Sunday, 16 November 2014

Moving Out - The Decision

So I finally made the big decision and with my best friend we have decided to move out and rent a little place of our own. You have no idea how hard it is to find rental properties until you start looking for them. I mean maybe you would have more luck if you were looking in the big towns & cities but when it's deep dark Suffolk affordable rental properties are very few and far between. 

Every place we looked at online was either extortionately expensive or looked like it had last been redecorated about 40 years ago and since then had had a dirty sweaty man rolling about the place who hadn't heard of deodorant or a vacuum cleaner or unfortunately both. Also more money out here just means more bedrooms or more acres not anything more modern, cleaner, sturdy kitchen cabinets or a white bathroom suite!

I'm also blaming Pinterest because this board has given me a totally unrealistic expectation of what my house should look like!



 My perfect house seems to be white with lots of natural light, wood and antique tiles and a kitchen that's the size of a small town. And while I am not completely willing to give up on the dream of a Pinterest worthy house I have to admit that it's probably not going to happen in my first place unless I win the lottery (which I don't even enter!)

We both spent a lot of time on Rightmove & Zoopla. I have no idea how people found houses before the internet but if I had had to sit in an estate agents and view all the pictures of the places I have viewed from the comfort of my bed I think I would have gone on a crazy rampage! 

I think a lot of finding the perfect place is a mixture of luck & compromise. It's seeing the right pictures at the right time. Good properties go so quick around here and properties that look like my Pinterest board are actually non existent. To be honest looking felt a little like a game, it felt unreal but we have found a place and are looking at putting the deposit down.

So yeah I am scared, I'm nervous and I'm really excited but the decision has been made - I'm moving out!!

Blogging Hiatus - Why I am Back

It seems I can't stay away from this little space on the internet of mine. It's been nearly five months since I last posted and to be honest I thought I had pretty much given up on the idea of blogging (and if you look through my blog you will find a few posts about coming back!). 

And to be honest there were a million reasons as to why I gave up, I had no idea what to post about, my blog was nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be, it didn't look right, didn't sound right, the pictures were crap, I had blog envy, blog fatigue, every blogger cliche under the sun. The thing is I work too much, watch too much television and I'm pretty boring. I don't have amazing fashion sense, I can't put a full face of makeup on without stressing, I brush my hair like three times a week. I hardly ever cook, I don't make things and I am a tiny bit of a disaster. I spend a lot of time wondering where I am going in life, what the hell am I doing and feeling a little bit alone in this thought. 
Alone is not a fun feeling to have so that is in part why I am sitting here writing this post - my comeback post - hopefully in an effort to make at least one person feel a little less alone in this big crazy world. 

The other reason is I love it here. I love the fact that people I may not know are potentially sitting in their bed in a Sunday night reading my struggles, my advice, my thoughts, my crazy in the same way that I enjoy sharing that little bit of life with the people who's blogs I read. Simple Chronicles of Me had become something that I didn't enjoy anymore. I was spending more time thinking about posts that would get me more readers, page views, followers than writing about things that I found enjoyable. I was trying to get the perfect formula and every post sound a little less like me and became a little bit less enjoyable. 

There's also a tiny bit of the fact that I love the sound of my own voice (in a figurative sense - I actually hate the sound of my own voice, I wish it sounded how it sounds in my head because I sound sophisticated and grown up, in reality I sound high pitched and a little silly I think). 

So here I am back again - for a little bit longer than usual I hope - I have some ideas and I want to get them out onto the page. So stick around please and wish me luck!



Open University - Access Module

I started an Open University Access Module in February this year and just got my results back and I'm really pleased to say that I passed. I was one mark off a distinction (one bloomin' mark!!) and I am now looking at starting a degree in English Literature & History in February 2015.

