Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Everyone is heading home for a cosy christmas with family and a relaxing month long break from university. Except me. I'll be spending the majority of the winter break staying in my university town to work, here are my plans so I don't turn into a recluse.

- Go outside -
I'm lucky that I live in a beautiful town beside the sea, and I need to take advantage of that. Whether it's a long walk or popping to the shops, I aim to go outside every day. 

- Read -
I finally have to read non-reading list books which means I'm going to tackle the huge pile of books that I've been meaning to read. Coincidently the majority of them are to do with my degree in some way!

- Exercise -
Last summer I was going on runs every week and loving it but university threw everything out of balance. I want to start running again and this break is the perfect time for that. 

- Keep in touch - 
I love writing letters and cards and want to send them to my friends, especially those in far flung places. There is nothing nicer than getting a handwritten card in the post!

- Prepare for next semester -
I want to be prepared by doing all the required reading in advance, luckily I enjoy the background reading! I also need to keep on top with my Spanish, ¡aquí voy! 

All of this will be partnered with my retail job, which should be fun in the sales.

Monday, 24 November 2014

November Playlist

St Andrews, Scotland

I listen to music pretty much constantly, whether that be when walking to class, cooking dinner or studying at the library. I've had a week of deadlines and these songs have been my saviours. 

In Dreams \ Ben Howard
Limits Lie \ Jamie T
You are the Sun \ Hurricane Love
English House \ Fleet Foxes
Bad Blood \ Bear's Den 
I Wanna Get Better \ Bleachers
Never Gonna Give You Up \ The Black Keys
Out of the Blue \ Prides
Torn Apart \ Bastille
Cherry Wine \ Hozier

If you're looking for some new music I recommend Hozier, he's amazing.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Freshers Week Advice

I moved into halls exactly a week ago which means freshers week is nearly over. If you don't know what freshers week is... it's basically a week for all new students to get very drunk and make mistakes, and of course make new friends, get used to university life and start doing things for themselves. 

Don't be nervous or anxious.
Everyone is in the same boat as you, they might just be better at hiding it. I was quite lucky in the fact that I'd already spent a time away from home fending for myself, but most people haven't. Of course it's natural to be scared, it's a huge thing to do! I'm living in halls with 500+ people and for an only child who grew up in a small town its a situation I've never been in before. Be brave and head out!

Be friendly.
I know this is easier said than done but putting on a smile and introducing yourself to people really does make the world of difference. At least say hello to the people in your corridor/flat because you're going to be living with them and they'll be the people you see the most. Introduce yourself to everyone you meet, you never know they might become your best friend! The worst thing you can do is shut yourself away in your room and not talk to anyone.

Be Healthy
Without sounding like your mother, try and stay healthy at university, and especially in freshers week to fend off the dreaded freshers flu. Eating healthily and drinking enough water makes those hangovers end more quickly and mean you're ready to tackle anything life throws at you. I recommend buying loads of vegetables, they're cheaper and tastier than ready meals!, and making a batch of soup or sauce that can be heated up quickly. I made a huge batch of Tomato and Quinoa Soup, which will last me for at least five meals. If you can't cook then learn asap!, or ask a willing cook to make you some healthy meals that can be frozen. All I'm going to say about drinking is know your limits. If you can drink someone under the table then go on but if you know yourself that one drink goes straight to your head then maybe don't do those tequila shots. The most important thing is watch your drink getting made and don't leave it unattended, I have had my drink spiked before and it was not a nice experience and could have ended very badly.

Say yes
In the past week I have avoided many people asking me to join their society, but I have also said yes (what the hell!) and put my name down for things I never even thought of. The Russian society, why the hell not? Attend a beach barbecue even though the tide is coming in, again why the hell not? Saying yes or attending an event doesn't mean you have to join or are under any pressure to go again. You'll meet loads of new interesting people and have fun! Most universities will have a fayre of some sort where you can discover all the weird and wonderful societies. I will most likely join the ones to do with my degree but I also intend on volunteering and doing some charity work so who knows? Go to events as well, if they're anything like the ones I've been to they wont be amazing but who cares? I still had a great time and bonded with my flatmates about how bad they were! 

