Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Helping With Exam Stress/Things To Help You Relax

With March coming to a close, and April just a day away, I know for a lot of people this will come with the realisation that exams are just over a month away. I am lucky in the fact that my university course is solely coursework based, so I won't have to do any exams for the next three years, (and hopefully the rest of my life too!), but I vividly remember the horrible anxious feeling of looming exams during both GCSE's, and then with my A-Level's last year. For this reason I thought I would do a small post on helping to cope with the stress during exam season, with a few examples of  what I do to relax when I've got deadlines or exams.

    People always say that an organised work space means an organised mind, and therefore improves your work ethic and working methods. And I have to agree with this point. Trust me, I know better than anyone what a pain it is to have to tidy your room/desk, but if you set aside a few hours during this Easter break you can tidy it all up, sort out your working space and then begin working in that space straight away.  A tidy work space will make spreading out all your revision notes much simpler and will seem less chaotic- plus, although this sounds pretty strange, I always find working on a tidy desk much calmer- anyone else have that?!
    This will help immensely! Yes it's a pain, but this will seriously help relieve your stress as the weeks go on and make revision seem less daunting- the more you put off revision, the scarier it gets.  At first, just going over what you've learnt in the past week's lessons on the weekend will help, and then later dedicate a bit of time to each subject, until finally revision is all you have left to do to prepare for exams.
    This is definitely so important when revising- it is not healthy to be continually revising all day everyday.  Also, don't feel guilty or get stressed if you have a day or two off, in a way it'll give you a fresh mind to start the revision up again after having that little break.
    Doing something social every week or so will help to take you mind off of all that stresses you out. Friends and family are there to support you too, so if you wanted someone to share your worries with, they are the ones to go to, your friends will most likely be feeling the same, and you family will have experienced similar in their life and can give you advice. Going to a club or doing a sport could be another way of getting out and socialising with friends, plus you'll be doing an activity to distract yourself.
    Again, this will make a significant difference during this intense time. Personally, I know I have to have at least 8 hours sleep to be able to function properly, so during exam time last year I made sure I went up and got ready for bed at 8:30pm so that I was in bed for 9pm. his meant I could do a bit more reading of revision notes before turning the light off at 10/10:30pm, which would give me the amount of sleep I needed for when I got up at 6:30am (which is the time I had to get up to get to school on time!!).
  6. HEALTHY EATING:This is said to work to help reduce stress levels and put your mind in a better place. however, in all honesty I don't think I kept tabs on what I ate that much during my A-Level exam period.  I did, however, make sure that the evening before an exam I ate a good healthy meal with lots of veg and 'brain-food', as my Mum liked to call it. I also made sure that on the morning of an exam I had a healthy breakfast that filled me up, because there's nothing worse than feeling hungry half way through an exam and them being distracted by the thought of food! Healthy eating also includes staying hydrated, and for this I would recommend drinking lots of healthy smoothies, but also lots of water.
Referring back to the point I made earlier about getting a good night's sleep, I do realise that during exam time sleep doesn't always come so easily as usual. This makes getting a decent amount of sleep can be hard, so here are a list of things that help me relax before bed:

listening to my favourite music, or some calming music
reading a book or magazine
avoiding all electronic items an hour or two before going to sleep
a nice hot bath
spraying lavender scent onto my pillows and around my room
writing in my diary
having a nice cup of tea

I really hope this post will be reach those of you who are anxious about exams, and that it will help you in in some way.

-- Ash Cam


Monday, 30 March 2015

Harry Potter Tour OOTD

I realise this is almost a week late, but ah well! Anyway, this was my OOTD from last Tuesday when my family and I went to the 'Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour'. All of the items I am wearing are a mix of items I've had for years and items that are semi-new, so I shall include a list of the items and where I bought them originally, and then a 'get-the-look' list wear you can find similar items.

[Photos credited to Maria Cameron]

+ Faux Leather Jacket - New Look
+ Pinafore Dress - Boohoo.com
+ Turtleneck Crop Top - Topshop
+ Dr Martens Boots - Schuh
+ Bag - Primark
+ Necklace - Unkown


Top - Topshop,
Pinafore - Boohoo.com [Exact],
  Leather Jacket - River Island,
Dr Martens Boots - Schuh [Exact],
Bag - Topshop,
Necklace - Missguided.

