Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wise Wednesday #4


This week I have not been feeling well at. all. For some reason, whenever I become too relaxed - that somehow manifests itself into a whole new world of anxiety. I've been suffering really strong palpitations all week, I feel like I can hardly breathe (I think I'm coming down with another chest infection) and I've been having horrible dreams. I haven't been having nightmares no, but its almost as if I'm living a super stress filled life in my dreams which in turn makes me wake all disorientated and fraught with distress and I am hating it.

I had a dream that I was learning to ride a motor bike (first of all, huge stress, 100% out of my comfort zone) and one morning I had to get to college (bit outdated?) and not thinking straight I drove my motor bike all the way there, parked up, took off my helmet only to realise that I just completed a 20 mile journey without having a licence (WHY?). I didn't know what to do, I couldn't ask someone around me for advice because it was an empty car park and I didn't know how to get back home. For some reason, at this point my shoes decided to disappear. I couldn't ride the bike back home because, well it's illegal, and by this point in the dream I was so anxious that I couldn't even contemplate walking to the train station... but I couldn't just leave it there in case it got stolen, but then I also couldn't take it on the train back with me and so I called my dad (yes, apparently I call my dad in times of despair in my dreams too haha). He drove all that way to come and help me, but the bike wouldn't fit in his car and then in my dream I had a panic attack. Consequently, I woke up, my heart racing, I was hyperventilating, sweating and all I could think was, brain WHY would you do that to me? It's such a strange dream too, usually I can figure out what it is that I have experienced, talked about or heard during the day that would have influenced such a dream but not this one. I think I might have figured it out though, if not then oh well its helpful bull.

My anxiety has really just got me down this week and I've made myself feel physically weaker than I would have liked now that I'm about to jump into undertaking the research process for my dissertation. Perhaps this is what I am stressed about. It is just such a big deal, and there is no room for error here. I myself am one to preach to others that 'grades don't mean everything' and this doesn't, but boy does it mean a lot. If there is one skill I can safely preach about on my CV its that I am bloody good at writing reports and I just know I can get that first class grade I'm longing for (for my dissertation that is) if I really knuckle down this summer before Autumn term starts and go back to university with at least the first draft completed. Even though I feel ready, and I am excited to begin my research, my greatest fear is that I will jump into it all and feel swamped and stuck in a whole pool of research, statistics, sourcesaregihr and not be able to get back on top and hand in a good piece of work - maybe this is represented in my dream through travelling towards my education on a high speed motor bike, only to get to the other end and feel lost and stranded, not knowing what to do? Who knows. Either way it's sort of opened my eyes a little.

I have decided, despite of all the work that I have ahead over the next few months that the most important thing for me to do, at least right now is to take my time, think things through, plan and "go slowly". Sometimes its easy to forget to breathe and come to terms with your thoughts when you have such a scary hurdle ahead because contemplating it for too long can be a stress in itself, but I am determined to enter into this project with a clear mind which I hope will help reduce the physical symptoms I've been suffering and in the long run, better prepare my mind and my body to produce a significant piece of work that I am proud of.

Health first, work second. 

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wise Wednesday #3

Coinciding with my first 'Wise Wednesday' quote, I have really enjoyed trying to make tomorrow better than today, and in doing so stepping out of my comfort zone in a few small areas, whether that be visiting places that I would usually avoid, pushing myself to get out the door no matter how anxious I feel and yesterday. Yesterday I went on a little road trip with my friend Amy and made a visit to Highcliffe beach, just off Christchurch, Dorset. I haven't really been to the beach to do 'beach-y things' in years and after having enjoyed myself yesterday so much I honestly have no idea why. Why have I been so paranoid about wearing a revealing swimsuit? What was it that I was so scared of when thinking of swimming into the cold sea? Why haven't I spent more days like that where I could just lay there, listen to the ocean swishing back and forth and simply laugh and relax? Although they might seem like the littlest things I did this week, It has really shown me that caring less about what others think, wasting less energy thinking about all those stresses we endure throughout everyday life and instead taking that time to enjoy the simplest of experiences has put a huge smile on my face and I've already made plans to go back to the beach some point soon! 

