Working From Home

Technically, spending the last 6 years of my life as a student, all my academic work has been from home.  But this year, that’s stepped up a notch.  Throughout my undergrad, I lived with friends who were other students; my biggest house was 9.  Days were filled with dozy lectures followed by naps and a wild night out.  However this year I’ve been enduring #masterslife living with just the boyfriend, who works full time.  Lectures have dwindled, instead being replaced with relentless coursework and of course the dissertation (remember the double Ds?!).  This means my life has changed, and I’ve entered into the realm of ‘working from home’ …

And I love it.  I absolutely love it.  Other than the disturbed half an hour when boyfriend wakes up and departs for work, my time is my own, I can use it as I please.  I can sleep in, go to the gym, work wherever I please, eat what I want, watch Netflix galore, go shopping, go eating, go drinking … as long as I get my work done.

I’m a hugely organised human.  I meticulously plan my work for every day of the week on a Monday morning and make sure I see it through.  So as long as I write X amount of words or revise for X amount of hours, I’m cool.  I can do whatever I want.

I live in my Pjamas, I make soup every day for lunch, I have 2pm karaoke concerts, binge on Made in Chelsea and make up tap dances.  I clean a lot, lounge around with Heat magazine, paint my nails and have 4pm glasses of wine.  And when I go out, I go lunching with pals in London, go interiors shopping, saunter around Marks and Spencers or pop to the pub.  My time is MINE.  As long as I get my work done, the rest I can do with as a I please.  It really is wonderful.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I work A LOT.  And I work HARD.  Doing well at my degree means everything to me and if that means I have to have 16 hour working days or nighttime stints in the library, I’ll do it.  But I do attempt to plan my days which means I can hang out and have breaks as and when.  And it works pretty darn well.

However, my working from home life is coming to a timely end.  And at a good time really.  I begin fully fledged adult working full time life in a few weeks and working from home life will be a distant memory.  I do think that it will make me appreciate home a lot more though.  Whilst I love it, I can sometimes take advantage of my beautiful home.  It will be wonderful to arrive home at the end of the working day, collapse onto my sofa, look around and say ‘Ahhhh’.

When I look back at this academic year of #masterslife, I think I’ll remember working from home the most fondly.  Oh, all the fun I’ve had with me, myself and I.  However this chapter is drawing to its close, so for these last few weeks I’m going to milk it for all that its worth.  Lie ins, Jeremy Kyle on +1, Netflix galore and inappropriate wine time come at me.  My time as a student and from working from home is drawing to a close, but my goodness am I going to make these last few weeks count!

Excuse me, inappropriate wine time is calling.

 

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Balcony Bliss

A balcony has been on my bucket list for many years.  My own beaut, private space where I can retreat to and watch the sunset; ahh.  I am so blessed, because 9 weeks ago when we moved into our gorgeous new flat – we got one!  Huzzah.  Here’s some pics of a gorg afternoon I spent out in the sun getting on with some work.  Jubbly.

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Bunting – Gisela Graham

Seat Covers – Homesense

Solar Fairy Lights – Tesco

Have you got a cutesy outdoor retreat?

May Verbs

I’m seriously late in the game.  Again.  Well, crisp and clear apologies and onwards and upwards we go.  May has mostly been spent toodling around Paris followed by a swift return of the double Ds (dance and dissertation, don’t you know).  Here’s what I got up to this May:

Watching: Orange is the New Black

Another Netflix cracker.  Different though, because this series has been made and produced exclusively for Netflix (i.e. the show never has, and never will be on regular TV).  Which I like, makes it kinda exclusive.  It basically involves a lot of crazy women running around prison getting up to prison antics.  Its dark, sarcastic and very very funny.  Definitely worth a watch.  (Plus, Season 2 came out yesterday!)

#OITNB

#OITNB

Reading: Literature

Nothing too exciting kids, just about 100 journal articles and 50 books, all working towards my Literature Review for my dissertation.  #MastersLife

Life

Life

Listening To: Regina Spektor

So this is connected to my watch: Orange is the New Black.  The titles include Regina Spektor’s ‘You’ve Got Time’ and since then I’ve been hooked, all over again on her.  My 2009 phase loved Regina and the likes of Imogen Heap, and they’re well and truly back in force.

