Category Archives: Hannah’s Life

And Final Year Begins…

Hi everyone,

This was the week I went back to university after a chilled few months off. It’s even scarier this time round, as I’ve gone into my final year so I’m already stressed thinking about all my assignments and my dissertation. It’s going to be such a tough year and I’m expecting breakdowns but I’m hoping it will all be worth it when it comes to graduation! I’ve decided to do this post on 5 reasons of how I will make the most of 3rd year and how I can make it a success.

  1. The most important of all is to be organised! I’ve got off to a good start with typing all my lectures notes up straight away and doing my pre-readings so hopefully I can continue this to avoid extra stress. I’m aiming to do things well in advance, which can be difficult in terms of assignments when I feel like I need more lectures to make decisions on topics and concepts to bring in, but I’ll do what I can so I don’t have a load of work in one go.
  2.  Take full advantage of all the help I’m given. Make full use of the library and spend more time in there than I have previous years, ask questions to my lecturers when I’m not sure about something or need some advice, and attend tutorials with them to talk through my ideas. This especially applies to my dissertation, as I’ve now been assigned my tutor and need to arrange a meeting, however I’m still in the stage of not having a topic so I really need to get thinking so I can make a start.
  3. Plan lots of little exciting things to get me through the year! This isn’t hard for me anyway, but I think it’s so important to have things planned that will be fun and make you smile, so it’s not just constant work. You can think ‘I have 2 weeks of full-on work now, but then after I have this to look forward to’. Then have big events to end the year and celebrate getting through it! These things will all help to give me the motivation to work my ass off.
  4. Get ready for my future. It’s easy to just put it to the back of my mind and put it off, but with the high possibility that I will have to do a Masters, or at least some kind of extra training, I really need to do my research and get applying and get ready for the next stage of my life, because I know it’s going to fly by. I also need to get some experience sorted to give me the best chance, and fit this around my uni work.
  5. Try my best to enjoy it. They say university is the best time of your life, and although I never think that when I’m drowning in deadlines, I know I’ll probably end up missing it when I look back in the future. I’ll make sure there’s time to go out and be sociable, take an interest in my lectures, and enjoy the vibe of university life whilst I still can.

So that’s my plan for the next 8 months or so. It’s going to be tough and stressful, but hopefully I can make these things happen and come out with a good grade and feeling super proud of myself. Are any of you in the same position as me? Good luck to you all, and everyone else who has just started another tough year! We just need to remember that we can do this and get through it, and think of that final result.

Lots of love,

blog signature


Find me here: Twitter   Instagram   Bloglovin’

My Trip To Italy

Hi everyone,

So I got back home this week after an amazing adventure travelling around Italy. My friend and I decided to cram 4 cities into one week, so it was a very tiring week but so worth it, and we got to see so much of the country. I thought I’d give you all a little round-up of what I got up to!

Our first stop was Rome. We spent the first afternoon in the Vatican area, and went inside St Peter’s Basilica which was absolutely incredible. It is massive and so beautiful, plus there was a service with singing going on whilst we were inside which just added to the atmosphere, and in a way felt quite magical.

28

Day 2 was all spent in Rome, basically cramming everything in. We started at the Colosseum which was amazing to see, as it’s one of those famous sights that everyone knows and it’s special to see it with your own eyes. I would recommend buying tickets online in advance, as we were told to do this and it meant we could cut out a lot of the queue and get inside quicker. We spent a while walking around and taking photos from different viewpoints. We then went to the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, where you could walk around for ages as it’s such a massive area and there’s so many different ways to go that it’s easy to miss bits. Seeing all the Roman ruins in there was incredible, and there were good views of Rome from the highest points.

69

For the rest of the day, we moved round the other big tourist attractions, starting with the Pantheon, before visiting Piazza Navona, the Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps. I absolutely loved seeing the fountain as it was so beautiful, and we threw our coins in as a tradition. However, the Spanish Steps were a disappointment as we couldn’t actually see them properly due to construction works going on. I’m not sure how much longer this is going on for, so if you’re visiting soon then I would recommend researching into this first!

