Sunday, 31 August 2014

Student Sundays - Money

Year Abroad blog

Money is an important topic for students. Chances are this is the first time you will managing your own finances. You get a lump of money at the start of term to do what you please with and it's hard not to go straight to (insert your fav shop here) and blow a large proportion of it. So here's a few tips to help you with your money: 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

How to get a job in retail

If you read my last post then you will know I recently got a new job. I know how hard it can be to get a job at the minute, particularly in retail where there can be close to 200 applications for every job opening, but I've picked up a few tips that may help you out.

how to get a job in retail - square graphic

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Student Sundays - Some things to expect at uni

Wow what a crazy week. I've only been at home for about 24 hours this week so I had no time to prepare the post I was planning for this week, but don't worry it will come next week! Last week I had some interviews for part time jobs in Leamington and got offered a job at M&S that same day, so on Sunday I was driving back up to Leamington to stay at a friend's so I could attend the induction Monday and Tuesday. Then home, then to the boyfriend's for his birthday, then back to Leamington this weekend to work. Crazy.

Anyway, on to this post. This isn't really a guide as such, more of a few things that I discovered when going to uni that no-one really spoke about beforehand.
Hannah Lane - student blog

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Student Sundays - Preparing for your course

Hannah Lane Student Blog
Hey everyone! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Firstly, I just want to say well done everyone who got their results and got into university this week! This is the second post in my 'Student Sundays' series, last week's post was about packing and what to take to uni (click hereee) and this week's post is about how to prepare for your course

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

UPDATE: 20 before 20

Student Blog - Hannah Lane
In May, I posted about my 20 before 20 list, which is a mini bucket list of things I want to do before I'm 20, and I thought now I'm 19 it's time for a bit of an update. Here's the original list:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Student Sundays - Packing

Hannah Lane

Hey guys! So I'm starting a thing. Every Sunday for the next few weeks there's going to be a post with tips on how to prepare for University in September/October. This will mainly be aimed at new students, but current uni students may be able to pick up a tip or two! I had a brilliant first year at uni and I learnt so much! I am now by no means an expert but hopefully you guys might find some use out of these posts.

My first post is going to be a packing list. This time last year I would have been searching pinterest and the internet to find a definitive packing list, and in the end I combined quite a few to make my own. The first thing to do when you're deciding what you need to buy is look at your accommodation. I was in halls but self catered. Some people will be catered, some people will be unfurnished flats. Find out where you'll be living, and try to find out what's already provided. The vast majority of halls will have furnished bedrooms and kitchens will have a toaster/microwave/kettle but you'll need to bring your own utensils etc, but some may even provide this!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review - Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet

Last week I dyed my hair with Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL HD Mystic Violet (87). I've been holding off for a little while to write this review as I wanted to see how the colour held after a few washes. I think it would be fair to say this is an interesting hair colour!
Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet

First of all, the colour is definitely not the colour on the box, and I've read this in a few reviews. I wasn't expecting it to be identical because it never will be, but I was expecting purple!

Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet

The above pictures are my previous hair colour, which I would say is as close to natural as it's been in years and a strand test. I really liked the colour of the strand test (very purple!) but it was quite a bit darker than I've been in a while (I think maybe a hair history post is needed for reference here) so I was a bit cautious. But I did it anyway...

Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet

This picture was taken the morning after. It was really hard to get a picture that actually showed the colour correctly, and also it looks a completely different colour in all lights! When the sun is on it its very red, and in darker lights its almost black. Whichever light its in though, its never the colour on the box. There is a lot more red in the colour and is more of a 'plum' than a violet colour. 

Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet
Schwarzkopf LIVE Color XXL HD Mystic Violet
The above pics are after 2 or 3 washes. The colour's gone a bit more reddish, and though it isn't the colour on the box, I'm still pleased with it! At first I wasn't sure, it is quite a few shades darker than what I'm used to, but now I'm happy with it, and I think dark hair suits me more anyway! There are a lot of nice tones in it and it's something a bit different. The only thing wrong with it and this is my fault really, is its a bit uneven. I ran out of hair dye so had to do my best with what I had and inevitably missed some hair, so there are a few bits of ginger here and there (oops hehe). The box does say to use 2 boxes if your hair is longer than shoulder length but normally I can dye my hair and extensions with just one box as my hair is so fine. So if your hair is longer than shoulder length, use 2 boxes! 
Overall, I would recommend this hair dye but not if you want the colour on the box - it's still a nice colour and it didn't kill my hair (always a plus). I think Schwarzkopf need to change the picture on the front of the box but I would use this hair dye again. The colour will obviously develop differently for everyone, and because my hair was previously gingery anyway I'm not too surprised with the amount of red tones. If anyone has used some purple hair dye that actually comes out like the colour this one should have, I'd be grateful if you could leave a comment:)!

