2018 Goals and Aspirations

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey guys! This marks the 1st birthday of my blog which I started on the 1st of January 2017 as a journey of pushing a hobby/past time to a more larger part of my lifestyle. Hopefully, you enjoyed this first year of trialing out the direction of my blog which has been definitely more directed in the sense of where it is going in the second half of the year. To continue on what I have written one year ago, I decided to write down some goals that I want to achieve the next year to come.

  • Get healthier and stronger
  • Get back into Spanish
  • Put more time and effort into photography
  • Develop my blog further and create quality content throughout the year
  • To go on more spontaneous trips and get out there into the world
  • Socialise and make memories with my high school friends and new uni friends
  • Do more recipe posts on my blog and develop my culinary skills
  • Get my first tattoo

I thought I would show you some of my highlights from this year to summarise the year in photos as I have enjoyed most of the year surprisingly (haha). Below are some of my favourite places that I have visited this year…

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Other accomplishments that I started this year include…

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Hopefully this joy and happiness will continue into 2018 with lots of things planned! Don’t forget to check out my other posts and hit that follow button!

-A

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First Uni Semester Overview | #UniSeries 3

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey guys! So I thought I might make a blog post about my experience at university for the first semester. A lot has happened which has been great to do and be a part of, but as with most academic things there were a few bumps in the road.

When it comes to accomodation; I’ve been blessed to have a substantially large room which meant that I had no problems when it came to getting used to my second home/room. But make sure to create an environment of *almost* home where ever you are staying. It greatly helps with your mental state and the way you tackle all your essays and late night revision nights. 

Doing a law degree has meant that I had lots of readings to do each week which meant that most of my spare time was spent making summaries and quick notes on lecture topics. Now I would lie if I said I kept up with all my assigned readings…. because that didn’t happen for like 2 or 3 weeks straight. But I finally nearly finished catching up with the chapters I missed. 

Similarly with the type of degree I do, meant that essays were inevitable and specifically ones that demanded lots of research to get good grades in. Which is where I can add my little advice which is to plan out sections of your essay to do each day. For example, if your essay is 1000 words and you schedule 5 days (preferably a week in advance of your deadline) and each day write only 200 words means the workload is much more bearable. 

It’s okay to feel sometimes lost and almost like you are not meant for this type of work but that feeling passes. It’s okay to show some emotion and it’s better to confide in a friend then keep it bottled up inside. 

Now, if you don’t understand then do make a course/module buddy which you can text when you don’t understand.. I’ve had times when I felt a bit lost in the work, so I would text my buddy and voila I conquered that task. 

If there’s one thing I can always advise to do is to GO TO LECTURES. You don’t know how much more you pick up of information when you sit in the lecture hall and hear the professor talking to you, instead of watching late night recordings of the lecture. I’ve only missed about 3 lectures which I know is not the best but sometimes you have to prioritise some things over going to a 2hr lecture. 

Eat well and frequently. It’s all great downing a whole bottle of wine in one sitting but you will deeply regret that in the morning when you have to go to a 9am lecture about a difficult and long topic. I always aim to buy healthy foods and make sure that I don’t but pot noodle or any of that sort. 

Sleep… It’s essential and really helps to get you in the right mindset for the next day. 

Socialising shouldn’t be forced onto you, if you don’t feel like going out then you don’t have to justify yourself to your friends/flatmates. You should strike a balance of staying in and having fun out and about with your pals. 

Go out and explore your whole campus, It’s not great getting lost to an early morning lecture when you have no clue where it could be happening. Plus, it helps to create conversations between you and strangers if you can help them when they’re lost. 

I’ve definitely learned a lot during this semester that I thought I would never do and that’s fine to realise. It’s about trying to find a way to exhibit yourself and your personality in a completely strange and diverse environment of university life. 

The year is not yet over which means that more experiences and advice are to be followed and learned. Hope you enjoyed my little life update and how I’ve found university so far. I’m going to be do this each term (means there are 2 more to come) so stay tuned! Don’t forget to check out my other university series posts on my blog here

– A 

Autumn Favourites 

Beauty, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey guys! So sorry for being inactive for the past month and a half. I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of work and dedication it takes to start university so I’ve had to take a small break from my blog… but I’m back now with a whole list of posts that I want to show you!

Little life update:

The past month has been hectic in that I started university back in October and since then I’ve been so preoccupied with assignments and general lecture/seminar prep as well as fitting in and socialising, that I did not have enough time during the day to post anything. But hopefully, I will be able to post more frequently the rest of this month as well as December.

