Saturday, 22 September 2018

Essentials For Your College Bag

Hey!
I have been to college for a couple of weeks and I have come to realise that there are essentials needed for day to day life and the majority of the time they are forgotten. We all remember them when we need them or when it's too late. I thought I would share with you my essentials for your school bag. This is a college edition sort of post if you are in secondary school or working you may not need all this but there are a few vital items for every part of life.

Umbrella

If you live in Ireland or any other country that rains pretty frequently then there have been a few times where you have been out and about and it starts to pour. It is annoying getting soaked and your hair going all frizzy. I have used my umbrella several times in college already and it hasn't even hit winter yet. A word of advice for getting an umbrella, don't go for the very cheap ones as they break really easily and you don't want to be left in the rain with a broken umbrella. I bought mine in Dunnes Stores for €12, I can't find the brand anywhere online but it's a small but sturdy handbag sized umbrella.

Rain Coat

Like keeping an umbrella on you at all times, another good option is a raincoat. The simple Parka in a Pack works the treat as they are lightweight, fold up very small into a pocket and are available in cute colours and designs. Almost every clothes shop sells these and they don't break the bank either around €10.

Snacks

I wish I had figured this out earlier as there were a few lectures that I become a little hangry in and I wish I had something at hand to keep the hunger monster at bay. This one is really personal to what you like the snack on, it can be sweet or savoury, anything your heart desires. A word of caution is whatever you put as your snack make sure it can last some time in a bag. Cereal bars are a good go to. My favourite snack bar for the past few months have been Dark Chocolate Flavour Coated Nut and Seed Bar from Aldi's Specially Selected range. It gives me a little bit of chocolate but it isn't the worst thing in the world to eat and keeps you topped up until your next meal.

Power Bank

I like to bring around a power bank with me, especially if it is going to be a long day and I'm leaving the house with my phone less than 70%. I normally don't need it but it is great to have just in case I'm watching a lot of videos when I'm out and about or one of my friends needs to charge their phone. You can get power banks everywhere now and for pretty cheap too. I bought mine from Primark/Penneys and it still works well. It gives my iPhone 7 around 50% charge.

Reusable Bottle and Coffee Cup

I always carry around a bottle of water with me as I get thirsty at random points in the day and I don't want to pay for a bottle of water each time this happens. It ends up being expensive and very damaging for the environment as there is more plastic thrown away. The same can be said with the disposable coffee cups, they can't be recycled and go to the landfill to rot for hundreds of years. Getting a reusable coffee cup means you waste less and now you can get a few cents off your beverage every time you use it. Keep a sealable bag to put it into when you are finished so it won't spill in your bag. I got mine in my Freshers pack but I would have purchased one anyway.

A Small Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit in my school bag has saved me so many times over the years. It's the simple things that we all forget about like tissues or plasters that you have to use more often than we think. I have an array of stuff in mine but I nearly always end up using each thing at some stage. My emergency kit contains painkillers, a nail file, plasters, Vaseline, bobby pins, bobbins, pads and panty liners. I used to keep a little change in it too but now I bring my wallet with me nearly everywhere so I don't need it.

What are you bag essentials?

Thanks for being awesome,


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Visiting Greystones & The Happy Pear Cafe

