Goodbye 2015

This year has been interesting, it started out as a mix of good and shit. This continued for most of the year.

I got into university this year, finally passed a certain exam that had been holding me back for a very long time, quit my job and made a few hair mistakes.

My personal life took quite a hit, but others around me seemed to be happy. For me, the positivity that I focused on throughout most of this year was from educational success and I’m thankful to be ending this year a hell of a lot happier than I started it, thanks to other areas in my life (which I like to keep private on here, if you hadn’t already noticed).

On the subject of privacy, I decided to delete my Facebook and make my new account more private. I was fed up of getting creepy requests and messages from complete strangers, this started to get out of hand and I’m glad I deleted it. I’m now less addicted to Facebook than I was and one of my resolutions will most probably be to cut down on social media because that’s not where real life is and it’s easy to forget that when you’re on it too much.

Maybe everyone should make that resolution and start living for the moment and not for likes on your profile.

I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring, but I’m not looking forward to the countless essays I have to write for all my modules.

2016 is going to be a healthier one and I am going to take care of myself and maybe get some of the ink that I’ve wanted for a while… Maybe a new piercing too?

Either way, I hope you guys have a great new year and I’ll try to post more on 2016 (maybe a resolutions list in early January).

Love ya, stay happy and be safe however you’re celebrating tonight!

XOXO

TFH.

 

 

 

Struggle and Triumph: Staying Healthy at Univeristy

I have been at university for three months now and before moving here people had warned me about weight gain, it’s also reported in articles with headlines such as;

‘The average student gains two STONE in the first year of university – with the main reason for ‘freshers’ flab’ being stress’  – Mail Online.

‘Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year’ – Independent Online

I think it must have been around two weeks in that I realised I wasn’t eating the best meals and decided to start doing something about it.

My sleeping pattern was and still is rather messed up, but I’m working on it. I was finding myself short of any energy and then turning to sugar in hope that it would give me a boost. This did help, but then my skin was getting worse because I was having too much sugar and not enough nutrients.

I decided to start eating meat again after getting dizzy-fainting spells (Vitamins weren’t quite doing the job, I was eating quorn too, but it wasn’t working out). Eating meat definitely helped, I still wasn’t feeling great. I started reading a book that I’ve had for ages and flicked through before; ‘The Body Book – Cameron Diaz with Sandra Bark‘. In a nutshell, the book states basic nutrition, but discusses exactly what we need and why diets are never the way to go.

With this in mind I decided to eat more vegetables, make sure I had bags of nuts accessible for snacking as well as fruit. I already eat quite a lot of vegetables, so this was easy, I just changed what I eat with them by reducing the amount of processed foods I ate. I don’t like the idea of processed foods, so I try to avoid them anyway, but lunches are usually something from a meal deal or skipped completely – neither of which is good for me. I switched my lunches to salads and made sure I included some carbs and protein in every lunch I made.

I don’t like the idea of not knowing what is in my food, so have decided to make most things from scratch – this actually turns ot to be much tastier too.

I still need to sort out my sleeping pattern and I’m getting there, but I regularly fall into the late-night Netflix trap, or just get trapped within my thoughts, usually stressy ones.

Now that I am eating better, I should have more energy. I also decided to eat better breakfasts, this included trying out Overnight Oats – which I tried out for the first time last night and ate them this morning, it’s safe to say I have a staple breakfast choice that can be varied easily by changing what fruit, nuts and preserves I choose to put in. The Overnight Oats I had this morning were actually delicious and I may do a post on my favourite recipes once I’ve tried out a few!

I also made my own apple and raspberry crumble recently, which was delicious, even more so knowing exactly how much (or how little) sugar was actually in it – definitely making this again!

As it’s Christmas next week, I seriously doubt I will be able to eat as healthy, but I shall try and stick to it to the best of my ability as I actually look forward to my meals a lot more since starting this whole being healthy thing.

It’s safe to say I have avoided this whole university weight gain thing, probably because of my lack of alcohol intake since moving here as well as eating habits.

Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ll ever have – unless you believe in reincarnation, but it’s still the only one you’ll have in this lifetime.

