Hey there everyone! I’m actually a little in shock at how fast Monday has come again, even with all the things going on here at the minute! I’m down into the last 10 days of living in this flat and it’s full steam ahead with getting ready to head home for the summer.
Exams are now over, and while I had hoped to be able to dedicate more time to you all here, on Twitter, and on Instagram, I’ve found myself meeting up with friends, catching up on some much needed sleep, cleaning, packing, and just generally lying on my bed staring at the ceiling wondering how I ended up there again – seriously, it’s like a magnet that just pulls you towards it!
However, I have my annual boat trip home soon so I’m sure I’ll get some posts written up and maybe watch a few films on Netflix during that journey. I’ve already started my last few My Dream Flat posts and can’t wait to share them with you! Actually, one would’ve gone live today if my laptop hadn’t randomly restarted and wiped everything I’d been writing last night. Major eye roll. Can’t trust technology these days!
One thing I’ve found myself thinking more and more over the last few days is that I am ready for change. A change of flat, change of scene, maybe even change of hair! That one will take a little longer to persuade myself to do. My most recent thoughts on this are would I suit a proper fringe in a sort of Rebel Wilson kind of style? Do I change the colour again? Who knows, to be honest I’ll probably sit down in the chair and get the usual trim before skipping off again. But there I go getting off topic again oh so easily. Change. Yes. I’m getting very good at the whole talking about doing something but never actually doing it, and that’s beginning to bug me. Even I don’t believe myself anymore when I say I’m going to do something, so why should anyone else?
Truth be told, the change I’m most excited for is the change from university life to actual work, even if it is a few years off. Okay yes the holidays are less fun to try and deal with – when else am I ever going to have a 4 month summer? – but there’s a certain structure to working life that I feel I’m lacking at the minute, and even a part time job will probably be the same. As the days pass by faster and faster, I’m certainly not wishing my life away – those real life adult responsibilities are getting too close for my liking – but I am beginning to think about the future a little more now.
But I should really get out of bed now and get back to boxing up my bedroom. There’s stuff to be packed, furniture to be dusted and given a good clean, and then there’s the rest of the day to organise too. I wonder if anyone is up for doing something today… Might see who’s around and if they want to go on an adventure! I would actually love to go to Forfar and take a walk around the Loch but it’s a nightmare trying to get there by bus by the looks of things. Too many changes and it really doesn’t look like it would be worth the hassle weather-wise, or the money. I mean, £35 for a return ticket? I know a tank of petrol costs more but at least in a car I would be comfortable!
So instead, I’ll probably spend today getting more things packed, put on a couple of washes, and just have another day in the flat.
Now that the series is over, and I’m unsure as to whether or not there will be a new series, I felt I might share my thoughts about the show. I will do my best to avoid any spoilers, but if I accidentally have included one then please let me know so I can remove it!
So for anyone who hasn’t heard of Riverdale, or has heard of it but isn’t sure what it’s about, Riverdale is a small town in which our main characters live. To be honest, I say characters because I’m not sure if there was meant to be one more important than the other or not, but we follow a groups of friends as they try to discover the truth behind Jason Blossom’s death. The story is set in modern time and is apparently based off the Archie Comics characters (I’ve never read or heard of the Archie Comics so can’t comment on them), following Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, along with some of their friends, as the town comes to grips with the fact that Jason Blossom died. We watch as our main characters turn into sleuths (Betty actually made me think of Nancy Drew) and try to maintain their normal lives, balancing school, family, commitments, and relationships, all while trying to find out the truth about the day Jason died.
Being a Netflix Original show, I was somewhat skeptical of how it would work. I recently haven’t been overly enamoured by their productions, excluding 13 Reasons Why and Designated Survivor, and so when I saw Twitter overrun with people talking about this must-see show I decided to give it a try.
I was hooked straight away. The characters were so believable, and I just loved Cole Sprouce’s portrayal of Jughead Jones. Definitely my favourite character. If someone had asked me after watching the first episode if I would recommend it then I would’ve said yes straight away without hesitation.
