Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Things That I Look Out For When Moving House


I lived in the same same house from the day I was born right up until the day I moved to University.

Then I moved every year at University, like you do, and I got the moving bug.

Since 2010 I have lived in 7 properties and I am about to move into my 8th. I really do got the moving bug!

Living in so many houses and flats has been exciting and great. I love change, when we don’t move house I just end up rearranging the furniture lots to keep me going. 

Over time it means I have come across a lot of good and a lot of bad things, so I’ve built up a pretty good checklist to use when I move property again.

Some of these things seem big and some might seem small, but when you’re living somewhere for at least a year even the smallest thing can turn into a big thing.

Transport Links

Before I even book in a viewing I will go on Google maps and see what transport links it has. How long will it take me to get to work? How long will it take me to get to town? 

The Surrounding Area

I also like to look up the surrounding area. Maybe do a quick Google search to see what the average person living there is like and what the crime rate is. 

Amenities 

I have lived in properties that are in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do nearby and let me tell you, it makes a difference. In my last property I lived a 40 minute journey away from a good cafe, restaurant or pub. I ended up staying in a lot more because it just took so much effort to go anywhere. In my current place I have everything I need within a 5 minute walk, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!!! If I’m craving a hot chocolate, a brunch or a gin it’s all right on my doorstep.

Parking

Is there an assigned parking space or enough slots? What about when guests visit? 

Windows 

I like to take a lot of pictures inside so having lots of windows and natural light is a must for me. I also just like rooms that are bright and airy, they look more spacious and make me more relaxed.

Ceilings

I’m a tall girl so low ceilings are a no-no!

Bedroom Away From Main Road

Not the main thing but it’s good if the bedroom is away from the main road, that way I won’t be woken up by lorries or sirens throughout the night.

Signs of Damp

The house I moved into straight after University had damp and it was a bit of a nightmare. My clothes would never dry properly and would start to smell, the walls were covered in mould and it was always a bit chilly. The landlord even tried to blame us even though it was there since moving in! If I smell a damp or musty smell or see mould or stains on the wall then I know it probably has damp and I want nothing to do with it.

Shower

I don’t care what weird looks I get from the estate agent, I always turn the shower on. In one property the shower was a light drizzle which was annoying af and made it really difficult to wash my hair. The shower gotta have some power!

Curtains

The boyfriend is the fussiest sleeper I know and he thinks we have to have black out blinds in order to get a good nights sleep. I actually don’t mind having thinner curtains because the natural lighting wakes me up, although it’s good to have dark curtains when I’m hungover!

Gas Oven

This one is super important. In my current property I have an electric oven and electric hobs, I’d forgotten how bad they were and thought it’d be alright. It’s not. It takes 3 times longer then it should to cook something and the hobs are bloody useless. 

Wardrobe Space

I have no space in my current wardrobe so a lot of my clothes are packed away into suitcases. I actually can only have one season at a time hanging up.

Furniture

Not all of the furniture you see when you look around is the landlords, a lot of the time I have asked at least one thing belonged to the current tenants.

Unusual Stains

The boyfriend saw a suspicious stain in a property and after questioning it he discovered the bathroom upstairs kept flooding. Big red flag!

Floorboards & Walls

I currently live underneath the nosiest neighbour I have ever know in my entire life. He play music loudly at every hour of the day, he stomps around (in Doc Martens I can only assume), he exercises above my bedroom at 7 in the morning, he plays the TV louder so loud I can’t hear my own and he is the reason I am moving out of my flat. Seriously, he is. Every morning he’s so noisy he wakes me up at 4/5 am, I’m just so tired! I live in an old building that’s been converted into modern flats, so the floorboards are wooden and squeaky. One of the first things I looked for in the next flat was whether the floor was more concrete or wood.  

Sofa

Also check if you like the sofa. I usually won’t look at a place if it has leather sofas, they’re just impractical and uncomfortable. Corner sofas are where it’s at! Unfortunately my next place has leather sofas, sad face. It didn’t look like it in the pics, so we only saw once we looked around. I was just in such a rush to get away from my noisy neighbour I decided I will figure a way around that later.

What things do you look for when moving to a new property?
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Podcasts || October 2017


It’s been a while since I posted my last podcast post so about time I did another.

I have become so obsessed with listening to podcasts, I wish I had gotten onto them a lot sooner! They’re perfect for the commute to work as well as at work.

