Monday, 29 February 2016

How To Combat Those Bad Days

Last month I wrote a January blues post, but scrap that! Last months blues cannot compare to this month.

Have you ever had a month where everything seems to be going wrong? You plan to get to a meeting early but your bus turns up half an hour late and not only does this happen once but 3 times, you finally decide that the course you're studying isn't what you really want, the shower suddenly breaks, the bathroom light doesn't work, your cat eats your freshly baked scones whilst you were out of the kitchen for 5 minutes... I could honestly write an essay worth of listing everything that has gone wrong this month. But that would just be a post of complaints rather than resolving the issues!

Somehow, with all the things that have gone wrong this month, I've still managed to pull through. So here's a few tips of mine to power through and combat the bad days!


LAUGH IT OFF 

Yes, I did find my cat eating my 'warm from the oven' freshly baked scones on the kitchen counter. I left the room for 5 minutes, came back and there she was almost sat on them, chomping away at a scone. As peeved as I was for wasting my time making a batch of scones just for a cat to eat them, I looked at her and thought 'whatever'. Sometimes the best thing to do is laugh at the situation rather than storming off in anger, it'll only make you feel 10 times worse. Cat ate your scones? At least someone likes your baking...

FIND HELP FROM THE RIGHT PEOPLE

If you've read my post from last September you will remember me talking about my struggles with university. My first semester at my new course wasn't brilliant, I was still affected by the events of Gloucestershire and I was struggling to settle in. After Christmas I wanted to start the second semester with a positive aura, but it all came tumbling down when, after spending a week in lectures, something just didn't feel right. After some long thought after the past couple of weeks I finally realised that studying photography in depth wasn't at all right for me.

I broke down in tears and I didn't know what I was going to do, until I did some research on the university website and found a careers advisor service. Speaking to a careers advisor was my greatest decision, I needed help so I asked for it. Our conversation was confidential so I didn't feel bad for saying I didn't like my course and I didn't feel like a failure for being so indecisive. They were so helpful and it only took two meetings to figure out what I was looking for. Not everyone has the right advice, you just have to find the right person who you can trust to help you make the right decisions.


HAVE A CUP OF TEA

It's true! Having a cup of tea really does settle your worries. It may not work for everyone, you may not even like tea, but taking some time out to just sit down with a hot brew allows you to slip away from anything that's been bugging you. Whenever I find myself worrying, annoyed or something has gone totally wrong I always find myself returning to a calm state once I've had a sit down with a cup of tea. Then distracting myself with music, doing a bit of writing, playing on the Xbox, or just watching some tv.

TAKE A WALK

A bit of fresh air really does wonders. The other day I was so frustrated that I couldn't wash my hair because the shower was broken, I honestly felt a complete mess! So I quickly got dressed, tied my hair up into a French plait and went for a walk. It was freezing out there, the sun wasn't particularly warming but I completely forgot about the shower situation. Even if it's just a quick walk to the shops or taking your dog for a walk, it's such a great feeling when your out of the house and taking in the fresh air.

STAY POSITIVE

Probably one of the most difficult things to do is to stay positive. Especially when everything seems to be going wrong for you. But having a positive mind set keeps you proactive in your decisions. When I thought everything was going wrong for me I turned things around by staying positive and taking the time to make the right decisions. You have to tell yourself that 'yes, there is a way around this' and 'no, I won't give up'. It's so difficult but if you truly believe in something then you must stay positive to get through your troubles.


WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN

No matter what the problem is I always feel 10 times better after writing everything down. This could quite simply be writing in a journal, in a blog post, few pages of a notebook or even a to-do list so you know what needs to be done right away. I feel as though I can resolve my issues better if I write them all down, sometimes your mind gets muddled up with everything, so writing things down is a good way of mapping out all your problems so you can read them over and figure out ways to resolve them. I even find writing down what I need to say in a notebook before I go to an important meeting or even speaking on the phone, that way I'm not keeping everything I need to say in my mind so I wont end up forgetting anything important.


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These are just a few tips I came up with, not everyone has the same way of powering through bad days. But all of which help me to power through my bad days (or whole month in my case!). If you have any other tips and advice of your own, I'd love to hear them! So please do share in the comments below!


Monday, 22 February 2016

February Favourites :: Home Decor






(Tea light holder: Trentham Garden Centre, Photo frame: Next (similar), Wooden heart hanging decoration: Trove, Small heart decorations: Alphabet Gift Shop (Similar decorations) 

I see many bloggers who write posts based on their monthly beauty or fashion buys, but my make up box is sparse and I don't tend to update my wardrobe enough to write monthly posts. So instead I thought I'd do a home décor post. Since re-decorating my room I just love collecting different things to add to my room, so here are my recent home décor finds.