The reason why I chose this particular quote this week is because it highlights the question that if we aren't living our life and jumping into new experiences, what exactly are we doing with our time? If we reach out without fear for new beginnings, different explorations and fresh memories - even by making the smallest of changes to our everyday lives, then we know we're definitely on the right track in making tomorrow more enjoyable or at least different than today and yesterday.


This week I explored Brighton and Highcliffe, where to next I wonder...?
Hannah x
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Turning 20: A New Chapter

So it has only really just dawned on me that I would have been alive on this Earth for 20 years by the end of this week. That amounts up to 240 months, 1043 and a half weeks, 7304.84 days, 175316 hours, and I don't even want to list those seconds because its scary to think that I am here now, after all those long days and short hours and man did that speed by quickly. I've never really been that type of person to look forward to saying that I'm now a year older because I've always been content with the age that I am. Part of me is so looking forward to being 20 but a whole lot of me feels a little cautious about it. I mean, that's it. I will officially be in the adult category (well, technically speaking that's at 21 but it's practically the same thing in my book). Entering the world of the 20s seems to me like it is filled with new opportunities, experiences, friends and so much more and that I am really looking forward to. What's scary is that I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do. I mean, I love marketing and I'm really enthusiastic about the research behind understanding those processes and I really enjoy it, but is it something that I enjoy or is it a prospective career? It's confusing because I never thought I'd be lucky enough to ever enter into a job where I would enjoy each working day and now after having studied marketing as part of my degree I feel as though that opportunity is now on the cards and that excites me. When I first started university I said I wanted to be a journalist because I couldn't think of anything else to say when tutors and classmates asked me 'so what's your plan post graduation?' with a glint of wonder in their eyes as to what the future me would look like. I guess this stemmed from my love of writing and I still think it's amazing that, through these little shapes I am some how magically able to communicate with you and express my thoughts and feelings with what is really is just a bunch of squiggles and lines on a page. I love to write. My number one dream would be to get published, to have my name at the bottom of a cover or a final verse in someone's hands and communicate to them endlessly throughout history. Well, perhaps not throughout history but as long as people would want to read what I have to say I suppose? We eventually stop breathing, stop speaking, but words on a piece of paper will forever remain and to me that's just so incredibly powerful.

By time I graduate I will still be 20, which is so daunting and I can't believe that it will all be over in less than a year now, but whilst it scares me a little, I'm more excited than ever to leave university with a degree under my belt, and I feel lucky that I am able to do that before I even reach 21 because it gives me the time to take a masters degree if I want to, it gives me time to go travelling to the places I've always dreamed of visiting, it gives me time to really try to achieve my dreams and it gives me the time to put into perspective what it is that I want to achieve before I reach 30; which I am very thankful for because if we are here now, already at 20, then my guessing is that 30 will come by a lot quicker than initially imagined. I want to make something of each day and at the end of each week I want to be able to list the productive things that I did that week so as to run onto a new page. I don't want to waste any time that I have on this Earth any more because it is only now that I realise just how much I could have done if I had believed in myself more and had the confidence and time to do so. I look back now and see that my greatest barrier was my education, sucking up all my hours, wearing me down as to not have the energy that I needed to spend time fulfilling what I wanted to, rather than what other people wanted me to; but whilst it may have been my greatest barrier with regards to time, it has to have been my greatest asset as to give me the skills necessary to hopefully enable me to achieve those dreams that I so long for. Each element taught me something different, of course, but I really feel like I am at that stage now where this is the final hurdle and I can get there and I will be able to achieve it because of all that time and effort I put into all those exhausting years.


