Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

THE HALLOTOBER TAG

Saturday

 This is my first ever tag blog post so I was super excited to try it out! Thank you to Laureny Loves, Liz Loves and Nic's Adventures for the tag. You can see their posts here:

Laureny Loves - The Hallotober Tag

Liz Loves - The Hallotober Tag

Nic's Adventures - The Hallotober Tag


The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions 
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  • Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post 
Hallotober Tag

1. Halloween or Christmas?

Definitely Christmas! I just love everything about it so much. I only really dress up for Halloween if I have somewhere to go. Some years, I haven't even celebrated Halloween. I do like celebrating Halloween but sometimes I completely forget about it, whereas I will always celebrate Christmas.

2. What's your favourite thing about October?

I am more of a summer person, I just love summer and always feel like I have more fun in summer. I like Autumn colours though and being able to wrap up warm, and drink hot chocolates. My favourite thing about October is probably that it means it's only 2 months to go until Christmas.

3. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

Again, only sometimes. I will dress up to go to a Halloween party but on years were I haven't had plans, I won't do anything for Halloween.

4. What's your favourite horror movie?

I really don't like horror movies, I hate feeling scared. My favourite Halloween movie though would probably be The Addams Family.

5. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors of a big night out in a costume?

I would rather a big night out in a costume. I don't really like horror films but I do like an excuse for a celebration. Most of the time, I just find it so hard to think of something to dress as for Halloween though, but it is fun to be able to celebrate with your friends.

6. Which has been your favourite costume to date?

When I do dress up, I normally decide what I'm going to wear pretty last minute so I'll end up going as something basic like a devil or a dead something. My favourite costume someone else has worn would be when my nieces used to dress as pumpkins when they were babies. It was so cute!

7. Bobbing for apples of pin the hat on the witch?

I'm not really sure what pin the hat on the witch is but I'm going to choose that one, just because getting my face and hair wet would probably ruin my Halloween makeup.

8. How do you celebrate Halloween?

Sometimes I will dress up and go to Halloween parties, some years I have handed out sweets to trick or treaters and other years, I haven't celebrated at all. I'm quite chilled about Halloween, I will usually just go with the flow.

9. What's your least favourite horror?

Anything scary or gory, I'll just go with the Saw films.

10. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?

My favourite memory from trick or treating makes me laugh so much but looking back it was kind of bad. I can't remember what costume I had on but my mum made me put a jumper on underneath it because it was October and cold. The jumper puffed me out a bit and when I went to one house and said trick or treat, a man opened the door and was like "hmm... do you need anymore sweets?" He obviously thought I was fat because of the jumper. I can say I was a really skinny child so the fact that happened really makes me laugh even though he was rude.

11. What's your favourite thing about Halloween?

Probably Halloween parties, just because I always love to see what people are dressed as. I love looking at beauty gurus pictures on Instagram too because people get so creative around Halloween!

12. Scary costume or silly costume?

Definitely silly costume! I have seen so many funny ones lately. People have dressed up as characters from Gavin and Stacy and Eastenders on TikTok. I just think people putting effort to be funny gets a better reaction than people trying to be scary.

13. What's your favourite Halloween candy?

When you get the mixed packs of Halloween sweets, I love picking all of the parma violets out and saving those for myself.

Nominations:


My questions

1. Halloween or Christmas?
2. What's your favourite thing about October?
3. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
4. What's your favourite horror movie?
5. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
6. Which has been your favourite costume to date?
7. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch?
8. How do you celebrate Halloween?
9. What's your least favourite horror?
10. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory?
11. What's your favourite thing about Halloween?
12. Scary costume or silly costume?
13. What's your favourite Halloween decoration?

Looking for more autumn posts? Check out my top eyeshadows for autumn.

Wool of the King

HOSTING A CHEESE AND WINE NIGHT AT HOME

Cheese is one of my favourite things ever and I would literally have a cheese night every night if I could. But as I want my jeans to still fit me, I will have a cheese night every so often as a treat. Because it's one of my favourite things to do, I will share with you my favourite cheeses to have on a cheese board. I will admit, I am not a huge wine connoisseur but I will work on it.


Disclaimer: I am not working with the companies mentioned, I just really love their products.


cheese board inspiration

High end soft cheeses to include on your board


Brillat Savarin - I only discovered this cheese last year. We had it at Maul's cheese and wine bar in Salisbury and bought one from there as it was so amazing. It was pretty expensive, it was a wheel smaller than a camembert but I think it was around £8. However, if you love brie-like cheeses it is definitely worth it as a treat. It's similar to a brie, but instead of being made with milk it's made with full fat cream, so you will only need to eat a little bit at a time anyway. It tastes amazing with honey!


