What to do when you have nothing to do

I’m the kind of person that is always busy. If I’m not busy (which is rare) I have to make myself busy. If I can’t make myself busy then I am probably very, very ill.

Since arriving back from Asia, I have had roughly 4 weeks to do… nothing. Literally nothing. I could quite happily go out everyday and be a lady of leisure like I’m destined to be, but leisure and being a lady costs money. Back to reality, I’m a student again which means I’m poor again. Sooooo, 3 weeks in and these are my top tips for killing time usefully and extremely cheaply!

Pinterest

Get on Pinterest and check out their vast array of boards! From it I have worked out exactly what to give my boyfriend for his birthday, how my fathers birthday card will look and what I will give to everybody this Christmas! My most recent venture has been to create some little homemade candle holders for my new uni room (pictured)

Meticulous Cleaning

You know that drawer you throw everything miscellaneous into? CLEAR IT OUT. Be brutal and be sensible. When was the last time you used it? Will you ever really use it? If the answer to both of those questions is never or almost never, get rid. You’ll be so proud when you see how much new space you’ve made for more miscellaneous rubbish!

Learn a New HairDo! 

So now I can fishtail and french. It’s a useful skill to have and really requires your dedication – practice makes perfect! There are so many videos on Youtube that give you step by step tutorials and they’re super helpful!

¿Hablo Espanol?

Learn a new language! I use Duolingo App and try to do at least 10 minutes of practice a day. Duolingo is so good because it’s like you’re playing a game and have to unlock new levels to learn new vocab! It’s actually quite addictive but gets much harder the further you get. Learning is fun!

Exercise – you have no excuse!

I go to the gym and I tell myself “I have nothing to go home for” so push myself to the absolute limit, take my time in the sauna and then have a relaxing swim (more exercise!!!!) to rejuvenate my joints!

Have the best lunches ever!

You have all morning to think it through, take a look in the fridge… what are your options? Be creative! Try and be more creative the next day and then the next! Before you know it, you’ll be able to take nothing and make something delicious! Obviously Instagram the entire thing so you look like you’re well into your #foodporn

Homes Under The Hammer

It’s on everyday at 10am. Once you’ve watched one, you’ll want to be a property developer! Not to mention you’re guaranteed to be out of bed early in time to catch it. Then you’ve got from 11am to seize the day!

Organise those Folders!

After years of schooling, you will have hundreds of “Science Homework” “Drama Essay” “Food Tech Powerpoint” etc. Get rid. School life is over and you’re a real person now. A well organised computer is a well organised mind…

Read!

When you get older and you have kiddies, there won’t be days like this anymore. Now is the time to read all of those books you’ve had your eye on but never had the time to pick up! Pick an hour of the day when you can just relax (indoors or out) and lose yourself in another world.

Write a blog post about things do to when you have nothing to do…

I thought this was a funny suggestion, sorry in advance.

Banana and PB Protein Muffins!

Lately, I’ve been really focused on eating plenty, keeping fit and staying healthy. Part of my regime is to get in at least 90g of protein per day; I also like a sweet treat that won’t harm my waistline!

Alas, Banana PB Protein Muffins were born! I used the recipe from Dashing Dish as a base and then added the peanut butter (cause I could quite frankly marry peanut butter!!) and it adds a little more protein and fats to the muffin! You could easily add in some dried fruit, chocolate chips, coco powder or adapt protein flavours…anything!

Ingredients

– 1 large banana

– 6 egg whites

– 122g low fat greek yoghurt

– 67g oats

– 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder

– 1 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 12 tsp peanut butter (optional)

 

Method (makes 12 muffins)

– Pre-heat the oven to 175°C

– Line muffin tin with foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray

– Blend all ingredients (excluding peanut butter) until you have a smooth batter

– Divide mixture into muffin tins

– Place one teaspoon of peanut butter into each cup

– Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown

 

You should now have a gooey, banana’y, protein’y packed sweet snack!

Travel Advice!

 

After a month of seeing a small proportion of the world I have learnt many things. I believe that in order to really thrive as a traveller you have to have all, if not some, of the following traits:

An open mind – what you see of the world through a television screen is nothing like the real deal. Go without any expectations, take in the new culture and try your best to integrate yourself into that culture. By integrating yourself, you will have a far more authentic and exciting experience.

