Sunday, 30 September 2012

Semester to Semester Raving with the Freshers

So if by the odd (and also very unlikely!) chance you don't know what Fresher's Week is check this out.

Last year unfortunately I was seventeen during Fresher's Week so basically couldn't attend any of the club events. Which really really sucked because it is a brilliant opportunity to make new friends and just really good fun. This year I was determined not to miss out on the fun so signed up to be on the university's 'Fresher's Team'.

The Freshers Team is built up of past students who volunteer to wear hideous brightly coloured irange t-shirts and dedicate a week of their time to help new students settle into university life in every sense of the term. So yes in some, even most, cases that involves excessive drinking! But the main aim is to be a friendly face in unfamiliar territory and to make sure everyone has a good time and gets the most out of their week.

So when on the Freshers Team I STILL hadn't recovered from my Bestival illness and was feeling really stressed and under the weather, so ended up bailing after one weekend. However the time that I did spend on the team was really fun. I met some great people and wish that when I moved in I'd had a Freshers Team because as you may know my first week at uni wasn't a pleasant experience! Read more about that here.

My first day on the team was spent helping new students move into their halls which turned out to be a bit of a mission.  I automatically turned on anyone who lived on the top floor - I'm unfit as it is climbing several flights of stairs with very heavy *ahem* ... pillows is treacherous work I tell you! No but seriously, it was tiring! 

That took up the whole day and then we had a few hours to go home for dinner before meeting up at the halls again for the evening session where we would socialise with the new students in their flats before taking them on to the union to partaaaay!

Unfortunately, yet again I had to drop out of something because I wasn't feeling up to it (and I'd just started my new job, but more about that later!). The days I spent on the Fresher's Team were fun but but they were also tiring and I'm not sure I would have managed to go out ten days in a row! Despite this I did manage to go out a couple of nights with my flatmates, and these nights were also mixed experiences.

In first year I really enjoyed going out to clubs etc, but I think now the novelty has worn off a bit and with old age (one year older) comes a tired Efia who can't keep it going til three in the morning unless the night really is something amazing - and so far they haven't really been up to par.

What about you guys? How was your Fresher's Week? And if this isn't your first year how do you find going out - are you still as interested in it? Let me know!

Ps - I'm sorry for the lack of posts recently but the firsts couple of weeks back have been SO hectic. I have some good posts coming up for you though and will let you know what I've been up to as soon as I get a minute to catch my breath! Thanks for your patience and I really do appreciate every follower, every comment and every post read!


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Childhood Memories - Song Tag

So I was listening to some cheesy songs earlier which reminded me of my teenage years so thought it would be fun to do a childhood songs tag. And by childhood I just mean early teenage years or if you're older early twenties and so on and so on!

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Next Stop Is... Aberdeen: Home Sweet Home

Window view
View out of the living room window... scenic.

So finally back in Aberdeen, it's been such a busy week so sorry for the lack of posts! Once I start getting into a routine again things will be more regular - I promise. 

I was a bit dubious about moving into my new flat as I'd never actually managed to view it beforehand (my flatmates had assured me it was beautiful), the girls I was moving in with I didn't know all that well and one of them I hadn't even met face to face. The flat is lovely though minus the fact we are stingy students who never have the heating on despite the near Arctic temperatures, and my increasingly uncomfortable mattress. 

While you can replace a mattress, you can't replace your flatmates, at the moment we all get on really well although the three of us are quite different:

Anna is the blonde bubbly girl who'll do anything for anyone.

 Lauren is the loud, Irish red head who is a workaholic by day and party girl by night.

 And finally, Becca who is the white girl with a bum that could give Beyonce's a run for it's money. She takes no nonsense from anyone and is either lounging around in her pyjamas, having manic hysterical laughter episodes or frantically cleaning up everyone else's mess. All in all it works quite well!

In the past week we've all been really busy with work and other things so we haven't hung out all that much but I think we all feel pretty settled in.  I've been really lucky with my flatmates this year as last year I was stuck in halls in an all male flat. Read more about that here

I'll put up some flat photos when I've properly unpacked and yes I've been here over a week and half my stuff is still in suitcases!

