Patience Pays Off

Tuesday.

I know that I’m not the most patient person in the world. In fact, at times I can be the most impatient person you’ll ever meet. So having a knee injury for almost two months has been hard for me in many ways.

Highlight

I hurt my knee running outdoors for the first time back Continue reading

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Unlucky Friday

I think that yesterday should have been Friday 13th because I had the most random, bad luck!

Friday.

I woke up fairly early in order to get a quick workout at the gym. I did 30 minutes spinning and then 150 sit ups using the Ab Roller. I haven’t pushed myself too hard this week because I’m really hoping that my knee is going to be strong enough to start running again soon.

Later in the afternoon, Gary and I took a shopping trip together. We’ve had it planned for a few weeks as it was payday for Gary, so we waited for that to arrive until we went. It felt like ages since our last proper shop and we both anticipated an eventful trip!

However, sometimes I think that you can look forward to something too much and when it arrives it can be slightly underwhelming. Well yesterday was one of those days anyway.

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To start off with, we originally planned to shop and then afterwards get some dinner while we were out.  But, Gary’s nan has been in hospital the past few days, so we sacrificed the meal so he could try to go and visit her. I think that he was feeling a bit preoccupied with trying to visit her while we were shopping too, so he wasn’t his normal chirpy self. To cut a long story short, we came home early and he didn’t even get the chance to see her Sad smile it was a bit of a bummer.

Then, once home and browsing through my purchases of the day I noticed that something was wrong. 2/3 of the dresses I bought didn’t fit me and need to be returned.

I will explain:

I bought 3 dresses, one from New Look, one from Republic and one from Miss Selfridge, all of which I tried on in the changing rooms. (I always try stuff before I get it.) However, it was just my uncanny luck on the day, that both the dresses I tried in Republic and New Look were slightly damaged. Yet, despite the damages the dresses both fitted me, so I went off and just picked up another size 10 on the rails, thinking “Yep just tried the size on and it fits me.”

Wrong.

I’ve got no idea what happened, but when I got home the dresses that I swapped, completely did not fit me, yet they were size 10’s which was the same size I tried on in the store’s changing rooms. I suppose it goes to show that individual items do have their own size differences.

So basically I’ve got to go and take back half the stuff I bought Sad smile.

Lesson Learnt Today – Try Before Ya’ Buy!

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Behold one of the more successful purchases of the day Winking smile :

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A pair of Melissa flip-flops. I discovered Melissa through my Vivienne Westwood pumps I bought earlier this year.

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The best way to describe Melissa shoes is that they’re like ‘Jelly’ shoes. Remember those shoes you had as a child that have a soft, rubbery texture? Well, I guess I never grew out of my love for ‘Jelly-Shoes.’

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They’re super comfy and they look really girly on Smile. I wanted to get a pair of nice evening sandals that I can wear on holiday for after dinner, and these babies ticked the right boxes.

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At least all of my purchases weren’t a complete disaster!

Fun Fact- I adore cute shoes and shoe boxes at the moment. They make my wardrobe look so lively.

Saturday.

My faith in fate was restored this morning when I learned that I was like £75 richer thanks to eBay. Winking smile

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That certainly put a smile on my face as I headed to work today. Winking smile

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The rest of my bank holiday weekend is shaping up to be pretty uneventful, so I will try and cram in some last minute revision for my last two exams Tuesday and Thursday.

I guess that the only good thing that has come out of my unlucky Friday, is that I now have a good excuse to say that I need to go shopping again Winking smile. What are your bank holiday weekend plans?

Raindrops

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Thursday.

The sunshine didn’t stay very long, as we got some much needed rain today. It was pretty stormy all day, and I spent the majority of it peering out of the window wishing it would go away.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, I went to the gym early this morning and got some jobs done, including a trip to the pet shop for the girls.

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Nothing too exciting – just your everyday Thursday.

However the rainy weather did inspire me to put my Planning-Hat on and start a new project:

On the 1st July my grandparents celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary and they have finally booked a venue to host a family meal. So this has been a popular topic of discussion in the family this week. And I felt the urge to get a little bit creative today.

