A Fresher’s Feelings

Hello everyone, I’m writing this post from my new home in student halls in York (keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on how I’ve made my room feel homely), how exciting! This past week and a half has been a whirlwind, filled with mainly highs and a few lows, but I never expected to be as busy as I am right now! I honestly never thought my life would be so jam packed when I got to university; I thought it would’ve been a breeze after working full-time for 2 years! But oh how I was wrong, even when I have “free-time” I’m busy, getting to know my flat-mates, reading, cleaning, cooking, joining societies – it’s hectic to say the least! 

 I thought I’d give you all an insight to how I, as a fresher, feel after the first week of my new Uni life!

  • I’m so eager – I feel too keen for everything… I must have signed up to at least 10 different societies (including Blog Soc ;)) I just want to try everything! I feel like I will never have the opportunity to experience all these new things again after University, so I am definitely making the most of it!
  • I’m now a social butterfly – I don’t think I’ve ever met so many new people in my life! I am constantly socialising whether that be chilling in the kitchen with my new flatmates (who are all lovely, in case they’re reading this… hi), studying with my course buddies, meeting people with the same interests as me at society events or going out partying with all my new friends.
  • Tiredness – because of the above I am tired. Oh so very tired. I seem to never stop; routine in my life is currently non-existent and I don’t often know whether I’m coming or going. It can be pretty overwhelming but actually I’m enjoying the new chaos in my life.
  • Going out as a student is completely different – forget the heels and classy dresses as a student you stick to flats (often trainers) and not care as much as to what you look like! I’ve found that everyone is a lot more sociable on student nights out and the drinks are soooo much cheaper (which is a good and bad thing at the same time). Basically I’m having a LOT of fun on nights out.
  • Am I the idiot of the class? Okay I’ve thought this a lot already, but I’m pretty sure it’s a normal thought to have as a fresher. There’s no easing you in to the University way of studying and the lecturers scare you to death about all the work you will have to do this year! This sent me into a panic, thinking “oh my god I’m never going to keep up” but after speaking to others on my course, everyone feels the same… Phew!
  • I’m so excited for the year ahead – I’ve not even been here a fortnight yet and I’m already looking forward to the days, weeks and months ahead of me! I know that this year is going to be my year and I am going to make the most of it by getting involved in University life as much as possible!

Have any of you experienced any of the thoughts I have as a fresher or do you feel different? I’d love to know as I think fresher’s week (and year) is different for everyone and each person’s experience is unique to them!

M x

Advertisements

These are a few of my favourite things… Hull Bloggers Meet Up

Oh my gosh, it’s been nearly one month since the Hull Bloggers Meet Up and I’ve finally had time to go through the oodles and oodles of fabulous gifts we were given. I discovered some amazing new brands and products that I had never used before, so I thought I would share with you my 5 favourite products.

1. LAB2 Makeup Brushes –  I have to admit that I’m rather lazy when it comes to renewing and cleaning my make up brushes, I’ve been using the same powder brush for about 5 years and I think I’ve only washed it once… Ew! So I was very giddy to discover the 7 different brushes that were in our gift bags. My favourites are the two eye-liner brushes, they provided such a sleek, smooth line, which I have never been able to achieve before!

12. Heaven Vanilla Pod Hand Cream by Deborah Mitchell – We definitely don’t take enough care of our hands, but this luxurious product makes you want to! The hand cream smells absolutely divine and is very long-lasting; it helps stop dry hands, strengthens nails and leaves your hands silky smooth! Oh and the packaging is gorgeous!2

3. Vita Coco Coconut Oil – Everyone in the beauty world is raving about the wonders that coconut oil can provide. I was very dubious to smear this all over my face, as I’m prone to breakouts and my skin can often be oily. However I was shocked, I apply the oil before bed and in the morning my skin is glowing, fresh-looking and youthful. I may not replace my daily moisturiser with the coconut oil, however I would recommend using it twice a week!3

4. Seba Med Clear Face Care Gel – Breakouts really get me down and knock my confidence; as soon as a pesky spot starts to appear you want to get rid of it immediately, which is exactly what this Clear Face Care Gel begins to do. You apply the gel directly to the spot and in my experience it eradicates the breakout faster than just letting it go away naturally. I definitely want to try the other products in the range, as this one has really worked for me!4

5. Personalised Planner by personal-planner.com – I was so excited to receive a gift certificate to create my very own unique, personalised planner! I am a stationary addict and couldn’t wait to log onto personal-planner.com to customise my diary! The process couldn’t be easier and nearly every aspect of the planner is customisable; from the front cover to the layout of the pages inside! Don’t purchase a bog standard diary from the high-street for 2016, make your’s a one-of-a-kind masterpiece from personal-planner.com!5

M x

Late Summer Holiday Fashion

There are two reasons to venture on holiday in September; the first being the cheap getaways available once the school summer holidays are over and secondly the bargains you can get in the shops when the summer sales begin!

