Yeleverything

OOTD

I’ve done two political posts in a row so I figured I’d better do something a bit less downbeat! Here’s a little outfit of the day:

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Dungarees

These beauties are an H&M special and my first adult pair of dungarees! I absolutely adore them and wear them throughout the year. In the summer I love to pair them with a casual tee or a crop top then in the winter I add a pair of tights and wear a turtle neck bodysuit or a cosy jumper. I’m going to invest in a black pair soon – dungarees are a wardrobe must have!

T-shirt

Tee & cake are forever providing me with little gems! My ex-boyfriend bought me this t-shirt when my avocado obsession was at its peak and I’m forever getting compliments on it. I love it because it’s an easy item to pair with anything. Whilst in Australia I regularly wore this with a pair of high waisted shorts and sandals. Tee & Cake provides a number of wardrobe essentials (even better, they even provide an emergency cake recipe on your label!)

Shoes

Ah, my trusty Vans. They have seen better days but I love love love them. Aside from being the comfiest pair of trainers that I own, they instantly improve any outfit. I wear them with pretty much anything from jeans to dresses.

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Yeleverything

Return of the Gym Bunny

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I’m back at the gym and I am so so so happy!

I’d been having problems with my knees whilst training for the marathon and 5 weeks before I was due to run I found out that I had osteoarthritis. I can’t describe the frustration of having to withdraw my marathon place! Following my 6 weeks recovery I noticed that there was absolutely no improvement in my knees so I reluctantly froze my gym membership and committed myself to walking my dog instead.

Buuuuuut now I’m back and I went to the gym for the first time yesterday. Surprisingly my strength is still around the same, only 5kg – 10kg less than before and my flexibility is the same in my right leg but so much worse in my left. The real shock was my cardio – I used to do 20 minutes on the step master as a warm up but yesterday I could barely do 5! Fingers crossed a few spin classes will get me back into the swing of things. It is absolutely crazy how much I missed it but I’m viewing my absence as a good thing because now I am even more determined to get back into a healthy lifestyle.

If any of you have some gym tips or similar experiences please do leave them in the comments!

Yeleverything

Dry shampoo is my new best friend

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Before you berate me – I am so late to the dry shampoo party I’m quite ashamed. I tried it before back in my brunette days and was not blown away by it; I found that my hair still felt horrible and that made me desperate to wash it.

Fast forward 4 years and I have converted to the dry shampoo way of life! I saw this bottle on offer in Boots and though I’d give it a go. I’d been reading a couple of reviews and a few people said that Batiste worked better on light hair rather than dark hair. From personal experience I can confirm that this is true! Additionally, Batiste is constantly making an appearance in dry shampoo recommendations so I knew it’d be a trusty brand.

After not washing my hair for two days I decided to give it a few dry shampoo sprays on the third day and I was incredibly impressed with the results. Not only did my hair look fresh, it even felt fresh! This is going to make my weekday work routine 10x easier now that I know I won’t have to spend my time frantically drying my washed hair. My only regret is not buying more bottles with various scents.

I’m aware that Batiste is on the budget end of the dry shampoo world so I’m eager to invest a bit more money and try some other brands, have any of you got any suggestions? Due to its affordable price, I’ll definitely be keeping a bottle in my bag at all times for an emergency hair boost.

Batiste will continue to hold a special place in my heart – you never forget your first dry shampoo. Get yours here: http://www.batistehair.co.uk

 

Yeleverything

Harry Potter is more than just a story

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I am so grateful to J.K. Rowling for dreaming up the magical world of Harry Potter whilst on a train journey between London and Manchester. It goes without saying, the storylines provide a form of escapism that encourages you to think outside of the box and truly embrace the fact that eventually good will triumph over evil (something that J.K. Rowling does on a daily basis against Twitter trolls). But there is more to it than an eclectic mix of characters and fancy spells.

I grew up with Harry Potter and it shaped my life, memories and relationships.

This post could honestly be the same length as my undergraduate dissertation (but I won’t put you through that!) Instead, here are key memories I have thanks to Harry Potter:

My brothers arguing over who got to read our copy of the book first. After Chamber of Secrets, my mum wised up and made the sensible decision of buying individual copies.

