One Month With Murphy

19 August 2019

After what feels like a lifetime of asking my parents for a puppy, I still can't quite believe that we actually have our own little four-legged friend following us around our house. Becc4 readers, let me introduce you to Murphy...

A chatty post about our 3 month old puppy and his first month living in our home.
Murphy is our little 12-week old apricot cockapoo puppy, and, let's be real, he is the cutest little thing ever. His mum is a chocolate cocker spaniel and his dad a cream miniature poodle, and we collected him just over 4 weeks ago now. It was all very sudden, and, clearly, was just meant to be.

I'd gone out for drinks one evening, blissfully unaware that my Dad had been busy researching puppies and breeders. I came home and was told that we had a viewing planned for the very next day... Whaaaaat?! Anyway, after spending many an hour that night watching puppy training videos, the following morning we headed to the breeders' house to meet her last two puppies left. She had an apricot boy and a black girl.

We'd already set our hearts on having a boy, an apricot boy, so, unsurprisingly, when we met him, there was no question of whether he was right for us or not. He was part of a litter of nine, the majority of which were scheduled to be picked up the following day, so the breeder asked if we wanted to take him there and then. *Cue a little panic*

Yes, we'd love to, but we've also never had a dog before and were yet to buy any supplies. Instead, we agreed to collect him the following morning. We then proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around pets at home... Can we just take a minute to talk about the sheer volume of products there are in that shop that I didn't even know existed? Prosecco, birthday cakes and ice cream, all for dogs - wow. We didn't buy any of the above, but a bed, crate, food bowl etc did all make their way home with us...

So, we picked him up, and the past four weeks have absolutely flown by. The first few nights were difficult. He whined pretty much all night, but, with any new puppy, that's more than to be expected. He's just about getting better with his sleeping now and we've just started a new routine. We stay up until midnight, take him out once more, and then put him in his crate for the night. We then leave him until the morning. He tends to wake up and start whining at about 5ish, at which time one of us comes down and lets him out before he naps again until about 6.30. No, it's not ideal but it's faaaar better than what it was.

As I'm writing this, he has his second set of vaccines today meaning that it won't be too long until we can actually take him out properly, yaaaay. As of this moment, he knows how to sit, he's getting there with lying down, and has mastered jumping up onto the sofa (before promptly being told to get off). He's wolfing all of his meals down and sleeps for about 6 hours at night. He isn't a massive fan of baths and also refuses to go out in the rain most of the time. He is the cutest little things and my favourite member of the family (shh, don't tell the others)


And there we have it, a little summary of our boy Murph - isn't he fab?!... ps. he posts on instagram daily - you can check him out here.

The Ocean Friendly Suncream You Need To Try

13 August 2019

Hi, my name's Becca and I'm ashamed to admit that it was only fairly recently that I found out that sun cream isn't good for ocean life. I mean, yes, it makes a lot of sense but I'd never really thought about it, you know? We get so caught up on preventing sunburn and skin cancer and taught to reapply suncream every few hours that it's not something that's often given a second thought...

According to the National Geographic, '14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year. This is a problem because the chemicals found in the sun cream like oxybenzone can seep into the water, where they’re absorbed by corals. These substances contain nanoparticles that can disrupt coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching.' This chemical, oxybenzone, is used in more than 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide (Huffington Post). 

However, swimming isn't the only way for these harmful chemicals to make it into the sea... They're also washed down the drains when you shower and suncream aerosols can spray a large amount of product onto the sand which also gets washed into the ocean (National Geographic).

Coral Reefs aren't on the planet just for divers to look in awe at, they're part of many a vital ecosystem. Not only that, but many medicines are developed from coral reef animals and plants. These include treatments for cancer, viruses and human bacterial infections (NOAA). So yeah, the corals being bleached by our suncream is definitely a huge issue. 

But, what can we do about it? Enter Freshly's Healthy Protection SPF50 Body Lotion*. One of many marine-life safe suncreams available and one I really like...

An ocean safe sun lotion that everyone needs to try

The Ocean-Friendly Suncream You Need To Try

I recently spent a fortnight in Mauritius, and took this beauty with me.

