Someone drove over my laptop & I got hives: EXAM SEASON

Hello everybody!

I am back to blogging weekly and I have such a fun filled summer ahead of me, so hopefully this page will be full.

The last month or so has been full of exams and exam revision- which has been super tedious, and of course there was very little to blog about! I basically became a couch/desk potato. But a really stressed one.

In today’s blog I am going to talk about how I react to the pressure of exams and I am going to be brutally honest, I get pretty worked up.

STAYING ON TOP OF THINGS
  • Having sat GCSE’s, A Levels and First Year University exams, I can definitely see a pattern in the way I react. I can get quite a stress head and, honestly, melt downs are inevitable. If anything, I think it’s kind of healthy to have a panic sometimes. It sort of forces me to talk to people about how much work I have and how I feel, but also makes me put a plan in place.
  • With my closest friends at University, I have also discovered that this is not unusual- which is always reassuring. I know for sure that they have had a funny five, where everything seems too much. So talking to friends definitely helps, because half the time they feel just as unprepared for exams or assessments as you do!
  • I have to have down time. Some of my friends can work from the minute they get up, to the minute they fall asleep- not me! I like to go to the gym, talk to people and if I can I’ll avoid having lunch on my own. University during exam season, especially when you live off of campus, can be quite lonely. So making sure I had human contact at least once a day was really important to me.
TAKING BACK CONTROL
  • During exams, I often end up feeling like I don’t have my crap together, which is really not a good way to feel. So I like to take back control of aspects of my life- it’s a control strategy.
  • I like to pamper myself, I will work until an hour before bed (unless I am hella stressed) and will paint my nails, fake tan or do something simple like shave my legs! Then when I wake up the next day, even if my work load seems impossible, I look like I’ve got control.
  • Also- everyone else thinks you have your crap together too!

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How my body reacts
  • This sounds like such a weird subtitle but actually I notice several differences in myself when I am under pressure.
  • I had a massive break out during my exam period, which was mega frustrating, but on the bright side- I became a social recluse so I could walk around bare faced and let my face sort itself out most days without feeling self-conscious. I found that the Clinique products, in particular the face foam, was really good at countering this face explosion of yuck.
  • Carrying a few more pounds. It’s never nice feeling chubba during exams (or afterwards!), but I had to prioritise and revision took precedent. I just tried to go to the gym or for a run at least three times a week and tried not to give into my inner Revision Pig. Let’s face it we all have bad days, where you eat what you shouldn’t and kick yourself afterwards. But sometimes you need it!

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Things just sometimes go wrong… and you just have to deal with it!
  • My laptop got run over… This was potentially the low point of 2017. Or University! I am going to cut a long story short here, but basically my laptop was left propped against a fence at the back of my house while I was moving out. And not in the boot with the rest of my belongings. Then I assume someone picked it up and attempted to get into it, gave up and threw it in the middle of the road with my chargers. Even writing this the butterflies and sense of panic are coming back- it was awful. What’s worse is I didn’t even realise. For over 24 hours. Until my flat mate text me saying that someone turned up at the front door with my beaten up laptop. Luckily, minimal damage has happened but boy did I feel terrible (and completely stupid). Despite the smashed up chargers and dented laptop, it did, and does, function, but definitely needs to be sent off for repairs. Low point of University for sure. And biggest ‘blonde moment’ to date.
  • My spinny chair- a far less significant incident, but nonetheless a right pain in the butt. Two of the wheels on my spinny chair fell off right in the middle of revision, which despite improving my core muscles, was not cool. I tried to twizzle them back on, but the majority of revision took place while balancing on the remaining three wheel. Sh*t happens.

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Hay fever + Exams = Hives on face.
  • The night before my toughest exam, I got very worked up about how little I felt I knew and was freaking out about how important the exam was. Once again, long story short, the mixture of hayfever and stress led to me calling my Mum (who obviously would know what to do) at 11pm to work out what had set it off. We came to the conclusion that it was merely hayfever and stress, but it was proper unnerving to look at. I even woke up with hives the next morning, so went to the exam looking like I’d been poking a wasps nest.

I think the underlying theme here is: stress is not pretty. But usually its short lived and you have to manage it the best you can.

So that’s my exam period experience- everyone’s is unique, but most people will agree, it’s never fun!

 

Exams and Plans – with a side of Goose Drama!

Hi everyone!

Once again- I’ve been drowning in University work recently, but hey- it’s not for much longer and I have already submitted 50% of my Second Year!

