Wednesday, 15 May 2019

College or Sixth form? What to do after your GCSEs!

Hey Guys,


Now it's nearing to exam season once again. I thought this would be a good chance to share with you how I choose to leave my school and go to college for my A levels hopefully giving you all some advice along the way.

Now originally I planned to stay at my school for my A levels I wanted to stay with my friends, my boyfriend, I got on so well with particular teachers and I was really happy towards the end of year 11 but they just introduced a new uniform, the head of sixth is horrible and the subjects I wanted to take all clashed in the columns so I began looking at my other options.

I originally wanted to study Art, English literature and geography.

I actually went to a school out of my catchment area (which is a different story) so my mum looked into the local high school with all my friends from primary but I didn't want to go there! Then I looked into my local college, I went to an open evening and applied to study a full-time art diploma. I was lucky enough to get accepted but I decided to decline because I didn't want art to be my only option!  So I then enquired about A levels and attended the sixth form centre open day. Here we got to meet loads of really nice teachers, explore the amazing building....this may have been one of the main attractions with 4 lifts, 3 libraries, a gym and a salon all right next to a cinema, McDonald's,  Nandos and Frankie and Bennys! And I was informed about all the unique things the college has to offer.

I was hooked...desperate to study at this college.  I was still gonna find it hard leaving my best friends and my boyfriend but I knew I'd be able to do the A levels I want, closer to home, have a fresh start and it really excited me.

Now when it came to enrolment I did come across a few obstacles however the staff were so helpful. I was advised to take R.S instead of geography because I got a C in geography GCSE but an A in RS and I agreed this would be more beneficial and I loved RS. Also, my biggest disappointment is that my college sadly only offers an English A level rather than two separate Lit or Lang A levels. I only enjoyed English so much in school because of my love for book I loathed any kind of creative writing so I decided to take sociology instead. This does still frustrates me but I am enjoying sociology so much and I am not regretting my change from geography to RS either!

So that's my story of how I choose college over the sixth form.

Here are some of the reasons I am glad I choose a college:

·         The only students are my age or older so there are no year sevens running around of year nines causing fights.
·          We are treated so much more grown up, for example, most teachers are referred to by first name and phones are allowed more freely.
·         The amount of free time is insane... with no daily registration or assembly in your tutor group you only come in for lessons, this is brilliant! In my old school the head of sixth makes pupils stay in the full school day so obviously, it depends on the school though. 
·         You are classed as a student rather than a pupil so your college ID is a student discount which you don't get in the sixth form! Yes, girls you heard me 10% off Topshop and new look to name a few.
·         You receive a lot more opportunities. For example enterprise competitions. Some of you may know I recently took part in Trading places in Cardiff and was on the winning team with other college students from over South Wales. 
·          The support you receive is so much better than in school. With most teachers only having 4 or 5 classes they have a lot more time for each student, you have a college E-mail account so it’s really easy to contact staff (as far as I am aware you don't get this in school).

·         It gives you a better step between school and university.

I am aware some of those points may be selective to my college or my experiences but I am thoroughly glad I chose a college.

I hope this has been useful if you have any questions I'll answer in the comments. I fully believe everyone should at least consider college, it won't be the right place for everyone but on my experience, I really recommend studying at a college instead!

Thanks! 
Love Charlotte
Xxx
 

Thursday, 18 April 2019

A spa day and afternoon tea at St.Michaels Falmouth

Hey Guys,

Last Sunday I went to the Spa at St. Michaels hotel in Falmouth with my work friends for a birthday celebration.
I've never really been to a spa and had never been to the new St.Michaels hotel in Falmouth so was super excited to go and had been looking forward to it for weeks. St.Michaels is a luxury hotel ideally located right on gylly beach in the centre of Falmouth, about 18 months ago they undertook a huge refurb and they are now one of the highly talked about hotels in Cornwall.
We had been out the night before on the birthday celebrations so were a little too hungover to be enthusiastic about even leaving the house at first.




On arrival, everything is so luxurious. You get given an electronic wristband to link with any locker which is so much easier, every locker has a fresh towel, robe and flip flops for use within the spa. In every room, there is a table of fresh water but the area I got most excited about in the changing room is the beauty desks. Everything you could possibly need was available GHD straighteners, cleanser, toners and moisturisers as well as shampoo and conditioner. Honestly, if I had a beauty station set up like this at home I'd be way more motivated with my skincare routine. 


Now enough about the changing rooms, into the main event. 
The main part of the spa is the pool room with other saunas and rooms around it and just outside. 
The pool room is just beautiful, there's candles and different comfy seats, loungers and beds everywhere with plenty of hooks and tables so you can find your own space for the 3 hours to keep your robes, flip flops and water poolside together. It didn't get busy at all so we didn't need to worry about someone else sitting where we'd left our things. 