Some common sense – just because the person at reception speaks a little English does not mean that everybody out there has taken the time to learn our language. Sign language is your friend, use your body language to communicate what it is you’re trying to say. Secondly, map reading is very very handy. Try to get good at that cause wifi costs a bomb once you leave home.

The ability to fashion repeat – you’re gone for three months and all you have is a backpack, your outfit options are limited. Take layers, mix and match and don’t forget your flip flops (hostel floors aren’t the cleanest)

A strong stomach – you might think that you’ve tackled a vindaloo and survived to tell the tale, but the change in environment, water and food can do an array of things to your body. Let’s not forget the condition of the toilet facilities – they’re rarely Western and they’re rarely clean, so again, be open minded on that one. Always carry baby wipes, hand sanitiser and toilet paper folks!

And finally….

Be spontaneous – nobody can plan months and months by the day (I tried, believe me). But eventually I learnt to go with the flow and say yes to (almost) EVERYTHING.

 

 

My Travels – China and Japan

This post has most definitely been a long time coming! On 28th June, I hopped on a plane and went on the journey of a lifetime to visit China and Japan for a whole month.

It was the longest time I had ever been away from the UK (not that that’s a bad thing!) and so I was a little apprehensive, especially as I was flying alone! But alas, the nerves were all for nothing and I soon discovered that travelling is everything it’s cracked up to be and more.

Here are a couple of my highlights from each city:

Shanghai

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Ladies nights – they lurrrve the ladies in Shanghai; free drinks for the gals in some of the swankiest rooftop nightclubs! My personal favourite was Bar Rouge with stunning views of Shanghai Bund at night!

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The Bund –  such an iconic skyline, well worth a visit to see Shanghai in all it’s glory!

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The Bund Beach – if the sun is shining, you don’t need to go far to catch some rays. All you need is a man made beach, right by the river. Did I mention it had glorious white beds? And a bar?

Mr X – you pay to get locked into a puzzle room with only an hour to escape – a perfect night out for me! We didn’t manage to complete it, but we got pretty far. I’d definitely do it again, it was like nothing I’ve ever done before!

Chengdu 

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The Panda Research Centre – we saw a two week old panda!! Definitely not something you can see regularly and made it all worth while visiting.

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The Giant Buddah – it’s carved out of wood, built into a mountain and absolutely mahoosive (look at the teeny tiny people). It should be a wonder of the world!

Xi’an

The Terracotta Army – it was only discovered in the 70s and as a result they’re still excavating. What’s there is something breathtaking, it’s beautiful and completely mesmerising! Plus you can get a terracotta warrior version of yourself in a 3D key ring.

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Osaka 

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The Floating Garden – after spending weeks in the hustle and bustle of the city, it was nice to go up 170 floors and feel peace and calm above the craziness below. It was such a good place to reflect on life!

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Osaka Castle – ok, so the castle was great… however, the best part was the little Japanese man who started  chatting to us then asked if we wanted to learn origami. So we sat with him for a while and learnt how to make a butterfly. It was such an authentic Japanese experience.

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Not to mention the other old man later on, who rocked up with a little blue birdie – he let me hold it… On my head!

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Tokyo

Tokyo is everything I expected! Lots of lights, a good nightlife, great food and crazy people dressed in crazy outfits. Harajuku was probably my favourite place – it was fun, quirky and felt like the Soho of Japan!

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Then of course we had to pop to Mt Fuji (note: don’t go on a cloudy day!) It’s still an incredible place to visit… IF you climb it!

 

 

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Then one of my happiest days, Disneyland Tokyo! Ever since I was capable of articulation, I’ve wanted to go to Disneyland but my parents would never allow it. Tokyo gave me the opportunity and I just couldn’t turn it down, I broke my Disney virginity!!! Don’t worry – I got some Mickey and Minnie Mouse mugs to ensure I remember that day forever.

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Now I’m back in the UK with very little purpose in life until I return to Uni. I miss it all so much!! I went with the most amazing friends (who have become even more amazing and dear to my heart), I met amazing people and I will never ever forget the experience. Even now I still say “in China…”

I am incredibly lucky and so so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel that far and see the miraculous things that I did. I’m already planning the next adventure!

