Saturday, 31 December 2016

2017 GOALS //

As always, I'm using a New Year to make some big changes. 2016, for many, has been a pretty rough one, and although I've had far from a terrible year thankfully (read all about it here) - I have a far better feeling about next year.



Visit Australia.

This is on the cards for September time. We're looking into booking our trip this month, so it's all very exciting! Any travel blog suggestions or Aussie tips would be much appreciated.

Finish my course.


This has been a painstaking feat that has featured on my last two yearly 'resolutions' but finally, I'm going to put my all into it. I've got some plans to volunteer teaching with some classes for work experience and a solid, study plan for the first few months of 2017. Hopefully this time, I can stick to it!

Experience freelance working, whether this be dance or design related.


I've been feeling a little bit, well, negatively about my job this year at points. I'm hoping to either volunteer my design skills for a charity at some point which would be great or, I'd love to put the aforementioned course into action.

Live more eco-friendly


This encompasses an awful lot of things. From getting rid of a lot of clothes (to charity shops, upcycling, selling etc.) and replacing with a fairtrade wardrobe, to turning off my electrics when they're not in use. Although I think I'm quite good in certain ways at eco-friendly living, there's always so much more we can do to ensure we help the environment. I've recently become super aware of more tiny changes we can all make to help reduce our carbon footprint. Much more to come in the near future!

Cook healthy


Utilising food anti-supermarkets near me and local butchers/greengrocers, I really want to kick start some healthy eating this year. Not only will it make our food shops far more eco-friendly and help local businesses, it will mean we eat far better. I don't cook as much as I would like to, so I want to spend more time meal-prepping and using gluten-free ingredients to support my boyfriend's lifestyle.

Start a new hobby


I've already booked on to a pole dance course after pondering it for some time! Having already tried aerial hoop I want to increase my strength and flexibility (and step outside my comfort zone) by doing something a little bit different. I also really want to go to more ballet classes when I can fit them in!



It's going to be a busy year for me I feel, there's a lot of things about to change and I'm embracing it with open arms.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year celebration, leave a comment and let me know what your 2017 goals are!

leanne

x

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS // REVISITED

A quick follow up of how many of last year's resolutions I managed to succeed with...

The Dress Diaries - Cosy blanket scarf from H&M and denim jacket from Topshop
scarf: h&m jacket: topshop


 Finish my ETM course


This has extended to my 2017 list too. I am 100% committed to it now and have plans in place to finish in the next few months!

See more of the world


As ambiguous as this may be, I feel I have definitely succeeding in seeing 'more'.

This year I've been fortunate enough to visit Dublin, Barcelona and Copenhagen as well as a variety of festivals and various weekend trips in the UK. From climbing Yorkshire peaks to days out at the coast, I think this has been well and truly completed and I plan to continue exploring next year too.

Earn money through freelancing


I've had a few blog opportunities this year which have been exciting and profitable, therefore I can tick this off the list. I've got more freelance plans for next year - read about it in my 2017 Resolutions post.

Build a capsule wardrobe


Failed. Miserably.

Decorate

We painted first thing after New Year and have since decorated our living room just how we want, more or less. We've put up shelves and painted our spare room and this year, have plans for the bedroom and bathrooms. Adulting is actually pretty cool.

Make the most of my time


I am extremely glad to be one of those people who takes photos of everything. After a quick look back through a year-s worth of Instagram posts, I've reflected on this one and have done an awful lot in 2016. From seeing more of friends, to spontaneous trips and nights out as well as my travels, it's been a great one.

Meet my Goodreads challenge goal


Nope.

Drive



I've driven far more this year and I don't feel completely terrified anymore, which is a huge help. Read about my experiences here


How have you done with last year's resolutions?

Will you be resolving any of the same this year?


leanne

x

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

KNIT YOURSELF WARM IN WINTER // #MerryKnitmas with Fenetic Wellbeing


#MerryKnitmas is exactly as it would sound - a Christmas campaign to promote the art of knitting.

Fenetic Wellbeing are a local company who are encouraging people to knit, in order to make sure everyone can stay warm in the cold, Winter months.

My grandma has knitted for years and every December, manages to knit tons of Christmas tree decorations for charity as well as tiny, tiny hats for the premature baby unit in Leeds. This campaign is a great opportunity for me to learn (although my grandma has tried teaching me before... and failed) and master the craft and be able to knit for myself.

