Inside my Bag

This is a type of post that I love reading on other people’s blogs, so I’m glad that it happens to be list 8 on the 30 day challenge! Although this is on the list section, I think it needs a slightly different layout to my normal list posts.

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This is my handbag; it’s from ASOS and I take it everywhere. It is the perfect size to fit my stuff in, plus any extras I buy when I’m out (and by that I mean receipts). As you can see it is a black satchel type bag, that has a magnetic popper fastening.

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The main contents of my bag.

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These are probably the prettiest things inside my bag. My purse is a Cath Kidston one that my best friend got me a couple of birthdays ago and I love it! It will not be replaced until it literally falls apart.

My umbrella is also an essential in England and is from Primark. I usually buy my umbrellas from Primark because they’re cheap and pretty, it also means it’s not the end of the world if they break.

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Headphones are vital because I walk pretty much everywhere and clearly can’t do that without a backing track to make me feel like I’m in a music video/movie.

The mysterious black box is my portable phone charger which I rarely leave the house without. I rely on my phone a lot, especially for Google Maps since moving to Leeds because I am hopeless with directions, so this little gadget means I am never stranded with a dead phone.

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These are my little beauty bits; hand cream especially for the winter when my skin begins to resemble a witch’s, hand sanitiser for those emergencies like touching something suspicious on public transport, or going to a dodgy public toilet and lip balm to rescue my lips from my incessant picking and chewing.

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And here are the random bits and bobs.

Half a pack of chewing gum for after the smelly food I will inevitably eat. Half a pack of soothers for that unexpected sore throat that’s bound to be around the corner. Ibuprofen for emergencies, usually not mine. Plasters for my poor feet that are usually ripped apart by a bad choice of footwear. Hair bobbles and grips to control the crazy mane that is my hair.

Usually along with all this I will find a collection of receipts and scraps of paper, this time all that I found was a free book of the week card from Starbucks.

When I’m about to go out I always stick a bottle of water in my handbag too, because dehydration is never a good look.

Hope you enjoyed this list, is there anything unusual you carry around in your bags?

If I won the lottery

It may seem that I have abandoned the 30 days of lists challenge a bit, but that is not the case! Here is list number 7, what would I do if I won the lottery?

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For one, I would have a lot more of this.

  • The main thing would be to pay for my parents to retire early, especially my dad who really hates his job
  • Buy myself a car, instead of borrowing my Gran’s all the time
  • Go on more holidays, see more concerts and generally get out more without worrying about the cost
  • Buy a mac, I can’t really justify saving up and buying a mac now, especially when the main reason I want one is because they’re so pretty, but if I had the money..
  • Buy nicer make up; currently nearly all my make up is Rimmel (which is a brand I really love) but I would like to at least be able to try more expensive make up without it bankrupting me
  • Go clothes shopping somewhere other than Primark to completely update my wardrobe
  • Eat nicer food at uni, at the moment I live off Sainsbury’s basics
  • Go out for coffee; it doesn’t seem a lot to spend as a one off, but all those costa trips can really add up

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival

For the whole month of August the Fringe festival hits Edinburgh in a flurry of comedy, theatre and cabaret and this year I was lucky enough to be able to go for the final week. One of my friends attends uni in Edinburgh, so instead of having to pay for a hotel a few of us went and stayed with him.

I really wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of acts, paid and unpaid, that were performing around Edinburgh, the only down-side to that was that it made it very hard to choose which acts to see. Being poor students, one major thing that affected our decisions was cost, so we ended up seeing mostly free acts with a couple of paid ones dotted in between.

Another thing I wasn’t prepared for was the leafleting. Every step you took another leaflet would be forced in your hand, or waved in your face, most of these would then end up on the floor or stuffed into your bag until it was too heavy to carry.

About 1/100th of the leaflets I received

About 1/100th of the leaflets I received

My favourite act of the week had to be JollyBoat: Nerdplay, it was a free cabaret show by two brothers who sang about pirates, Star Wars and video games, and it was hilarious.