Books:

I bought this book as a little ‘treat yo self’ moment after I finished half of my uni semester as a little ‘You did it!’ moment. It’s a really nice read about this woman and her friends who finds herself in the situation where her mother is sick, she lost her job and a chain of events in her life means she relies on her friends to get through it. I would recommend this to anyone that wants a book just to read casually over the weekend or something that isn’t too narrative heavy and requires a lot of concentration. You can buy it on Amazon here:

Weather:

Now, let me tell you about how much I have been loving the weather in October; the sun was shining, the leaves were changing and the whole autumn atmosphere was making me feel so nice and toasty at university that I forgot about everything else I needed to do.

I took the above photo while walking back from campus and the weather that day made my whole mood so much better, even though I had lots of work and lectures to go to.

Beauty & Fashion:

This past month I decided to stick to a neutral autumn nail colour scheme which meant that I was using these colours so much more than all my other colours. Both are are by Sally Hansen, the first one is called ‘374 Mauve Along’ and its the most neutral mauve/beige colour that I have ever worn. When I apply it, it immediately makes my nails look so chic and like I put a lot of effort into them (when I really didn’t). The second one is called ‘360 Plum’s the Word’ and if you can’t tell from the name, then the colour is very plum and autumnal. Both colours compliment each other and a lot of my clothing and makeup looks which makes these two very versatile during the autumn season as a whole.

During a shopping trip, I took with one of my best friends I bought these beautiful boots with floral embroidery on the side from Primark for £14. They have a chunky, medium height heel which makes it very easy to walk around campus which is what I do most of the days. Additionally, the foot and ankle are supported as the boot end goes higher than your ankle which means it doesn’t feel like its slipping off.

I would wear these with some black jeans, loose chunky sweater, and a beige blazer coat to create a chic, comfortable and (still) warm outfit for uni days where I want to look a little better than just jeans and a t-shirt.

Makeup that I’ve recently bought and loved for autumnal inspired makeup include:

  • NYX Cosmic Metals eyeshadow palette £8, buy here 
  • NYX Lid Lingerie eyeshadow palette £8, buy here
  • Essence Volume Stylist Mascara £3, buy here
  • Seventeen Stay Time Concealer in 02 Medium £4.49, buy here

The eyeshadow is great to create simple warm toned autumn inspired looks and the cosmic metals are great to pop on the middle of the eyelid to create a halo effect. The mascara is very volumising but a little bit clumpy if you don’t first take off most of the product from the brush. The concealer is great for spots and places where you need a medium to full coverage with a no-cakey finish. The colour is not the best but when I wear a little darker BB cream, you can’t tell that it’s beige and not light.

Skincare I’ve been loving as of lately:

  • Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub £3.49, buy here
  • Nivea Daily Essentials Regenerating Night Cream £3.99, buy here

The facial scrub is generally really good at getting rid of dry, flaky skin and the night cream is really moisturising which is what I have been needing as of lately. The two combined create a killer, deep moisture, and baby-soft skin effect when you wake up.

Hope you enjoyed reading some products and things I’ve been loving lately. Let me know if you like anything on this list as much as I do. Don’t forget to check out my other beauty and lifestyle posts on my blog!

-A

How To Cope & More| Uni Series #2

Lifestyle

Hey guys! Sorry for being inactive the past two weeks, I’ve been starting a new chapter in my life which needed some devotion of time and energy. I’ve been settling into my university accommodation as well as attending lectures about my course and the university itself.

During that first week of welcomes, inductions and tipsy nights I’ve been given some advice that I feel will help a lot of people out in the future.

Expectations

You probably have heard about the expectations that come with starting a degree at university. The amount of time you will spend doing assignments, exam revision and lecture readings will take up a fair portion of your daily life. I’m not saying that it’s all you should be doing, try joining a society or play some sports with your friends. Your day should not be full of study and reading, university is about trying new things and going out of your comfort zone.

Deadlines, timetables, and readings 

When it comes to academic degrees which are very book heavy and difficult to wrap your head around, I would say spend the time to really understand the subject matter before your final exams start. It’s not beneficial to stress over missed notes or difficult modules that you could have easily done when they were fresh in your head. In terms of timetables, always leave yourself some ‘chill time’ where you can just lounge around, talk to your friends or cook something with your flatmates (more on that later). Readings are unavoidable, its easier to read through it before your lecture and be able to follow the professor’s powerpoint when listened to their advice on core readings. I know I

In terms of timetables, always leave yourself some ‘chill time’ where you can just lounge around, talk to your friends or cook something with your flatmates (more on that later). Readings are unavoidable, its easier to read through it before your lecture and be able to follow the professor’s powerpoint when listened to their advice on core readings.

