03/11/2014

My Week #5

I'm a week behind with these posts, I was meant to publish this early last week but never got round to it because of my essay. I thought I'd post it anyway and then post Halloween week at the end of this week. 

1- I picked up the boots Christmas catalogue during a break at uni, the catalogue always gets me excited for Christmas and theres some really nice sets this year. 

2- I try not to spend too much during breaks on campus but when there's a Starbucks and a Costa it's quite tempting to buy a nice warm drink. I bought this one mostly because I didn't think I'd be able to stay awake during my last lecture of the day!

3- Stocking up for Halloween. I was going to go as a dead doll but I changed my mind so didn't need the bright pink blusher but it was only a £1 and I'm sure it will come in handy for something. 

4- The view from my bedroom window, I can see some of the uni campus in the distance because my house is on a hill. It's also the perfect view for all the fireworks from the past couple of days.



5- Essay writing, my first essay deadline was Monday so I'm able to relax for a little bit before  Ineed to start stressing about writing the next one.

6 - My uni friends got me this mug for my birthday and I love it! Definitely the perfect my for me.

7- I've been on quite a few nights out recently as I thought it would be best to enjoy having a social life before all the deadlines suddenly built up.

8- The dress I wore for one of my Halloween nights out, I was trying to go for a Wednesday Addams kind of vibe.

Sophie x

20/10/2014

My Week #4


Todays post is a summary of the past couple of weeks and mainly my birthday weekend. My birthday was the 5th of October which was good as I knew I'd definitely get a lie in as it was a Sunday. Last year I went home for my birthday weekend but this year I decided to stay at university and do some things here.

1,2,3,4

1- The Goose Fair - this is a fair that comes to Nottingham every year and is supposed to be one of the biggest fairs in Europe. Last year we never got round to going so we made an effort to go this year, we went on the evening of my actual birthday so it was quite chilly but I think it was better at night because of all the lights. I only went on one ride in the end as they were quite expensive plus I had just eaten a load of pasta and didn't fancy being sick.

2- Me cutting my birthday cake, my friends surprised me and got a cake for after our meal, I had half guessed they might do this but it got to after the meal and nothing had happened so I forgot about it and then just as I was suggesting we get the bill the cake came out. It was super yummy!

3- The food I ate for my Birthday meal. I decided to go to Prezzo as I had never been there before and their pasta looked good. I was greedy and chose the option where you could have two pastas instead of just one. I'm surprised that I managed to eat nearly all of it. I would definitely go back to eat there again. 

4- Birthday cards! Most of my cards were sent straight to my house at university so I was able to put them up on my actual birthday. 

5,6,7,8
5- More food! My friend Kavita came to visit me for the day because it was my birthday and after wondering around Nottingham for a while we decided to eat and The Slug and Lettuce. The food was nicer than I thought it would be, we both ended up having the Italian Chicken.

6- Birthday presents, my uni friends clubbed together to get me a Chanel lipgloss which I am very excited about, I don't want to use it though as it looks to pretty! Kavita and my other friend Bhoomica both got me the Mac palette and Cranberry eyeshadow, a mac eye palette was on my wish list so I was extremely happy and am hoping to fill it up more when I go to New York.

7 - Dessert at The Slug and Lettuce, I chose the raspberry and white chocolate cheese cake, it was quite small but I was glad at the time as I was pretty full from my main.

8- We went out the night before my birthday so by the time we actually got to the club it was my birthday and my friends decided to sing happy birthday to me and see if we could jump the queue (we could't) , before we left I made sure I had some Polaroid's from the night.

So that's what I got up to over my Birthday week, it was nice having my birthday before all the deadlines for work began. I'm currently working on my first essay which is due next Monday but will hopefully have another blogpost soon.

Sophie x

14/10/2014

Lush Christmas Event

This post is a bit late going up so apologies. On the third of October I was invited to the Nottingham Lush's Christmas event, this was the first ever blogging event I'd attended so I was very excited but also quite nervous as I didn't know anyone else who was going.

It turned out to be a great evening, we were shown a lot of demonstrations of some of the new products. We were first shown a demonstration of 'Sparkly Pumpkin' which I think is really cute, I think they'd be great to use a decorations around the house for Halloween, plus they'd make your house smell really good. Then we shown 'Sparkler', which can be seen in the picture below, it was extremely glittery!


We then went to explore the new Christmas products, all of which were lovely and smelt great, it got to the point where I couldn't tell the difference between any of the bath bombs as I'd smelt so many! We were given a demonstration of 'Yog Nog' which has a warm and spicy scent, it also reminded me slightly of toffee. I don't usually think about buying soaps but I would consider buying this one in the future. Another new product was the 'First Snow' sparkly dusting powder, we were told that this could be used to give your skin a slight shimmer or as dry shampoo. Another product that stood out for me was the 'Celebrate' body lotion, this had one of my favourite scents, it's very citruses and contains lime oil and Brazilian orange oil. I tested it on my hand and it left my skin feeling super soft.


The gift sets were also amazing! There was one called '12 Days Of Christmas' which was like an advent calendar with different sections for each product, the great thing about it is that you'd be able to reuse it afterwards to keep new lush products in. Another gift set that caught my eye was called 'The Nightingale' which contains 20 products, the packaging was what I was drawn to as it was quite Art Deco and fairytale like.

Unfortunately I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, I ended up just taking my phone rather than my camera and got a bit carried away smelling products rather than photographing them!


