Travel Scotland with a Caravan: 10-day Road Trip Itinerary

30/05/2017

"To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live." - Hans Christian Andersen

Girl with Camera beside Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven
Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven

Hello everyone! 
One month ago, me and my parents set off on an epic 10-day Caravan Road Trip through Scotland. Alongside a 10-day Scotland road trip itinerary with Scotland road trip ideas, scenic drives in Scotland, walking trails in Scotland and what to see and things to do when touring Scotland by car or caravan, I want to share with you some of the beautiful images my mum and I (as lovers of photography) took on our travels.
Admiring wild glens and rivers, lonesome highlands, thick woodlands, majestic mountains and a magnificent coastline, my parents and I quickly fell in love with this small yet multifaceted country. 
If you are just as amazed by Scotland’s beauty as I am, feel free to watch my Scotland Caravan Road Trip Travel video I lovingly made for my YouTube channel.


Road Trip through Scotland with a Fiat Carado T447

We started our road trip in grey Aberdeen and explored parts of the Scottish northern coast on an amazing scenic drive. Following that we visited stunning Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, an epic castle ruin on a dramatic cliff top. 

Loch an Eilein in the Rothiemurchus Forest near Aviemore
Loch An Eilein 

On the next day we headed to the Cairngorms National Park visiting The Queen's summer residence, Balmoral Castle. After a few hours drive through the majestic highlands, we arrived at the Loch An Eilein in the late afternoon. We took a circular walk around the Loch, admiring the ancient Loch An Eilein Castle on the middle of the crystal clear sheet of water. So if you want to go hiking in the Cairngorms National Park, this is a lovely circular walking trail for beginners.

Dark blue Loch Cluanie in the middle of Highlands
Loch Cluanie

Early in the morning we left peaceful Loch An Eilein and headed towards Inverness and Loch Ness. Although it was really pretty, we preferred our lunch stop Loch Cluanie over the legendary Loch Ness (sorry Nessie!). Before we set off for the Isle of Skye, we stopped at famous Eilean Donan Castle which we afterwards think of as a stunning photo location but not really worth paying entry to go inside. 

Epic mountain chain of the Cuillin Hills Scotland
Cuillin Hills, Isle of Skye

We spent the night on a camping side in the middle of the Cuillin Hills because we wanted to start our trip through the Isle of Skye as early as possible in the morning.  

Crystal Clear Turquoise Water of the Fairy Pools
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

This intention turned out to be really clever as we arrived at around 8.30 am in the morning and had one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Isle of Skye - the Fairy pools - all for ourselves (and we were able to find a parking space for our huge Caravan). 

TIP FOR CARAVANS: Park on the upper parking lot (the first you come across) because it is much bigger and not as nerve-wracking as the tiny lower parking lot.

Traditional Scottish Farm houses on Isle of Skye
Along the North Coast of the Isle of Skye

We explored the north coast Isle of Skye, stopped by Staffin Bay and the Kilt Rock View Point and climbed halfway to the Old Man of Storr (it was really steep and exhausting). 

Jacobite Steam Train across the Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glenfinnan

As a massive Harry Potter fan I obviously wanted to visit the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Jacobite Steam Train (real-life Hogwarts Express). The view was truly magical. 

Lower Falls Hike near Ben Nevis
Near Lower Falls, Ben Nevis

Hiking to Steall Falls at Ben Nevis
Steall Falls, Ben Nevis

On the next day we did an incredible hike to the Steall Falls at the foot of Ben Nevis (also seen on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), exploring epic landscapes and enjoying breathtaking views. This is surely one of the best hikes in Scotland! 

Turquoise Beach in Oban Scotland
Ganavan Bay, Oban

Following the stunning hike at Ben Nevis, we did a coastal walk near Oban to the Dunstaffnage Castle. Just a little warning: if you want to do the same hike as we did, be prepared for some serious adventure and don't be scared of heights. 

Hike to the Whangie and Queen's View in the Kilpatrick Hills
The Whangie, Kilpatrick Hills

Next day, next hike. Citing Walkhighlands (the best website for hikes in Scotland), because they put it into words so beautifully: "The Whangie is a bizarre rock-feature in the Kilpatrick Hills and has wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies".

