Tuesday, 28 July 2015

5 quick and easy breakfast ideas


Everyone knows that it's really really important to eat breakfast in the morning - it gives you a boost of energy and nutrients to help you concentrate and get you through the day. The thing is, a lot of people don't bother with breakfast or don't eat something that's very good for them. I'll put my hand up at this point and say that yes I went through my senior years at school eating a cereal bar as I ran for the bus, and in the last year at university if it was an early morning lecture I usually skipped breakfast and had a footlong Subway at lunchtime to make up for it.

Enough is enough.

It takes about 15 minutes to make yourself a good, filling breakfast and eat it. Less if you wolf your food down. Below are 5 of the breakfasts I choose to eat regularly. I know that cereal and toast are hardly mind blowing, but have a think about what other toppings you could try and see if that inspires you to eat breakfast more regularly.

1. Cereal
Ingredients: cereal, milk
Toppings: fresh fruit, dried fruit

My favourite cereals are Sugar Puffs, Cornflakes and All-Bran Golden Crunch. I tend to alternate between these three types, so why not think about having different cereals on the go at once? Fresh fruit toppings can include strawberries, banana, blueberries and dried fruit toppings can include raisins, cranberries or apricots.

2. Porridge
Ingredients: porridge oats, milk
Toppings: honey, jam, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nutella

I recommend the Quaker Oats Oat So Simple because it comes in little sachets so you don't need to try and guesstimate the quantity of oats. It also comes in loads of different flavours. My favourite toppings are berries, a spoonful of jam or 1/2 an apple. You can also use frozen fruit for this as they defrost in the microwave!

3. Toast
Ingredients: bread
Toppings: butter, jam, nutella, peanut butter, chopped banana, avocado, fried egg

I don't normally have toast in the morning because I prefer to have toast at toast o'clock (midnight-ish haha). To make your morning toast a bit more interesting why not try a different type of bread: seeded, 50:50, brown. Alternatively, whack on a new topping!

4. Muffins
Find the recipe here.

I like to make these muffins on a Sunday evening, I usually half the recipe and make 6 muffins which lasts me for three days. These are great for if you have a really early start so you can just grab them and go. These ones are really great because they use honey instead of sugar and are meant to be low in calories.

5. Yoghurt
Ingredients: natural yoghurt
Toppings: apple, banana, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi

This one I don't tend to do as often as you have to have lots of different fresh fruit available. Often when I have made the muffins there is a bit of yoghurt left so I have this for breakfast.

Let me know in the comments what other breakfast ideas or toppings you like!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Bodycare starter kit for £50


Today's post follows on from my skincare starter kit last week, which focussed on the face and hands whilst this post focusses on the body. I hope you enjoy!

The total cost of the below products at full price comes to £47.45, however with current price reductions it comes to £33.93. I'd also reckon that using pound shops you can get a lot of the basics and some brands cheaper than in Boots or Superdrug.

Superdrug Body Puff - £1.99
I love using these with shower gel as it helps to get really good foamy bubbles and also is a gentle exfoliator for the whole body. I always make sure and choose a different colour every time I replace them too!

Superdrug Body Glove - £2.49
I have just purchased exfoliating gloves and I love using them with a body scrub to get a really deep exfoliation.

In Shower
Original Source Shower Gel - £2.20-£2.70 (currently £1.29)
I love this shower gel as it's fairly inexpensive, lathers really well and comes in lots and lots of great scents that really linger on the skin. My picks would be Watermelon & Jojoba Oil, Blood Orange, and Pink Grapefruit.

Soap & Glory Body Scrub - £8.00
I've only ever tried the Sugar Crush scent which has an overpowering sickly-sweet lime scent however I really love the texture of this body scrub so I will definitely be trying the other scents in the range. I also love The Body Shop's body scrubs however the Soap & Glory scrubs are just as good and slightly less expensive. There are four versions of this body scrub: Flake Away, Sugar Crush, Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em, Smoothie Star.

Gilette Satin Care Shave Gel - £3.49 (currently £1.33)
When I bother using shave gel (it's messy and takes time that I don't always have) I really notice the difference with my shave.

Gilette Razor - £7.99-£10.99 (currently £4.98)
This is the only brand of razor that I have ever tried but I can't see myself using anything else any time soon! I'd recommend buying the first one based on the colour of the handle, and then you can replace the blade with any of the available blades. I'll be doing a review of all the types of blades soon, but the cheapest blades are just as good as the more expensive ones.

After Shower
Soap & Glory Body Butter - £10.00
Again, I've only ever tried the Sugar Crush scent but I love how moisturising these body butters are. They are also much better value for money (more than twice as much product for the same price) than The Body Shop Body Butters. There are five versions of this body scrub: The Righteous Butter, Orangeasm, Smoothie Star, Sugar Crush, Butter Yourself.

Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion - £7.79 (currently £3.85)
This is the first gradual tanner that I have ever used but I really like it, it takes about two applications in order for my peely-wally whiter-than-white legs to take on a bit of colour. There is also a dark version. Highly recommend!

Let me know in the comments if you have used any of these products or if you would swap or add in some of your own favourite products!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Friday's Favourites #3


Here are my favourites from over the past two weeks.

I watched Overboard with my family while I was on holiday, it was on TV last week and recommended by my Granda. I sat half-watching it and half on my laptop because I didn't think that I would enjoy it but I have to admit I was sucked in! It's a 1987 rom-com about a stuck-up rich heiress who falls overboard her yacht, loses her memory and is "claimed" by a widowed handyman with four sons. Watch the trailer here.

TV Series
Tattoo Fixers on E4 has become my guilty pleasure. I would never get a tattoo, but I like them on other people and I would never stop a partner from getting one. I would also never be against my child getting one. They just aren't for me. Anyway, this show is hilarious and shocking as it shows you some truly disastrous tattoos and then how the incredibly talented tattoo artists fix them.

I've been eating Sugar Puffs (or Honey Monster Puffs, as they've been renamed) for at least one meal a day this week, sometimes breakfast, sometimes lunch, sometimes toast o'clock. I love it with some strawberries chopped through.

I was looking for a lighter foundation because the two that I have are very heavy and so I purchased the Bourjouis Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation (£10.99) in Vanille Clair. It has a very subtle fruity scent with a fairly runny consistency. I'd say this has a light to medium coverage and although I find the colour to be more yellow than my other foundations, I really like it.

My Superdrug order came in two days ago, bringing with it some repurchases, as well as a new purchase: Nip+Fab Dragons Blood Fix Plumping Serum (£19.95). I got it for lower than half price (£8.00), and it's currently offered at £13.29. You use this before your moisturiser and I've found it's really good at giving your skin a bit more moisture. It's absorbed really quickly too and has a sort-of minty scent. Love it.

The weather has been nice but changeable, so I've been wearing a cropped denim jacket. It fits me really well, I looked for one that was slim and long in the sleeves and last year I found the perfect one in George at Asda, of all places! I found a similar one here (£45.00).

Let me know your favourites from this week!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

How to pass your theory test first time


I PASSED MY THEORY TEST! Two weeks ago today actually, but I've been on holiday and I wanted to save the news until I had written this post. I was incredibly nervous, and I honestly thought I'd failed it so I was delighted when I walked out of the test room and was handed that piece of paper that said I'd passed!

In the UK, before you are allowed to drive unsupervised you must pass two tests: the theory test (£25) and the driving test (£62). You must also have a provisional license, which you can apply for three months before your seventeenth birthday. Before you can book your driving test, you must pass the theory test.

The theory test is actually made up of two sections: the theory test and the hazard perception test. To pass the overall theory test you need to pass both sections.

The theory test has 50 multiple choice questions which you are given 57 minutes to complete (I don't think it would take anyone this long, I took about 15 minutes but I'm a fast reader). The pass mark for this part is 43 out of 50, or 86%. That is really high, huh!? Don't worry, with enough practice it's totally doable. I got 49, and I was so annoyed, trying to think which question I had gotten wrong.

Most people who fail the theory test, fail on the hazard perception test. I found this section really hard, and thought I had failed because it came up that I had clicked wrongly and would score a zero for one part. During this part of the test you are shown 14 video clips which are each about one minute long. You have to click when you see a hazard developing, like a vehicle swerving into your lane, or a cyclist or pedestrian moving out in front of you. It's harder than it sounds! The pass mark for this is 44 out of 75 (each hazard is scored out of 5). I got 57, which included two zeros...oops!

For more information on the theory test click here or here.

Phew. Now all that is out of the way, here are my tips for passing the theory test on your first attempt - after all, nobody wants to chuck £25 away!:
1. Get your hands on a copy of a theory test book. I recommend the AA complete test book (£12.09) because it has information about both the theory test and the driving test, as well as practice theory questions and a copy of the highway code.

2. Get your hands on a Hazard Perception DVD (my instructor lent me one for free). I recommend the official DSA one (£4.96).

3. Practice the theory questions until you can answer them without thinking. The questions that come up in the test will be really really similar to those you've practiced.
For practice questions online click here or here.