What about you guys have you moved back for uni yet? Are you in halls or private flats? And are your flatmates nice or are they the roomies from hell?!


Monday, 17 September 2012

Liebster Award

So after only having my blog for a couple of weeks I am touched to have been nominated for TWO Liebster Blog Awards, one from Selinah at MissFashion1994 and one nomination from Lili at Lili-Rose212. Basically those nominated for the award are up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and the award is a way for them to get a little more exposure!

The Rules

*Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
*They must also answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for them.
*They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
*They must then choose up to 11 bloggers to tag with less than 200 followers.
*These lucky bloggers must be notified.
*There are no tag backs.

11 Things About Me
(1)  Prison Break is my favourite TV series of all time!
(2) I don't like British tea, I would much rather drink a mug of hot water or green/jasmine tea!
(3) As I am writing this my boyfriend is lying next to me snoring loudly and VERY hungover.
(4) I have an irrational fear of mice and being burgled.
(5) I never take my festival wristbands off and have one from 2009.
(6) I love Harry Potter (books and films).
(7) I love watching kids films!
(8) I have a tendency to randomly narrate my life out loud. She ponders her next answer, whilst wondering what her readers will think of her...
(9) I once won a cross country running award, now I get out of breath walking up the stairs!
(10) I have mixed feelings about chicken.
(11) I was born with a hole in my heart. 

Questions From MissFashion1994

(1) Why did you start blogging? - Because I love writing and like the idea of being able to look back on all the things I've done (not everything gets documented on Facebook ya know!) 
(2) What is your favourite fashion magazine? - Hmm, I don't tend to buy them anymore but I guess I'd say if I were to pick one up it would be Look.
(3) Where is your favourite place to shop? - I always find myself drawn to H&M, I like the clothes and think they're great value for money! Although eBay is a close second, it just takes me ages to find what I want and I can't try on the clothes!
(4) Who is your favourite high end designer? Urm... Jimmy Choo? I would love to own a pair of the infamous shoes.
(5) Do you have any piercings or tattoos? - 7 ear piercings and 1 tongue. No tattoos at the moment!
(6) High-street or designer? High street - it's nice to able to afford what you want!
(7) What do you love to read on other blogs? - I love finding new recipes, reading product reviews and general life updates!
(8) Have you ever been to a bloggers meet up/would you want to go? - I have never been to one as I have only recently started blogging, but would be totally up for going to one. Not sure there are many bloggers in Aberdeen though!
(9) Describe your style in no more than five words? - Depends on the day!
(10) Who is your style icon? I don't have one! But I do like Fearne Cotton's outfits, she always looks good!
(11) Long or short hair? - Long for myself but other people can definitely pull off short hair!

Questions From Lili-Rose

(1) What are your three make up essentials? Lipstick, eyeliner and mascara! You can create a really great look with just a few tools!
(2) What made you want to start a blog? see above
(3) You can only pick one for the rest of your life: music, fashion or beauty products. Which one/why? Music definitely, i'm not that shallow! As much as I love looking nice, music is such a big part of my life I couldn't imagine my life without it!
(4) Who is your style icon? see above
(5) If you could choose any super power what would it be? Flying! Although I'd get really lazy and never walk anywhere...
(6) Where in the UK are you based? Scotland, aye!
(7) Early mornings or late evenings? Late evenings definitely, you'd be lucky to get much conversation from me when I've just woken up!
(8) What's your favourite blog post you've written so far? My post about going to uni I think, it was one of the first I wrote and reminds me of when I first started uni! Read it here!
(9) Number one on your wishlist for fall/autumn '12? The new iPad, I need it in my life.
(10) Whats the most memorable place you've visited, abroad or local? Glastonbury 2008, it was just incredible and I've been hooked to festivals ever since.
(11) What advice would you give to someone wanting to start out in the blogging community? Don't get to lost in trying to make it suitable for everyone else it's YOUR blog so don't let yourself be too influenced by others!

I nominate:
(yes theres less than eleven!)

