Spring Favourites 2014!

Well, it has been a while! I have been rather busy with university and final exams and deadlines but now university is over (university experience blog post coming soon) I thought I should ease my way into blogging by doing a Spring favourites as it is nearly Summer!

These are the things that I have been loving this Spring.

Skincare 

Manuka Doctor Products – My skin has been rather amazing recently and I do think it is to do with this new brand I have discovered. I needed some natural products because I have sensitive skin and came across Manuka Doctor in Holland & Barrett. I decided to buy all the apiclear range – the face cleanser, moisturiser and blemish cream (on a whim) and I have been using them for about three months now and I love it so much. They are expensive but they are so good. Ever since I have been using them, my skin has been amazing and I have had no breakouts. Amazing. This has replaced my homemade face masks that I used to make with Manuka honey. It is made with natural ingredients so amazing for acne-prone skin. I am on my third purchase of all the products and I will continue to buy them as long as it does its job! You can also find them in Superdrug.

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Beauty 

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation – I have changed up my foundation and found this amazing one. I will always love my Estee Lauder Double Wear but the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions foundation has been a winner for me this Spring. It gives great coverage (I may do a review on this) and feels very light on my skin. Photo-friendly too.

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Tanya Burr Lips & Nails – I love Tanya Burr and have been watching her on YouTube for years. She has brought out a lip gloss and a nail polish range and I decided to buy some. I gravitate towards red lip and nail colours so I bought the red nail polish in ‘Riding Hood’ and the red lip gloss in ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’. I love the lip gloss and wear it everyday now. I love the colour of the nail polish and how it looks on my nails however, it chips very easily and by about two to three days, half of the colour is gone. So that was quite disappointing but I have been loving the lip gloss and may buy some more of the lip-glosses.

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Music

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots – Damon has finally gone solo anda few weeks ago he released he debut solo album called ‘Everyday Robots’. It is absolutely beautiful. My favourite songs from the album are ‘Hostiles’, ‘The Selfish Giant’ and ‘My Tembo’. 

Lily Allen – Sheezus – Another new album. I have been really loving Lily’s comeback album called ‘Sheezus’. It is really catchy, very funny and quite cool too. I love the songs ‘Insincerely Yours’ and ‘Take My Place’. 

Motivation To Study

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The motivation to study is not something many people are blessed with unfortunately and due to all the social media and technology these days, we can often sway away from studying very easily because there are a lot of distractions. It is coming to the end of term now before Christmas and I am sure most of you have a lot of deadlines coming up, like I do. Motivation to do the work is hard so below are some of my tips to make it easier for you to get your work done.

Study Space – As I mentioned in my Essential Study Tips post, you will need a good space to study with all your essential study materials. The place you study is the most important thing for motivation. If you think people distract you easily, I would not suggest studying around or with people. I cannot study in the library because there are people around but some may find the library helpful and some may find studying with a friend helpful. I study best alone in my bedroom.

Block The Distraction – This is probably the hardest one. We have all done it. Browsing through Twitter and Facebook when you are supposed to be doing your work and the guilt creeps in but you are still very unmotivated to study. You may be thinking “How can I stop going on Twitter when I am writing my essay on my computer?” then block the sites you think are distracting you using I-AM-STUDYING BLOCKER. This will help you immensely and the temptation to go on those sites will ebb when you are restricted to visiting them. Leave Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, ASOS etc.. for your study break.

Aim – One thing that really helps me is looking into the future. Why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve? Do I want a good grade in this? The answer is of course I do and that is what motivates me. Hard work pays off. It really does. You are not going to study forever so the thought of it being a temporary thing is a motivation in itself and wanting to do well in it is the main motivation for most people.

Reward – This is something that I have done a lot throughout university and it works. During term time when I have a lot of work and deadlines to meet, I put myself on a self-imposed shopping ban. I love shopping and always end up buying clothes that I want, not need. I love clothes! So, in order for me to work hard, I ban myself from buying any clothes during this time but, the motivation is this – I tell myself I will buy myself something nice once I have completed all my work this term. After I have done this, I then “allow” myself to buy that dress I have been wanting for a long time. It may or may not work for you but it works for me. It does not even have to be with shopping. Materialistic things are something that excites me personally so find something that excites you and ban yourself from it until you finish your work. Then reward yourself. “When I complete this, I will treat myself to a nice pamper session” or “After I have done this piece of work, I will go out with my friends for a drink.” Anything. This does really help with getting the work done.

