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Making money as a student without getting a job

25 Apr 2016

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.

How To Balance Blogging And Studying

22 Apr 2016

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.

Fitness Friday // YouTube Workout Videos

15 Apr 2016

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?

1. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred 

Now there are three different levels to this, and although Jillian recommends 10 days of Level 1, 10 of Level 2 and 10 of Level 3, I've always started on level 2 and never progressed to 3. I think the longest amount of consecutive days I've spent with Jillian Michael's screaming at me was 21, and that is without a doubt the most toned I've ever been.

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.

2. Reggae Dance Workout

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.

3. TheBodyCoach's Fat Burning HIIT Workout

I'm sure you've all heard of TheBodyCoach, or seen some of his speedy 15-minute meal videos on Instagram. I am personally a big fan of High-intensity interval training. I like my workouts to be reasonably short, and pretty intense. I like doing rounds of different exercises and I feel like these workouts are a bit like a mini Insanity class.

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.

4. POP Pilates Intense Ab Workout

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!


Dark Chocolate & Orange Scones

13 Apr 2016

What others thought:
"These are actually really, really good." - My 'never over-complimentary' Brother
"I think there's a reason why you don't put chocolate in scones... I'm having the biggest one though... oh yeah no they are nice" - My 'thinks she's being helpful' Mum
*silence while eating* - My 'not particularly talkative' Dad: 

This weekend, my brother came down to visit and that's the second time in a month, which is really quite unusual these days. Not because he hates us or anything, but because he has a job far, far away (almost in Scotland!) and can't get a lot of time off. To celebrate this occasion, and to ruin my own 'healthy eating' regime, I decided to bake some scones. I didn't fancy traditional ones so I decided to go for something a smidgen more experimental, and when I say experimental, I mean very, very mildly experimental, as in literally just using a very traditional recipe and adding some extra ingredients. 

10 Things Every Twenty-Something Should Remember

9 Apr 2016
Image source: Unsplash

I tried to name this '10 Things you need to remember when you're a twenty-something running around like a lost puppy searching for food, money, a purpose and the meaning of life...' but it was a couple of characters too long so I had to cut it down.

I'm pretty sure that everyone out of their twenties will be sighing and frowning when I say this, but it turns out that being twenty-something is kind of hard. I mean sure, it's a whirlwind of meeting new people, being carefree, enjoying the student life, lacking responsibility and just generally having a lot more freedom in life than you will in the future, but it's also stressful and it really does test you. One minute you can feel on top of the world and the next minute you feel like you'll never get to where you want to be in life, or be who you want to be. I also think that the pressure on young people these days is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to be done about that, but that's a rant for another day...

This little list is for those of you who don't really know what you're doing in life and a little reminder that, well, we're all in the same boat, even if it doesn't always seem like it.

1. Learning to be patient is the best thing you can do

I'm sure we all have our own opinions on the key to happiness, but for me, it's patience. It's easy to look at people who seem to have their life together and torture yourself because you haven't got to that place yet. Why not just enjoy where you are at the moment? Why not just trust that things will work out? They do say that good things come to those who wait and although sometimes I feel like seriously challenging whoever came up with that, it is probably true.

2. Making mistakes is actually good for you

So what if you picked the wrong guy? So what if you didn't choose the right career first time round? So what if you chose the strawberry flavour but the chocolate was better (fyi chocolate is always better)? Anyone who doesn't make mistakes is boring. Just plain old boring.

3. Teeny tiny achievements still count

Even finishing one out of ten tasks on your to-do list, it's still a completed task and it's still an achievement! Ok maybe you should try to manage at least 50% of that list but still, don't underestimate the little accomplishments of your day and your life so far. Achievements don't have to mean that you were Captain of the Hockey team at University, or that you won a national poetry competition in Year 12, or that you've managed to nab a job by the end of your degree.

4. Everyone is working their way along their own path

Are all paths the same length? No. Are all paths pointed in the same direction? No. I really like this analogy because comparison really is the thief of joy (I also love a good inspirational quote) and twenty-somethings know this all too well. Learn to be happy for other's achievements and let them motivate you, not put you down.

5. See everything as an experience and a story to tell

Let's face it, nobody doesn't struggle at life. It just is a struggle. Nothing is ever simple. Nobody sails on through and we are always faced with obstacles. Just take it as it comes and see the setbacks and the tough days as an experience. Like for example, when I moved into my French apartment and there was no electricity or furniture. It was crap at the time but now it's just hilarious and makes me sound vaguely interesting when I tell people the story.

6. Try as many new things as possible

Say YES to everything. Within reason.

7. Rejection is a natural part of life

CRINGE! But really, it probably happens to every single one of us every single day. For example, my dog ignored me earlier today because my Mum was around and she loves her more. Learn to move on from it, get back up and try again.

8. You should push yourself out of your comfort zone every single day

Don't let your future self be annoyed at your present self for not taking an opportunity, not making the call, or not taking the leap. This can range from bungee jumping in New Zealand to simply picking up the phone and contacting the employer you've always wanted to work for.

9. Loving yourself will be slow but you will get there eventually

This is like saying 'ha, keep trying, you'll win eventually', but seriously, you will. Even the people who you think are ultra confident, ultra good-looking and have an ultra bubbly personality (damn them all), have their imperfections and their struggles.

10. Forget about negative influences

Don't hang on to people who only bring negativity into your life but do hold on to those who will always stick around. Go by the mantra of 'is it really worth it?'

What do/did you find the toughest thing about being a twenty-something? Have you got any tips?


Wait, I swear it's still March?

5 Apr 2016

March, March, March. 

When you're at university, March is one of those weird months when it's half term time, half home time and you can never quite relax despite not having classes all the time. You're kind of on holiday over the Easter period but you should also probably be spending more time studying than eating chocolate and seeing friends. In fact, a grand total of two of the pictures above are actually from the first half of the month in Leeds, because most of it was sadly spent writing essays, finishing take home exams and doing presentations in class (in French!) It wasn't all work and no play though and as soon as I got back home for Easter my days were filled with family time, yummy foods and catch ups with friends. I'm sure no one will be surprised to see that my Instagram feed has been, and will continue to always be, filled with photos of food, my dog, and coffee. The best things in life, you see.

Here is my March, or rather, the highlights of my March:

1. Snowy Scenes in Leeds when I left my house in the sunshine, then left my class an hour later in the snow. The weather's a weird thing.

2. A day trip to York with a close friend that I really wish I saw a lot more of. We wandered around the Cathedral and gardens before ending up watching the rowers go back and forth on the canal. We then found a pub and I got tipsy on two drinks. Yay me.