/ BECC4

11.11.18

Sick Tings 029

So, I know I said I wasn't going to let Christmas content seep onto here until December, but oops, it's early November and I just couldn't help myself. This week has been far less busy than the last, which I am more than grateful for. That being said, I haven't been to the gym as much as I'd have liked to and I still feel like I'm up to my eyeballs in assignments, but yanno, you win some you lose some.

Ahh, Monday, a busy one as usual. I had my morning lecture, followed by a uni lunch date with my gal pals and then another lecture in the afternoon. I then went home and did a bit more work before heading back out to attend sign language. Last week we learnt family members and sexuality, so if you ever need someone to sign that your brother is gay or your auntie in law is straight, I'm here and happy to help.

Tuesday was slightly less busy than usual but started with an early morning gym session. Anna and I headed to the gym for 8ish and spent an hour or so chatting, catching up and occasionally doing a few sit-ups. Following that, I had my economics lab and then a group meeting with my project group. We've decided to do a psychology based project, which as a Psychology student who was a bit out of her depth in economics, I'm really really pleased about. Tuesday evening saw me attend photography society where we were practicing using flash - this has by far been my least favourite session so far, fingers crossed I enjoy next weeks a little more! I came away feeling that I hadn't really learnt anything which was a shame...

I don't have lectures on a Wednesday so my day is usually pretty empty. This week, however, I spent pretty much the entire day in a computer suite working on a group project that's due next week. We've definitely gone above and beyond what's needed and I'm really pleased with what we've designed. Welllll worth all the extra effort. I also received my results for one of the oral presentations I did last week and your girl only went and got a first, woop woop.

Thursday saw me spend another few hours in a computer suite working on the aforementioned group project and another few in a lecture. I enjoy my Thursday afternoons - they're always really interesting. I spent the rest of the day catching up on uni work, scheduling blog posts and creating #ahomelychristmas... So, if you hadn't already heard, #ahomelychristmas is my new baby. It's an Instagram hashtag I've created that's going to act as a hub for alllll things Christmas. I'm thinking flatlays, food, decor, gift guides, outfits, the lot. It's already got a few followers and there are four posts up already - I'd love it if you could check it out!

After a busy few weeks, I was really pleased when Friday rolled around. I've spent this weekend at home-home, and so on Friday my Dad came to pick me up from Uni. In the afternoon, we went to Cafe Nero to sample our first Christmas drinks of the season - I had the winter spice hot chocolate. I also managed to rope my sister into helping me take some Instagram content, so that's pretty much the extent of my Friday.

On Saturday morning I went to visit my Nannie and took her for her food shop. My sister's car is parked at her house until she passes her test, so we had a sit in it and turned the engine on for a bit. It's so weird to think that my LITTLE sister is 18 this year AND has a car of her own... In the afternoon my parents, sister and I all headed into town for lunch and some shopping. We went to Handmade Burger Company, and I'm gonna be honest, I wasn't suuuuper impressed. Having been blown away by Red Dog Saloon recently it just didn't meet my newly increased expectations. I then had my second festive drink - Starbucks' Salted Caramel Brownie Hot Chocolate, which, can I say, is delicious. I bought a dark brown hair dye whilst we were out so spent my evening having my hair dyed by my sister and I love it. I need to get more into the habit of keeping up with it because I really like how my hair looks dark even if I look a bit Casper the friendly ghost.

Sunday morning was a bit of a fail. We headed out for a walk, got about five minutes into it before it started pouring down and we were making a mad dash for the car. I had my third festive drink of the season (and completed the holy trinity) Costa's Gingerbread Hot Chocolate. I went for a big old food shop this afternoon and have been working on my dissertation ever since. We have our first deadline at the end of the month and it's suddenly dawned on me just how soon that is...

What have you been up to this week?
Have you tried any of this year's festive hot drinks?

Posts published this week: 

10.11.18

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Birchbox


Just loooooook at this box - isn't it gorgeous?! Yes, I know it's only the beginning of November but I am so so ready for the festive season to begin. Now, I've posted about Birchbox and my opinions of the boxes I've received here, here and here, and on the whole, I've been fairly impressed! The theme for this month's box is Disney's new Christmas film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and I just can't get over the gorgeous packaging. Get ready to see it make many a feature over on my Instagram. (Sidenote, I have since created my own Christmassy hashtag; #ahomelychristmas and I'd love it if you could get on board). Anyway, onto this months products...

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Roller Shadow
Okay, so shall we just talk about how noughties this product is?!?! I think the last time I held a rollerball shadow was in 2006 getting ready for a school disco aka an evening of Gnarls Barkley Crazy and orange capri suns. Nonetheless, the shade is a beautiful warm copper and gives a lovely shimmer to the lid. It retails for £15 so isn't something I'd recommend rushing out to buy.