Then came the mini breaks between episodes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m used to mid season breaks, and sometimes missing a week of a show due to scheduling things. But there were times when Riverdale really was messing us around a bit, or at least that was how I felt. Thirteen episodes isn’t that many, and the first 7 aired no problem. There was a two week break before they came back for episode 8 and I was beginning lose faith in the show. We seemed to be getting nowhere with the actual mystery, with more plot twists and turns than Pretty Little Liars at some points it seemed! I just was generally losing interest and wasn’t sure if I could be bothered continuing watching. Episodes 8, 9 and 10 were alright, but it felt like the story hadn’t moved forward, like they were giving us more episodes than were necessary. However I hate leaving things when I’m only half way through a series so decided I would keep going and hope for the best. We then had another 2 weeks of a break, and I actually forgot I was watching it. Now that’s when you know you’ve lost interest. However episode 11 popped up on my screen as I scrolled through Netflix looking for a film to watch, and I remembered that actually we still didn’t know the whole truth so put it on while I studied. Things were hotting up again and I found myself somewhat looking forward to the next week’s episode! Episode 12 certainly didn’t disappoint. It was fast moving, questions were answered, and I began to feel happy with the ending. Then I saw there was one episode left. How could there be? My questions had all been answered, I didn’t really care what happened next. So when I sat down to watch episode 13 I was expecting to be let down by the series again. How wrong was I? Here was an episode I never realised we needed but we certainly did! There were tense moments, times of “oh my god I can’t watch this”, and even a few moments where I found myself tearing up. And then it ended. I sat watching the titles roll and just thought wow.
Overall, Riverdale didn’t disappoint. Would I recommend it? Yes. I’d be honest though that episodes 5 to 10 didn’t have me all that interested, but it is worth sticking through, even just to see the brilliance of the acting. My rating for this show would be a strong 7 out of 10.
Now the real question – will there be another series?
Aaaaand we’re back again! I will be catching up on the Friday Favourites posts, so hope you don’t mind. Today we’re here to talk about why you should be following Lauren from The Life Of A Student Blogger.
Right, I’ve been promising this review for quite some time. I read Melancholy Mind back in March, so it’s fair to say I owe you guys this review!
Melancholy Mind is a collection of poems written by Charlene McElhinney on the theme of mental health. This book gives an insight into Charlene’s experience of depression and anxiety, spanning across 6 main themes – Reality, Symptoms and Causes, Love, Insomnia, Medication, and Recovery and Coping.
“I feel like I’m on a see-saw
And the other person is way up in the sky
And I couldn’t be any lower”
(C. McElhinney, 2017, Melancholy Mind, p13)
Now when I say I couldn’t put this down, I’m not lying. I read Melancholy Mind cover to cover in a little over an hour and was an emotional mess by the end of it. As Charlene says at the beginning, “You are holding the toughest times of my life in your hands right now” and you can certainly feel that.
I have never had a book word perfectly all the thoughts I’ve had, both consciously and subconsciously, until I read Melancholy Mind. Since reading it, I’ve carried my copy with me nearly everywhere, finding comfort in reading someone else’s experiences with everything.
Melancholy Mind is is raw, honest, and I’m going to be recommending it to anyone and everyone. Charlene really and truly has poured her heart and soul into her work, and should be incredibly proud of herself for putting this side of her out for everyone to read. It’s hard to feel alone on your darker days having read this, and it’s also a very useful tool for anyone who can’t quite vocalise how they’re feeling to non-sufferers. I challenge you to read Melancholy Mind and not tear up at least once.
If you haven’t read it yet, or want to read more of Charlene’s work, you can find out more information about her here, or buy a copy of Melancholy Mind here.
Welcome back to Friday Favourites! The first of May’s Favourites is Holly from Holzieloves and I have to say I’m actually extremely disappointed in myself for not writing this post a lot sooner – sorry Holly! I genuinely thought I had!
Now once again I can’t quite remember the first time Holly and I got chatting, but I love chatting to her and she’s such an awesome person! For as long as she can remember, Holly has always had pen and paper in sight, growing her passion for writing. Her blog covers a lot of different things including beauty, lifestyle and advice. In fact, she’s currently writing a post a day this week so remember to head over to her blog to check them out! And on top of all this, she released her own book – Bullied For Being Me – on Amazon just a few months ago. I can’t say anything about it yet as I only ordered it a few days ago so come back in a few weeks to hear my thoughts!
It was hard to pick a favourite post of Holly’s, I actually really enjoy reading them all! But if I had to pick, my favourite would be Please Don’t Forget Me. It’s raw, emotional, and honest. I can’t imagine what Holly has been going through, and this post lets us have a small insight into her mind as she discusses how she is coping with her Dad’s illness. One thing she says though, is something that all of us should remember:
Make as many memories as possible, be whoever you want and don’t let anybody change you as one day that may be taken from you and you’ll wish you had lived your life to its fullest.
