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Monday, 18 January 2016

SAYING GOODBYE TO 2015

It’s been almost a year since I did my last blog post, and too say I’m disappointed at that is an understatement. I suppose the only excuse I have to myself is being busy, and busy I am.  But, what a good way to start the new year, by promising myself to continue blogging now I’ve got more free time on my hands.

Another year has quite literally flown by, and just like every other year I’m amazed at how quickly it’s gone! I always end up being surprised at the end of a year, at how fast and how much has happened is such a short time. 2015 has seen so many highlights along with a few hard challenges. But, as long as I learn from the mistakes I’ve made, then I’m totally okay with making them! Sometimes I think it’s good to document your years, because potentially in the future, I’ll be able to look back and see how much I’ve grown and changed as a person.

Unfortunately, even I can’t remember everything that happened in 2015, so I’m going to write about the most poignant moments that shaped this year, and wow has it been eventful!  

To be completely honest January, and the rest of the first quarter of the year started off pretty hard for me. I remember thinking at the time that I didn’t want to enter a new year on such a negative, but I did! I started the year feeling very suffocated in certain aspects of my life, especially university. Although you’d think homesickness was my main reason for hating uni, it surprised even me that, that wasn’t the issue at all. The issue was studying itself and the state of anxiousness I got when I had to attend lectures and seminars. This feeling continued throughout the rest of the academic year, It got to the stage of missing lectures, simply because I feared going in. I simply wasn’t happy, but stupidly I wasn’t thinking about my own happiness and decided to continue for the rest of academic year. Looking back on it though, I’m glad I tried and finished first year, only then would I be able to make an accurate judgement of my future at uni.

All throughout summer I was working incredibly hard, thank god I’m blessed with a good work ethic. Although I was telling people I really hoped to pass first year, I was secretly hoping I’d fail. If I failed that was an easier way of dropping out of university, than admitting I didn’t like it. Results day came and… I passed. Too most people that would be an amazing achievement, but to me, it just wasn’t. I decided to return to university, hoping that second year would be different. I thought living in a house as oppose to halls would secure my happiness at uni, but It didn’t. I thought that having experience everything for the first time last year, would make my return easier, but it didn’t. Only then, did I realise that to me success wasn’t measured by money, success is measured by happiness, and at uni I didn’t have any.  

After countless meetings with careers advisors, lecturers and my head of year, despite their attempt at being unbiased they tried to convince me to stay. I tried to keep an open mind as long as possible, not letting anyone influence such an important decision, but in the end ultimately I decided to leave university.

The relief and stress that lingered over my head for a year had finally passed, and I felt amazing. I immediately felt more relaxed and comfortable. This happened in October 2015, so only now am I feeling the repercussions of my decision, I’ve been lumbered with student finance repayments and have to begin paying council tax. Adult life already seems a lot more stressful than a younger me first envisioned. For this reason, my 2016 didn’t end up starting as exciting as I first thought, but I’ve got a year to change that! I’m saying goodbye to 2015 and all the negativity it held and 2016 will be a better one, because I’ll make it a better one!

Adios


Monday, 4 May 2015

Topman Top Picks



I saw a similar version to this oversized sleeveless tank in Topman London, Oxford Street. I'm in love with this top, I bought the one that looked similar, and now I'm beginning to regret. I haven't seen a baggy vest like this before, but it can easily be coupled with black, ripped skinny jeans and shorts. I've just ordered mine from TOPMAN for £22 and I think you should too. 

I've seen denim shirts around for along time, but this second wave of the style is better than ever in my opinion. Acid wash, especially light, acid wash denim can be coupled with almost anything, especially black jeans, stuff the double denim rule, it looks good! You can also get this from TOPMAN for £30


Even though summer is approaching I think it's obvious to own a long black tee. Black is the colour I wear a lot of the time, whether its a t-shirt of jeans. The long design of this tee is different to a conventional top. I've got a few different colour tee's in this style, which go perfectly with ripped denim shorts.
This tee is also available at TOPMAN for just £10


Ripped denim in general has become very popular recently, and if you can't afford to buy any then don't worry you can do it yourselves. All you need to do is grab the shorts or jeans you want to give that ripped look too and rub sandpaper against the chosen area until you're happy. All of the clothes above would fit perfectly coupled with these shorts, they're something I wear religiously in summer!
If you like these then they're available from TOPMAN for £34.
£34 seems expensive for a pair of shorts, but from a guy whose bought jeans and shorts from Topman for several years now, the quality is amazing... too but it bluntly they last a long time!




