Monday, 24 September 2018


As a blogger, I dish out a lot of advice. I've always been the mum friend, telling those around me to take care of themselves and appearing to have lots of advice on every different subject under the sun. I was that girl who had been single for years and yet still somehow acted as the group's relationship coach. I'm great at giving out advice. It's something I work on a lot, always googling cures for friends' ailments and helping them to find out where to get what they need. Boy drama? Come over and we'll have a glass of wine and figure it out! Self-care? I could talk for days about the importance of self-care and think up a multitude of ways to practice self-care off the top of my head. I even have a self-care series on this blog!

Do I take my own advice?

Hell no! Should I take my own advice? Probably! It's time to dish out some truths and give some examples! THIS post is about treating yourself how you treat others. It's all about being kind to yourself and getting rid of your negative self-talk. It's a bit of food for thought for those of you who are a bit too hard on yourselves. Do I hope that others read it and get a bit of motivation to be kinder to themselves? Of course I do! However, I can be a very negative person when it comes to myself. I have an incredibly negative attitude towards myself and I am hard on myself sometimes. I also wrote THIS post on balancing work, uni and life. However, I really do not do well at keeping a good balance most of the time.

To basically sum it up, I am great at dishing out advice with the aim to help others. I'm just not very good at taking all this advice myself!

Am I A Hypocrite?

Is it hypocritical to run a blog and dish out as much advice as you can give without actually implementing it to better your own life? All the time, people talk about how the way we portray ourselves on social media is an idealised and edited version of ourselves. Blogging began to feel like that for me. I felt like I was talking about all the great stuff and sharing all the idealistic advice I could give, but still holding back slightly on other aspects of my life. I give advice without showing the full picture. I can tell you to sleep well and work to get a good night time routine, but I am currently writing this post in the early hours. Am I a hypocrite to tell people to try one thing, whilst actively doing the opposite of what I am saying you should do?


Who Am I To Be Giving This Advice?

I am a mess a lot of the time. My room is untidy often, I find it difficult to get motivated, I don't take care of myself as well as I should, I have some nasty habits, and I often think very lowly of myself. It worries me that I find it so easy to somehow have so much advice and yet I'm still not exactly functioning that well myself. As soon as a depressive episode hits I'm much more likely to spend my time in bed surrounded by food packaging that taking the steps that I need to shake myself out of it. I talk lots about self-care yet I don't exactly take care of myself all too well. I make great plans for myself, I just don't follow them all through. I start and stop and start new routines and lifestyle changes, but can never quite keep them up. I forget to take my meds. I oversleep a lot. However, I know the steps that I should be taking and I just hope that the people I give advice to are much better at taking it than I am.

What I Have Taken Away From Writing All This Down

Maybe that's it. The advice which I give out is everything I should be doing and everything which would actually help me! Seeing other people get good results out of taking my advice makes me feel good, it makes me actually feel like I'm accomplishing something. I love to see others thrive and I am happy to help in any way I can. Perhaps I just need to place as much importance on seeing myself thrive. Then, just maybe, I will feel accomplished when I take my own advice and see myself improve.

Thanks for joining me on this ramble!x

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


I had a health kick at the beginning of the summer. I dropped a dress size and felt fab about it. However, as I usually am with these things, I couldn't keep it up and felt myself slipping back into my old ways. I didn't attend the end of my cycle of fitness classes and I stopped the daily workouts. I burned myself out and had lost myself in this strict regime of workouts and dieting. It was all I thought about and I was obsessed with the idea that I could drop a few more pounds, drop another dress size, finally feel attractive to potential partners out there in the world of dating. I wasn't doing it for me, I was doing it because I didn't feel worthy as myself and I felt I had to change in order for people to respect me. Not just romantic partners, but family, friends and anyone who passed by me.

Once I let part of the health kick slip, it all slowly unravelled and I returned back to my old ways, albeit with a new love for blueberries (I cannot get enough). Thanks to my lovely body, the weight came back very quickly and I returned to the body shape I have been for years. However, I wasn't upset this time. I haven't been looking at myself in the mirror ashamed as I usually do. I just feel very neutral about the whole thing. If anything, gaining the weight back hasn't really affected how I perceive my body image, which is something so baffling to me, as someone who has struggled with their body image for years.


What has changed? I've been asking myself this for the last few weeks. Maybe it's the fact that I have started to transition into my autumnal wardrobe and wear all my favourite clothes again. Maybe it's the fact that I have surrounded myself with people who do nothing but lift me up and make me feel secure and happy. Maybe it's the fact that I have more important things to worry about now, as opposed to having time to fixate on my shape and size. Maybe it's that caring so much about something I find very difficult to change is exhausting and I want to focus my attention on things that matter more to me.

In the last few months, I have found out that I have PCOS. It has shown me why I have such a struggle losing weight and this has lessened my guilt about my own body. It's not just my fault. Why should I fight against my body time and time again when the second I stop, everything returns back to the way it was and I ultimately end up sad and upset about my own body. I am not seriously overweight. I don't own a car so I walk absolutely everywhere (I walk so much). I eat fairly well and I have a job which keeps me walking and on my feet. Yes, I could be healthier and I could kick some habits which are really not that great. However, my body is not my enemy and I would much rather feel at home in my own skin than fight against it.