Babe

Babe

Wearing on my body: Primark PJs

It got to that point in life where you look in your pyjama draw and just think ‘its time for a clear out’.  You know the feeling.  So off I toddled to Primark and got 4 beaut colourful and comfy sets of summer PJs for just £5 each.  I work from home a lot, unashamedly in my PJs, so I was basically investing in work wear.  Sure.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven?  You decide.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven? You decide.

Wearing on my face: Benefit High Beam highlighter

The dance world has taught me a few of life’s great make-up lessons, one of which is contouring.  Benefit High Beam highlighter was made for this, and can really change the shape and angles of your face.  I use this highlighter just above and below bronzer to enhance my cheekbones, it also gives me a real glow.

benefit highlighter

Eating: Clean

This month, I’ve been attempting to eat clean (as the new craze would say).  I’m not in any drastic weight loss attempts, it’s just nice to have a colourful and healthy plate full of veggies that keeps me full and does wonders for my hair and skin.  It also makes me feel better about life when I have a Camembert craving.

Fruity Word-Art.

Fruity Word-Art.

Drinking: Bootea

With my ‘eat clean’ and ‘Teatox’ it really looks like I am out on a healthkick?!  No.  Bootea is titled a ‘Teatox’ (they so clever) but has done nothing really of the sort for me.  It tastes mediocre, performs none of the detoxing effects it claims to and the teabag tab is too short.  The best thing about it is the packaging.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

What did you get up to this May?

Bella Evening

For the last 3 to 4 years, I’ve been partaking in an event named ‘Bella Evening’.  Or my full and real name evening if you know me well.  Prerequisites require a free house (boyfriend being out and about), wine, cheese and a girlish drama of sorts.  I’ve loved, even craved these evenings for the past few years.  A chance to let down my Bridget Jones, sing youtube karaoke to my webcam in my pyjamas and collapse into the MIDDLE of the bed, without fear of retribution.  So why is it tonight, I’m questioning my company?

I think it’s because generally, these days, I’m alone more.  So the question is, how to be alone?  Whilst one could take inspiration from this incredible youtube video, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7X7sZzSXYs) how does one enjoy being alone when it happens so frequently, yet so seldom?  Excuse the melodrama.

I’m alone most days.  These days in #masterslife, I generally work from home.  I look forward to boyfriend returning home at 7pm, dinner and drinks, or a night in front of The Hunger Games.  So when boyfriend heads out of an evening, alone time turns into … lonely.  Yet I do oh-so hesitate to use that word.  I have beautiful and amazing friends, whatsapp and texts could provide me with a cinema or bar buddy in half an hour, yet I choose to stay alone.  Why?  When did my own company, which I love and crave so much, become questionable?

I believe it’s important to be alone.  I’ve always been around people, always.  My family home was full of people coming and going.  One year, I remember 16 souls in a 3 bed semi for a month over Christmas.  At university, I lived in a house of 9.  I’ve always been around people.  And don’t get me wrong, I love people.  And because I love people, I believe in the importance of being alone.  Whilst sociability is an exquisite trait, so is aloneness.  I just need to remember that.

I used to cherish being alone.  And in 6 months, when I have a full time job and am struggling with running a household, seeing friends and family and looking after a boyfriend (ladies, y’all know what I mean), I’m going to cherish it even more.  These evenings are few and far between these days, and will become even more so in the future.  My own company isn’t questionable, its essential.  Not just now, but always, and I will love and enjoy me, myself and I for years and years to come.  So should you.

Thank you for letting me vent, excuse me whilst I go bathe, watch Orange is the New Black and belt out ‘Titanium’.  I believe it keeps me sane.

April Verbs

My twitter bio ‘Nomad with a Heart for Home’ has never been more apt.  Beautifully settled into our gorgeous new flat, I already had itchy feet.  So what happened?  We toodled off to Paris with less than a weeks’ notice.  It’s not that I don’t LOVE my flat, I do, so much.  I love everything about it, I love being in it, I love making it a home.  I think I just love the big wide world a bit more.  Here’s what I got up to in April:

Watching: Jackass

I’m not entirely sure how this happened.  We were settled down with our dinner, cruising over Netflix without the drive or determination to watch anything serious.  ‘Jackass 3D’ on ‘Most Popular’ – meh, why not?  We were laughing and rolling and drinking and before I knew it I’d ordered a skateboard.  Fast forward two weeks and we’ve watched all 5 films back to back … twice.  Oh, and I’ve pretty much fallen in love with Bam Margera.