After having achieved a 2:1 class degree for my second year of university I feel now, more than ever that the following year is my time to shine. I've never been one to swat for hours in the library, complete all the readings on the list, start my deadlines or even revise for exams a week in advance, but next year I am determined to switch that around. If my natural ability means that I am at the level of a 2:1, imagine what I could achieve if I were to really knuckle down and put in those hours that this past year I neglected? By no means will I be disappointed if I don't graduate with a 1st class degree overall as I started university with the mindset that I wanted to get a 2:1 out of my experience, and I am determined to achieve it, anything above that is simply a bonus I guess. I'm hoping that if I knuckle down and work hard I'll be able to secure that grade which would be the perfect finish to the past 16 years of education. Do I want to take a masters? I'm not sure. Initial thoughts are yes it would be lovely to achieve an MA. in something, but do I need it? No. Is it worth the money? I'm not sure. But I still have a year to think it over, so I guess what will be will be.





My main aims and goals for this next chapter of my life are a little scattered, and arguably don't all inter-wine with each other well and are bound to change as I enter into and explore my new found options but from a 19 year old's mindset these are some of the key things that I would want to be able to look back on when I reach 30 and think, wow, I did it.


1) Graduate with a 2:1 class Bachelor of Arts degree.


2) Hike and explore several national parks (being the huge nature lover that I am - the key two that come to mind are The Lake District and Yosemite) and travel to at least three new places I have never been before.

3) Make sure I take the time to be happy and enjoy myself. If I feel stressed, I want to make the time to go to a yoga class, or treat myself to a massage if it is needed, and not ignore my stress.


4) Find a job that I feel happy doing. I don't even care about the payslip, what's important to me is to find something that I feel comfortable doing, that I wake up looking forward to and which leaves me with a smile or at least thoughts of productivity when I return home. In my eyes, there is nothing better.

5) Move out. I think this is an obvious option for most people in their 20's but I really am looking forward to moving into a space that I can call my own, that I can treat as a blank canvas and splurge all my creative ideas to express, in a material nature, what it is that makes me feel revitalized, relaxed and 'at home'. I don't plan on leaving my parents house any time soon, I love living with them and I feel it much more wise to save enough of a deposit to buy that apartment/house that I could imagine myself living in for a long duration, rather than settling for something lesser simply for the sake of moving out. I guess its also more confusing for me because I don't just want to live here. I want to live everywhere. New York is the top one, but the thought of moving abroad or even to such expensive cities is daunting, and I know that that is definitely not something I would want to spring straight into anyway but who knows where life will take me? My friends and I have already started discussing possibilities of living together in Central London when we've all graduated which is of course exciting, but it doesn't help calm that ever growing feeling that my future is just coming at me, like a beam of light that I can't run from or escape and have to face whether I'm ready to or not.

6) Get published. I've always lovely writing poetry and have been repeatedly told by my family and friends that I should get some published, but I've never really known how to go about it. Who do I contact? What about copyright? Do I want to be published online or in a book? Is my work really good enough? I really don't know, but I am excited to delve deeper into the world of writing and I hope to rise from the other side with some published work under my belt. Never have I ever felt so enthusiastic about doing something so I really do think that it is a milestone that can happen in the near future.

7) Find someone that makes me happy? I'm perfectly happy with being single, I seriously have no idea why some girls focus their main thoughts and emotions on being in a relationship. I've never really felt like I needed to be in a relationship as to get by but I think this is because all I have endured is bad experiences on that part and I've always been pretty independent. I'm not going to go out purposely looking for a future partner, but it would be nice if I happen to find someone that I could imagine spending a good portion of my life with.

8) Learn to drive and buy my own car. Due to health issues I haven't been allowed to apply for a license and I need to go at least a year without any problems before they even consider giving me permission to sit behind the wheel. I'm happy to say that I'm nearly there now, it is coming up to that year and touch wood I can get through it and continue onwards with such reduced symptoms that I have to say, I have been very much enjoying!

9) Make sure I stay in touch with the people I want to stay in touch with. When you're at college or university, you're very fortunate as to see the majority of your friends 5 days of the week due to the necessity of weekly timetables, but when all that goes away and I enter the world of work which demands my time to be spent with a new set of (hopefully) friends, I don't want to lose those that I hold so dearly now. I want to be one of those people that can laugh alongside old friends at 30 remembering those embarrassing stories from when we were teens. I think that would be lovely.

