Sunday, 21 June 2015

What to expect from Uni | The life of a law student

















 This is my Uni. The University of Nottingham. Isn't it beautiful? And this is only a bit of it! I'll be graduating here in July to celebrate 3 wholesome years of studying, hard work, meeting great people and just having such an amazing time! I studied law, which was EXTREMELY challenging and required a lot of hard work to even achieve average grades... but it has all been worth it for the experience and to be a Bachelor of Laws!

But what is Uni really like? Obviously it will be different for every person but here's my experience.

You will meet some amazing people and make great friends who you'll hopefully get to live with :)
This is definitely one of the best bits of Uni. Living with your mates. I actually met my boyfriend here in my halls along with the same mates, so we all lived together for a year in halls then shared houses in our 2nd and 3rd years. This is just so different to living at home. Living with 6 people all the same age as you is great fun.

You will have to study harder than ever before...
This is going to be different for individuals and depends on where you go and what kind of subject you'll be studying. But on a whole you will have to work your butt off, especially in 2nd and 3rd years. But don't worry this doesn't mean you have to stop having fun. You just need to make sure you have the right balance between work and a social life. Work hard, play hard!

You will need to be independent in your studies.
At school and college, we're used to being 'spoon fed' all the information then usually reciting it like a parrot for the exams and can still come out with a decent grade. At Uni this is very different. There is A LOT of independent study and extra reading which is usually essential. You just have to have the initiative to go and do it without being told to. You don't HAVE to attend lectures but do you really want to be missing essential information for your degree? Not really. So make sure you're not lazy and attend those lectures which you're paying for!!

You will spend more money than at home... BUT there are great student deals and discounts!
Bills, food, accommodation.. these are all things you probably didn't have to worry about at home. But don't worry, that is what the student maintenance loan is for and you shouldn't have any problems. There are however, some money perks from being a student. You can use your student card to get a lot of discounts at retail stores such as New Look and also discounts in branch restaurants. You can also buy a NUS extra card for £12 a year which gives extra savings at loads of stores and restaurants. As a student, you will usually have the opportunity to go on student nights out which will mean you get into clubs for cheaper prices with cheaper drinks. Which is a great experience with all of your friends without breaking the bank.

You will have the best time!!!
University has honestly been the most fun I've had. It has made me more independent as a person and I know that I can take care of myself. I have met some incredible people, and really enjoyed my studies. It has been an awesome opportunity and I have loved every minute of it!

Now is for the next chapter of my life, wherever that may take me...

What have your experiences of Uni been like? Any of you hoping to start Uni this September/October? :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Body Shop gels/creams review




Out of the various collections of gels and creams the Body Shop offers, I have tried the strawberry, pink grapefruit, coconut and cocoa butter scents. The strawberry and pink grapefruit bottles are gels whereas the coconut and cocoa butter scents are cream. I've had these a few times now so here's what I think!

GELS
The gels tend to be of the fruity variety. Zesty and fresh! I think these are perfect for the summer for just feeling awake and smelling sweet. They lather up really well and leave your skin smelling sweet, fruity and fresh. But not sickly. The strawberry scent was a sure winner for me. It just smells SO amazing. I definitely want to try more from that range. Pink grapefruit is pleasant too, but has more of a kick (as you would expect. If you've ever eaten grapefruit before you'll know what I mean). VERY zesty, citrusy and just makes you wake up when you smell it.

CREAMS
These tend to be rich, nutty scents. They feel very moisturising on the skin and as they are a cream they don't lather up as such, but coat the skin in a layer of hydrating cream. They smell great but I think I do prefer the fruity scents. Which is strange for me actually as I usually migrate to nutty creamy scents. I think I prefer the coconut scent to the cocoa butter one. When I think of cocoa butter I immediately think of Palmers cocoa butter formula lotion, chocolatey scent. This doesnt seem to have that same cocoa chocolate smell which I was anticipating. Which is a shame. But it still smells pleasant and does the job just fine.

These gels/creams feel like a luxurious addition to a shower/bath routine but for a decent price. They're £4 full priced which I think is quite reasonable but like I've said numerous times, the Body Shop regularly has amazing offers so sign up to the emails to not miss out!


What do you prefer? The gels or the creams?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Haircare Routine

Today I'm talking about my favourite haircare products. You know, the ones that actually work and the claims on the product are true! I've found these kind of products hard to come by. Especially for my hair type. I have very thick, extremely long hair that is more straight than curly, but VERY frizzy. It's not particularly dry, just if I don't use the right products I can look like one of those troll dolls.... (although without the vibrant hair colours).

Here's what I use to keep the frizz at bay and take care of my long ombréd locks!

Shampoo and Conditioners


 My go-to duo at the moment has definitely been the L'Oréal Elvive Full Restore 5 Replenishing shampoo and conditioner. This smells really good and a little goes a long way. It smooths out the hair making it sleek and gets rid of any frizz.


