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

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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

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.

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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

Resurfacing After Almost a Month!

Hello everyone! I thought I’d give you a little update as to what is happening, as I am aware that I have not done a blog post in over 20 days and haven’t been active on social media until posting on Instagram a couple of days ago.

A lot of us have experienced the pressures of exams at some point and if you’re like me, this time is still going on. This is my first year of university exams, so the past month has been a ‘head down and study’ kind of time, which has unfortunately meant taking a break from blogging, social media and freelancing. Basically, anything creative!

This morning, I had my first exam though, so thought I’d take a little break just to say hello to you all. I have 2 more exams next week, the last being on the 26th, so I hope to be back to full-blown blogging and writing after that.

I can’t wait to work on my blog over the summer and get it to the best possible level. I also have an exciting project that I will be developing when I move back home for the summer and I cannot wait to reveal it, which if all goes to plan, would be in a couple of months.

In other news:

  • My blog turns 1 on the 29th of May, so get ready for some serious posting then, as I celebrate the end of exams and my blog’s birthday!
  • I set up a Depop account, which you can access here.
  • I am living on campus come October! Looking forward to getting fully immersed in uni life and organising my year abroad! Where did the time go?!

That’s all for now, I promise to check back in next weekend, no doubt feeling relieved that exams are finished. This time is certainly a stressful one, so if you need a few tips on managing your revision, take a look back at my exam survival post that I did in January.

See you soon,

Megan x

If We Were Having Tea…

I think an interesting type of post to read at the moment is one of those ones entitled ‘If We Were Having Coffee’. I love getting to know bloggers more and they are a brilliant way of writing totally random things that wouldn’t always fit into your blog categories. It is for these reasons that I wanted to share my own version with you.

First of all, we would be having tea, not coffee, because tea is amazing.

File:Nice Cup of Tea.jpg

If we were having tea, it would be a proper traditional huge mug of English Breakfast tea. I can’t be doing with fruit or herbal teas, I even struggle with Earl Grey, but I can quite happily sit and drink classic English Breakfast all day long. In the afternoon, I’d have to switch to decaf, otherwise I can’t sleep.

If we were having tea, we’d have to have a slice of cake too. As you know now, I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, so tea and cake are an unbreakable combination.

If we were having tea, I’d share with you the idea for my secret business plan. I really like the idea I have come up with, but it’s something that would require a lot of time and consideration, so it is not yet for public hearing, but if you are intrigued, drop me an email at meganelifestyle@hotmail.com to find out more. I would love to get some feedback on my idea!

If we were having tea, I would tell you how ridiculously excited I am for the new final episodes of PLL in a couple of weeks. I am rewatching some of my old favourites to build up to the finale.

If we were having tea, I would tell you about how much I love baths. I’m having one practically every night whilst I am back home for the Easter holidays. The Radox bubble baths are a favourite in my household.

If we were having tea, I might bore you a little as there’s a high chance I could start rambling on about something French and Linguistics related. I frequently get told to be quiet at home because of this. I like to put a positive spin on this and say it’s good that I’m passionate about what I’m learning.

If we were having tea, I would invite you to rant with me about how annoying Instagram is. I love the concept but am so sick of the unfollow game. I follow people because I like their feed, not because I want a follow back.

If we were having tea, we’d discuss summer. I like spring, but it’s that awkward time between winter and summer when you’re not quite sure what the weather is going to do and you have a mountain of revision and exams looming. I can’t wait for Cornwall in the summer holidays.

If we were having tea, I would tell you about other amazing bloggers such as A Piece of Viola and Emily Becca who have fantastic ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ posts.

If we were having tea, I’d make sure that I’d have my diary with me, so that we can organise to do this again some time.

Megan x

 

 

 

 

The Blue Sky Tag

I’ve never done The Blue Sky Tag award before, but it looks so fun, so thank you to Anna from Diversion3000 for nominating me!

Rules:

  • Answer 11 questions given to you
  • Tag 11 people
  • Give 11 questions

Anna has set some brilliant questions, so here goes:

  1. What’s the last dessert you’ve eaten? Chocolate Brownie, my go-to dessert.
  2. If someone made a movie about you, who would you want to play your character? Hmm, difficult. At the moment, I really like Liana Liberato and Evanna Lynch as actresses.
  3. Post-it notes or agendas? (I know this is a stupid question, I just wanna know what you think) Not a stupid question. I would have to say agendas because I like to have everything in one place. Post-it notes are still great though.
  4. What’s a clothing trend you’ve been into lately? Definitely stripes. Simple, but they make a statement. They also have a Parisian feel which I love.
  5. What’s your last funny memory? Honestly, I’m so clumsy it’s too hard to choose!
  6. What are 2 annoying habits people have that you can’t stand? (ya know, pet peeves) 1) People rustling wrappers or packets of food in the cinema when the film is starting. 2) When you go shopping and people are looking at clothes and scrape the hangers along the clothing rail. I’m pretty sure that triggered a migraine once!
  7. Speaking of the sky, do you like rainbows? Of course. Why wouldn’t you?
  8. What do you think of exam essay questions? Exam essay questions are ridiculous. We get given essay assignments to write over 2 or 3 weeks at uni, yet we are expected to write an essay in a 2-hour exam. No thank you!
  9. What are you wearing right now, pyjamas or normal clothes? Sadly, normal clothes. Look forward to bedtime when I can change into my PJs though!
  10. Can you share 3 blog posts of yours you’re very proud of? 1) The Classic Victoria Sandwich – I had only just started this blog and for some reason this post did really well and got 23 likes! 2) MY STORY FOR SPINA BIFIDA AND HYDROCEPHALUS AWARENESS WEEK 2016 #GOYELLOW – It felt really empowering to tell my story and donate money to Shine Charity. 3) How to Be a Student and a Blogger – Again another successful post. This really encouraged me that my blog should be more of a lifestyle blog and is part of how I brand myself now.
  11. Do you have a name for objects like your phone, speaker, laptop, camera (…)? Not really, I just call them by their normal names.

I would like to nominate the 11 following amazing bloggers:

  1. EmilyBecca
  2. Sophie Gladwell
  3. Ella May Garrett
  4. Lauren Lizabeth
  5. Life of Blind
  6. Scribbled Dreams
  7. Cookwithsmileblog
  8. Ramblings of Another Uni Graduate
  9. Okaay Then
  10. Just Elm
  11. Lifewithlilred

And here are my questions:

  1. Onesie or Dressing Gown?
  2. Bath or Shower?
  3. What song are you currently obsessed with? (Mine is Green Light by Lorde)
  4. If you could have any chocolate bar in the world what would it be?
  5. You’re having dinner with a historical figure, who would it be?
  6. Why do you like blogging?
  7. What is your favourite blog to read at the moment?
  8. Cosy night in or wild night out?
  9. Where do you dream of visiting and why?
  10. What is your go-to choice for brunch?
  11. In your opinion, what is the best sitcom? (Friends, I’m not biased or anything!)

There we have it. My Blue Sky Tag. I hope you feel like you know me a bit better and I look forward to reading everyone’s posts!

Megan x