Warsaurus

Lifestyle, Travel, Beauty, Reviews.


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Wishlist: Flamingos!

This summer it seems that flamingos are all the range, and I’m loving it! Keep your eyes peeled and you can spot them almost everywhere, our feathered friends are adorning everything from home furnishings to hair accessories.

Here’s what I’ve already picked up and what’s on my wishlist!

Flamingos I gleefully own:

Flamingo glass

Flamingos and stripes? Such a perfect me combination!

Kid's flamingo top

Admittedly it’s classed as children’s wear but it’s beautiful, sequinned, and I just about squeeze in 🙂


Cosmetic bag

Beautiful cosmetic bag birthday gift back in April from the bestie


Flamingo top

See? Stripes and Flamingos!

What I’m lusting after:

Flamingo phone case

Skinny Dip’s Flamingo Float phone case


Bowling shirt

Flamingo print bowling shirt from Oasis


Flamingo Tangle Teezer

Skinny Dip’s Tangle Teezer collaboration


Flamingo mug

Paperchase Glamingo Flamingo


Flamingo inflatable

Summer’s pool essential: inflatable feathered friend

 

What are your summer favourites that have you this excited too? (Flamin)go Tweet me!

None of the above images are my own, but all are linked with where the items can be bought from!

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Let’s Get Personal: Life Update

Next month marks an entire year since I graduated university. That day I honestly believed I would be stepping forwards into a hopeful and promising year of opportunity, learning and fun.

In the spirit of full disclosure and transparency, I was wrong.

 

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. Getting a job, any job not even graduate positions, proved harder than my optimistic self expected. I have not seen my university pals as often as I would want; they each have their own lives, jobs, successes and hardships to navigate. As a result I have spent the last year feeling frequently useless and alone.

(I have written about this before, see here! (the last time I updated, oops), but here are the details and the update since.)

Back in August or so last year I signed onto JSA and had to log thirty-five hours a week of proactive job seeking activity and attend a weekly meeting with a work coach. While my coach managed to always have a positive spin on things, the whole experience and constant application rejection application rejection knocked all my confidence and had a big impact on my mental health.

By October I was not in a good place.

When I wasn’t reading through rejection emails or attending a compulsory customer service course plus unpaid manual labour “experience” through the job centre I was hiding in my bedroom, compulsively reading through the endless Facebook status updates of everyone else’s success.

Eventually I managed to get a Christmas job at M&S and was kept on in the New Year. This could not have come at a better time as it gave me some sort of purpose and reason to get up and out each day, as well as the wonderful women I worked with having such pearls of wisdom and hilarious stories to tell. Since my contract there ended in April, I have in all honesty hit another lull.

I am yet to work out my true niche in life.

Having always been the girl who knew what she was aiming for, since graduation I have walked through fog never knowing exactly which direction I’m facing. But there are more of us out there than we realise.

So I ask for your patience and understanding.

On the positive side of things, I do have an unconditional Masters place for September and a mini-internship at a social marketing company (yay), so I am at least moving forwards.

 

Are you struggling with life after graduation too? Give me a shout with your tips and tricks for those bad days on my Twitter!

 


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The Fineprint of Graduate Life

Life after university is hard. 

No one talks about the endless applications for jobs or experience or even higher education, never mind the horrendous indecision about whether you’re making the right choice. 

This has been my experience, anyway, and I know I can’t be the only one who isn’t landing their dream job or travelling the world. It is doing nothing for my sanity to always see everyone else’s educational, work and personal success filling up my newsfeed, so I’ve deleted the Facebook app from my phone entirely.

It’s not that I’m not happy for each person; they all work hard and deserve their own success. But at the moment it serves as a distinct reminder that I am utterly unsure of where my life is going. That even thinking about my future makes me feel anxious. I am also very aware I shouldn’t be worring about this right now; I’m 22 there’s loads of time. But somehow my worry only increases. 

I have always been someone who had a goal to work towards, but since completing my degree last summer I have hit a crossroads, and I don’t know which path to follow. No matter how many jobs or Masters I look at and apply for nothing is truly igniting that spark of passion I know I have.

That is what’s devastating me; the indifference.

Except, paradoxically, I do care. And the confusion continues.

So I have a small plan.

Right now, I want to take some time to work on things that I enjoy. To start setting myself a different type of goal, and rediscover that promise I made myself in January to do something positive and productive each day. I want to find and focus on what is going to make me happy right now, and hope that it leads me down the right path in the long run.

