February 2014 - Rachel Ellen

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Living Out of My Suitcase
As a student one thing I do a lot is travelling, whether it's going home for the weekend (which is an ordeal in itself of trains, walking, buses, suitcases, rain snow etc.) or going up to my boyfriend's uni halls for a couple of days. It has made me a lot better at packing and knowing what I need.

My first bit of advice is have as much as you can in different places, I have a tooth brush in each place as their so easy to forget, basic hair accessories everywhere (though grip clips aren't usually intentionally left, they just appear everywhere!) borrow other people's hairdryers and straighteners and that massively cuts down on weight and size of bags.

If it's an overnight stay i usually use this bag:

I bought this from Tesco over summer, they don't have it in stock anymore but do have similar sized ones which are quite nice like this one. £13 for a weekend bag is a bargain I definitely recommend if you take a lot of overnight trips.

Make up is something that I don't like to leave everywhere  because if I bought three lots it would cost me a fortune! 

My rule is if it doesn't fit in this make up case it doesn't go, if an opportunity arises that  I need going out make up I always have Rimmel black pencil eyeliner and any black eye shadow, you can easily give yourself a going out look with those staples.

For the packing of clothes I always plan in outfits, lay them all out on the bed before putting them in, but try and chose clothes cleverly, if you plan on taking jeans or jumpers they weigh more, and if you wear them you end up at the other end not able to fit them back in! And as your mother always said always take extra underwear and socks just in case you get stuck somewhere or fall in a muddy puddle!

And of course don't forget all chargers, unless you have a phone like this Samsung I have which lasts me between 5-7 days when being used a lot! Hairbrushes can be left in places - unless you have a favourite that you just can't do without! And hair products boys and girls are probably a good one to buy and leave in different places so you don't accidentally leave them! Try and create two outfits that can use the same pair of shoes to save you extra weight.

Right now I'm supposed to be packing for tomorrow night but here I am writing about packing instead, pointless procrastination at best! I get my replacement iPhone back tomorrow so I'll be back to the land of the living and be contactable through all online media- maybe that's not such a good thing!

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Monday, 24 February 2014

Don't Slap Pandas
I recently ordered from a website called Redbubble, a t-shirt with print on as a present. Ordering from new websites always makes me nervous and I was getting worried when it was nearly two weeks without as much of a sign of the parcel. I should have been more patient as the t-shirt was coming all the way from America! The t-shirt arrived but was totally distracted by the label attached on with a little tiny peg (ok first I was distracted by the peg as it was so cute!)

Yes that does say "DON'T SLAP PANDAS" some important advice from the company that sent this shirt. "constructed in America by happy people in matching socks" I just find the time and effort gone into this label adorable, and as sad as it is just makes me want to order from them again! I love little bits of cute effort.

I'm getting closer and closer to the end of my month without chocolate, I'm so proud of myself. I've not had a single cheat day. My no crisps started a day late, so Saturday's my first day off chocolate ban and Sunday's my first day off my no crisps ban. 

I'll give a full update at the weekend about how I've done as I'm at the last hurdle now and still have time to fail!

thanks for reading and remember don't slap pandas!

Rachel xx

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Im so 2000 and late
Two weekends ago my iPhone 4 completely broke. I'd like to say it was due to me dropping my phone down the stairs or spilling my drink on it, but no, it just froze for about 10 minutes and hasn't turned back on since. Luckily I'm covered by some warranty so my little iPhone is currently on it's way to the phone doctor.

The phone I'm currently using a high-tech little Samsung
In a world of smartphones and being completely dependant on technology I thought it would be interesting to point out what things I like and dislike about not having an iPhone.

One thing I don't miss is mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Twitter all day when I'm bored, to the point that you end up looking at the same things twice. Instead I am socialising more (although it is more annoying when other people are doing those things) and looking around me. The things you see on a train journey, inside and outside of the train can be fascinating, on a long journey you see so many different places drift past you that you've never seen before and your eyes are attached to your phone screen. 

The main thing I miss is the communication, yes I can text and ring which essentially is what a mobile phone is for! But I usually have my personal and uni emails come straight through to my phone, yes most of them are junk mail but the odd one that I can't see for the full day is a problem. The other communication issue is with my uni friends, we use a group Facebook conversation to keep in contact and to organise things, so throughout the day I am missing plans they are making, plus I come home to have to read 50+ messages!

