Saturday, 28 February 2015

#52weeksofhappiness-Week 41

 Hello there! How has your week been? Last Saturday night saw the end to my cold, which of course meant a return to Pop Tarts! (If you don't know what this is where have you been?! It's a club night at the Union that plays all the cheesy classics). This then meant that most of Sunday was spent chilling out, with an evening filled watching Indian Summers (has anyone else been watching this? My housemate Adam and I love it!). 
 The week then saw a return to lectures/seminars, but on Wednesday I met up with Lucy for lunch (at you guessed it, Interval) and we realised that the last time we had properly seen each other was before Christmas! I had a Cajun Chicken sandwich with wedges, and she had a Burrito. It was so lovely to go for a catch up and we can't leave it this long in between another time! 
 If you've been wondering what happened to the alphabet dates, do not fear they are back! We had only left it so long in-between 'H' and 'I', as for 'I' we wanted to go ice skating and on Wednesday evenings they have a special student rate. This was a first for both of us, and a part of me did wish that I would go and find a hidden talent, but of course this was not the case. As soon as I stepped out onto the ice I nearly fell over! I was one who did not let go of the side, and after a while of trying not to fall over/stay balanced, I wanted to get off, but as you can only go round one way I had to keep going! We made it about 3/4 of the way round until we eventually could get off. Luckily Tom was bad at it too, which meant I didn't hinder him from wanting to carry on, yet it would have been good to of been with someone that could do it, who could then help you go round. We were happy that we had done it, but I don't think we'll be going again. We do want to go and see an ice hockey match one day though!
 On Thursday afternoon I travelled from Sheffield to Norwich for the weekend. Before I left in the morning I ordered a salad from the Union's 'New Leaf' (salad bar) which I could pick up after my lecture! I went for a mix of lettuce and cous-cous as a base; with ham, sweetcorn, mushrooms, sunflower seeds and a honey and mustard dressing. The pot they give you is massive, and it saw me through my train journey/reading of Paradise Lost.
 Now that I'm home I've been chilling out which has been a nice break to my busy weeks! Today my aunt and cousin came round, and it was so lovely to spend time with them again. I'll be venturing back to Sheffield tomorrow, but we first have to make it through the traffic in Norwich as their football team is playing Ipswich, which means it could be chocker blocked! (Wish me luck!)

Pre-Pop Tarts

My Cajun Chicken lunch

Before the ice skating!

My train home
Reunited with this beauty

What made you happy this week?

Love Jess xxx
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

February Favourites

 Hello there! It is again that time of the month where I do a round up of all the things that I have been loving. I honestly do not know where February has gone; how are we now about to go into the 3rd month of the year already? Let's get into the favourites!

Bagels
 I had never really had bagels before, but after having them a couple of times at a cafe, I thought why not have my own at home? I had the plain ones to start with, but these are the sesame seed ones. They go well with my love of Philadelphia, and I also had them with mayonnaise and some chunks of ham. I've had them at cafe's with scrambled egg and smoked salmon, but I am yet to try this combination myself! They're a really quick and easy lunch, and I can then pretend that I'm actually in New York (although ironically I don't know what that feels like as I've never been there!).




































Honey
 This month I thought that I was coming down with a cold a few times, as I had a really bad sore throat. Now this is the one thing I detest about a cold (snuffles etc are just annoying) and to try and combat it, I would have a few spoonfuls of honey. I never used to actually like honey, but now I love it! I also found that putting it in with green tea was a really nice sweetener and again helped my throat! 

Homeland
 Now if you've been reading my blog throughout February this is going to come as no surprise. Tom and I have been completely obsessed with watching Homeland as it's just so good! All I will say is that it's about terrorism in relation to America. I promise you it's not boring and is so intense (basically just go watch it!). Tom and I are now onto season 3, and as there's only 4, I reckon it won't be too long until we finish the whole thing!

Signs of Spring
 I say signs of spring, yet as I write this it's chucking it down with rain and has been snowing this morning. Now I know what you're thinking, and I agree: this is not spring. But, there have been a couple of nice days where it was actually warm and sunny, and even though I know it's not going to be like that all the time, it's a nod in the right direction. I am thoroughly looking forward to when it is like this more often, and generally when it's just not as cold! I bought myself some daffodils the other day, and they're now all starting to come out into bloom. These really do brighten up my room on a dull day!


Ben Howard- 'I Forget Where We Were'
 My music love this month has been Ben Howard's 'I Forget Where We Were' album. I actually got this as a birthday present from Tom many months ago, but I've found that I've been listening to it a lot this month as it's quite chilled and nice to have on in the background. I am not someone who can study in silence, and this extends to when I read (not so much novels, but articles and things) and this album has been the perfect backdrop for this. My favourite tracks are 'Rivers in Your Mouth', 'I Forget Where We Were', 'She Treats Me Well' and 'All Is Now Harmed'.