Enjoy yourself!
The whole point of freshers week is to enjoy yourself before classes start and you have to remember why you're at university. You'll probably have to do a few boring official things during the week to make sure you're enrolled and actually down for the right subjects but after they're done have fun! Go and explore your new home town, battle through the crowds to get all the free stuff and make sure to call your mum to let her know you're still alive. 

Your life is just beginning and you're gonna be great!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tomato and Quinoa Soup

I love adding quinoa, aka the super high in protein wonder grain, to my boring cans of tomato soup but today I decided I was going to go one step further and make my own tomato soup! The soup takes around twenty minutes to make, meaning it's a quick, easy and healthy dinner.

(serves two people)
50g of quinoa
10 decent sized tomatoes
canned tomatoes
garlic puree

olive oil

You will also need a blender or food processor. 

Before putting the quinoa to cook I recommend you soak it in water for at least five minutes to get rid of the dirt taste and soften it. Then place in a pan with boiling water, put the heat on medium and leave to cook for fifteen minutes.

In a saucepan heat up the olive oil, I use a garlic infused oil to add more flavour, vegetable or sunflower oil can be used as a substitute. 

Whilst the oil is heating up chop the tomatoes into small chunks and add to the saucepan. After a few minutes add the canned tomatoes. Bring it to the boil and then simmer.

Once the tomatoes have boiled blend them so there are no big chunks of tomato and then return to the saucepan. Then add the garlic puree and seasonings. I used chilli powder, basil, oregano and a pinch of salt, but you can use any ones you like. Heat until it is a desirable temperature, I like mine 'scald your tongue' hot. 

The quinoa should be ready by now; drain and add to the tomatoes. I recommend using a fine sieve and putting a sheet of kitchen roll over the bottom before you drain the quinoa as it is very small and likely to fall straight into your sink! 

Stir the quinoa and tomatoes together and then serve. I served mine with garlic toast and a salad. 

I'll definitely be making this in the future and using the leftovers for lunch in the coming days. I'm also going to use quinoa in another soup recipe in the coming weeks so keep your eyes out for it!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Triple Chocolate Cookies

A more accurate name for these cookies would be 'death by diabetes' but don't let that put you off, these cookies are delicious and everyone will love them.

150g softened unsalted butter or margarine
150g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten 
1 tsp vanilla essence
250g self-raising flour
2 tbsps cocoa powder
50g milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks
50g white chocolate, same as above
50g smarties (or similar, I used M&Ms)

Featuring 2lbs of homegrown strawberries.
 Preheat the oven to 180*c or Gas 5

Cream the butter and sugar together, I prefer to mix by hand but you can use an electric whisk to save time.

Add the egg, vanilla essence, cocoa powder and half the flour, mix until it is smooth.

Stir in both kinds of chocolate chips and the smarties.

Mix in the remaining flour until the mixture is thicker and almost dough like.

Divide the dough into two and then again from this into six small balls.

Flatten each ball and place on a greased baking tray making sure they are evenly spaced, if not you will end up with one massive cookie, which isn't a bad thing but not what we are aiming for!

Bake in the centre of your preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are crisping.
This recipe makes roughly 12 -14 cookies. 

I am taking this batch into work to enjoy on what will most likely be a very busy day that requires cookies.

Monday, 16 June 2014

My Summer Playlist

I go through stages of listening to the same album on repeat for weeks until I move onto the next one. Here are the songs I've been loving in May and June. 

Border Line// King Krule

Nothing Stays the Same// Luke Sital-Singh 

The Death of Queen Jane// Oscar Issac

Sweet Life// Frank Ocean

Oats in the Water// Ben Howard

avf// Stromae

Partition// Iggy Azalea+Beyonce

Cheer Up//Miles Fisher

My commute to work is around forty minutes all together which means I get to listen to one whole album before and after work. My album of the month is most definitely Racine Carrée by Stromae, it has the perfect mix of upbeat and slower songs.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tips for learning a new language

Come September 2014 I'll be studying Spanish and German at university, so I know all the little tips and tricks to learning a language and actually remembering it! From firsthand experience I know how difficult it can be learning a language, these tips definitely helped me! In our modern society its becoming increasingly more important and relevant knowing more than one language. Although being bilingual can help your career prospects and even your grasp of English, I think the biggest and best benefits are in how it opens your world. There really is no better feeling than speaking to someone in a native language and seeing their world through your own eyes!