There will always be days that I wish my body wouldn't look like this. There will be days when I would rather tear my body down than feel at home within it. However, I am working towards feeling better in my own skin and I feel this is more important than constantly critiquing it.

September is PCOS awareness month. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common condition which affects ovarian functioning. The main features are irregular periods, excess androgen and polycystic ovaries. Symptoms include irregular periods, lack of periods, fertility issues, excessive hair growth, thinning hair of the head, weight gain and oily skin/acne. If you feel that you are experiencing these symptoms, you can read more about them HERE. I have asked two different doctors about my symptoms and only one of them actually moved along to the process of diagnosis, so ask questions and make sure your symptoms are taken seriously. Diagnosis of PCOS is often quick and simple and involves an ultrasound in order to take a look at your ovaries. If you have any questions about PCOS at all, feel free to get in contact! 

Monday, 3 September 2018


After a great month of stats and social media growth, plus after finishing my summer internship and going back to having more free time to write, I figured it was about time I ran a giveaway! I gathered a few of my fave products, along with some products I've been eyeing up for a while. All you have to do is check out my giveaway tweet HERE, retweet it and give my profile a follow! If you want a second chance of winning, just follow my Instagram profile HERE and reply to the giveaway tweet with a link to your profile! For now, I can only afford UK shipping so this giveaway is UK only!

Prize List





  • Revolution Reloaded Iconic Fever Palette
  • I <3 Revolution Chocolate Elixir Glow Highlight Palette
  • 3x Garnier SkinActive face masks
    • Moisture Bomb Super-Hydrating Soothing Mask
    • Moisture Bomb Super-Hydrating Re-Balancing Mask
    • Pure Charcoal Purifying & Hydrating Pore-Tightening Mask
  • Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
  • Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Whipped Creme Body Wash 
    • (Gifted for this giveaway)
  • Lush Deep Sleep Shower Jelly
  • Revolution Crushed Pearl Pigments in Kinky
  • 3x Primark Nails
    • Squareletto Cashmere
    • Almond Obsessed
    • Almond Silk Grey
  • Candy Kittens sweets in Wild Strawberry (Vegan)

 Have you joined the giveaway?x

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash

Starting university stirs up a LOT of feelings. It's exciting, it's terrifying, it's stressful and it's fun! It can be so overwhelming but also incredibly freeing to experience all of these emotions at once! After all, it's a massive step in your life and your journey! There are a few things I wish I had been told about before stepping into freshers week and here is all the wisdom I can offer to you as someone going into their final year of university!

Freshers' flu is real

You may have heard the term being thrown about but this is serious business! You will spend a lot of freshers week surrounded by people you have never met before and meeting as many people as you possibly can (unless you're an absolute introvert like me). It's only logical that being surrounded by so many people is a test of the immune system! Even if you don't go out during freshers, people will be coughing and sneezing in the lecture theatres during the first few weeks and it is likely that you will get a bit ill. Personally, freshers' flu crept up on me just when I thought I had avoided it completely and it was the WORST! Be prepared and get your survival kit ready! Here's what got me through that tough week:

  • A Netflix subscription
  • Cold & Flu tablets
  • Strawberry Strepsils
  • Cold washcloths
  • Lots of water and squash
  • A cosy bed (seriously, get those throw blankets on and sleep it off)

Homesickness 

I was adamant that I would not get homesick. After all, my university isn't really too far from home and my parents were just a phone call away. I was wrong and I did get homesick! I am very close to my mum so the idea of not getting to chill with her in the evenings or generally have her there as she had always been SUCKED. It sucked bad. I didn't go out much in freshers and I was hesitant to go out and meet people. I feel that if I had been busier in freshers and really pushed myself out into my new environments I wouldn't have been as homesick. However, what I did was binge watch Gilmore Girls and teach myself how to cook, which worked out pretty nicely!

You're about to meet some amazing people

Going to university, I was so convinced that I would be lonely. I was so convinced that I would suck and making friends and meeting new people since I was an introverted and anxious bean. However, I met some of the most important people in my life right now! I met friends in my halls of residence, in tutorials, at welcome events and even through just wandering around campus looking lost.

Make your halls your home

Halls of residence can be dismal places. The plain walls, the signs of previous residents, the noise and the shared bathrooms. However, once I made an effort with my room and dressed it up a bit it became one of my favourite places on earth. I'll make a separate post on dressing up your uni room but or now, these are the things that made my room feel like home:
  • Throw blankets
  • Photos hanging on twine
  • Nice bedding
  • Fairy lights
  • Posters and pictures on my pinboard
  • Books filling my shelves
  • Nicknacks on the desk
  • P L A N T S
I made sure to keep the atmosphere of my room as calm as possible. I would practice self-care, listen to my records and decorate it for each season. It became a safe haven from the stress of uni life. I hope to keep my current room in the same way. I have a whole other post on surviving students halls HERE too if you want to know more about the experience!

Optional attendance? Still go!

It seems like common sense but if you don't HAVE to go to a lecture, still go! I was struggling a lot with my mental health in second year and my attendance dropped lots. I told myself that I could use the lecture slides and just catch up but my grades dropped considerably. I know a lot of people that don't attend non-compulsory lectures, but believe me when I say that they are worth attending! Even if you're only half paying attention, you will find revision so much easier when you are recapping rather than just learning for the first time.

What do you want to know about starting university? No question is too small! x

Friday, 24 August 2018

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Another toolkit?? Yep, here I am to tell you literally all I know about a certain subject. This time it's one of my favourite things on this earth, blogging! I am not the wisest and most experienced blogger, but I do know how to start a blog and to begin to create and promote posts! I'm going to cover four main topics in this post; creation, promotion, inspiration and monetisation.


If you want to get into blogging, I think it's safe to assume that you have an interest in content creation. These are the first steps to take when starting a blog and creating your content.

Blog templates

Whatever site you are using to start your blog (eg. Blogger, Wordpress, Wix) you will need to choose the template or design of your blog. This can be super easy or fairly difficult to set up and you need to go with a theme that suits your skillset! If you are just starting out with blogging or web design for the first time, for example, it may be a better decision to use the templates on offer on your blogging platform. I started out with a super simple Blogger template and it really helped me to just get started and get creating!

If you're not a fan of the templates on offer on your platform, there is plenty of choice out there for templates. If you're willing to invest in a template then PipDig have some gorgeous ones on offer and they're super customisable! I will definitely be investing in one of these when I have the money! I used Way2themes to get my current template for free and I loved how simple it was to switch everything about and customise my blog!

Graphics and Photos

For all of my graphics, I use Canva. This goes for all my post headers, social media graphics and printables! They have templates for just about anything you may need, and a vast many of them are free to use! It's also a lot of fun to create your own templates and the site is super easy to use! Snappa is similar to Canva, but Canva seems to have more free templates and I tend to stick with it! I have also used Piktochart in the past and it is super easy to use with some great template options; especially for infographics!

Some of us are not the best photographers, or may not have the time or ability to take the photos they want for a post. This is where stock photos come in! Since being bombarded with assignments and exams and general life, stock photos have been cropping up on my blog more often. I use Unsplash to find my free stock photos, but there are sites all over the place with loads of stock images. Other great sites for free stock photos include Pexels, Canva Photos and StockSnap.

Writing

You have probably seen the Grammarly adverts all over the internet, but if you haven't downloaded it yet I strongly advise you do. It has proved to be such a useful tool when writing and it picks up more written errors than my usual spell-checker. It makes proofreading extremely quick and simple and is perfect for any written content creators out there!

Sometimes, all you really need is the basics. I always keep a Thesaurus tab open when I'm writing, just in case I'm not loving my word choices.


While the content of your blog is the most important thing to build up, your promotion techniques will almost fully decide who reads your content and how many people do. 

The Social Media Foundations

You don't need all of these social media profiles to get started, but I have found that these are the driving force behind my pageviews. Twitter is a good place to start. The community of bloggers feels so accessible and everyone is so welcoming to beginner bloggers. It's lovely seeing all the support on Twitter and I have met some wonderful people! Using hashtags on Twitter can really drive your blog growth. #BloggersTribe is a solid favourite among the blogging community. You can tag what kind of blog you are running too, to direct people to your blog.
  • #lbloggers - lifestyle blog
  • #bbloggers - beauty blog
  • #fbloggers - fashion blog
  • #mhbloggers - mental health blog

The other foundations are arguably Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. On Instagram, you can connect with other content creators in a way that lets them immediately see a grid of content. If you have great photo skills, show it off. If you have a knack for creating art or graphics, show it off. Displaying blog-relevant content on Instagram is a great way to attract an audience. Making a Facebook page for your blog is a great way to collect your audience and easily notify them when you release new content. It's a quick and easy way to connect with your audience and drive your blog traffic. It took me a while to get into Pinterest, but it really is a great hub of fellow content creators. You can drive people to your blog with 'rich pins' and you can collect inspiration on your boards.

Google Plus can also really help to drive traffic to your posts! Setting time aside each day to share your posts on Google Plus can really boost your views!

Scheduling Tools

One thing that can really boost your use of social media to the next level is the use of scheduling tools. I tend to use these exclusively for Twitter, as this is the site I tend to focus on most. I have yet to find a scheduling tool I use more than Buffer. It's just so easy! You type your tweet up and add the hashtags you want to use to promote your post. Once you add your blog link, the link is automatically shortened and Buffer picks up the images used in the post so that you can quickly select an image to go with your post before you schedule it! It's really simple to use and I definitely need to use it more!

Other Twitter scheduling tools include:

If you use Pinterest or Instagram to promote your blog, Tailwind is the most talked about scheduler. When using a Facebook page to promote posts, you can actually schedule posts without using a separate app.

