One way I'm getting my to-do list in check


Okay folks, today I wanted to talk to you about an app I've been using.

I'd just like to point out that this post isn't sponsored - I just really like the app!

If you know me in real life, a phrase you'll hear me say way too often is "I've got this app..." and I'll then proceed to tell you how it's changed my life along with a guided tour of all the features. I often make my friends cringe when they see the pages and pages of apps on my phone, but to tell you the truth, I can't help myself.

I thought it might be pretty nice to stop blabbing to my friends all the time about various apps, and instead, share my absolute favourites with you guys. Chances are if I find them handy, you will too!

To get the ball rolling, I want to start with an app called Habitica. I stumbled across this app when it was 'app of the day' in Apple's app store and to be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I really liked the concept.

Habitica is an app which allows you to track your habits, daily to-do list, and one-off tasks. What makes this a bit different from your average to-do list type app, is that you have a character to represent yourself, and the more you tick off, the more experience you gain, and you level up. Likewise, if you note down your bad habits you'll notice your health bar taking a hit!

This is what's kept me interested in the app. I'm a gamer at heart (give me a tycoon game and I'm oh so very happy) and so the idea of gamifying my life seemed pretty cool. And might get me to stop drinking diet coke all the time.

I'll let you in on what my dashboard currently looks like:



Habits


So as you can see, my habits are:

  • Do inner thigh exercises x3 / week
  • Do yoga
  • Stop drinking diet coke
  • Drink more water
  • Have money left over in account
  • Stop eating as much fast food
  • Read for 20 minutes
  • Go to the gym
  • Do 10 crunches
  • Do 10 squats

Listen to podcastsThese are habits that I either want to improve on, such as going to the gym or cut back on, like eating fast food and drinking diet coke. Habitica allows you to determine if a habit has positive or negative outcomes (or both) so that when you do them you press the plus or minus button.

Yellow is neutral, green is good, and red is bad.

I like setting habits like this as, like you can see in some of my notes, I set an aim for so many per week but I'm still flexible as to when. You can change the frequency to refresh at different times, such as daily, weekly or monthly.


Dailies


Tasks in this section are things which I need to do that day. Greyed out tasks are things that you don't need to do that day, but are kept in sight so you don't forget them.

My daily tasks (for the day I wrote this haha) are:

  • Sweep guinea pig cage
  • Take vitamins
  • Clean guinea pig cage
  • Brush teeth
  • Remove makeup

As you can see, some of these I'm doing really well with - blue is even better than green, and some I'm not doing so well with.

You can join in with challenges on the platform and this is something I've only dabbled in, to be honest. I tried joining one where I have to plank every day (I did 0 planks haha) and one where I am aiming to walk 10k steps a day. Often I come in just under this so don't get to tick it off - cry.


To-Dos


Finally, my one-off to-dos:

  • Book Eurostar for France

I'm going on a trip later in the year and nearer the time need to book a train ticket. I can't actually book this far in advance yet, hence why it's red, but I'm definitely not going to forget. I generally put less in this section just because I'm a bit of a scatterbrain and seem to be less inclined to do something if I write "Write this post by tomorrow". I have to be in the mood. Plus I'm still using my bullet journal for a lot of things like that.

To sum it up, I've been using this app for nearly all of March and haven't got bored of it yet. I'm fluctuating between a measly level 1 and a slightly less bad level 3. If you keep letting your health bar go down you will lose levels!

Something to note is that when you miss Dailies & To-Dos deadlines, the following day you'll see your health bar take a hit. Oh, oh, aaaaaand, it will also go down every time you log one of your bad habits! This has really helped me stop drinking as many fizzy drinks.

I like to think of it has a representation of my actual health bar - think Scott Pilgrim vs The World :')

There is a lot more to play within this app, you can collect items to decorate your character, you collect eggs, hatch them into pets, can join guilds, take part in challenges! There's a lot to explore. I'm slowly decorating my character but am just enjoying the visualisation of my habits at the moment.

