15 Reasons I Am Happy Today

15 Reasons I Am Happy Today

Recently, I have been in a bit of a funk.

There is so much to be said for being happy. I can complain as much as the next girl, but there is nothing better than being content. Sometimes I find it really hard to be positive and it can feel like things just go wrong- All. The. Time. With University strikes, my third and final year coming to an end and what feels like mountains of work- I’ve just been feeling a little bit naff. But like I said, this is just a funk. A temporary blip to look back on and think ‘thank goodness- I made it’.

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So today I wrote a list of 15 things that make me happy. Despite all the crappiness.

  1. Right now, I am sat at my desk, with a coffee. For which I am eternally grateful. It is the fuel in my engine and the source of my procaffeinating.
  2. My friends. I have just got back from a trip to Reading to see my cousin, Jess, and I realised just how much I love her. Friends end up being rocks without knowing it sometimes. My little group chat was buzzing away today, and I was reminded of how much I love our little conversations.
  3. Living so close to Leamington Spa Parade. I didn’t really consider Leamington Spa in my choosing of Warwick as my University of choice but it turns out it was a pretty good shout considering that its littered with coffee shops (literally every other shop). I am grateful for these coffee shops providing my flat-mate, Hannah, and I with the opportunity to escape from the flat and drink coffee (and inevitably window shop).
  4. I am loving eye liner at the moment. Feeling stressed can make me feel totally yuck. But I’ve found that putting on eyeliner every morning has really given me a boost. Essentially, I feel like crap, but at a glance, look somewhat put together!3
  5. My boyfriend. He’s pretty damn awesome and puts up with a lot. He buys me pasta, shares my love of skittles, and watches Netflix with me. I’m grateful we’re both going through University together. His constant motivation I find both baffling and inspiring.
  6. My dissertation is getting better. I’m writing it. I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. The lady in Costa who forever showers me in compliments and I don’t think she quite realises how much it cheers me up. I want to get her a little gift before I leave University for being such a gem. She does the same to my friend Hannah too. Maybe that contributes to my visiting Costa quite so often! 2
  8. Brunch. The invention of it. I love it. I love Bills. If it’s pancakes or something remotely avocado, I’m good with it.
  9. Floaty trousers. I’ve been feeling somewhat potato-like recently. A little bit circular-like, and sort of ugly. It’s probably the snacks and lack of movement from my desk. But floaty trousers have been a God-send. They make me feel less podgy and a little bit stylish!
  10. James Blunt. Recently, I’ve been listening to him (and Nina Simone) non-stop.
  11. Having said that Taylor Swift has made the car journeys with Hannah one hell of a throw back to my teenage years. Which I love. There is something fantastic about singing at the top of your lungs in the car with one of your best friends.4
  12. Colourful clothes. In these Dark Times (which I feel is a totally appropriately name for these Strike-ridden days/weeks/months) make me a lot chirpier. I feel more alive. Which sounds so dramatic.
  13. The weather. It’s much warmer since the snow melted (pfft surprising that!) and I like it. Sat on the train today, directly in the sun, made me desperately want to be on a beach holiday, with a pina colada in one hand and a crappy magazine in the other.
  14. Cornwall. I am off on a little adventure with my family (and my dogs) and I cannot wait. I’m excited to relax, play board games- and maybe even read a book!
  15. Netflix. Hannah and I have really got into all things murder mystery and CSI on Netflix recently- if you fancy something easy to watch and to cool down to in the evening I highly recommend the documentaries section on Netflix! We mostly natter and drink tea together, but I love it.
Christmas London Trip- The Russell Howard Hour

Christmas London Trip- The Russell Howard Hour

Hello everybody!

The last few days have been spent in London and it’s left me feeling wonderfully festive!

Jack and I love exploring London, we’ve climbed the O2, been to the Theatres and visited almost every tourist point you can think of. London at Christmas time is truly magical.

We headed up on Monday night, after work, and stayed in the Luma Hotel. It’s definitely worth a visit, it’s in Hammersmith, built this year, and is a concept hotel. Basically meaning that the breakfast is grab and go, so not really an issue! It’s the cheapest hotel we have found and it’s lovely to stay in. Plus it’s right next to the Hammersmith Tube lines.

On Tuesday we hopped from tube to tube, visiting Harrods, having a cheeky EAT for lunch, then heading to Oxford Street and Regent Street to shop, followed by Hyde park and Bills for dinner.

Our entire trip was planned around The Russell Howard Hour tickets we managed to get free seats for a few months ago. Luckily Jack had applied for some priority seats the day before, which meant we were automatically given seats, as it was rammed.

The show was hilarious and I loved every second of it. The security guards were totally against using phones in the building so I don’t have any pictures. But if you get the chance, it’s well worth going! The guest star was James Oliver and the show is on tonight, so I’ll rewatch it and see if I can see myself (yep. Sad but true!)

