milestone: a sigh of relief

June 9th, 2017

I walked out of my Beginner Korean exam at 15:18 feeling such a torrent of emotions, mostly elation at the idea that I would never have to take a university exam again.

I can’t say I won’t ever have any form of test for the rest of my life because we’re meant to keep learning and testing ourselves… but that aside, I am done.

AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE AN EXAMS OVER PARTY.

(okay, that’s my burst of excitement crazy moment over 😀 )

As life is never simple – and why should it be? – I got into my little car and darted down the M1, A38 and along the A50 until I reached my grandparents’ house. I am leaving my car there for the summer as I fly to Canada on my birthday to spend some time with my parents.

Calgary is also one of those places where not many people venture to so I have no excuses to not write my dissertation which is due at the beginning of September. The past few months have felt like a massive countdown clock has been ticking above me. Despite going on small adventures here and there, my mind has been churning up a storm. I really hope that tonight is a night of proper sleep where I don’t dream about everything going wrong and ending up in really bizarre situations. I also relish in the fact that I just have time for the small things. I recently read an article about making plans and how cancelling or postponing them affects our wellbeing. I seem to find that I always have unread messages. But I’m not saying that I’m popular in the slightest, but I admit that I just don’t respond to messages immediately anymore. I am replying days later and it is not something I feel good about. So now, a new leaf can be turned, one that involves my head having the free space to communicate. Hallelujah.

In a roundabout way, I am grateful to past-Georgie for making the decisions that I have and am proud that I’ve stuck it out. I make it sounds like doing a master’s degree is the worst thing on the planet… It definitely is not and I have learnt so much from it. Yet, sometimes going against the grain of your own instinct is harder than taking another suitable path which follows the unknown and is so intimidating.

Nevertheless, 66% of my course is done. YIPPEE.

Life is about living, and making mistakes and achievements along the way.

2017 has definitely been a year for change, not just for me, nor our country following this election, but for some of my friends. With your new jobs and/or new adventures, I am so happy for you. ❤

I am so lucky to have such amazing friends across the world and in the UK who have been so supportive. I listened to a whatsapp audio message on the train from a old school friend who’s also doing a master’s and I just couldn’t help grinning. Thank you to you guys, whether you ever read my blog or not, for putting up with me and being just flipping amazing. ❤

Tomorrow morning I’m running in Wollaton Park for the MS society for my grandpa who is doing so amazingly well despite the challenges he faces. I’m absolutely stunned by the generosity of both friends and family and have surpassed my target by 190% !! Thank you so so much, it definitely means I can’t sneakily back out now… I only hope it doesn’t pour with rain… Danny assures me that we receive a medal at the end but all I wish for the at the finish line is a fresh glass of prosecco.

What can I say, turning 23 is meant to be bubbly fun, right?

GL
xxx

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Birchbox [MAY]: a beauty goodies review

Another month, another birchbox.

I couldn’t resist.

(If you want to see the April one too, I did write about it here.)

The idea of getting a surprise in the post, that it comes in a pretty box and that I’m being introduced to products and brands I possibly have either never heard of or used is too brilliant to turn down. So, I’ve given it a second chance to see if it is worth continuing to invest in this innovative idea. Again, five products and a booklet including information about each one were inside May’s Birchbox. It arrived on Monday, the 8th May, which wasn’t an incredibly long wait 😀 It has a marble and rose-gold design and is the same A5 paper size.

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I have also rated the included products with a ‘happiness factor’ which is how happy I am with the product and how well it does what it says on the tin! This box had:

  • Kueshi Shine & Volume Hair Mask [Bottom Right]

This mask – whether it makes my hair all full of volume or shiny – smells good enough for me to keep it! It says on the packet that you should leave it in for 3 minutes but I’ve found you don’t need to leave it on that long, a minute and a half will suffice! I find it even makes a difference to dyed or bleached hair (which I have) which is an added bonus! 😀

It’s £10.50 for 200ml. Is this worth it? Compared to really popular hair masks, except for a couple of the cheaper brands such as Aussie (£6.99), this is really good value for money!