We were kindly allowed to pick three things to put on our wish list and take home with us, after much debating and wondering around the shop I chose to take home 'Star Light, Star Bright' which is a bath melt, 'Drummers Drumming' a bubble bar and 'Santa's Lip Scrub'. I have to say I am most excited about the lip scrub as it's been on my wish list for a very long time plus it tastes of cola!

All in all it was a great evening and I'll definitely be back at Lush soon to stock up on some of the new products, mainly for friends though as I only have a bath in my university house and not at home (sad face).

What's your favourite product from the Lush Halloween and Christmas ranges?

Sophie x

09/10/2014

Quick Update

You may have noticed a lack of posts for the last week or so, this is because I'm now back at university. I went out every night in the first week other than the Friday night so spent most of each day in bed sleeping (when else can I get away with being that lazy?!). Lectures started last week so I've been getting back into the swing of things, I'm hoping to get back to blogging next week although I probably won't post as much. I'm hoping to post at least once a week. I have every Tuesday off and every other Wednesday so I should be able to schedule some blogging in on these days.

I also joined the gym on Wednesday, something I never thought I would do as I'm very lazy but I need to shift the extra rolls I gained over summer! Hopefully I'll actually make the most of it!

I'm also planning on doing a new university room tour post but my rooms don't quite decorated fully yet, plus it's quite messy at the moment with plastic bags from shopping trips all over the floor. That's one good (or bad) thing about living nearer to the city centre - more shopping!

Hopefully be back to blogging properly soon
Sophie x


22/09/2014

University Goals - Year Two


Seeing as I'm moving into my university house today I thought I would write a post about goals and things  I want to achieve in my second year. I'm hoping I'll only have one night without internet in my new house so I should be able to keep blogging. I've been attempting to blog everyday in September and so far I've been able to stick to that so hopefully they'll be internet up and running so I can continue! So here are my goals for year two:

Be more organised with work

This year I'm hoping to set up more of a structured studying schedule and stick to it, I think sticking to it is the harder part. I'm going to try and make sure I don't have to finish any of my seminar prep just before a seminar starts.

Do more wider reading 

Whilst I did do a lot of reading last year I felt I could have done more, I think this will also help me when I write my essays.

Keep reading

By this I mean keep reading books that aren't to do with my course, last year I didn't read any books other than ones I needed for my course! Over the summer I've got back into reading and have quite a few books to take back to university with me.

Walk home from lectures occasionally 

This may sound like a slightly odd goal but my new uni house is around 40 minutes away from campus so I will most likely end up getting the bus a lot of the time but I'm hoping to make myself walk home at least once a week, partly to save bus money and partly to help keep myself fit!

Eat healthier!

I actually think I eat better at university than when I'm at home, but I'm going to try and be even healthier. That means I need will power so I don't eat packet of biscuits in one go which I've done of more than one occasion.

Try out new things

I'm hoping to join a couple of societies this year as I never got round to joining any last year, I'd also like to do more things that I could add to my CV

Keep blogging!

I didn't blog the whole of my first year as I had interest in blogging and this made me unmotivated to fit blogging into my schedule. This year I'm hoping I'll be able to keep blogging throughout the year even if it's less often.

Hopefully I'll be able to stick to all of these, I'm quite sure about the eating healthy one though!

Sophie x





21/09/2014

University Series | My 1st Year Experience Semester Two


I wrote about my experience of my first semester here so I thought I'd write about the second semester too. The second semester started after my exams in January and ended in June so was split up by the easter holiday and was longer than the first semester so sorry for quite a long post. 

1,2,3,4
January 

January came around and so did my first lot of university exams,  I was pretty nervous about them. They're not really that much different from any school exams in the sense that you turn up to the room and find your seat, one thing that I did find different was that the invigilators didn't read out any information from the front they just told us to start. We also had to seal the corner of our exam papers by licking them, which was weird the first time as I was looking around the room thinking why are people licking their exam papers?! 
Whilst in the midst of exams and revision my flatmate Sophie and I (yes we're both named Sophie kinda weird) decided to book onto the trip to Amsterdam that our hall had organised. It was nice to look forward to something during the exam period. 
So exams finished and off we went to Amsterdam, the coach came to pick us up at 9 on the Saturday night and after surviving a 3 am ferry we made it to Amsterdam at 10 am on the Sunday morning. After travelling all night I felt pretty gross but our rooms weren't ready yet so I had to make do with a slightly make shift freshen up in some cramped toilets. I'm actually surprised I didn't look worse during the first day. We didn't really know where anything was but we knew we were hungry so off we wondered to find somewhere to eat. We finally stumbled upon a place that sold pancakes, this made us very excited after only eating a not so great cheese and tomato toastie on the ferry. We went in and I ordered the chocolate pancake (picture 1), they were pretty big, having said that Sophie and I both looked at them when they arrived and said they weren't big enough! We were wrong! 
After eating we explored and went to the I Amsterdam sign and then the Van Gough museum. As part of the trip we had free entry into a club on the night so we went back to the hostel and got ready. We were pretty tired so didn't stay very long. The next day we hired some bikes (picture 3) and made our way to the Anne Frank house, we both found this very interesting and sad, it was weird to think that we were in the rooms where they hid. After this we went on a boat cruise on the canal. By this point we were very hungry so made our way back to the hostel where we asked the receptionist where we could get some good pasta. She recommended a place, which turned out to be really posh and charged 40 euros for two courses (not student friendly) plus we looked very out of place with our rucksacks, we eventually found somewhere we could afford! The next day we had to make the long journey back to Nottingham, save to say as soon as we got home we went straight to bed!