Start with the basics
Whether you've learnt the language before or are a complete novice, starting with the basics is the best way to ease yourself in. Although jumping in the deep end with conjunctive verbs may have the best payoff it's not the most sensible thing to do. If you've studied the language before then going over the basics is a good refresher and if you're learning from scratch then the basics are the sensible place to start! If you're only wanting to learn a few vital phrases for your holiday such as '¡una cerveza, por favor!' then you probably won't want to learn about the verbs and how to conjugate sentences. I'd recommend goggling said phrases and getting a guidebook with some basics included, most guidebooks nowadays have this. 

Use technology
We are fortunate, or unfortunate if you see it like that, to live in a world where everything and anything is at our fingertips. I recently discovered the Duolingo app, which has turned into an everyday app of mine. It has a great feature that tracks how much time you've spent on each language and you can set yourself a goal to do a certain amount each day. There are also tonnes of other apps that you can download to help you along the way. This also means that you don't have to go out and buy a lot of supplies, such as a dictionary or grammar books because both services are easily accessible online.

Listen to the language
Watching things or listening to things in the language is a great way to integrate it into your daily life whilst also learning how to pronounce certain sounds correctly. I am a big fan of foreign cinema with Amélie being one of my favourite films, even though I know only a few words of French. Listening to non-English music is also a great way to get used to hearing the language. A few of my favourite artists sing in French and German, Stromae and Max Prosa

Don't do it alone 
It's a lot easier to give up on something if there is no-one there to motivate and push you. I was lucky that I had the opportunity to learn my languages at high school in a small class setting. Having someone to answer to and go to for advice is vital in knowing where you're going wrong and how you can improve. Most community centres and schools will offer beginners language classes which are reasonably priced and provide the books you'll need. 

Make it fun
You're not going to continue learning a new language if it's boring and feels like a chore. Like I stated before watching films/tv and listening to music is a great way to learn a language and it's fun. Set yourself goals and when you achieve them reward yourself! Go to a tapas restaurant and order in Spanish, there you go!, you just spoke Spanish and you have a margarita! Your goals don't have to be big or complicated. By setting small achievable goals you're encouraging yourself to develop skills and gain confidence in the language. Learning something new is meant to be exciting and interesting, try to enjoy the journey!

Without sounding like your teacher, practice does make perfect! If you want to become good at anything you have to put in the graft and the effort. Something that I do a lot is think in another language or think how to say certain things whilst I'm doing them. For example, I will mentally count in Spanish in my head instead of English and, without sounding completely crazy, I sometimes speak to my cats in Spanish! I find it so helpful to speak out loud and hear yourself speaking the language. 

I hope this tips were helpful and someone is inspired to pick up a new language or even one they did at school.
Get out there and learn a new language, what's the worst thing that could happen?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Oatmeal Cookies

In an attempt to make healthier choices but being unable to avoid sweet treats I thought I would make some healthier options of my own. These cookies are perfect paired with a warm drink or even warmed up with ice cream for dessert. 

Just a word of warning, the amounts listed make more than twenty cookies, depending on how small or large you want them. If you want to make around a dozen I would recommend halving all the amounts. 
Can you spot the flour on my top? Wear an apron!

230g butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
220g brown sugar
250g self-raising flour
250g oats 
2 large eggs, beaten
vanilla extract
pinch of salt
baking powder
Preheat oven to 190*

Mix together the butter and both sugars. Gradually add in the egg and then add one teaspoon of the vanilla essence. 

Mix the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder together. Then mix and make sure that all the flour is mixed in. Finally add in the oats. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rest.

If you want you can add fruit, nuts or anything really to the mixture. I split mine in half and added raisins to one half and more cinnamon to the other.

After half an hour the mixture is ready to cook. Grease an oven tray and use a teaspoon to create small balls of the mixture. Place, well spaced apart, on the tray and push down slightly on the top with a fork dipped in milk

I kept mine on for around nine minutes and they are the perfect mixture of chewy and crunch. If you're looking for super chewy, melt in your mouth cookies then leave them in for eight minutes and for eleven if you're wanting crunchy ones. 

As I said before this recipe makes a lot of cookies! I plan on giving some to friends and colleagues, and if there's any left having them as a tasty snack. I'm giving up chocolate and sweets for lent and fully intended to last the full forty days!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Microwave Chocolate Brownie

A super quick, super easy recipe for when you're needing a chocolate fix! This recipe is measured in spoonfuls to make it even easier and quicker to make!

