My thanksgiving to-do list!

Hey Guys!
Believe it or not I am one of the few bloggers out there with the worst organisation skills ever. Therefore, as promised this morning, I thought I would share with you the to-do list I created to assist me with the lead up to Thanksgiving! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to see any recipes from my menu! I really hope you enjoy!! 

My To-Do List Includes:

3-4 Weeks Before:

Write a guest list

Invite family and friends you are genuinely thankful for. In my case this involves missing out toxic individuals, or those who I know or suspect would disrespect the house and the beautiful environment I’m working hard to put together (especially if there is alcohol involved). After all, this is my home.
Don’t feel pressured to invite people who you or other guests may not feel comfortable around. Drama free evening please!! (I divided my thanksgiving in two, not to prevent drama, but because my family isn’t very social, and I don’t want to force them into an uncomfortable situation with strangers- a.k.a. my potentially very drunk friends.)

Purchase an outfit

If you’re planning on wearing something a bit special, like a new dress or possibly something a bit Autumnal, think about ordering this a few weeks in advance in order to avoid heartbreak and paying next-day delivery.

Read magazines/browse for inspiration

Find recipes and decor ideas either online or in magazines. Even in the UK magazines this is possible, because most places will already have released Christmas magazines that probably contain a lot of recipes that can translate for Thanksgiving as well. This year I loved reading the Tesco 2017 Christmas mag because it had some amazing recipes and visual stimuli. As usual, for decor, I was obsessed with Pintrest. I spend way too much of my life on Pintrest.

Order decor/other

Order or craft any decor you’ve seen on Pintrest that you just ‘need’. Also, consider whether you need extra cutlery or plastic cups. For example, I ordered an ash-tray to put outside, and a drinks dispenser for the punch.  

Write your menu

 Of course, this is the most important one of all! and needs to be done ahead of time so you don’t waste money on food that won’t be used, or forget to order certain items.
Consider any guests with dietary requirements or allergies; for example, my mother is what I like to call a sh*tatarian. She is technically a pescatarian, meaning that the only meat she eats is fish- but she can be very fussy with vegetarian options. I worry about her nutrition often, as she has a tendency to cook for her omni family and forget about herself. Normally with a roast we would cook a bit of salmon, but for this occasion I bought her a Linda McCartney pie, because even as a meat eater I think they are absolutely delicious. Mine includes:
***
Starters:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (cheating I know),
Bacon and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake, with Melted Brie
Main:
Roast Turkey,
Roast Pork,
One Linda McCartney vegetarian pie,
Green Bean Casserole,
Cranberry Sauce (both smooth and whole berry),
Roast Veg with Seasonal Roots,
Asparagus Tips,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mashed Potatoes,
Carrot and Swede Mash,
Roasted Sprouts with Bacon,
Broccoli & Cauliflower,
Cauliflower Cheese,
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings (Just try serving a bunch of Brits a roast with no Yorkshires, & their faces contort in disgust!),
Stuffing (meat inside and vegetarian outside the bird),
Meat Gravy (Plus vegetarian one separate)
Dessert:
Sweet Potato Pie,
Chocolate Tart,
Pear and Chocolate Crumble with ice cream.
Drinks:
‘Apple Pie’ Punch
“Open Bar”

***


1-2 Weeks Before:

Write a shopping list & Order Non Perishables

Make a list based on your menu, then divide into 2 by frozen/non perishables, and food you need/want to order fresh. Order frozen and non perishables such as alcohol, then put your other list somewhere for safekeeping. That way, later on you can grab fresh food such as veggies + add any thing you forgot onto the new list.

Think about a punch that would be widely enjoyed– for example I held off on the Malibu as I know many people dislike/have allergies to coconuts. I love to watch Tipsy Bartender on YouTube- even though I rarely drink outside of big events/Christmas nowadays.

Think about areas where it may be possible to cheat! It doesn’t make you a bad person to cut corners in some places. For example, I realized my life would be made substantially easier if I purchased a pre-made shortcrust pastry for my sweet potato pie. No- it’s not that difficult to make- but it saves time and energy later on when I will be rushed off my feet.

Make Placeholders

This is especially useful if there are attendees who don’t get always along. In my case, Due to being extremely picky with my invites, I hope they will just serve as whimsical keepsakes.

1-2 Days Before:

Clean/tidy house

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home is guest ready. For me, I had to make  a list including chores I would normally put off- for example things such as bleaching skirting board and treating my bathroom for limescale. (Norfolk is an area that has very hard water, which causes a frequent build up). Austin and I also had a small domestic regarding whose duty it was to catch the unwanted guest in the bathroom… he is terrified of spiders! Make sure all your dishes are clean, or else you might find yourself scrambling on the day looking for something that is in the dishwasher!

Entertainment!

Bring your speakers downstairs, make a playlist. Consider games/activities for when it gets quiet. Cards against humanity is a must- but as massive nerds we actually are planning to introduce D&D to our friends for the first time. Not to mention probably some drinking games later on. My favourite is the nomination game!

Pamper yourself

 Pick an outfit, do your nails, shave, pamper yourself for the long day ahead. Speaking from the experience of last year, you won’t have much time to do this on the day- even despite the precautions you have taken. It is probable that you will still be standing in the kitchen until the very last minute!