New mantra


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A Taste of Corporate Life

As with many recent graduates (I hope), I have spent the last few months trying to work out; what’s next. Do I want to go straight into the workplace, or should I feed my desire for knowledge further and go back to education?

I am currently working part time in a retail job, which is great because it gives me some pennies to spend and some time to research what I want to pursue.

But it’s not utilizing my skills or the specifics of my education.

A couple of weeks ago, my university’s careers centre asked if I would answer some graduate career questions about how my degree is relevant in my current role. The short answer is; it’s not. However, this forced me to reconsider how best to understand what I do want to achieve in terms of career prospects.

 

What better way than first-hand experience!

 

Last week I spent two days shadowing my sister, Sarah, in the London offices of corporate giant, IBM; an great experience, which came at exactly the right time! The perfect opportunity to learn a little of what it would be like to have a career that fully utilised the skills I learnt at university; both specific to my degree and transferable.

Cognitive Queen badge

Cognitive Queen

Helping Sarah with her ‘to-do’ list meant that I was completing tasks towards the output of the Marketing, Brand and Communications team she is a part of. Simultaneously fulfilling my own New Year’s resolution promise to do something measurably productive each day.

I wrote paid social copy for IBM’s projects and collaborations, including the work of their ‘cognitive’ technology, Watson (redefining everything I know about cognitive from a psychological perspective). Watson technology is working towards improving patient experience in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and is being developed for other applications, from cancer detection to the next generation of fitness trackers. Move over, FitBit!

As the cherry on top, I have since learnt that the work I did has been approved for publication, so I can add it to my CV towards experience gained for future employment!

Throughout the two days I also spent time learning about other aspects of the business and different roles from Sarah’s contacts; listening in on meetings, calls and having one-to-one talks with people from across marketing.

This made the whole experience invaluable as I gained multiple perspectives and understood a little more about the different types of marketing, across both traditional and digital channels.

To those who took the time to speak to me, thank you.

 

Unbelievably, a week has now passed since my time in London! Given my attitude towards returning to the land of retail afterwards, it is safe to say that I did choose the right degree, despite my recent reservations.

 

Now it is down to me to retain my productivity, achieve a place on that Masters course, and smash this week’s job interview. So that next time the university calls about that degree I’ve spent thirty grand on, I can say for certain that it was right choice and relevant in my career.


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Jaunty Goat Coffee Company

 

 

Yesterday my friend Amy and I met in Chester for shopping, coffee and exploring the little back alleyways. Instead of heading to the usual likes of giant chain coffee shops we sampled the delights of the Jaunty Goat.

Head down to Bridge Street and the Jaunty Goat is a delightful independent with beautiful coffee and generous cake portions; the icing on the red velvet cake was delicious. The food and refreshment choices are varied without being overwhelming and they even supply their own range of coffee beans to other local businesses and stores.

 

Spot Amy in the mirror 🙂

The place was pleasantly bustling and, considering they made local news when the shop closed to move to new premises in 2015, the coffee and friendly service is obviously loved by many. Inside, the copper detailing, low hung lighting and bright frontage creates the perfect mood for coffee and chats.

 

Jaunty Goat, Bridge Street


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Why We Should All Embrace Hygge

The Danish concept of hygge has swept across the nation. In case you haven’t been caught up in it’s warmth, hygge is the sense of safety and belonging experienced through the people and things we love.

 

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Candles play a big part in the full hygge experience.

 

Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, prefers this atmospheric feeling to be at home and contain hot drinks and candles, but really it can be found anywhere. It is the scale on which Danish social gatherings are measured, by the hygge-ness. It is anticipated, appreciated and fondly remembered, and fosters an awareness of gratitude, something I think we could all use a little more of.

 

The Danish are known to be the happiest people on the planet and even kindly go so far as to scientifically research how to make the rest of the world happier; Wiking is also the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute (best job ever, right!). So surely there must be something to this hygge malarkey.

 

“[Hygge is] the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.”

 

Near the end of October as I was heading for a train out of London I was handed the week’s edition of Time Out (18-24th October 2016). The article inside entitled Hygge is a Waste of London clearly riled me enough to inspire me to write, as obvious by the fact you’re now reading this.

 

Granted the magazine is obviously aimed at Londoners, which makes me think that perhaps I was mistaken for one rather than the tourist vibe I usually emit. Taking this into account it’s understandable that the article argues that anything resembling comfort in a Hygge way in London is a waste in the city renowned for not being comfortable. For pushing boundaries and comfort zones and, as more people move there, space limitations. The author states that ‘nothing spectacular ever happened to someone when they were feeling cosy’.