Following this, it led to a reading race in which my brothers would race each other to finish the book first. Heaven forbid any arguments happened mid-read because that would lead to spoilers galore! I’ve always been a bookworm but J.K. Rowling encouraged even the most disinterested child to pick up a book and immerse themselves in the fantasy world.

We spent endless Sunday afternoons together as a family watching the films. Specifically, I know the first three films off by heart due to my eldest brother having them on 24/7.

I remember seeing the first couple of films with my brother and my mum. I don’t know why but I always remember at the end of the Philospher’s Stone my mum turning to my brother and asking, “does Harry get on better with the Dursley’s when he gets home?” She sounded genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of the fictional wizard!

As I got a bit older, I began to go to see the films with my friends instead of my family. I’ll never forget being absolutely covered in goosebumps at the beginning of The Deathly Hallows. I’m not sure why but the 2 year wait for the film genuinely felt like a lifetime!

I remember watching the Order of the Phoenix at the first ever sleepover I had with a boy – we were both huge Harry Potter fans so it was the perfect evening! Fast forward 7 years and we ended up visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan together. I can’t describe the butterflies in my tummy I had whilst walking into my fictional paradise. We also binge watched all 8 films on the flight to Japan, best in-flight entertainment ever.

For my 19th birthday, my best friend and a different boyfriend surprised me with tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. This was an incredible day out! Seeing the set design and the props in real life was absolutely fascinating. I even got to ride a broom! I’m going back next week for my 23rd birthday and cannot wait.

I know these memories don’t mean much to anyone else. I find it absolutely fascinating that a book and movie franchise could have such an impact on growing up. From being young enough to not be able to go to the cinema by myself to see the first movie, to being old enough to travel to Japan without my parents and experience the magic – Harry Potter has been a consistent presence in my life. I can’t quite articulate how special it is to me.

Thank you J.K. Rowling for playing a crucial role in the last 20 years of my life.

 

Yeladventures

5 Favourite places in Amsterdam

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Since my local airport introduced cheap and regular flights from Amsterdam I’ve been going on a yearly basis. It’s a city that I have absolutely fallen in love with. I’ve found that it’s suitable for anyone; girls trips, boys trips, a couples holiday or even a family trip. Here are my top recommendations on what to see/do!

1. Chipsy King

I’m not entirely sure what it is but these chips from Holland are far superior to both the American french fry and chunky British chips. There are two shops to choose from (Muntplein 5 or Damstraat 8). You can choose a variety of sauces, so far I’ve only tried garlic, ketchup and mayonnaise. Ketchup is by far my favourite and not your traditional Heinz taste. This place is perfect to stop into for a takeaway snack to enjoy whilst exploring the city.

2. The Resistance Museum

As a lover of history this was one that I ticked off of my list surprisingly late but I am so glad I have finally visited. The Resistance Museum follows the history of the Dutch resistance during World War Two and the unsung heroes that helped to fight against the German occupation. Audio guides are available, which I would highly recommend. The visit is emotional and informative conveying a side to the war that is not often heard about but deserves to be told.

3. SkyLounge Amsterdam / Hotel DoubleTree 

This is my absolute favourite place to stay when I’m in Amsterdam. The hotel is really modern and the rooms come with a Mac for all of your internet, television and room service needs! Even better is the free warm cookie you receive on arrival. The staff are incredibly attentive and will do everything possible to make your trip as perfect. Tip: their car service provides an incredibly luxurious way to travel.
Additionally, this beautiful hotel comes equipped with a rooftop bar suitable all year round and providing the best views of the city. The bar is open to non-guests too so anyone can make the most of their cocktails and sushi platters. To top it all off, the hotel is a three minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station so you don’t even have to worry about lugging your suitcase through the city!

4. Supperclub 

This is the most unique dining experience I have ever had, I think it’ll deserve it’s very own blog post because there is so much to be said. A refined synopsis: a 5 course secret menu with surprise entertainment all in the comfort of a bed. This does not do it justice at all – keep your eyes pealed for another post soon. For now, all I can say is book a bed and expect the unexpected.