February

February wasn't the most exciting of months, I had just started my new modules for semester two so was having to get used to a new timetable. I ended up getting pretty ill, I thought it was just a mild cold but it need up lasting over a week, it probably didn't help that I went out one of the nights but it was a night out we had had planned for a long time. I missed most of the lectures that week and spent my time in bed with a dozen tissues! 

March 
Nothing particularly exciting happened in March, most of it was spent writing essays. We did however make quite a few pancakes on pancake day, we ended up having to mix the mixture in one of my casserole dishes as we didn't have a mixing bowl! (picture 8). My friend from school who's studying at Leicester University came to visit near the end of March and we went on a night out, it's always nice to be able to catch up with school friends. 

5,6,7,8,9

April 
Most of April involved revising for summer exams, I had 4 weeks off for Easter so I was able to just get on with revision. During the holiday I went to visit my friend Emily down in Winchester, it was the first time I'd been to visit her at her uni and we hand't seen each other since Christmas so it was great to catch up and have a break from revision! Right at the start of April we had our spring ball (picture 6), like the christmas ball the food was really nice and there was a chocolate fountain. I also ended up embarrassing myself on the way to my table as I lost my footing because the floor was wonky and nearly ended up falling over, may I add I was wearing pretty high heels. 

May 

The dreaded exam season began as well as some nice sunny weather, which we weren't able to enjoy fully due to the exams. As much as I hate exams I quite like being able to focus all my time on revising rather than having to attend lectures at the same time. I spent most of May stuck in my room with Netflix for company. 

June 

The last month of first year! My exams finished on the 4th, this was good as they finished before term ended but annoying as all my flatmates finished a day before so all went out to celebrate whilst I had to stay in the flat to prepare for my last exam. I also went home for my mums birthday and then got the train back to uni as we had tickets for night out and day festival. Then I was back home again for the weekend to go to Download and then back to uni for one last night out and to collect my results. So I was pretty back and forth for the whole of June!

Overall I had a great first year at university, I'm moving into my new uni house tomorrow and started year two so it's quite weird looking back at my first year!

Sophie x 

17/09/2014

Summer Summary


 I wish I could say I spent the summer in a far off land discovering myself or spending my weekends at festivals with my friends but unfortunately I can't. In all honesty the majority if not all of my summer would be considered pretty boring but having said that I have to admit that I didn't mind that much. I still managed to have a good summer so I thought I'd do a round up post.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
1: My summer holiday started way back at the start of June when I finished my exams, term didn't technically finish until the 20th of June but I was officially free from exams and so my flatmates and I were able to make the most of campus.We're lucky enough to have a lovely lake on campus and so we started our summer by taking some Pimms down to the lake and then hiring a boat. I discovered I'm pretty bad at rowing and steering a boat!

2: It was my mums birthday the day after exams finished so got a train home and we went out for a meal to celebrate. We went to Rushton Hall, which is near Kettering, i'd recommend it if you live in that area. The mini macaron was so cute so I couldn't help taking a picture of it, it was also extremely yummy!

3-6: These are all photos from a day festival I went to called the No Tomorrow festival, it was held at Wollaton house. It was my first experience of a festival and whilst it was only quite a small one it was still a good day out. I painted my nails in a galaxy design (tutorial here) and decided to dress as festively as I could! My favourite acts from the day were Clean Bandit and Sam Smith.

7: My last night out as a fresher, may I add I was completey sober in this picture! It was quite sad as it was the last time I saw some of my university friends and I haven't seen them all summer so it will be great to be reunited with them next week.

8: More yummy food! My nan turned 80 in June and we went for an afternoon tea, it was at Rushton Hall again and was extremely yummy. They're were more macarons, these ones were apple flavoured. 

9: This is me doing some weird pose outside my halls on our last day, we'd just been given our results and I had passed with a 2:1 so I was very happy. The second window on the bottom floor was my room so it was right by the entrance which did get annoying but I managed to get used to the noise. It's quite sad thinking I'll never go back to the flat again especially as this year I'm living on the other side of campus so won't really ever be in that area.

10,11,12,13,14,15


10-11: My second festival of the summer, again I just went for the day. The main reason I went was to see Linkin Park, I went with my mum as she likes them too, we both had a lot of fun even if my mum was paranoid that someone was going to throw a bottle full of wee at her!!

12: I spent a lot of time with my cats this summer which resulted in more than one or two cat selfies.

13: I decided to get my hair cut after having it the same length for about three years, it wasn't a massive difference but it felt a lot better after the chop.

14: Visiting Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) was a lot of fun, going around the house and remembering someone actually lived there was weird as it's so big! (full post here)

15: Reuniting with school friends, I was able to see my friend Emily twice, once at the start of the summer and once nearer the end. I also had a meal with some other school friends such as Kavita who's in the photo above.

So that's my summer, looking back on it I've done more than I thought, I think it's just because most of the things I did were right at the start of the summer and seem so long ago. What did you get up to over the summer?

Sophie x 

16/09/2014

Homeware Haul


At the end of August I went to visit my friend Emily in Winchester, whilst I was visiting we went into Southampton for the day and ended up spending a lot of our time in the Ikea. I helped Emily pick out some things for her new room and also picked up some bits for myself. I probably would have got more but I had to get it home which involved going on the underground so I didn't want to risk buying lots of items.

The green vase, floral mat and two candle holders where from Ikea and only cost me £5.50 overall which I thought was really good. As you can see I'm storing some of my lip products in the candle holder. I think I am going to use the vase for makeup brushes, the mat is going to go on my desk and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to use the other candle holder/plate for, I bought it because it looked pretty!