I did the course with the Access to Success route. If you don't have a degree and are earning under £25,000 (well have a household income of less than £25,000) then you can enroll onto the Access to Success course and you get a massive discount on both the Access Module and the first module of your degree. I had been looking at enrolling into a degree for some time, I decided not to go to university for a million different reasons when I finished my A Levels and I regretted it. I wanted a degree, at the moment it's not really for anything career based but more to do with the fact that I want this for me. I want to say I did it and doing the Access course was my first step towards this. If you are considering a degree using the Access to Success route then hopefully I can give you some of the pros and cons in helping you make the big decision...

PROS

The massive cost saving - if you can the Access to Success route saves you a shed load of cash. The access module is a tiny £25 in comparison to the usual cost of £625 if you wanted to do the access module without the Access to Success option and the you only have to contribute £1000 to your first module instead of the usual £2632 it would usually cost. You can even get a student loan to finance the £1000 which I am now in the process of applying for. 

Confidence building - Open University learning is done as a mixture of online learning with phone tutorials and course materials supplied and is a pretty unique way of doing a degree. When looking at doing the degree with the Open University I was pretty worried about the way I would get on with this but Access gives you the intro into this style, builds your confidence and skills in online learning at a really low risk stage.

Low Risk - I'm a worrier but with the first module you aren't tied into anything. You don't have to complete the second part of the Access to Success route and if you absolutely hate it well you have only lost £25

CONS

For me it was a little too easy at times. You have no minimum requirements to enter the Access module and it is designed a lot for people who struggle with English or English is their second language. A lot of the early stuff was very simple, stuff I had completed at high school and I had already gone past that when I did my A Levels, so sometimes I found it a little bit dull. Also each task had a suggested amount of time that it would take and for me I found this was a massive exaggeration and to start off with I thought I must be doing something wrong! 

Limited topic area- I am looking at doing a degree in History & English Literature but there are only a certain number of Access modules that are designed to cater to a large number of degrees so if you were looking at doing English, Art, Religious Studies, History etc. the Access course I took would be the one for you to do so if you hated History you would still have to do the part on this. I'm not a huge fan of Art and the final essay (and the only part your final grade was based on) was on art which I really had to push myself to complete. 

Self motivation - if you aren't self motivated then an Open University degree isn't for you but then if you aren't self motivated maybe a degree in general isn't really for you.

All in all I would recommend it. It took a lot of time and I found it hard to keep motivated at times especially when work was tough or the subject was not to my taste but I think this has prepared me well for what is to come. Obviously the degree is going to be harder but I'm really glad I completed it. Learning online was completely alien to me and I think if I had to do the more difficult tasks and get my head around this part it would have been much more of a task. I am now in the process of applying for the second part so will let you know how I get on but I'm excited and nervous (and not looking forward to dealing with Student Finance!)

If you have any questions about my experience then drop me a comment and if you are interested in finding out more then visit the website here:  (http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/do-it/access)


Saturday, 21 June 2014

How to Get Rid of Dandruff Naturally


I have had a very dry itchy scalp recently caused by a small cut and no matter how many times I tried anti dandruff shampoo it really wasn't working and the problem was spreading! So I started looking online for other treatments and found a lot of different methods and found that the below worked for me and hopefully it will work for you...

You will need:
Comb or hard bristled brush
Olive oil
Clingfilm
Microwaveable Mug
Spray Bottle (I got mine from Boots for £1.55)
White Vinegar (I used White Wine as this is what I had but many websites recommended Apple Cider Vinegar)


1. Put olive oil in a mug and microwave for about 30 seconds. The amount you need will depend upon the length of your hair but for my hair which is mid length and quite thick I used approx quarter of a mug.

2. Section hair and brush into roots and through the length of the hair. You will look like a 90's boy band member but it's really worth it! Massage oil into hair and once all damp, wrap head in a crazy clingfilm turban. This is so it doesn't dry out. You will look silly but the little kids didn't even bat an eyelid! Leave for 10-15 mins.

