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137 Days Of Summer…

It’s over.

My initial year to get onto an Astrophysics ended yesterday.

If I did well enough in my exams that I took earlier this week, my Astrophysics degree starts on 29th September, according to the University site. The 29th September is a Friday – so I can only imagine that this being the starting date of the course means that this is an induction day of some sort – or that the course ACTUALLY begins on the 2nd October, but they want to make sure all the students are at the University and are ready in time. I’m guessing the former.

That’s 137 days of Summer.

Counting today as the first day, and Thursday 28th September as the last day, I literally have 137 full days of Summer.

I haven’t arranged or scheduled to do anything this Summer – a job or a holiday booked. Not saying I won’t do those things. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.

Anyone who has ever been a student knows that it can be difficult to prioritise anything else in their lives while their course is running. I moved into my new flat last September, and haven’t even had the time to redecorate, or to go through our packing boxes and unpack our things. I haven’t even signed up with the local dentist or doctors yet!

Because of this, I wanted to leave my Summer open. For it to be a period of time where upon asking myself the question “Do I have the time to do X activity…?,” The answer will ALWAYS be YES, rather than the other way around! Finally, I have the time to invest in all the activities I have neglected over the past 8 months. That includes important things  like getting a job too! I intended to get myself  job in September last year, but haven’t been able to find the time to even write a damn CV!

Finally, I’m free.

Free to do whatever the hell I want.

I’ve never had a Summer this long in 5 years…

Booooooooooyah!

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My Lush Collection – Coming soon!

Hey guys!

I went to Lush Oxford Street yesterday (breaking my ban…) During my shopping spree, I decided that would be the last time I buy anything from Lush (for real this time) until I have used up all of my bath products. I am actually quite proud of how I did during my miniature shopping spree. I avoided ALL of the Easter and ALL of the Mother’s Day range – I already have plenty of bath bombs and bubble bars! I just tried to get products that I felt would be really unique in my collection.

I did buy one bath bomb – but it was a bath bomb to help free Andy Tsege (all money from the bath bomb goes toward helping him be freed I think!) I mostly bought items that I don’t already own loads of already – some tooth powder for example! I can do a haul post of what I bought yesterday if you guys would find that fun!

Anyways, after I came home, I decided that I would work on a Lush Collection blog post – seeing as this is the largest my collection is going to be for a while! So, before using any of my Lush items, I laid out my entire collection and took plenty of photos 🙂

I will be writing a “My Lush Collection” blog post VERY soon!!! The post will contain photos of the different collections of Lush items I own (Hair, Face, Body, Hands and Bath,) and under each photo of each collection of items there will be a list of the products within the photo, as well as a little note describing how I currently feel about each of these items (where I got them from etc.) At the end there will be some photos of all of the collections together – my entire Lush collection!

I’m going to say something now, just in case I forget to say it during the ‘My Lush Collection’ blog post.

I only started obtaining Lush products for myself around September 2015. Since then, my collection has grown quite a bit. THE MAJORITY of these items were gifts from my partner, and the rest I bought with my own money. Also, the majority of these items were bought during the Boxing Day sale last year. I am by no means wealthy, I just choose to spend what spare money I DO have on Lush. It is also the “go to” gift that people close to me give to me – because they know how much I love it! I am incredibly lucky to have such generous people in my life. Lush isn’t everything though, hence why I am banning myself from buying more products for a while. There are so many awesome ways to spend money (travel, electronics, loved ones, clothes, books, instruments, dance classes, days out…) that I have been completely ignoring, due to my Lush addiction!

Finally, I’d just like to say that you will notice I don’t really have any doubles in my collection. Lush have so many products available, I rather spend my money on something different every time – for the chance that I might discover a new favourite! Even if I LOVE a product, I won’t repurchase it unless I have already tried everything of that product type! I also didn’t include any knot wraps, containers or any products that I can’t find!

I hope all you Lushies who are following me are excited to see my Lush collection, I’d love to see all of your Lush collections too!

– Storm

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How to lose weight easily.

Long Introduction:

I am a 23 year old adult female, 5 ft 3 (160cm,) and my starting weight was 10 st 3 lbs / 64.9kg / 142.8lbs. Because I am really quite short, this weight actually means my BMI was 25.3 – I had officially hit the overweight category! I have always been a fairly slim person, so this fact was sort of scary to me.