I bought this tea light holder from Trentham garden centre last month. Trentham had a huge winter sale on so after spending ages wondering around the place I found the holder. I think I bought it for £4, the handle was slightly bent but I managed to bend it back into place! It looks beautiful at night, with a candle placed inside as the light glows through the tiny holes of the heart of the metal bucket. My second find is from Next, I had a small amount of money left on my Christmas gift card so whilst having a wonder around the store last month I found this 6x4"ornate detail frame in stone colour which adds a new tone of neutral to my white bedroom.

My next find was from Trove, a homeware shop in the Trentham garden shopping village. The interior of the shop was just beautiful, there were branches placed around the shop with handmade decorations hanging off of each branch. This handmade heart was hanging from one of the branches, I wanted something to replace my very old (and falling to pieces) dream catcher on the wall above my bed. I honestly would have bought the whole shop if I could! To match with the handmade heart theme I bought these two little metal hanging hearts from the Alphabet Gift Shop.  



(Rose lights: Next, Bedding Set: BHS (similar)

Although they were bought last year I just had to share these rose lights that I bought from Next. They go perfectly in my little white room, they shine a beautiful golden light which with good battery life shine quite bright. These are wrapped around the end of my bed frame (a little inspiration from Pinterest!). Lastly, this vintage butterfly single bedding set was bought in the BHS sale, it's a reversible sheet with one side grey and the other white. I love a good sale (don't we all) especially when you find something that you wanted when it was full price! It has such a beautiful vintage design with French script writing, postcard prints, flowers and butterfly's in neutral greys, stone and white.


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Follow my home décor inspiration over on my Pinterest page!




Wednesday, 10 February 2016

An Enthusiasm For...Baking

Chocolate Chip Cookies a recipe by Jamie Oliver

Ah finally, a new blog post! The past couple of weeks have been a little hectic and to top it all off I was struck with a horrible cold. This weeks post is something new and something I have been looking forward to posting about. It's my first ever baking post hurrah!

The recipe comes from my (so far) favourite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I found this recipe as I was browsing through Jamie Oliver's website, whilst I do love reading from a cookbook I do get most of my recipes from online. You can never go wrong with cookies (says me who burnt shortbread cookies the other day), they're fantastic to bake as you will always have the ingredients in the cupboard. So if you're living in a house 5 people like me you're bound to run out of your regular shop bought biscuits halfway through the week, so these are perfect for a quick re fill of the biscuit tin without spending any extra money. These cookies aren't too crunchy like your average shop bought cookie. These are soft and somewhat chewy, with almost a cake like texture to them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I ran out of golden caster sugar for this bake which is asked for in the recipe. I changed it up a bit and used caster sugar instead and I can say that I rather liked the cookies with caster sugar rather than golden but it's all down to your preference!

So here is what you'll need:

100g (3 1/2 oz) Unsalted butter, slightly softened

125g (4 oz) Golden caster sugar (or white caster sugar)

1 large free-range egg

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

200g (7 oz) Self raising flour

1 pinch of fine sea salt

100g (3 1/2 oz) Chocolate (milk or dark or both if you like)


1 :: Pre heat your oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan/325ºF/gas 3. I didn't pre heat my oven until 10 minutes before I put the cookies in the oven as they have to chill in the fridge beforehand. I just don't like pre heating my oven for too long as it really does heat up quick. However you can choose as you wish depending on the way your oven works!

2 :: Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

3 :: Roughly chop or use a rolling pin to break up the chocolate into pieces. Put aside for later.  

4 :: You then need to beat the unsalted butter with the sugar in a large bowl until soft, pale and creamy. Crack in the egg and add the vanilla and mix until well combined.

5 :: Sift in the flour and the salt together and then fold through the mixture. Add in your chocolate pieces and stir through the doughy mixture.

6 :: Take some mixture about a tablespoon at a time, roll into balls and place on the lined trays. Cover the trays and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

7 :: Flatten the balls slightly with your fingers and then place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Jamie Oliver explains not to overdo them as the chewier the better! Depending on the way your oven works you want the cookies to be a light golden colour.

8 :: Leave to cool completely. I always leave on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack so that they don't become wet underneath. Serve with a glass of cold milk if you wish.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


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You can find this recipe on the Jamie Oliver website by clicking here

Happy baking!





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