Tuesday, 12 July 2011

What Goes Up Must Come Down

For me summer has always been about having as much fun as you can, whilst also using the bags of free time away from studies as a useful period to get any jobs done that have been hanging over me that I've always had an excuse not to do (get my driving test in, sort out my wardrobe basics, take my books back to the library that I have renewed online a million times... the boring chores). I also feel, this year in particular, I need to immerse myself into the world of work, learn first hand about the type of career I may want when I leave university next year and increase my employability. Past summers have seen trips to Africa, work experience with the police, helping my mum out with my newborn brother and a whole host of other exciting things, whereas I feel this year it's time to get serious, but still enjoy every step along the way. 


WHAT'S HOT:

1. A relaxing start to the summer getting to spend a great deal of quality time with the family and the boyfriend.


2. Hans Zimmer. Enough said.

3. Getting involved in a lot of  new opportunities. I am making positive headway in the search for a career I'll love and getting more involved with my university- looks like the next year is going to be busy and rewarding.


WHAT'S NOT

1. Pale Skin + Sun + Forgetting To Apply Sun Tan Lotion Until The Damage Has Been Done = Rather Attractive Lobster Face


2. The bombardment of the aforementioned awful adverts - with the new Tevo advert being my most recent pet hate!

3. Weird Twitter Stalkers who tag you in strange, suggestive posts... 


Thursday, 7 July 2011

So You Thank Your Stars

Unfortunately, I have been a bit of a blog abandoner recently. I'm not sure if it's been because of how mentally busy second semester of university has been or because I have simply become so obsessed with reading a million other blogs that I have forgotten how fun and interesting it is to write my own. I thought I would restart with a post, relevant to my degree (about time) and with something that has been bugging me since I have returned home and gained full use of a working television and Sky+ Box- bye bye online streaming!

So, the subject in question is television advertisements. I have always been very interested in this method of marketing and have never been the type of person to flick over to another channel when the supposed "dreaded" adverts appear, leaving me in great suspense over what will happen next in my chosen TV programme. Will that product gain the respect and investment of the Dragons? Are Peyton and Lucas really meant to be? Will House figure out this seemingly impossible health problem? Whatever it is, I can wait, as the adverts have never bored me. I love seeing what new ways companies have come up with to entice us into buying their products; be it getting those smooth, tan, skinny legs in Gillette Venus adverts, or the promise of a car fulfilling our fantasy of Thierry Henry saying 'Va Va Voom' in that oh so sexy accent. Whereas, in reality, my legs remain pale and shaven hairs tend to grow back within the day and after the purchase of a Renault Clio your man will most probably not be able to utter those three words with quite the sex appeal of one chiselled and beautiful French football player. But advertising is about over emphasising the product, selling a way of life or creating an illusion. The advertiser has less than a minute to get this product into our heads and make us think of nothing else as an alternative. So why, oh why, does the most successful advertising these days seem to come from adverts showing a moustachioed man singing 'Go Compare' or an old lady declaring that she doesn't like tea and would prefer a cheeky glass of gin?!

I am not sure if it is because I have gotten older and wiser, and such adverts that would have appeased me back in the day, have now fallen flat on my cynical brain. Or whether two years away at university and adverts have suddenly got dire. Advertisers seemed to have become lazy; using badly dubbed videos for multiple use in different countries, employing bad actors, using awful sets and running campaigns which barely even match the brand or product at all.Is this a side effect of our times of financial strain? Although, even on a tight budget, I believe it is possible to create a successful and intriguing advert.

Credit where credit is due however, I love the Barclaycard adverts with the water slide and rollercoaster and the Match.com advert in the music shop. They are pretty damn cool- not that I have switched to Barclays bank or signed up for Match.com, however! So, in that respect, maybe they haven't been that successful for me, but at least they are well thought out and have a poignant message, unlike that ridiculously bitchy and sneaky woman in the Malteasers adverts who gives a bad name to women everywhere!