These Boys.

These Boys.

Reading: ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ – Jeffrey Archer

Also known as Volume 4 of the Clifton Chronicles .. Archer’s latest literary (for young adults) masterpiece.  No, I love it I really do.  I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon the Clifton Chronicles.  All I know it 4 books in I’m so wrapped up in their lives, in their hearts, in their stories the characters feel like family.  Archer writes with a hunger for you to turn the next page, so you do … again and again.  Just read it.

The Clifton Chronicles.

The Clifton Chronicles.

Listening To: 4Music

I’ve ordered an Ipod.  Stupidly, said Ipod was ordered just before the crazy long Easter bank holidays leaving me with zilch music (and I must admit, I’m a little bored of Spotify Top Lists) thus resorting to 4Music.  The TV channel offers a good mix of shows, genres, battles and interviews.  It’s just a shame about the adverts.

4 Music

4 Music

Wearing on my body: Tye-Dye Vans

This April, I turned 22.  It wasn’t a particularly momentous occasion.  Not like last year’s incredible trip to the boutique Bath spa hotel.  No, this year I lay on my new sofa in my new flat, swigging champagne watching ‘The Sound of Music’ whilst boyfriend brought me bagels.  Anyway, a week after my Mum and I went on a wee shopping trip to Westfield to spend our monies (her birthday falls a week before mine).  I knew I had a £50 cheque in the bank so as we walked into Office and spotted these for bang on the money, I just knew I had to get them.  The kind of frivolous purchase that’s over in 5 minutes … but I’m oh-so in love, and they definitely caught a few eyes walking me around Paris.

Utter.  Beauties.

Utter. Beauties.

Wearing on my face: Nothing

So maybe I’m a bit late to the #nomakeupselfie party.  I did however do a pretty gnarly FB post having a rant and rave about THIS post from 4 years ago.  (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/why-i-dont-wear-make-up/)  I think I might have ruffled a few feathers.  This month my skin has been particularly bad so I decided not to encourage it further.  I’ve been wiping off the make-up and feeling clear and free skin from the get-go.

Holly looking BEAUT make-up free.

Holly looking BEAUT make-up free.

Eating: Café Rouge

Maybe this is why we decided to go to Paris in the first place.  My family collect Café Rouge vouchers with Tesco Clubcard and its always a good place to go with a lovely atmosphere, any time of the day.  My breakfast favourite would be Oeufs Royale and you just cannot beat the Goats Cheese Salad.

Cafe Rouge.

Cafe Rouge.

Drinking: Gordon’s

Boyfriend treated me to a big bottle of this yummy gin for our growing cabinet when it was on offer in Tesco (charmer).  I forget how refreshing it is with lemonade, lots of ice and a slice of cucumber.  Lovely!

This.

This.

What did you get up to this April?

March Verbs

A little late in the game here (well, only 9 days but you get the point!).  I’ve moved house!  March has officially been moving month, which I can safely say has completely and utterly taken over my life.  But not in a bad way, I hasten to add.  I have absolutely loved every second, sofa shopping, interiors buying, packing, life in boxes, Ikea flat pack (not so much) .. the list goes on.  It’s definitely the biggest and most exciting thing boyfriend and I have ever done, a new chapter!  And we couldn’t be happier.  Here’s what I got up to in March:

Watching: Kirstie’s Best of Both Worlds

I absolutely love Kirstie Alsopp.  I giggle at her and Phil Spencer, lust after her ladylike elegant dresses and aspire to have her home and property knowledge, which is all rather funny, because boyfriend cannot STAND her.  Anyway, she’s got this great new show on 4od which involves couples searching for the best of both worlds between urban and rural. Being a homeowner and all (squee!), property is another interest added to my list.  This show takes you all around the country, seeing different properties, prices and ideas – a great watch.

The lovely lady herself.

The lovely lady herself.

Reading: Debenhams Catalogue

Not particularly literary genius, I know.  Since beginning on my quest for my ideal home, I have found Debenhams homewares to be absolutely excellent.  I think they have the best variety of quirky and colourful designers (right up my street) at reasonably affordable prices (but make sure to wait for the sale!).  The catalogue allows me to peruse at my leisure and pin point bits and bobs I might save up for, all to make our lovely flat a little more lovely.