A smartphone for me doesn't seem essential right now, I do prefer texting on my iPhone, and  I can send pictures, or even take them seems exciting for me! But the fact that I can charge my phone and it last me about a week as opposed to twice in one day is a novelty that still hasn't worn off! I don't hate this Samsung as much as I thought I would and one day would give a thought to maybe downgrading to one of these and saving myself lots of cash!

Still I can't wait to get my iPhone back

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cosmo - Easy Way to Fatten Up!
As I was walking through Sheffield on Sunday we walked past a group of people one of which said "oh and there, that place is an all you can eat Chinese" Me and my boyfriend's ears perked up, of course. All you can eat is a major guilty pleasure of ours! So of course we took ourselves there that evening. 

The place we went to was a place called Cosmo, http://www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk/ which is quite newly opened in Sheffield but they have branches in other cities, but it is not just a Chinese all you can eat, it includes Indian, Mexican, Italian, English and more similar set up to Red Hot World Buffet. After waiting for 45 minutes for a table as it was super busy (we didn't mind too much as it is bottomless soft drinks which is very unusual for an all you can eat!) and the decor is clean and very appealing! We finally sat down and tucked into our food. 

There was a lovely selection which we were faced with, the main problem being where to start first. I did find a few of the meat dishes fatty or boney which was disappointing but there was still plenty of choice. At £13.99 for an evening it is not a place to go if you are not willing to eat a lot but you can definitely get your moneys worth. I would choose Red Hot World Buffet over this place, but as there is not one in Sheffield it is a very good alternative! I found the staff very friendly and helpful which only adds to the experience of the place.

I would rate this place a 7/10- due to the quality of the meat
My boyfriend has said 8/10 so a little more generous.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines Day
So a happy valentines day to everyone, if you're with someone I hope you have a lovely day, if not its the perfect excuse to eat what you want and do what you want! This year will be my first Valentines day with a boyfriend (yes I am 20 it's taken me a while!) So my first year of not having to be so cynical about all the lovey dovey things in shops, and the romantic tweets and status' and pictures. But I still find myself cringing, just me?

This week has definitely brought a lot of stress of what to buy as a present, girls can be bought flowers, chocolates, jewellery etc. It's quite easy, but for a boy! Where do I even start! Not only the choosing of the present but of course I am on a student budget and I'm completely useless at buying presents altogether!

Unfortunately I can't tell you what I eventually chose as it is still in the post and I don't want to give away any surprises but I hope everyone found something to buy for their boyfriends/girlfriends. And if there's nobody to buy for, I hope you gave yourself an extra treat!

14th of February also brings the half way mark of my no chocolate February, no doubt in my mind that I have definitely chosen the hardest time of year to do this as there is temptation everywhere! Valentines chocolate, mothers day chocolate, Easter chocolate! It's everywhere! I'd like to say these two weeks have made a massive change in me but I think the chocolate alternatives I have chosen have probably been worse for me, so for the last two weeks I am going to take up no crisps as well as no chocolate, this will really challenge me!

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Monday, 10 February 2014

Dream Dream Dream

I've always found dreams very strange, what your own subconscious thinks of is fascinating if not just weird. I had a very strange dream last night that's been playing on my mind all day so I've decided to try and use an online dream analysing website to see whether my subconscious is trying to tell me something!

Firstly will describe the dream I had:
I dreamt that I was in my high school in the drama studio and it was the day of my final GCSE performance. But I couldn't remember anything about what we had created, everyone was very expectant of me so I didn't want to let them down and was racking my brains trying to remember anything at all about the performance we had made. I asked one of the girls in my group if I could look at the script, to which I got the reply "we never wrote a script, you know that" but there was not even a spark of a memory in my mind. This was very frustrating and I was panicking as it was about ten minutes until performance time. The whole stage had just finished being set up and all of my group were in position, I began to walk to the stage and the dream ended.