 

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Jammy Dodgers

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I recently received a lot of baking bits and pieces. One specific bit, is my Peyton and Byrne, “British Baking” cookbook. For those who don’t know, Peyton and Byrne is a popular cafe branched throughout London. They do lovely cakes, pastries, sandwiches and more! When I worked in Covent Garden I was a regular customer and therefore chose their cookbook over the Hummingbird Bakery book (plus it’s way prettier for your kitchen counter!)

British Baking

Upon receiving the book I decided I would work my way through it – no turning back, no skipping forward. Alas, we start at page one…

The Jammy Dodger

We love them, but can we really replicate them?!

I’m going to say yes on appearance but nope on taste. Buttttttttt… before you leave!! These are right tasty biccies so get on them if you like shortbread and you like jam!

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, softened

120g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

120g fine semolina flour

12 tsps strawberry jam

Method

– Line a baking tray with baking paper

– Beat butter and sugar until creamy

– Add both flours and beat until combined into a dough

Make sure to flour your work surface!!! Then roll out your dough to 5mm thickness

– Use a biscuit cutter to cut out roughly 16 biscuits

– Cut a 2cm heart (ish) out of half of the biscuits

– Sprinkle with sugar

– Place on the baking tray and put into the fridge for 15-20 minutes

– Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4

– Bake for 12-15 minutes until a pale golden colour

– When cool, spread the jam generously on half of the biscuits and sandwich with the non-jammy biscuits!

 

Now you have some tasty jammy dodgers for you and your friends to share! Enjoy!

Coming soon: Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Twenty One Years On..

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I made it!

Last week I had my fabulous 21st birthday and I must admit, at first, I didn’t believe the hype. I really wasn’t excited about my birthday (it fell on a Wednesday) and there really wasn’t anything I wanted as a gift! Therefore, all I was looking forward to was having a normal night out with my friends, having a few too many and boogie’in!

However, I was proven wrong!

On the day…

As the clock struck 00:00 my mum ran into the living room with balloons saying “21!” I then opened a few of my gifts:

A beautiful Links of London Citrine Ring | Sweeties!! | A Peyton and Byrne cookbook | Charms for my bracelet | Vouchers for H&M

It was a great start to the day!

Of course, I went to the gym. Then the fam and I went for a gorgeous meal at the local Chestergate Bistro (if you’re in Macclesfield – GO! It’s amazing food!) To polish off the night I went over to the boyf’s for my birthday surprises; he did very well indeed!

Freshly baked cupcakes (butterflies in tact) | Thomas Sabo birthstone charm | A kindle cover | JoJo Moyles book | Nike gym leggings | A beautiful bunch of flowers

Spoilt rotten, I rested in sweet anticipation for the celebrations to come.

FINALLY Friday came around and it was time to pardy pardy pardy. I met one of my closest friends, Amy, in Manchester for some lush pizza and cocktails. She and Heather surprised me with Afternoon Tea at Harrods (cannot wait to redeem that bad boy!).

I then ran home to get changed quickly before meeting the girls at my friends flat for some pre-drinks. The plan then was to meet the clan in Manchester for more beverages.

However, upon arrival at the flat I was completely and utterly shocked to find everybody was there with party poppers in hand to surprise me! It was fantastic! The girls had clubbed together and got me a stunning Links of London bracelet which I immediately put on the wrist! Lily and Thys had got me some baking goods so that I can bake even more delicious treats!

It was such a special night for me… All organised by my bestest friend ever, Katie!!! She did a fabulous job and everybody had an amazing time. She’s a keeper!

Then finally, a (hungover) family meal at home. Luther Vandross played, I ate even more cake and Grandma had a few too many…

I had such a good birthday and I just want to thank everybody who made it special for me – love you all! xxxxx

Breaking My Festival Virginity!

festival

 

I’m 21 years old and – until this year – had never once braved a festival. It’s not that I can’t handle the filth, cold and smelly toilets; it was because my dad put me off with a TONNE of horror stories when I was 15…

Your tent will get burnt down by hooligans. You will get punched in the face. You will have your drink spiked or get injected with an unknown substance.You will hate every second. You are not going.

However, last year my friends went to YNot festival in Derbyshire and had the best time so this year I wanted in on the action!

