Life's Cup of Tea

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013: A Year of Change



2013 has been a massive roller coaster year for me. 

Graduation... was one of those things I never thought would actually ever happen. It has always seemed so far away!

Lisbon... with two of my best friends was amazing and such a good way to de-stress after my exams. 

Lazing Around... after my exams. Sunny walks in the country. Late night BBQs. Plenty of pub visits. 

Dream Making... by booking my travels to Australia and Thailand next year. 

Getting old... well 21. I celebrated by throwing a thoroughly cheesy Eurovision party. Who needs to go out drinking right?

Studying... for finals and dissertation. I have never felt so stressed out over work before. My dissertation was horrible, but the end was so satisfying!

Leaving... uni was and is one of the hardest things I have ever done. My friends. My independence. Even the library (in a weird 'I actually quite liked you' way)

Adjusting... to life after the fun. It's been tough, I'm still struggling but there are twinkles of lights on the horizon now. 

Acquiring... a new kitty cat. Naaaaawww....


I think 2014 is going to be great :)




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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mint Cream Recipe

Snuggled down with a mug of tea watching Christmas Eve TV when suddenly.... "No! I've forgotten to get Great Uncle Walter Twice Removed a present!!" It's 6 'o' clock, Sainsbury's shut an hour ago and Amazons 1 day delivery won't help you now. There's only one thing to do... get in the kitchen and bake your heart out!!
Mint Cream Recipe

1 Egg white
340g Icing Sugar
Food Colouring
Mint Essence
Chocolate

1. Separate your yolk from your white. Keep the white. 
2. Sift your sugar into a big bowl. Stir in the egg until it is stiff. 
3. Mix in a dash of mint essence and food colouring of your choice (blue or green works well, you only need a tiny bit)
4. Line your baking tray with grease-proof paper.
5. Roll out your mixture and cut into little circles. I used the top of a port glass to cut mine. 
6. Place on the baking tray and put in the fridge overnight. 
7. Melt your chocolate and get the mint creams out of the fridge. Dunk half the mint cream in the chocolate and then put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
Have a lovely Christmas Eve readers. Stay safe, be merry, eat food. And remember, go to bed early else Santa might not make that special visit :)



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Sunday, 22 December 2013

A Christmas Surprise...


So today I just logged into blogger like any other day, and the bell shaped notification alert was lit green so naturally I clicked it. 
I was being alerted about an auto-edited image. Something, somewhere has turned my picture of my Christmas tree from the last post into a twinkling image!!



As you can probably guess by the (probably unnecessary) blog post, this has greatly excited me. Who? Where? How? When?

The most burning question I have on my lips is... "HOW CAN I MAKE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN!?!"

Please readers, enlighten me.




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Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Christmas Tag



I'm jumping on the bandwagon here, and epically procrastinating from job applications... Here is the Christmas Tag!


What is your favourite Christmas Drink?


I am always a massive tea drinker and the cold weather makes this even more of an excuse. However when the festive season comes round I am more drawn to Hot Chocolate, especially the Black Forest Hot Chocolate in Costa!



Glitter, velvet or an LBD for a Christmas party?


I am not a massive clingy dress fan as I am really self-conscious of all the lumps and bumps they draw attention too. I have also never really understood velvet, so for me it would have to be glitter. Glittery nails, glittery eyes, glittery shoes, glittery dresses. Christmas is the one time of year you can overdose on glitter and not look like a right idiot. 



The best beauty product to beat the cold wind on delicate skin?


I always get really dry chapped hands and lips when the cold wind starts.I now carry around Palmer's Cocoa Butter lip balm and try to moisturize my hands as much as possible, thoguh I am rubbish at doing it!



Christmas dinner at home or at a Restaurant?

Home. Why would you ruin someone else's Christmas (waiters, chefs etc) just so you can eat out? Besides, getting the Roast together is one of the best parts of Christmas!


Nothing beats a Christmas stocking right?

Right.


What's your favourite Christmas candle smell?

I don't really do candles!


What is your favourite beauty eye look?

I just usually do the bog standard liner and mascara! Boring really...


