The Best Bits | January 2017

Hello again,

The first Best Bits post of this year is quite a simple one. Here are the three best things that happened this January…

Budapest

Me and Cem went to Budapest from the end of December into the beginning of January and had the best time. We split our time between walking for miles to see all the sights and unwinding in the spa. My favourite parts of the holiday were ice skating, walking up Gellert Hill and seeing the government building light up at night. If you were wondering what Cem’s favourite part was, it was probably the GIANT pizza that he ordered…

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Passengers

I’d wanted to see this film for a while and I’m so glad that we got to see it in the cinema. It’s essentially about two people being stranded on their own in a spaceship. That’s a really boring description but if I say anything else about it then the story will be spoiled. I’d highly recommend it anyway!

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Getting a job

I finally have a job! I haven’t had any paid work since the summer because I’ve been focusing on uni and finishing my 3 month social media internship. My internship didn’t quite end because I now have a proper job there and couldn’t be happier. I genuinely love being there so being paid for doing it is just a bonus.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know what happened in January for you…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

6 People You’ll Definitely Meet In The Gym

Hello again,

Since I started going to the gym regularly I’ve become quite aware of the other people that also go to my gym and how cliche a lot of them are. Just in case you’ve never stepped inside a gym, here are a few examples of the fine specimen that you would encounter if you signed up.

The selfie-taker

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the people that go to the gym to spend a good 20 minutes taking pictures of themselves before they actually start exercising. If you didn’t already know: if you didn’t Snapchat it then it didn’t happen. Shove your hair up into a pineapple and get on with it.

On a creepier note. I once saw a man taking pictures of me. He was on a cross trainer a few feet away from me and I could see him taking a video of me on Snapchat. I was so shocked I didn’t say anything but just moved to the other side of the gym because I felt uncomfortable near him. Ew.

The self-confessed fitness expert

I’m sure everyone has met this Mr Know It All. This is the person that prowls around the gym looking for poor exercise novices to educate. Although giving people tips and advice can be friendly and often helpful, there are a lot of people who just enjoy showing off in front of others. Is it just me that goes to the gym with the intention of speaking to absolutely no one? OK, maybe I’m just antisocial…

The JEANS wearer

I’m not saying that you have to spend loads of money on new gym clothes as soon as you join but surely there’s something more appropriate in your wardrobe than JEANS.

The over-friendly stranger

This is the person that thinks it’s acceptable to work out on the machine next to you when there are 20 other machines free. If that’s not bad enough, some people even feel the need to talk to you. Once I was on the cross trainer and a man started singing to me. I tried so hard to ignore him but eventually just went to the other side of the gym in the hope he wasn’t looking to be my friend.

Another time, a man was sat in the reception area of our gym and started asking me what I was working on. I told him and then proceeded to walk through the gym. He followed me and asked if he could train with me. I politely declined.

The enthusiast

This is my favourite person! In my gym there’s always someone dancing by themselves on a machine. It’s so funny to see them so into their workout that they’re putting on a performance for everyone else in the gym.

The fit couple

Because there’s nothing more adorable than watching two people partaking in an adorable couples workout. I always imagine them merrily informing their single friends that “couples who lift together stay together”.

The person that would rather be anywhere else than at the gym

Maybe they’ve had a bad day or maybe they just don’t feel in their element when they’re sweating profusely in a room full of other people who are also sweating profusely. This person should try home workouts.

Thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’ve got any funny or embarrassing gym stories – I could always use a laugh…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

What Living In Student Halls Has Taught Me

Hello again,

I’ve been living in student accommodation since September and thought I would fill you in on all of the wonderful, and not so wonderful, things about living in a huge building with hundreds of other students.

To set the scene, I live on a floor with other girls, although there are floors that are mixed. I share a bathroom and kitchen with the girls that I live with.

OK…

Girls are by no means any tidier or cleaner than boys

It’s a myth! If anything, living with other girls has led me to think that girls are messier and less hygienic than boys. Before living in student halls I would have never believed someone if they said that to me. There’s always hair left in the showers after they’re used, there’s dirty dishes on the kitchen counter from September (we’re now in January – let that sink in), no one cleans the oven after they use it and sometimes the toilet isn’t even flushed. Living with other girls is definitely not as glamorous as I thought it would be. Once, I went into one of our fridges and found a drawer full of fruit and vegetable that were two months out of date. TWO MONTHS.