For those of you who don’t know much about YNot, it’s a relatively small festival which is welcome for both families and groups of friends. They showcase both popular artists and the new, up and coming! You definitely don’t need to know the bands to have a good time – I definitely didn’t and still managed to dance along to most of the music.

YNot has won Best Toilet Awards in the past and service their toilets 24 hours a day. I think there was only one occasion where there was no toilet paper in the cubicle – not bad!

There’s a roller disco, ferris wheel, dodgems, amazing food and most importantly – a reggae tent! Course I got down there for dance off or too…

At night if you get a little nippy there’s a roaring fire pit where people gather to reminisce, gossip or have a little nap. If you’d rather keep going – there’s a secret party each year that takes place each night. This year it was behind a bookcase in a granny-led cafe – genius!

The sun didn’t shine much but the music kept playing and the drinks kept flowing. I loved every second of it and would happily do it again.

Next year, get a HUGE group of friends together and check it out. It’s only £80 for a weekend ticket!

 

Here’s a line-up of my favourites:

Dizzee Rascal | White Lies | Newton Faulkner | Nordic Giants | Luke Sital-Singh | Eliza and the Bear | Amber Run | Bipolar Sunshine |

 

 

 

I’m Back!

tashieback

 

Hello to you my beautiful readers!

Firstly, I must apologise for my complete lack of posting. I’ve been terrible and I am well aware of that. However, China don’t allow WordPress – what’s a girl to do?!

Anyway I. Am. Back.

I’ve refreshed the blog for summer (do you like it?!) and I, myself am very refreshed also! In time I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Shanghai. But in the meantime, I just wanted to pop in and say hello! I hope you’re all having a splendid summer – despite any rain – and have continued to smile throughout!

For now, here’s a song to get you smiling, groovin and movin;

 

Croatian Adventure – Day Six

Our last day was a sad one, but we made sure to live it to the fullest!

We got up early and had some brunch. We then caught the ferry back to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik! Again, we decided on a city day so no bikini’s, plenty of shopping and some final sightseeing!

I got an ice-cream to cool off and ended up with this bad boy at no extra cost – the ice cream boy was showing off!

We stumbled across a cliff side bar – we were literally dangling off the edge of a cliff sipping Prosecco and watching crazy Australian kids jump off the huge rock!

Two glasses of Prosecco later, I had a YOLO moment and jumped off the huge cliff in just my underwear – it was worth it! Hands down the best thing I have ever done!

For our final night out we ate lots, drank lots and partied with our newly acquainted Aussie friends! Oh… And I wore Watermelons!

 

Croatia was the best place I have ever been. I’ve raved so much that I’ve convinced a few folk to book a holiday there. Do it! Do it before the tourism world takes over and ruins all its natural beauty!

 

Pep Talk

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This weekend, I packed up my life for the third time in a year to move on to the next chapter.

This year has seen various chapters for me. So much so that I feel like an oldie! But with it have come lessons and experiences that I will always hold close to me.

Most of my close friends have finished their degree and are planning the next steps in life. I haven’t spoken to a single friend that is confident in those next steps. The world is scary and change isn’t something we are faced with regularly. So here are my words of advice for anyone going through it:

Just because you don’t have a job or a boyfriend or you didn’t get a 2:1 or you’re absolutely bottom of the pit skint. Remember, there is always someone out there who is doing worse than you. It might feel like life is uncertain and for the first time ever you feel like you’ve lost control of your life. But it’s the complete opposite. For the first time in your life you don’t have to adhere to the rules of society. You have the power to take the reins and do whatever you feel like doing.

Ask yourself: If I could do anything right now, what would it be?

Now, do it.

If you can’t do it immediately, work to it. Set a goal and work for it. That goal might be to go travelling, to climb the career ladder, to run a marathon, maybe you just want to be happy. Whatever it is, there is nothing stopping you.

This time is a time for opportunity. Doors close on us everyday but it’s the ones that open that we should pay attention to. Always say yes. Take every opportunity even if it scares the shit out of you.

And most importantly. Believe in yourself. Positivity, smiles, laughter and happiness are the key to success.

Success shouldn’t be defined by the amount of money you earn. It should be defined by how regularly you look back on a day and think “Man, that was a good day.”

You’re one of a kind and have a blank page to write your own story from scratch. And that’s pretty cool.