Tunworth - Tunworth is basically the British version of a camembert. We had it cold and it seemed to me creamier and a little softer than a camembert so I'm not sure how it would work if you wanted to melt it. However, I believe this is £8 again in Waitrose so I'd recommend using a camembert to melt as it's a lot cheaper and you don't want to ruin this cheese. Again, great for a treat if you want a high end cheese and tastes amazing if you like brie and camembert.


Lyburn Garlic and Nettle - A flavoured cheese is a must for a cheese board and this one tastes amazing. You can buy this one from Lyburn Farm in the New Forest, so it is pretty local for me. Definitely use your favourite flavoured cheese on your board, they have some in supermarkets, I've had the chive one from Tesco before which is nice.


Budget friendly soft cheeses to include


Brie - Obviously! My favourite is the round Castello brie that they have in Tesco for about £2 but I do love any brie, use your favourite.


Camembert - I feel like a melted camembert is a centrepiece and if you are having a cheese board with lots of other cheeses you might not need it. It's good to have as the main even though, with a couple other bits to go with.


melted camembert


Port Salut - This is good for anyone who doesn't really like strong cheeses, it kind of reminds me of a babybel. This is around £2 I believe, depending on which supermarket you go to.


Smoked Mozzarella - You should definitely choose a smoked cheese to go on your board and this is definitely a good one. It's quite mild so will be good for anyone who doesn't like their cheese too strong.


Boursin - amazing soft garlic cheese to put on bread or biscuits. Always a staple for me!


High end hard cheeses to include


Kirkham's Lancashire - This is a bit like a cheddar but obviously it's made in Lancashire. You can get this from The Fine Cheese Co for £5.80. It's a little more tangy and earthy than a cheddar so it's good if you like cheddar but want to try something with a more unique taste.


Stoney Cross - This is from Lyburn Farm again. It's a little softer than a cheddar and tastes a little more earthy and tangy. Definitely a good one to try if you want to support a local New Forest farm shop.


Budget friendly hard cheeses to include


Cheddar - Everyone's favourite, every cheese board needs a cheddar and you can get lots of different kinds so it's whatever suits you. I do like a classic cathedral city but a lot of local cheese companies will have some form of cheddar if you wanted to support a local supplier.


Red Leicester - I have to admit, I always forget about Red Leicester cheese, but it tastes amazing and is good if you like mild cheese again.


Stilton - You either love it or hate it but every cheese board needs a blue cheese. I haven't really found the right blue cheese for me yet and I don't really like stilton too much, but it's just the easiest option for a budget blue cheese. Replace this with your favourite blue cheese if it's another. I am still on the hunt to find a blue cheese that I like the taste of.


Manchego - I only tried this for the first time recently and really enjoyed it even though it is quite hard an crumbly and I'm more of a soft cheese girl. It's a bit like parmesan but not as strong and you can eat it on it's own easily. I find parmesan too much to eat by itself but I love it on top of pasta!



Pair your cheeses with your favourite wine and charcuterie. I mainly drink prosecco or rose wine but there are lots of reds that go really well with cheese. I like to put different breads, biscuits and meat with my cheese, so just pick your favourite. The best thing about doing your own cheese board is that you can make it personal to you with all of your favourite things on there.


What's your favourite cheese? Let me know in the comments.


Wool of the King

48 HOURS IN HASTINGS UK

Since I have finished my internship in August, I have had some time to myself over the summer. In that time, I spent 48 hours in Lincoln, and I have also recently been to Hastings in East Sussex.


My boyfriend, Joe, is from Hastings when we aren't at uni together so I go there to visit him from time to time when he's at home and I really like it there.


It's right on the sea and Joe's house is walking distance to everything so I got a lot of steps in. When I drive into Hastings I get to drive along the sea front which is so pretty and it always seems to be nice weather when I go there.


beach huts in Hastings


When I arrived in Hastings, we did our usual walk around by the beach and through the town. We have a little tradition of going to this little local seafood shop by the beach and getting some food so we did that on the first day and sat on the beach for a little while.


I also love to get an ice cream when I'm near the sea so we did that too, after eating our seafood. Hastings has so many local seafood restaurants and fish and chip shops, you really can taste the difference in freshness with it being a seaside town.


