Upcycling project: TV unit

Recently I completed my first upcycling project and although it’s not perfect, I am really pleased with the overall finished result and thought I would share the process with all of my readers.

I was really inspired to start upcycling by my good friend Victoria and Jo from @littlevillagehouse on Instagram, who have both created some amazing pieces through recycling old furniture.

So Victoria and I ventured off to local charity shops to see what I could find. Because Jamie and I live on a budget, most of my furniture is secondhand (from family members) or bits and pieces from Ikea so I was really excited about the prospect of having something unique to call my own. I had been looking at corner TV units online for a long time. I had been drooling over the Huxley Corner TV Stand from Next but I just couldn’t warrant the price tag at this stage in our lives/careers.

I found this sturdy corner TV unit at a charity shop in Kilmarnock for only £10. Instantly, I had a vision of how it could look with grey paint and fresh handles. I love country and farmhouse style furniture and accessories (even though I live in a top-floor flat in a busy town) so I could definitely imagine the unit fitting in perfectly.

My friend had lots of furniture paint leftover from her own projects so we used that to paint it. It was Rust-Oleum’s ‘chalky finish’ furniture paint in the colour Flint, which you can get in Homebase or Argos. Before painting, we gave it a light key with fine sandpaper to help the paint stick. It really didn’t need much so if you’re doing this yourself make sure you’re not too heavy-handed.

After sanding, we used a combination of a small sponge paint roller, for large flat areas, and a little paint brush, for corners and edges. Once the paint was dry, Victoria kindly touched up any rough spots and – voila – it was ready for its new home. Depending on the desired finish, you might want to use more than one coat but I like the shabby-chic look and felt the one coat gave great coverage.

The original handles were cute and gave a vintage feel to the unit but because I wanted to give it a complete facelift, I decided to replace the old handles with farmhouse-style cup handles and picked a cute knob for the main cupboard in the centre. These were super cheap from Amazon. The cup handles were only £2.79 for 6 and the knob was £2.90. Click on the images below to get your own!

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Overall, I am so pleased with the finished result and it feels magical that not only do I have a piece of unique furniture that I really like, and that cost me less than £30 in total, but that I made it with my own hands. As someone that suffers periodically with bouts of bad mental health, I’ve found creative projects like this to be super helpful and healing. There are a couple of chipped bits around the base, which I need to sort out, but imperfections are a part of life so who cares? There is something amazing about seeing it in my living room and knowing that it’s one-of-a-kind and special to us.

What do you guys think? Have you tried some upcycling?

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2017: Most Popular Posts

How on earth is January almost over? I intended to write up a ‘2018 goals’ post but time has escaped me – maybe I still can. As always, a big goal for me is to keep up the momentum on The Fourth Month. I’ve been posting more regularly on The Fourth Month Instagram account so it’s now time to produce more content for the blog.

The Fourth Month journey began back in Summer 2016 when I broke my leg and was relegated to the sofa for about 5 weeks. Since then I’ve focused on books, interiors, wellbeing and general lifestyle posts. Like I did last year, I thought I’d share the top posts of the year to say farewell to 2017 and hullo to 2018.

5. A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J MAAS

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This review of A Court of Thorns and Roses was my first blog post in 2017 and you guys seemed to enjoy reading my thoughts. It was a book that left me feeling torn. I loved some of the characters and the magical world they inhabit but a lot of this story is problematic. Its troublesome Beauty and the Beast tropes (Stockholm Syndrome and sexual violence) made me feel uneasy but Maas created such a rich and exciting world full of powerful and mysterious characters with this series. I’ve yet to read ACOMAF and, at this point, I doubt I will. Check out my review and let me know what you think.

4. A PUBLISHING POSTGRAD UPDATE

The fourth most popular post in 2017 was my publishing postgrad update. It’s one of the few, if not only, personal posts I’ve written for The Fourth Month. This makes me wonder if you would like to see more personal blogs (let me know in the comments or send me a message). Since writing this in April last year, things have changed even more. I left my job at the Publishing Bureau to pursue work as a Library Assistant. Working with books and children is really my dream job! And, of course, I graduated with a Distinction in MSc Publishing in October last year, which was a massive achievement.