-- Ash Cam


Warner Bros. 'Making of Harry Potter' Studio Tour London Pt. 2

The next part of the tour took us to the amazing Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and the newly opened Hogwarts Express! I loved this bit, there was so much to do in this section! You could get on the train and look at the cabin sections, where each year is represented by a different compartment. There's also the trolleys and the famous platform wall, where there's an opportunity to get a magical photo, plus a Hogwarts Express train ride experience with a green screen.
Platform nine-and-three-quarters and the Hogwarts Express

The train ride experience with the green screen animation.
[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

A cabin from the train!
One of my snapchats from the day!
The mid-way cafe is after this section, where you can stop and get some lunch/refreshments, including the butter beer, which my sister tried and absolutely raved about! She's obsessed! The next bit goes outdoors, and again, this is one of my favourite parts of the whole tour because there's so much to see and get up close to! 
The Night Bus!

I loved this little sign on the side of the bus saying
 "ALL DESTINATIONS (Nothing Underwater)", I
found that a funny touch!

Number 4, Privet Drive...
[photo credited to Maria Cameron]

Potter's Cottage
I know it's a bit disheveled and creepy looking, but I seriously
love this cottage!

Hogwarts Bridge [feat. me all posey in the wind]
In the next bit, the huge chess pieces from the first film were lined up for viewing, and my sister and I went a bit crazy and decided to replicate each one- here are a couple of our replicated chess piece stances!
[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

There is then another photo opportunity to sit in the Weasley's flying car and also Hagrid's flying motorbike and attachment! Here's my sister and I in the Weasley's car- as you can tell from my face I was so super happy!

[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

The next bit was the model room, and these were seriously amazing to go around and view! Just the amount of detail in each one! Buckbeak was particularly cool to see, and was just as adorably cute as in the films! 
Gringott's Bank Goblins! 

Buckbeak the Hippogriff! 

Diagon Alley! 
 Diagon Alley was AMAZING! And another of the highlights of the tour for me- you really felt a part of Harry Potter when walking down that street and everything was just MAGICAL!
I particularly loved this little sign about baby Pygmypuffs!

[Photo credited to Maria Cameron]

As I have already said throughout these two posts, for me there were so many amazing highlights of the Harry Potter tour, but for me, this next part was the most amazing. The moment I walked into the room with the model of Hogwarts castle I was struck by it and just in awe of how beautiful it was. I literally spent a good 20 minutes just looking at the model and taking it all in!

The Hogwarts Castle Model
Next was the room with all the wands and wand boxes- however, I don't have any photos of this because my phone was completely exhausted and died before I could take any! And that was the end of the tour, and we were back in the gift shop where I bought a lot of stuff including a Phoenix [Fawkes] t-shirt, a HUGE Marauders Map Mug, a Chocolate Frog, and Dobby The House-Elf earrings!

I had the best time at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, and just loved seeing all the different aspects of making the film! It was such a good day, and I would definitely go again, because I don't believe I managed to see everything because there's just SO much there to look around at! If you are a Harry Potter fan get yourself there! 

-- Ash Cam


Sunday, 29 March 2015

Warner Bros. 'Making of Harry Potter' Studio Tour London Pt.1

As part of a Christmas present for my sister and I , our parents bought us tickets to go on the Warner Bros. 'The Making of Harry Potter' Studio Tour in London, and so last Tuesday my family and I all headed to the studios.  The HP books and movies were a huge part of my childhood, and I am still a mahooosive fan of all things Harry Potter, so I was just so super excited to go on this tour, and it did not let me down! I would definitely recommend going, because everything about it was just amazing!

We arrived slightly early for our scheduled tour time, so we decided to have a look around the shop before getting in the queue. Even the shop itself is impressive, with so much to see, and a real range of merchandise available to buy for all different budgets. And I have to admit, I did spend quite a lot of money on merch that day, but that you will see later on in the post!

Chess board and set in the gift shop
Bertie Bott's every flavour beans and Chocolate Frogs

Mini Mirror of Erised [this was before the tour, so I was very excited]



Hogwarts Professors 
After entering the huge doors, you are taken through into The Great Hall of Hogwarts. This is such an impressive beginning of the tour, and it's amazing to think about the amount of times the cast members have wandered up and down there! This got me even more excited for what was to come in the rest of the tour!

Costumes worn by Hermione, Krum, Harry and Cho for the Yule Ball
I absolutely loved seeing all the beautiful costumes from the Yule Ball, but also other iconic outfits worn by certain characters. Especially the Luna Lovegood outfits! I absolutely love her as a character both in the books and the movies, and so for me this was one of the highlights of the whole tour!
I have to say too, that if you are in any way involved in or have an interest in costume design/making, set design, theatre design, etc, then I would definitely recommend you go on this tour, I think it would be really beneficial for you!
More of the characters costumes [Luna's were just too cool!]
This common room looks so cosy! I wish my sixth form's common room had been like this! Although, actually, thinking about it, I just wish I could go to Hogwarts!