Happiness Factor – 8 out of 10

  • Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara [Bottom Left]

The perk about this mascara brush is that the brush itself is big and has long teeth/bristles(?) which give great coverage for your lashes and doesn’t leave clumps of mascara. However, if you want thick ‘volumised’ lashes this mascara isn’t for you. I like to think it is more of a daytime mascara rather than for a ‘night out’ look.

The full size is £18. Is it worth it? I think the price is neither unreasonable nor too bank-breaking but it is not mascara that I feel is life-changing enough to fork out for unless it’s come out best once you’ve done some market research!

Happiness Factor – 7 out of 10

  • Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow – Fifty Shades [Top Left]

The biggest beef I have with this eyeshadow is that the box was not easy to open! I really thought I was going to have to rip it open but fortunately, after tugging at the flaps many times, it opened! The eyeshadow is a dark grey shimmery colour. Yet the powder itself is really light and the amount you put on depends on how dark you like your eyeshadow. It can either be a light silvery shimmer or used for a smokey eye effect.

It is £14.49 (what an odd price!). Is it worth it? In my opinion, I would never spend this much on an eyeshadow as I hardly wear it. Yet I will definitely make use of it as it came in the box! I would recommend it if you’re looking for a dark eyeshadow has shimmers nicely, but you could easily buy multiple eyeshadows or even put it towards an eyeshadow palette.

Happiness Factor – 5 out of 10

This is my favourite product of this months box! It is the tiniest little tube by obsessive compulsive cosmetics and I was very sceptical in the beginning. I did wonder if this sample was a bit of a cop out for birch box to make money… but once I tried it, I withdrew my previous judgements! It is a primer for your lips to then add either lipstick or lipgloss. My lips feel so smooth when I apply this primer and I feel it’s just great for daily usage regardless of whether I am adding another lip product.

It is £15 for 9ml, which is three times the size of the sample I received. Is it worth it? This seems steep but if you are a massive fan of wearing lipstick or lipgloss daily, I really recommend this product 😀

Happiness Factor – 9.5 out of 10

  • Benefit the POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible-Finish Mattifying Gel [Top Right]

I have actually had this product for a few years as I have always really liked Benefit products and this one has remained a staple in my makeup bag. I always like to use it as part of my getting-ready process and when applying makeup. If you think this product isn’t the best for oily skin, the primer version is just *thumbs up* as the colour also blends into your skin well.

TIP: to get the best out of the product, wash your wash beforehand to eradicate any oil (if you have oily skin) and apply the POREfessional gel all over to get a matt finish. I have also found this keeps my makeup on at least over an hour longer, even on a night out!

It is £23.50 for 50ml. Is it worth it? I think this product is bigger than you think it is because I only need a bean sized amount each time. I guess one could say that I’m biased towards this product because I have had it for a long time. But this product lasts for ages and I really notice a different in my makeup when I wear it.

Happiness Factor – 9 out of 10


I guess the main thing you have to consider if you commit to trying Birchbox out is that everything you receive is going to be sample size compared to the products shown individually

You can check out the website here and if you subscribe you get £5 worth of Birchbox points to spend in the online store*! ^_^ Also, I’ve just discovered that students get 50% off their first box, you just need to have your university email signed up to UNIDAYs. 😍

Hope you’ve enjoyed this review and found it useful ❤

GL xxx

*this link means you receive 500 points on your account which is equivalent to £5, it is a referral so I receive the same. You can unsubscribe at any time and are not committed unless you pick the 3- or 6-month option! 😊

Birchbox [APRIL]: a beauty goodies review

I recently gave into to joining one of the latest beauty crazes called Birchbox. I had happened to hear about this website and its business idea from a friend who went to a talk by a blogger. Birchbox is a website that offers a box of five little beauty goodies a month, ranging from hair products, skin products, make-up and body beauty lotions and potions. It is meant to be personalised to each subscriber depending on the options they selected when filling out the “sign up” questionnaire. The box is £10, with delivery at £2.95 every month.

The website is also like a cosmetics heaven as it has an online shop which stocks a variety of products that aren’t easily accessible in high street shops, or brands that we never come across and are actually pretty awesome!

I decided to sign up because Birchbox launched an offer at the end of April for free P&P and the box at 50% of the price. Bargain, right?! High street goodies for £7 is unheard of these days. Once I happily typed in my card details, I sat in excitement as I waited for the delivery to arrive. [Side note: I didn’t just sit and wait as if it was all I had to do all day, hehe]

And five days later, thanks to the May Spring Bank Holiday, it arrived on the 3rd of May.