Day 3, we travelled to Florence. This was a place that neither of us were particularly interested in when we were planning the trip but it seemed a sensible place to make a stop, however we are SO glad we did because we loved it there! It’s such a beautiful city and has such a nice relaxed vibe, which was a contrast to Rome. We spent a lot of time wandering around and taking in the sights. We went up to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you get panoramic views of the city and it was absolutely incredible up there. The photos do not do that view justice!

152

Day 4 included a visit to Pisa. It was only around an hour on the train so we thought it was worth going to see the Leaning Tower and take our touristy photos. It’s funny seeing everyone there doing the different poses for their own photos, and it means you don’t feel so stupid when you do it yourself! In the afternoon we headed back to Florence and went to the Duomo Cathedral which is another stunning building. We climbed over 400 steps to the top of the bell tower and once again got to experience some amazing views of the city.

191

On day 5, we travelled to Venice, which I think was my favourite of all the cities! It’s so beautiful and you can just wander around the narrow streets for hours taking photos because everything is that pretty. We didn’t care that we didn’t know where we were as it was so nice to just walk around and let ourselves and get lost, as it was one of those places where you could do that and be relaxed. Our B&B was out of town so we had to find a bus and work out where we had to get off which was confusing and stressful but we managed to do it and find where we were staying! On day 6, we went to do some more exploring in Venice, saw San Marco and some of the main bridges and also went on a gondola ride! That was something I really wanted to do, and I feel like a trip to Venice would not have been complete without it. We booked through a tourist information place by the train station which I would definitely recommend doing! If you pay for a ride from the many people around the water then you will be paying so much more money, so don’t let yourself be ripped off! They advertise their price as 80 euros, whereas we only paid 28! It was an incredible experience and something that can be ticked off the bucket list.

Day 7 we travelled to Milan and walked round by the shops. We went past all the designer shops that we would never even be able to set foot in haha! We managed to find some more affordable shops that we could actually go inside, and I finally managed to go in Sephora! We don’t have any stores here in the UK so when I realised they had them in Italy, I knew I had to pay a visit. It was actual heaven in there and I could have bought so much, but I managed to restrain myself a little and purchased a lipstick and some make-up remover.

393

 

The next day we headed home after an incredible week. We saw so many amazing sights, ate so much delicious food and had a lot of laughs! It was lovely to be able to see so much of the country in one go, even though it was exhausting but it was so worth it. The trains were so easy to get around on and we were lucky to find some good places to stay on our budget. I’m so happy I got to visit Italy and I would definitely recommend a visit to at least one of these cities! They all were so different so it was good to experience all 4 of them and see what they each had to offer.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip!

Ciao,

blog signature


Find me here: Twitter   Instagram   Bloglovin’

August Update

Hi everyone!

As we go into August, I’m really loving blogging as I actually have enough time to do it properly at the moment with no university work. I’m definitely not the most experienced blogger but it’s something I enjoy doing in my free time. For this reason, I’d love to try and grow my blog a bit further and be more in the blogging community. Therefore, I am now signed up to Bloglovin and The Blogger Programme. The links are below if you’d like to give me a follow! It will be great to find new bloggers to read their posts and see what they think about mine, so I’m excited to get stuck in. I love blogging so I hope people enjoy what I post. It always means so much to me when people read my posts and like/comment!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

          https://www.thebloggerprogramme.com/profile/hankelson/

 

Starting from today, I’m also starting to keep a diary/memory book. I would sometimes keep a diary as a child but now I’m in my twenties, I decided it was a good time to start something a bit different to keep to look back on. So many positive things happen in my life that I will forget about, but I think it is so important to have a record of it all because one day, you’ll look back at it and be glad that you did. It brings back those times that you didn’t want to forget. I think it’s also good to have somewhere to put your feelings down and vent, and that will also be interesting to look back on! It’s different to keeping a diary as a child but I wanted this kind of concept to keep my memories, even the smallest things that have made me smile or feel a certain way, just in a more sophisticated way. Yesterday I purchased this beautiful notebook from Paperchase which will be used for this purpose. It’s hardback and has plenty of pages to keep me going, so perfect for what I wanted!

img_8734

I hope you’re having a great start to your week. And thank you again for taking the time to read my posts, it means a lot!

