Busy Busy Bee - That's Me


I know it's been forever since I have written here but I have just been so busy.
I am halfway through my second year of university and everything seems to be going by in a blur. Second year is a whole different ball game compared to first year. I feel like they were taking it easy on us last year to allow us to adjust to being in a new learning environment and now this year, they've decided you've adjusted enough to throw you into the deep end.
It's not necessarily a bad thing but it definitely has been keeping me on my toes.
So yes, I have been struggling a little bit but that's okay. I wouldn't say I'm drowning - not yet anyway. But I'm trying to remain hopeful haha.
Anyway, my main point of this blog post was to fill you in on where I have been the past few months. Since I've started university I haven't really been able to blog, make a YouTube video or even really update social media as much as I used to. I mean I have been trying to write this blog post for over a month so I think that's an indicator of how busy I've been.
It started off with moving.
This year I decided it would be best to live closer to the university, it's a lot handier because it means not having to travel everyday, it's cheaper and it's a lot easier to make it to last minute group meetings. So living away from home has been an adjustment.
I actually don't have that many complaints about living away from home. Mainly because it's not a permanent move and I go home every weekend haha. But I actually enjoy it. It's nice to have a place you can go away from home. While yes, I do live with roommates, we have different routines and so often I am sitting by myself in the living room. Which I realise sounds a bit sad but I like to be on my own so it's fine haha.
I like having a quiet place of my own to go to. And it's also nice to live with different people. I mean at first I was worried I was going to end up getting sick of seeing my roommates but honestly it's pretty great. I did have a situation a couple of months ago where my former roommate had decided to move out, which caused a bit of a hassle, but now everything is settled again.
I know everyone has a different experience with living with friends etc. when they go to uni so I wasn't sure what to expect with my situation. I currently live with a friend I made at uni who is in my course and a guy I used to go to secondary school with. Which seems like a weird combination but it works. We all get along well and there's not really any conflict about anything which is pretty positive.
Aside from the moving another big thing for me right now is job hunting. My degree requires me to take a year of placement work and so I have been applying and interviewing a lot recently. Two things that are new to me.
I have to admit it is something I was worried about because I haven't had any previous work experience so I thought it would mean no one would want to hire me. But I have heard back from some places I have applied to which makes me hopeful.
I was also worried about interviewing because I don't think it's something I have ever been good at. I don't consider myself a master at selling myself to people. Even when I make YouTube videos I don't do it to appeal to anyone other than myself really haha. So it was something new.
Each interview experience I have had has been different and I have learnt something new during each one so I'm glad I have been able to put myself out there. I think it helps to build confidence to do job interviews and it also does help you learn more. But I still always get nervous before I have to go to one. Sometimes you're just worried you'll say the wrong thing haha.
But again it's been a pretty positive thing. Even if I don't get the job at least I have the interview experience, so it's not really a bad situation.
And of course the main thing this year that has been keeping me busy is university itself. In this one semester I think I have done more work than I did in my entire first year. Which I think is crazy. Although it makes sense, last year I was completely new to coding and so we had to take everything slow.
This year, I am currently working on an android game project and there's nothing slow about it haha. It's definitely a learning curve. But I am up for the challenge. Even though I'm coding something completely different than I'm used to I find it interesting. I also think it's cool that we get to make our own game. Even if it doesn't turn out to be the most amazing quality I'll still be proud of it.
We are currently still in the early stages so we don't have much done right now but I'm excited to see what we achieve. Another positive thing is that I have a really good team for this project which is great. We all get along well and are determined to do well in the project which means there's not much conflict.
On the other side of that you can also end up in teams which aren't so great. Which I have also experienced this year. It's tough to work on something when you know the other people on your team aren't interested. So it's been a struggle but I am working through it. Slowly but surely.
Aside from group projects, there has been a lot of other work too. This year I am learning C++ which has some things that are similar to Java but also some things very different. I picked it up pretty easily which has been great. I'm so glad I enjoy coding haha. Otherwise I don't think I would have made it through my first year.
On the social side of things, it's been lacking recently. But I know it's because I am still adjusting to my new work load. But I also know my friends have been busy too. It's just a hard time of year to be seeing people. At least I will get to see them over the holidays.
I really can't wait for it to be Christmas haha. It'll be really great to spend some time relaxing and not having to think about uni work for a bit. I know it's not stressful all the time but it would be nice to feel as though everything wasn't going by so fast. I mean I can't believe it's almost 2017.
This year in general has just been so crazy. And if you had told me that when I left secondary school things would be this way now I wouldn't have believed you haha. It's definitely been a good year. But I'm getting ahead of myself, we still have a month of this year left so let's make the most of it.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope to be posting a blog post again very soon. I can't make any promises but we'll see how it goes haha.
~ Courtney x


