Choosing a university can be daunting, even if you’ve had siblings go through it. Every University is different, it’s a place where you’ll build yourself, gain independence, become a little too familiar with your alcohol limits and (hopefully) set a firm foundation for your future. If you choose to live away from home like the majority, you’ll live with friends who are likely to become friends for life. Quite a lot of people have no idea where to start when it comes to choosing a University or Universities that they should consider so this outlines few factors that you might want to take into consideration when looking at which one would be best for you.


First things first; the course. Most people would agree that this is one of the most important things about deciding on where to study. Using the UCAS website course finder you and take a look at the sort of courses you’re likely to find interesting. For example, if you wanted to study maths it would be a good idea to start working out roughly but realistically what grades you’re likely to achieve at A Level, search for maths degrees using their search tool and filter out some universities. Get an idea about the sort of content included on the courses and what you’d find interesting. When looking for a course, make sure you’ve got a passion for it. You’ll be spending 3 (or more) years studying it intensely and if it’s of no interest you’re really going to struggle. Also consider the course size and teaching/assessment methods – if you like smaller group teaching with essay based assessment, don’t choose a huge course with exam style assessment!

UCAS Search Tool

Another factor to look at is the location of the University and their grounds. How far do you want to be from home? It’s all well and good wanting to be 5 hours drive from home but it will limit the number times you can go home or have parents visit for a day. When looking at Uni’s I didn’t want to be more than 3 hours from home so create a rough 3 hour radius limit around home which narrowed down the number of Uni’s I could look at. The University grounds are also important – do you like the feel of it, can you ‘picture’ yourself here? Would you prefer a campus Uni with everything all in one place, or would you rather a City university spread out slightly more.


Aside from the course, are there other things the particular University can offer you such as sports clubs? For me, sport is a big part of my life and therefore having decent sporting facilities and training spaces was an important factor. If you’re an aspiring musician then are there adequate societies/orchestras for you? Although you’re at Uni to study, there is plenty of time to socialise.

BUCS (British University/College Sport) Cross Country Championships 2016

University accommodation, especially in first year, is something you might want to consider. Are the halls situated a convenient distance from the University? Are there en-suites/shared bathrooms, self-catered or catered? It’s a good idea to have in mind what type of accommodation you’d like. In first year I was self-catered with an en-suite (I wouldn’t have minded a shared bathroom though) and it was perfect. Make sure you’d feel happy living there – it will become your home for a significant proportion of the year! Also have a look at the prices – unfortunately it can be expensive and different types can range in price.  From second year onwards people tend to rent houses in the local town with friends which is a fun but scary experience.

Not quite my average post, but last night was quite a milestone in my uni life😂 It's only taken 376 days of university to make it 'out out' to Broad Street🎉🎊 (the main clubbing street in Birmingham) and not even that…but I went to 2 clubs🙈🎉 . Fancy dress theme was Peter Pan and this was my attempt at 'Tiger Lily' whilst @lydhallam rocked the 'Lost Boy'🙌🎊 . This was also a 110% sober night out and I will happily say I had a fantastic time. I'm told quite often that going out sober is the worst thing ever but quite frankly it's not. Don't get roped ino drinking if you don't want to…I can assure you it'll still be a great night (without the added hangover!) . . . . . . . . . . . #food#foodporn#leanin15#foodie#hbloggers##fit#fitness#balance#iifym#athlete#healthylifestyle#health#healthy#runner#l4l#recovery#fuel#bbg#clubbing#model#fancydress#uni#club#nightout#wildnight#hot#love#goals#team#peterpan

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BOOK AN OPEN DAY! This definitely was the one of the deciding factors for me. I visited 4, applied to 3 of them and 1 other. It’s so different to see the University in person that read about it in a prospectus! Speaking to people actually studying at the Uni is also very important. As much as the Uni open day is helpful, you may not quite gauge what student life is actually like (after all they are trying to ‘sell’ the Uni to you).


My final piece of advice is don’t be scared or worried about it. Speak to friends that have been to different Universities and find out what they liked/disliked about it. Whatever University you end up at will give you a new experience. You’ll gain independence and if you’re struggling there is always someone there to help. University so far has been the best years of my life and I think part of the reason for that is how much I love the University of Birmingham itself.

Follow me on Instagram for an insight into University life. For a ‘Vlog’ of a ‘Day in the Life’ at the University of Birmingham, please head over to my youtube channel!

Feel free to drop me any questions! Hope this helps with your search for a Uni!!


It is once again nearing exam season and I’m always on the look out for exciting things to make for dinner/dessert to get me through the piles of revision I’m attempting to sift through. This recipe was inspired by my apple corer. For some reason it was in the cupboard rather than in the cutlery draw and I picked it up whilst making dinner….and that’s when this funky dessert idea was born.

Do you love apples? And pancakes? This could just be what you’re looking for to brighten up your evening. This super-simple pancake recipe can be made in less than 5 minutes and is absolutely delicious!


  • 1 apple, cored and sliced horizontally
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Toppings (I used Manuka Honey)


  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and add in the protein powder, coconut flour and chia seeds. Add the milk until you get a thick consistency.
  2. Heat a medium sized frying pan and add the coconut oil.
  3. Dip the apple slices in the pancake mix and place in the flying pan to cook for around 90 seconds on each side, depending on what heat you’ve got the pan on.
  4. Stack the pancakes up and top with something runny!
  5. Enjoy!




Brace yourself**. Last weekend I tried Eggs Florentine for the first time [insert shocked emoji here*]. I’m very much a creature of habit and when choosing brunch I naturally always go for toast with poached eggs and either avocado or fried mushrooms.

