Sunday, 22 January 2017

Unibox Subscription Review



Hey guys!


I'm sure every student feels lonely at some point during their three (or four) years at uni, and I know just the thing to cheer them up. 'What's that?' I hear you ask. A care package. Everyone deserves a treat once in a while, and receiving a box of goodies can really brighten up someone's day. Uni in particular can be stressful, so a care package can take your mind off your work and give you something to look forward to.


I was recently perusing Naomi's blog and stumbled upon her review of Unibox. It sounded like a really good idea so I headed over to the website to check it out for myself. Luckily, Unibox was doing an offer (unfortunately it expired a few days ago) so I only had to pay a few pounds delivery for my box.

So what is Unibox?

Unibox is one of the few subscription boxes that cater for students at uni. As mentioned on the website, Unibox was designed to help parents, friends and relatives pick something to send their loved ones while they're away from home. Like most subscription boxes, the contents of Unibox are completely random, but they contain a selection of healthy snacks, a gift card, and a mini magazine.

My Thoughts and Unibox Contents



Teapigs Popcorn Tea: This product may sound slightly strange, but I think it's a fun idea too. It's different to other flavoured tea and would make a nice drink to relax with after a long day of lectures and seminars.


Spare Fruit Apple Crisps: I'm looking forward to trying these as I absolutely love apple crisps. They're a tasty alternative to your standard salt & vinegar / cheese & onion crisps, and are made from whole apples.


Voost Calcium + Vitamin C Effervescent Tablets: Effervescent tablets are perfect for students who are prone to coughs and colds and don't eat much fruit and veg. I like most orange tablets - except Berocca - so I'm sure these will be good.


Nomnom Proper Welsh Chocolate Honeycomb: I know a lot of people aren't really keen on honeycomb (why?!), but I personally love it. The fact that this product comes with chocolate is even better!


Purition Protein Shake sachets x2: Protein shakes aren't really something I'd normally use but I like the flavours. They're 100% natural too.

Now onto the non-food items...


Bubble Off room spray: With Tonka bean and lime scent. Room sprays are ideal for hiding nasty odours that plague student accommodation.

The box also includes a card holder, a £20 Teech voucher, a mini magazine (with recipes for Bean Chilli and French Toast, which are written by students), and an article with some advice for students), and a personalised card.


Pros: Good selection of products and all of a decent size too. Can cancel your subscription any time. Efficient delivery.

Cons: £22-24 is quite expensive for students, but maybe not so if it's a gift from family? The products in the box are random so you might receive something you're not keen on.


Sounds great, how do I sign up?

Subscribing to Unibox is easy. Simply click on the 'Order here' header on their website and a list of different subscriptions will appear. You can choose from the following:

Monthly Subscription: £24/box, one every month. Free shipping.
3 months pre-pay: You'll receive one Unibox per month for 3 months and each costs £23.98.
6 months pre-pay: Similar to 3 months pre-pay, but for 6 months and the boxes will cost £22.50.

You'll receive your box halfway through the month and there are non boxes during the summer hols - ideal if you're working abroad as an au pair or volunteer, or are helping out at a summer camp.


Overall, I think Unibox is such a great idea and I was very pleased with the products I received. I'd recommend it to students or anyone who likes a surprise in their letterbox.


Let me know if you decide to try Unibox!


Hasta luego!


Serena

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Why You Should Start a Blog


Hey guys!


I've now been blogging at Ramblings of Another Uni Student for over two years and a half, and I don't regret it at all! Blogging has been so much fun and I've ben able to attend some really amazing events, as well as meet some awesome bloggers. Although there are some days when I lack inspo and don't feel like blogging, I feel that keeping a blog has really improved my writing skills. I'd definitely recommend starting a blog, especially if you want to work in journalism, PR or design. There are so many benefits of blogging, which I will list below:


1. You'll have a place to voice your opinion - A blog is your own corner of the web, where you can post about things close to your heart. It can be heard to make people listen to you, but your blog will enable you to do exactly that. You can literally post about anything you like on your blog, and you can always make it anonymous if you want to write about something controversial or embarrassing.