Lots of love

blog signature

 

What I Got For My Birthday

img_8668

On Monday it was my 20th birthday. I’m no longer a teenager which is pretty scary! I always love reading/watching blogs of what other people got for their birthday because I’m pretty nosey, and I’m pretty sure many other people are the same, so I thought I’d do one myself so you can all have a nose into some of the presents I was lucky enough to receive.

img_8689

The first thing I’m going to share with you is this really pretty bangle that my friend bought me. I’m such a girly girl and I love beautiful jewellery so I’m looking forward to wearing this when I next get dressed up.

img_8690

Next up is this shower speaker (available on Amazon). I love listening to music in the shower, but with mine being a cubicle, having my phone outside of the shower with the water on means I can’t actually hear the music. So this speaker is perfect for what I need. It can stick inside the shower so I can hear the music perfectly, and can change the song, or even answer a phone call.

img_8687

I love this nightdress. I really do love sleep so it sums me up haha! It’s so perfect for warm summer nights where you want to wear something baggy and comfy.

img_8691

I absolutely love cute personalised things because they’re so special and you know a lot of thought has gone into it. So this ‘Friends’ photo frame made me so happy when I opened it. It’s such a beautiful frame and I love what it says on it.

img_8692I never was into the whole Lush craze. Until earlier this year, I’d never bought a product from there in my life. However, when I went into the store one time to buy a present, I ended up trying their Charity Pot and it left my hands so soft that I ended up buying it later that day. I’ve bought a few more things from there since, so thought I’d ask for some more for my birthday. I wish I’d taken a photo before I’d opened it up as the paper the box was originally wrapped in was so pretty. It’s full of fruity-scented products including a bath bomb, bubble bar, body conditioner and soap. I’m looking forward to using them!

img_8697

I’ve been wanting a Fitbit for a while now, so I’m excited to finally have one! I have the Fitbit Alta which I love because it’s smaller and more dainty than a lot of the other styles. I’ve been interested to track my sleep and also to count my steps when I’m at work or other times where I don’t have my phone on me to track it that way (plus a Fitbit is a lot more accurate). And hopefully it will give me more motivation to be more active and go to the gym too!

img_8695

I absolutely love River Island handbags. They’re always so beautiful so I asked for a couple for my birthday. The one on the left is a cross-body bag for a day out, and the one on the right is a large bag for taking away when I have lots of things. A girl can never have too many bags!

img_8698

The last thing I’m going to share with you is this cute hand-painted mug and matching coaster with my initial on.  It’s from a small local shop so it’s good to have something a bit different, plus it’s a good size for a large mug of coffee.

img_8678

In addition to all these gifts, I was also treated to a day in London on Wednesday to watch Wicked. It’s my favourite musical and I’ve previously seen it on the UK tour but I’ve always dreamed of seeing it in London. I was so excited for my mum to see the show too because I’d always go on to her about how good it was and I knew she would love it! It was absolutely incredible and so magical; I had such a lovely day. We even managed to fit in some shopping on Oxford Street and a dinner sat outside in a cute little side street.

So there is a selection of this year’s birthday gifts. I received so many lovely things and I’m so lucky to have such great and generous friends and family. I hope you enjoyed being nosey and having a little peak into what I got.

Happy Friday!

blog signature

Mid-Year Outlook

As we reach half-way through the year, it’s interesting to look back at the year so far. 2016 is absolutely flying by, yet so much has been packed into it. On a global level, there’s been plenty of misery and heartbreak- famous deaths, tragic events and conflict. It’s scary to think of how  much has happened in the world this year when we’re only half-way through it. I know it’s just left people wondering what else could possibly happen, and it’s scary to think about all the negatives so far in 2016.