I jetted off for a long weekend away in San Antonio, Ibiza for my Auntie’s hen do! Due to saving for University, I couldn’t afford to break the bank buying new outfits, however restricting myself to only purchasing from the sale racks was the perfect excuse to justify going shopping!
This is my very first outfit post and I thought I’d keep it short, simple and natural to ease myself into the world of fashion blogging (just you wait in a couple of months I’ll be posting hundreds of posey outfit shots with idyllic backgrounds behind me). Both outfits cost just £20 or under (not including shoes).

Outfit 1: Boho Chic

 I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it, like total love heart eyes emoticon! In fact my Mum pointed out this lacey boho dress when shopping in Primark. Yes that’s right – Primark! The detailing of this dress is stunning and I couldn’t believe it was only £17! 

Dress – £17 – Primark | Shoes – now only £5.40 – New Look

Outfit 2: Monochrome Summer Stripes
I hate to admit that I’m one of those crazy fools that gets up at 4:30am to go to the Next summer sales (it’s kind of tradition in our household), however if I didn’t get up and go, I would never have owned this beautiful sheer maxi skirt. This skirt could definitely survive the transition to Autumn with the extra coverage of the sheer material covering the mini-skirt underneath. The skirt was a steal at £12 and I chose to team it with this black and white striped vest that I bought in the New Look sale for £3, as I love the monochrome vibe.

Skirt – £12 – Next (similar) | Vest Top – £3 – New Look (similar)

sunsetM x

The #HullBloggers Meet Up (#HBAlPorto) – 30/08/2015

Hull bloggers meetOMG, I’m literally writing this post with a huge grin on my face, as the event was so lovely! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me getting very giddy about the meet-up and quite rightly so! Before I get too carried away gushing about how fabulous it was, let me start off by introducing the #HullBloggers Meet Up.

Compulsory pre-event selfie & the lovely Al Porto

#HullBloggers Meet Up is organised by the very wonderful Alex (Champagne & Lemonade), Jenny (Curious Alice Loves…) and Kat (The Kats Paws) who brought 30 bloggers together to meet up at the gorgeous Al Porto Restaurant situated right next to the Hull Marina.

BrandsThe itinerary for the day included networking with brands such as; Lush (which I may have purchased the new hot hair oil product that I can’t wait to test), Viridian, Weleda and LYDC (they have some very lust-worthy bags that you NEED to check out). This time gave us the opportunity to speak and connect with the brands and even test some of their products!

1Al Porto provided us with some scrumptious canapés, which kept coming and coming and were truly delicious, I left feeling very contently full! There was also a unique cocktail made just for the event called the “Hull Bloggers Cocktail”, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to try due to driving (booooo, it looked and smelt divine though).

BloggersWe were then given some time to connect with the other bloggers and get to know one and other (whilst munching on food of course). Every gal and guy there were so friendly and welcoming; I can honestly say that I have started some lovely friendships, which I hope to continue!

raffleThere was a fant-abulous raffle, presented by the gorgeous Lewis-Duncan Weedon, with AMAZING prizes up for grabs, all generously donated to event. All proceeds were given to the brilliant charity the Eve Appeal, the only UK charity championing the 5 women-only cancers. We raised over £200, woo props to us!

GoodiesBuzzing after the raffle, we were then completely surprised when we were provided with not one, not two but THREE big bags of goodies jam-packed with utterly amaze-balls products; my arms still ache from carrying them to the car! I can’t wait to indulge myself trying each one! I’ll be posting my fave products from the goodie-bags in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!

We then reluctantly said our goodbyes, had one last canapé, took our final photos and left, not quite believing that it was already finished. Time flies when you’re having fun right?

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Alex, Kat and Jenny for organising and inviting me to the meet-up. I’m currently suffering from #HBAlPorto blues and cannot wait for the next one!

