In #ACupADay

My First Thoughts on the Menstrual Cup | #ACupaDay

I did it! I used a menstrual cup and I’m proud of myself for taking the first step and actually doing it. Well, I used one for all of about 3 hours and that was about it for that period to last me ‘til the next one, and I’ll explain why. (Just to clarify, I’m writing this about 2 weeks after I first used my menstrual cup and I haven’t used it since because, well, my period finished so...).

Yes! I used a menstrual cup! Go me! (I also got one of my friends to buy so mwahaha the message is spreading.) Now onto how I actually found it.

On the first day of my period, I tried to use it but I couldn’t. I kept getting it half up there (sorry if this is a bit TMI but really, why are you reading this if you should really not care about that or you’re in for a shock) then losing grip and it springing open. Not quite how it’s meant to go. But I tried. I had a go and got our first encounter out of the way.

Three days later, I tried again. I read through the instructions and figured out the best way to insert it – basically, you can’t put a menstrual cup in the same way you would put a tampon in. It just doesn’t work like that. So, it was up. I was wearing a menstrual cup! And, I’d like to say thank you to my friends who received some excited snapchats from me in the half an hour that followed of, what was, essentially, me walking around repeating that I was wearing a menstrual cup. Sorry, guys...

I have to say I was very impressed by how little I felt it. It was honestly hardly there. I thought that I would be able to feel it, especially if I leant over to get something or did exercise – though I did manage a whole pilates class (oh, how middle class of me) with it in and not feeling it at all, genuinely.

It was great. I was in love. It was going so well. Then I had to take it out...

I tried to get it out for about 40 minutes, and failed. I thought I could just push the sides in and then it would just pop straight out. Nope. I repeat. NOPE. My advice to anyone: read the instructions before you start doing anything. Once I’d had a break and had a laugh with my family about the whole situation, I had another go, this time more relaxed and knowing actually how to remove the vacuum (pinch the bottom of the cup with two fingers) and I succeeded in removing it, at last!

Overall, my first impressions were great. It felt so easy when it was in, although I think that it’s what goes on either side of that that I need a bit of practice with. And I think that’s all that is needed until I am fully comfortable and happy with my cup. A bit of practice is all.

If you liked this post you might like: A Cup a Day Keeps the Tampon Away | New Series

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In study

How To: Use a Planner for Study

People generally have the perception that I am a really organised person who has her shit together. And that’s partly true; I am really organised (in the day to day planning, though not so much in physical objects and messiness) but there is no way that I have my shit together. I am a metaphorical mess. However, the one thing I can do is organize my workload.
I swear by my planner. I use it for absolutely anything: college work, deadlines, blog posts, my job and any babysitting I may be doing, social events, birthdays and everyday tasks and ... All sorts! There’s nothing that is too small or insignificant to go in a planner.

My planner is the ban.do I AM VERY BUSY planner, which you’ll see used by many different bloggers (that’s certainly how I became aware of it), and I love it. It did cost me 20, so definitely more on the pricey side, but I think it was worth it and I understand that I am coming from a place of privilege that I am able to afford this planner, but it’s not necessary, I just wanted to say how much I love mine. My planner lasts for 18 months, which is annoying in some respects as it leaves a 6-month gap in between (I need to buy a new cheap planner son for that gap), but it does mean there is better value for money. However, this planner is suited to me in its layout – it may be completely wrong for you. Once you find your perfect planner, you’re on the right track.

So, you’ve got your planner. Great. But how do you actually use it? Well...

As I said before, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING!!

With each of your subjects, write down every bit of work you are set – whether it’s a long essay or something you need to print off or bring in to a lesson. This way you are a lot less likely to forget something, which will make your life a lot easier. I bullet point my work according to what subject it is. So I’ll do a heart bullet point (and colour it in with a pink highlighter because I’m cool), write the subject on the right and the due day on the left. Then, I’ll use an arrow for the different piece of work I have to do within the subject in lines. And so on for the next subject if I have homework for it. On the due dates for any work, I also write down in the bottom right-hand corner of the day ‘Politics due’ or whichever subject it is, so that I have a reminder on both days. This way, if a piece of work is due on a different week than it was set (as they often are) then I am reminded by that the week that it is due and won’t forget about the notes I made of it before.