My March Must-Read

My March Must-Read

Listening To: Moving House Playlist

Oh yes, we made a playlist.  Since we were without the internet for a while, we reverted back to grand old reliable Itunes to make a moving playlist.  We were so lucky to have all our friends and family rallying round helping us, so it had to be something everyone would like (and not get sick of!).  It mainly included the likes of Bastille, Simon and Garfunkel and Katy Perry.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Wearing on my body: BDG Bad Boys – Comfort Edition

Long term readers may remember a post I did last year about my FAVOURITE ever pair of jeans (which you can read about here:https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/ ).  BDG has since become a favourite brand of mine in the jean stakes, and I haven’t been out of this pair this month.  They are really ill fitting Mum, Helen Hunt style jeans, but are comfy as anything.  They are 90s high rise straight leg, but look good with anything and have been a life saver in the moving house department.

They look a bit like this.

They look a bit like this.

Wearing on my face: Maybelline Baby Skin

Having big pores, the same as my Mother and my Grandmother, I have found the recent pore minimising beauty products a life saver.  After a year of shelling out £20+ for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ version, when Maybelline launched Baby Skin at just £7.99 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Whilst the quality and coverage isn’t quite as good as Benefit, Maybelline’s product still acts as a great pore minimiser and primer for foundation (just make sure you let it set!).

Baby Skin

Baby Skin

Eating: Pizza

Anyone who knows me will know how much I like (okay, love) my pizza.  Our new flat is a stone’s throw from a Pizza Hut, so pizza became a well loved, easy, cheesy comfy favourite in the dinner department.  But April is now here and I’m a year older so I’m trying to only have pizza once a month now.

Too much?!

Too much?!

Drinking: Leffe

As a thank you present to all our friends and family for helping us move, it was only fair we stocked our brand new Whirlpool fridge with ice cold beer for the hot and sticky weekends.  We go to Belgium most years, and this beer has become a firm favourite.  Leffe Blonde is the version we’ve mostly been drinking and is very light and refreshing.

Blondes are clearly the best.

Blondes are clearly the best.

What did you get up to this March?

Moving House and The Ideal Home Show 2014

Its that time of year again!  Where I drop everything, take the day off and saunter off to Earls Court to take in a whirlwind day of interiors, food, drink, make-up and nick nacks.  You’ve guessed it, it’s the Ideal Home Show.  One of the reasons it was so important for me to head to the Ideal Home this year is because I’m moving house!  Therefore, it was absolutely essential to pick up some great interior ideas.  (And now – I’ve lived with boyfriend for 10 months and he’s finally come round to my taste!  No more tartan!)

Being quite the regular (you can see a post on a previous visit here:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)

I know what I like, where to go and most importantly when to go.  I.e., you must lightly jog to the show homes at 10.02am to avoid 3 hour queues.  Here’s some snaps of the day:

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The amazing entrance!

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I absolutely loved this two tone wallpaper, almost dip-dye style.  I think its a design that would like great on a feature wall (I’m maybe thinking of this for my bathroom in a red), because it gives you that colour without being too bold or overpowering.

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We’ve got a lovely little alcove wall like these in our new living room, so we’ve decided to fill it with some feature wallpaper to make it really stand out.  I love this library look, but not the entire ensemble of the pictured room.  Whilst I like some elements of Scandi design, the whole wood, burning fire place and off greys is a bit much for me.  But hey, that’s my taste!

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I really like the idea of having that shelving above the bed.  I’ve invested in an incredible 5 foot head board that will really draw the eye to the bed, which is of course, the main focus of the bedroom.  We’ve expecting storage to be a slight issue in our new abode, so a shelf across the top of the bed could really help.  You can display treasured items like in this picture (which I’m sure I’ll have a few of!) or have it as more functional storage, with pretty and colourful boxes perhaps.  A great idea.

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This is just incredible, I love it.  Its by an artist called JJ Adams, and I’m seriously considering purchasing it.  We’ve got a great wall space in our kitchen where we could really do with some amazing art.  And well this, this pretty much fits that bill!

So there you have it!  I’m moving house (so apologies in advance if I’m a bit AWOL with internet problems etc.) and the Ideal Home Show!  Ta-ta.