In the evening, we went for a few drinks but didn't stay out too late.


The next day, we went to the seafront again and played some minigolf. Joe won, I am still yet to beat him but it's going to happen one day!


After spending the day out again, we went to a seafood restaurant in the old town called Whites. The old town in Hastings, is more individual restaurants, shops and pubs as opposed to the new town with things like Primark and Pizza Express. I really like that they have both options.


Seafood platter in Hastings


We had a huge seafood platter which is unlike me because I'm really fussy with food. I just wanted to try it because we were right by the sea and I thought I'd like most of it. All of it was so nice apart from oysters, I don't think I'll eat one of them again in a hurry. 


After we ate so much food, we went for a few drinks on the pier. Hastings pier is quite big and since the social distancing rules have come into place, they put a DJ set on the pier with a bar and tables for drinks. I have never had drinks on a pier before so it was something new for me.


Just before leaving on my last day there, we went on a dog walk at a really pretty country park called Fairlight, it had such amazing views to the sea.


I quite like writing about places that I visit in the UK, so I will definitely be doing more 48 hour style blog posts whenever I go anywhere now.


Where's your favourite place to visit for a weekend away?


Wool of the King

THE MASTER MINDSET DIARY - AMANTHIS REVIEW

Tuesday

 *AD - PR sample. I have received this product for review but all opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclaimer.


I recently received the Master Mindset Diary starter kit from Amanthis. Amanthis is a small stationary business that aims to create affordable stationary.


Master Mindset Diary starter kit


The diary runs from August 2020 until August 2021, so it's perfect for studying. When I first flicked through the diary, I noticed that each month has a calendar view of the month for you to write things in if you just wanted to see what you had on in the month. There are also weekly pages for planning your availability week by week. 


Each page has a positive quote on the top, which I really love and before each month there is a quote to keep you going. My favourite thing about the Master Mindset Diary, is that it isn't just a space where you can plan your time, it also has positive affirmations, space to write goals, productivity levels, moods and achievements. 


I'm going to be using my Master Mindset Diary for university, blogging and just life in general because it has already started helping me to plan for the new academic year.


Positive quote in mindset diary


In the starter kit, I also got some Goal Getter pencils, a couple of pens, a list pad and a finance tracker. I will definitely be using the finance tracker while at university this year. 


I do really like a diary and most of the time, I prefer a January - January one but this mid year diary is going to help me so much in my final year of uni. 


Do you like using diaries to keep organised? 


Wool of the King

TOP TIPS FOR STARTING UNIVERSITY

Saturday

It's almost time for university to start again, and a lot of you may be starting for the first time. I am going into my final year this month and I wanted to share with you some of my the things you should know before starting university. Everyone has different experiences with uni, but I will be basing my advice off of the experiences I've had.

Graduates throwing caps

Tip 1: Before moving into your new place, see if there are any groups or group chats you can join beforehand for your halls or course or just uni in general. You might be able to get to know some people before meeting them and this can take so much pressure off if you have already kind of spoken to them online.

I joined chats when I was about to be a fresher and I actually met up with some of the people from the chat before starting uni. I wasn't going to live with them but this was so helpful because if I didn't make friends with my flatmates, I knew I had other friends to do stuff with. Ultimately, I got on so well with the majority of my flat.

Tip 2: Don't panic buy - Before starting uni, I did the classic Ikea trip and bought all sorts of stuff that I have never used, like a potato peeler. Have I ever peeled potatoes? No. That's just an example, you may well use a potato peeler but just think carefully about what you will actually use so you don't waste money. 

If you don't have something, you can always go and buy it. If you do have the opportunity to talk to your flatmates before moving in, it might be worth seeing what people can bring so you can share stuff. You will need to save all the money you can!

Tip 3: Buy some sliders! I tweet this one a lot because I wish I knew it before uni. Your kitchen floor probably will get messy quite quickly due to the amount of people living in your flat if you're in halls. The last thing you want to do is go into the kitchen barefoot or in socks and get something gross stuck to your foot. 

Also, fire alarms tend to go off pretty regularly so it's easier to just slip a pair of sliders on instead of spending ages putting shoes on. You will not regret investing in a pair for uni, and they have plenty in Primark to choose from if you're on a budget.

Tip 4: Forget about college - College is a pretty stressful time and uni can be stressful too, but it's so different to college so try not to compare the two. Use uni as a fresh start for yourself and just try to have the best time while you're there.

