Since moving back to Aberdeen last week, I have had absolutely nothing to do. University starts back 2nd February, but I just really wanted to get out of my house and back to my flat. So during the past week I have discovered a multitude of options and activities you can do without feeling guilty for wasting time, because you literally have absolutely nothing to do.
eating ice cream is a bonus addition to the list ;)

1. Sleep

Waking up at 12 (or 1 or 2...) is only a good feeling when you know you have no reason to get up any earlier. So make the most of it while you can. I enjoy being productive but we all need those lazy days just to relax, save up our energy and give ourselves a deserved day off.

2. Binge a TV Series

So when you really can no longer sleep, binge a TV series. More specifically, binge Criminal Minds. Slightly disturbing (and I am pretty squeamish) but very addictive. I was introduced to this by flatmate Kiera and have since watched a whole 23 episodes, each 40 minutes long, in an impressive two days. I am very proud as this is a record for me. Other series I recommend are Fresh Meat, Peep Show and Once Upon a Time (all on Netflix).

3. Tidy and Decorate

Look, I know this may not be the most fun activity, but you're always saying you need to tidy up around the house and seem to be forever wishing you had the time to paint the walls a lovely periwinkle. Well, now is that time. Blast your favourite tunes. grab your onesie and just get started.

I did this the other day for a good three hours and it feels amazing - room tour coming soon.

4. Read

If you ever need a break from your favourite TV series (does this ever happen tho?) then books are here to help. I enjoy reading but just never seem to find the time to sit down and get stuck into a good story. With nothing else to do, now is your time - see I Bought Some Books for inspiration.

5. Cook New Food

My attempts of cooking this week have included beetballs (like meatballs but with beetroot), a vegan dhal from Deliciously Ella as well as a brie & courgette mug cake from a recipe book I was given at Christmas. You may have noticed I am trying to eat a more plant-based diet, as I stated in my New Year's Resolutions post. Baking is also a great way to waste some time while having a tasty end result.

So there are five things to do when you have absolutely nothing to do. I still have one more week until university starts, so if I think up any more activities, I will publish a Part Two - watch this space.

What do you do when you have nothing to do?

5 Things to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

Having handed in my final coursework for Semester 1 of university, and Semester 2 not starting until the 2nd of February, I realised I have a lot of free time until then. Then I also realised I can't remember the last time I picked up and read a book and decided I wanted to change that. Not my lack of memory, I just mean I haven't read in an awful long time.

A trip to WHSmith and their "buy one get one half price" deal meant I came home with four books I can't wait to get stuck into: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt HaigGone Girl by Gillian Flynn; The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett and Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life by David Mitchell.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig:
Now I am not expecting to discover the meaning of life from this book, however I have always found other people's perspectives on life and how we should live our lives incredibly interesting. Matt Haig discusses the true story of how he survived a horrific mental illness and how he managed to continue with life. The blurb states "it is a book about making the most of your time on earth" and it has an abundance of brilliant reviews as well being a Sunday Times bestseller.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:
A cult classic, I was first made aware Gone Girl existed in college one or two years ago when studying a short excerpt. It sounded like a fascinating and unique story so I then headed home and watched the film version which has excellent ratings. But when I saw it on the bookshelf the other day I couldn't resist and am excited to see how it compares to the movie.

The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett:
I'll be honest, any book with Maggie Smith on the front cover will be going straight in my basket. I have seen plenty of trailers for the film but have not yet seen the whole movie - yet. As it is a short book, this looks to be a fairly easy and fun read filled with laughs. And of course, if Maggie Smith approves, then it must be pretty good.

Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life by David Mitchell:
One of my favourite comedians, David Mitchell seems like a man of both intellect and wit (obviously). His mind is certainly one I'd like to get inside of and as an incredible over-thinker about everything in the world myself, I'm hoping this book will provide a humorous take on the little and big things in life to remind me it's okay to be less serious and definitely okay to be more carefree.

Now I just have to decide which one to read first... any suggestions? If you fancy reading any of these books yourself, just click here to visit WHSmith.

I hope 2016 has been good to you all so far! Speak soon,

I Bought Some Books

To see Part 1, click here.

The Music Hall in Aberdeen hosted Trend and Premiere Production's LOVE Fashion catwalk show. The evening consisted of an incredible amount of collections from both independent and big brand retailers, as well as entertainment with some truly inspiring spectacles.

Lasting 3 hours, the catwalk was packed with offerings from the likes of De-ZireHelen Ruth ScarvesMidnight Elegance (one of my favourites) and Country Ways as well as retailers from Aberdeen's Bon Accord Centre such as CoastPhase Eight and Topshop.

This is part two (and the final part) of my photographs from the event - I hope you enjoy!

LOVE Fashion Catwalk Show Part Two

Happy New Year!

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Where people all over the world decide to join the gym and to give up alcohol (next joke please). Leaving the pessimism there however, I do like to give myself a few general aims for the year and reflect on the past in order to have a fulfilling year and to be the best version of myself.

So how did I do with last year's Resolutions?

  • Stay Positive
    I feel I have greatly improved at this. Just in everyday situations and bigger issues, I look on the bright side and remind myself there is no point in being pessimistic, so why do it? Of course, like everyone, I still have phases of being fed up and down, but they have become much less frequent.
  • Get Fit
    Up until September I am proud to say I actually went to the gym about three times a week which shocked me. Because before, I laughed at the thought of physical exercise. Unfortunately upon moving out for university I only went to the gym twice as I really dislike going on my own and was a little anxious as it was a new gym. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into a good routine.
  • Learn to Cook
    Now I'm no Jamie Oliver but I could definitely cook you an edible and 9 out of 10 times tasty meal. Cooking for just myself has meant I've been able to experiment and although there have been meals I wouldn't revisit (looking at you celery risotto) I have a few recipes I could share on the blog. Coming soon: Cooking with Mairi.
  • Become More IndependentI have now used a washing machine, can cook, do my own food shopping and have survived living without my parents so I'd say this one went pretty well.
  • Be Ambitious
    This was about saying yes more often in relation to opportunities and situations which previously made me anxious. I tried to push myself and just do more stuff really. I feel like I've had a pretty busy and fulfilling year, so I'm quite pleased with this one too.

And for this year? I am really not too sure, but here's a few.

1. Try Veganism

I'm not planning on eating a fully vegan diet, but I would like to try to incorporate more vegan options into my diet. A couple of years ago I tried going vegan for one month but then I settled for substitutes whereas now my focus is on exploring ingredients and seeing what unique meals veganism has to offer rather than hunting down 'vegan ham'.

With my new(ish) Deliciously Ella vegan cookbook, I'm hoping I'll find a fair few recipes I'll actually enjoy eating whilst staying healthy. I do like a challenge.

2. Get Fit

I may plan a grand return to the gym, or I may look at other options. Either way, I definitely want to get back into some sort of exercise routine, whatever that turns out to be.

3. Be Confident and Decisive

Don't care about what other people think, don't get anxious about things which I know I can do easily and try to be less indecisive and actually make decisions. 

4. Do Stuff

Just do a lot of stuff, See your friends, climb hills, play the ukulele, cook nice food, listen to music, travel, blog, maybe go skydiving - don't waste your days. Do what you love.

Here's to a fun and fulfilling 2016! What are your New Year's Resolutions?

New Year's Resolutions 2016

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