Diary Post: Feeling inadequate

Nobody is perfect. You open instagram, see those perfect travel pictures; dream houses or “perfect parents.” None of that is 100% reality. Those parents will have had their ups and downs, those motivational bloggers will have their down moments… and that’s the norm.

A few nights ago, ironically when the whole country was huddled in suspense over the England World Cup match against Columbia, I was sat in my room on my bed. Just sat there. I was watching youtube videos, but the words and sounds just went over my head. I wasn’t there, I was sad and – not going to lie- a bit teary. I felt inadequate, average, worthless and downright pointless.

Diary Post: Feeling inadequate

I was fed up of not getting where I wanted to be and the fact that even when lowering my expectations of myself, I still hadn’t achieved them. I like to make myself goals, as you can see from my 2018 goals and even the update of them, but there’s a problem. All my life I have been a perfectionist and if I feel like it won’t, or isn’t perfect, I give up. I don’t complete things. I start books but don’t finish, I start scrapbooking, but don’t finish; the list goes on! The point is I was getting fed up and it just all struck me at once.

Another negative aspect of me, is my need for control. There are so many things in my life that I want but feel I have no control over at the moment. Yes, I have control over my education, my finances, my earnings, my job.. but there are some things that aren’t solely my decision and which I can’t start or begin.

The point of writing this post is not just for you but also for me. I need to acknowledge the negative and to try and resolve it with some positivity; even if it’s taken me a few days.Diary Post: Feeling inadequate

You matter. We all matter. We are all here for a reason, and even when things don’t go our way, we need to realise and remember this. Our struggles, obstacles and pains are lessons and development; our visions and dreams are our motivation and calling. Everything you ask for and want is well on its way and within reach, perhaps just not always in the time frame you want.

You have to start believing and keep listening. Stick to your guts, trust your instincts and don’t ignore them! They’re there to guide you and help you down the right path… the sat nav of your body. It’s time to believe and listen.Diary Post: Feeling inadequate

We’re all in the same boat and life can be rocky but don’t let yourself fall xxx

The Frugal Frenchie

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

2018 really started off with a bang. Spent New Years Eve with my boyfriend and his family, celebrated and had a lay-in on the 1st, and on the 2nd, we were off on holiday! After having worked my butt off for the last two months of 2017, both at work and at uni, it couldn’t have come at a better timing, to be honest! So here’s a little diary post of my Bordeaux holiday.

The Frugal Frenchie

January 2nd

We left on January 2nd for Gatwick airport, simply because we live about 2 hours + away, so we thought it might be tight arriving for an 8am flight in case something happened or sod’s law… there was a strike on public transport.

Ironically, there did end up being a strike on the trains, so this started a big twitter thread of updates and the passing of many confusing places we weren’t even meant to be anywhere near! Not sure what it is about January, but it seems to trigger the protest of many transport workers! Our direct train from Southampton Central to Gatwick was completely cancelled, so we were informed that we had to go to Brighton and then change there for Gatwick, “however if that’s cancelled, then there’s no way you can get there, unfortunately.” Well, that was helpful, luckily we had grabbed bargain tickets then!

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

Thankfully, we did board that Brighton train, but before it got to Brighton, it said we had to change for another train, because a Brighton train was not running, so we wouldn’t even get there! We ended up in the rain, humorously being told to swap platforms twice so a whole crowd of confused people were just constantly going back and forth in the bridge under the rails, on the lookout for our train!

Nevertheless, we arrived at Gatwick Airport in a reasonable time (a miracle in my opinion) where Fraser, my boyfriend, had managed to keep a surprise from me: we were staying overnight in a Hilton hotel! I’ve never stayed in a Hilton hotel before so I was very excited. I’m more of a Premier Inn type of girl traditionally!

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

After our last flight, where we did an unintentional all-nighter in Amsterdam airport, it was amazing to be able to dump our bags with no sense of paranoia and fall back on a nice, soft, well-made bed. We watched TV for a bit, surprised to see Mr. Ramsay’s face on it (Kitchen Nightmares is our favourite), took a nice warm shower and went to bed.