One thing that does make me wonder though, is the fact that bad adverts do work, for some mad reason. The 2010 winner for worst advert, Go Compare (we all know the words don't we??!), may be the most awful thing I have ever laid my eyes on. But is the catchy tune and the dread of it coming up between my weekly TOWIE fix a bad thing for the company? No. Go Compare recorded their first ever profit after the introduction of their recent ad campaigns. Guaranteed, the next time you need to use a comparison website, you'll automatically find yourself typing in those fateful words and singing along with 'Gio Compario' in your head.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful


Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart

This week has been a weird one. I haven't been amazingly well and so I have hardly slept due to coughing fits keeping me up most of the night (really sexy). Work has really started to pile up and I swear it's never all going to get done, but I shall muster through. One thing that has been interesting though is the fact that people never fail to pleasantly surprise me. I've definitely been kept on my toes. But, here they are. My reasons to be cheerful this week:

1. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am unfit- not overweight, just unable to get to G floor of Sackville Street building without feeling a little light headed. I remember watching some programme about this quite large couple looking to lose weight and I am pretty sure they managed to climb more flights of stairs than I can, which is all a little embarassing. So, the cheerfulness in this has come from my decision to get fit and I am starting with a swimming session tomorrow and I aim to go at least once a week (: This makes me cheerful as I am eager to get into an exercise regime and I can see the all new, toned up, healthy Megan at the end of the line, who doesn't dread making it to lectures on a Wednesday morning!

2. I am going home this weekend to see my lovely family. I have missed them all a lot and it will be really cool to have everyone together for my auntie's Wedding Anniversary Party. I particularly love seeing my little brother Freddy and how much he has grown and progressed in such a short space of time.



3. I have refound my love of Meatloaf (the singer, not the food). I've been feeling a bit down and angsty this week but blaring out Bat Out of Hell does wonders for the mood!

There we have it. Thanks Mummy From The Heart for keeping this going!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Never Give Up, It's Such A Wonderful Life

I have been away from my blog for a while, so I am now aiming to remedy that. I want to get into regular blogging; getting out my thoughts, reviewing decent products, finding other exciting blogs to read and such.

In my break I have been doing lots of exciting things that have made me realise just how lucky I am. I have the most amazing friends, giving me the best memories and so this post is for those that I have shared an absolutely wonderful month with.

The month started out with a visit to Dublin (baby!) with my most recently made friends for one of their 21sts. Obviously this involved:
  • copious amounts of guinness (my dad would be proud)
  • crazy nights out
  • the zoo!
  • a band with sexy Irish accents who sang for us all night
  • A LOT of laughs with three gorgeous girls



A day of rest and I hit up Amsterdam on a 16 hour coach trip and ferry, which was (as I am sure you can imagine) not the most enjoyable experience of my life, but very well worth it for the delights of the Dutch capital. I can definitely say that I took full advantage of what Amsterdam had to offer with one of my best friends, without the need for marijuana induced fun. The sex museum and the Red Light District provided what was possibly one of the most 'interesting' days of my life. There is something very fun, lively and intriguing with their openness and honesty about sex: sex shops lining every road with pictures you only imagine appearing in seedy magazines and internet sites; sex shows openly advertised and no sneery looks or judgment for entering one; and of course the girls behind those red curtains... different indeed. My favourite part of Amsterdam, however, was probably the food. Mashed potato as a staple cuisine was definitely going to be a hit with me!




Finally, my favourite foursome were reunited this weekend for my friend Zain's 21st celebrations back home in Manchester. Over the summer we spent a lot of time together; me, my boyfriend, Zain and his lovely girlfriend. So, with everyone back at uni, it is always eventful and so much fun when we can all catch up.


I know that was just a short recap, but I wanted to put it all down briefly to acknowledge the people that make my life very wonderful. I wasn't having the best time before Christmas, but realising how great the people I know are and how much fun I can have has put everything into perspective for me. I am a very happy girl, indeed.

(I also got 2 essays back, in which I got 70% and 90% - so, hopefully, well on my way to a first)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Montagne Jeunesse Calming Dead Sea Anti- Stress Face Tonic

Right now I am smack bang in the middle of my exams, with coursework deadlines looming. The stress levels are on the up and I am in desperate need of a break and a bit of de- stressing! What better way than to try out my Montagne Jeunesse Calming Dead Sea Anti- Stress Face Tonic Mask.

