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.
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.
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!
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
So, living off of Student Finance is kind of annoying. I mean yeah, I'm technically being given money for being a student but then, oh wait, I have to pay most of it back. I know there's the whole only paying a certain amount and only paying it when you earn a certain amount of money but still, I don't want to be in debt but I already am technically in debt, ya know.
Now, I don't want you to think I'm getting all up on my high horse or anything, but I prefer to earn my money. It's one of the reasons why I'm really looking forward to finally getting a real adult job and a real adult job. So anyway, there I am at university, with enough borrowed money, ideally wanting more of my own earned money, but also not having the time for a job. Are you with me so far? Of course, having a job is by far the best way to earn money, but sometimes that kind of commitment just isn't feasible. Balancing a social life, uni work and part-time work is pretty tough and I seriously admire anyone who does it, but there are other ways you can make a bit of money during studying.
There seem to be a lot of bloggers out there who blog alongside their studies and if you're one of those, then you probably know what I mean when I say that balancing the two can be tricky. Sure, we have a lot of spare time without a full-time job, but there are plenty of other things which can get in the way, like essays and exam revision. Sometimes, we feel like we shouldn't be blogging even when we really, really want to, and sometimes even interacting with other readers on social media and through their blogs feels like something that we just don't have time to do anymore. I will be finishing studying for good in May (HOORAY!), but after four years of it, I feel like I've learnt a thing or two and am ready to impart my wisdom on you all...
1. Prioritise your workload
Even if you prefer blogging to your school/uni work (which let's face it, a lot of time we do), make sure that you're not prioritising the blog when you shouldn't be. If you have no deadlines then great, blog away. If you have a coursework essay to write then no, don't blog away. Be sensible about your choices.
2. Plan the heck out of it
Planning your days will really help you when you suddenly feel overloaded with work. If you plan your posts and photos in advance, then you will find it a heck of a lot easier to balance your time and energy. Think about investing in some pretty stationery bits and bobs and maybe allocate a notebook or two specifically to blogging, that way you can separate your blog organisation, and your studies.
Hello, and welcome to another Fitness Friday!!! Woohoo.
In the first post of this series, I talked about 'My Gym Class Experiences', which I do actually have pretty extensive knowledge on. Not meaning to get all up on my high horse or anything but I have been to five classes a week before. FIVE. That was only one, wild and wacky week, but still. Then, we discussed '5 Reasons To Get Into Fitness Today' because everybody loves a good old motivational post, and I also needed to remind myself why I spend time exercising when I have many, many exams to revise for.
To be honest with you, my fitness motivation over the Easter holidays was poor. I'm talking going from 4 gym classes a week to a couple of 20-minute dogs walks a week. Am I sorry? No, not really. I will openly admit that I spent a solid 3 weeks stuffing my face with chocolate and doing absolutely nothing to make up for it.
Anyway, when I'm at home and not a member of the gym, I often hand my fitness routine over to my trusty YouTube trainers, most of whom you will have already heard of. Working out at home means that you don't have to trek it to and from the gym, which although good in terms of exercising more, is bad when you have limited time. The cons are that it's very, very easy to just give up, or to commit to a workout and then go back on your word, but the convenience of at home workouts is unbeatable.
But wait a second, what at-home workouts do you actually do?
She works with a 3, 2, 1 method, which means 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute of abs which definitely constitutes a high-intensity workout, but the whole workout is only 25 minutes long so it's very doable.
Judge me all you want, but I absolutely love a good dance workout. When I look for dance videos on YouTube (yes, that is what I do in my spare time), I often find that they're really energetic, aerobic videos with not much technique involved, or they proper full on Beyoncé dance routines which cannot be attempted by anyone short of a professional dancer. Well, when I really fancied doing some reggae style dancing (don't ask) one day, I came across the perfect video.
Of course, I feel like a massive goon doing it but it is literally so much fun! The girls in the video are great, it's a fantastic workout for your whole body but also not too intense.
The great thing about Joe is that he actually acknowledges that the workout is difficult for people who are physically incredibly fit as well. He's also a heck of a lot less annoying than Jillian Michaels who I have had some great times with, don't get me wrong, but who will always, always really bug me.
You know how most people store more fat in some parts of the body than others? Well, for me that's my stomach. I've always had slim legs and a lot of belly fat that I just can't seem to shred. Ok, maybe it's also down to my complete lack of willpower and inability to say no to a cake and/or pizza, but seriously, even when my legs have been little I've still had a tummy. Anyway, I went through a phase where I was determined to get a toned stomach and the only thing that vaguely worked was committing to Casey Ho's intense abs workout.
I did this about 5 out of 7 days a week and I definitely remember getting compliments on my 'toned' stomach when I was on holiday, so it must've worked somewhat. Of course, I've never managed to commit to it for that long since then, but I do also absolutely love Casey's Ultimate Hot Body Workout and her Flat Belly Fat Burner. Her workouts are usually 8 - 18 minutes long so they're also a great quick option!
Have you tried any youtube workouts before? Let me know what your favourites are!