The throw is from Primark (£10), they also did it in a lovely mint colour but I decided the grey would work better with my bedding.  Lastly on the way back from Emily's I popped into a shop called Joy at the Waterloo train station in London, where I picked up the small bowl for £3.50, they had a few other patterns too. I think I'm going to use it to store rings in.



I'm very happy with all my purchases and think they will help make my university room look a bit nicer

Sophie x

14/09/2014

My Week #3


1,2,3,4
1-2 : Technically these aren't pictures from my week but my flatmate got her disposable camera developed and it had some photos from when we went to Amsterdam way back in January. It was great to finally see the pictures and luckily they'd all developed properly.

3: I went up to my new university house on Thursday to move some stuff in, this picture was taken before I'd moved most of it into the room. There's still more to move such as clothes but I'll take them when I actually move in.

4: On Tuesday and Wednesday I did some babysitting, it was spent mostly watching cbeebies most of the shows I'd never seen before but the Tweenies was on at one point which was weird as I used to watch that when I was little.


5,6,7,8
5: I ended up getting a mild cold at the start of the week, luckily it didn't last very long!

6: I finished reading Gone Girl, I have to say at first I found it quite hard to get into at first, the story didn't quite grip me but after a while I really got into it and I would recommend it.

7: Cinema! I went to see Before I Go To Sleep with my mum, we'd both read the book so wanted to see what the film was like. It was quite good but they had changed a few bits some of which where fine but sometimes I did wonder why they had bothered changing certain parts of it.

8: Packing for university, I move back to university next Sunday so I decided I would start packing some clothes I knew I wouldn't be wearing between now and Sunday. I didn't think I had that much more that needed to be moved into my new room after taking most of it on Thursday but after looking in my wardrobe I think I may have underestimated the amount of things I own!

So that's what I've been up to over the past week, quite a busy week compared to what I usually get up to!

Sophie x

13/09/2014

20 Facts About Me

Today I thought I'd do a post where you could get to know me a bit better, I tried to make the facts as exciting as I could!

1. I study philosophy at Nottingham University

2. I'm left handed

3. I prefer pepsi to coke, I think it has more of a flavour

4. I once knocked my friends two front teeth out, by accident of course! Luckily it was when we still had baby teeth so her teeth grew back.

5. I like to people watch, I can easily just sit somewhere and watch people walk by (in a none creepy way).

6. I prefer potatoes to chips which might be a bit weird. If we ever go to a pub type place and say they have chicken and chips I'll always ask if I can swap the chips for potatoes and if they're are peas in the meal I ask for those to be swap to beans.

7. I usually spend most of my days wearing my pyjama bottoms if I'm just going to be in the house all day, they're just so much comfier to wear.

8. My first concert was S Club 7, I'm also hoping the rumours that they are doing another tour are true so I can relive my childhood!

9. I used to to volunteer at an animal shelter, I did it every saturday for about a year and a half, it was actually quite hard work as there was lots of animals to feed and clean out not to mention numerous walks to put the bin bags in the giant bins. The winters were the worst or when it rained but I enjoyed seeing all the animals and feeling like I was helping out. I was usually assigned the rabbits as I was small enough to get into their hutches (not the usual ones, these where bigger, there is no way I would get into a normal one!)

10. I have never seen a full episode of Friends, in all honestly it's never really appealed to me.

11. I really hate phoning people up, especially people I don't know, I get really nervous for some reason.

12. I rarely wear my hair up, I feel like I look like a boy if I do!

13. If I'm buying something and there's more than one of them or more than one of my size I will check to see which one is the best. Especially if there is a pattern on a piece of clothing I'll see which one has the best distribution of the pattern.

14. I'm quite indecisive, even with small things like picking what colour scarf to buy!

15. I hate cinnamon, the taste and smell, just everything about it.

16. My favourite ice cream flavour is half baked by Ben and Jerry's, you get cookie dough and chocolate ice cream which is great as the only thing I don't like about cookie dough is that the ice cream is vanilla.

17. My favourite colour is probably mint or duck egg blue.

18. I get anxious very easily to the point where I am sick, not fun.

19. I love bags I think they're 'my thing' some people like collecting shoes I like collecting bags. Plus they'll always fit you whether you gain or lose weight.

20. I've never dyed my hair, I've never really wanted to although I wish I was confident enough to experiment with hair colours and styles more.

Sophie x

12/09/2014

University Series | My 1st year experience semester one


As part of my university series I thought I would write about my own first year experience. For me personally I knew that I wanted to go to university rather than getting a job or doing an apprenticeship. Having said that I was still very nervous about starting university, the thought of moving away to live somewhere where I didn't know anyone scared me a lot. I remember waking up on moving day and wishing that I had never chosen to go to university, when we got to my accommodation I wanted to turn back around and go home. There was a part of me that was slightly excited though, seeing my new room was quite exciting. I personally found the first day very strange, I had spoken to some of my flat mates before I had moved in but not all of them and at first whilst I thought they were all really nice I couldn't see myself becoming close friends with any of them; which I was completely wrong about but in that first week I felt like I was never going to make friends like the ones I had from school. 

The fact that the first week was spent going out clubbing was quite daunting too as before university I had never been clubbing before, my friends and I were never bothered about it plus where I live there isn't much nightlife. So walking into the club on the first night completely sober and extremely shy I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I found the first couple of weeks very hard, I was very homesick, which I hadn't expected as I don't usually get that homesick but I think it was because I didn't really know anyone and was having to cook and do everything for myself. I did consider dropping out then and there but decided I couldn't drop out before I'd even tried to get settled so I set myself the goal of lasting until Christmas and if I still hated it then I would reassess my options. It wasn't just being homesick I wasn't sure whether I had chosen the right course, I felt like everyone else truly loved their course and I didn't. Again I think this was down to getting used to things once I started to get settled I found myself starting to enjoy the course a lot more.