The boyfriend just showed me how to connect my phone up to the kitchen radio using bluetooth (so high tech) so now I even get to listen to them while cooking, winning!

Anyways, let’s just dive straight into the list…

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

This follows the story of Chris Lighty who grew up in the Bronx in the 70’s/80’s and eventually became one one of the biggest names in hip hop. I am finding it so fascinating to learn about the history and the culture around that era, you really feel like you’re there with them. From talking about cleaning their sneakers, to getting them stolen, to the way the music spread and the crowds that would turn up to listen to the DJs, it’s all fascinating. i’ve not finished it yet but I’m sure I will do soon enough! 

At Home With…

Lifestyle content creators Lily Pebbles & Anna Newton go around interviewing a bunch of interesting people at their homes. There’s 10 episodes in the series, I’ve listened to about 5 so far and really enjoyed each one. The interviewees include Zoella, Jo Elvin (editor of Glamour - sad face about the recent news!), Terry De Gunzburg (founder, By Terry) and Kate Johnson (bloggers, Kate La Vie). So many clever, funny and inspirational women. Every time I listen to an episode I want to go create something or buy some new homeware!

Tea & Tattle

Someone recommended this to me the last time I wrote a podcast post. The two most well spoken women in England joins forces to talk about a huge array of topics including Hygge, tips for starting a new job, sine theory, Jane Austen, capsule wardrobe and everything in-between. The hosts are Miranda, a lifestyle blogger and part-time primary school teacher, and Sophie, a University Lecturer specialising in the renaissance period. Another set of inspiring women talking to other inspiring women, I’ve learnt so much from their episodes. The capsule wardrobe and Hygge one are potentially my favourites from the ones I’ve listened to so far.

The Guilty Feminist

This podcast is the most important podcast I think I have ever listened to. It has opened my eyes and shaped my views on so many topics. Deborah Francis-White hosts the panel, with Sofie Hagen co-hosting for the first 29 episodes. I have been telling everyone I know about this podcast, I really can’t gush over it more. They have given voice to so many people who just don’t get the amount of exposure they deserve or need. They cover nurses, motherhood, transgender, race, bringing up feminist boys, fighting, FGM, taking up space, the travel ban, periods, activism and so much more. Listening to these stories has made me much more aware of the issues people face. For example I always knew transgender people or people of colour faced difficulties, but hearing the stories from the people themselves has made me understand them so much more. I think I could write thousands of words on this podcast alone, but I’m going to restrain because I might never stop. Although I have missed out an important part, the show is essentially a comedy podcast and it is absolutely hilarious. I am constantly laughing out loud on the tram and at my desk, I’ve gotten quite a few stares. I used to hate hearing women weren’t as funny as men when I was growing up. The boys would be like ‘well you don’t see them on the panel shows do you, they’re just not funny’. Well the Guilty Feminist is hard proof that this is not the case!

Global Pillage

Basically I went onto this because I have listened to almost every episode of The Guilty Feminist since I discovered it bout a month ago and I needed more Deborah Frances-White in my life. She hosts this comedy panel show about idiom, culture, customs and norms where two teams take on the audience. I have only just started this today, so I’m only about 3 episodes in but I’ve already learnt quite a few fun facts! None of which are springing to mind now apparently!


So those are some of the ones I have been obsessed with lately. I’m also getting back into This Paranormal Life, which I talked about in my previous post.

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Guys, It Is Never OK To Grab


When I ask my girl friends if they have ever been grabbed inappropriately at a club the answer is almost always a unanimous ‘yes’. I want to take the opportunity here to explain that I do know that this is not a female specific problem. I personally know many men who have told me they too have been grabbed. That being said, it has happened more frequently to my female friends than my male friends, so these are the stories I am going to tell. This has been a problem since I first starting going out to clubs at 15 years old.

I’ve decided to write this post now because of recent events. As I said, this has been happening to me since I was 15. Over the last five or so years I would say I have been grabbed fewer and farer between, but it still happens. A couple of months ago I was in a crowded club with some friends and I was queueing on my own to buy a drink. I felt someone grab my ass and I turned around to see some guy and his friend smiling at me. I asked him ‘what the hell do you think you’re doing?’ and he laughed, said it was a joke and apologised. He started to talk to me about general things and then suddenly tried to stick his tongue down my throat. I told him, rather indignantly, that I have a boyfriend. He then said ‘I respect that, you’re staying loyal to your boyfriend, that’s admirable’ before trying to push his tongue down my throat a second time. It was at this point that I decided to walk away.