Five Days in Rome


I've been meaning to make this blog post for a while now haha. It's been over a month since I've been to Rome but I still wanted to write about it. So here it is, my trip to Rome.
It started off as a random conversation between me and my boyfriend, we wanted to go on holiday somewhere and he had always wanted to go to Rome. It was just before summer and we hadn't been going out that long but we agreed we would go to Rome someday together.
Who knew that someday meant a few months from then?
It's kind of crazy to go on holiday with someone you haven't known for that long. Especially if you are in a relationship with them. This would be the first time we were ever fully alone together for five whole days, and it's not like one of us could just leave if we had a fight. So I was a little bit nervous about it.
But luckily I had nothing to worry about. Yes, we got annoyed at each other (mainly because all of the walking and the heat really got to me) but we're still together now and so I take that as a good sign haha. I mean every couple has their disagreements and get annoyed at each other at time to time, why would going on holiday be any different?
Anyway, moving on to the actual trip itself.
Rome is breathtaking. Everywhere you go in Rome there are beautiful buildings, fountains and all of the pizza/gelato places you can imagine. I honestly had never been in a place with so many restaurants around every corner. It was wonderful.
On the first day we arrived in the morning but didn't arrive to our hotel until the afternoon. We hadn't really arranged transport to the hotel from the airport but we decided to take the bus, and then a train rather than pay for a taxi.
Public transport in Rome is very cheap - well taxis can be expensive due to traffic and they run on meters - but the train we took everyday from where our hotel was to Rome was only 1 euro. I found it hard to believe the train cost so little, especially when the same length of journey here costs about £6. So if you are ever in Rome - take the train!
Once we had been to our hotel and showered - we used the rest of the day to go into Rome. We wanted to see something so that our first day there hadn't been wasted and so we went to the Trevi fountain. It took a little bit of navigation to get there from Rome Termini but we found it in record time thanks to Google Maps.

It was beautiful. And way bigger than I thought it was haha. There were people everywhere so it was hard to find a way to even get close to the fountain but we managed it. We only stayed for a little while but we said we would come back the next day to throw a coin in and make a wish - at first we weren't sure if we could do that since it seemed not a lot of people were making wishes but you can still do it!

We actually ended up at the Trevi fountain every night we were in Rome. I'm not even sure how but we did haha. Sometimes it was just because we knew there were lots of shops and restaurants around it because it's a tourist spot, other times it was a complete accident. But it is not the worst place in the world to end up at.

One night we were there and my boyfriend decided to get gelato. He had had some before and he wanted more so this time he ordered a large cone. The first one he had gotten was small and wasn't enough and thought the large would be more fitting. Little did he know the large cone was going to be bigger than his head haha.
But he accepted the challenge of eating all of it, cone and all. It was a struggle but he did it and vowed never to eat that much gelato/ice cream ever again. The people next to us cheered for him when he had finished and kindly gave him some wipes to clean the gelato from his hands. This was also the night a couple got engaged at the fountain, so it was a night to remember for us all.
The second day we were in Rome we headed to the Vatican. It was an all day affair but it was so amazing. I can't even really describe to you what it was like but I did take some pictures that I think you'll enjoy:

We also went to St Peter's Basilica that day and while we were resting I decided to play some Pokemon Go. And I know what you're thinking - how can you play a video game when you are in such a beautiful city? But I just had to see what kind of Pokemon I could catch in a new place haha. I was able to catch some great new Pokemon and even take some gyms too, all while enjoying the view of this great city.

After visting the Vatican and St Peter's we ventured back towards the Trevi fountain to make our wishes, and to find a restaurant to eat at. There were so many to choose from that it was so hard to find one but we finally found a nice one. I liked this one because of the umbrellas attached to the chairs, I thought it was really cute.

