Top Fives...

My top five things I’ve been doing other than blogging…

Hey guys,

I’ve been trying to blog at least once a week but things have got kinda busy the past few weeks hence my big failure. So thought I’d give a little life update and a top fives all in one…yay!

1) Having a job

Do you guys know how hard it is to get stuff done when you have to go to work everyday? Well obviously you do because you’re a normal person who has to go to work everyday. But it legit takes up a lot of time. I’ve been away the past few weekends so my life is pretty much a list of stuff I haven’t got round to, welcome to adulthood I guess.

2) Driving, driving, driving

The first time I started learning to drive was when I was 18. It was in my gap year after I finished my A levels and I had a really loud and friendly driving instructor who talked non-stop which would have been great if he wasn’t so busy talking that he forgot to tell me where I was supposed to be going and useful things like how to not stall and which pedals to press when. Anyway the winter of my gap year was a snowy one and I was far too scared to drive so that was the end of that. The second time I had driving lessons was in the summer after my first year at university. My new driving instructor was a very small man (honestly, I had to move the seat about a metre back when I got in to drive) who spoke about 5 words per lesson. Turns out feeling incredibly awkward for two hours isn’t a good atmosphere to learn to drive in. I don’t think I made that much progress that summer and then I left to go back to Nottingham and that was the end of that.

Anyways, now I’m on my third try and I actually have a test booked and everything! It’s in a few weeks so I’ve been having driving lessons a few times a week and my dad’s taking me out in our car. If I was able to afford to buy a car or insurance the prospect of having a driving license would probably be more exciting but y’know I’m a poor graduate so this will probably be a useless skill for a little while.

3) Trying to get a grown up job

Now that I’ve graduated I’ve been applying for jobs like a crazy person. I know that everybody knows it kind of sucks to be a graduate at the moment so I don’t really want to whine on about how much I want to find a job and how sucky it feels to get rejections (although maybe I will in another blog post) but yeah I spend most of my free time looking for jobs. I know I’m really lucky to have a job while I’m living at home so that I can afford to live and whatnot and I know that everyone is in the some boat so I shouldn’t complain. Still though I find it pretty depressing that when I get a rejection most people’s response to me telling them is ‘At least they bothered to get back to you’…which is true since most companies don’t even do that but…so sucky.

I’m done complaining now though, as everyone keeps reminding me, I know it’ll work out in the end!

4) Watching Bob’s Burgers

Bob's Burgers

Bob’s Burgers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you watched Bob’s Burgers? I’m completely addicted to it at the moment. I really enjoy the entire Belcher family and the bizarre happenings. Louise is probs my favourite because she’s the sneakiest little thing, I kind of wish I’d had a little sister like her…or just been her. Also they do really amazing puns, legit non stop. The only issue with watching it is that it makes me hungry for burgers like ALL THE TIME.

5) Reading

I love reading but I’m also quite lazy with it. You know those things that you have to make yourself do but when you do it you really enjoy it and can’t stop? Kinda? Well now that I’ve started reading for fun again (rather than reading for my degree) I can’t stop which is nice. So that leads me onto my new plan for ‘My Top Fives’ which is…… reviews!!!!!

Ok that probably didn’t warrant so many exclamation marks. Anyway next week you’ll be able to read my first ever book review, I’m pretty buzzing. I’m organising my reading by alternating fiction and non-fiction because I love both equally.

So there you have it, as you can see I’ve been very busy doing all useful stuff, I’ll be back really soon though. (Seriously I will, I’m going to write another blog for next week like RIGHT NOW)

That’s all for now


Top Fives..., Uni Life...

A few thoughts on graduating…

I graduated last week. It was a great day shared with great people and most significantly I didn’t fall over when I walked across the stage. I cannot tell you how many times I had nightmares about falling in front of hundreds of people, I need to get a grip!

Anyways, I’m taking to my blog today to help me process some of the thoughts I’ve had about this whole graduating thing. For the sake of tradition I’ll put them in a nice numbered list although there may or may not be five, we’ll have to wait and see.

1) First off it seems appropriate to say how astoundingly grateful I am to the people who helped me get through four years at university. The Vice-Chancellor of my university asked us, the graduates, all to stand up and applaud our friends and families before we left the ceremony last week and this couldn’t have been more of an appropriate way to end my university career. Particularly in my final year my parents and boyfriend read every single piece of work I handed in. They corrected it, gave advice and generally made me feel like I had a shot at doing ok…which I needed….a lot.

And even if they hadn’t done all that, my parents made it financially possible for me to go and live in America for a year, something I’d been dreaming of for as long as I can remember, and my boyfriend put up with a long distance relationship so that I could go and live that dream. So to them and everyone else who helped out and gave support, thanks guys-you’re the best.