And I know, BMI isn’t the most accurate way to determine whether you are healthy as an individual or not. I don’t argue that someone could have bigger bones/more muscle mass than another person, and thus be categorised as overweight. I don’t argue that different weights are “right” for different people…

I also don’t argue that using your BMI purely as an indicator for what weight would be healthiest for you, is a good first step. For example, I actually am extremely lazy and thus my muscle mass is almost certainly less than the average healthy person, so my weight goal is probably actually over what it should be. I’m not focusing on my body’s composition – just its weight as good first step in the right direction!

I chose a weight goal based on the BMI that was right in the middle of the healthy BMI range, as that seemed like the healthiest option to me (note: I am a perfectionist if you couldn’t already tell…) That meant that my new goal was 8 st 11 lbs / 55.8 – 55.9kg / 123lbs. That would put me at a BMI of around 21.75 – smack bang in the center of the healthy range!

I was a vegan before I began my mission to lose 19.8lbs, which made things a bit easier in my opinion. As I said, I’m lazy so although it isn’t the healthiest option, I didn’t really want to exercise as a form of weight loss if I could avoid it. I probably started my diet somewhere between the 15th Dec and 20th Dec and woke up this morning 10 lbs lighter than my starting weight (from 142.8lbs to 132.8lbs,) here is how I achieved that:

My… method???:

The first thing I did, was to use a calorie calculator to work out how many calories I’d need to be eating, with my no-exercise lifestyle, in order to lose a healthy maximum of 2lbs per week. I’m around 3 weeks behind that goal, as it has taken me around 8 weeks instead of 5 weeks to lose 10 lbs, but I’m completely cool with that. Once I worked out how many calories I needed to eat per day, I divided this number by 3 to work out around how many calories I should be aiming to have per meal.

This number seemed pretty low, and I didn’t want to be malnourished in any way. So, I turned to nutrient dense foods. If you search Google Images for nutrient density, charts will show up with a scale of how nutrient dense certain foods are.

Nutrient density just basically means foods with the most nutrients per calorie. So, they are very nutritious, but low in calorie! An individual chart wont show many different food items, so it is best to look at several different ones to get a good idea of the types of things you should be eating.

You can’t forget that you are still aiming to have foods from each food group – you want some fruit/veg, you want some protein and you want some starchy carbs. Kale became my best friend 😀 An example of a meal I would eat at first would be a portion of couscous with a couple of big handfulls of kale, half a tin of chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of lentils, peas and carrots. The only seasoning I’d use would be salt for this meal. It sounds simple, but is actually really tasty and pretty good for you! Another type of meal I might have had would be some porridge made with a mix of water and unsweetend almond milk with a little apricot jam. I also loved having couscous with tons of salad, like half a bag of the stuff!

Snacks would usually be cherry tomatoes (super tasty, healthy and low in calories,) strawberries, blueberries and veggies (celery, carrots or kale) with low fat hummus. I also really enjoy these pots of edamame (soy bean) salad they sell in Asda, and often will have a pot of that for lunch to top up my protein! The only drinks I try to drink are water, green tea or if I want something that feels like a treat, I’ll have some Pepsi Max (NOT GOOD FOR YOU so only drink it if you really wan to curb your cravings!)

I’m not perfect, and I’ve slipped with my diet tons of times. I’ve indulged in cider a couple of times this past week, lots of champagne and wine during Christmas time… I have had lots of sweets, delicious berry pies, custard, crisps, takeaway and even ice cream! Hence why it has taken me 3 weeks longer to lose 10 lbs 😉 The key is really to just be mindful and careful of what you are eating and the calories in that food. For example, in the past 8 weeks, here are a few of my unhealthy slip-up totals:

Takeaway: Twice or so.
Ice Cream: Once.
Crisps: One of my biggest slips, so maybe 10 times.
Sweets: Maybe 4 times.
Alcohol: 5 times or so.
Pasta: Around 8 times.
Bread: Maybe 5 times.

So, as you can see, I am far from perfect! I DO go over the calories I should be eating EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The key is to know when to stop and to not go too crazy! If you feel really hungry but are worried that if you eat more you will go over your calorie limit, I suggest snacking on cherry tomatoes, carrots, kale, strawberries and even lower calorie cereals like blueberry wheats 🙂 You will still go over your calorie limit for the diet you set yourself, but you will still be under the total amount of calories your body needs per day to sustain its weight, so you will still be losing weight overall!

