Monday, 25 August 2014

Saving Money at Unversity Top Tips

Following on from the University Mini Series I started last week I am back with a new post all about saving money as a student. This is super important as once the money is gone, it’s gone and overdrafts are scary things! So the tips are as follows:

1) Smart price is your new best friend.

2) Freeze your bread if you aren’t likely to use a whole loaf in one week, or buy a smaller loaf. This saves on throwing out mouldy food. 

3) Buy fruit and veg from markets or veg stalls. Buying from these places is not only good for local businesses but also better for you as the fruit is a lot cheaper.

4) Learn to cook. One thing I learnt to make is homemade chips in the oven. One large potato from a market can cost as little as 20p and can make enough chips for 1-2 people.
5) When buying fabric softener, pour three quarters of it into a separate bottle and fill the original bottle with water. This works exactly the same as the original fabric softener it just lasts 4 times as long

6) Buy a money box you can’t get into! I bought a money box you can only open with a tin opener and started putting loose change in there after I’d been to town or shopping and it started filling up pretty quickly. I had over £60 in just a couple of months. This is a great way of saving for when your bank balance is looking dismal.

7) Student discount. Need I say more?

The next few tips are more along the lines of earning extra money rather than saving money but it all helps in the long run to try keep you out of your overdraft.

1) Aside from watching your pennies the best advice I have for saving money (or earning more shall I say) is a part time job. Get involved with the Student Ambassadors scheme at your university or apply for jobs working within the students union. These pay more than regular jobs and often the work is more flexible so you can avoid clashing with work with lectures.  

2) If you are doing an English/creative writing/journalism degree or if you enjoy writing, look up iTrigga. This is a company that hire you to work from home writing short advertising articles on different products. I am unsure of the pay but I imagine it is all good experience that is relevant to your course and will help to keep you earning money. It may also give you an idea of the career you want to pursue in the future. You have to send off a sample of your written work to the company to see if it meets their standards and then based on that they will employ you.

3) Install Qmee to your browser. If you search a lot through google this is a great one for you. You search as normal and sometimes an advert will appear in the sidebar of your search results with an amount next to it (i.e 6p). If this is relevant to your needs click this and 6p will be added to your Qmee piggy bank. There is no minimal amount you can withdraw from Qmee and it can be withdrawn straight to your paypal account. This is a great tool to use as you are saving as you go, albeit very small amounts but it all adds up in the end.

I hope this was helpful to you, it’s a little different to last week’s post but also very useful to know! If you have any further tips to add please leave them in the comments box!

Monday, 18 August 2014

University Tips - Moving into Halls of Residence

This is the start of a University series on my blog. I will be posting about what to take, tips for moving into halls and tips for moving into a house. I will add in anything I feel is important to know!

I have been at Staffordshire University for three years now and in September I will be entering my fourth. The reason I’ve been there so long is because I had what is known as a ‘false start’. This is where you apply to study one course but find it isn’t for you and switch to another course. I completed one year of an Early Childhood Studies degree and then switched to Film Production Technology. I have lived in halls and in a house so I have experience with both

If you are starting university in September then my advice for you is as follows:
Join the Facebook groups for your chosen university/accomodation – post an introductory post to who you are, what you will be studying and where you will be living! This is a great way to find people from the same area/course/halls as you and an excellent way of making friends.

Talk to as many people as you can before you go! – This is something that really helped me before I moved in. I found all my flatmates and spoke to them loads before moving in so once we all got there it felt like we’d known each other ages and all slotted together to form a group. I also spoke to people from my course which meant I recognised some faces when I attended the welcome week activities for my course!

Bring some things to decorate your room. – I think this is essential. You need to make your bedroom into a place you want to be and somewhere you feel comfortable. I didn’t unpack my things for about a month when I first moved in and I hated being in my bedroom, it wasn’t comforting and it just meant I had a rough few weeks. Once I had unpacked I felt much more comfortable and more accepting of the fact that this is where I will be living for the next 9 months.

Don’t visit home before Christmas. – This one’s a little bit tricky I suppose but I would recommend not going home until Christmas. This is because the first three months are crucial for making bonds with people and finding your feet living away from home. If you go home every weekend you are likely to miss out on a lot of activities within the friendship group and you also won’t feel as independent.