3. 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING TO UNIVERSITY

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Guest blogger, Zina, makes two appearances in the Top 5 of 2017. This is a witty and in-depth look at the trials and tribulations of University life. It’s a great read for anyone considering going to University but it also resonates with anyone who is at or has been to Uni. This uplifting list hopefully put a few minds at ease last year and I’m sure it’ll stay relevant every year as new students move on to higher education.

2. INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: BOOKS BY FIERCE FEMALES

I am so happy that this list of fiercely feminist books made it to the top of my most-viewed posts in 2017. This post was requested by a friend but it has clearly been enjoyed by many readers. The list featured some of my favourite authors from Charlotte Brontë to Jessie Burton. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you would like see more bookish lists on The Fourth Month.

1. VANITY FEMME GLOW DUST REVIEW

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Stealing the limelight yet again, Zina’s review of Vanity Femme Glow Dust has made the top spot for 2017 (it was also the most viewed blog in 2016). This sparkly review of a cult-classic highlighter gets hits almost every day so I’ve asked my gorgeous make-up artist sister to start writing some make-up reviews in 2018. Follow her on Instagram and subscribe the The Fourth Month to make sure you don’t miss a thing.


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September favourites

You may have noticed some recent changes to The Fourth Month. I’m now residing at thefourthmonth.blog and pages like Food, Wellbeing and Shopping have returned to the site. In February, I wrote a blog about Changes, where I announced The Fourth Month would focus solely on the publishing industry and books. However, since I made this ‘niche’ for myself, I found myself completely uninspired. So I’ve decided to go back to my roots and The Fourth Month will be a mix and match of anything and everything once again.

In the spirit of embracing chaos, I am starting a monthly ‘favourites’ blog, which will be a list of random products from books and magazines to beauty and candles to delicious foodie treats.

Enjoy x


Breathe & Teen Breathe Magazine

I featured Issue One of Breathe Magazine in a blog last year (August 2016 Home Inspiration) when I first discovered this amazing publication. A year on and they have recently launched their sister magazine, Teen Breathe, which aims to help teens and young adults find a bit of peace and quiet in their hectic, social-media driven lives. The beautiful illustrations and peaceful content of Breathe magazines have resonated with me from day one. A year later and I’m still enjoying every issue. Not only does it look great on your coffee table but it’s bursting with ideas to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. I also think it’s pretty inexpensive as far as luxury magazines go. I recently subscribed so that I never miss an issue – I love it that much!

Get an annual subscription to Breathe for your Amazon Kindle.

If you’d like me to do a full review of the recent issues of Breathe magazine then please comment below or drop me a line at thefourthmonth@icloud.com.

Rustic bath shelf from Sainsbury’s

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Face cloths from Asda, candles from Aldi and Wax Lyrical UK, face mask and body scrub from Lush Cosmetics

I’ve been desperate for a bath shelf for AGES. I love running a hot bubble bath after a stressful day and some over-the-bath storage is the perfect addition to a soak in the tub. I picked this up in Sainsbury’s – their homeware selection is gorgeous – and I like to use it to show off my favourite bath time products: some rolled-up face cloths, Lush cosmetics and a couple of gorgeous candles. It’s like my own mini spa. There’s also room for a glass of wine (or two). If you’re on a budget, you can up-cycle an old wooden shelf for the same (if not better) effect.

Aldi Lime, Basil and Mandarin Candle

This Jo Malone dupe is getting ALL THE HYPE lately and I can see why. At £3.99, this supermarket candle will cost you 90% less than the real deal. While I’m not convinced about the ethics behind such a cheap dupe, I can confidently say that this candle smells just like the Jo Malone original and leaves a long-lasting, strong fragrance in the air. It also looks really luxurious and mimics the classic Jo Malone style beautifully. Ultimately, I will probably continue to splash out on a real Jo Malone candle once in a blue moon because you always get what you pay for but this Aldi dupe will definitely keep me going in-between – I’ve already bought three!

