Being a Twenty-something in the City Vs Small Town

As a graduate who once upon a time studied in London.I am often  jealous of those still living the city life in fancy bars and hipster restaurants but lets face it there really are pros and cons to living anywhere, so lets go compare.

Commuting

City: A 6am start from your place to get to the other side of London for 9am .Problems will include tube strikes, accidents and signal failures on the way.

Small Town: Early morning start without having to battle with rude people everyday.Problems will include tractors,flooding and extreme weather making you 2 hours late for work.

Evening Activities

City: Happy hour and then onto some trendy bars or restaurants with your pals.Problems may include mid week hangovers.

Rural: Choir ,helping out at the local youth club and the gym. Problems may include being bored to death if you have no hobbies or drinking buddies.

Friendships

City :Your work pals and some old uni friends you often see in the city

Small Town: Cats and the girls from Work. Occasionally you catch up with your old school friends who are now practically married or have children.

Love life

City:Tinder and Cats (but you don’t own one because your landlord won’t let you)

Small Town:Cats and did I mention more cats?

Diet

City: You instagram  your fancy meals from hipster restaurants but when you eat at your own place it’s beans on toast or pasta .

Small Town:A delicious hearty meal made  by the  lovely parentals. Since being back at home you feel as though you have become the next Nigella Lawson ,conjuring up all sorts of fancy dishes that your  friends in the city would never even have the time to cook.

Cost of Living 

City: 6x gourmet duck eggs from Tesco  at £3 a pack.

Small Town: A tray of free range eggs from the farm shop for £3.

Did the characters in Friends really have the perfect lives?

As it is twenty years since the first ever episode of Friends aired this year. There has been much discussion on the internet, consisting of  ‘When I was in my teens, I expected my life to be like Friends’ and now I feel like my life is a lie etc..

So the other night I decided to watch it from the beginning and remembered some of the tough times each of the characters went through.

Rachel: The daddy’s girl who decided to cut up her credit card and start from the bottom by taking a job as a barrister in Central Perk.

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Joey :The struggling actor who went from job to job and lost his role on Days of our lives.

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Chandler:Chandler quit his IT management role after being forced to live in Tulsa and his boss making a pass at him. He then had to work as an office junior for a while.

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Ross:Had a year off work after the breakdown of his marriage after he said ‘Rachel’ at the altar and went psychotic over his colleague eating his turkey sandwich.

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Monica: Got fired from her job so had to set up her own catering business and then got with her dad’s best friend Richard (Tom Selleck , well who wouldn’t?).

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Phoebe: Well,Phoebe was always Phoebe getting up to lots of mischief, but had to go against her will by going corporate in massage therapy to earn extra bucks.

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So there we have it life wasn’t always peachy for our ‘Friends’. Although, Monica was very lucky to have that nice apartment from her late Grandmother they struggled through some tough times and dated some very weird people. It is always important to remember that fiction is fiction, so don’t compare your life to programmes like Friends or New Girl either.

Let’s face it , do we even have the time to hang out with our friends everyday in the real world?

Were we really going to step into a 25k a year job straight after finishing university?

Sadly, we are going go through some rough patches in our lives but the good times will make up for this,I promise.Just keep smiling and stay positive.

10 Reasons To Be Cheerful

It’s not quite  Christmas yet but the topic is arising every day.The shelves in the supermarkets are full of fondant fancies but you don’t want to feel like one of the teletubbies before the day arrives  itself. The pressure is now on to buy the perfect present for the mother and  to tell your nan that you don’t want her to buy something ‘saucy’ for Christmas(yes saucy is currently my nan’s favourite  word).

So here are 10 reasons to be cheerful despite the temperature dropping and the darkness arising at 4 o’clock.

1.Paddington bear hits the cinema screens this Friday! Book your tickets online with Cineworld.

2. It’s now acceptable to drink mulled wine on any occasion.

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3.Miranda is coming back for a Christmas special and her final episodes. I am sure it’ll be emotional but hopefully we shall see her finally get with Gary!

4.Only 5 weeks till we can binge on  half price perfume gift sets in boots.

5.Friends finally arrives on Netflix  on New Years Day.Time to reminiscence about the time you thought your twenties would be hanging out in a Coffee house with your friends all day instead of working.

6.You can currently download Charles Dicken’s classic novel  A Christmas Carol on the iBooks App for free. This has certainly got me in a festive mood but even more excited to watch The Muppet’s Christmas Carol.

7.The annual staff Christmas parties are coming up .Time to have a sherry and a dance with Sheila ,who you rely on for favours at work.

8.The X-factor will soon be over for another year meaning  that we won’t have to hear about Cheryl Cole and the new recruit of fake celebrities for a very long while (or forever I hope).

9.The seasonal Snow Fairy range is available from Lush. Below is a photo of a ‘haul’ I did a month or so ago.

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10. And Finally it’s only 32 Days till Christmas and December next week!

Losing My Mac Virginity

I am not a beauty blogger, I have always been mediocre with doing my own make up and have never been one to plaster myself in foundation (well maybe fake tan at uni).

In the past as a student ,I  have found myself wasting half my loan by visiting Superdrug every week to make sure that  my make up matched my outfit.As I have grown older and somewhat ‘wiser’, I actually find myself spending a little bit more on make up,but buying less often. For one, I am half the party animal I used to be ,but still love to glam myself up on that odd occasion.

So to  disclaim this post,I am not a beauty expert nor do I intend to be. I am not afraid to post a picture showing my eyebrows needing a bit of a  wax, if people don’t like the way I look so be it!