I’ve decided that I want to help decorate the venue with personalised ‘Happy Anniversary’ posters featuring lots of family pictures on. While I was out, I bought some bits to help aid my creation: a wooden photo-frame and some ‘Happy Anniversary’ card confetti.

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I thought that this was a nice idea to go with the posters as it could be placed at the head of the table for display. I decorated the inside of the frame with confetti then added a picture I found. And voila we have one decoration ready so far Open-mouthed smile

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Afterwards I sorted through loads of recent family pictures and created an album on the laptop of all the pictures I would like to print out to use on some posters.

The next step, is to sneakily search on my granddads laptops to see if he keeps any old copies of their pictures, including their wedding photographs. I think it would be great to have a few images from their wedding scattered somewhere.

So if I’m successful in doing that my next step will be to print the pictures out Smile

I’m getting excited for their anniversary now and to pull this project off ! Bring on the festivities!

I will keep updating on this projects in some future posts Smile. What things are you looking forward to in the upcoming weeks?

New Hair And New Running Shoes.

Tuesday.

I had a fairly busy morning today. Firstly I had a doctors appointment at 9.30. I got to the doctors at 9.20 as I like to be early, but I didn’t get seen till 10 Disappointed smile.

Fail.

Lesson learnt today – don’t get to the doctors early.

Never mind. My appointment was super quick thankfully and I was in and out of the doctors office within 5 minutes.

Then after, I went to my dad’s shop to get my hair done.

Before.

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After.

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The length is the same but the colour is just a bit more of a yellow blonde. So far, so good! I like it!

This afternoon, my dad and I took a MUCH needed trip to Sweatshop, which is a specialised running shop. And the best news of today is that I finally made the decision to buy new running shoes!

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I got properly fitted with a pair of running shoes by jogging on a treadmill whilst being recorded on camera. I would definitely recommend doing this and I wish I would have done this sooner!

The recording of me on the treadmill captured the way I run and I got to watch it afterwards. It highlighted that, on my right foot I land straight, however, on my left foot I have a tendency to land at an angle.

Surprise, surprise I get all my knee pain in my left knee!

The man in the shop then referred me to a selection of running shoes that are suited to my running style with cushioning.

I narrowed the choice down to a pair of Nike LunarElite +2:

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Official description:

The LunarElite+ 2 improves upon the first LunarElite with a strategic new Flywire configuration and reduced weight. Ideal for runners with a neutral to moderately over-pronated gait the dynamic support system responds to your individual stride providing just the right level of stability and cushioning.

(Source.)

Basically they felt really light on my feet and as though they will give me better support than my old shoes (fingers crossed.) I already feel more comfortable wearing them, even just when I walk. Landing seems more effortless, and when I compare them to my old trainers I think I can now see why:

Example

See the arch in my old ones? I wonder if this was causing problems for me. My new ones don’t have an arch in them so only time will tell how these bad boys will turn out Smile!

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I sort of fell in love with the colour of them too Winking smile

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Not only was I impressed with the capturing how you run by the treadmill, I was also wowed by the great variety of sports clothes the shop had to offer too!

I really like wearing Nike dri-fit as the material absorbs sweat well and is generally comfortable to wear when exercising. However, most sports shops I look in don’t have a good variety of Nike sportswear, even the Nike shop isn’t greatly stocked Confused smile.

But the shop today had loads on offer! I bought this to wear in partner with the new running shoes:

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Clearly I was in a very purple mood today.

I can’t wait to try out my new stuff tomorrow morning at the gym! Smile

A Quiet Weekend

Hello! I enjoyed a nice quiet weekend of doing nothing Smile.

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The weather could have been nicer though, it was fairly grey, dark and chilly for the most part of the weekend. I much prefer the sun!

Saturday.

I went to work to do a 9-5 but got let home an hour and a half early which was pretty good!

In the evening the parents watched The King’s Speech, but I didn’t really fancy it, and the boyfriend only likes comedy films so definitely didn’t fancy it, so we ended up just relaxing .