4. Get as much hazard perception practice as possible. The videos that come up will be computer drawn, not real life but the skills used are the same. I've also found that the DVD and online tests give you a much higher score than the actual test, so be aware of this.
For practice hazard perception clips online click here or here

5. On the day, be calm, you will know if you've worked hard enough to pass. If not, don't be discouraged and try again.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My money saving tips


Everyone wants to be able to be a bit more savvy with their money, maybe so they can save up for something big like a new car or a holiday, or to treat themselves to something in a shop that they've had their eye on for a while. For students in particular, money saving can even mean being able to make ends meet. Unfortunately, money saving is not a skill that we are taught at school and so these are just a few tips that I've learned over the past year.

1. Loyalty Cards

You know when you're at the till and the checkout assistant asks you if you have a loyalty card for that store, you say no and they then give you the whole speech about why you should have one? Don't stutter a "no, thank you". Say yes. Or, at least, take the information leaflet.

The Boots Advantage Card gives you 4 points for every £1 you spend, you can then use these points to purchase something else (Note: you cannot part-purchase, i.e. you have to have the full value on your card and cannot use some points and some cash). 100 points equals £1. The points honestly do stack up, and because you can't part-purchase you can really save for something this way.

The Superdrug Health & Beauty Card gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend. You can part-purchase with this card, and 100 points equals £1 to spend.

The Debenhams Beauty Club Reward Card gives you 3 points for every £1 you spend on beauty, fragrance and beauty electricals. It also offers free makeovers and skincare consultations, free delivery and free gifts, samples and special offers. You need to earn 500 points to get a £5 reward, which you can use to part-pay for your purchase.

The Tesco Clubcard gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend in store or online and 1 point for every £2 you spend on fuel. Once you reach 150 points you will be sent vouchers to use in store - these are quite often tailored to things you already buy!

The Waterstones Card gives you 3 points for every £1 you spend, as well as other great perks such as savings and offers on museums, galleries and literary days out; the chance to read and review books before they're published; and win prizes for book lovers.

2. Student Discount
If you're a student, you might as well milk the discounts as much as possible, because I can guarantee I will miss the savings when I graduate. Sign up for UNiDays for discount codes you can use online and in store - all you need is your university email address. Some shops offer student discount such as 10% or 20% off seasonally (River Island) or all year round (New Look, Topshop). At McDonalds, with your student card you can get a free cheeseburger, hamburger or McFlurry when you buy any large meal. And at the cinema, see if they offer a student ticket.

3. Travel
Your student card can sometimes get you a discount on bus travel (usually just on buses in cities). If you know you're going to be travelling by train regularly, or even just a longish journey a couple of times a year then look into getting a 16-25 railcard - it gives anyone in full time education 1/3 off fares. It does cost £30 per year, but I got mine for £20 with a UNiDays discount (all about the discounts) and I worked out that with me popping home for birthdays or the odd weekend, I would save over the £30.

4. Clearance Sections
Don't be ashamed to seek out clearance sections in shops, particularly in Boots, Superdrug, Asda and Tescos. I often buy products where the box is slightly dented at ridiculously reduced prices. And the makeup bins in Asda and Tescos are often full of makeup that has had to be taken off the shelves to make room for new releases when there is nothing wrong with it - for about £4 I got one of my favourite Maybelline mascaras, and for £5 I got a Rimmel primer.

5. Bulk Buying
This applies to both beauty and food. Take advantage of 3 for 2 offers, or BOGOF or just reduced prices. For example, I love the Nip+Fab range, but it's a bit pricey so I wait until Boots or Superdrug has the range on offer (currently Superdrug is offering 1/3 off) and then I stock up. I've really reduced my meat intake this past year because it's so expensive, but if raw meat is on offer at the supermarket, say 3 for 2, I buy 3 and freeze 2 packets.

Sorry for the long post, thank you for reading to the very end! Let me know some of your money saving tips in the comments!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Skincare starter kit for £50


Welcome back to my blog, I haven't posted in a whole week because I was on holiday but I am back now and excited to start blogging again! I had a great time, but I really missed this little place.

Today's post is my skincare starter kit - next week's post will be my bodycare starter kit, so this week's post is just for the face and hands.

I will admit from the start that although the title says £50, the total cost of the below ten products comes to £60.16. What I will say is that you will often be able to get a lot of the below products on offer. Particularly: The Body Shop are currently offering up to 50% off on sale items with an additional 40% off everything, including sale items. The total with current price reductions comes to £43.70. It's also important to point out that for your £50-ish you're getting ten products, rather than just cleanser, exfoliator, toner and moisturiser as most other "skincare under £50" posts have.

Superdrug Cotton Wool Pads Triple Pack - £3.00
I use these pads in lots of ways: with micellar water to take off my makeup, with cleansing oil to remove excess wax when I've been waxing, with nail polish remover...