10) Blog, and keep blogging. When I first started blogging I'm not really sure if I had any 'goals'. I had just started my second year at university and after having wanted to start up a blog now for literally years I just decided that, if I wasn't going to start then, I wouldn't ever do it. I have in the past started blogs before, but after a month or two something else in my life would become more demanding and then sweep away any time for blogging. Now however, I am much more in charge of my free time and the fact that I managed to maintain and uphold my blog despite of university, deadline and exams demands, I managed to keep writing and doing what I wanted, whilst also working three jobs during that period too. I have gotten to that point with my blogging where people are starting to read what I have to say, and every time that someone either comments or tweets me telling me how much they enjoyed my post or liked my pictures it honestly means the world to me because it's given me that confidence to believe that yes, I can be my own person, people do like what I have to say and I am doing something productive in my free time that I enjoy, and its making me enjoy my week a whole lot more. If I'm having a bad week, I can turn to my little space here on the internet and either discuss those negative feelings or explore something more enjoyable and excitable which really does make me feel better and I love that. I honestly don't care if I never earn any money, or if I never become the next 'blogger sensation' because I love that I can just sit here, write, share my life and experiences through photos and engage with people like you, reading this, talking about the things I love.

In saying that, I doubt anybody got to the end of that huge ramble but I wanted to write this more as something for me to look back on in the future to either laugh at or think yes, I did it.
So here goes! Hello world of the 20's.

Hannah 
x
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Wise Wednesday #2


From time to time I think that we have all gotten to that point in our lives where it's hard to let go of those things that are dragging us back, or that are keeping us down, whilst holding onto other elements of the past that keep us strong and help maintain who we are. I chose to post this particular quote today because soon I will be entering into a new chapter of my life, where I will need to establish that 'fine mingling' of letting go and holding on to those things that will enable me to be a better person and prosper.
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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Fresh Flowers


For some reason I hadn't purchased any fresh flowers for a long while, which is very unlike me as I always used to like to keep the hall table stocked at the very least. After having just returned from the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, I forgot just how powerful flowers are in brightening up an area, both in terms of their colour and fragrance. Re-stoking fresh flowers throughout the year are yes, an 'unnecessary' expenditure, I mean, nobody really needs flowers, but to me they're something I really enjoy 'splurging' on as they just totally brighten up my mood each time I walk past. I say 'splurge'... supermarkets now more than ever sell such a wide selection of fresh flowers - all with an averaged two week life span costing around £3.50- £5.00 for a lovely, full, bright bunch like those pictured above. I personally have been loving the arrangements available at Sainsbury's and ASDA this summer and I really think they have stepped up their game in terms of variety within each bouquet; packed with vibrant filler flowers and different textures enhancing that more luxury feel. Whilst fake flowers in the long term could be argued to be the most money saving option, from what I've found, it's very difficult to find ones that look realistic and don't gather dust insanely quick for under the price mark of £50 which is a LOT, and personally, I much more enjoy live blossom. It's simply enlightening to add a new element to the house and its an easy method for switching up your interiors swiftly, with minimal effort - all at a reasonable cost; so I think for now I will stick to my fresh blooms, enjoy this rekindled relationship and appreciate these little bursts of summer whilst possible. :)

How about you? Fresh or fake?
Hannah x
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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Favourite Summer Scent


Hello there! I thought that this week it would be fun to share with you all my favourite summer scent. I would say that the perfume pictured above was my favourite summer scent for 2014, but since purchasing it back in early 2013, I have listed this as my favourite perfume ever since.

