Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas 2015

I think this is the longest period of time I've gone without blogging since I started this all in August 2012. I've been really busy with a ton of uni work, lots of job-work, volunteering, seeing my friends, family and boyfriend, and just general merriment. So busy, in fact, that I totally forgot to blog.

I've been at home from uni since Friday 18th December and I've just spent all my time enjoying beautiful South London. I also worked a couple of shifts at my old McDonald's for $$$ but generally I've been relaxing and taking a break from all the stress at uni. I miss my housemates though - mainly watching TV with them for six hours a day every day (it's our way of winding down, okay?!), but it's so nice to have my mum's homecooked food and to go on runs with my dad.

We went up to my grandma's on Christmas Eve up until today to spend Christmas there, as we have done every single year of my life. We had a lovely time, ate lots of lovely food, and gave/ received lots of lovely presents. Not to sound too shallow or anything, but I think this is probably one of the best present hauls of my life, so obviously I'm very grateful. I feel like this is the only place I'm going to post about presents because I just think posting photos on actual social media is a bit... tacky? I'm not really feeling that.

(There was also a lot of chocolate - like a shit ton - but I, um, ate it. All.)

I think this is my first proper watch ever, like a proper adult one. I wanted something simple but cute and I thought black was a bit boring so navy seemed like a good bet. I just love it.

I love druzy stone jewellery so when my uncle showed me these beautiful earrings on Etsy I fell in love. They're just so perfect!

I think my favourite present is potentially this dressing gown. I can't believe at the ripe old age of 19 that my favourite present is a bloody dressing gown. A beautiful one though. It's so cosy and I love the tartan print. It has pockets and a hood and a soft snuggly inside. It's from the men's section at M&S if you want to go and grab yourself one. You won't regret it, I promise.

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, ate lots of delicious food, and spent time with your lovely families. I'll try to write a 2015 review post but it's highly likely that I'll forget or just will be too lazy. We'll see!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Why I'm proud to work for McDonald's

I work at McDonald's. I've never been embarrassed about that. I started working at a branch in South London when I was 17 years old and still in sixth form. I worked 16 hours at the weekends and squeezed all my A level work in during the week. I made great friends at that job and looked forward to my shifts there. I remember getting really angry when one of my "friends" (but really she was just a girl in our friendship group who I didn't get on with) said, "my dad wants to know what your parents think of you working at McDonald's". And my response was something like "well they're proud that I actually have a job and that I'm earning my own money". I was the only person in our group of friends who had a job - a group of friends made up of ten people. I was livid that she was getting all snooty about me working at the world's biggest fast food chain when she was still living off her parents.

I'm 19 now and McDonald's is still the only job I've ever had. When I moved up to Chester last year for university, I landed a job at the biggest McDonald's in town within a week. While at the South London branch I'd been a "customer care assistant" which basically meant chatting to customers and wiping down tables, in Chester I worked in the kitchens. I learnt how to make every single item of food on the menu, and how to make it quickly and to a high standard. I've recently been made a "customer care assistant" again so I'm getting to know the regular customers in Chester's McDonald's, while sweeping the floor a bit and filling up the ketchup pumps. 

I've been with the company for two years now and so I've had a number of pay rises. McDonald's really do treat their staff well. I've never been denied a day off and I'm on the same pay as Waitrose staff now. Why would I ever want to leave this glorious company? I can request shifts whenever I want, or swap scheduled shifts for a more convenient time. It's so easy to fit it all in around my uni work and lectures, or for when I want to go back home to London for the whole summer. It's just so chilled.

You learn so much working at McDonald's. I don't know any other job where you're trained to work on tills, gain valuable transferrable customer service skills, use industrial vat fryers and grills, stock items, trained to use industrial strength cleaning products and which chemicals to mix with which others, how to get a toilet looking sparkling clean in 30 seconds, take orders like a waitress and bring food over like a waitress (all with no tips!), and so so so much more. 

