding from our legacy also robs us of learning about the incredibly fascinating elements of Latin America that are both beautiful and enlightening. 


We have seen the faces of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, we have all heard Latin American music whether it be reggaetón or Argentine tango, and confrontation of our dark past with Latin America can open us up to when the extremely diverse and varied continent has to teach us. 


Check out Elizabeth on her socials below!

Portfolio - Elizabeth Sorrell

Twitter - @sorrell_sorr12

Saturday, 24 October 2020

A Mini Room Renovation with Photowall (+ Discount Code)!

AD/Gifted: This post contains gifted items however all opinions are my own.


The lockdown renovation bug is still very much alive in my household and this isn't the first room we have decided to decorate in the past few months! We've lived in this house for over 8 years now and slowly (but surely) it is starting to change to how we like it. Most rooms were either purple or bright orange when we moved in so it's come a long way since those days but myself and my mum are always in the mood for a redecoration regardless of the season!


The 'room' that was subject to our interior design eye this time was the hallway and landing! A place I think that is often neglected in a house as it's just somewhere you walk through to get to another room, but, let's not forget that first impressions count! This is the space that is seen as soon as someone comes into our house so it's important that you let them make an entrance.


We decided to spruce up the hallway and landing a bit to make it a bit lighter, brighter and more welcoming. It is by no means complete but you can get the general gist of where we're going with this mini-renovation! Here's everything we're doing to smarten up our hallway and landing and some tips for you!


Renovation Tip 1: Colour

We're a big lover of colour in this household, not quite bright purple or orange walls level of colour but we like to inject a bit of vibrancy into a room. Enter Photowall! A Swedish brand that offers thousands upon thousands of incredible designs and prints that are guaranteed to liven up any room and make it your own. Not only do they have an abundance of prints, wallpapers and canvases to suit any taste but I also love the fact that they are considerate to the environment also, something I am trying to work on this year!

It took me and my mum hours to decide on something that we both liked but eventually, after much deliberation we ended up choosing a galaxy Canvas print. We both loved the fact that it wasn't obviously a galaxy and when you first look at it you might just think it's some abstract shapes but when you pay closer attention to it you start to see the outline of the planets, the little rocket in the corner and the stars to the side. We got the 100cm by 60cm size to really make a statement as we have quite a big hallway and it fits perfectly where we wanted it to go.

galaxy wall print of various colours on white canvas photowall

Assembly was surprisingly easy and took less than 20 minutes to put our canvas together (thanks to my dad for helping with that and commenting on how 'well made' the frame was)! 

I really love the finished look of it as it adds that bit of colour to the hallway to make it a brighter and more welcoming space and the fact that there are so many colours on the canvas gave us a lot of scope to incorporate a whole variety of colours into the rest of the landing and hallway too in our mini-renovation plans! 

(Side note: this is on a wall in our hallway but I couldn't get a good enough photo that showed off all the colours in their full glory so here's a picture I took before it was hung up!)


Renovation Tip 2: Make it Personal

This is one of my favourite parts of the hallway as I love how personal it is to us. Essentially we decided to take prints from an old calendar we had, put them into frames and then display them. The calendar (before it was cut up) had different travel destinations from across the world and we've framed the places that we've been to so that every time you walk past you can stop and have a little reminder of where we've travelled in the world. 

coloured prints in coloured frames by mirror, console table and hallway. coloured vases and plants at side

Hopefully, when travel is more widely allowed again we can continue to add to this wall with a whole host of new and exciting places that we've been to! At the moment it has images of Budapest, Barcelona, Prague, London, Amsterdam and Rome and we're excited to start adding more places - any recommendations welcome as I'm always looking for new places to travel to! We also tried to incorporate some of the colours from our Photowall print with the frames to tie everything in together and make it work as a scheme.

My other favourite part of the hallway is where we have this amazing print of the family alongside our two llamas. I think it looks so lovely and the cartoon image always attracts comments from passers-by too!

two brightly coloured llamas beside family photo frame in mini room renovation makeover


Renovation Tip 3: Lighting

Our hallway and landing is quite a dark place with not much natural light coming into it - it made taking some of these photos a nightmare, I must say! To try and combat these we've installed some very snazzy lights along the stairs to try and make the space a bit funkier and to add some much-needed light.

