Friday, 15 August 2014

7 pieces of advice for a fresher..

How's that hangover doing?

A few pieces of advice that I would've like to have been told this time last year...

  1. It’s ok to miss home – I had the most horrific first week; I cried about 5 times a day, I said I was going to quit 78 times and guys, I even smashed my phone screen.. Seriously though, if you’re homesick – please don’t stay in your room, please don’t think that university is a horrible place – it’s not, it’s just completely alien at the moment and it will get better. Don’t be ashamed of missing home; you are not alone in feeling that way.

  2. Be your own person – University is the time to find yourself, and be who you want to be so don’t be a sheep, no one will respect you for it.

  3. Remember why you’re there – Amidst the drinking, the socialising and the amazing times that you will have, remember that you’re there to study and get a degree, of which is costing you an obscene amount of money…so don’t waste it.

  4. Take advantage of the free time – Savour every single moment of being a student, bask in the glory of having 5 lie ins a week and not having to get dressed for 3 days straight… because after this, it’s job time…and that will not be fun.

  5. It’s ok if you don’t want to drink every single day of your existence – if you don’t feel like going out one night, or simply aren’t a big drinker, don’t be pressured into it. You might even find that a couple of your flatmates feel the exact same way but don’t want to disappoint anyone.

  6. Budget – So boring but so important. Does anyone enjoy living off tap water and own brand baked beans? No – so don’t blow your student loan in the first couple of weeks…please.

  7. Have fun! – These will be some of the greatest years of your life, enjoy it, embrace it!

    Good luck - you're going to love it!

    Charlotte x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

please don't let the digital era ever completely take over

Today, Company magazine closed. After 36 years, the doors are closing, the magazine stops being printed and we are told that it will now be exclusively online. Some of you may think, 'so?', some of you may not care because you never read it anyway but this isn't just solely about Company magazine, this is about the digital era taking over. I personally love Company magazine and believe that it's one of the few magazines that empower young girls, with content that is particularly supportive of bloggers(maybe one of the reasons why their sales have dropped so significantly over the past couple of years..), which is why it's so sad that it will no longer be on our shelves...

In 10 years, what if print magazines are no more? What if it becomes impossible to buy an actual book? What if we have to accept that the only way our children and grandchildren, are going to read, is through a piece of machinery? Imagine never knowing what it feels like to smell a brand new book, to sit down with a cup of tea and flick through a magazine or a newspaper - technology is taking over, and it simply doesn't sit right with me. It scares me.

Obviously, I love the internet - who doesn't! I love social media and online shopping, endless amounts of information at the click of a button, and of course, blogging - but I don't want this to be my life. I don't want there not to be an alternative. We miss so much of actual real life, being glued to our phones, taking pictures with the thought of not saving it to treasure for a later date, but to upload and see how many likes they can get on Instagram(guilty).

The digital era now, isn't actually a choice - it's just what we've been programmed to do. We get up, check twitter, get dressed, check instagram, check twitter, reply to a snapchat, check twitter again and repeat for the rest of the day. We wake unto social media and we go to bed with it. We so desperately tell ourselves that we're going to have a digital detox and read more books but it just doesn't happen because we have an addiction to the internet - we can't not check it in the fear of missing out on something that we've probably read every single day for the past year!

Apart from holidays, I never use my Kindle. I can't do it - it's just not the same. The satisfaction of turning that last page in a proper book, of seeing how far into the story you are, of physically holding someone's handiwork that they've produced through blood, sweat, a lot of tears and a few gallons of alcohol, is something that a Kindle can, and will never, compare with. I don't want to be 61% through a book(!!), I want to buy it, and physically hold it as I read it, drop it on my face a couple of times as I drift off to sleep and then when I've finished it, I want to put it on my shelf, feeling a small sense of pride that that's another one finished.

I want there to be an alternative to a screen. I want there to be an alternative to the internet. I want the choice of both - I want to use social media, and google things until my heart's content, but I also want to sit down at the end of a long day, whether it be in the bath, in bed or even on the commute home, and I want to read a book, a magazine, or maybe even a newspaper because nothing can beat it. Ever.

I don't want the digital era to ever completely, take over.

I'm going to press publish, close my laptop down, and go and start a new book...bliss.

Charlotte x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

the British tag


 1.   How many cups of tea do you have a day & how many sugars?

Summer or winter, hot or cold, I’ll have 3-4 a day. You simply cannot beat a cup of tea – unless it’s a cocktail, but even then it needs to be a good ‘un. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually don’t have sugar anymore; it took some serious training(I have a hard life..) but now I cannot drink it with even a grain of sugar in, ew, ew, ew.

2.       Favourite part of your roast -
The Yorkshire puddings without a doubt – I save them until last and then savour every delicious bite. Is it weird to say broccoli too? Can’t go wrong with a few greens.

3.       Favourite dunking biscuit -
This is difficult because there are many, many biscuits that are in contention for this but I’m going to go with a underrated choice of the custard cream. Seriously try it – it’s a taste sensation…
4.       Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
I actually love watching cricket – please don’t judge me – no but seriously I do love it, especially going to watch England play. I do think it’s literally the most English sport as well – what other sport do you get lunch AND tea all in the same day?
5.       Favourite word?
I don’t really have one? I do love ‘inconspicuous’ though – I just like saying it #thuglife

6.       Cockney rhyming slang?
Apple and pears is the genuinely the only one I know..
7.       Favourite sweet?
The Harrods’ rhubarb and custard ones are genuine pieces of heaven. Can’t go wrong with Haribo tangfastics either.