M x

Thoughts on being a fresher… Again

University is just around the corner, fresher’s week is approaching fast. I, like many others, am finding my future flat mates and getting giddy about the months ahead of me.

However this isn’t my first time going through the fresher’s process. Two years ago, as a shy, confidence-lacking 18 year old I completed one semester at the party university of Northumbria. I wasn’t ready to go, n’or did I like the course or the place. So I dropped out. Yes I am a University drop-out. It was a tough decision but now looking back, I can say it was the best decision for me.
This time round I am much more ready, I am doing the course of my dreams, I am more independent, confident and out-going. Two years ago I was dreading going, this time I am raring to go!

Freshers' week will look and feel like this... a blur!
Freshers’ week will look and feel like this… a blur!

As this is round 2 of me being a fresher, here’s a list of things to expect, incorrect typical stereotypes and the general fresher facts:

  • Your flat mates are (probably) not going to be psychopathic weirdos – the reason I’m saying this is because this was my worst fear about moving into halls. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat as you and aren’t going to be psychos (hopefully…)
  • You will get Fresher’s Flu – no matter how hard you try to prevent yourself from being struck by the annoying disaease you WILL get it, it’s unavoidable! Stock up on Kleenex!
  • Your diet won’t purely consist of Pot Noodles – okay you will have the occasional one… well weekly! However you will slowly begin to become more adventurous with your cooking. Although pasta will become your staple diet.
  • You’ll fall out with your flat mates over bread – no matter how petty this sounds, arguments like this are inevitable! I mean no way is it your turn to buy the bread again?!
  • You will meet some amazing friends – during your first year at uni (even possibly in your first term) you will meet friends for life, your bond will be unbreakable… But that’s partly because they’ve seen you at your worst drunken state and you don’t want ANYONE to ever hear about the stories they have!
  • You will get homesick – after your crazy first week of fresher’s, which to be honest feels like you’re on holiday, you’ll start missing home. This is normal and it won’t just be you feeling like this. Keep yourself busy, don’t spend a lot of time on your own (that’s when you’ll over-think things) and give your mum a ring; fingers crossed that will make you feel a little better.
  • You’ll be SO tired – the 5am bed times and lack of routine will make you more and more knackered every single day. Therefore you will HAVE to take frequent naps in-between lectures to function.
  • You will find home boring – when you return home from Uni, even just for a weekend, you’ll feel like time passes so slowly and there’s nothing to do! Although this is more often than not a godsend as you can relax and catch up on that sleep you so desperately need.
  • You’ll have lots of fun – even if you’re homesick, suffering from fresher’s flu, absolutely shattered and arguing with your flat mates, you will have fun, so make the most of your time as a fresher!

M x

East is East (Tour) – Review

East is EastFollowing its successful 3 month stint on the West End as part of Trafalgar Transformed (a season of politically and socially-charged theatre) East is East, directed by Sam Yates, is now touring the UK, with the Grand Opera House York being it’s 3rd stop of the 8 venue tour.

Ayub Khan Din’s semi-bigographical, critically acclaimed East is East, most famously known for the comedy-drama film adaptation, tells the story of Pakistani chip shop owner “George Khan” and his family. The story demonstrates the struggles and clashes between a multi-cultural family growing up in Salford.

Set in the 70’s, head of the household Mr Khan, performed by Simon Nagra, struggles to control his British wife and their children, under his strict, very traditional Pakistani beliefs. George and Ella’s seven children all have clashing views regarding their culture; to which their stern and sometimes abusive father misinterprets as disrespectful to him and his Muslim religion, believing that he is the laughing stock of his community!

Pauline McLynn famously known and loved as Mrs Doyle in sitcom Father Ted plays Mr Khan’s strong and witty wife, who obviously adores her husband but disagrees with his narrow-mindedness and bullying ways. McLynn and on-stage sister Auntie Annie played by Sally Bankes, make a truly hilarious duo and will have you crying with laughter with their sarcastic comments.

Although the Khan’s have seven children, only six are present in the play, Mr Khan announces that Nadir, their eldest son, is dead to him, after running away just before going through with an arranged marriage; oh the shame this brought to Mr Khan! The other six children (5 sons and 1 daughter) mostly mock their father and his ways, yet are truly terrified in his presence.
Adam Karim as Sajid, the youngest son, hides from the drama of their unusual family under his large parka; Karim does a remarkably good job of maintaining his twitch throughout the play and very impressively is able to put on a very truthful and believeable performance beneath his hood.

