Growing Up, Life

I’m going back to university!

September 4, 2015

I'm going back to university

I’m going back to university! Oh, you have no idea how good it feels to say / type that. 

I’ve spent the last few weeks only telling a select few people that I’d applied to return to university for fear of jinxing it. To finally be able to write about it on here, and tell people, is like a weight off my shoulders. Or to quote many books who use this awful phrase, “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding in.” Eww.

“What will you be studying?” You may ask. Excellent question. I’m going back to finish off my Forensic Science degree. 

I miss science. I really do. 

The first time around, I completed a year and a half of my degree before dropping out. I didn’t drop out because the subject wasn’t right for me; I thoroughly enjoyed it. I dropped out because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was confused and unsure.

I’d blindly applied to university straight after college because that’s what you were supposed to do, apparently. I love learning, I would be a perpetual student if I could sustain it, so of course I wanted to go to university and learn more. But I didn’t ever stop to ask myself “what next?”

What did I want to do after graduation? Did I even want to work in science, or was it just that I was fascinated with it? Wanting to do a job and being fascinated with a subject are not the same thing. For example, I’m fascinated with snakes but I will run a mile if I see one. 

Shortly before the start of the second semester in year two, I dropped out and took an apprenticeship in something completely unrelated. And that was the point; I wanted to try something new to see how I felt about doing that for the rest of my life. 

To begin with I was engrossed in learning about something new, but as time passed I began to realise that I missed science. The most enjoyable parts of my job are analytical, and scientific things. 

I don’t regret leaving university at all. I needed to do that to find out what I wanted, and it would have been stupid of me to continue doing something I was unsure about and to use up all of my student finance if it had  turned out that I actually wanted to do something else. 

The decision to go back to university at 23 is not one I’ve taken lightly. It will mean I will take a pay cut of at least 50%, I will need to get a job that will probably include working weekends and evenings, I won’t be able to save much money, and Tom and I will not be getting a place of our own for at least two years now. But sometimes you have to make sacrifices. And if I don’t do it now, I never will because there will always be something to “stop” me. 

If I could give you one piece of advice about further education, whether it’s college, university, or something else, it would be “don’t rush”. 

Don’t feel that you have to go to university straight after college or your a-levels. It’s fine to wait if you’re unsure. There’s no harm in it. The course will still be there, and your student finance will still be there. (I say this as someone living in England because I have no idea how student finance works anywhere else.) 

Yes, you might graduate or finish a course a few years after your friends. You may find yourself living as a student when your friends are buying houses. But forget about that, because there’s no point rushing into something if you’re unsure. 

This is your life, not someone else’s. Ultimately, it’s you who has to live with the decisions you make. 

Books, Booktube Videos, TBR

August book roundup & September To Be Read | Video

September 3, 2015

August roundup and September TBR

August was not a great reading month for me. I finished four books at the start of the month but then things got really busy. 

The video is pretty short at 4:29 long, but if you don’t want to watch then read on to find out what I got through in August and what I hope to read in September.

August book roundup

Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley – 5 stars

I have fangirled about Magonia more than enough, so I will keep this brief. Magonia is out of this world (literally). The writing is fantastic, the plot is a breath of fresh air, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.

If you want to read my full-on fangirling review, then be my guest

 

The Gospel of Loki – Joanne M. Harris – 4 stars

This was a really fun look at the stories of the Norse gods told from the point of view of Loki. You can’t help but feel sorry for him, and I enjoyed learning more about Norse mythology.

If you’re expecting Marvel’s Loki, he’s not quite the same, but he’s still the same joker you know and love.

 

The Royal We – Heather Morgan & Jessica Cocks – 4 stars

This is basically Will & Kate fanfiction; the only major difference is that our main female character is American. There are a lot of similarities, but the best part for me was the way the book explored the downsides of being a member of the Royal Family. Not all the glitters is gold.

 

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan – 4 stars

I wasn’t a huge fan of the third Percy Jackson book, the Titan’s Curse, I felt like it was lacking a lot and it didn’t work as well as the first two books for me. Percy Jackson gets back on form in the fourth book, which is fast-paced and action-packed.

I got through this book so quickly, and I’m a little upset by that. Because now there is only one book standing in the way of me and the end of the Percy Jackson series. I know that the main characters pop up in other books by Rick Riordan, but this series is so good.