People who've worked in both fast food and in shops say that working in McDonald's uses a much greater range of skills than other jobs in retail. It's such a fast paced, high intensity environment to work in but it's also so rewarding. I wish that McDonald's workers didn't have a reputation as being stupid and worthless because we're not. A lot of us are students, working to buy textbooks and our weekly food shops, while some are parents who need money to pay rent and provide for their children. It's a job, and a fairly decent one at that. Don't knock it.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

A fortnight in photos

I've been feeling like this blog has been starved of photos to accompany the posts lately so I had a little look through my phone's album to see what I wanted to stick on here. All of these posts kind of range from late September to early October - the time when I was packing everything up at home to move back to uni for second year. 

22nd September. I saw Jess on this day. We went to Camden for a spot of shopping and a trip to Honest for lunch. We also went to Selfridges on Oxford Street and had a wander around Liberty's. I bought this really cute dress in Traid, Camden for something like £13. It fits so nicely and I love the crushed velvet look (even if I am about four years too late there).

22nd September. A close up of aforementioned velvet dress.

23rd September. This was the day I went to a cute cafe for lunch with my friends Lola and Will. I sent them a quick OOTD picture with the caption "yay or nay?" because I wasn't 100% sure about this outfit. I love it now.

23rd September. I bought these really pretty earrings in Claire's with Lola and Will once we'd finished lunch. They're part Swarovski crystal which is pretty cool and I've been loving wearing them.

23rd September. A close up of the beautiful earrings.

25th September. The day before I left for uni, my mum and I went for afternoon tea at the Ebb and Flow cafe that's just opened in our town. It was only a tenner per person and was absolutely delicious. It was also a really nice way to say goodbye to my mama. 

30th September. (Well, the night of 29th September.) This was a really fun night out. It was a Tuesday night which is gay night in Chester. It's always a lot of fun on Tuesdays; the music is fabulously cheesy, the drag queen DJ is amazing, and there's always facepainting! For reasons unknown to me, I asked for a glittery rat, and a glittery rat is what I got. 

1st October. The floors in our house aren't sparkling clean because it's a student house lived in by hundreds of students before us, and there's a special kind of student dirt on the floors which can never seem to be scrubbed away. For this reason, my housemates and I decided to invest in some slippers from Primark. They're so cute and I kind of want to go back and buy every single colour there.

2nd October. I had fajitas the night before this for dinner, and so the next day with the leftovers I made fajita chicken and cheese toasties. It was delicious.

5th October. This masterpiece is entirely mine. No one else's pen ever touched any part of it which I'm so proud of. We coloured in three of these patterns and put them all the wall going upstairs to give the house a touch of cute.

5th October. Here's a little action shot of the process. (PS. days is not an exaggeration, these things take forever.)

5th October. The finished product.

7th October. This was the day I changed my sheets and put on my really cute duvet set. I bought this from eBay for about £15 and I absolutely love it.

8th October. This is what the majority of my day looks like, every day. The table is disgusting and the TV is tiny but I'm wearing my cute pyjamas and slippers so it can kind of be forgotten.

Friday, 16 October 2015


Written on Sunday 4th October.

I'm back at uni, yay! I've been back for eight days now, but I had a really lovely last couple of days at home in London last week before heading up to Chester. I had lunch with my two best friends in a really cute new cafe in our town, followed by a shopping trip and lots of laughter. I also did a huge shop with my mum and got an early Christmas present, a blender! I can finally jump on the smoothie bandwagon!!! My mum and I also went for afternoon tea on the Friday of last week which was absolutely delicious. I can't really be bothered to put pictures into this post now but I might do a whole separate post full of photos and little captions later on.

As Chester is a solid four hour drive from where I live in South London, my dad and I usually stop off at my grandma's house in the midlands the night before to break up the journey a bit. My grandma was a total babe; she bought some pork pie for me because she knows how much I absolutely love it, and she also had some J2Os lurking about which completely made my evening!

My dad and I ran the Parkrun in Birkenhead the following morning and made a pitstop at McDonald's for a spot of breakfast. Then he deposited me and my bags at my uni house and began his six hour drive back home. The rugby world cup caused terrible traffic so he didn't get back until the evening which made me feel a bit bad for picking a uni so far away. It took me three hours to unpack everything I brought with me and then my housemate Amy and I spent a solid eight hours watching TV. Given that we didn't have a TV in our uni house last year, it's such a luxury having one this year and we all like to gather round it for a spot of Jeremy Kyle or Judge Rinder!