Prepare your veg

Clean, peel, chop and vacuum pack vegetables so all you have to do is cook them the day after.
To do this, place your vegetables into a ziplock bag, and pop a straw into the outside corner. Do the zip up all the way to the edge of the straw, then use it to suck out all the excess air. Seal the bag, and pop in the fridge!

Cook the desserts

Hot ones such as crumble that can be refrigerated and then warmed up on the day. The day before Thanksgiving I’m setting some allocated time to make all three of the desserts on the menu. Luckily, the crumble is a fairly easy one, as the temperature required doesn’t necessarily matter-  so it can go in at the same time!

Put up decorations

Set and lay the table, as well as placing any center pieces and pretty bits where you would like them to go. I added an autumnal wreath, some themed balloons and candles for ambiance.


On the Big Day:

Consider roping off areas

Yes, they are guests, and you shouldn’t make the night feel too artificial by enforcing a 2 page list of rules. However, they should respect your boundaries, especially if there is alcohol and or children involved. Don’t feel bad for roping off a certain area of your house if you think it may cause issues or unwanted mess.

Cook

Obvious, I know (as though you need to be reminded). Cook the foods you have planned out in your menu. This should be much easier with your squeaky clean kitchen and ready-to-go vegetables. However, if you find yourself extremely stressed or short of time be sure not to push yourself too hard. There will almost definitely be enough food regardless of whether or not you miss out or forget one or two dishes, as it’s the custom for guests to bring something along.

Get Ready!

Lay out all the beautiful food on the table, get yourself dressed and ready and have a glass of wine while you wait for your guests to arrive! You’ve earned it!

Gifts for Geeks | Christmas 2017

Whats up guys? I know what you’re all thinking, but yes, with Halloween done and out of the way, whether we like it or not Christmas is fast approaching!

As you may know, I’m a total media junkie. I love TV/film/gaming, so when EMP got in contact with me and asked me to do a post I was super excited because I knew it was time to do my first ever Christmas gift guide! So down below I’m going to talk about some of the things that caught my eye from their website.


Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts

Of course, if you know me at all or keep up with my posts such as The Harry Potter Tag, you’ll know I am obsessed with Harry Potter and the entire universe that J.K Rowling has gifted the world. So of course, this was the first section of the website I headed for. I was totally pleasantly surprised at the amount of merchandise to choose from, so it was really tough for me to narrow down this little selection, but here are the items I chose to share with you- either because I love them, or its something I’ve never seen before!

Dark Arts Notebook – £17.99

Although personally I am a Gryffindor, I always find myself attracted to the dark objects. They are always so beautiful, and I particularly love the metallic green finish on this piece. I think this would be an amazing gift for any Potter fan who needs a nifty little notebook. But really, especially is there such a thing as too many notebooks?

Gryffindor Pyjamas – £24.99

I picked out these because I know several families who have traditions of opening a set of cosy PJ’s on Christmas eve, to open open presents in the next day- which is a tradition I fully intend to get behind now I have my own household. I am a Pyjama fanatic, and I love nothing more than changing into my cosiest PJ’s as soon as I set foot in my house.  Of course if you’re from a different house, they have others available in this style!

Earring Set – £9.99 – £6.99

My favourite kind of wearable merchandise is always subtle merchandise, which is why I loved these so much. I love to be able to sneak cute accents like this into my everyday outfits. Earrings always make for a great stocking filler, and this set is super cute and affordable.

Wax Seal Kit – £29.99 – £24.99

I had a kit very similar to this one a few years back that I purchased from the Harry Potter studios. I love the design on the stamp piece here though, It looks like a lot more care went into the creation of this one. This gift is ideal for stationary lovers, I really enjoyed the process of using wax seals, it just makes your post look so much more exciting- I don’t know why people ever stopped using them!

Niffler/Dumbledore Funko – £9.99 

Now I personally don’t collect Funko’s, but I know so many people that do. I have to say though, despite me not being a collector, I totally fell in love with these two pieces. Dumbledore especially. From his lilac robes to his sparkly looking hat, I just think he’s the cutest. I also couldn’t get away without posting at least one piece of Niffler merch, he is one of my favourite characters in the J.K universe. I too, am obsessed with shiny things, little guy!

Wizard Chess Set – £45.99

Ok, I have always wanted a Wizard Chess set to sit on my coffee table from the first time I visited the Harry Potter studios in London and saw a very expensive glass set. I just think it’s such a clever, fun and beautiful tribute to Harry Potter, and I personally would love to receive a gift like this!


Jewellery

As I mentioned before, I am a bit of a Niffler- enter jewellery obsession. I adore fun and unique costume jewellery, and am constantly struggling not to purchase items just like these pieces below. There was so much choice for some great and thoughtful stocking fillers available on EMP’s site, it was hard for me to pick just a few- BUT here they are!

Ohana Necklace – £12.99

People who know me know that I am extremely family orientated and come from an incredibly close knit immediate family. I chose this piece not only because I love Lilo and Stitch, but because I think it would be a super cute gift for any family member. I might actually purchase this myself for my little sister, to remind her I love her (even when she’s being a bratty teen!)

Alice Ear-Cuff – £12.99

As I said before, odd jewellery. I love ear cuffs, I think they look so unique and stunning, and this piece really caught my eye! I love the bronzed effect and the detail is just adorable… I really want this for myself!