Paul & Joe Illuminating Foundation Primer
I don't usually use a primer, yep, I know I'm a bit of a fraud of a beauty blogger, but this is definitely something that I'm going to give a whirl over the festive period. It's really light, has an unoffensive scent and gives the skin a subtle yet dewy glow. It also claims to hydrate and firm - I'll report back to let you know if this is the case or not.

Polaar Polar Night Cream
This is a night cream that contains boreal algae (nope, I have no idea either) that acts to brighten and rejuvenate the skin. It also claims to smooth the skin and recharge it with oxygen (again, still no idea). I'll definitely be giving this product a full test purely out of curiosity more than anything... Algae?.. Oxygen recharging?..

Dr. PAWPAW Original Clear Balm 
Now, this is a product I've heard a lot about over the years over here in the blogosphere. It's apparently a bit of a miracle-working multi-use product which is going to be oh so handy as we roll into the colder months. I've been using the Nuxe lip balm for the longest time so I'm interested to see how this compares...

Spacemasks Self-Heating Eye Mask
A bit of a curve-ball, and something I didn't even know existed until I received it... It's an eye mask that contains jasmine and heats up when taken out of the packet. (So, I took mine out to take photos for this post and think I consequently ended up wasting it, so, unfortunately, won't be able to comment on this one!)

Overall, I really like this box and I'm really excited to give the Dr. PAWPAW balm and night cream a go! Of all of the products, the roller eyehsadow is by far my least favourite despite being a nice shade nonetheless...

Have you ever tried Birchbox?
Which is your favourite product from this box?

9.11.18

Choosing The Perfect Student House


If you have clicked onto this post hoping to discover a comprehensive list of tips for finding the perfect student house then all I can do is apologize. The title of this post may almost certainly be 100% clickbait and spoiler alert: perfect student housing doesn't exist. But, now that you're here let me impart some of the little wisdom I have in this area, being in my final year of university.

There is no rush
Let me just repeat this one, there is no rush. During my first year we were absolutely terrified into choosing a house within the first few months amidst rumours that the houses would 'run out' and only the 'bad ones would be left'. Well, trust me, this is all artificial pressure from the estate agents. There are more than enough houses to go around, and alright ones at that.

Look for mould, everywhere
Student houses are mouldy, and some are significantly worse than others (my second year house for example). Take your time to look around for mould, the estate agent is hardly going to point it out for you. Our landlord last year bought us a dehumidifier but took it back after a few weeks, so that was the end of that, back to mould city for us.

Speak to the current tenants, alone
I think this is my biggest piece of advice of all and I cannot stress it enough. If you get the chance and there's somebody around, go and ask them what they think of the house. I did this at a few of the houses we were looking at and fortunately, this saved us from another crappy student house. Ask if there are any major issues and if the landlord is helpful if things go wrong!

Really think about who you want to live with
This one ties into the first one, but genuinely consider who you want to live with. Just because you lived with someone last year doesn't mean that you have to live with them again this year. And the same with coursemates, just because you sit in lectures together it doesn't mean you'd still be best buds after arguing about who left the skidmarks left in the toilet and the overflowing bins that need to be taken out.

Ask about what's included 
This seems like an obvious one but is something we forgot to do when we viewed our current house. We'd seen so many and asked so many questions that we just didn't think to ask about anything. So, guess who had to make porridge on the hob and forgo their cup of tea when they realized the house didn't come with a microwave or a kettle. (For reference, I know you can boil water on the hob, I just chose not to). So yeah, ask what comes with the house and what belongs to the current tenants...


Do you have any student housing horror stories?

7.11.18

Phong Nha, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do





Our bus left Hue at 1.30 in the afternoon meaning we arrived in Phong Nha at about 6.30pm. We checked into our hotel (it sounds fancier than it was, it was a hotel, but we were in an 8 bed shared room) and dumped our bags, then headed for dinner. There are quite a lot of restaurants on the main backpackers street in Phong Nha, but we settled on 'Bamboo' for our first meal there. It's an Eco Cafe, and was absolutely packed, so we took that as an indicator of how good the food was, and oh my, we were not disappointed. I had the chicken curry and it was AMAZING. It was one of the first meals in Vietnam I'd had where the chicken actually resembled and tasted like chicken. We then headed back for an early night having spent the majority of the day on a tiny minibus.


The next morning we woke up early, had breakfast at our hotel, and then headed to the lobby to wait for our bus to the caves. We'd booked a whole day tour through our hotel, and the day started with a trip to the 8 Ladies Cave and the memorial. This was really interesting and is part of most of the cave tour packages.