It is also vital to drink a lot of fluids, as they really aid in weight loss and sometimes the body thinks it is hungry when actually, it is thirsty! According to my calculations, I should have completed my weight loss by around April 5th-10th. I think I’m going to have to make less slips to be able to lose my final 9.8lbs, wish me luck!

– Storm

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Life and Blog Update!

Hey guys! 🙂

So, recently I feel like my blog has been really disorganised and I just want to make a little blog update post to clear everything up. This is just going to be a super general post! I will write about my upcoming birthday, my travels over the past year or so, how my education is going, how I’ve been thinking about updating my appearance and last but not least, I will be writing briefly about Lush.


23rd Birthday

The first things I want to post about are to do with my birthday. It is in fact my 23rd birthday this Monday (17th.)

This means a few things – on my 22nd birthday, I gave myself some goals that I wanted to achieve before my 23rd birthday. On my birthday I will try to blog about how I did with these different goals (I was pretty tough on myself, I think there were something like 30 goals…,) as well as possibly write up what my new goals will be to achieve before my 24th birthday! Having goals can be stressful sometimes, but I think it is really important overall for a person’s happiness.

When I turned 22, I actually cried because I felt so upset about the age I had just lost. Making myself goals made me realise that I can have a really exciting year and that I still have so much to look forward to in my life – which made me feel more young and at peace with my age. I am now happy to be 22, and will be happy to be 23 too – so long as I give myself some goals to achieve!

I haven’t looked at my list of goals for a while but I do know for a fact that I have not achieved most of them – although I have achieved some of the pretty important ones in my opinion. I’m going to do my best to squeeze in a couple more achievements before Monday though! Some I might achieve just after my birthday – for example, one of my goals was to brave it and get my first tattoo, which I’ve been thinking I could organise as a birthday present to myself sometime next week! 



Travels

The second things I’d like to talk about in this post are about my travels. I have failed to post about them, although I still do intend to do so soon!

I went to Italy last year in August – it was such an incredible experience! It was my very first travelly adventure with my partner and was my first trip abroad independent from my family. I have so many beautiful photographs and memories from that holiday so look forward to a post detailing it soon!

My partner also took me to Paris for Valentines day this year – again, another overall beautiful holiday that i’ll be sure to post about. We also went to visit my family in Glasgow in July of this year, and at the start of September I went on holiday with my partner’s family to Turkey!

So many adventures that I so badly want to share with you guys! There is just so much to say for every one of these travels and so many photographs to choose from, which is why I haven’t blogged about them yet – but I will!



Education

The third things I’d like to talk about surround my educational pursuits. When I first began this blog, it was definitely more orientated toward my studies, and over the past year has changed direction toward…well… Lush… Quite frankly, I have always thought of my blog as somewhere for me to write about whatever I want to write about – I made it for myself primarily, so I guess my blog posting activity just reflects where I am in my life at the time!

Anyways, so my education. Yes, I am still aiming to be an Astronomer and yes, I am still fascinated with Astrobiology. I am currently on a degree… of sorts… Well, I am on an “Initial Year”, which will lead me onto a degree in Astrophysics should I do well enough.

I applied through UCAS and am an official student of both the college I attend for the initial year and of the University that I will attend after the year is completed. The course I applied to on UCAS is stated as a 4 year degree, so technically I’m on a degree…? Or I’m on a course that includes a degree… I don’t know but either way, I’m on the course I need to be on 🙂

The university is definitely one of the ones that are actually worth applying to if you want to study Physics & Astronomy in the UK. When comparing entry requirements and the ranking of different universities, some are actually statistically more difficult to get into, yet overall are a worse university compared to others that are easier to get into. Why waste effort to get into a bad university, when that effort could be better spent to get into a good university? I don’t know, that’s just my opinion!

The University I attend isn’t the best but I feel it is definitely a good starting point. As long as I work hard and get the most out of the course as I can, I should be able to take my Masters somewhere a bit better. Everyday I make sure to get as much as I possibly can out of my course, and I’m really enjoying it so far! 



