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Life

A Winter Survival Guide: Clothing

As promised, this is my Winter clothes survival guide. In the UK, we’ve had some snow and that spawned an idea to write this post. I hail from Derbyshire- more specifically a little ex-coal mining village called Grassmoor. Surrounded by hills, farms and more hills and not far from the peak district, here we are equipped for Winter weather all year round. Mainly because that same Winter gear comes in handy when it’s has rained and that is due to a lot of mud and puddling. Let’s begin.

Wellies and Walking Boots

Whether you own a pair of Hunters, Dunlops, Joules, Barbour, Trespass, Le Chameau, Aigle or any other types of wellies it’d be a good idea to find them out of the dark cupboard you’ve stored them in. That is unless you live in the countryside like I do, because we’ve always got them on. Ideally, everyone should own a good pair of wellies but if not, a pair of walking boots or shoes/boots with good grip will do in a pinch. While we may not get snow every year, it is always icy throughout December so if you’re accident prone or walking the dog invest in some good Winter shoes.

Hat, Gloves and Scarves

Hat and Gloves
Hat and Gloves

Every Christmas your nan gifts to you a new set of hat, gloves and scarves for the coming year. And every year, we cry in unison “I’ve still got last years!” Well, put them to good use. Around November times, the temperature tends to drop and as Winter begins to settle in, it is time to find out the gloves and eventually our hats and scarves. So, that annoyingly useful gift your grandparents buy for you every year, is in fact probably one of the best gifts you’ll get. Especially, if you are prone to losing them every year too. We know who we are…

Winter Coats

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My Winter Gear

I love a thick, fluffy-hooded coat. In fact, I’ve had a new one for Christmas this year seen as my four-year-old cold-weather coat has thinned and is falling to pieces- LITERALLY! I don’t know where one of my press studs buttons is, there are holes all over it and I now get soaked every time it rains. Of course, I do have other coats. I have my short, black, bought from an outdoor shop coat which I’ve had since secondary school. And my fancy orange fitted coat works well in Winter too if it is not raining or snowing. My point is if you don’t already have a good warm, waterproof coat for Winter then I suggest you buy one. It is cold. And I don’t have sympathy for those who moans it’s freezing but only walk around in their jackets and jumpers for protection.

LAYERS!!!

Leaving for work at 5am in the morning, it is FREEZING. So to keep warm, I layer up. Starting with a pair of tights, two pairs of socks and my work trousers. And closely followed by a long sleeve top, a T-Shirt and my Christmas jumper. This is just for inside the house. On top of that, I’ll have my hat and gloves on alongside my trust Winter coat. As my dad says…consistently ” you need to have a good base layer”. And maybe this is because we live in the countryside, it’s common sense or the runner in him- it is actually very good advice. So, layer up if you want to keep warm!

Doc Marts

It's that time of year again!! #docmart #liveinthem #comfy #shoes #docmartshoes

A post shared by Stephanie (@slwatson_10) on

Earlier I spoke about wellies and walking boots, quickly mentioning investing in a pair of shoes with good grip. Well the best footwear for Winter aside from wellies around here is a pair of Doc Martens especially if you need to venture into town on a particularly cold and wet day. Or if you decide to pop to the pub for a couple of pints. These shoes are both practical and stylish this time of year. And I know they can be expensive but, if you buy them they’ll last your years paying your money back in tenfold.

Onesies

onesie

Please don’t wear them outside. I know some people do. This suggestion is to keep warm in your house. Invest in a onesie. They are snug, warm and alright for lazing around in. And a benefit to you and your parents- the nagging about the heating will stop because you’ll already be warm. Plus, you can be any creature- real, mythical or festive you want so head on to Primark and invest.

Thick Socks

If you’ve got walking boots, wellies or Doc Martens then you already own a pair of thick socks. If not, you should invest in them otherwise you’ll be double socking all the time. The only reason I double sock for work is because I don’t think I’d be able to get my work shoes on… Also, they are amazing for keeping your toes warm. You see we have certain areas of our body that are sensitive to touch and one of these areas is the bottom of your feet. Others are the palms of your hand- near your wrist area and the back of your neck. So, if they are warm then your body also tends to warm up. The same goes for Summer when it is boiling and you need to cool down. Stick a flannel on the back of your neck or stick your hands in water and you’ll cool right down.

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*Extra Tip- Stick a pair of socks with those rubber bits on the soles over your shoes and it should stop you slipping all over the place.*

These are just a few suggestions for surviving the Winter weather, if it’s raining, snowing or just frosty. With these few tips, you can’t go wrong with keeping warm and safe. We’ve all got our own tips to survive Winter and it’d be interesting to see what everyone else does. So, please share your tips because odds are somebody will find it useful and adapt it to their own lives.