So there are my favourites! Is there anything in particular that you have been loving this month? As always let me know in the comments or tweet me @jesslouisekeen!

Love Jess xxx
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

#52weeksofhappiness-Week 40

 Hello there! How has your week been? How are we up to week 40 already? I just had a look back at when I posted my first blogpost and this blog will be 9 months old on Monday!! Thank you to everyone who takes time to read my rambling posts, it really does mean so much to me. I am still thoroughly enjoying being able to do this, and coming up with new blogpost ideas. I look forward to the next 9 months!
 Now onto this week! Aside from reading/going into lectures and seminars, I of course have had a few coffee visits in here and there. On Monday I went for lunch with Megan as it seemed like forever since I had properly spoken to her! We went to Interval and we both had wedges (she had cheesy ones) and they honestly do the best wedges at the uni! I returned to Interval on Wednesday for a catch up with Rachel and Will (I really should take shares out in Interval or something, I go there enough!) and this time I just had a caramel latte. I've noticed recently this blogpost has literally been 'I went for coffee here this week' but it's always so nice to meet up with people for a proper chat outside of lectures or seminars!
 On Wednesday evening I went with a group of friends to 'Itchy Feet'. Now I know this sounds a bit strange, but it's a travelling club night, that is filled with jazzy music and everyone gets all dressed up! I really enjoyed it but unfortunately I had to come home early as I felt poorly and was struck down with a cold. Thursday became a duvet day, which meant I could catch up with The Great Comic Relief Bake Off- have you been watching it? I can't decide if some of the celebrities are told to burn/make a mess of things, or are just generally that bad! I gave myself the day off from doing anything Thursday and allowed myself to have a rest (luckily too as the weather was horrible outside!).

Even though I had to leave early, I loved getting all dressed up and seeing what everyone else was wearing!



















What have you been up to this week? And what made you happy?

Love Jess xxx
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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

A Few of My Favourite Inspirational Quotes

 Hello there! If you have been reading this blog for a while you will know that I like to insert a good quote every now and then. On part of my wall I have a big display of my favourite quotes, which I can look at daily in the hope of inspiration. I thought that for today's post I would share a few of my favourites with you!






































 Now I'm not actually one for riding a bicycle. I used to really enjoy it until I fell off one into a ditch and broke my arm, but that'll be a story for another time. Although I don't ride a physical bike, I like this metaphor as within life you need to keep moving to stay balanced, otherwise if you fight against life carrying on, you won't be able to keep 'riding' as it were.






































 For me this is simply: Look for the good things in life. What might seem like darkness can produce brightness.






































 I really like this analogy of life being like a camera. The main message for me is 'take another shot'. Something may not work out the first time you try, but this doesn't mean that you should give up. 






































 This is like the other quote I have mentioned about the darkness. However for me this one has more emphasis upon feeling grateful, and that if there is a dark moment within your life, this is when you truly see those things that shine in your life.






































I used this quote for my 1st wish list of places that I would like to travel to, and you can read the original post with this link. Life is like a book, to discover your own 'plot' you need to go out there and see the world. I don't think this necessarily means having to go to different countries- why not try exploring your own? You don't know what amazing places you can find and memories you can create at 'home'.



Again, I used this quote for a blogpost, this time my 'Saying Yes' one which you see via this link. I explain my point there a bit more, but a lot of the time, I can come to overthink something, when I should just go for it and say yes. If I do that, I'll do more and experience more.






































 This image for me shows that you need to leave the darkness to reach the light. The darkness in this sense is fear, and the light comes to represent the opportunities that can happen if you face this fear. I did a post on which I look at this more in depth and you can see it via this link.




















 This was one of the first quotes I used for one of my blogposts and you can see by following this link. However bad life may seem, there is always something that is good, and if you focus upon this you can move forward in life.

So there are some of my favourite quotes! Are there any that you love?

Love Jess xxx
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Saturday, 14 February 2015

