Favourite Things: January

Obviously January has had it's down sides (actually having to do work, no christmas tree, a distinct lack of Mariah Carey) but it's still been a pretty decent month all in all. Being back at uni has been surprisingly unpainful, and I've actually really enjoyed getting back into the swing of independent life. It's also been a nice chance to focus on me for a bit. Hello to pamper evenings and a serious amount of yoga.

The vast majority of this month's favourite things were wonderfully thoughtful christmas presents. And there are an awful lot of skin care products in this post. You have been warned.

My 5 step routine to happy feet

I feel like you guys are well accustomed to just how much I detest the winter weather. I like wearing skirts and I hate having dry hands, so summer is definitely more my style. Plus, winter always seems to leave my feet more than a little worse for wear. My toes want to be free, not forced into clunky boots and made to walk through that grey sludge that English people call 'snow'.

Then again, I guess trudging through the sub-arctic terrain that is suddenly London does give me the perfect excuse for a pamper night. Who am I kidding? I don't need an excuse for a pamper night! It is super important to look after your tootsies though, and I feel like I've perfected my all-natural foot care routine. After all, flip flop season will be upon us sooner than we think.

Rituals: Showing love to the things I love

I took a plethora of lessons away with me after reading Sophia Amoruso's #GIRLBOSS, but one thing that really suck with me was the quote:

when you treat your possessions as emblems of your hard work, they inherit a meaning that transcends the objects themselves."

Let's form a circle of trust so that I can be frank with you guys: I'm not a tidy person. Yes, my blog photos may make it look like I live in a Pent House in central London with exposed wood flooring and a cleaner, but that is not the case. In reality I live in halls and it takes a serious amount of motivation to do my washing. I'm a tad bit lazy and until very recently I thought I had a hundred more important things to do than clean my makeup brushes or empty all of the 5 month old receipts out of my purse. 

Cooking at uni: Unbelievably easy tomato soup

If there's one recipe that optimises student (lazy) cooking, then this soup is definitely it. It has two ingredients. Two! Granted you can also add seasonings to your heart's desire, but the point stands that this is probably the easiest thing you will ever make in your life. And it's pretty healthy. And it tastes damn good.

This soup is so simple that I considered not writing a post about it. I genuinely questioned whether I could pad out two ingredients and a blender enough to make it worthy of a spot in my blogging schedule! But I just couldn't not share this with all of my fellow students or lazy chefs, who love food but hate the faff. This bad boy is perfect for the tear inducing cold weather that has suddenly hit in the UK, when you want to be spending as little time out of bed as humanly possible.

8 things you definitely shouldn't do on the Tube

Ah, the Tube. I think it's safe to say that most Londoners have a love/hate relationship with it. On the one hand, when we're away from TFL transport links it pretty much feels like we're on Mars. On the other, what's to like about being unavoidably pressed up against someone with BO until the end of Central? Still, there are certain ways to make the lack of oxygen and general hygiene bearable. I'm talking about Underground Etiquette, people. If you don't know it, learn it.

Amazing quotes to aid the winter blues

Every year I question the validity of 'Blue Monday'. Deep down I think we all know that it was an advertisement gimmick to sell holidays and alcohol. I very rarely trust maths as it is (I'm just not that great at it) so to trust something that claims to be the outcome of an equation incorporating the weather and failure of New Year's resolutions would be foolish. But then, all that thinking about possible sadness can make you sad.

Let's be real - January is not the best of months. For one thing it is a time of exceedingly dry hands and also an extreme lack of cheese in comparison to December. So, just in case you are feeling a bit down in the dumps, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite quotes. Some of them get me motivated. Some make me smile. Some just put me at ease. And by posting this on a Tuesday, I'm not really subscribing to the whole 'Blue Monday' thing, right?

The importance of movement

If there's one thing that the past year has taught me, it's that I thrive on movement. If I sit still for too long I get creatively drained and it just ain't pretty. I've learnt the importance of breaking out of my normal spaces - my room, the library, lectures halls - and going to somewhere fresh. So, after spending the last 5 days pretty much exclusively within the same flat, I knew that I definitely needed to get into a new space.

To put things into perspective, I usually have my blog posts scheduled for about the next week at least. This is the first time in a hell of a long time that I will be writing and posting within the same day. I'm not joking when I say that my lack of inspiration to blog scared me a bit. And drastic times call for drastic measures (or as drastic as you can be on a student budget anyway). It may seem illogical, but travelling for 40 minutes to find a nice coffee shop in Portobello Road seemed the only way to save me from my creativity drought.

Beating the back to lecture blues

For me, Christmas lasted until January 11th. Granted, the tree was down and the present giving was over, but I wasn't back at uni. So, I let myself believe that the festivities weren't over. Obviously that all came crumbling abruptly down when I came back to London and realised that "holy crap, I actually have to do work now?" Considering how long I'd been away it kind of just felt like being a fresher again. But without the intense amounts of alcohol and kebabs.

I'm sure we'd all much rather be drinking mulled wine right now, but most of us are officially back getting our grind on. Although it's sad, there are definitely a few ways to stop you feeling quite so traumatised about being back to lectures (and about the lack of cheese and crackers at your disposal).

