Monday, 28 November 2011

Money To Be Made

Song: 'Money To Be Made' by The Hoosiers

(How cute is this piggy bank?)

College students can easily be mistaken for grinches around this time of year, as we all grumble about how impossible it is to scrape enough money together to buy decent presents for friends and family. Well, I have done enough grumbling now, and I have decided to put my energy to good use and think of ways to save money from now until Christmas (and after that too if I can keep it up!). So here's what I've come up with. 

  1. Packed lunches. I know, I know, boring. But what a money saver! So this week, I will cook extra pasta or rice or whatever I eat for dinner, and I'll throw it in a lunch box for lunch the next day. 
  2. Walk, walk, walk. Taxis are expensive. You have feet, and they work for free. 
  3. Starbucks at my college makes so much money, yet it would be so much cheaper to make coffee at home. 
  4. Have movie nights at home with friends instead of going out to the cinema. We all have DVDs at home to bring along. We can provide snacks from our own cupboards, and we have the comfort of blankets and cushions, and a pause button! 
  5. Share clothes. I don't like going out in the same outfit over and over again. But I don't mind wearing something that my friends have worn before- it feels new to me! 
  6. Water is free! Fill a bottle from your tap and stick it in your handbag to avoid paying €1.60 for a bottle when you get to college. And avoid buying fizzy drinks- unnecessary cost. Bad for you too! 
  7. Avoid special offers. Yes, you read that right. Just because something says 'Buy one get one free' doesn't mean you need it. It's only a bargain if it's something you had set out to buy in the first place, so quit going to the shop to buy milk and coming home with chocolate just because it was half price!
  8. Students don't have to tip. Simple as. If you're tipping a waiter, chances are you're just giving your money to another student anyway. Keep it. 
  9. Turn off the heat. Swap the radiator for an extra blanket. 
  10. One of my favourite past-times costs me €1. I buy a cup of tea in a cafe, and I sit in the corner with a book to read or my journal and a pen for hours. Love. :)
  11. Don't go grocery shopping hungry! This is one of my biggest problems. I want to buy everything! 
  12. Get a piggy bank that you have to break to get into- best idea ever! 
  13. No alcohol. This one is easy for me, I don't really drink. But it is a big money waster for a lot of students. 
  14. Noodles. Cheapest food ever.  
  15. Don't call- text! I pay €20 a month for 'free' texts, and that's it. Or if you really must, an evil little tip is to call, then hang up instantly. The poor person thinks they missed your call, they call you back and it costs them not you. But I didn't give you that idea. 
  16. Baby wipes. Forget fancy facial wipes, washes or scrubs- baby wipes work for everything and are way cheaper.
  17. Bring clothes home to wash them- doing laundry costs too much money if you don't have your own washing machine and dryer.
  18. Forget fancy exercise classes- walk, dance, do sit ups and push ups and whatever you need to at home with your iPod.
  19. Don't be tempted to wander into your favourite clothes shops if you know you can't afford anything. It's just mean. 
  20. Fruit is cheaper than chocolate. 

I'm sure there are lots more ways to save money, but for now these will keep me going. I am determined to have money to buy Christmas presents! 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

This Is My Winter Song

From Song: 'Winter Song' by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Barreilles

This week, I have been wrapped up in layers upon layers of scarves, socks and coats. And I realised that when I told everyone I wouldn't really miss home when I went to college, I was wrong- I miss the open fire! The city apartment can get very cold at night, making it extra difficult to drag myself from my lovely bed at 6am. But it's the weekend, and I'm curled up in front of the fire with my laptop, hot chocolate, and Ellen on TV- yay! 

Winter Love: 
  1. Christmas
  2. Cosy cardigans
  3. Scarves
  4. Soups
  5. More lazy days
  6. Christmas shopping
  7. Tea & Biscuits
  8. Santa Clause
  9. Boots
  10. Really crisp, fresh air
  11. Christmas decorations
  12. Bubble baths
  13. Fairy lights 
  14. Open fires
  15. Pretty snow flakes
  16. Sledding
  17. Giant books
  18. Slippers
  19. Candles (preferably vanilla scented)
  20. Pretty gift wrapping
  21. Snow angels  
  22. Curling up in bed with layers of blankets
  23. Christmas music
  24. When it's so cold you can see your breath
  25. Fluffy socks
  26. Hot Chocolate
  27. Curling up with blankets and a book
  28. Snow Days
  29. Christmas parties
  30. Babies all wrapped up
  31. New pyjamas
  32. Fireworks on New Years Eve
  33. Christmas movies
  34. You can get away with not shaving!
  35. Snow men/ snow families
  36. Ice skating
  37. Seeing all of my family
  38. Buying a new calender
  39. All the winter birthdays (my friends and family all seem to be winter babies!)
  40. Snowball fights
  41. Roasting marshmallows
  42. Leaning against the radiator
  43. Icicles
  44. More baking
  45. More chocolate
  46. Power cuts
  47. Watching animals playing in the snow
  48. Christmas episodes of Friends
  49. Being the first to walk on fresh snow
  50. Cuddles :) 

Cosy Winter Playlist
Winter Song- Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles
Sea Of Love- Cat Power
Stuck On You- Lionel Richie
Winter- Joshua Radin
Yellow- Coldplay
Changes (Landslide)- Stevie Nicks
Hear You Me- Jimmie Eat World
Feels Like Home- Chantal Kreviazuk
Enchanted- Taylor Swift
Everything- Michael Buble

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

This Is The Life

Song: 'This Is The Life' by Amy McDonald

College students are supposed to party all the time, care free and be high on life. I'm either high on coffee or sleep deprivation, or slumped in a chair somewhere physically holding my eyes open and trying to stay awake. Right now? The latter. The life of a student nurse! We were thinking of introducing a new hospital policy whereby student nurses have permission to receive caffeine intravenenously (a drip straight into your veins!) during lunch breaks, a great idea in my opinion. I am, of course, joking. ;) No, I really do love nursing! And we do get to experience some of college life, especially living in student accommodation! But for now, I think I will just have a little nap while standing upright.