Readings are unavoidable, its easier to read through it before your lecture and be able to follow the professor’s powerpoint when listened to their advice on core readings. My degree which is Law and Business requires a fair bit of reading but in all honesty, reading know will make my revision at the end of the year easier and less stressful.

Socialising & Making friends 

Not everyone will click instantly with their flatmates, some are not the type of people you want to surround yourself with, others already have a clique of their own. But that shouldn’t stop you from chatting with them and learning their names, course and where they are from. Socialising will come in two forms, one will be spent with your course/degree buddies and the other with your flatmates or friends from close by. With socialising comes going out for drinks or for a meal, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t want to drink then don’t, no one is there to pressure you into doing something you don’t personally like. There will always be people you get along with better than others. That’s just the university life.

Settling in 

This particular section is more useful for those who had to move out of their parent’s house to live in the university accommodation or nearby. I chose to live at my university as the commute would have been too long especially on days where my schedule was full (like 9am to 5pm). Settling in will require some time getting used to the new layout, the format of your classes and the independence that comes with living for yourself. I would advise going for a walk around your campus and finding where the public transport is, the nearest shop, bar/restaurant and the buildings where your classes will take. If you can then take a friend around and get to know them better. Not everyone will feel great about their university experience, but give it a few weeks or two months and you will know everything there is to know and do around your campus.

Feeling homesick 

It’s inevitable that everyone will feel homesick a few times during their first weeks. I know I did, but what helps is calling your family from time to time to just talk about anything and everything. Bringing photographs and favourite decor from your room at home to your uni room will make the joy of university life a bit more interesting and make you feel more comfortable in your new home.

Now, this list is probably missing a few tips here and there but I know that there are plenty of other people that will tell you the basics of university life. Everyone goes through it in their own way, some struggle, others fly with ease. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. University is about finding out who you truly are, whilst meeting great new friends as well as memories that will stick forever (probably).

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my blog for other advice posts! Until next time…

-A

What is some advice you would give to a first-year student at university? 

Preparing for University | Uni Series #1

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey guys! For a lot of people, September and October are the months where they start a new chapter in life, be it a job or going to University. I start University in October which means that I have the whole of September to prepare myself for anything and everything. It’s a stressful and anxious time for those that are living away and those staying at home whilst studying; getting everything that they need and require for their courses takes up a lot of time and money. So, in honour of starting this new chapter, I thought I would share some of the things I have done to prepare for my life at University.

  1. Register for your course

You should have received an email from your university to register for your course, IT logins and health care for those that are living on-campus. I suggest you do that as soon as possible so that you are able to read through everything that your university sends you and get to know all the portals and calendars that you will have to use for the next three odd years.

2. Reading lists

Once you have registered and received information about the course you are going to be starting, you should research any books that your university suggests to read before starting your course. This may not be compulsory for a lot of courses as not every single course requires pre-reading to be done prior to starting. I know my university did not send me a specific reading list for my course but I wanted to go in (a little) prepared so I googled some reading lists from other universities that do a similar course to mine.

Side note: I am going to be doing a Law and Business course which means that the books I bought were suggested for that type of course. 

These are two books that I bought myself from Amazon as it was highly recommended for students doing a law degree. The reviews were very helpful and as a result, I purchased them. For anyone that is starting a law degree, I would suggest buying these two just to get a good introduction to how everything is explained in law. What I do with these books is I tab the chapters that I need to read beforehand and then on each page I write down the most important pieces of information on a sticky note.

Book on the left: What about Law? Studying law at University- buy here 

Book on the right: Letters to a Law Student- buy here

3. Ikea Shopping time

Now this is an obvious step in preparing for university. I’ve compiled a small collection of items I have bought for my accomodation, it’s not final as there are things that I need to buy when it gets nearer to move in day.

ikea photo

4. Research into student bank accounts

This may or may not obvious to everyone but finding a bank account that has a good overdraft and perks is hard to find. I personally like this website for comparing bank accounts clearly (here) and another helpful website is here. This is the point in preparing where parents should get involved so that you choose the right account for you as you will probably have it for the duration of your entire course so choose wisely.

5. Stationary Galore

I know that most of the things I have said previously in this post may seem boring and/or time taking but here comes the fun part! Stationary! This is the time when you can purchase everything you want to satisfy your stationary needs cause I know that most people do… like me. Below you can see some of the items I bought to start of the new academic year because we all know that buying stationary makes you feel motivated and ready for studying again.