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Hello everybody!

Today I am talking about my top ten beauty hacks that I use! I hope you enjoy!

1) Fixing smudged nail varnish

There is nothing worse than doing your nails and then catching them on something, putting a mighty finger print on it or fluff getting stuck on them. So I figured out this trick a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. When the nail varnish is tacky, but no longer wet, you can (and this is going to sound super weird) lick the nail varnish. You can flatten and smooth out any marks and nobody would even know you smudged your nails. Top tip: make sure it’s not still wet though, because that just tastes gross.

2) Having that big eye look.

Use a white eye-liner on your waterline to give your eyes a pop.

3) Keeping your lips healthy and looking pumped. 

carmex.jpg

I use the Carmex Lipbalm before I use any lipstick or lip gloss- it plumps up your lips and they never dry out. This works with matte lipsticks aswell.

4) Getting the perfect lip line. 

I intentionally brush the remnants of foundation from my brush over my lips, this means that when I apply my lipliner and lip stick I have a lighter base tone. This also helps because I always find that the skin around my lips can look a little pinker than other areas on my face.

5) When you buy the wrong shade foundation

I am the queen of mixing foudations. Sometimes it’s simply because I’m stingy, and other times it’s because I like the qualities of both foundations. If I want a full coverage look, but I perhaps haven’t tanned for a while, I will add a lighter shade of a different brand of foundation to the darker, full coverage one. This way I get the full coverage, but avoid the big orange line that no girl wants! This also works with foundations that you buy after holiday, when you’re that shade darker.

I personally use Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in the shade True Ivory (which was perfect after my holiday and is a total coverage foundations) and combine it with my L’Oreal Paris Colour Match Foundation in the shade 1N (which is more accurate now!).

6) Soap and Glory Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick

bronzer

This is one of the best products I have ever got. If I’m in a rush, I’ll use it as a bronzer, an eye shadow and will pick out the lighter tones (with a different brush) and use it for highlight as well. It also gives a lovely sun-tint that I always feel I’m lacking in the colder seasons. It’s a constant in my handbag for those moments I want to touch up my makeup!

7) Find that perfect lip colour- Tanya Burr, Pink Cocoa

pink cocoa

I searched for ages trying to find a lip stick that was just the right shade. I wanted one that I didn’t need to line my lips with and was a shade darker than my natural lip colour. This, for me, is Tanya Burr’s: Pink Cocoa, it’s so perfect and I can whack it out when I’m out and about to give my lips a little more colour but still look natural.

8) Give yourself a healing foot treatment while you sleep

Sometimes it’s nice to pamper yourself, but feet never seem to be at the top of my ‘pamper yo-self’ routine. I like to cover my feet in a thick moisturiser and go to bed with socks on- they feel like heaven the next day!

9) Spots vs. tooth paste/ sudocrem

If ever I am out at a friends and haven’t brought over my night time face routine with me (or even if I am super tired) I use tooth paste or sudocrem. Stupid though I may look, my spot’s are not going to be as aggravated the next day!

10) Run out of dry shampoo? Baby powder. 

I am blond, so maybe it works better on lighter hair, but this trick is legit! It works and lets face it, baby powder smells nice too. Double bonus.

These tricks are all ones that I use myself! I hope they are helpful!

Bee xoxox

 

My Lactose Intolerance Journey

My Lactose Intolerance Journey

Hi everyone!

Today’s blog is a little bit different to my usual blog- I am going to be talking about my lactose intolerance!

What is a lactose intolerance?

  • It basically means that my body does not like as much dairy as other people. But I think it’s important to highlight that there are different levels of lactose intolerance. I am pretty lucky and my intolerance is pretty minor. That basically means that if I have a cup of tea with normal cows milk in, or maybe a cheeky slice of cake on a day out, I won’t necessarily have stomach cramps. So my body can deal with a small amount of dairy.
  • dairy-freeHowever, if I pig out and have a heap of dairy- I get the worst stomach cramps. The longer I have had this intolerance though, the more I have been able to judge how much dairy I can have.

When did I realise I was lactose intolerant?