Use your planner to prioritise your work: do the more urgent things first – and by this, I mean the stuff that is due in first. Of course, if you have coursework due in in a month, still keep doing your coursework so you don’t have a mad rush at the last minute.

A planner is also a great place to write down your daily to-do lists. I make a to-do list every day, sometimes for individual frees. Say I have 2 frees in a day, I’ll use the arrow system (except listing horizontally) so that I get what I need to be done, even if they’re little jobs like typing up some notes.


So, that’s how I use my planner for study. But, as I said, this may not work for you – you may prefer a completely different system, but as long as that system works for you and helps you keep up with your workload, that’s completely fine.

If you liked this post you might like: My Advice to New A Level Students

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In Monthly Wrap Ups

October 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

October, my love for you will never end!

Favourite part?


I’ve had such a lovely time this month, for so many reasons. Probably the biggest reason why October 2017 stands out, is my 18th birthday. Yes, I am officially now an adult. It was so weird to buy alcohol. Like what? Surely they should tell me no. I had a week of celebrations – a meal with my family and some family friends, then some drinks with friends and a meal with a different set of friends – all of which was lovely.

Before my birthday, my dad and I visited the University of Reading, which I was pleasantly surprised by and loved the Politics department! Then, at the beginning of half term, we spent 2 days in Glasgow to look at the University there. It was a great trip and we found some great places to eat – including Where the Monkey Sleeps café and The 13th Note, a fab (and cheap) veggie restaurant I would recommend to anyone.



During half term itself, I went to London, where I did work experience with the Fairtrade Foundation for the week. I had such an amazing time and feel like I really accomplished something. I’ve only been back for 3 days and I miss London so much already. Take me back there!



Best read?


I read Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin this month after SuperSamStuff recommended it in a video. I enjoyed it so much and thought it was really well written. I have also read more of GB84 and need to get on with finishing it for my EPQ! For my birthday, some of my friends got me the full Song of Ice and Fire book series, so I’ve started reading A Clash of Kings, but I doubt I’ll finish it quickly because it is bloody long.

Favourite tunes?


ABBA, of course. For my birthday, my brother got me Benny’s piano album, which is so relaxing and great to work along to.

Favourite watch?


Bake Off! Though it’s over this week and I still miss Mary Berry. I’ve also started watching Hunted (the celebrity version at the moment for Stand Up for Cancer), which is actually really funny. This time of year is defined by Strictly in my life. I have various documentaries to watch and also Gunpowder (which I have recorded) so I’ll catch up on those by next month’s wrap up.

What did I learn?


Honestly, so much. People aren’t going to stop you from buying alcohol if you have ID on you (you really are allowed to buy it!). London isn’t that scary. Working on something you care about makes the sense of accomplishment even bigger. So many acronyms and technical phrases.

What’s happening next month?


It’s a few of my friends’ birthdays, so we’ll be celebrating those. Otherwise, it’s a pretty quiet month I think.

What’s been on my mind?


University and the future – most particularly my personal statement and the application itself.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?


I watched loads of Lex Croucher’s videos and also Zannah’s (her new hair looks great in my opinion!).

Favourite post?


Me at 18 – definitely. I love this blogging tradition that I’ve made and it’s great to look back each year at who I have become.


Biggest inspiration?


Being around people doing useful things to help others.

Any other favourites? 



I have some more podcasts to add to my list of favourites: Strictly Come Dancing podcast and Reasons to be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd. Strictly is self-explanatory, I think, but I would recommend Reasons to be Cheerful to anyone because of the accessible way they talk about politics and political ideas. I do wish there was a similar one made from a right-wing perspective just so I could get an idea about ideas not like my own, and get out of my echo chamber.