(1) Little Bo Blab
(2) Vanessa Lucy
(4) Rachgrn

My Questions to Them:

(1) What make-up product could you not live without?
(2) What is your favourite meal?
(3) How would you spend £100?
(4) If you had to live in another era which would you choose, and why?
(5) What do you hope to gain from blogging?
(6) What's your favourite book?
(7) If you had one day left to live how would you spend it?
(8) What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
(9) What are you pet peeves?
(10) First song lyrics that come to your head?
(11) Can you do a cartwheel?


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Thrifty Thursday #1: How to Save Money When Eating Out

What's not to love about eating out? No washing up, the chance to try new food, great for social gatherings - It has many perks. However, on a student budget one thing that I don't love is the price. I simply can't justify spending £15 quid on a meal when it's half the price of my WEEKLY food shop. 

Not to worry though there are some great ways to save money when eating out and you lovely readers, are about to get a slice of that money saving action!

One - DONT pay for a drink. Ask for a glass of water which is free and miles better for you than juice or alcohol anyway. Make sure you ask for tap water though as you will still be charged for anything that comes in a bottle!

Two - DO carry out your research. The amount of times I've eaten at Pizza Express because they e-mail me discounts is crazy, maybe disgusting even. Sign up to the mailing lists of your favourite restaurants, check out their websites for any exclusive deals they might have, 'Like' their Facebook, 'Follow' their Twitter - become their number one fan.

Three - DONT forget to leave feedback. I once had a bad experience at Nando's with cold, burnt food and wrote to them about it. A week or so later I received an apologetic letter and a voucher for a full platter for two. When we got to the restaurant they proceeded to give us two free desserts which weren't even included in the voucher! This isn't to say pick on every little detail in order to get freebies but let them know about your experience you never know what you might get out of it, this goes for positive feedback too!

Four - DO take advantage of your group size. Several Asian restaurants (and also a few others) offer set menus for different group sizes. I'm not sure of the exact reasoning behind it, but often buying a set menu deal is significantly cheaper than ordering your own individual portions

Five - DONT order a three course meal the likelihood that you'd eat it all is very slim and there is nothing worse than wasted food, especially when you're eating on a budget.

Six - DO Bring your own booze. If you do enjoy the odd glass of wine with your meals why not go to an unlicensed restaurant where you can take your own? Most restaurants charge a ludicrous amount for a bottle of house wine so it makes sense really to go to somewhere you can take your own. Check out this link for a directory of these restaurants.

So there you have it, those are some of my top tips on how to save money whilst eating out! What are your tips and do you do any of these? Let me know!


The Next Stop Is... Aberdeen: Back to London

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
On arriving in London my initial plan was to get the train back to Sheffield and then go back to Aberdeen a couple of days later. However on finding out how expensive it would be (£50!!) decided this was not the best idea! Fortunately my boyfriend, Taba, was in London for the weekend staying with some friends so he invited me to stay with him.

I was so relieved to see him and be back from my Bestival nightmare so when he came and met me off the tube we just stood hugging in the middle of the street like one of those cheesy couples I’ve always vowed never to be like! On getting back to his friends’ house his sister was there also and she handed me a small glass of champagne as everyone was celebrating her birthday. I was hungry and tired and not really in the mood to celebrate but agreed to go out for dinner with everyone

Dinner was really nice – we went to a grill which considering his sister was a vegetarian was a bit of an odd choice. I had some dish that involved a hunk of beautifully cooked beef, tobacco onion rings and chips twice cooked in beef dripping. Being ill though I could only manage to eat the meat and handed out the rest of my food to anyone on the table who would take it. I ordered a frozen margarita, not realizing the main component of it was my arch nemesis – tequila. The drink was offered to everyone else also.

After dinner everyone was up for going out and getting drunk but after 5 days of sleeping on sofas and tent floors all I wanted to do was curl up in bed. Taba walked me home and stumbled back in, might I add considerably merrier, seven hours later.

The next day everyone was very hungover so I went and met Zoe at London Bridge in the afternoon to pick up a bag I’d left at hers. When I returned back to Taba’s friends house an hour later everyone was still vegetating. By the evening most people had recovered and we went for a drink before meeting up with his mum and sister for dinner at a little Thai restaurant.