What's on your Christmas list this year?
This year I have all sorts of travel things; guidebooks, backpacks, micro-towels etc on my Christmas list. 



What's the best part of Christmas day?


Going down and seeing all the presents under the tree :) Yes, despite myself and my brother being adults our parents still pretend like Santa has been. 

What is your ultimate winter essential?

My fluffy dressing gown. I hate being cold on early morning starts, it makes getting out of my duvet a little more bearable :) 




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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

2014 Blogger Challenge



Scary though but there are only 3 weeks and a few days left of 2013. I can't quite believe it, already those 'Top Songs / Videos or 2013' shows are popping up and I am in no doubt that shortly, some of the Christmas merchandise in shops will be shunted in preparation for new years party gear. 


Not one to think ahead and dedicate myself to anything I have bitten a bullet and signed up for Gaby's 2014 Blogger Challenge



AnotherGirlyBlg



I am looking forward to the challenge which will ensure I blog well into the next year! As I really enjoyed getting prompts to write to in #BEDN I am looking forward to this challenge while still being able to write about my life and randomness. 






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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Naive Life Rut



A year ago I decided to take a year out to just chill. Return to my fun retail job, save some cash and jet of around the world for months. Then I would trip into the job of my dreams and live the rest of my life happily ever after. 

A number of things have gone horrifically wrong with my plan so far:

- Work just isn't as good as I remember it. Working a few hours a week in my uni holidays is very different to working in the same place 5 days a week for 6 months solid. I try to keep my head up, but there is no denying, it's bringing my mood down hugely. I was naive

- Saving isn't going quite as well as I'd hoped. I was naive

- Going back to my pre-uni life, parents and all, after the whol uni experience is not as easy as I thought it would be. I was naive. 

- My social life is the pits. All my friends are on the other side of the country. Aside from the odd coffee with work friends, my cat is my greatest company. I was naive.

- I have no plans when I get back from travelling. Zilch. I didn't get the job of my dreams, the job I wanted so bad that I didn't let myself make a plan B. You can't just walk into a job. I was naive.

So thing's haven't and aren't going to plan. I am struggling to motivate myself at the moment. To cope with my situation I have gone into a cycle of 'Sleep, eat, work, eat, mooch, sleep'. Hence the blog has been slightly lacking in lifestlye posts as of late. Unless you all fancy a picture of my dinner? Or a rant a day about the latest rude customer?

Just feeling a tad down at the moment. I am struggling to find the motivation to break out of my boring life cycle. I am well and truly in a life rut. At the age of 21. All because I was a little too naive.

Has anyone else been in a life rut lately? Any tips for making it the more bearable?




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Friday, 6 December 2013

DIY: Super Easy Christmas Cards


You will need:
Christmas Paper
Cristmas Tree Stamp of templates
Glue

Get creative! Maybe you could add the 3D tree to labels? Make a tree garland? Or even use different shapes!







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Saturday, 30 November 2013

The end of November, the end of #BEDN :(

#BEDN - The end

Today is the last day of November and the last day of #BEDN. Tomorrow I will be cracking out the advent calender (s) and taking a day or two break from blogging. I am blog knackered!
I am so proud of myself for doing it and posting everyday. I rarely ever complete something with such a big commitment, even if I intend too! Though I am not sure I will do a challenge like this again as I really believe in quality not quantity. 


What I won't miss:
- The pressure of having to post everyday. 
- The rubbish posts I have written to fill a day

What I will miss:
- The prompts!
- All the post's on other blogs that I can read!
- The motivation

What I have loved:
- Finding other blogs, I have found so many good new reads. My new favourite's are "Duck in Dress" - duck always  seems to be doing something really cool with her life! - and "Dear Ms Leigh" which is a fab blog about a Brit living over the pond, such an interesting read!
- BLOGGING!

What I have learnt:
- To always use my own pictures - I have hated using other peoples pinterest pictures when I haven't had time /  have none of my own:(
- To be braver - I have posted things this month that I would have never posted before.
- To be more organised! I am now a whizz on the old schedule button. 

Well done everyone!!



