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Career Paths and University Options

Personal views on further education and options

I graduated from University back in July 2014… WOW where did the last 3 and a bit years go to!

It’s scary looking back and thinking about how far I’ve come as a person both physically and mentally, but I am so proud of my achievements to date. So I thought I’d write a bit of a personal blog post regarding the experiences I encountered, the people I met and the degree I undertook all within 3 short years of my life.  I will also talk about the good/bad points of University, why I personally chose to go to University and also a reflection on personal thoughts about University and Career options.

It was back in 2011 [so long ago now] that I was faced with the decision about what I wanted to do after college, go straight into employment? Get an Apprenticeship? or Go to University? I’d always enjoyed business studies and had [from a young age] an interest in starting my own company at some point. A lot of my school/college friends were looking at University options and I decided that University was the next path I wanted to go down within the my education. Obviously people have their own reasons for choosing to go on to University or indeed choosing the Apprenticeship option.

With todays generation having to stay in education until 18 years old Apprenticeships are available from 16, so school leavers of today can, if they decide to start earning money from an apprenticeship scheme at this age.

My personal reasons for choosing the University path:

  • Since starting college I always had an idea that Business Studies would be the subject I’d study if I opted for University. Mainly due to the diversity of the subject, my enjoyment and enthusiasm for the varying elements of Business, at the end of the day you are paying to go to University so you may as well enjoy what you are studying, RIGHT?!
  • My subject field of Business did have apprenticeship options, Business Administration being the prime apprenticeships. I felt if I went down that route I may find myself debating University after completing the 1 or 2 year apprenticeship and wished I’d gone when all my other friends went.
  • When talking about University, it always comes with the stigma of well educated individuals therefore I felt a degree under my belt would help towards establishing myself within the Business sector.
  • I knew the Business degree was for me, I spent my days reading University prospectus’s about the different Universities and the courses they offered and consequently decided on the Business Management Undergraduate Degree.
  • The main reason why I chose this course; The diversity of the subjects, being able to study many elements of Business I felt would be very beneficial to me once I completed my degree programme. The elements included; Business Law,  HR and Employment, Marketing Strategy, Finance and Accounting, International Marketing and Business Administration.

Obviously University isn’t fit for everyone, some people are more practically orientated and would rather undertake a ‘hands on’ job or indeed start their career earlier rather than spending 3..4..5 years studying.

Your career path is therefore your decision, if you want to be a plumber taking on a apprenticeship is ideal rather than if you are a budding lawyer a degree is hugely required. So each career path would require varying qualifications and requirements. It may pay to check out your local careers advice fairs, along with the careers advice website.


University can be a daunting prospect, moving to a new city or even country where you do not know anybody… How scary but exciting does that sound?

I moved 210 miles (3 hours 50 minutes) away from my home, I’d always wanted to move away meet new people and enjoy the experience of university rather than being tied to living at home. This doesn’t appeal to some people but I am sure everyone has their reasons are to why they have applied to local or ‘far away’ Universities.

The preparation of moving to University, the University shop so I was moving into halls for my first year of University – I generated a long list of essentials that I would require when I moved in these included;

  • Bedding (Check if you are having a double or single bed before you move in then you can purchase your bed sheets, duvets etc)
  • Kitchen appliances; Cutlery, Bowls, Plates, Mugs, Glasses, Wooden Spoons, Sauce Pans, Frying Pan, Weighing Scales, Sieve, Utensils (spatulas, tin opener, knives, scissors), Chopping Board, and I am sure I have missed a few essentials!
  • Clothing (It was a great opportunity for me to have a clear out as I knew I’d only have a limited amount of room in my halls bedroom)
  • Wash Gear Obviosuly you’ll need to take your shampoos, shower gels along with towels – if like me you are in an ensuite room a bath mat is highly recommended 🙂

That is just a short list of some essentials which you will need to set you up for moving to halls. I am sure I have missed other vital things like laundry bag, iron or even pillows but I’d highly recommend making a big list before you head shopping!

I loved going to next at home and Ikea to purchase my university items 🙂

Moving to University

So it’s moving in day, for a lot of people this can be very exciting but also daunting to! The propspect of spending a year in a house or flat with people you don’t know can be SCARY! But just be yourself, you’ll soon be heading for nights out together and movie dates at 3am so just take it all in and absorb the atmosphere. Talk to people, and enjoy your first week away from home.