January 3rd

In the morning, we woke up at around 6:30, left by 6:50, all ready for looking at our flights. We took a few bits and bobs for breakfast and made our way to the gate, which we found easily and voila, that was it!

Because I’m half French, I have a lot of family spread out everywhere. My Grandma is from the North, however, my Auntie and cousins ended up in the middle/south of France: Cognac and Bordeaux (both wine places, I know). I haven’t seen my cousin and his wife in 3 years, so that meant that I never saw their son who was 3 and their now newborn son of 6 months old. Heads up, I’m already broody so this trip certainly didn’t help, but boy did it make my year.

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

After having found each other at arrivals, and doing our cheek-kisses (I have no idea how you refer to it in English haha) and making introductions, we squeezed ourselves and our suitcases into the car and made our way. The little boy was definitely a shy little one, a fact that my cousin found highly amusing and told us to wait until we got home. It was quite a sight seeing my boyfriend of 5″10 squashed in between two car seats, a sleeping baby and a shy, withdrawing toddler, but as predicted, all was well when we got home!

I thought that it would take a little introduction and play before he trusted us, but once he had his shoes off at home, it’s like he had known us forever! Despite the language barrier with him and Fraser, he started throwing toys our way asking that we play with him, with yours truly translating (or attempting to) toddler talk as we went.

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

A little favourite of his was a bit like Buckaroo, but if you touched certain parts of the body while throwing the objects on, you’d get sprayed with water, so it’s safe to say there was a bit of intentional cheating going on!

After lunch, while the little ones took a nap, we were shown around Bordeaux centre a little bit, reminiscing about the last time I went there and there was a boat festival in the summer. It really is a beautiful city, some of the architecture is just insane! Turns out they were just business offices and flats for verrich people, which is just unreal! We also passed this statue called “Monuments des Girondins” which is so tall it’s difficult to get into one picture, very detailed and stately though, it’s a real landmark of Bordeaux!

January 4th

On our second day in France, we were taken on an awesome trip to a seaside town called Arcachon. With it being only about 2 hours away from the nearest Spanish town, it was clear that it had Spanish influences, with the architecture’s colour and designs occasionally fooling us into thinking we were elsewhere than a French town.

The little three-year-old was having a ball of a time, so after eating a little something at a nearby Boulangerie, Fraser and I decided to have a little walk along the front ourselves, climbing amongst the rocks and taking just a few pictures.

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

Later on, we saw two (of what could only be described as) of nature’s wonders. Who’d have thought that the largest forest in Europe, would also be next to the largest sand dune in Europe and the beach?

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

Honestly, as somebody who has never gone to a “deserty” place before, had you made the temperature super high and made a blazing sun beam down on us rather than cold wind, I could’ve been in the Sahara desert!

Predictably, climbing up and sliding down it was hilarious and messy, but totally worth it! Despite it being last month, I think I still have some sand in my shoes from it haha. Oh, and how cheeky is this little munchkin? So adorable.

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

January 5th

The third day was a little more chill after our “sandy workout.” We had a lie in, breakfast and just relaxed all morning with the little ones. The little three-year-old is so cute, he’s really into Disney songs and even in French, they’re as addictive! After listening to them a few times, I’m pretty sure I started getting the chorus of “Let it Go” in my head after a while, not to mention some new French shows featuring ladybird and cat superheroes!At around lunchtime, Fraser and I went out into town by ourselves, while the two boys had their nap and my cousin worked from home. We were out for a good 3/4 hours, just wondering around and soaking in the atmospheres. Among many other commonly found stores, there were some really sweet independent French boutiques, filled with French fashion or cosmetics. Despite my love for writing posts, I still am not “doué” for taking photos naturally, and so we just enjoyed our time instead. Memories are just as good, right?

Unfortunately, as it always does, reality kicked in and made me realise that my statistics (ew) coursework was due in, so I did have to resist the temptation just a little while of playing with the boys when I got back, and do a little bit of referencing and editing.

Overall it was a relaxing day though, with a new adventure planned for the next day!

January 6th

Gee, I think such a day-to-day description might have been easier presented in vlogs! Especially on our 4th day, when we went to an amazing old castle and village (you can see more pics in this post). Shamefully I didn’t get the name, but it was really beautiful, you could only imagine what each part was used for and what happened in each area.

Can you guess what we assumed this part to be for?

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

Knowing it was quite a long drive, our little companion did amazingly to be some calm, although he cheated by sleeping most of it! Nevertheless, he walked loads and, on the condition that he was good (which I also said applies to Fraser haha) he was allowed a McDonalds, so after a lot of sport with his new best buddy, off we went to guzzle down some French chips and hamburgers.

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

I can’t help thinking that in all these pictures, I look like the boring one that never plays haha. I am fun I promise, I just think this week, Fraser was the favoured one to play with (tottttally not offended) although I definitely could’ve fit into this small McDonald’s play area better!

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

January 7th

On our last full day in Bordeaux, we want for a little trip to the nearby countryside. It wasn’t too far away, yet was so different to the commercial, more industrial side we had previously seen.

We watched a football match for a little bit, then walked around the park kicking about a ball and then spent the rest of the time in the playground. We probably took the most pictures then, so enjoy a few of my favourites!

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

January 8th

Today we got to visit a French school, a little primary school and got to reminisce about the low-hung clothes hangers outside and the extremely colourful walls of the classrooms. Our little companion had school on our last day, unfortunately, but luckily we managed to say bye to him before we left.

Our last day was of course the one with bright sunshine, but we still went out and had a look around a local shopping centre. I had my first look at a Sephora store and saw the most amazing craft/general bits and bobs store ever. Honestly, it was like a bloggers dream. What do you think?

Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018 Diary post: My Bordeaux Holiday January 2018

Our flight was in the evening so we got a very overpriced baguette to share between us, queued for ages, had a very justified fright that we were going to be late (they checked passports before boarding, but for several flights at the same time???) and then boarded.

We met Fraser’s dad and sister at Gatwick and arrived at his about 2.5 hours later where we crashed and slept like absolute babies until morning.

This was a really amazing way to start 2018, and was the last time of seeing Fraser for a good 1.5 months after (ie. I just saw him) so it made it extra special. A big thank you to Vincent and Elodie, and I can’t wait to see you all again soon! xx

 

Diary Post: What I got for my birthday

On the 9th December, I turned the big 2-0! My day was filled with kind words, good food and some pretty awesome presents. In the few years that I have been blogging, I don’t believe I’ve ever shared what gifts I’ve received so why change that and show you what I got for my birthday?

What I got for my birthday What I got for my birthdayWhat I got for my birthdayWhat I got for my birthdayWhat I got for my birthday

I hope you enjoy it and please forgive the excited girl tone aha.

The Frugal Frenchie x

I feel like my presents were really varied this year so there’s a little bit of everything. My dad chose out this book by Matthew Desmond called “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” It’s a nonfiction book that describes the events and the lives of those in trailer parks and tumbledown houses.

What I got for my birthday

It talks about people’s struggles, hardships and life obstacles which I, sometimes guilty so, find very interesting, so I look forward to getting further into the book!

My mum chose me out this gorgeous perfume from Yves Rocher. It’s called “Quelques Notes d’Amour,” and I love it. Shipped from France, it feels extra special as I’ve always loved their products and it smells so lush. It’s not overly sweet but it’s fairly woody for a feminine perfume. I’ve worn it every day since I got it!