There’s no point in putting labels on your food

If you leave something in the fridge then you are putting that food at risk of being stolen. Regardless of whether you have your name plastered all over your milk, someone is going to use it. Also, don’t expect everyone to respect the privacy of your fridge shelf or your freezer drawer. Even if you all have a shelf and a drawer each, there is always someone that will want to share your fridge and freezer space. Failing that, they’ll just move your stuff without asking you. A while ago I thought that someone had stolen some of my food. No one had, they’d just moved it to the other fridge. I have no idea why.

Some people have strange living habits

While we’re on the topic of food, it reminded me of the strange things that I’ve found in my fridge. For some reason, there’s always someone that will keep food in the fridge that doesn’t belong there. For example: bananas. You don’t keep bananas in the fridge. You just don’t. Who is teaching people that the fridge is the correct place to store bananas? Also, the bananas I see in the fridge are always left there until they go off. It is only when the bananas turn completely black and disgusting that the owner of the bananas decides to remove them from the fridge. I’ve also see pasta in there. Uncooked pasta has no place in a fridge. Put it in your cupboard.

Living with your friends is so convenient

Need milk? Need bread? Your friend just down the corridor has some to lend you. Need someone to talk to? Your friend just down the corridor will be in their room. Need to go shopping? Your friend just down the corridor will too. You can’t possibly feel lonely or upset when you live with your friends – they just won’t let you.

Not everyone you live with will want to be your friend

OK, so 90% of time the girls I live with will actually talk to me, say ‘hi’, smile – the normal things. However, there are a couple of people who, no matter how hard I try, will not speak to me. There’s one person in particular who I’ll say hello to and smile at, who won’t respond. She’ll just ignore me. Also, sometimes people will do anything to avoid conversation. For example, walking out of the kitchen when someone else walks through the door. Why would you live with a bunch of other students if you’re not even willing to tolerate their company?

Having cleaners is an absolute God-send

This is something that I really appreciate about living in student accommodation. Without the housekeeping team, I guarantee that no student would be willing to scrub toilets, clean the oven or change the bins. I have so much respect and appreciation for them because, without them, the state of the fifth floor would be much much worse than it usually is. Also, it means that we don’t have to buy hand wash or toilet paper – winning!

Students don’t cook meals together

Before I moved into student halls, I imagined me and my housemates going food shopping together, planning meals together, and sitting round the table to eat the meal we just cooked together. Wrong. Although I do sometimes cook in my friend’s kitchen, no one ever wants to cook food with anyone else. Maybe it’s because everyone eats different foods.

Thanks for reading!

After reading back the points I’ve made I realised that I haven’t made living in student halls look very appealing. I actually love living in halls and would recommend living in them. It’s fun, convenient and you get to live with your friends – what more do you want from your accommodation? There are some annoying things about halls, but nothing that is unbearable.
Let me know about your experience in student accommodation too!

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Anticipated Film Releases In 2016

Hello again,

I’ve been recently looking into which films are going to be released in 2016 and there’s a fair few that I’d like to see. Maybe making a list of them will motivate me to take advantage of the 2 for 1 cinema tickets I get from my car insurance…

The Girl On The Train

I read the book ‘The Girl On The Train’ by Paula Hawkins and I absolutely loved it: I read it in about three sittings. It starts of with Rachel, who takes the same train journey everyday and notices the people living in a specific house that the train stops near. The book is written from the point of view of 3 different characters so it will be interesting to see how the film interprets this. Also, Emily Blunt is going to play the main character, all the more reason to go and see it.

The H8ful Eight

I want to watch this film because the trailer reminded me of Django, which is one of my favourite films of all time. From what I’ve read online, in the film, some time after the Civil War, bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue head for the town of Red Rock, where Ruth plans to bring Daisy to justice. Quentin Tarantino recently revealed that The H8ful Eight started as an idea for a sequel to Django, which is also one of the films he has directed. If The H8ful Eight is as half as good as Django I will be very impressed.

Now You See Me 2

I went to the cinema to watch the first Now You See Me film and thought it was amazing. I usually hate films about magic but I found this one really interesting. Let’s hope that the second installment is as good as the first…

How To Be Single

From what I’ve read, the film follows Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David who are all learning to be single. I’m probably only excited about this film because the cast includes Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson. Two very good actresses, in my opinion. I watched the trailer with my friend and it looks hilarious.

