Top Tips For Starting University

Lifestyle

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It’s still crazy to me that I’ve completed an entire year at university. Thinking back to this time last year, I was super excited to branch out into the world and make my own little home and community somewhere else to where I’d grown up. Whilst I was mostly excited and curious as to what university life had to offer me, I cannot lie and say that I wasn’t a little bit scared. I have a lot of friends who are the academic year below me and a few have asked me questions or have wanted some tips on what to do/not to do when starting university. I thought I’d share some of my tips with anyone who is interested (these tips are not proven facts but they worked for me and I’m still – just about – alive)…

1- Take a door stop

This is actually a piece of advice I received myself before I started university last year. Whilst it may initially seem like a silly little thing, having a door stop means you can keep your door propped open (especially during the first few weeks) which makes you appear more sociable and approachable to your flat. Even if they just pop in and say ‘hey’ on their way to the kitchen, it may lead to some conversations that start to cement your friendship.

2 – During Freshers’ Week, take every opportunity

As much as it nearly killed me off, Freshers’ Week was still one of the highlights of my first year. I went out to every event which, yes, my health eventually paid for but it was so worth it because of all the friends and memories I made. Also, if your university organises talks or activities in the day GO AND DO THEM!!!! You will honestly regret sitting in your room having not participated in any of these things. Even if they turn out to be rubbish, at least you’ve tried them.

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3 – A mattress topper will save your life

It’s a known fact that university beds are pretty much made from the hardest stone imaginable (slightly dramatic). The best thing I did was take a memory foam mattress topper which took my bed’s comfort rating from a (generous) 3/10 to a solid 8. Trust me on this one.

4 – Plan your meals in advance

If you’re non-catered, the best piece of advice I can give to you is to plan your meals ahead of time. The amount of times I had a late rehearsal then went back to an empty fridge was pretty devo. It then means you’re ‘forced’ to order a takeaway which isn’t great for your health or your bank account (let me tell you, once this becomes a habit it’s a very slippery slope lol).

5 – Join a society

During my first year, I joined Theatre Society and Musical Theatre Society. MT honestly was a saving grace last year and so many of my closest friends were made because of it. Joining a society gives you such a sense of community and belonging (especially if you’re living far away from home) so I would 100% recommend it. It also opens up friendships with people other than those on your course so you’re widening your circle as well as having a good time bonding over a subject you all enjoy.

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6 – Download the Spoons app

There is no doubt that when going out, your night will involve a Spoons at some point. Having the app was a life-saver for me as it meant you could scout a table as soon as you got inside and didn’t have to battle the queue. Also, I’m lazy so I like my alcohol being brought to me lol.

7 – Have funnnnnn

Probably not the wisest piece of advice I’ll ever give, but having fun was a big priority for me during my first year. On my course, I only needed to PASS the year (gaining over 40% in each module) to carry on so – as much as I still worked hard – I did sometimes prioritise being sociable and going out over doing work. I’m not telling you to disregard any work that you have but if you’re missing out on forming new friendships or making memories then I think, in the long run, that will be a lot more damaging to your university experience than starting an essay a little bit later than planned. What I’m saying is, if your friends invite you to the pub…GO TO THE PUB!

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8 – Get used to having limited sleep

As much as you may be sat there reading this thinking ‘there is no way I’ll be going out until 4 in the morning when I have a 9am lecture the next day‘…trust me. You will.

9 – Bond with your flat

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to put time and effort into bonding with your flatmates. I was fortunate enough to absolutely love everyone I was living with and I think a huge part of that stemmed from how much time we spent together during Freshers. Throughout the year, we’d make an effort to have flat dinners and game nights. It’s definitely beneficial if you feel comfortable and ‘at home’ with your flatmates as you’re living together for at least a year. Even if there are a few people you don’t get along with so well, there is no harm in making a bit of extra effort with them to make your living space feel more welcoming and homely.

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10 – Be yourself

University is the time when you really discover yourself (without sounding like I’m trying to be Gandhi). You make lifelong friends and decide how you’re going to shape the rest of your life. The only way you can truly be happy doing this is to be yourself. You’ll find friends who are equally as weird as you (if not weirder) and you’ll eventually fall onto your own little path so there is no point trying to be somebody that you’re not along the way.

I wish everyone starting university this year soooo much luck. It honestly is the best time ever!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

A Little Fitness Update

Fitness, Lifestyle

If you’ve read my Getting Fit (And Staying Fit) blog post, you’ll know that one of my main resolutions this year was to lead a healthier lifestyle. I cannot lie to you, attending university was not the best thing that has ever happened to my physical health. I was non-catered during my first year (which meant I had to cook for myself) which I was absolutely fine with. I’ve been brought up in a family who eat relatively healthily and because I was cooking meals for myself that I’d cooked before at home, I wasn’t eating badly. However, due to socialising and fitting into the ‘university lifestyle’, I was drinking alcohol more regularly than I had been whilst living at home. Alongside this, I started eating out more. Not because I was too lazy or couldn’t be bothered to cook, but honestly because it was the more social thing to do.

All of this considered, I gained a few unwanted pounds. I ended up going from a dress-size 8 on my bottom half to a 10. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with being a size 10. What I’m saying is I wasn’t HAPPY with the way I looked or felt. I was starting to feel unhealthy. So, when I finally had some free time over what has been an insanely crazy summer, I decided to join my local gym. I was pretty nervous about joining as, quite honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. The closest I’d ever come to working out was watching fitness videos on YouTube and trying to recreate them from the confines of my bedroom (which was never successful lol). I had no idea how to use any of the machines and I felt a little bit self-conscious that I would stick out like a sore thumb.

Once I got there though, I realised everyone was in the same boat. There were such a variety of people trying to get on with their own thing that they, quite frankly, couldn’t care less what I was doing. Once one of my friends showed me how to use all of the machines (although they are pretty self-explanatory if you’re planning on venturing to the gym alone) I was ready to start shifting the pounds.

I got into a pretty good routine of going to the gym around four times a week over a four week span. I varied between focusing on cardio, upper and lower body but if I’m being honest, started to favour my cardio workouts as those were the times I felt as if the exercise was actually doing something. I altered my diet, but only slightly, by substituting a lot of the carbs I would normally eat for salad. For example, I’d come back from the gym and eat a chicken salad rather than chicken and chips. If I was really hungry, I’d have some rice too to rebuild some of the energy I had lost. Over these four weeks, I started to feel a lot healthier and happier in my daily life. I’m a pretty positive person most of the time anyway, but I definitely felt a change in my mindset once I started exercising regularly and eating properly.

Alongside the gym, I was also interested in researching healthy living, wanting to discover which foods are best for burning fats in different areas, for example. A useful website that I came across and have been using ever since is Diet Spotlight. This website is full of factual information but also has reviews of products and meal replacements, so you can see if something is worth buying. I was particularly interested in toning my stomach, so their page on Belly Fat was really useful to me. It includes a lot of information regarding what stomach fat actually is, which helps in understanding how you can start trying to lose it. I would definitely recommend having a little look at this website if you’re interested in leading a healthy lifestyle – I’ve been loving it!!

Due to the small alterations I’ve been making in my life recently, not only have I been feeling good, I’ve had some positive physical results. I’ve managed to drop a whole dress size!!! Which is great because I wasn’t planning on dropping sizes at all but is also kind of annoying as now a lot of my clothes don’t fit me (and I don’t need any more excuses to keep shopping!!!). In the four weeks I was gymming, I toned up my stomach more than I thought possible in such a short space of time and now I can’t wait to get back to uni so I can get back into a routine with the gym. It’s been difficult as I’ve been super busy this summer but once I get back to uni, I know I’ll be going a lot more again.

I’ll update you guys in another couple of months hopefully to say that I’m looking and feeling FAB (we can hope).

G X

Instagram:  @geeheasel

Let’s Talk About IBS

health, Lifestyle

Untitled-3Disclaimer: Due to the nature of IBS, this post will contain talks of toilets/going to the toilet/feeling ill. Although this post will not be graphic or explicit in the slightest, if you feel offended by or dislike reading about these topics then please don’t read on. But if you’re completely unbothered, like myself, then grab a cuppa and get comfortable. This may be a looooong one. Also, this is a very personal matter that I’m a little nervous about posting on here so please be respectful (I am a very gentle soul hahahaha). 

When I started blogging a little over 3 years ago, I never in a million years dreamed that I’d one day be sat writing a post about my problematic stomach. It’s not something I’ve ever felt comfortable sharing with people I know, let alone the internet. But, in my 2017 ‘go-me’ year, I’ve decided to share my little story with whoever wants to listen.

I just want to start off by saying this is in no way a post vouching for sympathy or me trying to play the victim. I know there are people out there in the world suffering daily with conditions and situations a lot worse than my own but I thought it may be helpful to shed insight into a condition that is relatively ‘taboo’ and rarely discussed due to its nature.

This entire post may come as a complete shock to even some of my extremely close friends as it’s a topic I rarely speak about and is easy to conceal as it’s not a visible disorder. So, to the ignorant eye I look completely ‘healthy’. For those of you who are unaware, IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Rather than me completely butchering an explanation of what IBS entails, I’m going to copy and paste some information from the NHS website as I am no doctor and am likely to misinform everybody (lol).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.
The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.
IBS usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.
The condition is often lifelong, although it may improve over several years.

That pretty much sums up the main points about the condition, in very general terms. As it states above, the levels of IBS a person can suffer from vary A LOT. If I had to put myself on a scale of the severity of my IBS (1 being extremely mild and 10 being unmanageable) I would say currently I’m at a 5. So, in the grand scheme of the syndrome, there are individuals a lot worse off than me. However, there have been periods in my life where this number would be rated higher, but over the years I have learned to manage my stomach slightly better, which I’ll go onto later. It is also a chronic condition, meaning I’ll likely never be ‘cured’ and because of this, have learned how to deal with it by managing my diet and levels of stress.

I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t suffer from IBS but I’m pretty sure I was diagnosed around the age of 9 or 10. I’d been suffering with really bad stomach pains non-stop for weeks on end so I eventually visited the doctors where I was told I had what seemed to be IBS. At first the doctors were unsure, as IBS is not as common in children as young as I was at the time but they eventually concluded that’s what it was.

Over the years, my experience with IBS has varied. As stated on the NHS website, the symptoms tend to come and go over a period of days or weeks. This made it difficult when I first discovered I was suffering from IBS as I kept thinking I was miraculously ‘cured’ if I went without stomach aches for a couple of weeks, only for them to come back with a vengeance a few days later. (*May get a bit graphic here so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read on*). The general symptoms that I suffer from are mainly stomach cramps. But honestly, writing down my symptoms as two small words does them no justice. When I say cramps, I mean an unbearable sharp twisting feeling that spreads through my entire stomach. Although I can be a drama queen at times (ok, a lot of the time), hand-on-my-heart I’m telling you the pain can be excruciating. It’s as if someone is reaching into your stomach and squeezing and twisting as hard as they can, not letting go. That’s the only way I can describe it. The stomach pains cause me to incessantly shake whilst draining all of my energy. Whilst it is true that to relieve some of the pain, it helps to go to the toilet, my personal battle is more with my stomach and not with the toilet (lol). One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s a condition where you’re ‘always on the toilet’ because it is so much more than that.

I’ve been on two different types of medication for my IBS. One of which, made my symptoms a lot worse so I was not loving life at all. Whilst the second lot of tablets I was taking didn’t make me feel worse, they didn’t really make me feel better either. I ended up giving up my medication because I hated taking the tablets and they weren’t really helping a gal out anyway.

My worst experience with IBS had to be when I was around 14. I’d gone to watch my brother in a school performance with my Dad and one of my friends. By this point, I’d learned to sense when a stomach ache was coming and I was feeling slightly off in the car on the way there. Whilst I was queueing to get into the venue, the stomach ache came out of nowhere and I knew I needed to get home ASAP. The car journey on the way home was, honestly, probably the worst 20 minutes of my life. So much so, I made my dad pull over on an extremely busy main road as I needed to get out of the car. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’d become so bloated out of nowhere and I was working my way into some form of panic attack. I was crying hysterically, trying so hard to breathe but the pain was absolutely awful. I’ve never experienced anything like it since.