So fast forward a couple of months and it got to Christmas at which point I was actually was quite sad about going home for the holidays and wanted to stay at university. My time at university definitely improved after the first month or so, so whilst it doesn't seem like things will get better when you are finding it hard to settle in they most likely will. I thought I'd split the rest of this post into months and go into a bit more detail about what happened in each.

September

Like I said above I didn't have the greatest time at the start of the semester so the two weeks of term in September were probably the worst. I'll be honest and say I pretty much cried every time my parents called, I also felt like I couldn't tell anyone as it seemed like everyone else was having a great time. Once I had told my flatmates how homesick and lonely I had felt in the first couple of weeks they were really supportive, so if you get homesick or lonely let your friends / flatmates know as they'll most likely feel a bit homesick too. 

The second week at university meant starting lectures, luckily it was just lectures I had to attend as seminars started a week later, this meant I could get used to my way around campus. Once lectures started things got slightly better, I had less time to worry and could concentrate more on my course. 

October

The month of my birthday, I ended up going home for the weekend of my birthday, it was the third weekend at university so I still didn't know my flatmates that well and didn't really want to go out clubbing. It was nice to go home although it made me feel a bit more homesick when I got back to university. By the end of October I had made better friends with a couple of my flatmates and felt a lot more comfortable at university. I didn't feel homesick and had finally got round to sorting my room out properly and making it more homely and personal.

 I also had to write my first essay (picture 4), this was another learning curve as I wasn't used to having to reference but eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's helped a lot. October also meant Halloween (you can see my cute pumpkin in picture 2), we had a flat party to celebrate halloween and it was the first time that I've really dressed up and done something for halloween. I didn't include a picture of my costume in this post as I think I look pretty awful, lets just say I'm not the most skilled when it comes to turning myself into a skeleton!
1,2,3,4,5
November 

By November I felt a lot more used to living at university and had some things to look forward to. Myself and two of my flatmates had signed ourselves up for something called the great escape which is where you have 36 hours to get as far away from your university as possible without paying for any transport whilst raising money for charity. It was cold and stressful at times (especially at 8pm at night when you're standing at a junction in the middle of nowhere thinking you may be stranded) but it was also a lot of fun. We got to ride in lorries, one thing I learnt is that lorries are not easy to get in and out of  especially with a bucket full of change and when the driver starts moving when you're still climbing up the stairs! We only made it to Dover as we were unable to get a ferry to France but it was still a good experience. Thinking back it probably wasn't the safest thing to do but it was very well organised and we meet quite a few other students from different universities along the way. 

The Great Escape 
I also went to a boat party in November as it was my flatmates birthday so we thought we'd do something a bit more special. It was nice to dress up a bit more as most of the student nights were pretty casual, I now know why I don't bother wearing heels to clubs. It didn't help that we had to run for the bus, I can't run and I definitely can't run in heels!!

December

The last month of first semester, by this point I was settled at university and apart from the thought of January exams I was enjoying everything. We decorated our kitchen with a Christmas tree my parents bought up from my home (picture 6), we also attended our accommodations Christmas ball (picture 8). It was a lot better than we had expected although we weren't happy that there wasn't a chocolate dessert! We made up for the chocolate with cocktails at the after party (picture 9), we tried a toblerone one and a popcorn one. 

For the last week of term, we decided to have a flat Christmas dinner, we went all out and ended up with a lot of food. I had to cook a whole chicken for the first time and was paranoid I'd poison my flat but we all lived!

6,7,8,9

So that's a summary of my first semester at university, I'm planning on doing one for my second semester too. This turned out to be quite a long and rambly post so if you managed to get to the end then well done! This is partly for myself as well so I can look back and read this in the future. If you have any posts about your university experience then feel free to leave a link.

Sophie x

09/09/2014

Where I Blog

Today I thought I would do a quick post about where I blog, I quite like reading these sort of posts as I'm always looking for inspiration for my desk area, my desk area is pretty simple especially when it's tidy and not covered by mess.


My desk is where I do most of my blogging, I know some people like to blog in bed etc but I prefer to type at a desk. The actual desk is from Ikea and the chair was from a charity shop, my mum changed the fabric on it so it matched my wallpaper. 



I keep my muji storage on my desk as it doubles up as a dressing table and also some moisturisers.


Lastly I have a lamp which I got from Next in the sale, the pink vase is also from Next. Then I keep my elephant piggy bank on my desk and a little box where I keep some sample of products. The notebook is from Germany which is why it is in a another language, I use it as my blogging notebook after keeping it in my drawer for about three years! It has squares rather than just lines which I find handy for writing out lists etc. 

Most of the stuff on my desk is going to moved to my university room soon so I may do an updated desk tour once I've organised my room at uni.

Sophie x




06/09/2014

Boots Advantage Points Haul


I'm guessing a lot of you own a Boots advantage card and if you don't I would definitely recommend getting one! I used to be quite bad at saving my points and would get to around £10 then use them but recently I have been trying to save them for longer. With the help of a few double points vouchers I managed to build up thirty pounds worth. By this point I decided I would spend them, at first I was going to buy a high end lipstick but then I decided I wasn't really that fussed. In the end I ended up picking up four items and now have about £4 left to spend, which is quite upsetting as I feel like I have to start all over again but at least I have some new products which I got for free!