Another firm favourite has been the Garnier Ultimate Blends Silky Smoother shampoo and conditioner. This smells so yummy! The scent is vanilla milk and papaya and it just smells soooo good. This definitely is a 'silky smoother' as it certainly does smooth out the hair and makes it feel silky to touch. This is my favourite variation of the Garnier Ultimate Blends range.




Because I've bleached my hair it is important to maintain that 'fresh' colour. Especially with blonde as it will become brassy over time. To combat the brass and yellow tones in the hair I use this Touch of Silver twice a week purple shampoo. This is amazing stuff! It's super cheap and works better than any other, more expensive purple shampoo I've tried. You just wash your hair with it and leave it in for at least 5 minutes, rinse and then the colour is good as new! The only negative with this product is that it can leave the hair a little dry so I always use a conditioning hair mask straight after I've toned my hair with this purple shampoo.


Hair Mask


My all time favourite has got to be the L'Oréal Hair Expertise SuperPure Intense Mask. You only need a tiny bit to cover the whole hair, leave it on for 5 minutes, then when you rinse and dry your hair there is a noticeable difference to the hair. It is smooth, silky, there is no frizz and it just feels like it has improved the condition of the hair dramatically in 5 minutes! I tend to use this once or twice a week.



Hair Oils and Serums




After I get out of the shower I tend to brush my hair with my tangle teezer then smooth a little of this Argan oil through the lengths and ends of my hair. Then just let the hair air dry. When it's dry it just feels like silk. I love this stuff so much I need to buy some more. It was a Christmas gift and I know it was purchased at Boyes and it was cheap as chips!


 Sometimes when I feel like my hair is feeling dry or the frizz is proving hard to banish I'll need something a bit more intensive. To do this I use this Body Shop Cocoa Butter Beautifying Oil. I have a bit of an obsession with cocoa butter at the minute. I think I'm addicted to the smell... but this product comes in lots of other scrumptious scents too so there's lots to choose from. I literally smother this stuff ALL over my head and hair until it is dowsed in oil. It feels like I use a lot of product but I've had this a while now and It looks like it's hardly been used. So it is certainly a worthwhile investment. I then will either leave the oil in my hair all day or sleep in it, then wash it out. It doesn't leave the hair looking greasy or oily but shiny and nourished.



When my hair is dry and I've styled it down but just want to get rid of any fly-aways or frizziness I use this Vo5 Nourish My Shine Miracle Illuminator. It can be used on dry or wet hair but I tend to use it on dry hair when it's styled. I just run a little of the product through the ends to smooth it all over. This product has a fine shimmer to reflect the light to give the illusion of shinier hair.


What miracle hair products have you discovered?


Sunday, 7 June 2015

OOTD: Summer Look/Pink Jeans


I got these beautiful, bleached, summery pink jeans from asos at an amazing reduced price but didn't really have any tops which would go with it. Most of my tops are black and I thought something white would brighten up the look. This white crop top is a perfect versatile top which would go with jeans, shorts and most skirts. Definitely a worthwhile purchase, I can see myself wearing this a lot this summer! Paired together they make a plain but pretty combo. 



I then changed into some light denim jeans that I picked up from t.k.maxx (at another bargain price might I add. Amazing quality jeans for only £19.99!) and added a floral kimono from Primark. Just to add a bit of pattern. 

 

Here's where I bought everything. I'll leave links where possible. I know the jeans are out of stock but I'll leave a link to the page just in case and so you can see what company it is :)

Bleached Denim Skinny Jeans – By Zoe – RRP: £165 | Reduced asos price: £25

Dark Denim toxik3 jeans – T.K.MAXX - £19.99


Kimono – Primark – £3 

Black Pumps – Primark - £8


What do you think? How do you like to style pink jeans? :)

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Dealing with IBS and Anxiety





This is a personal post for me. But it is something that is a huge part of my life and I have to deal with it every single day. Some days are better than others, but on a whole, it will affect me in some way every day of my life. The term 'normal' in the quote is not one I would usually like to use. However, in my situation it is quite fitting. Most people I know can walk to the shops without mentally picturing where the nearest toilets are. They can go clubbing without crippling stomach ache resulting in having a rubbish night combined with anxiety and pain. Not having a stomach ache almost every night is what I would call normal. I, in this respect, am not normal. I am a long term sufferer of a condition called IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which, in turn, has made me more anxious and panicky as a person.


So what exactly is IBS and how does it affect your life? IBS can affect different people differently and it will be worse at certain times in a person's life. It can be caused by various factors but most notably, stress and diet. The symptoms include (which I can tell you are not very pleasant...) are severe stomach cramps, bloating and change in bowel habits (more advice and information on symptoms can be found on the page by the NHS HERE) There is no cure for this condition unfortunately, but there are some types of medication which may ease symptoms with some patients (none of which worked for me) and a change in diet can help control bad elements.



