Going through more hankies in a week than a teenage boy

I know it sounds vulgar but to be honest that is the level my sanity is currently at. Since Thursday evening, I have felt really lousy with a bunged up nose and ridiculously sore throat. By Friday afternoon my voice had taken on a not-so-attractive husk. Not the sultry kind but a full on snot laden one. Yeah I feel gorgeous right now.

Despite this beautiful development, I still went to Warrington to keep my housemate company during her four-hour lunch break. It was lovely and sunny (a tad windy but we have to be thankful for small mercies) so I walked from my house to Mossley Hill station as it was only a 20 minute power walk in the fresh air, to make up for not going to the gym that morning. We spent the time window shopping for the most part, although I did buy a lovely demin-look skater skirt in New Look and was very tempted by a gorgeous red playsuit in River Island (but I’m going to wait for the weather to improve before I purchase that!). After getting the train and walking home, I cracked on with my research for my Cold War assignment. That’s pretty much what my life has reduced to right now. Fighting a cold and research. Fun times eh?!

The only breaks I’ve had were Guides and a short shift in Oxfam (neither that successful with a husky, barely there voice) and I went out earlier this evening to celebrate my friend from band’s birthday with a meal at their local Chinese restaurant (as in the one they live above!). The meal was lovely. I had vegetarian spring rolls for starters and then Char Siu Pork in chili sauce with chips for my main. Blooming scrummy it was! I decided to not risk choking on rice (the throat is in a very bad mood right now) and both dishes came with plenty of chili sauce so I could briefly breathe out my nose! Again it shows how much this cold is getting to me that that cheered me up. Naturally the company made the night though, not just the deliciously cheap food. Even when ill, I’ve a better social life than I did this time last year! It’s funny how they always say you’d never recognise yourself in a years time but I’m so pleased with my increased confidence and hint of a social life. Once more – small mercies. Anyway I’m going to go take my ghastly medicine and jump into bed with my book. Another long day of research and tissues awaits me. Oh joy.

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Smoothies and the Cold War

The link? I’m using one to get through writing an essay on the other. In other words I’m bored with my essay and have started to try new ways of remembering to eat enough fruit.

The smoothie conquest began on Saturday after I went shopping with my housemate and bought a ton of berries. I really enjoy smoothies but they’re pretty pricey so I also bought some low-fat natural yogurt and decided to give it a go. After browsing through my recipe books, I decided to just give it a go and mix some combinations together. In other words, wing it.

Saturday’s experiment was strawberry and kiwi. Not quite as nice as I thought. I like the combination as a juice drink but the smoothie was a bit thin. I used roughly 60g of strawberries, 1 kiwi and 60g of low-fat natural yogurt and blitzed it with my hand blender. Probably my favourite bit about making smoothies is using the hand blender – the possibility that it could get really messy. Sunday’s was the classic strawberry and banana combo. Beautiful. Again the same quantity of strawberries and natural yogurt, replacing the kiwi with a medium banana (approx. 75/80g without peel).

Monday was an exceptionally busy day. I spent the morning on a fieldtrip to the local Sikh Gurdwara, followed by a pub lunch with my classmates, roughly six hours in town shopping with my housemate and then a night out with my friends in history. My poor Fitbit didn’t know what had hit it on Tuesday. Over the course of the day (including the four and a half hours out in town) I walked over 30,000 steps. Over double my daily goal!

Tuesday’s smoothie was a mixture of berries – the same mixture as my strawberry and banana smoothie but with 30g of raspberries and 30g of blueberries. Perfect for keeping up the energy levels during band.

Today’s combination was simply to use up the remaining fruit until I can get some more. I used a Weight Watchers Peach yogurt with 70g blueberries, 80g raspberries and 1 banana. I sampled it before and it’s quite sweet but yummy. Something to get me through my next class!

And all my hard work has started to pay off. After sixteen hard months, I have finally reached my target weight of ten stone! Just in time to get a very sore throat and start struggling through two final assignments. Of which I have no motivation to do. Hence the smoothies and this blog. Well done if you’ve kept up with my rambling, it’s back to the grind I unfortunately must go.

A bit of a slow week for once

Once again, I’ve been fairly absent on the blogging front. Frankly there hasn’t been much of interest to blog about. I’m currently very snotty with constant hankies and Olbas Oil in the oil burner (something which I can highly recommend for those suffering runny or blocked noses). Other than that, the week has been a bit of a mixed bag, although Thursday was most definitely the highlight. I received the mark for my last history assignment (I did it on British emigration) and got a first, which I was beyond chuffed with. Especially when the lecturer announced that it was a mixed bag – some had done really well, and others had failed. Which as you can imagine made the atmosphere deflate quicker than a dodgy souffle! That evening we went out for one of my housemate’s birthday for a meal at Nando’s (which was lovely despite poor service), cocktails in Aloha (Pirate themed bar, it’s amazing!) and then danced the rest of the night away in Heebie Jeebies. Overall, a fantastic day, but apart from that, my week has been lectures, gym, Oxfam and relaxing with a book or episodes of Castle or Lost Girl. So not overly exciting, but it’s made a change to be able to gradually slip back into the Liverpool routine, rather than have to rush straight back into assignments.

I only have two more assignments left to complete and one exam to sit before I officially finish second year. It’s a scary thought and the time has certainly flown by. Tomorrow I’m going to walk down to the library to get some books out so I can start researching both assignments and Monday begins with a fieldtrip to the local Sikh Gurdwara, so it’s back to the grind for me. I promise I’ll blog a bit more during the week, I’m sure something  of interest will happen!

Three weeks of relaxing draws nearer to its conclusion

Alas it is that time of the holiday again when I have to start packing and travel back down to Liverpool. When I was in school, the final weekend was spent frantically trying to remember which homework had to be done first and making sure I had enough pens to get me through the year (I had a strong love for stationary). Now it’s spent making sure I definitely see everyone I want to see (or have to see) and that my case isn’t too heavy incase I have to lug it across platforms.

I’m currently transferring a selection of mum’s music onto her tablet, which is a task I’ve been promising I’d do since I got here, but still, it’s being done now. Part of the reason it’s not been done sooner is because it’s only really been this week when I’ve been in the house on my own, as for the past two weeks Mum has been really ill with flu. Instead I’ve done a great deal of shopping, been on a few nights out with friends, watched Newcastle Gang Show and ultimately enjoyed not being worried about assignments! It’s been bliss. I’m quite a family lass, so I’ve spent a lot of time out with various family members, and last night we went out to a lovely pub in Cramlington to celebrate my Uncle’s birthday. I’ve had a couple of girly days with my Mum, especially this week as we spent one afternoon baking and another out in Newcastle. That’s just a sample of my family activities this holiday, and I look forward to coming home again in May once second year is over. I’ve also been out with my friends a fair bit (it amazes me sometimes that I actually have a social life!) including many pub/food related meet ups and going to support the Gang which we have all performed in.

One of the things I’ve missed is walking everywhere! I’ve gone to a couple of Zumba classes and went on my first bike ride of 2013, but it’s not quite the same as three gym sessions a week and a daily minimum of an hour and a half of walking. Regardless, it has been one of the most relaxing and appreciated holidays yet! I’ve been able to just sit back for a bit and read plenty of books, catch up on my programmes or just chat with family/friends. Total bliss. Unfortunately tomorrow evening I will be boarding my trains and heading back down to Liverpool, to settle back into my university routines. Something which makes me savour the holidays even more.