The side of IBS that is rarely talked about is the psychological side and that’s something that I really wanted to touch upon in this post. The main period in time where my condition was at its worst was between the ages of 13-16 years. The reason for this is that a lot of my stomach aches were brought upon by myself. No, I don’t have magic stomach-ache giving powers (although that would be sick, excuse the pun), but I brought them on by putting myself under unnecessary stress. Stress is a common cause of increasing and heightening symptoms of IBS so I was unknowingly making the condition worse for myself. The reason I was getting so stressed out is because I didn’t want people to know that I had IBS. I was a 13 – year – old girl with a stomach condition related to the toilet. No-one wants to casually bring that up in conversation with their friends on the playground!! I was really embarrassed that people would find out and laugh about it. I dreaded being invited round to my friend’s houses for dinner as, at the time, I had no control or no knowledge over when a stomach ache would occur. The last thing I’d want was to get one whilst I wasn’t at home. It got to the stage where my mom would have to talk to the friend’s parents and inform them that I had a sensitive stomach so shouldn’t be eating large portions of food. I was MORTIFIED. I remember going round to an old friend of mine’s house and their dad spent the whole dinner asking if I was okay or if I needed anything. A lot of the time, because I’d be constantly worrying about if I was going to get a stomach or not, being stressed whilst I was eating a meal would cause me to have a stomach ache anyway. It was a really vicious cycle for a long old while.

FINALLY, onto some positives (well, as positive as you can be about this subject). After around 9 years of dealing with IBS, I’m finally starting to learn how to deal with and control it. For a long time, I felt as if the IBS controlled me but your gal has come out on top!! So much so, that when I told some of my university friends that I’d been living with in halls, they said they never would have known. I’ve discovered which foods it is that tend to trigger my IBS (red meat is a KILLER!!!!) so obviously try to avoid those at all costs. There are certain situations where I can’t always avoid eating these foods but extremely small portions tend to be okay. Talking about portions, I don’t tend to eat a lot in one sitting. I’m more of a snacker-throughout-the-day than a big 3 meal eater. I found, at the beginning, I’d put a lot of pressure on myself to eat the ‘normal, recommended’ 3 meals a day but I know my body. I work best eating a little snack for breakfast (a piece of fruit, or a cereal bar) eating a medium-sized lunch and then a small dinner. It’s actually a running joke between me and some of my friends because I physically cannot eat a lot of food without feeling ill. So I’ll always serve myself loads of food at dinner time (because I’m starving!!!) then 5 mouthfuls in will be suddenly full. Another thing that triggers my IBS to make a little appearance is not eating at regular times. For example, if I go on holiday and am flying at 5 in the morning, I’ll be waking up at 3 and eating food, which my body isn’t used to. Once my stomach has been thrown off, it will be bad for the entire day which means I’ll be feeling ill until it sorts itself out.

Honestly, now I’ve learned how to cope with my IBS, I see it as more of an inconvenience than a condition. It no longer dictates how I live my life. For the longest time, I struggled so much because I LOVE FOOD. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that. I could never pick just one favourite dish as I love all food so much. So, having a condition where it was food causing me to feel so unwell was really difficult. Also, not to mention, we kind of need to eat to, you know, SURVIVE. For me, it’s been all about finding the balance.

To anyone struggling with, or feeling as if they are struggling with IBS or anything similar, my biggest piece of advice is to stay calm. The worst thing you can do, especially when you’re experiencing a stomach ache, is to cry or start to stress out as it only makes things worse. Take deep, long breaths to help the pain subside as, unfortunately, you just have to ride it out. You’ve got this. There is little that can be done to prevent it but I’ve found having a calm and positive mindset really helps in avoiding making the symptoms worse. Of course, I still have bad days!! I get nervous when eating out with new people for the first time or eating at a new restaurant as I don’t know how my stomach will react. It’s completely a trial and error situation. My stomach might be fine with roast potatoes one day, but may react badly to them on another day. I usually just have to play it by ear. To try and limit the possibility of flaring up my IBS, I tend to eat similar foods or eat out at similar places. All my friends know I bloody love a Nando’s and one of the main reasons for this is that it’s fine for my stomach. It’s just a constant learning curve and I’m only able to discover what works and doesn’t work through many mistakes (and stomach aches lol).

I’m sorry this wasn’t like what I usually post but I wanted to gain some exposure for IBS as it’s actually a lot more common than you think, affecting 1 in 5 people over the course of their lifetime. If you’re suffering from IBS or just want to learn more about it, I’ll link some useful websites down below. Thanks for reading my little story!!

G X

NHS WEBSITE

IBS TRIGGERS

 

 

Bicester Village: Mini Haul

fashion, Lifestyle

I am sat here, yet again, wondering why I spend money like it’s going out of fashion; I have a serious problem. Visiting Bicester Village, on what was supposed to be a ‘let’s just see if there is anything nice and then leave without spending any money’ trip, I ended up making a few little purchases (absolutely no shock to anybody).