I will be using http://www.dreambible.com/ for my analysis

This is the explanation of being unprepared for an exam (GCSE drama exam is the final performance)
To dream of being unprepared for an exam may reflect your feeling of lacking of preparation or that you didn't listen to a warning. Feeling accountable for the failure of a project or plan. You may be expecting too much of yourself. - Being unprepared for things sounds a lot like me so, I will take that as a valid analysis of a dream

High School
To dream of being in high school represents anxiety or concerns you have in regards to gaining power, resources, or status. How well you are being perceived by others or how well you are performing in life. You want more responsibility, status, or to feel more capable. You are trying to improve yourself in some manner. 
High school points to insecurities, or anxieties about how powerful or capable you feel as a person.
Attending specific classes in a school may represent the manner in which you are thinking. For example, history classes may reflect the reexamining of your past and math classes your attempts to solve a difficult problem. - So I'm very insecure about something to do with how powerful I feel and the subject represents the manner in which I am thinking? Perhaps I feel like I am performing for somebody. I think this whole description is easily applicable to most people my ages, we are struggling to gain power in some way and want more responsibility but can't gain it.

I am struggling to find something to link with me not remembering anything so I will use the description of Amnesia in a dream
To dream of amnesia represents you or someone has a poor memory of something. You may not remember something that other people do. Alternatively, amnesia may represent you or someone else that has blocked out or rejected a negative aspect of yourself. You may also be experiencing a recurring problematic person or situation that seems oblivious to what has already happened. - the only thing I could even think of to do with a recurring problem would be having a messy kitchen, I'm a pain for moaning about mess in the kitchen! And I would guess that everyone would try and block out negative aspects of themselves.

As you can see I can apply these predictions to myself, but is it that dreams do have these meanings or are they cleverly written in a way that they can be applicable to most people. 

Sorry for such a long post but it's all a bit of fun, if you're interested have a look at the website I've used and see what your dreams could mean.

Thanks for reading,
Rachel xx

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Otley Run Fancy Dress
So yesterday I went to do the Otley Run in Leeds, as predicted we didn't make it to the end and I had to get the last train back to Sheffield, so plenty of walking and drinking involved! Like most people we were doing the Run in fancy dress, I never want to go to a proper fancy dress shop and spend a fortune on a costume and I'm not one of these people who have loads of costumes stored up!

So here's my nice, cheap, makeshift fancy dress:
Includes; a mens plain t-shirt size large from HnM £5 with the sleeves cut, primark headband and necklace, feathers from The Works, a borrowed necklace and already owned New Look boots and bag, miss selfridge leggings and old accessories that I don't remember where I got them from. Oh and of course a stupid pose to make the outfit!

I loved doing the Otley Run, only wish I had more time! I'll definitely do it again and I'll definitely use this costume again when I can.

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Friday, 7 February 2014

Cavalier Youth
Today's blog will be about the newest album I have purchased, yes actually bought as a hard copy, not modern iTunes download or illegal download! How old fashioned Cavalier Youth by You Me At Six.

Everyone has that band, that no matter what they'll always love and mine is You Me At Six, so on the day of release I went straight to HMV and bought it! I was a little worried as the first release off the album "Lived a Lie" wasn't my favourite song by them but I am definitely impressed with the album as a whole. You can definitely hear a more grown up feel to the album in comparison to older albums. As for the album cover I love it, the colours in the sky are gorgeous!

My top three songs from this album are:
1. Be Who You Are (so so wish it was longer though!)
2. Carpe Diem
3. Love Me Like You Used To

My only criticism of You Me At Six has always been the length of their albums and songs! I've been wanting a longer album from them forever!

Although I bet they'll all change each day that I listen to it! I know You Me At Six aren't a band to everybody's taste but this album is all I've listened to since I bought it so felt it was appropriate to blog about too!

Thanks for reading
Rachel xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Rachel Without the Chocolate Factory
I had so many plans for my day off but Sheffield has delivered a horrible, rainy, windy day. So the only solution is a onsie day snuggled up lazy with some choco.... oh wait!

After my Christmas binge I felt I should make some kind of effort to eat better, so I decided on a no chocolate February. (the shortest month and by now all Christmas chocolate should be eaten up) So I roped my housemates into it as well so there was no temptation in the house! At the moment I'm doing okay, other than the hot chocolate in the cupboard, and creme eggs in EVERY shop, oh and of course every advert relating to chocolate! But then I remember I'm only on day 5 and there's 23 days to go, not that I'm counting down at all.

But if I receive emails about free chocolate competitions like I did yesterday, yes FREE chocolate, I'll never make it until the end. As a student free is the only kind of price label that I like! If my skin is not as smooth as a babies bum and I don't look like a Victoria's secret model by February the 28th then I'm just going to eat chocolate every day after that. Well maybe I'm aiming a little high!

Thanks for reading
Rachel xx