Blogging: Best Posts of 2016

One of the things I really love about blogging is the online community. I love being a part of it, and I’m hoping to see more of some of my favourite London bloggers over the next few months. Over 2016 there’s been a lot of ups and downs – there’s been drama, there’s been accusations. There’s been bitches about PRs, PRs bitching back. There’s been a huge move towards only “full-time” bloggers being seen as dedicated (something I’ve personally been a part of). But there’s also been some amazing positive moments. There’s been my favourite bloggers going viral, winning competitions, being invited to work with their all-time top brands, achieving personal goals.

favourite-blogsAnd I for one think the quality of the blogging world has gone up drastically. Not too long ago I would scroll through my BL feed a bit absent-mindedly. Now there’s SO many posts which grab me that I need to read. So much inspiration out there. Here’s just a few of my favourite blog posts of 2016…

Little Miss Katy

I’ve loved Katy’s blog since she started it. Her writing style is like one big, happy chat and her images are stunning. She’s had a bit of a re-brand this year and now her Instagram makes me despise mine. For longer than I remember she’s been writing a Happy Monday post and it’s something I always look forward to (I’m not a Monday person) – and in November she asked for people to contribute via social media. She got a massive response and the resulting post was ridiculously uplifting.

I also am forever grateful to her Instagram Editing Guide – I can finally get away with taking photos of buildings and fixing the dodgy angles!

Miss Pond

One of my favourite foodie bloggers, Miss Pond does easily achievable recipes you can actually see yourself making. One of my favourites of this year has been her Squash & Sausage Pasta – made with chorizo sausages it’s slightly spicy, super warming, quick and just yum. We usually skip the cheese (bar the compulsory grating or parmesan) but even then it’s becoming a regular. So many more recipes to try too…her Game Ragu looks delicious, and Fish Curry so comforting and fragrant.

I’m hoping to post my version of her pasta recipe linked above so keep an eye out!

Bumpkin Betty

I can’t remember when I first starting reading Bumpkin Betty, but I know I loved reading about her November wedding – her posts weren’t long after I got engaged and her style was just so unique. More recently she’s posted about re-wearing her wedding dress, something I am totally aiming at in some way or another. She’s also a pretty fab food blogger, running a monthly baking club (which I try to take part in as often as I can) and writing about cheese.

Oh, and she’s got a bun in the oven, quite literally! I’m SO excited to see her journey into motherhood.

Becky Bedbug

I have to say, I love Becky. Both her blog and style are completely unique, not to mention she has an interest in burial grounds/graveyards which I do admit I am quite fascinated by. She’s currently studying for a Masters in Death, Religion and Culture – and it sounds SO interesting. I love reading about other people’s university experiences as mine was so maths-stats-finance focussed.

Oh, and her nails are to die-for.

Hi! So I realise I’ve not updated on here for a while but I was very, very lucky to receive my shiny new lungs not too long after arriving at Harefield! Since then I’ve been recovering as being so unwell beforehand and afterwards left me feeling very weak. Recovery has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, physically and mentally, but after over a month in intensive care I’m now on the transplant ward. This was Thursday eating my dinner in the sunshine! I’ve a while to go yet as I’ve still got a trachy in and need to learn to walk properly again but I’ll get there eventually with the help of the incredible staff here at Harefield Hospital. There are not enough words to thank my beautiful donor and their amazing family for giving me this second chance at life, it’s not just me but the effect organ donation has had on my family and loved ones too is clear to see. Thank you so much for all the messages, I’ve been too tired to reply but I’ve read them all and they’ve been a real boost 💕 #organdonation #lungtransplant #doublelungtransplant #harefieldhospital #harefield #cf #cysticfibrosis #livelifegivelife

A photo posted by Josie (@sickchickchic) on

Sick Chick Chic

Now, this Instagram post made me cry. I’d been reading Josie’s blog for a while, loving her style and sense of humour. And it was clear she was suffering badly with her cystic fibrosis at the start of this year. She’s talked about it on her blog, but it was incredible that she was so, so poorly and managed to get her transplant. She looks amazing now, you’d never think she had as-major-as-it-gets surgery over the summer.

