Happy Saturday everyone! Apologies for being away for a couple of weeks - ever since the snow has melted life has been pretty chaotic and my schedule has been so crazy I’ve not had time to blog at all. So I thought I’d give you all a little catch up on what I’ve been up to since my last post…
You may know having read my About page that I’ve played the oboe for nearly nine years - there have been many highs and lows in my relationship with the instrument but I finally sat my ABRSM Grade 8 exam on Monday. It’s taken loads of lessons and practice (particularly since the start of 2018 - major thanks to my mum for driving me everywhere!) but I’m so glad to have it done and think it went pretty well overall - fingers crossed for the results!
I’ve also performed as part of woodwind trio led by a friend at my school’s chamber concert on Wednesday, and on top of all of that I’m away next weekend with school orchestra which should be great too.
From a general music perspective, recently I’ve been loving listening to the Black Panther soundtrack (if you’ve not seen it already I’d totally recommend it), FRIENDS by Marshmello & Anne-Marie, This Is Me from The Greatest Showman soundtrack (I saw the movie with my friend Sophie and absolutely loved it) and Breathe by Jax Jones (feat. Ina Wroldsen).
Although having a couple of days off with the snow was a great break, it turned school a little chaotic as we’re now a little behind on the coursework in some subjects. Everything’s getting crammed in pretty quickly with loads of tests, sending off portfolio work, doing my whole Physics assignment and making subject choices for next year (I’ve picked Advanced Higher Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Higher Spanish). It’s pretty crazy to think there are only four teaching weeks left in school, although I guess it does mean it’s less than ten weeks until I’m exam free!
A huge contributor to my crammed schedule has been European Youth Parliament (EYP). To sum it up, I worked with friends in my year to research a few controversial EU topics and to prepare speeches and fact sheets on each topic in preparation for a debating competition last Tuesday. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read as many newspaper articles in my life as I have in the last few weeks…
It’s involved loads of late nights staying behind at school and as crazy as it sounds, I’ve had so much fun researching the different topics with my group. To make it even better, the competition went really well and my team progressed to Nationals in Liverpool in September - yay!
By now you’re probably well aware of how much of a foodie I am, so I thought I’d add a mini update on some of my favourite things I’ve eaten lately. I’ve indulged in one of my all-time favourite recipes, Minimalist Baker’s banana french toast (which you may remember me mentioning here and here); made pizzas at home (topped with as much chilli as I could possibly manage); eaten loads of porridge from my gorgeous coconut bowls (which have featured in almost every breakfast post I’ve done); cooked vegan chilli (keep your eye out for a recipe coming soon); and can hardly count the volume of soup I’ve consumed lately too!
But best of all is undoubtedly my recent discovery of Lotus Biscoff spread, which somehow is vegan too! If you’ve never tried then I’d 100% recommend. It tastes absolutely heavenly and is so indulgent you’d never guess it was vegan!
In case what I’ve already mentioned hasn’t been enough, I’ve also been doing a 30 day yoga challenge with my parents, which has been a great way to relax given everything else I’ve been up to. I’ve also come to love an app called Pause, which has been a brilliant way to de-stress and keep calm - I’d definitely recommend doing it as a way to take time for yourself away from the rest of your life. For me, it’s been a huge help in coping with some tough choices and emotional difficulties I’ve had recently (mini shoutout to everyone who’s been super lovely to me lately - thank you for being so wonderful!).
And in what little free time I’ve had in the last couple of weeks I’ve also loved catching up on Riverdale and Jane the Virgin on Netflix, plus watching the new season of Masterchef too (I think I’ve already figured out who I’m rooting for to win!).
Anyway, now that all of that’s over everything is beginning to calm down a little and I should be able to get back to blogging more often (although perhaps not as frequently as at the beginning of the year). I just can’t wait until exams are finally over and I can be stress-free for a little while over summer.
Let me know if you’ve got any requests for future blog posts (I’m always looking for new ideas!) and I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately in the comments too. To stay more updated on my daily life add my Instagram, @_hefafa_. Have a great weekend!