30 December 2016

Goodbye '16, Hello '17



 When I look back on 2016, it feels like a blink but a lifetime all in one. It's gone so quickly that I find it hard to believe that it really is coming to an end. It's definitely been a whirlwind of a year with a lot happening and changing. 

I turned 18 at the beginning of the year (I quite literally mean the beginning, the 3rd)! When I think back to that, it does feel like almost a year ago, yet it doesn't at the same time. If that makes any sense at all!? 
I took some big exams, which I'm glad are over and done with, I will admit! I travelled to some beautiful places and took the leap of going away to university which has to lead me to meeting some people I honestly think I will be friends with for many years to come. And I look forward to making many more memories with them.

We can't forget, of course, that a mere 7 months ago all of this started- how crazy is that! It amazes me how much it's grown in such a short amount of time. I'm so excited about what's to come in the new year and I so glad you're all coming on this journey with me. 

We also can't forget the many who will not be welcoming in the new year with us, I think it's safe to say that this year has been particularly bad in that sense. 

But, on the outlook, 2017 promises to be a very exciting year with many exciting adventures. I hope it is for you too. 

So I think all that is left to say is, goodbye 2016. Welcome, 2017- Happy New Year! 

Lots of love, 


25 November 2016

Festive de-stress | The Christmas Edit

It's coming to that point in the year when we're all beginning to feel a little stressed and uptight: coursework deadlines coming up, work is getting more stressful the closer we get to Christmas and maybe the idea of having to start Christmas shopping is just adding to the mound of other things you need to do. I often find that this time of year adds to my decreasing mood and lack of calm as you wake up in the dark, go to work and come home in the dark. This seems to be all that happens for three months straight. 

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE Christmas. It is my favourite time of year. The month or so beforehand, however, I find very stressful. 
In light of this, I thought I would do a little post about how I like to de-stress during this time of year. 

I think my number one favourite thing to de-stress is having a lovely, warm bubble bath. Especially an hour or so before I go to bed. There's something so comforting about laying there and just letting all your aching muscles relax. I think my favourite thing to put into my baths is Lush's bubble bar in 'The Comforter'. This is unlikely to be a surprise to many of you as I have mentioned this left right and centre. And let me tell you, there is a reason it is called "the comforter"! It creates the most perfect bubbles and the scent is just something else.
Sadly, since being at university, I haven't been able to have baths as often as I would like, but thankfully Lush has come to my rescue and has bottled the infamous bubble bar up into a wonderful shower gel. The smell alone is enough to relax me! 

I guess I find giving myself a little pamper in general is a great way to destress, especially when it comes to my skin. When I get stressed, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, my skin shows it by breaking out. So I like to treat myself to an at-home facial. You can make it extra special by applying it and going for a long hot bath with candles!

Although I read for a degree, I find there's something extremely relaxing about being curled up on the sofa, with a cup of tea and a blanket, reading a good book. It allows you to zone out of everyday life and be taken somewhere else, even if it is just for a little while. Sometimes I find that there are some books I could read three, maybe four times and never get bored. If you find a book you truly love, you'll end up just wanting to read it to enjoy the writing, not just the story. And I think there's something very lovely and comforting about that. 

One of my ALL TIME favourite activities, let alone destressers, is baking. I've created a little bit of a reputation in my flat and back home for being a bit baking crazy. You can normally find me on a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen making some form of cake or sweet treat. I love baking at any time of the year, but Christmas is the perfect time. You have all your family and friends round (which give you an even better reason to get your pinny on) but it means you can bring out all the festive recipes and treats! 
I seem to find this relaxing as it makes me concentrate on something that isn't work, meaning that I can have an hour or so away from my books to focus on something else. Not only will I go back to my work with a fresh mind, but will also go back with a piece of yumminess (often used as bribery- I am a firm believer in that!). 

When I'm stressed, and I'm sure a lot of you are the same, I find I get so tired but can't seem to fall asleep easily- which adds to the stress! A little tip I have picked up, and one I have always been fond of is listening to rain or waves while I'm trying to sleep. It's a proven tactic, as the sounds prove to be very soothing and somewhat comforting when you're all snuggled up, warm, in bed. Maybe next time you're struggling to sleep- try downloading a playlist (or I use the app Rain Rain) and set a timer for half an hour to 45 minutes. I am sure by the time the timer runs out you will be well and truly on your way to a good nights sleep.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this and have gained some new ideas of how to de-stress, particularly for the coming month. As always, please feel free to contact me and let me know how you like to de-stress, I always love hearing from you!x


21 November 2016

How I stay Organised

Many of you may not know that I am dyspraxic and dyslexic, meaning that I have to try really hard to stay organised. Although we only found out that I was dyslexic a couple of years ago I've been able to form tactics to help when it comes to staying on top of things, and these are some of them!