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I love that the outside packaging is PINK.

I’ll admit that I thought the box would be a bit bigger, this was just a bit bigger than the size of A5 paper (half an A4 side). Nevertheless, the fancy pattern and bright colours made me giddy with anticipation.

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The box includes the five products and a little booklet explaining each one, it’s RRP price and what it is used for! I have also rated the included products with a ‘happiness factor’ which is how happy I am with the product and how well it does what it says on the tin! This box had:

  • Baïja Paris Crème Moana in Fleur de Tiarè Body Lotion [Bottom Right]

Review: It smells AMAZING. I am always sceptical of hand creams and body lotions as I find quite a lot can either feel really thick to put on or leave you sticky for a while. For at least an hour, if not two, I just constantly caught the scent of the lotion and was really pleased to find it was so fresh even though I was out and about and clothed [obviously…]!! Although I feel the sample size is quite small and won’t last for a good amount of time, I would seriously consider buying it. It’s a Parisian brand and the price definitely reflects that at £15.90 for 75ml.

Before making up my mind, I’m going to see how long this sample lasts to determine whether this is completely worth it! [It is unsurprisingly sold out at the moment anyway..!!]

Happiness factor: 9/10

At first, I thought this was an eyeshadow but it turns out it can be used all over your face to give you a glow. I normally like light eyeshadow powders as I have pretty light skin and anything to make my skin look smooth is welcomed. Yet, this one doesn’t seem to do the trick. The sample is pretty tiny if it is meant to be used for full coverage and it seemed to show any dry or slightly spotty areas on my skin rather than hide them! As it was part of my box, I’ll happily use it as an extra eyeshadow for its colour, but other than that I wouldn’t buy it myself. (It is also £24…)

Happiness factor: 3/10

  • Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton [Top Middle]

Y’know the smell of a Yankee ‘fresh cotton’ scented candle? This smells just like that and it is genuinely fresh. It sort-of reminds me of men’s skin products but I definitely smell like a man afterwards 😉 The scrub has tiny blue balls in it that didn’t scratch or irritate my skin. I only used a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face and jawline so this small tester should last me a while! After 5 days of having it, my skin is already started to feel smoother which is a miracle as I suffer from quite bumpy skin… I mean, I have some spot scarring and random blemishes that I would dream of not having!

For a 75ml bottle, it is £23.50 which made me take a sharp breath in as I found that a little disheartening. However, it is better to spend a little more on a product that does wonders for your skin rather than go cheap and later regret it. (I’ve done that so many times…)

In fact, many people are selling it on eBay for about £5-7 so if you want to try it, that’s always an option!! 😉

Happiness factor: 7/10

Similar to the body lotion, this product also smells really nice. I’ve always had trouble with the ends of my hair getting quite dry, even after a haircut! After using this conditioner three times, and not having to use more than a ping pong ball sized blob on the ends of my hair, it is definitely softer! According to other reviews, it helps with frizzy hair but as I have quite tame hair, I can’t tell you whether it would do that for me!

On Birchbox, it is priced at £19 for 500ml, whereas on Amazon it is the same price for double the amount!! This has reminded me to shop around for the best deal 😀

Happiness factor: 7/10

I don’t use eyeliner often as it is usually what I use to differentiate my makeup style from “every day” to “night out” as if I’ve gone through a movie-like transformation. Also, as I’m quite pale and have blonde hair, black is not a colour I often wear. I even have brown mascara, again only wearing black mascara when I’m going on a night out. Nevertheless, I gave this eyeliner a try and I’m so glad its a twisty one! I don’t need to carry a sharpener in my bag (hallelujah for the lazy me) and the end of the liner itself is neither too thick nor too thin.

It’s £11 which doesn’t break the bank by I do love my brush eyeliner from Maybelline which is half the price…

Happiness factor: 5/10


I have really enjoyed this whole new experience of not having to pick the products and, instead, receive a surprise. It has taught me to look further than the boundary of my local stores such as Boots and Superdrug, and even department stores and really popular brands for great products.

