30 Mar 2014

my week #102

First of all, happy mothering Sunday to all mothers out there. My sister and I are taking my mum out for lunch today :)

Exam week which is synonymous with 'procrastination week' if you're me. I've been revising at the end of each week so I really struggled to stay motivated for these last few days of revision. I've moved back into my Smythson binder as I've missed the bright pink leather and gold rings.

Recently, I've found the stress has caused my skin to break out and I've started using a cream by La Roche-Posay called Effaclar Duo [+]. This cream has had rave reviews on quite a number of blogs so I thought I'd give it a go and with the cream promising effects within six weeks of use, we'll see if it delivers on its promise. It's hard to tell with beauty products as I find that scars and blemishes can often take the same amount of time to heal, with or without application of a product. 

I've noticed that my diary pages are a lot less 'decorative' and a lot more functional now and I much prefer this. I still add a few illustrative bits and stickers/washi tape but I think it looks a lot less over the top now.

How has your week been?

27 Mar 2014

my desk - studying edition

I'm thinking that this could be a new series on this blog where I post my desk in different scenarios. To kick it off, I have my desk during a revision period where everything is in chaos. There are two pictures in this blog post: one of my desk from the night before (it was what I woke up to) and then a picture of the desk, primed for revision after a bit of tidying.

So, from the night before, you can clearly see that it is seriously messy and not in the right state for some hardcore revision.

However, after a bit of tidying (putting things back into their usual place, and just some general TLC), you can see that it looks a bit more ordered and serene. On my desk, there is water (never underestimate the importance of keeping hydrated during study periods), pens, paper and my notes. Other things of note are textbooks and pocket books that are useful for practice questions or to look things up.

I'm sorry about the quality of the pictures - they are horrendous and I am hoping to invest in a better camera in the summer after selling some stuff on eBay!

23 Mar 2014

my week #101

I can't believe how fast time flies - this term has been a blur and it only feels like yesterday that I was in Hong Kong running from place to place in order to see family and friends and get all the bits and bobs on my shopping list. Either way, this means exams are now just around the corner (this Wednesday and Friday to be exact!) which means this week has been revision, revision, revision. It seems kind of cruel that they only give us a few days to revise two modules of stuff...

This has led to messy diary pages as you can see...

How has your week been? It's nice that the weather is perking up a little - hopefully this means that the worst of the winter is now behind us :)

20 Mar 2014

review: Pilot Coleto special edition

Last year, I blogged about the three-barreled Pilot Coleto and when I was in Hong Kong, I found the special edition Coleto sets. I decided to splash out for one, more specifically, the green one with black polka dots. 

I love the mint green barrel of this pen...

And I also like how the refills come in a cute case:

The case is only a few millimetres in width and so wouldn't add much bulk to a pencil case if you were to carry the refills around with you.

With the pen only having four barrels, choosing which four to pop into the pen will be hard.

Upon further inspection, I realised that the bit that stuck out on the top of the refills was in a shape of a jewel...

But if I had taken a closer look at the packaging, I would have realised that there was a jewel design earlier...

And the obligatory pen test - all refills are 0.4mm:

I do find the 0.4mm nibs a bit scratchy and I have found that the refills run out of ink really quickly. The refills aren't cheap (compared to other gel pens) but I do like the practicality of a multi-pen where you can choose which colours to have in it. For that reason, I will stick with this Pilot Coleto for now until I find a better alternative (the Pentel Slicci is on my 'to try' list and could be a decent alternative to the Coleto).

16 Mar 2014

my week #100

Exams are just around the corner now (just over a week to go, eek!) so I've been working harder than ever this week. I've had quite a busy week at uni and I felt exhausted on Friday evening. So much so that I ended up in bed and asleep by 10pm!

Next week looks to be just as busy, if not more so, and then it's a few days of revision before exams. No rest for the wicked, eh?

Also, I just want to apologise to anyone who has sent me an email recently. I've not had an opportunity to reply and I will try and do so after exams :)

How has your week been?

13 Mar 2014

review: Pilot juice 0.5mm gel pens

Whilst in Hong Kong, these Pilot Juice pens caught my eye. They come in a wide array of colours and I found myself spoilt for choice when it came to choosing which ones to purchase. In the end, I chose all but three or four of the ones available to me!

