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life

Life

Hard times, gonna make you wonder why you even try

April 20, 2017

Waves at Llangrannog

I’m pretty sure most bloggers can relate to feeling like they’ve got nothing to say and the frustration you feel because you  enjoy blogging and you want to say something, but have no idea what. 

A few weeks ago, I was feeling really positive and had a load of ideas but this week I find myself wondering what I have to say at the moment. I know it’s a temporary feeling that will pass with time; I’m just frustrated by a situation I’m seeing a close family member go through and a load of anxiety and nerves brought on by masters applications and waiting and waiting and waiting. It feels a little bit like living in limbo; if we are moving away, we need to know so we can prepare because August is not that far away really, and if not I need to figure out what to do next.

I feel like this is all a load of pointless rambling but it helps to get it down or to talk about it sometimes. What has been helping a lot though is Paramore’s new single Hard Times. I am hooked on it; it makes me want to dance badly in my car, which I promise I will not actually do.

For me, the lyrics have come at the right time; it’s kind of a variation on “this too shall pass”.

How is life with you right now?

Life

I am a chronic phone checker

April 13, 2017

Lake Minnewanka, Banff

This is not a post where I’m going to denounce technology and social media, or say that it’s everything that’s wrong with the world, because it’s not. I find it very useful in moderation; my problem is I’m not very good at the moderation part.

I’ve noticed recently that I really struggle with doing nothing. If I’m waiting for someone, I have to get my phone out; for no real reason. I just aimlessly scroll through Facebook and think “well, this is all a load of rubbish.” I can’t just be.

Since the start of the year, I’ve regularly being going to yoga (yeah, this is the bit where I get all “hippy dippy”) and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about just being present; one of the main things being that I’m not actually very good at it.

I’m not giving up social media at all, but I am making a conscious effort to stop checking my phone every two minutes. I mean, phones are pretty good at notifications so if someone has sent me a message I could just wait for that rather than checking Whatsapp or Messenger “just in case”. Ironically, my social media checking has recently turned into constant email checking as I want for universities to get back to me about my masters course applications.

How do you feel about your relationship with your phone & social media?

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Life, Photography, UK

Going up the Wrekin / aka how unfit I am

April 11, 2017

View from the top of the Wrekin

In the Midlands, we have this saying "going around the Wrekin" which we use when someone is doing something a really long way, or if someone is rambling and taking forever to get to the point. It's based on a hill in Shropshire, called the wrekin, which provides amazing 360 views across the area.

Last Wednesday, the weather was looking pretty good and we decided it seemed almost criminal to stay indoors, especially now that my dissertation is done and I don't need to spend all day staring at a screen. We've recently been joking that we need to practice climbing hills and mountains because of all the hikes we want to do in Canada, so the Wrekin seemed like a good place to start.

This way or that way sign post
The summit of The Wrekin
View from the top of the wrekin
Don't get me wrong, at 407 metres high it is hardly Snowdon but I felt so incredibly unfit. My state of fitness (or rather absolute unfitness) is not a joke now; if I want to tackle some Canadian mountains I need to do some exercise because Daz says he won't be giving me a piggyback.

The climb up is fairly steep and took my breath away pretty quickly indeed. In about five minutes I was wishing I could transport into the bodies of all the happy excited looking dogs that were running up the hill.

The view from the top was well worth it though. I have always felt there is something really calming about being up a hill, a mountain, or even a building, and enjoying the view around you. Everything seems literally and figuratively small. Interestingly, there are also a lot of Pokemon up the wrekin so, y'know...Pokenerds, go! (Yes I am still playing it.)

The view over Shropshire from the top of the Wrekin

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The view from the Wrekin

The top of the Wrekin

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I'm trying out a different style for the format of blog posts, doing away with the sidebar and trying out different styles with the images. I've seen it on a couple of blogs recently and it's a style I really like in posts which have a lot of photos; what do you think though? You're my readers, do you like it? Is it a pain to find the copy amongst all the images?

Life, University

I did it; my dissertation has been handed in!

April 6, 2017

Dissertation

Any third year / former university student will know how good it feels to say “I handed my dissertation in.” To paraphrase about 80% of young adult books released a few years back, “when I handed it in, I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding in.” (Why did anyone thing that was a good phrase, seriously?!)

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the challenge; I reveled in it. I actually looked forward to writing my dissertation because if there is one thing I enjoy doing, it’s research and then writing 10,000 words about it. And also analysing where I messed up because I am always analysing where I messed up. Heck, I have had 24 years practice at consistently analysing everything I do, so I figured writing a dissertation would be pretty fun. And it was. I truly enjoyed it. I’m hoping all my hard work paid off because I honestly did my best. If there was something else I should have done I do not know what it was, so here’s hoping.