Make sure attend lectures (and actually pay attention). – This one sounds so obvious but it’s something that a surprising amount of people don’t do. It’s all well and good to go out partying every night and hang out with your friends until the early hours but if that mean’s missing your 9am lecture, is it worth it in the long run? Make notes and re-read them a few days later to see if you still understand. This is your future and you need to work for it. First year doesn’t count towards your overall grade but it is still very important as it covers all the basics you need to know for the rest of your degree.

I do have a lot more to say on this subject but I will save it for now. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! I am happy to help, it’s a very exciting time in your life so be prepared for a truly great 3 years!

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Liebster Award

This is actually the second time I have been nominated for this award but I deleted the original post when I restarted my blog earlier this year. I was really happy to be nominated again, this time by the lovely Hera from Hello Hera.

The rules this time round seem to differ slightly to the original one I was tagged in but I will adhere to the rules stated in Hera’s post. 

So here are the rules:
1) Post the award on your blog
2) Thank the blogger who awarded you and provide a link to their blog
3) Write 11 random facts about yourself
4) Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
5) Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who presented you with the award
6) Ask 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.

It all seems very focussed on the number 11! So let’s get started.

11 Random Facts About Me
1) I used to be left handed before I was hospitalised with pneumonia when I was two years old, the doctors assumed I preferred my right hand and placed the splint and drip on my left hand. I had to learn to use my right hand for everything during my stay and now I am right handed. Weird!

2) Following my recent holiday to Greece (June 2014, photo’s here) I seem to have caught the travel bug and after never having flown before, I now want to fly everywhere and visit everywhere!

3) I study Film Production Technology and Staffordshire University and I think I regret this decision a lot. Not the decision to go to university, just the decision of which course to study. Choose wisely!

4) I rarely wear make-up (except mascara, eye liner and lipstick on a night out) and I desperately want to change this. I just need someone to help me pick products and shades that suit me, and then show me how to apply it!

5) I am the second child of 4 children and would say I am the most spoilt, not by my parents necessarily but by everyone in my life. I’m not complaining though!

6) I am allergic to cats but I wouldn’t like them anyway even if I wasn’t. I am not an animal lover at all. Except for one special little bug in my life, my hamster (I think there’s a question about pets below so more on him later).

7) I once scored 100% on an essay I wrote the night before the deadline and thought for sure I’d failed.

8) I am far better at written assignments than practical ones which is why the third year of my degree scares me as, although there is a lot of writing involved, there is a LOT of practical work to go with it which I am just no good at.

9) I am still quite new to the blogging world and would love some blogging friends in my area! I live in Stafford, Staffordshire so anyone from around there send me a tweet!

10) I have recently become obsessed with youtube and spend most of the day watching vlogs, hauls and my favourites get ready with me videos!

11) (This writing facts about myself is really hard…) I have naturally ginger hair but much prefer it when it’s dyed purple. However, I have had to stop dying my hair in an effort to grow it to a much longer length. It’s a very slow process!

That was very tough! All my facts are quite long winded too, sorry guys! Now onto the questions Hera asked.

Hera's Questions 
What was the last thing you ate? – the last thing I ate was a homemade cupcake I made yesterday. My boyfriend brought it up to me whilst I was having a lie down due to a migraine, the little cutie.

Long nails or short nails? – I love the look of long nails more so than short but every time my nails grow long the snap off at work. I would say middle length nails are best though!

What time is it right now? – The time is 00.56am Friday 15th August (although by the time this goes live it will be a very different time altogether!)

When was the last time you went on holiday and where? – Ooo I didn’t realise this would be a question! The last time I went on holiday was June 22d 2014 when I went to Thassos, Greece for two weeks and spent my 21st birthday there too. Just my luck to spend my birthday in a country that doesn’t celebrate birthday’s though.

Favourite Disney film? – Has to be Cinderella doesn’t it! I used to watch it every single day when I was younger, and also played one of the ugly sisters in an assembly in primary school.

Any pets? – Yes! Just the one, my lovely little Russian Dwarf Hamster Humbug! I love him so much, he’s just the cutest!

How long have you been blogging for? – Well, I have been blogging in total for over a year now but I recently decided my nail blog just wasn’t enough to fill my interests so I deleted everything and started again with the blog I’m writing now. I feel so much happier now that I am not contained to just one niche and I am able to write all the things I want to.

How long was your longest break from blogging? Hours? Days? Etc. – My longest break has to be a few months as I was stuck with where I wanted my blog to go. I didn’t want to start a new blog and lose interest again if it didn’t work out how I wanted so I took a few months to sort out where I wanted it to go before starting up again.