2. You'll develop new skills - Keeping a blog can help you gain new skills which will help you in your current or future career. Time management, organisation, proofreading, HTML and hosting are some examples. Many bloggers, myself included, only blog part-time, so we have to juggle it with other commitments, for example school, work and university. A lot of work goes into a blog, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be for people with a full-time job.


3. You'll meet new people - Contrary to what some people believe, blogging doesn't just mean sitting at home and posting once or twice a week. You actually have to go out and interact with other people. When you've been blogging for a while, you'll have the opportunity to attend events (which may include product launches, premieres and holidays if you're lucky) and work with brands. My blog may be small, but I've had the chance to work with a few brands, for example PureChimp and Teatu. Of course, getting freebies isn't the sole purpose of blogging - it's more of a perk - and it does take a while to get there.


4. You'll become more familiar with social media - Social media has recently taken over the online world and many brands and companies are choosing to move online. As a blogger, promotion is key, since it will build up your readership. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential for this. Businesses also use these platforms to bring in new customers and clients, so being a social media whizz will help you when applying for jobs.


5. You'll build up a portfolio - This can be useful when applying for jobs in journalism and design. A portfolio is used to showcase your best work, and will give employers a taste of what your writing or art skills are like. Many bloggers choose to include links to published work on other websites on their blog.


6. You'll become an expert at SEO - A.K.A. Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is so important for marketing your brand and making sure your blog comes up high in Google Search.


7. You'll become an expert about a particular topic - Though this does depend on what type of blogger you are.


8. You'll be better at photography - Any blogger knows how important photography is when maintaining a blog. It requires a high level of creativity and it takes a while to get that perfect image to use in your blog or feature on your Instagram page.


9. It's a productive hobby - and one you can definitely add to your CV. Well, maybe not for finance jobs...


10. You can even make money - thanks to AdSense, affiliate programmes and sponsored content. Your blog may also help you get other freelance work.


Why did you start your blog? What skills do you think it has given you?


Hasta luego!


Serena

Friday, 13 January 2017

8 Hopes for the PLL Final

Hey guys!
I don't know about you, but I am really looking forward to watching Pretty Little Liars when it returns to our screens in April. I know the show has been dragging on a bit, and it's really unrealistic, but it's still one of my favourite TV shows (along with Gilmore Girls, Full House, Waterloo Road and Gossip Girl). I love the relationship between the girls and their love interests, as well as all the drama and suspense. I also can't wait to finally get some answers - we all know how disappointing the 'Cece is Charles' reveal was. Here are some of the things I hope will happen in the last ever episodes of PLL:
1. The parents reappear.
Seriously, where are the girls' parents?! They have been absent from the show for too long! I hope at least some of them make an appearance in Season 7B. I'd particularly like to see Emily's mum or Aria's parents.
2. Mike returns
I know Cody Christian has been busy with Teen Wolf, but I'd really like to see him on PLL again. Mike was always such a shady character, so he must have something to do with Uber A. Also, if they changed the actor who plays Toby, they could've done the same with Mike.
3. We see the classroom scene from the trailers.
Erm, this needs to happen! I've been waiting for this scene for months, and judging by the comments on the PLL Facebook page, I'm not the only one. I'm curious as to who the 'he' is. It's got to be Uber A...right?!
4. Cece's father is revealed.
Do Cece and Spencer have the same father? The whole Drake / DiLaurentis / Hastings family tree needs explaining during 7B - it is so confusing and messed up!
5. There's a PLL wedding.
Back in May, Marlene announced that there will be a wedding in Season 7. Since this didn't happen in 7A, there's a very high chance it'll happen in 7B instead. I really really hope there's a PLL wedding, preferably between Spencer and Toby. I know Toby is married to Yvonne, but I feel like she won't make the car crash that happened at the end of 7A (BTW, was it caused by A or..?) and Spoby will finally be reunited. If things don't work out between Spencer and Toby, it would be great if there was a Haleb wedding. An Emily and Paige wedding would be cute too. This brings me onto #6...
6. Emily and Paige end up together (again).
Okay, so I know a lot of fans are #TeamEmison, but I personally prefer Emily with Paige. They make such a cute couple, and TBH I like Paige more than Alison. Emily and Paige have had their ups and downs, but I think they'd be really happy together.
7. Someone unexpected returns.
Marlene's already announced that Wren will return in 7B, but imagine if Maya, Ian or Darren returned too?! That would make such a good twist! Also, I think we need some answers about Bethany Young and Archer Dunhill too.
8. We find out who Uber A is.
This is the biggest question of PLL, and the series won't be complete unless we find ou who Uber A is. My bets are on Wren (why else would he be returning?!), Lucas and Jason, although Ezra and Caleb are possibilities too. It seems like Uber A will either be a Drake and DiLaurentis, but it's possible that one of these characters is somehow related to one of the families. I just hope Uber A isn't one of the Liars or someone completely obscure. And I'm pretty sure Cece and Mona were both working for Uber A.
What do you hope happens in the last episodes of PLL? Who do you think is Uber A? Let me know in the comments!
Hasta luego!
Serena