Eau des Jardins by CLARINS is exactly what I would use to define a 'summer fragrance'. This perfume possesses strong notes of citrus alongside a smidge of roses and as the coloured bottle implies, it sprays a beautiful burst of orange into the room each time you press that magical button - so uplifting and comforting at the start of each day, and unbelievably refreshing towards the end when you need a little pick me up. I find that not only does this perfume last several hours but it can last for days on clothing garments. So many a time people have asked to borrow my scarf or jacket only to ask me what I'm wearing because it just "smells so good". I don't feel like enough people know about this perfume or have even given it a sniff whilst visiting their local Boots, Debenhams or anywhere that sells CLARINS really and I wholeheartedly recommend that you go and check this one out because I am seriously in love with it's scent. This little gem also contains a variety of essential oils and plant extracts such as beech and blackcurrant buds, meaning that you can enjoy smooth, nourished skin on top of smelling like a walking summer (errrrm... Yes please!).

If you like fruity scents - definitely check this out. If you love orange/mandarin scents - ditto. If you are turned off by sweet and fruity scents - give it a try. I personally find that this fruity fragrance is far more fresh than it is sweet, and has much more of a mature, woody undertone than other fruity perfumes that I have previously tried. 

As you can tell from my enthusiasm, I absolutely adore this fragrance from CLARINS, and by looking at the volume left, I think I'm sadly going to run out of this little beauty within the next month or two. I can wholeheartedly say however that I, without a doubt, will definitely be repurchasing this product because in my eyes, it is just too divine not to smell each summer day!


What's your favourite summer scent?
Hannah x


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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wise Wednesday #1




I always find it so refreshing to read such quotes, as to help me recognise and put into words those thoughts, feelings, beliefs and desires running through my head into a clean, simple context. So often it is that I come across a powerful, thought provoking line only to lose track and forget those words that inspired me so upon discovery, thus I have decided to commit to weekly 'Wise Wednesday' posts from here on now as I hope this will not only develop into a library of informative wisdom for me, but for you also.


Strive to make tomorrow more exceptional than today.
Hannah x
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Portobello Mushrooms



I don't know about you, but when summer hits and the heat amps I really just don't feel like eating any meat. No, I haven't turned vegetarian for the summer (I love chicken simply too much to be without it) but I have been really enjoying discovering lighter alternatives to meats such as beef and lamb, that are also equally as filling; cue - mushrooms. Out of everything that I have cooked thus far, I have to say that these portobello mushrooms are right up there on the favourites list. Covered in finely chopped garlic, red chili and parsley as well as a sprinkle of lemon zest alongside a chunk of mature cheddar cheese, they are packed full with flavour and add lots of dimension to such a wide variety of dishes. I was inspired to make these after having discovered the recipe in Jamie Oliver's 30-minute meals cook book and boy oh boy Mr. Oliver, you never fail to amaze me! Not only does the recipe seek the use of affordable ingredients but they're so simple to prepare and quantities can be easily manipulated to suit your tastes. Triple win!

The 'Summer Blogger Challenge' this week encouraged the discussion of anything which relates to 'summer senses', so I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you these gorgeous mushrooms since they taste down right marvelous and are the perfect accompaniment to any summer dish!

Hannah x



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    Monday, 7 July 2014

    New York Part 3: Chelsea Market


    Taking up a whole block, Chelsea Market is hard to miss. After having spent all morning exploring The High Line in minus degree temperatures, the temptation of an indoor food hall filled with warmth, flavoursome smells and little boutique shops was just too much to resist. Chelsea Market hosts such a wide variety of foods and beverages - so much so that my friends and I spent half an hour walking up and down trying to choose somewhere to eat - everything just looked so yummy! In the end we opted for a simple sandwich and soup shop and can I just say, that picture up there? Yep! One of the best. sandwiches. EVER. I would definitely recommend visiting Chelsea Market if you're traveling to New York and looking for places to eat and well, come on. Look at those gorgeous urban-rustic interiors. Who wouldn't want to eat in a place like that? I only say this because it wasn't on my initial list of places to visit during my stay, yet I'm so happy that I did because it really did enhance the 'New York-iness' of my trip!

    Oh I miss it! Please take me back...
    Hannah x


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