EmTalks

“Friends come and go, some stay forever, some friendships happen and they’re completely unexpected.” This quote from Em’s post on friendship has really stuck in my mind since I read it. This year, having graduated and moved to another new city, friendship was a major worry. I was terrified I’d make a mess of moving in with W (we’re both still alive, so it’s clearly going well!), I was scared I’d lose the close friends I’d made at university. Her post is so honest and quite uplifting. And as for me? I’ve not only kept hold of my closest relationships, I’ve also made a whole new friendship group.

 photo stethoscope_zpsjewdznix.jpgGinevrella

I’ve loved reading about Jen’s journey through her medical degree, and finding out she got an actual, proper job as a real doctor was such a proud moment. I’ve never met her, but I get the feeling from reading her blog that she is amazing at it. Also, didn’t she look gorgeous at her graduation ball?! I’m so jealous of her dress…

 photo Workwear Outfits 5_zpsldfjftmh.jpgThere’s been so many other blog posts I’ve loved this year. I follow a huge amount of blogs on Bloglovin and spend a good chunk of my week flicking through my feed and seeing what my favourites have been up to. It’s simply impossible for me to even list my favourite bloggers, yet alone all of the posts I’ve loved in the last year – these are just some of them!

Who are your favourite bloggers? What kind of blog posts would you like to see more of from me?

What’s Occurring Wednesday: Blogs I’m Loving

I tend to go through stages over which blogs I love. I actually follow over 1200 blogs on Bloglovin’ – enough to have been accused of following just to get followers. I will freely admit I don’t read every single post in my feed. At around 200+ a day I’d spend all my time reading if I did! However I do read every post that appeals to me (title and first image is a biggy!), regardless of blogger.

 photo Blogs_zps968f0717.jpgAnd I go through stages where I will pretty much stalk certain bloggers, obsessively reading every single post. Generally because they are bloggers I aspire to be, maybe they are doing a series that I find really interesting, or because I just love their writing style. Today I’ll share with you my current favourites…

 photo LittleMissKaty_zps9aedce38.pngLittle Miss Katy is a relatively new blogger, and I’m fairly sure I was amongst her earliest followers. I came across her on a Twitter chat, found her blog, and loved it immediately. Her humour is great, it feels like chatting to a friend, and I know that after a bad day, curling up with a cuppa and catching up with her blog is going to make me feel better. She’s done amazingly well for someone who’s only been blogging for a matter of months, and I imagine her blog being hugely, hugely successful. I know who has my vote in the 2015 Blog Awards Lifestyle Category!

 photo CiderwithRosie_zps922a07bf.pngCider with Rosie is another blog that I know will instantly improve my day. I’m utterly jealous of this girls seemingly perfect life. A stunning place to live, countryside, an absolutely lovely proposal (I can’t begin to imagine how wonderful her wedding will be), and a cute spaniel that almost rivals my dog’s cuteness. This blog has the best mix of lifestyle and recipes. Her photography is gorgeous too.

 photo EmTalks_zps90c8f3d3.pngEm Talks is yet another blogger I’m jealous of. All of a sudden she’s jetted off to Canada, and is also spending lots of time across America. I was green-eyed reading her New York posts, and now she’s had a trip to Cuba?! I’m sure there’s room in her suitcase for little ol’me! I’ve not been one to get into travel blogs, but this one has just enough balance between beauty, reviews and travel to mean I’m not too jealous to unfollow.

 photo Gh0stparties_zps57161011.pngOnto a more beauty based blog now; this was really hard for me. I follow a lot of beauty bloggers, but typically only read posts about products that appeal to me. Gh0stparties is a blogger who doesn’t just stick to beauty, there’s a lot of interior and lifestyle posts. But when she does do beauty, she does it well. And again, stunning photography which is always a winner in my Bloglovin’ feed. I only wish my own photos matched up to my expectations!