Another of my favourite acts was Marcus Brigstocke, this one we did have to pay for but was worth every penny, I was nearly crying from laughter. Although I hadn’t heard of him before Edinburgh, my friends had, he has been on many different comedy shows on TV. What I really enjoyed was that interspersed within his jokes were strong opinions on equality, feminism and politics which I agreed with. With some comedians I am always on edge as to when the next sexist or racist joke is coming, but with Marcus Brigstocke I found that this wasn’t a problem.

I didn’t really take many pictures because it was so busy, but here are a few.

The journey up

The journey up

View from the park

View from the park

Coffee from my favourite zebra cafe

Coffee from my favourite zebra cafe

More Scottish money

Funky Scottish money

Sun in Scotland?!?

Sun in Scotland?!?

My first time trying sweet potato fries

My first time trying sweet potato fries

Pretty sunset sky

Pretty sunset sky

Full moon

Full moon

We also had a look around the book festival that was going on in Edinburgh and I picked up one of the cute little 80p Penguin Classics; The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. I have always been curious about his writing, so here is my chance to check it out.

I have also been picking up cheap candles wherever I have seen them for my uni room in September, so I bought this red berry and jasmine one from Primark.

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I had such a lovely time and fell in love with Edinburgh a little bit; the pretty buildings, cute cafes and quirky pubs. I am already excited to hopefully go back next year!

My August Favourites

I love reading ‘favourites’ blog posts and surely the blog you write should be the blog you want to read, so here it is, my very first favourites post.

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Firstly one thing I have been loving this August is this Treacle Moon shower gel called The Raspberry Kiss. It smells amazing, of raspberry smoothies! They also have these cute little paragraphs on the front which you can read in the shower.

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Keeping with the raspberry theme; once you’ve jumped out of the shower with a craving for raspberry smoothies you can curb your cravings with one of these gorgeous muller yoghurts. The actual yoghurt part is so thick and creamy and the compote part mixes so well. Although the raspberry ones are my favourites, the lemon ones are also delicious!

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Something I have been using a lot of this month is this light moisturising cream, especially because I’ve been spending a lot of time in the sun, this has been great because it includes SPF 15. This moisturiser makes my face feel really fresh and smooth, without making it greasy.

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This nail varnish has also been used a lot this month because the colour just feels so summery and goes with so many of my summer outfits. It’s a Rimmel one called Bestival Blue, it usually only needs one coat and lasts well too!

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The final thing I have been loving in August is Sherlock, I know I’m a bit late to the party but I finally took up my friend’s recommendation and I fell in love. It is just the sort of show I love, mysterious crime solving that really gets in your head, I found it quite similar to the mentalist (which you should definitely check out if you like Sherlock). I haven’t watched season three yet though, so no spoilers please!

So these are my favourites for this month, if you like this then maybe I’ll do it again next month!

Mini Haul

Despite being skint (classic student in summer) I have managed to do a little shopping the past few days and I thought I would share my finds.

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I know Primark’s not the nicest of places, but it’s usually quite good just for staple items and I really needed just some more plain tops to go with jeans or skirts, so I picked up these three. They are actually meant to be crop tops so instead of going for my usual size 6, I grabbed a size 14 of the black one and hoped it would work out at a normal t-shirt length, which it did so I went back and bought the blue/grey and white ones too! These three were just £3 each.

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I raided the charity shops in Lincoln and found this lovely shirt. I’d been looking for something like this for a while to wear casually with leggings or jeans, so when I saw it I had to grab it. At the bargain price of £3.99 (and all for charity anyway) how could I say no? It also feels really good quality and you can’t tell that it’s even been worn.

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Today I went to Boots and decided to treat myself using my loyalty points and got myself matching red lipstick and nail varnish, both Rimmel.