Stay Safe. Stay Warm. Stay Happy.

 

 

 

 

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Life

Winter is Coming-(fangirling over the GoT reference)- As Are The Christmas Traditions!

Scratch that, Winter is here and in all its glory we’ve actually had a bit of snow before Christmas. The real question is- will it stay? Probably not! But the temperature has begun to drop, it’s getting icier and wetter out in the world. This means one thing, if you hadn’t already got the Winter gear out (like the runner I saw wearing a pair of shorts on his morning run) then it is officially time. I bet you are thinking this post will be about suiting and booting yourself for Winter and I will be writing one tomorrow about that. No! This post is going to be about Christmas traditions, more specifically my family ones plus, a few I’ve adapted whilst living away for University.

1. 12 Days Before Christmas? Time to Put Up The Tree

tree and bauble

In my house, this is always the case and dad has been pretty adamant about this tradition for as long as I remember. It is one of my favourite things about Christmas to decorate the house so, over the last couple years we had to adapt the day because I would be at University and wanted to put the tree up thus, last year it went up a week early because that was the weekend I could come back.

2. The Christmas Specials- Specifically Doctor Who

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Every year we go to my grandparents house for Xmas and since I’ve been old enough to come back home especially as my brother can drive. I do. And always in time for Doctor Who. You see my family don’t like Doctor Who. :0. I know I mean how can you not like it? It’s Doctor Who! But they don’t. They all pull a face at it when I’ve got it on and so, it is just easier to come home and have my own little Christmas Tradition. Doctor Who and a hot chocolate? Yes please! I do like other specials though such as Downton Abbey- when it was on after my Uni mate introduced me to the show, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show- technically shown on Xmas Eve but still I watch it.

3. Christmas Songs

cartoon carolers

I’ve already created a blog post on my favourite Xmas songs and if you click this link you’ll find it. But, the week of Christmas the only songs playing on my iPod are Christmas related and that is the way I like it. It’s just my little build up towards Christmas.

4. Nan’s Christmas Tarts

mince pies

I actually wrote a blog post entitled this last year. Named ‘My Nan’s Christmas Tarts’ it attracted a bit of attention, sometimes creating a blog post to get views is all in the name. Every year, she bakes Christmas tarts- jam and lemon curd- I love the lemon curd ones, and mince pies. They are yummy. I don’t know if she’ll do any this year but, it feels a bit like a Christmas tradition so, maybe it is time for a young, red-head who loves a bit of baking to take up the mantle?

5. Prosecco…

glass of prosecco

While dad and grandad wonder up to the pub on Christmas Day, the girls- myself, mum and nan have a bottle of Prosecco between us to keep us going till Xmas dinner. John doesn’t drink, he is not a fan so he’ll be having some Shloer. We started this last year but, nan liked the idea so much she’s already bought the bottle ready. It’s been in the house since November. So, every year we will be having a glass of Prosecco to start our Christmas off right.

6. Little Christmas Tree Presents

Christmas Present- red spotty paper, green bow, present tag.

I realised this wasn’t a regular every house thing whilst at Secondary school when people didn’t know what the little Christmas tree presents were, and had never received any. At my nan’s we have a small gathering of presents near her dinner table and after the meal we open these presents. So whilst you all play with the gadgets of Christmas morning, in my house you get a second rush opening more presents. And these are things you’ll need for the year such as body sprays, lip balm, make-up, car air freshener, torches, bookmarks etc. This just means we are equipped with those few little bits and bobs that we’ve talked about needing in the year. It is quite handy actually and a tradition I’ll be carrying on in the future.

These are just a few of my own traditions. It is fun to think of how everyone’s Christmas is a little bit different but, equally magical. If you don’t have many traditions find something that you like. Make it your own. And one final thing: Happy Christmas Everyone.

Entertainment, Life

Tis The Season To Be JOLLY…

IT’S CHRISTMAS! Well, not quite but we are counting down the days to one the best HOLIDAYS of the year! If it is anything to go by last year, we won’t have any snow again. Of course, I live in the UK so we pretty much get totally wacky seasons. We could have rain at Christmas and it’ll be February before the snow decides to arrive and make it impossible for everyone to function.