What I got for my birthday

Next comes the food, there’s always food let’s face it. My sister was so sweet as to buy me a tube of Smarties- which awkwardly is nearly finished by the time I write this post- and my uni friend got me a tub of Jelly Bean “tropical bonanza!” Thought that was quite funky as some flavours I’ve never tried before, and that was finished a while ago *oops*.

What I got for my birthday

Although these are far from the most well edited, well laid out pictures, I thought it was most appropriate as these sweet treats got me through some tough times typing away at the computer doing coursework aha.

Lastly, I was very kindly gifted the Alcatel A5 LED phone and I love it so much! It’s so easy to navigate and I’ve finally moved on now from my friend’s, scratched old phone! Feels so good to be able to download loads of important apps and be more active on social media whilst on the go. The camera is also much better (my last post was me experimenting with it for the first time ever) which can only mean a step in the right direction when trying to up my blogging game!

What I got for my birthday

There’s also an A3 version but both have this cool cover which replaces the normal back. It lights up whenever you sign in or get a notification so it’s great when you need to keep your phone on silent but want to remain updated! I attached a picture below because it turns out it’s hard to photograph aha, but I love it; I’m a very happy bunny indeed.

What I got for my birthday

What I got for my birthdayWhat I got for my birthday

Diary post: my first week of university

As it’s the first week of my university experience here in the UK, I thought I would make a little diary post about it. Hopefully, this will appeal not only to my old uni friends from abroad, who are wondering what it’s like but also for anyone who is just starting university this year.

Diary post: my first week of university

Monday 25th September

Today was my first day of uni. Surprisingly, my timetable seems quite empty with actually Mondays’ being one of the “longest” days of the week. Always bright and cheerful, I started the year with a statistics (or what they refer to as EMSA) workshop and a recap test.

Although I wasn’t happy with the surprise at the time, I’m kind of glad they did one as it made me realise just how much I’ve forgotten! It’s definitely time to get those stats notes out from last year! Compared to my last university, Maastricht, I found statistics much more understandable. Don’t get me wrong, they were fab over there and so intelligent, but here, they simplify everything, gave us a workbook with exercises and a step to step guide.

I really hope they don’t teach the whole degree like this as it may get slightly patronising, but for maths-related topics, which to say the least, were never my forte, this was definitely helpful!

In my introduction lecture, I met with another girl who had transferred from the University of Winchester, so it helped that we were in the same boat. During the summer, I manage to get in contact with a girl that’s already on the course so I hope to finally meet her at some point, despite not having the same schedules.

Tuesday 26th September

Not going to lie, although my lecture today was interesting, I think it’s very irritating being at uni for only an hour. An hour?! Plus, the lecturer ended 10 minutes early so it kind of feels a little pointless.

My motivation is definitely still high and it was about personality, a topic that greatly interests me, but I can imagine in 6 months time, coming in for just 50 minutes will seem a lot more of a chore.

Nevertheless, I finally put a name to my personal tutor too which was useful. I believe I have a meeting with him in a couple of days time so hopefully, he can answer my many questions about essays and the like.

Today he covered the humanistic approach to personality which talks a lot about free will, what our desires are (self-fulfilment, worth etc.) and different theories. Really very interesting! I found one theory in particular rather curious and this was the “hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1943), if you’d like more information or a post about it do let me know.

Oh also, I finally met that girl I’ve been chatting on facebook with! I met with her a little earlier before the lecture and she showed me around a little. From an outside glance, the library seems a little disappointing but the new building, called the fusion building, is absolutely gorgeous!

Diary post: my first week of university

Wednesday 27th September

Well, I’ll definitely remember Wednesday’s as “science day!” From 9am until 11am every week, I will be bombarded by two hours of neuroanatomy/biopsychology. This is essentially the scientific study of the biology of behaviour.

In this lecture, seeing as it was the first one of year 2, it covered mostly a recap of everything we should already know. From the basics of “there are 4 lobes,” to a slightly more in-depth look at the components of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.