So if you don’t already follow Holly, or just fancy taking a look at some of her posts, check out her links below!
I’ve finally finished reading it! I swore to myself I wouldn’t watch the film until I’d read the book and here we are. As soon as I finish writing this post, I’ll be settling down in front of Netflix (what’s new I hear you ask) to watch the film. Can’t wait! Well, actually I won’t be as it’s now 1am and I should at least retry sleeping but I will be watching the film as soon as possible. I can’t wait!
But before I get there, I owe you all a book review. And I still owe you a review of Melancholy Mind… Okay, I’ll write it next and then go watch Me Before You. Actually, I’m really excited about my next book I’m planning on reading! I’m getting off topic again…
This is my seventh book of 2017, so it’s safe to say I’m ahead of my reading schedule, and I honestly struggled every time I had to put the book down. For anyone who hasn’t read the book, I’ve put the blurb down below:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Everywhere I’ve looked recently I’ve seen people talking about how amazing this book is, and they certainly weren’t wrong! I started reading it when I was at home over Easter, and the only reason it took me so long was because I was jumping between family days and revision. However, two sleepless nights during the 12 days of revision brought us here and I fell in love with this book. I can’t actually vocalise my feels about this book right now, I just loved it.
I found myself relating to Lou a lot – in her twenties and not doing much with her life, stuck in the same routine, and suddenly she’s thrown to the wolves, so to speak, when she gets made redundant unexpectedly. As I read through each chapter, I found her more and more relatable in some ways. When we first meet Will, I hated him. Think back to 2009 when everyone hated Jacob for trying to steal Bella from Edward – that was the level of anger I felt towards him. However, Jojo Moyes managed to persuade me within the short space of a chapter that I should give him another chance. I learnt to love him, as Lou grew to like him more. So for that, I really have to congratulate the author – not many authors get me to change my mind about a character through the story!
I don’t want to give away too much. I had somehow stayed away from any spoilers about this book and so I don’t want to give anything away to other readers. However, I have to briefly say that the whirlwind of the last 100 pages had me on an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed, cried, threw the book down in anger, everything! I was transported to the scene of these last few chapters and felt as though I was watching it all unfold around me – I truly was drawn in by how well this book was written.
If you haven’t yet read the book, having seen the film or not, I would highly recommend this to anyone who asked. In fact, I’m probably going to put it in the suitcase for Mum when we go to Turkey in a few months. My rating would probably be 9 out of 10, simply because it did take until the last 200 or so pages for me to actually be hooked by the story, but that’s just a personal thing.
Have you read Me Before You? What did you think? And if anyone recommends After You, then please do let me know! I’m unsure about whether or not I want to read it.
Okay so I’ve slacked with the Friday Favourites posts again, I actually have 2 half written but my heart just hasn’t been in them the last couple of weeks so keep an eye out for them randomly appearing in the mix of posts. I haven’t really felt like blogging much recently either, it just feels like everything I have tried to do knocks me back even further into myself. Heck we were sitting having a laugh the other day over a few drinks and I found myself wanting to leave the group and go sit in my room again. Think exams are getting to me.
So that’s why I’m writing this post. My more diary-styled ones always seem to help me sort out my thoughts and everything going on around me, so I apologise if I end up talking through myself but sometimes the unedited version of me is the one that needs to go out there.
I woke up this morning to the sound of the workmen in the garden again and it’s really beginning to get to me. We all know I’m not the best sleeper at the best of times, but recently I’ve just been constantly exhausted. When I can’t sleep, I either watch TV or I read until I need to sleep. Last night was a reading night. I forgot how much I loved diving into a good book and completely forgetting everything around me. After almost 2 hours of reading I decided it was time to try and sleep, but once again I couldn’t get comfortable. I felt restless, agitated, as if something wasn’t right. So, being the big child I am, I gathered all my soft toys together, buried my head in the middle of them, and forced myself to go to sleep that way. Four hours later I was woken by the workmen in the garden.
I don’t know why, but when I don;t get much sleep, I find I have more energy in the morning. So I jumped out of bed and got started on my to do list for the day. I contacted a few people about flat viewings, I emailed the school I’m doing work experience in next month, and I got through 3 lectures of my revision plan for the day. And then I hit the wall. The noise from outside is distracting me. I’m exhausted again. I realise, once again, how much I hate my course and the path my life seems to be currently taking. It gets harder to motivate myself. I try bribing myself – just one more lecture then you can go for a walk and clear your head. You dont need to even fully understand the lecture, just take another look at the notes and know you can replicate this. This then fails spectacularly. I feel guilty that I can’t even make it until lunch without revision ‘killing me’.