 photo Ginevrella_zpsf8690b4a.pngGinevrella is a blog I came across when Jennifer entered and won my giveaway. I couldn’t have wished for a more lovely blogger to win, especially after the comp was annoying posted across a certain forum and so resulted in lots of non-reader entries. Grrr. Ranting over, I’m so glad to have come across this blog. Chatty, friendly style, simple design (mine really needs an update!) and yet another cute dog. I may have only been a follower for a few days, but I’ve read all her old posts. That’s the sign of a great blog!

 photo LittlePaperSwans_zpsde277542.pngAnd finally we have Little Paper Swans. I love this for the sheer variety of posts, and again the photographs. The recipes are pretty lovely sounding, and I have bookmarked many of them to make. Not a blog I’ve known for long, but again I’ve read through all posts.

It was so difficult to write this post. I love so many different blogs, so many different bloggers. Writing a definitive list was impossible, and I know I’ve missed so many off! Who are your favourite bloggers? Any recommendations for me?

Student Summer: Best Student Blogs

I couldn’t write this series and not link to some of my favourite student bloggers – here’s the ones where I read every post, bookmark (and even try!) their recipes, and generally just love. Apologies for the lack of photos, for some reason Photobucket is playing up and I couldn’t access them last night…so have a picture of where I’ve found some of these blogs instead (PS – I was featured too, in the Guardian!)

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Lottie’s Little Kitchen – this is a lovely little blog with some great recipes. It’s more slowly updated nowadays *sob* but her chicken is one of my favourite meals (my version is here). She does some lovely little lifestyle pieces too, utterly jealous of some of the fabulous things she gets up to!

The Scrimpy Student – even the name of this blog makes me smile! A great lifestyle blog, full of money-saving tips. She has a love of the yellow ‘oops’ reduced stickers too!

Handbags & Cupcakes – if you are planning a Year Abroad, this is a must-read for you! Rachel has been on her abroad year over the last 12 months and has kept the blog updated regularly, there’s some fab guidance posts, and again the most lovely recipes. Any girl who seems to feature peanut butter and chocolate so often is definitely on my reading list!

Birmingham Student Foodie – probably for when you’re feeling a little more flush (most of the recipes seems to be out of my budget) but there’s some really lovely dishes here. They would be great for when you are trying to impress.

Writing Essays with Wine – a new find for me, and also a new favourite. This blog is a great mix of all studenty-lifestyle posts, and she’s also writing a great “Guide to Starting University” at the moment!

Life and Times of a Student – another new find, but one that I’m really loving. This blog provides an excellent insight to student life through the interview style posts, it’s a must if you are feeling a little bit nervous!

Nouvella Daily – not specifically a student blog, but there’s some great posts here and here. There’s also some lovely and budget-y recipes on this site, so its definitely worth taking a look.

Diary of a Maths Student – go mathletes! Other than (I assume) a shared love of maths, this blogger and me feel so alike. I love the mix of posts, the gentle guidances through university. This post made me feel a whole lot better during my exam period!

 So there you go – some of my favourite student blogs. I’d love to know if you have any must-reads for me – so what are your favourite student blogs?

 

Blogger Link-Up: Stationery for University

First of all I’d like to thank Chloe for allowing me to write a blog post for her amazing (& yummy blog – seriously the images always make me drool)..

My name is Sarah and I’m a 19 year old university student due to finish university in 2016! I blog over at EverydayConcepts about organisation, beauty, fashion and entertainment as well doing some giveaways so keep tuned!

Since I am really obsessed in love with anything related to organisation and stationery, I thought what could make a better post than where my passions lie?!

Before starting university, I went onto a massive stationery haul and purchased many things I didn’t even need. This caused me to waste a lot of money and just stare at the beautiful writing instruments and gorgeous notebooks I wouldn’t be needing. By the time second year started I sold nearly all of my items on ebay at discounted prices which was bad in terms of me losing money but good in terms of me allowing others to feed their passion and helping them get organised for cheaper!