On a personal level, I’ve done so much work to complete my second year of university. I get my overall mark for the year next week, so that will finalise my penultimate year! It’s crazy that in a few months I’ll be starting my final year and getting ready to complete this part of my life. It’s going to be a long year of my dissertation, final exams and a lot of stress to make sure I get the best possible results I can. I have a few months of summer so I should probably make the most of this. As well as taking chill time and enjoying myself, I need to be sensible and prepare for what’s to come. This includes thinking of dissertation ideas, finding work experience and getting closer to deciding on my future career path. It’s all very scary but that’s how this adult life is!

This month I turn 20 and will no longer be a teenager. I hope to make a good start to my 20s as it’s the start of another exciting chapter. I was speaking to my parents the other week about how your 20s is a time where a lot of things can happen- settling down, finding your career, buying your first home. It’s an important time of my life but I’m hoping it will be fun and I’m looking forward to celebrating and welcoming in this new decade.

For the second half of 2016, there are some things I want to do so I can look back and think of it as a great year of my life:

  • Be organised and prepared to avoid last-minute stresses. Hopefully this will come into play when I start back at university!
  • Keep building up my confidence in all aspects of my life, including in driving (see my previous blog post Confessions of a Girl Who Lacks Confidence)
  • Make every effort on a social level. I think we are all guilty of social laziness sometimes. I can be lazy with my texting and go too long before realising I should catch up with a friend. Text people more regularly and arrange more meet-ups. Also there’s those times you just don’t feel like being sociable and going out but I need to remember that I always enjoy it when I’m out!
  • Go to the gym more! I’m paying for a membership so I really should be making more use of this because I’m not going to get the body I want sat on my sofa watching Netflix
  • And finally… Make the most of every day! 2016 has definitely taught us so far that life is too short and you never know what is around the corner. Have fun, do what you love and spend time with those you love whilst you still can

How are you going to spend the second half of your 2016?

Have a lovely weekend all,

blog signature

 

 

Confessions of a Girl Who Lacks Confidence

So this is probably the most personal blog post I’ve done so far. I’ve always been pretty shy until  you get to know me, then I feel comfortable enough to be myself around you. I don’t like the attention being on me and I’m just an awkward person. I worry a lot too which is never fun. I wanted to talk about some of the feelings I have and what goes on in my head a lot of the time.

One thing that bothers me is my lack of confidence when I’m with a large group of people. It’s fine if I know them all very well, but usually when there is a big group, there are people I’m not particularly close to. I’m one of those people who only feels truly comfortable when I’m with people I know well and can be myself around. This is why I prefer to have a small, close group of friends- that’s like my safety blanket. During my last years of school, our group got pretty big, but I’d stick with my best friends. When I get invited out, I never am keen to go unless I know one of my closest friends will be there too. So I apologise to those who I stick to like glue and don’t leave alone when we go out. I don’t mean to be annoying, I just feel comfortable around you, so take it as a compliment.

I don’t have much belief in what I do. I worry about doing the right things and making the right decisions. I like to check with people before I do things so I know what I’m doing isn’t stupid and I’ve had that reassurance. I’m awful at making decisions most of the time anyway, and use the phrase ‘I don’t mind’ far too often! I know I need to realise that I am capable of doing things, stop worrying so much and hold my head up and act confident and be decisive because I should have belief in my own abilities and decisions.

One aspect of my life which is impacted by my constant worry is driving. I passed my driving test at the start of last year, but to this day it still terrifies me. I wish more than anything I was one of those who enjoyed driving but instead I’ve always tried to avoid it as much as I can, which is completely the wrong thing to do. I don’t know what it is, I think it’s just the fear knowing how dangerous it can be and thinking that I’m not good enough to deal with any situation on the road. Once I’m driving it’s usually absolutely fine, it’s just the initial thought and I get myself worked up. But I’m getting better. I’m making myself do it more recently and I’m looking to buy my own car which should encourage me to drive more and keep gaining confidence. It probably sounds silly, but it’s all just part of my lack of confidence, and trust me, it frustrates me a lot!

It’s not fun being an awkward person who worries a lot and has no confidence in themself. But that’s the way I am and hopefully one day I’ll be able to accept that more and fight the doubts in my head. I do my best to act more confident than I feel inside so hopefully it works, but this is me being honest. If you sympathise with me, then we’re in this together!