The elderly can be particularly vulnerable at this time of year so it's vital that we ensure they stay warm, either by knitting them some accessories or helping them to knit their own.



If you fancy having a go at knitting yourself, Fenetic Wellbeing have a video that could help you make your own, super cute, festive stocking.


Although I am lusting after a little stocking to put on my window pane - I don't have a fireplace or mantelpiece - I'm tackling something a little easier for my first time. I was sent a beginner's kit, including several balls of yarn and a beautiful set of knitting needles were provided to create a colourful Winter accessory.

Using the Cath Kidston 'The Knitting Book', I've started creating my own stripy scarf and although it is a absolutely painstaking long task, I'm finally getting the hang of it! My boyfriend already called dibs on wearing the masterpiece when it is complete, however, he might be waiting a while...

I'd love to keep this up as a hobby and follow my own family's tradition of creating knitted pieces for those who need it.



It's becoming easier by the day and I'm already planning my next creation - it'll be a much, much shorter one!

If you've any crafty, knitting tips for me, please comment below or tweet me!




This post is written in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing, who are heading up the #MerryKnitmas campaign. Big thanks to Zeal for hooking a girl up. D'ya get it? Knitting?! Yep.

leanne

x

Monday, 19 December 2016

COPENHAGEN AT CHRISTMAS //

Copenhagen Christmas Market - festive tree decoration


My last holiday of 2016 was spent in the beautiful city of Copenhagen.


It's not been on my travel list very long but when we decided to visit somewhere well known for their Christmas markets, this place came up an awful lot. Turns out, that's for a very good reason. The instant we arrived we were greeted with a festive feeling, from lights on every corner to the trees dotted around every shop, station and cafe.

If you've never visited Copenhagen before and you love Christmas then please, please bear this place in mind for future December trips. Tivoli Gardens were absolutely beautiful and as if I'd stepped into an actual Winter wonderland.

We were spoilt for choice when it came to Christmas markets, there's pretty much one around every corner in the city centre so there's certainly not a lack of things to see and do. I'll be writing a more in-depth post about my trip and where to visit in the city but for now, please enjoy a few festive snaps from my weekend!

Copenhagen Christmas Market - stalls and blurry shot

Copenhagen at Christmas - Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen at Christmas - Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen at Christmas - Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen at Christmas - Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen at Christmas - Festive brunch

Copenhagen at Christmas - Gluhwein Bar

Copenhagen at Christmas - Tivoli

leanne

x

Friday, 16 December 2016

MAKING CHRISTMAS WARMER // with Cotton Traders


With only ONE working week left till Christmas, it's safe to say that we're all counting down these final days until we can stuff our face with as many Quality Streets as we can muster. The final slog can be a tough one but Cotton Traders are helping to make things a little easier in these last few stressful days.

We received a very exciting surprise at our office door on Monday in the form of a parcel box complete with ribbon. Once I explained to the team that I was certain it was something they would LOVE, they were intrigued to find out why...




As part of their 'Making Christmas Warmer' campaign, Cotton Traders sent us a wonderful, festive-filled package to bring some holiday joy to our office. From tasty Green & Black's chocolate and amazing Whittard's hot chocolate, to festive photo props and a whole lot of Christmas music - it's safe to say we were spoilt.

This time of year is often used to spend time with family, giving gifts to friends and enjoying a couple of days at home without any work worries. It's important not to forget to bring some of the holiday spirit into the workplace too, even if some of us (ahem*I*) have to work throughout the whole Christmas period!



This week we've spent some time away from our desks; decorating the office with cast-off lights, taking well deserved chocolate breaks and chatting about our festive plans. And do you know what? It made the long hours (as it's our busiest time of year!) that bit easier. Plus, blasting Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas' never fails to cheer anyone up.

Huge thanks to Beth and the Cotton Traders team for spreading the warmth this Christmas.

And thanks to my colleagues, for being wonderfully Christmas spirited and getting me through these final days of 2016!


leanne

x

Friday, 2 December 2016

NETFLIX AND THRILL //

I have been seriously into Netflix this year (probably helped by the fact I scrounge it from my boyfriend's parents) and have clocked up quite few hours spent curled up in a duvet, binge-eating biscuits and drinking copious amount of tea.

Here are some of my favourites (and a not-so-fave) for you to watch if you haven't already.