2) My second observation about being a graduate…it’s not actually as scary as I thought. In fact, maybe it’s even a teeny tiny bit exciting. I thought I was the kind of person that needed to know exactly what my next step was because I guess that’s all any of us have ever known until we leave full-time education, but it turns out that I’m kind of ok with not being certain.

3) So here’s something of note. I assume it’s down to the fact that you automatically become a proper adult when you put that gown on and manage not to fall over while crossing a stage wearing heels but I actually do seem to be sorting my life out.

Since leaving Nottingham I’ve applied for several jobs doing really cool things that I actually really want to do. I’ve started selling all my worldly possessions on Amazon (this is a big deal for me, I normally vehemently resist getting rid of anything). I’m reading more and trying to use what limited spare time I do have now that I’m working full-time to do useful, grown up  things like read the news and make my CV look cool. I guess I got used to having a clearly defined goal last year…get that 2.1. Now that I’ve left I need loads of little goals, sitting around watching TV all evening just doesn’t cut it.

4) That kind of brings me onto this blog. I’ve been writing about it in my CV and covering letter but I sometimes imagine potential employers reading it and I wonder what they’d make of it. I guess it’s kind of lost its direction. I’m torn over how I should continue with it but I know that I don’t want to give up on it. My final year at uni confirmed how much I like writing and now that I don’t have essays to write I know that I’ll be craving an outlet every now and then.

I guess the thing I’m unsure about is what I’m trying to make of myself through this blog. On my CV I describe it as a place where I talk about my experiences on my year abroad and what it was like coming back to the UK. Well that just isn’t really the case any more is it? Do I need a clear thesis? Does the top fives thing confuse things? Does it need to be a blog about something other than my life? I’m not sure so I guess the next few months will involve me trying to work out the answers to those questions.

5) Wahoo I made it to number 5. My final thought on my experience since leaving uni is that the pain has most definitely been eased by the discovery that I’m going to be an aunt next January. I suppose if you don’t know me you won’t realise how much of a big deal that is for me. But trust me, I’ve been waiting for this a long time and I couldn’t be happier. That baby is going to be loved so much and I really can’t wait to meet him/her. (I’ve had a fairly convincing dream about it being a boy so I reckon I’m having a nephew).

So there we have it. For now, from the graduate…

My family

My family


My American Studies Buddies

My American Studies Buddies


And Me!

And Me!

That’s all for now



Top Fives..., Weekly Posts...

My top fives of this week…#5

I’m not even going to pretend like this is a weekly thing anymore. Although I am kind of disappointed in myself. I started this weekly post so that I’d have something to post about at least once a week along with whatever other nonsense I felt like writing about. But, as it turns out, my life hasn’t really felt interesting enough to write a post just about what I’ve been doing.

Does anyone really care that I’ve been spending most of my time working or that the rest of the time has been spent seeing my boyfriend or watching TV? No, I don’t think so.

That’s not to say I’m dissatisfied, I’m actually quite enjoying those three activities at the moment (yes, even the work!). For the first time in a while I feel what I guess I would call contentedness.

That is apart from this huge looming worry that is getting a good degree/graduating/finding a job/living the rest of my life. So I guess it’s contentedness with a time limit on it, but still I’m content nonetheless.

Despite this, I’m convinced I can muster up five cool things that have happened since I last did one of these…

1) I joined the Her Campus Blogger Network  – I started writing for the Nottingham Her Campus chapter this semester and now I’ve joined this network where loads of other bloggers get together and give each other advice etc. It’s really fun and helpful. If you want to take a look at the other blogs involved then follow the link to see them all!

2) My boyfriend’s sister had a baby – Does this even count as news about my life?! I’m not sure but I can’t help being excited because babies are cute.

3) I read The Poisonwood Bible and loved it – One of the things I love about doing literature courses is that they remind me how much I love reading. I realise this one’s been out a long time but if you haven’t read it then you should, it’s fantastic.

4) Saw some old friends – I caught up with one of the girls I lived with in second year who’s still in Nottingham a few weeks ago and then another one came to visit us last weekend. It was so nice to see both of them and rekindle old friendships. Even more are coming up next week…and we’re going to TGIs so things couldn’t get much better than that!

5) I published my 50th post on this blog! – Yesterday saw my 50th post here on My Top Fives. I’d say at least 40 of those were Top Fives which is pretty cool. Somehow I’ve managed to think of that many things to write lists about! So, here’s to the next 50…hopefully.

What do you guys think about my theory that being content is making it harder to blog? Do you agree? Or maybe being happy means that the words flow more easily for you?

