Wednesday, 27 April 2016

April Favourites

It's the end of the month, so you know what that means! Here is what I've been loving this month:

Colour Therapy Anti-Stress Colouring Book
I'm so glad that 'adult colouring' has become a thing. It's so relaxing, and a really nice thing to do at the end of a long day. This one is really good, and the pictures are beautiful.

My new Personal-Planner
I can't believe my original one is a year old now! But that means it's time for a new one. It's so beautiful, and makes me realise just how shabby my current one is. Here's to another year!

Sainsbury's Salted Pretzels
These are a new obsession of mine. I always snack in the evenings, and these are just a little bit more interesting than biscuits.

Sainsbury's Pomegranate Juice
This stuff is just amazing. My new favourite drink.

It's been a pretty quiet month, as you can probably tell from my favourites, but a really good one too. What have you been loving this month?

Monday, 18 April 2016

My Top Five Books of All Time

This post is actually a day late, so apologies for that! It was meant to go up yesterday, but the day just completely got away from me. You know how it is!

I'm really excited about this post because it is one of my favourite things to talk about: books! Being a student studying English Literature, you'd think that I'd be sick of them by now, but that's definitely not the case. I've read so many books over the years, it was actually really hard to narrow it down to just five, but the ones that I've picked are ones that I would happily read over and over again, so I think they definitely deserve a place here. These are in no particular order: there's no way I could pick a number one favourite.

1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling
Of course, I had to have a Harry Potter book in here. I am the Harry Potter generation, and it is these books that made me love reading so much. As you can see from my much-loved copy, I've read these countless times, and they're just everything. Harry Potter is life.

2) Looking for Alaska by John Green
I read this after a recommendation from a friend, and I loved it. It is the perfect coming-of-age story that just encapsulates the struggles of teenage life and first loves so well. Also, the cover is one of my favourite covers ever. Look at it!

3) The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
I have no idea what possessed me to pick this book up, but I'm so glad I did. The premise is so simple: the main character dies and is met in heaven by five people, who either affected his life in some way, or whose life he affected without even knowing it. It's a beautiful book, and leaves you feeling really content, despite how sad it sounds.

4) The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I got this series of books for Christmas about three years ago, and I read this book in a day. Between Christmas Day and Boxing Day I read the entire thing, and it was amazing. The writing is incredible and the story is fast-paced - you're never left waiting for the next thing to happen. The film was done really well too; I loved Dylan O'Brien as the main character, he is exactly how I imagined Thomas to be.

5) Eragon by Christopher Paolini
My mum brought this book for me when I was about eight, and I didn't read it for many years, but when I eventually did it was so good. It's really long, which may be off-putting for some people, but I personally prefer books to be longer. If you like fantasy stuff, definitely read this series.

What are your favourite books of all time?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

10 Things I'd Tell My Younger Self

When I think back over the 20 years that I've been around, it occurs to me that there are so many things that I would go back and tell myself, if I could. As a 20 year old, so many things are glaringly obvious to me now, that were at best, a murky pool of confusion back then.

Hey, look! It's 14 year old Nicole! 

1) Life after primary school gets so much better
Primary school was not a good time for you. I know, believe me I do. To be honest, I think it might have been the worst time of my life thus far. But as soon as you get out of that place, things start to get better. You make new friends that you will still be friends with as a 20 year old, and that's pretty amazing.

2) Boys aren't as scary as they appear
Boys have always been something of a mystery to me. They never really crossed my path in any real way until I was in Year 11, and even then it wasn't until I met my boyfriend when I was 18 that I realised that boys aren't that different from other people. They won't laugh in your face as soon as you open your mouth, and most of them are actually pretty nice people.

3) Shit is gonna happen
But that's okay. Apologies for the swearing, but sometimes it's just necessary. Shit does happen, and while it may seem like the end of the world at the time, it'll all work out in the end. Trust me.

4) You are more capable than you give yourself credit for
No matter what situations come your way, you can deal with them. If you can deal with one of your best friends knocking herself out while at a waterpark in Spain, and having to navigate the hospitals and doctors while only speaking basic Spanish, you can deal with anything. You will know what to do when the time comes. You will.

5) You can't make everyone happy, so stop trying
Even as a 20 year old, you will still be trying to please everyone, even though it occurred to you many years ago that it is impossible. IMPOSSIBLE. No matter what you do, you're going to be letting someone down. So just do what you gotta do, and worry about everything else later. This blog post is living proof that everything will work out.

6) Everything that you're worrying about won't matter in a year's time
You're a worrier. You always have been, and you always will be. Thanks for the genes, Dad! But ultimately, everything that you're worrying about right now will not even be an issue eventually. You stay friends with your friends, you get into uni doing the course you want, you're doing fine and your family have your back. Everything is good.

7) Your friendship group will change a lot
From the start of secondary school up to today, you will have so many friends in so many circles, that have come and gone over the years. You're friends with people that you never thought you would be, and you've lost touch with people that you thought you'd be friends with forever. But the friends you have now... damn, they're a good bunch. Hold onto them.

8) People are gonna let you down
It's a fact of life, I'm afraid. No matter how much you do for others, people are gonna let you down. Sometimes it's their fault, sometimes it's not. Just accept this. It will save you so much time and effort in the future.

9) Mum is always right. Always. And Dad will always come through for you, no matter how much he complains about it
Your parents are the best. They have your back and will never let you down. When you're going through your dark period at uni, they will be there for you. No matter how alone you may feel, you are never alone. They're with you.

10) Don't be in a rush to grow up
Make the most of your teenage years while they last, because they'll be gone so quickly. Do more things, and study a bit less. Your GCSE's are not the be-all and end-all.

There's six years difference between these pictures. Thank goodness my makeup skills improved!

What would you tell your younger self, given the chance?