Later on in the night I was making my way to the toilet when I felt someone go up my skirt and grab my vagina. I turned around and there was the guy with a couple of his friends, all of them openly laughing at me. I was in shock. I have had people grab my ass over my skirt or trousers, but I don’t think I have ever had anyone reach up my skirt and grab me there before. They all just stood there, laughing.

A friend of mine recently told me she got grabbed at a club too. A guy grabbed her breast while his friends stood by and laughed. She was not wearing a bra that night because of the type of top she was wearing. She told me she ‘felt more violated than I normally would’ because of this.

Just a few weeks later in one of my group whatsapp chats a friend announced that she would like to have a little rant. She then proceeded to rightfully rant away, asking ‘why do men think it’s ok to harass women on a night out? Why can’t two girls dance and have fun on a night out without men non stop trying something? Why do they think it is ok to touch you?’. This rant was prompted by the fact that her and a friend were on a night out and some guys were constantly harassing them and wouldn’t let them just dance on their own.

What happened to me has really stuck with me. Straight after it happened I went to the club bathroom and regrouped, then went out to find the friends I was with. The guys were stood nearby and I was overly conscious of their presence for the rest of the night and I felt like I couldn’t dance or have fun anymore. I left shortly afterwards.

It was on my mind a lot for the following couple of weeks. For the first week I thought about it almost every day. It has been two months since it happened and I still think about it sporadically and feel upset and angry. Why does a guy and his friends think it is OK to grab girls on a night out, and I say girls plural because I found out later on he had grabbed several of the group that night. Not only do they think it is OK, they think it is entertaining. I wonder how much they have thought about it since they did it. If they even remember me out of the many girls they grabbed. If they felt a little guilty when they woke up sober or if it was just another funny anecdote for them to guffaw over.

To guys this could be be some ‘harmless’ fun that last for a few seconds. Guess what guys, these things stick with us. Most of my girl friends will say yes when I ask if they have been grabbed. They don’t say ‘I think it happened just the one time…’ They usually roll their eyes and wearily say with a look of disgust and annoyance ‘yes, so much’. This is just a part of going out for many women, something to be expected. It is sexual assault and it should never be expected. It’s the 21st century for crying out loud.

Guys, it is never OK to grab!
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

24 things I Loved About University


University simultaneously feels like a life time ago and like it was just yesterday. In reality I am an elderly woman who finished university four whole years ago. 

I am a big Buzzfeed lover, something I picked up at university, and around this time of year you cannot open the app without seeing one student article. 

It always makes me a little nostalgic, as well as insanely jealous and scared (has it really been four years?!). 

The years I spent at university were some of the best of my life. I took away a lot of fun, cringey and happy memories, as well as many lasting friendships.

So here are a bunch of things I loved about University…

1. Student Loan

Hello big pile of money I didn’t have to work for!

2. Student Card

What better way to spend that money than buying uni supplies…or hitting the shops. 20% off means I can buy 20% more right? The freebies from Mcdonalds alone were worth going to uni for.

3. Student Bar

Student bar where drinks are cheaaaap, fun and laughter, there’s enough for everyone! Seriously though, pints for less than two squid? Yes please!

4. Nights Out

Talking of student bars, I went on a ridiculous number nights out at uni. Especially in the first year, that was one long night out.

5. Take Aways

The nights out mostly ended in takeaways. Even if I wasn’t on a night out it often ended up in takeaway. I swear my diet was about 60% alcohol and 40% garlic bread pizza and cheesy chips.

6. Lecture Hours

This Monday to Friday 9-5.30 adult work life makes me miss having like 10 hours of lectures a week. 

7. Learning

I like learning new things, and at uni you get to choose a subject you’d like to learn more in depth. No more forced geography lessons, I really am shocking at geography.

8. Having My Own Room

I shared a room with my sister growing up. It wasn’t until I went to University that I had a room of my own and boy did it feel good. My own bed that wasn’t part of a bunk bed, my own wardrobe, my own drawers, my own door, my own window, I loved it!

9. Fancy Dress

There will be no other time in my life that I will dress up as much as I did at University. I was part of a society for a year so I dressed up each week, everything from an old woman to a carrot.

10. Movie Marathons

One time (at band camp) I was about to leave the house to go to a lecture when I saw my housemate was watching Lord of the Rings. We ended up watching all three movies back to back just because we could.

