Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Gifts for Her Under £15 | 2014 Edition

This Christmas has been one of Secret Santa's for me, but in the spirit of quirky gift giving I thought it adapt to share a cute 'Gifts for Her 2014 Edition' and with most people still buying their Christmas gifts it really isn't too late to take advantage of the Limited Edition ranges and novelty buys. 

An ideal stocking filler this year would be some chocolate satsumas! River Island had some amazing ones, but unfortunately sold out super quick! Traditionally Santa would always give me a satsuma in my stocking along with chocolate coins, a 50p bag of sweets from the market and various other knick nacks including fluffy socks and sleep masks. Yet my little satsuma would often get left feeling lonely and unwanted, so a chocolate alternative is perfect! And is there really such a thing as too much chocolate at Christmas!!? 

My hand picked goodies this year are....

A book that reminds me of 'Wreck this Journal' and Alfie Deyes 'Pointless Book', it is an exercise book/notebook that aims to aid us on our creative journey. Ideal for those stuck in a creative rut and need a figurative kick up the backside to help get their creative juices flowing once more! It certainly appeals to me having finished university and on the search for constant self motivation to keep going in fun, creative pursuits. 

It is so easy to buy decorative home items that are simply not useful and entice us with their beauty. This dish brings together design, functionality and gives you a blooming unicorn for a pet! So often jewellery is taken off and lost, especially earrings and simple necklaces. This dish offers a solution to that and would complement any shabby chic room, you might even feel a tad hipster.. *Pass the triangle!* 

A magical seasonal scent perfect for those who prefer showers over baths. A product that allows one to dip their toe in the massive cult following that is Lush and not feel too overwhelmed by bath bombs galore and overpowering scents. As someone who often tags along with others into the store and so far having never made a purchase there, I was introduced to the shower gel by a sales assistant. It really made me want to purchase this and replace my beloved Soap & Glory (if only temporarily...),  I was smitten.  

Often it seems buying cosmetic sets is abit of a gift cop out but this year No.7 has launched a beautiful range of rosegold gifts with pale purple and pink ribbon. Absolute swoon!!! Clearly they have done their market research! Rosegold seems to have taken the hearts of everyone this year and the packaging is so perfect it almost doesn't matter what's inside. The single crackers come in the rosegold colour for £8 or buy this set of six for £14. Definitely something to consider if you're hosting a girly Christmas Dinner!

Treat the ones you love this festive season, even if that person is you!

*I don't own any of the photos in this post

Friday, 12 December 2014

Companionship Study

In March earlier this year I attended a seminar weekend held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Nottingham England entitled a Missionary Preparation Seminar. It is held for anyone interested in serving a mission, already in the process of their application, or simply toying with the idea. Missionaries are people who volunteer full time to work for the church with the purpose of 'inviting others to Christ'. It is a huge opportunity and a wonderful one at that. The weekend was so full of the Holy Ghost, leaving me with intense feelings of peace and joy. 

Full time missionaries are expected to study the scriptures and other gospel related material for two hours every day, one hour on their own called 'Personal Study' and the other with their companion or fellow missionary called 'Companionship Study'. While at the seminar we were expected to live missionary lifestyles including all the rules, dress code and rigorous schedule. For the first time I got to try out a proper Companionship Study session. But we were at loss at how to do it! Did we just share what we had learned in Personal Study, did we look at something entirely different, did we use it to prepare for the lesson we had to teach that day, etc, etc? The list went on. I think we settled on sharing what we had learned and discussed the day ahead. 

I was never actually taught how to do companionship study, what was to be achieved or what we were meant to cover. It seemed like something we should instinctually know, but we didn't. We tried our best and it was fine. Our weekend was still wonderful regardless. Having felt the Holy Spirit so much I become acutely aware of little things I wanted to improve and work on in my everyday life, one of which was a better understanding of Championship Study. Now months on, as if by chance championship study has started to play a bigger role in my life once more. 

In the gospel we are taught to have scripture study and prayer daily. Often this can be difficult and requires conscious effort. When it is just up to you it is easy to brush it off or to be busy and simply forget. While personal study and constantly building that relationship with God as an individual is vital, I have learnt that families and loved ones can bless us in a way I had never considered. When someone else is relying on you, you are more likely to do something. When my partner is expecting me to get up at silly o'clock and Skype him for scripture study it gives me greater incentive to drag myself out of bed and wake myself up. It makes me feel more accountable, more responsible. 

