Cup of Tea and a Chat

Flippin’ heck this cold/flu thing has been annoying. It’s only really started to get better over the weekend and I still don’t feel 100%. Nevertheless, I am feeling the need to blog today.

As Monday is a scary thought for most of us, I thought I’d sit down with a cup of tea, have a chat with you and give us all a moment of calm in the chaos of a Monday morning.

I originally was going to do a review of Leeds RAG Fashion Show, which I went to on Thursday night, but I’m afraid to say that I was a bit disappointed, especially as everyone always raves about it. It was my first fashion show, so I was excited. Unfortunately, the experience fell flat, and my friends and I actually left during the interval. That said, I’m of course not against any of the money paid for tickets going to charity, as this year the money was donated to Dementia UK and Leeds Mind, both worthy causes and they support mental health awareness, something which is not talked about enough.

The theme of the fashion show was TIMELESS, all about the stages of life including birth, war, peace, and death. Whilst this was a clever idea, the show for me just didn’t have any impact. I will admit that we paid for standard tickets, so we were never going to be right at the front, but the seating was at the back of the room. We could barely see anything and ended up standing for the most part.

You always expect fashion shows to have wacky and wonderful creations that bring something new to the fashion world. The outfits on display were certainly not that, and whilst I understand there was a limited budget, instead of having lots of outfits that were pretty normal at the end of the day, I think it would have been better to have fewer, but more ‘out there’ looks with deeper explanations of why those outfits were chosen and what significance each clothing item has.

Without that, you are just watching people walk up and down. I love my fashion, but really? Of course, it is so important to donate to charity, especially through a great organisation such as RAG, but is the fashion show worth it? I’m not convinced. Moaning over.

On a lighter note, lots of fun things have been going on in amongst the uni work.

On Friday night, my flatmates and I went on a ‘cocktail crawl’. Far better than a pub crawl, as it gives you an excuse to dress up and feel sophisticated for the night.

Next week brings more glamour with the Modern Languages Ball at uni, so I’ll be sharing all my outfit details when the time comes.

Last but certainly not least, I am going home this weekend. The workload is pretty heavy at the moment, so I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my family and enjoying a little R&R. What does this week hold for you?

Megan x


5 Ways to Stay Motivated

Why hello everyone! A little bit of #WednesdayWisdom coming your way now. I realise that I did not post anything yesterday (already failing at the blogging every other day goal). Sadly, I have been busy doing uni work, although I did manage to do a fair amount yesterday, so I am allowing myself a couple of hours this morning to ramble on to you all.

By simply not being able to stick to my blogging schedule, I felt myself slipping into a lazier pattern last night, so this morning I was determined to get back on track. Gym first thing, then blog, and then uni work. This got me thinking about what I can do to stay motivated, and if I am already doing some of these ideas. So, my friends, here are my top 5 tips on how to stay motivated (in no particular order).

  1. Fitness and Fresh Air: I feel like these are interchangeable. I have realised that starting your day with a good exercise session, whether that be at the gym, or simply going for a walk, helps to clear your mind ready for a new day. I even chose to go swimming on Monday, something I would only usually do with others, and I felt refreshed for the rest of the day. Definitely an important one, not necessarily with the goal of losing weight, but just to make yourself feel good.
  2. Making to-do lists: Not only an excuse to buy a pretty notebook/diary, but a genuinely useful technique for maintaining motivation. Everyday, I make a list of things I need to do in my diary, and I allow myself to relax once I have done all my tasks for that day. It’s a great feeling to be able to tick things off as you go through the day and there is a real sense of achievement. Plus, I actually know now what the date always is!
  3. Motivating Decor: I know this is a bit similar to my 2018 Wellness Goals post, but I have been collecting various pictures, postcards and quotes that make me feel happy and want to achieve lots. I have 2 large pin boards in my uni room which are rapidly being filled up! These are some of my favourites:AirBrush_20180207101519
  4. Reading other blogs: Something that I have grown to love. Knowing you are giving back to the blogging community and supporting others are motivating in themselves. I also find that other blogs are a great source of content inspiration, especially if you are suffering from a spell of writer’s block. Obviously, this doesn’t mean copying a post word-for-word, but if you like a title of a post, perhaps you can put your own spin on it. Of course, don’t forget to let bloggers know they have inspired you!
  5. Reminding yourself of what you’re doing: I’ll explain what I mean by this. It’s all well and good getting yourself into a super-organised daily routine, keeping fit and treating yourself to some motivating homeware. You have to be motivated about what you are doing in your life. Whether that be your job, blogging or your university course. There’s no use in doing all these other things I have mentioned if you are not motivated by what you spend your day doing. Give this a moment’s thought and then you’re ready to go!