The Crown


Controversially, I think the monarchy is one of the best things about our country and they are something for us to be proud of having in comparison to other countries in the world. Something I love more than the Royal Family? Matt Smith and Claire Foy portraying members of the Royal Family.

This is an easy watch on Netflix. Think Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge, except with far less soap drama storylines. As far as I know, the timeline is historically accurate but embellished with character portrayals, so I've also found it pretty educational. Will definitely be a love/hate programme for some.


Jessica Jones (contains spoilers, sort of)


David Tennant's character absolutely scares me to my core. Anybody who watches this and doesn't feel the same - HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? He kills people, by getting them to kill themselves in the most gruesome ways possible. Horrific.

On a more positive note, this had me absolutely hooked. Every episode I found myself on the edge of my seat. It has a sinister thriller feel to it with some good humour thrown in, similar to Gotham or Daredevil.

Give it a go, it definitely isn't your average superhero series.

Haters Back Off (again, maybe, sort of spoilers)


This was a must-watch for me, I love Colleen Ballinger and her character Miranda Sings. I was hugely intrigued to see the transition of a comedy YouTube channel to a TV series, particularly one that Netflix have signed up to add to their repertoire.

Although I found the first couple of episodes a bit difficult to get into, I am so glad I stuck it out and watched the characters and storyline develop. As an existing Miranda fan, I obviously had an advantage and probably understood some of the references much more than a newbie. I'd be interested to know if you were brand new to the series, did you enjoy it?

Oh and WARNING: THE LAST EPISODE WILL MAKE YOU CRY.

Gilmore Girls


On Twitter a couple of weeks back I mentioned I didn't really get the hype of GG and I never really watched it. I got bored not long after, flicked the pilot episode on Netflix and boom, all nostalgia hit me like a slap in the face. I'm a series in and I am embracing it until I get to the new episodes - I'm still holding out hope despite the numerous spoilers I've seen online (thanks, Twitter.)

If you're out on the road, feeling lonely and so cold...

Stranger Things


Do you remember when Making a Murderer came out on Netflix? There was CHAOS on the internet and then, when you finally watched the first episode, you became hooked and questioned how you were going to look at your life the same way ever again and became emotionally invested. Yeah? Well, this didn't happen with Stranger Things.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad I took the time to watch it and the ending was pretty entertaining, but overall it wasn't my cup of tea. I found it slow to begin with and the whole 'Goonies' style portrayal didn't make it for me, despite loving that film. What I will say however, is that I think the cast were superb. Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven is brilliant.

It's definitely coming at it from a good angle and a lot of fans have raved about the first season but sadly, not for me.


What have you been watching on Netflix recently?
Let me know what I should next add to my list...

leanne

x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

PARTYING WITH BON PRIX //

If anything is going to make you feel festive in November, it's sharing cocktails in party dresses with some of your favourite bloggers. I was lucky enough to be invited to the #BonPrixOnTheRocks event, which included being sent a stunning frock of choice to wear on the night from their party range.



There can be preconceptions about certain brands and I'm going to be honest, when asked to choose a dress from Bon Prix, I thought I'd be struggling to find something A) to suit my age and B) that I'd feel comfortable in.

To my surprise, I was inundated with choice, from floaty angelic numbers to the embellished bodycon I ended up with.

We each selected a dress we'd love to wear and it was fab to see how each individual styled it up (or down) for the occasion. Sequins, glitter and maxi dresses all played their part in making me feel well and truly Christmass-y!


We were also given the opportunity to mingle, in between making our own smashing themed cocktails. As a gin lover (who isn't though?) the sassy sapphire was a favourite.

Letting us loose with fire after a few glasses of wine is also a hugely brave move on the venue's part but I like to think I did a good job. What do you reckon?


Bon Prix's party frock range is pretty extensive and I found the sizing to be spot on, which is often an issue when it comes to online shopping. The prices are hugely affordable too. On a budget this Christmas and need a party outfit? Definitely give Bon Prix a go.




Huge thanks to Bon Prix, Search Laboratory and Mal Maison Leeds for a lovely event! If you'd like to see more about the event, check out the Bon Prix blog post here.

leanne

x

All pictures by the wonderful Matt @ Search Labs.

Monday, 14 November 2016

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE //

If you have more bad days than good, whether this be in a relationship, at your job or when with certain friends - it's time to mix things up a bit.