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Bloggers to Follow in 2017



Hey guys!
One of the best things about blogging is the community. We always try to support each other and look out for each other. Unfortunately, this can be used negatively. If you've been following Twitter recently, you'll be aware of all the drama that went on at the end of last week. It caused friction in the blogging world and several bloggers resorted to bullying in the process. While it's good to stick together, we shouldn't bring others down. It's important to remember that there are some amazing bloggers out there, who inspire the rest of us and don't get involved in all of the drama. Here are some of the bloggers you should follow this year:
Vix Meldrew is known as the 'dating guru' of the blogging world, and the fact that she was featured in Blogosphere Magazine recently just shows how successful she is. Her posts are so funny and relatable, as well as honest.
With her girl-next-door vibes, it's no wonder Brogan is a multi-award-winning blogger. Oh, and did I mention she's a vlogger too?! This girl is seriously talented! If you haven't already checked out her blog and YouTube, I suggest you do so now!
I previously expressed my love for Jordan's blog in my Blogs I Love #2 post. She is undeniably one of the queens of blogging! I adore her style and her writing is beautiful! The pics on her blog are absolutely amazing too!
I love Beth's makeup tutorials. Her looks are so unique and creative. Defo check out Beth's Instagram, especially if you need some new makeup inspo.
I discovered Megan's blog almost a year ago while scrolling through Twitter and it has since become one of the blogs I visit on a regular basis. Megan is down to earth and her posts are full of positivity. I always enjoy reading her blog.
Poppies in October is another blog you should follow in 2017. Erin is so adorable and I love her posts about Gilmore Girls. This is definitely a blog to watch in 2017.
I'm sure you've heard of Jemma Dorkface. Her blog is ABSOLUTE GOALS! It's so aesthetically pleasing and she does some amazing designs over on Etsy.
If you're ever in London and need somewhere for brunch or afternoon tea, head over to Poppy Loves for some ideas. You won't be disappointed. Her blog is full of pics of delicious cakes and other mouth-watering food. Poppy also writes about music, art and home. It's basically like an online magazine.
Other bloggers worth mentioning are Kayleigh Zara, Cattitude and CoSophie Rosie, See the Stars, Becca Jayne and Carpe Diem Emmie. And if you need some smaller bloggers to follow, I'd recommend checking out Food and Baker, Emilyy Becca, Martha Jane Edwards, Simply Abbi, Naomi Rowan and Me, Cupcakes and Tea.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and have discovered some truly amazing new bloggers to follow in 2017! Let me know if there are any other bloggers you'd recommend!
Hasta luego!
Serena

