It’s really hard to believe that 10 weeks have passed since I started doing these posts. I’ve loved doing a more regular update into my life, and I’ve found these quick-fire posts great for making me think about the really positive things that have happened recently.
Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…
The Lake District. I mentioned it in my previous post that I was heading up for some team building – it was a great few days!
“Rock” climbing up a (bloody tall) tree. I hate rock climbing having pretty much zero strength, I also hate heights. This was a massive achievement for me!
Managing to do 50 sit-ups in a row. Just call me superwoman…
Watching W’s mum getting licensed at Peterborough Cathedral. I know she’s worked really hard to get there, so it was a proud moment. Also very lovely to see his parents and rest of his family for the day!
We also got treated to lunch at Prezzo. Whilst I was never a fan when I could eat tomatoes (never had a good tomato-based meal there!) there is one dish I can’t get enough of. It had been around a year since I’d enjoyed a Pollo Carbonara but it was just as good as remembered. Rich, creamy, insanely cheesy…
Forgetting to shave my legs, then realising it’s cold enough for thicker tights. I love Autumn!
Watching W settle into his Masters course. I’m unbelievably proud of how far he’s come.
Catching up with my girls. We’re trying to make a date to see each other every month, and this month involved a bit of a shopping spree.
Finally kicking my cold out of my system. I picked it up just before heading to the Lakes and it lingered a bit. I’d sure W is glad not to have a constantly coughing person all night!
My family visiting. Including the dog. It’d been SO long since I had doggy cuddles.
As I said a while ago, I wanted to do a few quick, less-rambly, more personal posts. Something I’ve always loved reading are ‘Happy Mondays’ – from Katy, Jasmin and Jennifer. It’s something I’ve wanted to take part in for what feels like a very, very long time and now I’m finally penning my first ‘Happy Monday.’ I’ll be writing them up fortnightly, just to make it less likely that I’ll forget, but here goes!
This past fortnight has been a bit of a blur of flat-sorting, shopping, baking and hosting our engagement garden party. I’ve finally recovered from my cold/sinus infection that plagued most of July, though the very useless advice I received from 111 did make me giggle, and other than eating far too many sweet things yesterday I’m feeling a lot better. So, the highlights of the last fortnight…
Finding and securing our flat. From the end of the month we will be living in Putney, and even have a view of the Thames (from the bathroom window, if you crane your neck around, but still!).
My very first trip to IKEA. How I existed this long without going beats me. I’m already planning our next trip…
Having my debit card handed in after I left it in the machine in Topshop. Rather relieved, as I forgot it as I was distracted by handing in a smartphone I’d found in-store. Good karma for me!
Reading Dorothy Koomson’s “latest” novel – That Girl From Nowhere. I’ve been waiting to read this for a while, and it hasn’t disappointed.
Baking the perfect quiche. My recipe will be coming soon, but it’s based on this one. Such a gorgeous texture, perfectly savoury, and just yum.
Receiving a cushion I’d been lusting over as a gift. Whilst all our engagement party gifts were so, so special and deserve a place on this post, this cushion really was perfect. So perfect I’d spent a good 10 minutes hunting it down in Wilkinson’s and being unable to find it the day before!
Catching up with friends. Over Pimms. Enough said!
Watching the Olympics. Definitely the best sporting event, with my favourite being the cross-country – despite me watching the worst fences with closed eyes!
Sunflowers. I’m not sure there’s a flower that brightens up a room more.
Our engagement party. We hosted a belated get-together in W’s parents’ garden yesterday. We were treated to glorious sunshine, Waitrose delivered yummy sandwiches, my parents’ spent most of the preceding days baking. And I even had two gorgeous sets of bunting. A perfect day to end the fortnight!
A bit of a cheat post today – I’ve been really stretched for time over the last few weeks, my scheduled posts have dwindled down to nothing and although I have lots of photos, lots of half-written drafts, time just seems to be running away with me. So here’s just a little light-hearted update about what I’ve been up to…
So, why have I been so busy? Well, I definitely underestimated the stress of both final year and applying for grad roles. I’m in the situation where taking a gap year really isn’t feasible, so I’m concentrating on job applications in every scrap of time that isn’t spent studying. I’ve ever worked constantly on my train journeys up to W, whereas before a copy of Glamour was definitely on my travel must-have list! I’m finding it all a bit stressful if I’m honest, coupled with my horrible flu-virus has caused a fair amount of tears over the last few weeks. I’m feeling a bit more clear-headed this week, so fingers crossed it will all work out soon!
A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on
I just love Bonfire Night – there’s something so magical about fires and fireworks. We celebrated with an overload of sugar (W made smores brownies – gooey whiskey brownies, a buttery biscuit bake, topped with grilled marshmallows), and worried about the rain. Luckily it held off, we watched a lovely display before heading back to catch up with the Apprentice.
I’ve been travelling in to London quite a few times over the last week for interviews, and it’s really made me realise just how much I love and miss the city. It’s where I’m aiming to be working after I graduate, I have a list of areas I want to live in, so now I’ve just got to make it happen!