I never know if this is of interest to anyone, so feel free to skip this bit! But here are my essay titles for the modules I have chosen to do this year. Each essay is 4,500 words and altogether it makes up half of my second year grade 🙂

  1. How did attitudes towards exercise and women’s health change between 1880- 1920? (Module: From Cradle to Grave: Health, Medicine and Society in Modern Britain)
  2. How did Nicholas II try to legitimise his rule and why did he fail? (Module: Nation and Memory in Russia, Poland and Ukraine, 1800-Present)
  3. Why were Radical Politics and Radical Religion so appealing in the period between 1630-1660? (Module: Social History of England, 1500-1700)

If I’m honest it was a bit like this:

submitting an essay

But they are gone! I can do nothing about it so now I am non-stop revising. I am currently in a revision break actually! All the seminars and lectures are done, and so have found an empty lecture theatre and are working in it. We have been here since 6pm  and I have done a fair amount, so I am allowing myself to do some blogging- which I love doing and have really missed. But this summer is going to be so much fun and I have so many plans, and lots to blog about.

I am going on a Cruise around the Baltic with Jack- which is going to be great (but money-wise: completely crippling!), I am looking at raising some money through selling cakes (which I will most definitely be blogging about and sharing my favourite recipes- I love, love, love to bake!), I have organised a weekend away to London for Jack’s birthday and I am doing self-defense classes with my sister. These are just a few of my plans and I know it’s going to be one of the best summers EVER.

That’s basically  my motivation at the moment. Once I’ve finished my exams (19th June) I am free!

The Past Week: 

In the last 7 days I have been mostly revising- thrilling stuff! And spending time on campus. I don’t know if this is a problem specific to Warwick, but it seems like you either have to get up mega early, or there are NO seats. Which is not good. I mean, a seat is central to revision, let’s face it.

So I’ve been on campus nice and early nabbing those seats.

Despite the last few days being , cloudy, wet and windy, campus has been really pretty recently. I’ll put a few photos in here:

As you can see, there have been ducklings running around too! They’re completely adorable. However, the geese are INSANE. They’re mega sassy at the moment. So we take pictures from afar, hence the quality of the picture of the duckling. There is so much more to this story and I am going to post about these crazy swans and geese that have actually made it to the news!

I also drink a lot of tea at the moment. A lot.

Most of the time I do this drinking of tea in the campus tea room Curiositea:

love those big armchairs so much! They’re right in the corner of the tea room, tucked away. While I was finishing my final essay last week, I ended up wondering how many other people have sat in this chair. I mean look at it- clearly a lot! But I was thinking, I was sat in the chair, casually freaking out about a deadline. But I’ve been to Curiositea probably more than anywhere else on campus and it’s been to catch up at the start of a year with my friends, or to have lunch, to celebrate a deadline being completed, I’ve sat with my family in Curiositea and I’ve said goodbye at the end of the year there. Weirdly enough, I found it kind of comforting that the chair might have witnessed hundreds of people (not butts- that’s weird) being mega stressed out.

Today 

Today was really rainy. And miserable, but super productive! And I even took some pictures of campus and my boots!

 

I really hope to keep the blogging to weekly! And I promise I will be uploading far more regularly over the summer!

 

 

 

 

Life Update- Exams, Flames and Birthdays!

Hi everyone! 

I’m currently on a train on my way home for Jack’s birthday and I just wanted to make a little blog to explain why I’ve been so quiet recently. It’s pretty boring really- I’ve been drowning in University work! 

I marked your work in German’

This is perhaps one of the most interesting excuses for late essay feedback I’ve ever gotten! I submitted an essay, (which is then supposed to lead onto my large essay, so a bit like a mock, which counts towards my degree- pfft no biggy) and 4 weeks after I wondered why everyone else had feedback. And I didn’t. 

So I knocked on his office door and he held out some tattered little notebook and told me that he had marked it. But in German. 

Naturally I requested that it be sent to me – in English- so I can use the feedback for my essay. 

8 weeks later, exactly 2 weeks before the deadline for this Beast of an essay, I still don’t have the feedback. 

Long story short- aka skipping the melt down- I walked into his office and demanded an extension. 

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have the odd melt down over deadlines or stress. Well probably one per deadlines… And I’m pretty lucky with such supportive parents- who listen/ watch over Skype, the meltdown occur. Actually thinking about it, watching someone freak out over Skype about deadlines is probably quite weird. But if anything that makes them all the more supportive! 

My parents have always been great at making me see things logically- so after a little pep talk, a boost and a metaphorical “man up” session- I walked into his office. With a list. And tissues. 

I told him I was at a disadvantage, I needed that feedback- IN ENGLISH, and I needed more guidance with the course (a story for another day- but the module is a joke!). After reading my script I looked up and he said “ok”. 

And that was it really. 

So yeah I got an extension. I’m still working on this one, and submitted another long essay on Wednesday. 