On Sunday, I hit up Aldi and here's a very boring list of what I bought:

Orange juice
Mixed peppers
Sausage rolls
Quorn mince
Chicken breast
Natural yoghurt
12 eggs
Supernoodles x2
Pizza x2
Chicken kievs

I'm kind of trying to do the healthy eating thing but I do still need things like pizza and chips, of course. I've made three smoothies in this past week so I feel like I'm kind of on my way to a healthier diet as I'm used to having like two portions of fruit/veg a week.

This is where I stopped writing and couldn't be arsed to finish it off and post it. So, here we are 12 days later. I'll try to pick up where I left off.

It's currently 4.36pm on Friday 16th October and I'm sat in my room. I finished my last seminar of the week a couple of hours ago, after which I came home, made some Supernoodles and watched Salem Falls on TV. This marks the end of my second week of lectures and already I can tell how much harder this year is going to be than last year. I'm feeling a bit out of my depth already which is pretty tragic given that I've only had four lectures and ten seminars in total.

I seem to spend most of my time watching TV with my housemates and bitching about how messy the whole house is. Basically, I live with pigs and it's all a fucking state. My one other tidy housemate and I proposed the idea of a cleaning rota today because when pasta is constantly blocking the kitchen plughole and there's brown foam dried onto the floor of the shower, you know it's time to do something. But no, no one else seems to give a shit that we're living in squalor. I'm not even like a neat freak or OCD or anything but I don't like it when there's not even room to put a plate on the kitchen counter. Anyway, I'll stop ranting about the kitchen and just wrap things up now.

I'm aware that this is like a super convoluted post which is probably because I'm attempting to smoosh 12 days together in two paragraphs. I also need to be up mega early tomorrow because I'm giving accommodation and campus tours for our university's open day from 9am till 4pm. God help me. It's probably time for me to sit down in front of the TV with a spoon and a jar of Nutella.

Hope you're all well and loving life in your probably very tidy and clean houses. xo

Song of the day:

Thursday, 17 September 2015

And she needs you

Time drags when you're lonely. My parents are in Rome with my Grandma. My three best friends are - coincidentally - also in Rome, a little holiday paid for by their £6000+ student loans from last year. My loan - due to a "high household income" - was a piss poor £3600 that didn't even cover my year's rent, so I definitely couldn't use the money to pay for a trip to Rome with them now. And my brother is shut away in his room upstairs playing Minecraft and Skyping his friends, so he's not of much use in the way of alleviating my boredom. 

My boyfriend did come over and stay Tuesday and Wednesday night, to keep me from feeling too lonely. It was really great: we watched a lot of Friends episodes (as per usual), and ordered Dominos on Tuesday night. Yesterday, we hit up Honest in Tooting and both had the "special" burger which had bacon and sauerkraut, amongst other yummy things. We got caught in the rain quite spectacularly and the three minute sprint back to the car had us both looking like we'd just stepped out of the shower.

Last night consisted of watching The Wolf Of Wall Street (I know I'm a little late to the party but OMG, it was so good!) and more Friends. I also cooked for him for the first time - it's usually him in the kitchen because I'm kind of a shit cook - and he happened to actually really like my incredibly basic parmesan-baked chicken dish. Wahaaay! 

He went home this morning though as he's going back to uni tomorrow and was spending one last day with his family today. So that's left me all on my lonesome ownsome since 11am and I don't think I've ever had a longer nine hours in my life. I keep looking at the clock and expecting it to be like 10pm, but really, as I'm writing this, it's only just quarter to eight. I miss my parents and my friends and it's kind of making my heart ache a little bit to know I'm not seeing my boyfriend for four weeks now.

I think we both kind of took the one mile distance between our houses for granted, a bit, this summer. We would see each other maybe two or three times a week, compared to the once a month it is at uni. I've just got so used to seeing him whenever I want that it's going to be so hard to do the long distance relationship thing again at uni. I know that I'll get used to it, just like I was used to it for the whole last year of uni, but I'm really crap at saying goodbye and I always cry.

