30 Nov 2016

my study week #18: adding colour and making things visual

When revising, I like to write things down and keep things visual. Here are some notes from last year's exam period :)

As you can see, I like to use copious colour and also like to try and order things in a systematic way - be it into boxes or a timeline.

These notes are in a Muji A5 plain notebook and the pens used include a Pilot Kakuno in fine, Zebra Mildliners, Muji gel pens, Staedtler Lumocolor Fineliners and Lamy Safari Fountain pen in EF.

27 Nov 2016

my week #241

This academic year is flying by way too quickly. I do often find myself daydreaming back to August when I was in Stockholm and with my Swedish learning making good progress, the daydream often cuts to the possibility of spending a year working there.

Geriatrics is a placement I enjoyed last year and this week, I realised why I couldn't do it. We all have our favourite patients in healthcare and when they leave the hospital, I end up feeling a little sad! I think that's why I prefer surgery as there isn't that time to get attached.

How was your week? :)

23 Nov 2016

book: the snow child by eowyn ivey

I actually read this at the end of 2015 but it didn't seem appropriate to write a review of it when this is definitely more of a winter book.

The blurb, from Amazon.co.uk reads as follows:

"Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?"

The book was a bit of a slow starter but I guess much of that was setting the scene. Jack and Mabel are an older couple who have moved to the countryside to try and forget the emotional turmoil they'd been through earlier on in their relationship. However, once you get passed all the scene setting, it really is an intriguing and absorbing book.

The little girl who arrives into their lives is a complete mystery and I found myself eager to know more. So much so that once I was about a third of the way in, I read the rest so fast, I finished it in three days! We follow the story of Jack and Mabel as they struggle through winter after winter and I kept wondering how the novel would end. When it did end, I thought it was fitting and the only way I can describe this book is that it's a modern fairytale but for adults.

Overall, 7.5 out of 10 - marked down slightly by the slow start. A well written book which has enough mystery to keep the intrigue but enough revealed at the right times for the reader.

20 Nov 2016

my week #240

I feel like my weeks are just getting busier and busier in the run up to Christmas - this week was no different and I'm really in need of just a day or even half a day of self-pampering! Final year is moving way too quickly and finals are now six months away...! How did that happen?!

How has your week been?

16 Nov 2016

winky lux smoke and roses eyeshadow palette

For a long time, I never saw the point in make-up but about nine months' back, I started wearing CC cream and saw how much of a difference it made. On the days I can be bothered and when I'm going out in the evening, I make much more of an effort but to different degrees. Some days, light coverage is enough and on other days, I need something heavier. Because of this new obsession of mine, I'm going to talk a bit more about make-up and beauty products I've been using in future blog posts and I hope that's ok with you all. This is a lifestyle blog and I'm just branching out a bit more and sharing the love for some products I'm really fond of.

Today: I want to share how much I love the Winky Lux Smoke and Roses Eyeshadow Palette. I actually acquired this back in September but it's seen quite a lot of use since then (though the photos were taken when I first got the palette). The box it came in is absolutely adorable and the case itself is beautiful too.

Inside, there are five shades of eyeshadow and from left to right, they are called: Powder, Bubbly, 500 Roses, Burn It Down and 4am. Here is a brief description of each:

Powder - a gold, shimmery shadow;
Bubbly - a lovely, shimmery, rose gold;
500 Roses - a lovely girly pink with a hint of purple;
Burn It Down - a copper colour with specks of shimmer and;
4am - a smoky black, not dissimilar to how a smudged kohl pencil would look.

When used with an eyeshadow primer, these shadows can last a good nine hours (trust me, I put it on at 4pm one afternoon and finally removed my make up at 2am when I got home, it was still as good as fresh!). The eyeshadow primer I like to use is just a basic NYX one but it does the job and the affordable price makes it a 'holy grail' product for me :)

I've tried to swatch each of them above from left to right but you can barely see 'powder' - it really is a fine gold colour when on the lids. They aren't the most pigmented but I like this about them! It means they are good for daywear and can be built up for evenings/nights out :)

13 Nov 2016

my week #239

This week, this picture was taken a bit earlier than usual because I'm in Edinburgh for the weekend. My sister and I have gone to watch Scotland play Australia at the rugby and decided to make a weekend of it :)

It's been quite a busy and tiring week though with many emotional up and downs on the ward so I feel that going to Edinburgh will be a good and timely escape :)

How has your week been?

9 Nov 2016

stockholm: my first time traveling solo

Earlier this year, I booked a last-minute trip to Stockholm and decided to go on my own. It was my first time traveling solo so I wanted to go somewhere safe but also somewhere that had been on my 'travel wishlist' for quite some time. Stockholm fulfilled both these requirements and I wasn't disappointed! I honestly wouldn't describe myself as overly street-smart but I seemed to manage okay on my own with no trouble at all :)

I decided to book a super early flight so that I would have half a day of exploring soon after landing and on that day, I decided to do as much of Normalm as possible (as my hotel was in that vicinity) and the next two pictures were from that afternoon.