A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on
Comfort food has very definitely been on the menu over the last few weeks – and dippy eggs with buttery toast soldiers is always one of my top choices. It’s taken me until this year to crack boiling an egg and now I’m taking full advantage. Runny yolks all round!
A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on
Bit of an odd one this, but hear me out! I’ve had to change my writing style completely due to recurrent repetitive strain (yep, I’ve written this way all my damn life, and it causes a problem at the age of 21…). It’s meant I’ve had to say goodbye to my pretty cursive style (though it was a bitch to read!) and go plain – and I’ve been hating it. I’ve finally either started to get used to it, or just made it look slightly nicer, but my notes are finally starting to inspire me into studying for final year. Better late than never I suppose…
One of the biggest pros to Autumn is that its appropriate to cover up in scarves, the oversized the better. I feel so much more cosy in a scarf, and I love layering them with a leather jacket on more milder days – though I can imagine I’ll be pulling out my big winter coat in not too many weeks now!
And now I’ve caught up with you all, it’s probably fair to say that you can expect a few less posts per week for a little while. I don’t want to risk my degree by blogging too much, I don’t want to miss application deadlines because I’m plugged into social media. I love blogging, I’ve missed it over the last few weeks, but for now something has got to give. Sorry guys!
Did you find final year tough – tell me I’m not the only one?!
I’m the sort of person who really easily gets bogged down with mundane things, easily upset by thoughtless remarks, quickly stressed out by a lengthening to-do list. The last few weeks have been immensely stressful for me, handing over my placement responsibilities, finishing off projects, saying goodbye to colleagues and generally just leaving behind a part of my life that I’ve loved. It’s safe to say I’ve not been in the happiest of moods!
In order to get myself back on track I thought I’d do another of my Happy posts (read my first here), injecting a bit of positivity into my life a la Little Miss Katy. Coincidentally this down period of mine coincided with the launch of Viking’s #EmergencyHappiness campaign – perfect timing!
A cute parcel, this smiley face box was enough to put a smile on my face. Filled with lots of little treats, nothing extravagant, it was the little pick-me-up I needed. Sometimes it’s not about a big treat, but some thoughtfully picked out bits and pieces that make you feel so much better. I snuggled up on my sofa, cup of tea (and cheeky shortbread) from the treasure chest, and it just felt like a big hug.
My little box of treats including fairy dust, a penny (to remind me that no matter what, I’ll always have a little bit of money), and even a lottery ticket. I loved the slogan on the notebook, and the parcel even including the most ridiculously extravagant pen I’ve ever tried to use. There was even a few cheeky sweeties too!
It was just what I needed – a reminded that no matter how I feel, no matter if life is getting me down, that “I rock”. I’m not one to moan usually, as I have so much to be thankful for, but with change comes apprehension, and thinking about it too much meant a not so happy Chloe…
Yet there have still been plenty, plenty of happy things;
Cosy Nights In
W went away to a wedding over the weekend (SO many W’s in that sentence!), which meant I had the flat to myself. I put on Disney films, cooked myself some yummy food, stocked up on snacks and enjoyed always finding the toilet seat down.
Expanding Blog Knowledge & Exciting Collabs
I was lucky enough to attend the #BigBloggerConference a few weeks back, and I’m hoping that what I learnt is starting to pay off. The main bits I concentrated on were improving my SEO courtesy of Jasmin, and Pinterest. I do have a Pinterest account but I really need to start utilizing it for my blog. Next week’s project is to sort out my pins, wish me luck!
I’m also off up to Manchester this evening ready for a fab collaboration with one of my favourite brands. I’m going to be doing some filming (?!), and hopefully having a blast. I’m terrified as it’s a little out of my comfort zone and it’s been a while since I’ve done a proper camera interview – but equally I’m so excited. Blogging has given me so many opportunities, it’s unreal!
Thoughtful Leaving Gifts
I really ummed and ahhed about including this as it felt a bit ‘braggy’ – but it really did make me happy! It wasn’t so much the present but more the thought that had gone into everything I received. I teared up in the team meeting when I was presented with everything. Of course the lovely kind words didn’t help either!
The Perfect Dress
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times already but I’m completely and utterly in love with this dress. A flattering fit, easy to dress up and down, washes well and perfect transition colours – I kind of want to buy a back up. I love it THAT much.
Fish & Chips in the Cold
A trip to the British seaside wouldn’t be complete without fish and chips, and the Bank Holiday trip to Devon wasn’t an exception. The Friday night saw us on the seafront, nose dripping, eating fish and chips with our fingers. Slightly warmer than when my family usually visit this town – we usually go down in March and have done this in the snow!
A dose of positivity was just what I needed – now its time to get up and at ’em. I have grad schemes to apply for, second year notes to look over and plenty of exciting blog collabs planned. Whatever this September turns out to be, it certainly won’t be a lazy one…
What would be your emergency happiness fix?