Following this, we drove to the next stop and climbed 700m worth of steps to the Paradise Cave. It was huuuuge, really cold (amazing after that sweaty climb) and beautiful. I've seen a few caves in my time but nothing that compares to that - it truly was stunning. If you're ever in Phong Nha, you HAVE to go and see it. Our trip included lunch, so we drove to the dark cave and were provided lunch there. This was the usual buffet style with all sorts of dishes to try. I opted for the veggie version and it was really tasty.  After this, we queued up for our harnesses and headed to the start of the zipline. At the Dark Cave, you take it in turns to zipline to the mouth of the cave. They take photos for you mid-air, which are freely available on their Facebook page the next day.

We then swam to the entrance to the cave, and realized just how necessary the head-torches were. It's not called the Dark Cave for nothing. We trekked through the cave until we reached the mud bath, which, can I just say was the weirdest sensation ever. When you're in the mud, you just float. I'm talking Dead Sea, floating without even trying kind of floating. We went down a natural mudslide and then headed back out of the cave to civilization. There were kayaks waiting for us, so we kayaked in pairs over to the water sports area. Here, there were swings, assault courses, the whole shebang. We then had a rum and coke before being driven back to the hostel in the minivan. All of the above was included in the price (£45), so I'd highly recommend the Cave tour if you're not on a tight budget.

That evening we had a night out - nope, we weren't expecting Phong Nha to have any nightlife either. But, it was good fun and we were surprised by just how many other backpackers were in Phong Nha too - you never see anyone in the daytime. We had drinks at the Easy Tiger Hostel and then headed to Andy's Disco Club.

The following day was a very relaxed one, spent in the pool and laying around in the sun. For lunch, we went and had an incredible pizza at Capture Vietnam. That evening we had dinner at Bamboo again and I had the chicken curry for a second time it was that good. We then waited for our night bus and saw our first proper Asia-style torrential rain, thankfully we were waiting inside. The bus arrived an hour late, was overbooked and had the WORST smelling toilet on board. Sleeper buses... You win some, you lose some.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Very very quiet but with restaurants as far as the eye can see.

THINGS TO DO 
- The Caves 

TIPS AND ADVICE 
- Look around for your cave trip, some are significantly more expensive than others
- Take plenty of bug spray, the caves are in the jungle

WHERE I STAYED & REVIEW
Heritage By Night Hotel

The pool was 100% what sold it to us. Being a hotel, the private rooms were of course significantly better than the hostel room, and I personally wouldn't choose to stay there again. It had a really weird vibe, the staff weren't very friendly and having been into a few of the other hostels, I wouldn't recommend it. 

HOW LONG TO STAY?
2 days - the cave trip takes an entire day, and with the bus timings 2 days is perfect

4.11.18

Sick Tings 028

Happy November! I know we're still 7 weeks from Christmas, but now that Halloween has been and gone I am so so so in the mood for Christmas. For anyone that doesn't want to be hearing the C word just yet, rest assured, Christmassy content will not be gracing becc4.co.uk until December. I'm not so sure I can make the same promises for my Instagram, however. Is it too soon to start posting festive flatlays? I hope not because I've already started taking a few and I just want you all to see them.

Oh, Monday, what a stressful day you were. Monday morning saw me do my first graduate interview, a video one. I'd never done a video one before and really wasn't sure what to expect, so it's fair to say it had playing on my mind. It was way less daunting than I'd expected and the questions I was asked were really interesting, so moral of the story; chill out, you got this. I haven't heard back from them, so fingers crossed I will do soon.

My afternoon was then spent delivering a presentation to about 70 of my cohort on a research paper my group and I had read. Again, this was a fairly daunting task as it was by far the largest crowd I've ever spoken in front of so far. My evening was far more relaxed you'll be pleased to hear. It was my housemate's 21st so we all piled into Red Dog Saloon for burgers and dirty fries. I had the Gooey Louie burger and the chicken and bacon fries, and they were both incredible. I highly recommend.

Tuesday was another busy day with lectures, meetings, and a gym session. Not a lot more to report, just a day full of uni stuff really.

On Wednesday I went and visited the hospital as part of the Business Programme I am a part of. Four others and I are currently doing some work for them, so this week we went to see them in action. It was actually really inspiring and when the project is complete I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Ahhhh, Halloween. A very last minute, all over the place night that ended in the midnight curry house, standard. I wore my famous pumpkin costume once again but unfortunately, once we got to the club it was already one in one out and the queue was huuuuuge. Speaking of getting to the club, our Uber was a Tesla?!?! So that was pretty cool. We then walked to the Indian restaurant and all chowed down on a drunken tikka masala and naan.