Jack’s Birthday 

So my only evening off this week was Jack, my boyfriends birthday- and it was sooo good! I submitted my History of Medicine essay at 10.30 at night and went and joined the pre-drinks. 

We made vodka jelly which was beautiful, delicious and completely deadly. 

We played card games and we went to an on campus event called “Pop”- which is right up my street.

I am not brilliant in clubs, I had one experience in Freshers that kind of tainted the whole idea of clubbing for me. Most of my First year at Uni I spent in my room, or in coffee shops. Going out just wasn’t really a thing I did unless my boyfriend was up visiting. 

But since Jack joined me at Uni, I have enjoyed it more- not to the point I get really excited or I will go out on a whim. But I feel safe with Jack, and so it’s always much more fun. 

Pop is basically a huge Naughties Playlist, with a bit of Busted, McFly, Pink, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and even Take That- it’s pretty much a throwback to Year 6 Discos and I LOVE IT. 

It was really good fun. 

Not so fun: walking back into the flat to find someone passed out in their own sick… that took a while to feel comfortable putting him in his room to sleep! 

Here is a sweaty, hot mess photo of Jack and I loving life in Pop the other night! 


Jack’s Birthday Morning! 

I had a really cute/ completely moronic idea for Jacks birthday breakfast. 

This is the first time it’s just been me and him on his birthday and I thought something yummy for breakfast would be a good idea. Plus we’re trying to be healthy at the moment (what with sitting at desks a lot due to exams and deadlines- we don’t wanna get any extra podge for summer). 

So I went for waffles and honey. 

And candles… 

Student accommodation- I somehow forgot- has super sensitive fire alarms. You’re basically advised not to spray deodorant, hairspray or dry shampoo up against the window. 

So I walk in and start singing happy birthday thinking I’m the cutest- Jack charges at me and blows them out. And omg the room smelt like smoke. I was convinced the alarms would go off. 

Anyway it’s the gesture that counts 🙂 
So my life recently has been pretty tedious, but I have an AWESOME Easter Holiday Blog, with loads of wonderful pictures and stories to tell you, but I want to make it a good one. So within the next couple of weeks that will be up, along with more consistent blogs- I promise! 

If you enjoyed reading this please like and follow! 

Bee xoxo 

Day Trip to Kew Palace and Gardens

Hey!

Having been bogged down in University work recently, and having even more pressure as I’m going on holiday at the end of this week (!!!) – getting out this weekend was perfect.

My family and I visited Kew Palace last weekend and it was the ideal place to fully enjoy the warm weather. I honestly had no idea how big the gardens were and would actually love to go back another time. There were people playing games with their children, reading books, sunbathing, having picnics, sleeping and even running in the grounds. Plus it’s unbelievably pretty. I went a little photo crazy, so I’ve tried to put in just a few!

We had coffee in the old orangery, we walked around the gardens, with croissants and fanta and we did the tree top walk. Personally, the green house tipped me over the edge slightly- being the hottest day of 2017 so far! But it was super pretty, so I’m not complaining.

Kew Palace itself was not what I expected. In fact, I felt properly stupid after asking what the red building was- to be told it was the Palace we had driven to London to visit! It’s funny the Georgians obviously liked very square, symmetrical buildings. It was certainly aesthetically pleasing. Another thing we visited was the Hive, a Bee Hive shaped sculpture that you could walk in, and you’re meant to feel a sort of vibration, but it was super busy so we didn’t experience it, but nonetheless it was impressive.

I am always conscious when I go to London, or any big city, that I will stand out as a tourist. Sometimes it’s really easy to identify them- a prime example being the tourist with a huge camera, disrupting the steady flow around the palace- to take a picture of King George’s toilet…

Overall, it was a sunny, yummy croissant, perfect picnic kind of day!

If you like reading my blog, please like and follow!

Bee xoxo

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes!

With my holiday to Portugal in two weeks time, I am starting to think that I should do a last minute health surge to (hopefully!) make me feel that little bit better in a bikini! I wouldn’t necessarily use the word ‘detox’, but I am definitely trying to avoid foods that will make me bloat, and am trying to eat as much fruit and veg as I can. I have never had the flattest of bellies, and I try to do sport as much as I can, but I can confirm that I notice a big difference if I cut out all wheat and limit the amount of dairy (or lacto-free dairy) in take I have. Downside: this can make me a lil grumpy.

So this morning I thought I would try some Banana Pancakes- I had heard of them before and thought I would give them a go- and they were pretty damn good!

Banana Pancakes: 

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Serves 2 people: makes 4 pancakes- don’t worry they’re pretty filling!