You can check out the website here and if you subscribe you get £5 worth of Birchbox points to spend in the online store*! ^_^ Also, I’ve just discovered that students get 50% off their first box, you just need to have your unversity email signed up to UNIDAYs. 😍

Feel free to share your thoughts below or have any of these experiences of your own, I love hearing about new and exciting things!

GL xxx
*this link means you receive 500 points on your account which is equivalent to £5, it is a referral so I receive the same. You can unsubscribe at any time and are not committed unless you pick the 3 or 6 month option! 😊

the peaky perks of sheffield; a day out in the city

I’ve lived in this city for approximately seven months. I use the verb ‘live’  loosely as I have had my name inscribed on a tenancy agreement since the 1st September of last year when I’ve actually spent about half of my time in Nottingham –  a city an hour south of my bespoke “home”. This is a result of a jumble of reasons that I won’t ramble one with, but instead, I thought it was about time to share the various sights and eateries settled amongst the squash of buildings and pot-holed streets of Sheffield. I’ve grown to love it (except for the hills) in my own way and as a postgraduate student, it has been a good city with a great atmosphere.

The town centre was the first place I remember visiting in Sheffield. Actually, the first memory I have of the city was at a takeaway called Aslan’s on the corner of Division street after a rather colourful night at Corporation club back in September 2012. [Heck, where has the time gone?]

But to retain some idea of being a sophisticated student, let’s picture a bright and sunny town centre. Although there are not many shops filling the high streets, there are a couple of large spaces and sights worth the visit. The first is the Peace Gardens on the south side of the majestic Town Hall. It is a semi-circle in shape and has a fountain to one side which children run through in delight during the summer months. It’s a hot spot for the lunch time hour break or meal, especially with a (really good) Pastry shop and Costa Coffee only 100 yards away.

Sheffield Peace Gardens
credit: @bannydav [insta]

Once you’ve sunned yourself to happy satisfaction, the Winter Gardens are located a 50-metre walk away which is attached to the Sheffield Contemporary [Museum]. This includes a room dedicated to the history of the steel industry of Sheffield as it was the thriving “City of Steel” back in the day. It even showed how the stages of making cutlery and cutting it into the correct shapes which I found intriguing.

Now you’ve educated yourself a bit on Sheffield history and legacy, head up past the city hall onto Division street. There are a few eclectic shops but most importantly, set your sights on a cafe called Steamyard. I discovered this little tucked away gem when I first started in Sheffield as I wanted to check out cafés and which were good to study in. Steamyard [insta: @steamyard] offers both a great atmosphere and cracking food. They have bagels and sandwich options for lunch, as well as brownies, macaroons, doughnuts and now, are selling kronuts which are just gorgeous! It so happens that they have been chosen as one of the UK’s top 30 places to have brunch by the Telegraph. They also offer dairy-free and gluten-free options so there are no excuses not to make a visit! If you only feel like a quick caffeine quick, that’s also cool, as there’ll be more food stops along this adventure!

Past the Drama Studio and my department, SEAS, to Broomhill

Once stuffed with delicious goodies, it’s time to walk off those calories by heading up the hill to the University situated at the top of West Street/Glossop Road. Although it’s a little scattered, the University of Sheffield Student Union is a large funky-looking building that is cavernous on the inside. The best time to visit is during term time as students are bustling in and out, giving the place life and energy. Once you’ve got a glimpse of life through a ‘uni of’ student’s eyes, head on up to Weston Park where there’s a museum, but also a nice loop route and a cute duck pond with a bridge. (I always think if you wear old victorian clothes and ignored the modern buildings behind, it’d be like you’re in a Jane Austen book).

Source: http://www.travelettes.net/five-reasons-to-go-to-sheffield/ [blog]

If you’re as fit as a fiddle and enjoy the walk along the Sheffield streets, I’d recommend following the main road outside the Museum-side park gates up to Broomhill which is a little hub of shops. If you haven’t eaten lunch in Steamyard, now is the time to fill your grumbling tummies. There are a couple of pubs, including Nottingham House which is known for its yummy pies. But most importantly, there is a Vietnamese place which recently has opened up on the corner called Nam Song Coffee House [insta: @namsonguk]. Its exterior is bright orange (and this is one of the reasons I ventured in in the first place). The food is delicious and affordable (students I’m looking at you as there is also a 10% discount). When it first opened, it offered the Vietnamese sandwich: Bahn Mi, or the Vietnamese noodle soup: Pho. You get to pick the meat, the vegetables, the sauces… it’s basically a DIY/PYO job and hey presto! it’ll appear in front of you. The other major perk of the place is the Vietnamese filter coffee which can come with condensed milk. *drool*