Also, if anyone wants to know anything about nitrogen and pH of gravesoil, I am a walking-talking bank of knowledge about that stuff. I want to see it come up as a question on Pointless.

Writing my dissertation has taken up the majority of my time since the end of January really so it is nice to relieve the pressure a little and not feel guilty about having a day off and doing nothing. Hopefully, I will get that duvet day I was longing for a few weeks ago, but I doubt it will happen before May.

It’s not like I have nothing to do; I’ve got a couple of presentations to do, an exam to revise for, emails to check 300 times a day hoping a university has made a decision about my masters, and just be.

This week has been pretty relaxed so far. I have done a bit of university work but there’s not rush so I’m not putting pressure on myself and that’s pretty much how I want to rest of the semester to go. I’ve done a bit of reading too (hallelujah!); I’m currently reading Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World by Kevin Bales; it is pretty horrifying and eye-opening, and I will definitely be doing a review or roundup of horrible facts I have learned as a result of reading it.

How has life been for you recently?

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Life, Share The Love

Share The Love | March 2017 Edition

March 30, 2017

Share The Love March 2017 Edition

March’s edition of share the love is a week earlier than I would normally do it but next Thursday I will be raving about how happy I am that my dissertation has been handed in!

My dissertation hand in date is next Monday so March has obviously been filled with a lot of work, and playing LEGO games on the Playstation with Daz as a way to chill out. Also, my furry little kitty cat moved in with us this month because he was missing me too much. I thought he would prefer to stay at my Mum’s because there’s loads of open space at the back of her house but there isn’t much here in comparison. He missed me too much though and we’re super happy to have him living with us / taking over the sofa.

 

BLOG – Not So Quiet Grrl

I feel like Nadia’s blog is exactly what I want to read at the moment. Not So Quiet Grrl covers being cruelty free, vegan, minimalism and her adventures into becoming zero waste. Her photos are stunning but what I love most of all is the way she writes because it feels like you’re having a conversation with her.

My favourite recent blog post of hers is about being a vegan advocate, but not one people back away from for fear they’ll be abused for their dietary choices, but one of education, encouragement and, most importantly, no judgement. I thought that blog post was a breath of fresh air and what some people could do with understanding. I get that people are passionate about things they believe in but making people feel bad that they’re not trying hard enough isn’t fair when everyone’s journey is personal and everyone has their own hurdles to jump.

 

LINKS

 

LISTENING TO

I went to see All Time Low earlier this month so they’ve featured heavily in this month’s playlist (I am loving their new stuff), along with Lindsay Ell. I saw Lindsay support The Band Perry about three years ago (I wrote about that here) and I am so excited that she’s finally put an EP out. If you’re missing Taylor Swift’s country-pop then I really think Lindsay can do a great job of filling that gap. Listen to Criminal and tell me it doesn’t sound like it fits in perfectly with Red. I dare you.

 

WATCHING / PLAYING

I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix last weekend and really enjoyed it. If you want to find out more about minimalism, it’s a great starting point. Mostly, we’ve been playing LEGO Jurassic Park and Harry Potter this month.

 

POPULAR POSTS ON GIRL IN AWE IN MARCH

 

How was March for you? Feel free to share links ๐Ÿ™‚

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Life, Share The Love

Share The Love | February 2017 edition

March 9, 2017

Share The Love February 2017 edition

I’m a week late, sorry! Last week I was so wrapped up in writing a huge chunk of my dissertation that the week flew by and I completely forgot to finish this post off.

University work was the overwhelming theme for February really; I’ve finished my practical work off now so it’s just a case of the write up now. Is it really sad to admit that I have looked forward to writing my dissertation for so long? The great thing about doing NaNoWriMo for the past few years is that 10,000 words is absolutely nothing at all in comparison to writing 50,000 in a month.

It wasn’t all university work though, I managed to find a fairly good work/life balance for most of the month, which was nice. I took a trip to the Natural History Museum with university, and it took me all of 10 seconds to remember why I hate busy cities. February also saw Pancake Day and Daz made some delicious and excellent pancakes, and I discovered I am not a very good tosser; at least that’s what my Nan told me anyway.

Pokemon Go also released Gen 2 pokemon in February, so Daz and I have been getting out a bit more trying to hunt down some Gen 2 that isn’t Swinub (our town is just Swinub and Drowzees…), and I’ve been trying to catch some things he doesn’t have (which is hard, because he plays it all the time) to try and make myself feel marginally better about the fact he is way ahead of me.