Mini lavender pots

I love a bargain! So I was pretty excited when I saw this set of three artificial miniature lavender plants in a cream wire basket reduced to £7 in Tesco. I skipped to the checkout and to my delight, these cuties were reduced even further – to £1.70! I couldn’t believe it. I love seeing these lavender plants perched on my kitchen windowsill every morning. I haven’t seen them in any local Tesco stores since and I can’t find them online but you can get a similar set from Melody Maison for only £8.95.

Try adding a couple of drops of real lavender essence to give some authenticity your artificial plants. Lavender oil has some wonderful healing properties which make it a great bedtime companion.

Lazy Sunday Coffee

Jamie and I recently bought a coffee grinder and French Press from IKEA so that we could enjoy freshly ground coffee in the mornings instead of instant. However, I often find fresh coffee too strong or too bitter but I was pleasantly surprised by Taylor’s of Harrogate’s ‘Lazy Sunday’ coffee. With hints of hazelnut and citrus, these coffee beans don’t claim to be “knock-your-socks-off, drag-you-awake coffee.” Instead, this is “coffee for lie-ins and Sunday papers, for lazy mornings with your feet on the sofa.” If I was a cup of coffee, this is what I would be.

You can buy three bags of Taylors of Harrogate Lazy Sunday Medium Roast Ground Coffee for £8.65 on Amazon.

On the subject of coffee, we’re thinking about getting a proper barista coffee machine for our Christmas this year. Do you have any recommendations or know of any coffee machines we should steer clear of? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Instagram.


What are you loving this September? The weather is cooling and it’s time to break out the hats and scarves again. Do you have any go-to products for Autumn? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

A Publishing Postgrad Update

Happy Sunday to you all! It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written a blog. I recently moved into a new flat with my boyfriend and it’s been hectic! However, I have cultivated the perfect writing spot in my new home: looking out of our big window and watching the world pass by with a big cup of coffee.

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A lot has happened in the past few weeks, asides from moving into our new place, and I thought I would do a little summary blog touching on a couple of the updates in my #publishingpostgrad life.


A New Chapter: The Publishing Bureau

On Friday, I went to an interview in Glasgow for an internship at The Publishing Bureau. As with all interviews, I was incredibly nervous but I felt particularly anxious because I really wanted this job. Being a home bird from the west coast of Scotland, I’ve had my sights set on securing work in Glasgow for a while but I know that opportunities are rare compared with the likes of London, or even Edinburgh. When the job was advertised, I jumped at the chance to do the work that I love in my favourite city! Better still, the role is a great combination of my publishing degree and my work at a medical education company because a lot of the projects are scientific and technical. I was, of course, delighted to be offered the position on Friday afternoon with a start at the beginning of May. I’m really looking forward to it, especially because I’ll be doing a variety of work from design and layout to editorial and writing. Wish me luck!


Video Marketing: Linen Press Books

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m currently doing a remote placement with Linen Press Books, the only indie women’s press in the UK. I have been loving every minute and the best thing about this job is working with such talented women across the world. Lately, we’ve been working on a campaign for Avril Joy’s book Sometimes A River Songwhich is a finalist for the People’s Book Prize. I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and suggested we create ‘Author Confession’ videos similar to those that I edited for Scottish Book Trust (like this video with Sarah J Maas). With the help of my lovely filmmaker boyfriend, I edited together 9 videos for Avril and I’m over the moon with the end result. View them here.