Mix (formerly StumbleUpon)

Mix is fab for post promotion! You add your post link to different folders which you create, much like boards on Pinterest. I have found that sharing  my posts on Mix (and StumbleUpon) has driven colossal amounts of traffic to my blog! Your posts are shared with people who have already expressed interest in the topics mentioned in your blog so that you will be driving an interested and relevant audience to your content, which can lead to more reader interaction and subsequent sharing!


A big part of blogging is looking for inspiration for your posts. Writing doesn't always come easy, especially when you are trying to stick with a frequent blogging schedule and you feel like you are running out of ideas! However, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding things that inspire us! There's just so much out there, especially on the internet!

Other Blogs

Reading blogs can really get you inspired about your own. You can see quality content and want to better your own, or see missing gaps in content which you want to fill with your own opinions and experiences. For example, if you're reading a blog about student life and you're a student yourself, you could find that something you believe strongly about hasn't been talked about. BAM, a blog post idea. Tell people more about what you're passionate about and what you believe has been previously overlooked. 

Places

When i'm stuck in a rut, I find somewhere new or different to plan blog ideas. Sometimes i'll be chilling in a gallery thinking 'this slow living thing is the life' and the I suddenly get the urge to write about slow living. Inspiration can come anytime and anywhere and if you're stuck in a rut, maybe it's because you're in a set routine and you're going to the same places and doing the same thing every single day.

Pinterest

Mood boards are such a lovely way to brainstorm and plan for blog posts and Pinterest is such an easy way to put one together! I'm currently planning an autumnal series for Blogtober and I have been filling a board on Pinterest with autumnal images to get me into the mindset for all these posts. There are also so many bloggers on Pinterest with boards full of blogging advice, tips and tricks! You can check out my profile HERE!

Your Audience

Try to figure out who your audience is and what they would like to see. Got a lot of students in your audience? Do a student life series! Got a lot of movie enthusiasts? Write a post on your favourite films, films that mean a lot to you, or your current Netflix picks! Once you start writing, it's easier to push away that writer's block!


I was hesitant to add this section to the post since I am only just starting to properly attempt to make a small income from my blog, but I figured I have a handful of tips to share and whatever I can give could help someone to make their passion a path to income.

AdSense

Using Google AdSense is a great start in the monetisation journey. You display ads on your blog and earn money from any clicks they get. I have AdSense enabled on my blog but I don't tend to earn much from it. Very little in fact. Once your audience begins to grow more and more, you should see an increase in income through ads, however it does take a little while!

Shopstyle (and affiliate links)

I have found that Shopstyle has been the easiest way for me to add affiliate links to my blog. You set up an account and you can transform links from certain retailers, such as ASOS and New Look, into affiliate links. You can earn a bit of money when someone clicks on a link, and you can earn even more if someone buys a product which you have recommended! This is a great way to earn a little extra money if you run a beauty or fashion blog!

PR and Sponsored Posts

I have only ever put out one sponsored post (HERE) but this has been the most efficient source of income which I have experienced in my time blogging so far! I was approached in my emails for my post but I know that if you are signed up for Bloggers Required then you can browse sponsored jobs and potentially earn some money! 

Monetisation Posts

I am perhaps not entirely the person to be dishing out advice on monetising your blog, so here are a few posts on the topic which could help you a bit more!
So, that's it! I will update this whenever I find out any more tips! I hope that you found this helpful; I would love to find out what your tips are!x

Friday, 17 August 2018


Photo by Mark Solarski on Unsplash

Music is something we all have in common. It has the capacity to lift you up when you are down, make you feel emotional and can even motivate you in the worst of times. We all have vastly different music tastes and this can cause countless debates and arguments. However, we can all agree on one thing. Great speakers make listening to music even more enjoyable than it already is! I for one love the look of the Panasonic Wireless Speaker Systems. Imagine having a multi-room speaker system! I listen to a lot of music when doing chores around the flat and when listening to music with my current sound system, I can barely hear my music from the next room without turning up my speakers to the highest setting and annoying my neighbours to their wits end! Being able to have my music playing in multiple rooms around the flat would be so amazing!

Nostalgia is defined as: "a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time". I can't imagine a better way of describing it. A yearning, not just a feeling. It envelops you in a way that any other thought or feeling fails to do. When I feel nostalgic, it puts me in a bit of a daze. I feel preoccupied fully with the bittersweet yearning of it. I reflect a lot and I find that so many things evoke a sense of nostalgia within me; especially music!

Nostalgia can be felt in a multitude of different ways. It can be happy, sad, amusing and even reflective. It doesn't just make you yearn for a former place or time, it can really take you back to that time and the mindset which you were in at that time. Let's start with happy nostalgia. I have kept the same playlist of 'happy songs' for years and every time I listen to the songs on that playlist, they completely take me back to happier times. The nostalgia really stirs up a true feeling of happiness within me.
  • You Make My Dreams - Hall and Oates
  • Mr Blue Sky - ELO
  • Rock With You - Michael Jackson
  • Africa - Toto
  • I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince
  • Barracuda - Heart
  • Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
  • You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
  • You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
  • A Little Respect - Erasure
  • Beautiful - Carole King

