second year uni university swansea engineering stem student Summer came and went too quickly for me and suddenly I’m now a week and a half into my second year. This time last year I was still trying to figure my way around campus and settling into lectures. this year has been a completely different and weird experience. It’s kind of difficult to put my finger on exactly how I feel about this year but here goes nothing.

I’ve been a tad bit apprehensive about this academic year. My depression kicked off around this time last year and it was really at its worst. And, whilst I haven’t focused much on it, it’s hard to completely clear it from your mind. It’s been a little scary to go back into uni at this time of year and remember how things spiralled. But there are such massive differences between this year and the last. I feel so much more comfortable and confident about uni in general, I had a solid group of people who I count as really close friends and I just feel like I’m going into it all with a lot more positivity.

There’s just been a general worry about my degree going into this year. I did try during my first year but it feels like there’s a lot more riding on the next couple of months. I can already tells for the first few days that things have gone up a gear in a way that I wasn’t completely expecting. I love my degree and it’s why I want to do well in it but my ambition sometimes scares me and it’s what’s caused the worry about going into my second year.

Aside from the apprehension and worry though, I’ve been excited. My love for the field that I’m going into has only grown over the past year. My modules this year look amazing and we really are specialising into our engineering disciplines now. Last year was a lot more general engineering and as much as I did enjoy it, it’s nice to really be able to delve into specific subject that I’m interested in.

I’m throwing myself into a lot more this year but still trying to make sure that I don’t burn myself out. It’s a really fine line to dance on but I’m slowly getting there. I’ve loved being busy over the last week and a half though, As tiring as it can be, I love filling my days with things that I enjoy and care about. And it’s doing wonders for my mental health.

So, am I scared? Yes. But do I have hopes that this year is going to be a damn good one? Definitely. I can’t wait to see what my second year in uni brings. Here’s to it being a good one.

Much Love,

Sai xo

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grape and olive christmas showcase 2018 swansea meal buffet set menu * Huge thanks to Grape and Olive for inviting me to their Christmas showcase event. It in no way has altered my views.

It’s never ever too early to think about Christmas. Well, that’s what I think anyway. The new academic year always makes me start to gear up for Christmas since it’s the next big event for me to look forward to as soon as my birthday is done. So, from the second week of September I’m already planning out presents and meals. I was extremely thankful to be invited to the Grape and Olive’s Christmas Showcase this year where they were sharing with us some of the items of their three Christmas menus.

Can I just say that the design of the menus were absolutely stunning! Whoever did the graphic design for them did an amazing job. We had the chance to sample from the Christmas Day menu, their Festive Buffet menu and their Festive Set menu. They had a pretty good range of vegetarian options and dishes that don’t contain alcohol which was great for me since I eat halal meat and can’t drink alcohol. So, there were a lot of things to pick from which was lush to know.grape and olive christmas menu spring rolls duck

Thankfully, as well, they decided to let us sample quite a few of the things that were on all three menus. From the starters, mains and desserts. So, here’s what I ended up trying out!

Christmas Buffet Menu

grape and olive christmas showcase menu meal

One of the first things that I tries were their mini savoury croissant which  were topped with toasted seeds. I had the ones that were filled with spinach and ricotta. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I was going to. I love a good croissant to be fair and the pastry was so soft and flaky. The only issue that I really had is that the filling was a little too creamy but I guess that’s also to be expected with ricotta.

Who doesn’t love a good roast potato, and the ones I had one the night were lush. A roast potato is the make or break of a Christmas dinner, I’m sure I’m not the only one who can think that. They were crisp and gorgeous and just make my evening ten times better. I’m now craving roast potatoes.

Festive Menu

The portobello mushroom, leek and chestnut Wellington was my favourite thing that I had tasted that evening. It was absolutely gorgeous. I’m never actually had a mushroom Wellington before but it was so filling, even from the taster piece that they have us. It was creamy and beautiful. I would happily have that again.

grape and olive swansea christmas showcase 2018 meal menu dessert lemon sicilian tart sweet blogger event

I ended up trying two of the desserts from the Festive menu which was the chelate, almond and pistachio torte and the Sicilian  lemon tart. The lemon start had to be my favourite out of the two. It has such a nice, sharp bite to it. It’d be perfect after quite a heavy and rich meal The torte was nice but I think the raspberries gave it a little bit of a weird taste that I wasn’t expecting. Not only that but the structure didn’t hold that well and it was a little too dense for me.

Christmas Day Menu

grape and olive christmas showcase 2018 roast beef menu meal

So, I only ended up trying one dish from this menu and that was the homemade stuffed aubergine. To get to the point, I wasn’t a huge fan. But then again, I don’t tend to like stuffed vegetables anyway. The aubergine was just a little too tough for me which made it difficult to cut.. It was filled with cous cous, sweet potato. feta and pomegranate. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, I just found it didn’t taste of much.

On a whole though I really enjoyed the evening and I honestly think that the menus are pretty good value for money. So, if you’re in Swansea and looking to book a Christmas meal with family, friends or people from work, I would definitely recommend you checking them out.

Much Love,

Sai xo

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Hey, guys! I learnt that mindfulness day was about a week ago, so really this post would have been better timed to go up then. But oh well! It’s here now and that’s what matters! Over the past couple of months I’ve attempted to look into mindfulness in a bid to help calm my depression down. Whenever I looked online or asked anyone how to help my brain, they said that mindfulness was the way to go. Before that, I’d heard the word batted around a lot. It was always in news articles, on twitter and the hot topic of conversation whenever mental health was bought up.

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one day in december romance christmas book review Title: One Day in December
Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: October 18th 2018
Format: Ebook
Service: Netgalley
Buy: Waterstones

‘Laurie is pretty sure that love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she instantly knows is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away 

Certain their fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and every cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when in matters anyway. Instead the reunite at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken and destinies reconsidered.’

Let’s be honest, Christmas really isn’t that far away and Netgalley gave me the chance to read my first Christmas book of the year. One Day In December follows the story of Laurie who has been pining after a boy she met at a bus stop. The book takes place over ten years and we see how their relationship develops.

I’m going to jump right in with what I thought on the book as a whole. I wasn’t a huge fan. Straight from the off Laurie irritated me. Every single feeling that she felt was heightened so much that it just ended up feeling so unrealistic. Laurie was meant to be a 22-year-old university graduate, instead, I felt that she was acting like a teenager who had a massive crush. It irked me. A lot and it made it really difficult for me to actually like her character.

I felt like I could pretty much predict everything that was going to happen in the story. There was nothing that particularly surprised and shocked me. It just ended up following every romance trope that it could and which didn’t end up making this this book extremely interesting.

However, it is one of those books that is really feel-good. If you’re feeling low or you just want a book where you don’t want to think too much when you’re reading it, then this book is for you. Whilst I don’t rate the plot the highest, the writing was lovely and pretty easy for me to follow.

I wouldn’t exactly market this as a Christmas book to be honest. Even though some of the bigger events do take place around December. It doesn’t scream festive to me as much as I thought it would.

Rating: 3 stars

Check out my other book review over here.

** I was given this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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uni tips freshers

I don’t know whether or not I’m ready for the new uni year to start but I don’t really have a choice in whether it starts or not. Going into my second year, I don’t feel as panicked as I did this time last year. I feel so much more comfortable and, somewhat, ready to go in this year. Looking back at my first couple of weeks of uni, here are a couple of things that I wish I had known.

1. Don’t be scared to talk to people on your course

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