Thursday aka presentation number two day. This semester I have presentations in all of my modules and two of them just so happened to fall in the same week. So, yeah, it's fair to say the last few weeks have been very busy and full of group meetings. This presentation also went really well, it was on the factors affecting teenage conception, and the facts we found whilst researching the topic were suuuper interesting! We just have some follow up work to complete and then we don't have anything else to worry about for the module until the January exams.

I had another meeting with my dissertation supervisor on Friday and I'm definitely making some good headway with it now. I've come up with my research question and have found the majority of my references, so I'm well on track for our first deadline at the end of the month. I spent most of Friday afternoon in the gym and am already seeing improvements in my strength, so cheers to that pals. Friday evening saw me attend house party one of the week and my second night out of the week - who is this girl and where has third-year Grandma Becca gone?!

Saturday morning was spent catching up on work and then I took myself into town in the afternoon. I hadn't been into town in a whileee and I just really enjoyed having a wander around all the shops. The primary aim of the trip was to pick up some gifts for my upcoming gift guides and some decorations for Christmassy flatlays and you'll be pleased to hear I succeeded on both. When I got home I made nachos and fajitas for dinner before heading to house party number two.

I have had a leisurely Sunday today. I woke up and had brunch, have stayed in my pjs all day and am currently cooking a roast dinner. I've become a bit obsessed with making roast potatoes on a Sunday and haven't missed a week in a while now. Why did it take me until third year to discover how easy they are to make?!?

What have you been up to this week?
Opinions on me posting Christmassy content already?


Posts Published This Week:

2.11.18

Leopard & Grey



Would you look at that. It's Becca in an outfit that isn't a typical Becca outfit. Hooray for change and style evolution. At Sixth Form, all I used to wear was monochrome, so you could say my style has just gone full circle I suppose. Now, don't get me wrong, I still love my bright colours and mom jeans, but sometimes events are a little fancier and teddy bear coats don't quite fit the bill.

I don't think I've ever owned a grey coat in my life, but I'm actually really loving it. Grey is a colour I usually try to stay away from, I'm not sure why, but I think it works really well with these trousers, which, could have an entire post dedicated to them alone. I love them. A monochrome, leopard culotte. Is there anything more Becca? If anyone has any tips for wearing culottes in winter without freeeeeezing their ankles off, they'd be much appreciated.

31.10.18

Hue, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do


Our bus to Hue wasn't actually a sleeper one. It left Hoi An at 8am and arrived at about 12pm. The distance between the two isn't that far at all and the views along the way were incredible. The center of Hue isn't too big at all, and the bus drop off point is only a few minutes walk from most of the main hostels. So, we checked in, dumped our bags and then headed for a wander. We stopped for lunch and had Bun Bo Hue - beef noodle soup, having been recommended the city's famous soup by a member of staff at the hostel in Hoi An. It was really tasty and definitely one of the better soups I tried on our travels. 

After lunch, we walked to the Imperial City, which if you've read about Hue in any guidebook, is one of the main things to do. It's 150k to get in (about a fiver) and it's huuuuge. There are lots of different buildings and things to see, and even some gardens. The day we visited it was really really hot, so it's fair to say we were doing a lot of shade hunting. If you're planning on visiting the Imperial City, I'd definitely recommend reading up on it before you go, there are signs and information boards everywhere, but you definitely need a bit of a general understanding to begin with! Also, storytime: one of the security guards by the palace slapped both Toria and I on the arse ?!? Love that. 

We then stopped at the Highlands Coffee cafe right by the entrance and had our first Banh Mi of the trip. Banh Mi, for those of you who aren't sure, is a baguette filled with meat and various salads/vegetables. We had the BBQ pork one and it was incredible, and was only about 60p! If you ever need a quick lunch/snack in Vietnam, Highlands Coffee is always a good shout. 

Fed and watered, we then headed to the markets. These were very similar to a lot of the other markets we'd been to, selling very similar stock at very similar prices. We also found a proper supermarket and having a wander around that brought me more excitement than I should probably admit. I don't know, there's something about foreign supermarkets. and buying snacks...

For dinner that evening we went to a restaurant called Nook, which had been recommended to us by the lady at our hostel. Now, the decor was lovely, very instagrammable: rooftop seating complete with fairly lights and colourful cushions. We both ordered the pork noodles, which weren't great and had immediate food envy when the table next to us had their burgers brought to them. So, moral of the story, order the burger. Always order the burger. 

The breakfast provided at the hostel was great, so after our banana pancakes we decided to rent a scooter and go for an explore. Now, neither of us had ridden a scooter before, but Hue was one of the quieter stops on our Vietnam itinerary so it seemed like the best place to give it a go. It was actually really good fun and thankfully no accidents were had. We drove to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc tombs, and had an explore of both. I'd recommend visiting both, and hiring a scooter is probably the best way to see them as they're pretty much in the middle of nowhere. 