Gryffindor Common Room

Order of the Pheonix + Lupin, Tonks, and Sirius' costumes

Dumbledore's Office
I absolutely loved seeing Dumbledore's office! The attention to detail in all aspects of the tour is incredible, but this office in particular was just amazing! In the picture I've put up you can't see the paintings of the witches and wizards, but if you've seen the films you will know and have seen the moving paintings covering the walls of Professor Dumbledore's office. The paintings are impressive enough in the film, but getting up close with them you can appreciate the amount of work that's put into doing them, and I was in awe of them! I also just generally love Dumbledore's office in the film, and it is certainly not disappointing in real life! Plus I loved seeing Fawkes later on in the tour!

Professor Snape and the potions classroom.

The Burrow!

Voldermort and the Death Eater's.

Dolores Umbridge's Office!
As a self-confessed 'Crazy Cat Lady' I just loved the design of this office in the films, and seeing it in the physical form was just awesome! I love it even more!

Dolores Umbridge Educational Decree's 

CLICK HERE for Part Two.... [I'm splitting this into two posts because there's a lot of photos involved and it may get a bit crazy if I put it all in one post!]

-- Ash Cam


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Perfect Spring Time Playlist

The Sun has made a return today and all the rain, fog and gloom seems to be disappearing for the day, making the day feel bright, happy and injecting a bit of Spring into life! As more of an Autumnal /Wintery person, I do love a bit of rain, but I've been missing the sunny days that made a brief appearance a couple of weeks ago, so waking up today to see sunshine and two very cute rabbits hopping about in the field outside made me instantly very happy! With the coming of a new season, I felt I needed to make a new playlist on my iPod of Spring-feeling tunes and thought it might be fun to add this to my blog to share with all of you music lovers! I love discovering new music, so please if you have any other suggestions let me know in the comments below!


3.       Drive- Alexander
9.       Miracles- Coldplay

I've put links to YouTube on the list of songs above so that you can click and instantly listen to whichever songs interest you on my playlist -- enjoy!!

-- Ash Cam


Piercing Update & How I Look After My New Piercings

As people may or may not know, after having a piercing it is particularly important that you clean it and look after it properly to reduce risks of the piercing getting infected and also to help the healing process. There are many ways of looking after piercings, and ultimately the best place to get advice for cleaning your own piercing is from the professional who pierced you, however, I myself got most of my information from looking online and watching YouTube videos, like the videos 'BreeAnnBarbie' makes on her ear piercings. However, I thought I'd share with you what I do to clean my recent ear piercings, and give you an update and any advice on the healing process.

[As a disclaimer, I must make it clear that I am in no way a professional, and what I say is not necessarily the 'correct' way of looking after a piercing, but is just what I've found has helped me and my piercings, and is research I gathered myself from many different sources. As I said before, the best people to answer your questions on your particular piercings would be a professional piercer.]

Anyway... on with the post! It is coming up to six weeks since I had my four new piercings (my second lobe piercings and double helix piercings), and I am continuing to clean them and still haven't taken them out. I believe they are all healing really well, and I so far have had no infections or any problems with them. During the first three weeks I cleaned them religiously 2-3 times a day using either the cleaning solution I bought at the piercing place I went to, or a sea salt solution I make up myself.  I've found the past couple of weeks I've been slacking a little on cleaning them twice a day, and have even found I've gone a day or two without cleaning them at all sometimes. It is of course much better if you continue with the regime of cleaning them twice a day, but I don't believe missing a couple of days has jeopardised the healing process or given my given me any problems. So now, I am only tending to clean them once a day, either in the morning or evening, whichever I find easiest on that day. 

The salt solution I make myself is literally just a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt, plus a bit of hot water mixed together.  The sea salt I use is just regular sea salt from the supermarket, and from research I've done I believe the only thing you must make sure when buying sea salt for your piercings is that the sea salt is non iodised, which is something that has to be put on all labels of sea salt. 
With whichever cleaning solution I use, I get a cotton bud for each of my four piercings [and as a side note, if you are getting a piercing I would strongly recommend buying lots of packs of cotton buds because you'll get through them VERY quickly] and dip them in the solution I'm using, and then gently apply them to the piercing. I clean both front and back of the piercing, using separate ends of the cotton buds for each side, and after doing this move the piercing back and forth, and sometimes give it a slight twist to keep the piercing moving. Unless I am cleaning my piercing I try not to touch my piercings during the day because unclean hands and fingers could spread bacteria and lead to infections in the piercings.

[All the items I use to clean my piercings with]

I hope this has helped any readers, and of course if anyone has any more questions to do with piercings, feel free to leave a comment with your questions and I will try and help as much as I can. 

-- Ash Cam

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