I'm not even a super emotional person but I've been feeling a bit teary all day. When I'm feeling a bit low like today, all I really want is someone in the room with me. Even if it's just my dad watching TV at the other end of the room, or my mum cooking while I'm sat at the table, it makes me feel a whole lot better. I don't think I could ever live by myself. I'm such a people person and being alone on the regs would probably break me.

One year ago today was the first time that my boyfriend and I first said the "L-word" to each other. We'd both like, known, for a couple of months but since it was kind of a Ross-And-Rachel situation, neither of us said anything. On the day that we confessed our luuuurve for each other, we had a fab burger in Pitt Cue, went to Angel Comedy Club, sat at Southbank at midnight, and went to the Duck and Waffle afterwards. It was such a lovely, magical day/night, even when we got totally lost in Streatham and didn't get home till close to 5am.

It was one of my favourite days I've ever spent with him and I'm sorry for sounding so soppy but I get nostalgic a lot and being all by myself in this dark, cold house with no one to snuggle up to doesn't help matters. I miss my boyfriend, I miss my parents, and I miss my student-loan-rich best friends. I can't wait till they all get back tomorrow because today has been pretty tragic. Time really, really drags when you're lonely.

Song of the day: 

Nails 17/09/15

The other day, I wanted to paint my nails but I was torn between two colours: Barry M's matte burgundy crush, and Accessorize's shade 38 aztec, which I think has been discontinued now. I decided to do a lil combo of colours and plumped for the feature nail style. Now, I know that feature nails are a thing of like 2010 but I've never really got over them! I think it's just a nice little something extra to add to an already cute manicure! I'm also not really a fan of matte polishes, so I tend to put a clear top coat over them to make them nice and glossy.

So, cue the photos:

I've kept this pretty short and sweet because, really, how much is there to say about your nail colour? But also, let's make a bid to bring back the feature nail because then I won't feel so tragically out of date if everyone else is doing it too.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Everyday makeup 2015

Let me kick things off by saying that I am definitely aware that these photos are very amateur and I'm not really trying to present myself as a beauty guru wannabe. I used to do quite a few beauty-related posts and it was kind of fun, so I miss it a bit. I'm not as interested in makeup reviews and beauty blogs anymore but I still wear the stuff every day, like probably 99% of girls my age.

The photos below show what I have on my face every single day. Over the past three years I've been trying out different brands of every type of product I use to find my favourite of all of them. I think I've finally got it worked out! If you're remotely interested, let me know in the comments what products you use and if they're like AMAZING, and maybe I'll deviate from this selection and try them out!

The photos of the products below are all in the order that I put them on. Apparently some people actually do concealer before BB cream or foundation which I find so alien! Anyway, let's get to it.

First, I use Neutrogena's grapefruit moisturiser all over my face. I'm prone to getting a lot of tiny little dry patches on my face, especially when I step out of the shower, but this stuff sorts it right out. I've been using it since the summer of 2013 which is a long time when I think about it. I love it because it's not at all greasy and it gets my skin ready for the next steps of this very amateur beauty routine.

This is my very favourite makeup-related discovery EVER. I was flying back home from Zurich in the summer of 2012 and picked up one of those free but very posh fashion/beauty magazines. There was an advert in it for this Garnier BB cream and it came with a little sample packet stuck on the page. I tried it out when I got home and it was love at first swatch. (Can you swatch BB creams? I think so...) Anyway, I wear this every single day. It's quite moisturising, but not too greasy so it doesn't leave you looking shiny. 10/10, you need to try it.

If I could only use makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be concealer, hands down. I need it to cover up my purple eye bags and the spots I always seem to have. I've tried seemingly every single high street brand's concealer, from Collection's famous "lasting perfection" concealer (which I found to be the worst of them all!), to Maybelline, to Boots' own brand, 17. I've stuck with Revlon since last summer because it gives the best coverage, it's long lasting, and it doesn't break the bank. It's not 100% perfect though so if you know of one which you think is better, please let me know!

I'm not at all fussy about powder. It's all the same to me, really. It just does the job. I do wear powder every day but the brand is about as important as umm... something which is really not important. I picked this one up in Asda for a pound or two, but I know that when it's all used up, I'll just buy one from wherever I happen to be shopping when I remember that I need more powder.