Oh and trying out my new nail polish,

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(Shame about the dodgy nails but I am in the process of growing them still!)

I have a thing for nail polish at the moment!

Sunday.

This was a fairly rare Sunday because Gary was off from work and we got to spend the day together Smile.

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We enjoyed breakfast in bed: some toast for Gary and weetabix for me.

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Traditional weetabix and a banana for me.

Then after lunch we headed out for a short walk in the woods.

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We all dressed up warmly with scarfs and jackets but Gary was happy in his shorts and t-shirt! He begrudgingly wore his jacket for me Smile with tongue out

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Where has the sun gone this weekend? Sad smile

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Nice relaxed walks are the perfect form of exercise to do over the weekend Smile. Minimal effort is required but you’re still benefitting as its a form of activity.

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We also came across a small herd of wild cows!

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Thankfully they were more scared of us than we were scared of them Winking smile as they soon ran away when we approached them.

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We walked up to the mausoleum and then walked back.

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It has a big metal fence around it because over the past it suffered from vandalism.

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Its spoiled a lot by the ugly fencing.

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Its difficult to appreciate how grand it is with a huge fence surrounding it.

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Nature spotting on the walk back by my Grandpops.

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After our gentle bit of exercise over the weekend I’m ready to hit the gym for a more challenging set of workouts this week. Don’t get me wrong, walking is really good because it gives your body a rest from working hard, plus its gets you outdoors. But there’s just something about the feeling after running that I’m hooked on lately, I can’t wait to get some new running shoes this week so I can try and get back in the game as soon as possible.

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In addition to going walking this weekend, I have also been using the dumbbells at home to work on my love handle issue. I’m unhappy with my hips at the moment, they don’t feel very firm and toned so I really want to sort this out before I’m parading around in a bikini on holiday! Less than 2 months to go now! Open-mouthed smile 

Diet.com1 (Source.)

My inspiration comes from a video I watched (link found above,) in preparation for last years holiday, and it really helped so I need to start using this Love Handle Eraser move regularly to hopefully see results Smile.

Speaking of holiday, I also made a nice profit on eBay! I got more money than I imagined I would, making over £70 on a few bits and bobs which means more money for holiday clothes! I am so keen to go holiday shopping with the boyfriend in a couple of weeks, although I may be getting a taster shop this week because I don’t have enough patience to wait properly…

Sales

Yipee!

What exercise are you most likely to do at the weekends?

Picnic In The Park

Friday.

After a boring start to the week what with having an exam, I spent today relaxing with the boyfriend. We made an early trip to the gym and I did 30 minutes of cardio, only doing walking though. Remember my sore knee from last month? Well apparently it still hasn’t recovered.

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I ran/walked 3 miles yesterday during which my knee felt fine. However as soon as I got off the treadmill a painful ache started to set in and its been playing me up ever since.

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I really need to stop saying that I need new running shoes and actually put my words into actions!

I should vow to myself NOT to run until I’ve got some new running shoes sorted out.

I’ve been feeling a bit sensitive ever since my knee started hurting again, so please excuse me while I try not to bite everyone’s heads off Sad smile.

I did manage to enjoy the sunny afternoon with the boyfriend though Smile

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We had a picnic in the park, so before we headed to the park we stopped off at the supermarket to get some snacks.

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I think we had a bit of Friday 13th bad luck because I got us a bit lost to begin with. It didn’t help that we were both starving by this point too, so we were very keen to find the park and eat our picnic.

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At last I found the park and the picnic could commence!

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We found a nice little spot over looking the small lake.

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Goodies!

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We snacked on: a roll, crisps, sausage rolls, an aero biscuit bar (which was awesome), pink n whites and a fruit pot.

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Grace on a picnic = happy spaz face.

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Delicious Aero biscuit bar! Only 99 calories and so nice.

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I don’t know whether it was the fresh air, sore knee, busy week or a combination of all these factors but I was feeling pretty drowsy half way through the afternoon.

