The Sunday Post #11 | The End of Exams, The Girls Hit Spain, Brexit & More


The past 6 weeks or so have been a whirlwind of craziness so we have a lot to catch up on! Not only have I myself had so many exciting things going on but the world has kind of changed too... 


The End of Exams (For Now...)

Finally, it was the end of CII exams for a couple of months (I will have to get cracking with my coursework for my next set of modules very soon though!) I have had my results back and passed everything! I'm so relieved that my hard work has paid off and even resulted in two distinctions at Diploma level. I now feel much more confident to tackle the next round.

Of course it was my birthday on the 1st of June, which I was away for. I did an entire post on my trip to New York, which you can check out here, or if you're more of an Instagrammer you can find some of my shots here under #jtbinnewyork.

It's been really nice to get out and about a little bit more with work during this time that my studies aren't quite so high on my list of priorities. Literally immediately after I landed from New York, I had the next workshop for my CII exams with the rest of the graduates on my scheme. The weather was so lovely and we all went for cocktails at the Sky Garden near our London office, followed by tapas and drinks in Leadenhall Market. I'm glad we made the most of the sun because we haven't had such nice weather in the UK since! You get really lovely views of the city and the drinks were really nice (plus not *quite* as expensive as I'd anticipated).



A photo posted by Jasmine (@jasminetalksbeauty) on

I've had so many opportunities to travel with work recently, including reuniting with all the graduates for the first time since September. I also went down to Liphook en route to that workshop, a place you will never have heard of which will be my new location from September as part of the graduate scheme. 

Being a city girl (and a non-driver) I had been pretty anxious about the move, I can't lie! However one of my colleagues who also moved down there from the Manchester office a little while back took me around to see places where I could potentially live. I think I've settled on Woking in Surrey as it's around a 40 minute commute to work on the train and I can also get to London easily to see my friends and to go back to Manchester. It's also closer to my boyfriend, though he lives in St Albans he actually works in Staines, which will be very nearby. It seems to have most of the amenities I needs as well as being considerably more affordable than other locations in the area. As long as the commute is relatively smooth, I think I could be pretty happy there! I'm really excited to get involved in the work I'll be doing at that office too.

We also had our team away day when I returned from Spain, which was in the Cotswolds. It was held at a place called the Farncombe Estate, which was such a lovely venue. It was great to get out of the office and have a bit of fun alongside the meeting. I even got really into the outdoors activities in the mud and rain. Maybe I'll like the countryside in Liphook after all!

For our most recent round of CII workshops I got to go down to Bristol and we all went out with a few people from the office as well as one of my very good friends who also lives down there, which was nice. I have definitely come to love Bristol since going there for the first time earlier this year and think I could happily live there one day!

I also, completely by chance, met up with Charline (of Charline Has a Blog). I posted an image on Instagram and tagged myself at the Trafford Centre, and it turned out she was there too so we went for coffee. It's been forever since I've had the chance to catch up with another blogger so it was really great to sit and have a chat. Charline is totally lovely and I really recommend checking out her blog!

Yesterday in Manchester I discovered another great place to eat that I'd recommend if you're ever near Spinningfields. It's a Lebanese place called Compitoir Libanais (right next door to Thaikhun, which I also really rate) and serves really great light lunch food like this mezze platter I shared with my boyfriend. 



Fun in London

The weekend before I left for New York, all of us girls going to Spain headed down to London. One of my friends has a really cute little flat near Angel, so we all went down on Saturday morning and met for brunch at the great little place called the Barn. It was pretty affordable, especially for so close to central London and it had a really great selection for vegetarians. We had a little wander and chilled at the flat before heading to the Burger and Lobster for dinner. It literally only serves burgers and lobsters, though with the lobster you can choose whether you want it chilled on a roll or the whole lobster (either steamed or grilled or half and half, which is what we did). However they do have great (and huge) cocktails too and everything on the menu is £20. The lobster was absolutely amazing and even the fries and side salad were lovely. £20 for good-sized lobster in central London really isn't bad going!


A photo posted by Jasmine (@jasminetalksbeauty) on

A photo posted by Jasmine (@jasminetalksbeauty) on

After dinner we went to a Soul Train night in Peckham, which turned out to be a bit more of a rave-like setting so we were definitely over-dressed. Oops! However it was still a really good night and the live act was amazing. We didn't have too much of a late one though because one of my friend's had to go to A&E for an infection! The next morning we went to the Barn again (whilst my friend was waiting to go into surgery!) before heading back home.