Superdrug My Little Star Cotton Buds Bag - £0.59 (currently Buy 1 get 2nd 1/2 price)
Cotton buds are great for tidying up eyeliner or removing makeup from your lower lash line.

Primark Face Cloths 3-pack - £2.50
I use a clean face cloth every day and use it to take my cleanser off (along with my makeup) as well as my face mask, if I have used one.

Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water - £4.99 (currently £3.29)

It is really important to take off your makeup every day and I've found that this micellar water is best as it can be used on your eyes and all over your face. I've found it to be pretty good at taking off gel eyeliner and waterproof mascara, so you shouldn't need a separate eye makeup remover.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil - £11.00 (currently £6.60)

This is pricy, but it's one of the best purchases I've made recently. You use about 2 pumps so it lasts for ages. And even if you have oily skin, you can still use a cleansing oil. This removes any last traces of makeup after you have used a micellar water.

The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask - £11.00 (currently £6.60)

As the name suggests, this mask warms on your face and helps to deeply cleanse. It's similar to the Soap & Glory No Clogs Allowed Super Self-Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask (what a ridiculous name haha) but it is a tiny bit cheaper. I use it two to three times a week.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads - £12.95 (currently £8.59)

This is the priciest product on this list but is hands down one that I couldn't live without. This replaces the step where most people would use a really gritty exfoliating scrub and then a traditional toner. These pads contain glycolic acid which exfoliates the skin and are just brilliant.

Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser - £3.99

I don't use this moisturiser anymore but I used to love it, my sister still uses it and it's just an all round good moisturiser. They also make one with SPF15 but as this one doesn't have SPF, you can use it as a daytime and nighttime moisturiser.

Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm - £3.69

This is a pricier lip balm but it's the only lip product I've been able to find that actually works on my drier-than-dry lips.

Sally Hansen Strengthening Polish Remover - £2.45 (currently 3 for 2)

I only ever use the Sally Hansen polish removers as I find them to work the best.

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream - £4.00 (currently £2.40)

I love the smell of this hand cream, although of course The Body Shop do their hand cream in a whole range of scents. It's also really quick to absorb so your hands don't feel greasy and slippery for ages afterwards.

Let me know in the comments if you have used any of these products or if you would swap or add in some of your own favourite products!

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Blog Tour Award


Okay, I know I said that I wasn't planning on posting this week but that was before I was nominated by the lovely Georgie Watts to do the blog tour award.

Blog Tour Award Rules:
1. Pass the tour to at least four other bloggers.
2. Give your nominees the rules and specify the Monday in which they should post their nomination answers.
3. Answer the four questions about your creative process, which allows other bloggers and visitors to understand what inspires you to do what you do.
4. Compose this one-time post on a specific Monday.

Q1) How does your work differ from others in your genre?
I would say that my blog differs because I write about a lot of different topics - so I guess you can't describe my blog as just one thing. Yes, it's similar to a beauty blog in a lot of ways but I also write about my experiences in life and at university, as well as about films, music and books, to name a few. I like to call it a lifestyle blog because that pretty much covers everything.

Q2) How does your writing/creative process work?
A lot of ideas for posts hit me during my day-to-day life, and usually when I'm not at my laptop. I write them down on my phone, sometimes as post titles, others as sentences I want to include and some just as random thoughts that probably need focussed a little better before I write about them! I also get a lot of inspiration from other blogs, on bloglovin I have a collection of saved posts entitled inspiration. Then at the start of the month I sit down and spend some time deciding which posts to write that month and on which days - vital if you're posting almost every day like I am. I usually schedule a few day's posts at a time if I can, and I usually write the whole post in one sitting, then add the photos and do a final read through the next day.

Q3) Why do you write and create what you do?
I love reading other blogs so much that I wanted to show the world what I could write about and what I had to say. And I began to love blogging so much that I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. It's become a hobby that I get so much enjoyment out of.

Q4) What are you working on at the minute?
Outside of writing, I've started driving lessons and been applying for part-time jobs. I've also been actually writing my novel (the plan for it has been sitting untouched for months). I'm also learning to do this posting six days a week craziness that I decided to do. I've grown to love blogging so much, and although I haven't told many people that I know about it I hope soon that I will have the confidence to share my blog with more of my friends and family. 

Ema - All The Good Blog Names Were Taken
Tara Neill - Dancing Through Life
Louise - Of Love and Lipstick
Tara - Tara's Floral World
Al White - Miss Makeup Tips

Oh and I'll give everyone until Monday the 27th of July to complete their answers! Thank you again Georgie for the nomination.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

See you in a week!


I will be taking a little holiday from posting on the blog for the next week because I am away on holiday visiting family in Northern Ireland. Ideally, I would have scheduled this week's posts before I went away but I was really busy before I went with a job interview and my theory test to sit so unfortunately I won't be posting at all this week.