Unwind – You may be feeling really stressed so if you feel like this, just take a step back and unwind. Have a relaxing bath and read a nice book. What I find de-stresses me is listening to some Hypnosis. It really relaxes me and also makes me fall asleep. Getting a good nights sleep helps with motivation. One reason why you may feel rather sluggish and unmotivated is because the stress is causing you insomnia and that will affect your motivation to study. Just try to keep calm and positive and then start again. The motivation will eventually come.

Anti-Bullying Week 2013 (18th – 22nd November)

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It is Anti-Bullying Week this week and I have been wearing my BeatBullying wristband all week to show my support as I always say that trying to tackle bullying is something very close to my heart and something that I have been an advocate of in hopes to tackle this issue, especially in schools, making sure that young people do not go through school feeling sad and victimised like I did.

School should be a memorable time, full of happy memories. To me, it is often like “I did not enjoy school because those group of people were mean to me.” Sadly, I am sure many of you can relate to that.

I wrote a blog post a few months ago on how to deal with bullying and you can check that out right here.

Some of you have asked for a ‘My Bullying Experience’ blog post however, I am too hesitant for that at the moment but I will definitely do it sometime in the future so do look out for that.

I always stress to anyone out there who is being bullied, to speak out. Tell someone. It makes a big difference. Do not suffer in silence because if you do, it gets worse. You are not a ‘snitch’ if you tell someone. I always tell children in Primary school, be it my brothers, cousins or any child for that matter that if someone bullies you in school, tell a teacher straight away. Many of you reading may not be in school anymore but that does not mean you should not tell someone regardless.

You may think you can deal with it. You are an adult. You should be able to handle this on your own, right? It will go away. No. If you do not face up to it, it will not go away. Bullying can also take place in your workplace and I know a lot of people who say their boss or colleague is so mean to them yet they are afraid of standing up to them or telling someone in a higher role about that person because they think they will lose their job. What is the worst that could happen? If you lose your job, at least you got away from feeling miserable but it may be the other way round too. The person who is bullying you may lose their job. So, do not second guess what will happen. Always do what feels right.

If you know someone who is being bullied, help them out. Talk to them. Show them that you want to help them. Show them that you care. Stick up for them. Whenever someone stuck up for me, I felt like I was not alone. It made the situation more easier to deal with knowing someone knows what is going on and is there for you. You feel safer.

You are never alone. Always speak out.

Useful links

Bulling at school
Workplace bullying and harassment 
Nightline  
Beatbullying
Childline 

How I Got Into Journalism & Advice On How To Get Into Journalism

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People often ask me how I got into journalism so I thought I would do a blog post on it about both broadcast and print journalism and my top tips on how to get into journalism yourself.

I actually have no idea how I got into journalism to be honest because I just sort of fell into it. I did not ever say, “When I grow up, I want to be a journalist.” Not really.  I wanted to be a teacher (as most kids do), a singer, a dancer….I knew I always wanted to work in the media industry, specifically music but that has died down now and I will talk about that a bit more in a bit.

I always remember being fascinated by the news and what is going on in the world. When I was little, I watched and listened to newsreaders on TV and on the Radio and tried to imitate them. I always wondered what it would be like to be a newsreader, a TV presenter or a radio presenter…but I always felt like I could never be those things because of my lack of confidence and so I just turned to writing and music instead, which was easier as I am not much of a speaker.

Writing has always been one of my main passions. I can articulate myself better in writing rather than speaking. I used to keep a diary. My diary went everywhere with me. It was a very useful way of letting my feelings out. It kind of was my only friend – do excuse the cliché. The reason why, was because I always felt rather misunderstood and so when I wrote things down, I felt like I was getting it all off my chest and therefore felt better. Also, my diary (along with music) was a big part of my life when I was being bullied and my times in psychiatric units. It helped, a lot.

There has been a lot of studies showing a correlation between creativity and mental illnesses and I can definitely vouch for that. Writing has always been a release for me.

I would not say my favourite subject in school was English, however I did get a good grade in my English GCSE and I enjoyed a lot of the coursework. I love writing essays. I remember writing a GCSE English essay about something to do with the media and I got an A on that piece – my first ever A that I have ever got in my life and I was proud of it. I then realised that I am rather good at writing. I was praised by teachers saying how well written my essays are and that really gave me a bit of confidence – I actually was good at something.