First and most importantly is my diary. I guess this is something that I've got off my mum, as she too likes to use a diary to write everything in. My diary contains my life, quite literally, and I'm not sure what I would do without it. I always make sure to write down any appointments, meetings or deadlines in there so I can keep track of what every day brings. It's also the perfect size to fit into my handbag so I can always jot something in if it were to pop up while I'm out (as I am more than likely to forget about it by the time I get home). To me, this is a MUST HAVE to help me stay organised. 

Continuing with this idea is my wall calendar. There's something about being able to see my whole year that I find really helpful. Although I love using my diary for everyday and weekly use, I often find it harder to visualise how far away things like deadlines are. By having it on the wall, and by ticking off each day, I find it helps to keep me focused and on track so I don't miss a thing!
I also have a 'weekly schedule' on my pin board so I know what lectures I have and when. This helps me to make sure I'm packing everything I need for the day in my bag. I know we all got these timetables in our school diaries and I know we all disliked them a little at the time, but since leaving school- I can't be without one! Go figure!

One of THE most useful tips I have ever been told was: make a to-do list. My dad has always told me that he makes a list every single day and has always told me when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed to "make a list and attack it". These are words I now live by, and I'm not entirely sure how well organised or put together I would be without this brilliant piece of advice. Although some people find it overwhelming to see everything you have to do on one big list, I find it helps to focus my mind on the task at hand. 

I guess, sort of following along a similar thought, is making sure you're prepared. By this, I mean having things like paper clips, a stapler (and staples...) and folders and dividers and all of that. Over the past couple of years I have grown a love for (pretty) stationary and, as a consequence, I find I don't mind doing tasks like filing (as boring as it is) as I love being able to use my cute little bits! Places like paperchase are great for this sort of thing, so go have a look in the January sales!

These are just a few of the strategies I find help me most to stay organised, and I hope that this has helped you all in some shape or form! Let me know what you like to do to stay organised, I'm always open to new ideas. x


6 July 2016

60 hours in Paris | The Paris Edit

There is a reason Paris is one of the most beloved cities in the world. There is some sort of energy that emits that makes you feel like everything in the world is wonderful. It's lovely to see that, even though they have faced some hard times recently, the city is quite possibly more loved than ever and I for one will say that I will definitely be visiting again.

There are of course, a few things you just HAVE to do while you're in Paris, be it for a long or short amount of time.

Obviously there are the very well known sites you just need to see. First being the Eiffel Tower. But, if

you look at the queues, you can be queuing for two hours or more. So, I would highly suggest booking it in advance, there are loads of tour sites where you can buy fast track tickets up the tower, which trust me you will want to do!
We went through a tour company called Get Your Guide, and were able to get a river cruise along the Seine, which was really lovely. It was nice to be able to sit down and relax while we watch Paris go by, and were able to see parts which we wouldn't have seen otherwise- so for me, this is a must (but a less well known one).

Next is Le Louvre. Trust me when I say that this stunning museum really does live up to its name. Being the biggest art museum in the world, it really does need a whole day dedicated to going round it. My boyfriend and I got there 15 minutes before it opened (which I would suggest to anyone else planning to visit) as it does get very busy during the afternoons. It took us 4 hours to go round two of the three sides of the museum, so like I said- it really does need a whole day. At only 15 euros per adult, I really think this is amazing value for such a huge attraction.

What I would also highly recommend would be to do the side where the Mona Lisa is. She is on the top floor, and most people work their way from the bottom to the top- as most of us would. BUT, she is such a huge attraction I would really suggest you get to the top and see her FIRST, as this will mean you will miss most of the crowds as you go down and they come up!

Another sight which also lives up to its massive name is the Arc de Triomph. In many photos, you don't really think it's going to be as big as it is, but trust me when I say it really is massive. When you first get to the area you would notice that it's in the middle of a VERY busy roundabout, and will probably freak out thinking how on earth you're supposed to get to it. We soon realised that there are two underground walk ways on either side of the arc, one of which being on the Champs Elysees. If you want to go up the arc, be warned that queues can be long, and will offer a similar view to that of the Eiffel Tower, but by all means go for it if you have the time to spare (sadly we didn't). Another sight which both of us loved was Notre Dame. Again, because we were there for such a short amount of time, we didn't have enough time to stand in the (very long) queue, but were able to sit and watch the world go by, while admiring the beauty of the cathedral at this adorable cafe just across the way- if you have been in, or plan to go in, please let me know what it is like so I can go in next time!