I felt like I was in a movie, sitting outside having dinner in Rome. It was so romantic. I was also just in shock that we were able to sit outside at night and eat at all. In the UK it's always too cold/raining so you can't do that haha. But outdoor restaurants are everywhere in Rome and I think they are really cute.
There were so many restaurants that looked so pretty that we wanted to go in but we definitely didn't have time to go to them all haha. Normally you see them in the side streets you walk down to go somewhere else and they just look so inviting...
On Wednesday we headed to the Colosseum - another classic tourist destination in Rome, and the number 1 place we had to go to on my boyfriend's list. Again, it was so much bigger than what I thought it would be. I mean seeing these places on TV and in movies is never anything like when you see them in real life.

When we went to all the these tourist places, we decided to go and see them at our own pace and so didn't have a tourguide, but I do regret that a little bit. Mainly because I feel like I would have been able to learn a lot more if through a tourguide. However it is nice not to have to follow on a schedule and explore these places in your own time.
After the Colosseum we walked up Palatine hill - this was not my favourite thing to do. Here's a tip - don't wear all black in the sun - it's not good. But the view was worth it. I'll admit we didn't spend as much time there as we should have but I definitely didn't have the right walking shoes for the occasion haha.

That night we headed to the Spanish steps - which were unfortunately closed at the time. But we still spent some time in the plaza, people watching and admiring all of the designer stores. I'm not really sure why but the plaza surrounding the Spanish steps is designer heaven. There are brand names everywhere and one day I hope to come back to Rome just so I can shop there. I feel like it's Rome's version of Fifth Avenue and it's wonderful.

The next day we headed on a boat ride - not really sure where our destination was supposed to be or if it was some kind of tour haha - my boyfriend bought all of the tickets for touristy things. But all I remember was that we got off the boat and made our way to the Pantheon.
Again, another gorgeous place to visit. We walked around the area and found a plaza with the most beuatiful toy shop I have ever seen. I wanted to buy all of their dolls. It looked like something out of a fairytale.

That night we walked around town and noted a lot of shops and we agreed that we would come back into town on our final day and do some shopping. However when it came to finding the shops the next day we were out of luck. We couldn't remember the name of the plaza we were on and spent a lot of the day walking in a circle. It was maybe not the best last day to have in Rome.
Not to mention the traffic on the way to the airport! We had arranged transport with the hotel to take us to the airport. Luckily it was at a fixed price otherwise we would have been paying so much more money for the taxi. But we did make it to the airport with time to spare.
We were a bit worried our flight might be delayed or cancelled because at the time, it seemed a lot of earlier flights had been delayed but luckily we were able to get on our flight with no problems.
The trip home seemed to happen in a blur. I was so tired that I lost perception of time and everything seemed to take longer than usual. By this time I just wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep forever.
And at 2 a.m I was granted my wish haha. The next day I spent catching up on social media and uploading photos of my trip to Facebook. It feels weird to look at holiday photos after you come home. It's almost as if you can't believe you were there even though you have photographic evidence.
But it was an amazing trip, and I am really glad that I went with my boyfriend. I think it was a great bonding experience for us and has brought us even closer. It was also great to be able to explore somewhere new.
And as someone who went from never having left the country to going to New York and Rome in a matter of months, I can say I finally understand why people like to travel. It really does give the word holiday a real meaning to me. You separate yourself from your world and everything you know and are put into a different environment. A fresh start where no one knows you and a place you've never been to. It's intoxicating.
But at the same time I was glad to be home and sleep in my own bed. There's nothing like coming back to your home after being somewhere far. And I guess that's why I know I could never move away from here. I would miss it too much. Even though I do hate it sometimes, it's my home.
And so, that concludes my blog post about Rome! I'm sorry it took me so long to write but when I came home from Rome I honestly had no real words to describe it. Even now I don't think what I have written does the city justice but I still hope you enjoyed. And maybe next time when I go on holiday I'll post about it sooner haha.
~ Courtney x

RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2 Queens!


