Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Weekend Edit: Summer Holiday Goals!

Summer Holiday Goals

I'm back off to Uni this September, (did I mention that?!) so I thought I'd give myself a bit of a challenge: I'm going to set myself some goals to complete over the next month or so!

Buy my own bodyweight in stationery.

Because a girl can never have too many pretty notepads and pens.

Spend valuable time with friends & family.

I'm going to be totally rushed off my feet soon, aren't I? So, I've realised that I need to spend quality time with family and good friends before I'm a student once again.

Enjoy the summer as much as possible.

I'm awful for just concentrating on worries and not appreciating good weather, (rapidly shortening) long nights, and halcyon days like I should. It changes now.

Embrace my inner bookworm.

There's a huge pile of books in my room that need reading before I end up waist-high in books solely about news. (FUN!)

Go to the seaside!

It's been years since I upped and went to the seaside. I was supposed to visit Skegness a few weeks ago, but unfortunately, it was the day when all that trouble kicked off, so we never got to go! (All because we were hiding at home waiting for the police.) Here's hoping we make it soon!

Continue learning new skills.

Wow, I'm boring, aren't I? Why sit back and enjoy the summer when you can get stuck in and learn stuff?

Learn more recipes.

I'm such an incompetent adult in a culinary respect. It'd be great to actually learn how to make a few staple dishes & maybe even write about them on here too!

Make more YouTube videos!

I've made a few new YouTube videos recently, which I've throughly enjoyed. So, before I become a student again, it'd be good to make more! (Incidentally, what would you like me to make? Let me know in the comments below!)


Be a better blogger.

I definitely haven't been the best of bloggers lately, so I'm going to try and knuckle down and get KW in order. I've tried to be as upfront and honest as possible about the reasons why I've struggled to publish posts consistently, and voiced my worries about producing quality content that I'm happy with on a regular basis.

It'd also be great to implement some kind of schedule that works both for myself and you lovely readers! (Mainly because I'm acutely aware of how shabby this current 'only-post-when-you-have-something-to-say' schedule is.)

What are your goals for the summer?


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Sunday, 23 August 2015

5 Tips For Starting University

5 Tips for Starting University, Stationery, Tips, Student,

Is it nearly that time of year ALREADY? A-Level results day has been and gone, and now it's almost time for the academic year to start. It's three years since I finished Uni now, but I'm about to start a Masters! So, here are my top 5 tips for those of you who are starting Uni!

Enjoy it! (Because it'll be over before you know it!)


Those three years will fly by, trust me. So, have fun! And knuckle down and get a good degree too, obviously...

Being a student isn't all about hard work, it's time to enjoy early adulthood, before you're back down to earth with a bump as a graduate. In all honesty, I don't really think anything prepares you for the shock of leaving Uni for the 'real world'. So, enjoy your time as a student!

Get the work/life balance sorted.


During my third year of Uni, I was pretty close to burning out all the time. By the time I left, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Don't make that mistake. Make sure that you leave time for socialising and having fun, because it'll make the hard work so much easier to contend with! 

I really can't stress enough how important it is to look after yourself. Make sure you eat properly, sleep as well as you can, and don't drink too much. (And that's my cue to move on, as I probably sound like your Mum.)

Make sure you're doing the right course.


Now, that might sound like a really stupid point, but there are several people I went to Uni with who ended up swapping courses along the way. Sometimes, that means that you'll end up with a bigger loan hanging over you. So, it pays to make sure that you're doing what you'll enjoy, and what'll get you decent career prospects too.

You definitely don't want to make the mistake that I did the first time round, by picking a course that won't get you a proper PAID job. Make sure that you get plenty of experience relating to your post-uni career of choice too, while you're still a student, because that'll really help your job prospects.

Grab as many opportunities as you can, seek them out yourself, because they're not going to just come to you.

Spend your first year settling in & getting used to things.


I don't know if all Unis are the same as the one that I went to in this respect, but my first year didn't count at all towards my final degree classification. So, that meant that I could spend the first year finding my feet and getting to grips with university life. (And Harvard Referencing, because it's surprisingly hard... Especially if you're rushing it hours before your deadline.)

This also helped us to get used to the University system: the grading, the coursework submission, and all of the other student-y admin stuff. That doesn't mean to say that you don't need to try very hard, but it's a lovely not to have the extra pressure of worrying about your final classification piled on.


Keep organised.