  • There was a bit of a journey to figuring out what was going on and why I was having stomach cramps- but we got there eventually.
  • Period Pains- I first started getting cramps when I was about 13 or 14, at which point my Doctor’s were putting it down to my time of the month. I started my period when I was 12, so I had had some time to figure out what was ‘normal’ for me, and these pains were different. My stomach cramps are like stabbing pains that make me want to curl into a ball- not a constant ache like periods.
  • Appendicitis- I started passing out when I was 14 from the pains and I can honestly say it was mortifying. So after this happened a few times and started to be super embarrassing, I was taken to hospital to have some tests and I stayed over night. The tests came back negative.
  • Gall Bladder- they then tested me for problems with my Gall Bladder. I can’t really recall much about the tests, it all sort of merges into one in my head- but long story short they came back negative too. So yay for my appendix and gall bladder working!
  • Celiacs Disease– this was a quick test, but luckily this was negative too. The Doctors were basically ruling out different illnesses and allergies.
  • Gluten Intolerance- IBS– for YEARS I was convinced, and was diagnosed, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Though originally this made a difference Lactose free stampand the pains died down, it wasn’t a long term fix. I completely changed my diet to be Gluten Free- which is surprisingly easy as loads of supermarkets accommodate for this diet. But the pains came back.
  • Dairy Intolerance- BINGO. By 18 I was still having the stomach cramps and I was getting pretty irritated. I ended up not knowing what to eat and what not to eat. At the same time my sister was told she was dairy intolerant, and so my family changed our diets again to accommodate  her. This meant lacto-free products- and the cramps started to die down. Though I was eating less dairy, I hadn’t completely cut it out of my diet. At this point I was about to go to University and my Mum suggested, with me shopping for only myself, to try a completely dairy free diet. That was that really, I went to University, bought only dairy free products and my cramps have been so much better!

Now I eat a mostly dairy free diet and occasionally have some dairy if I really have no alternative (or the food, usually cake, just looks too good!).

I know this is slightly different from my typical lifestyle blogs, but if you enjoy reading, or would like to know more about my diet let me know in the comments. Please like and subscribe!

London is ALWAYS a good idea

London is ALWAYS a good idea

Yesterday we had a day trip to London and as per usual, it was awesome.

london

London is an international hub for all things business. Yet everyone belongs. People go to London to stand out, but equally it is one of the only places in the world where one can truly disappear. It is not always pleasant, agreeable, cheerful or easy, but always magnificent.

Several people have said to me that going to London in ‘times like these’ is dangerous, even foolish, following the attacks. I entirely disagree. London feels the strongest and perhaps the safest in these times.

London is my favourite city in the world. Jack and I have visited London several times, we have climbed the O2, been to Theatres, stayed on the Thames, walked in Hyde Park, we have shopped in Oxford Street and have made magical memories in a magical city. London is beautifully unpredictable, from who you will see and the events that are taking place, to the weather.

I would describes yesterday’s London as grey. But not a dull grey, the sort of grey the sky turns when its full of clouds. A bright, glowy sky, where the sun is trying to shine through, but the thick layer of clouds prevent it. It’s actually the sort of grey sky that makes me sleepy. It’s too dark for sunglasses but so sunny you end up squinting. Yesterday’s London was busy, colourful and noisy. It was perfect.

Here are some photos I took on my travels 🙂

Day Trip to Kew Palace and Gardens

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

Fun in the Sun

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

University of Warwick- My Insurance Choice

University of Warwick- My Insurance Choice

When I was originally looking at Universities I had no idea where I wanted to go. So I decided to make a list of the things I ‘needed’ out of a University and a list of the things I ‘wanted’.

Location.

I started this process by looking at a map. I am going to be honest, my Geography skills are truly appalling- from this I decided how far away from home I was willing to go. As a complete home bird, I decided that three hours was the maximum for me, which automatically ruled out a fair amount of Universities. University was rather daunting to me and the idea of being able to get on a train and be home within the day was greatly appealing. Of course, this is a personal preference and it’s most important that wherever you choose to go, no matter how far, you’re comfortable.

Transport.

This leads smoothly onto the next thing on my list- transport. Having visited King College London, I realised that the hustle and bustle of London and the constant use of transport to get to and from lectures and seminars, was not for me. I loved the idea of the full on, hectic and movie-like lifestyle of London, but I actually found it rather overwhelming. This was where I started to realise that I quite liked the ‘bubble’ campuses, where everything was close together. Of course, I was open to using trains, buses and even tubes, but I didn’t feel that London was for me. Certainly, as a second year, checking out transport is crucial- living in Leamington Spa this year means that using a bus is part of my normal every day routine. With this, there are at least two big train stations to get home quickly. Transport is definitely worth considering when choosing a University. At this point I had narrowed down my search to Royal Holloway, Oxford Brookes, Exeter, Southampton and Warwick.

Employment Opportunities and League Tables.

Certainly, these are not to be forgotten. Warwick is currently 8th in the country for the Complete University Guide of 2017. Even when considering where you would like to study your degree, it’s a good idea to consider the opportunity that specific University can give you. Not only does Warwick have great Graduate Employment, but also has a number of events which welcome employers into the University. Also, unlike some other Universities, Warwick is in a great location for employment- with easy routes to Birmingham, London or even more locally- Coventry and Leamington.

