Favourite things: September

When I think about the fact that I wrote my last favourites post sitting on a balcony in Greece in 35°  heat whilst inhaling pita bread, it completely blows my mind. And it kind of makes me want to cry because as I write this one, I'm watching the heavens open over London from the comfy familiarity of my university library. I guess it's finally time to accept that summer is over and that reality does in fact still exist. 

However, even though September had the potential to be utterly soul destroying, it turned out to be not too shabby. Granted, I wasn't going to the beach every day and the olive oil back in England is very sub par. But I'm liking the fact that I'm back into my routines again. We all know that I love a good routine! It's nice to be heading off to lectures with a travel mug of tea in my hand. It's nice to be cooking for myself again. It's nice to be back with my girls. 

Yep, I'm feeling very content.

How I learnt what 'self-care' really is

If you've been around these parts for a while, you've probably realised that I'm pretty preachy when it comes to self-love. Thanks to growing up in the corner of the internet full of videos about body acceptance and tweets that tear patriarchal bullshit to shreds, I've become relatively immune to self-hatred in all of its many forms. Don't get me wrong, it's been a process. And I still look at the back of my thighs from time to time and wonder why I'm not BeyoncĂ©. Mostly though, I like to think I'm pretty spicy.

Today though, I want to talk about self-care. I guess I've kind of used the two terms interchangeably in the past because they're so interwoven in the way that we speak about confidence. Loving yourself is a form of self-care. Self-care is a result of self-love. You get the idea.

Tips for using your menstrual cup

They say that when you find the one, you just know. Granted, "they" are usually talking about the significant other that you're going to marry and start a family with, but I for one think that the same can be said of sanitary products.

Five months ago I started using the Mooncup and fell absolutely head over heels in love, as you may remember. I loved the fact that every time I used it I was doing good for the planet (yay for not going through the equivalent of 4 plastic bags with every sanitary towel) and I loved that I was doing good for my body too (yay for not polluting my vagina with the chemical cocktail found in conventional tampons and pads)! And want to hear something crazy? I don't even dread my period anymore. I mean, the cramps aren't that great, but the actual blood part is a piece of cake.

Now that I've gone through a fair few cycles with this bad boy by my side, I feel a lot more qualified to give you some advice on how to make your period as much of a breeze as possible with the help of a menstrual cup. Whether you've been converted and are already a worshipper of this majestic silicone creation or you're completely new to these parts, here's what I've learned over the past few months.

My Autumn essentials

Recently, I've been trying to fall in love with Autumn. Partly because I don't want to feel mildly grumpy for a quarter of the year, and partly because am I even really a blogger if I don't take a picture of my pumpkin spice latte?

So far, I think I've learnt to not detest it. I even wrote a post about why autumn ain't so bad and I kind of enjoyed the fact that I got to layer up a leather jacket and a cardi yesterday. Granted, after about 30 seconds of walking I was sweating my highlight off but, hey, you win some you lose some. I also decided to stock up on some "autumn essentials" over the past few weeks in attempts to make me a little bit more buzzed about harvest disappearing into the distance along with my tan. And I can confirm that when you've got shimmery burnt orange eyeshadow on your lids, it definitely makes the process a little bit easier. Perhaps because I don't want to cry it off.

A mustard faux leather jacket 

I actually bought this jacket right back at the beginning of summer (after I had very quickly forgotten what a student loan was). Aside from wearing the beauty to pick my boyfriend up from late shifts, it's pretty much stayed in my wardrobe since I first took it home because, well, bikinis don't usually require a biker jacket as an accessory. But now is its time to shine. I'm going to pair this baby with jeans, skirts, leggings whilst I'm on the way to gym. Basically, don't expect to see me outside of it for the next five months.

A university room tour

The day that I moved into my university accommodation, I knew that Second Year was going to slay. I have floor to ceiling windows and white walls (aka the blogger dream), plus I'm living with some of the most kickass girls that I know. It's all looking pretty damn peachy. Especially compared to last year which consisted of a bright blue feature wall, a bed that had been slept in by at least 20 different people over the years and one very noisy flatmate. Granted, I am paying an arm and a leg for the comparative luxury - all of my fellow London based students will feel that in their souls - but it's worth it for the good vibes it's feeding me. Isn't it crazy how much your environment can change your perspective?

Being a homebody at university

Okay, confession time: I hated Fresher's Week. Maybe 'hate' is a strong word, but I definitely didn't enjoy it. We all know that I'm a total homebody/would rather sit in my room with a cup of tea and a handful of new blog posts than go to a club with people I don't know, so I guess we could say that it just wasn't really my scene. Add in the fact that I got pretty homesick pretty quickly and you can imagine that my first experience of university life was relatively sub-par.

But I actually bloody love it these days. I just willingly completed my enrollment for second year with no kicking and screaming, so there's hope for us all. In case you're not a stereotypical 'oi oi lads, who wants to come for pres?" kind of student, this one is for you. I imagined that I was writing this list for little Fresher Beth whilst she was sat in her room getting ready for a night out and simultaneously assessing her possible excuses.