The One Ring – £55.99

Now, the pricing of this one is a little steep, (depending on how much you love LOTR of course), but there are some other colours/options. I like this one in particular because the details really appeal to me, and I think anyone who adores Lord of the Rings as much as we do would love this one- if you love them enough to splash out on it of course!

PlayStation Controller Necklace – £16.99

A great homage to any PS gaming fanatics in your life, I thought this piece was cute and something I’d never seen before!


Miscellaneous

Admittedly, at this stage I felt like I had to narrow down my choices because I had a collection of mugs that I loved that would have taken me all night alone-  (there are so many- go check them out!). Because my post was already at risk of becoming too long here are some miscellaneous bits and bobs I felt like I couldn’t end this Christmas Guide without bringing to your attention.

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Fallout Nuka Cola – Gift Set – £19.99

First of all, if you’re feeling a bit unimaginative with your gifts, EMP have a couple of sets literally titled “gift sets” (I also really liked this Playstation one), but since my husband and I are great fans of Fallout, I loved seeing this one, because it looks like it could have been ripped straight from the game!

Stark Christmas Jumper – £41.99

I loved this jumper so much! I thought it was a super clever and inventive way to incorporate GOT fandom into the Christmas spirit. It’s so festive and yet so nerdy at the same time. Brilliant! I would have purchased this in a heartbeat, but the price is a little steep for me. *sad face* That being said- it’s a welcome gift if anyone likes me that much!

Tarot Cards – £14.99

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a spiritualist and a closet witch, so I love to see things like this in more mainstream shops- even if they are sold as more of a novelty item. I loved the packaging for this set, as the little cat reminded me of Binx from Hocus Pocus! (yes, you’re right, I’m probably not entirely over Halloween yet).

Gift Card

Finally, if my guide has been too long and overwhelming, or you’ve visited the site and simply cannot choose, if you’re not sure what their favourite movie is, or if you’re simply feeling lazy and unimaginative, you could always play it safe and purchase a gift card!


Thank you!

I know I don’t say this enough but if you read my content thank you so much, it honestly means the world to me and really keeps me going. If you enjoyed this post or fancy any of the items below do feel free to share this with Santa… (or just comment below) what you’re loving too, and be sure to visit their site >> here << or by following any of the other links I’ve used above!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that maybe it’s helped you to feel even the slightest bit more festive!

Love Frankii x

Jeffree Star Mini Haul!

My hand is always slipping and doing this. Since Jeffree had a sale a few weeks ago, I decided to get my hands on two liquid lipsticks to add to my collection that I’ve been ogling since forever. Browns/Nudey browns? Get in my basket. Lip scrub? You too, for good luck. Obvs. 

I purchased “Daddy” from the Manny MUA // Jeffree Star collection, “Family Jewels”, and the lip scrub in flavour “Pumpkin Spice Latte”.

Daddy 

As I’ve mentioned before I love the Velour Liquid Lipstick formula. This one actually applies even nicer and thinner than any I’ve tried so far, it’s not very drying for a matte, and it feels weightless and smooth. I adore the packaging for this collab, I would have had the highlighters too if I had the funds. (Especially as I adore Manny, I think he’s the sweetest!) The lipstick looks AMAZING on my skin tone if I do say so myself- it’s like the nude brown I’ve been looking for my whole life. I can’t talk this one up enough. I know I’ve just done a post on my favourite lipsticks for fall but had I received this before it would definitely be first on my list. Wearable. Wonderful. 10/10 Get on my mouth.

 

Family Jewels

This one is in the same family but a little deeper and warmer than Daddy. It gives me slight 90s vibes on the lips and I can’t wait to wear this- another new Autumn favourite already I think! I’m excited to wear this with some chokers and some darker clothes to channel some witchy vibes!

 

Here they are both swatched below!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Lip Scrub!

I got this thinking it would be an exciting thing to review. I’ve never had a lip scrub before, and since it’s Autumn I thought I’d go for the flavour pumpkin spice latte.

The flavour of this was a little too ‘spicy’ for me actually not in a heat kind of way, but it seemed to overtake the other flavours, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it like I’ve heard some people do with these products.

However, I’m not sure how I’ve lived without a lip scrub up until this point. It makes lipstick removal so much easier, and my lips feel much softer and exfoliated. I’m really happy with how this is working for me!

 


I hope you enjoy these little hauls! 

Love from Frankii 

X

“Last Minute” Vampiress tutorial

 

Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with my first ever tutorial! If you want to find out how to do this last minute vampire look I did, using things I mostly already had just laying around then keep on reading!

*My eye colour is edited from my natural green in this image using an app, because unfortunately my eyes can’t take coloured lenses*

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So, first of all, of course, I started off priming my face like I normally would. This is the primer I’m using at the moment. I bought this at first because I’m quite oily in my T-zone and I’m really self conscious of my large pores. I’ve been trying to gradually make the shift to cruelty free makeup, and I’d heard good things about this one. However, I’m not totally sold on this one, as I find that sometimes it can apply a little cakey and overly drying- so if any of my CF babes out there reading this have any recommendations for a blurring primer, please do leave suggestions in the comments below!