What do you do to stay motivated?

Megan x

Natural and Clean Skincare: Does It Work?

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope the weekend is treating you well and you are giving yourself a bit of time off from the craziness that is life.

I wanted to write a post on a topic that has been intriguing me for some time, and that is, the world of natural and clean skincare. I’m not sure whether I am just stressed from uni work or something, but my skin has been quite dry recently, so I have been vigorously applying moisturisers and all manner of body lotions (I got a couple of new ones for Christmas, I haven’t just gone out and bought a load).

Cut a long story short, I have discovered, along with my mum, that the amount of chemicals in most skincare is ridiculous, and these can be the lower cost brands that we would normally be desperate to get, under the impression that it is a brilliant bargain.

We then started looking very carefully at trying to find skincare brands with little or no chemicals, that were ‘clean’ and ‘natural’. During this process, we discovered that ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ are in fact two different things.

‘Natural’ skincare is when the ingredients are as pure as they can possibly be, whereas ‘clean’ skincare focuses more on the safety of the product, as well as being eco-friendly. An article I found on gives a much better explanation that I can!


It turns out that brands such as Aveeno, Burt’s Bees, Sukin, and Ren deem themselves to be ‘natural’ or ‘clean’, so my mum and I have been putting them to the test. However, despite the labelling, the products do still have a few ingredients that are very much chemical-based, yet they are certainly a lot better than most. The question is, are these skincare products any good?

After an informative explanation in M&S about the REN brand, my mum has since purchased face creams by this brand, and from natural skincare company Sukin. She has since told me that whilst the products feel nice when first applied, they have left her skin feeling quite tight, rather than moisturised. This is interesting as she used to use Olay, containing far more chemicals, and said her skin felt nicer then.

As for me, I ordered some free samples of Aveeno moisturiser a few weeks ago, as I had never tried it before, and I have to say that I went out and bought myself a bottle yesterday as it is working wonders for my skin. Whilst not completely chemical free, the ingredient list is noticeably shorter and one of the main natural ingredients is oatmeal.

I was also fortunate enough to receive a Burt’s Bees gift set for Christmas. Branded as a ‘natural’ skincare brand, the lip balms, I have to say, are beautiful. As for the moisturiser, hand and foot creams though, they are very thick, good for very dry skin, but they are so thick that you can hardly get any to come out of the tubes!! The scents are a bit odd too, whereas the Aveeno moisturiser is refreshing and applies nicely.

Wow, this has turned out to be quite a long post, so I will sign off now. All in all, if you would much rather have as much chemical-free products as possible, then definitely look in the direction of natural and clean skincare. Are they worth it in terms of price (which is more expensive) and quality though? I’m personally not yet convinced. The hunt for a natural product that does the trick remains open. Of course, if you think you have discovered some great natural products, then do let me know!

Megan x

P.S. None of this is sponsored, all of my own opinions (well, my mum’s as well) !

Pancake Day in Leeds: Where to Go

Ah it’s that time of year again. Wednesday 14th February, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. The shops are full of red roses, greetings cards with quotes about unconditional love, heart-shaped chocolates, and…wait a minute, this can’t be right, there’s something we’re forgetting here.

Oh yes, that’s right. Why is everyone getting so excited for Valentine’s Day, when it’s Pancake Day before then?! Personally, I’d say Pancake Day is by far the better day out of the two. I mean, come one, there are pancakes everywhere, and for those of you giving up sugar for Lent, it’s the last opportunity to indulge and fuel your body up with sugary goodness before Easter. In a sense, Valentine’s Day is just being mean as there are chocolates everywhere, yet if you have set yourself a no chocolate lent, then where’s the love in that?

