Fees are still scarier than clowns

Hello lovelies!

Recently I had a right of passage experience as a college student. I attended my first protest/march…. and it was pretty amazing!

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Over the summer an evaluation of third level education took place and a report was drawn up- The Cassells report. I’ll try and keep the details brief just so you understand the context of this post.

The report essentially suggests three methods of funding third level education in the future in Ireland. The first option is to continue with the current method. Fees are 5,000€ but students only fund a total of 3,500€. I say only but this is still a large sum of money for a lot of people. There are also grants available but as it stands this grant system known as SUSI is flawed and quite difficult to avail of.

The second option would be publicly funded education. This would be the best option because it would remove the financial strain on students and their families. It would mean that people will not be unable to attend college because they cannot afford to go.But this seems to be more of a dream than an achievable reality.

And the final option that would cause great damage to the education system in Ireland and would greatly affect Irish society negatively is to implement a student loan scheme. Students would be required to pay for their entire fees with no government levy. These fees would start at 5,000€ and there would no longer be any form of grants available.

Maybe you can see now why this issue is so important to me. It is my issue not just because I am a student but because I have a responsibility as an Irish citizen for future generations who will want to receive a third level education without being faced with debt at the end of this period.

How can the government think its realistic to expect students to come out of college and be able to cope with an estimated debt of 20,000€ (average debt level for most 4 year degrees)?!

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I’m a passionate person who loves a debate-as I’ve mentioned before- so the opportunity to go up to Dublin with the Students’ Union in my college was something I couldn’t miss out on.

Taking over the streets of Dublin, Yelling out and demanding to be heard, actually taking a stand on something I believe was an unreal experience- excuse the corny here.

College is a time in your life to try new things and feel like you’re waking up and doing something with your life. This is what I’ve heard from so many people when I first started college but it’s really only now in my second year that I feel this.

Guess this is definitely something to tick off my bucket list: Attend a protest-CHECK

While I may have had to take the day off work and skip the library study sesh it was totally worth it. Despite getting to stomp around Dublin for the day, I had such a laugh with the gang that was there.

Maybe this seems like a really pointless and boring post but I wanted to bring more attention to this campaign even to my tiny corner of the internet.

If you’re a student in Ireland and want to know more here’s the link to the USI (Union of Students Ireland) page: http://usi.ie/education/national-youth-council-of-ireland-equate-and-inmo-back-usis-national-demo-in-favour-of-publicly-funded-3rd-level-education/

Also check out the campaign on all social media outlets with #educationis

Until next time

Xo

-G

 

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Mayhem?

Well hello there lovelies!

I feel so tired from this month- May has certainly used up a lot of my energy and kept my mind buzzing.

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The first week of May marked the end of my first year in college…WaaaaaaT! It doesn’t seem real, I keep asking myself where that year went. I already have made lots of plans for my second year already! This includes planning events for the NUI Galway Style Society, the society blog and other groups I’m volunteering for.

One things for sure, I am very happy to see the end of all the study. The Leaving cert’s will hate me for saying that but don’t worry guys ye’re almost there!Watch this space because in August I’ll be doing a post about what to expect when you start college. 🙂

The high of finishing exams was also met with warm welcome of the sunny summer weather Ireland saw at the weekend (of that first week).


My brother was home from England for a couple of days so I stayed at home hanging with the family and getting my tan on. Some days my snapchat read 17/18’c but I swear it would feel hotter. We went for a brunch on the Sunday to this cafe in Galway called Tosnú. It’s on Abbeygate street beside the juice cafe raw. The staff are so lovely, they do an all-day breakfast AND it’s very reasonable, you could even say student pocket friendly. Unfortunately I forgot to take snaps of the menu or my meal but I will be back and hopefully will remember to then!

Now the beginning of my summer holidays also marked something else- the rush to get a job. I won’t go on and on about this because you’ll all know about it by now from my past posts. But there have been some signs of hope…This week I have been going to a few different trials at businesses around Galway. I want to talk about this again though because I’m thinking of doing a few tips posts about job hunting, interview clothing attire and I want to do a CV how to post also.