The second step I took was to apply my base as normal, but I mixed my foundation in with this Makeup Revolution “SFX Ghost Whitener”. I purchased this and the fake blood I mention later in a Halloween Drugstore Haul I did last week (post coming next week). As I was applying this I was considering how naff this product would probably be for my POC babes, so if thats you, perhaps skip this step or use some grey eyeshadow to make your skin a dull, ashy tone.

Of course, this look could also be achieved by using a face paint, or a very pale foundation if you are really feeling those last minute Halloween vibes! In fact, as I will mention later on, I didn’t get on superbly with this product, so I possibly would recommend a face paint anyway.

 

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As you can see, this product made my foundation very strange- It was paler than this in person- but for the most part I found this very odd. I wouldn’t recommend this product at all if you don’t have any setting powder- as beforehand it was creasing (as you can see in my lids), moving around, and kind of sitting on top of my skin as a pose to working with it. If your primer isn’t fantastic it also makes you very oily and clings to your pores in quite an unflattering fashion. As I was trying to put my lashes on later, the slightest touch to my face made it patchy and move around, I ended up having to “bake” my entire face to prevent this.

 

Now, you might think me a little crazy at first for these steps but bare with me! I didn’t have a particularly pigmented red tone, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you how I will sometimes use an eye safe matte lipstick in its place. For this tutorial I went with Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in shade “Checkmate”- (You can read more about this product here if you should so wish)!

So here as you can see, I went ahead and applied this product all over my lid. Don’t be afraid, you don’t have to be too neat with it- as most of the blending and shadow work we do later will correct any mess left behind. But, I just thought this added a really nice, rich shade to start us off.

For the next part I picked up my Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette and lightly dipped into the pinkish shade “gossip” using a fluffy brush. I popped this into the crease for a base and to begin blending out the red on my eyelids.

Following this, I then dipped into the shade “Seize” which is the orangey tone to the right of it, and proceeded to blend this one up and really concentrate it in my crease and eradicate the cooler pink tones I’d just put down. (This may seem counterproductive- but it really helped the colours to blend more seamlessly)


After blending those two shadows you will probably end up with something a little bit like this. Yes, it’s still a little messy, but you now have a great outline for you to start adding depth and dimension to your lids.

Before the next step I took a clean fluffy brush and really worked on blending those shadows up towards my brows to diffuse the harsh lines at the top. If this isn’t working, feel free to go in with your go to transition shade, preferably a light neutral or warm brown, and work this gently into the crease.

The next step is where your look will really start coming together. I could have used a warm deep brown from any palette I had, but for this look I chose my (very loved as you see) trio palette from Mally. This palette has been a staple of mine for about two years now, the shades are just really complimentary to my skin tone and they are all super richly pigmented.

So, with this Mally palette I took the middle brown with a fluffy brush and popped that into my crease. Gently blending it in circles I managed to make the transition smooth, so I could no longer see any traces of the lines created by the lipstick product.

I then went back into this colour, and began to bring it down to smoke out the lower lash line. A mistake people often make with vampiric looks is thinking that it has to involve a whole lot of black, but actually I added most of my dimension here by building up this brown shade.

Don’t worry too much about fall out here, as of course with a vampiric look you don’t have to look flawless and it helps to look a little dead. However, if it bothers you, you can always gently sweep it off or touch it up with more white/face product.

 

Next, I always actually like to do my liner before the final steps of my eyeshadow as I find that for me it helps me to see where I want to place the most depth in my shadow, and also if there’s any mess or errant liner it makes it easier to correct or smoke out with shadow.

Here I am, winged and ready!

Next I dipped into shade “Warning” which is a very unique, shimmery burnt orange. I used this to even further blend out my shadow at the top and the inner corners where I felt like there was too much pink going. It provides depth by adding a nice orange tone in between your brow and the red.

After I added the brown, I built up even more depth in my outer corner using the darker shadow in the Mally palette- and a very light touch of a black shade from my new sleek palette (I will review these in a haul soon).

Be sure to go in very lightly with your brush when playing with dark shades if you are a beginner, because it’s much easier to build up darker shades than it is to blend them out. More often than not if you add too much you will end up changing the entire look, or having to start again. Which is ok, of course, its make-up! Experimentation is great fun, but sometimes we just don’t have all day, no?

Next I wanted to try some new lashes I got, so I went with these Wispies from Eyelure. I’d been disappointed previously with set that were too small for my eyes, and so I treated myself to something a little extra drama for this tutorial.

I loved the way these looked on, they are so long and dramatic and I felt they really completed such an intense eye look.

After that I used a dark brown liner in my waterline, and added a tiny bit of dark eyeshadow into my brows. My brows are naturally dark and thick so I don’t really like to do too much with them, else I’ll end up with big ole slugs, but I do fill in any gaps and square off the inner corners.

I did my eye makeup first knowing that there may be complications with fallout or with the face product I was testing for the first time. I was lucky to not have to correct any fallout- but as I mentioned before I had to basically reapply my whole face after applying my lashes and touching my face. After doing so I set it all using my go to translucent powder, which made the product a little bit more acceptable.

When all this was done, I was ready for my favourite part! Contour and highlight. For this look I didn’t contour using very much, and went in using the coolest shade there is, because after all, vampires are supposed to look “dead”. Therefore I used the cool shade on the underside of my cheekbones and along my jawline and double chin to help exterminate Cornelius! (my second chin).