I also bought a necklace similar to this from The Topman on Oxford Street, the only difference is my has a small, plain silver disk on it. Although it's small, I'd say this was my favourite purchase of the shopping haul because I literally wear it with everything. This necklace retails for £7.50 from TOPMAN and I'm pretty sure the similar necklace I bought was the same price either way I love them both! 




Blend Active is a must!

What an eventful week I’ve had, literally from doing essays to organising work and trying to do deadlines I’ve had barely anytime too myself. I tend to like it that way though, there’s no better feeling that feeling like you’ve had a productive day, in my opinion anyway!

On Wednesday I went and brought my flat mate and I flat mate a Blend Active to share, and it’s probably the best thing I’ve bought in 2015- and it was only £29.99 from Sainsbury’s, always love a good bargain. Some of my friends knocked the product but for me, it’s a quick, easy way of kicking your day off on a healthy note.

I’m not an overly body conscious person, I have a few woes but who doesn’t? So as I’ve said before in an old post, I’ve been trying to make 2015, a healthy, proactive year…Didn’t really last very long but I’m on my second wave now and I’m going to attempt it again. Literally starting my day with a fruit shake, A. Gives me so much energy and B. keeps me full until lunch time, which I found cereal struggles to do.

Eating and drinking healthily, in my opinion is seen as a burden and boring, and to be honest with you… sometimes it is, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many interesting and exciting things online which give you amazingly healthy but tasty recipes, so if you’re attempting to lose weight or just eating clean, I recommend doing a little bit of research which will definitely give you inspiration to at least try a more healthy option.

And, if that doesn't work- I truly believe following daily fitness blogs, on twitter, facebook and Instagram gives you that extra motivation to achieve, of course you’re going to have your cheat days, I do…probably a bit to regularly… but innocently scrolling through your new ‘healthy, fit’ social media will inspire you to eat more health.

I’ve been following a guy named Joe Wicks on Instagram for a long time now, and his short 15 second, healthy recipes are both funny and educational in health inspired meals and fitness ideas. I’d recommend following him on Instagram (Insta: TheBodyCoach), where there’s a link to his website and his “90Daysss” meal plan, which seem to achieve amazing results! Check him out!

Any way back to what I was first writing this post about… Blend Active- after being a bit of a juicing/smoothly virgin I obviously did some research on different ideas to try and decided to compile my favourite ones here!

Coconut Milk, Cashew Nut Smoothie
250ml Coconut Milk
Large handful of cashew nuts
1 Banana
½ Cinnamon
Large handful of frozen berries

Spinach, Pear and Pineapple Smoothie
Large handful of spinach
Cut up pineapple (depends how much you like it, I love it so I tend to bit quite a bit in)
1 Pear
1 Mango
¼ Natural Yogurt (When it comes to natural Yogurt I’m not fussy, Asda do an amazing Greek yogurt with honey which I love, or if you’re trying to be really healthy then I’d recommend Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt, which is high in protein also) 

Kiwi, Spinach and Mango Smoothie
1 Kiwi
1 Large handful of spinach
½ Mango
½ Avocado
¼ Natural Yogurt

For all of the above recipes, it also tastes amazing to add some oats, nuts or seeds to make it higher in protein.  



Monday, 27 April 2015

Easter Break

I feel like I start every blog post recently surprised at how time has flown by, and how little I’ve blogged! I’ve decided to blame Easter break for that and my three weeks away from any routine and structure. But, now I’m back at Uni, I can’t say I’ve missed a life free form organisation and stress.
It took a lot of persuading and encouragement to come back this term; being away from it all prompted a lot of questions which doubted my commitment and desire to stay. It was literally like an ongoing battle in my head for the duration of my time at home…shall I go back? Or shall I stay? Part of my doubt stems from my passion and dedication to working life, that kind of organisation and self-discipline I can deal with…well. Whereas studying and becoming robotic and confined isn’t an atmosphere I thrive in at all.