3. While waiting mix your vinegar mix. I used approximately 6 parts water to 1 part vinegar and this worked for me but you might need to experiment with this. I coloured my hair about six months ago and I do feel this did alter the colour slightly. Not by much but if this is something you are worried about then I wouldn't recommend this bit.

4. Once your time is up wash with normal shampoo. My favourite is the Aussie Miracles Daily Shampoo as it doesn't create build up. You may need to wash twice and be very careful that you don't slip in the shower!

5. Once shampoo rinsed spray hair with vinegar mix. You can either rinse this off (which I prefer) or you can leave on (which can leave your hair smelling of vinegar). You don't need to condition and the vinegar mix is an excellent detangler.

I use this method every couple of weeks and it really works for me. Let me know if you decide to try this method and how you get on.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Weekly Wishes #6


LAST WEEK'S WISHES

Ok so maybe technically not last week's wishes as I had an unplanned blogging hiatus. I had a lot I need to get back on track including submitting my essay, work, the gym and friends including celebrating a new job and spending time with my sister but if I had of wished last week to sort the above would definitely have been top of my list.
1. I went to the gym and upped the difficulty of what I was doing thanks to my new gym buddy. I started the Couch to 5k challenge and honestly found the first week one of the most difficult things I have done.
2. I watched the first two episodes of Season Two of Game of Thrones and there were a lot of new characters introduced - confused!
3. I made these Rhubarb & Ginger scones which were lovely (must cut ginger into smaller pieces next time)

THIS WEEK'S WISHES

1. Read some blogs - As my blog has suffered so has reading the, This week I aim to read, comment and write another BLOG LOVE entry (and if you have any posts/blogs to recommend - including you own! - then send me the links)

2. Keep a food diary - I want to keep track of what goes in my mouth (so hopefully less goes into it!)

3. Have a smoothie three times - I don't eat enough fruit, hopefully this wish will help.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Book Review - I am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes

"Can you commit the perfect crime?
Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn't exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.
But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder - and Pilgrim wrote the book.
What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God."

This is the book that broke my reading hiatus and I had tried lots of different books. 12 Years a Slave, Labyrinth, The Kill Room, In the Blood were all discarded as unreadable at the moment but this book I really enjoyed. It was one of easy action thrillers, never a literary classic but a good read all the same.

What makes it most interesting, which I guess is the case for with most books, are the characters. Ben Bradley is your typical New York cop who turns out to not be so typical and your terrorist is everything you think he should be and also everything you think he shouldn't. In a world of secret espionage it is difficult to tell the good men from the bad. This books made me consider the ideas behind terrorism and whether all terrorists are inherently "bad people" or does something cause people to become a terrorist? This book would definitely suggest the latter.

While the story begins as a simple murder mystery this book travels the globe through terrorism, secrecy and politics and brings you to the edge of your seat.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Friendzone

I read on the internet recently that apparently the worst thing a girl can say when asked if she is with a guy and they aren't an item is to say no. Even if you aren't together, have never been together and have no intention of being together you should always say yes.

I think this is ridiculous!! One of my best friends is a guy, we have been friends since I was thirteen and if I said we were together he would laugh in my face. His lovely girlfriend might also have something to say about our imaginary relationship. He is the person I speak to on the phone most often, he is the person that makes me laugh when I need it most but that doesn't mean we need to be in a relationship together. He is not interested in me and I am not interested in him. 

The friendzone is a load of crap if you ask me. It's an excuse made up by people who are too afraid to tell the person they are interested in what they truly want. And do you know how annoying it is to here you complain about why X, Y or Z doesn't like you? Because you are obviously such an amazing catch if you can't even tell the person that you are supposedly meant to be best of friends that you are interested in them and I don't mean just finding them attractive!


So yes my best friend is a guy and neither of us are in the friendzone. Do you think members of the opposite sex can be just friends?



But if you want to escape the friendzone this article will not help you but it may make you laugh