Let's talk about music that just 'takes you back'. I'm talking high school style and the different phases we go through in our quest to fit in! I loved angsty music and classic emo/scene music! I was angry with the world and listening to 'emo' and alternative music made me feel like I could relate to something or someone. Listening back to my old favourite tracks, I remember my teenage years and I yearn to go back and tell myself to make the most of them! I spent so much time feeling put down that I missed out majorly on the friendships I had at the time and the freedom that came with being a student and not having to also work on the side. I also yearn to go back to this time as music was my absolute life and I possessed this complete and utter devotion to the music I listened to and the idea of going to as many gigs as I could and meeting my favourite bands just so I could tell them how much they meant to me!
  • The Taste of Ink - The Used
  • I Hate Everything About You - Three Days Grace
  • Going Under - Evanescence
  • I Miss The Misery - Halestorm
  • Knives and Pens - Black Veil Brides
  • Numb - Linkin Park
  • The Ghost Of You - My Chemical Romance
  • Miss Murder - AFI
  • Tears Don't Fall - Bullet For My Valentine
  • The Kill - Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • Welcome To The Family - Avenged Sevenfold
  • Caraphernelia - Pierce The Veil
  • Miserable At Best - Mayday Parade
  • Second and Sebring - Of Mice & Men
  • Blessed With A Curse - Bring Me The Horizon

After High School and when I attended college, my music taste shifted again. I started listening to more chilled out indie, folk and punk music. While I listen to most of the music I listened to in college still, certain songs remind me so intensely of the friends I made over my two years in college and all the time we spent hanging out in the common rooms between lessons. It was a great time!
  • Twelve Feet Deep - The Front Bottoms
  • St Christopher Is Coming Home - Frank Turner
  • Lost In You - Great Cynics
  • 40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic eros
  • Tonight's The Kind Of Night - Noah And The Whale
  • Awkward- FIDLAR
  • Going to Georgia - The Mountain Goats
  • From Here to Utopia - Ramshackle Glory

Even though it was only a couple of years ago, the music I listened to when I started university also makes me incredibly nostalgic. Life was changing at a rapid rate and I clung to my iPod as a massive comfort as I moved into my new life in Manchester. I watched Gilmore Girls for hours every night when I was homesick and the theme song lulled me into a sense of comfort and security. I had no idea what was to come once I got to university, but the music I listened to got me through it and kept me calm.
  • Black (Unplugged) - Pearl Jam
  • Where You Lead - Carole King
  • Blackbird - The Beatles
  • Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
  • The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
  • In My Life - The Beatles
  • Helplessly Hoping - Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder

I've talked a lot about life phases and music up until this point. But how about single moments? Sometimes, the music you were listening to in a moment is embedded in the memory of that moment completely and utterly. They can be massive moments in your life or very mundane ones. For some reason, they just stick. These are a few of my moments:
  • Walking home from the bus stop after asking my first boyfriend out for the first time. Always by Bon Jovi came on shuffle and I was completely caught up in the song. I started to listen to that song every evening as I walked home from the bus. If I pressed play as soon as I left the bus stop, the song would finish precisely as I got to my front door
  • In the car on the way to the airport with my family. Considering this was when I lived in Oxford, this must have been about 12/13 years ago. We were in the car ready to go on holiday and my dad had an ELO greatest hits CD playing. We would always sing along to Don't Bring Me Down in funny voices
  • When Love Story by Taylor Swift first came out, one of my childhood friends claimed it as hers and our other friend's song. However, in secret, our other friend bluetoothed it to me and begged me not to tell our friend. We listened to it for that whole afternoon and I was so over the moon that I had the latest 'in' song on my flip phone!
  • Whenever I listen to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, I always think back to the live anniversary screening which I attended with a friend! People got dressed up, we all got up and did the time warp, it was amazing!

Finally, let's talk occasions! Some events and periods of the year are just generally so nostalgic, and music just boosts this! The two go hand in hand and listening to music for that occasion can make you long for previous years' celebrations!
  • Halloween: I am a big lover of Halloween, and I start listening to my 'spook' playlist as soon as September starts to end! Listening to songs like Thriller by Michael Jackson or Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds makes me think of previous years' celebrations, the people I celebrated Halloween with and the feelings of excitement that I get every year without fail!
  • Christmas: This is the most obvious one! I crave Christmas music all year round and I THRIVE when it becomes acceptable to listen to it more! Listening to any classic Christmas tracks just brings me into the most wonderful time of the year and makes me think about all the amazing Christmases I have been able to spend with my loved ones!

I hope that you loved this post! What music gets you all nostalgic?x



*I want to thank Panasonic so much for sponsoring this post! It is my first ever paid collab and I am so so grateful for the opportunity to earn a bit of income from my passion on here!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018


Prioritise

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to hoard your work holidays for the exam period. You will need that time off to revise, especially if you have long hours at work. You will have more of a chance to revise and you also need to rest and conserve your energy for studying! Taking time off during exams is such a lifesaver, and I would rather have those dates off than just a random weekend chilling in the middle of the semester.