Tip 5: Try and be as organised as possible - There is a lot of stuff to do at uni and if you're moving away from home, there may be lots of things you want to get out of your new city. Just make sure you plan out your time for everything so you can work hard and play hard. Yes, you are there to get a degree but you may as well make the most out of where you're living and make the most out of uni life. Read more here about staying organised at university.

Are you starting university this year, or do you have any more tips for uni students? As I said, I am going into third year so if you have any tips for that, I will need all the help I can get.

Wool of the King

HOW I REACHED 10,000 MONTHLY BLOG VIEWS

Tuesday

This post contains affiliate links so I will earn a small commission when you buy through these links. Please see my disclaimer for more information. 

As a lot of you may know, I have been blogging on and off for over 4 years. It was kind of just a hobby for me as and when I felt like it, and it wasn't until the coronavirus lockdown until I started blogging regularly. After regular blogging since April 2020 and putting in more hard work, I am proud to announce that I received 10,700 blog views for July 2020. This is a massive success for me since in April, I had just over 1000 blog views for the month. Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading and supporting my blog over the last few months.


Celebration balloons


How did I achieve this?


I still wouldn't call myself an expert when it comes to blogging and I know that there are people out there with a lot more views than this. I am still always trying to learn more about it, but I'd just like to share with you how I got to 10k monthly views in the hope that I could help some current or aspiring bloggers.


Sharing my blog everywhere


After writing and publishing a blog post, I would promote it over every social media channel. I will create an Instagram story of the post, prompting people to click the link in my bio to see my blog. I will also share the blog on my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and sometimes LinkedIn if it's relevant to my audience on there.


Twitter


The main source of my blog traffic comes from Twitter. I will share 3 blog posts a day on Twitter, including new ones and old ones. I schedule these posts using Buffer. Make sure to tag in retweet accounts when tweeting blog posts as the blogs will be retweeted and will reach more people.


Here are some of the blog post retweet accounts I tag:

  • @bournemouthbloggers and @sotonbloggers - make sure you use your local equivalent of this if there is an account for it. 
  • @bloggerstribe
  • @cosyblogclub
  • @BloggersHut
  • @theclique_uk

On Twitter, there are also daily blog post engagement threads that you can add your blog posts to. Post your blog on these threads and be sure to interact with other creators and comment on other blogs. I use threads from the following Twitter accounts:
  • @GoldenBloggerz
  • @unpredictedpage
  • @_kayleighzara
  • @cosyblogclub
  • @theclique_uk
  • @BloggerDreamsRT
  • @TRJForBloggers
  • @BloggersHut
  • @LaurenyLoves

Pinterest

I only started using Pinterest a few months ago and I am still learning lots about it, so I am by no means an expert. I managed to get my monthly unique viewers on there up quite rapidly but the clicks through to your blog is the main thing. Some people get most of their blog traffic from Pinterest so it's worth using for your blog.

Basically, you just need to create lots of pins for each of your blog posts to promote it on there. There are lots of useful guides out there about using Pinterest to attract traffic to your blog, I am still getting to grips with it at the moment but I managed to get over 100 views from Pinterest in July so it was a good addition.

Advice if you are starting a blog

If you are new to blogging, I would just say set aside some time to promote your blog as well as writing it. Consistency was the key to reaching my goals for me so just try and give yourself a routine.


I haven't spent lots of money on my blog and don't think you need to in order to be successful, it's just your personal preference in how you'd like to invest in it. Also, spend time trying to grow your social media too as the more followers you have on there, the more members of the potential audience you will reach by sharing it on there.

Once again, I'd like to say I'm not an expert and I am still learning about blogging every day. Let me know if you have any blogging tips that I've missed out, I'd love to know how you promote your blog!

Wool of the King

MOVING AWAY FROM HOME - AN INTERVIEW

Friday

This post is an interview with Robyn Moss, third year Psychology student at the University of Lincoln. Before her degree, Robyn was living in Salisbury, Wiltshire, but decided to move 3 and half hours away to Lincoln for university. Read on to learn about her experience of moving away from home.

1. Why did you want to move far from home?


Originally, I wanted to move far from home for university to have a fresh start and push myself to be independent, not having the option to easily escape my problems and go back home. Of course, I also wanted to reinvent myself and explore a totally new place.