Have you used this colour hair dye and what did you think? Let me know! 

Hannah Lane

Monday, 28 July 2014

My work experience at TRO

Last week I finished 2 weeks working at TRO Group on events, and I absolutely loved it. So I thought I'd share my fab experience with you all and maybe give you some hints and tips for your work placement.

Student Blog - Hannah Lane

I do have the tendency to stress and I sometimes lack confidence, but before I started at TRO, I didn't have any nerves, which is a stark contrast to my first day at my old job! I got there in good time (being late is never good, especially on your first day!) and as soon as I had been introduced to everyone in the office and shown around I felt right at ease! Everyone was super welcoming and friendly and it was like I'd already been there for weeks.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse - Book Review

Hannah Lane - Student Blog

I picked up this book in the airport before we went in holiday as I forgot to bring my books that I was going to read! I'm a little ashamed to admit that the main reason I bought it was because the main character was called Hannah (haha), and I didn't really have enough time to read a few blurbs. I do like these type of mystery/psychological thriller books though.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Holidaying - Crete

First of all, I'd just like to say sorry for the lack of regularity in posts, I had planned to schedule some but these last few weeks have been fairly crazy and busy. I start my work placement on Monday and I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine! Last week I was on my travels again, this time to Crete! I had a perfect week and the hotel we went to was brilliant - I would definitely recommend it.
Year Abroad blog

Monday, 30 June 2014

Review - The Ice Creamery

Hey guys! I spent this weekend in Aldeburgh, and I thought I'd share the cutest ice cream shop I've ever been too. It's called The Ice Creamery and has recently opened on the Street in Aldeburgh town centre. 
Year Abroad student blog

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

No longer a fresher...

First year of uni is pretty much over. Officially the last day of term is Friday but as I'm back at home now and results day is today (impatiently checking my emails of course), it's over for me! And I feel like today is a good time to reflect on how first year went. *Warning: quite a picture heavy post!*

Hannah Lane Student Blog

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Holidaying - The Algarve, Portugal

Last week I was in Praia Da Luz in Portugal with 3 girls from my flat as a post-exam break. We booked with Thomas Cook, stayed in the Ocean Club Apartments and went self catered. We had a brilliant time and I want to share some pics and recommendations with you all!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

There were 3 pools we could use, one being an adult only pool. They were all really nice! The beach was also great, but we preferred spending time by the pool as none of us really liked being sandy. There were waterspouts available on the beach, such as canoes, speedboats, windsurfing, catamarans, and those inflatable donut things that are pulled by a speedboat! The only thing is the sea isn't that warm as its the Atlantic and not the Mediterranean! 

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

Praia Da Luz has been in the media quite a bit the last few weeks as police have been there searching for Madeleine McCann, however we were quite likely as they stopped the search the day before we arrived. There was no police in sight, however the resort is pretty large so it wouldn't have been difficult to avoid them had they been there. It was really quiet while we were there, and I'm not sure if this was due to it not being the height of the season or people avoiding the resort. We all felt safe there and I'm glad we chose this place!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog

One day we went to 'Slide n splash' water park which was really good fun! It was a bit of a cloudy day and so it wasn't very warm when we first got there, and I think we spent most of the morning in the hot tub, but it warmed up in the afternoon. Going on a cloudy day was probably a good idea though as it means we didn't get horrendously burnt and it wasn't very busy so we didn't have to queue long if at all for the rides!

Hannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad BlogHannah Lane Student Blog Year Abroad Blog
Overall it was a really lovely week and a brilliant end to first year of uni! I would really recommend Praia da Luz, even with families. There are some lovely restaurants, our favourites were Chicca's (highly highly recommend this place - amazing food and atmosphere and not expensive) and Cafe Fabrica. Luz is a great place and one I would definitely go back to!

Hannah Lane
Have you ever been to the Algarve? Did you like it?

Saturday, 14 June 2014

the wanderlust tag

Hey guys! The lovely Amy from The Sparkle Pages nominated me for the Wanderlust Tag and what a better day to write it than the day I jet off to Portugal for a post-exam break! Here's her take on the tag :)

year abroad blog

1. Your most treasured passport stamp? 
Well the most treasured physical stamp in my passport is the little mickey mouse that the border people stamped in when I went to Florida, but if we got stamps in our passport travelling inside Europe, it would probably be Germany. I love the country and I cannot wait to spend my year abroad there! I worked in a shop whilst I was in Koblenz and it was a fantastic experience. I also met some great people. 

year abroad blog

2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?
Nope haha. I think it begins with a 1. (Okay, I just checked and it begins with a 5, oops. Must have been thinking of my student I.D!)

