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I think I love you, Barcelona.

24 Jun 2016

I spent my final year in a very average student house with very above average housemates, and without them I would've had to eat all those cookies I made on my own and I would've never started watching Millionaire Matchmaker (which is bad but also kind of entertaining). So, to celebrate the end of uni, we arranged a little holiday because are you even a graduate if you don't go abroad to celebrate?

After a second or two's deliberation, we settled on the super original holiday destination of Barcelona. It feels like everyone is off there at some point this Summer but we booked in October, so you could say that we set the trend and everyone else just followed. I actually spent a short weekend there last year and I was surprised at how many different things we did this time, and how little overlap it had with my 2015 trip. You'll realise when you see how many photos I have that we got a lot done in four full days. Georgie also kept on checking her phone pedometer which said that we managed over 12,000 steps on most days, although I doubt this would've made up for all those patatas bravas and ice creams.

Day 1 & 2: Parc de la Cituadella, Parc Guell, Arc de Triomf

The first two photos show Barcelona's Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Cituadella, neither of which I saw on my first trip to the city. I honestly thought the park would be your average, run-of-the-mill city park and wasn't even bothered about going or not. I wouldn't say it was the world's best park but the little fountain area pictured above was a beautiful surprise and an extraordinary contrast to the standard apartment buildings behind it. It kind of shows what I love the most about the city which is that it has these stunning arhitectural designs, beautiful green areas and a beach, kind of like an 'all-in-one city'.

When I last went to Barcelona, we didn't have time for the Mosaic section of Parc Guell. It cost us 7 euros this time and was definitely worth booking in advance, and although I'd say it's not essential if you have a lot of time restrictions, there are some smashing photo spots. We didn't get to my favourite viewpoint right at the top of the park this time but it is extremely hilly, so be warned!

Have you been to Barcelona? What are your thoughts? Next up will be watching the sunset over the whole city which was undoubtedly one of the loveliest moments of my life. Who doesn't love a good sunset?

Imogen x

Matchalicious Baby // The 14 Day Matcha Challenge

9 Jun 2016

Ever heard of this Matcha thing? Apparently it's caused quite the stir in the health industry, so when teapigs tweeted about the 14 Day Matcha Challenge, I was very keen to jump on the bandwagon. They very kindly sent me over some of their Matcha sachets to try out and I set out about incorporating them into my daily breakfast foods and drinks with, shall we say, some varying levels of luck...

I'm going to split this into three parts to make it simpler: the first section will be talking about how I used the Matcha and what I made with it, the second will be the results and the third will be my general verdict and tips.

How I took the Matcha

Straight up: I initially thought that because I don't mind green tea, I would be fine with a Matcha tea. WRONG. So very, very wrong. I just think it takes like earth too much, I'm sorry!

Matcha/Normal Green Tea: So while Matcha mixed into hot water on its own was an absolute no for me, mixing the powder into my own Lemon Green Tea was an absolute yes. It barely added to the taste so it was just like drinking normal green tea.

Matcha Pancakes: I blended up an egg, some oats, some yoghurt, a banana and some Matcha and made some smashing green pancakes. They looked kind of weird but tasted more or less the same as my normal pancakes.

Matcha Shot: This one is fine if you whisk it and make sure that the Matcha is fully mixed in. Don't be lazy like me because you will make your life more difficult by having to drink powder and nobody wants that. 

Matcha Smoothie: This one was probably by favourite way to take the Matcha because you couldn't taste a thing. My classic choice is a banana, yoghurt and raspberry smoothie. Simple but effective.

Of course, this is just my own experience and do bear in mind that I'm not big on green tea unless it's flavoured, so I was never going to enjoy the taste of Matcha. My lovely blogger friend Mimmi does like it, however, so you never know!


Mood: I was actually in a really good mood throughout the 14 days, apart from when somebody wound me up or when I was hungry. So, the same as usual probably. 

Energy Levels: Again, I can't put this down to the Matcha but put it this way, I managed to be up at 7am for a run a couple of days a week, I was always in the library by 9am and I didn't collapse in the middle of the day from exhaustion. I also slept like a baby throughout my exam period which is weird. 

Weight: I really can't vouch for Matcha helping me to lose any weight because my exercise regime and diet were so weird in exam season and I also didn't go near a set of scales for months. The weird thing is that when I hopped on the other day I realised that I have actually lost a few kilogrammes for the first time in possibly a year, which could be partially down to Matcha, or it could be something else, who knows.