Old building in Lincoln


Lincoln, however, was a very unexpected choice of mine as I only picked it to fill in my last choice for university.  I couldn’t think of anything else and I’d never actually heard of it before, but when I went to visit all of my uni choices, much to my surprise Lincoln happened to be the only uni that really felt like it was for me. If you have never visited, read all about how to spend 48 hours in Lincoln.


2. Were you worried about moving and why/why not?


I wasn’t really worried, I was more excited. The only thing in the back of my mind was, if there was an emergency, I wouldn’t be able to get home easily. Other than that, I didn’t really have any worries. I already knew I vibed with the city and any doubts I had were overruled by excitement. 


3. How long did it take you to settle into your new place?


I was pretty much settled the moment I moved in. Of course, it was hard for the first five minutes of watching my parents walk away, and not knowing when I'd see them again. However, you snap out of that pretty quickly due to not having time to dwell on it. You have to unpack, decorate your room and get to know your new housemates, so there’s no time to think about anything else. 


Bridge in Lincoln


You and your housemates are all on the same boat and it’s exciting for all of you and you support each other. I got on really well with most of my housemates to begin with which helped my feel settled initially but after a few days living with them, I realised they weren’t for me which was a struggle and did lead to me needing to change apartments. However, as soon as I found my group and created my own uni family, I felt settled again. 


I believe that the people you surround yourself with at uni are the key to settling and you won’t always be lucky at first, but there’s no harm in moving apartments if you don’t vibe with your initial flatmates. Most people manage to get on just fine though, it’s unlikely that you won’t get on with at least one person in your apartment.


4. Is there anything you would have done differently?


Not really. I’m grateful for the lessons I have learned, and any issues I had were out of my control. I do wish I’d been to more parties and gone to freshers events, but that wasn’t possible due to my job. I feel that I would have benefited a lot more if I’d have socialised more during freshers week as it took me a while to find my group of friends. Once I’d found them, my uni experience became 100x better.


Where to find Robyn

Instagram: @robynmossx

Twitter: @robynmosss


Thank you so much to Robyn for sharing her story. Have you ever moved far away from home? Let us know your experiences!


Wool of the King

5 STEPS TO BECOMING MORE ORGANISED AT UNIVERSITY

Tuesday

This post is a collaboration with Planning with Em. This post also contains affiliate links so I will earn a small commission if you buy through my links. Please  see my disclaimer for more information.
As we approach the new academic year, it's time to get into the habit of preparing university life, or for another year of it if you are already a student. Em will be showing you how to work on productivity at university so make sure to read her post. Read on for tips on how to be an organised uni student!



1. Plan your time. 

While living at university, it can be hard to find the time to do everything you need to do. This is why planning ahead is a must. You should set yourself allocated time slots for all of the things you have to do - whether it's uni work, seeing friends, cleaning or cooking. 

Sometimes your dinner takes longer to cook than you first anticipated, then you start chatting to your flatmates in the time you should be doing an assignment. It's great to socialise but it's important to set time for projects too.

2. Use a diary or planner.

This follows on from planning ahead. In order to plan ahead it might be worth writing a to do list and keeping all of your deadlines in a diary. In my first year of uni, I had a notice board so I wrote a list of all my assignment deadlines in chronological order and pinned it to my wall so that I could see it every day.

You could also use a planner to split up how much time you will use for each project. For example, one hour of essay writing then one hour of Netflix watching for a break. If you need watch list inspiration for your chill time then I've got you.


3. Meal Plan.

As well as planning your time, planning meals is also a good thing to do to stay organised. This is some advice I need to listen to as well, because I am always unorganised with my dinners and just eat what I fancy that day. I am going to try and write a menu for the week though so I know what I'm eating each day and if I make evening plans, I will know how long my food takes to cook.






4. Budgeting. 

As we all know, student life can be expensive and sometimes leave you without a lot of money. That's why it's important to budget your money properly so you have enough, especially if you are like me and still like to live your best life at uni. 

If you have an income at uni, then limit yourself to a certain amount of spending per week. Once you have been at uni a while, you will work out how much you spend on shopping, nights out and anything else you need to buy. I would say try not to have no money at university and have a part time job where possible. Just because, if you are living in a completely new city then it's great to go and see all the things that city has to offer, as well as studying. I know sometimes this isn't possible but it's nice to be able to enjoy yourself too.


5. Keeping lecture notes organised.

You will have lectures with lots of different lecturers about different units, so it's helpful to keep these notes separate and organise them. When it comes to looking back at your notes, they will be so much easier to understand if they are neatly organised.

