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.

 

Advertisements

July Verbs

Well look at us.  We’ve made it to the second half of the beautiful year 2014.  Part 1 flew by, but writing monthly updates like this really help me see what I’ve been up to.  Here’s July:

Watching: Hemlock Grove

Another Netflix original here, with a creepy storyline and a stunning cast.  I’m about 6 episodes in and I have to be honest, am still not quite sure what it’s about, but I’m loving every minute of it.  It’s absolutely captivating TV and Bill Skarsgard is beaut.

Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove

Reading: The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Madeleine Wickham is an excellent author, also writing under the name Sophie Kinsella, who brought us the Shopaholic series.  She writes small and easy novels that are girly, gossipy and make you giggle.  They’re light fun reads that fit nicely in a handbag for the train and that you think about all day.  Would definitely recommend.

The Wedding Girl - Madeleine Wickham

The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Listening To: Embers – Just Jack

I heard this beaut in the back of a Gossip Girl episode (yep, that’s still happening) and immediately whipped out my Soundhound app to hear what it was.  I was pleased to know this stunning track is on Spotify and it’s been on replay pretty much ever since.  A gorgeous song.

Tune.

Tune.

Wearing on my Body: Havaianas

I bought my black bejewelled Havis in Australia last year, after I fell in love with the same pair which my cousin owned.  In this gorgeous weather, they haven’t been off my feet.  Being black they go with anything, are super comfy and make whatever nail polish I’m rocking pop.

Havaianas-Slim-Crystal-Glamour-Sw-Flip-Flops-Black-300x300

Beaut.

Wearing on my Face: Instablur

My love affair with Benefit’s Porefessional has come to an end.  I’d read a lot about this Body Shop product Instablur on beauty blogs, so thought I’d give it a go, and we’ve embarked on a fully fledged fling.  It’s a very odd consistency I must admit, but really does minimise pores and act as a great priming base for both foundation and powder.  Again, would definitely recommend.

Instablur

Instablur

Eating: Leeks

Leeks are one of my all-time favourite vegetables and are currently in season, meaning they’re much cheaper and better for the environment than if you bought them at another time of year.  Leeks feature at least daily in my diet this time of year, being great on a roasting tray of vegetables, fried up with some peas and bacon for a side dish, or an ingredient in a healthy vegetable packed soup.  Beaut of a veg.

Yum

Yum

Drinking: Coconut Water

I remember in Thailand we’d drink fresh coconut water every single day.  Back in England however, I was greeted with unattractive cartons and even more unattractive prices.  So I was absolutely thrilled to see M and S have launched a coconut water in a great sized bottle (currently on offer too!).  It’s light, refreshing and almost tastes as good as the real thing!

Yes Please!

Yes Please!

What have you been up to this July?

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?

February Verbs

What a month!  I’ve been so bogged down by assignments I’ve barely had a moment to check my emails let alone blog!  How are we all?  This month I’ve mainly been working, but my load has freed up a bit now so I can sit down with a cuppa and say ‘Ahhh’.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

Watching: Jonathan Creek

Or J Creek as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it.  This utter beauty appeared to me on Netflix in a moment of pure genius, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve watched every episode since 1997, and am almost squealing with excitement at the return to our screens tomorrow night (FYI BBC1 at 9pm, Friday 28th February 2014).  Alan Davies makes me all giddy, I love the format, it makes me giggle and it’s so ridiculous it’s just excellent.

J Creek

J Creek

Reading: Ideal Home Magazine

I’m in the process of collecting different colours and patterns to create a decopauge of a very plain and boring wooden mirror.  So instead of cutting up my monthly mag and popping it into my scrapbook, the vast array of wallpaper samples, paints and cushion covers will be appearing via decopauge on my new mirror.  I’ll let you see the outcome soon!

Ideal Home Magazine

Ideal Home Magazine

Listening To: Clean Bandit

Everyone’s heard ‘Rather Be’, but not everyone has heard their full Spotify set list.  Well I encourage you to, now!  It’s no secret I love a bit of classical music, and this album combines classical with the electronic genre to create something quite wonderful.  Most definitely worth a listen.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Wearing on my body: New Henry Holland coat

I bought my new Henry Holland beauty in the Debenhams sale and absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect coat to see me through this in between weather, when it’s too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a jacket.  I love the different detailing and its waist clinching abilities work well for my figure.