Long story short, it was a really great experience to work for a day in these places; I went to a retail shop, cafe’s and I did a group interview also. This was all organised and completed within the space of three days, so you can imagine by Thursday I fully understood the meaning of the word exhausted. Now I just have to play the waiting game and hope that  get that call! I was told it could be a few days so I’m trying not to glue my eyes to my phone-well, no more than usual at least 🙂

May Loving

-Television-

Well this is too easy. My reality tv obsession is definitely being attended to with the juicy drama of shows such as Made in Chelsea, Geordie Shore and the return of The Hills to Mtv (just a re-run not new episodes). What more could I ask for! I’ve also fallen for First Dates Ireland which is so cute and cheesy, it really reinforces my love of the Irish humour and the special characters that live on this island. The bad news that May TV brought was the finale of season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy. ***SPOILER ALERT*** who else is absolutely shipping Riggs and Mer, and oh my the intense birth of Jackson and April’s baby<it’s a girl aww 🙂 > wonder what they’ll call her?!

Literally my face while I’m watching (Steph/lucy drama was !!!!) S11 is the most dramatic yet I f***ing love it 😀

-Fashion-

Now that the sunshine has arrived- on and off yes but still it’s there- I have returned to my love for sunglasses. For my birthday my sister bought me these gorgeous mirror silver shades from the thrift market in Galway, they’re from a local Galway business called Cotton Face Vintage (Link below). My birthday was in September, but I didn’t want to waste these sunnies on dreary days of no sunshine. I put them away to save them for the summer and now they are out and shining! I’m not 100% sure but I think they cost €15 but don’t hold me to that, I’m sure if you message Sinead at Cotton Face she’ll let you know!

FB link: https://www.facebook.com/shopcottonface/ and http://www.cotton-face.com/

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-Reading-

I do the bulk of my book reading this time of year. I actually have a summer booklist that I’m putting together for June/July/August. I  might even do a post about it. Currently though I’m reading ‘Lucky’ by Alice Sebold. She also wrote the book ‘The Lovely Bones’. This story is about when she was raped while in her first year of college. I haven’t finished it yet but I will say that it is an intense read and I will warn you that there is graphic imagery. On my to read list is actually the popular book ‘The Luckiest Girl Alive’ by Jessica Knoll, which also deals with a girl dealing with her youth past and her rape. Unbeknown to readers at first this book is actually based on Knoll’s own experience of her being raped. I would recommend as preparation for this book that you read Sebold’s. If you’ve read either of these let me know what you thought of them in the comments below but please *NO SPOILERS!*

-Spending my time…-

Blogging and taking pics. I have to say I am really proud of the pictures I took for the post about the facial scrub. My dad has a Canon EOS 1100D camera and lately especially I’ve really been enjoying whipping it out and posing objects and taking pics. Don’t get me wrong, the iphone camera is very good, but there’s something special about taking a quality professional camera and just snapping away. It’s so fun and allows me to be so creative, in a different way writing allows me to. And because the days are longer means more opportunities to snap the day away. I also feel like good quality pictures will elevate my blog.

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I don’t yet have plans for June. I’m hoping that I’ll be working, blogging, doing more photography and enjoying myself.

Oh and more sunshine so I can get a proper tan 🙂

Did you do anything interesting this May? I’d love to hear, or even list some ideas on how to spend the summer!

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Laters Lovelies,

-G xo

 

 

 

Becoming a Vegetarian

Hey internet people!

Something that’s been on my mind a lot for the last few months is my diet. I’m not a very big meat-eater and I was thinking a lot about becoming a vegetarian. I know it’s a very controversial subject and one that can cause quite the heated debate but here’s the thing we all need to remind ourselves of. We each have our own lives and what we do with that life is our own individual choice.

Though I was thinking about this since January I have only been a vegetarian for nearly two weeks now. The reasons for this is 1) I wanted to do more research first i.e the variety that would still remain in my diet/the types of vegetarians etc.. and 2) because college was getting busier and I was heading into an intense study period followed by exams. As I have an up/down sort of immune system I really didn’t want to risk getting sick.

So I am what you call a pescetarian. By definition this is a person who eats fish but no meat. I felt this type of vegetarian diet suited me the most. I wasn’t too sure, especially in the beginning, if I could remove fish as well as meat from my diet. I don’t know if this is how I will continue but for now I am eating fish. This sort of diet also includes eggs and dairy products.