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We left the park and headed back home for a wonderful afternoon nap Open-mouthed smile

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Love mid-afternoon kips with the boyfriend!

How was your Friday?

My University Experience.

This post is about my own personal experience as a first year university student. My views and feelings are based on my individual expectations. I appreciate that everybody accepts different things and has their own standards. These are just my standards and opinions being voiced through my blog.

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In August 2010 when I received my A level results, I felt unbelievably lucky because I had got a place at university. The first thing I heard when I woke up on results morning on the radio was how thousands of students didn’t get a place at their chosen university.

“The university admissions service said 2010 was perhaps the toughest year for admissions for the past decade.” – (Source)

It felt like all the hard work that I had done for the past four years was finally going towards something. All those GCSE’s and A Levels I studied for really did pay off and get me where I thought I wanted to be. For years and years I had it set in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher. This goal helped me push through my school exams and strive towards higher education.

So I obviously felt very blessed that my work had paid off and that I was going to university. I am the first person in my immediate family to go to university and I felt proud about this too.

The university I applied to is about 25 miles away from where I live, being a family girl anyway I had no intention of ever moving away to university and so opted to drive in for my studies.

Initially I was excited about starting university, but I quickly discovered the true realities of it all. Overall what really got to me at first, was the complete lack of support that I received. We were set a bunch of assignments and left to just get on with them, which as first year students you would think that we may have got a bit of guidance with. Time and time again I emailed tutors for help, to either wait literally weeks for a reply or just be totally ignored.

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Seeing an empty inbox became a regular occurrence for me. It made me feel unbelievably frustrated and so insignificant. Firstly, in today’s society the internet is used practically all day, every day! So they had no excuse to not read their emails. Secondly, it takes five minutes to reply to an email – we can’t even be spared five minutes of their time.

The classes were a complete shambles too. For some classes we didn’t even have a regular class room and constantly moved from room to room, which is very inconsistent. They also had the audacity to place large classes of about 40 students in tiny rooms making it ridiculously squashed and resulting in a lack of desks, completely appalling!

Also because I study English literature modules, for many of the texts you go to class and watched the DVD version of a particular novel, play, whatever. Is this what education is today? Watching films.

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The cost of travelling in to these pointless classes topped the whole thing off perfectly. It is very demoralising how much of our money is going in to this, when we get very little in return.

“The AA estimated that in total, motorists are spending almost £10m more a day on petrol than this time a year ago.” – (Source)

The whole thing has been such an eye-opener to me. I had an emotional break down a few months ago: I let everything get on top of me. I’ve never felt so low and scared in my whole life. Its made me question so much about my life too. And sadly its also damaged my goal of being a teacher. I’ve lost my love for English and I certainly don’t think very much of the education system anymore. For the first time I don’t have a clear goal Sad smile I think that I hate this the most about what university has done to me.

What I do know is this though:

I still want a degree but I’m not going back to university. *

I am going to work towards my future in a different way.

All you can do in life is try.

 

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* But on saying this I am going to sit my first year exams so this year hasn’t been a total waste of time.

I feel sorry for the future students too. Its bad enough paying £3,500 a year for this, yet they have the nerve to increase it to £9,000! Its worrying to think that people my age (who say don’t live away) are going to have a £10,000 debt when they start their lives. Imagine what debts the future generations will end up with! What a way to start your life – with a huge debt!

The way things are going, it will turn to how it used to be, where only the rich received an education.

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So, what’s next in my future then?

I am going to do my exams at my current university, but I’m not worrying about them too much because I now consider this place part of my past. In October I start studying towards an English degree with The Open University.

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I hope that I will be happier doing this. It feels like the right path for me, I am self disciplined enough to study by myself plus it means that I can work from home.

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Depending on how things go I may plan to pick up a few more hours at work, it also means that I can help out with my grandparents who need looking after and I will hopefully have more flexibility going to the gym too.

This experience made me realise that its not worth letting things bring you down. But it is easy to feel defeated like I did, instead focus on what is good in your life and you will soon be back on track!