Sunday, 25 March 2018

Welcome back to my blog! | 10 Facts About Me

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to my blog!  I last posted on this blog nearly two years ago which feels like a crazy long time!  Two summers ago I got a place at the University of Cambridge to do my PGCE (which is teacher training).  I decided that my energy really needed to go into my work and I was struggling to find time to do my blog so I made the decision to make it private and go offline for a while.  I completed my PGCE and went on to become a primary school teacher.  Unfortunately (for reasons I will talk about in another post!) I made the very difficult decision to leave my teaching job in December, and so currently am not working. 

So here I am 18 months later, with nothing but time, so I decided I would love to start my blog up again.  I used to love writing blog posts and also really enjoyed reading other people’s blogs – please leave a link to your blog (if you have one) in the comments, I would love to check them out!

I will aim to post twice a week: at 7pm on Sundays and Thursdays.

So now that I am back, I thought I would do a 10 Facts About Me post so that you can get to know me a little better.

1)      I am 22 years old (will be 23 in April!)

2)      I don’t have any pets but I love dogs a slightly abnormal amount.

3)      I have a degree in English Language from the University of Reading.

4)      I have done half a Masters degree alongside my PGCE – I intend to do the other half at some point!

5)      I have anxiety (which is something I’ll talk about more in future posts).

6)      I have a younger sister (she’s just turned 21).

7)      My favourite bloggers/YouTubers are Sprinkle of Glitter and Mrs Meldrum.

8)      My favourite colour is pink.

9)      I have been dying my hair since I was 15 – I don’t think I’d feel like myself without blonde hair!

10)   I love doing my make-up and playing around with it, at the moment I am absolutely loving the Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow palette.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. 

 Stephanie x

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Uni room tour!

Hey everyone!

  I hope you are well and enjoying freedom from exams if you have had to endure them this year!  In my last post I mentioned that I have finished my degree, meaning my time at University has come to an end (sob!).  Last week that became all to real when I had to move out of my student house and back home.
  I absolutely adored my room at Uni, so before I packed it all away, I decided to take some pictures to show you all what my room had been like for the past year.  It was so nice to have a blank canvas to be able to do what I liked with (within reason!), and I loved having a place that I had made home myself.
I was lucky enough to have a big double bed in my room, and got a blue and white dotty duvet cover from Cath Kidston.  I feel like a duvet cover can completely make a room, and so it’s important to a nice one that you like!  I had bunting hanging above my bed (I am a total bunting fanatic!), and also had a wall with loads of photographs next to my bed, to make my room feel a bit more homely and remind me that there is a life beyond exams and deadlines!

My chest of drawers was positioned next to my desk.  In here I mainly kept my Uni books and folders, as well as bits like pens and important documents that I didn’t want to lose!  I decorated the top with a sign that says ‘Dance as if no-one were watching, Sing as if no-one were listening and live every day as if it were your last’.  I love this saying as it totally encourages you to seize the say!  I also had a beautiful bunch of flowers that were given to me as a leaving present, but when I wasn’t lucky enough to have fresh flowers, I keep fake ones in the vase because I think flowers add such a nice touch to a room (although I prefer fresh by far!)
My desk was quite small and I usually went to the library or my friend’s house to work so it didn’t get very much use!  I kept my pens and pencils in a pot shaped like wellies which I think is so cute!  I also kept two faux cacti on my desk to try and add a bit of life to it!  In this picture you can also see my beloved All Blacks rugby calendar and a full length mirror which I put in my room because I cannot function without proper access to a mirror!

Over my chest of drawers, and on the main wall of my bedroom, I had a wall sticker (the ones that peel off) to stick on.  This is one of my favourite sayings of all time; I always say it to myself if I’m struggling to have faith in myself.  I feel like this made my room a bit more unique, and always inspired me when I was feeling a bit down and uninspired.

Next to my mirror I kept three wicker baskets which I kept my every day make up, hair and skin products in, as well as other bits that I might use for nights out, meaning I could easily find everything.  I have tried to recreate this in my bedroom at home but it just doesn’t look as good!
I bought a gorgeous purple sequinned drape to go over my window, partly to add some decoration to my room and partly because my next door neighbours could see into my room so I preferred to have some netting over it!  I draped fairy lights around it and loved to switch them on at night to make my room feel super cosy.

I didn’t have anywhere hidden to keep my printer and it looked really ugly sitting on the carpet, so I tried to make it look a bit better by piling some Vogue magazines on top.  I’m not sure it really did much for the aesthetics but I liked the look of it!

  I also had a wardrobe where I kept my clothes and also a HUGE walk in wardrobe (how lucky was I?!), but they were a bit of a mess before packing, and looked super sad and empty after I had packed everything up.

  I hope you enjoyed a little tour of my Uni room; I loved living there and was very sad to say goodbye!  I love looking at other people's rooms to get ideas for my own (and partly because I'm just nosy!)  

 I hope you're having a lovely summer (or winter if you're from somewhere else in the world!)

Keep Sparkling x 

P.S. I would also like to apologise for the weird time that this post is being put up (almost 3am in England); I am working full time at a residential job, so I only have time to write posts in between shifts/ free time - so sorry if I am not as engaging with your blogs as I would like to be, I promise I will do as much as I can in my spare time!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

End of University and back to blogging!

Hey everyone!