By now, Santa and the Elves are running around his workshop like their hair is on fire. His other helpers? Well, they are tending to Rudolph and his Reindeer friends after last years rush they’ve had to take the year off to recuperate. And Mrs Santa? If she is anything like our mums, wives, girlfriends, aunts etc then shes shouting at Mr Santa for treading snow on the new carpet or because he is late for tea…AGAIN. But, for now we have Christmas songs to keep us going. That’s right people- break out the Xmas CD’s it is time to put your favourite songs on and turn the up to 11. It is definitely my favourite time of the year, Christmas songs add to the ambiance of the season and for that WE thank musicians everywhere. YOUR DA BEST! So, it’s the start of December and the reason I didn’t right a blog post last week is because this one is going to be so big and it took a couple weeks to get some research together. Thank god for social media! I’ve been asking family, friends and their friends alongside social media for your favourite Christmas songs and here is the list. So get your dancing shoes on!

  1.    Merry Christmas Everybody- Slade 

You can’t have Christmas without this song, it kinda gets annoying after 25 days of ‘ITS CHRISTMAS’ but, we come back to this classic every year and that is because it is the first song that comes to mind when you think of Christmas.

2. Silent Night- The Dickies

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It’s a punk version of the song and I had trouble finding a good version on YouTube so, if you are a punk fan then look for it! This was my dads suggestion, I much prefer the classic version…the one we learn in music class on a piano? ah memories. But, if you like this song you’re either an old, white haired, leather jacket, motorbike riding punk like my dad or you really like punk? But, who’s to judge? We all like different things. Still it is a Christmas song, and so it made the list.

3. Once in Royal Davids City- Cecil Frances Alexander

Originally written as a poem in 1848, this is now sang as a hymn in churches around Christmas time. I’ve not heard this before myself but, the suggestion was made on social media and it reminds this person of the true meaning of Christmas thus, it is a Christmas song. It is rather beautiful. This choice just goes to demonstrate we all have different versions of Christmas and we should all respect that.

4. I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday- Wizzard

I was surprised this is my nans favourite Christmas song. But, she likes it and I can imagine her dancing and singing along when it comes on the radio in the house. This video always creeped me out when I was little. It was the face paint and I have a thing about not being able to see a person in costumes face properly. I don’t mind the video now though. I love to dance to the song when it comes on! It’s a great song and it just begins my Xmas holidays.

5. Walking in a Winter Wonderland- Dean Martin

There are so many different versions of this song but, this is one of my favourite versions. With so many versions out there, it is definitely a classic Christmas song and has rightly earned its place there. It was suggested to me via twitter and I kicked myself for forgetting about this song because it is great. Other versions include Peggy Lee or Michael Bublé.

6. Driving Home for Christmas- Chris Rea

The video is not the original one for the song, in fact the video we so love is the remastered version (2009) with the same singer and a few familiar faces… Mum got very excited suggesting this song for me, I could one surmise she likes this song. Either that or I know where I get my excitement for Xmas from? Hmmm give me a minute. It’s a great, easy going Christmas song for anyone to listen to and that is what this holiday should be about-FUN!

7. Stay Another Day- East 17

The song is quite heavy-hearted. For people who may not know, this song was written by lead song writer Tom Mortimer, for his brother Ollie who unfortunately committed suicide. There are two videos for this song. One features the band performing the song in the studio but, after this song because Christmas number one in 1994 a second video was released with Christmas bells added to the end, shot in black and white while the boy’s wear furry coats. So, yes it is a Christmas song but, there is a deeper meaning behind the song releasing someone’s pain and grief.

8. White Christmas- Frank Sinatra

This was grandads pick for the list. He is a lover of Frank Sinatra so, I had a feeling this would be his favourite. Obviously, we know the other versions of this song- the most famous being the original by Bing Crosby. It’s a great song, so smooth and calming. Just what is needed over an exciting Christmas. This actually caused contention in our house when my mum claimed this version of the song did not exist. Well, mum here is the video. We’ve heard it nan and grandads before.

9. Last Christmas- Wham!

Another suggestion by Mum. She really does love Christmas. Well this song always makes me want to get up and sing my lungs out which isn’t good. It would probably scare the dog. These types of songs are the best. The ones you just want to sing too. It’s a bit of a sore topic for a Christmas song singing about a broken heart but, it’s a classic.

10. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth- David Bowie and Bing Crosby

It’s a bit like a dream. Two legends singing a Christmas song together and killing it. If I do say so myself. It’s one song I could listen to over and over and never get tired of it. Why do you love this song????????????????? Sorry I got distracted by the video. I can’t explain why I love this song, I just do! This blog post may take a little longer to finish, I just need to finish watching this video.

11. Step into Christmas- Elton John

Have you noticed a pattern yet? Singing legends sing some of my favourite songs and so they, will be the last song you listen to because they’ll stick in your head. Elton John is very direct at the beginning of the song- he simply says this is my Christmas song and that is one of the reasons I love it. The other being it is great to dance to, it just carries on building!