For lunch, we had the famous Hue pork and lemongrass skewer rice paper rolls and they were AMAZING. An absolute 10/10. We then headed back to the hostel for a nap before getting back on the scooter and driving to the beach. It was about a 25 minute drive from the centre and is essentially just one long, fairly empty, road. The beach was lovely and pretty much empty. We definitely weren't in tourist territory as we were getting quite a few stares whilst at the beach and having a drink at a bar. We scooted back to the hostel and handed the scooter back. It cost £4 total to hire it for the day including helmets, so it definitely is a cheap, albeit slightly more dangerous, way of exploring the city. 

We had pizza for dinner, and oh my, it was incredible. If you're in Hue and want a pizza, head to Jalapenos. Think mozzarella, then add more, and then add even more mozzarella. Our bus wasn't until lunchtime the next day, so we had a leisurely morning and took the bus to Phong Nha at 13.30.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Very quiet, but lots of restaurants and friendly people

THINGS TO DO 
- Imperial City
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tu Duc Tombs
- The Beach

TIPS AND ADVICE 
- Read up on the Imperial City before you visit
- Hire a scooter to see all the sights
- Order the lemongrass pork skewers - amazing !!!

WHERE I STAYED & REVIEW
Sunshine Hostel.

Another hostel in a good location, but was tricky to find initially, but people are more than happy to point you in the right direction. The beds were really comfy, each bed had curtains around it and breakfast was included. It was very well priced and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. 

HOW LONG TO STAY?
With the bus timings, 2 days worked well for us

28.10.18

Sick Tings 027

I think we should start this post by addressing how COLD it has been this week. Now, I know we've all been hyping up autumn and all that comes with it, but these Arctic temperatures really are something else. As a house, we've decided that we're waiting until the 1st of November to turn the heating on, so let's hope it doesn't get too much colder between now and then. Other than that, this week has been another busy one full of uni work, socializing and good food - the standard really.

On Monday, I had my typical day of lectures and meetings, and then sign language in the evening. It's fair to say it wasn't the most exciting of days, but this week coming I have a lot of work due so my life is currently revolving entirely around that.

I previously mentioned the business program I'm a part of, and on Tuesday I met my group for the first time. In the evening I attended a light painting photography workshop. I've written a whole post about it here, but to summarize, think; fireeaters, sparklers, and fireworks. It was really really fun and I'm actually pretty pleased with the photos.

Wednesday afternoon saw my business group and I meet the client to discuss the project we've been set and the ideas we already have. The project is focussed all around Twitter. Growth, engagement, hashtags, the lot - so it's fair to say it's pretty up my street. I also had another careers appointment which was really beneficial. We went through my CV and came up with ways it could be improved. (I know it might be a bit of a stale post, but would anyone be interested in a CV related post?)

Karaoke is a classic Thursday night activity and this week was no different. It's one of my housemates 21st birthday next week, so we figured we'd go early, grab a booth for everyone and make an evening of it. Asides from that, I had 3 hours of group meetings and a lecture in the afternoon.

So, a really exciting thing happened on Friday, I posted my first ever Instagram AD!! If you haven't seen it, I'll link it here, but I'm so so so proud of how far Becc4 has come since its creation in January! My housemate and I had stir fry for dinner and then decided that it was far too healthy and we needed some more crap in our systems. So, off to Sprinkles we went. Anyone who has read these Sick Tings before will know that I have a mild obsession with the White Chocolate Sensation Crepe and so it'll come as no shock that I did in fact order that once again. I don't think I'll ever order anything other than that - it's just way too good.

On Saturday I did something I've never done before. I headed to the library to work, of my own free will. Usually, I am allll about working at home, in my room, wrapped up in my dressing gown with endless tea to hand. But, Saturday saw me spend 3 hours at the library working on my dissertation making full use of the unlimited access to journals and papers. I've managed to make a good start on it and I'm actually enjoying the research.

Sunday, oh Sunday, thank you for the extra hour in bed. I had a very leisurely morning, made pancakes for breakfast and then shot some outfit photos for an upcoming fasion post. Shortly, my housemate and I are going to hit the gym, then we'll come home, get ready and head to a local fireworks display for the evening.

What have you been up to this week?

27.10.18

The Lightpainting Photography Workshop




I bought myself a DSLR many moons ago, and you know what, I'm going to be honest with you all, it's been set to auto pretty much ever since. I mean, I can throw the words aperture, ISO and shutter speed into a sentence, and know that they're all interlinked, but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Or so it was. Fast forward to now, I am a proud member of the photography society and attended my first workshop this week; lightpainting.