 This perked me right up as you just can’t beat a Thai soup! I had Tom Young Goong (A hot and sour soup with prawns) for my starter and a classic green curry for my main. I’m a bit of a green curry fiend so that’s usually what I get when we go for a Thai. It was the first time I’d officially met Taba’s mum but she was lovely and I think we got on really well. When we said our goodbyes she gave me a big hug and told me to take care of him, I will try my best!

When we got back to his friend’s we stayed up talking for a little while then decided to have a nap before going out for more drinks later. We didn’t wake up from the nap until the next day.

Finally, on Sunday, we went for breakfast at a little café called ‘The Duck Egg Café’ and I had a fry up with poached duck eggs. I’d never had them before but wasn’t too impressed with my hard poached egg so will have to try them again before I report back. In the afternoon we said our goodbyes and I got the bus back to Sheffield.

It was a nice surprise seeing Taba before I went back to Aberdeen as neither of us thought it was going to happen. After spending the whole summer together it’s going to be weird being back in Aberdeen without him but we’ll just see how it goes.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Next Stop Is... Aberdeen: Bestival Blues

Photo from Bestival website!

My Time At Bestival

So as you know last week I went off to the Isle of Wight to volunteer with Oxfam as a steward at Bestival and the plan was to go home to Aberdeen the following week. Although I left before the festival was in full swing I did manage to complete one of my shifts, see a few acts and spent three nights on site. This is just a little bit of information about the time I did spend there, if you’re interested in going to Bestival or working for Oxfam in the future, based on my very short lived experience.

The Journey

First up the journey to Bestival depending on where your coming from is somewhat of a small mission. I was going from Sheffield and stopped over in London first then got a tube, train, ferry, taxi AND walked some of the way too. If you share a taxi, as we did, with other festivalgoers it works out a bit cheaper and so does booking all your train tickets in advance.

Me and Kiva were pretty merry at this point!
During the journey down I was very hungover due to some heavy drinking with my friend Kiva and Zoe and her boyfriend the night before so the first part of the journey is somewhat of a sick-y blur. Although I would say finding your way there is relatively easy if you have a vague idea of where you’re going beforehand.

The Training

As I hadn’t managed to make any of the training sessions before the festival (and it is compulsory for every Oxfam steward to be trained) I attended on site training. This lasted three hours and covered keeping yourself and others around you safe and emergency procedures. Although there were some interesting things covered I found that it dragged on a little and towards the end, especially as I hadn’t eaten properly since lunchtime the day before, my concentration was pretty much gone. On the up side you only need to be trained once every three years!

The People

Everyone at Oxfam and also the rest of the festival staff were incredibly friendly and I can’t stress that enough. On the way to the festival we shared a taxi with three other people who were heading to the site for training also. One girl in particular named Aija, who went to the festival on her own, was lovely and we spent a lot of time together and hope to meet up in London some time soon!

The Work Itself

So if you work for Oxfam at a festival you are expected to do three shifts one of which is a night shift. To make sure you turn up you also have to put down a £195 deposit. You should note – the deposit won’t be returned if you miss shifts or go AWOL. In exchange for your work you get free entry to the festival, free showers, free tea and coffee, semi secure camping, priority spaces for working at other festivals and three meal tickets to be used at the onsite caterer.

Before I went I had no idea what the role of a steward really involved and it varies depending on where exactly you’re working. For my role, basically, I just had to answer a lot of questions as to where things were, how to get there and just general advice. This is where festival knowledge comes in extremely handy. When I started my shift I had literally no idea where anything was, but by the end of it I knew the site like the back of my hand.

Working at a festival is a completely different experience from just attending one I can’t emphasize this enough. If you are just working at a festival because you think ‘Ooh free ticket!’ you will be in for a bit of a shock. If you do go and work at a festival, for any company not just Oxfam, it is just not worth it if there is an act you are dying to see. Chances are you might be working at the same time as your favourite act and that’s probably worse than not going to the festival at all!

Bestival is the second festival I have worked at and to be honest I can’t see myself doing it again. This is nothing to do with Oxfam or Bestival it is just my personal preference. I want the freedom to go anywhere and see anyone. If you’ve just been working an eight-hour shift, unless you’re on some really good drugs or a ton of coffee, all you want to do is go back to bed and that’s not what festivals are about for me.