Friday, 6 January 2017

My Goals For 2017



Hey guys!
I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but I thought I'd do something a bit different this year and share my main goals for the next 12 months. I'm not going to set myself anything too ambitious (like going to America or reaching 1,000,000 followers on Twitter - we all know those two things aren't going to happen for years), since I'll just end up feeling disappointed if I don't achieve them.
1. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week
And actually use the gym itself, not just the swimming pool! I also need to exercise for longer - I have a habit of going swimming near lunchtime or when I need to be somewhere after, so I don't get much time to use the facilities.
2. Read 45 books
I don't know what I was thinking when I set myself the challenge of reading 45 books last year! However, I'm determined to reach that target in 2017, and I feel like it's more likely this year since I'm no longer in full time education and I'm only working a couple of days a week at the moment. I'll be posting a list of all the books I want to read this year over at A Secret Book Lover. I was going to post it yesterday but unfortunately I wasn't feeling well.
3. Visit my friends abroad
I have a few friends dotted around Europe so I defo need to try to visit them this year, preferably before Summer in the City! They always come to London so it'll be nice to see where they live for a change.
4. Bake more
I'd really like to become better at baking. I'm not very good at making anything involving flour! I can never get the mixture right!
5. Post more regularly on my book blog
I rarely seem to post on A Secret Book Lover so I really need to up this to at least once a week this year. I have a few ideas lined up, and I'll hopefully be posting tomorrow and next Thursday.
6. Write more articles
I signed up to Huffington Post several months ago but I've only posted 3 articles so far. I also write for WeekendNotes and I haven't posted anything there for a while either, even though I have plenty of ideas!
7. Reach 2,000 followers on Twitter
I know followers aren't everything, but I so happy when I surpassed 1,000 Twitter followers in 2016! I don't even have half that on Facebook and Instagram! It would be amazing if I reach 2,000 by the end of this year (though I know it's really unlikely)! Help me out by checking out my Twitter page!
8. Catch up with old friends
I absolutely hate drifting away from old friends. I miss some of them so much! If I could see at least one or two this year that would be great!
9. Improve my blog photography game
Don't we all want photos like Rihanna, Jordan and Josie?! Their pics are AMAZING! At the moment, my non-blog photos are better than my blog photos! I wish I could become an expert over night!
10. Join a local choir
Choir is one of the things I miss most about uni, and I really want to join one in London. I need to find one A.S.A.P as term's already started!
11. Go to more blogging events
At least one a month would be brill. I love meeting other bloggers!
12. Watch some of the films I've been meaning to watch for YEARS
E.g. The Runaways, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Submarine, My Girl, Charlie's Angels, Honey and Sister Act. Seriously can't believe I still haven't seen any of these!
So those are some of my aims for this year! I'd also like to reach 800-1000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, move my blog to self-hosted (which I already started doing this morning), work with more brands (it's my dream to work with The Body Shop and Funkin Cocktails, and attend things like book launches), and participate in more blog chats on Twitter (one of the best ways to get blogging tips and meet new bloggers). What are your goals for 2017?
Hasta luego!
Serena

Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 in Review



Hey guys!
 
 
I know everyone keeps saying that this year has been awful, but it really wasn't that bad. There were some good things that happened in 2016, and to be honest, 2015 was worse for me personally. In 2016, child mortality rates have decreased all over the world, and animals such as tigers and pandas are no longer endangered. Busted returned and Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar for Best Actor, which he has deserved for a long, long time. And Gilmore Girls returned for the revival in November. On a more personal level, I graduated from uni, attended 5 blogging events, and was offered my first sponsored post (and I've had a few since).




Some great films have also been released this year. My favourites include The Fundamentals of Caring, Bridget Jones's Diary, Finding Dory, Hunt For the Wilderpeople, The Jungle Book, Me Before You, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Allegiant and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - it really was fantastic (sorry!)! Of course, there are a load of other great films released in 2016 that I didn't get the chance to watch: Doctor Strange, Moana, The Huntsman: Winter's War and A Street Cat Named Bob (I was supposed to see this with my mum, but for some reason it didn't happen). In terms of films released in other years, I really enjoyed Labyrinth, Edward Scissorhands, A Princess For Christmas, Brooklyn, Last Chance Holiday, The Book Thief, The Breakfast Club, Innocence and A Girl Like Her.
 