12. Fairytale of New York- The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl 

Here’s to all us cynics. I absolutely love this song but, don’t worry I don’t sing it out loud at work someone may get offended. Many people made this suggestion including my parents, friends and people on social media but don’t you worry I already had this on my list. It is truly my favourite every Christmas song and it really signifies the beginning of Christmas for me. It’s just the most unusual and amazing Xmas song I’ve heard and will truly forever be my favourite song.

So that is my list. What is your favourite Christmas song? What reminds you of this season? I cannot wait till Christmas day. 22 days and counting here. It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. Just follow the signs, you’ll get there soon enough. First stop songs, next stop advent calendar, then the Christmas jumper and so on.

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…Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

 

Life, Student Life

I’m a Graduate (time to begin adulting)

I did write this last week but, I’ve only just gotten round to getting the pictures off my camera.

So the blog post begins here:

We’ve all seen the memes on social media sites wherein university students or people moving out for the first time have to ‘adult’. And by adulting, we mean it has come to the time when our safety net (parents) have disappeared except for a phone call or text away and we have to begin figuring life out for ourselves. If you have not seen the meme, I suggest you look for one because they can be quite amusing! Well, I technically graduated in June when my certificate arrived reading ‘First Class Degree’- I had one hell of a successful final year whilst battling illness all year round. So, it is possible for all the panicked students out there! But this week I officially graduated, had photos took and wore a cap, gown and hood alongside my parents, and grandparents appearing for the occasion. It was a family day out, and a first for all of them to see someone graduate.

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The Full Outfit

I posed for the pictures on cameras and phones, I saw my friends and had a few pictures with them but, I did not feel different after graduating? Maybe it is because I am not done with education yet. However, some of my other friends mentioned feeling like it was the end of something, they did feel different and so, I attribute it to the fact I want to gain a Master’s degree in HR. For the time being, I work and earn money and I’m looking for something a bit more permanent, so ADULTHOOD begins here! Whilst I picked up some tricks before moving out for university, adulting became a lot harder when it was just me and now I’m back at home yet, still becoming more adult-y by the day. I have known how to cook for years, my slight OCD tendencies come in handy for switching off all electrics at night- plugs to and I like to keep my room clean and have everything organised and as a result, I think these make myself a functioning young adult? But you’d have to ask my parents for clarification.

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The Parents and Me

I’m still stubborn and I refuse to be ill, so I definitely have stuff to learn too. This tends to mean I do not complain unless there is a real issue, which is why my parents knew something was wrong before my week long stay in hospital. Then again it seems to be a family trait…apparently, I did not just inherit the red hair or the ability to hold my alcohol or the quiet stubbornness my mum has which she thinks we do not all know about so SHHH it’s a secret. I feel that no one really knows how to truly adult and maybe my parents don’t have it figured out either? I know I question whether my dad ever grew up sometimes… Or maybe you need to be our grandparents age? They seem to have it figured out. It is an odd thing life. It comes at you so quickly that it is hard to take a breath at times.

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Grandparents!

So even though I’ve graduated, and you would think I have my life together it is not the case, no one does. We all just amble along hoping we make the right decisions with our friends and family by our sides. But, it is a good start to be able to look after yourself and take it from there! No one has their lives together right after graduation. The lucky few have an inkling of what they want to do in life but some of us others take a bit longer to decide. So, don’t worry if you haven’t a clue because it took me a while to make a decision of where I want to be in life. In some respects, a blog like this helps because you can talk to the world even if no one pays attention and make those decisions.

I have a couple tips to begin with though:

  • Learn to cook the basics early- I started when I was around 12? Anyway, if you like cooking then it is a great stress reliever and it is a skill we need to succeed in life. Takeaway and lots of processed food is not the answer. Plus, you want to be able to do more than just make pasta or toast. The only thing I don’t know how to cook is an egg but, I also don’t like them and won’t use that skill in my life unless I meet someone and in that case, they better be able to cook their own. Follow recipe books, ask your family they’ll help if you ask and books have instructions in!
  • Start your kids early, and make them clean their own room- There is nothing worse than someone who can’t make a bed, regularly change their sheets and keep a tidy room. Plus, if you can’t maintain a single task such as this regularly then how do you expect to succeed in work and life when difficulty heads your way? I have cleaned my side, and then my own room for as long as I can remember and that is because my parents instilled that into me. If you can’t keep one room clean how do you expect to keep a flat or a house clean?

