I love a bargain and finding one on eBay is always so rewarding, especially for under £5. I thought I would share some of the best things I have found recently with you guys. If you’re interested in posts about fetching yourself a good bargain I can throw you back to last year where I did some posts entitled “Under £20”, my favourite being the Under £20: 36 Date Ideas.

Mesh Top

I first saw Lydia Rose from fashioninflux post about these I jumped straight over to eBay to check them out. I just found her blog post from last year that mentioned some of her other favourite finds that I definitely recommend giving a read. I have seen these tops everywhere at the moment on the likes of Pretty Little Thing, Missy Empire and other Instagram dominated brands and thought for a fraction of the price I couldn’t help but snatch it up! Just typing in “mesh top” to eBay seems to open up a world of gorgeous little bargains which are perfect dupes for high street brands.

For example, I bought this embroidered little number for under £5 which is a great dupe for the Urban Outfitter’s £34 alternative. I have honestly had so many compliments when I have worn it out and equally as many shocked looks when I tell them how much it cost! If you’re not into embroidered mesh tops, this spotty one is another great alternative for this version from Glamorous at £20.

Phone Case

eBay is a fantastic place to get phone cases that are on trend and look great. I recently got this stunning gold and marble case for just £3.95 which is an absolute steal. I also adore this grey, pink and marble case that is completely up my street at the moment in terms of colour and aesthetic and hey, if you can’t match your phone case to your bedroom.. why bother? eBay sellers always seem to be one step ahead in terms of picking up and replicating trends and I often see great dupes for Skinny Dip cases online. If you haven’t seen the peach theme that has been around forever, where have you been? On wrapping paper at Ohh Deer, on bedding at Urban Outfitters and cases with Skinny Dip – I feel like it is a trend people love. The peach phone case from Skinny Dip is a hefty £14 compared to the cool £3.49 eBay alternative.

Slogan Tshirt

Another fashion find is the good ol slogan t-shirt. Nobody is without a slogan t-shirt these days and this one is perfect for the feminist vibes that are everywhere at the moment too. This feminist top is only £4.99. Topshop is THE place to visit right now for a slogan t-shirt so comparing the eBay find to their £16 “revolution” alternative is such a steal!

Home Decor

I recently moved into my third year house at university and I was adamant about decorating it nicely and making it my home. I found that eBay is a great place to pick up little decorative pieces that really make a house a home. This is obviously perfect for university students on a budget who want to decorate their living space to feel more comfortable and welcoming. I bought a really sweet pom pom garland that was grey, white and pink and tied my colour theme together perfectly. It was shipped from China but arrived so quickly and was exactly what I was after! You can find them here for £3.89. I also find that eBay is brilliant for fairy lights. I have got so many fantastic bargains and some of the ones I am looking at right now include these cactus ones for just £3.69 and these adorable cream tulip ones for just 99p!

Brush Cleaning Pad

I have seen these advertised everywhere and after picking one up I don’t know what I would do without it. Silicone brush cleaning mats have completely taken off at the moment and I totally recommend getting yourself one as I have no idea how I was cleaning my brushes beforehand. This one is just £2.89 and is a complete steal. Just comparing that to the Sigma £20 alternative really puts it into perspective.

Have you found any gems on eBay?

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Knowing how to keep the spark in long distance relationships can be hard. I have been with my boyfriend while at university for three years now and at times, yes, this can be really difficult but ultimately I would consider us a really strong couple. It is inevitable at university that a lot of relationships are strained, both romantic and platonic, and especially when it is a new environment for both of you, it can be hard to know how to keep things good. I thought I would write up some of my top pieces of advice to keeping the spark in long distance relationships to help anybody who is either new to this situation or needs some helpful pointers!

I also spoke to a few of my friends and family in long distance relationships to get their advice which I’ll feature alongside my own tips.

If you’re interested in relationship posts I have written a 20 Date Ideas post as well as a budget date post called Under £20: 36 Date Ideas.