Appearances

The fourth updatey things I’d like to talk about are about appearances I guess.

I love septum rings, because I think they just make you look super adorable! They just look sooo cute! I mean, I think I look fine without one, but they add to the cuteness :3 I pierced my own septum around 18 months ago or so, but I pierced it kinda crooked so I’ll be redoing it soon!

If you are considering getting it done, I’d 100% recommend it. If you decide you don’t like it, the holes are inside your nose so you won’t see the scars, or you can just wear a horseshoe jewelry piece and flip it up inside your nose so that no one can see it! I think they look really cute though and that the piercing looks good with other piercings too. Considering piercings take between 4 weeks and 12 months to heal, the septum piercing is one of the fastest healers too (2 months!)

I’ve also wanted my navel pierced for the longest time. It’s a nice discrete piercing that looks both lovely by itself and with other piercings. I think they look super sexy and again, I think my tummy looks great without a navel piercing and I don’t need one to think my tummy is sexy, but the navel piercing does help! 

I quit dying my hair around 2 and a half years ago. Since then, I have been slowly cutting out any remaining dyed hair and finally, earlier this year I had no dyed hair left! Now I’m just enjoying growing my natural and healthy hair. I had been dying my hair since I was around 12 years old, and had never had a full head of natural hair since then and all the way up until earlier this year. That’s around 10 1/2 years of dyed hair! I thought I’d absolutely hate my natural hair colour but I actually really like it! 

As for the first tattoo I’d like to get, I think I’d like a tattoo that is on my side… It’s a nice and discrete location. I think I’d like it to be a tattoo that my partner designs – maybe a phrase he says to me but in his own handwriting, possibly a hand drawn image too.

A lot of people say you shouldn’t get tattoos that are to do with your partner, because you might split up and then want the tattoo removed. The thing is, even if we did split up, he has still been such a important part of my life and has brought me so much happiness. I share so many memories with him and no matter the circumstances, it remains true that right now he makes me happy.

I think I would never want a tattoo removed that symbolizes me being happy at this time of my life. I don’t need the tattoo, I feel secure enough without it, but I do think it will help make me feel more comforted and happy when he isn’t around. 



Lush

The fifth thing I want to talk about is Lush. 

Yes, the number of Lush posts I have been writing is slowing down. I haven’t purchased any new items since probably around 6 months ago. This is really sad, but it is because I have been on a tight budget for a while now, so buying Lush just isn’t as easy as it was before.

I still have plenty of products left to review in my home but I’m not using them as much. That’s because I’m busy but also I think because I know that once they’re gone, I might not be able to replace them. I’m still obsessed with Lush, I expect my next reviews to probably be on Yog Nog Soap, Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar and I guess Rose Jam Shower Gel, just because those are the 3 items I am using the most at the moment.

I also still need to take photos for my reviews but again, I haven’t been to a Lush store recently. I’ll make sure I take some photos when I do next go!

Thank you for reading, see you soon!

– Storm

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It’s Autumn now!

So I guess it is Autumn now… Summer passed so quickly!!!

It is that time of year that everyone begins working hard – on a new year of their studies, or in their job to help pay for Christmas. It is, in fact, the most stressful time of the year for me personally. There is just so much to organise and so much work to do around this time of year, all while enduring the worsening weather and the pure truth that in this season, almost 22 years ago now, I was born. Yes, I will be turning 22 on Saturday the 17th of October. Fantastic. Absolutely spiffing. On the bright side, I apparently look younger than my age, and I get to feel like the Taylor Swift song “22” is especially for me for the next year, so there’s that.

Well, much has happened since I last posted on my little blog (more of a sort of public, personal diary of mine really…) so I have a lot that I would like to type before I continue about my life.

I have, unavoidably, developed a Lush addiction, as everyone does at some point in their life. I have been trying to win the battle against the army of acne that covers my face – to no avail as of yet. I love Lush regardless though. Lush is like a shining star to me, brightening up even the shittiest of days. My skin is looking particularly bad? Lush is the answer! I am feeling down? Lush to the rescue! I am bored and want to buy something entertaining? Lush! Need something for me and friends to do while hanging out? Let us travel to Lush!

… I am a tad obsessed.