Indeed Labs Moisture Booster - this was the first product I picked up, it already had 1/3 off and then there was a £5 voucher in the Boots magazine. I was initially going to buy the newer gel moisturiser from the range but my Boots didn't have it in stock so I went home and read reviews on this and decided that I wanted to try this more as it goes under your existing moisturiser. I haven't tested this yet but once I have I will write up a review.

Rimmel Brow This Way - I've been getting into brow products much more recently, at the start of the year I owned a grand total of zero and I now have five. I wasn't initially going to get this but it was on offer for £2.99 so I thought for that amount of money I might as well give it ago. I've only used this once but already like it a lot, it's very easy to use, I also own the Maybelline brow gel but prefer this one as the brush is smaller and this makes it easier to brush through the brow.

Revlon Lip Laquer Balm in 'Whimsical' - I don't usually opt for brighter lip colours but I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone, I also tend to stay away from bright colours as I feel they make my teeth look even more yellow but I am getting my teeth whitened so hopefully I won't have that problem any longer. Revlon had a two for £10 offer on so I picked up another one of their lip products, one of the new Moisture Stains. I chose 'New York Scene' after spending a good hour comparing swatches online. The name did have a slight part in the choice as I'm going to New York in March and thought it would be a great shade to take with me. It's a lovely deep red that's slightly more pink on the lips. I won't write too much about it in this post as I am planning on doing a separate review soon.

So that's what I picked up with my Boots advantage points, have you purchased anything with your points recently?

Sophie x

05/09/2014

University Series | Freshers Week


In todays post I thought I would share some of the tips I learnt from my freshers week. I wasn't really looking forward to my freshers week last year as I was more nervous about actually starting university and felt quite homesick but whilst I may not have enjoyed it as much as it was still full of good memories.

1. Fancy Dress 


Freshers weeks tend to involve a lot of fancy dress, well mine did. I guess they think that students like to dress up, maybe they're right. Nearly every night out of my freshers week was fancy dress apart from the finale.  My nights out involved fancy dress such as back to school, services, toga party, bay watch and a UV party. Like I said above I didn't really think about freshers week very much and as a result didn't have much fancy dress, I even ended up forgetting to take an old school shirt (school boy error if you pardon the pun!). I wouldn't say you have to spend loads on fancy dress but if you check your freshers week schedule to see if there are any fancy dress events then you can prepared for them and see if you have anything suitable to wear in you wardrobe already. Places like Primark are also good places to get cheap things to wear.

2. Course Induction 


Depending on your university there may be things on in the day to do with your course. In my freshers week I had to attend a welcome talk for my course, register for the doctors and my course, meet my tutor and go to a library induction. You may be tempted to skip some of these things and in all honesty I wouldn't have missed out on much by not going to the library induction but some of the things are important, especially registering for things such as healthcare. So although freshers week is great for partying you may need to be up early for some of the days which is something to bear in mind.

3. Trying new things 


Don't feel like you have to do everything, I know a lot of people say you should try to do everything but you are allowed a break. I ended up not going out on the tuesday and thursday nights, this was partly because I wasn't enjoying going out, I wasn't really used to going clubbing and also felt quite homesick. Having said that I did find that going out kept me busy and I felt less homesick. There will also be events on that don't involve clubbing, I think we had a comedy night and a pub quiz and there was also a trip to Alton Towers in the day time. Although I said don't feel like you have to do everything I would encourage you to make the most of the non clubbing events and opportunities. My course organised a trip within the first week and whilst I was tempted not to go I ended up going and making a friend on my course who I probably wouldn't have spoken to otherwise, so these things are a good way to get chatting to people. Also most societies will have taster sessions, my flatmates and I went to a dance session and whilst I came out of it and decided I never wanted to do it again (I suck at hip hop dancing)  it was good to try something new.

4. Freebies 


Freshers fairs are a great place to see what societies are at your university and also to get some freebies. Whilst you'll most likely just end up with a load of free pens a lot of freshers fairs now hand out free pizza which is a good enough reason if any to go.

5. Making friends 


Freshers week is a great time for getting to know your flatmates and other students, I didn't realise just how friendly people would be. The people you talk to in freshers week aren't necessarily going to be your friends the whole way through university but it is a great time to chat to everyone. I probably should have made more of this opportunity but being shy I found it hard to start conversations.  It's also a good thing if you take a door stop and leave your door open, I would recommend a strong door stop! That way if any of your flat mates walk past they can see your in your room and come and say hello, or you could even knock on their doors and start a conversation. This is easier said than done but at the end of the day everyone is in the same boat.

__________

Hopefully this post has been helpful for any of you that are starting university this year.

Sophie 

03/09/2014

University Haul


I don't technically need anything new for university as I have most of the necessary stuff already from last year (although I do need a new oven glove as mine ended up with a massive hole in it). But I couldn't resist picking up a few new bits when I went shopping the other day, in all honesty I could of survived without the new bits but that's what happens when I go into town for a mooch. 


Wilkinons had 3 for 2 on some of their stationary so I picked up the cute pins (£1.50) as I'm hoping to have a pin board in my room. I also got some washi tape (£2) this is to use in my scrapbook and then the weekly planner (£2.75) which is in the picture below. I had wanted a weekly planner for a while, the ones in Paperchase are really nice but I couldn't really justify spending £8 on one when I could get one for a lot cheaper. I'm hoping it will help me stay organised with uni work and blogging!