The Girls Hit Spain

A few years ago I used to find beach holidays beyond boring, however now I have a 'proper' job I've come to appreciate the awesomeness of doing nothing! At the end of last month it was one of my best friend's birthday, so a group of 8 of us all went to an apartment in Spain because one of the girl's boyfriend's parents owned it and had kindly allowed us to stay there for free for a few days.



We had such a lovely time and a real laugh out there. Most of our days were spent chilling by the pool or at the beach then we went out for dinner and drinks each night. It was really chilled out and we all seemed to be on the same wavelength in terms of what we wanted out of the holiday. The apartment, which was up in the hills, was absolutely lovely and so spacious. We stayed in Almunecar, around an hour's drive out of Malaga. It is a tourist resort but mainly for Dutch and Spanish tourists as opposed to Brits. I actually found it pretty affordable over there and spent the least I think I ever have on holiday, despite doing little else but eat and drink! Partly I think it's because the law, in that region at least, requires restaurants to serve tapas for free whenever you order alcohol and it's actually often pretty good stuff! It's quite a small town but there were some lovely places to eat, a market and a few fashion shops. There's a strip of bars along the sea front so we did out properly on 2 out of the 4 nights we were there. Again, Instagrammers you can follow my trip here under #jtbinspain.

I also had to give a mention to Bloom & Wild, who sent me the lovely Belle Bouquet* of peonies and roses. They come in a flat box that is designed to fit right through your letterbox. I've received them a few times and they've alway been in fresh, perfect condition (meaning you get the longest possible life out of the flowers). They're also pretty affordable, with most of the stunning bouquets being available for   £20-35. We also ordered the Imogen bouquet from Bloom and Wild for my friend's boyfriend's parents to thank them for letting us stay at the apartment in Spain (which they loved!) because it was just so kind of them.



Brexit

I don't often talk politics on this blog and that is a conscious decision but I couldn't not mention the elephant in the room. On the first day of our holiday in Spain, Britain voted by referendum to leave the European Union and we saw the £ plummet to the lowest it's ever been in my lifetime and the Prime Minister resign. I'm not going to sit here and say that no intelligent person voted to Leave without any thought-out reason, however I think it's safe to say that a lot of the voting was influenced by xenophobic rhetoric. I personally think it should never have been put to a referendum; there was too little unbiased information, too many false promises and not enough understanding of the impact this would have on our economy. Calling a referendum was a cheap shot at winning the  general election by the Tory party last year and I don't think that Cameron thought the vote would go this way even up to just a couple of months ago.

As a 23 year-old, I've not seen this country outside of recession for many years of my life so the fact we've willingly plunged ourselves into one leaves me scared for the future. Most of all, though, I feel like this is another step towards our country going down a path I don't want it to. I honestly think that we've regressed and become a less tolerant and inclusive society over the past 5-8 years. This is supported by the significant spike in reported hate crimes since the vote. England is shifting further towards the right due to disenfranchised voters and the more it does this, the less likely the union is to survive, as the Scottish independence movement is likely to surge again. Every major city (with the notable exception of Birmingham) along with Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain, as did the vast majority of young voters (who will feel the impact of this change the most), which is why it was such a shock for myself and the kinds of people I spend time around.

The Monthly Viewing

I recently watched Room, which is based on a book however I actually became interested in this after randomly catching an interview with Brie Larson talking about the making of the film. It's about a mother raising her young son in captivity. Joy was kidnapped as a teenager and has been being abused by her captor ever since, which included giving birth to a son: Jack. Much of the story is told through Jack's eyes, so despite the bleak subject matter there's a sort of innocence to the narrative. Jack has never been outside Room and it's both sweet and heartbreaking to hear the stories his mother tells him to try and explain away their situation. It's not really a spoiler but they eventually escape and Jack sees the outside world for the first time. It's such an amazing, strangely uplifting film that had me in tears. I don't usually like to read a book after I've already seen the film but in this case I'd actually like to.

Of course June saw the return of Peaky Blinders at last! I absolutely love this Birmingham-based 1910s gangster drama. Cillian Murphy is just great in everything and I've always found this show both gripping and fun. I have to admit I wasn't quite as into this series; it started off well but just seemed to get messy and all over the place with the plot. It's still great viewing but I'd say the previous series were 8.5/10s, whereas this is a 7/10.

Game of Thrones also concluded last month. When it lags, it can be a bit of a chore to watch however it's worth persevering for when it gets really good again, which it ALWAYS does! I feel like last season was really strong and this season continued on the upward trend. Even after all these years and twists and turns it still manages to shock me!

I've also just started watching the second series of Outlander with my boyfriend. It sounds so random on paper but the 'WW2 nurse travels back in time to 18th century Scotland and meets an attractive highlander' historical romance drama really does work. The second half of the last series was a bit of a slump in my opinion, however the new series (which sees Claire and Jamie flee to France) is back to being extremely watchable!