Nothing will help you through Uni more than getting organised. (Except intelligence, perhaps.) Seriously, honing your time management skills and devising some sort of helpful schedule will keep you sane! You probably don't need telling that you'll need to keep track of deadlines, exams, and lectures/tutorials/seminars, so treat yourself to an academic diary. (Because everybody likes buying new stationery!) 

And if you're on a budget? Use a handy free calendar app like iCal or Sunrise Calendar instead!


Are you headed to Uni? Let me know in the comments if you've got any questions or advice!

Katie
x
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Thursday, 13 August 2015

24.


I turned twenty four* last week. To celebrate, I took a trip to London with my friend Amy. As promised, here's the little video that I shot on the day.

It's basically like a vlog, but without the talkie bits where I'm stood talking to my camera in public looking even more awkward than usual.

We explored, went shopping, and did some sightseeing too. We did got lost, as I mentioned in my last post, but you'd probably never know from this video.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed filming and editing it!


*Yes, I'm old now. I know.

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Weekend Edit: LDN.

Instagram, Montage, London

Did I mention it was my birthday last Monday? If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you might have seen that I nipped to London with my friend Amy to explore the sights (and spend far too much money at the MAC counter in Harrods...) So, I thought I'd show you some photos that I took on the day!

(By the way, the last photo in the collage above is what happens if you let me loose on the lipstick area of the MAC counter. Whoops!)

We got totally lost trying to find Westminster, because we didn't think it'd be far from Knightsbridge where Harrods, Space.NK, Topshop and Accessorize were. What we didn't take into consideration is that it was warm, muggy, and really busy. We were wandering aimlessly around the capital for about two hours in total. But, on our travels, we did encounter: A Ferrari showroom, Buckingham Palace, a squirrel whisperer*, and some very expensive-looking houses! Due to getting lost, my Fitbit reliably informed me that I did over 21,000 steps that day!

As I mentioned, we went to the Queen's House, but we didn't bother knocking on the door for a cuppa because of the scary policeman with the MASSIVE gun hanging around outside.

*There was a random man feeding squirrels in a park. Just feeding them nuts by hand. The sights you see, eh?

 But, there's more to come...
The Houses of Parliament London

London Red Telephone Box

...I filmed lots of the day and I'm currently in the process of stringing it all together to make my next YouTube video, which should be up soon! Exciting, right? (Perhaps not then, eh?)

London Eye

I was spoiled rotten, but the best birthday present came courtesy of the wonderful Derbyshire Constabulary. You know that pesky, horrid neighbour? THEY ARRESTED HIM! He's now temporarily banned from the area and he can't cause us any more trouble! Unfortunately this happened because he hit his (ex) partner, but the whole neighbourhood has breathed a collective sigh of relief. We've got some peace; and can leave the house safely without him watching us or subjecting us to a barrage of abuse. I can't stress how much of a relief it is.

St. Elizabeth's Tower

Anyway, I always enjoy a traipse down to London for my birthday. The hustle and bustle is quite refreshing compared to the quiet area I'm from. I also love the fact I can carry my camera around without getting funny looks from people like I would at home!

What's your favourite place to explore in London? Comment below and tell me!

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Instagram Catch Up!

Instagram Montage

Hello there! It's been FAR too long hasn't it? I thought a good way to catch up would be to take you through some of my recent Instagram photos. (Totally a lazy blog post. Sorry...!)

Party Time! Firstly, yes that's a colouring book. An adult colouring-in book. Yep. I've just turned 24 and I'm regressing back to childhood. I took this photo as I was 'celebrating' my blog hitting a great milestone with a glass of perry, a Bakewell Tart and some stationery. Because I know how to party!

Flowers. My parents very kindly bought me a selection of pretty roses to try and cheer me up after all that trouble with my neighbour. Flowers always brighten everything up, don't they?

Face for Radio. I've been volunteering at a local community radio station called Erewash Sound FM since June now. They're currently training me up to be a producer, which is very exciting! I took this photo when I was learning the ropes, and being taught stuff like how to top and tail songs, so that the presenters know exactly when to talk over songs without crashing into the singing.

Graham. On most trips to Belper River Gardens I end up meeting this swan. We've christened him Graham. (Graham the Swan... Graeme Swann. Get it...?) He hates me with a passion. In this photo, he was trying to work out how to eat my feet or something. He's always hissing at me. I really don't think he likes me, although that doesn't stop me going there and peeing him off.