The pool is just amazing. As soon as you step in the water is so warm. It's split into sections the first half mainly being centred around the circular jacuzzi pool which we spent most of our time sat in. The second half of the pool has loads of different hydro treatments to try. There are around 8 stations with a button next to it so you can utilise the treatment. There are four different beds that have different hydro massaging elements, three sprays? (I warned you I had never been to a spa before I have no idea around what these things are actually called) that you can stand under and they massage your bank, shoulders and neck. I could have stayed on the hydro massage beds all day.


Aside from the pool, there are a few different sauna rooms. I had tried a few saunas before on family holidays and I didn't get it. I hate being too hot so the idea of sitting in a burning hot room I don't get the attraction. However, there are so many different ones I found a few I enjoyed more than I thought. Outside there is a coal sauna hut which is lovely to sit in with a glass wall so you can see the beach and it was probably the coolest of them all. The main sauna is a herbal one (kinda smells like vix / vapour rub) and just off from the pool, it's so painfully hot in there you need to take your towels in to sit on by the wood seats literally burn, not my fave. 
There is a corridor linking the changing rooms to the main pool room this corridor has two sauna rooms and 3 different showers (as pictured). This was my favourite. There is a Cornish sea salt sauna, its light up blue and not unbearably hot, this was my favourite and nice local touch. Next to this is a rainforest sauna, the showers are rainforest themed too with different settings, I recommend the mist setting which is so relaxing. One thing we all thought of that would have been nice in this area was so very quiet background music, some relaxing waves sound in the Cornish sea salt one for example. 

Me in the pool

The swimsuit I'm wearing is from TU at Sainsburys. 

hot tub

Also outside there is a beautiful wooden hot tub, which is so lovely to sit in, chat and look across at the beach. 

For my first time in a spa, I had an amazing time, for a girls day it was perfect to chat and relax. However, I am the youngest by a bit in the group and I struggled to do nothing, I felt a bit like a child bored in an adults room, sitting in a pool and not being able to swim was weird. It's not because I'm one of those people who normally can't relax or hate being bored I can spend days in bed watch tv shows I've seen before but just sat still in silence doing literally nothing I found a bit hard yeah, however, I did get into it and generally the whole atmosphere was relaxing and with those hydromassage features I definitely did get it and found the day so soothing. Another great thing has been the after effect on my skin, all week since my boyfriend has been pointing it out too how soft my skin has been since the spa day. It also totally got rid of those hangovers, literally, as soon as I stepped in the pool at the beginning I no longer felt hungover.

St. Michaels offers so many amazing spa packages to get treatments or dining offers in with your spa entry. On Sundays, we were looking at either the brunch and spa or afternoon tea and went with afternoon tea a little more special for someone's birthday and it seemed nicer to eat after rather than before and going in the pool all bloated. 
After I made use of the beauty stations in the changing rooms we headed upstairs to the main restaurant for our afternoon tea. 

afternoon tea

afternoon tea

As it was a preordered set package we didn't have to wait long for our food to arrive. The portion size was great we had three of the stands between 6 with more than enough. However the bread on the sandwich was so dry and nearly stale which wasn't a great start, there was four scones two plain and two fruit which is great to have that choice and two each however they weren't baked well at all, I found mine really overcooked on the outside, quite crunchy yet still nearly raw and doughy in the centre. The cakes on the top layer look amazing and the rest of my party loved them all but I am apparently really fussy with cakes and this has always been my issue with afternoon tea in the past is the set menu, you don't even know what the cakes on the top are meant to be its always just a guessing game, we had two each of four different cakes which is a great amount but I think when you have four there should be a variety, something fruity, something nutty, something chocolatey and maybe something sweet like caramel based for example but none of these I was excited by to me it was just a lot of lemon and nuts which personally I don't want on a cake but there were lovely and not overcooked or dry like the scones and sandwiches so that is just down to my personal taste. 

Overall I really recommend St.Michaels for a girlie day out and am already dreaming of my next spa trip. 


Love Charlotte
xxx

Monday, 15 April 2019

Print on print - Style post

Hey Guys,



Spring is here and I am not into ditsy florals in pastel shades, the stereotypical florals however you have to have some form of florals in your wardrobe and this is mine. 



I adore everything about it and normally I hate both maxi / midi dresses and florals but this is just so bloody cool. 