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The Final Countdown

The next two weeks mark the end of my second trimester studying MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University. They mark the end of classes, my job at Perceptive Med Ed and my time living in Edinburgh. I have loved living and studying in the capital city and have met some wonderful and talented individuals, who I hope I’ll be friends with for life. The next few weeks will be chaotic with deadlines – finishing my Burns poetry book and working on other bits of coursework – as well as starting my new internship. I am excited to move into the next phase of my career but I’ll be sad to see the end of this particular chapter. Plus, I still have that ominous dissertation to write!


Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more updates on my #publishingpostgrad life.

Humble Stuff: Cruelty-Free Cleaning

Since I moved to Edinburgh last month, I’ve had to learn to become a real adult – yes, that’s right, I have to do things like washing my own clothes and cooking my own meals. Shocking! My flatmates and I share a cleaning rota to make sure our little flat is shining like a new shilling and this week it was my turn to clean the bathroom which meant I had the chance to use my gorgeous Humble Stuff cleaning products.

I first found out about Humble Stuff on Twitter and I contacted the lovely Marie to find out if they’d be interested in collaborating with The Fourth Month as I am keen to promote cruelty-free homeware just like Wee Tree Soaps: Part 1. Marie was more than happy to get involved and agreed to send me a package of her fantastic products so that I could share their awesomeness with you all!

Humble Stuff is a range of cruelty-free, eco-friendly cleaning products. They’re handmade in Scotland (based in Glasgow) and all their ingredients are fresh and sustainable. I’m struggling to see why they’re called Humble Stuff because these cleaning products are really something to brag about. They’re the UK’s first producer of handmade cleaning products and, with no artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals, they are doing something really amazing for the earth!

It all originated with Marie who has been a self-employed domestic cleaner for over ten years but was fed up of using toxic cleaning products. In search for an alternative, she discovered traditional methods like bicarbonate of soda and vinegar could  be used to clean just about everything. Marie continued to research and experiment with non-toxic cleaning solutions with the support of her clients and eventually took the plunge (pardon the bad toilet pun) and took her cruelty-free cleaning products to Trading Standards. Marie now sells these products at fairs and festivals and has gone on to win the prestigious #SBS award (Small Business Sunday)

I received all three of Marie’s ethical cleaning products in my parcel and I’ve now used them all to clean my new flat. Here’s what I thought:


1. Multi Surface Cleaning Spray, £5

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This is the product I will use the most out of the three. Multi surface cleaning sprays are a gal’s best friend; I use it on the kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces and my desk and bedside cabinet. Each spray is handmade with you in mind so you can choose from a variety of beautiful scents: Blood Orange (Limited Edition Halloween scent), Lemon Myrtle, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lime & Eucalyptus or go Fragrance Free. My spray was Lemon Myrtle and I am so pleased with it because I am a sucker for all things lemony. This leaves your surfaces smelling citrusy fresh, which makes a pleasant change from the chemical smells a lot of anti-bac sprays have.

It’s only £5 and you can buy it on Etsy.

2. Soft Cleaning Paste, £5

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This soft cleaning paste goes back to traditional cleaning methods as it is made up of sodium bicarbonate and organic Castile soap.  It is tough on grime and dirt so you can use it for greasy kitchen utensils. I used this paste on the shower tiles and bathroom taps and they were sparkling in a few minutes. You simply mix in 1 teaspoon of the paste with 500ml of hot water and use a microfibre cloth to buff whichever surface you’re cleaning. Again, you can choose from a variety of scents so your house will be smelling and looking like paradise in no time. I got Lemon Myrtle and, like the multi-surface spray, it left my bathroom smelling like lemon cheesecake.

It’s £5 too and you can grab a 250g tub on Etsy. 

3. Toilet Freshener, £5

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These sticks were probably my surprising favourite from the bunch – mostly because they require little to no effort on my part. The box contains a minimum of 12 fizzing toilet sticks. You pop one in the toilet, let it fizzle to freshen the bowl, scrub or just flush away. It’s old-school and uses bicarbonate of Soda and citric acid infused with 100% pure essential oils. Choose from Grapefruit & Rosemary, Peppermint, Eucalyptus or Fragrance Free. I got Lavender and Patchouli sticks; the smell is really soothing and if you read my blog you’ll know I’m a big advocate for the use of lavender oil. The best thing about these sticks is that it allows you to clean your toilet without using any stringent chemicals that harm aquatic life once they’re flushed away. Your bathroom will smell amazing without any guilt!