To be honest, I think that’s where all this leads back to. I’m beginning to resent myself again because I made a revision timetable that I should’ve known I wouldn’t stick to, and so I disappoint myself daily because I’m behind on where I wanted to be. Then, while I’m busy being disappointed in myself for that, I’m more disappointed in myself because I’m not only letting myself down, but everyone who worked hard to get me back into university this year. And then to top it all off, I begin to wonder if coming back was even the right thing to do. By this stage, we’re back to the resentment, and the cycle starts over again.
So I come to blog. And my mind goes blank. I can’t enjoy what I’m trying to do. And that’s when I realise that I could never do this full time, even if I wanted to. I blog for the fun of it. That feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day when you go to look at your stats and see that you got more than 20 views that particular day (and yes I know 20 isn’t much but for me it’s plenty).
I’m just feeling disconnected from everything. So I’m sorry that my posts haven’t been more my usual. And I’m sorry that I haven’t written what I have said I would. Be patient with me please, I’m still figuring this all out myself. I hope you don’t mind.
Okay so this is probably my favourite room of my ideal student home. Yes, I still have my bedroom and bathroom to cover, but I’ve been thinking more and more about the spare room recently that I decided to write about it first!
Now, if you are unaware, I’ve been thinking slash dreaming about my dream student home in a ‘if money were no object’ type way and so I’ve been writing several posts on it. So far we’ve covered my kitchen and my living room, so today I’ll chat all about my spare room because yes my dream flat would have 2 bedrooms but be less than £350 a month rent including bills – a girl can dream! So onwards with the post!
Now every room has to start somewhere, and that’s why I wanted to start with the floors and walls. Again, it’s surprising how hard this is to pick out! I wanted a blue/green colour as both are said to be good for improving your focus as well as helping with sleep – surely that’s a juxtaposition? How can I be focused on work at the same time as being set towards sleep by the walls? Anyway, never mind the effect of the colours, I found this Sea Green Matt Emulsion paint from B&Q and felt it went quite well with the Soft Touch Saxony Carpet in fawn. What’re your thoughts? I’ll keep the skirting boards, window sill, window frame, door frame, and door all in the same off-white that I used in the living room.
And now the boring part is over with, I can move on with the furnishing! Before I go any further, I should probably point out that this dream/ideal student house has a built in wardrobe in the two bedrooms, with a shelf up top, and enough room that I can put a hook for dressing gowns on the inside.
So to start with, this room is going to be both my study and my guest room, so my furniture would have to reflect this. To be honest, this room is a little difficult for me to describe, and it lead me to draw it out roughly before I even started on this post. If I’m being honest, I would probably use it as primarily a study, and if anyone was staying over I would put them in my room and I would take the guest room instead. For this reason, I would want a really big sprawling desk so I could really spread out when studying or blogging. I’d have this desk up against the window so that I had some daylight and something to look at when procrastinating. So the best I could find, considering the size of desk I’m dreaming of, was the Alex/Linnmon Table in white from Ikea shown below.
The useful thing about this desk is the drawers – stationery in one drawer, laptop and external hard drive in another, generally just the whole thing can be easily organised with blog stuff on one side and university stuff on the other. I would try and keep the desk as clear as possible when I’m not working, but I would definitely have a little DAB radio sitting there, one that I can plug my phone into to play my own music and charge my phone at the same time because let’s face it, iPhones have rubbish battery!
Now, for my awesome desk, I need a chair that’s actually going to support my back while I work! Have I mentioned that these exams are currently wrecking mine? So I was drawn towards the Herman Miller Classic Aeron Office Chair from John Lewis.
I had originally planned to have 2 little art-trolley things on either side of the desk but since this one comes with drawers it really isn’t necessary!
Now that the more office-y things are sorted, I would probably want this sofa bed from Debenhams.
I don’t know why but I always assume leather sofas are going to make more comfortable sofa beds – what do you think? Because this is a 3 seater sofa, it leaves plenty of room for 2 people I think so that’s the best option for when you’ve got those annoying people who won’t sleep where you tell them to. What bedding would I put with this, I hear you ask? Well, ask no more! I would probably go with this set shown below from Dunelm. All bedding would be stored in the built in wardrobe, inside a little hamper. However, I would probably put the Rectangular Cushions and the Continental Pillowcases on cushions on the sofa even when the bed isn’t in use. Also, there are matching blackout curtains that I would get – they can be sort of seen the the picture below.