Because I enjoyed music and had a passion for radio, I wanted to work in music radio or become a music journalist writing for a magazine. I started a blog and wrote about music – reviewing music/bands etc… but I just was not happy with it. I did not feel like I was getting anywhere with it and I did not enjoy it.

During my stint at BBC Radio 4 , I really got into news and politics. I met rather intellectual people everyday there such as newsreaders, producers, journalists, presenters, philosophers, politicians and authors. It was then when I felt like this is what I want to do. I want to make news and current affairs programmes for a speech radio station such as Radio 4. I want to create news and inform people.

Music really at that point, did not matter to be anymore. Well, of course it mattered but not in a career sense. I love music and always will, but I do not want to work in that industry anymore.

I remember a lot of the Tony Blair years. I was only little but the Blair era stood out as a lot of things happened in that Labour government, overshadowed by the Iraq war. News was on everyday in the house and Blair was not that popular in our house. Gordon Brown years were absolutely ridiculous too. I was not heavily into politics then but Brown absolutely destroyed the government.

However, when I visited the Houses of Parliament and saw how the House of Commons looks in real life – I pretty much fell in love with it.

I am following the Coalition government very closely and since Radio 4 and my time at LBC, I have quite an obsession with politicians and how they think, how they act, their policies. I have developed this kind of analytical mind about politicians and I love writing about UK politics. I actually would love to work at Westminister as a politician’s assistant. How weird. I do not support and have never supported a particular party because being a journalist has taught me to be impartial. I would not want to be political journalist though as I love writing about various things, as you can see by this blog.

Putting politics aside, I have realised that I love storytelling, I love writing, I love reading and I love meeting interesting people. I love informing people about certain issues. It does take a lot of guts to do what with having issues with anxiety but in order to be a journalist, you have to talk which is what I am working on and journalism is my own personal journey to getting better and conquering a lot of fears.

Something that has helped me emotionally has become something that I made into a job now, which is absolutely amazing.

So, these are my top tips if you want to become a journalist yourself…

Be Passionate

Obviously, if you want to become a journalist, you really have to know your stuff – you have to be on the ball all the time – watching, listening and reading the news everyday. Attend events. Go to the scene of the crime. Take notes. You have to be passionate about news and getting a story out there.

Write

Start a blog and write whatever you are passionate about. I do not write about something that I am not interested in. I write about something that really interests me and if I have something to say.

Read

If you know me, you would know that newspapers have always been something that I have read ever since I was little. I love newspapers and I have a collection of newspapers (mostly The Independent), including magazines too. Read as much as you can. Books, newspapers, magazines, online articles etc… It really helps with learning.

Work Experience/Internships/Graduate Trainee Schemes

I do not think I would be a journalist now if I have never done a work placement at a place as big as the BBC. You must have some kind of work experience in order to get some practical skills. Apply at the BBC, your local radio station, magazine, newspaper – anywhere to get your foot in the door.

If you have graduated from university, apply for Graduate schemes. The BBC provide a Journalism Trainee Scheme. Many top journalists have been on that scheme.

University

Not everyone who is a journalist is a graduate but most journalists that I have met have some kind of degree behind them. Most top journalists have a postgraduate degree but of course, that is not essential. It is good to have a degree anyway – it will definitely be easier to get a job in the field.

Volunteer

If you are at university, volunteer at your student radio station or write for your student magazine. Get involved with your community radio station or your community magazine. Get a few articles published and keep them for your portfolio.

Have Ideas, Be Creative and Most of All Learn How To Write A Good Pitch

When you are a journalist, you have to constantly write pitches to Editors. It could be for a newspaper, a magazine, a radio station and television. I was not prepared for the amount of pitches I will need to write. Everyone wants an idea. Something unique. You need to be creative and you need to learn how to write a good pitch. When I feel like I am good at pitches, I will be sure to write a blog post on it.

And Finally…Be Persistent

You will get a lot of rejections. There is no question about that. You will just have to keep on going. It takes a long time to get to where you want. You cannot give up!

Reasons To Recover From Your Eating Disorder

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When you have an eating disorder, it is very easy to forget about the good things that being well can give you. I always seem to forget about it because I get so consumed by the voice of the disorder, so I think it is time to remind myself and others why to get better. These are some of my reasons why you should recover from your eating disorder.