There is so much more to companionship study than simply following instructions. It is an opportunity to truly be someone's companion and work as a team! To set goals and grow together spiritually, to set time aside solely to talk of things of spiritual importance, learn from each other and the Holy Spirit! It reminds me of my Seminary days and weirdly I miss it when life gets in the way (or exhaustion!) and we skip a few sessions. I love how it helps us draw closer in a whole different way! 

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Bleach London Beach Lights Review

I've been wanting to dye my hair blonder for so long but kept putting it off. After almost two years my ombre is gone. The end of an era. Ombre is so easy to maintain and gives the appearance of overall lighter hair. However my hair has become very damaged and requires a regular deep conditioning treatment and could probably do with a trim, but I just can't bring myself to do it!

While in a Boots in Manchester recently I came across Bleach London and was immediately captivated by their branding. An entire product range based on the hipster dip dye and pastel coloured hair, with sliver & rose shampoos, deep conditioners, dip dye and beach light kits and pastel hair dye. I decided to try the Beach Lights to create natural, blonder highlights rather than a whole head of colour. 

It came with a mini version of their Reincarnation Mask conditioning treatment sporting puns such as "Hair Dyed?", two sachets of bleach powder, a small bottle of peroxide, mixing bowl, plastic gloves, instructions, brush and balayage board. Although my hair has always been done at home ever since I was a toddler, (due to my mum's previous hair dressing experience) I have never heard of a balayage board or what balayaging even was! After some internet research, it turns out it's just another word for ombre or dip dye! Pinterest have a range of lovely examples.

After reading some other Beach Lights reviews and watching balayage tutorials online, it turns out it is still intended to be a form of dip dye. Sections of the hair are thread through the comb section and rested on the main rectangle, acting as a surface to apply the dye. Moving the balayage board down as you apply the dye to the whole strand of hair. The instructions given weren't very clear, so I recommend watching a video on youtube to clarify. :) But it was definitely easier than it sounded.     

I sectioned the hair according to the illustration in the instructions and worked on picking random sections and applying dye along the whole length rather than just the end. At first I was worried there wouldn't be enough dye, but it expanded once mixed. However I found the mixing bowl provided was pretty small and limiting when combining the bleach powder and peroxide. 

Having fallen in love with the ombre affect and low maintenance, I wanted my highlights to be similar and gently blend in appearing natural. My hair hasn't been highlighted in years so I am unsure how easy maintaining roots would be and didn't want a harsh grow out as associated with block colour dying. 

As my hair has been previously ombre-ed however I focused on applying more dye to the upper sections and hardly any to the ends of the hair. I didn't cover the applied sections with foil or anything and just let it sit gently on top of all the others regardless of whether they had dye on or not. This didn't seem to mix or affect the outcome at all fortunately. 

The bleach was incredibly strong and gave off a strong scent and burned my fingers slightly as I'm silly I didn't use the plastic gloves provided, I just find them a hinderance. However the Reincarnation Mask worked incredibly well and my hair felt in lovely condition after the process rather than dried out, easy to break and unmanageable. I'm incredibly pleased with the mask and glad that I also bought the bigger bottle. 

I left the dye on for 40minutes and conditioning treatment for 30minutes.

I would greatly recommend this product. If I was to go back in time and repeat the process, I would have saved more dye for the top section of my hair, blended it more at the roots and worn my gloves! Yet for my first attempt at home high lights I was incredibly pleased.  

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Trust is a Hard Thing

Let's be serious here for a second.

Life is hard, but it's also this big grand adventure. One we would be silly to let slip past us. It seems everyone is off traveling or landing fancy graduate jobs or getting married or having babies. And in all honesty, a great deal of it seems like utter madness.

A scary, big adventure. Finishing university is hard. No lie. But then a lot of things are hard. Structure is something we all crave. It sets us up to do more. While strolling through my endless facebook newsfeed about a year or so ago I remember thinking how interesting it will be to see how everyone's lives pan out after graduation. After education.

That is when the real fun and real risks begin it seems. Almost that university it itself is no longer a privilege but an accepted, expected part of life's journey. That it is the very notion of finding oneself launched into their 'dream career' that is the privilege. Especially in terms of the creative industries. The dedication, sacrifice and raw perseverance that is first required.