3. Preferred method of travel: Planes/Trains/Automobiles?
Hmm. I think planes probably, but just because usually that means I'm going somewhere exciting! However I always experience a lot of pain (and when I say a lot- I mean I feel like my head will implode) when we start descending and I always dread this part of the flight. I find trains really chilled and I do enjoy long train journeys too! I'm not keen on car journeys because I can't read or look at screens as I feel sick so I get bored! 

year abroad blog

4. Top three travel items
Well a camera is an absolute essential! A good book is also a must. And some plasters, because I seem to be more accident prone abroad.

5. Hostel or hotel?
I'm not completely adverse to staying in a hostel, but I definitely prefer my own space and bathroom that a hotel room offers! 

6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I've never stayed in the same hotel or even resort twice (well I can't remember having done so..) so I guess I'm an explorer of new places! I do like getting out and seeing new countries or cities, I feel like there's so much to see! But I would be equally happy going back to somewhere I've loved!

year abroad blog

7. Do you read up on your destination (culture, history, safety) or do you wing it? 
Well usually I'd read up on a destination before booking a trip as I love experiencing some culture and want to know what the place has to offer. I don't wing it though I'd love to be a bit more spontaneous and do this, and have a bit of a surprise when you reach the place! I'm not brave enough though, and planning a few things before you go helps you get the most out of your trip! 

8. Favourite trip website?
Definitely TripAdvisor. So many reviews on pretty much everywhere on there and is really useful on deciding whether to book something. Many reviewers also leave a few tips on the place so can be useful! 

year abroad blog
9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name a city and why?
Well this depends on the friend a little bit. But I think generally I'd recommend Sorrento, Italy. I went on a school trip here and it was amazing. It has something for everyone - there's history at Pompeii and Herculaneum, culture in the lovely Italian restaurants, stunning views along the Almalfi coast, sunshine, shops, and for the more adventurous people, climbing Mt. Vesuvius! 

10. You're leaving tomorrow, money is no option. Where would you go?
Either Thailand or South Africa. These are two places at the top of my 'Places I Must Go' list. I think both of them are very different but offer so much, and it would be an amazing experience. 
I nominate any of my lovely readers who hasn't taken part yet, and also Alex from Chloe from Emily from and Chloe from :)
Hannah Lane

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Student life: 10 productive ways you can spend your summer!

10 productive ways you can spend your summer

So for most students now (me included!) summer is hereeee!! Exams are over and school/uni work can be put aside for a few months and we can chill out and catch up on all that TV and friends you've neglected during revision season. However, rather than binging on netflix and sleeping in all day, just because you can, I have for you a few other, more productive ways you could spend your summer!

Get some experience

...whether that be in the form of work experience, a work placement or internship. Get out there and do something you think you might be interested in as a career. Most deadlines for the summer internship schemes with BIG companies will have passed, but there are definitely still internships and work experience opportunites out there! I only just just confirmed my placement a few weeks ago. Email around - it can't do any harm. Even if you just shadow someone for a few days - it's better than doing nothing, and you gain valuable insight of the ins and outs of a job too.

 Go Travelling

While we're students with the whole summer off, why not make the most of not working full time by getting out and seeing the world for a month or maybe 3. This may not be for everyone, but why not book an interrailing ticket (which I think is about £300 for a month) and go backpacking across Europe. You'll gain a lot of life experience, have an amazing time, and give you some awesome stories to tell.


Volunteering with a charity you support is sure to impress future employers as well as making a difference to the community you live in. You'll gain lots of new skills, meet new people and you'll feel awesome knowing you're helping out a good cause (while also boosting that CV)! If you want to volunteer at a music festival, you can read my experience of that here.

Earn some cash

You may be able to pick up a part time job where you live, or some temporary, seasonal or casual work. Check out job websites and apply to lots. My part time job last year regularly offered me plenty of overtime and I ended up working 40+ hours a week, so don't be afraid to take something just because you're not contracted as many hours as you want (though do be careful of zero hour contracts - they may not work in your favour). This is also something which can enhance your CV and shows you're not afraid of some hard work!

Raise money

You can utilise your spare time by doing a sponsored event! After my GCSE's I did a parachute jump and raised over £300 for Help for Heroes and it was a great experience. You could also do a race such as Race for Life or a half marathon or a sponsored bike ride. There are so many things you can do to make a difference to a charity, as well as it being a personal achievement and something you can include on the CV.