XOXO

Hannah.

 

#TheStruggleIsReal: Winter Skin

Aloha! It’s been a while and as most of you know, I have moved to university. This experience has been time-consuming, stressful and mentally draining – it is the sole reason for my lack of posts.

Since moving here everything has been about reading and essays, meaning that I haven’t had as much time to myself as I would like (apart from the time that I visited home for the weekend and it was lovely) and all this moving around (plus cold weather, plus general stress) has caused my skin to self-destruct – and I mean worse than usual.

This could have been down to moving and hormones, but the weather certainly didn’t help, it caused my skin to get very pimply and dry. I couldn’t let it stay like this as it was really starting to put me down and I had to wear make-up to cover it – something I hate doing.

With this in mind, I started getting testers of various skin products to find the root of my problem. I went to Origins because I am a regular user of the “Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash”, where I picked up testers for the “Zero Oil Cleanser” and “Zero Oil Lotion”.

These products started off by clearing up my spots and after a week the effects had reversed, leaving my skin worse than it was before! The cleanser didn’t feel like it was cleaning my skin enough, but the moisturiser was good – it really was “Zero Oil” and kept my skin matte for most of the day, but in the end it just made my skin really dry.

After these products quite literally blew up in my face, I opted for something familiar and headed to BareMinerals where I decided to retry  the “Purely Nourishing Moisturiser for Combination Skin”. I used this for around 2 weeks, my skin didn’t react to it at all, but I came to the conclusion that this is a summer skincare only option for my skin type. I had already purchased it because it really is a dependable moisturiser, just not for me in the winter.

Once again, I was back to square one and decided to use something I already had for the time being and also start using night cream again. I had some of my trusty Nivea “Night Regenerating Cream” left, so I used that along with The Body Shop “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet”.

I remembered how much I loved the smell of the Vitamin E products, which led me to browse the entire Vitamin E line on the Body Shop website. After looking at countless reviews of various products, I decided that I wanted to try out a new night cream, seeing as night cream is something that’s usually a safe option for my troublesome skin.

I didn’t buy the products online, I kept browsing products for a week or so and went into the store to purchase. While in the store, a girl insisted that the toner would be a good addition to my purchase, along with an overnight treatment oil and I decided to try them out as I was already getting something new anyway and rarely used toners and treatments. In total, I purchased the “Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream”, “Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil” and the “Vitamin E Hydrating Toner”.

BodyshopVitE1

The difference in my skin was noticeable within a week, my skin was hydrated and my spots were reducing. I have finally discovered a skincare line that actually works with my skin, one that doesn’t make it worse and since using these products, I have gone back for more from the Vitamin E line. It turns out that the “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet” wasn’t working as well as I thought it was and it was actually too harsh on my skin, it just took products that didn’t hurt my skin to realise what was doing the damage.

I now own most of The Body Shop Vitamin E range, the “Vitamin E Moisture Cream” replaced the “Aqua Boost Sorbet”, I also got the “Vitamin E Face Mist” to see what all the fuss was about and so far I can see the appeal, it’s very refreshing.

BodyshopVitE2

All-in-all, I’m loving the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop and I think it will be my staple skincare range from now on. It rescued my skin from whatever winter/stress induced hell it was in.

BodyshopVitE3

I will most probably be separately reviewing these products to help others figure out which ones are best for their skin too. If anyone else suffers from sensitive skin that loves to react and break out – I seriously suggest trying out this range.

Until next time,

XOXO,

Hannah.

Here I Am

Moving to university has been a lot to take in all at once, it’s like being thrown into the deep end before you’ve learned how to swim.

I’ve let the water pull me down a little recently in the sense that I haven’t been on my blog to post anything, not been able to sleep very well and also haven’t even been catching up on my tv shows!

I’ve been solely focusing on getting into my timetable routine and understanding exactly what needs to be done for my studies, how long it will take etc. that I haven’t actually been out as much as all of the other freshers. I have been going out, just not as much as other people and I’ve decided to focus less on drinking, more on learning.

