What’s In My Schoolbag 2020 | How I Stay Organised

Hello!

Welcome back to the blog. I don’t think I have shared on here (but if I have you may have forgotten) the new upload schedule: Tuesday and Friday! That’s two posts a week over here on the blog and two posts every week on Instagram too (also Tuesday and Friday).

Anyway, you probably just want me to hop straight into the post: What’s In My Schoolbag 2020. Typically these posts come out in early September, but I was on my mini hiatus. I still wanted to spill the ins and outs of my bag, and how I stay organised with my school work. I hope you enjoy!

Le Sac

Most importantly, we have the bag itself. This one was on sale from Cath Kidston a couple of years ago and I have used it ever since. It has a handy laptop compartment and, although I don’t take a laptop to school, it is useful for keeping papers and books straight, neat and not crumpled!

In the main compartment we have:

My Academic Planner

I bought this planner from Ink Outside The Box a few weeks ago – admittedly not at the start of the academic year. They were on sale for much cheaper than the original price, with profits going to charity, because during production some of them went kinda wrong! The main planner is still completely functional however the monthly dividers weren’t in the correct order (I quickly rearranged them though). So yes, ta-daa!!!

A Book

You never see me without a book, and I take one to school with me every day. Currently I’m reading The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. I’ll report back once I’ve finished and post my full review to Goodreads! (my username is @cathjaneblog so please don’t hesitate to add me as a friend 😉

My Pencil Case

This one is bigger than last year’s, however it fits my calculator which is really handy. Having the extra space means I can put sticky notes in there too (a student’s dream) and, of course, some snazzy highlighters. I have got into the habit of emptying it out every weekend, sharpening all of the pencils, throwing away the random loose bits of paper – we all collect them – and making it fresh for the following week. It’s a lovely little ritual and motivates me to spend more time studying. Definitely the best part of my school bag!

Bag of Random Things

I also have little drawstring bag that is home to the loose articles I take to school ‘just in case’. That’s a tin of Vaseline, spare mask, extra hand sanitiser, and a little packet of tissues!

Other Stuff…

The front pocket of my bag is home to a pair of socks with non-slip soles for drama. On cold occasions (aka Autumn-Spring) I put my gloves in there too. I don’t keep anything else in the front pocket despite there being space.

A blazer is one of God’s gifts. In there I can put my purse, hand sanitiser, face mask, the planner school provided, phone, bus pass… It’s a fantastic organisation method XD

Sorry if this post is generic and boring, but I’m very happy you stuck until the end!

If you were a school teacher, what subject would you like to specialise in?

Leave your answers to this question below, I can’t wait to read and respond to them! I’m almost certain I’d teach English. Although Geography is by far my favourite subject ❤ 

Thank you for reading,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Falling In Love With My Bike | Chats With Cath

Looks like I’ve got a new series for you: welcome to Chats With Cath! These posts are going to be a bit longer, for those of you that enjoy a nice sit-down chatty vibe. If you’ve been around here a while, you’ll know how much I love a good ramble. Chats With Cath is going to be an ongoing series where I talk about things that are on my mind. 

Starting with…

Exercise!

We all of have some relationship with exercise. You might love it, or you might detest it. I was one of them people that turned their nose up at the thought of exercise. If that’s you – don’t fear! Just keep exploring exercise until you find a sport that suits you best (for example I can’t stand indoor workouts – I much prefer being in the outdoors!)

Cycling

Cycling didn’t start out as ‘my sport’. Truth be told – I hated it. I tried so hard to not practise even though my mum kept forcing me up on to the seat. I learned how to ride a bike pretty late into my life. I must have been 10? I couldn’t keep myself upright as a rode but then one day – it just clicked. I was riding about in no time. I am very grateful Mum’s persistence in making me learn. As they say – you never forget how to ride a bike.

That bike that I learned to ride on is now much too small for me. As an early Christmas present, my parents bought me a lovely bike. It was over £100 which is really a lot of money! So come Christmas I won’t have a ‘big’ present, if you will, because I already have it. My beautiful bike.

Here she is: I decided to call her Christine, because I love naming inanimate objects. 

I took her out for a spin the other week with my friend. We went on a lovely autumn bike ride together on Halloween. Sadly, the nights drawing in means I can’t get out for exercise in the evenings after school. Weekends are my opportunity to go zooming about and I look forward to it all week (although I try not to get ahead of myself because we need to be grateful for what’s happening now)

It’s October half-term as I’m writing this. I’m having a week long break from school and really feels like lockdown. So I’ve started reflecting and those 6 weird months.