See, Zoe wasn't amused...

Unfortunately I had contracted some illness from my boyfriend just days before I headed off to Bestival and it decided to kick in on my first night. By Friday I just couldn’t take anymore I needed a real bed, a real sleep and some proper meals.

I had been in two minds since I got there but speaking to some friends back home, especially my great friend, almost sister – Charlotte who told me to stop being silly and just come home, made me certain of what I had to do. And I’m glad she did because I was just miserable.

On the Friday morning I spoke to a deputy manager from Oxfam and he was absolutely lovely and arranged for my Zoe and I to be driven to the main entrance after lunch – and if you’ve been to Bestival before you will know how grateful I was for this lift as the main site is miles from the actual entrance!

On the ferry back to London, I have to be honest, I felt so happy and glad to be leaving. I’m usually a festival maniac but for whatever reasons I really wasn’t feeling it at Bestival.

Anyway that’s a basic summary of my time there and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Here are some of mine for you: How do you feel working at a festival compares with attending it? And have you been to Bestival before? What did you think?


Sunday, 9 September 2012

QOTW: This Too Shall Pass

Earlier this year I went to Bestival, a festival set on a picturesque island called The Isle of Wight. 

While I was there among many lovely people I met, one that stood out the most was this lovely Spanish guy called Lemon. Yup, Lemon. Lemon (definitely his real name) had had the misfortune of losing all his stuff just before arriving at the festival. I am talking serious loss here - phone, passport, wallet and a notebook with all his poems. If that was me I'd probably still be crying. To add insult to injury he was due to leave the country and now had no ID and no money. 

I asked him how he was coping and how come he was so upbeat and he just smiled and said 'This too shall pass.' When he first lost all his things he was devastated (rightly so!), but he remembered all the things he still had. 

Things that couldn’t be lost like friends, families and memories. The value of these were far greater than what he had lost so he knew in time he'd get over the material possessions. I thought that was really beautiful and honestly, it inspired me.

I’ve made this my quote of the week as next time I'm in an unfortunate predicament or something goes wrong I'd like to just be able to remember this and carry on. Sometimes life just isn’t that easy, but I’d like to think that this will inspire me to reduce my breakdown period, even if only by a few moments. It also made me remember which things are truly important in life even though we put so much emphasis on things that aren’t.

What about you guys - what gets you through hard times and what are your favourite inspirational/motivational quotes?


Saturday, 1 September 2012

London Calling, Bestival and Finally Going Home.

london calling
Tomorrow I'm off to London for a couple of days to see some family and my friend Kiva from uni who I haven't seen for months! We'll probably go out for a few drinks but nothing too hectic as I have to leave early the next morning!

After a couple of days I'll be going on to the Isle of Wight with my friend Zoe for the last music festival of the season - Bestival. 

Because we're volunteering as stewards with Oxfam we have to be onsite two days early, which I'm really not looking forward to as camping isn't my favourite activity at the best of times! Though the festival itself though looks like it could be incredible and the legend that is Stevie Wonder is headlining on Sunday.
Bestival programme
Here's more of the acts I want to see!
This is the first music festival I'll be staying at for a whole week so again with the camping thing I'm a bit dubious but fingers crossed it'll be amazing and you know what they say about time when you're having fun! Bestival is known for it's fancy dress themed Saturday (this year the theme is wildlife), but a lot of people choose to dress up the whole weekend. 

This year I'm a bit behind on preparation but Zoe and I are hoping to go as unicorns, which aren't really wildlife but hey it would look awesome - I can see it now - loads of glitter and cute cone headbands!

After I get back from Bestival I have a one day rest then I'm heading back up to Aberdeen before university starts. This year I'm on the Fresher's Team too which is basically just a group of uni volunteers who help new students out by helping them move in and going to Fresher's events and nights out together. All in all I have a busy few weeks coming up so probably won't get to post much but don't worry I'll be back with loads of updates an plenty of Bestival photos!

What about you guys have you been to many festivals this year? Did you have a good time and what acts did you see? Anyone thinking about Glastonbury next year? I know I am!

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