For some desk decor I bought these two organisers below… The marble box is from Aldi for £4.99 (read here) and the three geometric pen pots are from Ikea for £2 (buy here).

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Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post about starting university. Stay tuned for more blog posts in the Uni Series this month! Until next time…

-A

My first driving experience 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Driving is such a pinnacle moment in your life that sometimes can feel quite overwhelming. I recently had my first driving lesson and thought that it would be interesting to briefly talk about it. Just for some reference I drove in a Vauxhall Corsa. 

Before I even had my first lesson I was taught by my dad (2 years ago maybe) how to change gears and how to properly manoeuvre the car. This happened in an empty parking place near a forest with the night slowly creeping in. That was a stressful half an hour and involved a lot of stalling and frustration. But it taught me what I know now, how to change gears and use the clutch to it’s full potential.

Speaking about the clutch, it’s so important to understand that it’s so much more useful than just to change gears. You use it when you want to achieve a rolling stop when getting to the end of a street right before turning. It’s what you use to find the ‘bite’ of the car. The ‘bite’ is when you press the clutch down fully to the ground and release it about half way and feel the cluth click almost. This enables you to stop the car from moving forwards or backwards even when you’ve taken the parking/hand brake off. It’s something I never knew about until my lesson.

Other important advice that was given to me; never cross your arms when feeding the wheel around to turn. The best way to hold the wheel while turning is to pass it along to the other hand so that the two hands are always on separate sections of the wheel. 

Changing gears really fast is not necessary. We’ve seen our parents change gears so fast that you could mistake their life was on the line if they didn’t slow down whilst doing it. I know my dad does that sometimes. But it’s just not necessary to do. Whilst on the topic of gears and using the clutch, never look down to change from 1st gear to 2nd year as you could lose control of your car and could potentially cause an accident. The format of the gear stick is pretty easy to memorize and embed it into your brain so that you don’t have to keep looking down to make sure that you’ve changed the right gear. It should become second nature to know which gear you are at a given time.

Roundabouts are not intimidating if you successfully check your surroundings and make sure that you have enough space to pull out onto the appropriate lane. And always recognise which lane you are supposed to be on. I know that can sometimes throw people off as they go on the inside lane to go on the 2nd exit when it’s unnecessary.

Last piece of advice, the amount of pressure you place on the accelerator/gas pedal is hard to master. I found myself pushing it down a little too much at times but it’s all about how you control yourself and the situation. I was quick to recover and drove away suitably. I’m not saying I was perfect but it was down to how I reacted to the sudden change that taught me a small lesson.

Your first driving lesson should not be stressful or intimidating in any way. The key to being confident on the road is knowing that you control the car not the other way round. If you want to break, you break, it’s that straightfoward. The car does what you tell it to do. I found it much easier to control the car and the actions of switching between clutch and gas once I was in motion. So switching from 1st gear to 2nd gear was easier than going from a complete stop to 1st gear. 

I hope you enjoyed this quick but very detailed post about driving. These observations I either picked up while driving or was told by my instructor. Until next time…

-A

Recent Favourites

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Skincare

Nip+Fab moisturiser and blemish stick

This duo is amazing for night time. The moisturiser blends into the skin straight away and is amazing for oily skin. The consistency of it is very thick and I would only recommend it for oily skin as it mattifies and minimises pores. The roller ball on the blemish stick is very handy for going around larger areas. The packaging is very eye-catching and unique. You can buy the moisturiser here and the blemish stick here. The Nip+Fab website has a great range of other products in the Teen skin line you can try. 

Garnier green tea toner

This is a great watery toner that blends into the skin very quickly. Take a small amount on cotton pad and swipe on the areas that you need it on. You can buy it in Boots for £2.33 right now.

Food

Popcorn cereal bars 

I’ve been loving these bars for when I want a little bit of salty and crunchy flavour to my snacks. The addition of the popcorn and pretzels makes them even better. 

Books

John Grisham A Time to Kill

Great book to read if you love crime and a long story. A lot of suspenseful events unfold and I found it hard to put the book down. You can buy it here

Almost Adulting by Arden Rose 

I bought this book purely because of my long time love for Arden and her YouTube channel. You can watch her videos here and buy here book from Amazon here. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and the way she wrote it is very simple to follow. The advice is very practical and the small swear words included in the chapters make it unique. 

Clothes & Jewelrry

Bomber jacket

I bought this jacket from Primark purely because of the beautiful embroidery on the back and front. Only after I looked at it did I see that it was reversible. The second design for the jacket is a simple block red and black with a white outline at the bottom of the sleeves. I like to wear the black embroidery side as it is very trendy right now. Looks great with a simple white tee, black jeans and some heels.