Now, talk about throwing myself in the deep end. I don't think I'd ever done a long exposure prior to this class, and all things considered, I'm actually kinda impressed with how the photos came out. I didn't go into it expecting big things, but the fact that even some of them are okay I think deserves a pat on the back.

We had sparklers, fireworks, LED balls and fire breathers to photograph and a good few hours to do it. We were given some recommended settings, so for the first few shots, those are what I stuck with. In case you're interested those were; shutter speed: 15s, ISO: 200 and aperture: F/5.6

I kept my ISO on auto for most of the session, and flitted between shutter speeds of about 4 to 10 seconds. I don't know why I'm trying to sound like a professional, it was mostly just trial and error. Essentially just a girl with a camera, a tripod and a load of random button clicking. I don't have a lot more to say other than here's some photos I took that I wanted to post. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk

21.10.18

Sick Tings 026

If I had to summarise the entirety of the last week into two words they'd be 'careers' and 'food'. This week has been another busy one, and I gotta feeling (ooh oooooh) that the rest of third year is going to be just the same. Whilst the number of modules I'm taking is the same as second year, the actual workload certainly isn't and it's taking some adjusting to. 

Monday was just the same as every other Monday. I had a couple of lectures, lunch with my friends and Sign Language in the evening. Learning BSL is still going really well and we now know the emotions, questions and the alphabet.

On Tuesday I attended my economics laboratory as usual, went for lunch with my housemate and then we headed off to a training day together. I'm partaking in a business programme this semester which is essentially just a consultancy role. I'm in a small group, and together we've been given a problem that a local business/charity/organisation are facing and we have to try and come up with some solutions. We have 6 weeks to do such and have to compile a 40 page report and a presentation on it also. I won't mention who I'm working for/what I'm doing now, but I definitely think I'll post all about it once it's completed. Here's a clue: it's social media related, so very much up my street. 

Wednesday was a uni work day. But, prior to this, the day began with a careers appointment to discuss my future and what roles are suited to me. After a fruitful meeting, I headed for my first gym session of the day. (Yes, you read that correctly). I spent the afternoon working on all my deadlines before ordering an Indian takeway with my house. Chicken Tikka Masala, Pilau Rice and Garlic Naan for me, always, in case you were wondering. In a weird turn of events, I ended up going back to the gym that evening with my housemates- perhaps not the wisest idea after we'd all scoffed down a curry. There's no rest for the wicked.

And, Thursday, the third careers related day in a row. The day started with a meeting with one of my lecturers about a group project we are working on, and then I headed to the careers fair being held at the uni. After a good few hours wandering the stalls, I headed to my lecture for the afternoon. Following this, I rushed home, ate dinner and then met my friends at the pub. The psychology department had organised a students and lecturers pub quiz, and guess who only went and won it? Yep, my team - we'd called ourselves 'actually in first place' and hey guess what, we were actually in first place. To celebrate this momentous occasion (I've never won a pub quiz in my life) we headed to karaoke, had a boogie and spent our prize money on jaegerbombs.

I spent the vast majority of Friday glued to my laptop, working on my dissertation and other projects, before my Dad and Sister came to pick me up. A nice, relaxing, weekend at home was wellll overdue. I also went and surprised my Nannie and spent the afternoon with her. 

My Dad, Sister and I headed into town Saturday morning for a spot of wandering and some lunch. Our restaurant of choice was of course TGI Friday's and I of course had JD Chicken Strips. Some things never change, hey? After this, we ended up going to a pumpkin patch, something I've really been keen to do since autumn sprung up on us. The weather was incredible and we essentially just wandered around this huge field taking photos and choosing pumpkins. For dinner, we made Mie Goreng using a recipe kit Waitrose have recently brought out. Whatta tribute to our summer in Bali. If there's one thing I miss more than anything about my time travelling, it's the food. 

Aaaaand, Sunday. Another relaxing one. This morning I roped my Dad into helping me take a load of photos for the 'gram, shotout to Big Jez for being a star. We then went to look at a first car for my sister??? I genuinely cannot believe that she will be on the roads shortly? Where has time gone? 

What was your first car?
What have you been up to this week?

14.10.18

Sick Tings 025

This week has been an absolute rollercoaster of a week, so many things have happened, and very different ones at that. From forest walks and pottery classes, to a minor car crash and Post Malone tickets. As for uni, I'm loving my timetable for this year. I'm really busy the first few days of the week, and then it all calms down in time for the weekend. 