The little pegs are also from Wilkinsons (85p), I'm planning on using them and some string to hang photos across my wall in my uni room so the walls don't look as bland. I'm not sure how strong they are as they look a little like they might snap easily but hopefully they'll be able to do what I want them to do.

The drinks flask was from Home Bargains (£3.49), I already have a hot drinks cup from Primark but this one has a lid that is more secure and is insulated so should keep my drink warmer for longer. I thought it would be good for taking coffee or green tea to uni (especially as I'll have to get the bus more next year) or maybe even some soup in the winter. I also like the size of it, they had the usual insulated flask size but I thought this one would fit into my bag better. And I also thought the pattern was really cute!


The pens were half price in Wilkinsons (£1.70) so I got them for revision to make my notes look a bit more exciting and colourful. Anything to make revision feel less boring!


I got a couple of items to help decorate my university room and make it look a bit more homely. The jar, which I'm using as a brush holder, was from Tk maxi and was £1.49. I'd been looking for something to keep my brushes in for a while and thought this was really cute. The vase is from Next (£4) and looks lovely empty but I will hopefully put flowers in it once I'm at uni. It came in clear, green and purple too.


Lastly, the most boring purchases are books for my course next year, I am hoping to read at least a couple of them before I start back in September although I've had them for over a month and haven't started any. They were all from Amazon, I'd also recommend looking at the used books as I managed to get one of these that was supposed to be £40 for about £8 because it was used.

So that's my small university haul, I'll most probably end up buying some more stationary bits before I start my second year but you can never have enough stationary right?!

Sophie x

02/09/2014

What's On My Bookshelf

what's on my bookshelf

A bit of a different post today, I thought I would show you what books live on my bookshelf, I enjoy reading but since starting university found myself reading less and less, but over the summer I had the time to rediscover my love of reading. 

what's on my bookshelf

On the top shelf along with a lot of owls, I have some books which I guess would be classed as young adult fiction such as 'Looking For Alaska' and the Uglies series. I also have a copy of 'Wuthering Heights' which my nan gave to me. There's also the 'The Lovely Bones' which I would recommend.

what's on my bookshelf

The contents of this shelf illustrates my obsession with Sophie Kinsella books when I was younger,  I have all of the Shopaholic series and some of the others. I also have a brand new set of the Hunger Games trilogy, I have read them but I borrowed them from the library so didn't have my own, so I decided to buy my own set. I'd also definitely recommend 'Before I Fall' by Lauren Oliver.

what's on my bookshelf

Quite a few of the books on this shelf were ones I read to help me to write my english coursework back in sixth form such as 'In Cold Blood' which is based on a true story. There's also my Twilight collection which were my favourite books way back when I was in year 7! 'Cloud Atlas' is the book I am currently reading, it's split into six stories that are all linked in some way. 

what's on my bookshelf

The books on the left are ones that I needed for my university course, then there are more Sophie Kinsella books, I particularly like 'Twenties Girl'. There's also the 'Delirium' series which I enjoyed although I thought the last book was a bit of a let down, they are written by the same author who wrote 'Before I Fall'.

whats on my bookshelf

On the bottom shelf are just a lot of folders, I went through a stage when I started GCSE's were I would buy lots of pretty folders and then I never ended using half of them. They definitely come in handy for university though!

So that's a little insight into what books I have read, what's your favourite book on your bookshelf?

Sophie x 






01/09/2014

What I Wore #1



Top - Tesco, Necklace - Primark, Skirt - Primark, Shoes- Primark
Bag- Primark

I don't tend to do outfit posts, in fact this is my first. This is partly due to the fact I have no idea how to pose as you can see by the pictures and also because over the summer the clothes I've worn the most are my pyjamas. Last week, me and my friends from school had a meal out to catch up as most of us hadn't seen each other since Christmas. We ended up going to Pizza Hut as it's pretty cheap and everyone likes it there, it's become our go to place for get togethers. Although we were only going to Pizza Hut I thought I might as well dress up a bit and thought it was the perfect opportunity to wear my new skirt from Primark. I ended up getting ready earlier than I needed so whilst  I was waiting I thought I'd get my mum to take some pictures of my outfit for me, the lighting and background aren't great but I wasn't planning on taking any pictures!

I also realise that my whole outfit is basically Primark apart from my top which is from Tesco and my jacket, I don't actually know where the jacket is from as someone left it in my flat after a party and never returned to get it so at the end of the year I thought I might as well take it as I don't own a black leather jacket, obviously I washed it well before wearing it!

Rings - Primark, Nails - Nails Inc 'Porchester Square'
Lips - Revlon Moisture Stain 'New York Scene 
Ring- Pandora 

Sophie x 

31/08/2014

My Week #2


Technically these are things I've been up to over the last two weeks but I thought I would just put them all into one post. 

1) Starting to read my new book 'Cloud Atlas' whilst drinking some green tea, the book has six parts which interlock. I;m enjoying it so far but find that I enjoy some of the parts more than others and want to just find out what happens to the characters in that part of the book.

2) One of my friends from school organised a meal out so that we could all catch up as a lot of us hadn't see each other since Christmas, we went to Pizza Hut which is our go to place for food, I actually had pasta this time which was really nice and managed to have cookie dough too.

3) Bit of a boring job but I decided to sort through my receipts as I am a bit of a hoarder some right at the bottom were about two years old so I got rid of a lot of them

4) I couldn't not include this photo as I thought it was really cute, looks like a cat vampire. 


On Wednesday I went down to Winchester to visit my friend Emily who moved there for university, it was a three hour journey but it went quite quickly. We don't get to see each other that often because of the distance between where we live so it was nice to catch up. 