Summer camps

I know a couple of people going to work abroad for the summer in places such as Camp America, and they are so excited. I looked into this and it looked like a really fantastic idea - you get paid and have the chance to travel round America after the camp with all your new friends! You will also gain a whole load of new skills. There's also Camp Europe for something a bit closer to home and summer camps in the UK.

Learn something new

With all your time and freedom over summer, its the perfect time to pick up a new skill. This could be a new language (Duolingo is such a useful app for this) or something such as basic coding, certain skills are highly regarded by employers and having these under your belt will really help you stand out from the crowd!

Read ahead

Maybe not the most enjoyable way to spend your summer days but it will certainly benefit next semester! You'll find you have more time to get more involved in societies and clubs and it'll reduce some of the stresses as you'll have already done some of the work.

Get organised

With all that free time, now you can sort your life out. Okay, I didn't mean it like that ;). But tidy your room, donate/sell old or unwanted clothes, update your CV, do all those little tasks you've been needing to do for ages and never got round to it. Now's the time to get more organised!

Have fun

It's important that you also spend time with friends and family and de-stress from all the hard work particularly of exam season. Unwind and chill out, and of course, enjoy your summer whatever you do!

What are your summer plans? 
Hannah Lane

Monday, 2 June 2014

My Birmingham Shopping Trip Haul!

On Saturday I went shopping in Birmingham as a revision break, I absolutely needed to get away from textbooks and power points for a while and a bit of retail therapy was perfect. I definitely feel much better for a break and I bought some lovely new things!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Thoughts on the Elliot Rodger shooting

So I’m sure by now that if you’re reading this you will have heard of the mass murder committed by Elliot Rodgers on Friday night in Isla Vista, killing a total of 6 people, including himself, and hospitalising others. I was unsure whether to publish this as this could be considered controversial, not everyone will agree with my views, but I have a lot of thoughts on this news so here we are. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Perks Of Being In A Long Distance Relationship

Yes. I think that being in a long distance relationship can be a good thing. Unpopular opinion, I know, but hear me out. I have 10 reasons for you to read about why being long distance can make for a stronger relationship:

Friday, 16 May 2014

My wishlist: currently wishing for...

My wish list seems to have a bit of a trend to it. Everything pastel and pretty prints... head my way! Here's what I'm currently wishing for...

1.  H&M Shorts - I love the gingham print on these, it's so pretty. And these are a bargain at only £12.99!
2.  Kate Spade necklace - At £105 this is the more expensive item on my wish list, but it's beautiful and I adore the colours.
3.  Zara Print Trousers - I absolutely love Zara's trousers and this pair is no exception. I love the geometric print and the cut - I don't know why these aren't in my wardrobe yet! £35.99
4.  Nail Varnishes 1, 2, 3 - I love the colours from Rita Ora's Collection and Rimmel 60 seconds nail varnishes are pretty good. The colours are called 'Blindfold Me', 'Pillow Talk' and 'White Hot Love' respectively and are £3.69 each at Superdrug.
5.  ASOS Scallop Hem Shorts - I am absolutely in love with pastel colours, and also scallop hems, so these shorts are absolutely perfect. They are also a great price at £20.

What's on your wishlist?

Hannah Lane

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

40% off flash sale at Bodyshop

I don’t usually blog about beauty products, but this post is a bit of an exception. Bodyshop have a flash sale on: 40% off for 48 hours only with the code 14586. Plus free delivery if you spend over £5! I really like Bodyshop products, my skin can be quite sensitive particularly my face but I’ve never had a problem with any products from the Bodyshop! Plus they almost always smell divine. Here are some of my favourite products from Bodyshop:
I’ve been using this weekly for ages now and I really like it, it’s the best one I’ve tried. I usually put it on every Sunday or Monday night. My skin feels so smooth afterwards! 

This product is absolutely brilliant if you’re prone to dandruff or dry skin. This isn’t a massive problem for me and it only really flares up when I get stressed, but it does really work. My sister swears by it. The only downside is the smell isn’t great. Easily fixed by a nice smelling conditioner though! I recommend the banana conditioner, it smells lush!

I bought this product by chance a while back and wasn’t expecting too much, but it’s actually great. It looks really nice on and I would definitely recommend. It goes on nicely and is easy to blend, but be careful not to use too much - a little goes a long way. I use this almost everyday as part of my makeup routine. 

I absolutely love this, it’s my favourite scent from the bodyshop, I can’t get enough of it. I love the perfume and body mist too. 

This is part of body shop’s new range, I haven’t tried it yet. Have you? What do you think?

Hannah Lane