Don't take on too much! Obviously, your set hours are a bit hard to control so what I mean is don't take too much overtime on if you don't have the energy. Also, always prioritise assignments over overtime. Yes, the extra money is nice, but you also need to focus on the reason you are in university and really focus on your assignments.

Shift Patterns

Ah yes, the dreaded decision. Evenings or weekends? Well, I have tried both, and I have even worked late night shifts. I have found that weekend work is so much more manageable than evening work. You can dedicate your weekdays to university and weekends to work in a nice division of time. I am not thinking about my weekday job in university and I focus on my studies in the evenings. When I am in work at the weekends, I get to take a break from university for a while and it really takes my mind off the goings on of the week.

If you can, I would also go for set shifts. I had a shift pattern which changed weekly when I worked in fast food. It was disrupting my weeks and making it difficult to make any plans. I told my boss that I was thinking of quitting due to the job's effects on my studies and my mental health and I ended up with a set shift. All I had to do was ask.

Energy

It's not just the hours you work and when you work them. It's about making sure that you are not burning yourself out during the course of the week. When you overwork yourself and tire yourself out, that's when your grades may fall or you may not be as social as you want. I know it's easier said than done (especially when you need to work long hours to keep yourself financially secure) but please don't burn yourself out! University is supposed to be enjoyable and a great experience, and this can be hindered by being exhausted all the time.

Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash

Distance

I would recommend applying to part time jobs within walking distance of where you live or study. Last year, I was able to walk to work in under 15 minutes, whereas this year I changed jobs and now I have to take the bus. Believe me, the bus money really adds up and I hate how much I spend on transport to and from work! As a student, being able to cut down on these costs is so necessary and needed. If you cycle, this would also be a great alternative to paying for transport to and from work.

If your job is near your uni, it can mean that you are able to go to the library before or after work and get some extra study time in around your job. Every moment of study counts and being able to easily nip into the library is a great chance to get some work done!

Envy

Finally, while some of us have to work part-time, many do not. It is not helpful or healthy to envy the people who do not have to work part-time alongside their studies. I am sure that given the chance we would just focus on our studies and not work, however there are things that we just cannot help. Envying others is not the way to go. Just embrace the opportunities which you are getting from your part-time job!

What work/study balance advice would you give?x

Monday, 6 August 2018


Summer is passing by quicker than ever! I have been working 7 days a week so the days have been feeling like only minutes lately! After just focussing on my health, job and internship for the past month, it's time to think ahead to my final year at university and really gauge how I'm feeling right now. I can't believe that I will be graduating in less than a year, but I have so much to do before I get there!

Excited

Third year is already looking amazing! I have dropped a psychology unit to take up a couple of interdisciplinary courses and I am so excited to expand my knowledge of business and marketing! I am also so ready for my psychology of politics and society module! I have started looking through the reading and I am already finding it so interesting! I am so ready to get stuck back into my  degree and really work hard this year!

I also have a lot of amazing opportunities coming up this year which I am so excited to jump into! I am on the committee for a mental health society in my university! Last year, I got really involved in this society and even co-set up a mental health mentoring scheme for students! Becoming the peer support officer on the committee means that I can keep up the hard work and oversee the scheme as it grows and develops! I can't wait!

I also have a role in my course's peer support scheme, which aims to help first years to settle into university life and excel from the start of their degrees! I can't wait to help to facilitate the constant improvements in this scheme and I truly believe that it will be bigger and better than ever with our coordination team!

Nervous

I am pretty worried about stress and workload. I went a bit off the rails in terms of my mental health last year and cut myself off from a lot of people. My grades dropped and I developed a nasty spending problem! Lately, I have been able to get myself back on track and I have really improved my physical and mental health. I am just hoping that I can keep this up once i'm back in university. I think that what I am going to do is book onto the fitness classes I have been attending over summer and this will help me to break up my days and have a good workout on my lunch breaks. It will help me to bust my stress and clear my mind!

Because my grades fell last year, I have to really work twice as hard this year to get myself back on track! I am nervous that I will continue to work hard but not see any improvement in my grades, just as I did last year. However, I know that I feel more connected to my units this year and way more enthusiastic about them. I know that I will be engaged and I will (hopefully) enjoy my units this year!

Eager

This is my final year and I need to jump into it head first! I will be so busy trying to smash my degree, figure out what I will be doing after graduation, and balance my extracurriculars and part time work! However, working 7 days a week this summer has taught me that I thrive when I keep busy. When I am busy, my days have a solid structure and I do not have time to over-think or dwell on events which have occurred in the past. I can't wait to get back to the grind of university and I can't wait to see what the future brings!

If you're in education, how are you approaching this coming year? x

Friday, 3 August 2018

Photo by Brandon Lopez on Unsplash

Lately, I've been feeling so cluttered. Not only in my surroundings but also in my mind. There is so much going on at once that it can feel so overwhelming and so easy to lose track of what is going on around me. I decided that I needed to have a proper life declutter, both for my surroundings and mind. Here's what I've been doing to tackle all this decluttering!