I hope you understand and that you all have an amazing week! See you on the 20th.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Saturday's Songs #2


This week I had a couple of setbacks, which I'm sure I'll write about another time so it was time to whack out my playlist for when I'm down entitled Breathe. I also added a couple of new songs to it, here are the highlights:

James Bay - "Running"
This song featured during my 30 day song challenge, you can read the full post here.
Favourite line: "When my heart is ready to burst // When the world spins in reverse // I'll keep running // To the place where I belong."

Daughter - "Still"
This band is a fairly new discovery for me, a few months ago maybe? Their songs are like poetry to music - in fact I first found them by googling the words to what I thought was a poem on tumblr.
Favourite line: "Two hands longing for each others warmth // Cold smoke seeping out of colder throats."

Gem Club - "Michael"
Gorgeous song, haven't heard much else of this band but I'll get right on that, I promise.
Favourite line: "I watched when you move // how the whole world moves."

Ruby The Rabbitfoot - "Ways"
Such a unique song I think.
Favourite line: "You're probably thinking of ways // Ways to be good to me."

Catfish and the Bottlemen - "Kathleen"
A bit more upbeat than the others, I listened to this one lots when I was feeling a bit better.
Favourite line: "It's impractical // To go out and catch a death with a dress fit for the summer."

Let me know in the comments what songs you have been loving this week!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Friday's Favourites #2


Here are my favourites from this week:

The Imitation Game is a historical thriller film based on the real life British computing scientist/mathematician/genius, Alan Turing. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Turing who is hired by the British government to decrypt German codes during World War Two. I watched this film with my family, who knew a lot more about Turing than I did however I really enjoyed the film anyway and I think Cumberbatch did an excellent job portraying Turing. I also liked Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke. Watch the trailer here.

I have been far too busy this week to have a favourite book, sorry guys.

This week my favourite blog was Rebecca Rachel - I've loved reading her university related posts and seeing how much our experiences have in common.

I've rediscovered a love of Mars Bars this week. It's been so hot that my favourite thing to do is pop one in the fridge for a bit before I eat it. Although be careful - I know a guy who ripped out a filling by eating a refrigerated Mars Bar.

In the heat of the past week it might seem strange for me to say that I've fallen in love with a cream blush - Maybelline Dream Touch blush in 07 Plum (£6.49). I find it's just the most gorgeous naturally flushed shade for me. And I sometimes layer with a powder blush on the top if I think it might move around. I love to apply it with the Real Techniques Expert Face brush.

I've been trying to use up some of my old skincare products recently and I've found a product that I hated when I first used it but love now - The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream (£11.00). It really is mattifying but then I haven't got the oiliest skin, so that could just be for my skin. My one issue when I first tried it was the smell - it smelled a little bit fishy to me which did go away when it was absorbed but was still pretty unpleasant. Now that I've retried it I haven't noticed the smell at all, which I think was caused by using the whole range of seaweed products together.

It has definitely been shorts weather this week and so I've loved wearing these high waisted denim shorts from H&M (£19.99). So flattering and very comfortable.

Let me know in the comments any of your favourites that you would recommend!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

My first driving lesson


I feel like I've waited for far too long to start learning to drive, which is ridiculous because I'm only 18 and several of my friends haven't even started yet, let alone passed! I just remember being in my last year of high school where everyone was learning and passing theory tests and practical tests left right and centre, and now Facebook has quieted down so much with everyone posting that they've passed that I feel it's old news now to be learning!

To be fair to myself, I was the youngest in the year and wasn't 17 until the very end of the year by which time I was sitting my advanced higher exams (basically first year university level and almost equivalent to A levels in England). Learning to drive took a bit of a back seat in my mind. Then I went to university in a huge big city and just thought: NO. WAY. IN. HELL. am I learning to drive here.

But I'm home to my town for the summer and I thought, might as well. I've no other commitments this summer so I can focus on it entirely. I decided to do a semi-intensive course which are offered by a lot of driving schools. Basically I'm learning to drive in 3 weeks! (The intensive course is ONE WEEK!). It's 5 lessons of 2 hours a week and I arranged to start it as soon as I'm back from visiting my Granda.

Then my driving instructor was dropping off a DVD to help me study for the theory test and offered to take me out for my first lesson the next day, separate from the semi-intensive course. I didn't even have time to be nervous.

He drove me to a huge car park, which was fairly empty although did get a bit of lunchtime traffic. The first hour was basically chatting and safety, learning the inside of the car first. Then the second hour was me driving around the car park, steering around lampposts and parked cars and pretty much stalling every five minutes. A direct quote from the day was:

"Me: Oh crap oh crap oh oh we're going awfully fast aren't we?"
"Instructor: Emma, you've reached a top speed of 8mph."