Now, I'm going to be honest - it is different to every other suncream I'd ever tried. It doesn't have the silky texture of I'm used to. This is because the consistency is quite a bit thicker and takes a bit longer to rub fully into the skin. It smells almost like playdough and has a slight pinkish tint when you first apply it, making it easy to spot any patches that you've missed!

Now, I'm someone who's particularly sensitive to the sun. I've burnt after an afternoon in the sun at school, so it's fair to say I'm a good person to test the ability of a product like this... If it doesn't work, my skin will obviously show it! But, I wore this particular suncream pretty much every day on my trip and didn't burn once!

So, all in all, I'd highly recommend this product. It's made of 99% natural ingredients and hence is ocean-friendly, it's SPF50 and protected my fair skin perfectly and has a slight tint which aids a thorough application! It is a bit pricier than your usual bottle of Nivea, but, if you're looking to spend a bit more and help the planet's ecosystems then it's a really good one to try!

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience

6 August 2019

July 17th saw me graduate from the University of Southampton with First Class Honours, and it was by far one of the best days of my life thus far. I genuinely had such an incredible, special day and I'd loveee to do it all over again.

Prior to my own, I'd never been to a graduation before. Yes, I'd seen them in films and on TV, and seen people's older siblings' graduation pictures on Instagram but if I'm totally honest, I really didn't know what to expect. So, for today's post, I thought I'd give you a little rundown of my graduation experience before sharing the experiences of 7 other bloggers who have also graduated this year. Let's just get stuck in, shall we?

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day

My graduation ceremony began at 09.30 meaning that we had to be up and ready to go pretty early - it's not just a turn up and show your face affair... Robe collection began at 08.00, we then had to collect our tickets for the ceremony and our certificate, before heading to the theatre where the graduation was being held. My course is fairly big in size, so our ceremony included only those on the straight psychology BSc.

The 'graduands' entered the theatre in a separate entrance to the audience, and we were sat in rows in alphabetical order. Thankfully, Hannah, who was in my tutor group from the very first day and hence my first ever coursemate, has a surname similar to mine. So, it was so nice to sit with her throughout the ceremony... We'd started this journey together on the first day, and finished together on the last day. Cute, huh?

The ceremony began with a speech, and then various members of the staffing body and wider university made their way to their seats on stage. The head of Psychology then read each graduands' name, one by one, as they walked onto the stage. My surname begins with an M, meaning I had a fair few to watch before my big moment. This was both great - because it meant I got the hang of how it all worked - but it also wasn't so great - helloooo clammy hands and increasing nerves.

And then 'Rebecca...', it was my turn. We'd already received our certificates earlier on in the day, so our time on stage was simply spent shaking hands and talking to the Vice President of the university. (This did confuse me, I thought the whole point of the ceremony was to be given that hella expensive piece of paper?)

Anyway, after all of the students had been on stage, there were various speeches before the ceremony was officially closed and we were about to leave the theatre as graduates!

We then took lots of photos, had prosecco, sandwiches, and cake with the faculty before heading over to the psychology building for a cohort wide photo. We all stood on benches - like you do in primary school photos - smiled for the camera, and then got to throw our caps up into the air.

I genuinely had such a good day, definitely worth the £50k debt and all the hard work. I'm a graduate !!! For me, the best part of the day was the feeling of pride as I watched my best friends go up on stage. They genuinely made my university experience for me - it wouldn't have been even a fraction as good without them - and I know how hard they'd all worked throughout the course, they definitely deserved it!

Anyway, enough about me, what about some of the other bloggers that graduated this year. Let's hear their experiences, shall we?...

Nina 

So once we'd tottered to campus in our heels, we collected our robes and I had to get that god awful monopoly board of a hat fitted onto my tiny pea head. Everyone on my course sat together and waited until we were asked to head downstairs before walking on stage and shaking hands with the vice chancellor. I panicked so much before I went on stage that instead of saying "thank you" all I could think of was "sorry" which made my parents weak with laughter. I did manage not to stack it or wobble in my shoes so I'm happy with that part at least! We then all went to grab some Prosecco afterwards and say our final goodbyes to some pals and to some of our tutors and lecturers. My favourite part of the day was definitely getting lots of photos with my friends and family - especially trying to explain the concept of a boomerang to my Dad...