Have some ground rules

This may sound a bit much but trust me, it helps. A lot of distance relationships fail because you both expect very different things. This is why it is important to make sure you are both happy to have a few ground rules in place that ensure stability and happiness. For example, make sure to drop a text to your significant other when you’re in from a night out. If you both follow this, there are no arguments about limited contact throughout the night and one person being concerned that they haven’t heard from the other for hours. You can both respect the fact that you’re having your own time but they know they’ll be updated when you’re home and safe. I think if you expect to be messaged every hour when someone is on a night out you are a) expecting a lot from the relationship b) you may need to take a step back to let the other person enjoy their own time. side note: if this works for you, however, please ignore me! It is important to remember that every relationship is different and this is merely advice I have seen work for myself and other relationships around me.

Make time for phone calls

Try and make time around both your schedules where you can sit down and have a proper chat rather than fragmented and disjointed conversations throughout the day. These type of conversations often leave at least one party feeling like they’re being ignored or undervalued so sometimes sacrificing a few texts throughout the day to have an hour phone call at night makes all the difference. Quality time over quantity! I have seen both one of my best friends and my dad follow this and it works really well. Setting aside a time that works for you every day or two days to FaceTime or call makes everyone involved feel cared for and valued.

What goes hand in hand with this is just making sure you listen. If your partner has a busy day ahead or something exciting going on, wish them luck, ask how it was.. Basically, just take an interest in their life! Forgetting these types of little things can have more of a detrimental impact than you think. Which nicely leads me on to the next point I think!

Surprise one another and show you’re thinking about them

This doesn’t have to be huge grand gestures where you turn up on the doorstep (although I did do this for Adam’s birthday one year) but rather little things here and there to brighten their day and let them know you’re thinking of them. Adam and I always send tweets and Instagram posts to each other as well as tagging one another in Facebook posts all the time. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day and you see 20 tags in cute puppies and kittens videos, you can’t help but smile! You also can’t go wrong with a few little surprise gifts here and there…

Keep it honest

Don’t pretend to be okay with each other when you’re not. If you are feeling sad, underappreciated, angry – let the other person know. It doesn’t necessarily have to be negativity towards the relationship but just any feelings in general. You’re both there to help each other work through things and it’s important to be as open as possible when it comes to discussing how you feel. Remember not to bottle things up and make sure you support one another when you can.

Enjoy your time together

Honestly, make the most of the time you do have together. Put those phones away and just enjoy each other’s company when you can. I think this is probably one of the most important points to mention. Even if that time together is just a TESCO food shop – enjoy it.

Do you have any advice for long distance relationships?

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I think we have all had several nights, or days, in our life where we have been out alone and have been worried or scared. Honestly, if you haven’t heard of it already – I have found the only personal safety app you will ever need when living on campus or in general life.

If you are interested in student posts I would recommend checking out my category of posts which is here and includes tips on revision, handling a bad mark, relationships and motivation.

I have been using this app for months now and unfortunately, as an ever growing issue, I felt that I must tell you about it to help benefit as many people as possible. I tried to do some research on it before I started this post and was alarmed that a quick google only pulled a handful of results. More people need to know about this app and this only compelled me more to write this post.

What is Companion and how does it work?


When you are walking from A to B or even just need a breath of fresh air, Companion allows you to ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on you throughout your journey. The best bit is that they don’t have to have the app too – they are merely sent a text saying that you would like them to keep an eye on you. The text also gives the person an interactive map so that they know whereabouts you are as you go.


If at any moment in your journey you feel worried, you have two buttons at the bottom the screen that allows you to alert your companion or the police, if necessary. Having such safety features so close to hand is brilliant and exactly how we should be using technology to protect ourselves. (Obviously, it is a terrible shame we feel the need to use such apps but I’m sure you understand my point). The creators of the app explained that when it launched in the US, the app recorded 500 incidents where the user felt unsafe in one week. 500. 500 people felt unsafe on their university campus.

The app was originally designed as a university safety tool but there is no restriction to anybody downloading and using it for their own safety too. For example, I always use it when I get the late train home into York and have to walk quite from the bus stop alone at 2 am.

What happens in an emergency?

Something I didn’t know about the app that my little bit of research pulled up is the following:

“If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running, or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movement and asks the user if they’re OK. If the user is fine, they press a button on the app to confirm within 15 seconds. If they do not press the button, or a real emergency is occurring, the Companion app transforms the user’s phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives you the option to instantly call the police.” – businessinsider.com

I found this video that shows you the basics of the app that might be useful to some of you too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guHZpt-PdKs

I completely swear by this app and I can’t imagine going without it when I am out alone. The best bit? The app is free to download for both Apple and Android users.