I just finished watching the first episode of All Stars 2 and I am dying. This season is such a step up from the first All Stars season and I love it.To me, All Stars 1 was really just there so we could see Chad Michaels win. I didn't really like the team thing and wasn't a huge fan of some of the queens that season. I just felt like it was kind of all over the place with challenges etc.
So when All Stars 2 was announced I was excited to see what would happen. Especially since this round, there isn't a clear queen that stands out above the rest. Not to mention RuPaul has gotten rid of the teams and is now adding more plot twists than I can handle.
First of all, the top 2 girls will lip sync for their legacy rather than having the bottom 2 lip sync to stay in the competition. And not only that but if they win the lip sync they will win $10,000 and the chance to eliminate one of the other queens in the bottom 3.
Like...are you serious?
$10,000 for winning a lip sync? No one is messing around this season. And on top of that, eliminating one of your friends from the competition? That's tough and very emotional. These girls are sisters and to pit them against each other is pure evil. And makes for great television.
Not to mention they decided to bring back the most dramatic queens from previous seasons. Didn't we all get a little bit excited when we heard Coco Montrese and Alyssa Edwards were coming back for round 2? And who doesn't love a Rol-aska-tox reunion?
So maybe this season of All Stars should have really been called the season 5 reunion. I feel like the other seasons aren't as fairly represented because of all the season 5 queens but that's okay. I hope this means in All Stars 3 some more past queens will have their time to shine. Especially if Tatianna from season 2 can make her way in with all the newer queens.
Anyway, time to talk about the contestants of this season of All Stars. I think I will list them in order of what season they were in. It seems like the most logical way to do this thing.

Season 2

Tatianna. Girl. Season 2. I was not expecting that. My whole thought process for them choosing contestants for All Stars 2 is that they would pick queens from season 4-8. Mainly because the last All Stars was just after season four, so if All Stars is every 4 seasons then shouldn't the contestants be from the last 4 seasons? If that makes sense...
Either way, it doesn't seem to be the case with Tatianna on the scene.
I honestly am not a big fan of her. She doesn't seem to stand out among the other queens in my opinion. She doesn't have as big of a personality as the queens around her so to me she'll just fade into the background.
That being said, she did make an impression on me when she was one of the top 2 in the first episode. I liked her spoken word piece at the talent show. It was something new for me that I have never seen before, and never expected from Tatianna. So I applaud her for being out of the box with her style.
One thing I really want to know is who she would have eliminated if she had won the lip sync. She wasn't having as hard a time as Roxy was when it came to deciding which queen to send home. So I am interested to know who she thought wasn't worthy of the competition. Especially since everyone underestimated her, being the girl from season 2.

Season 4

Phi Phi. I think out of all the queens to come back Phi Phi has changed the most.
Her drag style has definitely changed a lot. My friend Nathan has been showing me her 365 days of drag on Instagram and it is amazing. 
She has also recognised how awful she was on her season of Drag Race and one of the reasons why she is now on the show is to help fix her image a little. To show people she isn't just that bitchy girl. She is a whole lot more. And I'm excited to see the nice side of Phi Phi.
Her performance in the talent show was not the best. Although I think it's because she chose to sang acapella and that was a risk. To be honest I was not sure how to feel about her choice to sing after the whole singing challenge in season 4. I mean I know she likes to sing but that doesn't always mean it's good.
But I'm glad she's still in the competition and I can't wait to see what kind of drag looks she will pull off later in the season.

Season 5

Alaska. Of course she walks in wearing a bin bag, what more could we expect from her? I loved it.
I was also surprised to see she wasn't even a little bit excited to be reunited with her friends from season 5. It seems Ro-laska-tox is officially over.
I know Alaska wanted to break out of their little group to stand out on her own in her season and so it's understandable why she is creating distance from Roxy and Detox. But I would have liked them to be Ro-laska-tox one more time. They were fun.
But I am excited to see Alaska shine on her own where she isn't grouped in with her friends or living in the shadow of Sharon Needles.
It's Alaska's time to shine hunty.
I was actually surprised by Alaska's talent show performance. I was initially worried when I heard she was going to sing because her singing in season 5 was not great. But she actually turned it out and did really well. I also loved her outfit. So pink and pretty.
I am interested to see what else she can do when she's working on her own.