So, to help some of you forget the pains of Valentine’s Day and focus on the joys of Pancake Day, I have found a few pancake events in Leeds that look great. Whether you are a northern resident and in easy reach of Leeds, or fancy a day trip, perhaps one of these places will catch your eye.

  • Le Chalet – This beautiful French tearoom in the city centre always looks so pretty when I walk past, with macarons arranged around the windows. If you book to visit on Pancake Day, you can pay a small amount of money and get unlimited pancakes! Sounds delicious!
  • Dry Dock – A familiar sight for the students of Leeds, this unmissable venue is having a pancake week! From as little as 25p a pancake, it’s perfect if you are craving pancakes, but also trying to have a #FreeFebruary
  • Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen – I have not been here before, but they are offering up a delectable feast of pancake toppings.
  • Monsieur Déjeuner – A lovely French café in Headingley, which I have had the pleasure of visiting. Serving proper crepes as part of their everyday menu, you can enjoy one of these at any time!

Right then my friends, are we all in agreement that Pancake Day wins the February festivities? I certainly think so.  

Megan x


How to Survive with 5 Pairs of Shoes


Shoes by sk8geek, on Flickr
Shoes” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by sk8geek

For those of you who love your shoes and fashion and are looking at the title of this post thinking who is she, I will state for the record that I do own more than 5 pairs of shoes. However, a) it’s winter, so that rules out wearing any form of summer shoe and b) I can’t walk in heels, which overall does limit the number of shoes I wear around this time of year. Anyway, stop rambling Megan, back to the point.

On Monday morning, I was getting ready to go to my lecture and decided to wear my black patent brogues. I was just tying the lace when suddenly it snapped! This was when I realised that this pair of shoes was literally one of the only pairs I wear during winter, especially being in Leeds where it’s cold and icy.

I’m not a shoe-obsessed kind of person. I would much rather a few good quality pairs of shoes that are comfortable, which go with a lot of outfits. Plus, on a student budget, shoes are expensive! Cut a long story short, it turns out I have been living in 5 pairs of shoes this winter (6 if you count slippers) and it’s doable!

Here are the 5 shoes that have seen me through the winter so far:

  1. Black boots – A winter essential in my eyes! Comfy, warm and can go with most things. Leggings, jeans, tights. You name it, you can probably wear it with boots.
  2. Navy blue ankle boots – If you are like me, and have a mild obsession for navy blue clothing, then a pair of navy blue boots is needed! I prefer boots, rather than shoes in this case, because again, they are much warmer. I happened to find a pair of boots easy to slip on and off, so these also double up as my emergency night time fire alarm drill shoes. Yes, you read that correctly. I even leave them by my door each night just in case!
  3. Black patent brogues – Out of action this week until the shoelaces I ordered from Amazon arrive. It’s worth having something a little smarter and a tad more delicate, especially if you need to dress formally or are wearing a dress/skirt. The patent shine adds a special something too.
  4. Trainers – Gym essential and good to have for those busy days when you are rushing around and need something sturdy on your feet. Need I say more?
  5. Walking shoes – I barely ever wear these, so I guess you could say I only wear 4 pairs of shoes. Nevertheless, a useful pair to have if it snows and if you have a sudden urge to go hiking! (Doesn’t happen with me very often!)

There we have it. You only need 5 pairs of shoes to survive. What’s even better is that you save on space too! Great if you like things tidy like me!

Megan x

P.S. They aren’t my boots in the photo. I am in need of shoe polish, so let’s just say none of my shoes are photo worthy at the minute!

Primark Silicone Sponge Review


What are these 2 weird, transparent, pebble-looking objects you may wonder? Well, given that I am seriously behind on the latest makeup trends, you will know more than I do!

Yes, they are the silicone sponges, one of the more recent trends to hit the beauty market, known for their minimal waste of foundation and smooth application.

I’m usually a bit hesitant when it comes to buying makeup brushes etc. as I don’t like to spend too much money on them. I’d rather splash out on a good quality foundation or concealer than a brush.