 
However, who is to say that that is true? There are claims that Sir Issac Newton was drinking a cup of tea when he saw/was hit by the falling apple and discovered gravity. Hygge experiences are often described as including hot drinks and discovering gravity is nothing short of spectacular.

 
Elements of Hygge also feature in self-care advice; noticing the beauty in nature, quiet meditation, coffee with friends, doing anything with people you love, your favourite book (any book) in a cosy nook, a bubble bath…

 

The Eagle pub in Cambridge has a hygge atmosphere

Hygge in The Eagle pub, Cambridge

 

The original article was so London-centric in made my teeth ache; only encouraging an unrealistic mindset. Some people need to understand that an entire country carries on moving outside the boundaries of the underground zones, and far past where your Oyster stops working. Here, in the North, I’m writing this whilst sat alone in a coffee shop. I have a hot chocolate, a large scarf and I’m writing; I’m feeling pretty damn Hygge. I’m not being dull and complacent, nor am I not doing anything, as the article insinuated. I am Hygge whilst grabbing life by the proverbial balls. Who says it’s impossible, Londoners! So kindly widen your capital-centric mindset past the Big Smoke, consider that the rest of the country do not laze in blanketed ‘dull complacency’, and that enjoying every and all aspects of life is possible outside of the busy London lifestyle.

 

What is important is that hygge is an atmosphere, an experience and a shared feeling. Perhaps it is on your sofa, with Netflix and hot cocoa by candlelight.  Perhaps it is covered in mud with your friends in the middle of watching your favourite band at a festival. Or singing in your car, by the fire in the local, or the sting of the breath-stealing cold breeze on your Christmas day walk. Brunch with the girls, trying out that new restaurant, anything which makes you forget time still moves.

 

Time Out have also published another response to the article, Hygge is Part of London, (originally published here) a Danish Londoner defending the lifestyle amidst the onslaught of media attention and the perpetual busyness of London.  She writes that “Your hygge is your own.

 

As the stresses of modern life slowly suck at our soul’s will we could all use a little more self-care for our own well-being. So perhaps hygge is purely an extension of this, in which case I welcome it with open arms.

Because anything that can help ensure our mental and physical well-being is worth spending a little time under a blanket for.

 

Whatever hygge is, it is our own vivid experience.

 

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Learning to embrace the hygge that comes my way.


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October Favourites

In a blur of cool air and pumpkin spice everything (seriously, I bought a PS Bailey’s for Christmas weeks ago!) October is gone and seasonal festivities are creeping up on us.

Today I’m sharing my favourites of the beginnings of autumn, and looking forward to the month ahead.

Skincare

Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution

The Body Shop Tea Tree Solution

Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution

Everyone struggles with problem prone skin in their lives and unfortunately for me, and many others, it doesn’t stop as soon as you hit adulthood. The Body Shop have regenerated their tea tree range with the #ZitHappens campaign and this serum-like lightweight solution caught my attention. It works as a preventative product and has really improved the condition of my skin, making it clearer and reducing redness! Find it online here.

Travels

Manchester

The majority of my university friends live in and around the Greater Manchester area, which means they’re accessible but not as often as I would ideally like!

So I booked the sofa in my friend’s flat and spent two days surrounded by good food, cocktails and the infectious positivity of amazing friends. It was the perfect opportunity to remove myself from the constrains of my own mind and spend time with people I love.

Zoe and I

Standard puppy selfie

London

Earlier in the month I visited Sarah in London. As well as getting to spend time with my sister and enjoy a high-speed train ride through the countryside (I like trains), I got to explore little pockets of London by myself. I ended up at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. I happily lost myself in there for some hours and landed myself a delicious curry for lunch. If you get chance to visit, their stained glass collection is stunning.

The courtyard played host to an Engineering Season exhibition called Elytra, described as a responsive shelter inspired by the naturally lightweight shells of the flying beetle. Sensors mapped the areas visitors congregated in, ultimately affecting how and where the canopy structure would be robotically woven. I sat on the edge for about twenty minutes in the hope my own presence would stretch the structure further!

The pavillion of the V&A with the canopy structure

The V&A pavillion is stunning

Currently listening…

Hurts – Emeli Sande

Perfect Illusion – Lady Gaga

Shout Out to my Ex – Little Mix

Angels on my Side – Rick Astley

Ain’t My Fault – Zara Larsson

#WhereIsTheLove – The Black Eyed Peas, feat. The World

Currently Reading…

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey