Shake up your Summer

Happy Monday!

It’s a new week and today I want to share a few different things you can try this summer, to easily shake things up! These are small activities to try whether you’re lucky enough to have a long summer break or still have to work through the warmer months. I think summer is the perfect time to try some new things because the days are a little longer and generally I feel a bit more energetic… don’t get me wrong Netflix is still a summer essential haha! Here are just 5 things that will hopefully inspire you to give something new a try during this sunny season:

  • Learn a new language: I’ve started this recently using the app ‘Duo Lingo’ it’s simple to use and takes you through multiple quizzes to help you develop your new language skills. I’ve chosen to try Italian, which I’ve enjoyed a lot recently, and it is honestly never-ending! Also what I like about it is it doesn’t take up lots of time, so you can simply try it on your daily commute or just before bed- PERFECT!
  • Volunteer: Volunteering is a very broad topic but any kind of volunteering can be very rewarding for everyone involved! The best place to look for different opportunities is to look online for local volunteering jobs. It can be really simple things like supporting any local runs, a charity shop or helping at summer camps.
  • Scrapbook: I LOVE to scrapbook and have already done a blog post explaining my top tips- Scrapbooking: Tips and Tricks so I won’t go on! BUT it is a really nice activity to do outside in the sun and I find it the best way to save my photography. I prefer to have my photographs actually printed out and not just living digitally, they’re also very nostalgic to look back at!
  • Baking: A very simple thing to try but can be really fun, especially if you enjoy the goods you’ve made out on a picnic or after a BBQ! My favourites to try in summer are scones, fruity desserts and cookies. It’s nice to give them a go and give them out to family and friends too on a nice summer’s afternoon. My favourite place to look for recipes is Jane’s Patisserie blog or just looking in my Mum’s cook books.
  • Reading: Summer is when my love for reading really kicks in! I wish I would read as much throughout the year but I just definitely seem to enjoy it more when the weather improves. I would definitely just recommend to try reading more in general, summer is the perfect time to start! I’ll be putting some book recommendation posts up throughout the next couple of months so keep an eye out for some inspiration!

There are obviously SO many different things you can do this summer but these are a few that I am trying this summer and have done in the past. They’re at more manageable activities to add into your daily lives without breaking the bank or completely changing your routine. Hopefully these have inspired you, let me know what you would like to try this summer!

Enjoy the sunshine,

Amy💖

Uni: Unusual Essentials

Happy June!

Today’s post is about some of the less traditional essentials that I have found very useful during my first year of university. These are five things that are not the typical pots, pans etc. There are lots of other more official lists online and usually your chosen university will send a list that is specifically tailored to your accommodation. Here they are:

  • Loungewear: This is pretty much the uniform of uni life. You want something a little more socially acceptable than pyjamas but not quite everyday attire. There is A LOT of lounging around at uni with Netflix pretty much being part of the curriculum. I would look in New Look, Primark or on ASOS for baggy jumpers and then either joggers or leggings- then you are good to go!
  • Notecards and Stamps: If you’re into stationery then shopping for this step is dreamy. I loved picking up different writing sets and cards then I would write to people whilst I was at uni. Not only did it give me something to do but it kept me connected with friends at other uni’s too. Another thing to remember under this category is some wrapping paper, you never know when your new friends birthdays will be and sometimes it’s good to have some on-hand just in case they’re soon after you move in.
  • Door stop: I had to borrow one off another flatmate because other people already bought them- it broke the ice! They’re handy at the beginning to make you seem welcoming and inviting- even if you’re not don’t worry by October-ish you can start shutting the door again.
  • Medical supplies: In the weeks before you leave for uni think of the medicinal things you usually ask your mum for and then put them in a little bag! This is the best way of ensuring that you will not be stranded at uni feeling ill. We’re talking things like paracetamol, plasters, flu tablets and tissues etc. just all the little things! Even if you don’t need them its likely other people at uni would have forgotten, so then you can pass them on and break the ice.
  • Your own washer upper: I’m not entirely sure what they’re called but you need your own utensil for your washing up to maximise hygiene. You can share other stuff in the kitchen like washing up liquid but I think having your own ‘cleaning wand/brush’ or something just makes it easier and less gross.