The same principle applied when sponges became the next big thing in the cosmetic world. I decided to buy my sponges (normal, not silicone) from Primark as they were cheap, but that turned out to be a mistake as they were quite hard and to blend the foundation in, you actually had to hit yourself with force!

Nevertheless, when I saw a pack of 2 silicone sponges reduced from £2 to 50p in Primark, I took the chance straight away, and this time, it has paid off.

I have tested the silicone sponges with a number of foundations already over the weekend, and they seem to do the trick, no matter the consistency of the foundation or whether they give a matte or a dewy finish. Definitely a key role of any foundation applicator.

The best part for me is that they don’t soak up any foundation, and they are so easy to clean. You would have been horrified to see the state of my foundation brushes and sponges, as no matter how hard I cleaned them, there still was foundation on them! Now that I have discovered silicone sponges though, I did not wait a second longer before throwing my other sponges and brushes away. This may seem like a rather rash thing to do, but they were quite old anyway, and if you need an extra applicator, fingers do a pretty good job!

What I liked about the Primark pack is that there are 2 of them, so you can always cut one up if you need a smaller sponge for blending in concealer under the eyes. Let’s face it, even if the silicone sponges are taken off the sale, £2 for 2 sponges won’t break the bank!

Good value, good quality and easy to clean. Silicone sponges are winner for me!

Megan x

Clifford Day Spa Review

*Just to say this is not an affiliated post, I just decided I wanted to review the spa of my own accord.

Hello weekend! Here’s to spending some time relaxing and doing something different from the usual week of study/work. That certainly was what Friday afternoon was for me, as my mum and I took a trip to Long Eaton to the Clifford Day Spa. Back in August, I received a voucher for a spa treatment and afternoon tea at Clifford, and yesterday, we finally got around to going.

Given that my only previous spa experience had been at Ragdale Hall, which must be one of the most amazing spas in the country, I couldn’t really go along thinking Clifford would be the same, as it is a much more budget friendly spa experience, in a converted industrial building in the centre of Long Eaton. Not in a sprawling country estate like Ragdale.

First off, you don’t get complimentary robes and towels. You can bring your own, along with a pair of flip flops, but you can rent them for a small fee, which is what we did, as it means you have one less thing to bring.

The spa is on the ground floor when you enter the building, and the upper floors are solely gym rooms, not included in a spa afternoon (3pm-8pm). Nevertheless, we were guided through to the changing rooms by a helpful receptionist and once we had deposited our bags in the lockers (phone as well, hence no photos), it was time to explore the spa.

In terms of the quality of the facilities, I would say it is fantastic. There was a beautiful pool with lights in the ceiling above it, which really gave a calming atmosphere as it got darker and quieter in the evening. There are heated loungers surrounding the pool area, as well as more dotted around the rest of the spa, so you can have a lie down, but still keep nice and toasty despite the wet swimming costumes.
(YouTube video showing the facilities => click here)

The Fire and Ice Spa, as it is known, also includes 2 hydrotherapy pools, a variety of saunas and steam rooms, foot spas, a salt inhalation room, an aromatherapy room, an ice room, monsoon showers and a saunarium. A pretty extensive list of things to enjoy! So far, so good!

With all these spa experiences to soak up, it seemed like a very relaxing time was going to be had.

However, when we first arrived, there was a bit of an issue. Given that the spa was on one floor (except the treatment rooms which were upstairs), the facilities are in a very small space, fine if you go at a quiet time, but when we got there, it was heaving! There were no loungers free and all the various sauna rooms were occupied.

For this reason, we decided to go for a swim first. We had our afternoon tea booked for 4 anyway, so we managed to avoid the busy time. After we finished our tea, the mid-afternoon rush had died down. I think as gym members get to use the spa, this contributed to the volume of people there.

The afternoon tea was good. We had the typical array of sandwiches, scones and cakes, and you could go and get a refill of tea, or any other hot drink, at any time from the little café area.

Our treatment was at 6, and in the meantime, we were able to have some relaxation time, checking out the various rooms. My favourite was the saunarium as it was not too hot, like some of the other ones.