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First of all, I picked up two products from The Cosmetics Company Store. I decided to try the Clinique Superprimer (“colour corrects redness”). I picked this up as I’m yet to actually purchase a high-end primer and I’ve used Clinique skincare products before (and loved them). Also, I sometimes get red patchy areas on my face so wanted to check out if it actually cancels out any redness. This product retails at £22.00 but I managed to snag it for £15.50 (yaaaaas I know, go on gal)!!!!!

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Next, I was on the hunt for a lip gloss and the Bobbi Brown ones immediately caught my eye. I knew I wanted a light coloured gloss so ended up choosing the shade 11 – Almost Nude which is a gorg light nude. Another steal: the original price of this product was £19.50 and I paid £13.75. I am all about that discount!!!

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Finally was my last and favourite purchase. This was definitely not something I needed but there was no way on Earth I could have left the shop without this…I actually ended up buying myself another Kate Spade bag!!! It’s the most adorable little rucksack I have ever seen in my entire existence. I’ve never really been into the whole rucksack trend but I honestly now feel like my entire life has changed (maybe slightly dramatic). I literally CANNOT get over how cute the print is, the size is and just how freaking adorable the entire bag is. It’s the perfect size to fit my purse, phone and lipstick in. It’s official. I’m in love with a bag. Real love.

So those were all my buys from Bicester. I promise I did pretty well not buying anything else (I was very tempted!!!) so I’m going to give myself a little pat on the back for that. I do think that my bank can rest easy for a while as I’m putting myself on a shopping ban until further notice…(unsure how long this will last)…

G X

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Awards, Lifestyle

sunshine-blogger-award.jpgHi friends!

The lovely Stephanie Grace has nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award, which I am super super grateful for. Thank you so much!!

The rules of the award are as follows:

  •  Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask 11 new questions for them.
  • Finally list the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo somewhere in the post.

 

Stephanie’s Questions:

In terms of style, makeup and design what are your favourite aesthetics and trends you love to follow?

When it comes to style and makeup particularly, I tend not to place myself into one ‘bracket’. I like following trends and discovering what is ‘in’ and ‘out’ with each season. I guess this means I don’t really have a ‘style’ but if I had to describe a typical outfit of mine, it would be something pretty similar to this:

  • A striped, oversized t-shirt or baggy cropped sweatshirt tucked into a mini-skirt (some form of coloured-denim) and an oversized denim jacket. Footwear is pretty much always trainers.

Tell me one thing you’d love to tick off your bucket list?

Number one on my bucket list is to perform on a West End stage.

Do you have any interesting family traditions?

My family don’t really have many traditions, the only one that springs to mind I think is pretty standard: on our birthdays we get to choose all 3 meals that we are eating…because maaaaan we like to eat.

Favourite song at the moment?

Hmmm…I’d have to say either ‘The Moments I’m Missing’ by Nina Nesbitt or ‘Lost On You’ by Lewis Capaldi.

What is your comfort food of choice?

Jaffa Cakes. Always.

What is the worst film you’ve ever watched?

I actually tend to enjoy most films and haven’t seen a bad one in a while. But I don’t really like any super old films that are in black and white.

Do you ever wear lashes? If not tell me why? If you do what are your favourite pair?

Yesssssss. I am such a lash lover. My favourite pair have to be my ‘Flutter’ lashes from Unicorn Lashes. You can read my review of them here.

If you could re-design your bedroom what would be your colour scheme?

I’ve actually recently had my bedroom redecorated; I went with a grey, black and white theme which I love!!
Favourite brand of makeup and why?

I feel like this requires a drug-store and a high-end answer. For drug-store, I would probably have to say Makeup Revolution as their highlighters CHANGE LIVES. High-end wise I’m going to say ABH as I am yet to try a product that I do not like.
How did you meet your very best friend?

I’m fortunate enough to have a few different groups of extremely close friends. I have my friends from high school (who I obviously met at high school), my university friends (again, met at university) and my friends I’ve met through musical theatre (who, to be honest, have become more like family). Honestly, I’m so lucky to have so many amazing, supportive people in my life.
Tell me something else about you! (can be absolutely anything)

My favourite place in the world is New York City. If I’m not living there by the time I’m 30, something has gone seriously wrong…

I’m going to nominate the last 11 bloggers that commented on my posts. So they are:

And my 11 questions to you beauties are:

1- What would be your ideal 3 course meal?