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For highlight I used Jeffree Star Skin Frost in shade “Lavender Snow”. I love Lavender Snow but barely get a change to wear it as it doesn’t really suit my face as a highlight, it’s a little too cool for my skin and actually gives me a bit of a grey hue when its used anywhere except the eyes. So, for this tutorial, since I am supposed to look dead, I used this on top of my whitened face and it was blinding. The pictures really don’t do it justice.

The final touch was this fake blood I bought, again from Makeup Revolution. To be honest, I wasn’t that enthralled with this product, It wasn’t the most realistic one I’d ever used, and MY GOD did it stain my skin. But it’s all worth it for the IG aesthetics… Right?

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For my lips I went in with my old vampy faithful, “Designer Blood”. (Reusing my image from my favourite matte lips for fall post as I forgot to take another)

And so, Voilà! My completed look. I wish I could have finished it with a Morticia-esque wig, but alas, I unfortunately don’t really have the funds!

Obviously most of these steps you can recreate with products you have in your own makeup bag. Even if you don’t have any warm tones, this look would also look great and super gothic with purples!

 


 

I hope you guys really enjoyed my first ever tutorial. I never thought I’d be brave enough to start doing this, so every little view counts. Thank you so much for reading, please let me know in the comments below if you tried this, or if you have any other spooky suggestions for me this month! 

Love always,
Frankii

x

5 Tips for Freshers/Freshmen!


Since I’m starting my Master’s at a new University next month (UEA), I was thinking about how daunting facing a new academic adventure is. University (NTU) held some of the best (and worst) times of my life, and your life really is about to change forever. Living away from home and studying something (hopefully) you love will help you to really grow and find yourself. It sounds cliché but though it’s certainly not for everyone, your experience really will be an intensely valuable one, and hopefully will contain some of the best days of your life. I’m genuinely very jealous that you are getting to do it for the first time! 

 Though I am still jittery with nerves and excitement this time around, I know that I can cope. I remember how anxious I was in the weeks leading up to my first day, so as an old Uni veteran now, I thought that I would share with you guys some tips and tricks I picked up in my first year that helped me survive the transition, and some of the things I wish I’d done differently! 

 


 

Ditch that fuckboy!

Starting off with a semi-serious topic, having seen many relationships fall to bits here is my advice to you: If you are not one hundred percent certain that your relationship was built to last, I would seriously advise you to consider entering University single.

The fact is, it is extremely difficult to make a relationship work long distance as it is, without the added burden of being a new student added on. Unless you are very lucky, chances are you will not be able to afford a social life on top of train tickets/fuel to go see your SO every other week unless he is attending the same establishment as you.

Then, from my experience, everyone in Fresher’s week is like a dog in heat. For many singleton’s, it is the ultimate opportunity to meet and *ahem* ‘connect‘ with new people. Even if you don’t think you are a jealous person, if there is even the slightest part of you that is insecure, ‘adulterous’ or jealous, Fresher’s week will probably bring that out in you. Temptation is everywhere, when you aren’t drunk you are probably very hungover and fragile, meaning that emotions will be running extremely high. You quite possibly may find yourself crying in the club bathroom arguing over the fit flatmate you saw in his pictures, even if there is nothing going on. (You have no idea how many girls I had to step over on the bathroom floor!) Sometimes however, you are right to be jealous. I’ve seen both boys and girls sleeping with other people knowing full well they were in a relationship.

Unless you trust them implicitly, please think about whether it’s worth it. Fresher’s week is such an incredible and fun experience for most, and I hate to think that you might spend it sad or jealous over someone who won’t even matter in 5 years time. I know many people who severely regret wasting their time in fruitless relationships that prevented them from experiencing Fresher’s to the full with a clean slate. I’m not saying immediately set out and ditch your partner of 7 years, but definitely talk about it and ensure you’re both on the same page. If this lad/lass is probably not the father/mother of your children, rip the band aid off early and ditch them.

 

Embrace the anxiety

This may sound strange, but anxiety is good. If you weren’t a little nervous, you’d probably be a psychopath. For many, uni/college is the first time they’ve ever lived away from home, let alone with a group of complete strangers. If not, it’s still an entirely different situation. Fortunately, adrenaline is a great confidence booster, and since everyone is probably feeling the exact same way, you will find that conversation starts extremely easily. If your Rep’s do their jobs right, they will get you all together and gently force you to engage with other people outside of your flat, provide ice breakers and drinking games. (My fresher’s reps at NTU were totally amazing and went above and beyond the call of duty. Remember that if you are in trouble you should definitely seek out someone in a Rep shirt and ask them for help. That’s what they are there for!) You will find you have new friends almost immediately, with everyone clinging to everyone and finding great comradery in your new situation! (If you do suffer from anxiety, you can find tips for coping here)!

 

Brace yourself for hangovers!

If your religion or beliefs dictate that you can’t drink, I would definitely recommend joining a club or society for people within your church or at the very least one for people who share similar interests.