So now we’ve got the logistics out of the way I’m going to tell you about my experience so far and some yummy recipes I have found.

-Tea/Coffee Drinkers-

I recommend soya milk rather than hazelnut. To avoid getting too watery a texture. Pour your milk into the cup before you add the tea bag and water.  For coffee I have really been loving using hazelnut milk. I used to have such an obsession with hazelnut americano’s but when I started getting coffee everyday in college I knew it wasn’t a good idea to get a syrup everyday. This milk is perfect because it’s a healthier way to add more flavour to your caffeine source!

-Get your greens on!-

This is especially important for girls. Because red meat is our main source of iron it’s important to source this elsewhere if you’re a vegetarian. Spinach is high in iron and it’s so easy to cook and goes with SO many dishes. I love chopping up some garlic, melting some butter on a pan and then cooking the spinach till it shrinks and absorbs this good flavour! If you follow many beauty,fashion lifestyle bloggers you’ll know all about the green smoothie hype. This is another great way to boost your nutrient intake and make sure you’re not losing out on any especially iron! So in the morning load up with a spinach, all hail the kale, spirulina and water/milk green smoothie. (Talking about it makes me actually kind of crave one 🙂 )

-Know your munch-

I don’t feel like this is just for vegetarians but everyone. We all eat food so its our responsibility to know what we’re putting into our bodies. I will be the first to admit that I don’t always look at the nutritive/ingredient labels on food packaging. However since becoming a vegetarian I have taken a more keen interest. Luckily I did home economics in school so I do feel I know quite a bit about nutrients and different diets, and I actually find it interesting.

-Pinterest and blogs will become your great companions-

As soon as I made the decision to becoming a vegetarian I scoured pinterest for yummy recipes. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck in a rut as to what to have to satisfy my hunger. Boy did I hit the jackpot. Below are a few of the winners that I found. I have yet to try and cook most of these but when I do I will be sure to report back! It’s also a good idea to look for bloggers who are vegetarians and read up on their experiences and even get some recipe ideas.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa. Delicious, healthy and easy. Perfect for the warmer weather! {The Cookie Rookie}:

HCG Phase 2 Shrimp and Asparagus in a Lemon Sauce
Prawn and Asparagus Stir Fry with a lemon sauce.

Mediterranean flavors baked into quinoa. An easy to make vegetarian dinner - works as a main dish or a side!:

 

Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos drizzled with a rich balsamic glaze for the classic Caprese flavour!:
Caprese Stuffed Portobellos with Garlic Butter
Vegetarian lentil cottage pie with garlic butter sweet potato mash - Domestic Gothess:
Vegetarian Cottage Pie with Garlic Butter and Sweet Potato Mash

It’s important that you understand….

I am not for one minute trying to pressure anyone into becoming a vegetarian. I’m not saying this is the right way to eat/live. This is just what I’m doing and I wanted to share my experience on MY blog.

So please vegetarian hater’s and vegetarians/vegans who say I’m doing it wrong please refrain from leaving a pessimistic comment below. I am not under the impression that I am holier than thou because of my decision. Unfortunately this is a preconceived impression of  vegetarians. All I’m doing is trying something new. I might fail and eat a cheeseburger this time next week- who knows! But if I didn’t try I’d always wonder.

So moral of the post- You suck as a human being and are evil if you eat meat so you should go vegan! JUST KIDDING 🙂

Later lovelies!

-G xo

\/Links\/
1.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/575686764849370026/
2. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/575686764849370091/
3. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AfpKB-PrU0Wb2OcW4CN5aWtroqzyrkDxD3vynmAIc4sOsmBsnqUtrJQ/
4. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/575686764849946239/
5. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375417318918214438/

That dreaded ‘U’ word

…Unemployment.

So contrary to what many of the older generation might say, us 18-30 year olds do not have it easy. Before you could get a job with no qualification/experience and buy and house and get a mortgage in your early twenties. Which is what a lot of our parents did- mine did anyway.

I think I speak for most people my age (18) when I say that mortgages aren’t really on my mind. But the job thing definitely is.

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I’m currently in my first year of college-just about to finish-and throughout the year I have emailed and gone out handing out cv’s looking for a job. And a whole bunch of nothing is what I’ve got.

