Five Happy Things #13


This has been a really good week! After two months of feeling a bit confused and frustrated about not knowing what I wanted to do after uni, things finally seem to be coming together. If anyone is feeling in a similar situation, I highly recommend downloading the TED Talks and Good Life Project podcasts.

These are a few things that have made me happy this week:

1. My nail varnish. I rarely fall in love with nail varnish, but I bought Barry M's Cappucino for graduation and I don't want to take it off.

2. Booking tickets to see Ed Sheeran in July.

3. Having what I think was my 'Pocahontas Leaves moment' about life. I think I've finally got my head around what I want to do, for the next few years at least.

4. Making some travel plans with Eppie and Emma. Have major fingers crossed this all goes to plan.

5. Watching Wales beat South Africa in the rugby. There's something about walking up those steps into the stadium, makes you get goosebumps!

This week I've been...


Listening to : George Ezra and Ed Sheeran, still. I just can't get enough of these guys.

Watching : endless episodes of TED Talks on Netflix. Go watch them.

Eating : Lots of mince pies. Less than a month to go until Christmas, I need to get in as many as I can before the season is over.

Laughing : at Gogglebox as I catch up on 3 weeks worth of episodes. Also many Whatsapp conversation with my friends. Oh how I wish I didn't live so far away from everyone right now.

Reading : Paper Towns by John Green. Different to my normal choice of read, but good so far!

Fed up of : people calling me Bethany. That's not my name, please don't call me that.

Excited about :  a potential trip to Canada and California with Emma and Eppie next summer.

Smelling : the endless Christmas cake and pudding orders we're cooking up this week. The house just smells like one giant Christmas cake.

Baking : a failure of a Baked Alaska. Plus a few more things you'll see in the next few weeks.

Wearing : my new jeans from Dorothy Perkins. They may be the comfiest jeans I've ever owned.

Bake Along with GBBO: #Bingate Number 2 - Chocolate and Honeycomb Baked Alaska

I'm going to begin by asking you to just ignore the fact that the Great British Bake Off finished over 2 months ago. I'm determined to finish this series, so bare with me. I'm going to be baking up a storm this week and finish this series over the next few weeks.

I'm also going to ask you to forgive my complete failure of a bake.  I considered ignoring this and trying again, hiding the fact I failed! However I'm hoping my failure will give you a bit of a giggle.

I'm not sure what I did wrong, but the meringue just wouldn't stay on the ice cream. It started sliding off before I'd even put it in the super hot oven. It was all going so well until this point!

I'm sorry Mary Berry, I've let you down.


Anyway, I'll still share the recipe. Let me know if any of you make it and have better luck than me!

As soon as I saw this challenge I knew what kind of baked alaska I wanted to make, with a vision of a giant Crunchie bar inspired baked alaska springing to mind.

With this vision in my head, I compiled a few different recipes and prayed it worked. It didn't.

This isn't really one to quickly whip up in a rush. Super tasty to eat, but a bit of a faff to make because of all the different components. Even though it was a structural failure, it still tasted good. My Dad and Brother even went back for seconds. 

I'll definitely come back to this post at some point and re-do it. I refuse to fail!

I present to you"Alaskan Mess featuring a Meringue Moat"…


Ingredients for honeycomb
(Taken from BBC Good Food)

Butter, for greasing
200g caster sugar
5 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Instructions for honeycomb
1. Grease 20cm square tin with butter.

2. Mix the caster sugar and syrup in a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted. Once completely melted, turn up the heat and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel. Then really quickly turn off the heat, tip in the bicarbonate and beat with a wooden spoon until mixed in and the mixture is foaming. Scrape into the tin immediately. Watch out it'll be blooming boiling.

3.  The mixture will keep bubbling, simply leave it and after about 1 hour/ 1 hour and a half the honeycomb will be ready to bash up.

Ingredients for ice cream
(Taken from BBC Good Food)

4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g caster sugar
300ml double cream
Your honeycomb (broken)

Instructions for ice cream

1. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and vanilla extract with electric whisk until light and foamy. Making sure the whisk is clan, whisk the egg whites in a different bowl, slowly adding the caster sugar until thick and glossy.
2. Lightly whip the cream until it holds its shape. Mix in the yolks and egg whites until everything is combined. Fold in the honeycomb pieces. Turn into a pudding basin, cover and freeze until solid.