#52weeksofhappiness-Week 39

 Hello there! How has your week been? This week saw the return of lectures and seminars, which saw the return of alarms being set, and no longer being able to choose whether you go outside or not depending on the weather. It has been good to get back into the swing of things, but I don't like the fact that I am now in the latter half of my degree- it's just going too quickly!
 Tom and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary on Sunday, and we went out to Zara's Indian Restaurant in the evening to celebrate. We did have a pre-anniverary trip to York which I have done a post about which if you missed it you can see here. A lot has happened in those 5 years; when we got together we were in Year 10, and now we're into our second year of uni! I can't imagine anyone better to have shared the past 5 years with, and I thoroughly look forward to the next. 
 Monday was such a beautiful day weather wise, and I really thought spring was making an appearance. I left slightly earlier than I would have done to walk to uni, and managed to walk through both Crookes Valley and Weston Park. One of the things that I truly love about Sheffield is just how green it is. Although you're right in the middle of the city, the beautiful parks allow you to escape back to nature. Unfortunately this feeling of spring did not last, and the rest of the week has just been cloudy and filled with rain! 
 On Wednesday afternoon I worked at another open day. I can't believe that this time 2 years ago, I was about to come to my own open day at Sheffield, and talking to the prospective students always reaffirms my decision to come to here, and to choose the degree that I do. If you are currently thinking about going to University, or are in the process of UCAS, make sure you thoroughly enjoy this experience! You'll soon enough be looking back like me, and thinking where has that time gone?
 On Thursday I went for breakfast with Reesha and Rachel, and I then went for hot chocolate with Phoebe and Jade later in the afternoon. This was the perfect way to end my week (I finish at 11 on a Thursday!) and was so lovely to catch up with everyone again, as we all seem to have been super busy!
 Today sees the appearance of Valentines Day, but Tom and I don't really do anything to celebrate as our anniversary is so close. One tradition we do have is that we each have to make the other a card, and we also buy each other a scratch card. Unfortunately neither of us won anything! We'll be getting take away later too which I am looking forward to. I think Valentine's Day has both it's pro's and con's. I like the way that Tom and I celebrate it, as I think it has become too commercialised, as if you love someone, you should be able to show it every day of the year! One of the most important people that I think you need to show your love to, is yourself. My good friend Megan has done a post about this over on her blog which you can read here and what she says strikes true. I am a firm believer in needing 'me time' whether this be going the full pamper route, or just taking out time to read a book. It's great to love others, and to think of them, but sometimes you do need to be selfish and take time for yourself. 

This man.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A Trip to York

Hello there! As I mentioned in my post at the weekend (which if you missed you can see here) I went with Tom to York for a few days last week as a pre anniversary trip. I enjoyed going away to a place that I really like, and to show it to Tom as he had never been before. It was also the perfect way to celebrate end of exams! So here's a few snaps of what we got up to...






















 We had a walk around during the afternoon that we arrived, and then the next day I took Tom to the Castle Museum which is my all time favourite museum to go to! If you are ever in York and you have never been before, I would definitely recommend it. There's various rooms all set out how they would have been throughout different eras, and then in the middle is a display which you walk through, of an old Victorian street.
 York is a city that is clearly proud of the heritage and history that surrounds the place. There were so many shops and houses dotted about that looked as if they had been plucked out of the 15th Century. We ended up walking through The Shambles twice which is why there's two sets of photos! It really is such a beautiful city, and I'll definitely be returning.

Have you been anywhere nice recently?

Love Jess xxx
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Saturday, 7 February 2015

#52weeksofhappiness- Week 38

 Hello there! How has your week been? This week has been a busy one as per usual! The start of the week was just spent revising (although we did finish the first season of Homeland) and it was such a relief to get my exam out of the way on Tuesday. I did not enjoy having to wake up and be in for 9. I have no idea how I used to get to school for half 8 every day!
 In the afternoon after my exam, Phoebe came round and we watched Brother Bear together. It was so nice to just be able to sit and watch something, and not have to worry about doing work afterwards.  It was still as emotional as it was the first time I watched it. In the evening a big group of us went out to celebrate Megan's birthday at Pizza Express, and I enjoyed being able to see all my friends again in a non-stressful environment! I had the Il Padrino pizza which was massive but it meant that I had lunch covered for the day after though. As we had a student card, we also got 40% off which was such a good deal that I will be using again. After we had finished at Pizza Express Tom and I went for a drink at 'The Great Gatsby', which I have been wanting to go to for ages. I think we both felt a bit cool being in there, and I would definitely go again. I had the 'Pale Rider' cocktail and can definitely recommend it if you are ever in there!
 From Wednesday to Friday Tom and I went for a pre-anniversary trip away to York. A full blogpost will be up on Tuesday about this, so make sure to check back! 

The Il Padrino Pizza

 The Great Gatsby

What made you happy this week? 

Love Jess xxx
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Ham and Mushroom Muffins/Cookies

 Hello there! It's time for another baking post! Instead of a sweet recipe, this one will be savoury. I bought the Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes and Muffins recipe book a few weeks ago, as flicking through there was a lot of recipes that I wanted to try! One that particularly caught my eye was 'Ham and Mushroom Muffins' which I thought was really different! If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will have seen my love for this combination. So here's how you to can recreate these!

Ingredients:
-50g butter
-1/2 small onion, finely chopped
-80g mushrooms, chopped
-360g plain flour
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-250g grated cheese
-220ml milk
-1 egg
-80g smoked ham, chopped
-Salt and pepper

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