View from Ben A'an beside the banks of Loch Achray
Ben A'an, Callander

Our last day in nature before we our last destination Edinburgh was spent hiking to the peak of Ben A'an overlooking this more than stunning landscape. Admittedly, for someone who is not used to hiking, this hike was quite challenging but definitely worth it when you can enjoy this gorgeous view on top. A perfect end to a wonderful trip and a huge recommendation if you want to go hiking in the Trossachs National Park. 


Royal Mile and Old Town of Edinburgh
Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Before we headed home to Germany, we spent one day in Scotland's historic capital Edinburgh. We spent the 24hours walking through the ancient streets, admiring the beautiful buildings, eating some yummy food and taking lovely pictures. If you are interested in some more pictures of Edinburgh (which is definitely one of my favourite cities ever), check out this blogpost I did when I visited Edinburgh around Christmastime

All in all, Scotland fascinated us with its mesmerising landscapes of blazing lochs and endless expanse that are rough yet beautiful and for sure some of most stunning natural wonders in the world. This road trip was definitely not our last trip to this amazing country that has so much to offer! Kisses, Laura 

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What Being a Cheerleader in University is Really Like

18/03/2017

“Bows and bling is a cheerleading thing.“

RGU Sports Cheerleading Cheerleader

Last weekend I had my first ever Cheerleading competition alongside my amazing squad, the RGU Cobras. As a dancer I always wanted to try out cheerleading as well as it seemed so much fun. So obviously I was really excited when I found out that the university I was going to had a cheerleading squad. 
I have been a university cheerleader for 5 months now and I didn’t only have the best time but I also learned a lot about cheerleading itself and what it meant to be a cheerleader. Annoyingly, some people have many prejudices towards cheerleaders and don’t recognise cheerleading as a “real“ sport (just saying: the International Olympic Committee's executive board recognised cheerleading as a sport). Today I will therefore give you some insights into what it really means to be a college cheerleader and hopefully motivate you to join your university cheer squad as well! 

RGU Cheerleader Competition ACDC

Joining cheerleading is a commitment 
We usually train 2 times a week. Every two weeks we even train at 7 am (!) in the morning. However, before competitions, we train several times a week and sometimes even daily. As cheerleading is all about working as a team and being able to rely on each other you also can’t just be like “Nah I can’t be bothered going to cheer today“ because if you don’t attend training none of your other group members will be able practise the stunts. It is all about managing your time and fully committing to your team. Beside training, being a university cheerleader also comes with the social side. There will be loads of fun night outs and fundraising events to join, which will bring you even closer as a team and create really amazing memories. 

Being a cheerleader is hard and sweaty work 
I have never done cheerleading before. And trust me when I say: it is so much harder than it looks. I didn’t really have any arm strength before joining cheer which is why after the first couple of cheer sessions I was so sore! My arms and shoulders were actually dying. Cheerleading is a great way to get a workout in - you will get strength training from stunts and tumbles and conditioning from dance routines and warm ups. The best part about it is that it, similar to dance, is a very enjoyable way to get a workout in because you don’t really focus on the workout side of it. 

RGU Cheerleading Squad Level 1 Cobras

Joining your university cheerleading squad is a great way to meet people 
Just as with any other society or sports club you join, being part of a cheerleading squad makes it so easy for you to meet new people and make friends as you all have a shared interest. Also big events such as adoption nights and competitions or the weekly team night outs are a great opportunity to bond with each other and to start conversation. 


Being a cheerleader is quite expensive 
Probably the only downside of joining cheer is that it is quite costly. You will have to pay for joining, the uniform, training kit, competition fees and not to forget: the night outs. However, I would encourage everyone to let money not stop you from joining cheer. Make it happen somehow - save some money through meal prepping your food or budgeting your money on a monthly basis. Money really shouldn’t be a reason not to join because all in all… 

Cheerleading is so much fun 
Joining RGU Cobras was one of the things that made my first year at university absolutely incredible. It is just such an memorable experience with many unforgettable moments. Also, what a nice memory is it to look at your cheer uniforms in some years? I am literally just all about it! And: how cute is our bow? It is honestly worth joining cheerleading just for the bow! 