2 tablespoons butter/margarine
2 tablespoons milk (roughly 50ml)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
a dash of vanilla essence 

Melt the butter or leave until it is room temperature. Then add the milk and vanilla essence. 

Add the cocoa powder and mix. 

Add the sugar and mix. The mixture will look a bit grainy but don't worry!

Add the flour and, you guessed it, mix! 

Put the mixture into the microwave at the highest setting (900W)  for 70 seconds. If your microwave doesn't go that high then adjust accordingly. Important!; make sure you're using a microwave safe bowl or you could end up with an interesting science experiment in your kitchen! 

Be careful when taking it out as the bowl and brownie will be very hot. However, it is best served hot with ice cream to enjoy whilst watching trashy tv. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

February Films #1

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Eccentic oceanographer Steve Zissou with his crew, find themselves in troubled waters when they attempt to track down the mysterious 'jaguar shark' that ate Zissou's partner while they were filming a documentary of their latest adventure.
After having being told that Wes Anderson films were the sort of ones I would like I was very intrigued. I must say it was a perfect pick for me! I found Anderson's style of film-making very original and right up my street. I loved how the sea creatures and seascape were puppets which I think made the film even more fun. I've also been turned into a Bill Murray fan, I'd never really seen any of his films before but I'll definitely be checking out his other films! Plus I think dressing up as one of Steve's team would be such a fun costume, baby blue and a bright red hat, so high fashion! 9/10

The Sapphires
It's 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.
Since I am a huge fan of Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd is one of my favourite programmes) and musicals, I knew I would enjoy this film. I must admit this film was a lot more emotional and heart-wrenching than I thought it would be! It was interesting to see racism towards aboriginals in Australia. I have friends and family in Australia and even they say it's not really spoken about nowadays and in some areas is still an issue! I found out that The Sapphires is actually based on a true story and the screenplay was written by a relative. 7/10

The Fantastic Mr Fox
An urban fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.
My second foray into Wes Anderson films. I grew up reading Roald Dahl books so it was nice to see a more adult adaption of one of my beloved childhood books. Once again I found the style of the film captivating. I love the music in the film as well. I think overall it's a great adaption of a classic book that everyone will enjoy! 8/10

Julie and Julia
Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.
As a somewhat novice cook myself I can see the appeal of trying to cook every recipe in a certain book, whilst this wouldn't work for me since I'm so darn fussy it's an interesting idea. The film is set in two distinct times and places so it flicks between modern-day New York and 1940's France/Europe. I must admit this film inspired me to branch out more in my cooking which is always a good thing! 7/10

What To Expect When You're Expecting
A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth that no matter what you plan for, life doesn't always deliver what's expected.
I've not read the book this is based on, mostly because it's a pregnancy book and I've never been pregnant! However, I think this is definitely one of those films that it doesn't really matter if you've read the book or not. It has a cast full of well known actors which I don't think adds to or draws from the plot. I enjoyed the film and would watch it again, you can drift in and out and still understand it. 6/10

Friday, 31 January 2014

January Films

Films that I watched and enjoyed in January. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 
The classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened Walter takes action in the real world, embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
I guessed I would enjoy this film purely from reading the synopsis and I was right. I loved this film so much. For me the highlight of the film was most definitely the scenery, especially the Iceland ones. I also thought the soundtrack was great especially Kristen Wiigs' version of David Bowies' Space Oddity.  I left the theatre wanting to travel and take on the world! 9/10

17 Fille | 17 Girls
Seventeen teenage girls at a school in small-town France become pregnant at the same time, baffling the adults -- and the boys -- in their lives.
As an avid fan of foreign films and unusual plots I found this film in the depths of netflix. Although it did end up more emotional than I had assumed it would be, I thought the plot was pretty good. It showed how intelligent yet naive the girls were and this view developed as the film progressed. 6.5/10