Hopefully these helped you remember some things that you might of forgotten when packing for university! This time of the year you’re just starting to think about it, once exams are out of the way, so hopefully these posts will help get you thinking/ excited!

Best wishes,

Amy💖

Uni: Advice

Happy Tuesday,

This week I am going to be uploading a couple of posts addressing topics surrounding university. I have recently finished my first year and wanted to write about five things I have learnt or wish I had known before I started university. One thing I would add is that university is NOT everything and you will still have lots of opportunities if you choose to follow a different path, it is not to be a measurement of your entire life. Many people forget this, even myself, but if you go or not you are still intelligent and there is still a lot more to life than getting a degree. Despite saying this, here are a few things to keep in mind if you are already at uni or thinking about starting in September:

  • People at home will not forget you: One thing I struggled with massively was homesickness, which I will address more in another post. It definitely eased as the academic year progressed. The main root cause, I think, was this fear that everyone was going to forget you and just move on. Honestly, this is not the case and you will still get to come home as regularly as you wish. If anything it will give you more to talk about and people will want to see how you are getting on.
  • Stop comparing everything to home: This is a bit of an obvious one and probably linked to my homesickness. This mainly came into my mind when I compared uni friends to people at home, which you shouldn’t do because you’ve known people from school a lot longer and you didn’t have to live with them. Other things like the kitchen or bathrooms are an easy one to constantly compare to home because no ones parents are there to tidy up after them! Remember just because everything is different, it does not have to be worse than home.
  • Little things are a success: Especially at the beginning of uni you will realise you are doing so many independent things, you will feel SO proud. This is definitely a positive that I have found at uni because I was much more dependent on my family before I started. Cooking dinners, washing up, dry cleaning and even just finding the lecture theatres will all feel so satisfying- at the start, the thrill does wear off!
  • Don’t stress about having the ‘best years of your life’: I had heard a lot that my uni years would be the ‘making of me’ or were people’s ‘best years of their life’ BUT that is not always the case. Don’t get me wrong uni can be really fun, but usually you won’t realise that you are having the ‘best time’ until you look back on it. Social media makes everyone want to show they have no problems, but most of the time they are just papering over the cracks and no one wants to share the worse times. Don’t stress yourself out trying to show everyone that uni is ‘perfect’, looking back you’ll realise how great it really was.

I hope these pieces of advice have either been helpful or relatable in some way. These can still be applied to different situations because when changing environments it is important to be open-minded.

Best wishes,

Amy💖

Scrapbooking: Tips and Tricks

Hello, lovelies!

I see scrapbooking as a fun, creative way to record my favourite memories and wanted to share my love for it! I’ve been doing it since 2015 and aim to fill one every year, so am starting my third at the moment. I didn’t think I would stick to it, but I love reminiscing and it’s a good way to be creative whilst being productive. There are no ‘wrong’ ways to scrapbook because they are completely personal, but there are so many different approaches it can be overwhelming. This is my basic approach to scrapbooking, because lets face it I do not have beautifully swirly calligraphy or the money to invest in a full scrapbooking regime. So instead I have created my own little techniques and styles over the years and these are a couple of tips/ products to help you start or develop your scrapbooks:

1. Choosing the scrapbook! This is a big choice- what size? page colour? Do you wanna decorate your own cover? Or already have a patterned one? Do you want pockets and page dividers? Usually when you see the one, you just know. All of mine have been from Paperchase because I really like the designs and they regularly bring out new ones. Also consider what colour scheme you want on the inside and if you want them to match the cover… sounds obsessive I know BUT I got a really brightly covered one then realised I wanted a pastel colour scheme so I took it back! Ugh, the drama haha!

2. How to make it look pretty: Well once you’ve got the actual scrapbook you can look into how you want to decorate the pages. Firstly, I would recommend the ‘Cropping Block’ paper packs from Paperchase which are essentially just pages of coloured paper- they’re only £2.50! These can be used to layer under photos to give them a frame, to write captions on or even create little envelopes to keep trinkets safe. Washi tape is another option for framing- I usually use a mixture of both! I love Washi tape, its basically just pretty tape but it lifts the pages and makes it look more ‘put together’. Again you can get different designs at Paperchase, John Lewis, Hobbycraft and lots of places, especially cute independent craft stores!

