Friday, 31 October 2014

Lifestyle | Autumn Days

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With Autumn fully upon us now, the colder days and darker evenings make everything seem Christmassy, cosy and sleepy. With the chilly weather comes autumn/winter clothing - I love this period when the temperature hasn't dropped too low, and you can still wear a nice coat without looking like a snowman wrapped up in about 50 layers to keep the frost at bay (a tad overdramatic but honestly, probably what I end up looking like!!). Shearling/sheepskin seems to be everywhere at the moment and possibly looks like the snuggest material ever! I bought my coat last year from Mango, after making that horrible mistake of seeing something you love but deciding you can live without it...only to realise moments too late that actually you can't, cue manic searching high and low for the elusive dream coat!! Fortunately I managed to hunt it down and am absolutely in love, Mango seem to really pull it out of the bag some seasons and last A/W was definitely one of the good ones!

It's reading week at uni, and for the first time I'm spending it literally reading - currently Lolita for an essay, then onto Jane Eyre. It's just hitting me how intense fourth year will be, and I'm massively stepping up my game (please hold me to that!) when it comes to both work and looking for jobs!

Currently loving

Liquorice tea - nicer than it sounds!
Lotus biscoff spread.
Masters of Sex
Lykke Li
My hot water bottle.
Snuggling up with cookies and tea and watching MIC.

Have a wonderful day...and Happy Halloween!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Lifestyle | Brighton Day Trip

 photo Brighton2_zpsad7af292.jpg photo Brighton8_zpsa4b2c878.jpg photo Brighton1_zpsf1bd07fb.jpg photo Brighton7_zps2d0bf927.jpg photo Brighton13_zps12e79bdc.jpg photo Brighton14_zpsc053de29.jpg photo Brighton9_zpsa9dfc54f.jpg photo Brighton16_zps6711d61a.jpg photo Brighton10_zpse401feb1.jpg photo Brighton18_zps00320d5f.jpg Last weekend, my sister and I decided to take a little trip to visit our grandparents in Sussex. We both go to uni at completely different ends of the country, and meeting in the middle seemed like the perfect solution - plus, who doesn't love going to visit grandparents who will always try to feed you up and laden you with food to take back home?!

As we had a few days, we decided there could be no better way to spend one than hopping on the train and going to the seaside! Brighton has always been on my bucket list of places in the UK to visit and there's something so lovely and refreshing about being by the sea, there's nothing a good beach trip can't sort out! We spent the day wandering along the pebbly beach, getting the obligatory chips from one of the seafront shops and venturing out along the pier, trying to resist all the games and competitions - I was sorely tempted to try to win a minion! We also explored a little of Brighton itself, walking through the lovely lanes lined with unique shops and AMAZING smelling caf├ęs! My uncle has a shop, Sass & Belle, in Brighton as well and we couldn't resist taking a sneaky peek inside - I may be biased but everything was so gorgeous...just look at those fox cushions!!

I'd definitely recommend a trip to Brighton if you ever get the chance, it's so nice to explore more of our own country sometimes and it's something I'm really trying to do more and more! I feel like this weekend was such a great break away from the stresses of uni life, and now I'm back feeling refreshed and hopefully ready to start seriously working on doing well in my final year...eeek!! As you may be able to tell my brain's already gone slightly on holiday writing this, here's hoping it comes back before I begin the multitude of essays I have due in over the next few weeks!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hello Autumn

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It's feeling a lot more Autumnal recently...there's a definite chill in the air, coats are becoming much more essential and I would be lying if I said the thought of turning the heating on hadn't crossed my mind once or twice. Summer is my favourite time of year, but instead of feeling sad to see the higher temperatures and sunny days go, I'm going to embrace the new's what I'm looking forward to this Autumn.

Cosy jumpers, boots and scarves (in love with this one I found for £5 at Primark). There's just something about snuggling up in the biggest, most fluffy knit you can find...
Autumn colours...they're just so beautiful, the leaves are turning brown, yellow and orange and there's a glow to everything.