Although times have now changed, cultures have not and this play not only beautifully portrays the difficulties of growing up in a multi-cultural family but the hardships of family life in general. There are elements in this play which everyone can relate to, thanks to the dynamic, energetic and passionate performance the cast provides the audience with.

Director Sam Yates is definitely one to watch in the theatre world; his interpretation of the play is mind-stimulating and poignant, yet belly-achingly funny. Definitely a production worth seeing.

*****

Remaining tour dates & venues:

  • THEATRE ROYAL, GLASGOW  10 – 15 AUGUST 
  • ALHAMBRA THEATRE, BRADFORD 31 AUGUST – 5 SEPTEMBER 
  • LYCEUM, SHEFFIELD 7 SEPTEMBER – 12 SEPTEMBER 
  • THEATRE ROYAL, BATH 14 SEPTEMBER – 19 SEPTEMBER 
  • PLAYHOUSE, OXFORD 21 SEPTEMBER – 26 SEPTEMBER 

Durham Spa Weekend

Retreating to a spa has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, yet for some reason I’ve never been. Perhaps that’s because I see it as a mega treat e.g. a special occassion, oh and the fact that I don’t have the cash to spare on such luxury…Durham1

Earlier last month my fanta-by-dosy boyfriend surprised me with a spa break at the LimeHouse Spa in Durham’s Radisson Blu hotel for my birthday! I had spent weeks trying to guess what he’d got me, but never once thought it would be this. I was very giddy and he was smug that he’d managed to keep it surprise (which NEVER happens, I’m too impatient)!

We checked-in to the lovely Radisson Blu last Friday, with the only hiccup being the hotel hadn’t booked us in for breakfast (uh-oh unhappy bf alert) but luckily we had brought the email confirmation which confirmed we’d paid for brekkie!

The hotel was perfect for what we needed; smart, clean and modern. It also featured a huge Queen-sized bed, which was large enough for both Andy and I to starfish AT THE SAME TIME!

Durham 2We’d ventured to Durham straight from work and we were both knackered, so we had a little power nap, freshened up in the shower making full use of the zesty complimentary  toiletries and enjoyed the most scrumptious piece of fudge to wet our appetite.

Starving, we headed into Durham city centre which was only a short 5 minute walk away. The streets were filled with uplifting jazz music performed by a couple of buskers, which we hopped, skipped and jumped to until we reached Bill’s restaurant.We had a very enjoyable meal in the ambient and romantic restaurant.
Once we were satisfactorily stuffed we retired back to the hotel for an early night.

Durham3Waking up refreshed after a very peaceful and relaxed night’s kip, we headed downstairs for our buffet-breakfast. Andy made full use of the breakfast, in fact he did both days, tucking in to a 3-course meal each morning. For me, the smoothie of the day, pancakes and yoghurt sufficed and energised me for the day ahead.

Arriving at the spa we were given our white cotton robes and shown to the treatment rooms. We both chose to have the back, neck and shoulder massage and the facial. Oh and let me tell you they were heavenly, it was super relaxing, so much so Andy even admitted to dosing off for half a minute during his facial. We were given some juicy strawberries and sparkling prosecco once our treatments had finished, whilst we contemplated the practicality of compulsory weekly spa trips… Maybe when we win the lottery!

Durham4The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around the not so peaceful pool, which was open to all hotel users. The leisure club also thought it was appropriate to have children’s swimming lessons in the same pool and I can confidently confirm that the instructor had the loudest, most irritating voice, ever! Not exactly my idea of relaxing! However we didn’t let it spoil our day. I doubt we’ll choose to come to the LimeHouse Spa again, purely because the pool, sauna and steam room were so busy with children running around EVERYWHERE… which of course kind of ruined the tranquil state we were in after our massages.

Our evening was spent similar to the one previous, this time choosing an Italian restaurant and finishing the night in a bar close to the hotel.Durham4 On Sunday we checked-out after another lovely breakfast (which runs until noon on weekends; so is perfect if you’ve had a late night).
We spent the afternoon exploring the quaint streets of Durham and it’s breath-taking cathedral, before heading home . Durham5We had such a lovely jubbly weekend and I would like to thank Andy for the amazing birthday treat!

M x