As you can see, my stats aren't yet very high :')


What do you think? Perhaps something you might try?

Pillow Talk #11

Finally got to use my new camera a couple of friends got me for my birthday! 

Happy Sunday!

Remember when the idea of these posts was to share them with you in the morning? Ha, oh well, better late than never!

So, let's catch up!

This week I feel like I'm finally getting back into my groove. I'd been feeling a little bit stuck when it came to thinking up ideas and being creative, but seem to have beaten this by turning to pen and paper. I've found myself jotting a lot down, even at work, whether it's a brainstorm or more of a list format, it really helps. I write down whatever comes to mind, good ideas, not so good ideas. You name it. It's really spurred me on this motivated side of me and I've had more ideas in the last week than I have in 2018!

What's else has been going on?

If you know me, you'll know that I'm a bit of a Tomb Raider fangirl. One of the very first games I ever played on the sacred PS1 was the very first tomb raider game, so watching the series continue and then the reboot a couple of years ago has brought me so much joy. On Wednesday I went to see the new film which follows the first game of the reboot fairly closely. There were, of course, some slight differences in the game's storyline, one of which really surprised me, but I still loved the film none the less. I really enjoyed Alicia Vikander's portrayal of Lara, especially as she transforms from regular early twenty-something to hardcore, literal, tomb-raider. Brb, I'm off to play the game again!

On Thursday evening I spent a couple of hours with the lovely Pippa and Natalie at the London Laptop Club. I'd never been before but we just spent the time having a good old natter whilst attempting to get some blogging done. It was really nice chatting with people in the blogosphere and if you're in the area, do come along next time! You can follow the club here: @Ldnlaptopclub

In addition to this, I've been really upping my efforts with the gym. I always go to the gym quite late in the evening but I'm trying to go a little later as then I can't really come up with any excuses. In the last two weeks, I've gone five times which for me is very good going! My goal is three times a week and I'm trying to fit in Yoga at home on days I don't go. Has anyone tried the app 'Downward Dog'? I've just completed the intro for beginners and so far I'm really enjoying it!

Anything else?

I think that's about it for this week. Who else is excited for the bank holiday weekend? Easter has come around so fast! I'm going to try and have a blogging day on Friday so watch this space for lots of new posts!

Toodledoo

Who is Rawrrbecca? Blogger Q&A

Oh hey, it's me!

I've never done any kind of Q&A post before so I'm actually really excited to write this post. I feel like I chat a lot about my life on my blog but have never explicitly answered any questions about me. Let's change that, shall we?

I'd like to thank Marty Rogers for nominating me. Please do go and give his post a read too!

When was the last time you cried?


The last time I cried was last week after a bit of a dreadful doctor's appointment. Long story short I'm going round in circles at the moment with something - emphasis on the something, no one knows what's causing me pain, and it all got a bit much to be honest. Positive vibes though!

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?


I hope so! To be honest, when I first meet people I can be quite reserved. It's not that I want to be but I'm quite shy around new people. Once we've met a couple of times though I open up and you'll see a whole other crazy side of me. I pride myself on being incredibly loyal to my close friends. If you're in my circle of friends I will defend you like there's no tomorrow.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?


Yes, generally with my closest friends the most so they know I'm definitely being sarcastic and not rude :')

What's the first thing you notice about people?


How much eye contact a person gives. I think eye contact is a good indicator of how much somebody is invested in your conversation, especially in group conversations. However, I don't base too much of an opinion about the person on this as I know that 1 on 1 eye contact can sometimes be a little bit intimidating if you're shy or anxious.

Scary movie or happy endings?


I love the process of watching horror movies, and I like being scared for the duration but I think I prefer psychological thrillers over gory horror. Not about that life. I like happy endings but don't tend to watch particularly cheesy films anymore.

Favourite smells?