I have no experience, which has been my greatest downfall. For the last number of years I didn’t need to get a job in a shop/business because I was kept well busy (and paid) with babysitting. Now though that has kind of gone away and I’m in serious need of a so called “real job”.

Needless to say this whole lack of a job thing has put quite a downer on my college social life, seeing that I never really have any money. It’s the biggest disappointment. I feel like a failure every time my parents have to give me money for lunch, like I’m still a child.

It’s been very disheartening, constantly going into places handing in cv’s and wait for the phone to ring or get an email- but it never happens.

Sure it’s great having a sleep in at the weekend and only having college work to focus on but I’m a person who is at her best when she’s productive. I’m an ambitious person, so I love it when I work at something and then get that feeling of accomplishment.

I’m sure there’s others out there who are just saying “I hear ya gurl” 😉 as they read this and here’s what I have to say to those. As crushing to the confidence as it is we have to push on. Life’s a bitch sometimes and maybe even a lot of the time. But I know that life will feel like a black hole if we see it that way. Life is all about perception and outlook- I think everything happens for a reason. So, when I’m putting myself down for being unemployed or I don’t want to go out job hunting anymore, I just let myself have that bad moment and then I tell myself to cope on and get over myself.

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There’s always a brightside-it’s tough looking for a job but it will happen-we have to stop ourselves from getting too caught up with this struggle
To those that do have jobs-well done you lucky ducks. If you hate but need it, try to push past it and at least look on the bright side of having money coming your way. 😉

It will happen- that call/email will come. Until it does I’m going to push on and keep trying. It sucks but jesus there’ll be something next year that’s going to suck and the same the year after that. 🙂

Better go and check those job sites and review my cv for the millionth time 😀

Until next time ladies and possibly gents,

Stay classy and don’t be nasty xo

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Work wear/interview outfit idea

P.S May the odds be ever in your favour-Happy job hunting

 

 

So..March

Hey dolls!

It’s April- Middle of Spring- It’s getting a little warmer and yes hallelujah we have seen some sunshine! I am really getting in the mood for the summer over the last couple of weeks. Which is very unlike me. I’m generally more of a winter girl myself, all that hot chocolate, cosy socks/pj’s, fires and that but no to hell with all that I am sick of the rain and the cold and I would very much like a natural tan thank you.

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Such an amateur when it comes to makeup :/
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New and unexpected love

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One of my fave movies-watched it with my granny 😀
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Lunch outside at college- Berry cool smoothies were a must

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standard mirror pic at the hairdressers

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Happy Paddy’s Day!
After a tough start to the year I’m finally getting some of my mojo back. I have returned to my ‘this is just a rough patch there will always be one but happier times are still to come’.

I’ve also been throwing myself into writing. This semester I have done a bit of writing for my college newspaper and I have to say I love it! Journalism and writing is always something I’ve thought about but not really ever gotten into it. But when things weren’t going great I knew I had to pick myself up and find some things to make me happy-like writing. It was the most amazing thing seeing my name printed under an article in a newspaper but also terrifying to think of people reading it. Although the college year is nearly over I’m already looking forward to getting involved with the paper again next year!

Also in march I joined the mac club and have fallen in love with the velvet teddy matte lipstick-Damn it :/ 😀 Usually I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing- it just feels like copying and not being creative. So I never bought into the whole kylie J lip thing until last christmas. My sister asked me to write an xmas list and so I decided why not ask her to get me the lip combo and I’ll see what all the fuss is about 😀 turns out I really like it.The downside- I tend to have dry lips so this definitely isn’t an everyday product. But when I do wear it, I really like how it looks!

I FINALLY got my hair cut! Nothing too drastic just a simple trim. I haven’t been too happy with how my hair has been looking this last while so I wanted to get some life put back into it. And now it’s all about maintaining and styling. I’ve used a lot of products since I cut my hair up short the first time so I think I might do a post all about short hair soon!

St Paddy’s day was a fun day out as I met up with some friends from school that I don’t get to see that often because they’re doing the leaving cert and I’m in my first year of college. I waved all healthy thoughts and didn’t even hesitate when ordering that supermacs 🙂 Afterwards we just chilled in town having a few drinks (18 😉 ) to mark the occasion and catch up. I love those days where you just chill out and have good chats and the lols and even better I bumped into a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in forever!