It is simple really, learn early or you’ll have to sink or swim when it comes to moving out and figuring out life choices. I’m happy, I have graduated and I’m looking to future able to look after myself with relative ease. That credit goes to my parents, as well as myself. I’m a graduate, a graduate…Nope still don’t feel different yet? It seems like it is time to adult. Oh, I thought you’d want to see the meme so here is an example:

CC: https://pics.me.me/you-is-tired-you-is-broke-you-is-adulting-14526940.png
CC: https://pics.me.me/you-is-tired-you-is-broke-you-is-adulting-14526940.png

 

Life, Student Life

Hey! You…I Never Said It Would be An Easy Decision-Dilemma

We all face dilemmas…day in, day out and its making those difficult choices that allow us to grow and succeed as a person, and in life. Whether it’s a personal dilemma, a moral one, a friendship one or a life dilemma we all have to make the difficult decisions.

For example, I looked at today’s daily prompt Strut and had no idea what to write. I was in a dilemma between that and choosing a different topic to ruminate upon. As you can see, I’ve made my decision and faced the dilemma at hand- choosing a different topic although, in the grand scheme of things you can say it relates to the daily prompt in an off-topic kind of way. I wanted to create my own prompt almost, and dilemma is the first word that came to mind. We’ve all faced horrible decisions wherein one person may be affected in some way that is so hard you just don’t know what to do…well that is a DILEMMA!

Dilemma can be defined as…

“…a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.”

And the synonyms suggested such as problem, predicament and my favourite PUZZLE go on forever. But, do we always have to feel guilty about making a decision when a dilemma is involved?! I think not. Sometimes you can be faced with a difficult decision and choosing to move away from the problem is the best answer but, that does not mean you should feel guilt or bad in whatever way. Sometimes you just have to STRUT your stuff, stand proud and make the best decision for you. I’ve never been faced with a moral dilemma personally…well I don’t think so but, when the time comes I will weigh up both sides and choose what is best for myself. You see dilemmas include an emotional component as well as a logical component so, you have to make the decision which balances these two components best for you!

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Strut Your Stuff Honey!

It’s dissertation season for third years and if you haven’t already thought about that final project it may be time. This includes making decisions between a variety of issues and you better believe the dissertation is emotional as well as logical.

Do you choose:

  1. Written Piece V Practical Project?- If you are better at writing it would be logical for you to choose a written piece but, would you be able to cope with the research, the schedule and the stress that comes with it. In that case, you better choose a practical project but how good is it going to be? Can you guarantee a good outcome, a good grade? Is it worth the risk? And how will it help or hinder in the future? But, still there needs to be time made and it could cause more stress.
  2. All Year Assignment V Second Semester Assignment?- Similarly, stress and time is a big factor within this. However, it isn’t like your other assignments wherein you can complete it the night before. That guarantees you fail. But, is there time to start this semester or have you got outside factors affecting you time limit. It’s serious and you need to make a decision.
  3. Go Out or Stay in?- It is hard and you should make time to go out and enjoy yourselves but, then there is a dilemma of whether you are going out to unwind or is it because you are avoiding something. If it is the second statement then you certainly need to stay in. I managed to balance friends, life and illness with my dissertation and Yes, I wrote it in a week but that was after months of research.

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Go ahead, makes those decisions whatever they may be because I can guarantee that some of your issues, some of the stress of life or university is because you aren’t facing those difficult decisions. The best decisions I’ve ever made have been when I am faced with a dilemma, and backed into a corner! Once that weight has been lifted…then you can STRUT your stuff.

Strut

Life

Hello Old Friend!

It’s been a while since my last blog post…around eight weeks and normally I produce AT least a post a month if not two. But the last eight weeks have been absolutely bonkers! Where do I start? Well, I had a short stay in the hospital for a week followed by four more weeks of recovery so I wasn’t really up for blogging at the time. Next, I got really busy looking for a job, catching up with old friends, spending time with my family and getting back into running. And I got a Xmas Temp job at Tesco’s as a picker. So, I pick your food if you order online for the next 8 weeks or so. But, I’m hoping to get a full time job and begin my career. I’m interested in HR or Communications/Media. Yes, I finally feel like I’m getting my life on track which includes getting a Masters if I haven’t found a full time position before next September.

So, as you can see it has been a pretty drama filled eight weeks. And it makes you reflect especially when you get hit out of the blue with illness that later turned into a small operation. So, here is what I’ve reflected on or thought about over the last eight weeks.

Life likes to throw obstacles every now and again- I didn’t plan on getting ill, I asked everyday if I could go home yet and when I was home I had to recover. It wasn’t expected but, sometimes life throws an obstacle and its how you deal with it that defines YOU. It hurt, and I couldn’t stand up straight for a week but I got through it with the support of my parents and friends and it allowed myself to stop, take a breath and really think about what I want. In hindsight, it really helped to have six weeks of a breather. And dealing with this obstacle has really helped me to grow stronger as a person. I know I can deal with more now, after dealing with this!