Now we’ve packed ourselves with all the goodies, it’s time for even more wandering over to the Botanical Gardens! You’ll be glad to hear this part is a ten-minute downhill stroll. The best time of year to go is either spring or autumn as it’s colourful and the pictures are instagram-worthy in the bright sunshine. There is an indoor part full of plants from other parts of the world and on another side of the Gardens, surprisingly, a bear pit! It was used in the 1800s and has recently been restored with the addition of a 2.4m steel sculpture of a bear. It’s a lovely oasis which isn’t often found in bustling cities which gives a little variety to your day.

The Bear Pit: Sheffield Botanical Gardens. source: @georgieporgie152 [insta]

Now, this is where the rest of the day is yours, you can catch a bus back into the centre – there’s the 6, 271 or 52 outside the top end of the Botanical gardens that can take you back.

One place I haven’t mentioned yet is Kelham Island. It is most commonly known for the Kelham Island Museum, which “was opened in 1982 to house the objects, pictures and archive material representing Sheffield’s industrial story.” [source: website]. There is also a micro-brewery which you can book a tour to see how they make their beers and the industry in Sheffield. It’s probably best to visit that earlier in the day as it is a little out of the way and the Museum closed at 4pm.

If you’re stuck for evening activities, here are some suggestions:

  • if you want to continue to be cultured: there are two theatres, the Lyceum and the Crucible, next to each other nearby the town centre and the station. Sometimes there is a very popular play on but others are usually less known but still really good to watch. There are often student discounts and are reasonably priced.
  • if you are looking for a more energetic scene: another idea is to walk along West Street as it is the heart of Sheffield’s nightlife scene: the Wick at Both Ends is known for delicious cocktails, as are Bloo 88 and Cavendish for happy hour deals.
  • for dinner: in the city centre there’s the Botanist (££) which is a restaurant decorated like an enchanted forest and has good cocktails, a Spanish place called Cubana (££) which offers good sized portions of tapas. As well as the usual chains such as All Bar One, Wagamamas, Zizzi’s, McDonalds… whatever you fancy 😀

I hope this guide has given you a glimpse of what a day in Sheffield is like, maybe it even tempts you to one day visit! The train station is an easy 10-minute walk from the city centre, or there is a tram that you can get on for £1.60 one way journey all the way up to the University if you so wish! 

If you have any recommendations that I haven’t mentioned, or your own experiences, feel free to share them! I love hearing about new or different places to have an adventure at. It’s impossible to fit in everything in a day and there’s much more to see in Sheffield… or just to catch a trainx or a one hour bus from the station, or drive to the Peak District

TGIF 😀

gl xxx

it’s about time: healthy happiness.

Since the 1st of January 2017, I’ve probably written a gazillion to-do lists in various notebooks and mobile phone apps with things I want to achieve. Okay, I’ve been doing that since my teenage years and have wanted to become a better person for both myself and those around me… and I’m not yet where I want to be. I’ve done well at meeting my academic goals, my adventure goals, any form of “bucket list” goals I have… but regarding my fitness, health and nutritional happiness, I can’t seem to leap the first hurdle, let alone cross the start line.

The fitness industry is booming with more people, particularly women, achieving the “look” of being fit, toned and healthy and I want to be part of it. In May last year, I was the closest I have been to being comfortable with the physical ‘me’ in a long time. I was going to the gym at least twice, if not three, times a week, and had been doing hour-long personal training sessions for three months. I could tell I was getting stronger and fitter even though I still grumbled and huffed when I had to do an exercise I didn’t like or if I was just feeling downright grumpy. What can you do? 😀

When I moved to Sheffield in September, I bought a gym membership but have only used it about ten times. It’s maddening. Even when I have it written in stark black ink “START GOING TO THE GYM” or “DO ANYTHING EXERCISEY ONCE A DAY” or more recently, “DO TEN THOUSAND STEPS A DAY”… I’ve hardly hit the goals. I give in to staying within my comfort zone but I know that every time this happens I’m putting off what I really want. And, that should be incentive enough.