3. Photos: I find the best way to get my photos printed is using the app ‘Free Prints’ because you get 45 free every month. There are lots of different sites though and many have voucher codes or offers online. Usually, I accumulate the photos until it is worth paying to print out them in bulk which makes it cheaper when you have to pay for postage and packaging.

4. Using your phone: I find that my phone is one of the key things I need for my scrapbooking, and not just because I use it to take all my photos! I use the ‘Notes’ section to keep an ongoing list of the dates and activities I want to scrapbook so I don’t forget anything. Also creating an ongoing ‘scrapbooking’ photo album, so that you can just add a couple of photos on the way home from a day out, then when you come to print your photos you won’t have missed any. If you want to be super fancy you can edit pictures on your phone, I usually just use ‘Instagram’, even just to edit not just post, or the app VSCO. There are lots of options for editing, some more advanced than others, be careful not to over-do it though because you don’t want your images to become pixelated when printing!

5. Little extras: I use double-sided tape to stick in my photos because it gives the most seamless finish and secures them properly. Glue dots or Pritt Stick are good options too, the glue makes it a bit messier but is probably more cost effective. Also I like to invest in some pretty pens, usually metallic ones that fit my colour scheme! I tend not to write that much other than the title of each page (Date and Place) and maybe a caption or thought from the day. If you are more into the writing then maybe metallic isn’t the best option because it can be a bit smudgey/ difficult to read. Finally, the postcards from Paperchase really brighten pages and make it seem more ‘Pinterest’. They are about 70p and they have different phrases, jokes or pretty pictures on and they can help fill in gaps or are a cute way to illustrate holidays, like Christmas! Also postcards when you visit somewhere are lovely or little souvenirs such as parking tickets, food wrappers or leaflets add personal touches to your scrapbook!

Hopefully these have given you some ideas for your own scrapbook! One of the best things about scrapbooking is that it should never be a chore, it’s just a hobby and if I don’t feel like doing it then that’s okay too. Once you start though the sense of nostalgia when looking back is really rewarding. Also don’t compare your scrapbook to these ‘perfect’ ones you see on YouTube or Pinterest- which is so difficult! Mine is so far from perfect and there have been times when I’ve ripped out pages because I thought my handwriting looks childish or the pictures aren’t stuck in straight. These little quirks are what makes your scrapbook yours, the happiness within the photos, souvenirs and words are what makes it ‘perfect’. Let me know any of your scrapbooking tips, I’d love to develop mine for 2017.

Happy scrapbooking,

Amy💖

 

Spreading Kindness

Happy Monday!

I wanted to kickstart the week with a post on kindness. The concept of kindness can get lost in the business of everyday life, but it is such a positive characteristic to possess and share with others. Before this turns into the cheesiest post EVER, I have complied a list of cute random acts of kindness to try:

  1. Write letters: Taking the time to write someone a notecard is so simple. If you never have stamps (like me!) you could try apps like ‘Touch Note’ or going on Moonpig.com to send personalised messages directly from your phone! You could sent these to friends, family or sometimes there are special appeals, especially at Christmastime to send to ill children or various people who need support/ friendship. This is the perfect excuse to buy ALL the pretty and funny postcards,  notecards and letter writing sets from Paperchase!
  2. Reminding people you are thinking of them: This is so simple and it’s free- win win! Something as simple as tagging a friend in a meme on Facebook that reminds you of them or sending them a funny tweet to cheer them up can really make someones day. Simply texting someone and saying ‘Miss you’ can mean the world, trust me at uni these really make your day because sometimes it is so easy to feel forgotten! Another idea is sending uplifting tweets to people who are having a bad day or congratulating/ complimenting them on something and although it might seem weird to respond to a stranger you never know how much they might have needed it.
  3. Spontaneous presents: Clearly this could be an expensive suggestion, but it doesn’t need to be done regularly or with luxurious gifts! One example is when I visit my grandparents I sometimes pick them up Scones for £2 as I pass a shop on my way- this is cheap way to brighten their day, or better still bake them yourself! Also my sister, who lives far away, recently received a bad haircut (I know the pain!) so to cheer her up I sent a special Pancake mix from notonthehighstreet.com directly to her address with a gift receipt too- perfect!
  4. Give to charity: This doesn’t necessarily have to be financial giving but if you can then a direct debit is a good way of doing this, because otherwise it is so easy to forget! Also it can be very small amounts, even just a £1, would make a difference especially to local charities. Other ways to give include taking old clothes or toys to a charity shop, retweeting/ sharing charities posts help raise awareness of campaigns or looking for online ways to volunteer your time at various charities- some charities like Make A Wish have online volunteering schemes where you don’t even have to leave your sofa!
  5. Be kind to yourself: In some ways this should be top the list because if you are kind to yourself then you can help others. This really could be anything, but it is so easily forgotten! Let yourself watch an extra episode of your favourite TV show, eat ALL the chocolate, have a bath until your fingers go all shrivelled, laugh at your favourite film, sing at the top of your voice, lounge around in your pyjamas every once in a while and forget all your responsibilities! I understand this is easier said than done, but be happy, you deserve it.