Eyeliner, however, is something I care about a lot. I've been wearing this one since 2008 which is crazy. That's seven whole years. I'm laughing at how manky this photo looks, because the paint on the pencil has worn away and just looks like I found it on the floor outside. This is Barry M's black kohl liner and it's amazing. It stays on all day and doesn't smudge too much and is just all round perfect.

I found this mascara purely by accident. Well, I say "I found it", but really it was my mum. She bought it and then realised it had one of those curved wands when she only likes the straights ones. I, however, love the curved wands so she gave it to me. I think Maybelline's mascaras have the best formula and the brushes don't really allow for clumpy lashes, which is always a bonus. This one is the cat eyes one, but again, the writing has rubbed off from being manhandled and chucked in many a bag.

This is something I don't use every single day because it's very sparkly. It's the Body Shop's shimmer waves blusher/bronzer in the colour coral. It's just the right shade of pinky-goldy-goodness and I love it. It's a bit pricey; I wouldn't normally pay £16 for a little thing like this but I've been wearing it most days since last April and it's still not finished so I'd say it's worth it.

To get my lips ready for a bit of colour, I always use a lip balm. Like with the powder, I'm not too fussy. I've tried posh ones like Burt's Bees and while it was nice, it was also £4 when something like this Boots one is only 99p. I really like minty flavoured things so this one is ideal.

A lip colour I've really been loving at the moment is L'Oreal's Colour Riche 380 shade which is luminous coral. It's a nice pinky colour, but not too pink. It's also really moisturising and the packaging is so pretty. I'm such a sucker for cute packaging and having a lipstick you really love is something I think is important!

Excuse my selfie but here's the finished look. I always feel a bit weird posting photos of just my face but this is a suitable occasion, right? It's quite a simple makeup look and doesn't really take more than five minutes. I tend to leave my brows alone but I feel like they've been looking a bit sparse lately, so if you know a good brow powder thingy, let me know!

Hope you're all happy and well and loving life!

Song of the day:

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Germany 2015

Last week, my parents, brother and I flew out to Germany - as we have done every summer of my life - to visit my mum's family. My mum is German born and raised but left the country at the tender age of 19 to become an au pair in England. She loved suburban Southampton so much that she decided never to move back home, and instead moved to South London where she met my dad. Anyway, that's a story for another day, but the point is that half of my family live in Bavaria and we went there to visit them last week. 

I'm sure I've mentioned before that my parents are avid hikers and lovers of all things mountain. This is how I found myself at the top of two mountains over the course of the week. The first set of pictures below were taken by yours truly at the top of Nebelhorn, a huge ass mountain in the village of Oberstdorf. Nebelhorn is a ridiculous 7297 feet tall so we didn't actually climb this one - we took the cable car up. The views were stunning but I got sunburnt hella bad on the backs of my legs and on my parting in my hair. It started peeling two days ago so now I look like I have terrible dandruff. 

We also saw a huge number of cows on the mountain and my cousins and aunt decided it would be funny to let these cows lick their arms (apparently they like the taste of salty sweat, or something equally gross). I was gagging so much at the long trails of gloopy cow saliva hanging from their arms. Anyway, here's a huge amount of Nebelhorn photos taken on my trusty phone.

The other mountain I mentioned was the Pfander (lil umlaut on the A in Pfander but I don't know how to do it...). This one is part of the Alps on the German-Austrian border only about four miles or something from Lindau, where my mum and her family come from, and where the family still live. Lindau is where we stay every summer and it's become a second home to me. The Pfander sits in the Austrian town of Bregenz, which you may have heard of if you're a James Bond fan - apparently one of the films is set there but I really don't have a clue as to which one. The mountain is only 3491 feet tall so we climbed up there. There were some fabulous photo opportunities of Bregenz from half way up, and lovely views from the top. Cue pretty photos. 

These last photos below are rushed little snaps taken on our first night in Lindau. After dinner, we went for a walk around the island and I took some quick photos to send to my friend on WhatsApp. Seeing the mountains on the other side of the lake is a view you become so accustomed to when staying in Lindau that it almost stops being spectacular. I know these photos don't do it justice at all but the sun was out and it's a way to remember our lovely first evening.

I hope you're all having a lovely summer. Have you been away anywhere nice?