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End of my stay- I was feeling much better

Try, try, try again- We’ve all seen the advert on TV with famous sports stars and kids saying this phrase. Every time it comes on, I sit there and enjoy the advert because it’s good advice! So when the time can two weeks ago, when I could begin running again- I ran twice in one week. I completed six and a half miles overall which is one mile for every week of illness. Also, to continue running I’ve signed up for the Santa Run at my local leisure centre which gives me a goal to aim for, in terms of peaking in fitness again. So, my motto is ‘try, try, try again’. If at first you do not succeed continue trying because you’ve only failed if you stop and give in. 

 

Let it go- If there is anything in life that still bugs you, if you still feel angry or sad or whatever about any situation that has ever happened in your life just let it go! I’m a positive person, and I have been for the last few years and that is because the only way to get through life is to keep on smiling and think positively. And there isn’t always a lot to do when you can’ really move or lift stuff so you get bored after a while and your mind wonders. But, I put a smile on my face and thought positively and that helped and that is because whatever has happened in your past ever, if you work on letting it go- happiness, a positive optimistic attitude and just smiling comes easier. So, as that annoying Frozen song goes- Let it go.

When-life-throws

Make a list- While I was bored, I made a list in my head of books I wanted to read and I’m aiming to get through them by Christmas so, I’ve started with the largest book on my list: American Gods. And let me tell you, I’m coming to the end now of this book so it has took me a lot longer than usual. Next, I would like to read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings- also big books, and finally Game of Thrones- if I can complete my set in the next eight weeks as I’m missing ‘A Feast for Crows’ and ‘A Dance with Dragons Part 1: Dreams and Dust’. You see I have never paid full price for any of them so, I have been searching charity shops and market stalls for them. This list helped me keep focused on doing something, it gave me a goal and I think making a list of something you want to do is great. It is simply something personal for you and no one else. Why don’t you try now?

I also had some really random thoughts as well, just stuff I’m not sure about such as;

  1. Why do bumblebees fly into your windows?
  2. What do you call a baby pigeon? Is it something specific or just baby pigeon…
  3.  How do you get rid of old pairs of glasses?
  4. I wonder what films the Harry Potter Cast like?-I watched them while I had time
  5. Afternoon naps- I miss them! 

And many more thoughts too. These are just a few. Well, I feel like I’ve caught you up on life at the moment for myself. Now, I’m going to plan a few blog posts and try and post once a week up till Christmas. Expect a Christmas song post at the beginning of December guys!

Life

Summer has arrived…and left again

Pray for the UK!

It has over a month since summer officially began and if you live in the United Kingdom (as I do) then you’ll be well aware we’ve had sun, cloud, rain and more cloud! That’s right, we had that week of boiling hot sun and I’m guessing that is it for us…

Meme: summer clothes, chucking it down.

I should not be surprised. I grew up here, I actually remember the English floods we had ten years ago this summer. Here summer is humid and cloudy most of the time. It’s a good job I haven’t gone away camping, it always seems to rain when that happens. I have an interesting factoid for you all though which I can certainly witness:

  • It is the most thundery time of year…

Yes, it is, and especially here in the UK. You see its either cloudy and humid leading to a build-up or it chucks it down and thunder always comes with rain. Either way, if you are from the UK or visiting expect some thunder or rain or both.

And you wonder why the English are so prepared. You see when we leave the house we need to make sure we pack for any sudden changes in the weather. Just because we left the house and it was warm does not mean that you won’t get soaked coming back from a day out or work? It’s a rule of thumb but you get used to it and this preparedness rubs off on us wherever we go. So next time you are laughing at an overprepared tourist with a pac ‘a’ mac, an umbrella, wellies on with shorts and a strappy top and a warm jumper wrapped around out waists just remember this is what we have come to expect. But also, when it does rain and we are perfectly dry and you are soaked because we came prepared then yes, we are laughing at you.

But you’ll also find this odd weather climate has prepared us. While it drops below 14 and you begin to get cold…if you live in a warmer climate those of us from over the pond still consider this warm! Or in the Autumn when we just stick a pair of tights on underneath our skirts and dresses that’s because we are used to the cooler climate, and for us it is still warm. SO, in some respects English weather has prepared us to be resilient and organised in the face of all weather.

