Thursday, 30 July 2015

DIY Record Display

I recently bought a record player, the Steepletone ST918, which I wholeheartedly recommend. However my small record collection has been living in a tatty old box and the great cover art was hidden away. This diy is cheap, easy and provides free art for your walls. 

All you need are 1 inch nails, thread, a hammer and records. I plotted out where the nails should go by using my biggest record, which meant they would all fit. After you've marked the spots on the wall, hammer the nails, making sure there is enough room for the records to sit. Then I wrapped thread between the vertical nails, tying knots to make it more secure. Four times later and my records were on my walls and looking good. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Feminism and Me

I am a feminist. 

Feminism is not a dirty word.

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. Gloria Steinem

I'm not perfect, no one is but I am making conscious efforts to unlearn all the horrible habits I have. For me the hardest thing to unlearn was the constant judgement of other women that I did everyday. It's hard not to judge other women, when we are constantly bombarded with the ideals we should achieve and told that anyone who doesn't adhere to these should be judged. The problem is that no one can achieve these ideals, perpetuating the cycle of self hatred. How am I expected to not judge other women for the way they act, or look, if I do the same to myself. People idolise powerful women yet tear them down as soon as possible. 

I am my own worst critic and this is detrimental to my health, both mental and physical. How can I expect anyone to love me if I don't love myself. I am shown everywhere that I should look a certain way but this changes every season, I can't be curvy one second and then skeletal the next. Should I aspire to be a career woman or a mother? Should I take every opportunity to rise to the top only to earn less and never reach my true potential. Should I pursue a career where my research is less likely to receive funding.

A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life. Virginia Woolf

I am not a perfect feminist and I don't claim to be. I am privileged. I am white, straight, educated, middle class and raised in a western country. I will never know what it means to be anything other than what I am. Although the situation is relatively good for me, it's not that way for millions of others. Feminism doesn't end when my situation is the best it can be, it carries on until everyone has equal rights and opportunities. Recognising that my struggles are different is the first step, 

It is so important for me to challenge these stereotypes and taught behaviours. It is hard, to unlearn all the bad habits I've been shown all my life but it's worth it in the end. To praise and admire strong women who have done amazing things, who have overcome the unimaginable. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Cairngorms National Park
I would give my left arm to be on a road trip right now but I am searching for a job because university is crazy expensive, and also I don't have a car. However, I am living vicariously through my roadtrip playlist. There's something about guitars and folky sounds that make me instantly think of the wind blowing through my hair whilst I'm looking out of the window at the most amazing view.

Besides the songs in my playlist I also recommend Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Bears Den, Mumford and Sons, Ray LaMontagne, Hillsong United and Mac Demarco.  

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


I don't go back to university until September, that means I have three months of no essays and endless free time. I'm going to use this time to read, draw and generally improve my life. I got stuck into a routine, or rut?, at university where everything revolved around studying, and my degree subjects. This means I have a mountain of books to read, multiple projects I want to start and complete, recipes to try and relaxing to do.

Although I have done a lot of reading this past year, some of which was for pleasure, I have a stack of books that I want to get through this summer. Admittedly a lot of them do relate to my degree, such as The Odyssey. Whilst others such as Amy Poehlers autobiography or Everyday Sexism are purely because I am interested in them. I also want to read some poetry this summer, be it epic in the form of Euripides or one that hits home in the form of Sylvia Plath. I also want to condense my thoughts and write about the books, good or bad.

This summer I have a kitchen that is not shared with eleven other people. Meaning I can spend as long as I want on a recipe without fear that I am interrupting someones dinner. I used to be fussy, and whilst I still don't eat a lot of things I have branched out. I have so many recipes saved away to try and this summer I'm going to try them all. I also bought a blender/pseudo nutribullet which has already been thoroughly tested with smoothies and protein shakes. 

I have a lot of stuff. Be it clothes or books or just random things, I am a hoarder. Packing up my room at university made clear how much stuff I have, too much. I want to have a capsule wardrobe type situation, although less restricted and severe. I have an idea about the sort of look and style I am aiming to have. I'm going to either sell or donate everything that I don't need or use. 

This is such a cliche goal for summer, or any time of the year. However I feel so good when I exercise regularly and I don't just mean physically. Mentally I feel better and more able to cope. I live on the east coast of Scotland which means I have access to a really great coastal path which happens to lead onto dense, hilly woods. I want to continue with yoga, with the help of Adriene and determination.  

Everything Else
I want to start drawing and creating again. I've set myself a challenge to sketch something everyday, be it a small drawing or a massive painting. I also want to properly blog. I have a lot of things to say and opinions that I want to write about.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

First Year

My beautiful university town\\ St Andrews

One more exam and I will have completed my first year of university; here are my thoughts and reflections on this amazing, stressful year. 

Don't doubt yourself

I am my own worst critic, if I don't get the best mark then I beat myself up about it. In classes I don't contribute an answer for fear of being wrong, the times I have said something I've been told it was a good contribution. Even when I know I am right there is still a nagging fear that I'm wrong and that I will make an idiot of myself. I know I am capable so I need to remind myself that I can do it. 

Find a balance

Whether this balance is between studying, partying, going back home or anything else, balance is so important. I work part-time at the weekends so for me having a balance between 'work' work and university work was essential. I'm a terrible procrastinator and it means I'm spending hours at the library and then working all weekend, with no time for a social life. Its important for me not to burn myself out.

Never compare yourself

I study Ancient History and this is the first time I am ever studying it in an academic sense, I've had an interest in it for years. There are a lot of fellow classmates who have studied it before and had amazing opportunities to work on sites abroad, something that I never had or did. Sometimes it's so hard not to compare yourself to these people who know more than you, it can be disheartening. 

Grades are important

But they're not the most important thing. I've been told multiple times that I only need a 7 to pass, but I don't want to scrape a pass, I want to do well! If I try my hardest and make an honest attempt at something then I will be happy with my grade. Sometimes I struggle with motivation and when I don't have anyone telling me to do work I put it off until the last possible moment. This is a terrible habit to have. I need to be my own biggest motivator.

It's hard
It's a lot harder than high school and you have to be prepared to do a lot of work. My first semester was hard, I was going a module I hated and considered dropping out if I couldn't change in the next semester. But I put my head down, passed the exam and then changed my module. Now I'm doing a module I love and that I'm good at. 

Enjoy yourself
I worked really hard to get into university and now that I'm here it's still hard to comprehend sometimes. I get stressed so easily about stupid things and it prevents me from doing things I enjoy. I'm at university for five years and I am going to enjoy my time here before I have to be a proper adult and get a full time job. 

I have my last exam and I turn twenty next week. Goodbye to teenage years and hello to second year of university!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Revision Playlist

I'm still awake when the sun rises \\ St Andrews

Exam time is upon me and I cannot study without music to block distractions out; here are some of my favourites

Frank Ocean: Channel Orange is one of my favourite albums, and it's the perfect sound for studying. I'm also a big fan of Swim Good.

Mumford and Sons: Their new album Wilder Minds was released recently and although there aren't a lot of banjos I like it. I love their earlier albums, add a banjo and I'm hooked. 

Bon Iver: The perfect music for revising and focusing. His Stems Project album is especially good.

I listen to music predominantly through Spotify and there are some really good ready-made playlists, I listen to the ones categorised under 'focus' often. 

My favourites are Atmospheric Calm, Cinematic Chill Out and Mellow Beats. In other playlist categories I recommend; Dinnertime Acoustics, Have a Great Day! and Sunny Side Up. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Spring Break

I recently spent five days exploring London, here are my photos. 

ft\\ British Museum, Natural History Museum and Tate Modern