I hope these inspire you to spread some kindness to others and yourself. There are also lots more ideas on Pinterest! Let me of know any other easy examples of random acts because it is always important to find new ways of spreading kindness.

Amy💖

Blushing about… Netflix

Hello!

I wanted to start a series called ‘Blushing about…’ where I discuss different products, things or places that I have been loving recently. To start it all off I wanted to go with one of my favourite things… NETFLIX! I did question whether I would have anything to offer on this topic because my suggestions might seem unoriginal but I think this proves what shows and films are really worth the hype. So grab some sweet treats and delve into one of these new worlds:

Pretty Little Liars (7 series, with 10 final episodes being released in April!)

This is my favourite series on Netflix at the moment, I love it and CANNOT wait for the final episodes. Most of the characters are really likeable and the PLL crew really are friendship goals, just check out their instagram’s for proof! Personally my favourite couple is Hanna and Caleb who’s relationship takes a surprising turn once the show moves five years into the future! Honestly, this is a must watch for any chick-flick/ thriller loving person because it had the perfect balance of tension and romance without being too scary.

The Crown (First series, with more coming soon)

I finished this in about 3 days and I have no regrets. If I had started it earlier on day one then I could have done it in 24hours, which really would have been an achievement. This, for me, makes it obvious that it is a great show because it was so gripping! I was sceptical about the series because people kept telling me to watch it but it sounded too historical/ educational for me. However, I was wrong. Whether you already love the Royals, know nothing about them or think  you know everything then you should watch it all the same. It follows the Queen from her marriage to Philip up until during her reign, and their relationship was one of the main reasons for this becoming a favourite of mine. Gotta watch if you love period dramas and just easy-going shows!

One Direction: This is Us

This is a controversial one I know! But as a firm lover of One Direction from the age of 12 I couldn’t ignore this one. Yes, I have it on DVD too and I know how sad/ embarrassing that is to admit… but I LOVE THEM. There, I said it. I won’t pretend like I love this for the cinematography or gripping storyline. I just love it for the boys, the music, the memories and the feel good feeling it leaves you with. Definitely one to watch if you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up!

Let me know any suggestions for your favourite things to watch on Netflix, I’m always on the hunt for a new series! I am currently loving The Vampire Diaries but only on the first series so thought it was too early to class it as a ‘favourite’ just yet.

Enjoy,

Amy💖

 

First things first…

Hiya,

First things first (I’m the realest😂)… No really first I want to thank you for finding my blog! I wanted to start by introducing myself: I’m Amy, nice to meet you! So I’m 18 from Reading in England and currently at university studying Comparative Literature (fancy term for English!).

Starting my blog has been a long time coming but after settling into uni life I have found there is a lot of spare time, and what better way to fill it with than writing?! I’ve wanted to begin for a while but I had never quite built up the courage.

In real life I have tend to have very rosy cheeks and it generally doesn’t take much to make me blush- hence the name! Also I’ll be writing about things I love/ that make me blush (so creative, I know!). My posts will generally be about lifestyle bits and just anything I feel like chatting/ ranting about; I’ll be aiming to upload about twice a week at the beginning but I’m just going to see how it goes!

Feel free to comment your blog below, I’d love to read it!

Amy💖