I was visiting Sheffield for the first time and Hannah, a lady very educated in lovely local coffee shops and brunch spots, suggested we ate at Made By Jonty for lunch. This quaint little café had the perfect all-day brunch menu, and if that didn’t tempt you, there was an array of delicious cakes and bakes on display by the counter. The café was able to serve any of the brunch items on gluten free toast if you made the waiters aware that you were a Coeliac. To this day I’m not sure what made me go for Eggs Florentine…after all avocado was on the menu…but anyhow, it changed me.

The poached eggs were perfect. The hollandaise sauce was en pointe. Even the presentation was immaculate. It was demolished in a matter of minutes. How have I lived for nearly 20 years and never had this…it continues to amaze me.

Anyhow now having only ever had hollandaise sauce once, and that having been made for me, I wanted to try and make some at home in an attempt to recreate this dish. This recipe for Eggs Florentine is made using a ‘light’ hollandaise sauce and tastes divine.


  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • spinach, to serve
  • 2 eggs and 2 yolks
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • sprinkle of salt


  1. Start by placing the 2 yolks, greek yoghurt, melted butter, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, mustard and salt in a dish and stir until well combined.
  2. Place over a bain-marie and stir every now and then as it starts to thicken for 10 or so minutes until it is of the desired consistency.
  3. Whilst the hollandaise sauce is heating, poach two eggs in boiling water and toast the bread.
  4. Layer spinach onto the toast and place the poached eggs on top. Add the hollandaise sauce to the top and enjoy hot!

It’s that time of year when people realise their frying pans are far too heavy, their flipping skills are poor and Nutella is actually very sickly. If you’re anything like me with absolutely no pancake flipping skills what-so-ever then you might appreciate this recipe for some thicker American-style pancakes.

These completely gluten free pancakes have the texture of a fluffy Victoria Sponge cake. The coconut sugar adds a subtle sweet flavour but if you’re making savoury ones, you can leave this out.


  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp gluten free oats, ground (I used Deliciously Alchemy)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (I used The Groovy Food Company)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used Lucy Bee)
  • Dash of milk


  1. Whisk the egg in bowl and combine with the mashed banana.
  2. Mix the oats, coconut sugar and baking powder in a bowl and add to the wet mixture. Stir until well combined (you could also place in a blender to make sure you remove all the lumps!). If the mix is too thick, add some milk until it is of the desired consistency.
  3. Place a frying pan on the hob over a medium heat and wait for the coconut oil to melt.
  4. Pour about 1/4 of the mix slowly into the centre and cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping over (carefully!). Repeat until all the mix is used.

Over the last few years I have been unfortunate enough to be laden with injuries from broken bones to muscle tears. Although I have always, and still have, a huge passion for running, at various points along my journey so far it has faded a fair bit. Over Christmas my coach and I decided that I would take a short break from competitive training and racing for a few months to allow my body to fully repair itself and allow me to actually regain my love for running by taking runs easy and just enjoying the feel of actually being out running.

So far, it has worked. I’ve run without any injuries and have run as and when I feel I want to [not exceeding 3/4 runs a week] – each run has felt more enjoyable. Having a taken a step back from hard ‘training’, I’ve also done a a fair bit of cross training / cycling, quite often substituting runs for a ride if a friend’s injured and wants company on the bike.

Here are a few suggestions to make sure you and running don’t fall out:

  1. Find a buddy, or join a club eg. Nike Run Club
    Running alongside someone can be SO motivating. Having done a lot of both training alone and training in a group, I know there are positives and negatives to both. Having someone to talk to or just run alongside you silently can keep you going further if you tend to get bored easily, but also if they’re slightly faster they could even pull you along faster than you’ve ever run before.
    Joining a local running club or more relaxed club like the Nike Run Club could keep you on the road (or trail) for longer. By committing to sessions at a set time with others you are less likely to find an excuse not to go.
  2. Vary your runs eg. Intervals, speed work, long slow runs
    Plan your running week so that you don’t always run the same route at the same pace at the same time. Add an interval session, long run or fartlek.
  3. Take the scenic route
    Why stick to the same 3 mile route time and time again? Try and look for new routes along canals, through local parks or woodland, round a lake…find somewhere beautiful to run. (You might even have some insta-worthy moments 😉😉)
  4. Relax
    While you’re out on your run, take time to breathe, focus on taking slow deep breaths. If you need a break, walk for a few minutes – you’ll enjoy the run more if you’re not killing yourself 100% of the time.
  5. Don’t feel you ‘have to run’ or force yourself to run – it’s ok to have a rest day!
    If you are a regular runner and one morning you really don’t feel like running, maybe your body is trying to tell you something? Take a day off – a day (or even a week) off will not affect your progress. Running when you don’t want to be could lead you into the mud mentally when it comes to setting out on your next run.
  6. Do some other sport at least once a week eg. a cycle, swim or yoga class
    Cross-training (by this I mean anything other than running) is also a good way of keeping your body fit without running. If you feel a niggle developing, a swim or cycle could be a great way to keep your training going without making the injury worse. Taking a day off to do some other exercise may also mean you’re more grateful to be running the next time you run…!!
  7. Set yourself a goal
    You’d be surprised how much more motivation you have once you have set yourself a goal! By entering a race or setting an end-of-month target you are less likely to feel like the running has ‘no purpose’ and it’ll keep you going. Deciding to run a Saturday morning parkrun could be your first goal.
  8. Create a banging playlist and listen to some tunes
    On long runs it can be nice to zone out and get stuck into some music. Your concentration may move from the run to the music and I find time passes far quicker. Make sure the music is relatively fast with a beat around the same as your cadence so you can run to the rhythm! I prefer not to listen to music on short runs and during training periods I need to focus on the run with as few distractions as possible.

How do you stay motivated?

B xxx

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