Back in April my Nan developed a sudden illness, one minute she was fine and then she was seriously ill in hospital. Specialists flew in from Edinburgh to assess her as the condition was so rare. After a few weeks of care in hospital, my Nan was moved across to Hospiscare to live out her final days.

The staff as Hospiscare were incredible. They looked after my nan and made sure she wasn’t alone in her last moments. Not only that, they were also a huge support to my family.

My Nan loved to bake – The obvious thing to me was to hold a tea party at our house and invite close friends and family with all donations going to Hospiscare.

I’ve never held an event like this before, so I didn’t really know where to start. Below are some of my planning techniques for holding a successful charity fundraiser when you’re a complete beginner.

My planning techniques:

  • Think of numbers – How many people do you realistically think will come? Everyone loved my Nan, so we planned for between 40-50 people.
  • Make sure you send out invites – If people have something on a piece of paper, they’re much more likely to remember and actually turn up!
  • Where are you going to put everyone? Our house isn’t big enough to hold that number of people, but we do have a big-ish garden. We put 2 gazebos up in the garden so we could be outside even if the sun wasn’t shining.
  • How many people will donate cakes? People always want to help, you’ll get many people saying they’ll bake a cake and bring it over. Once you have a rough idea of who is bringing what, you can then work out roughly how many cakes you’ll need to make yourself.
  • Do you have enough chairs, tables, glasses, plates etc? We borrowed garden furniture from friends and family to make sure we had at least 40 chairs. I also bought some paper plates and got some pretty napkins to go on top of them. We used a hire company to borrow mugs and glasses as we don’t own enough.
  • Are you going to use decorations? We borrowed lots of bunting from friends and put this up around the house and garden – this really added to the tea party theme.

In total we raised £450 for Hospiscare, I’m so proud of this as it’s my first fundraiser and I also know my Nan would be extremely proud of me!

If you have any questions please leave them below! 🙂

Charlotte xx

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I don’t do complicated recipes. I like everything to be quick and easy with minimal ingredients. These chocolate fairy cakes are beyond simple to make and they taste A-MAZING!

So let’s get started!

Ingredients –  For the cake (makes roughly 20)

  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 225g Margarine
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

For the topping:

  • 225g White chocolate
  • 150g low fat cream cheese
  • Chocolate sprinkles to decorate

Now to get baking!

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5
  2. Set out 20 cake cases into a baking tin.
  3. Cream together the caster sugar and margarine until you get a smooth mixture.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix after you’ve added each egg.
  5. Sieve in the SRF and mix until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Add the cocoa powder and mix again.
  7. Fill each cake case wth the mixture and place in the oven to cook for roughly 30 minutes. (Check the cakes are cooked properly as they may need slightly longer)

Leave the cakes to properly cool down before you decorate the top of them.

Now lets make to topping …

  1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool slightly for a few minutes.
  2. Add the cream cheese to the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. You will end up with a relatively thick and sticky consistency.
  3. Spread the mixture over the top of each cake and decorate with some chocolate sprinkles.

Make sure to keep the cakes refrigerated because of the cream cheese!

Enjoy!

Charlotte xx

 

 

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Lately all I’ve seen everywhere is bullet journals. I love writing things down, I’m always using notebooks and diaries to keep myself organised, so I thought I would give a bullet journal a try.

What I love is that it’s basically a notebook, shopping list, diary and calendar all rolled into one. You can make it how you like it and it’s fully customisable. There’s honestly nothing worse than buying a new diary and finding the lay out doesn’t fit your needs. So this seems like the perfect solution.

I’m totally new to the whole bullet journal fad so have NO idea what I’m doing.

I’ve been looking at ideas on Pinterest on how to lay it out and different ideas, but so far I’ve not got anything set in stone.

If anyone has any suggestions of what works best for laying out a bullet journal then PLEASE let me know in the comments below. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I do know that I definitely need a section for birthdays – I deleted my Facebook and I’m so rubbish at remembering peoples birthdays! … How bad it that? We rely on Facebook to find out it’s our friends birthday!

So far I’ve bought myself the Leuchtturm 1917 as well as the Staedtler pen set and a brush pen set.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and becoming super organised!

Please leave any helpful tips below 🙂

‘See ya real soon!

Charlotte xx

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Do you know what really annoys me? When people say that university is easy. It isn’t.

You’re probably moving away from your home, your parents, your friends, your life. It’s a big step and can be hugely daunting. I was really home sick when I first moved away and massively struggled.

I was suddenly drowning in projects, I couldn’t find a way to spark my creativity and every time I started to get somewhere my tutor would rip my work to shreds.

University is tough – I studied Graphic Arts and it was seriously brutal at times. When I was at college my teacher used to praise everything and I was full of confidence and suddenly I was in a situation where everything I did seemed to be wrong.