The hot pink with bright yellow, blue and red is amazing then what obviously draw me to it is the pop of animal print on the waist. I saw this back in November on ASOS from reclaimed vintage and could not stop thinking about it. Then Michael pulled it out of the bag and surprised me with it for Christmas. 
I wore it just for special occasions at first, I wore it with a black turtle neck underneath for my fancy meal out to celebrate my new job and wore it for Mikes birthday but now I am going to get so much more use out of it going into summer. It seems I was really early onto a big trend. 
I'm sure you've also seen these refreshing takes on floaty, maxi dresses appearing everywhere. 
I am obsessed with the print on print trend but not quite confident enough to just clash bold printed pieces together like my fave Megan Ellaby can. 
Megan has also been through a similar journey with a dress that is now everywhere by Rixo (pictured on Megan below) that has very similar elements to it just very different colours. Then there is one on Topshop that has sold out that gives me similar vibes too (they have also just released the same sellout dress in mini style if maxi's aren't ya thing). 


I am loving these dresses as they are both a refreshing take on the spring floral dress but also a super easy way to try out the clashing print trend. 
I already can't wait to style this a bit more creatively with my white cowboy boots (I got some last summer, hardly wore them so left them at my parents' house back in Cardiff  before moving here and now they are a massive thing so I need to get mine back) and a zebra print bag. 




Love Charlotte
xxx

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Some Personal and career goals

Hey Guys,


I was inspired, as usual by Chloe from The Little plums personal posts, a follow up to her goal posts from back in July.  I do a lot of self-analysing anyway, I get annoyed at myself for doing things after I've done them but most recently I've been thinking about how much I've changed in the last 18 months. Not necessarily changed in terms of my personality just my mindsets and motivation around things as well as the places I am in. 
So I've been trying to sum up what I've achieved (because it's okay to be proud of ya self sometimes) and think about some more goals.



- CAREER -

In the past - I was very unmotivated with my work, I felt a bit stuck. At university, I got easily frustrated with projects and lecturers constantly getting negative feedback but with no clue on how to improve it, I soon felt frustrated and then lost a lot of interest. I still cared about the subjects and I wanted to do well but just not enough. I cared about other things about student life more. You could say I cared about those things TOO much however I don't regret it that much because I still succeeded in my degree and am glad I have all the memories from the other aspects of being a student which are arguably just as important.
As well as not being motivated with my uni work, I let A Fashion Oddity fall out of focus I haven't been properly consistent with this brand for years either.

I am now - Working my first 'adult' job, for years I've loved my part-time jobs in retail but in the new year I started the first job in my career field as a website assistant for an engineering firm and I have gained a new confidence and motivation around work I haven't had for years. At uni getting up the road for a 9am lecture was near impossible for me now I am up at 6:45 and in the office from 8am. I partly think I am still in the novelty of it all, the first office job, the meetings and everything feeling grown up. But I also think I have genuinely just grown up about this, people mention any form of training and I am jumping at the chance to learn, I am getting my ideas heard, speaking up in meetings and really just loving working which is such a contrast from this time last year for me.

My goals - As you can tell I am pretty happy with where I am at work wise, I am looking at some training to further my digital marketing knowledge at work though.

I want to really push my blog though. I have a lot planned for this little baby. In the next few months, I have a whole new re-brand and a new website to launch soon.

 I want to work on finding the balance between working a 9 to 5 and spending enough time working on my blog, (this is the kind of change I have noticed in myself, at uni I struggled to do any uni work at home after a two hour lecture and now I work 8+ hours, with an hour commute either side and when I get home, I still want to keep working) I want to become more involved in the Cornish blogging community and keep building connections.



- PERSONAL - 
In the past - I was atrocious with money, I got my card declined before every payday and student loan, the loan was meant to stretch over 3 months but I'd always run out for the third rent. I put off doing things such as learning to drive because there was no way I could afford enough lessons let alone then a test, a car, insurance and more on that so I could never be bothered to start. 

At the moment - When I moved back to my parents for a bit after uni, I was working full time in retail I managed to set up my savings account and while I was lucky enough to have hardly any outgoings I managed to put aside some of my wages each week and now I am so proud of how I've turned around my finances. Towards the end of last year I finally bite the bullet and started having driving lessons, I had some back home around Cardiff but am now learning in Cornwall. 
Between working a full-time office job and working on my blog I don't have much time left for anything else, trying to fit in socialising and girl time is a struggle. 

My goals - My main priority is to keep on building up those savings.
I want to keep improving my finances, I've jumped on the Monzo card bandwagon which is hopefully going to help me waste less money by putting all my spending money in one separate account that I can budget and set spending limits on. 
Next is to complete learning to drive first with the driving theory, this is the bit I am struggling with.  Then hopefully, touch wood in no time I'll have my driving test ready and I am so excited to be driving.

 Some other goals that are less of a priority are to keep learning Italian, this is something I’ve done off and on for years. The last time I went out to Italy I practised on a few apps loads beforehand and it was the best it’s been however like everything I slip in and out of practice with it and I need to get back into it. I spend more than enough time on my phone every day so I’m trying to put 5 minutes of my screen time towards my Italian apps. 