Best wishes,

blog signature

 

A Holiday Getaway

IMG_8242

So my second year of unviersity is over! It’s the most incredible feeling having all of that stress over for a while now and having more time to chill and do things a lot more exciting than revision and assignments. Although it is pretty terrifying that when I go back I will be in my final year! It was the perfect end to all the stress to get away for a week with my family for a holiday in Devon.

We had a little cottage in the middle of nowhere and it was so beautiful and relaxing there. The whole vibe of the holiday was just so chilled which was exactly what we all needed after a busy and stressful couple of months. We just woke up when we woke up, went out when we were ready and relaxed in the evening without worrying about waking up early in the morning- bliss! We went on coastal walks and visited some of the local beaches and towns. We were so lucky with the weather too, which you always hope for when going on holiday in England, because in an area like this, there wouldn’t have been many options if there had been a lot of rain. There was only actually one day where there was any rain, and even then it didn’t last long, so that was a bonus.

This was my dog’s first holiday which was exciting. We presumed that the experience would be confusing for him and it would take him a couple of days to settle in but he absolutely loved it and felt at home straight away. We had a little garden that he loved sitting out in and would even sit at the gate protectively watching everything going on. He was so good and well-behaved and looked so happy, it made my heat melt.

IMG_8266

It’s always prety rubbish coming home and straight back to reality and it was so lovely to get away for a bit and spend some time with my family. It was so nice to see my parents so relaxed too and not stressed over their work. I’m now looking forward to the rest of my summer ahead as I have months off now. I better get making some plans to keep me entertained!

I hope everyone is well and enjoying their weekend.

blog signature

 

A Surprise Trip

Long distance friendships can be tough and it’s horrible not being able to see each other whenever you want to, but that also makes these types of friendships even more special. This is why it was so exciting to go and surprise one of my friends this week by turning up in her town. Myself and my friend Shanna had been planning on surprising Sky for a while, and with us both having the week off and it being her birthday next week, this was the perfect time to do it.

As we were on the train, we filmed a video message explaining that her ‘parcel’ arriving that day was actually us and it was a ‘butterflies in our stomachs’ moment waiting for the video to send with the bad signal and to see her reaction. It was the best feeling seeing how shocked she was and knowing we were putting a big smile on her face. We had the typical cute group hug when we got off the train and it was just so good to see Sky again! I hadn’t seen her since July, and for Shanna it had been almost a year and a half so it was definitely good to be reunited!

We spent the day chilling and taking lots of selfies (standard) and just enjoying the day together. I absolutely love putting a smile on my friends’ faces so being able to do something so special that was a complete surprise was amazing and we all had so much fun. You can talk to each other every day but there is nothing quite like actually seeing each other, and with long distance friendships you really do treasure every moment. Hopefully it won’t be so long next time!

36

blog signature

 

Trips to London

London is one of my favourite places to be and I absolutely love having little trips away there. There’s something about the buzz of being in the big city. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in a quiet town, but I just love the whole London vibe.

Although it seems strange, there’s always one thing that I have a problem with when I go. I spent the day there yesterday with one of my best friends. We originally planned the trip as we had tickets for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions. However, a few days before, we were informed that they had cancelled Thursday’s auditions, yet I’d already booked my travel. Instead of wasting the trip, I still took my coach to just spend the day in the city, yet we had no clue of what we could get up to. London is the capital city and there is always so much to do, however we can never think of anything to do! We’ve done all the touristy bits before and are always hoping that something will come to us and we’ll think of something different to do, but it’s always a challenge to think of anything. This seems impossible in a capital city with so much to do, but maybe it’s the vast choice that actually makes it so difficult to find ideas?!