If not, brace for impact guys and gals. You will be not just allowed, but encouraged to drink all week long, and to go out every single night. This is because it really does help loosen people up and makes making friends loads easier! This is amazing, but if you’ve ever heard the term “Fresher’s Flu” and thought it was a myth you were wrong. It is very very real. Because you are either drunk or hungover consistently, you will find your voice strained, you’re covered in bruises and probably very emotional and fragile for afterwards. Here are my tried and true livesaver’s for hangovers:

  1. Before you begin your sesh: place a 2L bottle of water, a banana and a glass of water with salt and sugar in it next to your bed every night. Down the glass and eat your banana first thing when you wake up. This sounds insane and gross, but its science. You lose potassium, salt and sugars from being drunk and dehydrated. Putting this back into your system first thing might help you recover quicker. Google it, its a thing. I promise.
  2. After your sesh: if you can stomach it, try and have eggs for breakfast. If you’re vegan or otherwise dislike eggs, oats/porridge contain something called ‘Cysteine’ that helps your liver to break down the toxins.
  3. After your sesh: not trying to turn you all into pill poppers and addicts, but pro-plus or caffiene tablets/coffee could be your saving grace if you feel your energy flagging as the week goes on. See also vodka redbulls/jagerbombs.
  4. After your sesh:  Have a warm shower, then flash it cold to finish. Again, maybe I am mental, but there’s a reason a lot of entrepreneurs swear by a cold shower. Consider athelete’s having an ice bath too. It just really wakes you up and helps to get rid of the brain fog.
  5. After your sesh: make a round of tea and discuss all the hilarity and probable bad decisions you made the night before! Nothing makes a hangover worth it like story time with your new pals.

 

Don’t just stick to people in your flat

Make sure you remember there are people outside your flat that you probably have way more in common with than the weirdo in room 6. If you’re lucky your flatmates will be great, but after a few weeks they will probably get annoying and you will need friends who don’t steal your milk and don’t argue over dishes for 3 weeks straight. I really wish I’d joined a society while I was at uni, or in the very least not been ill all the time so I could have attended more. Make the most of your experience!

 

Leave your door open!

Get decent and open your door as soon as possible. It makes you way more approachable. At my uni we got told off for propping all the fire doors open but it meant that it became a bizarre sort of hippy community with the whole block of flats. We made friends with most of the block and ended up walking in and out of peoples rooms when we were bored or hungover needing a pal. Harry Potter marathons are necessary in that first week, I’m telling ya. We even ended up pre-drinking to GBBO. No regrets.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys found this post helpful or at the very least entertaining! If you have any questions or want any advice, especially if you’ll be joining the Trent Army in September I would love to hear from you! Either reply in the comments or find me on twitter @quitefranklii ! Be sure to share this with anyone you think would find this useful and i’ll see you guys in my next post! 

Francesca x

 

The Harry Potter Tag

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As anyone even remotely close to me probably already knows, I am a HUGE Potter fan. I have a themed tattoo on my ass, and my husband and I even went to the Harry Potter Studios in London for our “mini-moon”. Shout out to the gorgeous Britt from over at Alternatively Speaking for nominating me for this tag!!

\o-o/

As I understand it, while there are a number of Harry Potter tags floating around the internet, this one was created by a girly called Cassie at Zombie Goddess Beauty. (You can read her answers here)! She said:

“As it is Harry Potter’s 37th Birthday today. And this year marks the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone book’s release!

So today I’ve collected 18 questions that are floating around the internet. There are other HP tags floating around but I wanted to collect a bunch of the questions together.”

The idea is that you answer this list of Harry Potter themed questions, and then tag some of your fellow Harry Potter lovers! Make sure you provide them with the list of questions you were given so that they too can answer them and pass on the tag!!!

 

 

MY ANSWERS:

What house are you in?

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I’m a true Gryffindor. No matter which test I take I’m always sorted into Gryffindor. The house of courage, bravery and determination, perhaps maybe that means I need to shut my mouth once in a while!

What is your patronus?

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I was so excited to do this test again. On an old email account I actually got a Tigress, but this time I got a wolf. I was super pleased with this, as I’ve always felt a strange spiritual connection with wolves (hence my header). I’m sad that J.K hasn’t decided to giv us an explanation of our patronuses yet, so I decided to check out Patronus Analysis like Britt did, and here is what it had to say:

“The wolf is a bit of a darker and mysterious soul, with the strength of a fighter. A person with this patronus has had a lot happen in their life, and do to that they wear a mask over their emotions. They do, however, have a very big heart that is full of both passion and fire. They have a lot of emotion within them that they are willing to give, but only once they completely trust you, and since they have been made cynical over the years this can be difficult. The most common house for a wolf patronus is Gryffindor, the most common signs are Taurus and Sagittarius”

Besides my star sign (For the record I am a Capricorn), this rang incredibly true with me. I love it!

What is your wand?

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According to Pottermore: Hornbeam wood, Unicorn hair core, 13 ¾” in length, Slightly Springy flexibility.

J.K- About the Wood:

“My own wand is made of hornbeam, and so it is with all due modesty that I state that hornbeam selects for its life mate the talented witch or wizard with a single, pure passion, which some might call obsession (though I prefer the term ‘vision’), which will almost always be realised. Hornbeam wands adapt more quickly than almost any other to their owner’s style of magic, and will become so personalised, so quickly, that other people will find them extremely difficult to use even for the most simple of spells. Hornbeam wands likewise absorb their owner’s code of honour, whatever that might be, and will refuse to perform acts – whether for good or ill – that do not tally with their master’s principles. A particularly fine-tuned and sentient wand.

