Coming to an end

I’ve got one week left of the term and to be honest I can’t wait to see the back of it. It feels like it has been one really long term and I need a rest. I mean, I do a lot of resting, but I need a rest where I don’t worry about anything and just chill – which I will do on holiday. I am doing a complete shut off from the rest of the world. No phone, no facebook, no email, no nothing. I need a week away from all people and stress. Of course, it means when I come back I will likely have LOTS to catch up on but I really don’t care.

In other news, I drew the results to my raffle today. Technically my flat mate Judith drew the tickets but same difference. In total I managed to raise £104 for that raffle, which is 1/8 of my overall fundraising target and has brought me all the way up to 79%! Straight on to planning the next thing, I suppose.

I have finally finished all my coursework for the year, which is probably why I took this weekend as slowly as I did. I need to revise but you know how it is… Motivation can desert you when you most need it. Still, I’ve got a week until I break up and I am sure that I can push myself to do something.

I went to the cinema yesterday evening and saw “The Ghost in the Shell”. It wasn’t that bad. Wasn’t great, but I had fun watching it anyway. In the last two and a half months I have, as counted this morning, been and seen 13 different films. Definitely making use of my limitless, I’d say!

Anyway, have a great week guys.


Fundraising Chronicles Vol I

Fundraising is a scary word. At least I think it is, especially when you have such a large target looming over you. I realised yesterday evening that – somewhat scarily – I have spent at least part of every hour of every day for the past few weeks thinking about it.  I mean, that’s great that I’m taking it so seriously but it is starting to mess with my head a little!

As part of ICS, I have to reach a target of £800 to prove that I am dedicated to the project. Along the way, the challenge of raising that much money helps me to learn more about myself, where my skills lie and where they clearly don’t and also spread the word of what is a truly great programme.

At the moment, I am running a raffle. Getting prizes for it was surprisingly easy. People have been so generous and have donated some great prizes after just a short email or message. It really is great. I’ve had people donate alcohol, food vouchers, cinema tickets, paintball vouchers, entrance into clubs… The list is actually pretty long! I’m just trying to get tickets sold at the moment which does mean shamelessly self promo-ing.


That is probably what I am finding the hardest. Approaching people and asking for donations to the raffle itself was easy. Actually approaching my friends and acquaintances is surprisingly harder. You may have gathered that I am not the most social person and going out of my way to ask for something really is out of my comfort zone. After all, though, that is the whole point of doing this.

What else… You may remember the pictures of us painting bags? We are over half way done now and have a huge range of designs! We’ve done free hand painting, stencils, potato printing… Literally everything. We’ve also managed to make quite a good mess whilst doing it, so nothing new there (at least on my part!). Here are just a few of my favourites so far:

Basically, its busy around here even though term is coming to a close. I’ve still got assessments due but I am counting down the days until we break up because it means I am almost going on holiday! Over Easter I will be relaxing in Marrakesh, trying not to burn and not thinking about anything. No exams. No fundraising. No stress. Then I can come back and dive straight back into everything.  Good luck me!

Anyway, if you want to follow my ICS journey, donate or buy one of my bags, check out my pages.

Busy Times Ahead!

It has been a busy week to say the least! I have sent countless emails and messages out to companies asking for donations for my upcoming raffle – people have been overwhelmingly generous in the name of such a great cause. I have been painting my canvas bags which will soon go up for sale to raise funds for ICS and Y Care International. I’ve had labs, assignments, my exam timetable was released, the university concert band had our concert and… do you know, I can’t even remember any more. It has been a long – and yet undeniably quick – week.

I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of my housemates when it has come to painting my canvas bags. You can see some of them modelling our designs in the photo below (not enough hands, so feet were required!). You can also see the mess that I have left, far worse than usual, but I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to tidying up.

In addition to all the actually relatively productive things I have been doing, I’ve also become slightly obsessed with Pretty Little Liars. I should probably have waited until the end of term to start watching it because it is addictive… Netflix is a terrible/wonderful thing.

Really not a lot else to say, I don’t think!  If you haven’t already, please like and share my pages – I’d really appreciate it!

And My Destination Is….

Yesterday I got a very exciting email telling me where I have been provisionally placed for the ICS programme…. With my partner charity, in June, I will be going to…. Sierra Leone! Flag_of_Sierra_Leone.svg

To be honest, before looking it up on Google yesterday I would have been hard pressed to tell you that it was in Africa… But after a quick googling, I found out that whilst the official language is actually English, there are loads of languages spoken there. As a country, it is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant across the planet, which is amazing. It is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world but is still one of the poorest. The average life expectancy is less than 60 for both men and women. 70% of the population lives in poverty.