 

BLOG: Brittany Thiessen

I discovered Britanny’s blog just before Christmas and every time I see one of her posts, I know I’m in for a good read that’s going to leave me full of wanderlust. As a Canadian, she’s got a lot of posts about Canada (which I love!), she’s currently documenting her trip to Guatemala (and now I want to go), and she also talks about veganism, and traveling and living sustainably. One of my favourite blog posts she’s written recently is about what she’s learned after eating vegan for a month.

If you want to read a travel and sustainability blog, you really can’t go wrong with Brittany’s blog.

 

BLOG POSTS

As always, I like to share a handful of blog posts I’ve read during the month that I really enjoyed.

 

LISTENING TO

I created a new playlist in February, so it’s been a mixture of Green Day, All Time Low, Paramore, old school Avril Lavigne, PVRIS, Fall Out Boy, oh and Lorde’s new single. I’ve obviously heard music from her first album but it didn’t ever hook me, but I am loving Green Light; I suspect it’s because of the quite clear T-Swift 1989 vibes.

 

WATCHING / PLAYING

In February we started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, and watched a lot of Pokemon. We’ve also got a serious problem with the LEGO games and I’m hooked on LEGO Jurassic Park at the moment.

 

POPULAR POSTS ON GIRL IN AWE IN FEBRUARY

How was February for you? What have you been up to lately?

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Life, Travel

I cannot deal with big cities

February 23, 2017

Natural History Museum London

Last week, I went down to London with my university for a trip to the Natural History Museum and was quickly reminded why I do not like London; it. is. too. busy.

That’s not to say I’m not a city person at all because I’ve visited and loved some beautiful cities, like Edinburgh, Reykjavik, and Stockholm. What I can’t deal with is cities with people everywhere.

Honestly, we got off the coach and in approximately 10 seconds there were far too many people for my liking. I hate that feeling of being surrounded by people and having to bustle your way through crowds, and get touched by strangers, eww. That’s not my thing at all and makes me feel claustrophobic and a bit panicky.

Cities I do like feel kinda half empty. They might be geographically big or small, but you can walk down the street without walking into people and can easily stop and take in your surroundings, without feeling like you’re in someone’s way.

A good rule of thumb for me is kinda like how teachers used to tell you to space out during PE lessons in primary school; if you hold your arms out and you’re touching someone, you’re too close. If I can (mentally, obviously because actually doing it would look weird…) put my arms out and not hit a stranger, we’re good; there’s enough room here and I’ll like it.

Ideally, I would move to the edge of a lake, at the foot of a mountain, and live in a cabin with my only neighbours being deer, moose, and the odd bear. I know, I might have to forgo Domino’s delivery, but I think I could deal with that.

What about you? Do you like busy cities?

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Food, Life

Ok, I’m a very bad vegan. So what?

February 9, 2017

One of the funny things about choosing a ‘restrictive’ diet, rather than having to due to health reasons, is that everyone is always trying to catch you out.

Anyone who has chosen to be vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free, etc, will know exactly what I mean. Because you’ve made a decision to do something due to moral reasons, everyone wants to call you out. And maybe that’s their prerogative.

I am a bad vegan. A very bad vegan. I admit it. In fact, it’s probably a stretch for me to call myself vegan at this point. But I’m trying.

There are some things that were so easy for me to give up;

  • Milk; it grosses me out, a lot. The thought of it makes me want to gag.
  • Cream; see above.
  • Eggs; they also gross me out. Easy.
  • Leather; never liked it, not even a problem.
  • Meat; can’t stand it.
  • Non-cruelty free cosmetics; I don’t want something to suffer for the sake of lipstick.

But there is one thing, that I find a lot harder to give up; cheese. It’s a very poor excuse, but I love the taste of a nice strong cheese. I know. I wish I could find a vegan alternative that melted just like real cheese.

And then there’s the whole trying to eat out. I know that in some cities (like San Francisco) eating vegan is a piece of delicious pie, but I don’t live in a city. I live in an area where an eatery’s idea of vegetarian is…*drumroll please*…can you guess it? TOMATO PASTA! *Groans* So many places like to be adventurous with their dishes, until it comes to vegetarian or vegan or gluten free, and then they panic.

I digress. Eating out is hard, but there are a few chain restaurants now where I can eat vegan, like Nando’s or The Handmade Burger Company.

And then there’s dessert. I bloody love dessert. It’s my favourite part of a meal. And my boyfriend is a pastry chef; which means I get a lot of dessert. Do you think any of that is vegan? No. No it is not.

Sure, I could not eat it, but you try one of his peanut butter chocolate fondants and tell me it’s not amazing.

Yes, I am a bad vegan. But I am trying.