My IBS started when I was very young and I remember having various problems with it throughout the whole of school/college and a few doctors appointments. However, at this point, it caused me pain and stress, but it wasn't very severe. However, the significance of my condition was made clear to me in my second year of university. It was getting so bad that I was afraid to say yes to going out and doing fun things for fear of feeling ill and something bad happening. On a couple of occasions, it has been bad. And I was afraid of it happening again... so, I secluded myself. Feeling like I HAD to say no so that I didn't have to move myself out of my comfort zone in case my IBS played up whilst out in public. This led to me being a very anxious person, always worrying about what COULD happen. And when something did happen the anxiety would always make it 100 x worse. This was extremely frustrating, especially because I was in my second year of university and not experiencing all the fun opportunities offered to me. It also meant taking exams is doubly stressful, as I also have the stress of thinking about the exam and how my stomach will perform as well as my intellect... What annoys me as well is that it can come on so sudden. One minute I'll be feeling fine and happy and then BOOM onset stomach cramps and feeling absolutely dreadful making me panicky, heart racing, sweaty palms and I need to go home ASAP. It is so hard to describe this feeling to people and it always come at times when it's least wanted, when I'm nervous, excited or need to go somewhere in public. I did go to the doctors for a few months but they couldn't really do anything for me.



So, how have I 'overcome' this feeling of anxiety and spiral of forever being defeated by my IBS? I haven't. BUT there are ways to deal to live with it and keep it under control. First off looking at diet does help to control it. If I have pizza it's probably not best to go out drinking. So, watching your diet can definitely help push IBS under the carpet. As for my anxiety and the fear of not going out you just have to say yes and take the opportunities thrown at you else you'll never do anything. The worst that could happen is that you have a tough time feeling ill and have to go home. But at least you tried. Something that gave me confidence at being able to go out is Zoella's (yes Zoella, everyone and her dog has heard of her and how she is aimed at the age group of screaming teenage girls, but this post honestly changed my attitude to anxiety) post 'Just say Yes' (Read HERE) It really hits it home that you only live this life once and so if you shut yourself away and don't do anything then the opportunities will come fewer and fewer. You need to grab life by the balls and just try your best to do everything that life throws at you! Take small steps at a time and soon you will gain the confidence to do whatever you want! For me it started with just going out clubbing (and having a really great time!) to then plucking up the courage and going to Greece on a holiday with just me and my boyfriend. This was a big step for me and I had the best time with only a couple of occasions when feeling a bit dodgy.



The pain and anxiety haven't gone, and to be honest I don't ever think it will. But I am learning to live with it and just have to accept there will be tough times, but it's not the end of the world. They will pass and there will always be more good days then bad days overall. The best attitude to take is to accept all the opportunities offered to you and if the worst comes to the worst then at least you tried.



You will never have to think 'what if'.




Wednesday, 3 June 2015

May 2015 Favourites


What did I enjoy using the past dull month of revision in May...? Well, seen as though I barely went out I didn't have much opportunity to try out new products. But I have had a few oldie but goldie products which I found I was loving last month! Just beauty related I'm afraid... all I've been reading is law and not had an opportunity to watch much TV.




I adore this stuff! I love the scent of cocoa butter and find it has such good properties for the skin. It keeps my skin feeling soft, well hydrated and smelling amazing. It smells really chocolatey so I can't say no to that... It's a lovely creamy/butter formula which sinks into the skin like a dream. I've been using this for a while now but the past month I've been reaching for it as my go-to daily body moisturiser, especially since I faked tanned and needed extra hydration.



I got this free by spending £10 online at the body shop in a recent deal they had. (like I said in my body shop goodies post, the body shop regularly have amazing deals on where you get a certain amount off and/or a free gift so sign up to the mailing list to be updated! You won't regret it!) It smells so orangey, fruity and fresh it is just the perfect summer scrub for that zesty scent. The scrub itself is a gel formula and so foams up well whilst the grit in the product exfoliates the skin making it soft and smooth. The 'grit' is very fine and so not too rough on the skin and so it's great for people with sensitive skin as it exfoliates but without totally scratching your skin off. I definitely would like to purchase this again. 

 

I've been reaching for this scent more as summer sets in as it's not a sickly smell but is fresh, summery and light. It doesn't smell like granny rose perfume (you know what I mean...) but just has a light rose flowery smell which is great to be worn day or night. I'm getting through this stuff pretty quickly now so I reckon another purchase will be in order soon!





I mentioned these nail polishes in my April favourites and praised them as being the best drug store nail varnishes I've tried yet. And over this month I have just been loving this gorgeous pastel bright green colour! It's just so summery and bright I can't get enough of it. And the nail varnish is great, stays on for ages without chipping, doesn't take long to dry when applying and always get a nice even application. I definitely want to get more bright colours from this collection!

What have you been loving this month?! Tried any of these products and loved them as much as me?!