With summer time officially here and uncertainty in front of us all I ask is those of warmer climates send their sunshine over here to us. Or risk the English coming over to holiday…

#prayforasunnysummer #englishsun

Life

Get Better, Feel Better, Be Better!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/better/”>Better</a&gt;

On my blog, I have previously spoken about running and an injury I suffered in the past, which unfortunately flared up again when I tripped on a flat surface and caused the same soft tissue injury again. BUT I am better, and fitter than five/six weeks ago as I just ran 4.01 miles today in 50 minutes whilst, still having a few twinges in my ankle. It’s better than last weeks slow and steady-test the water two mile run so, that means I am getting there.

As someone who now loves to stay fit and healthy, with the busy schedule and injury I’ve had meant running really was not an option and so, I was stressed and tired and feeling a little trapped. Because that little run is what make me less stressed and allows my brain to re-focus. I cannot tell you how many times, I’ve been running and had an epiphany on how to complete some work. I do not know what magic this is, and I do not question it…I just utilise it.

Now, around this time last year if you told me I was going to get back into running, start losing weight and be fit enough to run over six miles when I am back on full form I would have told people they were joking…but, here I am running and happy about it. You see this showed me I could achieve little goals I set for myself, it served to re-motivate me after I had lost all motivation, and did not like where I was in terms of health and fitness. It further allowed me to continue the positive mindset I had chosen to adopt by then and it worked. There is nothing like a good run to get better, feel better and be better.

When I saw this daily prompt, I instantly knew I was going to write about running, and injuries and life. But, that is what made me feel better;

-about myself

-about life

-about what I could achieve

And to further prove my point, my grades improved, I was smiling more because I had no negativity and I was running. I aim to continue that positive mindset, I aim to continue improving my health, I want to get better, and be better!

via Daily Prompt: Better

Boat on water, with three rings and rope on water in lake district-Conniston.
Life

Time to Embrace Change!

So, I’m about to start a new adventure, one to propel me into adulthood because I’ve recently completed my last assignment of a university degree and unless, something goes terribly wrong then I’m hoping to have passed. Now, I find myself looking forward to the future, reconsidering my past and embracing the present. Of course, your own worst enemy is yourself.

I have a list of things to complete:

  1. Get a Job
  2. Travel
  3. Buy a Car
  4. Go Back to do a Masters Eventually…

But for now, I’ll settle with planning trips with my friends, looking forward to graduation, making memories and finding a job. Yet I still find myself looking at the first nearly twenty-two years of my life and wondering what would have happened if I’d have took a few different turns on the road of life. I know it is said, that you should never look back, you should always look forward but, I cannot help and think that I would not be the person I am today without my past, and I would never have gone to university.

The Past

Well, as a kid I was sporty and I still love sports today even if it is more recreational and a great de-stresser so, I do find myself wondering about a path in sports. My other love is reading, I’ve always been interested in books and I love to snuggle in a small corner with my book and just get drawn into magical worlds. So, I also wonder about a path into this field somehow. On top of that, over the years there have been many friends with good and bad experiences felt yet, I never hate the people I’m no longer in touch with. That’s Life! I wish them happiness and a positive life as I have managed to find. But, the thing is all of life events have shaped me whether its struggles, heartache or reaching goals and being a high achiever and I’m proud of where I am today because of this, and I hope other people can find the same feeling.

The Present

Well, as I mentioned I’m about to finish my undergraduate degree alongside nearly a year of blogging which I immensely proud of. It allows me to deal with my feelings, blog about life and speak to the world. So, I wonder if I could utilise this for a career, its enjoyable and I’d love to mix it with my other passions. Now I find myself looking for jobs and truly embracing adulthood because as a student I have noticed you are adults but, not quite? It is like the popular internet meme wherein someone suggests in adult situations they look for an adultier adult, which I find myself agreeing with. However, I am young so I can experience life, and where it takes me at my own pace. I think I’m a lot more zen nowadays, it goes with the positive outlook. You can’t change what you can’t control, so why do I have to control every situation? And, the way you look out on life, reflects your mental state among other things! So, I’m even more proud of myself when I look at the present alongside the past. And, with a life goal achieved I’m ready to look forward to the next!

The Future

I don’t know what that holds. I would hope a family, and travel and love and a career but, I cannot control everything. Although, beginning my steps into a career include sorting out my CV and finding something I’d love to do. I think the future is a mystery, it could go anywhere and I’m happy to take that road to see what I can achieve. I am a very goal orientated person, and I will set myself goals and achieve them when I can!

So, this short post is a bit reflexive and I know my blog has been reflecting on life lately however, when you are reaching the end of a chapter for your life then its time to look back and maybe try re-reading a few worn pages. Before I start writing the next chapter, and I do not have as much time to look back on life. It’s time to take that leap. Maybe, we should all look back, to the present and the future and be proud of who you’ve become.