However, I learnt my lesson. In year two, I stuck with a strict budget and only purchased items I needed:

 photo DiaryOrganiser_zps5969491d.jpg1) Diary/Organiser – This is a definite item all students should purchased. I’ve had a bit of a hassle finding out how to organise myself jumping from well known organisers to self-made diaries. Then, I popped into my local supermarket and found the diary of my dreams for only 70p!!! Advice: Always visit supermarkets first before hitting large stationery outlets.

 photo NotebookArchlever_zpsaf81c7ff.jpg2) Notebooks – I prefer good quality Oxford notebooks. I purchased two A4 ones to see if they lasted me a whole year and luckily they did! I LOVE the paper quality and how smoothly the pen writes on them!

 photo Writing_zpsf2cc1250.jpg3) Pens – Obviously a MUST (unless you use your IPad which I have seen many students use but I’d hate all my work to get lost in a dramatic technology fail!) I use Papermate inkjoys for note-making in my own time and frixion pens for rushy lectures and seminars because then at least I can rub wrong things out! I’ve not really used highlighters because I get carried away and highlight everything , so instead I use sticky notes which brings me onto my next point.

 photo StickyNotes_zps7b2415d1.jpg4) Sticky notes – These have saved me a lot of times. I am forever indebted to you sticky notes! During revision time, I use larger ones which I stick around my room. They are always popping out from my diary reminding me of deadlines and meetings. Finally, they always allow me to further cut down my notes into concise versions which are easier to remember – they are the reason for my success.

5) Arch Levers  – I have two arch levers – one with a copy of all my assignments and grades and another with all my notes. The one with my assignments and grades usually stays put until I print out everything however the one with notes sleeps under my bed! I update the notes throughout the year and collaborate notes from other modules together and develop them with further research. This helps greatly when it comes to revision.

On a final note, don’t splurge on stationery and stick to what you really need, unless of course you use your IPad (or other technology). It’s best to always see what sort of modules your degree entails – if it’s more chemistry/maths based, go overboard with the notebooks and pens! If it’s more hands on, only buy the essentials. As for me, I’m on intercalation for the following academic year, so it will be great to see what I discover however I won’t be able to indulge in stationery much! Also, for the 1st anniversary of my blog (29th July) I will be doing a HUGE stationery giveaway and fundraising for a charity so stay tuned!

Sarah 🙂

Massive thanks to Sarah for writing this post – I know I find organisation really important for university! I’ll definitely be entering her giveaway, and although I don’t want you to ruin my chances keep an eye on her blog here.

What’s your must-have bits of stationery?

Friday Favourites: Beauty Blogs

 photo Blogs_zps57407db5.jpgAnother Friday, another Favourites post. Its scary how quickly these are coming round, mainly because when I sat and scheduled the first two (Lifestyle, and Food) my exams hadn’t even started, yet by the time this one goes live I will be 24 hours away from freedom. Today I’m going to talk about beauty blogs. I probably read beauty blogs more often than others, purely cos I am a bit of a product junkie, but careful with my pennies so I like to consider purchases carefully. I don’t think I’ve bought something without reading 15 or so bloggers opinions on it!

I actually found it really difficult to write this list as I love a lot of blogs, so I went with ones that I always read new posts immediately, instead of waiting until a quiet moment.

 photo MyPaleSkin_zpsbfe4988e.pngFirst off we have My Pale Skin. I found this blog through googling for pale foundations (I really, really struggle to find a decent match!) and have been hooked ever since – especially now Em is doing the ‘Pale Test.’ I love the layout of this blog, so minimalist but different (the blue colour seems so original!) and the photography is excellent. I’m a sucker for good photography, I just wish mine was up to scratch!

 photo BedintheKitchen_zpscd6178c9.pngJaye’s blog Bed in the Kitchen is definitely one that I stop and read whenever she posts – I just love her writing style as its a great mix of to-the-point reviews and her chatty style. I really loved her Desktop Beauty post, I’m also a bit of a workaholic so definitely need to make time to pamper myself at the desk!