After having a pretty rubbish week,I decided to order myself some MAC lipstick for the first time from some pocket money that I have  earnt from helping my Dad. I was initially looking for a dark plum colour and hit the order button for Mac Heroine as it was listed under ‘Best Seller’  and looked purplish.

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I was a little horrified when I discovered how bright it was after browsing through ‘#MACHeroine’ on Instagram but very pleased with the result.The shade is long-lasting ,so I will definitely be rocking this at Christmas and the festivals next summer.

FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (6)You can order Mac Heroine from Mac Cosmetics at £15.50 (including free delivery).

A Stroll Around The Victorian Christmas Market At Gloucester Quays

A visit to the Victorian Gloucester market has rapidly become an annual necessity for the local people of Gloucester. There is something for young and old alike, from the world’s biggest selection of cheese to the old fashioned merry-go-round.

I am always partial to enjoy a soothing cup of mulled cider whilst embracing the surrounding festive scenery. I had a very enjoyable Friday afternoon catching up with an old friend.

Gloucester Quays first opened in 2008 and has brought the city a number of outlet stores, chain restaurants and a brand new multi complex cinema. Twenty years ago many of the warehouse buildings looked derelict and lifeless at the docks; the new complex has given the place  a new lease of life with its posh luxury lettings and designer stores.

You’d be mad to miss the Victorian market even if you’re not looking to buy; it’s a great Christmas novelty that will whisk your November blues away. The market  is open at 10 am on Saturday and ends on Sunday at 5 pm.

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Disclaimer: some of the photographs in this post are from previous years of the Victorian Christmas Market.

The Do’s and Don’ts during a job interview

I have been to many interviews and sometimes made many mistakes, so here are my Do’s and Donuts….

Don’t walk into to an interview wearing your nose stud and chewing gum, it looks unprofessional.First impressions are crucial within the interview process.

Do dress in smart attire but wear something  that you feel comfortable in (without looking like Boy George of course).

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This panelled checked dress from Warehouse is perfect for an interview, not only is it knee length but it gives out  a sense of  power! It makes you say inside ‘you will get that job, you are a professional and qualified to do this shit.’

shoes

I overheard a women say the other day that shoes are crucial for first impressions during an interview.My mom says I should always wear flats because I am 5ft9, not everyone is so fortunate (sarcasm there). So these suede mid-heels from Office are perfection in my eyes.

Do come prepared, bring a pen and a portfolio of documents even if  not requested, it’ll make you look organised.

Don’t come across as too confident,I once went to an interview  where another candidate was acting as if she had the job already,it did not help myself nor the other interviewees with our own self esteem.

Do make conversation with other candidates , after all they are in the same nerve racking position as yourself.Chatting to other candidates is also a great way of networking and hearing about other job opportunities.There really is nothing worse than being sat in an office for an hour not talking to anybody.Even if you make conversation about Christmas shopping or the weather,it still helps lighten the mood.

Don’t talk about politics during the interview , I made this mistake on one of my first ever interviews and have definitely learnt my lesson.

Do write a list the night before of questions you may be asked during the interview. Make sure you research the companies statistics,ethos and history.Interviewers need to know that you are suitable for the job,so having that extra bit of knowledge can go a very long way.

Don’t panic, yes this is easier said than done, but take your time to think about the answers rather than rush and mumble.

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My main advice is to relax,be yourself and show em whatcha made of!

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How to survive unemployment

Since graduating from University, I have had a few spouts of unemployment. So I have decided to reveal to you the ways in which I have survived the perils of not being able to look on Topshop online or eBay without dying a little bit inside.

  1. If you need to sign on at the job centre SIGN ON The money is there for you and do not be ashamed of it. See it as being a twenty-something graduate or school leaver who is currently employed to look for work.

2.Bake,cook,knit,sew You don’t have to bake a cake, try a completely new recipe you have never tried before and spend the whole afternoon attempting to cook it, believe me it is very therapeutic.

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3.Join the gym or an exercise class I spent my first year after university raiding my parent’s fridge and feeling sorry for myself. Exercise will make you feel a lot better, even if it’s as simple as a 30 minute walk to the park or local shops on a daily basis.

  1. Sell items you don’t use Clear out that university wardrobe of all those dresses from New Look that you now cringe at the thought of wearing on a night out.1459273_10152047967677128_943058287_n

 

5.Volunteer or join a club Whilst being unemployed, I have done various activities including helping at a drama club for disabled adults, becoming an assistant Beaver scout leader and volunteering in schools.

6.Paid Surveys  I currently have an addiction for completing  online surveys, I have to admit they do become a little boring  after a while  especially after going through a hundred surveys on supermarket shopping ,but eventually you will able to claim a high street voucher just in time for Christmas. I am currently on Toluna and YouGov.

 

7.Don’t compare yourself to others You are just as employable as everyone else and let’s face it those in a 27k job might not even particularly enjoy it, just because there life seems perfect and pretty on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. Make and sell craft things My mum has an obsession for making things ,so last year I decided to help her sell things at craft fairs and online. We didn’t sell much, but that’s not the point. It kept me out of the house and meeting new people.1471401_10152024497582128_1638396767_n

9.CV You have all the time in the world to jazz up your CV, ring companies and to get as many applications done in a record breaking time (In the next post will go into more detail of this!)

  1. Help your family out You are most probably relying on your parents at home. So make dinner, decorate the lounge (with their permission of course!) and be a good boiled egg. One of my favourite family duties is writing my Nan’s shopping list and clearing out her fridge (believe me listening to her request 8 packets of ham never fails to cheer me up)1609564_10152183951012128_1996357136_n

So stay positive and listen to the song ‘Things can only get better’ by D:ream because believe me they will!