Overall Verdict & Tips

I feel like this whole post is one big pool of ambiguity and I really am sorry for that, because that kind of thing winds me right up. To be honest with you, I don't think I did the whole challenge thing properly. I think that some days I didn't mix the Matcha in properly and sometimes I forgot. All in all, I'm really happy I tried it, I think it did have a little effect and I'd really like to give another 14 days a go when I'm not in my exam period, to see what my energy levels are like on a normal day.

Would I recommend you try Matcha? Absolutely. Would I like to try it again? Absolutely.

Oh, and my biggest tip? That would be to buy a little tiny whisk and make sure it's almost frothy before you drink it otherwise there will be powder left over and that really sucks. My second biggest tip would be to commit to it every single day without fail.

Are you a Matcha fan? What's your favourite way to use it?


The Future of Me

7 Jun 2016

I'm writing this from the comfort of my family home, lying lazily across the sofa with a large cup of tea, a hot cross bun and my hyperactive dog, while thinking about how great it is that there's a fully stocked fridge just metres away from me. Home is good so far. University is over, my time in Leeds is done and I am back down South for good. My last week was spent partially in Manchester on the Bank Holiday weekend visiting a close friend who I hadn't seen for ages and sampling Gin & Tonics in far too many bars. Bearing in mind that the sunshine didn't seem to reach Leeds until I was stuck indoors revising, so I hadn't actually sat in a beer garden properly until that weekend (!!) so yeah, it was fun. Perhaps too much fun. We got back at 5am. On a Sunday night. Good times.

I also went to Roundhay Park in Leeds which has been on the bucket list for years, so I'll be posting a few pictures of that in the next week or two. On top of daytrips I spent a lot of time shopping for my whole ball outfit because I literally left every fancy item I own at home, because I'm an idiot. I ended up settling on the black dress above which was a last minute French Connection find, but it ended up being perfect for me. I tend to have certain criteria for dresses and with this one I was looking for something long, because at 5ft 9 a lot of dresses are too short for me, and something that could be an investment. Now, what says investment more than a classic black dress?

I also shouldn't forget the few last lunches/coffees I had in Bill's (Fish Finger sandwich hello please be mine forever) and Hotel Chocolat's Roast + Conch which I have been banging on about for ages. Unfortunately, I didn't try any of their cocktails but I did sneak in a salted caramel brownie which was just as tasty as I thought it'd be. I'm sure there's one in London so I guess I'll just have to go back for a chocolate cocktail at some point, what a shame.

Now I'm back and I swear I feel busier than when I was in classes or working in the library for exams. At the moment, I'm beginning to job hunt and I'm currently on the lookout for a Marketing position in London (I know, probably a classic Blogger job). I've worked for a Digital Marketing Agency before and loved it, and any of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I've had my heart set on London since forever, so fingers crossed I can find something that suits me. I'm also pretty excited about moving to such a busy, amazing city and meeting a tonne of new people, so I guess that's a good start.

In terms of blogging, I don't want to make any promises and I think we'll just have to see where I go with it. imogenscribbles has always been a hobby for me and I've never wanted it to be anything more, which does mean that I tend to prioritise other things over it. I do have a bit of time on my hands in the next few weeks though, so I might surprise you all with a new design and a billion and one posts, only time will tell...

Now I think I might go and read a couple of my very first posts just to laugh at myself/get emotional at posts about Uni in second year. It feels weird that it's ended, but a good weird...

Lots of love as always,
Imogen x

21 Summer Ideas That You May Not Have Thought Of Already

25 May 2016

Summer is a time for lying on the beach, eating ice creams and drinking Pimms. Or, if you live in the UK then Summer is a time for daily prayers to Mother Nature to please, please provide us with at least a week of glorious sun, or we'll all move abroad and they'll be no one left to rain on.

And for those of you who are studying and have three whole months for Summer, this is particularly important for you. So you've reached the end of your University year and you think: 'damn, I probably should've found a job or internship or something.' Then you speak to friends who did organise their Summer way, way in advance and you feel even more lost and bitter.

Well have no fear, my 21 unusual (but also not that unusual) Summer ideas are here. 

I'm here not only to create fantastic rhymes like the one above but also to give you a couple of my favourite ideas for making the most of your summer.

If you're one of my readers who has a full-time job and is reading this with a mind full of resentment then just remember, being a student means exams. The exams are gone. So is Summer, but so are the exams. And yes, before you ask, some of these ideas might be a bit 'random' or 'unfeasible' and blah blah blah. Just give them a go, why don't you?

1. Buy a kayak

Or just rent a kayak, or a canoe, or a rowing boat, or a sailing boat. Water is fun, water sports are fun, boats are fun.

2. Take a trip with

This site looks interesting, you basically go and volunteer somewhere for however long, and they give you accomodation and usually food. It's usually somewhere reasonably remote and they want your help with renovations, gardening, housework, DIY etc. Just make sure you check out the reviews for the host first!

3. Volunteer at a local animal shelter

I don't really know how this works, but animals are cute and we all love them, so why not help a nearby shelter out for a week or two? 

4. Become an au-pair

I can't vouch for this myself, but if you're good with children and you fancy moving abroad somewhere for a while, then au-pairing is a fantastic option. I know lots of people who have done it from the age of about 18 and although some said the kids were tricky (young boys in particular), it's a great way to cheaply explore a new city/country.

5. Borrow a doggy

I will not be doing because I'm lucky enough to have my own little angel of delight back home, but I know of people who have signed up and it looks like the ideal situation for someone who can't have their own dog.

6. Go to laser quest

I haven't been for so long but there was a time when laser quest was the thing to do. When I was like, 13. I imagine nowadays I'd probably be at the bottom of the scoreboard but I do distinctly recall rising to the top on my first ever go. Some say beginner's luck, others say she's got skills.

7. Go skydiving

#YOLO #Sorrynotsorry #livealittle

8. Go on a wine tasting course

This would be ideal in a hot country, but the UK have wine tasting courses too! Or you could just host a wine tasting night and stay in the comfort of your own home and get really, really drunk.

9. Set up a load of dates

Dating can be fun, and you can try out all the bars you've been wanting to go to.

10. Learn how to perfect meringue

It's actually not hugely complicated so long as you have a bit of patience, but it is very impressive and people think you're an absolute goddess if you nail it.

11. Learn to fish

I can't say I've ever been fishing, nor have I ever really wanted to go fishing. Some people love it though and I wouldn't say no (well..) if I was invited on a trip!

12. Learn to code

I genuinely did this one Summer when I was 13 and I won't shut up about it ever since because people are very impressed.

13. Start dance classes

This is the second year in a row that I haven't danced at all and I feel kind of sad. Why not try salsa? Or ballroom?

14. Go camping somewhere really random

Like in a (safe) field somewhere in a remote (but also safe) part of the UK.

15. Sign up for a 10k run

I will do this next year. Probably. Maybe.

16. Plan a holiday

Why don't you go on, or, or any of the other sites like that and try to find the absolute best deal possible. Grab a willing friend or family member, if all your friends were more organised than you and booked their summer plans already.

17. Go on a photography course

If you're a blogger then this will be ultra handy. I would do this, but I still don't actually own a DSLR camera. How tragic.

18. Learn to press flowers perfectly

I did this when I was like, five and it was really fun.

19. Get involved in a reading challenge

Last year I turned the guest bedroom into my 'reading room', piled up 20 books and read one throughout the whole of my Summer. That is what you call dedication!

20. Visit University friends from far, far away

Or just the other side of England. Or the same side of England. Whichever, whatever.

21. Learn to knit

So I made half a scarf when I was 17 or something like that, and I really regret not making the other half because even though it was quite ugly, it was cute and I was proud.

What are your big plans for this Summer? Are you thinking of doing anything you having done before? Anything that's a bit out of your comfort zone?


8 Things I'm Looking Forward To When I Finish My Degree

22 May 2016

It's no secret that I'm feeling very ready to finish my degree in less than a week's time...

Did you hear that? In less than a week's time! I'm currently three exams and one assignment down, with one exam and one assignment to go. This time next week I will be basking in the glory of no longer being a student and never having to go to the library again. I will be stress-free and I will probably order a whole bottle of Prosecco for myself as soon as my exam finishes which is at midday and therefore a perfectly acceptable time to drink. Rest assured, I am all about the balance and will be posting a '10 Things I'll Miss About University' post next week to even it all out. After all, Leeds has being so fantastic for the most part, I've met some amazing people and I know I'll be an emotional wreck when I leave for good after the Summer Ball in June.

