Positive thoughts to take into November

Jump straight into November, give it a bear hug and know that it's holding so many wonderful opportunities for you. This month, stay curious. Practice the inquisitiveness of a child every single day. Try new food and hate it. Try new food and love it. Change your order at the coffee shop. Walk to work and say "good morning" to the woman at the bus stop on the way. Deviate from the required reading list. Fall in love with the what surrounds you. Simply refuse to be bored in such a vast world.

Favourite things: October

October, how can I summarise you? Too damn cold, that's for sure. But also pretty fantastic. My longing for the sunshine and the fact that I've had to hand in my first few official uni assignments aside, this past month has also been full of wonderful moments. I've finally got into the swing of this uni thing, I've been busy exploring London and this week has given me the opportunity to head back to Kent for some much needed family and boyfriend time. All of October's adventures have definitely caught up with me now though, since I'm currently bed-bound with a cold that doesn't feel like it will be going anywhere soon. Still, totally worth it.

Wishlist: lush deprivation

Since starting uni I think I've put more effort into not spending all of my student loan on Lush products than I have on actually doing my assignments. One minute I'm focusing all of my energies on comparing the London of Doyle to that of Woolf, the next I'm calculating how many The Comforter bubble bars I could buy with 6 month's rent. But I'm staying strong, despite the enticing Autumn additions to their website that I can't help but notice. Still, my need to save money certainly hasn't stopped me dreaming. I've accumulated quite the list of products I'm currently lusting over.

Treating yo' self on a budget

Like most first year uni students, I learnt the importance of budgeting pretty early on. Sure, going out and spending all of your money on alcohol and kebabs in one night is pretty great. Until the next morning when you wake up and realise that you don't actually have any food for the next 6 days and are probably going to have to sell your kidney to provide for yourself. Or even worse, call up your parents begging for a "temporary loan".

Once you've had this realisation I think it's easy to believe that the best of uni is behind you and to spend your evenings thinking about the time before you were rudely awoken to the truths of adult life. You may occasionally cry, "I can't even afford Lush products, is life worth living?" And yes my dear friend, I assure you it is. Being on a budget does not mean that you have to stop treating yourself like a queen.

9 things you never remember to put in your bag but should

A headache cure 

Maybe it’s just me, but I always seem to get headaches when I’m furthest away from any form of pain relief. Like in the middle of a cramped, sweaty tube carriage dreaming about how good two ibuprofen washed down with water would taste. My usual cure of choice is actually Tiger Balm, which I rub on my temples in times of need, because it’s a herbal remedy that works like a charm for me every time.

Exploring London: Finding inspiration and The Wild Food Cafe

I’m frequently reminded of how blessed I am to live in London, a city which 9 year old me decreed I would someday call “home”. For one thing, the transport links are beyond anything I could’ve imagined back in Kent (who knew buses were actually supposed to come on time?). And there’s nothing quite like the high-flying feeling of tapping your Oyster instead of rummaging through your purse to find enough coppers to chuck at an Arriva driver. It also has yet to cease amazing me how one bus ride and a few tube stops can take me from the quaint tea shops of Barnes to central - a creative hub that always leaves me feeling inspired. And Central was where today took me. More specifically, in the direction of Covent Garden and The Wild Food Cafe.

10 quotes that every student needs to remember

I’m a strong believer in the power of quotes. Along with about 98% of Instagram users, I have faith in the their ability to motivate me to actually get stuff done instead of continuing to hunt Instagram for them. I have entire folders on my laptop dedicated to them. I have my room plastered with them. I have them shoved into every nook and cranny of every notebook I own. I’m quite the quote connoisseur. 

And if there’s a time when we all need a little reminder to stay on track (be it with work, money or not slapping your housemate for leaving crumbs on the side again) then it’s at uni.

Four things to make time for every day

Good Food
I don’t know about you, but tasty food can take my day from a shaky 3/10 to a 9/10. Add in good coffee and we have a full house. Flavour is my favourite mood booster which is why I think it’s so important to take the time to prepare yourself something delicious and nourishing every single day. Your body works hard for you on a daily basis; the least you can do is repay it will fuel that tastes good enough to make you dance.

Why dating is better without technology

When me and my boyfriend started seeing eachother, he didn’t have a phone. The manufacturer took way too long getting a replacement to him and he had to sporadically contact me using his brother's phone to arrange when to meet. At the time it felt hideous but looking back I realise it's easily one of the best things that could have happened to us. Now I actually believe that all relationships should start that way - with little to no techno-clad communication for at least two weeks. Because if there's one thing I've realise over my time on this earth, it's that technology has a funny old way of messing things up.

My current favourite Lush products

Lush is beginning to cause me financial difficulties. Ask anyone and they will tell you that I am the most frugal Fresher they know. I refuse to spend more than £20 a week on food (you know, that thing that’s actually essential to life) but I could probably spend triple that in one trip to my local Lush. Bubble bars and lip scrubs are my cocaine. 

If I’m being honest though, I have no regrets about spending a little (or a lot) more on Lush than I would on any other body product ever. Frankly, they’re fantastic. Not only do most of the products tend to last a hell of a lot longer than normal drugstore brands but they’re all natural and smell 100x more amazing. I figure, if a facial cleanser has the ability to make me this happy, then it’s probably worth the money. I’m literally having problems typing this post because I can’t stop sniffing all of the beautiful Lush things I have sat beside me! 

Although I love pretty much everything they sell, I do have some favourites that I gravitate to in Lush. A lot of favourites actually, so buckle up and prepare for a long ol’ post!

4 easy ways to deal with homesickness at uni

Having now been here for 3 weeks, I feel like I’m officially a uni student. Before it was like I was balancing on the edge, somewhere between here and my hometown, liable to run back at any moment to the comfort of what I’ve always known. I now feel fine walking around my flat in garishly patterned PJ bottoms and eating peanut butter by the spoonful and singing whilst I cook. It’s all kind of just become the norm. 

Still, there are times when I feel like home is worlds away and, like every university student, I’ve had some major bouts of homesickness over the past few weeks. The feeling of missing your family/home cooked meals/your guinea pig is pretty hard to deal with to say the least. But it’s something that we all have to go through and I think I’ve found some (almost) fail safe ways to stop me mopping about looking through old photographs. 

Exploring London: Orange Pekoe Tea Shop

If somewhere serves rose petal Prosecco, I’m pretty much sold. Which is how I ended up inside Orange Pekoe, a tea shop in Barnes and one of my new favourite places in the world. I feel like it was made for me. Its tag line - “For the art, the philosophy and the love of tea” - could literally act as the tag line of my life!

Maybe it was fate that I ended up there on one of my destination-less walks with the hopes of finding something new and wonderful, or maybe my lack of direction just happened to have a happy ending this time. Either way, I’m glad that I discovered Orange Pekoe somewhere between seeing a Sainsbury’s Local and a lot of trees. I’m also glad that I picked up one of their cards so that I can actually find my way back again with the help of Google Maps! Because frankly, I have no clue how I got there.