2- Favourite drug-store product?

3- Favourite high-end product?

4- Top skincare brand?

5- Most over-hyped product you’ve bought?

6- Describe a typical outfit of yours.

7- Top 3 shows on Netflix?

8- Why did you start blogging?

9- The blog post you are most proud of.

10- Your party trick?

11- Favourite makeup brush?

 

So there we go. I hope you enjoy answering these questions – I can’t wait to read your responses!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

My 19th Birthday

fashion, Lifestyle

Honestly, I was slightly underwhelmed to be turning 19. Last year, I think I arguably had the most epic 18th birthday celebrations (shoutout to the legends that are my parents) so there was no way this year could top that. Nonetheless, I am a birthday lover and get so excited whenever anyone I know has a birthday, so of course I was excited about my own.

My celebrations started a week early with a cute little garden party. My school friends came round and we chilled, listened to Whitney and drank (a substantial amount of) wine. It was so nice be reunited with them all as, due to our busy schedules, we rarely see each other as a complete group so I was super grateful that they all made the effort to come. Although it was deathly cold and I thought I might freeze to death (in the middle of AUGUST!!!!!) it was still a really nice night.

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WHAT I’M WEARING: Floral Playsuit – Missguided – £30.00

I received some of the cutest presents from my family and friends and wanted to share some of my faves with you.

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Firstly, I got a GORG new Kate Spade handbag (which I was definitely not expecting!!!!) in a baby pink colour…I literally nearly screamed when I opened it. I’ve had my eye on the baby pink KS bags for a long while but (obviously) the old student budget wouldn’t take too kindly to me splashing out on one. I have a black and white KS bag which I use all the time so I was honestly so grateful when my mom picked this one out for me!!!

I then got an equally cute checkered skirt from Urban Outfitters which I wore later on for my birthday meal. I’ve really been getting into wearing skirts recently and think this one is so easy to pair with a little t-shirt to create that ‘I-didn’t-really-try-but-still-made-an-effort’ look (which is my general motto for day-to-day life).

A present that I knew I was getting was the ABH Subculture palette (as I ordered it as soon as it came out to make sure it didn’t sell out lol). I used it for the first time yesterday and am definitely planning to share my personal opinion in a blog post – coming very soon – surrounding all the controversy.

My all-time favourite musical is Wicked and has been since I was young. This past week I was fortunate enough to play Elphaba in my old MT company’s production of the show. My entire family loves the show too so when my mom found out about the 2018 tour of Wicked, she surprised me with tickets (yayyyyyy)!!!!!

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WHAT I’M WEARING: Top & Skirt – Urban Outfitters / Handbag – Kate Spade / Sliders – Public Desire – £19.99

I went for a lovely meal with my family at one of my favourite restaurants which was super nice. We then came home and watched ‘SING’ because, as you can probably tell, I’m an extremely wild soul. All in all, I had the best time and am very grateful to my family and friends for making it so good. They are the best.

G X

 

19 Things I’ve Learned

Lifestyle

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Two weeks today marks my 19th birthday. In light of this, I thought I’d post something a little bit different, sharing some of the most important things I’ve learned so far during the short time I’ve been around. Some have been self-taught, others a result of another person and the rest I can put down to experiencing life in general.

1) Life is too short

This lesson is by far the most important to me, which is why I’ve placed it at number one. It tends to be through sad events that this is learned by the majority but I have found that once you start incorporating this mantra into your daily life, something changes. Whether you take more risks, or bite your tongue in situations you wouldn’t have previously, I’ve found life so much of a more positive place to be since learning this lesson.

2) Eat the cake

You burn almost 1500 calories a day by sitting on your bed doing nothing. Eat the slice of cake and don’t feel guilty.

3) Boys can be mean and hurt your heart

A slightly less happy point, but super relevant and most definitely a lesson I have learned. Boys lie and say things they don’t really mean, fact. But part of growing up and emotionally maturing is learning how to handle yourselves in situations where you’ve been treated in ways you’d never dream of treating someone else.

4) Girls can be mean and hurt your heart

Not to be sexist (yes to feminism!!!) girls can be equally as bad. Some of the times I’ve felt the most hurt and betrayed have been by friends in the heat of an argument, or other girls who live for the drama.