Over the course of my journey with ICS, I expect to learn an awful lot about this wildly different country and culture – one of the reasons I joined the programme in the first place. In my opinion, we as people can’t learn to work together and won’t be able to make progress in society if we can’t be tolerant and open to other peoples’ ideas. And really, I find it fascinating to see how others live their lives. I know I am lucky here in the UK. It can be easy to forget. I hope that this amazing experience will open my eyes to the kind of thing that we tend to ignore and push me even further along the path to becoming an international citizen of the world.

Home for the Weekend

It was my birthday on Wednesday! I am officially no longer a teenager but I still don’t quite feel like an adult yet (that being said, I do all my own shopping, washing, cooking and am the lead tenant of our house and deal with literally every thing). I got loads of fabulous presents and cards from my friends, we sat and watched Mulan (which was also very fitting as my birthday is on International Women’s day and nothing is more empowering than watching Mulan save China!!) and ate a LOT of Chinese. It was wonderful.There was also so much left that I’ve been eating noodles for lunch for the past few days!

As the title of the post suggests, I’ve come home this weekend to see my family. I’m spending my day today in town with my sister and then seeing Hidden Figures (a film I’ve wanted to see for ages now but hasn’t been showing in Canterbury Odeon). On films, this week I have already been and seen Hacksaw Ridge (amazingly inspiring) and Kong: Skull Island (good fun, Tom hiddleston <3) . Tomorrow we are going to Chessington World of Adventures which is always fun. Me and dodgems are a violent mix!

I don’t have that much other news, apart from the big reveal that will be posted in a couple of hours!!

Start of a Fantastic new Journey

I know it is late but it’s just such exciting news that I couldn’t wait to let people know. I have been accepted onto the International Citizenship Service programme and have been partnered with Y-Care International.Days of obsessively checking my emails can finally come to an end!

What is ICS? For those of you who don’t know, ICS works with communities that specifically request their help and aims to inspire young people in and out of the UK to become active citizens. I will be volunteering overseas in West Africa over the summer on this amazing programme and I am so excited!

The first part of my challenge is to raise £800 which goes towards the work of Y-Care International and their ICS partners. The money goes towards the overall costs of ICS and ensures that they can continue to send youth volunteers to the developing world. It all makes a real difference in these disadvantaged countries.The programme itself is 90% funded by the Department for International Development (a UK government deparment) and the other 10% is raised by volunteers like me to ensure that it can run in the future. Amazingly, £8million has been raised by ICS volunteers which is insane!

So what will I be doing to fundraise? Among other things, I plan to make some (hopefully) gorgeous canvas bags to sell for funds and do a sponsored week without music (which will undoubtedly lead to a very angsty Nicola – more than normal!) Music is a huge part of my life and I think that, as silly as it may sound, giving up my iPod, record player, radio and youtube for a week will almost certainly kill me. Anyone that knows me will certainly vouch for how hard that will be for me but really you should be feeling sorry for the people that are going to have to be around me that week. Other than that, we will see what happens!

Honestly, anything you can donate will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the disadvantaged countries that ICS works with. If you want to donate to my page you can find it here:

I will be sharing my journey on this blog so please stay tuned for (many) updates and any support you can give will be so greatly received. Good night!

Umm… March?!

So it occurred to me the other day that I kind of forgot to put up the recipe of the month for February. What can I say, it’s been busy around here! I promise that by next week I will have the recipe written up, you’ll just have to wait a little longer!

This last week has been a really busy one! On Tuesday I went into London for my ICS-Y Care International assessment day. I’ll tell you what; I check my emails pretty obsessively anyway but the last few days have been madness. I keep refreshing every time I look at my phone (we’re talking multiple times an hour!) and I think as with so many matters the wait to hear something back is the worse part of anything!

On Thursday, I took part in a 12 hour read-a-thon in aid of Give A Book for World Book Day. I dressed up as supervillain Poison Ivy (the looks I got when I got on the bus were amazing!) and stood around reading Richelle Mead’s Frostbite for hours. I think I was reading out loud for about 7 hours in total (and proudly managed to get all the way through the book – hence why I look so tired by the end!). We had readings by our university Hogwarts and Poetry societies too, which meant we got to have a little break to eat dinner! It was a great day and there was so much support for everyone that took part. It is amazing to see sometimes that people you don’t know get behind you on a cause. We don’t know how much we raised in total yet, but we are estimating between £400-£500! Such a worthwhile day!

Those were understandably the highlights of my week. What else is there to say? Not all that much! My menu this week has been pretty simple:

  • Sunday: Stir Fry
  • Sunday: Lentil, sweet potato, carrot dahl/tagine thing
  • Monday: Bulgogi style pork
  • Tuesday: (microwave) Curry and rice (I am so ashamed to have succumbed to the minute and half microwave dinner but it had been a long day….)
  • Wednesday: Sausages, roast potatoes, veg, yorkshire pudding
  • Thursday: Pulled pork and burger with curly fries and coleslaw (it was yummy!!)
  • Friday:Kung Pao Chicken