If you and Fresher Beth are on a similar wavelength, here's a PSA: University gets better. It's not all about nights out and drinking until you vom. You're going to find your people. You're going to love it. And here's why.

10 productive things to do when you can't function

The past few days have been a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, I've been all "Hello London, it's good to be back and see your beautiful lil face" whilst I fill my new uni room with all of the rose gold. On the other, getting back into the swing of independent living after almost 4 months of home-cooked dinners and having my boyfriend 5 minutes away has been a tad tricky.

I feel like all of my abilities to be a functioning human kind of wandered off throughout the summer, leaving me wondering what the hell I'm going to have for dinner and what exactly it is that I'm supposed to do with the next 24 hours of my life. Even though I know I'll get back into it soon enough, it's all just a bit up in the air at the moment. I feel like I have a billion and one things to do and all of the time in the world to do it, yet I just can't tick any of it off!

But it's me we're talking about here, guys. I can't spend my day doing absolutely nada except watching my planner slowly rot. I had to sit myself down and write a list of simple tasks that I know I can get done to make myself feel a smidge better about my productivity levels.

15 reasons that Autumn ain't so bad

In many respects, I'm a stereotypical lifestyle blogger (I have an Instagram theme, I own cacti, I bought peonies throughout the whole of summer). But, if there's one thing that I can safely say I don't share with 90% of the bloggersphere, it's the love of autumn. I'm sorry, okay? I feel like I'll probably alienate most of my audience by admitting that I tried a pumpkin spice latte last year and it wasn't even all that. Personally, I would much rather be on a beach with an iced tea and a book, instead of trudging through rainy London with soggy leaves stuck to my boots.

But hey, me wishing it would stay summer forever isn't going to stop the universe doing its thang. So, in an attempt to console myself, I decided to make a list of the reasons that autumn isn't quite as bad as I sometimes convince myself it is.

How to not be a broke student

These tips are not going to turn you into a millionaire student who can buy those giant bottles of vodka at clubs and get a Deliveroo every night. Meal planning and freezing your milk isn't going to turn you into Richard Branson, alright? Think more along the lines of not having to eat pot noodles on a regular basis/not needing to beg your mother to send you money because your student loan mysteriously vanished during Fresher's week.

I wasn't malnourished by the end of First Year and I even had some savings that I didn't spend on ASOS, so I consider myself to be nicely qualified to give you some money saving tips now that you're in control of your rent and weekly shop. Hopefully, they'll stop you from crying mid-term because you don't know how in God's name you're going to pay your overdraft.

10 Not-so-sexy facts about me

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling like the antithesis of a Girl Boss. My hair was kind of (majorly) greasy, I had more chips than polish on my nails and finding the motivation to blog was pretty much a myth. By 9:30am I was already on the verge of curling up into a blanket burrito and eating copious amounts of those spicy Walker's Mixup crisp whilst wallowing in self-pity. I think we can all quietly agree that it was not my finest moment.

But would you have known any of this via my Instagram page or blog? Would you have envisioned me in all of my greasy glory? Hell to the no. As far as all of you social media butterflies were aware, I was probably off slaying the day with a Lush face mask, a cup of coffee and relatively decent eyebrows whilst repeating motivational quotes in my head. When in actual fact, scrolling through any social media pages made me want to scream "She's already making a post-run smoothie bowl and I can't even leave my duvet without going into mourning? Why am I such a troll?"

Hence, this post was born. Sometimes it's good to break the colour coordinated perfectness and show the not-so-sexy side of your life. I don't want to be the reason that someone wonders why they're such a troll.

Girl Love #5

A few days ago, I woke up to a very rainy Greece. Not just drizzle, either. I'm talking full on thunder, lightning and the weather basically laughing in my face like "Ha. You thought you were going to go to the beach!" I'm pretty sure the swift change in climate was the universe attempting to prepare me for my return to England, but it was hard to be grateful when all I wanted to do was go for a swim.

Long story short, we were housebound for the whole day. I'd already done a Netflix binge this week (seriously, can we talk about Stranger Things?!), so I wasn't really feeling that. But since I didn't want to be a grump on one of my final days there, I decided to use my free time to visit some of my current favourite corners of the internet that always leave me feeling sparkly and inspired. The whole escapade prompted me to pick up this little series again, where I share with you some of the ladies that I think are currently killing it.

7 things that Greece do better

As you read this, I'm on my way back to England, probably crying into my crappy plane food.

I can't believe it's been a whole month since I touched down here in Greece. Universe, if you're listening, I would really appreciate if you could do something crazy and turn back time, because I'm totally not ready to leave yet! I have so many more gyros to eat, so many more beaches to visit and so many more books to get through without the constant distractions of uni and city life! 

Our last week here in Greece was spent tying off loose ends. We went for second visits to all of the places that we adored the first time around and we took journeys to say goodbye to the people that have been so lovely to us throughout our trip.  So, I don't really have many new anecdotes or pretty photographs to share with you. But my blogger brain would not allow me to fail in finishing this series. Naturally, that means a list post is on the cards. 