These sticks are also £5 and available on Etsy. 


Something to remember: these products are made with fresh ingredients so there is a recommended use-by date. Don’t stick these in the back of the cleaning cupboard and forget about them until next your Spring clean. Get use out of them!

If you’re interested in trying some of these products, Humble Stuff offer a special deal: all 3 products for only £12.

Not only will your house be sparkling clean but by using Humble Stuff you are supporting an environmentally friendly way of living as well as an independent company. Independent and ethical shopping is the way forward so do your bit by ditching the toxins and using Humble Stuff around the house.

Find out more about Humble Stuff on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Check out their website and buy their cleaning products on Etsy.


If you’re interested in more ethical products, check out my review of Wee Tree Soaps: Part 1 for vegan-friendly soaps and July 2016 Homespiration: Candle Edition for cruelty-free candles. Keep an eye on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for regular updates.

Mad Dog, Cheese & Winchin’: Claire Barclay Draws

Claire Barclay combines my love of Scotland, cheese puns and adorable illustrations in one beautiful and colourful online Etsy store.

Claire Barclay Draws epitomises why shopping independent is the best. Nowhere on the high street would you find so many Scottish culture gems, like this Mad Dog 20/20 print,  AND cheese puns, That’ll Brie Nice, all in one place. Through her greetings card, jewellery, tote bags, art prints and bunting, Claire combines nostalgic Scottish banter with vibrant pop culture and the result is magical.

I always smile when I receive my purchases from Claire. She delivers every time with amazing fun products and it’s even reflected through to her packaging! Would highly recommend. – Fay

Claire is animg_3910 illustrator and designer who works solo from her “wee studio” in Glasgow, Scotland. She loves making work based on funny elements of Scottish culture as well as anything else that’s jazzy, colourful or cute! She creates a whole range or products including greetings cards, art prints, tote bags and jewellery all with her quirky doodles on them. Claire also works on custom orders such as family/pet portraits and wedding invitations.

Super cute and super great also the Claire Barclay Draws customer service is amazing and one of the main reasons I will be a returning customer 🙂 – Jamie

I have been lucky enough to get my hands on a bundle of Claire’s incredible designs and I can testify that the products are as adorable in person as they are on your computer screen. I received two awesome A4 prints, a gorgeous tote bag and a “cat lady” brooch.
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Designs by Claire Barclay and candle from Love Scottish Candles

Art

I’m originally from bonnie Ayrshire but after four years studying at The University of Glasgow, I’m a self-confessed Glasgow wean who is now living in Edinburgh. Claire’s Glasgow Girl designs were just so fitting for me so they were really what drew me in. Claire’s illustrations are personal and you can really engage with them. They’ll have you and your friends giggling with a sense of nostalgia that I don’t think many people are capturing in the same way Claire is.
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Claire managed to combine both my new home and my love of Glasgow in the two art prints I received: Edinburgh Girl and You Can Take The Girl Outta Glasgow, But You Can’t Take Glasgow Out The Girl. These make wonderful gifts for any Edinburgh or Glaswegian gals who want to show off their love of their city or memorabilia for a guest visiting the city for the first time. You can also have these prints personalised to showcase your own home city; I recently spotted a Paisley Girl print on Claire’s on Instagram, which you can buy in the Slug in a Bottle Shop that will be popping up in Paisley soon.
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For anyone that grew up in Scotland, there a few special items that will definitely capture your hearts and imaginations. I’m sure many a Scot’s teenage years were spent drinking one of the following: Tennents, Buckfast, Mad Dog, Lambrini, or Frosty Jack’s – which brings back fond memories of shoving my drunk boyfriend into the back of a taxi after he drank a bottle of ‘fabulous Frosty’s’ at a house party in Glasgow. Claire pokes fun of Scottish youth culture with a variety of prints, greetings cards and jewellery.