The treatment included in the package was 50 minutes, and you got to choose what kind of treatment you wanted there and then, ideal if you are a bit indecisive like me. The treatments take place upstairs, away from the hustle and bustle of the spa downstairs. My mum and I had a shared room, and there was relaxing music playing throughout. We both had a split treatment, both of us starting with a 25-minute back massage. I then went on to have a 25-minute facial, and my mum a head massage.

We had to sign a consultation form beforehand and we could specify our skin type and if we wanted a particular area massaging (shoulders for me), so the products used were tailored to you.

So, yes, there were some bits of the spa that could be improved. If I was to give some advice to Clifford Day Spa on how to improve, it would be to reduce the number of people allowed in the spa at any one time, as it was very busy when we arrived and hard to relax. It soon quietened down though, and we came away feeling thoroughly relaxed. In terms of value for money though, you can’t go wrong. I’d just pick the time you visit very carefully to avoid the busy period!

Megan x

What Actually is Linguistics?

“What actually is linguistics?”

Gosh, if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me that question, I would be rich right now.

I have mentioned on this blog several times that I study French and Linguistics at university but have never gone into much depth about what linguistics is. The simplest explanation, I guess, is that it is the science of language. I, for one, would describe it differently. Yes, there are certainly scientific elements, but overall, linguistics for me is the study of language, whether that is indeed the scientific aspects or the social/cultural side of things. Here’s what you might be studying as a linguistics student:

Linguistics Word Picture

Yeah, there’s a lot of topics that linguistics incorporates, and I’m sure that my lecturers could add 100 more words to the picture. Nevertheless, linguistics is a fascinating subject with so many branches to explore.

This does make me wonder why more people don’t study linguistics. If you didn’t know what it was before, well you do now.

Just take a minute to think about how important language and communication is in your daily life. Blogging certainly would not exist if it weren’t for language. How do we know what sentences make sense? How have we acquired the language to be able to speak and write in the first place?

All these questions vital to our lives, and yet, I find it quite sad that there seems to be a lack of interest in the subject. For instance, at Leeds, there are over 34,000 students. In my year, there are only 4 of us studying French and Linguistics.

It’s time to put linguistics back on the map.

Megan x



My 2018 Wellness Goals

I’m doing it. A second post for 2018. So far, the blogging is looking good.

I will admit this post is not about me having a fitness journey and gaining rock hard abs or avoiding eating chocolate. Let’s be realistic here, that will never happen. I would like to talk to you about what has now become my New Year’s resolution, albeit starting a bit later in January.

Over the past few weeks, I have had my January exams, which means head down revising and made all the more stressful knowing that 2nd year counts towards my degree. By the time my exams actually came around, I felt fairly confident about the majority of them, but the prospect of having an exam, no matter in what subject or how you feel about it, is ridiculously nerve-wracking.

As I’m prone to anxiety anyway, this led to me having trouble sleeping. I remember I had one night in my first week back at uni when I didn’t sleep at all. This got me really panicked, and I even went home on the weekend just to get a few nights of good sleep. Needless to say, that when I came back to uni, my mind kept thinking back to the night of no sleep, and from then on, I only managed about 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. Considering I am usually a 9 hour-a-night kind of girl, this messed with my head, not what you need during exams.

Cut a long story short, it got me thinking of what I could do to help me sleep, but generally control my anxiety. The answer is wellness.

By simply going about my day-to-day life a bit differently, I am feeling better already, and most importantly, have had a few nights of better sleep. I’m not saying that my attempt at wellness is what a doctor or fitness guru would recommend, but it’s making me feel good, which is the main thing that matters. Like I said, there’s no way I’m giving up chocolate. Here are the things that I have been doing and will try my best to carry one doing to achieve wellness in 2018.


Calming corner in my room (plug socket not included!)