Can I see myself here?

Having lived in Southampton all my life, it seemed silly not to check out Southampton University. There are so many benefits with going to a local establishment, rent can be cheaper, less student loans and of course transport is easier when you don’t live too far away. However, there are also disadvantages- you don’t automatically form the relationships with your flat mates (of course you can with those on your course) and it’s not as easy to go ‘out’. Whether that’s clubbing, going to the pub, a restaurant or even chatting with a friend to the early hours of the morning. So I would highly recommend considering these when choosing your University. I personally was not put off by these disadvantages, in fact the University itself just didn’t feel right. My parents were certainly pretty keen for me to fall in love with Southampton University- we did two open days. But everything was very familiar and not overly exciting as a result. I just couldn’t see myself there.

I was so nervous about University and leaving home, but visiting the University of Exeter made me love the idea. They were so enthusiastic, everyone was so friendly and the whole campus was green. Just so pretty, with lovely big trees, huge buildings and beautiful accommodation. Plus it was within my three hour radius. I fell in love with Exeter and I could see myself there.

First Impressions of Warwick

Despite absolutely loving Exeter, Warwick was my second choice because I felt I could see myself here too. Though it wasn’t as green, Warwick was, and is, the perfect ‘bubble’ campus. I loved the mixture of buildings, the coffee shops and restaurants on campus and the open spaces to socialise- people studying at Warwick seemed really happy.

Why am I at Warwick now?

Exeter offered me: A*, A*, B for my History degree, and I was on track to achieve this. However, when it came to exam results, I didn’t reach them, instead I got A, A, B and an A* in my Extended Project. Though Exeter offered me a History of Renaissance Course, I rejected the offer as I had been offered a place at Warwick. There was absolutely no sense of disappointment as, over the summer, I had had a lot of time to think, and was actually starting to question my choice. Warwick was higher in the league tables than Exeter, had better student satisfaction and much higher levels of Graduate Employment.

I have a genuine belief that things happen for a reason, I am unbelievably happy at Warwick, I love the course, the campus and the surrounding area. I consider myself super lucky to be here.

My Favourite Study Spots on the University of Warwick Campus

My Favourite Study Spots on the University of Warwick Campus

The University of Warwick has plenty of places to study, but I have 5 top places I prefer, all for different reasons.

The Library

When I have looming deadlines and can feel the pressure, the library is usually where I head. Doing a History Degree, as with other courses, means that besides essays, I have seminar preparation, or pre-reading. This can vary from minimal reading to crazy amounts (of course, skim reading is a skill I picked up pretty quickly!). The library is ideal when I’ve got shed loads of work and need complete silence- the top three floors are silent areas. However, my friends and I often meet in the library on the first two floors, so we can get work done and have a natter while we’re at it. Also, the first two floors allow food and hot drinks, which I love. Another bonus of the library is the seating areas, despite being pretty busy, the library is full of sofas and tables depending on your preference, along with computer access and printing resources if you require them. Essentially, the library is where I get the most work done.

The Library Cafe

I am not one of those people that can work in a lot of noise, I find it very hard to focus if people are talking to me, or if I can hear conversations. But, the library café is potentially one of my favourite places to go. It’s loud enough to drown out specific conversations and there is almost always a table. Plus they do some pretty good coffee, and if you’re lucky crepes!

Curiositea

Curiositea is one of my favourite parts of campus, I am definitely more of a coffee shop girl than a clubber. I love being sat in a vintage tea room, surrounded by cake and studying, especially right at the start of the day, when it’s completely silent and I can nab one of the comfy chairs. Again, Curiositea is loud enough for the noise not to disrupt my train of thought. Its definitely my favourite place to go on Campus with my friends and after a big deadline we treat ourselves to a slice of cake- my favourite is the Red Velvet!

The Learning Grid

I always love the idea of going to the Learning Grid but I found it completely depends on what time of the day you head over, as to how likely you are to get a seat. Split into silent and non-silent, the Learning Grid is a pretty quiet and relaxed study space. It’s also right next to Costa Coffee- bonus! I often head over there if I intend to do work on my own or am on campus particularly early or particularly late. If you’re lucky you can get one of the sofas.

Fusion

Putting aside how much I adore the food at Fusion (especially the chilli beef with rice!), it’s actually a great place to get work done. When campus is buzzing and finding a space to study, where you aren’t squished against a complete stranger, is proving difficult, then Fusion is my go-to. Not very many people go to study there, but its relatively quiet and, when it’s not peak food time, I can get a lot of work done. Plus I don’t think I have ever studied there and not had an entire table to myself. If I’m having a rough day, a portion of fries helps with the studying.

I hope this was useful and maybe if you’re on campus you could check these spots out and see where you can see yourself studying. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!