About the Core:

“As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner. The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.”

About the length:

(lol). I guess because I’m taller than average my wand is longer than average.

About the flexibility:

According to Olivander: “Wand flexibility or rigidity denotes the degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the wand-and-owner pair – although, again, this factor ought not to be considered separately from the wand wood, core and length, nor of the owner’s life experience and style of magic, all of which will combine to make the wand in question unique.”

guess, “slightly springy” would hint towards me being open minded- which I am!

What would your boggart be?

This is a tough one…  I really dislike snakes. I wouldn’t want to share a vicinity with one, but I wouldn’t say i’m deathly afraid either. After deliberating for a long while, I realised my biggest fear is probably rejection/dying alone. I think my boggart would probably take the form of Divorce papers.

What position would you play in Quidditch?

I used to love the idea of being a seeker, but I think I’m too competitive and would want to be in the thick of the action- so probably a chaser.

Would you be a pure blood, half blood or muggle born?

According to the theory circling the internet:

Muggles: People who haven’t seen the movies or read the books

Muggle-borns: People who have only seen the movies

Half-bloods: People who have only read the books

Pure Bloods: People who have read the books and seen the movies

Deatheaters: Pure Bloods that look down on Muggle-borns

This would probably make me a death eater! But since I’ve no relationship with my biological father, I like to think I’d be a half-blood.

What job would you want after to have after graduating Hogwarts?

Hmm… I’d love to start a skincare/beauty line one day irl. Perhaps I would experiment with some potions. Taking anti-aging cream to a whole new level! Lipgloss laced with love potion anyone?

Which of the deathly hallows would you choose?

A true introvert, of course I’d pick the invisibility cloak. Imagine the places you could sneak in with that bad boy?? Harry was so unimaginative with it! 😉

Favourite book?

The Goblet of Fire. It was so magical to me!

Least favourite book?

The Order of the Phoenix

Favourite film?

My favourite film is actually probably the first one, because it’s lighter and It’s the one I will throw on time and time again when I’m feeling down. But a close second for me is The Half-Blood Prince. I love Luna’s character and Slughorn’s party. I also think it ties the others together amazingly.

Least favourite film?

Oh god, actually *unpopular opinion* The Prisoner of Azkaban. Not because it’s bad, it’s cinematically gorgeous. I feel like it’s just quite dark and emotional- It’s one that I have to weirdly prepare myself for.

Favourite character?

There’s so many to choose from! Probably Hermione because she taught me that women could be intelligent, whilst also warriors who know how to save themselves. I looked up to her immensely as a child so I will always have a very special place for her in my heart.  But I also love McGonagall in all her sassy glory, Molly who reminds me very much of my own mother. However, I also secretly love Bellatrix. I’m a die hard Helena Bonham-Carter fan and I love her portrayal of Bellatrix.

Least favourite/most hated character?

Dolores. Freaking. Umbridge. Do you know what though, film Ginny sucked too. I hated how they sucked all the sass out of her and portrayed her as this lame simpering little virgin. In the books she was fierce, feisty and popular. I don’t know if it was the casting choice or the acting, but I feel like I have to stop myself rolling my eyes every time she’s on screen. Sorry not sorry. 

Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

As I just mentioned, I adore McGonagall’s character. She’s fierce, sassy and also fiercely caring. It shows in her arguments with Umbridge and her kindness towards Trelawney when she’s facing job loss. Also, her fight with Snape is honestly one of the most moving scenes to me as you can really feel the pain she feels. She wants to defend the kids but also is mourning the loss of Dumbledore. Maggie Smith gave it perfect life too.

Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Who doesn’t hate Umbridge? But to be honest I found Lockheart deplorably irritating too.

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

Not unpopular, but why wasn’t Peeves in the films more!? But, yes. I have a few…

My first one, although I adore Alan Rickman and his portrayal (I once dreamt I met him and cried because it wasn’t real, and he was the first celebrity death I really shed a tear for) but I have issues with Snape as a character. I understand the power behind “Always”, but his love (or actually even creepy obsession) for Lily does not excuse the fact he bullied kids like Neville to the point that he became his actual boggart.

As I’ve already mentioned, I think film Ginny was a bad casting choice with bad writing.

The last one I can think of is that I loved Draco’s character. I thought they gave it a really good depth, it wasn’t black and white like a lot of the others, but he really was ‘grey’. I felt like he was very much a victim of circumstance, like an innocent child born into the KKK. For this I also 110% recommend going to watch The Cursed Child too. I. LOVED. IT.

If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

Ugh, I know it was to prove a point or whatever, but Fred’s death really cut me up. If not, it would be Tonks so that Teddy would have a mother- however, I know that life would be very hard on her without Remus. They were soul mates and I’d hate to see her have to live without him.