Tidy Workspace, Tidy Mind. Yeah, my desk is ALWAYS a mess. It doesn't matter how much I tidy it, it just ends up an absolute tip within a matter of minutes. This was a photo I snapped while I was trying to rectify some issues with my blog layout. Basically, I was procrastinating by endlessly scrolling through Instagram and snapping that photo; instead of trying harder to fix the problem...

I Like Stationery. This is a photo I snapped of my shiny new Moleskine planner, which I got for a ridiculously cheap price from The Works, complete with my iPad to show everyone about my latest YouTube video. Y'know the one with the River Gardens? (You can also see the shiny new YouTube Channel header I made, which I'm much happier with.)

Yet Another Derby Sunset. This is a little photo I snapped in the car on the way out of Derby, after having done some late night shopping. I love the scenery from that stretch of road; with Derby Cathedral, the Council House, and the River Derwent. And that sky! 

A Bit of a Shocker. I've been offered a place at Uni, starting this September! (Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to me too.) All being well, provided I cough up the cash required and they don't change their minds, I'll be off to Nottingham Trent University to study for a Masters in Broadcast Journalism!

Birthday Train Fun Times. The last photo is of my friend and I. That's Amy on the left, and me on the right. We were on our way to London to celebrate my birthday, but more about that soon! (Amy also writes a blog with her boyfriend, Tony, which you can check out here if you fancy!)

To see more photos like this, you can follow me on Instagram
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Sunday, 2 August 2015

23 Things I've Learned at 23

23

Tomorrow, I turn 24. Here are some lessons I've learned whilst being 23:

Trust your instincts. Initially, if you believe that someone's an idiot, in all probability: You're right. You know that feeling in your gut? Trust it.

Adulthood is hard. Responsibility? Bleugh.

Don't let others make you bitter. Good people keep their heads held high no matter what other people do.

The world is absolutely BRIMMING with idiots. But there's little you can do about it. The key to getting around it? Do stuff that helps you rediscover the beauty in life.

Time flies. Even if you're not having fun.

Start looking after yourself. Now's the time to learn how to stay healthy, before it's too late.

It's your responsibility to better yourself. No-one else is going to grab opportunities for you. BUT, it's okay not to know what you're doing and what you want from life yet.

Hobbies are fun! The more you have, the better!

It's okay to be selfish. Sometimes. Sometimes you really need to protect yourself and put yourself first. 

Ignore the haters. Life's too short to get dragged down in petty arguments. Don't bother getting angry at people you're never going to see eye-to-eye with.

Procrastination is awful. Seriously, the things I could've got done instead of incessantly scrolling through Instagram looking at photos of cats with moustaches. 

Nobody's life is perfect. It's so easy to believe that other people live the perfect life because of Instagram or their incessant Facebook bragging. (But perhaps they're making up for something they're missing in life.)

No-one knows what they're doing. You know when you're a kid and you think adults know everything? They don't. We're all just endlessly meandering through life trying to avoid messing up.

Money doesn't go far. And that makes me really sad.

Being a geek isn't bad. When I was at school I was a hardcore square, which was a very bad thing. Now, knowing stuff is good. Don't ever let anyone take the mick because you want to learn new and exciting stuff!

You can't help some people. Learn to stop bending over backwards for people who don't even appreciate it.

23 isn't as old as it once sounded. It's not that bad, or that old. That doesn't mean I'm looking forward to being 24 though...

Appreciate those close to you. It's not 'uncool' to be close to your family or friends. Make time for them, because there may be a time that they're not there anymore.

Learn when to stop. I'm terrible for putting loads of pressure on myself to achieve unattainable things, and it's been hard trying to force myself to take a break from striving for the best. But, every now and again, it'll do you good.

Rejection. It never gets any easier. And that goes for any type of rejection.

People aren't a commodity. It really isn't nice being used. Don't do it to others unless you're willing to be used yourself.

Don't lie to yourself. If you're not happy, don't try and pretend you are, even to yourself. It doesn't work and it makes you so much unhappier in the long run not to admit the truth to yourself.

Life isn't a race. Oh, this has been such a hard lesson for me to take on board. Life definitely isn't a race: It's not about who can get the best job, who can buy a house first, who's the first to get married and have kids. It's not about that. People progress through life at different rates, and that variety is what makes life all the more beautiful.

Hope you lovely readers can relate to some of the above! Here's to more incessant rambling as a 24 year old!

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