If you liked this post you might like: August 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

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In Life

4 Musicals I've Been Loving Recently

Musicals are a big part of my music taste and I know that many people share my passion for them. I go through phases of listening to one musical almost constantly, and these have been some on my list lately.
Credit

1. Anastasia


The animated 20th Century Fox film Anastasia is my favourite animated film of all time, so naturally, when I found out they had made a musical version of it that was playing on Broadway, I had to find out more. For months I have been singing the old songs and the new. I love them all so much. Some of the songs, like Stay, I Pray You, are so personal and heart wrenching, then others like Learn To Do It are so fun and flamboyant. My favourites are In a Crowd of Thousands, In My Dreams and My Petersburg probably due to the images they conjure up in my head and what they reveal about the characters (especially Dmitri. I love Dmitri). I love how the creators have made the musical more historically accurate (despite the elephant in the room of Anastasia actually dying but whatever), it makes the History nerd part of me very happy.

2. The Addams Family


I saw this musical twice in July and I have been a little obsessed ever since (a bit beforehand as well but there’s nothing like seeing a show to become obsessed). The cast is amazing and I really wish an original UK cast recording happens at some point soon. *click* *click*.

3. Hairspray


I listened to this soundtrack (the one with Zac Efron) a lot whilst making notes and writing up my History coursework. The songs and their upbeat nature kept me going, particularly with any typing that I had to do (and I did a lot) and the subject matter related to my work (my coursework is on African American civil rights) so helped keep me a little more focused on the topic. 

4. Mamma Mia!


We know that I listen to ABBA all the time anyway, but ever since the announcement of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’s release in July next year, I’ve been constantly theorizing what’s going to happen and what songs they’re going use. I think Summer Night City, Angeleyes and the Day Before You Came so far.


What are your favourite musicals? I’m always looking for new things to listen to.


If you liked this post you might like: I Wish Life Were a Musical

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In #ACupADay

A Cup a Day Keeps the Tampon Away | New Series

50% of the population bleed monthly (on average, each of us is slightly different). That’s a fact. It’s just the way the female body works. So why shouldn’t we talk about it?

I’ve talked about periods on here before, but nowhere near as much as talk about them in real life. (Sorry not sorry to all the people who have to listen to me go on about it.) So, when I decided to get a menstrual cup (I’m so excited to use it!) I thought I’d make a series out of my experiences with it – taking some inspiration from Hannah Witton’s Hormone Diaries, which I would recommend everyone watch. It arrived last week (on my birthday no less!) so I’ve officially taken the plunge and put my money where my mouth is.

So, why did I get a menstrual cup?

In short, it’s the most ethical method of maintaining menstrual hygiene (with reasons that I’ll go in to more detail with later on in the series), and I thought why not. I’m not going to lie, the initial idea of using one does intimidate me a bit, but I know that if I can get the grip of it then it’ll be worth it.

I bought my cup from The Cup Effect. It’s a charity that works to provide menstrual cups to disadvantaged women across the globe in a way of ending period poverty as well as helping prevent further climate change. The type of cup they sell is the Ruby Cup. Having watched Leena Norms’ video (5 easy ways to improve 2017) where she discussed three different types of menstrual cup (the Mooncup, the Diva Cup and the Ruby Cup) and I was pleased to hear that she recommended the Ruby Cup as ideal for a beginner.

I have to admit that my cup does intimidate me, and I’m not sure how long it will take me to get it to work properly, but I’m determined to keep going with it until I have mastered the menstrual cup.


I’ll have another post up soon where I’ll discuss my first thoughts about the cup after I’ve used it. I have some exciting guest posts coming up as part of this series, so if you have any post ideas and want to get involved please let me know – I’d love to have as many people included as possible!

If you liked this post you might like: Why We Need to Talk About Our Periods!

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