Decluttering your life

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If you’re studying for exams at the moment and kinda stressed then this ones for you.

Recently I’ve gotten so overwhelmed with revision notes, folders, sheets, books, files in my memory stick that I’ve kinda let school work go a bit and haven’t been that motivated to do any work…which is really bad because I’m hoping to go to uni in September but my mock results say otherwise. I’m not usually one to be stressed about work, I guess its on a different level for me I’m not sooo stressed that I wanna work 24/7, I’m more stressed by the fact I have loads to do and I’m not motivated to do it.

So today as a kind of spur of the moment thing, I started clearing out the bombshell of my room because lets face it there was no chance I was gonna do anything constructive in there. My mums always saying ‘tidy room tidy mind’ and I know its cliche but its actually so true, the clutter in my room was sort of cluttering my brain. (idk I can’t explain it) So I basically decided to do some spring cleaning…in January…

1. Sort out your clothes

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If you’re like me and your clothes kinda gather over the week draped over chairs and surfaces, strewn on the floor and about 50 items of clothing on one hanger then it’s time to declutter. Wash and put away the stuff that are just randomly out of your wardrobe because you just wore it once ages ago but its too clean to wash after just one wear. Create more hanging space but putting hooks on your door, sides of wardrobe and wall. (out of the way) Get rid of the clothes that you hardly wear, go with hardly anything or you don’t really need. Separate out your wardrobe into sections: dresses with dresses, jumpers with jumpers etc. or per season. Get rid of broken/too small hangers, get rid of them if you have too many.

2. Free up floor space

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This is literally the most effective and quickest way of decluttering. I used to have a pile of cushions in a corner in my room, my mum said to use as a bean bag type thing to sit and read. Did I ever use it though, it was just taking up space so recently I cleared the space and idk it just feels like I can breathe again. More ways to clear floor space is to swap your stand up mirror for a wall mirror/wardrobe mirror, move furniture that’s too close together apart or in a different area of the room and tuck things you want to keep handy in a draw or underneath furniture.

3. Clear your dressing table and bedside table

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These are the most cluttered areas in my room I think, but how many lotions and potions does a girl need? Move bathroom products to the bathroom, get rid of stuff you never use, put away new products that are out even when you have stuff left of the old product. Get a jewelry organizer (can be found in all-sorts of home shops) get containers to put all your bottles in, keep your makeup in a makeup bag or draw. Lastly only keep the makeup you use for example just the stuff you use on a daily basis. You don’t need thousands of foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows only buy stuff you actually need and use.

4. Clear your desk

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Considering that the overall aim of this is to create a tidy work space and declutter your mind, clearing your desk is number 1. If you’re like me and you still have stuff from GCSE and AS that you know you’ll never use again or need then get rid of it. Organise your paper into neat files and stick in sheets in your books, create a shelf or drawer you can keep your books when your not bringing them to school in your bag, any text books keep in a separate shelf and organise pens and stuff in a pencil pot or pencil case. There is nothing more annoying than shit pens or pens that have run out so test them and buy more if you need them.

5. Organise your time

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I’m not gonna lecture you about not putting things off, procrastination etc. cus at the moment I’m procrastinating doing work by writing this and if you’re in school I’m sure you’ve been lectured enough times about it by your parents and teachers. I’m thinking more about trying to balance free time with study, seeing friends, having fun, continuing with your hobbies, maybe having a job etc. Seriously if its too stressful trying to balance everything in your life cut out that job because you have your whole life to work and have fun and nothing is as important as now and securing your future. You don’t have to do everything now, earn money, get good grades, buy loads of nice clothes, trying to lose weight, take part in multiple activities and hobbies etc. if you cant juggle it then don’t do it, there’s a time and a place for everything you can always take it up later

Who I am and why I’m here…

The only reason that I quit playing the piano is because I got sick of playing the same tunes to myself in my room and not getting anything out of it. It would be great if I was a concert pianist or played in a bar or had a YouTube account showcasing my pieces but lets be honest, I’m way too self-conscious to do that and frankly I don’t think I’m that great (although I’ve done grade 7…).

The reason I’m telling you this is because if playing the piano privately didn’t work for me then I really don’t think keeping a private journal would either. I want to get something out of the things I do, be it a few comments, likes or followers I think that’s way better than sitting alone in my room writing depressing emotional stuff in a journal no one will ever read (I don’t think I ever want anyone to read my diary anyway. Like EVER). I’m not gonna get started about the ‘I wanna make a difference in the world and be a noticed blogger like Zoella’ bullshit but…I kinda do. Doesn’t everyone who does this want that?