I tend to write the date and unit title at the top of my lectures and write the number of the lecture, e.g. Lecture 4 | Media and Society | 03/09/2020. This is probably obvious but it really helps me to remember what I learnt and when. Another good thing to do is to colour code the notes. You will spot the colour a lot more quickly if you are flicking through your note book to find something.

Are there any tips and tricks you have for keeping organised at university? Let me know as I am always looking for ways to stay organised. Be sure to check out Em's post on increasing productivity at university!

You can find Em over at:

Twitter - @planningwithem
Pinterest - planningwithem

Wool of the King
*Image 1 from Pixabay.
*Image 2 from Engin Akyurt on Pexels.

48 HOURS IN LINCOLN UK

Thursday

Just a little update on me - I have now finished my year marketing internship ready for starting my final year of university in September. I am trying to get a little bit of a summer by doing things before I go back to studying. The first thing I did after finishing was visiting one of my friends, Robyn, who lives up in Lincoln and goes to university there.


It was very hot there and I had to put sun cream on because of how pale I am so it kind of felt like a holiday, we’ll call it a staycation as that’s where it’s at at the moment! If you want to read more about travel, see my favourite travel destinations. I am living in Wiltshire at the moment so it took about 3 hours and 20 minutes to drive there, but I felt like it went pretty quickly.


Steep Hill Lincoln

Day 1 in Lincoln

After arriving in Lincoln, we had a walk along Brayford Waterfront and took some cute pictures. We then walked up the steep hill to the cathedral. There is a reason why it’s called steep hill and it is not an exaggeration! But once you get up there the views are pretty good, and there are lots of cute, independent cafes on the way up.


It was quite a hot day, so we had to go back to shower and get ready before going out for the evening. We booked into Zizzi for dinner and it was a Monday so we got that Eat Out to Help Out discount! After that, we went to the Slug & Lettuce for some cocktails. That was the first time I had been out for drinks since the lockdown and it was actually a lot less scary than I thought it would be.


Bars do seem to be closing earlier now than what they used to. So, after leaving Slug & Lettuce we got some end of the night food from a chip shop. I had to try the cheesy chips and gravy because I’d never had it before being a southerner and they were so nice even though they looked kind of gross. Proper comfort food. I have to say, the north does takeaways better.


Lincoln Cathedral

Day 2 in Lincoln

Day 2 was a chill one after a busy first day. We had a lie in and went to McDonald’s, classic after night out food. After that, we went to Boultham Park, which was really nice. We sat by the river and saw lots of cute ducks and swans. Again, I had to put on sun cream for this.


Once we had sat there for a while, Robyn wanted to show me round her uni so we walked around Lincoln University which was quite cool, it was really quiet though due to it being summer and Covid-19. I like nosying around other universities so I can compare them to my own.


In the evening, we just chilled and watched some TV because I was getting up early to leave the next day. It was one of the hottest days when I had to leave and my car has no air conditioning so I left at 8am to try and get home before the hottest point of the day.


Historic City of Lincoln

I really enjoyed going to Lincoln and really want to visit more places in the north as I haven’t been to that many places up there. It is such a pretty place and I hope to go there again soon.


Where is your favourite place to visit in England? Let me know in the comments! Special thanks to Robyn for letting me stay with her and looking after me so well.


Looking for more day out ideas in the UK? Read all about my trip to Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset.


Wool of the King

FRIENDSHIPS: THE LOW DOWN

Tuesday

This week, I just wanted to talk about friendships because I have seen a lot of people posting about friendships. As the lockdown restrictions ease in the UK and other countries, we are able to see our friends more.

Group of girls on Amsterdam canal boat

Advice on friendships

Lately, I have seen a few people on Twitter saying that they don't have friends which saddens me. I don't know these people, so I'm not sure that's actually the case, but sometimes you can feel like you have no friends, or that you have no one in your corner.

My advice for these people would be to value the people that you actually have in your life, whether that be family or colleagues that you like. I would also say it is never too late to try and make friends! It is a common misconception that you can't make friends as an adult, as it isn't as easy as when you're in school, but this is not the case! If anything, making friends later on is actually easier.

Since I have started blogging regularly, I have interacted with other bloggers online who have similar interests to me. Making online friends is also a good way to connect with people if you are shy in person. Of course, you do need to be careful when making online friends - we have all seen the TV show Catfish.