Vanilla and coconut and marzipan are a few of my faves.

What's the furthest you've ever been from home?


I went to San Francisco. Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon when I was 16 on a school trip. Those 10 days were eye-opening and I long to go back. Got to do a lot of saving up first though!

Do you have any special talents? 


I make some cracking Snapchat videos singing my heart out to songs by Take That and Will Young but these work's of heart will never be available for public consumption. Probably...

Where were you born?


Greater London

What are your hobbies?


Bullet Journaling, blogging, board games, gaming, and spending time going outside as much as I can when the weather's up to it. Day trips are my fave.

What did you want to be when you grew up?


A computer game designer. I wanted to be the person who turns the basic skeleton of objects into something that looks like it should actually be in the game. I don't think I'm artistically skilled enough though unfortunately. I was inspired by an old Tomb Raider Legend guide that showed how Lara Croft had progressed over the years as technology had progressed. I'd love to be involved in the gaming industry one day.

How many countries have you been to?


More than I realised:
France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Wales, and the USA.

What was your favourite/worst subject in school?


I hated science. I find science interesting now but hated the way it was taught. I always felt really bad at science, especially when it came to equations in chemistry and physics. I loved Computer Science, Media, and Classical Civilisation. It was thanks to me taking CS that I got to go to San Fran, and I really loved Classics. Funnily enough, I took all three of these subjects at A-Level.

What is your favourite drink?


If we're talking alcohol I love Malibu & coke or Disaronno & coke. Or, if it's a cocktail I am partial to a mojito. Otherwise, I love apple juice, San Pellegrino grapefruit juice, or a diet coke. Trying to stop drinking coke though as I think I'm actually addicted to the stuff.

What would you (or have you) named your children?


I'd really like to pass down my middle name, I think... but, the older I further into my 20s I get the more the idea of children absolutely terrifies me.

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?


Helen Anderson, SunshineJess, Jaackmate, and I am liking Zoella's latest vlogs where she's a lot more honest about what goes on behind the scenes.

How many partners have you had?


I've only had one serious relationship, which is the one I'm in - 6 years and still going strong. But before that, I had my fair share of schoolgirl crushes. I'm guilty of being in love with being in love.

Favourite memory from childhood?


Going to Disney Land Paris when I was 10. That whole trip was incredible.

How would you describe your fashion sense?


I'd say I take most of my influences in fashion from grunge and, perhaps surprisingly boho. In the summer I drift a little more to the latter, and in winter I'm more likely to have a grunge edge to my outfits. To be honest it can all vary so much though.

2016 was when I first found my style. Thanks to endless soul-searching on Pinterest and a confidence boost, I built up a wardrobe full of denim and stripes. Loved it. Last year I spent all summer in as many pink and yellow pieces of clothing as possible - followed by burgundy this winter. Now that Spring is almost here (wish it was already) then I'm hoping to go back to the previous two years of my fashion and amalgamate them together.

Watch this space!

Tell us one of your bad habits!


Procrastinating. I procrastinate with a lot of things and tell myself that I'll do it in 10 minutes, I'll just sit here for a while longer. The excuses go on and on, and it's something I need to work on!

Who I'm nominating? You. Yes, you there reader. If you've gotta blog I want to encourage you. So, go and write your answers, publish that beauty of a post and then hit me up on Twitter so I can take a look!

Toodles!



Pillow Talk #10


Oh hey!

I feel like I've been super busy recently and I'm the first to admit that my weekly Pillow Talk posts have been slipping in my list of priorities.

I wanted to start off with a bit of a catchup because there are a few things that are on my mind at the moment which I'd really like to write posts about in the coming weeks.