Recently there was a bit of an accident with my red lipstick in which it ended up looking like this…

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so clearly it needed replacing. Luckily it was only a Collection one, so not expensive at all (number 17, Valentine if you’re interested) but still a bit heartbreaking.

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The new one I bought was number 170, Alarm and it was also pretty cheap at £4.99. It seems to be more of a pinky red and strangely smells like sweets! I’m not sure on how well it lasts because I only put it on for the test of the colour but I may update you on that. I realise it doesn’t look that red in the picture but I think it’s a mixture of the light and the fact I didn’t put it on very well.

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I also realised that I didn’t own any red nail varnish so that obviously had to change. I bought the ‘Queen of Tarts’ shade of red which is perfect, not too orange or too dark. I love Rimmel nail varnish anyway, it always seems to last so long and gives a solid colour usually only needing one coat, so I was confident when I bought this that it would be a winner. Perfect for a poor student too at just £2.99!

Cycling Towards a Healthier Me

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I am skinny.

That’s just a fact, but by no means does that mean I am healthy. When I thought about it, I realised that I don’t really do any exercise and especially when at uni I can eat quite unhealthily and that was making me feel quite sluggish and gross. This is when I decided that I needed to make some changes.

These changes aren’t something I made to alter my appearance or lose weight (in fact I’m hoping to put some on in muscle form) just for me to feel stronger and healthier.

So in the past few months I have tried to be more active (especially because it’s the holidays so I haven’t been walking to uni everyday) and I thought I would document some of the steps I have been taking on here.

One type of exercise I do enjoy (in summer) is cycling. My parents have also been getting quite into cycling whilst I’ve been at uni so they kind of inspired me too. I started off by going on 10 mile bike rides a couple of times a week and slowly worked my way up to 15 miles, 25 miles and today I completed my first 40 mile bike ride.

It felt great today when I was able to join my parents on one of their longer bike rides, especially after that being my goal at the start of the summer. The longer bike rides are also more exciting because they include food stops along the way!

So I made it round in my makeshift cycling gear; a borrowed cycling top and bike from my mum, sunglasses borrowed from my dad, shorts not made for cycling at all and gloves and helmet that are actually mine.

Vital kit

Vital kit

Something borrowed, something blue

Something borrowed, something blue

Pit stop halfway through

Pit stop halfway through (I realise it’s not the healthiest)

Stop for a cereal bar with 10 miles to go

Stop for a cereal bar with 10 miles to go

Lots of fields and pretty skies

Lots of fields and pretty skies

The end result

The end result

I don’t want to think about how much my legs will ache tomorrow!

My Make-up Clear Out

Since I’ve been back from holiday I have been very minimalistic with my make-up, this is partly because my now tanned(ish) skin is still a bit too dark for my normal foundation and concealer, but also partly because I’m lazy. I think the longer I put off wearing normal make-up, the longer I can cling on to the holiday and the freckles it has left me with.

Embracing the freckles

Wearing less make-up, paired with my love of having a good clear out inspired me to clear out all of my old make-up.

The majority of the make-up that I owned was quite weird; it was either freebies donated from my mum’s work friends or very cheap make-up that I thought was a good idea to buy at the time.

One make-up product that I really hate is lip gloss. What is the point of it? It sticks my hair to my mouth, tastes horrible and doesn’t even colour my lips. I much prefer lipstick. For some reason, despite my hatred, I must’ve had at least 20 tubes, so they all had to go.

Strangely I found it very therapeutic throwing away various orange shades of foundation and bizarre colours of eyeshadow, it made me feel a little bit more grown up. It felt like I was throwing away the embarrassingly awkward teenager part of me and leaving behind the young adult who actually likes the way she looks (most of the time). It was pretty great!

I also love having things neat and tidy, so it’s very nice to open my drawer in the morning and see it (fairly) neatly organised.

make up drawer

This picture doesn’t actually include the make-up I wear everyday, but I might do a separate blog post about that.