Tick tock - How to know when it's time for a change

It's often a tone of surprise when you tell people you're thinking about a huge lifestyle change, or they think you're having some kind of life crisis (which let's be honest, is a valid point to make). Don't feel bad about wanting a change. The likelihood is that you've been feeling this way for a while but now it's gotten to a stage where you are making the move and actually doing something about it.

So, what next?

Decide on the best plan of action.


Whatever it is that you want to get away from or re-evaluate, write a list of things you can swap it for or ways you want to explore the change. If you want to improve your health, for example, you could start by jotting down everything that is unhealthy you eat or do and what you can substitute it for. Getting things down on paper is not only therapeutic, it gives you something to refer back to further down the line if you feel you're losing your way or you want a quick reminder.

Will it make me happy?


Massive lifestyle changes can be scary, there's no doubt about it. However, there's a big difference between being scared of doing something and actually NOT wanting to do it. Often you'll find that the scariest things are also the most exciting.

Make sure you're doing what is best for you, even if you have family and friends who try to encourage you to stick it out or think you should do 'x' or 'y' instead, you need to put your own happiness first. Nobody knows what is better for you, than you.

Give it your all.


Don't go in half-hearted. If you've finally decided 'this is it' and made your plans, throw yourself into it head first. We can spend a lot of time after upheaval adjusting to things: the new people we're working with, that new class we've started or living in a new city. There could be moments when you start to think 'Was this the right decision?' Don't let this stop you enjoying the present. The more you regret and worry, the less time you're spending actually appreciating the change.



To anyone who understands the feeling of being stuck in a rut or wanting to spice things up a bit, I'm completely with you. Let's do it together and embrace it!

'If you don't like where you are, move. You are not a tree.'
- Jim Rohn (paraphrase)


leanne

x

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

READING LIST //

Every year I vow to read more and every year I fail miserably. 2016 has been the worst, I've read less than 5 books this entire year and we've just got to October. Terrible.

As much as I enjoy reading, I've put it to the back of my mind and it's become a last resort and I don't put time specifically aside for it anymore. This is good because it means I've obviously had too much going on in my life outside of my own living room! However, I'm putting some time in for myself this month in the run up to a busy Christmas and these are a few of the books I have on the agenda.


Books on shelf - rom com, classics, harry potter

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë

We read this in school but when you spend your time analysing the writing rather than enjoying the story, it can hinder your experience. A ballet performance in Leeds of this novel encouraged me to give it another chance (although, alas, I was too late to see the production!)

I'm about three quarters of the way through this on my kindle and am absolutely loving it. I've found I'm appreciating it far more than I did when I was younger, possibly because the writing style is more mature.


'Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.'

Everything, Everything

Nicola Yoon

This sounds cute, easy to read and it's being talked about a fair bit on the internet so I wanted to give it a whirl. It's also not a particularly long book so good for those who want a quick read to cosy up with in the Autumn evenings.

'My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
'


Beautiful, Broken Things

Sara Bernard

Aside from the wonderfully pretty front cover, I was intrigued by the blurb of this book. I've always been a fan of the coming-of-age plotline, exploring friendships, relationships and life, so this book seems the perfect combination.


'I was brave

She was reckless
We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie - confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne's past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realizes, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.'

The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins

The film is out in cinemas now so I definitely want to jump on the bandwagon. As a general believer in books > films, I'd like to make my own mind up of characters before seeing Emily Blunt's portrayal. I think this will be the first of my list following Wuthering Heights.


It sounds a bit 'Gone Girl' -esque and I loved that thrilling plot. Expecting big things with all the hype!

'EVERY DAY THE SAME

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?'



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

Obviously this is on the list. My mum recently finished it and loved it so I've added to my pile of reading. We're going to see the stage play next April so I guess I've plenty of time to get cracking!


I'm hugely intrigued by the reaction of fans so far and how a stage play will differ from the previous novels. I'll keep you posted...

'It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.'

Monday, 26 September 2016

MY UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE // SECOND YEAR



Second Year


After a Summer of working to save up some more beer money, I waltzed into second year with optimism and fully intending to work much harder. Did this happen? I'll let you hazard a guess...

Moving out of halls


From the comfort of halls, being surrounded by friends and still having meals catered for me, it was a massive change to move into our own apartment. After all kinds of arguments between friends about who wanted to live with whom, my boyfriend and I decided to go it alone. I'm hugely glad I didn't move into a shared house with 8 other people if I'm honest but at the same time, it wasn't all plain sailing in the situation I did end up in.

You'll be spending nine months (ish) of your life here so make sure it's comfortable, close to the places you need to be or near main roads/public transport and more importantly, pick somewhere you'll want to spend your time. Yes you'll have lectures and wild nights out but the majority of your time out o the pub will be spent at home, so it needs to be somewhere enjoyable.

Money


In second year I still didn't have a job but I had worked hard to have a bit more spending money this year round. I'd definitely recommend to people to get an overdraft if you are fairly good with money.

More about this in my experience as a first year here.

Relationships


This is a tricky one. You've probably heard that it's difficult to keep a relationship going in the transition from college to university and to be honest, I wasn't in a good enough relationship to even attempt it. I embraced the change as it meant I opened my eyes to more opportunities and meeting new people and lucky for me, someone better happened to come along.

Keeping a relationship going throughout uni however, I didn't find so easy. Two tips: firstly, don't move in together until you're ready. Secondly, make sure you still have some 'me' time.

It's so important to not get trapped in a place where you feel you don't have any personal space or time. Uni is a time to meet new people and have a lot of fun and this might not be as easy if you're not enjoying where you're living and more importantly, who you're living with.

I learnt this in a rough rollercoaster of a relationship mess in my second year so if this does happen to you and you find yourself in a sticky situation? My best advice is: forget it, go out, get drunk and DO UNI. This isn't the reason you left home in the first place so don't waste any time moping.

Sandwich Degrees and Work Experience


The former isn't a specific qualification you need to get a job at Subway, it means some degree courses offer a 'sandwich' curriculum, meaning in your third year you can get a placement for up to 12 months before finishing your course. I had an option to do this but nobody (I think?) I started my course with opted for the extra year. Personally, I knew I'd find it hard leaving education to work full time for a year then going BACK for a final year.

On the other hand, at work we offer an internship every year and the year of actual work experience you gain will definitely put you in better stead than those without after graduating.


Is there anything you'd add about your own experience in second year, or would you like any specific advice? Let me know.


leanne

x

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

TO DRIVE OR NOT TO DRIVE? // ft. Go Girl

Vauxhall car interior - driving

My name's Leanne and I'm scared of driving.


Yep, I said it. I hate driving and for a while, it has been a fear-crippling - albeit small - part of my life. I passed my test in 2011, bought a car, drove it three times and then it blew up (well, it broke down because something blew up inside it) so I haven't driven for a few years as:

1. I've had no car

and

2. I've had no reason to.

 I came to the conclusion at the end of last year that it was about time I gave it a go. My boyfriend bought a new car this year and slowly but surely I've learnt to drive all over again. Driving isn't a necessary part of my life but there's the odd occasion I feel it would be useful and to be honest, it's something I just want to be able to overcome.

Alongside Go Girl Insurance, I've come up with some tips for either getting over a driving phobia or in general, encouraging people to make more of an effort to drive safely.


PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE


Even if you're nervous, do it over and over again. As they say - practice makes perfect - and although there are rarely perfect drivers out there, the more experience you have the better you'll become.
Before you know it, this skill will become second nature!


KNOWING YOUR STUFF


You'll feel much more comfortable being knowledgable about your car and in turn, be a much better (and safer) driver if you brush up on what your dashboard means. Go Girl's dashboard graphic is a humorous take on this and you can read more on their website. Be that person to stick to the speed limit and a good role model on the road.

GoGirl insurance dashboard graphic

DRIVING SAFE


Once you've passed your test or are getting back into driving, it's easy to forget what you've been taught in your lessons and pick up bad driving habits. Practicing these (mirror, signal, manoeuvre - the works!) will keep them fresh in your mind on the road.

Another important factor of staying safe is making sure your car is in full working order and being fully insured for anything, just in case something DOES go wrong. You can get new driver insurance from Go Girl here and also have the option to take out optional extras like Breakdown Cover so you know help is at hand if ever you need roadside assistance.


POSITIVE THINKING & AFFIRMATIONS


Tell yourself: I can do it.

Believe in yourself because the likelihood is that your fear comes from self-doubt. Thinking positive thoughts rather than the awful 'what if' situations. I read something recently: 'worrying is like walking around with an umbrella and expecting it to rain'.

Have a positive outlook on the situation and it will have a great impact.


GO IT ALONE


Step out of the comfort zone of having someone tell you how and what to do. If you've recently passed your test and are stepping in to your car by yourself for the very first time, use it as an opportunity to become your own kind of driver. You don't have to worry about taking a left too early or adding an extra twenty minutes to the journey.

You can put into practice the knowledge you've learnt in real-life situations and interact with other drivers on the road, solo; no-one waving their hand or thanking someone on your behalf.



I hope these tips have helped you somehow or even if you're a bad-ass, safe woman driver already, it's been an interesting read!


Do you relate to this at all? Do you love driving?
Let me know!

leanne

x




This post is sponsored by GoGirl Insurance.

Friday, 15 July 2016

MY UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE // FIRST YEAR

 As a lot of young people in the UK (including my 18 year old sister - now I definitely feel old) will be heading to University for the first time in September, I've decided to write a short series about my experience.

Everyone's experience will be very different but I hope this can shed some light on any worries or fears you may have about moving away from home, money troubles or whether this is the right path for you.


Bridlington - View of girl on bench at the East Yorkshire coast

First Year


Freshers' Week


Freshers' Week was a whirlwind of alcohol-fuelled fun, awkward ice-breakers and realising that no-one actually needed to buy any of the books on the reading list. A lot of mine was spent sitting in our shared kitchen (top floor, Block D, holla) playing Ring of Fire and drinking a hell of a lot of Strongbow.

What I'd recommend if you're worried about making friends? Just say hi. Whenever you see people, just say hello and as you're all in the same boat, you'll find many people will want to continue the conversation and make friends too. I'm not a particularly introverted person so I didn't find it too nerve-wracking introducing myself to the people I shared halls with but it was still easier than I imagined. Also, if you find yourself in the company of people you don't get on with - you don't have to hang round with them.

Say yes to things that are happening in Freshers' week and try your best to pack as much into your schedule as humanly possible. You'll be tired but trust me, you can spend the remainder of the year catching up on sleep.

Moving away from home


You may or may not be having to move away from your family/friends when you go to university but it's not as scary as it may seem. Look at it this way, university is a chance to increase your friendship circle as well as experiencing new cultures, more people's opinions and generally stepping out of your comfort zone. There's also nothing stopping you from experiencing amazing nights out in cities across the country, with the rest of your friends who have also moved away!

Living by yourself also means you gain a lot of independence (hopefully) and get to grips with adult life problems and having to solve them without your parents. Even if all you survive on is beer and pot noodles, the plus is that you're doing it all by yourself.

Studying


The work was easy enough. In first year in most cases, you only need to pass each module to stay on till your second year and the grades don't actually count towards your final university degree at all. I managed to salvage a 'compensated pass' mark (below the required 40 mark but as I was average at everything else I was given the benefit of the doubt) in my web design module, the only one I really struggled with. 

We were given the opportunity to take a free elective and if you get the chance, definitely go for it. This is a module of your own choice, it's either course related or you can take a punt on something completely different or new. I opted for Dance Technique as I'm quite an active person and it was honestly the best choice I made. I met new people, developed my dance skills and it was a hugely welcome break from sitting in front of a Mac or with my head in a book.

Basically, explore new things and learn but don't worry too much. If you attend lectures as much as you can (we can forgive you that one time you were still drunk in the 9am core module...) and keep your head above water then you'll be fine.


Social


Join a team. It sounds cliche and here I am - a hypocrite - as I didn't join any team in my first year. If you're into sport, music, theatre, whatever, see if there's a team you can join to expand your friendship circle. Even if you decide the actual training or rehearsals aren't up your street, you're bound to enjoy the social aspect of being part of the group.

Fancy dress is actually a thing. Rule #1 of moving into any student hall is make sure you have plenty of great (and cheap) dress-up ideas. It's a surefire way to make friends when you're all drunk and dressed like golfers, downing a pint ten pubs in a row. Just me? Okay...

Money


I didn't have a part-time job during my first year of uni and looking back, I'm pretty glad. Although a lot of people are scared off by the dreaded 'tuition fees' it's actually not something you need to worry about at all. Yes, you spend your life paying it off but it's not noticeable in your pay check and it's likely to be a long time before you even have to start.

I got a typical student loan, enough to cover accommodation, food and a little extra. Most of this was spent on going out and buying things I didn't need if I'm honest. One word of advice is: overdraft. Now, please don't get me wrong. BE CAREFUL when using overdraft because it isn't your money and you won't get it free of charge forever. There comes a time you need to pay it off and luckily for me, I spent the Summer after first year earning money from my full time job to put towards this. If it weren't for my overdraft throughout the entirety of the course however, I definitely would've struggled. So if you need to dip in to it? Don't feel bad.



I hope this is marginally useful to anyone who is headed off in September, let me know if you have any other queries or even, if you're a graduate whether you relate to anything I've said already!
Second year experience to come soon...

leanne

x

Monday, 11 July 2016

ASOS HOLIDAY HAUL //


I'm heading to Benicassim festival next week, with a stop off in Barcelona on the way and I'm SO excited for it. As well as getting away from the UK weather for a while, it's somewhere I've never been before and it's going to be great to finally explore the city.

As it's been a while since my last beach holiday, I've treated myself to some Summer sale bargains and thought it would make a nice change to feature them here for you guys, if you're also lucky enough to be headed somewhere with sunshine!

ASOS HAUL //


Everything featured here is from ASOS. I've had a couple of issues with their deliveries in the past few months which has been disappointing but they've really stepped up their game for Summer and these items are perfect. They also have their new A-List points scheme, which finally means we get some cool rewards for spending a lot of money on there (which I absolutely do.)


This amazing halterneck dress is something easy to throw on that looks great. I have a huge thing for stripes right now so it only made sense to add a number to my Summer wardrobe. 

ASOS // was £22 now £13


I have literally one bikini top and various mix and match bottoms, so I thought it about time I invest in a proper set. This lovely paisley print set wasn't too expensive and I love the design of the top and the fact it has straps. Hopefully the white and navy will look fab if I can bag myself a nice tan before the holiday is over!

ASOS // top £16 briefs now £8

Brown leather sandals from ASOS

These sandals are really comfy and although maybe a little grandma-esque I love, love, love them. Tan will go with most of the outfits I'm taking along with me and they're a great alternative to flip flops, a style that I will never be a fan of.

ASOS // was £35 now £24

Pretty, colourful kimono for a holiday - bought from ASOS

The prettiest of all. This kimono is SO BEAUTIFUL and I can't stop looking at it.
This will be perfect for days at the beach AND can also be an extra colourful layer on a night-time. 

ASOS (similar) // bought for £16

Sports luxe bardot top from ASOS

After buying a similar sports-luxe crop top from Boohoo and it turning out to be of terrible quality, I found an alternative whilst browsing ASOS which apparently, is also from Boohoo anyway. This is a bardot style (check the link below for a better picture!) and although I'm not used to these, I'm sure it'll look great paired with my Levi shorts.

ASOS // bought for £12

South Beach official t-shirt for holiday

This is by far one of my favourites. I love the cartoon and graphic tee trend at the minute, particularly when it's Summer themed. South Beach items have been strewn all over social media this season so I'm excited to finally own something of my own, I'm planning on a bikini next.

ASOS (sold out) // bought for £9



And that's the most of my ASOS haul and I hope it inspired you to find some similar items or Summer shop for yourself. I bought other bits and pieces from various online and high street stores, I may well feature another haul video after my holiday.

Let me know where you find your holiday clothes, particularly swimwear!


leanne

x

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

GLASTONBURY 2016 // PHOTO POST


GLASTONBURY 2016


Glastonbury, you've been a pleasure all over again this year.

I wait 365 days and the sun shines and the cider flows, then poof, it's all gone and I've another year to wait. Here are some snaps (I only took my camera out for one day, I was drunk the remaining five of them) of the field this year.

Ribbon Tower at Glastonbury

Glastonbury - Greenfields and Avalon 'Flowers to the People'

Glastonbury toilets - Michael Eavis Bowie

Glastonbury - Hot air balloon feature

David Bowie tribute - Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury

Group photo in the crowd at Glastonbury

Coldplay light show at Glastonbury 2016

Coldplay light show and flares at Glastonbury 2016

Sunset at Glastonbury

I had amazing company this year with old and new friends, there were lots of sunrise and sunsets and the music was incredible. Hello, from the other side of the most magical place on Earth.
(ten glasto points if you get that reference)

leanne

x