If you’re not convinced, I have no idea why! Personal safety is paramount and something like this helps instill confidence in the user when they’re alone and those that care for them (as well as fending off attackers in a real emergency).

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Time for some mid-week motivation! If you like these and want to see a few more, I have linked my previous ones below:

Mental Health
Female Empowerment
General Motivational Quotes
Fitness

This week  is focused on university and ties into my Student Diaries posts:

Experience with Clearing
How to Handle a Bad Mark
Revision Tips

Now that we are in the month of returning back to university, school, and college I thought it was perfect timing to have some study inspiration quotes to get everyone through the week. Although many of these are still applicable to day to day life and work so everyone can take something from them, which is great.5e5c4bb8e2ed59f70f6ee3aa1dc41836.jpg

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For more fitness motivation: In-Pursuit-of-FitnessFor healthy...

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Check out my Pinterest quotes board:

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I was really kindly contacted by the lovely Naira from Mishka Mail* who asked me if I wanted to try out her stationery subscription box.

As you guys know, I love stationery – I have posted about student diaries, an Ohh Deer haul and the Papergang subscription box we get in the UK. So when Naira emailed me, I hopped straight over to her website to check it out.

What Is Mishka Mail?

Mishka Mail is based in Australia and since 2013, Naira has been drawing the adorable little Mishka (meaning bear in Russian which I think is so cute!) on greetings cards, gift tags and more. Mishka Mail launched in 2016 when Naira noticed the rise in popularity of subscription boxes and has been growing ever since. Moxy and Mo have now joined the characters of Mishka Mail to make up a panda, cat and raccoon – the perfect trio!

A little side note but something I really loved – you can order previous boxes online so if you missed out on one or you would rather order it after it’s release and you know what’s inside then it’s perfect for you.

First Impressions

When my subscription box arrived, I first noticed how lovely it was packaged – tied up in a cute bow! Naira also included a little thank you message which meant so much as it was me who was in fact excited to check everything out.

One of my favourite things about subscription boxes is the fact that you don’t know what to expect each month so you feel like you’re taking a little risk each month with what you get. April’s Mishka Mail certainly delivered and I was super impressed with what I was sent.

A Look Inside

The April box is called “European Fling” which I thought was perfect as I am visiting both Prague and Barcelona in the summer! I’ll give you a little run down of what you get with Mishka Mail:

3 greeting cards
2 mini cards
2 stickers
2 gift tags
1 postcard
1 wall print

My absolute favourite thing I received were the mini cards. The little Moxy gracing the cover of the Bonjour card was just adorable and is perfect when you just want to send someone a little note. I have recently starting sending cards and letters more often because I think it such a nice sentiment as you have something to cherish. The excitement of getting a letter is always much better than a text, anyway! I also loved the safe travels one and I can’t wait to send it off to a friend before they go away in the summer.

The greetings cards were also another favourite of mine. I love the vibrancy and colour in the designs Naira does, feels so much different to what we have available in the UK and something you would definitely want to show people because they’re so sweet. I mean, I would be so happy to receive one of these in the post!

I’m excited to send the Barcelona card to my mum as it is somewhere I am visiting in the summer, which is a perfect coincidence! I’m also taking my mum to London for her birthday at the end of May so I’m thinking of sending her the London card too with a little itinerary of what I have planned for us.

Final Thoughts

I was honestly super impressed with Mishka Mail and it was such a delight to have received it from Naira. I wouldn’t have gone in to such detail and love for this brand if I hadn’t honestly been over the moon with what I was lucky to get.

If you are interested in checking out Mishka Mail, the link to the website is here. The subscription boxes are 26 AUD for Australian residents and 30 AUD for International residents (which is respectively around £14 and £17). Considering how much you get for your money, I am so impressed with this box and I will be ordering another one for myself soon!

I was sent Mishka Mail as a gift from Naira but all opinions are my own

What do you think of Mishka Mail? Do you like the drawings Naira does?

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