Grave Encounters
Shot in found footage style, the footage follows the crew of a paranormal reality television programme who lock themselves in a haunted psychiatric hospital in search of evidence of paranormal activity as they shoot what ends up becoming their final episode.
I have a confession, I'm a huge fan of paranormal programmes and one in particular, Ghost Adventures, is exactly the same as the show in this film. Although it got off to a slow start it picked up and had me hiding behind my covers. The horror in this is more of a 'sit and wait for something to happen' than an outright scary thing. If you're a fan of Paranormal Activity or similar films then you'll enjoy Grave Encounters. Plus there's a sequel! 7/10

Medianeras | Sidewalls 
Separated by the wall their apartments share, Mariana and Martín are without question the perfect couple. There's just one problem: They've never met.
Yet another foreign film with an unusual plot. I connected with both characters and the idea of being small in a big city. I'm not sure what else to say apart from it was a nice film that I would watch again!  8/10 

The film tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged, thrill-seeking mountain man, his loyal pet reindeer and a hapless snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in an eternal winter.
After seeing all the hype on tumblr about Frozen I just had to see it! I'm not a Disney maniac but like everyone I enjoy good songs and animated snowmen. I really appreciated how the plot was focused more on the sisters than a romance. The unexpected villan (spoilers!) shocked me and added an interesting twist. I can't not mention the songs, 'Let it Go' is just one of those songs that you belt out and then feel instantly like you can do anything! A good film for children and adults alike. 8/10

When Mary, a devout senior at a Christian high school, accidentally gets pregnant, she starts to see her peers and her faith in a whole new way.
Intrigued by the 'Faith and Spirituality' genre on netflix I was drawn to this film, the whole premise of the film is pretty unlikely but it ends up being genuinely good and heartwarming. Overall it's funny and it's weird seeing well known actors before they were famous. 6.5/10

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Eggless Banana Bread

A good recipe if you're vegan, allergic to eggs or ran out of eggs! (Which was me!)

4 ripe bananas, mashed
120g of butter or margarine, softened
175g of brown sugar
120ml of milk or milk substitute (soya, almond etc)
200g of self-raising flour
vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180*c

In a large bowl mix together the mashed bananas and butter, then add the milk and vanilla essence. 

Add brown sugar and mix.

Then sieve the flour and cinnamon into the bowl. Make sure to mix thoroughly so the mixture is even and there are no pockets of flour. 
Pour mixture into a greased loaf tin (or normal cake tin) and place in oven for 1 - 1.5 hours. 

Allow to cool before enjoying!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Travelling Alone Tips and Advice

Traditional dress on Lake Titicaca

As you may or may not know, I've not mentioned it on here, but I spent two months in Peru this past summer and went alone. I volunteered at an orphanage in Arequipa and had an amazing time!

Speak the language 
It's not always possible and quite a lot to ask in most situations but it really helps, especially in more rural areas. You don't have to be fluent, even the basics are a huge help. I find that people really appreciate it when you try to speak their native language.  I even managed to get a few discounts because I spoke Spanish! I actually ended up speaking Spanish 50% of the time as the ladies who worked at the orphanage I volunteered at didn't speak a word of English!

Use your common sense
This goes without saying, don't do anything stupid or dangerous. Sure it might make for a good story but it also might mean you get hurt or in trouble. If you wouldn't walk down a dark alley in your hometown don't do it in a foreign place. When you're alone, especially if you're a woman, you make an easier target. If you put yourself into uncomfortable situations or dangerous places it's important to know how to deal with it. I'd recommend having travel insurance and knowing the numbers for the local hospital, police etc. Also, if you're going somewhere by yourself tell someone (a fellow guest, the receptionist) where you are going and what time you'll expect to be back, that way if something does happen someone will know where you are. 

Have an open mind
It's fun to plan an action packed holiday with a mile long list of things you intend to do but sometimes things don't work out. Throw yourself into your new surroundings and you'll have an amazing time. Sometimes the simple things like wandering around a new city end up being the most memorable. I went on an unplanned weekend trip to Lake Titicaca and ended up staying with a local family on an island! 

Touristy places are good
Being alone in a strange and new country can be intimidating. Whilst cheap hostels and tourist bars aren't the nicest or most genuine places they are a fantastic way to meet people who are in the same boat as you. The majority of the time they'll speak English which is good if you're struggling with a new language. It also means you can ask about the best places to see, eat at, drink at and get a feel of the place in general. I was lucky enough to be staying with other volunteers who had already been there for a month or so who took me under their wings. 