11. Long Breaks

I get excited about taking a long weekend these days. At University you get half terms, Christmas break, Easter break and the glorious thing that is summer break.

12. Strange Meals

Times were tough as a student, sometimes I had to make difficult decisions like should I buy something proper to eat or save that money for drinking. Cue rummaging around in my freezer and making 1 sausage, 3 chicken dippers and some questionable beans for tea.

13. Tour Tour Tour

I went on tour hardly knowing anyone in my society but came back with some pretty great friends. It was a messy four days to say the least.

14. Day Drinking

I really miss being bored at home then arranging a spontaneous trip to the pub at 1pm because what else did I have to do.

15. Daytime TV

Jeremy Kyle, Bargain Hunt, Everybody Loves Raymond. They were more than TV shows, they were my friends.

16. Silly Things

Doing silly things for absolutely no reason at all, like decorating your living room for pancake day, having a huge indoor water fight or filling someones room up with every bin you can find.

17. Banter

I miss everybody just constantly tearing each other apart, top bants.

18. Pre Drinks

Student nights were cheap but we were poor, so pre drinking was always necessary. Sometimes they were more fun than the nights out!

19. Drinking Games

Everybody has played ring of fire during pre drinks at one point in their life. That dirty pint was the absolute worst! I played lots of other drinking games too, like when the royal wedding was on. We wrote out the rules and had them stuck to the wall, it didn’t matter that it was happening first thing in the morning.

20. Gigs

I went to so many gigs through university, there was something on practically every week. I especially loved watched S Club 7 (but there was only 5 of them) and Five (but there as only 3 of them) in the same night. Lesson of that night was if you’re gonna be in a band don’t use a number in your name! Yes I went to cooler gigs but I just love telling that story.

21. Long Days In The Library

We used to head to the library with such high hopes, only for us to end up on Facebook within an hour and at the pub within two hours. 

22. Free Time

I just had so much free time at Uni, so much! What did I do with it all?! 

23. Independence

I learnt so many life skills at uni. I mainly learnt that everything costs money and now I have to pay for it all.

24. Friends Being Close

The thing I miss most of all is a friend never being more than five minutes away from me. Now it takes several weeks of planning around every bodies busy schedules to go out for a few drinks. Back then I’d just walk down the hall and say ‘drink’ to someone and we’d be at the pub within ten minutes.

What do you miss most about university? Or are you still there? If so, what do you love the most about it?



 

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Edinburgh: Things To Do, Where To Eat & Harry Potter



Once upon a time I picked out the cutest Air BnB, embarked upon a 4 hour train ride with a hot chocolate in hand and arrived in the beautiful and magical city of Edinburgh.

I know I say this about a lot of cities, but this really was one of those cities I fell in love with the moment I stepped off the train. I want to move there, I need to move there, please, someone, take me back there, please!

I stayed there for three nights, which was just enough for a little trip away. I got to do a lot, drink a lot and eat a lot.

So here’s a little, or actually a somewhat large, round up of everything I got up to. I’ve split it into three sections - What I Did, Where I Ate and Harry Potter.

What I Did

Old Town

Old towns are usually my favourite part of a city break and Edinburgh did not disappoint. I could wander those cobbled streets for hours and I did, several times. There’s so many winding streets, charming shops, independent cafes and hidden alleyways.

Royal Mile

This sits within the old town and is impossible to miss. It stretches all the way from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle, with a million and one things to do and see in between. There’s plenty of shops, pubs, street performers, museums and, of course, tourists. Have your camera ready because you’ll be taking a lot of pics along here.

Underground Spooky Tour

Along the Royal Mile you will see lots of guided tour groups moving around. We went with Mercats Ghostly Underground Tour after reading some good reviews online. It is a little overpriced for what it is, but still lots of fun and I’m glad we did it. The tour guide stayed in his spooky character the entire time and engaged well with the group, getting everyone laughing. It was also really interesting to learn the dark history of Edinburgh’s underground system.

Grass Market

Another thing I like to check out when visiting a city are the local markets. Grass Market is in the old town at the end of Victoria Street. The space is lined with even more shops, places to eat and pubs. In the middle there’s market stalls and live music. You can also get a really great view of the castle from down here!