That’s all for now



Top Fives..., Uni Life...

My top five reasons you should look forward to graduating…

Hey guys!

Just a quick one today to tell you that I’ve written a top fives for the Nottingham University chapter of Her Campus all about graduating.

You can find it here so give it a read!

Proper post coming in a few days…

That’s all for now


My Favourite Things..., Top Fives...

My top five observations about the world of Grey’s Anatomy…

Towards the end of my year abroad one of the girls I went travelling with became obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy. Having never watched it myself I thought little of it apart from occasionally teasing her about her inability to tear herself away. Then I came home and a few weeks later my parents and I finished watching House. Suddenly my long time love affair with Gregory House was over and I had a doctor sized hole in my life.

And so, I did the only thing I could think of to ease the pain, I started watching Grey’s Anatomy. Some amount of time has passed since then, I’m not sure how long, it’s just gone by in a blur of surgeries and various Mc-attractive people but now I’m beginning the eighth season and already the end is too close for my liking. The moment when I won’t be able to end one heart wrenching, unbearably tense season finale and start right on with the next episode a minute later is a terrifying thought.

Back in the early days

So yes I’m not quite up to date with it yet and I’m trusting that all you lovely people will not comment with any spoilers, possibly destroying my life in the process. I’ve managed this far with only one major story line being given away and I think that’s pretty good going.

Anyway, although I’m not quite finished with it (and therefore sorry if any of these points contradict future episodes) I thought that there was a blog post to be made that couldn’t wait a minute longer cataloging the things we can learn both about Meredith Grey’s world and the world of medicine.

1) If you work in a hospital then you will have slept with at least 3 other staff members within a relatively small space of time

I’m not judging but these doctors get around A LOT. I guess it’s fair enough; they’re under a lot of pressure and need to let off steam some how but thier complicated sexual histories do occasionally impact on patient care. Also, those on-call rooms must be disgusting.

I guess he is a little dreamy…

2) Doctors drink too much and then go and operate on people

I don’t know if maybe they’ve matured now because the further I’ve got into it they don’t seem to do this as much. Or maybe the creators realised they were damaging people’s faith in the medical profession by showing it’s surgeons to be continually drunk. But Jesus H Christ in the first few seasons I would not have wanted these surgeons coming near me for fear of being vommed on, never mind letting them sticking anything sharp into me in the hopes of saving my life.

3) Musical episodes are a bad idea…a really bad idea

So last night I was settling down to watch the fall out from a car accident involving two main characters, one of whom was pregnant. As you come to expect with a show like Grey’s Anatomy, I was fully prepared to cry A LOT. Honestly that’s part of the reason I love it so much, all that crying is very cathartic. Anyway, what I got was something so hilariously cringeworthy that I was almost crying FROM EMBARRASSMENT. For some reason the people over at Grey’s Anatomy HQ had decided it’d be a great idea to turn this into a musical episode, with various characters bursting into emotional renditions of overplayed pop songs. It was just so bad. Never again please.

4) If you are Meredith Grey or anyone close to her then everything that can go wrong will go wrong

With any drama you’re expecting a fair amount of bad stuff to go down but every now and then I feel like someone should cut Meredith a break. I mean, just listing off the top of my head, (DON’T READ THIS BIT IF YOU’RE BEHIND ME AND DON’T WANT SPOILERS) her mother’s died, her step mother died, her father became an alcoholic and almost died, her husband’s been shot, she’s had a miscarriage, she adopted a baby only to have it taken away, various friends have died/left in terrible circumstances…well the list could go on but I’m depressing myself.

Not gonna lie, I’m kind of in love with her

5) Nothing beats an inspirational monologue

For those who aren’t addicts such as myself, each episode begins with a character, normally Meredith Grey although occasionally others step in, making some philosophical statements in a voice over. It’s repeated at the end of the episode when normally whatever issues have been resolved and you’re left feeling inspired and ready for the challenges in your own life. Or to watch another episode. It’s when that ending monologue leaves you feeling downhearted, that’s when you know some bad shit’s gonna go down.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed my in depth look into Grey’s Anatomy, I’m off to watch a few more episodes.

That’s all for now



Family & Home..., Top Fives...

My top five things about my big sister…

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday but I won’t say how old she is because I don’t know whether she’d be cool with that.

I was planning on writing this yesterday but yesterday turned out to be a bad day and I was too busy wallowing to write it so you’re getting it today instead.

Also, today’s Daily Prompt was about someone who deserves being commemorated…I don’t know if I’d go that far but I do really like my sister so that’s cool.