Student life is such a rich crop of myths, particularly first year. The promise of an easy, subdued life is still yet to be welcomed, it reared its face during fresher’s week but vanished soon after. The important thing to remember about university for any doubters or worriers (me), is, it’s not a vest I.e. one size fits all. Some aspects of Uni are so daunting that, if I had the option to, I’d have dropped out then and there, but I didn’t and it slowly makes each battle (essay) a little more achievable.

Anyway, enough of the complaining. Easter in Cornwall was amazing, all my friends were back from university, I had a few days at the beginning free from work and there was no way we’d take them for granted. Almost every day was spent completely different, which added some happiness to the looming decision forever present in my mind. I suppose it served as a distraction, which I’m thankful for to a degree, although leaving every ounce of work until the last day isn’t the best situation to be in, and even now, I still haven’t started anything. But it was the long needed break from Uni work I’d been needing.

Thankfully it’s the sun is nearly always out at this time of year, and with Bournemouth beaches it provides me subtle reminders of Cornwall.

Peace and love






Sunday, 22 March 2015

I think Taylor Swift is the best person at PR... ever!



After reading an article on PR Week (for anyone studying PR, subscribe to them, follow them, do everything... PR week is amazing) by Gavin Devine, he literally spoke, or should I say wrote? the words I'd been thinking for very long time, and that's Taylor Swift being the best at PR, ever. 

What would usually seem like an innocent act of kindness, for Taylor Swift it always warrants wall-to-wall coverage and rightly so. Writing a deeply evocative sum of $1,989 to help a beloved fan pay off her student loan paints Swift in an extremely giving, pure light. It seems the singer/ song writer also knows how to kills two birds with one stone... 1989... got it yet? For those who haven't Swift's most recent album was titled "1989" the stars birth year. Who wouldn't be generous, amazing and kind whilst also adding a dash of self-promotion. 

It comes at a time when Swift seemingly cannot put a foot wrong in publicity terms.
Studying PR I think I'd almost certainly get a 'first' if I'd sit through a Taylor Swift PR master-class: 

There are three key elements to Swift’s PR success.
First, she is the master of engagement - She's literally as obsessed with social media as we are!
  1. So many stars, companies and organisation are so eager to simply broadcast their news across there social media platforms...That's not the Swifty way. 
  2. Swift genuinely engages with fans, to the point where I'd argue they're friends... She roams across Facebook, Youtube and Twitter responding to fans directly (never me though!)
  3. AND, she goes even further... whether she's sending her fans presents or sweet letters as part of 'Swiftmas'... yes... Swiftmas! or inviting them into her home for a sneak preview of her new album she's always going to be creating a buzz.
Whatever amazing PR stunt she has planned next, all of it generates additional column inches or thousands more tweets. She'll continue planting her PR seed and sit back and watch social media make it to grow always making it look far to easy. 

Secondly, she recognises that her fans are everywhere...so everywhere is where she'll be too.
Around the launch of the '1989' album she was everywhere: online, in magazines, tabloids and broadsheets, and on broadcast media. 

Finally, she understands that this is an ‘always on’ world.  

In a world where citizen journalism allows news corporations to gather stories instantly, Miss Swift is never papped looking anything other than well groomed and sophisticated and never says anything deemed politically incorrect.

All of this means that in an age when pop is ludicrously sexualised a star like Taylor Swift is a rarity, she consistently exudes a wholesome all american girl image whose style is timeless. She stands out amongst the crowed pop scene with style, sophistication and flare, giving her a sense of authenticity, approachability and reminds us she is only human after all.  

Of course the product – the music – has to be good. PR can only take you so far, and surprise, surprise it's more than good
But it is the work she has put into her image and amplifying her coverage that is key.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

OX Bar and Restaurant


After possibly the most hectic (but amazing) week I've had in a very long time. Literally being bombarded with deadlines, a press conference, interviews, prospecting... did I say deadlines? I decided spending one evening, relaxing with a glass of wine the cure to the constant battle in my head which desperately needed to settle.

So, when my friend suggested it - I quite literally ran to my car and drove too a local Pub/Restaurant called the "OX". It's one of those places you constantly drive past, think to yourself 'that looks nice', tell yourself you'll go soon...but never do. But, fortunately I did.

Inside, isn't your stereotypical Pub, It's so full of character. We went on a Tuesday, late afternoon after a strenuous week and deservedly refuelled on a glass of wine. I feel like this place should be experienced by everyone, the atmosphere is relaxed, warm and most importantly comfortable.