It is easy to lose sight and to forget oneself. To lose confidence in yourself. To become frustrated, confused and discouraged. To fail to trust yourself. Your ability to choose the best and most happy choices. Your ability to discern the course of action or hope for yourself. Yet this is a time when such hope is vital. Such love of oneself.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope:.." 2 Nephi 31:20

Often not all things fall into place all at once. We must believe in ourselves and our grand potential. Our capacity. We are children of the very creator of the universe! The maker of the stars and great oceans! Of the birds and the gentle breeze! What greater reason to rejoice and to love yourself. Marvel at your great potential. Whether or not you are religious or hold any belief of any greater purpose or being. You are of great worth. Look at all you have accomplished and all that you have yet to achieve. Have trust in yourself. It will all work out.

"Sometimes receiving inspiration is like a foggy day. There's enough light that you can tell it's not darkness anymore, it's not night. But it's not brilliantly illuminated, you can see just enough to take a few steps ahead into the cloudiness. I don't know about other people, but it occurs that way for me all the time. There's enough just to take a few steps and then the light continues to help me see just far enough ahead that I can continue to press forward." - Patterns of Light Part 3: Spirit of Revelation by David A. Bednar

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Embracing the Chef

I've always been a fussy eater. Once my friend even made a list of all the things I didn't like so she would never accidentally serve it to me when I came to visit. I however, never thought I was that particular. I just liked certain things :) and not others. I can never understand it when people say you just have to get used to certain foods. Why would I continue eating something if I didn't like it?! 

When my partner first discovered my 'unusual' palette he was utterly bewildered! (Especially as he used to be a chef.) And ever since it's been a mission of his to convince me of the flavour enhancing properties of things such as onions, mushrooms and peppers (to name a few). Cooking them up in various fancy ways, helping me to branch out and try new foods and enrich my overall dining experience. While I'm still not a huge fan of onions, I'm starting to see what he means. 

Even at restaurants I would always be that awkward person altering their order to take out ingredients and add others. But my very perspective on food has begun to change. I've started to trust the judgements of those who have created the menu and carefully put together it's recipes. In hindsight it seems silly to disregard the talents and skills of those who prepare and essentially design our food. 

Menus are given to us for a reason! I have loved food for a long time, but I'm certainly no expert (unless maybe in chocolate or dessert aha). Now when I order food at a restaurant I always try to consider the talents of those involved and be open to trying new foods or food combinations. It's important to trust other's expertise and have creations as they are intended. Although of course I still go for my favourites and mix them up according to my own preference. 

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Feeling Self Conscious in Relationships

From the age of fourteen I began wearing make up, not only wearing it but relying on it. I haven't left the house without at least wearing mascara in seven years. Even on holiday on the beach or at water parks I would still wear waterproof mascara and pray that it would stay in place. It doesn't help that I have very fair, blonde eyelashes framing my eyes as without mascara I look as if I haven't even got any! While make up can be fun and a personal choice, we should never have to rely on something so much to feel comfortable in front of others. 

Especially when it comes to relationships. In the beginning of a relationship it's very understandable. You want to look your most attractive, feel your most attractive, you want to make an impression. But as that relationship goes on and becomes more secure you won't always be going out on dates or be in situations where you need to dress up. You might spend the day in the house together, watch movies, take naps, go on holiday, etc, etc. Times where make up isn't required. You should not panic at the thought of your signifiant other seeing you without make up on. It isn't fair to put that pressure on yourself. You should feel comfortable in your most natural, raw state around yourself and those you love the most. Their love for you should be unconditional. You should not feel that way. It is not kind on yourself nor is it healthy. 

Your partner should be supportive, caring and frankly not bothered. If you do not feel comfortable enough to be relaxed about yourself, especially in long term relationships. That is not ok. When my boyfriend first saw me without make up I was so nervous and scared. What would he think? What would he say? I made it into much more of a big deal than it needed to be, that he teased me about it and pretended to be ever so shocked and sarcastically told me that I looked "So different!" until he laughed and told me with almost a sense of relief that I look far more beautiful without make up than I do with it. That he loves me for me, he loves the natural me more than whatever I choose or would ever chose to do it enhance it, including make up or any form of plastic surgery (if I was ever to go down that route). He explained that while make up aids girls in looking hot it is not what makes them beautiful. 

Now I don't even think twice about not wearing make up in front of him. I used to always feel that whoever was looking at me was judging how awful I looked, but with him it doesn't even cross my mind. He helps me to feel as beautiful as he sees me. Even in my rawest form. While I still need to work on being self confident going out in public without make up, I have really come along way. It is up to you to feel comfortable, but having support of those closest to you truly helps. Don't settle for anything less.  