Now though it’s back to the serious sh*t. As easter break comes to a close I hibernate in the library for a couple days rushing to get assignments done. This is exactly what my life is going to look like though until after the exams. Pretty soon the library will be seeing me a hell of a lot more than my actual home. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do- I’ll be damned if I fail my exams and can’t come back to college in August- Love it too much! 😀

So I guess even though this post is sort of all over the place what I’m trying to say is that March has been good to me. Hope for the same from April…fingers crossed.

Stay classy and don’t be nasty 😉

-G

Blue January

Hey dolls!

Blogging isn’t quite what I thought it was. I had this idea in my head that every week I would have 2-3 amazing posts to upload but I found myself not doing this. I would type up a post and then at the end just save it to drafts and never do anything with it. I was becoming so picky with every sentence that I just ended up putting myself down and saying it was a stupid post that no one would want to read. The thing is I’m trying to ignore the thought of people reading these posts, which sounds ridiculous I know this is a blog after all, but I was so self-conscious about my writing that I hated the idea of someone reading my work.

It’s now February and so far this year I’ve uploaded one post, pretty pathetic. There are a few other reasons for this. Since starting college I feel I have become lazier and less productive. Another reason for the lack of writing is due to the month of January. It wasn’t just blue monday it was blue january for me. Needles to say I was happy for the crappy monday-like month to be over.

I really frustrate myself because I’m so ambitious yet I never get around to actually doing the things I say I want to. I like the feeling of content and a lot of my ambitions require me to step outside of my comfort zone. But this week I am making the effort to get past this issue and do things. I’m going  to write two blog post (including this one), I’m going to write an article to hopefully be printed in the college newspaper and hopefully one other thing that I haven’t decided on yet.

I wish I could give you guys some tips for being productive but I don’t really have many. But if you want to stay organised and get jobs done I recommend making out to do lists. I prefer doing weekly to-do lists because it feels less over-whelming to me but daily ones can work just as well. Usually my to-list is the things I have to get done for college such as readings or projects etc.. but I might also write in something I need to get done like to put a clothes wash on. I’m more likely to complete tasks if I have a to-do list because otherwise I’m likely to forget about it. There is also a sense of satisfaction when you tick off completed tasks.

Another tip I have which isn’t fun and many of you will roll your eyes and groan at it but it’s to wake up early. I’m being genuinely serious, when I get up at 6:40 I have the entire day to do maybe three things on my list. This means I can spend the required time studying and getting work done and then when I’m finished there is still plenty of time left to relax. The plus side to this is that I don’t feel guilty and I’ve noticed that I sleep better on these days. Now I don’t wake up this early everyday, maybe two days a week, but a lot of the time if I’m having a lie in I’ll go into college for the afternoon, attend my lectures and what-not and then I’ll stay in the library for a few hours in the evening so i can get my work done. I don’t know how I did it for the Leaving cert but I definitely can’t do my college work at home, so it’s the library for me.

I know they are only two tips but I think everyone has their own ways of getting things done and being productive. I know that when I was in my final year of school the terror of not getting into college and disappointing my family pushed me to study hard. However college isn’t quite like this, there’s more time to study because you’re not in class all day and there isn’t quite the same fear, maybe that’s part of the reason I’ve been so lazy .

And now please enjoy these motivational pics that I copied and pasted from Pinterest! 🙂 🙂

Today, be the Badass Girl you were too Lazy to Be Yesterday – www.myfitstation.com #fitfam #fitspiration #motivation         Fitness  | Come get your fitness on at Powerhouse Gym in West Bloomfield, MI! Just call (248) 539-3370 or visit our website http://powerhousegym.com/westbloomfield/ for more information!:

aaron levie poster black Here Are Some Awesome Motivational Posters For Your Workspace or Office:     We have 15 motivational quotes to be #thankful for this month! @levoleague::

 

Now that it’s February I’m trying to do my best to feel good this month and get my sh*t together. Wish me luck!

Alrighty well that’s enough of me venting- I’ve gotta go do my English assignment that’s due this Friday! #procratinatingtillthelastweek #collegelife

-G