Ok so interests. Mostly I love reading (although I haven’t for ages) and baking so hopefully going to share some recipes and good books on here. Although I do love fashion, I don’t think this is gonna be a fashion blog because I’m awful at putting an outfit together, can’t afford to buy all the clothes to make a ‘haul’ (maybe a haul of one item…) and am way more likely to search for blogs showing nice outfits than to write about it myself. But anyway, we’ll see. It’s early days yet I could end up with a job and suddenly afford to go out shopping (but for now the little money I have is going on beer!) -oooo and concert tickets!! That’s another thing I am quite a big music enthusiast (I like to think), I pretty much listen to all sorts but my main favs are Alt-j, BMTH, my chemical romance, bombay bicycle club, sleeping with sirens, all time low….ok maybe there are quite a few! But literally since downloading spotify (which is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life btw) just about any music is available to you it’s the best thing ever. I lovee concerts, I’ve been to reading festival hopefully going again this summer and recently I’ve ordered a SWS ticket so I’m going to that. I’m really hoping I can go to more concerts and festivals in the future they are literally the best thing!

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Annnddd finally you should read my blog because I’m a cool person and as someone who grew up writing short stories and wanting to write a novel, this is the closest thing to it (I guess). It would mean the world if even one person followed me or liked what I wrote. Because no matter what everybody says about blogging we do not blog ‘for ourselves’.

Celebrating NYE in style

Happy new year everyone!!! I hope 2016 is your year. This post might be kind of late seeing as many people (like me) are trying to go teetotal for January but you can use this to plan a cocktail party for the future. For my birthday I got a cocktail shaker and cocktail recipe book and I have not stopped using it since so I’m gonna share with you some of the best cocktail recipes I’ve discovered

1. Harvey Wallbanger

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I think by far this is everyone’s favorite. I’ve literally been making it for people all Christmas as its so simple to make but tastes so good.

For 1 serving:

Put 3 icecubes, 1 measure of Vodka and 125ml fresh orange juice and shake in a cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds. Strain into a tall glass with ice in it and float 1-2tsp of Galliano on top. Decorate with orange slices.

2. Maiden’s prayer

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This ones pretty bitter so we added Grenadine to turn it into a Maiden’s blush. My cousin who works in a bar also showed us how to do a sugared rim: moisten the edge of the glass with water, lemon or lime. Evenly dip the rim into a plate full of sugar or you could be imaginative and rim it in just about anything!

For 2 servings:

Put the ice cubes in a cocktail shaker with 6 drops of Angostura bitters, the juice of 2 lemons (pretty bitter so maybe 1 lemon?) 2 measures of Cointreau and 4 measures of Gin. Shake until a frost forms and then strain into 2 cocktail glasses and serve with a straw.

3. Alice springs

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I genuinely can’t remember what this tastes like…might have to try making it again…

For 1 serving:

Put 4-5 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Pour in 1 measure of lemon juice, 1 measure of orange juice, 1/2tsp Grenadine and 3 measures of Gin. Add 3 drops of Angostura bitters and shake until a frost forms. Pour into a tall glass and top up with soda water. Decorate with an orange slice.

4. Peach and Elder flower Bellini  

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This recipe called for ripe peaches and then to make a puree out of them…but I made my own version, I reckon we can still call it the same thing.

I filled about 1/2 the glass with Champagne, added 2tbsps Elder flower and topped it up with peach schnapps. Everyone thought it was too sweet…I gotta say plain Champagne is much better.

5. Skywalker 

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This is a recipe my brother invented…and its pretty much pure alcohol! The glow stick here signifies his light saber -had a lot of fun with the glow sticks last night I have to say

Put ice, 2 measures of Gin, 1 measure of Vodka, 1 measure of Vermouth and the juice of half a lemon in a cocktail shaker and shake until a frost forms. Strain into glasses and top up with tonic water (as you can see!)