Friday, 7 November 2014

Making the Most of Your Priesthood Leaders

Most churches will have some form of hierarchy. Leaders who ensure the church organisation is running smoothly and teaching doctrine in keeping with the word of God. Taking on the responsibility of leading the church itself and in turn the people in a righteousness manner and helping to maintain the integrity of it's fundamentals as an organisation  They come under many names; Pope, Prophet, Priest, Bishop, Minster, etc. The majority of whom are good and wonderful people. They do a lot for the church in which they work and often the community as a whole, but have you ever considered what they can do for you?

When I was younger I always thought that going to see the Bishop was a terrible thing. That it meant you had committed a great sin and that everyone would know. I have gone on to learn that that is utterly false. Church leaders are not there to condemn, belittle or cause you to feel terrible. Often if you do feel any of those things, it is a result of whatever wrong doing you have performed. Aside from situations where you are in the wrong, there are hundreds of reasons for you to seek a meeting with your church leader or for them to seek one with you. They are there to be your support, to encourage, to offer advice as a servant of the Lord, to bless, to be a friend. 

When I moved to university three years ago I didn't know anyone in my new congregation. At first it was incredibly difficult and strange. I had to remember why I attend church. That while I love the social aspect, it was truly for my faith, learning and because God has commanded it. I gradually got to know people and flourished while I was there. I eventually fell in love with that little congregation! During my time at university I began dating my wonderful partner and he later decided to join the church and was baptised. During this whole process I had countless meetings with church leaders. Chats about how school was going, how my leadership position was going, how can I help those I volunteer with, how my partner is doing, how we can work together, how my faith was doing and simply whether I was ok! Everytime I went away feeling renewed. I was entitle to divulge as much or as little information as I liked, to initiate meetings or decline them. However they were always an option just incase I needed them.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the majority of church leaders whether it be Bishops for local congregations or those higher in the organisational hierarchy, are not paid. Whether or not they were suited for or considered for any kind of leadership position is greatly prayed about by other leaders 'higher up' in the church and then they are very kindly asked whether or not they will accept the position. To volunteer in a very time-consuming, intense capacity to help God's children. We believe that God personally chooses each person for all positions within his church. We can know for ourselves whether or not he chose them through personal prayer and receiving a spiritual witness through his Holy Ghost.     

Hebrews 2:4 "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

I have learnt that it is incredibly important not to be afraid to ask for your Bishop's help, it doesn't matter if it's with a huge life decision, something that you feel is silly, like there isn't very much wrong or you just want someone to voice things over with. Sometimes a quite chat with the servant of the Lord is just what you need. 

Helpful Resources

Friday, 31 October 2014

Those Strappy Heels | New Look's Monochrome Patent Block Ankle Strap Heel

Only when my boyfriend asked me recently had I realised that I haven't bought myself a new pair of shoes in over a year!! And that last pair were fitness trainers bought in order to do Insanity rather than a dainty, girly indulgence. I love wearing heels to church every week and for special occasions yet I'm definitely not one of those people who can wear them all day doing normal activities. Man would that kill my feet! Heels definitely do take some getting used too. 

Following a lot of fashion bloggers and way too many fitness/trendy girls on instagram, the strappy heel kept appearing! More sandal than shoe they looked so elegant and beautiful. All those Scandinavian girls with their sleek blonde ponytails, raybans, red lipstick, black ensemble and those shoes! And they look absolutely gorgeous. And I thought maybe, just maybe I can make a claim on such a look through my Danish heritage and whimsically adopt the trend. :) 

I sought after an imitation of the shoes but hate spending 60 odd quid on one such an item (unless it's something substantial like a coat or Jack Wills hoodie (slightly hypocritical maybe?) aha). New Look and Primark have always been good advocates for the stylish inexpensive heel and thus my search began. And oh, I tried on many a shoe! All with problems e.g. the heel was too thin, the strap didn't give enough support, the back made my foot feel like it would twist out... the list went on and on. Then finally one day I spied these babies in New Look after work and they stayed in my thoughts until finally I succumbed and tried them on. Oh they were glorious. And now they are mine. 

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups Review | A Slight Addiction

If I was ever to bring out my own range of anything, ideally it would have to be some form of chocolate. I absolutely love the stuff, not even in a stereotypical 'I'm a girl' kinda way, more of a 'chocolate tasting would be a highly realistic job option' kinda way. Before I even take a bite I love to inhale the creamy, scrumptious scent, take mice sized nibbles and throughly enjoy the whole experience. For me eating chocolate truly is an experience, not simply a snack or a short lived indulgence. 