RGU Cheerleading Squad

Have you joined any societies or sports clubs at your university? What clubs would you like to join in the future? 
For next semester, I am thinking about participating in the language society. Let me know in the comments what other clubs I should join next year! Kisses, Laura

Follow RGU Cobras on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rgucheerleading/
Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rgucheerleading/

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A Local's Guide to a Weekend in Amsterdam

10/03/2017

“In the world through which I travel I am endlessly creating myself.“ 

Canals of Amsterdam Weekend Trip

 Last weekend I got the chance to visit beautiful Amsterdam alongside one of my dear friends from University. I have never been to Amsterdam before and I seriously had the best time as my friend (she is a local) was so kind and showed me around. I got to discover some cool non-touristy, off-beat and alternative spots, which I want to share with you today in this 2-day Amsterdam itinerary.

As a lover for videography I have been creating videos of my travel adventures for years now and I never published them. However, as I know that most of us prefer watching a video over reading text, I put up my little, cute Amsterdam video on YouTube for you to watch. Feel free to comment, like, share - I appreciate all kinds of feedback!


SATURDAY

Gevulde Koeken Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam
Stroopwaffels Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam

Stroll along Bloemenmarkt and Albert Cuyp Market 

 Start your Saturday Amsterdam adventures by strolling along the Albert Cuyp Market, a street market located in the city centre of Amsterdam that offers everything typically dutch. Definitely try dutch pastries such as fresh, warm and deliciousStroopwafels“ (caramel waffles), “gevulde Koeken“ (marzipan cookies) and “Poffertjes“ (mini pancakes).

Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam Tulips
Kaaskelder Amsterdam Bloemenmarkt Dutch Cheese
Golden Age Cheese Amsterdam
Dutch Cheese Amsterdam Tourist

Next stop is the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market, which is about 20 minutes walk from the Albert Cuyp market. Enjoy the colourful flowers, take some pretty pictures and buy some yummy cheese.

Mook Pancakes Amsterdam

 Have pancakes at MOOK 

To be honest, I was pretty full after those delicious pastries on the Albert Cuyp Market. However, as the Netherlands are known for their pancakes, my friend recommended “Mook Pancakes“, a really instagramable pancake place 20 minutes walk from the Bloemenmarkt. It is such a cute place that offers a lovely variety of organic pancakes and fresh made juices. I also felt like it wasn’t that touristy which is always a plus.

Canals of Amsterdam
Pretty Houses at Canals of Amsterdam
Canals of Amsterdam Bridge
Cafe at Canals of Amsterdam

 Wander along the canals of Amsterdam 

 Amsterdam is one of the most picturesque places I have ever been to. Lovers of pretty places and cute imagery will have no problems spending hours and hours walking around the streets and along the canals taking pictures.

Scooter Amsterdam Canals

The highlight for me was driving around Amsterdam on the scooter with my friend. Definitely the best way to explore the city! (I didn't actually drive, I just posed for a picture)

SUNDAY

 Visit the Anne Frank House 

The Anne Frank House is a standard must-see place in Amsterdam.

Bagels and Beans Amsterdam
Brunch at Bagels and Beans Amsterdam

 Have lunch at Bagels & Beans 

 Another recommendation from my kind friend was to get lunch at “Bagels & Beans“, a really cute and picturesque coffee place (25 minutes walk from Anne Frank House). For the fact that the food was super good and it was situated in the city centre right beside a canal I also found it quite affordable which is always a plus for poor students like me. 

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

 Explore the Rijksmuseum 

You might have a hard time deciding between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, 2 huge art museums situated on the Museumplein. Following the advice of my friend, I personally decided on the Rijksmuseum where I was able to admire some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. A nice surprise to me: free entry for under 19-year-olds.

Hooftstraat Amsterdam

Walk along the Hooftstraat 

On your way from the Rijksmuseum to the Vondelpark, walk along the most expensive street in Amsterdam. The "Hooftstraat“ offers everything from Gucci and Cartier to Chanel and Prada and is just a really pretty location to take pictures.

Vondelpark Amsterdam

 Relax in the Vondelpark 

 After this museum day you might be feeling some relaxation, which is why you should get some ice-cream from the Ice bakery and set off for a chill time at Vondelpark, a vast park in the city centre of Amsterdam.

I am so thankful that I got to experience Amsterdam along my lovely friend.
I will definitely come back to this beautiful place. 

Apologies from me for being really MIA lately on my blog. I was lacking inspiration, ideas, cute pictures - all of that jazz. Thanks you for patience! Kisses, Laura

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My Life is NOT Perfect! Dealing with Future Anxiety, Rejection and Comparison

15/02/2017


“Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one who finds the gold.“

Aberdeen Scotland Beach

Hey loves! Long time, no see. Lately I have been a little bit MIA here on my blog, mainly because I have run out of pretty photographs, my schedule with university, internship and job is quite busy and I was just lacking inspiration and motivation to blog. Also, my overall mood during the last few weeks was just not the best and shaped by many ups and downs. 