Firstly, I celebrated six years of dating my boyfriend, Jim, a couple of weeks ago. We went to a food market and then spent the day enjoying a winter walk in the sun, and stopped off for more food because we just love eating. I had a lovely time and it's amazing to think that we've been together so long. It's kind of a bit daunting though if I'm honest! I turned 22 in early Feb and it's so weird to think I've been in a relationship since I was 16. Like, this makes me feel old. Even though I'm not, obvs. I just can't believe that so much time has passed. I'm thinking of writing a post about being in a long-term relationship for so long where I discuss some of the highs and lows that come with it.

I'm also getting extremely impatient with the weather at the moment. I loved the fact we had 'proper' snow the other week. I haven't seen it like that where I live in so long, so it was nice to really enjoy it. However, I'm getting sick and tired of the grey days. One of my favourite things to do in spring/summer is head to a park with a picnic and just chill out all afternoon. I did this a lot in my mid-teens with my best friend, but I became slightly alarmed when I can probably count the number of times I've done that in the last 3 years on one hand. Like, that's terrible. What on earth did I spend my summer weekends on last year? Fuck knows. I just feel like I've wasted so many Saturdays and am itching for some good weather so I can go and just sit and chill for a bit. Chuck a couple of ciders and some sausage rolls in a cool bag and take me to a park and I'm happy as can be.

This brings me onto wanting to write a summer bucket list. I don't want autumn to roll around and me be sat there thinking what the hell happened, where did the summer go? So, within the next few weeks, I want to compose a list of things I will do this summer. No ifs or buts. I will hold myself accountable. Two of my best friends got me a Polaroid camera for my birthday and this seems like the perfect way to capture all these summer memories.

In other news, I'm also trying to organise a meetup for social media professionals. If you live in/around London and have anything to do with social media (there's a good chance you do if you're reading this) then I'd like to invite you to my meetup. It's going to be an event for social media novices to experts, where we can share ideas, help each other learn, and unlock the secrets to a good social media strategy. I'd love to see some bloggers there and I would appreciate the support! Getting a tad stressed about this, not gonna lie, so... if you're interested please check out the meetup page, and I've set up a Twitter page too so you can keep up to date with it all. Please show it some love! Let's get better at social together!

Also, in case you missed my updated post on why I didn't go to uni, do check out my post here, in celebration of it being National Apprenticeship Week.

Now onto some recommendations based on what I've been up to:

The Secret:

I haven't finished this book yet, but it's opened my eyes quite a lot so far and is having a definite impact on my way of thinking. I've seen a lot of people talk about putting the message out there to the universe about something you want, and this kind of follows that idea. It's all about attracting what you want. Simply put, positive thinking will bring you positive outcomes. It's made me think quite carefully about things. If I'm thinking negatively about something, I'm now more aware that subconsciously, I'll probably be acting in ways to make a bad situation occur. So now when I catch myself being less optimistic about something, I'm trying to put a spin on it so I'm seeing things in the best way.

Feel like I've waffled a bit here but I'd recommend you check it out.

Red Sparrow:

I went to see Red Sparrow in the cinema this week and loved it! The film trailer originally caught my eye because some of the film is set in Budapest, and after my trip there in December I had all the pre-Christmas feels. Other than that though, I went into the film pretty clueless as to what it was about, apart from knowing it was a spy movie. I was impressed. The film is quite long, but it has good pacing throughout and I didn't want it to end. The plot kept me guessing right until the end, and although at some points pretty dark and downright brutal, it was very, very good. Go watch it!

And with that, I'll leave you to enjoy your Sunday evening!


Why I didn't go to uni. An update.



Way back in 2015, I put pen to paper and wrote about my decision not to go to university like many of my peers. Three years on and I'm still happy with my decision, and since it's National Apprentice Week, I thought I'd write a few of my thoughts about life further down the line after completing an apprenticeship.

Firstly, I'd invite you to read my original post here. Go'rn, it's a good'un.

Job prospects


Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. If you're pondering whether you should choose an apprenticeship over uni, something you're probably considering, and let's be honest, what you should be thinking about, is job prospects.

At some point, whether it's for curiosity's sake or because you want to switch things up, after your apprenticeship, you're going to want to change jobs.