Digital

I've had most of my digital devices for years, and there has been such a buildup of files and browser bookmarks! On my phone, I have way too many apps which I never use and are just sitting there taking up precious memory. On my laptop, I have deleted a lot of lecture slides from previous years and pretty much cleared out my downloads folder, the source of most of my anguish. I have reorganised the files on my desktop and moved a lot of them to an external hard drive for storage, rather than letting them clog up my laptop. On my phone, I have deleted all the apps that I don't get anything from anymore. These are games that I haven't played in months and apps for media players that I don't watch anything on (eg. NowTV). Now, my desktop and phone are so much clearer and I only keep what I use. It is less stressful finding files and apps and I have freed up tonnes of memory!

I have also done a complete overhaul of my scheduling and general productivity habits. I use Google Calendar for all my planning and scheduling since it's so easy to organise my days into blocks of time and keep track of everything I have planned during the week. I have been storing and creating my files on Google Drive and I have reorganised all my folders in this. I have stopped using the social media that I don't enjoy and I have pretty much simplified all of my digital day-to-day activities.

Clothing

Who else is completely guilty of hoarding clothes that you never wear? I definitely am! However, when I moved to my new flat and I was unpacking my clothes, I realised that I had way too many items that I don't really like or enjoy wearing that much. So as I was unpacking, I bagged up a good portion of my clothes to donate and I also threw away some old tatty underwear. Decluttering your clothes leaves lots of space for new clothes, but I'm on a spending ban so I'm just learning to appreciate the clothes that I have kept a bit more. I am getting more use out of everything I have kept and I feel better about clothes shopping whenever I do decide to treat myself!

Surfaces and surroundings

Clutter. Clutter everywhere! In my old room in my student house, all my surfaces were completely covered and it made my space feel so claustrophobic and messy all the time! I hated it and always blamed it on the fact I didn't have a lot of space in the first place. Nope, I just owned a lot of pointless stuff that was cluttering up my room and making it feel crowded. Now that I have donated and thrown away a lot of stuff that I don't particularly love, my space looks so much tidier and is way easier to clean! I have realised that clutter makes me super stressed and I would rather own less and be tidy than own lots and let all my items completely take over! Now, everything has its place and is neatly stored exactly where I know to find it.

Walls

I loved all the posters on the walls of my student house room! I had so many and they all represented something about me. However, when I was moving and I took them all down, I realised how much I love plainer walls and how much lighter the space became when there wasn't so much covering the walls. In my new place, I have a couple of small items hanging on my wall and three beautiful prints by Jessica Gutteridge. My rooms feel so light and open and I love it!

Products

I own too many skincare products. However, I have not bought any lately and I have been working my way through everything I already own. The box that I use to store my skincare and body care products used to be very full but now it is looking pretty empty and I have been able to try out all the products and figure out what works with my skin best. Not having all those products all over the place has really decluttered my space and I know exactly what to repurchase when my spending ban is over!

Mind

Finally, I have been taking steps to sort through my thoughts and declutter my mind! I have been journalling more again and getting all my pent-up feelings down on paper. It's a weight off my chest and I like to look back through the pages and see how I have progressed into a better place due to counselling, medication and other factors. I have also started exercising more. When I am working out, nothing is on my mind and I am just focussed on the task at hand, which is so refreshing! I am hoping to get back into running next and clear my mind in the outdoors!

Have you been doing any life decluttering lately? x

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

I've been a student for a good amount of years now and I've constantly searched for new ways to get productive throughout my time as a student, be that at high school, college or university! I have gathered a lot of tips, tricks and techniques over this period of time and I am so excited to share these with you! Before I set up this blog, I used to run a study blog over on Tumblr and I really learned a lot about productivity from this experience, as well as from studying and trying different things for myself!

There are so many great productivity apps on the market and so much choice that it can be hard to see which ones actually work and help you to get productive! I have tried and tested so many apps and I have finally settled on my handful of staple productivity apps, which I keep in a folder on my phone for those study/work days!

Forest

If you haven't heard of Forest, it is an incredibly popular app on the app store and possibly the cutest productivity app out there! It asks you to choose an amount of time that you want to focus for (I always go for 25 minutes as per the Pomodoro technique) and it plants a lil tree for you. As long as you do not go on your phone and exit the app for this length of time, the tree will grow. If you go on your phone and procrastinate, the tree dies and you are left with a dead little tree in your forest. It's a fun and cute way to get productive!

You can download Forest on the App Store HERE and the Google Play store HERE. There is also a Chrome browser button that you can download if the app isn't your cup of tea!


Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Keep

The Google apps are incredibly useful! I use Google Drive for absolutely everything, from all my lecture notes to drafts of my blog posts and my peer support work! It makes it so easy to keep all your work backed up and also to work collaboratively with the ability to share folders and work on the same file at the same time as others! Having all of your work easily accessible on your phone through Google's handy apps means that you can work on anything on the go and you have access to so much information at your fingertips! For example, in the lead up to exams I like to read through my lecture notes on my phone when i'm on public transport, in a waiting room or on breaks in work! It's just so useful!


Priority Matrix

I have tried so many to-do list apps and none have been quite like Priority Matrix. This app allows you to divide up your to-do list however you want and allows you to change the sizes of each section when you are focussing on one more than the other. There are so many tools in this app and I feel like i've only scratched the surface!