 photo SweetElectric_zps12d79dbf.pngSweet Electric is a blog I’ve followed for quite a few months, and I love the mix of budget and high-end reviews – the last thing I want is a blog full of products I just can’t afford! I’ve bookmarked Zoe’s Improving Photography post as that’s something I really aim to do once exams are finished. I also love Sweet Electric for a slightly selfish reason – I recently won a Nuxe giveaway on there, and so have an exciting parcel waiting for me to get home once these exams are out of the way. I can’t wait!

 photo HelloOctober_zpsbdd9b6e1.pngFinally there’s Hello October. Probably more of a lifestyle blog, but I love her beauty posts! She recently posted a Matte Brown Smokey Eye tutorial which I’m looking forward to following! I love the mix of posts of this blog, again its really a lifestyle blog but definitely one of my favourites!

Well done girls for making it into my favourites, and remember from this post that one of you I’ve nominated for a Cosmo Blog award! Nominations close on Monday I think, so get nominating!

What’s your favourite blog award? Have you nominated any yet?

Blogger Link Up: Simple Snacks for University

Continuing on my Link Up, today we have Olivia from Land of Soap writing about healthier snacks to take to university. Olivia is a medial student so I’m really interested to have her tips – I know my university lunches could really be improved!

 

Eating on Campus can get expensive and boring. At my uni the only thing remotely edible from out canteen is chips, but even that gets boring. Taking snacks is an option, hopefully this post will give you a few ideas of some healthier options.

Choose meals and snacks that emphasize protein over carbohydrate. Protein-rich meals and snacks keep your energy levels even. Sugary snacks will give you energy for a while, but they will eventually  drop causing you to feel sluggish.

Water
This is not a food, but it is still pretty important to stay well hydrated whilst studying. Drinking water can help you stay alert for a bit longer. Aim to carry a water bottle with you at all times.

Cereal Bars
They come in many different flavours so there must be one you might like. A plus side is you can stock up and not worry about them expiring soon. If you put a few in your bag, they will be ready when you need them.
 photo cerealbars_zps40fabd72.jpgIf you feel adventurous you can make your own cereal bars, I personally mix 1 cup raisins,1/4 cup  smooth peanut butter ,1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats together with warm honey. I spread the mixture out to set in a shallow baking tray, and once it is set it can be cut into cereal bars.
Pros–  little to no preparation required
Cons-some varieties can be very high in sugar

Fruit and Veg
Grapes, strawberries, carrot sticks and cucumber slices make great finger sized snacks. Carry them in a small container, and you will have a noise-free snack for when you absolutely must eat in the library or a lecture. These fruits and veg  are mess free so, making them the ideal study partner.
Pros– ultra healthy
Cons– not suitable for really hot days, (warm cucumbers are the weirdest thing I have ever eaten)

Sandwiches
This is not the most interesting idea, but there is no denying the fact that they are filling.  Almost anything can be turned into sandwich fillings so do not be afraid to experiment. Add variety to your sandwiches by using tortilla wraps, pitta bread or hotdog buns.
Pros– Highly satisfying snack
Cons– Requires time to prepare

Nuts
Nuts are full of healthy fats but they can be calorific if you devour the whole bag! A reasonable amount is about 30 grams(a small handful). Nuts  provide vitamin E, calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as a significant source of protein and fibre. Throw some in a sandwich bag or a small lunch box to nibble on when you become peckish.
Pros– a protein source packed with minerals and Vitamin E
Cons– calorie dense making it easy to eat too much

Popcorn
Popcorn is a slightly healthier alternative to crisps. If you want you can  make your own in the microwave, but if your anything like me its probably easy to get a multipack bag. Popcorn contains more protein than any other cereal and more iron than eggs or spinach.
Pros– fun to eat
Cons-Thirst, I wonder why popcorn makes me thirsty.

Thanks Olivia for the interesting insight into portable foods for university – I’ve realised I’ve completely overlooked taking nuts, which is strange as its something I ate a lot at sixth form! I’ll definitely be looking at overhauling my lunches next year. 