I have always been a fan of Montagne Jeunesse products and, particularly when it comes to face masques, this is the brand I would go for. The packaging is exciting and bright and all products are extremely affordable (perfect for a skint student who wants a luxury pamper session!!) 

I have always loved and admired Montagne Jeunesse's ethics when it comes to their products. They are Vegetarian Society approved and never test on animals (something which is particularly important to me as a vegetarian) and they always use natural ingredients where possible. Their commitment to these issues is highlighted on their website:

"If you love natural ingredients our products are bursting with the most delicious ones under the sun. We believe:
-That all products should be made with the minimum of processing using only natural ingredients derived from plant and mineral sources. Many products are dairy free.
-In scrutinizing all product materials to assess their environmental impact and where possible, to use packaging that can be recycled.
-In producing products that are vegetarian certified, not tested on animals. Many are suitable for vegans. So you know what you are getting - no chemicals and absolutely nothing nasty."


So, down to the product itself. This mask is aimed at busy people on the go who want five minutes of 'me time' to put their feet up, relax and enjoy the calming effects it brings. I think that this makes me the perfect candidate as a stressed out student with a hectic lifestyle!




Instructions:


The Verdict: So yes, I may look a little silly wearing it, but I would definitely recommend this face mask!

What I loved about it:



The attention to detail on the masque itself. The colour and the flowery pattern made it feel very girly.
The lovely aroma that waved over me- it smelt great!
The mess free, fuss free style of the masque, ideal for when you need a quick 'pick me up'.
How it was so simple to use, yet had a massive de- stressing effect.
The feeling of feeling lighter and rejuvenated when it is taken off.
It is ideal for a busy student, a mum with her hands full, a stressed businesswoman... The list is endless.
My skin felt great afterwards, really soft and smooth. Double for your money!
At just 99p, it is amazingly affordable and I would definitely purchase it again.
Overall, I was very impressed and believe that everyone should buy themselves this perfect little treat and indulge in some quality 'me time'.



Watch out for more reviews on natural beauty products by Montagne Jeunesse. My next review will be for their Chocolate Infusion hair mask. Yummy (: 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Tricky one this week. In amongst exams, with a 2000 word essay due in tomorrow, means cheeriness is needed big time! Join in (:




Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart



1. First exam. Check. And as long as I didn't misread a question or get the wrong end of the stick then I think *fingers crossed* that I did pretty well (:

2. Being back in Manchester with my ladies has already been lovely. There may be stress a plenty, but we're all managing to stay cheery! Also, I am a lot lessed worried about being back than I thought I would be.

3. Tomorrow, after 4pm, my coursework will be handed in and I won't have an exam until Tuesday, so I can have an afternoon off to see some great people I have missed very much! 


So, stay happy!

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.

And if I could have a fourth and final reason (just because I feel like I need an extra one to counteract exam stress):

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Revision Procrastination

Revision has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I am not entirely sure how to do it. I don't know the best way to remember a thousand references, or how to succinctly tie up my notes into a manageable, easy to learn synopsis, or how to memorise all of the equations I may or may not need. I've always been a 'plunge into it with my eyes closed and hope for the best' kind of person. I've been lucky up until now. I've always had my brain on my side and so leaving revision to the last minute usually worked, achieving grades that I am very proud of.

Coming to university, however, is a totally different story. I am tested to my limits and totally scared. The 'plunge in' approach has become less successful, particularly this year. Last semester was a nightmare for me (I will one day have the courage to write that all down and send it off into the blogging world) and my university work really suffered. Here I am; having to catch up on a whole 12 weeks of lectures, trying to remember them and not have a nervous breakdown. I have been making progress though, and I am proud that I didn't just give up when I had the option to. Coming up with a whole new revision strategy and applying it all so I can do well in my exams is tough, but I won't let it get the better of me. I am determined to do well and prove to myself that I am good enough.