  • To have more energy
  • To smile and actually mean it
  • To be able to eat whatever you truly want, enjoy it and most of all keep it in and not feel guilty
  • Your hair will not fall out (and we all know how awful that is when it happens)
  • To  not feel cold all the time
  • To be able to enjoy being with family and friends
  • To become more social
  • To wake up in the morning and not feel disappointed  about it – to actually feel excited for the day ahead
  • You do not have to spend most of your day stuck in a hospital
  • To be able to concentrate in school, college or university more and thus get better grades
  • To be able to get a job and have the energy to work and earn your own money
  • To  be able to take driving lessons and finally drive (which is a big reason for me)
  • Calories, fat and the scale will not rule your life anymore
  • To feel more free as opposed to feeling like you are in prison with your eating disorder
  • To allow yourself to be happy, get married and start a family
  • To be able to open up to people and distract yourself in a healthy way rather than destructive ways when you are stressed or upset
  • To  be able to go clothes shopping without worrying about sizes
  • To be able to trust people

Should Mental Health Lessons Be Taught In Schools?

There are calls for young people to be taught about mental health in schools as part of the national curriculum after a study revealed today that one in three children in Britain have contemplated suicide by the age of 16.

The reason for this is a lack of education surrounding mental health as many young people go without help and therefore struggle to cope. There are issues in schools that young people face everyday such as bullying and schools often do not take into consideration the result of bullying and how severely it can effect a person, espcially when they at an age where they are trying to find their own identify. They could resort to self harm, eating disorders and have low self-esteem.

There could be a shy and quiet pupil in a classroom and perhaps they are naturally shy but it could be more to it than that. That person could be depressed and suicidal because he or she is being bullied and does not know where or who to turn to. If that person was taught about mental health in school, then they could at least know that they could have a problem and know where to go for help.

There is still a stigma attached to having a mental health problem and people are still quite weary of even talking about it.

Having been through my school years but not once was I ever taught about depression or anxiety disorders or even eating disorders. I do believe if I was taught about those issues, maybe I could have handled them well and perhaps know what to do and feel less alone.

Early intervention is key to any illness and a mental disorder is something like cancer. If it is not treated early, then it will grow and grow and keep on growing until it eventually gets worse.

I strongly believe lessons on mental health will benefit young people in a positive way. However, mental illness is not a choice so having lessons on mental health will not prevent them developing a problem but they will get to understand it and break the stigma attached to it. They will talk about it and know who to go to for help if they unfortunately develop one. Schools need to start preparing students for real life and real problems because frankly that is where the problem lies – there is lack of education out there.

Graduation Day Outfit

 

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I graduate next month from my two-year degree and deciding what to wear is appearing to be a nightmare. Graduation is a wonderful time to mark the end of your academic education in style and for many of us, especially women, we to tend to panic about what we are going to wear. I am sure you woud want to go out and celebrate with your university peers after the ceremony and you want to look your best. Here are some of my graduation outfit and style ideas…

  • A Conservative Dress  – You want to dress for success on your graduation day because of course, the day is all about celebrating your success. A short skirt and a crop top will not look good or impressive. Choose a dress that compliments your body and shape and possibly stray away from black if you can as your gown will be black. Do not wear something rather puffy because I am sure you do not want to look quite big under your gown. I would choose something with a high neck and a dress that is light and elegant like this smart plain white a-line shift dress. You can pair this with either tights of leggings and also a black cropped waterfall blazer if you want to cover up your arms.
  • Wear Comfortable Footwear – There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on one of the important days of your life where you will have to walk, stand as well as pose for your photo! Wedges are a comfortable bet for this, however, I am not the one for heels. I would not want to look overdressed so I would wear flat gladiator sandals. I still do not want my footwear to look simple and too underdressed, so the caged design will give the whole look a dressed up feel, but not too dressed up if that makes sense. If you want a bit of height and look more dressed up, then wedges will do the trick.
  • A Small Bag – I am the type of person who feels lost without a bag. Wherever I go, I must have a bag with me. At graduation, it is advised you only bring what you need such as your phone and camera. If your dress has a pocket, you probably will not need to take a bag with you. However, a bag will finish off the whole look. I would go for a small elegant yet simple cross body bag that also turns into a clutch bag, enough to fit in your phone and camera.

So I would definitly go for a monochrome look for graduation as it is a very formal occasion. For make-up, I would do a very simple winged out cat-eye look with a natural finish.