What do you snack on during the day?

Friday Favourites: Food Blogs

 photo Blogs_zps57407db5.jpgWelcome to the second in this series…of me spreading some blogger love (and also being a little lazy through exams!). Today I’m going to go through some of my favourite food blogs. I’ve read food blogs for years, since way before I discovered Bloglovin’, and so it feels lovely to be able to share some of my absolute go-to blogs if I want a recipe, opinion, or just some inspiration. Remember, one of my favourites has been nominated for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards by me (I mentioned it here, but I genuinely wish I could nominated everything!)

Now, warning, this post may make you hungry…

 photo ThoroughlyEnglish_zpsc91b500f.pngFirst up we have Thoroughly English. I guess you could call this a lifestyle blog, but I started reading because of the lovely recipes, and the amazing photography. Food photography is (in my opinion) one of the hardest to get right and I’d love to improve. Bess’s photos are absolutely lovely, her writing style is so relaxed and I really need to make this Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup soon!

 photo HandbagsampCupcakes_zps4e284611.pngNext up we have Handbags & Cupcakes, which is another blog which could also go in the lifestyle category…but I put it here because I just love her Peanut Butter Brownies, they are delicious and not too bad for you, what’s not to love?! Rachel got highly commended in the Lifestyle (I think!) category last year, and it’d be lovely to see her there or better again this year.

 photo LottiesLittleKitchen_zpsee9952d6.pngNow its the girl who actually inspired me to start blogging, Lottie from Lottie’s Little Kitchen. I found her blog via my boyfriend (they go to the same university) and I have been forever grateful as I really look forward to seeing her recipes every week. Her Herbed Roast Chicken inspired my very first Roast, and it was rather delicious if I say so myself!

 photo KatiesKitchenJournal_zps7eb791c5.pngI’ve not been reading this next blog very often (for just over a week actually) but its fast becoming a favourite. Katie’s Kitchen Journal is another blog with beautiful food photography and one of my favourite layouts – her recipes look awesome too! I really want to try her Courgette and Lime Cake!

 photo PinchofYum_zps63e6dd32.pngFinally I’ve had to include Pinch of Yum, as it has one of my most favourite recipes – I must post my version sometime! I probably unattractively dribbled when I first read the Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup post!

Did reading this post make you hungry? Writing it made me a little peckish, so much so I may have treated myself to half a tub of Ben & Jerry’s at the laptop – Peanut Butter Cup is my flavour of choice! Remember to vote for your favourite blogs in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards!

Who’s your favourite food blogger?

 

Friday Favourites: Lifestyle Blogs

 photo Blogs_zps57407db5.jpgWhilst I’m busy revising for my second-year exams I thought I’d schedule a couple of these posts to spread some blogger love, and also to give myself a little bit of a break from making fresh content! Don’t panic though – my exam term is only lasting for three weeks, and then I have a whole two months of being a full-time blogger. I’m also hoping to really make some progress with my blog over the next 18 months as I shouldn’t have too much evening/weekend work to do over my placement year! For now though, onto my favourite lifestyle blogs!

Lifestyle blogs are probably my all-time favourite type of blogs – they are the type whose posts I save up and then devour cuddled up in PJs with a hot chocolate! A lot of these blogs provide my ultimate inspiration too; they are really what I aspire this blog to be! So here we go…

 photo CiderWithRosie_zps4f1049e2.pngFirst up is Cider with Rosie. And let me just tell you, I love this girl’s writing style. I read every single post, and I actually let out an audible squeal (in the silent section of the library!) when I read about her engagement. The story of the proposal came later, and I have to admit that it had me giggling and weeping simultaneously. If that doesn’t sum up how wonderful this blog is, I don’t know what will, so get yourself over there!