1) We got the train to Southampton on the Thursday to do a bit of shopping, we ended up going to Ikea first which probably wasn't the best idea as we had to carry a massive Ikea bag around whilst shopping. For lunch we decided to try out Ed's Diner, it's one of those places I've always wanted to try out but never got round to doing so. I had the fried chicken burger and Emily had the Chicken BLT burger, we were both pretty impressed with the food.

2) Taking pictures on the train, I was lucky that my second train to Emily's was really quiet so I was able to spread my bags out over the other seat so I could have more leg room.

3) My dessert at Ed's Diner, the pancakes definitely defeated me as I had to leave a tiny bit and felt very  full afterwards.

4) The standard picture of the view outside the train

So that's what I've been up to this past week or so, have you done anything exciting this week?

Sophie x 

29/08/2014

University Series | What to take to university


Today I thought I would put together a list of things to take to university for those going in September, you've most likely already purchased most things but it is always good to double check you have everything you need. This isn't a definite list and some of the things on the list aren't necessities, for example I took a cheese grater with me but ended up always buying grated cheese as I only ever used cheese for jacket potatoes etc, so you may find you take things that you don;t actually use.

Kitchen 
I was provided with a toaster, kettle etc but one of my friends had to buy her own so you may want to check what's provided before you go and buy things.
Plates and bowls
Frying pans and saucepans
Cutlery (if possible ones that are easily identifiable so people don't end up thinking that your cutlery is theres)
Chopping board (i'd recommend two, one for vegetables and one for meat)
Potato masher
Can opener
Colander
Cheese grater
Pizza cutter
Casserole dish
Baking trays
Oven glove
Measuring cups (optional)
Tea towels
Vegetable peeler
Cleaning products (you'll most likely have a cleaner but having your own cleaning products is helpful incase you need to clean something you spill etc)
Bottle opener
Wooden spoons, spatulas etc
Mugs, glasses, a travel cup to take hot drinks to university with
Containers that can be frozen so you can cook bigger portions and freeze some
Containers / lunch box to take food onto campus with
Tin foil / cling film
Washing up liquid
Cupboard essentials - tea, coffee , salt etc


Bedroom
Mattress protector (this may already be provided)
Bedding (duvet, pillows etc)
Clothes
Coat hangers (I recommend the non slip ones, you can get them from Primark)
Things from home (pictures, decorations, posters - my uni had a poster fair in the first term which sold cheap posters)
Stationary - post it notes, sellotape, hole punch, stapler, paperclips etc
Pen pot / pencil case (I had both but found I never ended up taking my pencil case to lectures, I just took a couple of pens and a highlighter in my bag instead, but depending on your course you may need more equipment for your lectures)
Envelopes (optional, but they may be useful if you need to send a letter)
Notebooks
Printer (again optional, I took one and found it useful as I didn't have to worry about having to go somewhere to print my essays off as I could do it then and there)
Lamp (optional, they may provide you with one, I took my own and had it by my bed for reading)
Magazine files (to store documents etc)
Water bottle
Clothes horse
Laundry basket
Door stop
Extension leads
Sleeping bag (incase friends stay over)
Alarm clock
Torch
Ear plugs
Memory stick
First aid kit (plasters, paracetamol etc)
Washing powder / tablets
Washing bags ( I don't know what these are actually called but the little net bags you can put in the washing machine, these are handy for underwear or more delicate things that need washing)

Bathroom
Tooth brush etc
Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, skincare etc)
Toilet paper
Soap
Bin (optional and may already be provided)
Cleaning products (floor wipes, bathroom wipes etc)
Towels (hand and bath towels)
Bath mat (depending what type of bathroom you have, mine was a wet room styled bathroom so a bath mat was no good to me)
Toilet brush (mine was already provided)
Stick on storage baskets (if you have tiled walls these are handy, i had one in th shower and one by my sink with all my skincare products, you can get them quite cheap from Tk maxx or Home Bargains)

Documents
Driving license to use for ID
Passport (optional but I find it was handy to have it as there was a trip to Amsterdam organised)
Bank documents (things you need for your online banking etc)
University documents (such as things for registration and your acceptance letter)
Student loan documents
National Insurance number and CV's if you plan on looking for a job
Doctor and dentist details

Hopefully this list has been useful for anyone who is off to university, like I said not everyone will want or need to take everything on this list. I also know some people advise buying certain kitchen things with your flat mates so you don't end up with five can openers but I think taking your own is a good idea as even if you have spoken to your flat mates on Facebook etc you never know whether you'll actually get along enough to be willing to share things once you are at university.

Sophie x



27/08/2014

Lifestyle | Highclere Castle Photo Diary

Last week my mum and I decided to have a day out to Highclere Castle, if your a Downton Abbey fan like I am then you'll probably know this is where it is set. It was around a two hour drive from where I live which meant a early morning but it was worth the drive. We didn't have tickets and the online ones were all sold out which is another reason we had to get there early to ensure the on the day tickets hadn't sold out. We got there at around half nine and first went to get a coffee to wake ourselves up, after this we went to look around inside the house. Photography was not allowed within the house, although this rule obviously didn't apply to a hand full of people who still snapped away. I still managed to get lots of pictures of the outside of the house and the gardens so I thought I would share them with you.








 









We took some sandwiches with us, luckily the weather was nice enough to eat outside, we were finished by around half one so I'd say it's more of a half day thing as I doubt many people spend a full day there. Even though it only took us half the day to look around I'd definitely say it's worst a visit if your a fan of Downton Abbey.

Sophie x 


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