1. Meeting new people

The extrovert in me has been forced into a corner for the past few months because no one has really wanted to go out much with all the deadlines and exams of final year.

2. Weekends actually meaning weekends

I am so fed up of seeing #TGIF everywhere because goddammit I don't want to be revising, I want my working week to finish on Friday and to begin again on Monday. Weekends should be fun and relaxing, spent with friends and on day trips and absolutely not moping about the house and stressing about exams, or moping about the library and stressing about exams.

3. Having a routine

I'll probably learn to hate having a routine but right now I'm really looking forward to having plans and a structure and knowing more or less what I'm doing every day. 

4. Teamwork

I'm cringing so bad and I'm really sorry that this is sounding like a cover letter or a CV, but I actually love working in a team and my degree choice has meant that I haven't been able to do that much. I know group work is the bane of student's existence but I think work is kind of different. Also, classes are great but having to sit on your own in the library is so unbelievably dull and I never want to do that again in my life.

5. Earning money

I love the feeling of spending money that has been earned, rather than spending money that has been loaned to me by Student Finance. I know I don't have to pay it back for a while but still, I don't want to be in debt.

6. Work wardrobe shopping

Yes, I'm materialistic! Yes, I don't care! Seriously though, who doesn't want to shop for a work wardrobe? If you have any outfit posts for this kind of thing then please send them my way, as I will be off to the shops as soon as I get a job.

7. Reading for pleasure

I feel like studying literature took away 90% of my love for reading because it ended up being a chore and that is kind of sad. I don't even know what kind of books I'm going to start on, but I might have a look at a few blogs to see if there are any recommendations. I'm thinking something thought-provoking and gripping. Then again, I also love reading light-hearted, funny, relaxed books, so let me know in the comments if you can think of anything!

8. Civilised drinks

I can't wait to go out for work drinks and drinks with friends without any clubbing afterwards. Of course, when I say civilised I am fully aware that things often escalate and then BAM you're home in the early hours of the morning (which I am all for usually) but yeah, I'm looking forward to checking out some swanky bars and living it up in central London, rather than in a student house in Leeds.

Oh, and for a bonus number nine... I'm also excited about meeting some new, mature (hopefully), men, but we'll see! If you're finishing university this year, what are you most looking forward to?


My 2 Week Summer Travelling (kind of) Itinerary

15 May 2016

So, I finally have some sort of travelling plans and it's not a 'conventional' itinerary.

My original plan was to leave Europe this Summer, join the hordes of young people and head on over to somewhere like Bali or Thailand to party the night away and lounge on the beach/in boats all day. Unfortunately, a change of dates meant that flights went from £400 to £800 (if you're going travelling, don't go in July!) I kid you not, so we had to rethink our options and go for somewhere closer.

Kati has already been Interrailing in Europe and I've already been to the classics like Italy, France and Spain, so that narrowed our selection down quite a lot. Fast forward a two hour-long coffee date, along with a two hour-long skype and we had two countries, four destinations and four different accommodations all booked. Now that, is what you call organisation.

After some careful research, we stumbled upon Slovenia, or rather 'the adventure playground of Europe'. I have actually crossed into the country briefly from Italy, but never properly seen it and I have certainly never had the chance to do any crazy activities there. My friends stopped off in Salzburg, Austria, on their interrailing travels last Summer and said that it was beautiful, so we figured why not combine a trip there as well? To be honest with you, I can't wait to go somewhere new and somewhere where I can walk, be active and enjoy some beautiful scenery!

I say unconventional at the top of this post because usually when I think of travelling, I think of going to a tonne of different countries for a month or two, but hey, two weeks is better than nothing, isn't it? So although my dream to leave Europe still has yet to be fulfilled, I'm one step closer to seeing more of the world. Hooray!

Days 1 - 4 Salzburg, Innsbruck

We fly into Salzburg, Austria and will spend three nights in our Yoho Hostel, which plays The Sound of Music every single night. I am very excited about this but I can't help feeling bad for the poor hostel workers. At the moment, we have plans to visit the lakes surrounding Salzburg, along with Innsbruck which is less than two hours on the train away.

Days 4 - 8 Lake Bled

We'll be sampling the Austrian railway system to get from Salzburg to Lake Bled, which will no doubt be more efficient, cheaper and just all round better than the UK railway system. Our journey is less than four hours which seems pretty good for a trip from one country to another. We'll then spend four nights and three full days in Lake Bled, where we will no doubt be pretending to be each others significant other while we go on romantic row boat trips across the lake, dine in restaurants and visit the castle.