I seem to have developed an affinity for all 'miniature' versions of chocolates as of late whether it be mini creme eggs at easter or mini reese's. My mum has loved Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for years, having living in the States as a young newly wed couple, she later found them very rarely here in the UK. She let me try them a few times growing up, but I was never terribly fussed. Peanut butter wasn't something I'd ever had much of. In cartoons and films characters always seemed to have peanut butter jelly sandwiches, something I equated to being incredibly American. Even calling jam jelly seemed so alien and confusing. 

The first time I ever tried a peanut butter jam sandwich was during the Insanity fitness programme for a protein based mini meal. Strangely enough I kind of liked it, even though the very idea still seemed crazy bizarre. American food seems to be making it's way into our stores as of late, for example the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms used to be £7 at specialist stores, can now be bought for (the still extortionate) price of £4 in Tesco. Along with the likes of Hershey bars, a wider range of Pop Tarts and kool-aid to name a few.        

Asda has started selling share bags of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups (why are chocolates named after people?), which I tried by chance as a friend bought them. Surprised, I really really liked them (the Reese's minis)!!! Unfortunately only a few Asda stores sell them (for £2) and some big Tesco stores have started to (for £3). My mum ever so kindly bought me both the normal and the white chocolate ones as a surprise treat. I was too scared to just buy the white ones myself incase I didn't like them, I feel like it's a considerable price to waste on unwanted chocolate. The white ones certainly are interesting but I won't be buying them again. The originals however I keep buying again and again. Compared with the normal sized ones, the chocolate to peanut butter ratio is spot on. Chunky top and bottom layer, encased thinly on the sides, the inner peanut butter offers a smooth yet brittle texture that offsets the chocolate perfectly. In the larger size I find the peanut butter too overwhelming (ok a strong word choice maybe). While it'd be lovely for the miniatures to be more widely available, it might just destroy the magic of finding them.. 

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Friday, 17 October 2014

2014/2015 Academic Diary

Is it wishful that I'm still buying academic diaries even though I am no longer in education? I'm going to go with 'super organised' instead! I absolutely love sorting out my week and seeing it all physically laid out in front of me. At university this need was completely justified with juggling my uni timetable, 'home work' if you will, a part time job, a social life, a boyfriend and church commitments. It was certainly a lot. However over the summer I simply didn't need or want to be so crazy organised. It was certain bliss milling through the endless days of sunshine, spontaneous trips and spending time with loved ones. 

The future however can be a pretty uncertain, sneaky thing, full of all sorts of ups and downs. It is of course impossible to plan everything, to perfectly map out our lives. Yet I find some wonderful satisfaction in laying it all out. After the summer I thought I could go diary-free and cope. haha. How wrong I was. It is frustrating to not see things and feel in control. I tried downloading an organiser/calendar app for my phone to see if I could get away with not spending any money on a new diary. That didn't work. I hated the unnecessary alerts. The tiny screen and how unclear it all was. I wasn't sure whether to buy a 14/15 diary as certain future plans would only allow me to use it for a few months, yet I wanted the comfort and satisfaction of having a plan in my hands and being able to jot things down with the stroke of a pen. 

It is not only the functionally of a diary I enjoy but the very design. There are some lovely ones on esty created by the oh so designy types (don't know why I'm paraphrasing them like that, I'm probably one myself) that I completely swoon over. Full of quirky illustrations, side notes and suggestions. Yet I can't justify forking out on one and I have this weird resistance to buying things online. So I turned to trusty basic high street stores such as The Works and WHSmiths. Most were out of academic diaries as September was drawing to a close and had begun selling 2015 diaries instead. Not helpful for me. Fortunately I found this one in WHSmiths for £7.99 (still abit steep if you ask me) and fell in love with the garish tones. Orange being a particularly odd choice for me, one that I've always shied away from due to my hair colour. But I love that the typography has at least been considered, that it's so bright and cheery and the pink lined edges. And quite frankly my boyfriend said I could signal down a aeroplane with it, yet every time I use it it makes me feel happier. Such a big accomplishment for something so seemingly insignificant.

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Friday, 3 October 2014

Life is Pretty Great | A Reflection

It's so easy to get bogged down with heavy life decisions that need to be made, feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Yes being a graduate and making huge choices is hard. But, it's also pretty great and exciting! I came across an idea while reading another blog that instead of always setting goals and looking to the future with things such as Bucket Lists, why not focus on all the wonderful things you have already experienced. Little things, big things. Those that made you smile, those that refined your life, those that simply made you happy, even if only for a short while. She called it a Nectar List. While I haven't actually written my list yet, it made me reflect on how many incredible moments I have been blessed with. And it's certainly a lot! The Lord does not leave us empty handed. 