And on an additional note, I’ll definitely be using her Edinburgh tales when I head up there with my boyfriend in June – she has good taste in Fudge as I spent hours in that very shop last August!

 photo TheLondoner_zps266079ad.pngNext up is probably one you could have guessed would feature – good old The Londoner! Her Banana & Nutella muffins inspired one of my favourite bakes, and her Mac’n’Cheese Fondue inspired the most popular recipe on this blog. In fact I use her recipes a lot, so maybe she should be in the ‘Food’ post of this series, but really I love all her posts and she fits so much better in here. Plus she has the most gorgeous dog, Custard, who almost rivals my dogs cuteness!

 photo ARosieOutlook_zps7bb25db7.pngThere must be a ‘Rosie’ theme going on here, because my next favourite blog is A Rosie Outlook! I absolutely love the design of this blog, and reading it feels like chatting to an old friend. I especially love the quote that I managed to capture in my screen shot! I just find this blog so motivational really, its the kind of thing I read when I want cheering up!

 photo MilkBubbleTea_zpsaf2fd45a.pngA blog not continuing the Rosie theme, but continuing another theme (seriously – if anyone guesses the common theme between all this blogs, I’d be tempted to send out a prize – I’ll update with answer in a week!) is Milk Bubble Tea. This could be a in a Beauty Blog post, but I just love all of the posts she writes! The photography on this blog is some of my favourite around as the photos aren’t too plain, aren’t too ‘blurred background’ and they all look so natural but perfect at the same time. Just lovely!

As you all may know the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards are now open, so I’ve been having fun nominating people in various different categories. Unfortunately I can’t nominate everyone, and I also don’t want to totally reveal who I’m voting for (I kinda feel that makes it seem as though I’m asking for a nomination back!) but what I will say is that I have nominated one of the blogs mentioned on each post in this series – fingers crossed that all my favourites get a mention though!

Oh, and a major thanks to Lily Melrose for inspiring these posts – I loved what she said on Wednesday, so do give this post a read!

What are your favourite lifestyle blogs?

Blogging: Liebster Award Nomination

I was nominated for this award by Katie Ann ages ago, way before I moved my hosting. Then my drafts got lost in transit, and due to a silly error I started scheduling posts for 2015 so my apologies to Katie Ann for it only going live now!

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This award is designed for newer bloggers (ideally those with less than 200 followers), you have to nominate others when you are awarded, and give them questions to answer or facts to write.

She’s given me 11 questions to answer, so I will do those now. Then I’m going to nominate a couple of blogs I think are deserving of this award. It turns out I follow over 800 blogs on Bloglovin’, so sorry if I nominate ones with ‘too many’ followers, and I would also like you to take part and answer my ‘question’ if you want – just tag me in it in the comments, as I’d love to read it!

1)    How many languages do you speak?

Quite embarrassingly I only speak English. I did French GCSE (and am very proud of the B I got – I really struggled!) but really can’t remember much at all, definitely not enough for a conversation. I would love to learn German though.

2)    What’s your Holy Grail product?

I’m not sure I really have one! I’d probably go for coconut oil – its natural, a great hair treatment and body moisturiser, and I always like to use it. Other than that I’d say Umberto Giannini’s Curl Jelly, which I’ve used for about three years.

3)    Can you play any instruments?

Again I’m embarrassed to say no! I did used to play Clarinet and loved it, but had to give up due to medical reasons. I’m definitely not a musical type though – I’m always asked to stop singing as I’m never in tune!

4)    What’s your favourite destination?

A few years ago I’d have said Turkey – I loved nothing more than heading to Side with my family and lazing about the pool/beach for a fortnight. Lately though I’ve been keen on short European and British breaks – my must-do list at the moment includes York, Bruges, Paris and Rome. I desperately want to go back to Edinburgh/North Berwick too!

 photo 2013-08-13172908_zpsac8e59bf.jpg

5)    How long have you been blogging?

I actually started blogging about two years ago, but only really ‘properly’ with regular posts, promoting myself and thinking a bit more last May/June time.

6)    And how and why did you get started?

I wanted an online diary to come back to in a few years, but most importantly I wanted any readers I had to learn from my experiences – be it not to make my budgeting mistakes, or how to make a good Toad in the Hole!