I literally went through the ingredients of every facial product on the Lush website to research how comedogenic they are, so that I’d know which products would not worsen my acne. I don’t know what it is about Lush, but almost everyone loves it. It has yet again been rated the top high street store for customer satisfaction. That says something doesn’t it. That fact alone almost makes me feel justified to spend all my money there. They also have a lot of vegan products, which is fantastic – plus I am able to read through the ingredients without them being written using their chemical name, which is a first! I wouldn’t say I am 100% satisfied with them. I’d obviously prefer if all their products were vegan friendly and if more of their products were non-comedogenic, and I feel like some of their staff do not know much about the products they sell. A great company overall though. I will show and tell my products in my next blog post perhaps.

Since dropping out of University, I have decided to home educate myself in A Level Physics and A Level Mathematics. I have bought all my textbooks, found where to sit my exams and now it is just down to me paying my exam centres and studying the textbooks. I am over a month late in terms of studying, so I will really have to make sure to make up for that during the weekends, mornings, evening and holidays!

I am currently living off of leftover student loan, so another thing for me to sort out ASAP is a job. Lots of places are looking for Christmas staff – but places are quickly being filled, so I need to get my CV out there fast!

Hmm, what else is there to say…

If any of my readers are interested in personality types, then you may know from a prior post of mine that I am an INFJ. Well, after taking a few socionics tests and attending a couple of meet-ups, I am now pretty certain that I am also an EII (INFJ) in socionics. This is actually quite peculiar – as far as I know, most INFJ’s in MBTI test as INFP’s in socionics, because they do not correlate. Well, I don’t know how this has occurred but it is the case. I will also make another separate post soon about personality types, as I have a lot to say about the subject since last time!

I actually have several half-finished blog posts written – about my holiday, about music, about things I have purchased etc. I think I just let things pile up in my mind for too long, until I find it difficult to do anything at all. That is why I love writing in this blog. It isn’t written to please anyone but myself, yet if others do enjoy what I write then that is pretty cool too.

Sorry guys for the massive blog post. I must post more frequently to prevent a buildup like this from occurring again!

Thank you for reading 🙂

– Stormy

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My plans for the holidays.

Summer time is the perfect time to get things done. The weather is warm, the sun it out and there is plenty of free time to do all those little things that you’ve been nagging yourself to do. There are so many things that I personally would like to sort out during the holidays!

One thing that has been on my mind a lot recently is my health. That’s not to say that I’m in a bad way, my health just needs a little maintenance! I am super unfit and get tired just walking up a flight of stairs, and I keep noticing new wobbly bits on me that weren’t there before. I would like to lose ~7lbs of weight, to begin eating healthier and I’d like to start going swimming for a few hours every week to help myself become fitter. I believe that a healthy body makes a healthy mind, so I’m hoping that the healthier eating and exercise will help with keeping me cheerful and with alleviating stress too!

I’d like to sort out moving out soon too – and I need to find a college for me to begin attending this year with the courses that I want to take. I’d like to take physics and mathematics  as intensive A levels, so that I can work hard to get better at physics before heading back to university.

I am also going to find myself a job so that I can support myself over the course of the next year. I’ve quite liked working from home doing freelance jobs in the past, so I will probably try that first.

Last but not least, I’m going to be driven through several European countries in the space of around a week which will be really exciting! I love travelling. 🙂 I’m not 100% sure which countries we will be driving through yet but it will be at least 6 different countries!

– Storm

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Back at Uni.

Hello! 🙂

I returned to Uni on Thursday the 15th. I did my Mathematics exam last Tuesday, I’m so happy that it’s finally over and done with! I know that I didn’t do too well in it, but I kept calm and just did my best.

I’m still having to study a lot to keep on top of all my work, but the exam being over is definitely a big weight lifted off my shoulders.

I have loads to get done this term! This week, I’m going to join some societies, clubs and classes that interest me. I will write about them in my next blog post!

I’ve also had a few shopping trips that I haven’t shared with you, so expect some haul blog posts soon. 😉

Being at University can, inevitably, be very tough sometimes. Students go from having little responsibilities to suddenly being bombarded with being responsible for just about everything in their life – and those responsibilities only get tougher to handle!

I’ve got a very busy day today so that’s all for today. Just wanted to post a little update of what’s been going on in my life! Expect more posts very soon. 🙂

– Storm