I absolutely adore these lights (shout out to my boyfriend for getting them for my 21st birthday) as they have so many different settings that you can change for any mood or setting. They plug into the wall and come with a remote which is also incredibly handy and it's so much fun to just stand and play around with them too.

mood lighting alongside staircase, led light strip that changes colours

They attached really easily to the side of our staircase as they have a sticky underlayer that works for most surfaces. I think they add so much to the space and really make the room feel completely different from before. It feels quite futuristic and so snazzy to be able to change the colour of the room at the touch of a button so I am a big, big fan!

Those are three small tips and things that we've done to try to re-invent our hallway and liven it up a little. It wasn't the biggest of renovation projects but often it's the small changes that make the biggest differences to a space and our hallway definitely has a bit more life breathed into it now! 

Photowall has also been kind enough to give a 25% off with the code agirlwithview25 (discount off any product on the site + valid for one month), so if you're looking to spruce up something in your house now is the time to do it! There are so many great pieces on their site, I could browse for hours!

What do you think of our mini room renovation? Where would you re-decorate in your house?

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

The Hallotober Tag

Surprise! I've hit the blog this week with a double post for the first time ever! If you haven't already seen my post from earlier in the week about Autumn and Winter travel destinations then you need to check that out! 


Today I'm back with a very old-school tag which I'm very excited about! I *think* this is the first time I've done a tag on my blog and I'm very excited for it! 


Thank you so much to Sophie from Love and Literature and Wool of the King for the tag - be sure to check out their fab posts! And thank you to Of a Glasgow Girl for creating it! 


So without any more delaying, here are my answers!


pumpkins stacked up on wooden crate with lettering

Friday, 16 October 2020

The Best Places to Visit in Autumn + Winter

Guest Post from JoJo's Cup of Mocha

 

It’s that time of year again! The leaves begin to change, hoodies and jackets are worn, burgundy and maroon makeup are worn, and all the spooky festivities begin. In my book, it is officially fall and I am super excited about it! It is also a great time to travel as well as there are a variety of places to go, attractions to partake in, and events to attend. Although this year is a little different due to the pandemic there may be some activities and events going on!


If you are looking to do some travelling during September and October, then check out these 5 awesome places to visit for the fall season!


person pointing at map with coffee, laptop, polaroid, passport, camera
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Friday, 9 October 2020

Mineralissima: The Vegan and Cruelty-Free Mineral Makeup Brand you Need

AD/Gifted: This post contains gifted items however all opinions are my own.
The beauty industry is changing and the demand for vegan and cruelty-free makeup products are fast becoming a priority for both brands and consumers alike. Mineralissima is a brand that focuses on being great for your skin and the planet which is something I've tried to be a lot more conscious of in the past few months as I've tried to adapt my beauty regime to become more eco-friendly. Its products are perfume-free, suitable for sensitive skin and allow your skin to breathe which are all things I look for in a foundation - no-one wants to look completely clogged up with makeup, it's not a good look!

Mineral makeup is something I used to use when I first dabbled with makeup wayyy back in the day. I remember my mum used mineral products and it was something I liked using as it was so natural on the skin and didn't look like you were wearing makeup at all. I absolutely hate looking like I'm wearing makeup so anything that looks just like skin is a winner for me!


blotting powder, mineral primer and mineral foundation on white sheets with silver jewellery in background

Friday, 2 October 2020

21 Things I've Learnt in 21 Years

Happy Mean Girls Day, and also happy birthday to me! Today, (3rd October) is my 21st birthday and I am beyond excited! If you know me in real life you will be aware of how excited I get for my birthday from around July and August. I'm not sure what it is about birthdays that I love so much but I count down the days for months in advance and my excitement builds every day. I'm not sure what this birthday will be like in a COVID world and for the first time since being at uni, I have my birthday at home as term has been pushed back a week (my birthday is normally the first week back).

I've seen a few people do these types of posts on "special birthdays" (though in my opinion, every birthday is just as special) so I thought I'd give it a go. 21 is actually a rather large number so I feel like I might struggle a bit to come up with 21 things but I'll give it a good go! I've been on this earth for 21 years now so I think it'll be fun to try and think of some wisdom that I have learnt in my 21 years of being alive.


gold foil 21 balloons beside bookshelf with ribbons
Photo by Kortnee Greenfield on Unsplash

Friday, 25 September 2020

How to Survive University as a Vegan

Guest Post from Thisdreamsalive

Being vegan in college or university has its challenges, and it’s best to come prepared. While how easy or difficult it is will depend on where you’re going, these tips should come in handy.


fruit and veg on toast on brown wooden chopping board - vegan at university
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Friday, 18 September 2020

5 Days in Lincoln: A Travel Guide

Earlier this year, myself, my family and boyfriend ventured off for a staycation in Lincoln. Obviously, this year travel abroad has been a no-go but we still wanted to get away somewhere and Lincoln was where we ended up! It's a part of the country we'd never really explored before, which was odd considering it's not that far away from us (about a 2-hour drive). Lincoln completely exceeded my expectations and it was so picturesque! 

lincoln steep hill, market town, independent shops, flags and bunting, cobbled streets


Friday, 11 September 2020

6 Things I wish I Knew Before Starting University

University was something I always knew I wanted to go to and after completing my second year studying English I've realised that were definitely some things that I wish I'd known about before going. Whilst I really enjoy university and my degree is something I am genuinely interested in, uni did not live up to any expectations and it was a complete contrast to anything I'd imagined. In reality, it's actually quite dull with films and TV making it out to be so much more vibrant, exciting and interesting. I really wish I'd known the reality of university before I went so I thought I'd share some things that I wish I'd had an idea about before embarking on a degree!

girl sat in cafe with phone notebook and cake
Photo by Alex Samuels on Unsplash

Friday, 4 September 2020

How to Beat Impostor Syndrome

Guest Post by Wool of the King

 

Hi everyone, I’m Lauren from wooloftheking.com. I am a third-year Communication and Media student at Bournemouth University and I am going to be giving my advice on how to beat Impostor Syndrome. I am not an expert on mental health by any means, I am just sharing some tips that I use to help me. If you’d like to learn more about me, read my 20 Facts About Me post over on my blog.


“Impostor Syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context” – verywellmind.com.


desk with planner beside brown wool knit
Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

Friday, 28 August 2020

An Old-School Q&A

I thought I'd go old-school with today's blog post and throw it back to a classic Q&A! I felt like a 2012 Youtuber asking for questions on Twitter from people and was scared I wouldn't get any responses, but thankfully, I managed to get a fair amount of questions! If you missed my tweet and want to keep up with my ramblings and never miss a post then follow me on Twitter!

I love reading Q&A style posts as I think it's a great way to gain more of an insight into the blogger and as I've been spending a lot more time and effort on my blog (COVID has been good for some things!), I thought it was about time I did a slightly more personal post where you can find out a little bit more about me! I hope this post is interesting enough (I'm not the most exciting of people) but I thought this would be a fun post to do! A special thank you to everyone who asked a question - I really appreciate it and be sure to check out all of their fab blogs which are linked below!

And without further delay, I'll get on with what you're actually here to read!

notebook, pen and flowers on white background
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Friday, 21 August 2020

How You Can Learn a Language Easily

Learning a language is no mean feat, it requires dedication, effort and time but it's so worth it in the end. I find any language completely fascinating and I marvel at those that can speak multiple with such ease! However, it goes without saying that tackling a completely different language is not easy and it takes a lot of practice to perfect. There are so many different things to consider with a language like the syntax, colloquialisms, idioms, verb forms, grammar and so much more but it is so rewarding when you finally begin to grasp some of the key parts of a language! Although I'm not fluent in Spanish I would say I can speak and understand the language fairly proficiently after studying it during A-levels and there are definitely some hints and tips that helped along the way that I thought I'd share. 

girl at desk taking notes on paper
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Thursday, 13 August 2020

5 Transitional Autumn Beauty Essentials You Need

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.
With Autumn not too far in the distant future (sadly), I've started to think about changing up some of the products I use to coincide with the cooler months. I love Autumn as a season (mainly because it's my birthday in October) but my beauty routine definitely undergoes some changes as the months get colder. I thought I'd share my top beauty essentials for the Autumn months! 

This is a collab post with Gemma, Kyra and Lottie so be sure to check out their posts linked at the bottom of this one!

autumn beauty essentials











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 Hair Hacks for Greasy Hair

Post Updated November 2020

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 gauge 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!

shampoo products in glass bottle
Photo by Alina Guleva on Unsplash



Greasy Hair Hack 1: Dry Shampoo

Obviously, dry shampoo is an absolute staple for me and I genuinely don't think I could live without it. I've tried to reduce my dependence levels on it over the past few months so that now I try and only 
use it on day 3 hair before I wash it the next day. Dry shampoo is just so great to get more volume and a bit of life into your hair whilst also toning down how greasy it looks. It has definitely saved me multiple times and I don't know how I'd cope with my hair without it!

Greasy Hair Hack 2: Don't Touch

This is a fairly self-explanatory one as obviously, the more you touch your hair the greasier it will become as you transfer the dirt, grime and oil from other things you've touched onto your roots. I fiddle with my hair so much and it's a terrible habit! You can often gauge how I'm feeling on how I'm twirling it too as the tighter the twist is the more likely I am to be stressed or nervous. However, especially when I've just washed my hair I really try and make a conscious effort to not twist or fiddle with it as I know it will reduce its shelf-life and I've definitely seen an improvement in my hair's longevity the less I touch it.

Greasy Hair Hack 3: Dye it

This is quite an extreme option but it is the thing that saves my hair the most. Back in the day when I suffered horrendously with grease, my hairdresser suggested we lighten it and make it blonder to try and help. Essentially, the thought process behind this was that bleach/blonde dye tends to be quite drying so, in theory, it would help. I have to say this is the thing that has made the biggest difference to my hair and I don't think I could ever go back to my natural colour because of this. As soon as my roots start to come through I struggle with grease a lot more so dying it back to blonde helps to prevent this a lot and make it a lot more manageable. During lockdown, getting to the hairdresser was impossible so I took drastic action and decided to dye it at home in an attempt to keep the grease at bay!

Greasy Hair Hack 4: Waves

For me, I also have very thin and fine hair so when it's greasy it looks flat to my head and completely lacking in life. For that reason, I wave my hair a lot. Normally, after I wash it and leave it to dry I use my hair waver to breathe more life into it and I find that my hair looks less greasy if it's waved. If I straighten my hair I tend to find it doesn't last as long as it seems to be flat to my head and therefore looks greasier quicker. If it's waved it has more volume and movement to it so I find it looks less greasy and I can get more days out of it.

dry shampoo and hair products

Greasy Hair Hack 5: Don't Wash Too Often

I think this is the struggle most people face when dealing with greasy hair. You end up in a cycle of needing to wash it but also needing to build up its resistance and time between washes to get it looking better. I tend to wash mine every 2-3 days depending on social occasions or time I have. It took a while to resist the urge to wash it too often but it is worth it in the end and now I can get a fair few days out of it without having to wash so it's worth the frustration and perseverance.

Those are my top tips for dealing with greasy hair - it's such a struggle to get it to last longer but these few things have definitely helped to prolong its life and I've seen a difference since doing them! 

Do you have any hacks for greasy hair? 


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.


bamboo cotton pads and clear glass jar
Photo by EcoPanda on Unsplash



Reusable Cotton Pads

This is something I've swapped to recently and it's such an easy change to make that I wish I did it sooner. The amount of cotton pads I must've gone through over the years is absolutely horrendous to think about and in the long run, these save your bank balance and the planet all in one go. They're incredibly hassle-free and work in exactly the same way as before with the only difference being you wash them whenever you run out. It's the type of change that you don't even notice and it's such a cheap and easy swap to make that I urge everyone to do it - here are some similar ones to mine! 


Reusable Razor

Again, this is another really easy swap to make that saves you money in the long run too. Instead of constantly buying endless amounts of plastic razors each time they go blunt if you invest in a reusable or electric one that you can use for years and just replace the heads it's more efficient for you and the planet. There are numerous subscription boxes that offer handles and razors to be delivered to your door however often you like and they make for nice presents too! I recently took out a Friction Free Shaving subscription and got an engraved rose gold razor, a case and 4 blades for £9 which I don't think is too bad! The top part of the razor also has a smaller blade for the bikini line which I think is genius too! If you're not a subscription fan there are plenty of alternatives too.

Use Reusable Water Bottles

Single-use plastics are one of the worst things for the planet as the amount that is thrown away is shocking. Investing in a simple water bottle and taking it wherever you go instead of buying a bottle is another simple and cost-effective way of making a difference to the planet and your bank balance. I have a simple bottle from IKEA that I've had for ages that I take everywhere in the hope of reducing the number of bottles and plastic I go through. It's definitely worth considering. However, make sure when looking for water bottles to find one that is BPA free as it can interfere with production, secretion and function of essential hormones!


Operate a one-in, one-out rule

This isn't necessarily something that instantly feels like you're switching to something that helps the environment but consuming fewer products, in the long run, most likely means you will get through less plastic and actually make use of the items you own rather than buying the latest trends! It's something I've recently been implementing a lot in lockdown and I've found I've managed to get through and finish so many more products and 'shopping my stash' more to rediscover old favourites and things I'd forgotten about so it feels like trying something new anyway! I used to have such an excess of products and would always like trying out new things. However, this meant I ended up with so many products that I just didn't get through, so I decided that I can only buy something new if I have finished a product (and even then, only if it's necessary). Lockdown has been great for this as it's a lot more difficult to buy new things so I've worked my way through a lot of products and finished lots of things which is incredibly satisfying. Again, this is another really simple and easy way to make a small change that helps.

Look for vegan or cruelty-free products

Following on from the last point, shopping with brands that are vegan and cruelty-free is really helpful for the planet. It reduces the number of harmful chemicals entering the planet and is probably better for skin than some random chemical I can't even pronounce. Being cruelty-free means that fewer animals are being tested on, meaning less pain inflicted which has to be a good thing! It's worth having a Google to find out some brands that are committed to being cruelty-free especially and I found that a lot of my skincare favourites were cruelty-free which is amazing! Some particular favourites of mine are The Body Shop, Simple and The Ordinary!

Those are some really simple and easy ways to start becoming a bit more eco-friendly. There are so many other ways we can all adapt to help the planet but these are some good places to start if you want to implement some really simple and easy methods. I've barely noticed any difference whilst using all of these methods and in the long run, they're cheaper anyway so it's a win-win on both fronts! I think it's so important we all make tiny, little changes so that in the long run, the planet will hopefully be a better place! What sorts of things do you use? I'd love to find some more simple ways to be more eco-friendly!

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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 for EVERY NICHE

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!


laptop on table near fairy lights and mug
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Lifestyle:

1. Set yourself some goals for the next month and talk about them (Bonus Post: do a review of them in a few months time)
3. Q&A
4. Self-confidence and self-love tips
5. Share with us a hobby you do
6. Bedroom decoration inspiration
7. Write a letter to your younger self
8. Write a letter to your older self
9. Share some of your favourite albums/bands/artists of all time
10. Write an ode to something obscure that you love
12. Show your evening routine
 13.Write a review of something you've read/watched/used recently
14. Write a post on things you've discovered after working in a certain industry eg, food, retail, blogging
15. Talk about budgeting and managing money
16. Show us things you've bought recently
17. Recommend some workouts or fitness activities you enjoy
18. Share your morning routine
19. Talk about self-care and what you do
20. Share a list of your top baby names and why
21. Share your guilty music pleasure
22. Recommend some date ideas or write a list of them
23. Talk of ways to remain organised in life
 24. Talk about a topic you feel passionate about (whether that be politics and feminism or why pineapple does (or does not) belong on pizza - it doesn't!)
25. Share your best and worst habits

blog, blogging, post ideas

Beauty:

27. Share your everyday makeup routine
28. Share product empties and if you'd repurchase
29. Recommend some nail varnishes
30. Write a how-to on a hairstyle you love

Fashion:

31. Top fashion must-haves
32. Outfits of the week
33. Talk about sustainable fashion
34. DIY some clothes and share the results

Food:

35. Show off what you've been baking recently
36. Recommend some meals to try out/what you eat in a week
37. Share some food recommendations in your local area
38. Recommend some healthy or unhealthy snacks that you love

Travel:

39. Share your bucketlist
40. Write a list of places to travel and why
41. Write travel guides about places you've been
42. Create a packing list for holidays

blogging, post, blog, ideas

Student: 

44. Talk about decorating your university room
45. Tips on revising and exams
46. Write a guide on how to make the most of online university
47. Share your graduation
48. Write a post on essay writing or dissertation tips
49. Share how you stay organised 
50. Recommend some of your favourite student recipes


Blogging:

51. Highlight some tips and tricks of blogging
52. Write tips for blog photography
53. How to balance blogging/work/school/uni
54. Share what you wish you'd known before starting a blog
55. Write a list of blog post ideas

Hopefully, those will give you a few ideas to work with if you find yourself lacking in creativity and motivation. It was actually really fun to brainstorm some blog post ideas and was handy in thinking up some things for myself that I'd enjoy writing about. What other ideas do you use when lacking blogging inspiration?


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50 blog post ideas every niche









Sunday, 21 June 2020

6 Simple Ways to Become a Morning Person


Post Updated Nov 2020

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 help you become a morning person!


white plate beside grey spoon with fruit and porridge and mug of tea on white background
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Drink Water

I am awful at drinking water, everyone I know will say this. I just forget to do it and I feel as though I've turned myself into a cactus that can survive on next to no water, which is not good. However, the morning is the time I usually drink a lot! At the moment, I've been having 2 full water bottles before 10am pretty much every day. I find this gives me a lot more energy and keeps me feeling productive and ready to go as I'm feeling hydrated. I try to drink a whole bottle before having breakfast and I've found it has made a big improvement on how I feel throughout the morning and rest of the day - my eyes aren't as tired, I don't get as many headaches and I have more energy.

Make your Bed

I am also an incredibly tidy person and my room is normally pretty immaculate but the one thing I absolutely have to do in the morning is to make my bed. I find it just makes the room look so much nicer and I feel tidier in my head if that makes sense! Studies have even suggested that making your bed does actually make you more productive so if you want to set up the day as productive, making your bed is the way to go!


Listen to Music

Music is something I go through phases with, sometimes I listen to loads and other times I barely listen to anything. One of my favourite things to do after I get out of the shower is to put my speaker on and play some music whilst I get ready. I find this really helps me to feel a bit more alive and awake in the mornings and its always fun to play some of your favourite songs at any point during the day.

Exercise

This is one I have pretty recently started to put into my morning routine but I've been finding that doing just a small bit of exercise makes me feel more awake and positive about the day. It also makes me feel incredibly productive and healthy even if I've barely done anything and I feel good about myself for having done something healthy before 10am! It also inspires me to drink more water which helps me for the rest of the day too!

Let some Light in 

I cannot stand being in a room with the curtains closed, I think it's because my mum absolutely hates it and says it reminds her of mourning so that idea has stuck with me too. Being in the dark makes me want to sleep so I try to get up and open the curtains soon after I wake up so that I start to think that it's daytime. It definitely enables me to want to start the day a lot quicker than if I were stuck in darkness. It's such a small thing but makes a huge difference to a morning!

Make a Good Breakfast

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day - I could have it on all occasions and there are so many options. I find that I am absolutely starving in the mornings and I cannot wait to get downstairs and get breakfast. It's so important to have something to fuel you right from the start of the day and I find if I have breakfast immediately I get less 'brain fog' and feel less sluggish throughout the day. It also means you can develop a routine and keeping regular times for things really helps to keep your whole body in sync and feeling normal and I find breakfast really helps this!

Those are some small but really easy tips and tricks to transform your morning routine and to start the day off right. I know that some people really hate mornings and getting up but I find it's such a waste of the day if you don't get out of bed till the afternoon. Mornings are the time I feel most productive and awake so I try and make the most of that time before I hit the afternoon slump. These little tips and tricks really enable me to make the most out of the day! 

What sorts of things do you do in the morning? Are you a morning or a night person? Let me know!

If you liked this post check out 21 Things I've learnt in 21 Years and How to Motivate Yourself!


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