Roxxxy. I love her.
I am glad to see that she is upfront and real about what went down in season 5. She was a bitch and she is sorry. She is now ready to move on and be a little bit nicer than before. But that's not going to get in the way of her getting the crown.
She still looks as fabulous as ever and her burlesque performance was to die for. I also think it's great her and Detox are still friendly. At least we'll always have Re-tox haha.
When she found out she was in the top and had to eliminate one of her fellow queens she was very upset. It was not something she wanted to do and I liked her approach to the situation. She was fair and she talked to all the girls and decided to base the decision off of the judges' critiques and not her friendships and personal feelings.
I can't imagine how hard it was for her to do. And it really showed how much she has changed from her season. If this was season 5 she probably would have had no problem throwing someone under the bus to get rid of them. But I was proud of her progress. And I do think her elimination was right.
And also congratulations to her for winning the first lip sync and $10,000. You go Miss Thing.

Detox. Honestly, she was my least favourite of the Ro-laska-tox trio. I'm not really sure why but she was.
To me she wasn't really standing out that much in this episode. Her talent show performance wasn't my favourite. I know she was singing but because it was auto-tuned I didn't know how to feel. Plus, the neon paint was just...a lot haha.
I don't have much to say about Detox but I am interested to see what she can bring outside of Ro-laska-tox too. To me, Roxxxy was probably the one out of all of them that really wanted to win the competition. The others didn't seem to want it quite as bad as her.

Alyssa. Back rolls? I feel like we heard that joke almost any time someone talked to Alyssa haha.
To be honest I was only ever interested in her because of her drama with Coco Montrese. I mean wasn't that all why we watched season 5?
Alyssa is an okay queen. I feel like she can do well in the competition but maybe not enough to win.
Her performance at the talent show is interesting. I mean the puppet was kind of insane but the dancing was good. She knows she can dance and she works it.
I'm looking forward to see how far she goes in the competition and if we will actually learn what Alyssa's secret is on this season of All Stars.

Coco. Orange you happy to see me? Dead. Coco had a great entrance to this season.
Again, she was only really interesting to me because of her drama with Alyssa. But when she walked into the work room and Alyssa said "that was so three seasons ago" I knew they had kissed and made up.
Her talent show performance was not that great. Her dancing wasn't very interesting and the whole performance was confusing to me. I didn't really know what to make of it.
So when Roxxxy decided to eliminate her I was okay with that. I don't think she'll be missed.
Although it might not be over for her.
When she was leaving RuPaul appeared on the TV in the work room and told Coco that she could come back. All she has to do is get revenge?
I am interested to see where that goes. I want to know what's going to happen and if Roxxxy should watch her back...

Season 6

Adore. My babe. I love her. She was one of my favourite queens from season 6 and so I was so happy to see her back as an All Star.
Although I don't think she expected the competition to be what it is. I felt so bad for her when she got the critiques she did from Michelle. I know she didn't cinch her waist for the talent show but I know she finds it easier to sing without a corset and I think that's understandable.
I also think Adore has stepped up her drag since drag race. It might not be as polished as the other queens but it's her own style.
I admit she might not win but I still didn't want her to be the first queen eliminated. I know she has more to offer and so I'm glad she gets to stay for another day.

Season 7

Ginger Minj. In my opinion she should have won season 7 as she is a very well-rounded queen. She has got the look, she can do comedy and she can also sing too. Who knew?
When Ginger sung for the talent show I was really surprised. I didn't know she could sing. And I really liked it. I thought her performance was great.
I don't really know what to expect of Ginger for this competition but I hope she goes far. Whether she will win the crown or not is unclear.
Like I said before, I don't think there is a clear winner for this season of All Stars but I would definitely think Ginger would be one of the ones who could make her way to the top. Provided she doesn't get eliminated by another queen first.

And last but not least, Katya. I definitely didn't appreciate Katya as much as I should have on season 7 and so I am glad she is back.
I also like that she has decided that this season she is going to step up her game and not hold back. Katya is definitely one of those queens that has a lot more potential that we didn't see before. So I can't wait to see her shine.
I also enjoyed her talent show performance. She stood out a lot more than the other queens although I do wish we had seen a full performance. I feel like we missed a lot.
Do I think she has the potential to win? Yes. I don't think we should dismiss the season 7 queens just because their season wasn't that great.