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Friday, 29 November 2013

dreams




In what has been a bit of a fail for the #BEDN I totally forgot to post until now. I have been caught up in the flurry of booking flights for next year that it totally slipped my mind! So this post is being written from my bed on my kindle. Apologies for the shocking post layout!

All I can say now is "freewheeling!". It has been my dream song I was tiny to go to Australia and in a few months I will be there. I posted a while ago about broken dreams and how rubbish it made me feel, but when you achieve a dream it really cancels out all the sadness from the ones you don't reach.

Dream on. Aim high. Don't look back.

What is your dream? I don't care if it sounds silly!! 





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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thankful for...

Thhings to be thankful for....

As today is Thanksgiving, 

I have a roof over my head ... even if it is back with the parents. 

I have a job ... which isn't quite as terrible as I make out in my head daily. 

I have fantastic friends ... 'Nuff said. 

I have a day off work tomorrow... and am spending it having a girly pamper / 'fake-black-friday-we-don't-live-in-USA' shopping spree. 

I have an amazing boyfriend ... who still love's me even though I'm me :)

There is currently a massive fruit cake sat in the kitchen ...


Happy Thanksgiving American readers!! Hope you all had a lovely day :)

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Backpacking Plans

#BEDN - Yes! Moments

Look what came today!

I suppose my 'Yes Moment' at the moment is my travelling plans. We have spent the last year saying we are going to go, the last 5 months working to save up and tomorrow we are booking our flights! We are planning on leaving for Thailand mid-March then a month later moving onto Australia for a few weeks. 

I have never been outside Europe before so am so excited. I have wanted to visit Australia since I was tiny, I used to sit with travel guides in my room staring at the pictures. I have genuinely never wanted to go anywhere as much as Australia. Also, given I have spent the last 5 months (and will spend the next 3 months) working in a job I am not fond of, miles away from my friends, living back with the parents just so I can afford this trip means that when it comes round I am going to be super excited!

In the meantime, I have a lot of reading of my 2 new guidebooks to do and lots of things to sort out! 
Has anyone been to Thailand or Australia? What do you suggest we go and see?



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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tuesday Tuneage #5


I'm not usually a massive Rhihi fan but I am in love with this song :)




Monday, 25 November 2013

DIY: Advent calender

The past few years I have bought my other half an advent calender buy he doesn't really like chocolate so it's not really ideal! So today I sat down with (a few) cup of tea and made a homemade one for him featuring a picture of the things we love. 
Without further ado here's how to make your own!


1. Go to PicMonkey and select 'Make Collage'. On layouts, I selected ; Square Deal' and then the option with the most squares, which is ideally 25! 
2. Find 25 (or 24 and leave a gap) pictures and upload them to the site. Drag them into the boxes until you are happy. 
3. Click 'edit' and it takes you to the Picmonkey editing site. I added a few Santa hats, baubles and holly to some of the non-christmassy images. You can also add text etc. 


4. Save the image and open it in MS word. Print onto card. Then without moving the image in your word document, flip the image vertically and apply a grey scale. Print that image onto card. You can now switch off your computer and move to the kitchen table :)



5. Get some Christmassy paper and stick it to the back of the grey-scale printout. Now get yourself a craft knife and cutting mat and cut  3 sides of each image tile to make a little door. Make sure you are doing this on the grey image, not the colour one!!!



6. Now the fun bit. Decorate!! Make sure you are decorating the back of the grey printout, where you stuck your Christmas paper. Go wild. 



7. Now the tricky bit. Grab your colour print out and glue / double sided sticky tape everything that ISN'T picture. Then VERY carefully, place your grey copy on top of it, lining the sides up exactly. Now, in the middle of your advent sandwich, your grey picture and it's identical colour picture line up so when you open the door, you will be presented with a colour picture underneath and a grey picture on the door. 
8. Wait for it to all dry out and trim to size, add a piece of string to the back and wait till Sunday!


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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Motivational Music

#BEDN - Motivation

As part of my Gap Year 50, I wanted to create a motivational music list so that I always have it handy. As today's #BEDN topic is motivation it seemed like a perfect opportunity!