I also think it is important to remember that you different things out of friendships with different people. For example, you may have a friend that you have a good time with but you can't trust them. If you have friends like this, it's important to know where you stand. If you know they aren't the most trustworthy, then you shouldn't expect them to be trustworthy. There are also the friends that you have a good time with, and you could trust them with your life. I tend to find myself gravitating towards these people and wanting to spend less time with the people who are only fun for a short time.

Group of friends in Leicester Square

Friends getting ready for night out

My friendships

As I get older, I tend to be pickier with who I call my friend. Just because I really believe that no company is better than bad company. I have individual friends who I will meet up with as well as groups of friends and the majority of my friends now are from university. I do still have some amazing friends from home but as I left school and college, I seemed to leave friendships behind there. The same thing could happen after uni too, but I do think most of them will become my friends for life.

One of the main qualities I look for in friendships is when they are happy for my successes and when they build me up. I am always reading posts about how women should empower women and this is definitely true! I'm always looking out for those who do that for me. 

I am really grateful for the friendships I have at the moment. For the friends I see often and the friends who I don't see as much.

What sort of friendships do you have? Mainly close individual friends or do you have a friendship group? Let me know in the comments.

Friends in Dublin

Two friends at a party

Wool of the King

5 BOOKS I WISH I'D READ SOONER

Saturday

Guest post from Liz Loves. This post includes affiliate links so I will earn a small commission if you buy through these links. I have put asterisks next to the products linked. Please see my disclaimer for more information.
Hi, my name is Liz and I am the blogger behind Liz Loves Blog! I am so excited to be writing for Lauren’s blog. I wanted to share a post on books I wish I read sooner. These are the books that I have read and immediately told my friends they NEED to read them, books I will read over and over and books that really have changed my outlook on life. 

*Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race, Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race

This book is becoming more and more important with the current political climate. I think it’s important that we all educate ourselves as much as possible and I really wish I read this book sooner, mainly so I have more points to argue when discussing this topic. It really breaks down a lot of issues about racism in a really simple way, and there was a lot of history in the UK that I wasn’t aware of when it comes to racism. It really brings home what a huge issue we are still facing.


*Women don't owe you pretty, Florence Given 

Women Don't owe you pretty by Florence Given

I pre-ordered this book nearly a year ago because I am obsessed with Florence. If you don’t already, I would highly recommend following her on Instagram. She is so empowering and inspiring and her book talks about how a lot of society is often designed for the benefit and gain of men. She explains how women are often criticised for their behaviour and actions in a way that men aren’t, and essentially, we can’t win, therefore we should do whatever we want and whatever makes us happy regardless of what other people say. There are also lots of reminders to support each other as women and to build each other up so we can all be the best that we can be. 


How to break up with fast fashion, Lauren Bravo

This book has really spurred me on to my decision to stop purchasing clothes from fast fashion brands. I have talked about it in my blog post about sustainable fashion, but she essentially explains the negative effects of the fashion industry without making you feel bad about it, and also provides options to limit your own fast fashion purchases. The environment is something I am really passionate about and I am always looking to learn more about what I can do to help, and the fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. 

*Notes on a nervous planet, Matt Haig

Everything Matt Haig writes is amazing, his book The Humans is one of my favourite novels, and Reasons to Stay Alive has been talked about for changing people’s lives and helping cope with mental health and depression. For me personally, Notes on a Nervous planet really explains the disparities between our human nature and the world we now live in filled with social media and technology. It really helped me deal with obsessing over my phone and after reading this it was the first time I put in place some boundaries with my phone and social media use. 


The humans by Matt Haig

Everything you need to know about love, Dolly Alderton

I read this book on holiday last year, my friend actually let me borrow it and I read it in a few days. This is like a laugh out loud book, there were so many relatable stories in there and I think it is just really nice to hear about other people’s experiences and relationships to know that we are not alone in the things we experience or the feelings we have at certain times in our lives. I do think most people have already read or at least heard of this book, but it’s definitely worth the read if not. 

Follow the author

 

Website - Liz Loves Blog

 

Instagram - @lizhartley04

 

Twitter - @lizziejhartley


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HOW TO SAVE MONEY AS A STUDENT

Guest Post from A Girl with a View.

It’s probably common knowledge to think of a student and to think of someone struggling financially. Students aren’t necessarily known for being the most money-savvy of people but your university years are some of the best times to start practising good money habits that will set you up for life. It’s always nice to have money left over at the end of the month to either pop in savings or to treat yourself, and by implementing these tips at university you’ll be well on your way to having a few extra pennies in your bank account!