What colour is your hair? – Natural redhead.

Favourite scent/smell? – Ooo, this is a tough one! My Flirty Alice perfume is one of my favourite smells but then my boyfriend’s Hugo Boss aftershave is pretty nice too! And the smell of Christmas, the wrapping paper, new things, food. I think its Christmas. Christmas is my favourite smell!

Your biggest achievement? – That’s a tough one! I really don’t know this one at all. Nothing is coming to my mind as something I have achieved but I’m sure there’s lots of things! I can’t answer this one, sorry!

My questions to those I am about to nominate are:
1) How long have you been blogging?
2) Who was your inspiration for starting a blog/what was the reason you started blogging?
3) Where in the world would you most like to visit?
4) Do you have any pets?
5) What is your favourite colour?
6) What was your most favourite blog post you have ever written?
7) (This one isn't really a question but I thought I would stick it in anyway) Check out my Favourite Memories for Alzheimers post and write one of your own!
8) How many siblings do you have?
9) Do your friends and family know about your blog?
10) If you could guest post on any blog, which would it be and why?
11) What is your favourite food?

These were all very random questions but just go with it! Next up are my nominees. I haven’t actually got 11 people to nominate, I have 4 so if you want to take part then go ahead and say I nominated you!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Mini Wishlist


This is a bit of a mixed wishlist of things I want to buy on payday (22nd August can not come quick enough!). 

One - Sass & Belle Blue Bird Wire Jewellery Holder. I love this so much! I think it would look gorgeous on my bedside table with my necklaces hanging off it, or even without them. It's so cute! I'm really into this style at the minute, it's just perfect.

Two - Sleek Bare Skin Foundation in the shade White Rose. This is a bit of a scary purchase for me as, believe it or not, it will be my first foundation purchase ever! I swatched it on my hand in Superdrug the other week and it is the first foundation that seems to be my skin tone. It didn't look orange at all and I thought for the price, I might as well go for it!

Three - Real Techniques Starter Set for eyes. I love eyeshadow. I've recently been binge watching Get Ready With Me videos on youtube and everyone seems to have these brushes and it makes their eyeshadow look flawless! Since I'm trying to experiment more with eyeshadow I need these brushes!

Four - Black Gladiator Block Heel Sandals. These sandals are not something I would usually go for but I absolutely love them! They are in the sale too so what's not to love!

Five - Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir. I got a sample of this perfume in a Glossybox sometime last year and I have loved it since then! I've been meaning to purchase it for such a long time now it's about time I just did it!

What do you think to my wishlist this time round? Anything on here you have or would like? Whats on your wishlist for when payday comes around? Let me know in the comments section below!

Friday, 1 August 2014

August Blogging Goals

I think it’s important to have goals in different aspects of your life. It gives you something to work towards and a sense of achievement when you reach these goals. My blog has been a bit hit and miss recently with whether or not posts go live. I posted three times in the month of July and only once in June which is a far cry from what I wanted the numbers to be. With this in mind I have set up some goals for myself for the blogging month ahead.

Post 2 outfit of the day’s (OOTD) – this is an idea I have been toying with for a while. I love looking at people’s OOTDs and always want to join in myself but feel like I don’t wear nice enough clothes or I’m not fashionable enough. However, August is the month I am going to get over that and post two! Especially since I will have a garden to take pictures in.

Post two posts a week – in my 101in 1001 post I specified that I would like to post 4 times a week for a month but I feel like that is too much pressure for me right now so my aim is for 2.

Post three day trip posts – In my 25 things to do this summer post I wrote about how I would like to visit some new places and revisit some places I have already been when the weather gets nicer. I love exploring new places and I love writing about them here on my blog. Bearing in mind I am back to work on Sunday (the 3rd August) I am hoping to fit in some days out this month.

Post more nail art – When I first started blogging my main goal was to document my journey in nail art to see how I improved over time. This has slipped significantly since I restarted my blog to add in other areas I wanted to write about. However I still love painting my nails and need to find time for it again.

I think four goals are enough for this month as I do not want to put too much pressure on myself and take the fun out of blogging. I’m hoping to meet all four goals and will do a round up post at the end of the month to assess how I did.

Do you think goals are important? Do you set goals for yourself in blogging or in life? If you have, leave me your links below so I can read your goals for the month ahead!