Firstly: Sergels Torg (the first picture) - one of Stockholm's most famous squares. I ended up here after getting lost (don't ask, I'm just awful with map reading) and ventured down into an underground shopping centre which had various clothing and convenience stores in and also what seemed like a department store! After that, I kept walking without caring if I got lost (after all, that's the best way to explore a city if you have no sense of direction like me) and I ended up at Hötorget (the second picture) which had various market stalls selling fruits, vegetables and clothing and other tourist type things.

Day two was one where I ventured into Gamla Stan. I spent the morning exploring the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) and then walked through the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan looking for somewhere to feed my hungry belly at lunch. The buildings were absolutely beautiful and I also saw the changing of the guard that midday too. In the afternoon, I was torn between Sodermalm and Ostermalm and for some reason, I chose the latter. There, I went to the History Museum (which was free and actually really, really good!) and then went for 'fika' in the afternoon. Fika is a Swedish tradition where coffee, baked goods and good company are key ingredients. As I was travelling alone, I made do with tea and a nice cardamom and cinnamon bun (coffee makes me hyper and the crash is no fun!).

I spent the early evening shopping around Kungsgaten and it was here that I bought the perfect pair of skinny jeans from Acne. It was inevitable that I would end up returning with some Swedish fashion and these jeans are the perfect souvenir.

Day three was one which involved Kungsholmen and Vasastan. The morning was spent at the City Hall (Stadhuset) where I went on a tour. I really enjoyed the tour and it was the start of a good day. I walked all the way along this pathway by the lake and eventually turned right towards Vasastan. At Vasastan, I had the most amazing sandwich at cafe Vurma for lunch. They were super nice there as well because I was overwhelmed by the menu choices which meant I asked for a recommendation. They were totally spot on with it too :)

Day four - This was my last full day in Stockholm so I opted to go over to Djurdgarden. I spent the morning at the Nordiska Museet and found everything fascinating (but I do class myself as a total nerd...). I then trekked over to Skansen, an open-air museum, and had a tiring but very fun afternoon exploring everything. I probably only ended up doing about a third to a half of the open-air museum which means I'll just have to come back to Stockholm at some point in the future (completely fine by me!).

After Skansen, I decided to go to the Vasamuseet before closing time but I definitely didn't find this as interesting. It was a 'must see' in my guidebook and I kind of wish I'd ignored it!

Overall, I found Stockholm amazing. The pace of life seemed perfect for me, it felt really safe (and as I was holidaying alone, this was important) and it is just a beautiful city. I'm already thinking about when I can visit again and maybe I'll do Malmo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen at the same time too. It's also made me consider moving there for a year to work as a doctor there and I've already started learning Swedish to make that dream happen :)

6 Nov 2016

my week #238

This week, I started my assistantship on a Medicine firm and it is a complete change to the surgical firm I was on previously. Here, the patients are usually in hospital for a lot longer and as I'm a geriatrics ward, everyone has numerous co-morbidities and discharges take a lot longer to go through. I'm getting to do a lot of practical things, such as blood taking, cannulas, etc, so in that respect, I'm learning a lot.

Next weekend, I'm in Edinburgh with my sister and I'm very excited about this :)

How has your week been?

2 Nov 2016

book: the christmas mystery by jostein gaarder

The Christmas Mystery is a book that is a perfect alternative to an advent calendar because it has twenty-five chapters. This is exactly how I read the book and with each chapter being only three or four pages long, the daily read doesn't feel like a chore. It is definitely a book aimed more at children but that didn't stop me enjoying it.

The blurb intrigued me (from Amazon.co.uk):

"Fifty years ago a girl disappeared from her home in Norway. She ran after a lamb and found herself travelling right across Europe to Palestine, and back through 2000 years to meet the Holy Family in Bethlehem. There she met angels, shepherds, wise men and other biblical characters who joined her on her pilgrimage; and she heard of many of the things that happened in the world in the last 2000 years. 

 In present-day Norway, a boy acquires a strange old Advent calendar. Hidden in each of the windows is a tiny piece of paper. Little by little these pieces unfold the girl's story and as we learn what happened to her, another story is revealed - that of the strange old man who made the calendar."

The story is simple and not too hard to follow even if it does seem a bit far-fetched to begin with. I like that each chapter is short enough for one to be read each day but still long enough to tell enough of the story for you to want to know more. The story really is a mystery and I thought I had it figured out at day twelve but I was proved wrong when we got to about day twenty-two.

I would definitely recommend this book if you want something different and less calorific than a chocolate advent calendar ;)