Enjoy 😀

Favv books

At the moment we’re in the between time of crazy Christmas festivities where you drink and laugh too much and the crazy new year festivities when you do it all over again. The family have all been and gone, the tree is looking sad and depressed with no presents and somehow the fridge has been emptied of alcohol. Now it is calm and quiet but strange that everything’s over and you don’t know what to do with yourself. At this point I would turn to a book to escape into an exciting new world of fantasy where your parents can’t frown at you for sleeping all day. I used to love reading but for a while I haven’t found a book that can keep me interested for very long however there’s 5 that I can always rely on…their pretty big…which can be a good/bad thing

1. The fifth wave -Rick Yancey

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Set in the future, the earth is under attack from aliens in strategic waves that wipe out portions of the population at a time. Cassie, who believes she is the last human left embarks on her promise to come for her little brother Sammy at the military base where the soldiers took him. Only there’s something not right about the military base, are they preparing for a war against the ‘silencers’ or a war against something far bigger and more complex than they imagined? The book focuses on 3 different characters perspectives, using the 3rd, 2nd and 1st person and then brings the stories together. This book is so exciting from the first page and the pace of it never slows that even though it’s a pretty big book I read it in like a week I could not put it down. The third and final book in the series ‘the lost star’ is coming out in May and the film of the first book comes out at the end of January starring Chloe Moretz and Nick Robinson, the trailer which you can see here

2. The Hunger Games -Suzanne Collins 

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I’m sure you’ve heard your fair share of Hunger Games preaching by now that you don’t need me to tell you that it’s perhaps the most popular dystopian action novel at the moment. I think the books are wayyy better than the films so if you haven’t read them I definitely recommend it. They are stuffed  with description and is fast paced and entertaining until the very end. The franchise is now finished but I don’t think the hype will die down any time soon and I’m the sort of obsessed person who’s read them three times and watched them twice.

3. Blood Red Road -Moira Young

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Another dystopian novel set in the wastelands where laws don’t exist. When Saba’s brother Lugh is kidnapped on their 18th birthday, her and her little sister Emmi set out on a quest to rescue him. However the two are captured and Saba forced to fight in the colosseum where they meet a group of female warriors known as the free hawks. On this dangerous road Saba can trust no one. Not even the handsome thief who saves her life -and steals her heart. It’s written in a difficult way to understand at first, using slang and not using speech marks but you get used to it. The good news is that the film is currently being made, directed by Ridley Scott so I have high hopes for it!

4. Noughts and Crosses -Malorie Blackman

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In a world where white people are noughts and black people crosses, the book inverts ideas of racism where white people are second class citizens and the black people control and rule them. Set against the backdrop of prejudice and distrust it is a story of a romance that leads into terrible danger. Can their love survive faced with the Liberation Militia -a violent terrorist organisation supposedly aimed at promoting equal rights between the two races.

5. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

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Since the success of this book many other similar novels have come out which I don’t think having read this book has done it any justice. Centered around the disappearance of Nicks wife Amy, the media and police turn on him finding clues and evidence that present him as the kidnapper. The media and public turn against him forcing him to employ the best Lawyer he can find, ending in an unexpected turn of events at the end… The 2014 movie trailer starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike can be found here

 

 

New Years Resolutions

I have alwayssss been someone who’s obsessed with goals, targets, lists etc. and as much as I can’t really stand the ‘new year new me’ bullshit that doesn’t really stop me from creating resolutions anyway. When you’re younger I remember thinking it was just about giving up eating biscuits or cake for some unknown reason and then failing on the first day in but not even realizing, as if you never set the goal in the first place. I think resolutions are about trying to create a better YOU because I think most of us at times are unhappy with the people we are and through life we try to recreate ourselves and create version 2.0, 3.0 etc. We as people will never stop changing and growing but the most important thing is that you are the best person you can be and are happy and comfortable being the person you are. Some (actually all!) of these points are pretty cliche but I find them pretty important for me and sometimes when you’re in the mood it’s an enlightening thing to think about

1. Try new things 

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I used to be pretty scared about ever trying anything new but at the same time I aspired to be adventurous, brave and experienced. I like to think of myself as enjoying change and new experiences but I still get nervous doing things that are out of my comfort zone -just like anybody would I guess. I like to think of it like experience points. The more new thing you try and more the more change you experience, the more confident and outgoing you will become and I know it’s scary doing something on your own for the first time but it was new for everyone once. Everyone’s been in your position

2. Be sociable 

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I used to be the type of person who would only stick to her own social group and not talk to anyone else. Once or twice I have been the person who had to sit on her own because none of her friends were in. A few months ago I would have said I was more introverted than extroverted, enjoying my own company and keeping to myself more often than not. Over the years, just like people focus and worry about their flaws, I worried about my social skills or lack of thinking I had social anxiety, thinking myself boring etc. but because of recent experiences I have proven to myself that I can get on in any situation and be more extroverted. People never stop growing and becoming more confident and there’s always going to be people you don’t get on with or clash with but guess what…it doesn’t matter because there are manymanymanyyy more people out there to meet through all sorts of situations and other people shape the person you are.