Ingredients for chocolate cake
(Taken from BBC Good Food)

50g dark chocolate
125g butter
125g caster sugar
2 free range eggs
125g self raising flour

Instructions for chocolate cake

1. Melt the chocolate.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs, beating continuously. Add in the melted chocolate and the flour to the mix.

3. Pour the batter into the greased cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas 4.

4. Place on wire rack to cool.

Ingredients for meringue

3 egg whites
200g caster sugar

Instructions for meringue

1. Turn the oven up to 220C/435F/Gas 7.

2. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

3. Add half the sugar until stiff, glossy peaks are formed. Fold in the other half of sugar with a metal spoon.

Instructions for assembly

1. Place baked cake in the middle of the baking tray (use a baking tray without a lip, makes it easier to get the alaska off the tray).

2. Take ice cream out of the freezer and place on top of the cake.

3. Quickly spoon the meringue over the ice cream, thickly and making sure it covers all the way down to the baking tray.

4. Place in the oven for 3-4 mins or until the meringue is set on the outside and a golden colour.

5. Transfer to a plate and enjoy!

Graduating

Dress John Lewis // Shoes Marks and Spencer // Mickey Graduation Ears My Disney CEP

Last week I graduated. It was such a good day, although a lot more exhausting than I imagined! We've decided graduation day is the perfect preparation for our future wedding days - lots of prep, the ceremony, a tonne of photos and then the after party.

As I'm filming everything at the moment, here's a round up of my day.

Weird to think that my university life is now well and truly over. Scary stuff.

Book Review :: If You're Not the One

The question of "what if?" seems to be a reoccurring theme in life at the moment. I'm currently in another one of those stages in life where everything you decide will have a big impact on your life. Whatever job I get, whatever city I decide to live in and who I meet (or lose) as a result, will all impact on my future. That's a scary thought.

Then there's the whole "what if?" element of love. I read a post by Emma a few weeks ago, which got me thinking about how we'll never know if we've loved and lost "the one", which is exactly what this book is about.

Jennifer, the main character, is in a car accident which leaves her in a coma. Whilst in this coma she is given the opportunity to enter three different tunnels, each allowing her to view what her life would have been like, had she chosen to stay with her past boyfriends.

I have to say, as excited as I was initially about the concept of this book, I did find myself having to force myself through the middle section. It just got a little bit uneventful and if it wasn't for the fact I can't not finish a book once started I may have given up at this point. Especially as I had two books I really wanted to read waiting for me at the library. Although I kept with it, spurred on by a few sections which were a good read and others that made me think about the idea of letting 'the one' slip through your fingers.

On paper it seems like a great idea for a story, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I wouldn't say it's a waste of time to read, but I won't encourage you to go out of your way to get yourself a copy. Mainly because if you're anything like me, I wouldn't want to encourage you to read 443 pages and not get a conclusion.

I went onto Goodreads to see if others agreed with me. It seems like I wasn't the only one who felt like this and have to agree with the lady who stated the end was 'inconclusive'. So frustrating when the only reason you stuck through the book was to know her final decision!

I've just read that Working Title have gained the rights to this film, so maybe it would be best to wait and see if that gets good reviews and then buy it for £3 on DVD in Tesco instead...

Motivational Monday #2

//Source Unknown//

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I'm starting to think about how much time I sit on my laptop on a day to day basis. Fair enough, a good amount of this time is because I'm doing work of some sort, but I've often found myself sat reblogging things on Tumblr or Pinterest recently and thinking why am I spending so much of my time doing this?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with these websites. Tumblr and Pinterest really inspire me at times and if anything spur me on to go outside and make memories, but lure me to stay in and keep scrolling at the same time. 

I think I'm suddenly becoming aware that soon I'll (hopefully) be in a full time job and not have as much free time as I have had in the past to do things. There's so much I want to see and do. Essentially I don't want to waste my life reblogging pictures I won't remember in a years time let alone sixty and never see or experience any of those things for myself.

As the '90's kids' generation, we say how much we appreciate the fact we were the last generation to have our childhood uninterrupted by technology and wish children now had the childhood we did. Yet we write this on online platforms which many of us agree to spending too much time on, wasting part of our youth in the process.

What about you guys, do you actively seek out these memories or do you also get drawn in by the internet? 

What have you done recently that you know you'll remember for most of your life?

Five Happy Things #12


This week has been wonderful, exciting, sad and exhausting all at the same time. As I said last week, I've been in Sheffield for most of the week for my graduation and it was one of the best few days I've had in a while. It was great to see everyone, be back in the place I called my second home and it made me realise how much I enjoyed living in Sheffield. I can't believe university is now officially over forever.

1. Graduation. An excuse to get dressed up, eat good food and see my friends.

2. The black forest hot chocolate I had from Costa on the way up to Sheffield. In a Christmas reindeer cup, of course.

3. My last ever Carver Street. Happy to be reunited with Viper Rooms, but sad that I might never be there again. Although I did feel exceptionally old being surrounded by 18 year old freshers.

4. All the firsts of the season this week. First fire, first mince pie and first Coca Cola advert viewing.

5. Emma Watson Elle magazine. I bought this at the start of the week, she never fails to inspire me.

What's made you happy this week? :)

Motivational Monday #1


If you know me, you'll know I love a good motivational quote.

From what I've seen from other blogs and what I've discussed with friends, everyone seems to be unhappy in some way or another at the moment. After watching Children in Need on Friday night, all of these things we complain and get upset about on a day to day basis seem trivial in comparison. Although that doesn't mean they don't upset us.

I've been going a bit crazy on the inspirational quotes front on Pinterest the past month or so. It may seem odd to some people, but some of the things I've read have really helped.

I loved the "Motivational Monday" posts that lots of people seemed to be doing, but they seem to have fizzled out recently. So therefore, as the winter is upon us and we all get a bit down in the dumps over the weather etc, I thought I'd start up my own.

To avoid the first post being too text heavy, I thought I'd start with this one as it pretty much speaks for itself. Hopefully, we'll all have 80-odd years of this time to invest in, but in reality who knows. I know I'm guilty of wasting time procrastinating and wishing it away sometimes, as do most people. Maybe if we all viewed life more like we viewed money, we'd have a much more enjoyable life and have more to look back on and value when this time runs out.

Anyway, this definitely has potential to turn more into a 'Morbid Monday' rather than a motivational one if I carry on in that manner. Sorry! What I'm trying to say is, this week go out and do more of what you love, don't stress as much and don't take time for granted. Use those $86, 400 wisely!

Five Happy Things #11

After a 6 month hiatus, I'm bringing back 'Five Happy Things' this week! Here are the top 5 things that have put a smile on my face this week.

1. S Club 7 making a come back on Children in Need. Every 20-something year olds dream.

2. George Ezra's 'Wanted on Voyage'. I've got it on repeat.

3. Driving through the lanes on the way back from Cardiff. Autumn colours, countryside and good songs on the radio.

4. My ASOS order arriving. So many pretty shoes and dresses to try. Although now I have the tough decision of which ones to keep.

5.  My walk with Marzie this evening. Any excuse to don a pair of wellies wins my vote, coupled with a lovely sunset whilst watching Marzie playing with another golden retriever on the field. Just made me smile.

I'm excited for next week! I'm back in Sheffield for most of the week for my graduation. I can't wait.

How to survive final year


Final year is horrible. You've listened to your tutors and other students before you saying how hard final year is, but you never really appreciate their words until you're there yourself. I definitely searched for similar posts to this a year ago, so I thought I'd write down a few of my top tips for final years and things I wished I listened too or done sooner.

1. Treat final year like a full time job. In our house most of us treated final year like a full time job. 9am-6pm we'd be working, giving ourselves tea and meal breaks of course, but aside from that we'd either be in the library or in our rooms working. Then bang on 6pm, everyone seemed to magically appear in the kitchen to cook their dinner. Of course during deadline times you may have to continue working into the evenings, but if you have this mindset you'll cope with the workload much better. Find a time frame that suits you and set aside those hours for working each day.

2. Schedule time off. This is 100% the most important tip I can give you. Without this you'll just go insane. Get a work life balance going and it'll make final year much easier for yourself. This is your last year in university, find out what's on, explore and be a tourist in your own city. Then get straight back to reality with those essays. Saying that, you also need to know when to say no to plans. My rule was if I had a heavy workload and time off already that week, unless it was something major that I'd look back on in the future and regret not doing, then I didn't go.