Now, don't get me wrong here, England does some things pretty fantastically (tea, rain, economies), but Greece definitely has its perks too. And lots of them. 

7 people you will meet at uni

Going to university is like being thrown into the deep end of humanity. You ain't in your small town secondary school anymore, my friend. This is one of those few times in your life that you will be regularly astounded by the density of life around you. I mean, granted, a large percentage of that life won't shut up about their gap year or take pleasure in singing university pride songs outside of your window at 2am. But still, it's nice to see what the world has to offer.

You're going to meet a lot of people during Fresher's Week. Most of them will pass by you in a blur of vodka and "fun facts". Some will be the reason you cry when your first insanely long university summer comes around. You're going to learn a lot about people (e.g. that some are absolute twats who have no regard for kitchen hygiene), so to save you some of the overwhelm, here's a little heads-up about who you're going to meet.

Some tips from the worst Fresher ever

To get this blog post rolling, I need you to imagine the epitome of a 'Fresher'. Really go for it. They could have a bottle of vodka in their hand or be dressed as a smurf or be leaving dishes on the side for just long enough that they start to grow their own eco system. Personally, I like to imagine my Fresher as one of those girls that enthusiastically chants the university pride song after being at the aforementioned university for a total of six hours, but you do you.

Now that you have that image in mind, you need to know that I'm not that person. Man, I would love to be a girl that says things like "just talk to everyone you meet" and "Tesco sell instant noodles for, like, 8p!" but that is just not the case. I am possibly the worst Fresher in the whole history of Freshers. During my first week of university I never surpassed tipsy, let alone threw up, and for most of the time I would rather have been snuggled in bed crying into a cup of tea about how much I missed my dogs. So, am I the right person to be giving Fresher's advice? Maybe bloody not, but I'm doing it anyway.

My holiday skin-care regime

When you take a makeup-free Instagram story and think “damn girl, your skin is glowing”, you know it’s time to write a blog post. If that kind of self-lovin’ lexicon falls out of your mouth before you can even think about it, I figure you’re doing something right and should share it with the world. 

I know, I know, I know. I only wrote about my summer skincare regime in June. But I like spending insane amounts of money so that I can have new things whilst on holiday, okay? It’s a problem. There’s just something so glorious about jetting off to another country and having a new cleanser to match your “hello world, I’m a re-born woman” attitude. To be fair, none of these products broke the bank. They’re probably collectively a lot kinder on my student loan than when I have to stock up on my usual Lush buys. Plus, they’ve kept my routine super simple so that I don’t have to spend hours toning before I put on my bikini and get down to the beach. I consider that a win. 

Favourite things: August

This favourite's post was a deceptive little bugger to write. Considering all of my recent adventures and the millions of things that I've fallen in love with throughout august, I thought I'd have it scheduled and be on my way to the beach within the hour. Yet here I am, in the same position I was this morning, compiling something that can loosely be defined as a "list" which suggests I've had the crappiest month of my life.

The problem is that the last 30 days have been too bloody wonderful. My favourite for the whole of August is, well, the whole of August. Narrowing down every second of this month into a post of individual items and experiences has proven a very difficult task. I also had to give up on the idea of a cute flatlay that encapsulated my favourite things because it's pretty impossible to put a sunset onto a sheet of white card. So, here's a picture of our toes instead.

Week three in Greece: Lazy days

If I close my eyes for long enough, will the fact that I head back to England in a week disappear? Because, honestly, I'm not sure I'll be able to survive without a constant supply of feta, 30° heat and posting braggy leg selfies with captions about how hard my Monday was. I've got so used to the whole "I'll just wake up at 11 and see where the day takes me" attitude that going back to uni may very well be the death of me. Oh well, at least I shall have a tan once I'm laid to rest.

So, yeah, week three shall forever be known as the week that Beth finally got a tan and stopped looking like she resided in some kind of gothic castle. I was starting to think that the day would never come, but lo and behold, I'm actually pretty brown now. I mean, I'm not as brown as my annoyingly Mediterranean boyfriend, but I'm getting there. It's all mainly thanks to the fact the last seven days were spent doing three activities: cocktails, pool, beach. And pretty much nothing else.

15 things to be happy about in September

I feel like it's pretty easy to get into a slump in September. Like, "goodbye sunshine and hello a seriously increased workload. Maybe I should just curl up into a blanket burrito and cry into my hot chocolate whilst watching Ru Paul's Drage Race right now because life is not looking peachy." Trust me, after having such an absolute babe of a month, the thought of September is not an exciting prospect for me either. And I'm not even one of those people that loves Autumn (soggy leaves stuck to my shoes and a slowly diminishing tan? No thanks.) so I can't say that pumpkin spice lattes are exactly a saving grace to the fact that summer is officially ending.

However, I'm determined. I'm absolutely bloody certain that September is going to be my bitch. I'm going to go back to uni, slay my lectures, stay hydrated and keep my little corner of the internet glowing. You just watch me. Yes, the sun may be disappearing, but there's still plenty more in this world to smile about.