Food Rating - 4/5 
Although I didn't actually try the food, if it was anything like the presentation of the actual Pub I'd have a confident guess it would be amazing. I had a cheeky nose at the menu and although it doesn't have pages and pages of choice, I kinda like it. I'm so bad at deciding what to it, so it would make my job easier. 

Wifi - 5/5
Easy to connect into, and very good speed. Perfect for afternoons on your laptop, drinking a coffee, or instagramming my food...again

Menu - 3/5
Like I've said, on the menu it doesn't have an extensive choice, which I personally don't mind. But, I know my friends hate nothing less than choosing from a small selection of foods. 

Drinks - 4/5
I wont go a far as calling myself an avid wine drinker, but there's nothing better than a good glass after a long shift at work or on a summers day. I went for their house wine (living on a student budget here...), which was surprisingly amazing as far as house wines go. I glanced down their wine lists and there's a nice, long selection...which is always good! 

Atmosphere & Decor - 5/5
For me, other than the wine... this was the best thing about "OX", just because as a pub... for me it was so different. It was a mixture of a rustic, classy bar, probably an ideal place for lunch with my mum to be honest. As you'll see from the pictures, it's such a beautiful place to go, and with an outside seating area, which I can imagine is amazing in summer...it's definitely a place I'll revisit. 

Price - 4/5
The pricing here is very reasonable, and good value for money. Don't expect it to be too cheap. 

If you're planning on going you'll find OX at: 
81 Commercial Rd, Poole, Pol BH14 0JB

Not very often I do these sorts of post, but It's an excuse to try some wine and blog about it... both of which I love! 







Wednesday, 11 March 2015

PR Event

I know I've definitely told you guys I'm at university, but I don't think I've ever told you what I'm actually studying... But, I will now! It's Public Relations (PR)... Big round of applause for anyone who guessed.
Public Relations in case you don't know, is, by googles definition "the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person", which is accurate... I suppose... But, because PR is such a broad industry I would argue that defining it in all it's multifaceted glory is an extremely hard task. For those of you that have and still do confuse Public Relations with Personal Assistant, which by the way actually happens, I'm letting you know now, it's definitely not. 

SO... Today has lasted for what feels like a life time, literally. Rolling out of bed, suited and booted at 07:30am, after getting only an hours sleep is never an enjoyable moment. But, when the reason for seeing such an unnatural hour was because of a PR Event it became a lot more bearable- coffee, fresh air, and I'm as good as new. The university set up a recruitment event, whereby national and international PR Firms came to view our CV's and speak to us about the industry as well as our experiences in PR and other employability. Imagine, one big networking event and you'll be able to picture it. 

Que picture, I'll spare you using your imagination. 
Both year one and two public relations student were dotted around a floor on an executive business centre, displaying their CV poster for employers

The best and probably simplest way of describing the event is a group of different employers, shopping for students who they believe is the strongest and best candidates to receive work experience/ internships from the company they're representing.

If you know me, you'd know that I was equally as excited as I was nervous about the event...and boy I was nervous. I think it's the fear of the unexpected, I'd never been to an event like this before, let alone catch employers attention and show them I could be the best candidate... But guess what... I did! Well, for one company at least and was offered an interview, an interview I'm not blog about just yet by the way, superstition and all! (yes I do believe in superstitious things, and although I don't actively avoid walking under ladders or dodging black cats like my adolescent self did- I don't want to get bad lack!) 


What a promising start my 2015 has been though, and it's only March! My calendar entries are growing and growing everyday, mostly weighted with exam dates and coursework deadlines, but amongst that grey cloud of miserary - these some sunshine (excuse the metaphor) I have another PR Networking Event; this time IN LONDON, and a mini press conference - the joys of studying PR aye, I'm unbelievably excited. So expect many a post, worrying about what to wear, how to act, what to bring, what to talk about... everything! 


The people I met at the event today were inspiring, engaging and saint like...I say that because they all oozed such poise and class, all appropriately dressed in savvy business clothing. So, there's no better excuse which allows me to buy my own... so I did, and rocked it at the event today. You like?



Brown Leather Shoes: Next - £48
White Shirt: Burton - £35 for two
Sun Glasses: Primark - £8
Navy Blue Trousers: Burton - £25
Brown Leather Belt: Burton - £12