On the one hand, apprenticeships let you get straight into the mix, you get your hands dirty and you get something very valuable for your efforts. You get experience. You're already in the industry you want to be in, and you've got a good feel for it. It's likely you'll already have 1 - 3 years experience in the field by the end of your apprenticeship. Use this to your advantage. It's something a uni student can't say.

Be warned, however, that many job specs will require you to have a degree before they even look your way. It's not fair, but it's how it is, currently. Don't let this put you off though. If you think you'd make a good fit for a job, I'd go ahead and apply anyway. With your experience and inside knowledge of the industry, you'll likely impress your interviewer.

Remember the following. As an apprentice, you're not just cheap labour. You're quickly building a whole host of skills and are used to the working lifestyle. That might sound silly, but being ready to face a 9 - 5 job can be extremely daunting to a freshly graduated uni student. Take those skills and smash it.

Money


Time for some real talk. As an apprentice, you're going to go from top to bottom, and then slowly work your way up again. I'm going to be very frank with you here.

When I started my apprenticeship, nearly all of my friends were at uni, skint, living on tins of baked beans while I had a regular paycheck coming my way. Being only 19, I had barely any responsibilities. Sure, I paid some rent to my parents, and I paid for my own driving lessons, and let's not forget the travel into London every day. However, the rest of my money was mine to do whatever I wanted with. New clothes, nights out, games, holidays, whatever.

You'll probably feel quite well off compared to your friends, but know that when they graduate, they're going to steam ahead with a higher wage. Right from the get-go. Mentally prepare yourself for being the most well off, to the worst. You're still going to progress, wage wise, and skill-wise, obviously, but your friends will suddenly skyrocket in how much cash they've got to play with.

Another point to consider here is, sometimes you'll be doing the exact same job, have more experience, and possibly even more skills than a graduate counterpart, but will still be paid less. Thankfully I personally haven't really experienced this, but I know someone who has. It's a shame, but unfortunately, this is a risk you take when going down the apprentice route.

Least I'm being honest with you, huh!

Friends


On to happier times, friends! Out of all my friends, only four of us did an apprenticeship. I know two people who went straight to work after college/sixth form, and everyone else went to university. This did play havoc with my friendship groups for a while. As you'd expect, those of us that weren't at home got closer, and everyone else became a bit distant for a while. What is nice though, is being able to plan a weekend to go and visit your chums across the country. My two besties and I have done this too many times to count during their time and uni and they were always such good fun. I enjoyed it because I got a good feel of the uni lifestyle for the weekend, and got to see them, obviously. Many drunk Snapchats were taken.

Now, nearly everyone, bar two or three people have finished uni and have come back home. It's really nice, to be honest with you. Since one of my besties have come back I honestly question how I went so long without seeing them while they were at uni. Having more people around means you can have fab nights out and plan cute little day trips with a big group. 

Plus, you'll make new friends during that time. People you meet through work, other people who didn't go to uni. Some of my best friends now I didn't even know, and probably wouldn't know if I had gone to uni (likewise for uni people, they meet some of their besties there too).

Regrets?


Overall, I'm still happy I went down the apprenticeship route. To this day, I still can't decide which course I would have picked at a university. Occasionally I'm a bit envious of people having the living away from home experience, but I'm saving up to house share right now. Yes, sometimes I get a bit bummed out about money, but money doesn't buy happiness.

My best piece of advice to anyone who's considering an apprenticeship is, go for it.

If you see an opening for a job that you like, seriously, go for it. 

Likewise, if you see a course at a university that enthralls and inspires you, go for it.

Go for whichever option makes you excited. Do not pick one over the other just for the social life that comes with it. You'll have ample opportunity with both options for nights out. Trust me!

I hope that this very honest account of life after an apprenticeship helps you in some way. Obviously, I can't speak for everyone's experience, some will have had better experiences and some will have had worse.