 

September to be read

Sleepless – Lou Morgan

I started this in August and it was just started to get really good when everything got in the way of me and reading. I am determined to finish this off.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – J K Rowling

I’ve read the Harry Potter books so many times, but I still haven’t got around to reading the three companion novels J K Rowling wrote. Fantastic Beasts is only a little book, so it shouldn’t take long to get through.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J K Rowling

I wanted to re-read this in August but didn’t have chance, so September will be the month I read this!

 

The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

I’m breaking out the TBR jar again (though I think I only actually did it once before, but y’know) and The Darkest Minds is my September pick. I’ve read so many good things about this series, so I’m looking forward to starting it and finding out if it’s worth all the hype.

 

What did you read in August? And what do you want to read in September?

 

 

Share The Love

Share The Love – August

September 2, 2015

Share the love montage August

BlogGeeks In Dresses – This is Jessica from Pyreflies second blog, and it has quickly become one of my favourites. It focuses on all things geeky, such as geeky fashion, jewellery, and has one of my favourite series ever; Girls Who Cosplay

Blog posts I enjoy: 

Music: This month I’ve mostly been listening to my Stockholm playlist, which is a mix of Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon, LIGHTS, Taylor Swift and more. I’ve also developed a small obsession with 5 Seconds of Summer. Sorry, not sorry but if I hear anything written by Alex Gaskarth, I’m very likely to love it. 

Books: Without a doubt, my favourite book of the month was Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley. You can read my ridiculously fangirling review here.

TV: This month, Tom and I finished off It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and we started watching Gotham. We’ve also started re-watching Skins. I loved the first two series; they were great at the time, and they’re just as good now. 

Most popular blog posts on Eat Read Glam in August:

Here are the five posts you enjoyed most on my blog during August:  

What did you enjoy in August? 

Sweden, Travel

Ocean Bus Stockholm – a land & water tour of Stockholm

September 1, 2015

Ocean Bus, Stockholm

Stockholm from the water

That’s right; an Ocean Bus, a bus that turns into a boat. 

My sister told me about this before we went, and we saw the bus / boat (named Estelle, after the Swedish Princess, Estelle) in the harbour and booked for a couple of days later when my sister and her friend had arrived. 

The Ocean Bus is impossible to miss at the bus stop at harbour; it’s a boat that’s wrapped in a seascape, which really stands out from the red and green tourist buses. 

We hopped aboard and chose our seats. The windows go all the way down so you get a really good view, and can take photos without getting annoying reflections off the window. 

The tour lasts 75 minutes and is run by two brothers, Paul and Max, who clearly know their stuff, and have got a sense of humour. 

We started off on land and headed through an area we hadn’t even had time to explore and didn’t end up exploring, so it was nice to see that and find out more about it. 

Turning into a boat was really strange; the bus goes down a ramp and through some wizardry, it becomes a boat and continues on it’s way. 

Stockholm from the water

You spend the same amount of time in the water as you do on land, which is nice and means you get to see the sights without people, buses, or traffic in the way. 

The Vasa Museum from the water

Grona Lund from the water

It goes past all the main tourist attractions, so it was a great way for us to see part of the city we hadn’t had chance to see it. It was perfect for my sister and her friend as they’d only got two full days in the Stockholm. 

  • Djurgarden
  • Strandvagen
  • The Royal Palace
  • The Royal Dramatic Theater 
  • Stureplan 
  • Vasa Museum 
  • Diplomatic City 
  • Grona Lund 
  • Skansen 
  • Skeppsholmen 

The Royal Palace, Stockholm

If you’re going to Stockholm, I would definitely recommend the Ocean Bus. It’s a really fun and unique way to see and learn about the city, which is perfect because there’s so much to do in Stockholm that you’ll probably be strapped for time.  

 

Costs

As people are curious about the cost of being a tourist in Stockholm, I’m sharing prices to help you get a good idea. 

Tickets were 250SEK, which is about £19. 

 

Have you ever been on an amphibious boat? 

 

Crafty, Cute, Dressmaking, Sewing

Unicorn Print Dress | Lilou pattern | #ThatsSewGeorge

August 30, 2015

Unicorn print Lilou dress

If there’s been one thing that’s missing from my wardrobe, it’s a unicorn print dress. Thankfully, that has been righted now.

When I was asked to take part in the #ThatsSewGeorge campaign, where you have to make something craft using bedsheets, blankets, curtains etc from ASDA George, I jumped at the chance.

After making a dress a few weeks ago I was eager to make another one and wanted to try a printed fabric. As soon as I spotted the unicorn print duvet set, my mind was made up. With unicorns on one side and polka dot on the other, I knew it would be perfect for the Lilou dress pattern I had in mind as it needed a lining.

I spotted the Lilou pattern from Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes; I’d had my eye on it since I started dressmaking and first picked the book up, and I finally felt confident enough to try it.

Dress lining

Dress straps and lining

Unicorn print dress pleat

It wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. It took about 11 hours to complete, and I learned a couple of new skills: putting pleats in, and understitching.

Once again, Tilly’s instructions were great and none of it felt daunting. I’ve said it before, but if you’re thinking about taking up dressmaking, I cannot recommend her book enough. 

Unicorn print dress using Lilou pattern

Back of unicorn print dress using Lilou pattern

The finished dress looks great, it fits great, and it’s fun. I mean, I’m definitely going to have to carefully consider the colour of my pants when I wear it, but it’s just so fun. I really like how the lining turned out too. 

It still kind of amazes me when I complete these things that they actually fit. I don’t know why, but I always expect to try something on and it will fit awfully. 

Making a dress, or garment, from a duvet set might sound a bit weird, but it’s actually a pretty good idea:

  • The fabric is soft 
  • The fabric is pretty hardy – you know you can stick it on a hot wash if you need to and it won’t shrink
  • It’s cheaper per metre – this unicorn double duvet set was £12; I would probably only get about 2m for £12 if I bought fabric from a fabric store. There’s loads of fabric left, plus the pillow cases, which I’m plotting to make an iPad cover with. 

It’s fun taking something with one purpose and using it for something completely different. There are so many cute print duvet sets, and before now I probably wouldn’t have thought about turning it into a dress, a skirt, or something else, but I’m sure this won’t be the only time I turn a duvet set into something wearable. 

If you could make a dress, what pattern would you use? 

 

*I was sent the duvet set as part of the #ThatsSewGeorge campaign. 

Blogging, Lifestyle, Share The Love

My 700th post! 10 of my favourite bloggers.

August 28, 2015

Heat silhouette

Image source: Unsplash

Wow, this is my 700th post! I wanted to do something special for this milestone, so I decided to share with you some of my favourite blogs and ask you to share some of your favourite bloggers. 

This is part of the something old, something new tag which I was tagged in by Rachael at Broomfie. I don’t do tags very often now, but this seemed like the perfect way to celebrate 700 posts.

So, I have to share with you five of my favourite blogs I’ve been following for a long time, and five of my favourite new blogs. I tag anyone who fancies it to join in. 

 

5 blogs I’ve followed for a long time

 

Oddly Lovely 

Cat gives me major blog envy – her posts always inspire me to write better and more interesting blog posts. 

She talks about a huge range of things from trips she’s taken, her adorable pets, shares things she’s enjoying, and dishes out sound advice.

One of my favourite things about Cat and Oddly Lovely is that it comes across as so authentic and honest. You read her posts and feel like you could be sat down talking to her in person, and I especially like that she’s not afraid of talking about controversial or touchy subjects such as birth control or gun laws. 

 

The Lilac Linnet

My favourite blogs are ones where you get a good mix of topics and you feel like you actually get to know that person properly through the posts, and that’s what you get with Llinos at The Lilac Linnet. 

Llinos posts about a wide range of topics, including books, places she’s been, improving your blog, her experiences and more. She also loves a good castle; anyone who likes castles is awesome in my book. 

 

Lemon Freckles 

If I had to choose one word to describe Toni’s blog it would ‘adorable’. Her photography is brilliant, and her Instagram feed is nothing short of a cute overload. 

Not only does Toni have a brilliant blog, but she’s also has a store where you can buy her own brand of adorable. (I’m eyeing up the Puppycat patch. So cute!) 

 

Pyreflies

Like everyone else on this list, Jessica posts about a good range of topics. But she also adds a good dose of ‘geeky’ into the mix. I’m insanely jealous because she lives in Florida near Disney World (and I now know the difference between Disney Land and World thanks to her). 

When she took a blogging break earlier in the year I really missed her posts, and I think that’s a good sign of a blog you enjoy reading. 

 

Paper Fury 

If you like YA books, Paper Fury is where it’s at. Cait has a brilliant sense of humour and posts a mix of book reviews and other book and writing related posts, such as the perils of being a bookworm. 

Her posts never fail to make to laugh and I’ve added so many books to my TBR list because of her. I solely blame her for my inability to stop buying books. 

 

New bloggers

I’m going to count new bloggers as blogs I’ve been following since the start of 2015. 

 

Broomfie 

I discovered Rachael’s blog a few months ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. I really enjoyed reading about her travels across the US.

As well as talking about travel she writes about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle and has some pretty solid advice that is actually useful. 

 

Dear Ms Leigh 

Another Rachael! Dear Ms Leigh is a lifestyle blog covering travel (she’s sharing some brilliant photos of her travels at the moment), her life, gardening, and sewing. She’s a seriously talented cross-sticher (is that the word?) and every time I see one of her posts about a piece she’s working on, it always makes me want to have a go myself. 

 

Geeks In Dresses 

This is Jessica from the Pyreflies second blog; it’s a new blog and it contains one of my favourite series ever: Girls Who Cosplay. 

As you might expect from the name, it’s mostly about geeky jewellery, or character inspired outfit suggestions. I get excited every time I see one of her posts pop up in my Bloglovin’ feed. 

 

Relokate

This is a really recent discovery of mine. I first came across Kate’s blog when Benefit made the mistake of joining in with a fat shaming hashtag and Kate posted a brilliant blog post about it. 

Kate mostly posts about travel and places she’s been, and as a British expat who’s recently returned to Britain (are you still an expat then?) she’s currently sharing posts about what it’s like coming back. 

 

Hello Rigby

Hello Rigby is a nice mix of beauty and fashion, but it also has a good chunk of furry adorableness in the form of Rigby, the Shiba Inu. Rigby pops up on the blog quite often to review things, or appears in Jenn’s posts about having a Shiba Inu. 

 

Other blogs worthy of you checking out are: 

 

Recommend away! I want to hear about your favourite blogs. 

Beauty, Beauty Reviews, Eye Shadow, Lord & Berry

3 ways to wear pink eyeshadow – Lord & Berry Hana

August 27, 2015

3 ways to wear pink eye shadow

It’s funny how we change. I used to hate all things pink, and here I am, about to fangirl over Lord & Berry’s Hana*. 

I was sent this eyeshadow a few weeks back and it did something amazing. I am all about the neutrals, but this made me leave the taupe in the drawer and I’ve been reaching for this instead about 75% of the time. 

Lord & Berry

The formula is really nice and smooth; it glides on, blends well, and lasts all day. There is nothing negative I can find to say about this. It’s everything you need in an eyeshadow. 

I have to admit, when I first saw this I was skeptical about how much use I would get out of it. In the pot it looks a bit too vibrant, but it tones down once it’s on your skin. It’s a buildable formula, so you can make it pretty bright if you want to, but with one swipe it’s certainly not as dark as it is in the pot. The finish is matte, with a little bit of shimmer in it. 

Hana is part of Lord & Berry’s Seta eyeshadow range, which sells for between £6 – £11 per shade depending on which website you use. You can also buy the individual refills. The Seta range is quite big, but I struggled to find anywhere the than the Lord & Berry website that sells a decent chunk of the range. Quite a few big websites only seem to sell one or two shades, so if you want a few shades you’ll probably need to order direct from Lord & Berry. 

Since I was weary about the amount of use I’d get out of it, I figured other people would be too. So I’m going to share my three go-to looks with Hana. 

 

Bright-eyed

My favourite look of the three is to pair Hana with MAC’s Phloof. It’s a lovely frosty white colour which really brightens up your eyes and works perfectly with a pink eye shadow. 

(Phloof isn’t cruelty free, does anyone know of a cruelty free dupe?)

 

Smokey eye

For night time, use a dark brown eye shadow to create a smokey eye look. 

 

 

Winged liner

On it’s own, Hana looks great with winged liner.

It usually takes me a couple of attempts to get it looking fairly even, but it took me even more attempts to get it to a point where I was happy to photograph it. Why is it you can always get it perfect on one eye, but never the other? 

Pink isn’t a shade I see popping up on blogs all that often, and maybe it’s time that changed. 


It is surprisingly hard to take a good photograph of eye makeup. I see stunning photos on blog and on Instagram and I have no idea how these girls do it. I’ve been putting this post off for weeks due to how hard it is to get a decent photo. 

Some bloggers say all they use is their iPhone, I tried that and it just didn’t work. I have no idea how they do it, I’m 99% sure it involves black magic. In the end I had to take loads and loads of photos on my DSLR, hoping that it had focused on the right thing. 

If you have any tips for photography eye makeup, be my guest and share them with me. 

Is it cruelty free: Lord & Berry do not test on animals. 

Would I repurchase: Absolutely. 

 

Is pink eye shadow part of your staple makeup items? 

*I received a free PR sample, but that did not affect my opinion at all.