Student Life

Students: What You Wish You’d Been Told About Third Year!!

As my final university year comes to a close, with the triumphs and breakdowns. I think it would be useful to think about what I wish I had been told before I begun my final undergraduate year at university. From triumph to breakdown, I’ve been through it all. Therefore, I feel more than qualified to pass on my wisdom.

Here is a list of things I wish I’d have been told before third year, on how to deal with third year:

Breakdowns are unavoidable, and they happen. You just have to let the emotions out and you’ll feel better.

I know if you are a second year you’ve probably heard the joke about the amount of breakdowns a third year student has, and I bet you think that it is a little extreme! Well, let me tell you I reached my limit, three-four times this year and I’ve heard about other students experiencing more. It happens, and when it does just accept it. You’ve bottled the stress up so much, you’ve built the pressure of the dissertation in your head and you’re attempting to have a life. You have to release it. It’s not conducive to a proper work environment. And I can personally tell you, the emotion may overcome you at a random time when work is not even in front of you. It could be the littlest thing to push you.

You cannot control everything, no matter how organised you are. 

It’s true. You might be the most organised student in the world but, you cannot control third year. The first two years you’ve developed a system, you know when you work best and how you work. But, with all the running around you are bound to get ill. The dissertation is at the back of your mind and it is a constant stresser. And stress is not good for your health-mentally or physically. Which leads me to my next point…

Make time for yourself!

girl runner in reflective jacket
My Running Time

I run. That is my me-time. You have to find an activity in third year solely for you. Something you like to do, that helps you because whilst friends are great. You need to have time to yourself as we all work differently so someone elses early finish, is another persons late start. But don’t place pressure on yourself because of this! You work out whats best for you.

Don’t place all your energy into producing a dissertation. It is just one module!

The dissertation is one module, and it is worth twenty credits. And I KNOW it has a huge build up to it but, there are other assignments who deserve as much attention, as the dissertation does. And each assignment is just as important as the dissertation. I worked one assignment at a time, and I achieved firsts in every module in the beginning of third year. 

But don’t forget the dissertation either…

Black Cover, Sheffield Hallam Logo Channel Bound Dissertation
My Bound Dissertation

While, you shouldn’t place all your energy into the dissertation, you shouldn’t forget about it either. It is a huge undertaking research and you need to work out what is best for you. Keep in contact with your tutors, they are there to help and guide you and the worst thing you could do is not utilise the resource that is available to you. The tutors want to see you succeed!

Make a schedule- and stick to it. 

You don’t want to be someone who does all the work in their final weeks for the dissertation. It is a year around module, and so use the year constructively. Set yourself tasks and complete them on schedule. And again, if you work well with deadlines then inform your tutor. They can set you deadlines for completing work, which keeps you on target. So, I found all my books and resources, and episodes within first semester for my dissertation. I completed notes on it by the end of January, due to a few hiccups I encountered- getting the flu for the first time in my life. And then my tutor set me a deadline for a completed draft, which I had to push by a week due to illness and injury. But, I still had three weeks till the deadline to do any alterations.

Use the university services available to you!

You may find yourself struggling and that is okay. There are university services available to you, through student support or the library. So, if you are unsure about referencing then sign up to a library session and grab the help you need. If you see a support tutor every week due to a learning issue, then make sure to show them your work. Sometimes, you look at something so much, the words begin to jumble and it just takes another set of eyes to pick up on good points or issues with your work. But, it is not just the people employed by university. Did you know that aside from you, the harshest critic of your work will most likely be a student so, tell your friends you would like them to read work and use them. For the most part, it is likely they are in the same position. But, remember to tell them to give you a truthful opinion, if it needs changing it needs changing.

It’s time to start thinking about the future…scary!

It may be a scary thought but, third year is about looking to the future and beginning to make life choices. Now, not everyone knows what they want to do and you know what that is okay. However, you need to have some plan so, you can begin planning your year around the next move in your life. I have decided I would like to work for the next year, before returning to gain a Masters degree. So, I have a plan. But, that won’t stop me from applying for jobs. Set up as many paths as possible and then you can choose which one you will take a journey down, as in the future you can always decide to change direction and jump onto another path.

Finally…Have Fun!!!

University isn’t the only thing in your life, and whilst third year may be stressful and take over your life it shouldn’t. Go and have fun. You don’t have to work constantly to get good grades, so meet with friends, go out and have fun. Or use spare time to develop yourself, it is as simple as setting up a blog or learning a new language or planning to travel. There are a million options in life, and you can pick from them all. Just have fun. For most of you, it’ll be the last year and although university is where we make the friends we’ll probably keep for life, go and have fun.