Do your research 
It's a good idea to get a feel of a place before you go there, and even more so if you're going to be alone. Some countries have massively differently social codes and cultures which are important to understand prior to travelling. Guidebooks and the internet are always a good place to start, I recommend the tripadvisor and lonely planet websites and the rough guides. My guidebook was a godsend, however it's impossible for the information to be right up to date so make sure you double check online. Also, if you can, speak to people who've been there and ask them about it. Speaking to people who have actually been there and done that is a great way to discover where to go and what places to avoid like the plague! 

I volunteered with the charity Traveller Not Tourist which is based in Arequipa, Peru. You can find their website at and their facebook page. I could not recommend them enough and if you have any questions feel free to ask me! You can see more of my photos of my time there on my flickr.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

These cake bars have the perfect combination of sweet and sour. Plus because of their relatively small size they make a great and not too indulgent snack!

4oz caster sugar
4oz margarine (at room temperature)
4oz self-raising flour
3 medium eggs
lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 200^. Beat eggs together.

     Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg to the mixture and mix together. Repeat with 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice,               depending on how lemon-y you want your cakes.

 Pour mixture into a square or rectangular tray and place in oven for around 20 minutes. Whilst    that's baking you can make the 'drizzle' part of the title.

Lemon Syrup;
200g of caster sugar
50ml of water
lemon juice

Boil the sugar and water in a pan until the syrup is clear. Let cool for ten minutes and then add   two teaspoons of lemon juice. Once cooled pour over cake and once it's absorbed cut the cake into rectangles.

Arrange on plate in however fashion you want, I went for the traditional jenga!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Grandpa's Hobby

My Grandfather was a keen photographer, a hobby I share with him. Although I never met my Grandpa I've learnt a lot about him through his photographs; whether they're of the Austrian Alps, his family or India. I love seeing photos of my mum and her brothers as children and my grandparents as young adults enjoying themselves after the war. I love these photos because they give me a glimpse into my families life and what it was like back then.

My Grandpa worked for GlaxoSmithKline and spent a lot of his career contributing photographs to the company magazines and newsletters. He was lucky enough to travel to India to see the new factory in an era when foreign travel, especially that far, was rare and very expensive. He was also very fond of Austria and Switzerland, I found hundreds of photos of mountains and lakes. Alongside the far-flung landscapes he often took photos of his family and friends. There is something both professional and amateur about these photographs and I love it. Nothing leaves memories better than photographs.

My Nana died on Christmas Day aged ninety-two years old and she lived a good life. She is remembered by her four children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Although I am devastated I know she is in a better place and finally reunited with my Grandpa, her husband, after more than twenty years apart. We can't prevent our loved ones dying but we can deal with it and remember them whilst simultaneously pulling ourselves together and living our lives.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Realistic Resolutions

Like everyone else in the world I make resolutions for the new year with the well intended hope of sticking to them and magically transforming into a super fit goddess who can speak Spanish fluently and cook up a storm. However, like the majority of people, I last for a few weeks (days) and then give up and go back to my old ways. This year, however, shall be different. I'm making realistic resolutions this year, starting off with small doable things that will make a difference. 

Eat healthier | This doesn't necessarily equate to 'lose weight', my diet is terrible and no doubt adds to my weight and bad skin. I enjoying cooking and plan to use this as a motivation for making healthy meals. This year I will eat better and finally sort out my horrendous diet.

Read more | I used to read a lot, I would read a book every week but in the last year I have only read whilst on holiday. I have mountains of unread books just screaming out to be loved so this year I'm going to read more and blog about them. 

Switch off | This appears to be quite a common resolution this year, it seems that many people are attached to their gadgets, I know I'm certainly attached to my phone! I could be doing so many productive and creative things with my time yet I can spend hours on tumblr or just generally faffing about on my phone. This year I am aiming to spend half an hour without gadgets each day. 

Keep learning | I finished school last year and I am currently on a gap year before going to university in September. I'm going to be doing modern languages and really need to keep my skills up. Although my Spanish is pretty good because I spent all summer speaking it, my German is schlecht! Alongside my two languages I want to learn French and some basic Icelandic, so I've got my work cut out for me! This year I'm going to continue learning my chosen languages and learn some new ones.

So there you have it, realistic and not intimidating resolutions that I will try my hardest to stick to. What are your resolutions?