Being at university I have experienced a lot of overthinking, questioning and wondering - much more often than what is usual for me. I have also been going through many applications for part-time jobs and internships, which the former didn’t go that well unfortunately. All of that has brought up feelings of rejection, comparing myself with others as well as future anxiety. When people look at my social media and my blog, they sometimes think that my life is more perfect than it actually is. On social media we tend to only show the happy moments - travel adventures, achievements we are proud of, night outs with our friends - we create a highlight reel of our life. And truth to be told, that is all it really is. I only post the positive, because I think that this is what inspires the people most. What I don’t realise is that this is exactly what triggers comparison. We compare ourselves people that don’t even exist in that way. We get jealous over illusions. I know that everybody has to deal with those thoughts and feelings at some point in their lives. Therefore I would like to write down some of my thoughts and share with you guys, why my life is NOT perfect either

Aberdeen Scotland Beach

REJECTION
 “Trust that when the answer is no, there is a better yes down the road.“

Coming back to Scotland after Christmas, I was so motivated and keen on getting my first ever part time job, so I sent out loads of applications and even got some interviews. Unfortunately, I never succeeded at scoring the job. And with me never having to experience that kind of rejection before, it obviously sucked a lot. I was really upset, I cried my eyes out and I annoyed my friends with messages that were only consisting of crying emojis. I don’t think that there is anything that can prevent rejection from hurting so bad. It is is absolutely okay to be sad and also completely normal to be fed up with trying, at least for some time. However, what I think then makes the biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful people, is that successful people get over themselves and keep trying. I know that you naturally don’t want to do it, but in order to succeed you just have to force yourself. I once read this quote which was something like “What makes people successful is that even when 10 doors get slammed in their face, they put on a smile and walk happily to door 11“. People who succeed, are the people who fail most, as they are the ones who try again and again. Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination“ and “having no original ideas“? Rejection doesn’t define you. It re-directs you to something better. 

COMPARISON
“The fastest way to kill something special, is to compare it to something else.“ 

As millennials we spend majority of our time scrolling through social media and seeing what everyone else is doing. That naturally triggers comparison, which sadly makes us feel bad about ourselves. Comparison is the biggest thief of joy. Lately I compared myself quite a lot to my friends, seeing how they are successful at finding a job, scoring internships and getting good grades at university. However, I always try to remind myself that you can’t compare your university courses, your grades or your jobs - you can compare nothing at all. You have to learn that you can’t compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique and everyone has their own unique lives under different circumstances, with different values and different talents. The key to deal with comparison successfully, is to only evaluate your doings and accomplishments in your personal set of opportunities, and not in someone else's. Everyone gets their own unique paths to choose from. So it is not about what path the others choose from their selection, but which path you choose from your selection. It is about what you make out of your chances, not what others make of theirs. You must only focus on yourself. 

FUTURE ANXIETY
“Our anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.“ - Kahlil Gibran

In the last few years I have grown into a person, that values having everything planned out. I love organising, planning out my time, having routines - being a little bit of a control freak, you know. It has its good sites: getting stuff done, being organised and productive and having an inner ambition and motivation. However, it also has its bad sites: overthinking, overanalysing and overdoing. Some weeks ago, I somehow got really stressed out about the upcoming summer in Germany as I don’t have a summer job yet and I also haven’t scored any internships. I started getting anxious so much, that I started crying and my chest felt really heavy. The only thing that helped me in that situation was writing down all my thoughts and making (as vain as that sounds) a pro and contra list about if it is really the end of the world if I don’t have a paid internship in my first year of university. And I obviously came to the conclusion that it was not! I wrote down in my journal: “It is the fear of a future that I haven’t planned and the fear of regret that I might waste my time“. To be fair, the thought of the unknown can be quite daunting, and not wanting to regret anything is understandable as well. But sometimes you just “have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future“ - Steve Jobs. Because “maybe happiness isn't in the choosing. Maybe it's in the fiction, in the pretending: that wherever we have ended up is where we intended to be all along.” - Lauren Oliver. (Yeah I am quite obsessed with my quotes). What I just want to say is that you don’t need to have it all figured out to be able to move forward. Sometimes the most amazing things happen unplanned. You never know what will be tomorrow.