Paris is considered to be one of, if not THE, fashion capital of the world- so obviously you sort of need to go look around some shops. I have to admit, James (my boyfriend) and I, didn't really look round many, until our last day. We were sat in a cute little cafe down the rod we were staying at and noticed a few shops around the are. Me being the way I am, I was curious and wanted to look inside- but it didn't seem that special. The shop was called La Bon Marche- some of you may have heard of it? Some may have not- It's a HUGE designer department store. How did I not know about this until 2 hours before we were leaving?! I would definitely recommend looking around here, even if you don't plan on buying anything, purely because it's so incredible just to walk around! The best way I could describe it would be like a French Selfridges- but even prettier! 

Not only is France known for its fashion, but world renowned for its incredible food and patisseries. When it comes to bistros and restaurants, the biggest tip I could give anyone is to eat where the locals eat. It will be a lot cheaper than some of the tourist traps around, and will clearly have good food if the locals go there! 
We were very lucky with where our hotel was, as it was situated on the Rue de Bac, in the heart of Saint Germain. Saint Germain is well known within Paris for having some of the best places to eat in the city, so go ave a wonder down there. You are likely to come across what I will be now classifying as my favourite patisserie, only a short walk away from the main road- Eric Kayser. They're cakes are simply gorgeous, in every way possible, so i would highly recommending making the trip down the Rue de Bac to find it. 

Speaking of cakes... you can't go to Paris without trying some of the incredible macaroons. Trust me, they won't be hard to find! If you are flying from Orly, then you will find many a bakery and patisserie in the terminal, one of which is the highly sort after Laudree! So make sure you go and try them, they are expensive (at 17 euros for 6) but it really is worth it. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little weekend away, as much as I have enjoyed writing about it! Paris is such a special place, so if you ever get the opportunity to go, please do not pass it up. 

 As always, I love hearing from you guys so let me know what you think or if there's anything you would suggest I see for the next time I go (there WILL be a next time!), much love. x


13 May 2016

Exam Stress

So, it's that dreaded time of year for many of us. Be it GCSEs, A-Levels or uni finals, it's not a fun time for any of us.
Let me guess, you're breaking out, biting off all your nails and finding it hard to sleep (or is that just me?). If so, then I may have a few little tips to help you over the next few weeks as when it comes to tackling this stress.

1.) Skin Care

If like me you break-out when you're stressed, be happy in the knowledge that you're not alone. It happens to all of us (sadly).
One way to tackle this is eating lots of fruit and veg and drinks lots of water. I can't stress enough how quickly your skin will clear up if you increase the amount of water you drink (yes, that means putting down that can of Coke!). But, if you're not so good at that then there's a fair few teas which are A-mazing.
First, green tea. This is literally a god-send, it fixes all problems, kind of like coconut oil. If you're new to green tea, the taste can take a while to get used to, but I promise it's worth it.
Another tea I've found that helps is 'Dr Stuarts Skin Purify'. Again, this is brilliant. It comes in a pack of 15 tea bags for £2.35 from Holland and Barrett and the packaging is too cute, which is always a plus. I started on this a few moths ago, and by the third day of drinking (one cup a day) my skin cleared up dramatically. So definitely worth a try!

2.) Wind down time

Make sure that you factor in some "me-time" during the exam period, otherwise you'll feel completely overwhelmed.
May favorite way to wined down is having a lovely warm bubble bath! go light a few candles, pour a load of bath soak in and have a chill. If you want you can also add in some music! Warm baths also help you sleep, so they're fab if you're having trouble falling asleep at night. 
Another many find to be a good way to wined down is going to the gym. (I know- like what?!). I never knew what this was all about until fairly recently. I wouldn't exactly call myself a gym-bunny, but exercise is definitely a great release. Personally, I prefer yoga, purely because I find it more calming and soothing, but if you're on of those people who can go running for miles on end, then go do it! I promise you'll feel so much better, and will be able to go back to your revision with a clear head.

3.) Cut yourself some slack

You need to remember that everyone will be feeling stressed over this period, but remember that you're not alone and that you need to cut yourself some slack. If you've recently got a mock or test back with a score you're not happy with- don't worry. Learn from the mistakes made, and work on it. Don't going beating yourself up about it, if you've tried your hardest no one can ask any more of you.

Hopefully these few little tips will be of some use to you over this horrible, stressful time. Just remember that you'll be fine.
Good Luck x

P.S. products mentioned and comments made on them are my personal opinion, I was not paid to promote these products.
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