So those were all my thoughts on the queens so far in this season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. While I do love some more than others I wish them all luck. This season is not going to be an easy one and so I have no idea who the winner will be.
I also don't know how I am going to make it through this season if they are going to keep adding twists like this. If the first episode got me worked up into an emotional mess I don't even want to know how the other episodes will treat me. Although it might get easier for the queens to be eliminated as time goes on. Who knows?
All I know is I can't wait for the next episode because it's going to be an All Stars snatch game! I wonder what that'll be like and who the queens will be impersonating. Hopefully they chose some new characters that we didn't see in the last snatch game although Adore's Anna Nicole Smith was a personal favourite of mine. But still, it's going to be another exciting episode and I am on the edge of my seat waiting to find out who will be the next queen to be eliminated and who will be doing the elimination... It's all so dramatic this season and I love it.
~ Courtney x

Book Review

Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It Book Review


It has been a while since my last book review. I have been really bad at reading lately but I want to get back to it.
So Grace & Style. I was really happy to find out Grace was writing a second book. I really enjoyed her first one. And after she gave us such great advice on how to be an adult I was super excited to see what style tips Grace would have for us.

Truth be told I did not buy this for the style advice. Although that being said Grace does give some great advice within the book. She shares helpful tips about what to do on bad hair days, how to cover up fashion faux pas and how to make plain t shirts more fashionable. And if that wasn't enough there are also some great DIYs on her YouTube channel.
But anyway, I bought this book to see how it would compare with her first book. And also because I knew I was going to get some great stories in this book. It helped me learn more about Grace and how her own personal style came to be.
I thought it was really interesting for her to open up with something super personal from the get go. I had no idea Grace went through such a hard time growing up. Although I really admire YouTubers who are able to share their stories like that in order to help others. I also think it allows people to connect to YouTubers on a more personal level. Especially since some of them are not very open and personal online.
Aside from her personal introduction to the book the rest of it is a lot of light and fun. I enjoyed reading about Grace's take on style advice. She definitely took her advice to the next level in this book. Even creating some very interesting scenarios for her Miss Mess column. She even gives us a flowchart to help us decide if we should really buy an item of clothing. The book came with everything.

One thing I didn't expect in this book were the Sweatpants diaries. I honestly didn't enjoy this part of the book as much as the rest of it. At the beginning I found it hard to follow and was just confused. As I read more throughout the book I began to understand a bit more. Long story short it is about a pair of sweatpants who attends school in the Mall of America and is about to bring back the Black Friday revolution. It's insane. But very Grace.
If anything I think if Grace really wanted to, she really could release a fictional book series called the Sweatpants diaries. I feel like that could be something a lot of people could be into. I unfortunately am not a big fan. Although it definitely added something different to the book.

While I didn't enjoy this part of the book I did like the rest of it. As I said before I really enjoyed learning about how Grace's own style came to be through her stories and past experiences. I also enjoyed how she took famous quotes about style and made them her own. I feel like I related a lot more to Grace's quotes than the others. I think celebrities/designers/models have a different view of fashion because they can 1. afford couture and 2. are around it all the time. The rest of us are trying to afford cute everyday fashion.
Another thing I enjoyed in Grace's book were the photos. Just like her previous book this book was beautifully illustrated with photos of Grace rocking some interesting styles. Here are some of my favourites:

Overall I think this book was a really fun read. Although I think I preferred Grace's first book over this one. Especially on the advice front. I feel like I need advice on how to be an adult more than I need style advice haha. I don't regret buying this book though as it did allow me to learn more things about Grace. It also gave me a really helpful flowchart on how to decide how to clean out my closet. I wish I had seen that a few weeks ago when I was cleaning out my room.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed reading this book review. I don't even know if these book reviews are that helpful or useful haha. I just like sharing my thoughts on some YouTuber books. I promise I will have some reviews of some non-YouTuber books sometime soon but for right now, this is what I'm into. I have some more YouTuber books preordered for later in the year so I am excited to get them. But for right now, the next book on my list is It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson and I can't wait to get into that. Look out for that book review (hopefully) coming soon!
~ Courtney x