So yeah, my sister. Her name is Sally and she’s 11 years older than me. Maybe that’ll help you work out her age if you’re that interested and happen to have paid enough attention to know how old I am. When I was little me and Sally weren’t that close but as I got older we got much closer. She lived with us after she graduated and I was in secondary school so I spent a lot of time with her. Now I’m at uni and she’s subsequently got married so we don’t get to see each other as much which kind of sucks.

Anyways, I won’t bore you any longer with my family history. Here’s five of my favourite things about my sister. Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY.

1) She’s really smart

Yeah she’s the sibling that makes the rest of us look bad. You know that one? Despite the fact that me and my oldest sister are actually super clever too, Sally comes along with all her perfect grades and overshadows us. It’s ok though cus that brain makes her really fun to have interesting chats with.

2) She’s an incredibly talented artist

For my 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays my sister has made me a picture. They’re all so different and they’re all really special. I have them up in my room here and I will in every other place I live. Unfortunately I can’t do anything cool like that so all she gets is a blog post about her. Now that she’s a real grown up she’s an art teacher and I’m sure she’s amazing at it.


…and I got to make the cake!

3) She let me be her bridesmaid

Like most girls, it was a lifelong dream of mine to be a bridesmaid. FINALLY, when I was 20 years old, Sally got married and I got to be her bridesmaid. It was a really fun day and I got a really awesome brother in law out of it.

4) She gave my family a reason to go on a really awesome holiday

A long long long time ago, back when my sister was at university, she did a year abroad just like I did. Except she went to the West Coast and my parents and I took a trip out to see her. Even though I was only 10 at the time I still remember it being a really fun holiday and it was so nice getting to go back to those places as an adult this year.

5) She was a really entertaining child

Ok so obviously I wasn’t actually around for this but I’ve heard the stories plenty of times as parents do love to embarrass their children. In fact, these days Sally thinks she’s too old and mature to be reminded of these stories so I won’t tell any here. But she is one of those people you can just tell were really adorable when they were a kid, I really wish I’d known her back then.

So there’s five great things about my sister on top of her being just an all round lovely person and great sister.


That’s all for now


Top Fives...

My top five things that scare me…

Today’s Daily Prompt asks about being scared, about how it feels and whether you like it or not.

I HATE being scared. The feeling of being full of adrenalin, of panicking, it’s one that I can’t stand. I also have a pretty low tolerance for things that I deem ‘scary’ so I easily get worked up. Fortunately, the things which actually do scare me are fairly easy to avoid, I don’t have any actual phobias these are just things which get my heart pumping.

1) Rides

Pretty much all rides scare me. I was the one that was still going on the little kids rides at theme parks when all my friends were going on roller coasters. Now that I’m 22 and that option is pretty much closed off to me I just don’t go to theme parks, ever. Unfortunately for me, my boyfriend absolutely adores theme parks, we often talk about me going with him but I know that I can’t do it.

The first time I remember going on a ‘scary ride’ I was about 10 and my sister (who was in her mid-twenties) took my to the fair that’s held every year on recreation grounds near our house. We were there with a load of her friends and, despite my pleading not to, she made me go on a ride with her. The ride was a typical fairground one with lots of flashing lights and high speed spinning. I remember the ride vividly, I remember not wanting to make a fuss and trying to pretend I was enjoying it and I remember my sister screaming and laughing while I just clung on and tried not to panic. When we talk about it now she says when I got off she’d never seen me look so pale. I think that was the first and possibly last time I ever went on a scary ride.

I think it was a ride like this…horrifying!

A few years later I was at a theme park with my best friend and her family. I got all the way to the front of the queue of the biggest ride there, determined to face my fear, but then the panic set in and I knew there was no way I was getting on that ride. I ran out of the queue and waited with her mum and sister while her and her dad went on.

2) Televised murder/death/detective things

Obviously real murder and death also scare me but if I manage to avoid watching TV shows about them I can kind of pretend that they don’t exist. Yet again, unfortunately for me, my mum loves detective shows. Often I’ll walk into the living room to be confronted with the gory sight of a dead body or someone being murdered. Even if it’s just for a second I won’t be able to get the thought of it out of my head for a good while after I’ve run back out the room. I know that it’s not real of course but I don’t like to be reminded that it could be real. That it could happen to me or someone I know.

3) Violence

I rarely, if ever, came into contact with violence when I was growing up. I didn’t really watch films and TV shows that were too old for me, there were no video games that normalised violence to me. I just didn’t ever see it. So now when I come into contact with any violence on TV, film or in real life I find it extremely difficult to see. It’s not just that it disturbs me or upsets me, it actually does scare me. I get the same feeling as I do when I’m thinking about going on a ride.