  • Fitness – I’m very lucky in that I get gym membership included with my halls at uni, although I have now upgraded it, so I can go on weekends. Before Christmas, I did go to the gym, but I didn’t have a routine, and wouldn’t stay for long. However, I have recently being going pretty much every day and doing a full on 30-40 minutes cardio workout, usually on the cross trainer. Not only do I feel more toned, but I’ve realised how important it is to make sure your mind and body are genuinely tired before you go to bed.
  • Diet – This hasn’t changed really, but I do make sure I have protein, carbs and fruit and veg, the usual stuff needed for a balanced diet. I don’t know if you saw my tweet the other day, but the chocolate cookies at uni are my weakness. For tonight, I have some dark chocolate instead (my excuse is that it does have some health benefits), as well as yoghurt and pineapple, so it’s not all bad! Another quick point, no caffeine in the afternoon has made such a difference to my sleep.
  • Mindfulness – I never thought I’d be one to meditate or do yoga, but it turns out I am! My flatmate (who has just set up a blog, Environmeg, give it a read, it’s great!) sent me a mindfulness meditation video on YouTubemeditation video on YouTube. It’s only ten minutes and is ideal to listen to in the middle of the day when you need to have a break and rest yourself. My flatmates and I also went to a Yoga Nidra session on Friday night, which was so relaxing, I will definitely be doing it again.
  • Bedtime – In terms of sleep routine, I have not changed much. I go to bed around 10 and wake up at 7ish. The past few nights, I have started reading before I go to sleep. I had not ready a fiction book in ages, as I usually am reading academic texts, so don’t feel in the mood to read a book. I decided to take myself off to the library though, and the past couple of nights, I have drifted off pretty quickly. Now I know why they say to not look at screens before bed!
  • My room – I think that your surroundings play a big part in mindfulness. Whilst it’s nice to have lots of decorations and posters, to create a more homely feel, at uni, my room isn’t the biggest, and I like to have the space and tidiness. I do have a love for marble, pastel colours and plants (false ones at uni), which add to the feeling of being relaxed.

I hope this is helpful to those of you, who like me, get a bit stressed sometimes. I feel like I have already achieved a great deal by living more mindfully.

Megan x

Hello 2018!

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a ridiculously long time since I have blogged, or even posted on social media, but it’s 2018 and time to change that!

You may all be wondering what I have been up to these past few months, so I am going to give you a summary that hopefully will not go on for too long!

1. Summer

If you follow my Instagram page, you will have noticed a couple of posts documenting my Cornwall holiday back in July. It was lovely to get away for a couple of weeks and, needless to say, most of the places we visited were dependent on where Poldark is filmed!

The first week of the holiday was spent near Padstow, and the second on the Lizard, which was ideal because the landscape is totally different. Let’s just say that if you haven’t been to Kynance Cove, get yourself there now (although perhaps when it gets a little warmer, it’s currently snowing at uni)!

2. University

In September, I went to university to start my 2nd year! I can’t believe how fast the time is flying! French and Linguistics has proved to be more challenging this year, partly why I haven’t blogged. I had more modules last semester too, so the workload was heavy, but I’m doing one less module now so hope to have a bit more time.

I decided to go back to halls this year, which was the right choice for me, as I am on campus and have met some amazing new friends. Being in close proximity to the gym means I actually go too! I even upgraded my membership as it’s a great way to relieve yourself of stress (I have just had exams, so the gym proved to be useful). I know, me going to the gym, crazy right?

I have joined the university newspaper this year, which is a lot of fun, so I plan to share some articles with you. I’m still doing my freelance work, so overall, there’s a lot of writing going on!

3. Christmas

2017 saw another lovely Christmas. After spending Christmas down in Surrey with my dad’s side of the family, the four of us (me, Mum, Dad, Brother) had a short break in Cheddar Gorge, and stayed in a lovely lodge with a hot tub. That really was a treat!

I guess that’s the past few months for you in a nutshell! The question is, what does 2018 bring?

For one thing, blogging! I have really missed it, and it’s definitely the right time to get back to it.

In August, I will no longer be a teenager and it’s scaring me! That’s right, this is my 20th year on the planet, so it’s a big one!

The biggest change for me this year, is that in September I will start my year abroad! I have applied to be a British Council Language Assistant in France, so I will keep you updated about that, although I won’t hear anything until the spring. Excited and nervous at the same time for this!

That’s enough of me babbling on for now I think. Let me know what you’d like to see on the blog in 2018 and I look forward to catching up with my favourite blogs.

It’s good to be back!

Megan x