  • Freshers week is the BEST week you’ll have, little worries about studying and lots of drinking games and FUN!!

So make sure you embrace it all and start engaging with your houses mates as much as you can to help you feel at home.

So that is part one of why I chose the University path, and a little insight into preparing and moving to University! I hope you found it enlightening 🙂

Part 2 will be all about my 3 year experiences at University… stay tuned!!




Prestige Gifting – Luxury Flowers

Last week I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely Michael at Prestige Gifting I was given the opportunity to review Home Bargains luxury next day delivery flower range.

With the ever growing presence of online shopping especially gift purchasing, many floral organisations have opted for this method to deliver beautiful bouquets to people’s homes. Both the Prestige Gifting and Home Bargain websites are very easy to use and with a whole host of floral arrangements for all occasions. Whether it be for a wedding, baby shower, anniversary or birthday you are sure to find an arrangement to fit your budget.

The box arrived very swiftly via Royal Mail and I could not wait to open it! I love receiving exciting parcels through the post. The box was well packed and the flowers were perfectly presented in flower paper.

My first impressions were that the flowers were very vibrant and smelt fresh, which is what I love about buying flowers for my home. The mix of yellows and blues really show a lovely array of colours to brighten up any home. This bouquet would be perfect for a birthday or anniversary gift for a loved one.

The Bouquet I received are called ‘Sunny Garden’ which is the perfect fitting name for them, expertly arranged with avalanche roses, iris, fragrant freesia and hypericum.  All flowers priced above £9.99 come with FREE Delivery along with the options of adding a vase (as seen below) and a bear, balloons, chocolates to be sent along with your bouquet of choice perfect for any occasion.

Overall, I would highly recommend the beautiful Sunny Garden bouquet from Home Bargains, they are great value for money at £22.99 and would make the perfect gift! I’ve had the flowers for 4 days now and they have all opened up the roses look stunning along with the beautiful floral aroma.

Where do you purchase your flowers from? What are your favourite flowers to receive?




The Body Shop Blogger Event

As you may be aware I am not a solely Beauty blogger but I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you all some NEW products which have just been launched at The Body Shop . The Body Shop are popular, mainly due to their ‘Forever Against Animal Testing’ policy along with their Cruelty Free and Growing Community Trade policies.

I was kindly invited along to The Bloggers event on Wednesday 2nd May at the Body Shop, West Quay store with a group of fellow Southampton Bloggers. We were kindly greeted with bubbly and nibbles on arrival, before having a lovely talk from some of the colleagues from The Body Shop. We were introduced to TWO NEW Product ranges, which included the Face Mists and Body Yoghurts.

Face Mists

The Face Mists range are a fabulous new product which comes in 5 varieties of different smells with multiple purposes to suit every skin type;

Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist

Go #NoFilter once you’ve smoothed over your complexion with our Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist. Skin texture appears refined with this delicately scented mist for a smoother-looking complexion. Infused with extract of juicy strawberries from Italy and guava from Brazil. Leaves skin feeling hydrated and instantly refreshed.

Coco Cooling Face Mist

The calming mist helps to soothe dry, sensitive skin when you need instant relief. Enriched with naturally refreshing coconut water from Brazil, as well as calming aloe vera and bisabolol. Leaves skin feeling hydrated and instantly refreshed.

Mandarin Energising Face Mist

Kick-start the day with a spritz of this zingy mist to help re-energise your complexion – perfect when late nights are starting to take their toll on your skin. Infused with mandarin, camu camu berry extract from Brazil, maca root extract from Peru, and caffeine for an extra boost.

Mint Mattifying Face Mist

Stay in control with Mint Mattifying Face Mist. This mist leaves skin looking mattified and shine-free and helps reduce the appearance of excess oil. Infused with a winning combination of mint from Nicaragua, seaweed extract from Ireland and kaolin clay from the UK.

Rose Dewy Glow Face Mist

With reflective particles, this mist gives your skin a dewy, illuminated glow for an instant confidence boost. With a blend of raspberry essence, cherry water from France and Community Trade British rose essence.