On a lighter note, I received some lovely Montagne Jeunesse products through the post yesterday for me to review. That will be coming soon- probably when revision gets too much!! Watch this space (:


I will leave you with a quote I thought was appropriate:

Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.
John Maynard Keynes


And a picture that makes me smile- if only life was that simple still!


Friday, 14 January 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Came across a lovely meme! Thinking of reasons to be cheerful on such a dreary day, with university work up to my eyeballs, will definitley give me a bit of inspiration to plod on:

1. I have a beautiful little Freddy sat on my lap, good as gold. He's putting my bracelets on, dropping them and exclaiming "oooh nooo". He always makes me cheerful.




2. I've started this blog, which I am already loving. Being a newbie and already receiving support is very lovely! I have also enjoyed having a cheeky peek at some other blogs and finding out lots of interesting things.


3. Although going back to uni on Sunday means the dreaded exams are on their way, it also means I get to see all of my friends! Queue girly chats, lots of laughs, nights out, Amsterdam and Ireland baby (:







Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart
 

Pop over and have a look at some more reasons to be cheerful!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Perfection

For as long as I remember I have been a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to work and creativity. My university notes are immaculate, my handwriting is tiny and I have massively high expectations. As a young child I would draw pictures to a high standard and would get very cross if what I drew didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it to. Things have to be perfect to such an extent that, embarrassingly, I planned this blog! 

Unfortunately, I also project my perfectionsim outwards. I cringe at bad spelling and grammar, and I cannot stand watching people get 'artistic' in a way I wouldn't. One moment that springs to mind is being on holiday in France and watching my younger sister create a scrap book of the week. Rough pencil drawings with rubbing out marks stuffed haphazardly onto the page was not my idea of perfect. My objections, however, were not taken lightly, with the whole event ending in tears. What I sometimes have difficulty realising is that although something may not be to my standards, to someone else it is exactly what they want. They are letting their creativity run free and simply enjoying every minute of producing something worth remembering. I often forget the 'enjoying' part and I have a lot to learn about spontaneous creativity. That is something my little brother, Freddy, is definitely teaching me a lot about!




One area in which my perfectionism is quite prominent is when watching films. I rarely love a film. It has to be something really quite special for me to want to watch it again and again. When a new film is released I usually get quite excited watching the trailers, discovering a vague story line and finding out who's in it, all with the promise of being a wonderful movie. The reality is: I am usually left unsatisfied. There is always something that I would have done differently or some riduculous, untrue to the story, moment that I just can't accept. Mister 'selfish, couldn't care less about anyone but myself and my bulging biceps' suddenly having an epiphany and coming back as the hero in an unrealistic change of events just won't cut it for me. A film must have the right actors, chemistry, a gripping story line, a great set and fitting music, grabbing my attention from start to finish. The films that I do love are simply amazing. I will forgive a romcom, however. No matter what, you always need a good, light-hearted film to watch when you're feeling miserable with a box of tissues, a tub of ice cream and a few girl friends.

I have high expectations of men, but I blame this on 'The Notebook'. I want a Noah Calhoun to tell me "it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, everyday." Swoon. I wouldn't mind a man to build me a house either. He is utter perfection.

But, despite my perfectionism, I have a number of traits that totally contradict this. I am messy, I am not a 'planner' and I am a huge procrastinator. These things are fairly detrimental, especially now when I have exams to do and coursework due in next week. Oops. I may not like colouring outside the lines or clashing colours, but I'm still human!


I shall leave you with this (:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The First One

What exactly is the etiquette of a first blog?


I suppose I could write about why I started writing, or what I hope to achieve from this, or a big spiel about who I am. But, I am hoping that those things will come across in further posts. So, I will start with this:


I am Megan.
I am a Business and Marketing Student at The University of Manchester.
I like laughter, evenings on the wine, Manchester 235 Casino, free Champagne, Chris Daughtry, discovering new places, late night Skype sessions and cuddles.



I dislike my favourite TV shows being cancelled, gin and tonic, heartbreak, poor grammar and spelling, people making excuses and feeling out of control.

 



So, if you've 'Not Met Megan' then hopefully this is a start.