I am a sucker for coloured gel pens (thank you, Muji, for this obsession that started seven years ago!) and the fact that they are retractable is a big plus in terms of ease of use. The design of the barrels are quite fun (if you can describe a pen as such) and I like how playful they all look together.

The rubber grip adds that extra bit of comfort and I do like the clip feature of the pen too:

The mechanism of the clip is almost identical (if not the same) as the Muji pens I featured in a post a few weeks' ago. I like these clips as I have a tendency to clip my pens at the top of my notepad and with the presence of springs in these, it will make this process that bit easier. And also, it will make the clip less likely to snap in the event that I try and fit too many sheets in!

When it comes to writing with them, I find that the ink flows well and there is little friction between the nib and paper. The rubber grip makes holding the pen a comfortable and pleasant experience and I do like the fact that they are retractable gel pens. The pens also dry extremely quickly (could be a good thing if you're left-handed? I'm right handed so I couldn't test this out) and apparently, the ink is water-resistant (I tested this and it is true) and fade-proof (only time will tell).

These are the results of a pen test:

I like how vibrant the colours are. At first, I was skeptical about how different the Leaf Green and Apple Green would be but you can see a distinct difference in the pen test above. In terms of show-through and bleeding, neither were present. The metallic colours can be also used on black paper and other metallic colours available include gold and silver (neither of which I purchased).

Price-wise, I bought each pen for HK$9 each (about 72p each) which, in terms of pens in Hong Kong, is quite expensive but when compared to the prices paid for some pens here, it a bit of a bargain.

Overall, I am really impressed with these pens. The 0.5mm ones were the perfect thickness for me when put to paper and using them really is a great experience. I fear I may have found the gel pens that will inevitably end up replacing my long-term love in the Muji gels!

Have you ever used these pens before? If so, what is your opinion on them? And if not, have I tempted you into maybe giving them a whirl?

9 Mar 2014

my week #99

Exams are only two weeks' away now and that's a scary thought because this week seemed to fly by. My pages don't really show how much work and study I really had to do. Having a planner I use on a regular basis has helped me plan what studying I'll do that evening/day and also allowed me to draw up my revision timetable.

I'll try and share my timetabling system in a blog post in the near future! :)

How has your week been?

6 Mar 2014

Hong Kong - the home of cute food

A few weeks' ago, I posted about some cute confectionary I found in Hong Kong. Here is a closer look at the cute packaging.

I just love how much detail goes into the design of sweets and how cute they can make it all look. You can definitely see who they are targeting with designs like these and to be fair, although I don't think I'm the target market, I was enticed by them all the same!

They are so cute that I make an effort to open the packaging as carefully as possible so that I can keep it intact!

Not only do they have Pocky in interesting flavours, they also have Rilakkuma biscuit sticks. The packaging celebrates the ten year anniversary and is so cute that I don't really want to open them up and ruin it!

And the other side:

A super cute drink's bottle label thing:

And the bottles themselves - they are quite small in size (320ml!) and come in a variety of flavours including strawberry, lychee, peach, orange, etc. They all have jelly pieces in them so the subtext really is true - you really do have to chew!

The cute packaging seen on the Puccho earlier in this post weren't the only chewy sweets to have cute characters on them. These Hi-Chew sweets had a cute chick on them:

Seeing packaging like this makes me wish that sweets in the UK had characters like these on. Moshi monsters (?! Shows just how out of touch I am with UK cartoon characters!) and the like just aren't the same...

2 Mar 2014

my week #98

Exhausted is one word for how I'm feeling right now. This week has been insanely hectic! Last week, it was half term so my daily bus trip to and from university was extremely pleasant and quick but this week, with all of the kids returning to school, my journey time has increased along with my morning and evening stress levels. Let's just say that a rowdy bus full of teenage school children isn't the best start to my day (I'm not exactly chirpy first thing in the morning as it is!).

Exams are about three weeks' away so my revision has already started. An official revision timetable is still a work in progress as I'm just revising things as and when I have the time and energy. I've also started revising clinical stuff whilst in the shower - so I'll go through a clinical exam or an area of communication, from memory, whilst in the shower. This allows me to see where the holes in my knowledge are and then hopefully, remember these little bits next time!

Basically, exam and study stress + schoolchildren stress = not a brilliant combination. However, I have survived six months already and there is only four more months to go before I get a nice summer break of four weeks!

How has your week been?