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I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my answers! For this tag I would like the lovely:

  1. Amy @ kissesfromamy
  2. Kate @ girlmasked
  3. Kerry @ stepintime
  4. Becca @ becxblogs
  5. Lisa @ lisabritton
  6. Sophie @ trafotoz
  7. Emily @ thatweirdgirllife
  8. Hannah @ hannahdarley
  9. Geek of All @ geekofall
  10. Sassy Wyatt @ thinkingoutloud

 

 


 

 

 

THE QUESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  1. What house are you in?
  2. What is your patronus?
  3. What is your wand?
  4. What would your boggart be?
  5. What position would you play in Quidditch?
  6. Would you be a pure blood, half blood or muggle born?
  7. What job would you want after to have after graduating Hogwarts?
  8. Which of the deathly hallows would you choose?
  9. Favourite book?
  10. Least favourite book?
  11. Favourite film?
  12. Least favourite film?
  13. Favourite character?
  14. Least favourite/most hated character?
  15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?
  16. Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?
  17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
  18. If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

 


 

I really hope you enjoyed reading my answers! With my constant hair dye I like to think of myself as the Gryffindor version of Tonks! I can’t wait to read everyone else’s answers please remember to tag me in them so I can read them when you’re done!!
Francesca x

 

Toxic Friendships Series | Cleaning Up Your ‘Squad’: Pt. I


Regular readers, since in both my anxiety tips, and my graduate mental health posts, I touched on the importance of cutting ties with toxic individuals, I thought it only fair to share with you my own experiences, and some of the sorts of behaviours you should look out for and try to avoid when trying to lead a positive life. I created this series both as a form of therapy and a means of warning/advising others who may feel like they are in the same boat. I’m making this a series, as it was a little long to include several types of toxic friend in one post. I aim to post at 11am GMT each week until the series is done.

Ps. Please don’t be afraid to walk away if someone is damaging your energy. It does not make you a bad person to walk away from someone who is toxic. You deserve happiness! x


The Narcissist

Deceptively charming, these are the friends who genuinely lack the ability to care for anyone except themselves. You may think I’m being dramatic, in which case I’d suggest that you are just lucky enough to have never met a true narc. There is a difference between self love/confidence and narcissism. A narcissist will only “care” about you when you have something they want or need. If you cannot be used to inflate their ego in some way, you are an irrelevant afterthought. The issue with a narc is that they are some of the best actors out there. They will make you feel like your bond is unbreakable, but they are ruthless and remorseless. Their ego will always outweigh any affection they have for you. They are the eternal martyr, always wronged but never wrong, they make you feel special by saying awful things about everyone in their lives “except you”, all the while listening to and saving your weaknesses for later. Your harmony lasts until you stand up to them, or in their way.

Dear Narcissist,

I remember you most for the summer that I needed to laugh. Boy, did we laugh. I was your go to for fun, nothing serious, and in part, I knew that. I didn’t reject it because I needed it too. I could never have trusted you, because I’d seen the way you abused the trust of others. But we had fun. I knew then you could never really love me, because you were too consumed with yourself. You post pictures where everyone looked awful, spare you, then let your conceit grow into thinking you were always the best looking in the room. You had an excuse for every bad thing you’d ever done, and acted as though the world was against you when you felt the consequences of the negative energy you’d fed into the world.

Even though you knew I was bruised from being cheated on numerous times, you insisted on tarnishing my belief in humans even further, and I found myself lying to partners for you out of love. Innocent people who loved you. People you would later claim were ‘crazy’, or terrible when they stood up for themselves or realised they were worth more. I found myself saying words I promised myself I would never say. I hate to lie, but I did for you. “No, she’s not cheating on you! She would never!“, “No! Of course he hasn’t been flirting with me, or telling me he wished you were ‘more like me”! That would be awful!” I coached you through your grief when your best friend died. I stayed up to talk to you every night you were struggling, while you told your [ex]-girlfriend was some crazy stalker. The same way you talked about her, even when you shared her bed.

I accepted all your flaws, and told family who hated you that they misunderstood you, because we had too much fun. Because you made me feel special. Before long, I realised that all conversation between us had one common ground- you. I became tired of treading on egg-shells, and for being berated for standing up for myself or giving you advice. I became tired of listening to you talk about the things you had been bought by lovers, and family you admitted to caring little for. Tired of you belittling my relationships based on the material value of yours compared to mine. Carefully and subtly reminding me that I was less. I only realised what you were because suddenly when the sun wasn’t shining you weren’t there. When I needed you most, you were absent, because you couldn’t feed from my energy.

But then I realised. I didn’t need you. I never did. I found myself, and did it when I was far away from you. I realised I was not less. I am beautiful. My soul will always be a breath of fresh air compared to your toxic radiation cloud. My relationships, though few, are healthy and whole- and that makes me the richest woman in the world. My friend, I met you in the summer and we had a blast, but when the winter came you were nowhere to be seen. I hope one day you become as wealthy as I am.

Dear Ex-Friend,

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. I believe that soul-mates are not always romantic partners, or “the one”, or even necessarily friends made to last; but they may also be people you meet at a time in your life when you need each other for one reason or another. As they say, some friends come for a lifetime, and others just a season, but to me that’s no reason to say that you can’t cherish the memories you made together. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was to fit in. When I met you, for what ever reason, I did. As we grew, our views on love, friendship and trust began to grow and change- and us with them. If you’re reading this, and you find I’ve left you behind, know that it was never easy for me. For me, when I love someone, I love them loyally and wholeheartedly. No matter what you’ve done, or how time has gnarled us, know that I wish you the best.

Love From,

Frankii x

 


 

**DISCLAIMER: This post is not directed at any one in particular, but there may be elements applicable to several people whom, for one reason or another, are no longer a part of my journey.**