Body Yoghurts

The second new product range we were allowed to test were the Body Yoghurts, again they are available in a variety of different scents, so I am sure you will find one you LOVE! The body yoghurts are Cruelty-free and 100% vegan, the fast-absorbing moisturisers have a lightweight, gel-cream texture that’s suitable for all skin types, including dry skin.

Apply straight onto damp skin for 48hr moisture and you’re just 15 seconds away from glowing, healthy-looking skin. The fast absorbent allows for easy use if your in a hurry and don’t want to wait around for a moisturiser to absorb! They also smell fabulous, perfect for the summer months.

The collection includes;

  • Almond Milk Body Yoghurt
  • British Rose Body Yoghurt
  • Mango Body Yoghurt (this is my fave)
  • Strawberry Body Yoghurt
  • Moringa Body Yoghurt

I had a lovely time trying the new Body shop products along with engaging with fellow bloggers, it was a great experience and I cannot wait to attend my next bloggers event. We were lucky enough to be gifted with a lovely goodie bag* from The Body Shop at West Quay at the end of the evening. I will endeavour to upload a review of a couple of the products over the next few weeks! Stay tuned.

Are you a Body Shop lover? Which Body Yoghurt would you choose?




* Products were gifted to me by The Body Shop



Day at the Zoo

Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire

Back in April 2017 I visited the lovely Longleat Safari Park situated near Warminster, Wiltshire. I had visited the Park before, but many years ago when I was a lot younger. So it was nice to appreciate the additional animals, the safari ride and the various interactive activities the whole park had to offer.

The safari park offers a wide range of animals which you can see and also feed at set times through your day at the park.

Longleat comprises of three main elements;

The Safari Drive Through (don’t take your car in if you don’t want it to get ruined)

The Main Square (where all the non safari animals can be found)

Longleat House and Gardens

Whilst at Longleat we were able to take part in some of the animal feeding which I loved! Being a zoo and animal lover I was in my element! As I am sure some of you will know the feeling 🙂

Feeding Times at Longleat

Giraffe: Safari Park

Time: 10:30am (May to September)

Sea Lions: Jungle Cruise

Time: All Day

Rainbow Lorikeets: Monkey Temple

Time: All Day

Deer Feeding: Safari Park

Time: All Day

Whilst at Longleat we decided to do the Safari Park in my partners car. You then follow the road through numerous animal enclosures including; the Giraffes, Deer, Camels, Flamingos, Lions, Monkeys and Rhinos. You can opt out of driving through the Monkeys by using the bypass lane (but we took the plunge!)

This little fella fancied a ride on our car, he just sat there the whole drive… lucky for us! As you can see in the image below some cars weren’t so lucky… Also some drivers weren’t very animal friendly and would turn on their windscreen wipers to deter the monkeys… which as you can imagine made them even more ANGRY!

After the Safari Drive we headed to the main park which we could explore at our own pace, there’s a Costa Coffee located where you park if you fancy a bite to eat, or you can explore the eateries and shops inside Longleat. We saw numerous animals which included a range of birds, ‘household pets’, meerkats, sea lions, gorillas and my favourite… the penguins. It was amazing you could walk around the penguin enclosure and really get up close to the penguins (I am definitely going back to visit them, hopefully soon!)


Longleat are pronound for their special events, these are fun for all the family and give you the chance to experience Longleat at different times of the year. The events include:

• Predators

• The Longleat Food & Drink Festival

• Glow in the Park

• Sky Safari (hot air balloons)

• Fantastic Fireworks

• The Festival of Light

All the seasonal and exclusive events can be found on the  Longleat Website where you can also purchase your tickets, you can save up to 15% on your online tickets.

If you are ever in the Wiltshire area, I’d highly recommend a visit to Longleat Safari Park, it’s even voted UK’s No1 Safari Park!!


Adults : Online £29.70 Gate: £34.95

Children: Online £22.27 Gate: £26.20

Senior (60+) Online: £26.73 Gate: £31.45

Under 3’s FREE

(Please note prices may vary)

Are you a zoo or animal lover? Which Zoo is your favourite?

Or do you fancy a weekend down by the seaside?