It’s been so long since I posted on my blog it’s insane!  I was struggling to find time along with the pressure of the final year of University, so in December I made the decision to give up blogging until I had the time to start enjoying it again!

The exciting (and scary!) news is that I’ve now finished University and completed my degree!  Uni has gone so quickly and I cannot believer that it’s over.  It was results day on Monday and I found out that I will be graduating with a 2:1 in English Language and that I got a first in my dissertation – so I’m absolutely over the moon!
Celebrating in the sunshine!
I celebrated by going to Henley and having a lovely dinner on the riverside with my friend – the sun came out and it was such a nice treat after all the stress that the past few months have entailed.

I wish anyone that has had exams the best of lucks with results!

Keep Sparkling x

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The latest summer holiday post ever!

Hey guys!
  I have to admit this post killed me a little bit to write as I look out of the window at the dark and bleak weather outside, but if you cast your mind back three months to when it was actually light at 5pm, I went on a rather lovely summer holiday to the South of France.

  This post is disgustingly late but I wanted to share some snaps and if you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I got very unwell when I returned from holiday and have been struggling ever since so this is the first time I’ve actually felt up to finally getting the pictures up!
  We stayed in a beautiful village about half an hour from Narbonne.  It hit at least 30 degrees pretty much every day and I have some lovely memories of lying on the beach, splashing in the sea and having a few touristy days too!  I even visited Sephora for the first time and quite honestly never wanted to leave, why does England not have one?!

   If you can remember a time when you didn’t feel as if ice was eating your toes (or maybe that’s just me, living in a student house means we haven’t put the heating on yet…), what did you get up to in the Summer?

  Will try and do a more season appropriate post next time – maybe will jump from one extreme to the next and do something Christmas related!

Keep Sparkling x

Sunday, 6 September 2015

My top five inspirational quotes


  I'm so sorry I've been absent from the blogging world for so long - I went on holiday at the beginning of August and had a couple of pre-written blog posts that I just needed to take pictures for and then had some plans of posts to write about my holiday.  Unfortunately, since I got back I've been poorly and just haven't felt up to it.  Howeverrrr, I'm FINALLY feeling a little bit better, so I decided to do this blog post while I get back on track with my other posts because if there’s anything I love more than a cup of tea, it’s a good old inspirational quote.  Who knows why I love quotes so much but I find them so motivational and have them stuck all over my notice board to give me a lift when I’m feeling down or stuck with work.

  I personally find quotes so encouraging; I always have a look through some quote pictures when I'm lacking inspiration so decided to post my favourite five so hopefully they can give you some motivation too!  I love the following quotes because they involve overcoming your fears and embracing life.

   I hope these quotes can provide you with some inspiration - they all make me so motivated to try and face life with the best attitude.

  Do you guys have any favourite quotes or things you do when you need some motivation?

Keep Sparkling x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer Evenings


  In between the rain (this is England after all), we have been blessed with some unusually nice weather of late.  A few days ago, despite it pouring with rain for most of the day, my family and I decided to seize the warmth and have a barbecue.  I adore barbecues; everything tastes so much better in my humble opinion.  We had lamb chops (barbecued), new potatoes and green beans (not barbequed and admittedly a strange meal to have with a BBQ) with a delicious starter of olives with a glass of wine.

 It was after the meal that I really embraced my inner child and had fun.  We lit the pot-bellied stove (admittedly probably not its official name, but hey) and I got right in there with the skewers and marshmallows.  No, I did not have younger children to toast marshmallows with and yes, I did do this on my own.  Call me sad but they were SO YUMMY.  Nothing beats a good old toasted marshmallow, except for the one that caught fire; burnt marshmallow isn’t quite so tasty.

  We then settled down in front of some evening television, and I felt truly grateful to be able to spend lovely evenings like this with my parents.

  Hope you’ve all been enjoying the weather or that it’s slightly less rainy and thunder stormy wherever in the world you may be!

Keep Sparkling x

Monday, 6 July 2015

A Sunny Sunday

  Seeing as England has been hit by rare good weather (although it’s still raining most days, this is England after all…) I couldn’t resist the chance to get outside and make the garden look pretty.  I imagine many of you may find gardening extremely dull but I couldn’t wait to add a burst of pink and purple to the garden!  I headed to the local garden centre to choose some flowers and then enjoyed the sun as I arranged and planted them in pots outside.  I am by no means very good at arranging flowers, but I was proud that I’d used my time to do something better than just watching TV and had a good go at making it as beautiful as I could.

  After I’d managed to get most of the soil out from under my fingernails (not the best bit of gardening!), I was desperate for a nice cup of tea and some cake.  For those of you that read my ‘Love, Tanya’Book Review and Recipe Trial’ post back in February, you will know that I had a go at making the lemon cake that features in Tanya’s book.  Whilst that one was delicious, I had been a bit disappointed by the aesthetics of it as I didn’t have a loaf tin and so had to make it into a circle cake shape.  You can imagine my delight therefore when my Mum presented me with a loaf tin yesterday as a well done for passing my exams (yay!).  I decided to have another go straight away and followed Tanya’s recipe again.  I think my results are a perfect example of practice makes perfect – I was delighted with the result of my lemon cake!  The recipe is so easy to follow and the cake was absolutely delicious, I would definitely recommend having a go if baking is your thing!

  Let’s hope the hot weather continues – what have you guys been enjoying in the sun?!

  Keep Sparkling x