Be Strong - Delta Goodrem
Beautiful - Christina Aguilara
One Day  - Delta Goodrem
Super Human - Aura Dione
Supergirl - Kate Miller Heidke
Gonna be fine - Amy Studt
Breathe in, Breathe Out - Delta Goodrem
Together we are one - Delta Goodrem
Breathe, Dream, Pray, Love - Jim Brickman
I gotta feeling -B.E.P
Just the way you are - Bruno Mars
Free - Maria Mena

So there it is. The beginnings of my motivational playlist. I think I need some Gangnam style jumpy round ones on there too. 


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Date Night


#BEDN - Date Night


Having been long distance for the majority of my 3 and a half year relationship, we don't really get to do your standard 'date night'. We see each other on average one weekend every 6 weeks. Sometimes it will be less time, sometimes longer. 
Usually after the cost of train tickets, we don't have enough money to go out for meals, to the cinema or out for drinks like other couples do. 
So what do we do? We share a mutual love for Spaghetti Carbonara (specifically the stuff from the packet)so we cook up way to much of the stuff and stuff ourselves silly while watching a film. If I'm lucky we'll have a pudding and once again our mutual love for apple puddings usually influences the choice. Usually after all that good food I fall asleep on the sofa (to confirm I am a 21 year old female, not a 90 year old Grandad) and the poor boyfriend is left to watch the rest of the film on his own. 

So that's my perfect date night! (minus Ewan McGregor) What's yours?


Friday, 22 November 2013

'Meh' Mood



Today has been a bit of a fail day all over. Every little thing has gotten to me, and I just feel a bit 'Meh'. So the last thing I feel like doing is creating a brand spanking new blog post. Rosaliums topic today is 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' so I thought I would leave you a link to a post I did earlier this month about my top 10 travel places
Tomorrow I am going to pull myself together, makes plans for life, reply to all my comments  and write a better blog post! Hope you all have a lovely weekend :)


P.s. Doctor Who tomorrow!! Excited much :)


Thursday, 21 November 2013

What I'm Watching

#BEDN - World Television day


For this topic I though I would share the shows I am watching at the moment. All I can say is... "Please don't judge me!!"


Neighbours

I have watched this show since I was a baby. Some of my earliest memories are of watching this while my mum did the ironing. If I could only watch one television show for the rest of my life, this would be it. Super fan right here. 


Hollyoaks

I used to watch this in my teen years, and recently genuinely accidentally had an episode on in the background. Next thing I knew, I was hooked. 


The Big Bang Theory

My housemates used to watch this and that's how I got into it. I sometimes wish my life was like Penny's!


I'm a Celebrity
I hate bugs. I hate snakes. I hate fishy things. I really shouldn't enjoy this show but I do! I'm liking Steve, Joey and Amy at the moment.


Strictly Come Dancing

Who doesn't like a bit of strictly glamour? Highlight of my Saturday's by far!


Made in Chelsea

Another house mate addiction. We would all sit in the living room religiously on Monday nights in our onesies and pig out on rubbish food while watching MIC. I still watch it religiously. I am fully aware it is really quite rubbish, but it is so addictive, you kind of get sucked in!

What is on your box at the moment?




Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Style: Christmas Jumpers

#BEDN -It's only Fashion, Baby.




Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cycle Safety

#BEDN - Newsflash

I am not the best commentator on news really. I do not have a political bone in my body and don't read newspapers, instead choosing to glaze over the BBC website or catch up with the news over my cereal at breakfast. 



One story which has really got my attention lately though is the mounting media attention to cycling, especially in London. For those international readers, cycling safety has really come into the spotlight after the deaths of 6 cyclists on London's roads in a fortnight. 



I myself have a bike. I used to cycle in my university town because my routes were usually along quiet residential roads. However at home, I have not used it once because the provisions for cyclists are horrific. I hate on road cycle lanes, I personally think they make the situation worse. Drivers feel safer knowing there is a cycle lane, and may not be so careful. Similarly, I think some cyclists feel safer and are not as careful. 

At the end of the day road safety comes down to both the driver and the cyclist. Both have responsibilities under the law to be careful. But I really think that it is important the road safety is integrated into planning and redevelopment work. While it may be too late to make major revamps to cycling in old, built up cities we can start to make a difference now to new developments. 