Monday was a busy one uni-wise, I had lots to do and lectures/meetings to attend. I then rushed home and made dinner before heading to Sign Language with my pals. I've only been to two sessions so far, but I'm so surprised at how much I've already learnt. I'm hoping by Christmas to have learned a fair amount and be able to hold a very basic conversation with someone. Afterwards, I headed to the pub for a catch up with my coursemates before heading home for an early night ahead of Tuesday. 

So, guess who joined the gym? This girl did. And this girl went for the first time at 8.30 on Tuesday morning with one of her best pals. I actually really enjoyed it. I'm currently seeing it as more of a social activity and an excuse to sit and chat with my friends whilst doing a bit of cycling/rowing etc. I then had a few lectures and then headed to Photography Society in the evening.

Not a lot happened on Wednesday at all. I had another meeting and another quick impromptu catch-up with my supervisor. Guess who has officially finalized their diss topic? This girl has. Hooray! I scrapped my previous idea and am so so happy with my new one, well done Becca.

My Thursday wasn't particularly exciting either. I had a lecture to go to, and a meeting with one of my presentation groups, and then attended a pottery class with my friend in the evening. Now, pottery really isn't something I'd ever imagined myself doing, but my friend wanted to go, and yanno us gals gotta stick together. I made a succulent in a pot, and you can see it over on my twitter here if you're interested. I don't think I'll be going again, but you've got to try these things once haven't you?

Friday was by far the best day of the week. Guess who's going to see Post Malone 5 days before their 21st birthday? Yep, that's me and I couldn't be more excited. I'm going with my housemates, which considering we're all obsessed with Posty, couldn't get much better. Friday night we decided to head to the pub to watch the football and somehow ended up crashing an Italian Society house party, not once but twice. But, weirdly enough, a boy who I went to school with was also at this random party we interrupted - small world, huh?

What should have been a very quiet uneventful trip to the Post Office on Saturday ended up being very stressful indeed. We were sat stationary, waiting to turn down the road when a car pulled out on another car who in turn crashed into us. Thankfully no one was hurt, and the damage wasn't tooooo bad, only one of the cars was written off. Unfortunately, the man who caused it drove off, making the situation a hundred times harder to solve. The rest of our Saturday was very relaxed, unsurprisingly, with not a lot going on other than a few phone calls to the insurance company and a gym session.

And finally Sunday. We woke up and made pancakes as a house, before heading to the gym altogether. Guess who did some barbell squats? This girl did. Watch out world, there's a bodybuilder coming through. We had another house roast for dinner, roast potatoes are by far one of my favourite foods in the world and now I know I can make them myself, life is ten times better.

What have you done this week?
Any tips for a beginner gym-goer?

12.10.18

Hoi An, Vietnam- Tips, Tricks and Things To Do



Ahhhh, Hoi An, the much anticipated Hoi An. Whenever we asked other travellers we'd met along the way which was their favourite stop in Vietnam, 99% all responded with Hoi An. Read any guidebook and it sings Hoi An's praises. It's fair to say it was one of the stops I was most looking forward to. We arrived off the sleeper bus very early in the morning and took a taxi to our home for the next few days: The Vietnam Backpackers Hostel. Thankfully, being a bigger hostel, arriving way before the check-in time wasn't a problem at all. We put our backpacks in a locked luggage room and went and napped on some sofas until a more reasonable hour. We then took full advantage of the pool facilities and sunloungers, and then got dressed ready for the day, all before 11am.

We were sat by the pool when we spotted an Australian couple who'd been in our hostel room in Nha Trang. After discussing our individual sleeper bus experiences we decided to hire bikes and go for an explore. The hostel was fairly near the beach, so that's where we headed. This was our first attempt on the roads in Asia, and to be fair, it wasn't too bad at all. Thankfully the roads were empty and the junctions had traffic lights, so I'd definitely recommend cycling down to the beach, it was really good fun.

The beach itself was lovely. White sand and crisp water. I had, unfortunately, got rather sunburnt a couple of days before so didn't really get to make the most of being at the beach. There were a few restaurants right on the beach front, so we had lunch at the nearest one.  After cycling back, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. Now, the hostel was lovely, but it did feel an awful lot like being on Love Island. Let's put it this way, we were soon approached by 'Top Shagger Toby' and his laaaad friends and treated to their lads lads lads spiel.

That night we decided to go out out, so headed to Sunshine Hostel with a big group of others from our hostel. What's the significance of Sunshine Hostel I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you... For 100k (about £3.50) you can have unlimited drinks between 8 and 10pm. The hostel also has a pool, in the main area by the bar, which I ended up in fully clothed. I was pulled in by a random boy who was never to be seen again, thanks buddy. Spending the rest of the night looking like a drowned rat wasn't ideal, but yanno, as a backpacker I should've been grateful for the wash.