The fact that Christmas is just around the corner. I don't care if it's too early to be excited, I officially cannot wait!! Bring on the mince pies.

Nights in, watching movies (Love Actually anyone?), drinking hot chocolate with all the marshmallows and generally avoiding going outside ever.

Hearing the rain pour down outside when you're all snuggly in your bed...OK, I know in England you can do this any time of the year but it's just not the same in the Summer.

Comfort food - macaroni & cheese, roast dinners, crumble, custard, bread sauce (possibly my favourite thing about Christmas)...the list could go on and on.

Halloween + Bonfire Night

What are you looking forward to this Autumn?

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Lifestyle | University Tips + Experience

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With the start of the new term already becoming a distant memory as we settle into the routine of lectures, reading and the occasional hangover, I thought I'd offer some insights into uni life and what to expect for anyone starting this year (you lucky things!). Moving away from home somewhere where you may not know anyone can be slightly daunting; add into that adjusting to studying, being more independent and generally starting a new chapter and it can seem pretty overwhelming! I will admit to not being the most organised student ever, I will often leave things to the last minute however have somehow managed to make it to my fourth year (I know I'm so old) so hopefully am at least somewhat qualified to offer a little bit of advice.

1. Don't worry if you aren't doing as well as others. This is something I think is pretty relevant throughout life, but there will always be people who are at a different stage to you. We all take different amounts of time to adjust, and that's fine. If everyone around you seems to be having the time of their lives whilst you're still feeling a bit lost and down, talk to someone. If it gets really bad, it's OK if uni isn't for you. I've seen a few posts about 'not going to uni' and know a lot of people who drop out and do amazingly, it's early to talk about this but there is no point being unhappy!!

2. Grades are not everything. I'm absolutely not encouraging you to slack and do no studying, but there is so much more to uni. Joining societies, making friends, maybe's important to work hard but equally important to enjoy the ride. Especially when first year (for most) doesn't even count past getting over 40%!! At the same time it's good to get into good studying habits for the next few years which will count, so make sure you do manage your time properly!!

3. The level of university is very different to school. This was something I had a real problem with when I arrived at uni, and in fact ended up changing my course completely. I found that whilst at school I was the best at history, but at uni was somewhere in the middle, feeling completely lost. Maybe in part because there were only around 25 people in my sixth form year, but also because everyone is going to be really good at what you're studying - that's why you're there!! So don't stress and without wanting to sound like my mum, just do the best you can me it will be more than enough.

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4. Make mistakes!! That's what your first year is for, finding your way and not always getting it right. This goes for both social life and studying, it's crucial not to worry when you don't get it quite right because nobody does all of the time.

5. You will miss home. Some more than others, I didn't really but I had friends who went home relatively regularly. I would say try to stick it out for a good while as chances are the homesickness will fade but if it doesn't, firstly - don't be afraid to admit defeat and go home for a good bit of home comforts if possible!! Equally, talk to people - flatmates, friends, family...they will all want you to be happy.

6. Get advice when you need it. If you're struggling with a course, with keeping up with your work, with writing an essay, with making friends, with settling in...literally with anything at all and it's getting on top of you, don't be scared to get help!! Your course or personal tutors will be more than happy to help if they can, it's their job and also they really want you to do well. Most unis also have good student health centres where you can go if you need any advice about depression/anxiety/stress etc. as these are problems which really affect students. If you are struggling to get to lectures or meet deadlines for a legitimate reason, again your tutors will want to know and will be able to help because at the end of the day they do care and they do want you to do well!!

7. Most importantly...have fun! Everyone always says make the most of it which stresses me out slightly because I haven't joined every society going, I haven't been involved in any committees and I haven't been on every single night out whilst still making it to my 9am lectures. But take any opportunity which interests you and enjoy your time at uni, it will fly by and before you know it you will be in the big world of work which will seem a LOT more scary, trust me on that one!!


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