8.       What would your pub be called?
...I literally am the worst person with coming up with names ever, hence why my blog’s name has suddenly changed. I’m so awful at it it’s almost embarrassing so I’m not even going to put you through me trying to think of one –it may offend your eyes.

9.       Favourite shop/restaurant?
Topshop & Homesense(lol). Can I count Amazon too? I can’t get enough of it for books. I’m a complete foodie so it would almost be completely impossible for me to pick one single restaurant but a couple of favourites are Bella Italia and Jam Jars in Jesmond, Newcastle.

10.   What British song pop into your head?
Spice Girls – Wannabe because it’s my ultimate song. Nothing will ever compare. Annddd..the national anthem. I seriously love it! When the Commonwealth Games was on a few weeks ago, every time it came on I would find myself humming along…although we’ll forget I also found myself singing along to the Australian anthem too… Don’t even ask how I somehow know the tune, never mind the actual words to it, I truly cannot cope with myself sometimes...

11.   No1 British person?
K – Middy is the ultimate isn’t she. She’s just so classy and beaut  - I mean I know she has about 8567 stylists and hairdressers etc but no one can argue that her hair is the bomb.

12.   Marmite?
I tag - Maddy :)
Charlotte x

Monday, 4 August 2014

read and reviewed | Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon #7

I had a book hangover after I finished this little beauty. Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon is the perfect chick lit and so much more. After having a drunken one night stand, half way across the world in the UK, Aussie girl Bronte has a rather big shock when a year later, after accepting a temporary job offer in London, she comes face to face with that exact guy on her first day at work when she realises he’ll actually be one of her work colleagues. Tears, temptation, lust, love and friendship are packed into this perfect summer read as Bronte struggles to come to terms with her past, whilst muddling her way through the present.
I really did love this book – it’s an easy read, which leaps straight into the story – nothing worse than being 6 chapters in and still not having a clue what’s going on – and I devoured it in less than 2 days. I loved the ending so much; you find yourself willing it to happen from about half way through but at the same time, not really expecting it to happen either.. Ooooh mystery - go read it!
Fully recommended – 5/5
Charlotte x

Friday, 1 August 2014

social media cleanse

I’ve had to have a little sit down with myself over the past week or so. I was continuing to do something that just isn’t ok and it actually isn’t healthy, so enough is enough – I’ve put an end to it. I may be judged for this post, or I may make you think about your activity on social media, either way I know for a fact I’m not the only one who has done it.  

This week, I feel like I’ve cleansed my brain...ooh how mystical and hippie like... but no seriously, I have decided that I no longer want to be someone who follows people on social media, purely to pick apart their tweets or Instagram posts with a friend. Disclaimer – I have never ever EVER sent a message of any kind to anyone on social media of nastiness or bitchiness; e.v.e.rI don’t see why people do it and I definitely don’t see who it benefits – just sad sad people. No, I’m not talking about the infamous internet trolls, they aren’t worth anyone’s time, I’m talking about following someone, who you don’t particularly like, for no reason at all but the whole ‘did you see what Fred* posted a few hours ago, why would he even say that?!’ debacle.  

Negativity can eat you alive; it seeps into every pore and becomes part of your everyday life. It starts with complaining every so often, and then gradually, you see yourself slipping into a dark hole of moaning and complaining, bitching and sniping – it changes who you are as a person. It changes your outlook on life and your motivation for the day and I have come to the conclusion that I am not willing to carry on like that any longer. I am not willing to waste my time, talking about people that simply are not worth it. The negativity, along with the people, has to go.  
We waste enough hours of our lives on the internet – we miss so much of what life has to offer – so why make that even worse by not even liking the people we waste our time on?! I think that actually, it stems from high school, which is by far the most toxic environment that a girl can find themselves in. I look on Facebook now, at the younger people who are finding their way through their teens, making very petty arguments very very public and it’s some of the bitchiest things I’ve ever seen! Why do we insist on tearing each other down when we should be building each other up? Gals, there are enough people in this world who are ready and waiting to rip your confidence, personality and looks to shreds – let’s not make it ok for them to do it by participating in it ourselves… 

We can’t all like each other – and I do honestly believe that, I cannot and do not accept that there are people out there who like everyone – it’s not normal but that’s ok. It’s ok because how boring would it be if we were all likeable and the same; being different is what makes the world such a unique place. It’s ok because we don’t need to interact and surround ourselves around those people. Instead of throwing punches (hypothetically, let’s keep it classy), we can ignore it and surround ourselves(on social media and  in real life) with the people that we love, that interest us, that inspire us – that make us strive for more.  Whilst I’m giggling at a person’s from high schools tweets, or I’m discussing it with my friends, I’m not doing anything but wasting my own time – and it most certainly doesn’t make me a better person. 

So on a lazy Sunday morning, when even making a cup of tea is up there with climbing Mount Everest, in regards to effort levels, I began the cleanse. Along with those that I’d followed for the simple reason that they’d followed me (soo 2012..) I courageously clicked that unfollow button on those people that I’d pathetically followed for the occasional cheap thrill of an outrageously arrogant tweet that I'd find vaguely humorous and bing! Genuinely, I felt so much better! All those ill feelings that I'd harboured subconsciously, just disappeared.

I've found a range of writers and journalists, bloggers and hell, actually interesting people, that's tweets genuinely interest me, that's writing I'm in awe of. Come on, let's stop the 'dislike following(it's not hate following, I don't care about them enough), let the high school bitchiness go and have a social media cleanse. Hey, if you're feeling really crazy, you could even read a book...

Charlotte x
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