It feels a lot faster when you're just learning believe me! Although on the second lesson I was going 60mph on a country road. I was told I would improve quickly but seriously!

Let me know in the comments about your experiences learning to drive. I can't wait to start my semi-intensive course now!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

15 things I learned during my first year at university

Welcome to my first student-ey tips post. This series is going to focus on my tips for students - life hacks, money saving and university information. Even if you're not at university, I'm sure you could benefit from some of the tips!

1. You aren't going to click with everyone you meet.
This is most clear during Fresher's week when you meet dozens and dozens of new people at every flat party you go to. You don't have to like everyone and you sure as hell don't have to be liked by everyone. Make the effort to get on with your flatmates, and the people you do get on with will stick around and become your closest friends.

2. Takeout is going to become an essential part of your week.
More often than not, in our flat, we ended up having takeout during the week rather than at weekends. Sometimes we had both. When you've had a ridiculously hard day and you can't be bothered cooking you will find someone willing to order takeout with you. Domino's Two for Tuesday is a student favourite.

3. You aren't going to make it to every 9am lecture (or every 4pm lecture for that matter).
I got an A and I went to my 4pm lecture twice out of the eleven weeks. I mean, I was pulling all nighters before the exam, but I got to go home at 2pm every Thursday instead of 5pm. A good swap in my mind.

4. A sleeping pattern is no longer something you will have.
You will abuse the fact that your parents are no longer there to send you to bed at 11pm every night. And when it's 3am and there's only 2 episodes left in the season of the TV series you're watching you think, ehhhh, might as well get it finished. I'll go to my 9am lecture next week.

5. Cereal works for every meal.
As a result of number 4, lunch will be the first meal of your day. So then by midnight, you'll be starving. Hence, cereal or toast at midnight. Alone at first, until you invite a flatmate that you know will also be up at that time. Sometimes, you'll invite a guy round for toast o'clock. It's an important milestone, sharing your favourite time of day with someone. And it's ten times better after a night out.

6. Eat and drink something after a night out.
Toast o'clock and a pint of water is my secret to being hangover free the next morning. Trust me on this. No nausea or headaches. Jobs a gid'un.

7. You will calculate the cost of everything by how many drinks it is worth.
£15 is no longer £15. It's an entire bottle of vodka. Or it's 5 doubles.

8. Pre-drinks are sometimes the best part of the night.
You're with your nearest and dearest, you get to choose what music is playing and it's at a volume that you can actually hear yourself think. Oh and did I mention drinking games? Nuff said.

9. Throwing up before a night out is not frowned upon rather congratulated.
Drinks at home are cheaper than a bar or a club, so the more you drink at home, the cheaper your night is going to be. And if that leads you to have a tac-tac-chun-chun (tactical chunder for those not familiar) then you are a legend.

10. You feel more loyal to your halls than to your country.
Everyone not in your halls is an idiot for not being there and their halls are subpar.

11. There is no doubt that the rival university is the worst university in the country.
There is always a rivalry between universities in the same city. Nothing serious, just a bit of light hearted teasing of everyone you meet from the other uni.

12. There will always be someone willing to have a drink with you.

13. Don't mix your favourite soft drink with alcohol. It will ruin it.
I haven't been able to drink Irn Bru since.

14. Eating raw jelly cubes is the same as an energy tablet.
Honest to god. When you've run out of Lucozade tablets and Pro-plus tablets and you need to pull an all-nighter to pass your exam the next day, don't resort to a spoonful of coffee (icky) when a single jelly cube will do the trick.

15. Everyone has one thing they can't do when drunk.
Most people can't text when drunk, others can't form coherent sentences or keep their eyes open or stop themselves from crying. Everyone has a thing. After a broken nose and a sprained ankle this year and 10 hours total spent in the hospital, I've come to the conclusion that I can't stand upright when I've been drinking. I wasn't even in heels.

Monday, 6 July 2015

My Hair History


You could say that over the past year, my hair has had one or two or maybe ten changes! I think it was living away from home and having the freedom to do whatever I wanted to my hair as well as knowing that I was 17 years old and had never ever dyed my hair before that led to what can only be described as a different colour every month.

December last year, I had brown hair (top-left) down to my waist and I decided that I wanted a change. The day before I was coming home to my parents' house for about a month over Christmas and the New Year I bleached and then dyed the ends bright purple! (top-middle) My mum was shocked to say the least. This then faded out to blue (for about one wash so I have no pictures) and then turned green (top-right). Yes, somehow in all my research I had failed to discover that purple-blue hair dye often fades to green. I still, somehow, managed to work it.