Now I’ve probably just put every one off of going to university haha – It isn’t all bad! These are some tips that I have for surviving university and having an amazing time.

  1. Make sure you look after yourself:

    It’s so easy to fall into a diet of chicken nuggets and chips but that isn’t going to help. Try and cook healthy meals that will give you the energy you need to get all of your work done.

  2. Try and connect with a group of people with similar interests –

    There are so many clubs/ societies that you can join. Even if you’re shy (like me), I seriously recommend trying to meet like minded people. You need support to get through university, so it’s really important that you have some close friends that you can rely on.

  3. Keep in contact with home –

    I’m a home person, I like to be in my safe space at home. I found it helped to arrange a Skype session once/ twice a week with my parents. It was something to look forward to, and I could always rely on my parents for support.

  4. Make a plan of action each day –

    My work was 100% coursework based which meant I had a lot to do. The days that I wasn’t in university, I made myself a to do list to make sure I was remaining productive and making best use of my time.

  5. Take regular breaks –

    As I worked through my to do list, I would take regular breaks as it kept me motivated. I also used to treat myself with an hours worth on Netflix over lunch time to give my brain a rest for a while. I would have a ‘wind down’ time in the evening; I would stop working and hang out with my housemates, read a book, bake something etc.

  6. Don’t take everything to heart –

    Your tutors aren’t trying to be mean, they’re trying to help you develop. Take on board what they say and try and apply it in your next project.

  7. Plan your dissertation early!!

    I can’t even stress this enough. There is NOTHING worse than having to pull all nighters and rush your dissertation to get it finished. Be prepared, have a plan of action and stick to it. I used to write a few hundred words each evening and it soon builds up to where you need it to be.

  8. Go out and have fun –

    I was about half an hour away from London by train when I was at university. My best friend and I often used to head into London and go shopping or catch a show at the Westend. It’s a great way to take a break from all of your hard work and it gives you something to look forward to.

  9. You will cry

    Be prepared for the fact that you will probably cry a lot. You will feel like giving up; but you have to keep pushing and you’ll get there eventually. Support each other and you’ll get through it together.

  10.  Enjoy every moment

    University doesn’t last forever. You have 3 years so make the most of it. I graduated in 2014 and I wish more than anything I could go back to university and do it all over again. It was stressful and hard at times, but I miss the freedom and carefree life I used to have. I now have to be a ‘proper adult’ and I’m not going to lie, it’s crap.

I hope this helps anyone who is thinking of going to university or currently struggling their way through university! What are your tips for surviving? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

‘See ya real soon!

Charlotte xx

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Day 1 – Epcot

We were all up at the crack of dawn and raring to go! We left our Hotel (Rosen Inn at Pointe – International drive) at 8am to be at Epcot ready for the opening. As soon as they opened the gates we headed straight to Test Track to avoid the long queues later on in the day. This worked a treat as it was only about a 10 minute wait. My mum hates Test Track but we still managed to drag her on and got a classic photo of her on memory maker looking terrified!

As soon as we had finished on Test Track we headed straight over to Soarin’ – Again this was to avoid the inevitable long wait times … We had to wait for about 20 minutes which is pretty darn good! Soarin’ is one of my favourite rides, it literally takes my breath away with how incredible it is.

Next up we had a Fastpass for The Seas with Nemo and friends – I absolutely love seeing the Manatees, they’re so unique! We also watched Turtle Talk with Crush which is always great fun. It’s so unpredictable as you never know what the kids are going to ask.

By this point it was about 12.30 and we were all feeling pretty hungry – we headed to the Electric Umbrella and grabbed some food. My first day tradition is always chicken nuggets and chips. Nothing beats Disney Chicken nuggets! I opted for the kids meal, I don’t have a big appetite, so it was plenty big enough for me.

Once we were re-energised from lunch we headed over to Ellens Energy Adventure – Let’s be honest this ride is totally outdated but we still enjoyed it. Next up was our 2nd Fastpass which was for Spaceship Earth – I seriously love how they’ve made this ride interactive, it adds a bit more excitement to the ride.

Up next is the ride I was most excited for – Frozen Ever After. We managed to get a fastpass for this which I was super happy about. To be totally honest, the ride is just aimed at kids but I still enjoyed it. My mum and dad not so much haha. I love hearing the Frozen songs, they just make me so happy.

We then had a gander around Mexico and China in the world showcase. By this point we were all feeling pretty tired and ready for an early night. The jetlag had definitely kicked in. We headed back to our hotel and then went to TGI Friday’s for some food.

Favourite ride of the day – Soarin’ 

Favourite moment of the day – Walking through the entrance and feeling like I was home again. 

‘See ya real soon!

Charlotte xx

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