Nevertheless, a friend of mine recently posted her fitness goals, her aims to get fit and I know that if I don’t start at some point (I.E. now), I never will. I have tried to keep it as simple as possible because I know that overwhelming myself with pressure will just send me to the nearest McDonalds and a sofa. My incentive is that I share this with you, and will continue to, so then I won’t let my little blog down so-to-speak. So, my goals aren’t to achieve the transformation that girls do in the movies, or imagine I’ll ever be an “instagram” girl standard. (I am not digging at myself here.)

I just want to know and feel that no matter whether I have had a cheeky cheat day or a holiday, I will have confidence to proudly stand in front of people I either know or don’t, in a ridiculous onesie or a bikini, with makeup on or makeup off, and be happy with what I eat and that I’m fit and healthy. 😀

I’m going to use a fitness programme by a now vaiiir famous instagrammer from Sydney: @kaylaitsines as well as doing a variety of exercises that my personal trainers taught me. I’ve chosen to do her programme (because I handily have it off an old friend (thank you)) and more importantly because it can be done anywhere. This may require a few adjustments at times but it means I don’t have to rely on gyms or which country I’m in to do it! This is great for me as one of the challenges I face is my knack for not staying in the same place for a good long period of time… so hopefully, as long as I have my trainers and some form of sports kit, I am good to go!

As another incentive to start, but also to do something that’s close to my heart, I’m raising money for MS Society UK – it is raising money for research for multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease which affects the nerves anywhere and possibly everywhere in your body.

My Grandpa was diagnosed with it, and since with Parkinson’s, and although my role is only tiny, I want to do something (as well as mowing the lawns and feeding his birds of course 😀 ) The rest of my story is on my fundraising page

MS Society has launched a campaign, ‘Let’s Kiss Goodbye to MS‘ for May and I’ve jumped onto the bandwagon! Some are giving up alcohol or wearing makeup whereas I’m going to give up chocolate (cries inside) and train to run in Nottingham’s Wollaton Park Run on the 10th June. Two birds with one stone! Yay?

Xo.

Who dunnit!?: murder mystery at its finest

April 7th, 2017:

I recently participated in hosting my fourth murder mystery dinner party with my “not-technically-my-housemates-but-those-who-I-live-with-them-most-of-the-time-housemates” in Nottingham last Friday.

As I am no longer a “fresher” and have transitioned from the ‘club scene’ to the ‘bar scene’ to go out for a few drinks and possibly a dance, I think that us young adults are having to come up with different ways to have an event or do the same thing over and over again. I love hosting events and have a healthy repertoire of parties from my past (almost) five years at university. actually, even before that, I have managed to entertain a multitude of guests from girly sleepovers to good-sized parties. (Wow, thanks to my parents for putting up with so much chaos in my teenage years…)

Thus, when the opportunity arose to suggest another event for our Nottingham household, I suggested a murder mystery dinner party.

It was an apt suggestion as in my second and fourth year of my undergraduate degree, my housemates (at the time) and I hosted them and had a cracking time.

Why are they worth the investment?

Every game is around £10-12 depending on the number of players per game – and is easily found on amazon.co.uk.  The game I played with friends in my fourth year was bought because I found it for £5 in TKMAXX once! The box includes invitations that give descriptions of all the characters involved and envelopes so you can either be “old school” and mail them to your chosen guests or just give them instead. If that’s too much effort, it’s easy just to take a picture of the descriptions and share it on WhatsApp or Facebook! 😉

There is also an audio CD and scripts for each of the characters, it is basically organised fun! 😀 Also, be ready to dress uuuuuuup! It is so brilliant.

Murder Mystery Take Four:

This time the chosen game titled ‘The Brie, the Bullet and the Black Cat’ required ten players. We already had a party of seven so reached out to friends to come along and time travel into the year of 1942 to crack a murder case. Normally, there is a round of the game for each course of a three-course dinner which I find offers a nice switch between being characters 1942 and ourselves in reality. As we only bought ingredients for food two hours before start time, we kept the extravagance to a minimum and had a main course and pudding course instead. Although there were crisps and dips to start us off! It was all vair yum. 😀

Everyone did a fantastic job trying to speak in different accents: Connor was German, Bety was Russian, Amy was French, Nichola was a husky French woman [wins best accent award], Danny was American, I was Danish, and the others slotted in somewhere in-between these diverse nationalities! There was much wine was drunk and food was eaten, and soon enough (three hours later), we voted on which of us were the murderers and the result was revealed! (Although I cannot remember from this part of the evening onwards until I was told about it the next morning… the Danes and their drinking, eh?!) 😉

Apart from the first murder mystery party I hosted with my family back when I was about fifteen or sixteen, here are photos of the three since, have been memorable events that have made my university life all the better! ❤

murder 2
Murder Mystery #2
murder 3
Murder Mystery #3
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Murder Mystery #4

Excuse the last photo… I don’t remember taking it and usually, my polaroid skills do not result in pitch black photos!
[cred to Karmen for the monochrome polaroids]

I hope everyone has a go at doing this, it’s worth the while!

Xo.

harry potter world: omgyes

When a former housemate and one of my closest friends Dave revealed he had got a graduate job at Ocado based in Hatfield (Hertfordshire) last year, I yelled with excitement about two things:

  1. I totally get the delivery discount right?!
  2. that’s so close to the Harry Potter Studio Tours, we have to go!

On the 8th April, we made the second true. (I’m still waiting on a discount code Dave…)

It was one of those things that if you never book it, you’ll never get round to doing it. In January when both my diary and bank balance glowed with optimistic possibilities to go on adventures, I seized the chance. On Saturday around 12pm I got into my little Seat and drove 105 miles south to Hatfield. Only to find a Dave half-hanging out of his massive window in the unexpected “heatwave” of a weekend! Well, he wasn’t quite, but you can open his window fully and could easily climb out onto the roof of the lower floor in front of it… Anyway, back to the story!

Before the main event of the day, we went on a mini adventure to meet Chloe at Jarman Park (a big retail park) as I had not seen her in so long! Two Frankie and Benny’s garlic pizza breads later – not all consumed by me, may I add! – it was time to head on as our tickets were booked for 17:30 entry to the ‘Making of Harry Potter Studios’.

From the moment the large caramel (but not tasty looking) coloured huge warehouses that encased the Harry Potter Studies came into view, it was getting preeeeetty exciting! We parked up and trotted inside… and I feel like no one can prepare you for what lies inside. I don’t necessarily mean it’s the most stunning memorable place in the world, but I would be dumbfounded to hear if someone had had no reaction whatsoever to what lies inside the huge building. IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

And it got better. I really hope everyone gets a chance to go! It’s a really unique experience and the detail that has gone into the creation of the Harry Potter-based attraction, let alone into the creation of all eight films!

I don’t want to say much more as I feel it is a place that must be kept in secret for all those who haven’t been. If I were to go again, my advice would be:

  1. No matter what people tell you, have a try of the Butterbeer.
    (If one of the queues are really long, you can order a Butterbeer from the side with sandwiches and get the drink in a minute rather than wait for ten!)
  2. Take a good camera – that may be a bit obvious… oops.
  3. I think no matter the time it’s gonna be busy! However, if you can, I feel like booking for the earliest (or second earliest) time in the morning gives you the best chance of getting to look at everything for a good amount of time. Possibly the evening times too, as it doesn’t close until ten.
    (And, hopefully, there’ll be fewer people taking photos of everything single thing around you.)
  4. Expect to be in there for three hours, Dave and I pretty much did and we didn’t rush ourselves at all!
  5. Get a chocolate frog.
    But don’t put it in the fridge like I did… (because chocolate tastes good cold). It is solid chocolate and I had to hack at it or gnaw on it like sweetcorn to get a bite. (Not a proud moment…)

Here are a couple of snaps of the adventure as I can’t resist adding them on here.

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Dave, thank you for having me down in your neck of the woods! It was great to see you and I miss being your annoying housemate who crashes into your room, is an awful player on Star Wars, and for bossing you about like a witch mother. I can’t wait to move down to London to be closer to you, and all our other housemates. We’re gonna have fuuun!

Until next time,

One proud Hufflepuff 😀

Xo.