5) No matter how hard I try to prevent it, I will always end up pushing ‘pull’ doors and pulling ‘push’ doors

I am super uncool and doors will always be the biggest struggle in my life.

6) I love sharing the love

Day-to-day, I am the least soppy and most sarcastic person but I looooove my friends, so I tell them.  You will always see me commenting ‘OH MY GOD YOU ARE AMAZING’ or anything of that over-excited variety on any selfies or just generally texting them harassing them with my love. I think it’s super important that people know how much you appreciate them.

7) I have weird eating habits

If you ask any of my friends who I have been out for food with what my weirdest habit is, they will all say the same thing: chips. Whenever I order chips (which, let’s be real, is a lot of the time) I inspect all of them individually before eating them; if any have brown or green potato-ey bits on them I cannot even look at them, let alone eat them. I take them all off my plate and either give them to a willing friend (yes, Matthew I am talking about you) or hide them so I can’t see them. Don’t ask me why.

8) DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYEBROWS UNTIL YOU ARE AT LEAST 16 AND VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT HOW TO USE TWEEZERS

Arguably the most important lesson I have learned in my life. 13 year old me decided to get confident with a pair of tweezers and 10 minutes later was practically eyebrow-less. 5 YEARS LATER, I am still paying for my mistake. So thanks younger me, keep shining.

9) High heels are not for me

I’m a trainer girl through and through. Whilst this doesn’t exactly help my 5ft 2 frame, I would much rather not be able to see in a crowd than be wanting to have my feet amputated after 10 minutes of a night out.

10) Always treat others how you wish to be treated

My dad will be super happy that I’ve included this as it’s a motto he has worked very hard to drill into the heads of my brothers and me. I’ve always been hit with the question ‘how would you feel if someone did that to you?’ and it has definitely stuck. However this lesson has also taught me not to expect too much from other people. Just because I would do something or behave in a certain way, it doesn’t mean someone else holds the same values or morals. That one I have learned the hard way.

11) Musical theatre is the love of my life

Nothing makes me happier than seeing theatre or performing myself. There is something so magical in it that words can never describe. Also, an original Broadway cast soundtrack can never let you down like boys can.

12) Social media lives are NOT real lives

This is definitely something I have to keep reminding myself every now and then, especially whilst scrolling down the ‘Explore’ feed on Instagram. Nobody is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect. Someone’s social media is what they are CHOOSING to publicise, a highlight reel of their life and that is something that should always be remembered.

13) Chicken nuggets and vinegar are a weird but wonderful combination

Try it.

14) ‘Normal’ is BORING

Quirks and uniqueness are what make people interesting. I love people who deviate from the crowd and stand up for their own beliefs or make their own fashion statements. We’re all different and that should be embraced.

15) Being pooed on by a bird DOES NOT bring you good luck

This I know from A LOT of experience. It seems, although I am extremely small, I am a favourite target of birds who are about to excrete. After the traumatic experience(s), I then went on to have the most average weeks of my life so anyone who turns to you and says ‘don’t worry…it’s good luck’ is a pathological liar.

16) Nothing beats a Popworld night out

Perhaps a slightly controversial statement but for me, nothing beats screaming along to ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ or a bit of Whitney with my best friends, not even attempting to brave the bar queue in Popworld. Best nights ever.

17) Age is just a number, maturity is key

This is definitely something I’ve learned since going to university. Whilst there are certain situations where I don’t agree with this statement (underage situs) and those weird Year 11/Year 9 ‘relationships’ we all witnessed in high school, it generally proves true. Two of my closest friends are 17 and 21 and honestly I cannot tell the difference when I’m with them.

18) Whilst I am relatively book-smart, I have absolutely no common sense

I always worked hard at school, being a self-proclaimed perfectionist, but in general day-to-day life I tend to fail at pretty much everything. Cooking dinner? Forgot I turned the oven on. Telling everyone my phone charger is broken? Didn’t have it plugged in at the wall. Bake cakes? Drop them on the floor. I swear I was put on this Earth to supply my friends with a constant supply of entertainment – me walking into things, tripping over or injuring myself.

19) I have THE BEST family and friends

I’m so fortunate to have the most amazing friends and family and that is something I will always be grateful for. My school friends are still my favourite people in the world, my BSS family are a constant stream of support and love and my university friends are the best people. Ever.

Sorry for the extremely rambly, long post (what’s new??) but I hope you enjoyed reading a few things life has taught me so far. What have you learned?