5. The Red Light District

I think that the best advice I can give anyone is to just wander around and get lost because you’re bound to stumble across something brilliant. Some of my friends have been apprehensive of the Red Light District but it is so much fun to explore. Around that area is one of my favourite dessert places, Metropolitan – you’ll smell the rich chocolate aromas before you see it! I’d also recommend checking out the Bulldog Souvenir shop for the comfiest hoodies and jumpers in the world – ideal if you’re visiting during the Winter.

& that’s it – my top 5! (cheating a little bit with number 5 but what can y’do..) Here’s a video I made years ago to get you in the mood to book a trip to Amsterdam:

Yeleverything

The worst things to say to stressed people

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The current humidity is not helping but I am facing mahoosive sleep issues at the moment. My university final grade is out next week (at 4pm on my birthday of all days) and I can’t stop fretting over it!

I’m trying my best to keep myself busy during the day but I still have millisecond panics with a precise countdown to receiving my results. This is made 10 x worse at night and I’ve found myself only being able to sleep after a long Netflix binge. My family & friends are trying their best to help me but sometimes their advice is SO frustrating. Just to clarify, I know I am being completely irrational but this is the stress talking! So here is a little list of the most infuriating advice to receive:

  1. “It’s not long to go then it’ll all be over!”

I don’t care how long there is to go. Whether it’s one minute or three months – I am going to stress. Time isn’t a factor in this because the stress comes in waves. One minute I can be in a “I’m sure it won’t be bad” then the next minute I’m thinking of so many bizarre scenarios; “maybe I wrote the wrong student number on my exam and I’ll end up with a 0? Perhaps I accidentally google translated my entire dissertation into Spanish so it’ll be impossible to mark?” Minds can play tricks. A steady stream of stress would be manageable, it’s the unexpected stress over any time period that is difficult.

    2. “There’s nothing you can do about it now so just forget about it”

Oh! Thanks so much, Susan. I didn’t realise I should just forget about it – stress gone! This would be dream advice if it was actually possible to do. Having someone casually disregard your stress and suggest that it can be pushed away is somewhat damaging and makes you feel even more irrational about being stressed.

3. “I’m sure you’ve done fine, you did your best”

BUT DID I?! Or did I go to a party when I should have done my essay? Did I buy a kitten two weeks before three deadlines? Results stress even makes me question the times that I did work hard, “yes I worked hard.. but could I have worked harder? Did I really need to sleep and shower?”

4. “I know you’ll get a first”

Spoiler: It is now mathematically impossible for me to achieve a first so I know that won’t be happening. It’s incredibly flattering having close friends say this one but when I know the expectations are so high it’s actually adding more pressure because whatever I now get will be disappointing (not to me personally, a 2:1 will have me singing on the rooftops). I know people have good intentions but I’ve had this since GCSE’s when the pressure to get A*’s & A’s was suffocating.

Are any of you in the same boat as me and waiting for results or are you one of the lucky ones that has been able to enjoy their summer with their results in hand?

Yelevision

Schitt’s Creek

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What started off as something I put on whilst hungover and planned to fall asleep to soon turned into a binge watching session accompanied by pizza and suppressed memories from the night before.

Schitt’s Creek is incredible! The 20 minute bursts of humour mean you can comfortably watch six episodes in one sitting (I assume for a normal person, for me it’s more like an entire season in one sitting. Then a food break. Then a return to start the next season. Student life has its advantages).

Briefly explained by WikipediaThe series stars Eugene Levy as Johnny Rose, a wealthy video store magnate, and Catherine O’Hara as his wife Moira, a washed up soap star. The couple loses all their money because of their crooked business manager’s theft and failure to pay their taxes and are forced to rebuild their lives in their only remaining asset: the small town of Schitt’s Creek, which they once bought as a joke gift for the birthday of their son. They wind up living in two adjacent rooms of a rundown motel with their pampered thirty-something adult children: the son, David, and a daughter, Alexis.

This show has been the first series since the US Office that I have thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and remained engaged throughout the entire episode. What makes the series even more special is the fact that the creators, Eugene Levy & Daniel Levy, are father and son in real life as well as in the show. If you’re looking for an upbeat, hilarious and heart-warming show then this is the one for you!