7)    How old are you?

I’m 20 – that feels old, and every time I answer that question I feel a little sad that I’m not a teenager any more!

8)    Who’s your favourite blogger?

Oh, I don’t know! Can I choose two? I love Thoroughly English by Bess- it’s the kind of blog I feel like reading on a miserable day, and it feeling like chatting to a close friend. I also love the Inelegant Wench, partly because of the fab name, and again I love the chatty style. And another one! A more student-y one is Handbags and Cupcakes. I’ve loved reading about Rachel’s year abroad, and I also love her handbags! She’s made up a pretty good brownie recipe too!

Thoroughly English photo ThroughlyEnglish_zps28e33586.png

 

9)    And what about YouTuber?

I’ll confess – I don’t watch any YouTubers at all! However Lottie’s Little Kitchen has just started vlogging, so I might need to have a watch sometime!

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10)    Do you see yourself blogging for the long term?

I hope I will stay blogging, however I don’t know if I’ll keep my current name – I hope to be a ‘ninegrandgraduate’ by the summer of 2016, so I’m not sure what I’ll do then!

11)    What’s your favourite colour?

I love a deep red/pink berry colour – a nice raspberry tone!

 

Now for my questions – I can’t think of anything specific, so I’d love my nominees to write down 15 random facts about themselves. These can be anything and everything, I’d just love to read them!

My nominees are:

Looking forward to reading your random facts! I would love it if you could add the link to your post in the comments below, so I know I definitely won’t miss it!

What’s your favourite blog? I love finding new ones to read, so would greatly appreciate any recommendations!

Fun (Fortnightly) Finds #3

Maybe this shouldn’t be called ‘fortnightly’ because I clearly haven’t managed to keep that up! However now I’m back in a new university term I should have more structure, and so should be able to do this a little more regularly. Here goes! 

Introduction to a New Term & Finishing Coursework

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I love the start of term – new modules to get your teeth stuck into! I’ve started some (so far) really interesting modules, and virtually everything I do within university is showing my degree was right for me. Having said that, I know very well that university isn’t for everyone, and deciding to go is a big thing, so make doubly sure it’s what you want before you go!

On a related note, today was the deadline for possibly one of the hardest bits of work I’ve ever had to do. It’s so nice to be able to sit down and relax without that hanging over me!

Spicy Vegetarian Food

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I’ve really enjoyed cooking spicy food lately, and introducing a lot more vegetables into my meals. My spicy pea fried sandwich (a recipe scheduled to come live in the next few days) has become a lunchtime favourite, and I made a Thai Green curry the other night with added mushrooms, carrots and spinach in addition to the usual pepper and onion – it was so good it definitely didn’t need the half chicken breast I threw in there!

Baking

No picture of this (the cakes are still cooling as we type) but me and Libby decided to make cake pops today. We kinda forget it would be a long process, so instead just made the cakes tonight. We’re going for a chocolate and orange type, and they smell amazing!

And now to the blogs! 

I’ve really struggled recently in cutting down to posts that I REALLY like to post on here – I don’t want to be giving you a hugely long list! After much deliberation, these are what I’ve come up with!

Miss Budget Beauty wrote a great post on the Return of the Filofax. This was something I could really identify with me, as I know mine is a huge part of my life and I would be lost without mine. If you find yourself struggling with anything, be it studying, work schedules, or even blog schedules, I highly recommend trying a Filofax as they are just so customisable. I’ll be sharing my set-up soon!

I’ve fallen in love with Revlon’s Colourburst Matte Balms – I’ve already bought one shade, and I’m trying desperately not to be tempted by another. Let me know if you want a review by the way! I think the best post to show off their true colours is on Katie’s Beauty Blog.

This White Pizza with Spinach and Bacon had me drooling at the thought of it. As someone with a bad allergy to tomatoes, I’m really loving the craze for white pizzas which seems to be taking the blogging world by storm lately! Thank you How Sweet It Is for this post!

How was your week?