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • Oil- I used olive oil

Method 

Beat the eggs in one bowl and mash the banana in another. Make sure the banana is pretty well mashed, more of a paste. Then mix the banana with the eggs and add the vanilla and a pinch of baking soda. Mix it all together and you have your pancake batter.

I always seem to add too much oil so today I brushed it onto the pan, so I had a thin coat of oil on the pan. Heat the pan on a medium heat. When the pan is nice and hot, spoon out enough mixture for two pancakes- so half the batter.

Leave them to cook for one to two minutes on each side, and then flip them. Once they’re done, put them to one side and do the other two. Remember to add another coat of oil on the pan, and remove any burnt or excess pancake from the last lot- burnt pancake can smell pretty gross.

Then enjoy with whatever toppings you like, or even plain! They’re pretty sweet due to the banana and the vanilla.

Here are a few of my favourite toppings: 

  • Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the top.
  • Honey, maple syrup or golden syrup- depending on how healthy I am feeling.
  • Nutella- for my cheat/treat days!
  • Caramelised apple with cinnamon- I have blogged about these before and OMG they taste insane, however do contain a bit of sugar, so probably not the healthiest option.
  • Lemon or orange and sugar.
  • Chopped fruit- strawberries and raspberries are the bees knees on pancakes.
  • Yoghurt- I have lacto-free yoghurts, or soya yoghurts, but my favourite is the strawberry flavoured.

I hope you love these as much as I do- kick start your day with a healthy, non-bloaty breakfast and experiment with your toppings.

Bee xoxo

Beauty and the Beast- Review 

When I went in to watch the new Beauty and the Beast I was expecting to see far more sexuality references than I did, given the media surrounding Gaston and his supposed homosexuality. Often with a spin off or remake of a film, it is either mind-blowingly fantastic or a complete flop.


Twenty-six years ago, the original Disney production of Beauty and the Beast was produced. Today, I went to see the new version described by Empire as:

“An anabashed musical with its heart on it’s sleeve and energy to spare, it is undecidedly unbeastly”.

I can, hand on heart, say that it was one of the best remakes I’ve ever seen. Emma Watson, will most definitely no longer be Hermione Granger, but in fact Belle. I love the idea that young girls watching the new Beauty and the Beast will be idolising Emma Watson. It’s been suggested that Watson refused to wear a corset, stating that if gives an unrealistic image of women. The more I learn about Watson and her Feminist Campaigning, the more I appreciate her influence on the cause.

Emma Watson’s singing voice is also fab, of course, in Harry Potter, Hermione Granger had no need to sing, but blimey that girls can belt some decent notes!

As a Downton Abbey fan, I also adored Dan Stevens, who played the Beast. It’s funny when you walk into a cinema with an idea of the character a person can play, to me he was this Upper Class Englishmen that soon became a fantastic reincarnation of the original Beast.

As a child, Belle was not the top of my list to be. I was more interested in Cinderella and Snow White personally. But in reflection, Belle is arguably the figure I would most encourage my children to aspire to be- clever, independent, level headed and brave.

The entire film was full of incredible music and vibrant, almost hypnotic colours.

It was truly fantastic and to anyone that is thinking of going- do it! You won’t regret it.

Fun in the Sun

Life Update:

Number of:

  • Deadlines completed: 0
  • Mock Exams completed: 0
  • YouTube Videos watched: at least 15
  • Workouts: 0
  • Procrastination Status: Queen

Whenever I come home from University, I try to be as realistic as I can when it comes to work. I think: ‘give yourself a week off, get back into the zone, then you’ll be ready to smash the deadlines.’ Nah. It just doesn’t seem to work like that. My ‘week off’ of University work has turned into 2 weeks off.

I seem to be able to fill my time with the most random of things, for example rearranging my bedroom. At the time this seemed like a necessity- in hindsight it probably wasn’t.

Likewise, I started to watch Broadchurch, the third series. Having been pretty gripped, I decided to watch the first and second series too… and then moved onto Happy Valley. Essentially, I have been doing anything but work.

I went holiday shopping with my Mum and sister and visited the cutest coffee shop in West Quay, Southampton. As you have probably gathered, I am a complete sucker for coffee shops.

I feel like all I ever do on this blog is post pictures of walks and beaches, but I can honestly say the beach is my happy place. The beaches near me aren’t typically ‘scenic’, in fact they’re stony and have huge vessels sailing past all the time. And the water can be pretty gross at times too if I’m honest. But it’s almost always sunny, most definitely windy, always noisy and you can see the Isle of White across the boaty water. It’s somewhere I always drag Jack out to, to grab a coffee- surprise surprise!

Yesterday we took a stroll with some friends to the beach and sat on the stones for a while, before heading back for a roast. It was my favourite kind of Sunday.

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Hope you all had a great weekend 🙂

Bee xoxox