Late March, I dyed my hair bright pink (middle-left) which I loved so much more than the purple. It faded to a lilac-pink mixture (middle) which was exactly what I had wanted from the original purple! By my 18th in April (middle-right) I had redyed some parts purple and pink so there was a real mixture of tones through it which I loved.

I went to my Grandpa's for a week during which time my hair faded to almost white with some green still through it (bottom-left). Turns out the green was under the pink the whole time! I dyed it pink again after I'd gone back to university but I was by this time getting really bored of having such long thick hair that took ages to dry and wash. I became overly reliant on dry shampoo - it was also exam time so give me a break!

As soon as I was home to my parents' house for over the summer I got an appointment with my usual hairdressers. And boy, was I brave. As you can see from the final two pictures I went for a lob to get rid of all the damaged and coloured ends. It is now so much quicker and easier to dry and wash, although I do have to straighten it sometimes to stop the ends flicking in all different directions. I also got the ends and underneath done with balayage which, although pricey, was such a good decision. Also, now I only get ID'd like 70% of the time rather than 100% with the dip dye - so that's a bonus!

For those that are interested I used Jerome Russell B-blonde powder bleach and cream peroxide 30 Vol to bleach and then Crazy Colour semi-permanent colour in Violette and Pinkissimo.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Saturday's Songs #1


I hope that you are having a brilliant weekend! Where I live in Scotland, the schools have just broken up for the summer so now my sister and mum are lazing round the house like I have been since May.

This type of post is designed to let me let you all know what music I've been loving this week - essentially over the week I add my favourite songs to a playlist on my Spotify which I then transfer over to this blog. I hope you like what I have chosen! Oh! -and don't expect there to be any sort of theme or genre. I have a pretty varied taste in music.

Halsey - "Is There Somewhere?"
Halsey is a new artist that I've discovered this week and I really really love her! I haven't listened to many of her songs because I've had this on repeat.
Favourite line: "And I try to refrain but you're stuck in my brain. // And all I do is cry and complain because second's not the same."

Walk the Moon - "Shut Up and Dance"
As I'm writing this, this song is number 4 on the UK singles chart so I can't be the only person loving this song this week! It is a bit cheesy and overplayed but I can't stop listening to it.
Favourite line: "Helpless to the bass and faded light"

Femme - "Fever Boy"
The final episode of season 9 of Made in Chelsea featured a few really great artists (including Kodaline live -yessss!) so I was straight on to Spotify to add them when I came across the Made in Chelsea Soundtrack. Even if you don't watch MIC I would really recommend it because it features some really great artists that you might not have heard of.
Favourite line: "I'm looking at the girl in the afghan coat and wondering whether she's naked underneath it"

Ella Eyre - "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" (cover of Jermaine Stewart)
Ella Eyre was another new discovery this week thanks to BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. She has an incredible voice and I really love this cover.
Favourite line: "And if the conversations good vibrations through and through"

Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan's songs from The Last Five Years
I wrote about this film in yesterday's favourites post. I've watched it twice simply because I can't find full versions of the songs anywhere. The below video gives a sample of all the songs. My favourites are Kendrick's "Still Hurting" and "A Summer in Ohio" and Jordan's "Shiksa Goddess".
Favourite line: "I could shove an ice pick in my eye // I could eat some fish from last July // But it wouldn't be as awful as a summer in Ohio // Without cable, hot water, Vietnamese food, or you"

Let me know in the comments what your favourite songs this week have been!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday's Favourites #1


Welcome to the first in this series of weekly favourites. Each week you can expect to see what I've been loving over a whole range of topics including beauty, TV, books and films. Be sure to check back tomorrow for "Saturday's Songs" where I post my weekly playlist of the songs I've been loving that week.


The Last 5 Years is a comedy-drama film based on the musical of the same name which tells the story (both forwards in reverse) of the ending of a marriage. I'm not into musicals, like, at all or even films that are musicals (besides High School Musical because that film series is golden) but I really enjoyed this film. It stars Anna Kendrick as Cathy and Jeremy Jordan as Jamie. Kendrick is a bit pitchy during the first song but it gets better, believe me. Also, it is a little bit confusing at times but just remember that Cathy's songs move backwards getting happier whilst Jamie's move forwards getting sadder. My favourite numbers are Cathy's, in particular "Still Hurting"  and "See I'm Smiling". Watch the trailer here and a sample of the soundtrack here.

TV Series
Before anyone says anything, I know that I'm ten years behind in picking up this craze: Grey's Anatomy. I flipping love it. I've watched the entirety of season 2 (yes, all 27 episodes) in about a week. I watched one season in the middle with my parents and I also have had all the recent spoilers spoiled (read that part out loud haha) on Tumblr, but that's my own fault. I'm still in love.