Piggy Bank

Photo credit: Skitterphoto on Pexels.

Meal Plan

This is something I sometimes fail to do successfully and the appeal of a takeaway or meal out when you can’t be bothered to cook is always tempting. However, meal planning is one of the biggest ways I manage to keep track of my finances and not go overboard when food shopping. If I’ve made a conscious effort to look for recipes and things to cook for the following week and then made a shopping list with only the ingredients I need I am much less likely to overspend and buy excessive amounts of food that I won’t use. Some good meals to think about making are spag bol (a student classic), a curry, pasta bake, fajitas or chilli. Most of these meals can also be made in batches that you can freeze, making them, even more, cost-effective as you can return to them weeks later and thank your meal-prepped self when you don’t feel like cooking again!


Put aside a certain amount each week

This is something I started doing more regularly and it’s made a big difference to my savings. Last year, by doing this I was able to visit Berlin, Naples, Prague and Seville by travelling cheaply and using this method! I made a separate ‘pot’ on Monzo (more on that later) called Holiday so I could start saving for a trip later in the year. Monzo automatically adds £5 every week to this pot so at the end of the year me and my boyfriend could go away somewhere nice without having to take a chunk out of my other savings. Sadly, the holiday hasn’t happened this summer due to COVID but I’ve kept adding to the pot throughout lockdown so that we can, hopefully, have a few nice holidays next year. £5 is a manageable amount, for me, to save every week. However, you can add in as much or as little as you want or make your saving bi-weekly or monthly to make it work for you. Putting just small amounts away can add up to a big amount of money by the end of the year.


Get Monzo

Monzo has been a huge help in keeping track of my finances and helping me to save money. Each time you buy something Monzo will place your purchase into a specific category which is so useful for being aware of where your money is actually going and, at the end of the month, it shows you which categories are your biggest spends. It can be quite shocking at first to realise how much you’ve spent on eating out or shopping in a month initially but the app allows you to set budgets within each category to help you cut down. You can set up a loose change pot which will round up to the nearest pound your latest transaction and put it into a savings pot. I find this feature really helpful as you don’t even realise how much money you’re putting into savings and suddenly you have a few extra pounds that you didn’t know about! I think it’s such a good bank and app that really helps you keep control of your money and where it’s going.


Use student discount and cashback

Student discount is one of my favourite things about being a student and by quickly registering to discount sites like Unidays or StudentBeans you unlock so many savings. Most retailers will offer between 10-20% off for students which is not to be sniffed at, especially when it’s something you needed or were going to buy already. Sometimes it can be worth putting the extra 10 or 20% you saved into a separate savings pot so you can rack up how much discount you received over the year and put it towards something like a holiday or into your savings account. Cashback is another great way to save a few pennies and is something I started doing fairly recently. Topcashback and Quidco are my favourite sites to use and it’s very easy to register and get going. When going to make a purchase from somewhere online, check whether these sites offer you cash back for doing so. Even if it’s only 1% it’s still worth doing as it soon adds up, and if it’s something you need to buy then you may as well make some saving on your purchase.


Buy secondhand textbooks

As an English student, I need to buy a lot of books which, if I bought them all new, would cost me an absolute fortune so I’ve learnt to shop around. Places like World of Books or Abe Books offer very cheap books with big discounts and I often get the books I need from these places. It can also be worth looking at your University’s course Facebook page as often past students will be selling their old books at a discounted price so it can be a goldmine to get the exact editions you need at cheaper prices. Another tip I would say is that although courses often recommend you pick up the latest edition of a textbook, this isn’t necessary. More often than not, the book has exactly the same content (just different page numbers) and is half the cost - it’s not worth paying so much more for the same content just for page numbers! If you really don’t want to buy anything then your University library should have all the books you need for your course, you just need to make sure that someone doesn’t borrow them before you!


Those are my top tips for being a money-savvy student and to help you start saving whilst at university. I think the key thing from this list is that you don’t need to start saving extravagant or unrealistic amounts of money, little and often is the way to go and always make sure you’re aware of what you’re spending so you’re able to cut back on areas if you need to!


About the Author:

Tash is a UK based blogger and English student who blogs all about university life, travel, books and a whole host of other topics! You can find her over on her social media:

Blog: http://www.agirlwithview.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tash__evans

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/agirlwithview/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8507134-natasha