Hey!
This Summer, my Mam and I had planned to go to The Happy Pear Cafe in Greystones and of course, we kinda forgot about it until we made the spontaneous trip there on the first of September. For anyone we don't know, The Happy Pear are twins, David and Stephen Flynn, who have created a mini-empire with 3 cookbooks, 3 cafes and a very successful YouTube channel.
My Mam got their most recent cookbook for her birthday and we fell in love with the recipes. None of us are vegan but I really enjoyed the meals and also, they are such quick and easy meals to make. There are a few members of my family that weren't impressed by these meals but they still ate them.
I set off up to Greystones with my Mam and the two sceptics, Dad and my brother, Cathal. We were really hungry when we arrived and went straight to The Happy Pear Cafe. There was a queue but surprisingly we only had to wait 20 minutes. We all ordered different things, I had the Mexican Burrito Bowl, my Mam had the Lasagne, my Dad had the Buddha Bowl and Cathal had the Vegan Pulled Pork Burger. There is plenty of seating both inside and out but we decided to sit inside as it had become chilly.
The food was amazing, I couldn't finish mine but loved every bite. it was definitely different but I really enjoyed all the veg in my meal, it tasted amazing. The only one who didn't love their meal was Cathal but that's because he loves his meat. I was surprised as well at the price, it was very affordable for dinner and I was expecting it to be so expensive. It was around €10 per person for dinner which is amazing, normally it is double that in a standard cafe/restaurant.
Mam and Dad got a cappuccino each and a vegan Bounty bar and a chocolate caramel square. I didn't like the Bounty bar as much are the caramel square due to the dark chocolate. We went outside to the garden seating area which is another fab area. Stephen was out there too and of course, my Mam got her cookbook signed. He was an absolute gent and talked to her for a few moments.
Greystones is another beauty in itself. There are loads of quaint shops and beautiful beaches. Also, if you are a fan of dogs, you will see your fair share there, I think I say about 20 dogs that day.
We headed down to the beach after our food. We went to a pebble beach which was great as the stones didn't get everywhere like the sand. We spent a few hours chilling, reading books and walking along the beach. We didn't spend too much time in the sea as it was absolutely baltic. I lasted about 20 seconds in it before I jumped out.
Our final stop on our adventure was Dun Laoghaire. We decided to go to Scrumdidldy's which has an amazing selection of ice-creams, it's really mindblowing. There was a queue again but we didn't mind as we knew the stuff was good. I got a Kinder Bueno Extreme which had a Kinder Bueno bar in it with soft whip ice cream, hazelnut ice cream and a chocolate sauce. It was so good and I wouldn't recommend having one on a full stomach as it's huge. As we ate our ice creams, we walked down the East Pier and it was a lovely way to end the day.

All in all, it was a great day to finish out the Summer holidays and I would recommend going to Greystones, Dun Laoghaire and definitely The Happy Pear Cafe.

Have you ever been to The Happy Pear Cafe? What did you think?

Thanks for being awesome,


Saturday, 1 September 2018

College, I'm Coming For You

Hey!
I made it! I am going to college, I mentioned in last weeks post that I am doing Biological and Chemical Sciences, Biochem for short, in University College Cork. This was my first choice and for the past few months, I was sure I wouldn't get it as the points were predicted to go up and also with the series of unfortunate events that occurred from January to June of this year didn't help either. I was surprised to open my email on CAO day and say that I got this course. I didn't get near the required points but I got in on DARE which offers college places for lower points for students with learning difficulties, mental health difficulties, ongoing illness and a few other things. Without DARE, I wouldn't have got in full stop, I was 50 points out. If you are in 6th year and can apply for DARE do! If you have any questions about it, you can contact me on any of my socials and I will help you out.

My parents and I ventured down to the college on CAO day to have a look around and also view my digs accommodation. My dad hadn't been to the campus before so I gave him a tour around. My mam and I had been there earlier in the Summer and I had been to the open day so I know my way around. I love the campus, I love the old buildings and how everything is designed with green spaces.

My orientation is starting next week which I am a little nervous but it will be a new part of my life. There is another person in my year doing my course so I have a familiar face there and surprisingly I know a lot of people already in the college. Some are people from my year or school, family friends and Ailbhe Woods and Cloda Scanlon both bloggers who study in UCC but Cloda is in Rome this year on Erasmus.

I have a meeting with the disabilities office next week too where I will be discussing with the disability officer what resources I would like. It will be great to finally have some additional resources to help me as for secondary school I had none. I was fine with it until 5th year but then I started to struggle a lot.

I have a huge amount of things to buy before college starts, I already got my laptop so that's one thing checked off the list. It's all things I'll use like an umbrella, mouse, laptop case, rain jacket and of course, some home decor.

It was only at my debs that I realised that I won't be seeing some of the people in my year anymore, I said my last hello without even realising it which feels so strange. I didn't feel this way at all during the year but now I realised that it is all over and just feels a little strange.

I am looking forward to starting college but it is a little bittersweet.

Thanks for being awesome,