Greyfriars Bobby

I had no idea who this little guy was before I went. I was looking for a Graveyard when i saw a small crowd around a statue of a dog. The story goes that in the 19th century Bobby spent 14 years guarding his owners grave until he too died. What have we done to deserve dogs?!

Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens was one of my favourite parts of Edinburgh. It’s located in Stockbridge which is just a short walk from the old town. My Air BnB was actually in the beautiful Stockbridge. I’d highly recommend staying there, it’s just a 20 min walk to the old town or like a £5 uber. Anyways, the stunning and spacious gardens are free to explore, you’ll just have to pay to go into the Glasshouses. I went in the glasshouse, they’re very hot so wear layers! 


Where I Ate

Civerinos

A tasty pizza place just off the Royal mile. The pizza bases are thin and crispy and there’s a decent amount of choice. I think I read that this place stays open quite late, so it’s a good one when you need a pick me up after a couple at the pub. They sell whole pizzas as well as slices. I find some pizza places can let you down when it comes to chips but they were cooked perfectly here and had lots of seasoning and flavour.

Pantry

What holiday is complete without a little brunch, am I right? As I said we stayed in Stockbridge, which apparently is a big brunch loving area. The Pantry was so good, I had the Bennys with kale and the boyfriend had LA Eggs, both were scrumptious. They make a mean hot chocolate too!

Mary’s Milk Bar

Before I went somebody told me that I had to find this place, it does the best ice cream ever. It’s in the Grass Market area, so you can enjoy your ice cream and the views of the castle simultaneously. I’m a big ice cream fan and I loved this. It’s more creamy than ice and packed full of flavour. I went for a double scoop, one chocolate and one raspberry.

Eat Something (I can’t remember the name but it has ‘eat’ in it somewhere and is on the edge of Grass Market)

Just as I was in the middle of a vegetarian rant (I was getting hangry and had just been somewhere where they ran out of the only veggie option I liked, which happens a lot as there’s usually like only 3 choices) the boyfriend pointed as this place and said let’s check it out before going home and cooking our own food. They have the biggest selection of veggie panini I have ever seen, with just as much meat options too. 

Soderberg

As well as brunch you have to have at least one pastry per holiday, thems the rules. Soderberg is a cute little cafe on the Stockbridge high street with a delicious array of pastries available. I got a jam and cream pastry with a hot chocolate, both were delicious.

Stockbridge Food Market

Thanks to the boyfriend for finding out this was on. Another reason to stay in Stockbridge is the lovely food markets it hosts on Sundays. It seemed like everyone there was queueing up for the paella stall!

Chaophraya

There is no shortage of Thai restaurants in Edinburgh, they’re everywhere! We booked a table at Chaophraya after it was recommended to us by a friend. They have a glass rooms seating area where you can get great views of the city. It’s a little pricey but perfect if you want to splash out on a romantic or celebratory meal.


Harry Potter

(yes I am watching Harry Potter whilst writing this and yes I watched two of the movies while in Edinburgh)

Greyfriars Kirkyard

It has been said JK Rowling took inspiration for characters names from many places, including graveyards! In Greyfriars Kirkyard you will find Riddles and McGonagalls graves, if you’re prepared to do a bit of searching! Cue flashbacks to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

George Heriot’s School

You can’t actually go in the grounds of this school but it is right next to the graveyard and visible from the Elephant House cafe. It is said to be the inspiration behind the structure of Hogwarts and the four school houses.

Diagon House

There are actually two Diagon Houses’, one on Victoria Street and one on Cockburn Street. if you are a Harry Potter fan you will absolutely love them, it sort of reminded me of being in Weasley Wizard Wheezes. Although it was fun to look around I didn’t end up buying anything, the products were way too overpriced. 

Victoria Street

This winding street is thought to be the inspiration behind the famous Diagon Alley, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s bright and colourful and full of all sorts of shops selling all sorts of things, including the Diagon House I mentioned above. 

Elephant House

I saved the best until last, in my opinion at least. The Elephant House is where the talented JK Rowling wrote much of her first Harry Potter book. Naturally it has now become a big tourist attraction and we had to queue a little bit to get a table, but in my biased opinion it is well worth the wait. I sat down at a table in the back room, looked at the castle from out of the window and almost burst into tears. No joke. I was so emotional, I couldn’t believe I was sat where JK Rowling once sat writing the book I love so much. Then there’s the famous toilets, where almost every inch of the wall is covered in graffiti from fans of the series. I loved it so much I visited it twice!






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