I’m having a great time here, though, going out occasionally is much better for me than going out all the time. I am figuring out the balance and realising that I’m at the age where I don’t need to go out all the time. I actually prefer socialising with my flat-mates, going to the cinema and having lunches is much nicer.

I have been so mentally drained since moving here, I’ve had lots of reading to do and it took me about a week to unpack everything! I’m here now and I should be blogging back to normal once I have all of my different modules embedded in my brain.


Living alone is weird, but good weird.

The pros include things such as;

  • Knowing exactly how much food I have left all the time.
  • Knowing when I’m actually running out of things such as shampoo and shower gel.
  • Having long showers if I want them.

The cons include;

  • A fear that if I hurt myself badly, it may go unnoticed for days.
  • Doing my own laundry – although this actually feels very independent at the same time.
  • Having to cook dinner for yourself all the time – sometimes you just want to eat and not have to cook it first.

There are many other pros and cons, but these are the main ones in my eyes.


Unpacking and setting up my bedroom/bathroom was cool, everything in my room is a reflection of myself and is organised in a way that is accessible and tidy.

My attempt at photographing my room wasn’t the best, but here are some pictures of it nonetheless;

This is my attempt at a panoramic shot - it didn't go so well...

This is my attempt at a panoramic shot – it didn’t go so well…

Books and DVDs, the essentials of course...

Books and DVDs, the essentials of course…

Little pieces of me on my notice board, it actually looks a little different to this already.

Little pieces of me on my notice board, it actually looks a little different to this already.

The hallway is out there, maybe i'll show you guys the rest of the flat in another post.

The hallway is out there, maybe I’ll show you guys the rest of the flat in another post.

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Didn't realise how vital bathroom storage was until I was on my own...

Didn’t realise how vital bathroom storage was until I was on my own…

My large collection of expensive mugs and shot glasses...

My large collection of expensive mugs and shot glasses…


Leaving my hometown has given me the chance to really think about what I want in other areas of my life. I know that I should always trust my instincts and understand that everything is happening for a reason. What is meant to be always will be and sometimes we have to experience all the bad stuff to get to the good.

I have never lost faith in the things that matter to me most and I never will.

Speak soon, stay smiling,

XOXO

Hannah.

Ready?

Yesterday marked the next big step in my life, moving to Leicester and becoming a student at De Montfort University.

After stressing about packing for uni and for a house move, I’ve finally got it together and can proudly say that my childhood room is officially empty. It’s such a strange feeling knowing that when I come back at Christmas, it won’t be to the house that I’ve known my whole life so far.

Although it will be daunting, I know that I am ready to do this, it’s time to take responsibility and learn how to be a proper twenty-something; a somewhat mature version of myself with a sprinkle of crazy (because nobody’s perfect and that would be boring anyway).

I’ve packed way too many mugs and an unwearable amount of clothes, but I’d rather be overpacked than to find I have forgotten everything that I need. Besides, I need to feel at home or I may start to get a little sad.

Unpacking will probably take a while as our Freshers Week starts in tomorrow, so I’ll probably be too busy exploring to open all of my boxes right away!

It’s taken a while, but after a few months on my own I’ve realised that I should always trust my instincts as they always seem to turn out right and I will utilise this wisdom at uni. The minute anything doesn’t seem right, I get a bad feeling or vibe, I shall go with my gut feeling and this should be applied to everything.

I will not depend on others too much as I’ve been let down way too much recently. I am learning to appreciate the people that are here for me and not to expect anything from anyone as eventually they let you down anyway and do exactly what you knew they would (this doesn’t apply to family).

On a positive note, I recently starting climbing again, after seven years out of practice and I really enjoyed it. Did somebody say climbing society?

I’m so ready to start fresh and I’m very excited to see what lies ahead for my future. I look forward to the new friendships I will make and the lessons I will learn.

I hope you join me on this journey as I shall hopefully be posting things regularly again!

See you on the flip side,

XOXO

Hannah.

A Little Bit Longer

In exactly two weeks I will be moving to Leicester in preparation for Fresher’s Week and studying at De Montfort University.