6 apps that will save you at uni

These apps aren't going to make your pot noodle for you. Nor will they write your dissertation. But they probably will save your ass more than once. They've certainly done so in my case. I've dipped into my personal app stash for this post, picking ones that have helped me endlessly in my university life, from organising my study time to helping me get some serious sleep. 

6 things you should never say to a creative

"But how are you going to support yourself?"

If I had £1 for every single time someone asked me this question...well, I definitely wouldn't have to think about how I plan on supporting myself. Most creatives know exactly how they want to make enough money to survive. I for one, have spent more time than I can quantify planning how I can sharpen my craft and how to transform that into a sustainable income one day. But explaining every step in my plan would be a big waste of my time, considering you probably only asked the question to undermine the creative lifestyle.

6 uses of baking soda that you need to know about

So, since when have 'baking soda' and 'bicarbonate of soda' been the same thing? And why did nobody tell me? Frankly, I had no idea and was left bemused and kind of angry when my local Asda weren't able to provide the goods for what I thought was a genius blog post idea. Even more embarrassing that I got home before realising that maybe these products with surprisingly similar names were actually the same thing. A google search later and I was back in my car again. Wow, I know.

Anyway, let's not dwell on my painful stupidity. As I mentioned in my '6 things 2015 taught me' post, my skin loves natural ingredients. Switching to an all-natural skin care regime has meant that I've had minimal troubles in the face department over the past few months. Unfortunately the only thing that was lacking in my stash was a good face scrub. So, when I found out that you could use baking soda to do the job I was more than a little bit thrilled. It costs 89p for God's sake! Further research led to the discovery that this bad boy can be used for a crap tonne of stuff to keep your body happy. What a revelation.

Stopping this 'insta rich' nonsense

Okay, let's start with some honesty here. I'm 18 years old, studying at university and (unless its the first days of term when my student loan has come in and rent hasn't come out) I'm almost perpetually broke. By that, I mean that I actually have to think about the brand of baked beans I'm buying. And yes, my parents pay for my phone contract.

Thoughts you definitely have whilst doing yoga for the first time

I'm going to be the most bad ass yogi by the end of this 20 minutes.
Oooh a mantra. How very zen. I'm so freaking zen.
Cross legged position. Easy!
Wait. I've forgotten how to breath.

7 uses for your surplus notepads

It's actually kind of embarrassing just how many empty notepads I have sitting on my shelf, begging to be written in. I can't help it. Thinking about the gold gilded pages, faux leather covers and beautifully thick paper is enough to make me weak at the knees (and the wallet). And they're just too damn pretty to throw away!

Either I'm alone in this bordering on psychotic obsession, or there are other people like me out there. Hoping that it's the later (don't tell me if I'm wrong), I thought I would share with you some of the ways that I'm slowly making my way through an extensive collection. Granted, most of them aren't entirely necessary, but necessity will get you nowhere in the notepad stakes.

6 things 2015 taught me

2015 was a big one. It will be forever known as the year of many firsts - I started driving, began my university journey, left home, went on my first holidays without my parents and kicked off life here at Curly and Wordy! I can't say it was easy, but the past 365 days have certainly been rewarding. Plus, I feel like everybody needs a year that slaps them in the face with lessons - and 2015 was definitely that! I can officially say that I know myself better than I ever have. The year ended on a high note, and I'm optimistic about the prospect of 2016, considering everything I've learned over the past 12 months.

How to navigate The Tube 

Living in London changes a girl. Within a matter of weeks you undergo a transformative experience that takes you from someone who actually says "after you", to someone who is extremely skilled at using their elbows as weapons in large crowds. Also, you learn that driving in central is 100% not worth it, meaning that you have to perfect your ability to hop on and off The Tube. 3 months later and I don't even have to use CityMapper anymore! But I might still laugh every time I hear "Cockfosters" mentioned on the tannoy.


2015 was the year of self-love. I learnt that people edit the crap out of their photos, and that I should not compare my selfie to that of someone with a 15k follower count. I witnessed the effect of tiny things, like a lack of sleep or water, on my health, and learnt that I need to focus on finding balance. I learnt a plethora of yoga poses that I practice on a daily basis. Basically, I learnt how to treat my body and mind right.

How to look after my skin 

Hallelujah! I cracked the code! I finally found the perfect skincare regime and discovered that, for me, cutting out chemicals is totally the way to go. So I suppose that really, 2015 was the year that I threw all of my earnings in the direction of Lush.

To allow my own journey to inspire me 

Do you know how much I've improved at this blogging thing in the last 12 months? I'm not claiming to have thousands of hits a day or anything, but damn I inspire myself! This year has allowed me to find my written voice and improve my photography skills. I figure that if I can see progress after just a year, give me 5 more and I'll be killing it.

Life really is too short to do things you don't love 

Earlier this week I put down the book "What Maisie Knew" and just stopped reading it. That's serious progress for me. In the past I would have forced myself to finish it, no matter how long it took and no matter how much I abhorred it. 2015 somehow managed to give me the realisation that I don't have to do anything I don't want to. What's the point in forcing your way through a book, when you could find something that actually inspires you to live a better life?

You have enough time to do everything you actually want to 

Oh remember the days of Sixth Form when I somehow convinced myself that I didn't have enough free time to blog more than once a week? Well look at me now, balancing an English Lit degree which involves reading at least three novels a week, and still posting every other day. I guess this year I realised that I actually want to blog, so I made time.