3. Do things that make YOU happy

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You wanna do something? Stop with the excuses and go do it who’s stopping you? A few years ago, I was pretty depressed, bored and upset and apart from school and the obligatory things you have to do I don’t think I really did anything. But you have to because your own happiness is the most important thing in the long-term at the end of the day. Stop depending on others and go do the stuff you want to do. If you love yourself then you can love and be loved by others.

4. Let go of grudges 

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I think a grudge can be the most energy-sapping thing and 90% of the time the grudge is over some tiny thing that doesn’t even matter. I’ve held many grudges in the past, usually over misunderstandings or petty things that I soon forget what they were even about. The worst thing is when you let the grudge become so out of hand that you lose a relationship because the grudge becomes bigger than the problem itself which could’ve been solved with a simple conversation or apology. Free your conscience by forgiving and moving on. Even if they don’t you will know that you were the bigger person and that it’s no longer on your conscience.

5. Live for the here and now

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Shit happened in the past I’m not denying it but everyone has setbacks and knocks, it’s the moving on from them is what counts. I used to be focused on so regretful of it that I let it define me as a person and make me scared of any social contact. But you can’t go back and change the past so what’s the point of even thinking about it. Move on. Life will just pass you by if you spend too long regretting your past and worrying about the future. Seize the present with both hands and roll with it.

 

Winter warmers

Hello world, my names Helena and one of the best things about winter (besides it being my birthday and Christmas!) is cozying up on the sofa with a nice warm drink by the fire; subsequently goes on to imagine old-fashioned Victorian households like Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. There’s nothing like a hot chocolate or cup of tea to warm your insides and; something that I never understood until now, to warm your hands. The biggest reason why my mum always drinks tea was so that she can hug the mug as her hands are always cold -a characteristic that I’ve unfortunately inherited; my hands are so sensitive to temperature, they go red and blotchy and sometimes purple in the cold and they still don’t warm up when it’s hot. There’s just no winning. So obviously because my hands are so weird, hot drinks are great -here’s the top 5 of ones I love:

  1. Hot Chocolate     You simply can’t go wrong with a Hot Chocolate; unless you don’t like chocolate in which case you’ve gone very wrong. Experiment with different ones; Aero and Galaxy are my fav although I did have a period of obsessing over white hot chocolate. Try adding spices like Cinnamon, Clove, Mixed spice or Ginger -shops like Thorntons or Hotel chocolat do great hot chocolates like chilli or spice. My Uncle makes his own hot chocolate by melting dark belgium chocolate and adding hot water -it is the richest thing on earth, I must have added like double the amount of sugar that’s in a packet of drinking chocolate so it’s not really a healthy option for me. Obviously you’ve got to have all the trimmings: mini marshmallows, cream, a shaking of cocoa powder -got that and you’re all sorted
  2. Green tea            I guess this is a bit more of a summery drink but it’s perfect as you can have it cold or hot; summer or winter. This is a perfect option if you’re watching your weight and you don’t want the extra calories from chocolate, cream, marshmallows, milk -we all know what I’d prefer! Plus apparently it has health benefits from preventing illnesses, shifting those extra pounds and raising mood decreasing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  3. Mulled Wine  Oh. My. God. If ever there was a Christmas drink it’s mulled wine. I very often go to German Christmas Markets which happen pretty much in every major city around November-December time and the thing that makes me feel so festive is the spicy, citroeny, boozy smell of mulled wine. It’s basically warm wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg added and it’s just great to walk around with in a winters market in the evening all wrapped up warm.
  4. Christmas Spice Latte I know there are many versions of this in Starbucks or Costa but you can’t always afford to splash out on one of these every day during the winter season. Simply add a mean tsp of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamon and all spice and half a tsp of ginger into your normal coffee -fill up half the mug with frothy milk and you’re made. [Remember to add sugar if you don’t already to cut the bitterness of some spices]
  5. Hot spiced apple juice                                                                                                                                                     I found this recipe in a Lidl Christmas magazine so I’m yet to try it but I have high hopes as I love apple juice anyway. Add 2 tbsp of runny honey, 2 cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks to 400ml of apple juice. Heat in a pan on a low heat and then serve in glass coffee cups.

That’s all from me for today, let me know your opinions of the hot drinks talked about and of any more winter drinks you like 😀