I’m still amazed that something actually went my way academically, after all the bad luck I’ve had in that area, part of me was expecting the worst.

Nonetheless here I am, preparing for one of the biggest changes in my life so far and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. The anxiety I feel is mainly about friendships; I’m worried about drifting apart from people while they are wrapped up I their own things, I feel I may get left behind. Like the dust left behind when a car shoots off into the distance.

I’m taking forever to pack, mainly because I am not only packing things for uni, but I’m packing my bedroom away and saying goodbye forever to the room that I grew up in.

It’s partly the disturbance of objects that have been in one place for so long that is making me sad and also my attempt at throwing things out. I find myself going through everything and reminiscing, everything I have come across so far has had memories attached, making it that little bit harder to throw said things away.

I need to get a shimmy on with all this packing now and just let go of anything holding me back, now is the time to clear out and allow myself space for new objects with new memories.

As the weeks pass, I’m becoming more and more ready to move. I’m ready for this new chapter, to start over with my personal life. Living three hours from home is a pretty good way to start over too.

I’m obviously going to come home and visit, because I’ve got to see the lovely people back home still, haven’t I?

I will miss my friends and family at home, but it will be nice to get a sense of true independence.

Time to get my pack on!

Speak soon,

XOXO

Hannah.

Sanity, Is That You?

As most of you know — from either reading my blog posts or being around me — I have been über stressed about university and the countdown to getting my results.

After having to wait almost a week after everybody else had received their results, I finally got mine.

I actually found out that I had a place at my desired university (De Montfort) before I’d even received my results, which led me to believe that I had done well, which was confirmed two days later.

It felt like so much stress had disappeared at that moment, a weight lifted off of my shoulders and it felt as if I were walking on air.

I am in an extremely rare moment right now where I actually have nothing to worry about. My personal life isn’t great, but it’s not bad, it just has no significance.

This summer has been the marking of many changes, all of the negatives have been in my personal life, but I didn’t get upset about them like I should have because somewhere deep down inside my intuition told me that this was all happening for a reason. I knew that this was all happening to prepare for bigger, better things and as the weeks passed it became clear that those better things were coming to me in the form of educational success.

Right now I am going to enjoy the time that I have left, which is roughly a month. That’s one whole month sans responsibility, aside from the first instalment of rent and any other money related set backs, this is going to be a fairly relaxed month.

It is a shame about my personal life taking so many hits this summer, I feel like everything that meant something to me has just disappeared and it has left me feeling rather empty at times, but life is all about balance and after my educational track record, it’s about time things went right in that department.

I’m not going to dwell on the bad stuff right now, I need to look at everything as a clean slate and focus on the excitement of starting over.

I’m rather sick of feeling negative, so hopefully my personal life picks up a little, but I’m sure everything will work out for the best as long as I keep a positive attitude about everything.

Here’s to starting over,

XOXO

Hannah.

Stuck In The Middle

First of all, I’d like to apologise for my absence and tell you all that I have no excuse whatsoever. Unless abandoning my own thoughts counts as a good excuse.

I, since returning from holiday last week, haven’t been doing much with my time. Leaving the house twice during the day this week was as productive as I got and I’m not sorry.

This past week I have found myself in a slump, the realisation that I have nothing to do for the next two months hit me hard and I have been feeling a little isolated from the world.

Usually, if I found myself with little to do I would pop to town for a little retail therapy or see my friends, but they are either away on their own adventures or busy at work.

This has given me time to catch up on almost every TV show that I’d forgotten about and led me to actually start using Pinterest correctly; Pinterest led me to once again look at tattoo ideas for my rib cage and it’s safe to say I have found/altered a design that I will definitely be getting on my skin in the hopefully near future.

I am now dealing with the anxiety of waiting around for the results that confirm my place at my desired university, this is driving my crazy and will continue to tangle my brain for the next month until I get these results.

If I don’t get the results that I need I will still be going to university, this will either involve me figuring out how clearing works (seriously, what?!) or accepting the fact that fate wanted me to take my unconditional offer instead.