Jess

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the dayThe thing that struck me about my graduation ceremony was how chuffed everyone was for each other. It was unbridled joy when we all applauded each other and everyone was congratulating each other before and after being in the graduation hall. It was just a purely excitable day and an overwhelmingly positive experience. My favourite part of the day was being in the marquee and catching up with everyone, finding out what they are all up to post-university! The feeling after graduation, however, is bittersweet. I am proud of my friends and myself for getting through the tough times at university but I will miss the community and the social aspect of being a student.


Becky

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day
I was anxious when I woke up because my university hadn't really told me much except where to collect our tickets and gowns, and I needed to make sure I could meet my family beforehand to give them tickets. Before we went into the ceremony, everyone was talking and taking graduation photos in front of Newcastle's Arches and the lighted NCLGrad words that were scattered around campus for photo ops. The ceremony itself started with Northumbrian Piper's which felt very local, and with some speeches from staff and a student orator. The entire time I felt amped up but also nervous because I didn't want to trip on stage or anything! As the rows of students went up to graduate officially, it finally got to me, of which I was the first in my degree programme to walk up, so I was even more nervous as I didn't know when to walk or not! Afterwards I felt such a relief that I'd finally offically graduated, and we all ran straight to the cake and prosecco that was on offer for us.

Suhina 

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the dayThe morning of my graduation I woke up early, brewed up some coffee and let the excitement set in as I took each sip! A few hours later, after having done my hair and makeup, I went to the kitchen, pulled out a chair and laid my head on the table and fell asleep...
Turns out the day of my graduation was also the perfect day to get sick with flu! I was burning up with a fever, my face was swollen and red and my body ached but despite feeling like I got hit by a bus, we made our way to my graduation venue and when we arrived I went to do all the admin things and then waited for my best friends to arrive. The best part was walking across that stage and finally getting capped, hooded and officially receiving my degree, it was as proud of a moment as I thought it would be. Simply knowing that I worked three long, hard years for this and that it was the one thing that no one could ever take away from me, made me more determined than ever to get my career started! The most chaotic part was pictures! We waited in the queues and then I spent about 30 minutes running around in my heels and cap, which was pinned very tightly into place, looking for my friends so that we could take pictures. Eventually we got all our pictures taken and said our goodbyes but the saddest part of the day was knowing that it would be the last official day we could all be together as classmates, after three years of sticking together.
That evening we had a lovely dinner with my fmaily to celebrate and as soon as I got home, the first thing I did was put on those fluffy pyjamas, took some flu medication and got straight into bed! Three months later, my graduation photos got delivered, and my biggest relief was that they didn't get pictures of me sneezing and looking like I was about to throw up on stage!

Sarah 

For me, my ceremony wasn't until 4pm so I had plenty of time to get ready and not stress too much about having to rush to pick up my tickets and my gown. My family and I arrived early afternoon to have time to take some photos and meet up with course mates and their families. I did have a moment of worry and sadness as I realised this would be the last time I'd be at my university and soon I'd be out in the working world. However, my graduation day was the perfect way to round my university experience off. There was quite a lot of waiting around but, on the whole, I really enjoyed the positive atmosphere during my graduation. Unlike many, I actually quite enjoyed my ceremony, with a photojournalist giving a speech that was really inspiring. I was knackered by the end of the day and was glad when it was all over but I still had a lovely day nonetheless. 

Molly

I think my favourite part of the day was really sharing it with my loved ones, when I first managed to see my uni friends after being away from them for ages. And also sharing the day with my family as I'm the first in my family to go to university so it was really special for my parents and I think it helped to inspire and motivate my little sister. The moment your family first see you with your robes on is really special.




Chloe 

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day
One of my favourite parts was having my name called, it's a weird moment but walking up the stairs and heading down as a graduate was a weird experience. To leave the hall knowing that I did it and came out on the other side is such a weird experience.








Thank you to everyone that participated in this post, I loved reading all about your days!

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