4) Being alone

This is probably the most irrational of fears. The thing that I have nightmares about sometimes. And I don’t mean being alone in a room or a house, I mean ‘there’s been an apocalypse and I’m the last person in the world’ alone. I used to worry about this much more when I was younger…I have no idea why. I think I accidentally watched a TV show about a zombie apocalypse once.

Still, when I was a child I was scared of lots of bizarre stuff as I’m sure most are. I don’t know where I got these ideas from but it would be things like I couldn’t sleep with my wrists exposed in case someone came in and tried to slit them or with my mouth open because someone might come and put poison in it so that when I woke up and swallowed I’d die. I used to creep downstairs after I’d been put to bed to check if I could hear my parents talking in the living room in case a murderer had come in and shot them. There’s probably some strange psychological explanation for all these neurotic behaviours but fortunately I just grew up and stopped freaking out so much!

5) Looking like an idiot

Probably the fear which I come into contact with the most is looking like an idiot in front of people. I guess no one enjoys looking stupid but I’m just convinced that I always will.

What scares you? Do you remember any strange fears you had when you were a child?

That’s all for now


Top Fives...

My top five things I’ve learned from Pinterest…

I’ve mentioned a few times the new role pinterest is now playing in my life. I do personally have a pinterest account and I may at some point have shamelessly plugged it in an attempt to get followers.

But I also use it for work because I’m the (self proclaimed) social media consultant at the company I work for. I haven’t run the job title by them yet but I’m sure it’s totally fine. Having the word consultant in my job title makes me sound pretty important huh?

Anyway, because I use work’s pinterest account I’m on there quite a lot doing important pinny things and I’ve learned a few things recently about the world of pinterest.

1) There are actually people who appear to spend their entire day on pinterest

I’m not judging here but there does seem to be plenty of people who are pinning ALL DAY LONG. Don’t you have a job? Or some other sort of hobby?

I have only noticed this because I spend a large amount of time on pinterest but hey, it’s my job, I’m allowed. The people who my company follows who pin non stop are just regular Joes as far as I can tell.

Live and let live and all that but it did kind of surprise me. Although, maybe they do have jobs and they’re just pretending to be working while they’re on pinterest instead…that’s probably what I’d do, oh wait, that is what I do.

2) You can never have too many inspirational quotes

Obviously we all know what I’m talking about here. Even if you don’t have pinterest they pop up on facebook from time to time.

Pinterest appears to be the place where these inspirational slogans typed over pretty pictures go to die a slow, painful and repeatedly repinned life until eventually everyone gets sick of them…or finds a new one. Seriously, at least half of all pins must be these.

Now I’m going to share something with you all, I actually love these quote pins. A combination of me being an eternal optimist and highly emotional means that I’ll read some of these slogans and get goosebumps…actual goosebumps. I know, I’m ashamed but it’s true.

This makes pinterest a bit of a minefield for me. I can’t be sitting at work trying not to cry because a pin from a person I’ve never even met has just told me that I’m beautiful and I should always be myself and to follow my dreams and dance like no one is watching and not to worry, just be happy and appreciate the little things etc. etc. etc.

3) It’s probably better if you don’t have a job if you want to make all those arts and crafts you keep pinning

The thing about pinterest is that people have so many great ideas which I genuinely get excited by when I see them. You know, like really clever storage solutions and amazing ideas on how to make really awesome birthday cakes.

So I’ll see them and I’ll be like ‘yesss pin that bad boy, can’t wait to try it later’. Then 2 minutes later I see something else which similarly grabs my attention and so the cycle continues.

What I really would be interested to know is how many people actually do any of the crafty things they find on pinterest. If you’re one of these people who does then I applaud you. Maybe I’m the only one who knows full well that I’ll almost definitely never get round to it and end up going and buying some cool storage boxes from Ikea instead. But then, Ikea will definitely have done a better job than I could so it’s probably for the best.

4) You will feel inadequate if you can’t master amazing hair styles/nails

Every hairstyle proclaims to be the easiest thing ever but I mostly don’t even bother clicking because I know that their definition of easy is still going to involve something a lot more complicated than either brushing my hair or putting it in a ponytail which is about all I can master.

It’s the same story with the nails in that you’ll need actual artistic talent to be able to do them. Unfortunately it ain’t gonna happen for me.

5) Pinterest is the most fun if you’re getting married or have kids

There has been too many moments when I’ve seen something for a wedding and thought ‘how lovely, shame I’m not engaged’. Even more frightening is when I see some great organisational system for a child’s bedroom or an amazing birthday present from mother to daughter idea and think ‘hmm might pin that…just for future reference’.


That’s all for now