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My University Study Routine During The Semester

01/02/2017

“Push yourself. Because no one else is gonna do it for you.“

My university study routine during the semester

At Robert Gordon University Aberdeen the second semester of the academic year 2016/2017 has just started *yay* although I am pretty sure that there are mixed feelings towards this fact. However, I am excited for the new semester with my timetable looking fun and being filled with interesting subjects such as short film making, social media, email marketing, SEO, writing skills and much more - a lot that I can apply and benefit from when working on this blog. As teaching starts again, so are lectures, workshops, tutorials and study sessions at the library.

Last semester a few of my friends approached me how I am always so organised and up-to-date with the lecture materials during the semester and how I get the motivation to not leave it to the last minute before the exam. Personally, I consider myself having indeed a quite effective, productive and strategic daily study routine during the semester as well as during exam time. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to walk you step by step through my study routine as it may inspire some of you guys to take a more thoughtful and strategic approach to studying. Today I am bringing you my strategy to productive and efficient university studies during the semester as well as some good study habits for college, which is both PART 1 of my study routine. I obviously know that everybody studies differently and puts varying effort and priority in/on studying. So even if you can’t apply my strategy to your studying habits in detail, just see it as an inspiration to think about your study strategy and how you could make it even more time-saving or effective.

My university study routine during the semester

Before the lecture: Study the given materials 
At my course we get the lecture slides and additional research or reading material some days ahead of the lecture - I think most universities are doing it that way. I would highly recommend you to do as much reading and work on the given materials as possible before the lecture as I find it being more productive overall. I know it can sometimes be hard to get yourself together and start studying before you are actually “forced“ to do it (the night before the exam). When that happens always remind yourself that studying doesn’t get easier when you postpone it. At a later point in time you will still be the same person, with the same amount of work and the same wishes of what you would rather do.  

What to do some days before your lecture: 

  • copy the notes from the slides the professor will use in the lecture into a separate word document (or on a piece of paper, whatever you prefer) as it will be much easier to follow your own compensated, summarised and well-arranged notes during the lecture
  •  
    PRO TIP: for journal articles it is often enough to read abstract & summary in detail and skim over the rest
     

    During the lecture: Listen and only add bibs and bobs
     I find that when I prepare for the lecture in advance I can concentrate more easily during the lecture as I already know what the professor is talking about and I can therefore follow his thoughts better. When I don’t prepare in advance, I often feel overwhelmed with information as I can’t keep up with copying the slides, listening to the professor and jotting down notes all at once and I tend to give up and switch off. 
     However, when I am prepared I always keep up, take in the information and I only have to: 

    • add little pieces of extra information the professor is giving away to your prepared notes, however: don’t waste time re-arranging your layout listen carefully and attentively to the professor 

    After the lecture: Combine 
    What is great about having prepared everything in advance is the relief you get knowing that you don’t have to get through that whole big mountain of reading material after the lecture when you are tired and exhausted. It honestly is the best feeling to be able to almost tick off that topic immediately after the lecture because now I would advise you to just: 
    • add the extra knowledge/industry examples/references you got from the reading materials and additional resources to the corresponding paragraph or subtopic of your lecture notes 
    •  perfect your layout and make everything look neat and tidy

    My university study routine during the semester
      Phone case - New Look / Planner - Filofax / Notebooks - John Lewis 
     4 Quick Tips for Effective Studying 
    • Set a timer on your phone at 30 minutes and work through that time without interruption. I find that most of the times I easily get into the workflow, then simply ignore my timer and just continue studying. So the timer a perfect motivation to get started because as it gives you the prospect of a break. 
    • Use the same fonts and colours for each: your headings, sub-headings, definitions, bullet points etc. It makes your notes so much more organised and it also looks quite pretty. I always choose the colours of my headings in the order of the rainbow colours. I know, quite weird. 
    • Find your productive time. We all study best at different times - so whereas I get most things done in the morning person, others might be night owls. Just try studying at different times of the day and keep track of when you get most stuff done. When you ultimately find your “productive time“, always try to do your studying then as it will be easier and quicker. 
    • Make sure it is bright and light. When the lighting in the place I am studying at is dimm and dark I often can’t concentrate, I get tired and I get a headache. Make sure your place has good lighting - I love to study in front of a big window. 