I have picked up reading regularly again but I'm going to wait until I'm a bit further through the novel I'm reading before I write about it. My most picked up book this week has been, brace yourselves, my AA Complete Test book (£12.08). It's less than a week now until my theory test, and I have to say I'm feeling nervous but alright about it. I'll be posting more about learning to drive soon, but for those who aren't aware, in the UK we have a two part test: theory and practical.

My favourite blog this week was Tara's Floral World - her posts are full of helpful tips and her photos are all gorgeous.

I picked up some Gü Puds from the supermarket this week - these are a luxury for me because they are fairly expensive (£3 for 2 puddings in Tesco) and also not good for you at all! The hot chocolate soufflés and chocolate and vanilla cheesecakes are my favourites. And you get to keep the little glass ramekins which are so adorable!

I've rediscovered my No7 Stay Perfect lipstick (£9.95) in the shade 15 Gay Geranium. This is a bright orange shade which doesn't go with everything but it's such a statement lip that is perfect for the summer time. The formula is a little drying but it's such a gorgeous shade that I haven't been able to find from any other brand.


My skin has been fairly good lately (skincare routine and my thoughts about this coming soon, I promise) but it has been really really sensitive. I've a pretty good idea of what is causing it but it did mean that my normal heavy clay masks were really hurting my skin. So I had to find a mask that was suitable for my sensitive skin: The Body Shop's Warming Mineral Mask (£10.00). As the name suggests, it warms on the skin which with the weather we've been having is not ideal, but it really works so I'm sticking by it.


I've been on the search for a pair of low black heels that don't make my size 6.5 feet look huge and that are actually smart enough to go out at night in. Where I live is fairly relaxed about what you wear to clubs so you have the choice of trainers or heels. For the sake of comfort, I usually choose flats but I wanted something a little more fancy so I found these in New Look (£22.99). (I've just seen on the website that they come in more colours ehhh, yes please!). They are super comfy and I think I'll get a lot of wear out of them.

Let me know in the comments any of your favourites that you would recommend!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Get to know me


For this, the first of the Thursday's Thoughts series, I thought that I would do a "get to know me" post because this whole blogging malarkey is all very new to me. I hope you find this interesting!

1. What is your middle name?
Cecelia - this was my gran's name. My younger cousin also has the same middle name but her dad chose to spell it Cecilia, which is more popular but not the family way! Tut tut.

2. When and where were you born?
The 6th of April. I'm 18, a '97 baby. I was born in Fife, which is just north of Edinburgh in Scotland.

3. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
 I wish that I was shorter, I’m 5 foot 9 inches (175cm). It makes it tricky to wear heels because I feel like a giant around my friends and sometimes it can put guys off being taller than them although this is of course not always the case.

4. Do you wear contacts?
I wear contacts all day every day. I’ll probably get laser eye surgery someday because I’ve worn glasses since I was 5 or 6 years old.

5. What is your party trick?
I can lick my nose and I can also move my eyes independently of each other (although this always gives me a headache).

6. What can’t you leave the house without?
I can’t leave the house without my phone (Samsung Galaxy S6) on at least 70% charge. It’s a safety thing if nothing else, in case I get lost or locked out or held up later than I expected.

7. Do you prefer heels or flats?
I love love love wearing heels but unfortunately depending on who I’m with (see question 3) I feel like I have to wear flats. I’m still choosing heels though.

8. Do you have any siblings?
I have a sister called Keri who is 3 years younger than me.

9. Do you have any pets?
I have two cats: Tigger (5) and Rocky (3).

10. What is your favourite ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie

11. What are your favourite smells?
Freshly baked bread (remember this when you get to question 19); pink grapefruit; fresh laundry; new books; smoked salmon.

12. What is your favourite brand of makeup?
Rimmel London

13. What is your favourite clothing store?

14. What is your favourite colour?
Deep deep blue

15. What was your favourite subject at school?
I loved biology and chemistry (duh, I’m studying biochemistry). I also did Spanish for the first 4 years of high school and I really regret not taking it further.

16. What is your favourite drink?
Soft-drink: Dr Pepper
Alcoholic drink: Vodka & coke

17. What is your favourite book?
Watership Down by Richard Adams

18. What is your favourite song?
See my post about this from my 30 day song challenge.

19. What is your favourite food?
Bread. Let me explain this one. This is such an umbrella term because it includes a whole set of types of bread including garlic bread, naan bread and crusty bread. My favourite. Yes, I’m weird.

20. What is your favourite film?
The Fault in Our Stars. Frozen is a very close second.

I hope that was interesting for you to read and a huge congratulations if you made it through all twenty. Thanks for reading!