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Wearing on my face: Estee Lauder Mascara

I got this mascara as part of my Boxing Day present (an amazing box of Estee Lauder make up goodies).  It’s taken me a few months to get used to it because it’s so different to any other mascara I’ve used.  The wand is much larger than average meaning it can form clumps quicker and faster, which you have to work through with the wand.  Meaning it’s a bit of extra faf, but the finished result is amazing with long, clean and separated lashes.

Estee Lauder Mascara

Estee Lauder Mascara

Eating: Soup

I first received a ‘Soup’ recipe book for my birthday last year, but its only in the last few months I’ve really got into it.  I make it fresh with stock and any veg I’ve got, buy it fresh from the supermarket, or have tins at least once a day, every day.  Whilst some people hate pureed food, I find soup is tasty, eases digestion and is a great healthy and filling meal, perfect for lunch time.

The Soup Book

The Soup Book

Drinking: Wine

After my January stint, my favourite poison of white wine has reappeared as a firm favourite in the liquid stakes.  I’ve had some glorious ladies lunches with white wine, some beautiful food or a quiet evening in.  The perfect accompaniment to my February!

White Wine

White Wine

What have you been doing this February?

 

January Verbs

Welcome to my new feature!  I’ve decided to combine my loves and likes of style of life, beauty and fashion and create a cheeky new feature about my doing activities for every month.  Here’s hoping I stick to it, and can give you all some inspiration for stuff to do for the month ahead.

Watching: 24

24 is a series (FYI Series 1) I think boyfriend and I began in 2012, but we got very bored and neg about it.  Whilst the real time idea is genius, it’s also tedious, and quite frankly, the storylines are just ridiculous.  Nevertheless, we persevered, finally finishing Season 1 of 24 a few nights ago.  I’m pleased we did, there were definitely a few heart pumping moments in the last few episodes.  Netflix does however inform us there are a grand total of 193 (which isn’t even a multiple of 24?!?!?) episodes on Netflix, which is a frightening concept, so we’ve decided to leave 24 for now.

24

24

Reading: The Racketeer by John Grisham

This book (crime/law/whodunit genre) is completely outside my reading comfort zone.  I actually found it brand new on a train with no owner in sight, so decided to give it a loving home.  A couple of weeks ago I spotted it on my shelf, and needing a lightweight book for the commute, grabbed it and left.  It was excellent!  I really enjoyed it; it was so interesting all about the ‘justice’ system in the States and with a real twist at the end.  I’m definitely going to read some more Grisham books in the future.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Listening To: Spotify Top Lists

This is such a great playlist, it really is.  I’m a Spotify free user (I can’t quite part with the monthly outgoings when all I have to endure is a WKD advert interrupting my Kesha flow) and quite frankly, haven’t got round to making my own playlists.  I like pop and I’m not ashamed of it, it’s like a permanent updating UK Top 40, for free!

Spotify Top Lists

Spotify Top Lists

Wearing: My new Mantaray Cardigan

I’ve been wearing a beautiful new, cream knitted cardigan I was given for Christmas (but actually picked out last June!).  Because it’s cream it goes with every outfit, and it’s big, oversized and is so good to snuggle into when it gets cold!

IMG_3133

Wearing on my face: No7 Bronzer

In this dull, drab weather I keep clicking through old holiday photos where the weather was warm and beautiful.  Thailand, Australia, Cyrpus, Turkey … sigh.  Since body fake tan looks utterly horrendous on me, I have to do what I can to fake it on my face.  My trusty No7 does the trick, and with some sneaky contouring tricks I learnt backstage at the dance show, my face looks slimmer (I hope!) with more colour.

No7 Bronzer

No7 Bronzer

Eating: Pickled Onions

I’ve recently come to realisation (albeit 10 years too late) that unhealthy snacks are not only really bad for you, but they’re also really expensive.  Pickled onions are a great snack and satisfy that need to crunch on things.  Drained from all their vinegar, they’re cheap and healthy.  Healthier than Pickled Onion flavoured Monster Munch anyway!

Pickled Onions

 

Drinking: Twinings Mint Humbug

My university campus is a 5 minute walk away from Twinings Tea Headquarters.  I went in there a couple of weeks ago for some free samples and couldn’t resist buying the Mint Humbug tea bags.  They’re in the style of Teapigs, with a netted pyramid shape tea bag and the flavour is just unreal.  Healthy, great in taste, and a good alternative to wine on cold evenings!

Mint Humbug

What have you been doing this January?