Pinterest/Tumblr

Sometimes what you need to access is some inspiration! Pinterest is pretty much automatic for me when I need this! My dashboard is full of self-care quotes, career inspo and productivity tips. Depending on what you pin, your dashboard will be full of what you need to see! This is why I love Pinterest! You can follow my boards HERE for lots of self-care inspiration and career motivation!

Tumblr can also be a great destination when you need some inspiration. I use Tumblr mostly for study inspiration! The tags 'studyblr' and 'studyspo' are full of tips, tricks and advice for students! I ran a Studyblr blog for a handful of years and it definitely helped me to get to university! Now, I focus all my time on this blog but Studyblr does hold a special place in my heart!


Other great apps:
  • Quizlet - a great app for students who are trying to revise!
  • Canva - for making great graphics on the go!
  • Google Calendar - gotta have a good calendar!
  • To-Do - simpler than Priority Matrix!
  • Dictionary - you never know when you'll need it!


Blogs

Blogs are full of great advice and some of the best productivity and self-improvement advice I have been able to find in my quest for productivity tips! This is a list of some of my favourite blogs for this kind of advice:

Here are also some of my favourite individual productivity posts, if you want to find something to read quickly to get you into a productive state of mind:

YouTube

Just like with blogs, sometimes the best advice I can find comes from YouTubers! There are so many channels dedicated to self-improvement and they have a wealth of advice for productivity! Here are some of my favourite channels:


White Noise 

When I want to get properly in the zone, I listen to white noise instead of music. I have tried to listen to every genre of music while studying but they all end up distracting me! White noise is great because it blocks out the sounds of your surroundings but doesn't distract you in the process! It's also super calming so really helps with my anxiety, especially when super stressed about exams and deadlines! Here are a few of the best white noise generators out there:

  • Rainy Mood - A lovely rainfall sound to accompany music or just to blur out your surroundings
  • Coffitivity - Cafe sounds which will make you feel like you're out and about being all productive around other people

Grammarly

Grammarly is perhaps my favourite tool on this list as it makes writing so easy, especially when my head is all foggy from stress and I can barely get the words out! It checks your spelling, punctuation and grammar as you write and makes proofreading your work so simple and easy! I have to write to deadlines a lot as a student and Grammarly boosts my confidence about my quality of work whenever I end up submitting it!

Google drive

I have already mentioned Google Drive in the apps section of this post but I need to mention the web version too! I do everything on Google Drive and honestly, I do not know what I would do without it! I have been using it non-stop since the start of college and it has saved my ass countless times since the large storage capacity allows me to use it to back up all of my work! Trust me, give it a go!


My music taste generally is very varied, but I tend to stick to two different study playlists; one of my own and one on a YouTube livestream. However, I have hunted down a few different ones for you, including some of the playlists I used to study for my A Levels with.

Lo-Fi study music

One thing that I discovered when studying in uni is lo-fi study music, which is all over YouTube. This livestream (HERE) is the one I tend to always go for and Chillhop have also put together the playlist on Spotify (HERE). You can check out the other Chillhop playlists (HERE); they're all fab to study to!

This lo-fi hip hop playlist by ChilledCow is also fab if you want to switch it up a bit!

My playlist

For this post, i've put together a list of the songs I most frequently listen to when i'm studying. They're all classical pieces which I find help me to concentrate the most. I like to pair up this playlist with Rainy Mood to really get a good atmosphere going!


Other playlists




I am a massive fan of finding printables for every occasion, particularly for studying and productivity! I have searched the internet for some free printables and compiled a little list for you! I will keep updating this whenever I find any more great materials!




Just to round off this slightly long post, I just wanted to share a short list of tips which have helped me when I have been lacking a bit of productivity in my life! We all have the capability to be productive and get shit done, it's just harder for some people. My mental health struggles have meant that it has been so hard to be productive sometimes, but while I can't keep up with life sometimes, it really stops for nobody and sometimes we need to look outside ourselves for motivation and inspiration to get back up and keep going.

Make productivity plans

When I can't push myself to get out of bed and get anything done, I turn to others to motivate me. I make plans to push me out of bed from fear of letting somebody down, rather than just myself. If I plan to meet somebody at the library, I will go just so I don't leave them waiting. Book study spaces at the library, arrange a time to meet somebody at a cafe, arrange appointments when you know that once you're out of the house you will be more likely to go to the library afterwards.

To-do lists

I'm talking physical, on paper to-do lists. You can't just delete items and watch them disappear when you don't want to do them. Write in pen and make it neat. You won't want to put a harsh line through the writing, you'll want to check the item off the list! It's the most satisfying feeling ever!

Take breaks

What's better: studying solidly for a couple of hours before burning out and giving up, or studying for longer but with regular breaks? I'd say the latter. Whatever task you're trying to get done, make sure to break it up into chunks and have breaks! This is why I love the Pomodoro method of studying so much. It makes studying so much more manageable and less daunting! Plus, with regular breaks you are more likely to retain the information you're taking in!

What are your productivity tips?x


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