 
I managed to read 24 books this year, which isn't quite as many as I'd planned to - for some reason, I set myself the target of reading 45 books. Unfortunately, I had to write a 10,000 word dissertation and fill out SO many job applications this year, so it was difficult to find the time to read for pleasure. However, the majority of the books were read between May and December, so it's still quite an achievement! Let's hope I'll read 45 books in 2017! My fave books that I've read in 2016 are Longbourn, Brooklyn, Black Rabbit Hall, Isla and the Happily Ever After, The Ice Cream Girls, The Girl On the Train, Easy, Me Before You, The Other Boleyn Girl and All the Bright Places.
 
 
Onto TV... 


 
2016 was also a good year for TV. I FINALLY got round to watching Gilmore Girls and Full House, and they are both so so so amazing! Michelle Tanner is adorable and I'd love to live in Stars Hollow! I also watched Jane the Virgin, which is hilarious but completely ridiculous! I still need to watch Stranger Things and finish the first season of Shadowhunters, but I don't think I'll be able to any time soon when I have to catch up on Jane the Virgin (Season 3), Once Upon a Time (6 episodes of Season 6), Scream Queens (all of Season 2), Switched at Birth (5 seasons), and Full House (37 more episodes). And of course PLL returns in April (why can't PLL return in Jan and Switched at Birth in April?!).
 
 
So what am I looking forward to in 2017?



 
Well, there are a lot of exciting things happening in 2017, not just the return of PLL! I'll be attending my first proper wedding in July and I'm going to be photographing the event! I'll also be heading to BlogCon in March, and hopefully a few other blogging events in January and February! In August my European friends will hopefully be visiting London for our yearly Summer in the City gathering! There are plenty of films I'm excited to see in 2017 too. The main ones are Before I Fall, The Space Between Us, A Dog's Purpose, Pitch Perfect 3, Beauty and the Beast and Everything, Everything. I might be a qualified driver by this time next year too!
 
 
 
What did you enjoy most this year? Is there anything you're looking forward to in 2017? :)


Hasta luego!


Serena 
 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Tune Tuesday: Ultimate Playlist 2016



Hey guys!
 
 
Hope you all had a great Christmas! As it's nearly 2017, I thought I'd dedicate my last Tune Tuesday post to my favourite songs of the year. There have been so many great songs this year and I've discovered many new artists, including Alessia Cara, Twenty One Pilots, DNCE, Chvrches and Daya.
 
 
1. Bury It -  Chvrches & Hayley Williams
 
2. Don't Let Me Down - Daya & The Chainsmokers
 
3. Lady Gaga - Million Reasons
 
4. Ariana Grande - Focus
 
5. Lost Boy - Ruth B
 
6. Here - Alessia Cara
 
7. Scars to Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara
 
8. Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
 
9. Cake By the Ocean - DNCE
 
10. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes
 
11. Starving - Hailee Stenfield & Zedd
 
12. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth & Selena Gomez
 
13. Still Falling For You - Ellie Goulding
 
14. Cheap Thrills - Sia
 
15. The Greatest - Sia
 
16. Wiser - Madilyn Bailey
 
17. Back to Church - Alyson Stoner
 
18. Let Me Love You - Justin Bieber
 
19. Close - Nick Jonas & Tove Lo
 
20.  Closer - The Chainsmokers & Halsey
 
21. Running With the Wild Things - Against the Currents
 
22. Heathens - Twenty One Pilots
 
23. Ride - Twenty One Pilots
 
24. Stressed Out - Twenty One Pilots  
 
 
(I know the last two were released in 2015 but I only discovered them this year)
 
 
Be sure to add these tracks to your New Year's Eve playlist! What are your favourite songs from this year?
 
 
Hasta luego!
 
 
Serena