I’d also like to learn to enjoy exercise, I’ve always hated any form of exercise and the day I had my last compulsory P.E lesson in year 9 was the best day however I do feel unfit sometimes and I can tell it will keep getting worse. 5 months ago I was working 8 hours shifts in retail, working in the warehouse pacing across a huge store countless times in those 8 hours so while I’ve never exercised I’ve had dips of being more active day today. Now I am sat at my desk for 8 hours then I go home to sit on the sofa or my bed for the rest of the time so this is another thing I need to work on. Hopefully I can find a form of exercise I really enjoy as I get fitter but for now, I am just trying to take more walks, maybe I can give up having big hot lunches in the staff room at work and go on a walk at lunchtime instead. 

The final thing I want to touch on is my friendships, something I’ve always heard people struggle with is making new friendships as an adult any time after uni. 
I really was lucky enough to make the best friends at uni and I met my partner so I felt like I was sorted and somewhat set up. 
However, all of my friends now live at least 5 hours away on the train so I can’t just meet them for a drink after work to vent about the perils of living with your boyfriend for example. 
So this goal is to just continue keeping those mentioned friendships as strong as they were while trying my best to build new friendships at work and through other ways here in Cornwall! 




Top - ASOS 
Jeans - H&M 
Necklace- Topshop 

I hope enjoyed this post, its a weird time for goals not being the new year or a new term but its always a good time to sit down look at what you’ve achieved and what other goals or ‘improvements’ you can work towards. 


Love Charlotte
xxx

Friday, 8 March 2019

International Woman's day 2019

Hey Guys,

This is a bit of a last minute post for this year's celebrations, unlike last year which is still one of my favorite posts (Women in music).
Even so, it's one of my favorite days and I always want to say something about the amazing women in my life.


Over the years I surround myself in more and more amazing women. Everyone I look up to whether its career-wise, style-wise, or morally its full of women.
I am so lucky to live in this generation where we can choose who we surround ourselves with, who we follow and I can choose to put women at the forefront of the content I digest. Which is such a cool position to be in.

Creatively it's such a great time for women, I am constantly learning from, being inspired by creative women.
Since finishing my degree last summer I've become even more motivated and passionate about my career.


My close friends on my course always motivated me throughout uni and it's amazing seeing all the amazing work they are all doing now. Even since adjusting to long distance friendships since leaving uni my girlfriends are my rock and are just my favourite people.

Now to mention some of those women I am inspired by and am learning form at the moment. 
Starting with my go-to for all things fashion inspiration my personal queen of blogging, Megan Ellaby, its amazing seeing her grown to evne launching a clothing line this year. For me she is the most creative 'big' influencer, he stlye is so full of colour and personality its still such a  welcome sight in a very trend led influencer industry where everyone can fall for the same kind of minimalistic style with this same street of houses style background. 

Next up is Vix Meldrew one of the main people I've gone back to a lot since the New Year where my career motivation has come back. Someone I've followed for years but only new connected with. With her 'exciting emails' concept, she has created a community alongside her very useful podcast of women trying to improve their blogs, in similar positions so myself. 

Next up a little bit closer to home again someone I've followed for years is Anna, I've followed her blog The Cornish life for a while but more recently have been finding her new podcast series The Freelance Fix and her web design site very useful for tips all things freelance related. 

I've recently really got into podcasts so please share with me your favourites. 

I am planning a few more posts around what I have touched on today about my new found career motivation and the content I have been getting my inspiration from for work. However for now my message is as always to surround yourself by amazing women, collaborate with these women and for the love of god empower each other, sharing the content women create, telling your favourite women you love what they do is so important, so make sure you have thanked your friends today, and see you soon.

Love Charlotte
xxx

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Who said velvet and glitter is just for the festive party season? - Style post

Hey Guys,



Two months ago every shop on the high street was full to the brim of glitter, sequins, and velvet. 
Christmas means one thing in fashion PARTY SEASON, maybe its an age or job thing but I never understood that apart from New Year's Eve I don't dress up more than normal and Christmas.

Why should we only get all glam in December? 






Top - Primark 
Trousers - Urban Outfitters 

Whether it's any old night out with your gals, a celebratory meal, your birthday or any reason to celebrate we should keep the sparkly clothes from Christmas.
I have always loved dressing up to the nines, and often feel the most overdressed, but so what?
You clash that sequin dress with a velvet jacket and glitter eye shadow any day of the year.
Falmouth is somewhere people don't really dress too fancy so sometimes you have to find a middle ground like contrasting your fancy look with super casual accessories, like these old air max trainers, or an old leather jacket over the top.
Plus even though this look is 'festive' with glitter and velvet, its a very comfy, relaxed fit which also helps tone it down.
Do you love overdressing or do you tend to keep it casual?


Love Charlotte
xxx