Nap-Time Playlist
  1. See You Soon by Coldplay
  2. Mmm by Laura Izibor
  3. Tied Together With A Smile by Taylor Swift
  4. Make You Feel My Love by Adele
  5. Lost by Michael Buble
  6. I'll Be by Edwin McCain
  7. Lullaby by Priscilla Ahn
  8. Down by Jason Walker
  9. Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg
  10. Chasing Cars by Snowpatrol

Saturday, 19 November 2011

I Said 'Remember This Moment'

From Song: 'Long Live' by Taylor Swift

Ever since I chose nursing as my career, I have been dreaming about the kind of nurse I would like to be. I want to be caring and gentle. I want to be the nurse that patients look forward to seeing. The kind of nurse who makes the time to care for the patient on an emotional level as well as a medical one. Now that I am working in the hospital, I see how difficult it is to be all of these things, and it just makes me even more determined to be this kind of nurse. The more difficult it is, the more I try to be patient and kind. I only have to look at the people suffering around me to see that I have it pretty easy. And that's all the encouragement I need to keep going. Maybe one day I will be that kind of nurse, and until then I will never stop trying. 

So... Why have I posted a photo of a box of chocolates? I have been working as a nurse for 2 weeks, and yesterday I was given this as a gift from a patient. My very first gift as a nurse. I was absolutely mortified and ecstatic at the same time! Something so small, but it has made me so happy. :) It's not the chocolates that have made me feel this way of course, but the sentiments behind them. If I never receive another gift, it won't matter, because I will never forget the elderly gentleman who gave me a box of Roses after 2 weeks of nursing. :) And of course, the chocolates were very much appreciated yesterday evening after I finished my 8 hour shift at the hospital, walked back to my apartment and then to the train station in the rain, and then the train broke down an hour into the journey. At that point, chocolate was very welcome! 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

So Many Beautiful Reasons I Have To Be Happy

From Song: 'Happy' by Natasha Bedingfield

Wow, starting a blog is harder than I thought! I'm not sure how to really begin, or how to get my personality across. I guess I'll start with a few random things that are guaranteed to make me smile... They're not your average smile-worthy things, but I think they depict a little bit of my dorkier side! 

  • Sitting down to watch TV just as a show I love starts
  • Coming up with a new outfit out of clothes I already own (has to be done when you can't afford new clothes haha!)
  • When it stops raining just before you have to get out of the car
  • Reading something on my own and laughing out loud- awkward!
  • Hearing a great song again that I haven't heard in a while
  • Dangling my feet in water
  • Really really embarrassing moments with the girls that we laugh about for months after!
  • Sleeping in clean bed linen with just shaved legs
  • Being early for anything
  • Ice cold coke
  • Taking a price tag off in one clean peel
  • When people remember details about you that you wouldn't expect them to
  • A really good daydream
  • Stepping on frozen puddles
  • Watching a movie I love, and realising half way through that I don't remember how it ends
  • The smell of wet paint
  • Reeeally bad weather- yes, I love it!
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and being able to roll over and sleep some more
  • Watching babies dreaming, their eyes fluttering, and their facial expressions changing
  • Funny or clever TV ads
  • Dropping an empty glass, cringing, then realizing it didn't break- I'm becoming quite talented at 'bouncing' glasses by accident!
  • Getting texts with words spelled correctly
  • When it seems like the lyrics of a song were written just for me
  • Involuntarily laughing or smiling at the thought of a good memory
  • Good manners
  • When you're not too full to have dessert in a restaurant
  • Crossing things off on a To-Do list
  • People sneezing at really awkward moments
  • Icicles
  • The sound of typing really fast on an old keyboard
  • Turning the pillow over when it gets too warm at night
  • Hiccups- mine are especially dramatic and embarrassing!
  • Songs that give me a lump in my throat
  • Setting off an automatic hand dryer by accident and scaring the crap out of yourself! When you're on your own with strangers staring at you and trying not to laugh, it's 10 times funnier.
  • Getting a creepy crawly out the window without having to kill it
  • The smell of new books
  • The smell of old books
  • When strangers ask you to take their photo
  • Cold chinese food
  • The feeling of the plane jumping off the runway
  • Hugs when you really need them. :) 
I have this list in my diary, and I have been adding to it for a few months. It just keeps growing. :)

(My puppy, Dot, playing in the snow)

Welcome to Vanilla

Hello there. I'm Orla. :)

I have been playing with the idea of starting a blog for quite a while, so I have decided to be brave and go for it! This will be a place where I can write what I want. There will be no structure, so expect to find absolutely anything on here. It will be a collection of my thoughts and favourite things, and I hope that you find something you can relate to in it. :)

That's all for now,


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