    I really hope that this little guide can simplify and optimise your studying process during the semester and acts as a little motivation. However, I have to admit that I think that ultimately there is no trick, hack or tip that can replace the honest and true ambition to learn. I think that I study so well, not necessarily because of my strategy or my habits, but because of my will, endurance and high standards I demand of me. 

    So wanna know the real secret for succeeding in university? Stop doing sh*t you hate.


    Wise words by the one and only. 

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    My university study routine during the semester

    4 Healthy Habits of Successful University Students

    27/01/2017

    “Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It is called balance.“



    Just as every other person I set myself some new years resolutions mainly focussing on my health, well-being and career. For me personally, it doesn’t make any sense to change my habits drastically from one day to another as I just can’t stick to them, which is why I am slowly starting to integrate a few simple, easy and healthy habits. I know that they aren’t revolutionary or unique in any way, however I still think that those are really beneficial on helping me to be happier and healthier on a daily basis.

     Budget your money
     I recently decided to sit down and create an overview over my monthly budget, necessary spendings (rent, gym, phone, laundry) and what I need/want to do with the rest (food, leisure, savings) as I felt like I was constantly out of money although I did not even spend much on anything else than food. However, writing everything down I realised how much money I actually have to spend regularly (f.e. for rent - which is beyond overpriced here in Aberdeen) resulting in me not having much left for food or leisure. In order to be able to start saving for travel and being able to afford clothing without feeling guilty I especially felt the need to budget my grocery spendings, because this is where I spend most of my “leftover“ money (monthly budget minus necessary spendings). And this is really what creating an overview over your spendings does - it helps you realise what you need to spend on, what you don’t need to spend on and what you actually do spend on.
      Cachuma-Lake-Santa-Barbara-California
    Cheap Student Meal Prep

    Do Meal Prepping 
    With me so far spending £70 on food weekly (!) I decided to start meal prepping my meals in order to save money when buying groceries. Not only is this time-saving and healthy but also does it save me tons of money as I’m (hopefully) not tempted to buy extra bibs and bobs for my meals. I decided on going grocery shopping (mostly to Lidl and Asda as it’s the most affordable) and doing meal prepping on Wednesdays and Sundays - on Sunday I meal prep for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; on Wednesdays I meal prep for Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and Sunday will be my funday (Mac n Cheese Galore). I have a whole Pinterest board on healthy and yummy recipes where I will most likely find inspiration for my meal prep - so feel free to check it out and follow.
      Notebooks-colourful-journaling-health-fitness-sharpies-rainbow-flowers

    Start a gratitude journal 
    Having always admired people who journal on a daily basis and with me being a big sucker for cute stationery I chose one of my new years resolutions to be about starting a gratitude journal. I found 2 adorable rainbow-coloured notebooks in the John Lewis sale for £ 3,50 (John Lewis seriously has the cutest stationary - click *here* for similar notebooks) and with my goal in mind I couldn’t resist getting them. Honestly, I didn’t really do much research into journaling beside watching a Youtube video here and there so I just decided to go for it. So now, every morning I write down 5 things I am grateful for like f.e. my parents, my friends, my organised room, my mermaid blanket or my new flowers - genuinely anything that comes to my mind at that very moment. My goal with this is whenever I have a bad day, some sad thoughts or suffer homesickness (which unfortunately happened quite a lot recently) I can flick through my gratitude journal and realise how happy I should be considering the many things I can be grateful for. 

      Santa-Cruz-Coast-Summer-California

    Keep track of your fitness progress 
    Almost everyone sets themselves a health related goal for the new year, which I did as well by getting a gym membership and deciding to eat in more conscious and healthy way. What really helps me here is writing down everything from what I eat to what exercises I do and when I meal prep in my other rainbow coloured journal from John Lewis. For a little bit of creativity I use this notebook as a bullet journal, which basically means that I design the layout, charts or whatever I want in it myself - it’s quite fun if you like drawing and doodling. To keep track of my foods in terms of calories and nutrients I use the free app “myfitnesspal“ which is super convenient as it has a bar code scanner and you can adjust the size of servings easily. When you first get the app you simply type in your current weight and height, your goal weight and how much you exercise/move on a daily basis - and the app calculates your daily calorie requirement. With the app being on your phone you will most likely have it with you wherever you are so even if you are out and about you can conveniently keep track of your food. 

    I also wrote a post about having an efficient study routine in university!

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