It’s all very good discussing this now, but I am not going to let it torture me until results day, I have to find a way to forget, a distraction to take my mind off of this day until it arrives.

Having nothing to do has given me so much time to think, that I had too many posts in mind for my blog and instead of posting any of them, I opted for radio silence and this is me breaking that silence.

This gap between college and university is awkward, affecting me a little more than I expected and in a month or so I should hopefully feel ready to go and start the next three years of my life!

It’s great to be back, I love you all and I won’t leave you again (at least not until I have a mental breakdown).

XOXO

Hannah.

That’s That

This week (this Thursday to be exact) is finally my last day at college! After doing two years of sixth form and a year at college doing the complete wrong course for me, I found the one that was right and now I am about to finish that too.

A couple of days ago I got my final grade for the course I had been studying — Print-Based Media/Creative Media Production/Journalism — it has so many names that I have lost count, but the point is that I was very pleased with the grade I received.

I have proven to myself that I really can succeed if the challenge is within something that I am passionate about. As a person that always dreads the day I get educational results, I was positively shocked and I could feel the majority of my stress dissolving into the atmosphere around me.

Although I still have to wait until one result, this has certainly been a weight off and this grade has shown me that I did do the right thing in deciding to procrastinate in college for a further two years. I have used this time to figure my shit stuff out and then realise that University actually was a possibility for me.

Hitting slow-mo on going to University truly was a great decision for me because I have used the time that I would have been at University to get the ‘I’ve just turned 18, let’s go clubbing ALL THE  TIME’ behaviour out of the way and I will be going into this with a little more maturity and understanding of myself. Yes, I will still go out and drink, but it’ll be much more responsibly as I prefer a chilled evening with friends at the pub than clubbing until stupid o’clock anyway.

Stress will always exist because there is no way of me avoiding absolutely everything that stresses me out, but I am going to handle it in the best way possible and just stay positive about everything as much as I can.

For anyone out there that has absolutely no idea what they want to do with their life or their career; I can assure you that I have been there and everybody has their own timeline. Don’t jump into anything if you’re not ready and do things on your own terms, find yourself and everything else will fall into place.

You, reader, just peeked into my brain.

see you next time!

XOXO

Hannah.

Don’t worry, be happy

Ever feel like you put so much effort into something and get nothing back? That’s how I feel after this month and I am now in fear that I am doing the same for this upcoming month too.

Those of you that have me on social media sites will know that I’ve been in a bad mood all week and it’s because I am trapped right now.

I had been counting down for the end of the month, put that date on a pedestal as it were the answer to my problems, because initially it was.

The end of the month was supposed to be the end to my financial difficulty and instead it appears I have worked all month for nothing.

While waiting for a miracle to happen I have been trying to take my mind off this issue with my final major project at college.

I had this idea to analyse the way music makes us feel, how we have specific emotions linked to songs that act almost as a soundtrack to a particular memory. Focusing on this idea has kept me in my own little world, that and my Netflix addiction, which is at an all time high!

While I feel angry, betrayed and exhausted from working for nothing, I know I need to focus on all the positives.

Positivity is key and I have a lot to look forward to. I have university, where is a question of the outcome of my upcoming exams — this is more stress, but I will have a university to go to regardless of my results, thanks to a lucky unconditional offer to fall back on.

I finished Paper Towns and will probably be reviewing that soon and discussing my view on how they are adapting this to the screen.

I have managed to watch almost FIVE SEASONS of The Vampire Diaries which I started watching just before I went to LA at the start of March. Although I am busy, I may have replaced sleep with Netflix to get to where I am in the programme. I am doing this for a reason and that reason is to get up to date in order to write about it for the online magazine in which I write for.

I am not sure what I am going to do about my current financial situation because I am quite frankly struggling now and it’s infuriating as I put all my time and energy in for practically nothing.

So that’s where I’m at right now, just thought I’d update you before I post about other various things!

If anyone else is struggling with the same situation as me, I suggest you focus on the positives too and remember that you’re letting them win if they’re getting you down!

Peace out my darlings,

XOXO

Hannah.