G X

June Faves

beauty, fashion, Faves, GIRLS, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What I Wore: Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings came into my life towards the end of June when I saw two of my friends wearing them and they looked FIT. I’m that annoying person who got my ears pierced at the age of 12 and have never worn earrings since (with the exception of Prom). I would never have dreamed in a million years that I would be a hoop-lover but here I am telling you all that that is the case. I find that they really dress up an outfit and help to frame my face…I honestly do think that anyone could pull them off. In the space of 2 weeks I have bought five pairs, varying in size and colour. They are definitely going to be a staple of my summer wardrobe. Watch this space!!!

What I Watched: Party of Five / Killer Women with Piers Morgan

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This month I’ve been binging on Party of Five on Netflix. The series is essentially about a family of five children who have recently lost their parents, resulting in the oldest sibling (Charlie) having to take on the responsibly of running the family. It’s a relatively old series (I think 90s) and was originally created to take the slot of the OG Beverley Hills: 90210 on Fox in America. It deals with your typical teen drama topics: sex, drugs, family, relationships and sexuality to name a few. Whilst Party of Five is not my favourite show I’ve ever seen, it’s an easy watch which makes it quite enjoyable so I would definitely recommend if you’re in the market for a new Netflix series.

June also saw the return of Piers Morgan’s documentary series ‘Killer Women’. Whilst I realise that Morgan is an extremely controversial figure who I have very little respect for, I bloody love his documentaries…particularly this one. I’ve always been a lover of crime dramas and documentaries, trying to get into the mindset of criminals to figure out why they commit crimes is something that fascinates me. I also love true stories; so this show is perfect for me. Each episode focuses on one case and one ‘killer woman’. It outlines their story interweaving with an interview with Piers in present day. This programme has me hooked so I would 100% recommend!! (Thursdays @ around 9pm).

What I Read: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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I bought a couple of new books in the month of June but this was the one I was most excited about. As a Theatre student, I looooove appreciating different forms of art and have recently become particularly interested in poetry. Rupi Kaur’s collection of poems, broken down into ‘The Hurting’, ‘The Loving’, ‘The Breaking’, ‘The Healing’ is honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve read to date. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that I love about this book but I’ve read it around 5 times already, always finding a new favourite poem. Love love loooooove this!

What I Listened To: Lorde / Bonnie and Clyde

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Oh my god. Lorde’s new album.

When Lorde first came on the scene, I cannot lie, I thought she was extremely overrated. I liked ‘Royals’ for a short while as it was in the charts but I really didn’t get the hype. Then her album dropped and I have been LIVING FOR IT. The songs are just so chill and so perfect for summer whilst also telling beautiful stories. Her sound is so distinctive and I’m turning into a massive fan. My fave songs at the moment are ‘The Louvre’ and ‘Perfect Places’. Definitely make sure to check it out if you haven’t!!!

From an MT point of view, I have been looooving the Bonnie and Clyde soundtrack. Not only are the songs amazing but the soundtrack features Jeremy Jordan as Clyde. I think that says it all. Perfection. My favourite songs are ‘Bonnie’ and ‘How ‘Bout A Dance’.

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What I Used: Collection Lasting Perfection Correction Concealer in ‘Lemon’

As a lover of the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, I was super excited when the colour correcting products were released. I picked up the shade ‘Lemon’ for £4.19 from Superdrug and it has quickly become one of my holy grail products. However, I don’t use this as a colour correcting product; I actually use it to carve out my brows and act as an under-brow highlight. I tend to put a tiny bit of powder highlighter on top of this but having the concealer acting as a base really helps my under-brow highlight to pop even more. I LOOOOOOVE THIS and will never go back to using normal concealer.

What I Did: 

June has actually been pretty crazy. I handed in my final piece of coursework at university which means I AM OFFICIALLY ON SUMMER!!!!!!! I had my Course Ball with all of my friends, went to see The Woman In Black with my gal Allie, went to Windsor, was reunited with my girls at home, performed in MTSoc’s Summer Showcase and went to watch Idina Menzel in concert. More recently, I have been staying in London for some amaaaaazing work experience that I’m super super grateful to have been given the opportunity to do.

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What I’m Wearing: Dress – New Look (£27.99)

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What I’m Wearing: Top – Zara (£4.99) 

I’m looking forward to an equally crazy July!!

G x