3. Organise yourself. Everyone loves stationary shopping, so go and buy all those pretty files and notebooks you've been eyeing up, anything that will help you get organised. I found a whole bunch of helpful things over on Pinterest, from apps to print outs. Find the best way for you to keep organised and stick with it. For group projects, we really liked Asana. Also I know it sounds sad, but during my month over Christmas I started to plan my next essays. It sounds insane, but by just doing these little things when I had an hour spare saved me so much time in semester two.

4. Take good notes. This leads on from organising. As horrid as 9am lectures can be, try and take decent notes! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm as far from a morning person as can be and I'd much prefer to be asleep. I will never get over the horror of 9am finance lectures. Therefore, for any morning lectures where I may not have been fully awake, I recorded them on my phone and made a few key notes. Later that day I'd listen over and make proper notes. It also helped being able to listen over them for revision later on in the year! Write them up, type them up, make them pretty, whatever suits you best. Doing this as you go along will save you so much effort during exam time.

5. If you're unhappy, say something and take action. My only regret from final year was not changing my dissertation tutor when I was unhappy. In the end it resulted in me crying in the middle of the library and having to rewrite entire sections less than 24 hours before the deadline. If for whatever reason, you don't think your assigned dissertation tutor is right for you, change. Don't worry about offending them or anything else, you're paying a lot of money for this course, switch to someone who can give you the support you need.

6. Listen to your tutors. They're there to help you, so take that help whenever you can. Also, at the end of the day, they're the one's who will be marking your work. Try and learn what the tutor who is marking your work likes and go by that. They may have a favourite academic or industry professional who they constantly quote in lectures or maybe even stupid things such as preferring paragraphs formatted in a certain way, every little helps!

7. Cry if you need to. I'd say 98% of the people I know who have graduated have said that at some point they were on the verge of or had cried during final year. Let it out, don't be ashamed. Give yourself a break, rant it out to your friends and then get back to it. It's never good to keep those emotions in.

8. Keep saving and back up your work. You don't want to be crying because you just lost all your work 3000 words in, the week before the deadline. Keep saving your work as you go along, back it up on a memory stick and set up a dropbox. Little things that take 2 seconds, yet can save you your sanity if you find yourself in that situation.

9. Learn how to use the library. I know this may sound a little odd too, but you're going to be using so many references this year, you might as well know how to find these and open up options you may not know existed. Explore the portal/blackboard/library gateway (or whatever your university calls their intranet). There's all sorts of things on there which you may not have known existed or that can help you during final year.

10. Get enough sleep. Like I said earlier, I need my sleep. I found that if I didn't get enough sleep, I couldn't concentrate on my work, I got more upset and ended up worrying more. Find time in your schedule to get in enough sleep and allow yourself to have naps if needs be. All nighters are no fun either, trust me, so avoid those if you can too.

11. Tackle things together. In semester two, friends from my course and I started to book group tables in the library so we could all work in the same place. I'm very easily distracted, sorry again Eppie and Jane for all those times I chatted rubbish to avoid working, but having everyone else around me doing their work made me want to do mine. It was also great as we could easily share good references we found in books, resources we found and generally motivate each other. Help each other out, that's what friends are for.

12. Find your motivation. All of us have something we want to aim for or achieve in life, so use this as your motivation. During final year I had everything from motivational quotes on my wall to various motivational phone and laptop backgrounds. I personally suggest motivational Ryan Gosling.


I know it's horrible, you're tired and you just want it to be over but not want it to end at the same time. It'll be worth it, trust me. It's a bit like child birth, when it's all over with and you're proud of the work you've created and your classification, all the hard work seems worth it. 

You can do it.


Back Again

I'm home! I can't tell you how good it feels to go away to a place where you can't help being swept up in the excitement.

I'm in the process of editing another video of my time away, so I'll be sure to share that once I'm finished.

Lots more blog posts currently lined up in my drafts, so should be busy on the blog between now and Christmas!

Running Away

Things will be a bit quiet on the blog this week.

I'm escaping the UK for a week, hopefully giving my mind a rest from overthinking, eating lots of good food and getting a bit of sunshine.

3 guesses where I'm running away too…