After meeting for a hot chocolate, we finally decided on a visit to the science museum for something to do, as this is one neither of us had visited since we were young. I’m not a big museum person but we were entertained by all the interactive parts and the games on the screens to play (we’re big kids basically). This managed to fill the day, with a lunch break in the middle. Later in the evening, we stopped off at Gourmet Burger Kitchen for dinner then went to enjoy our night in a cocktail bar in Soho. It was a great venue and had a great atmosphere especially considering it was a Thursday night. It wasn’t a standard cocktail bar and it half felt like a club with the dancefloor, but with much more of a relaxed vibe than a club. They were playing some old school music and songs we hadn’t heard for a long time. It was good to let out hair down a bit especially seeing as I’ve just finished exams.

London was great fun as usual and I hope to be back there soon! It would be good to have a proper night out at the cocktail bar as we really loved it in there. Hopefully next time I go I’ll have more ideas on what I can actually get up to during the day! Has anyone else experienced the same problem when going to London or another big city?

blog signature

Advice To New Dog Owners


Hello bloggers,

Today marks 2 weeks since I brought my puppy Archie home. It’s amazing how quickly we’ve all bonded with him and already it feels like we’ve always had him! It’s a lot to adapt to and getting your first dog really does change your life. Suddenly you have to consider them in every decision you make, your house gets messier and you fall behind on everything else in your life because you have a big new responsibility (plus dogs are very good timewasters!). I thought I’d share some of my experiences so far and give my advice to people who are about to get a puppy, or thinking about it.

1) Buy a trustworthy, informative book. Read it before you get your puppy and keep it on hand to answer any queries you have whilst looking after your puppy. My family bought  ‘The Happy Puppy Handbook’ by Pippa Mattinson & ‘The Complete Owner’s Manual To Cavachon Dogs’ by Elliott Lang, and we all refer back to it when we’re faced with questions such as ‘What’s the best thing to do to stop my puppy jumping up?’. If it’s your first dog, there’s so much you need to get clued up on to do the best job you can, so doing your research and having a book like this to refer to is so useful. It’s also useful to have friends/family to give you advice. If you know people that have dogs, don’t be afraid to ask them advice on things you’re unsure about. They’ve been through the same experience so they’re the best people to ask.

2) Dog-proof your house and garden! Before the arrival of your puppy, you really have to think about any possible dangers to them that you currently have in your house and garden. If you have plants in your garden, find out if there’s any that can be poisonous to dogs and get rid of them, because you don’t want to risk any harm coming to your puppy. Because if yours is anything like mine, they seem to eat everything in sight! Make sure there are no gaps in your fences etc. so there is no way of your dog escaping. My family did a lot of puppy-proofing to prepare for Archie’s arrival, but you can never be aware of everything that you need to change for them. For example, we discovered once Archie came home that he could fit into the gap behind the sofa, and could even climb into the recliner part! As a result, we’ve had to block off these gaps with cushions. Always be aware of what your puppy is doing, because especially when they first come to your house, they will be doing a lot of exploring of their new home.

3) Set a routine ASAP. To help your puppy settle as quickly as possible, keep a routine up so they quickly get used to their new home and what they can expect. Set your meal times and stick to them. We feed Archie around 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 6pm (or when we have our dinner). The same with bedtime. We decided to keep Archie sleeping in my parents room for the first few nights, just while he was settling in, to reduce his levels of discomfort and stress. Then we put him into the spare room where we had decided he was going to sleep. He seems to be well settled in there, as long as we stick to his bedtime so he’s tired enough to want to sleep. We put him to bed when we all go to bed so that he isn’t disturbed and can settle down to sleep without distractions.

4) Prepare for the change and lack of sleep! Getting a dog is a massive change, as I said above. It takes time to adapt to it but it’s so worth it to have your new loving companion. The biggest struggle for us so far has been the lack of sleep. Archie has to be taken outside several times during the night to do his toilet business (toilet training hasn’t been too bad for us so far, but we’ve still had our accidents in the house!). He also has a tendency to wake up about 5:15am so someone needs to get up with him then. We’ve got it fairly sorted in our family though- we all take it in turns to do our bit and to have our sleep.

Some of this may seem obvious to you, but I just wanted to speak from my experiences about what I think every new/potential dog owner should know. It’s very hard work, but so rewarding and I’m in love with Archie!

IMG_5793

blog signature