The Choice

This film is based on the Nicholas Sparks book The Choice, which I thought was a really good read. From what I remember it made me cry loads, so perhaps I shouldn’t go to the cinema to watch this. It’s about Travis and Gabby, who meet when they become neighbours and start at relationships which is tested by life changing events.

The Boy

Finally, a horror movie! Horror is probably my favourite genre of film: they have more twists and surprises than dramas and comedies. The film is about an American nanny who takes a job looking after an English family’s boy, who is actually a life-sized doll. After breaking the strict rules of taking car of the ‘boy’, she begins to believe that the doll is really alive. Since watching the trailer a while ago I’ve really wanted to watch it.

Dirty Grandpa

In Dirty Grandpa, just before his wedding, an Zach Efron is tricked into driving his grandfather, Robert De Niro, to Florida for spring break. I’ve seen the trailer and it looks hilarious.

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Who else is excited about this? I’m sure the entire female population is looking forward to the long-awaited final installment of the Bridget Jones adventure. However, I’ve read the book so I know that the film is only going to break my heart. I won’t tell you why so I don’t spoil the ending if you haven’t read the book.

Ride Along 2

Firstly, if you haven’t seen the first Ride Along film then you definitely need to. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube are the best comedy combination. In the second film, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer. I’m definitely going to the cinema to watch it.

Thanks for reading!

What films are you looking forward to seeing in 2016?

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x

7 Tips For Budding Bloggers

Hello again,

From when I first started blogging I started reading a lot of posts about how to be a better blogger, which did actually help me a lot – this is not one of those posts. Instead, I intend to tell you how to enjoy being a blogger. What’s the point in learning how to do something well if you don’t even like doing it?

Take pictures

For me, this is one of the most enjoyable things about blogging. I am by no means a photographer but I love exploring London to take photos for my blog posts – it’s a nice creative outlet too. I think that blogs are much more interesting when they include a lot of photos.

Taking a photo

Use social media

Sharing your blog posts or even just simply posting a link to your blog on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. will give your blog a wider audience. From this, you’ll find that more people comment on your posts or start conversations with you: a great way to make friends or contacts. I’ve been blogging on and off for the past two years and have only just published a post on Twitter. I wish I’d just gotten over the fear of being judged and ridiculed ages ago because it held me back quite a bit.

Social Media

Talk to other bloggers

Following on from the last point, talking to other people with the same interests is useful as you’ll become more confident in your blog and yourself as a blogger. There are so many blogger chats that you can find on Twitter which will make finding other bloggers so much easier. Also, talking to other bloggers means that you can seek advice from people or find some inspiration from others.

Friends

Post regularly

I find blogging is a lot more smooth-running when I’ve taken the time to plan my blog posts and write some in advance so they can be scheduled for certain days. This also stops me from becoming stressed about juggling blogging, university, work and socialising. Use a diary and dedicate certain times to blogging, even if it’s just an hour or two a week.

Plan

Don’t stress over posting

I’ll try my best not to contradict my last point when saying this… If you don’t have time to blog or have other things that you need to prioritise it isn’t the end of the world. It’s all well and good to be super organised and up to date with your blog, it’s also all well and good if you have more important things to do.

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Work with whoever you want

One thing that really irritates me about the world of blogging and social media is that people are so judgmental when someone decides to work with a brand, accept a sponsorship or accept gifts from brands. If you want to do any of these things then just do it. As long as it’s a brand with good values and safe products, accept as many free gifts and collaborations as your heart desires.

Work

Don’t obsess over stats and followers

I’m bad for this. I get upset if a post receives less views than I want it to. I assume that I’m doing something wrong or that my posts aren’t worth reading. However, I have now solved this my linking my WordPress account to Twitter – much more people have access to my blog. That being said, it’s really not important. What is important is you feeling confident about the content you’re publishing and having fun while you’re at it.

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Thank you for reading!

I hope at least one person found this post useful. Even I might have even learned something whilst I was writing it.

Ps: I’m not an expert so take everything I say with great caution.

Ways you can reach me:

  • Email: courteneynoonan@hotmail.co.uk
  • Twitter: @courteneyjn
  • Instagram: @courteneynoonan

Bye for now,

Courteney x