Random

No.4 from Primark Incensce in Sea Salt and Lavender

This Incensce smells so clean and fresh. The bottle looks great on my bedside table and the minimal design is on point. It says it lasts for around 4 weeks, I haven’t yet tested that as I only just bought it. Only cost £1 and was well worth it.

Hope you enjoyed a round up of my favourite items that I have been loving so far. 

Have you got any products you’ve been loving lately? Comment down below. 

A

Chilly Spring #OOTD | Collaboration

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Hey guys! Over the weekend I went shopping with my best friends and decided to photograph the outfit I was wearing. 

Photography credits go to Adell who runs a graphic design, minimalist and life style blog here

My outfit consisted of a pale pink striped shirt from Primark (£15), blue jeans from Primark (£12), grey suede platform creepers from Matalan (£18) and beige structured coat from Primark (£25). The necklace is a silver dinosaur skeleton design from Etsy (£10-£15). Bag is from Clarks (£30). 

The outfit was perfect for the chilly weather as it was a little bit windy and cold at times. 

Hope you guys enjoyed! See you next week… and special thanks to Adell for taking these amazing photos for me.

-A

Healthy Living 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

I’m always trying to make healthy conscious decisions that will make me feel better about myself in the long term. That’s not always easy; or cheap when we are talking about food. So there are some things that I have found to not break my budget but make me feel healthier.

Swapped my normal milk to either soy, almond or cashew milk. 

Gives me the same amount of energy and fulfillment but I know that I am supplying my body with plant products and not cow milk. Additionally, I’ve always felt super bloated and yucky almost after drinking cow milk.

Make lunches yourself and not buy packaged food. 

I know it’s always so easy to just pick up a sandwich or salad from the school or work canteen but you don’t know what they’ve put into it. As you’re making your breakfast in the morning, make a little sandwich and throw some fruit into your bag. Small steps are what makes it worthwhile.

Drink consciously.

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I don’t drink much Coca Cola or any soft drinks when I’m at home as I don’t like the feeling I get afterward. I always try to drink water or some kind of juice to be hydrated.

Fruit is life. 

Try to eat at least 2 or 3 different kinds of fruit every day. That’s not to say that I follow that rule religiously but I try to most of the time.

Get outside one way or another.

If you don’t like working out inside, taking a walk around your neighbourhood is a much better option. The fresh air and getting to wander around is very pleasant and enjoyable.

Breakfast is the most important meal. 

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I always try to eat something at breakfast, be it some cereal or a piece of toast with jam. Most days I follow my rule but sometimes I just don’t have the time to sit down and eat a scrambled egg or small omelette.

There are plenty more things that you can do to become your best and healthy self. Enjoy your weekend and see you next week! 

-A

Let’s de-stress together 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

So I’ve been kind of stressed lately so I thought that I would just show some of the things I have done to calm myself down. This list may help you or not but I’m just stating what works for me usually. 

1. Show your skin some love 

When I’m feeling stressed or anxious my skin just loves to get extra oily and as a result I feel like crap. My little tip for that is doing a face mask that you love to make you feel better and cleaner. My favourite is a deep cleansing clay mask with 5% AHA acids which gives you almost a chemical peel. 

2. Pour yourself a nice cup of tea 

This is what I do on most days but I particularly enjoy drinking a warm soothing cup of mint or black tea when I feel anxious. Whenever I drink black tea I always add a slice of lemon to add a bit of sourness to the taste.

3. Read a book 

When I have time I love to read books. Always have and always will. However, when I’m stressing for a test and I feel burned out I love to read a book for 20 or 30 minutes to calm and distract myself for a little while. 

4. Journal or draw 

I don’t do this often but it is a great way to beat stress and calm the mind. Just draw whatever you want but don’t focus on making it perfect. Draw what’s around you or what you’re thinking about; anything to calm the nerves. 

5. Go for a walk outside 

Now that it’s officially spring I feel the need to be outside more than ever. The sound of the birds chirping and the warmth of sunshine on my face is something that has always comforted me. So when my room has become too distracting and unmotivating I like to just sit outside in my garden or go for a 15 minute walk around the area.

6. Organise your room 

I always get to the point when my room is too messy for my liking and I have to clean it otherwise I get super distracted. If you feel like you are unmotivated because of a cluttered room then feel free to put some music on and put everything away. 

This list is not at all perfect but I just wanted to show what I do when I feel stressed about school or anything at home. Don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. It is so easy to wear yourself out so show some love to your body.

-A