A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Sunday, 26 April 2015

On Happenings of Late

Life has got super crazy over the past couple of weeks. Please bear with me in the next couple of months - what with A Level exams, mocks before that, and having barely any time to just sit down and relax or go out with my friends, there has simply been no time for blogging. And while that makes me very sad I know that it's what has to give in the next few months, just as it has done every year. It will be positively joyful when I don't have exams so will be able to actually blog in the months April-June! I just thought while I've got a spare moment it would be nice to catch up, so here I am.

Since I was here last I've been to Exeter with Mum and finally made the decision that Exeter University is really where my heart is, despite it not being anywhere near as close as York to my sister. I've firmed it, put York as my insurance, applied for student finance and accommodation. All these 'big life moments' are panicking me a little, but at least I'm not shying away from them!

A couple of weeks ago now we celebrated my friend Josie's 18th birthday. Josie is going to Honduras next year to teach primary school children English with Project Trust and we managed to raise £400 for it as a birthday present for her. I'm most proud that we managed to keep it a surprise, her reaction when we told her was such a lovely thing to see. The justgiving page is still open for a few more days so I'll link it here if anyone would be kind enough to donate - it's for a really good cause, I know Josie will be amazing out there as much as I'll miss her. After all getting a little emotional over Josie's present and the fact that we won't see her for a whole year, we proceeded to go out for cocktails and lots of laughter followed, as you can see in the photo below.

 The weather seems not to have been as good this past week (boo!) but when it was lovely I really did make the most of it (yay!), and this time went on a little picnic by the river with my best girlies. It was such a pretty evening and we had our first Pimms of the year; definitely something to be celebrated.

This week just gone on Wednesday evening I went to the philosophy dinner (my sixth form has subject dinners towards the end of the academic year for A Level students). I had such a great time; I tried babaganoush for the first time which was absolutely divine, we played a mixed form of philosophy charades/taboo which got a little competitive and hilarious, and talked about all our plans for next year. It really made me feel so lucky to have had such fab teachers over the past few years who will truly go to every effort to make sure that you have what you need, we need many more such people in the world for sure!

And I'll round up this post with a photo from last night. It was two of my friends' birthday parties which was 1970s themed. I, of course, went as Sandy from Grease. It was a really fun night and although I'm not usually the biggest fan of themed parties, last night's theme was a definite hit and I did secretly enjoy dressing up as Sandy and having an excuse to sing songs from Grease throughout the night (as if you ever need an excuse! ;)). Sorry again for the lack of posts recently, I'll try to post sooner than the gap I've left up to today xo


Sunday, 12 April 2015

On My Little Weekend #03

Isn't this weather just glorious?! I've been loving every opportunity I've had to spend time outside in the sunshine over the past few days. Time spent catching up with friends and my Mum have definitely been what the doctor ordered after spending the majority of the week indoors revising and looking longingly out the window at the beautiful weather.

On Thursday (which I know technically isn't the weekend but definitely deserves a mention on this occasion!) I met up with some lovely girls for dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I decided to go all out and have the avocado burger with bacon and chunky chips as well as an oreo milkshake, after all I had spent the day working hard! All three were incredible and the girl chat was very much needed after I'd been feeling a bit isolated in the earlier part of the week. It really is amazing how talks with these girls never fail to lift my spirit right up.

On Friday morning Mum and I woke up bright and early and hopped on the tube to King's Cross to get the train to York for a university tour and to explore the town. This was in the hope of helping me make a decision about which university to go to which is something I'm really struggling with at the moment but also something that I want to decide on as soon as possible really. The struggles of adult decision-making are definitely being felt at this end, I can tell you. It was really great to see the town centre which I hadn't had time to do on my previous two trips, I never knew how lovely York city centre is. We stopped off for lunch at Bill's and I had the veggie halloumi and hommus burger which was absolutely divine. (Yes, I did have two burgers in two days - and I'm not even sorry!) York definitely won my heart on Friday, we'll just have to see whether Exeter recaptures it, having not seen it for such a long time, when we head down next Friday. Here's hoping I'll make a decision soon.

In the evening I went round to Lydia's house with the girls. We had a wonderful girlie night, including pizza, cake, Ben & Jerry's eaten out of the tub and many, many games. Although I was exhausted from walking around all day and having an early start, it was great to laugh, chat, and sing with these lovelies... as it always is when we're together.