Days 8 - 12 Bovec

Now comes the crazy part. We will be spending three full days in Bovec and we will be White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Hiking, finding Waterfalls and Ziplining. I am SO excited I can't even express it. It's going to cost us an arm and a leg and I think we'll have to pass on Paragliding because we really don't have 145 euros to spend, but I am finally going to be going on a sort of adventure holiday and I can't wait. 

Days 12 - 14 Lljubana

Our last stop for two nights will be the capital of Slovenia. This is where our flight home departs from, and we've heard good things about the city. It'll be nice to be somewhere that's actually reasonably vibrant (ha) for the last stretch of our stay.

If any of you have ever been to these areas in Austria or Slovenia then please let me know what you got up to and if you have any tips!


Life Update: End of Uni, Bongo Bingo, Holiday Plans & Breakfasting

9 May 2016

Hi, hello, sorry I've been off the radar/not completely into my blogging recently. Welcome to all my new followers though, thank you for being here with me today and let's hope you don't get bored (only boring people get bored, remember.) I've written a chatty post for you all today because, well, I have an exam tomorrow and why revise when you can not revise, am I right?

All in all, I guess I'm feeling pretty happy. In fact, I think I'm the happiest I've been in a long time which is really weird considering I have a ton of exams and assignments due that I'm probably seriously underprepared for. The main thing is that I'm busy and that's exactly what I want to be. I also don't see the point in ruining my last weeks at University by being in a really grumpy mood and luckily, all my housemates seem to be the same so on a whole, we're feeling pretty chilled.

1. My final classes at University are OVER

I have now officially finished all my University classes!!! I know I should probably be sad and yeah, I kind of am but boy am I glad that I'm one step closer to being out of University forever. The past four years really have been a 'rollercoaster' (cringe) and as is always the case, I feel like I've made a ton of new friends on my course in the very last few months, just as I'm about to leave. I swear, it always happens like that.

2. Bongo Bingo was an absolute hoot

On the first week that I was back in Leeds I was forced to celebrate two birthdays. It was really difficult because I don't like celebrations, or people, or going out. Ha. Ha. Ha. I fricking love birthdays and any excuse to have a fun night out so I was in my element. We went to this thing called Bongo Bingo which is basically Bingo for young'uns, located in a club with ridiculous prizes (a garden gnome, Buzz and Woody dolls) and not so ridiculous prizes (money, alcohol) and it was just great. We may have bought a few too many bottles of Prosecco and the night may have escalated rather rapidly, but I have absolutely no regrets.

3. Currently working towards the title of Breakfast Queen

Last week, someone told me to 'keep up the great work on Instagram' and that really went to my head and did wonderful things for my already inflated ego. Ever since I've been waking up at 7am I've been struggling to fill myself up at breakfast and usually end up starving in the library by 9am. By making myself a big fancy meal I can successfully waste time, while filling my stomach with lots of carbs, ready to start the day.

4. Headed back home for the weekend

Unfortunately, we had a bit of sad news over the Easter Holidays which, although expected, was still upsetting for my family and my Mum in particular. My Gran had been ill for a while and she was on her last legs, but she was also 96 and I think that's a blooming fantastic age and I sincerely hope I have her genes. So I hopped on a train and headed home for the weekend to attend her funeral and wake. It was actually a lovely day, emotional of course but also quite eye-opening. I found out how much she loved travel (like me), how much she loved eating out (like me) and how many languages she spoke (too many to count). She was independent throughout her whole life, never marrying and instead, living on her own. I've always seen myself as being with someone but when I realise that there are a lot of people who live their whole life being independent, it makes me think.

5. Made then un-made some holiday plans

After spending the past year complaining about how no one will go travelling with me, along with toying with the idea of solo travel, my friend Kati finally told me she wanted to come along. Then, one minute I was emailing Imii for Bali ideas and tips, and the next minute the dates had all gone wrong and we couldn't go anywhere remotely far away because it would be high season and peak times. I am a bit gutted as I still feel like a little ant in this big old world, but we're considering other options now so I should still get my holiday. We want somewhere in Europe, or at least somewhere that's not too expensive in July/August time, and we're not considering an 'adventure' type holiday. I'm talking White Water Rafting, Paragliding, Hiking, Kayaking.