Woah, that was long. And no pictures! Sorry guys!!


Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Music and Bullying

#BEDN - Anti- Bullying Week

I have been fortunate to have never experienced bullying to my face. What, if anything, happened behind my back I don't know, and don't care! What you don't know doesn't hurt you. Given the stats now suggest almost half young people say they have been bullied at some point, bullying is now quite a major problem in schools. The BBC this morning, drew attention to online bullying and the devastating effect it is having on young people ; I am possibly just a smidgen too old to have been in the generations really badly affects as I didn't have Facebook till I was in my mid-teens. 






This song by Kate Miller-Heidke is very moving and is about the time she did nothing to stand up for someone being bullied and her regrets now. Don't let that be you!


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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why I Just Can't Relax


#BEDN - Relax

Source

I am not really very good for relaxing for three main reasons really. Firstly, I am never in the mind state just to relax. As I have posted before I am quite anxious all the time and this makes totally relaxing hard. Relaxing gives me more time to think things over and get more anxious. Hence a nasty circle forms.

Secondly, I am not very good at doing just one thing. I couldn't just lie in a bath with candles etc. I would have to be doing something else as well like read, but then I am too scared to take a book in in case it gets wet.

Finally, I have quite a short attention span. I can't spend the morning just reading because I get bored / frustrated after about 15 minutes.

So Rosie and relaxing really don't seem to go very well :(

What do you do to relax? 



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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Music Makers.

#BEDN - Hobbies


My biggest hobby is music. I started playing the recorder in early primary school, then the Clarinet 11 years ago and then began playing the ukulele at University. Since then I have played in School Bands, at Disneyland Paris, in contests and to people in care homes. I am not great at playing, I am obviously not a natural! But through music I have made some fantastic friends and had some brilliant opportunities. 

If you want to get into music, but aren't confident or don't have enough money to for out on a saxophone / piano / flute etc:


1) Buy a Ukulele. They are really cheap and you only need to learn a couple of chords before you can start whacking out some songs. For less than £20, you can get some pretty funky ukes like these Pink, Purple and Union Jack ones!
2) Join a choir. Have a look on the National Association of Choirs, National Youth Choir or Choirs.org to find a choir local to you. Some you will have to actually be good to join, but many are just a bit of fun and it doesn't matter how well you can sing! Given I was in 2 last year, just goes to show you don't have to be good to sing!
3) Sing along to your favourite tunes. In the shower. Doing the hoovering. In the garden... if you are feeling brave. Singing is great for you. Dig out you Celine Dion albums and warble along to 'My Heart will go on' like you wrote it. 


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Friday, 15 November 2013

Favourite Folk


#BEDN - Favourite Folk



Friends really have the power to make or break you in my opinion. There is nothing like creating fab memories with people, reminiscing or just generally having a moan about life with. I am really lucky to have some fantastic friends :)

Family

Sometimes they get on my nerves no end, but the majority of the time I love my family to pieces. The in jokes, the grand advice and the silly little traditions we have. It's interesting now that me and my not-so-little-little brother are getting older and moving on with life, to see how the family dynamics are changing. Mum and Dad still definitely have the final say on all family matters, but we are not such walk overs any more!
Having spent 3 years living away from home, I am definitely struggling being back home in the family fold. I loved my independence, and do feel a little smothered now I am home, but that doesn't mean to say that I hate being home!

Pets
Aw... I love cuddling up to one of my cats at the end of a long stressful day. Cat snuggles are apparently good for our health (as long as you aren't allergic to them!) and are great stress relievers . I sometimes wish I was a cat, such a nice life!

Nice Customers
There is nothing that brightens my day like a nice customer. 

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Workspace Inspiration

#BEDN - Workspace

At the moment I work in a big shop and I am not sure how happy they would be of me posting photo's of it on here! Best to keep blogging and work separate in this case right? SO instead I have perused Pinterest and found some awesome desk arrangements :)


Source

Source

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Unfortunately I am far too messy and disorganised to have a lovely space like this :( 
Still we can still dream. 

Do you have a personal office? Or do you do your business on your lap in front of the TV like me?


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