Saturday was spent revising all day so let's just skip straight over that... today I met Harry in central London and what followed really was the perfect Sunday. We met at Victoria, popped into M&S to pick up bits and bobs for a picnic, hopped on the tube and set up camp in Green Park under a tree. It was even warm enough for bare legs - I'm desperate to get a tan and so any opportunity in which I can I *will* get my legs out (or that's the mantra I'm trying to stick to)! The picnic was delicious and just spending time in the sun with Harry was so nice.

When we could finally bear to move we headed to Buckingham palace for a quick look, followed by a trip to the V&A museum. I'd shamefully never been there before so we decided since it's free admission and I've heard such good things about it, it would be wrong not to make a trip there really. If you're able to, I would wholeheartedly recommend paying a visit to the V&A; there's so much to see and some of the paintings/artefacts are simply stunning. We did find that walking around a museum for a couple of hours is pretty tiring, however, and so walked straight from the V&A to the Hummingbird Bakery for a lemon and blueberry cup cake with a cup of tea - my idea of heaven.

All in all it's been a great few days which have really lifted my mood from being cooped up inside working. It just goes to show how important it is to make time to get out and relax with ones who make you happy. What about you? What have you got up to this weekend?

Monday, 6 April 2015

On My Happy List #05

This past week has been mad, and not in the best way unfortunately. Revision has well and truly taken over which always brings me down a little - spending days inside looking out the window at the sun longingly don't do much good for the soul as I'm sure you can imagine! What's more, at the end of such days I'm absolutely knackered and don't have the energy to type away on here; I'm afraid blog posts may be few and far between in the next couple of months as my A Levels become increasingly in grasping distance. I apologise in advance for that! Anyway, I thought what with me feeling a bit gloomy the best thing for it would be to crack in some positivity in the form of a happy list...

1. Being able to eat chocolate and making Easter treats! After forty days of dodging chocolate and having to resort to biscuits which, let's face it, just don't hit the spot when you've got a chocolate craving, I was more than ready for chocolate yesterday morning. I made the Easter nest cupcakes above for the occasion and those as well as Easter eggs made me a very happy girl. I've now got a little stash of chocolate for whenever I get a craving... I'm thinking the stash won't last all that long!

2. Herbal tea-drinking. As I mentioned recently, I've been really getting into drinking herb teas. While I'll always be a English Breakfast Tea girl at heart, herb teas are nice to interweave into my tea-drinking habits (yes, I actually have tea-drinking habits!). I started today with a green tea, had a peppermint tea at Starbucks after my morning run, an English Breakfast mid-afternoon, and will be having a cup of camomile and spiced apple before I hit the hay tonight. A cup of tea really does make things a little better, and it turns out, herb teas do too. 

3. Watching new (to me) Disney films. On Saturday evening, after a long day of what seemed like never-ending revision, I watched Pocahontas for the first time. I know, how had I gotten away with not seeing it until now?! Who knows.. I'm really terrible at watching all the films everyone's supposed to have seen... let's not talk about Star Wars and James Bond films. Anyway, I absolutely adore Disney films and, although Pocahontas wasn't the best one I've ever seen, I really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful story and I loved the songs; just a classic Disney film that brightened up my Saturday no end. 

4. Getting back into exercise (kind of). This is one of the very limited pros of exam time: it gives me time to run. By this time of year, the mornings and evenings are lighter and I don't have school to take up the middle of the day (I've got four more weeks after the Easter holidays and then I'm on study leave, eep!), meaning I can actually find the time to go on runs. I'm not going to lie to you, I'm a little rusty, but the main thing is that I'm doing it. They may not be the longest or fastest runs, but as This Girl Can pointed out, I'm lapping the people on the sofa and that's all that matters! Speaking of which, isn't This Girl Can such a great campaign?! 

5. Making delicious lunches. Another positive of exam time! I can take the time to make myself a healthy (mostly) and delicious (always) lunch and getting a good lunch definitely helps revision so isn't procrastinating at all, right? ;) Anyway, having been inspired by Rosie's recent post, today I made smashed avocado with lemon, salt and chilli on toast with a poached egg. It was even better than it sounds, if that's possible. Best. lunch. ever. I'll definitely be making it again soon.

What about you? What's been making you happy lately?
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