Have you been off anywhere nice this Summer? What have you been watching on TV and at the cinema?



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29 comments

  1. Congrats on your exams! Looks like you've been having an amazing time.

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  2. It looks like you have had such an amazing time! Well done with your exams hun! Such an achievement! New York - ahh! I really want to go someday! I'm so pleased you had a great time! Yay!
    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin' // Instagram
    xx

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  3. i totally agree with all your thoughts on brexit, i feel like the whole thing was such a big mess! i actually live really close to Liphook as well, hope you enjoy the move down! your holiday to spain looked so lovely, i can definitely appreciate a do-nothing holiday now as well!
    m0llylouise.com

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    1. Maybe I will see you around - it's a small place! Haha and tell me about it - wishing I was back there now xx

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  4. Completely agree about Brexit. Congrats on your exams! It sounds like you've had a great couple of months xx

    Phoebe & Abida | phoebida.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. Sounds like you've had a pretty awesome few weeks. Congrats on the exam results and also good luck for the move! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thank you so much - yes there have been so many amazing highlights over the past 6 weeks! xx

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  6. hi i've just found your blog on Bloglovin' and i really like it,you're doing a great job,and i'm so glad you passed your exams xoxo


    todaysouhaila.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! :) xx

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  7. I recently watched the conjuring with my boyfriend, that was so worth seeing! I haven't been anywhere on holiday yet but i've got Cornwall in a week and a half and Zante in about 3 weeks! So excited! I loved reading this post, great to catch up on your life X

    www.emilyy.co.uk

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    1. Ooh I'll have to check that out - I've not seen a good horror in ages! Ooh lucky you - I'm jealous though I suppose I've had my fair share of holidays haha. Glad you enjoyed reading this :) xx

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  8. Congrats on your exam results Jasmine! All your hard work has paid off! I love posts like these and updating us on how you're doing and whatnot :) keeps things personal and so on, as we are all so busy sometimes it's hard to see how others are doing on a daily basis. Glad you had such a fun time in Spain, I loved your photos. Seriously have such travel envy from everybody going on holiday over summer! Keep up the great work with your studies!

    xoxo
    www.hellohimawari.com

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    1. Thank you so much Mika <3 now I don't have another summery holiday on the horizon I am haha xx

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  9. Congrats on your exams! I feel like that about Brexit too. And oh lordy GOT! I can't wait until next season!
    Tx

    https://brunchattiffanys.co.uk/

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  10. Such a cute post! I do not miss exams at all....congratulations on your's though! :) x

    www.paulamarieee.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you :) I thought I was over with exams after uni but apparently not haha xx

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  11. Those flowers are so gorgeous!

    Parie x
    classandglitter.com

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    1. Bloom & Wild do so many beautiful bouquets! xx

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  12. Seeing all the picture of your food has made me hungry haha! Well done on your exams. Looks like you had a pretty exciting month! Room sounds brilliant, I want see it. xx

    LPage Beauty

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    1. Thank you and it's so worth watching! xx

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  13. This post is lovely...as always love hearing about what you're up to in your day to day life. Most of all, this post made me thoroughly hungry...lol! Brexit though...you've summed it up perfectly. Oh and just found out that May is Prime Minister...seriously though...seriously! xxx

    Sal | UmmBaby Beauty

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  14. Wow you have been a busy bee and jet setting! Sounds like you had an amazing time in New York & Spain with your friends and a great time out in London, with lots of yummy food. Where you are working at is close to me and where you are living is even closer to me, so welcome to the South! Agree with you about Brexit, some people were scaremongered into voting leave, particularly with the detestable Nigel Farage poster and the Vote Leave campaign logo on their bus which was completely untrue and once the Referendum was over they even admitted it was a false claim and the money (which was the wrong figure) would not definitely go to the NHS. It's been a crazy few weeks in politics and I feel sorry for immigrants who live here and have been living here peacefully for years who are being picked on and told to go back to where they come from. Hate crime should not have to be tolerated by innocent hard working people who pay their taxes (a higher rate then we do) and have as much right to be here as we do or as we do in their or other countries. Congratulations on finishing your exams and passing them, you definitely deserve to treat yourself to some more makeup! XxxX

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    1. It's been a crazy 6 weeks! Thank you so much!
      And I know - I honestly thought people would see through that nonsense but apparently not... And me too - this vote has given xenophobes the confidence to openly harass immigrants (and anyone whose 'face doesn't fit') and it really is shameful :( xx

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  15. Thank you for your comments - I always love reading them on these posts especially :) xx

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