It's fair to say we weren't feeling too peachy the next day, those unlimited vodkas had definitely hit. We had the free breakfast at the hostel - I had the pancakes - and spent the morning by the pool, lounging in the sun. Once we were feeling a bit more human we took a taxi to the old town and went for a wander. That evening we just had dinner at the hostel and headed to bed pretty early. It's fair to say the day was a bit of a write-off.

The following day we woke up, had breakfast and were in the pool by 8. That early bedtime clearly cured us. We spent the morning in the pool, showered and then had lunch at the hostel. We took a Grab taxi to the old town and wandered the markets, each buying some new clothes. Hoi An is known for it's tailoring - there are tailors every few meters each producing handmade garments within 24 hours for a very cheap price. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to have anything made, but having seen the pieces other travellers we'd met had had made, I'd definitely recommend doing it.

Whilst wandering the market a Vietnamese lady offered to paint my nails for about 60p, so I ended up following her through the market to her home, and sat in her front room whilst she painted my nails. That afternoon we took a boat trip along the river, which was really nice. We were one of the only boats around, and it was only Toria, the boatlady and I onboard, so it really was peaceful.

That evening we had dinner by the riverside whilst we waited for the sun to set. We each lit a lantern once it was dark and put them in the river. Seeing Hoi An at night was beautiful, with all the lanterns, but very very busy! If you're planning on going, be prepared for a lot of pushing and shoving. That evening there was a karaoke night at the hostel so we ended up going to that. It was pretty good fun, definitely more so after a few vodkas. 

 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
A prettier city with a much slower pace

THINGS TO DO 
- The Beach
- The Old Town
- Shopping in the markets
- See the lanterns in the evening
- Have some clothes tailor-made

TIPS AND ADVICE 
- Use Grab to book taxis, they're much cheaper than the usual taxis
- Buy things from the market stalls that are slightly further out, they tend to be cheaper

WHERE I STAYED & REVIEW
Vietnam Backpackers

Despite feeling a bit like Love Island, the hostel itself couldn't be faulted. It was clean, the showers were amazing, breakfast was included and the beds were really nice, we were lucky to be in a room that didn't have bunkbeds! It was definitely a party hostel, so if you're looking for a relaxing few days, I'm not sure this is quite the place for you. 

HOW LONG TO STAY?
3/4 days - there's quite a lot to do, and it's more relaxing than other places

8.10.18

The October Birchbox

Another month, another Birchbox. Now, I'm going to say from the very beginning that I think this is my favourite one to date, ever. You can read my posts on the other boxes I've received here and here if you fancy a comparison. Okay, so I may have lied, the contents of this box is my absolute favourite, I'm not so sure about the print of the box. It's pretty, but not my usual style. Sidenote: what does one do with their old boxes? They're far to pretty to throw away, but I'm not entirely sure what to use them for... Any ideas?

Anyway, back onto the box. This months theme is all about slowing down into Autumn, relaxing and being cosy - all things I can most definitely get on board with. This box came with the usual 5 products and then an extra one; a sample vial of Hugo Boss' The Scent Intense Perfume. I've given it a whiff and it's nice. Unfortunately, that's about all the description I can provide you, I'm no Ratatouille.

The other products included in the box were:

BeautyPro Silver Foil Mask - This is a warming sheet mask and claims to brighten, even skin tone and improve radiance

Winky Lux Strobing Balm - I received the shade 'Radiant Pink'. It's a cruelty-free pinkish cream highlighter

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask - A hair mask used to treat dryness and repair split ends, yes please.

Daily Concepts Charcoal Sponge - A charcoal cleanser/sponge hybrid, a 2-in-1.

Lord and Berry Magic Brow - A brow pencil with a spoolie, I received the shade Brunette

Don't all of these products actually sound good? The one I'm most excited to try is the charcoal sponge - what a great concept. Once I've given it a fair trial I'll definitely come back with a full report. The hair mask is something that I definitely need in my life. My hair is always a bit dry, regardless of the amount of hair oil I use and the fact that I don't use any heat on it. Hopefully, this Amika one will be able to work some magic on this barnet.

I'm going to save the facemask for a proper pamper session, a chilling on the sofa under a blanket with a tea in hand kinda pamper session. I usually use a pomade in my brows, but I think having a pencil in my brow inventory is going to come in so so handy. In a rush? Use a pencil. Going away? Just take a pencil.

I think my least favourite product of the box - from my first impressions - is the highlighter. Whilst I love the concept and formula of it, the colour isn't something that I usually reach for. I'm personally way more of a champagne/gold highlighter kinda gal, but once I've given it a go maybe I'll be swayed to the pink side.

So, overall, I do really really like this box and would say it is my favourite to date

Have you ever received a Birchbox?
Which of these products do you like the sound of the most?
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