It was a nice, slow start and easy to follow and understand (a relief)! I always find it difficult to take notes in a more biological lecture as there are always diagrams attached to the slides which obviously can’t be drawn out but always seem relevant and important! Still, I think it went well for a first shot.

Thursday 28th September

I spent the majority of last night doing some extra reading for today’s seminar. This will be my first ever seminar (as the concept wasn’t really used in Maastricht) and I have no idea what to expect!

It ended up being quite a short but sweet summary of Wednesday’s lecture. It did feel a little like being in primary school again, what with working in pairs etc. but I’m hoping that once the difficulty increases, I’ll appreciate that a lot more.

This afternoon, I have a long break and then have a personality seminar. It’s with the same lecturer as Tuesday and afterwards, I’ll have a meeting with my personal tutor. It’s a good time to get some focused studying done and socialise with my new friend!

The personality seminar didn’t add anything new, it mentioned a few assessment techniques with role play, but apart from that nothing of value was added. The meeting ended up being a generic one about how to behave and what not but it ended up being over an hour because of a “plagiarism checker” sheet we had to complete and a worksheet on how to practice shortening sentences. I personally hate things like that so so close to dinner, I wasn’t in the best of temperaments!

Diary post: my first week of university

Friday 29th September

Today’s another long day. To avoid walking an hour, I have to get a lift almost an hour early at the same time as the sibling’s school run. This meant a 7:15 am wake up call for a 9 am lecture. It’s difficult haha.

I had a 9-10 lecture on personality again (we have 2 hours a week per topic) and then later a lecture on statistics, from 2-3pm.

The statistics lecture was one I was dreading in all honesty. Back in Maastricht, they would go step by step but only showing us the formulas as they went. Trust me, once you reach an equation that has 5 or more steps before even reaching the point you want, it gets so confusing!

The guy who ran this lecture spoke with no microphone. He was confident, passionate and it actually put a smile on his face. Through his waffling, I could really take in what he was saying, as well as keeping on track with the slides of the presentation.

I left that lecture hall and my first week on a high!

Do you remember your first week of uni? What was it like? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

The Frugal Frenchie x

How I got my current job

I am so excited to announce that I have a new job! For most of you, this won’t be news to your ears, but I thought I’d talk a little bit about the journey and how I got to my current job!

How I got my current job

For those who haven’t known me long enough, I used to work in a company called Explore Learning, which was a tuition service offering English, Maths and other help to children from 4-14 years old. Although I never disliked it, I felt that it wasn’t possible to continue to teach once I left the UK to study abroad in the Netherlands. They did offer me a holiday contract, which I accepted, but there was actually never enough time to go back. This meant that in June 2017, we mutually decided that it would be a good idea to end my contract.

My plans by that time had started to change, however. I had applied for UCAS and I was in the process of writing my personal statement for a year 2 transfer back to the UK. A month and a bit later, I found out that I got accepted into year 2 of my hometown university, Bournemouth. I was very excited and took it as a sign of fate as other universities either hadn’t got back to me in time or didn’t accept me. Coming back to my hometown means that a lot more opportunities were open up to me; one of them being a new job.

My first point of call was Primark. I’m not sure why maybe I just had a good feeling about it from the start? Maybe I fancied starting something new without realising? I’m not sure, but I went straight to their vacancy website before attempting anything else. I have experience with Primark in the past actually, but not a good one. In 2015, I applied in October for a retail assistant position in the hopes they’d employ me as a Christmas temp (I thought I’d give them time to consider aha). Anyway, they came back to me in January saying that they didn’t need me- which was no surprise by then!

As a result, I had no real expectations when I applied this year, but boy they’ve upped their game! They replied to me in less than 24 hours and I had an interview three days later. From there, I had my induction the next day and by a week after my initial interview, I had already done two shifts! It was so impressive and it all moved so quickly, I think they were extremely professional and I’m thrilled to be there! (And yes, I still stand by this two months later)!

How did you get to your current job? Or are you thinking of changing jobs? Let me know as it’s always an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x