Fashion

Claire Barclay herself is a bit of a fashionista and self-proclaimed “jazzy outfit enthusiast” so the jewellery and tote bags she offers are just the cutest. I am so in love with my Glasgow Girl tote but, unfortunately, it has met a sad fate in an accidental washing machine fatality. As long as you don’t mix yours in with a hot wash of towels then you are sure to have a gorgeous tote bag with a long life and the ability to get everyone talking and smiling.

I keep my Cat Lady brooch pinned to my Alohomora Design tote and proudly display it at University every day. It is super cute and sturdy and, if nothing else, it sparks that age-old debate: do you prefer cats or dogs? If you are inclined to obsess over our feline friends then you need one of these little pins in your life. Claire’s brooches range from £3.50 to £9 depending on which design you’re looking for and they look awesome pinned to an oversized denim jacket. Other designs include Geeze a WinchGeein’ It Laldi and, for those of you looking for something less Scottish, there’s a motivational Be Happy brooch.

Claire also makes necklaces (like this quirky and colourful Unicorn Necklace) and earrings (my personal favourite: Taps Aff earrings)


Follow Claire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out her Etsy page and don’t forget my 15% off code expires at the end of October so hurry, hurry!

Hello Edinburgh: Five Things I’ve Learned In My First Week

My first week in Edinburgh has come to an end and I can proudly exclaim that I survived it. Not only did I survive but I actually really enjoyed my first terrifying week in a strange city with unknown people.

What I’ve learned about student life in Edinburgh so far…

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1. It’s Okay To Be A Tourist

There is so much going on in Edinburgh all of the time. It’s not just the Fringe or the New Year street party. There is always live music and events (including loads of literary ones) to get involved with. During my first week, my boyfriend and I spent a day exploring the city like tourists including a spin on the big Ferris wheel and a trip around the National Scottish Gallery to admire some Renaissance paintings (p.s the organic brownies at the NSG are 10/10) I know that I have not even begun to see the tip of the Edinburgh culture iceberg and that excites me! It’s great to resign myself to being a tourist and allowing myself to enjoy the beautiful aspects of this city not just as a residing student.

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2. You can make any house a home.

It turns out that it is possible to turn old and slightly gross student accommodation into your own little slice of paradise. I was so worried about leaving the safe haven of my hometown for a new city but I’ve managed to make my flat a place where I’m comfortable and can enjoy some peace from the stress of academics and working. I’ve learned that you don’t need to be moving into the most glam accommodation to make it feel like home. I’ve been filling my room with lovely candles like the ones on my July 2016 Homespiration: Candle Edition list and goodies from the wonderful The Fuzzy Bee Paper Company. I’ll be writing more about turning student accommodation into a home you can feel proud of in the near future.

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3. You need to have a strong app game.

To survive life in Edinburgh you will need to get the Bus & Tram app. This has been a gift sent from heaven over the past week. I genuinely think I’d be lying in a ditch in the middle of nowhere right now if I didn’t use this handy travel tool. I use the ScotRail app too. It’s great for working out the quickest and cheapest way to get outta town. And, of course, there’s trusty Google Maps! Pro tip: plug your earphones in and let the robo-voice tell you where to go so you don’t look like a total newbie staring at your phone screen as you try to navigate the unknown streets. If you’re moving to a new city, Edinburgh or not, check out the best travel apps for your phone to make moving around the city a much more pleasurable experience.

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4. You need to be savvy with your food.