And so with my negative, intensely stressed out self lately I have only just gotten around to uploading ten billion photos to facebook. My 21st birthday, university graduation and those I take collectively throughout everyday life. Looking through them, I feel immense joy. There are so many good things!!! So much love and support. So many moments of happiness. It's so easy to forget and be blinkered. Sometimes de-stressing is actually the best way to help yourself make the best choices. It's important to figure out what you want and what will bring you the most happiness

"We should begin by recognising the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives." 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Wait, I'm Scandinavian?! | My time in Denmark

As a child I always identified with being Irish, with my flaming red hair and cheeky attitude I spent much of my time playing in fields and attended a Gaelic speaking school. Participated in horsing riding and even Irish dancing for a time. I loved my crazy little childhood adventures of climbing up the small 'waterfall' into the forest and sledging in the snow down the field usually occupied with cows. 

When I was eight however I moved permanently to England where I have spent the past thirteen years of my life, developing a great love for British heritage, pastimes and afternoon tea. When asked I refer to myself as British as that is where I have truly lived. A mixture of both England and Ireland. But with my southern accent and cultural attitudes I am quite fundamentally attached to my English roots. 

Yet often throughout my life I was told the story of my parents romance. One of which being how my father had compiled a mental list of what he wanted in a wife. On his list included that she would be a blonde Scandinavian, until he told himself to get real and happily decided on 'half Scandinavian'. Fortunately for him he fell in love with my beautiful mother who happens to be half Danish. Now this story has been accounted to me many times. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I truly realised this meant I had as much of a claim to a Scandinavian heritage as I do to my English one (minus never actually living there). It really took me by surprise! Utterly a revelation! Being Danish is not something I ever equate myself to. Yet I am. It is odd how something as simple as the heritage of your family can influence your perception and sense of home in this grand world. 

I look at all these jaw dropping Scandinavian girls full of such elegant style and pose on instagram and the such, and very often fail to realise I too have claim to the culture and beauty of the very country's aesthetic. In summer 2013 I was blessed enough to take a trip 'around' Sweden, even visiting Denmark for a day. I adored the beauty of the place. The architecture complemented the landscape in such a way that both added character and worked together. The people were astounding beautiful, male and female alike. The public transport was brilliant. The landscapes like that out of a novel full of an abundance of deep blue lakes and plush dark green forests resembling Christmas trees. Now I know I live in an equally wonder country full of luscious landscapes but there just seemed to be something more in Scandinavia. 

While in Sweden people often automatically spoke to me in Swedish. A pleasant and surprising compliment as I didn't feel particularly Swedish or feel that I looked particularly Swedish. I in no way can speak fluent Swedish but made a great attempt to learn as much as I could. It is such a marvellous thing to be able to communicate in more than your mother-tongue. It is an odd concept, even a dreamy ideal to find myself attached to a country and a culture I have never really been exposed too. To wonder how different an upbringing and outlook I may of had riding bikes across different plains, surrounding by pastel, barn looking homes. I would love to visit there again to explore more, to learn more about my family and understand a culture I haven't yet had a chance to be apart of. 

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Overcoming Post University Blues

The summer is drawing to a close. Everyone seems to be returning back to university but you. The past three years have been a time of constant adjustment but now you're living back with your family, looking for work, for your next big adventure and you're not really sure what you should be adjusting too...

For years and years life is forever looking forwards. Working towards the next set of exams, from GCSEs to A levels to a degree. To summer holidays and part time jobs. To blissful social time. To chilling in bed all day delightfully watching netflix to your hearts content. So right now it's pretty weird. There are so many options to pursue and so much free time, it's difficult to know what to do with yourself. To feel uplifted and driven. We're simply blessed with too much choice and too much freedom. 

And it's rough. That's the honest truth of it. Ironic I know. And so I've been pondering on ways to boost through this down, uncertain little time. Because in comparison to the rest of forever, it's hardly anything. Life is always looking forward but it's also for the now. And so, I think it's time to make plans, set goals and do little things that make you happy right now as well as those that are more long term/the future. Just because a degree is nicely tucked under your belt does not mean we have to sink off into the old school 'you're stuck in one job forever and that's the end of that' mentality. Now is the time to take advantage of that education, all that free time and to simply be with the people who mean the most to you. 

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