How to Save Money in 5 Easy Steps

If you haven’t seen already one of my spring goals is to save as much money as possible to purchase my own home. This of course comes with lifestyle sacrifices, which isn’t easy for anybody! Let alone someone who loves new clothes and weekends away…But I cannot wait to have my own place, somewhere that I can make my home.

I therefore decided to write a little review about 5 ways in which you could save money, whether you are saving money for a new car, that exciting adventure across the world or for your own first home. I hope you find my tips both useful, mindful and interesting.

My 5 steps to saving money

  •  Setting up your own budget

Firstly, being able to establish what you are saving for, and how much you are looking to save is very important in your steps to saving. Setting a monthly budget will allow you to be more aware of your income and outgoings.

This will help to establish a realistic timeframe, when you can feasible reach your saving target. This could be a couple of months or over a few years, this would be down to your individual situation. The budget therefore will help kick your spending habits and make you more aware of what you are spending.

Cutting unnecessary spending will help to save your cash, and also will be more rewarding in the future. This leads onto my next saving tip I’m sure we are all culprits of this next step!

  •  Preparing your own food at home

Eating at home is cheaper and healthier than going out for a meal or grabbing a takeaway! Try to encourage yourself to be more adventurous with your cooking, this will therefore make it more enjoyable and fun to do.

I love eating out and it’s definitely more of a social thing in today’s society, but I’ve really started to limit how many times I eat out a month, and noticed the savings I’ve made.

I used to be the person who’d buy lunches everyday for work, I didn’t realise at the time exactly the money I was “wasting” by doing this… even a £3 meal deal everyday equates to around £60 a month. Are you a lunch buy? Could this be a way of money saving for you?

  • Signing up to loyalty schemes

Most supermarkets and shops have their own reward schemes, from Sainsbury’s Nectar Card to the Boots Advantage Card. Each shop offers their own type of rewards whether it be points which lead to money off vouchers or discounts off purchases after you’ve spent a selected amount in your transactions.

I often save up my Boots Advantage points and then spend them on a new foundation or perfume, I feel this way I am able to benefit from the points I’ve collected and it’s a little treat to myself 🙂

Do you use loyalty cards? What are your thoughts on them? 

  • Shopping around for cheaper providers

Checking comparison sites can be a great way to save lots of money, for example if you are renewing your car insurance head over to comparison websites such as; Compare the Meerkat , Go Compare or Money Supermarket which all help us everyday to find the best/most cost effective deal. When I last renewed my insurance in August my current provided tried charging me an extra £85 compared to the year before, eventhough I hadn’t claimed or changed any of my details. I headed straight to Compare the Meerkat entered all my details and another insurer could offer me an amazing deal… in fact £50 less than I paid the year before, what a bargain!

It definitely pays to shop around for the best deal! This also can be related to mobile phone contracts, via different service providers shopping around could land you with a better deal, with more data and paying less per a month… Shop around or look out for monthly deals instore.

  • Selling any unwanted items

Like me I am sure in your wardrobe oyu have clothing with the labels still attached, gathering dust! I often do this, I forget to return the item… Opps! So a great way of makign money is to sell these items which are unloved or unwanted, this could be anything ranging from shoes, clothing or house hold items. The best ways to sell your items:

Ebay – Although Ebay charge commission on each item which is sold, it’s a great way to sell clothing and shoes Ebay attracts a large number of customers/visitors worldwide therefore the items are open to a wide audience.

Gumtree – Excellent for bulkier items which are difficult to post, the buyer can easily come and pick up the item saving on commission and posting. This may not be suitable to all as I know some people would feel uncomfortable with strangers coming to their house.

Facebay – Similar to Gumtree, Facebays are targeted at local individuals who can easily collect their item eliminating the need to go to the post office to send the item and also being paid cash in hand could be an advantage to you.

Carboot Sales – I am sure you have attended one in your lifetime, whether it be on your own or with family and friends. Selling at a carboot sale is a great way to ‘spring clean’ your wardrobe and cupboards of unwanted items, buyers can easily see the items and you can make deals by haggling the price for sales. As a seller you would pay for your car, so why not team up with a friend, halve the cost and make lots of money and space!


I hope you found these steps useful. Good luck with your saving 🙂

I’d love to hear about how you save your money? And if you’d consider any of the steps above?



           Emma x