This week, I’ve learned that it’s not always easy to transition from home cooked meals to scraping together whatever you can. Everyone knows students live on a strict budget and a diet consisting of Pot Noodles and cheap rosé wine. I’m trying to challenge the stereotype of the student who can’t and won’t cook by finding cheap ways to cook healthy and tasty vegetarian food. I’ll be doing a series of blog posts on student cooking which started with my Creamy Coconutty Curry recipe. Keep your eyes peeled for my tips on using leftovers soon (including this yummy potato salad you see above)

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5. You’re not alone; everyone else is scared too.

Taking any step in a new direction is scary. Whether it’s a new career path, a new home or a new course, stepping out of your comfort zone is not something we humans like to do very often. But when you open your eyes and look around you quickly realise everyone’s in the same boat and if you talk to people you’ll discover that everyone is experiencing to anxiety-inducing changes all the time. As I was told in a lecture today, you either cope with change, adapt to change or lead the change. P.S: do the latter. It’s not easy but I’m learning to roll with the changes and take comfort in the fact that I am one of many!


Follow my journey from small-town home-bird to cultured chica in my country’s capital via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

If you have any tips for living in Edinburgh or just advice on student life in general, please get in touch!

How To Turn Student Accommodation Into Your Dream Home

Starting University is daunting but moving into student accommodation doesn’t need to be scary. Once you’re done packing the bare essentials (pyjamas and loo roll), fill your suitcase with adorable bits and bobs to give your new flat that cosy feel.  Here’s some of my favourites:

Inspirational Quotes & Prints

One of the things I did to jazz up my new room was frame some gorgeous illustrations. Get on Etsy and search for prints that reflect your personality. It could be something witty that’ll make you laugh when you see it or something more motivational to get you in the studying mindset. If you’re into a Live, Laugh, Love quote then who am I to judge? Be careful sticking them on walls because some letting agents will kick up a fuss – avoid blu-tac and sticking pins straight on to a wall. If you have a corkboard that’s a great way to showcase your favourite designs and throw up some family photos too. I like framing my prints and resting them on bookshelves and desks. My favourite illustrators right now are The Fuzzy Bee Paper CompanyClaire Barclay Draws and Lemmon Studios.

Candles

You’ll know by now that I’m addicted to candles. I guess it comes down to that Danish lifestyle concept: Hygge. Candles will turn any empty room into a warm and fuzzy place to snuggle up and read a good book. I’ve written a lot about my favourite independent Scottish candle companies but here’s some to get you started. If you’re a book lover like me, invest in a couple of Meraki Candles. For something a bit more luxurious, try MoBros Candles and use my 10% off code: APRIL10. Other candles I love are Love Scottish Candles and McKelvie Candles. Please be careful because not all landlords allow you to burn candles. Find out if it’s okay and if not they still make for gorgeous decorations and smell gorgeous even when they’re unlit.

Books

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Books, glorious books! Nothing makes a room feel more homely than a shelf stacked with your favourite books. I like books that are worn and weathered from a loving reader who has pawed the pages so many times and a cracked spine from an overly zealous reading session. There’s a reason this John Waters’ quote is so famous…

If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!

Books are the life source of any room and you can completely personalise your space by choosing which books you put on display. At the moment, I don’t have many books in my new room but I’m getting there. They’re mostly to-be-read like A Court of Thorns and RoseHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Improbability of Love but I will be fetching a fresh copy of Jane Eyre because no bedroom of mine is complete until Jane and Mr Rochester are adorning the shelves!

Soaps, Lotions & Potions

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You don’t need to spend a fortune to have some luxury beauty products in your new home. Having some sweet-smelling, pretty soaps and lotions adds a special something to your room. Between the chaos of starting your course and moving out, it’s important to take time out to practice self-care. That means burning a candle and pampering yourself with your favourite beauty products. Like I said in the Top 10 Tips For Acne-Prone Skin, I love Liz Earle and I’ve recently been enjoying the amazing Wee Tree Soaps too. They are cruelty-free, perfect for sensitive skin and only £4. Investing in nice soaps and lotions makes your room feel more expensive and gives you the chance to unwind too.


For more home inspiration, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.