Hey, something has to make up for the uncomfortable mattress that always accompanies a sofa bed! On top of that, I want to put two side tables beside the sofa. As a person with glasses, I often find myself sleeping in hotels and other places where I don’t actually have anywhere to put my glasses and a glass of water, never mind my phone while it charges. That’s why this side table from Ikea would be perfect! I’d put a lamp on each one, and probable a cute box of tissues on the lower shelf of each table.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to a hotel? Okay, so probably not the top of most people’s priorities but I love when I find a TV in the room – it just means I can relax and have my own thing on if I’m not in the mood to sleep. With this in mind, I would probably put a TV into this spare room. Of course, my dream TV would have Netflix, Sky, and Amazon Prime all on it for no extra cost, but I would probably go for this one from Currys and put it on top of this lovely little TV unit from Debenhams.
And of course there would be a DVD player etc in the room for whoever was there. The final piece of furniture I would introduce to the room would be a bookcase in the corner. I really liked this one from Ikea because it’s specifically designed to fit in the corner.
Again, this room would be filled with lots of little artsy bits and pieces. I’d also have a mirror in the wardrobe so that anyone staying in the room can do their hair or makeup without any fuss!
While it isn’t to scale, I’ve included a computer-made sketch of how I would arrange the room. Hope you like it!
Every year. Every year I tell myself “don’t get started on any new TV shows until after exams” and every year I do it.
When I was back at home, it wasn’t so bad. I had Lord of the Rings playing on repeat, sometimes throwing Harry Potter into the mix just so I didn’t get too bored of hearing the same 3 scripts over and over and over and over. Then I got to university and found myself blasting through the multiple episodes of 24. I saw enough of it during that exam season that I could tell exactly what episodes would have plot twists, what would be happening to Jack, and when it got to episode 3 of each series, and CTU thought they’d stopped the terrorists, I was rolling my eyes and shouting at the screen that they were all thick – I had another 21 episodes to get through before they were finished!
The following year, I blasted through How I Met Your Mother during the Christmas exams, and then restarted The West Wing for the summer exams. If you’ve forgotten how well that worked out for me I should probably redirect you to my posts from this time last year via the sidebar. I ended up with resits to do, and found myself watching Pretty Little Liars.
So then we reached this year. At Christmas, all anyone was talking about was a Netflix Original that was apparently very well done. And so I started watching The Crown over that one week of exams. But for once it just about worked! I swore to myself then and there that there would be no new TV until 19th May. Well I messed that one up…
During a couple of sleepless nights, I ended up getting back into Nashville. Mary had recommended it a few months back, and before Easter I started watching it. Then, over the easter break I decided to just finish the first series. Big, big mistake. I won’t ruin it for you but there was a massive cliffhanger in the last 2 minutes and then I had to go pick Rachel up from a friend’s house. So I suppose I did quite well, waiting 2 weeks to pick up again with season 2, but I also managed to get through it in 2 days…. whoops. And I’m now up to date with it all…
The great thing about Nashville, however, is that a lot of the plotline happens through the songs and so I really don’t need to be watching it. And if you’re a fan of country music the way I am then it’s actually really good if you’re in the mood for something light! So what’s it all about?
The show takes us through the lives of multiple fictitious country music singers in Nashville, and stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, a legendary country music superstar, whose fame is beginning to fade, and Hayden Panettiere as rising young star Juliette Barnes. They both belong to the same label, and so see a lot more of each other than either of them would like. Rayna’s perfect little family isn’t so perfect (although her two kids are just adorable!) and Juliette’s life isn’t so great either. While I love them both, my two favourite characters are Deacon and Scarlett. Deacon used to work with Rayna and then changes over to working for Juliette for a while, and Scarlett is his talented niece. So we get a wide variety of performances and styles of music throughout each episode and that’s what I love.
My favourite songs from the show include A Life That’s Good, Black Roses, and Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet, which can be seen below!
Have you seen Nashville? Is it something you’ve absolutely no interest in?
I’m back again! I’ve been continuing the flat hunt and am getting more and more picky as time goes on and I hate myself for it. So I thought, why not get it written down what my dream living room would be in this Ideal Student House I keep thinking about.