Lockdown

Lockdown was a really turning point for many people and their exercise habits. We had more time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. The British phenomenon was Joe Wicks and I am ashamed to say I never tried one of his workouts (as I said before, I don’t really like exercise indoors).

Despite the circumstances, I really embraced lockdown. I went out for my daily exercise, did schoolwork, blogged and slept. My mum and I went for a walk almost on a daily basis! It was wonderful and I grew to appreciate my scenery a lot more. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. As I have lived here all my life the beauties which other people admire have become ‘the norm’ for me. I speak for many people when I say lockdown made my appreciate everything that little bit more.

I wrote this post before the second lockdown was announced!

Catherine, how does this link to exercise?

I’m a bit gutted I didn’t ask for a bike last Christmas, because lockdown would have been the perfect opportunity to get out on my bike. Now the nights are drawing in I can’t get that exercise anymore. It’s a bit poopy living so far north in the world. It goes dark by 4:30 – and that’s when I get home from school!

I’m just voicing inner frustration here. I do realise how lucky and fortunate I am, to be sat here under a warm blanket writing to an audience of 830 people. 

To finish off this post, I’d just like to say a huge thank you for all of the support.

Not only because of the rebrand, but everything else too.

This is such a lovely space on the Internet and each and every one of you means the world to me.

What’s your favourite way to exercise? Are you more of an at-home workout person or do you enjoy going to the gym?

I’d love to hear about your relationship with exercise and lockdown in the comments.

Love you lots,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes | Book Review

Synopsis

“It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

“The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53034698-the-ballad-of-songbirds-and-snakes

My Thoughts

Suzanne Collins is a genius.

We all know of The Hunger Games, whether we have read then or not. I understand they are not for everyone! They weren’t my favourite novels ever. However, I was really excited for this prequel. I preordered it as soon as I heard the news.

I have no regrets.

This book is one of the best things I’ve read all year.

I enjoyed it more than the entire series combined. Even if you haven’t seen/read The Hunger Games, it serves well as a stand alone. That final sentence made the entire book complete. I just… if anyone else has read this book, please talk to me about it. I just- I loved it.

Suzanne Collins made a pretty brave and bold move, to rediscover the world she wrote 10 years ago and make a prequel for it. You’d expect nothing less than a flop, which is understandable. This is a rare and beautiful exception. 

In the original novels Snow was this side-line character. We didn’t learn much about him, but he was the President of the Capitol. He encouraged the Games. In essence, the ‘bad guy’.

Though this novel was written in third person, we learned a lot about Coriolanus Snow. Collins wrote it in a way that made the reader think they knew Coriolanus, but we didn’t really know him at all. 

If I were to use one simply word to describe him, it would be: cunning.

Of course, the bulk of this novel concentrates on Coriolanus being a mentor in the Hunger Games. His tribute, Lucy Gray, was a very exciting character. Following her story was definitely a journey. I loved the way she complimented Coriolanus but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her in the end.

Who Would I Recommend This To?

Any fans of dystopian or fantasy would eagerly eat up this book. It’s a great all-rounder, and if you’re not very familiar with dystopian as a genre I think this is a perfect road into it. You’d probably have to familiarise yourself with the Hunger Games world (Panem) before heading into this. Although, if you take the first few chapters slowly, you will be able to plunge in at the deep end. 

Audience wise, I’d say 11-16? The only reason I could see a young adult reading this is if the Hunger Games meant a lot to them. I have seen a fair few people in their 20s enjoy this (over on bookstagram) but, as I said, I don’t think they’d pick it up unless they already had a good relationship with the Hunger Games original series.

This book is one of the best I’ve read all year! It was a great escape in those weeks where academia got a bit stressful. I couldn’t put it down – and the satisfaction after finishing it is like eating up an entire Christmas dinner. 

What are you reading at the moment, or what do you want to read next?

Hope you have a lovely week,

Catherine x

P.S I’m officially back! Schedule is as follows: new blog post every Tuesday and Wednesday accompanied by an Instagram post. Other social media’s are taking the back seat but I would love if you could add me as a friend on Goodreads! Linked here.

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Goodbye Kitty Jade…

Hello,

Hope you are all well. I’m looking forward to catching up with you all in the comments. When the academic year kicked in, I took an unannounced and completely needed hiatus from blogging. School had to take the front seat and I am still focusing on my studies as a priority.

However, I have missed you all.

I have had this platform since I was quite young and it has evolved as I have. We started out this journey together under the alias Kitty Jade which, since today, has been archived. I make it sound like I’ve lost a friend but it isn’t that dramatic. My content is changing, I’m growing up, and it seems sensible for this blog to grow with me.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we?

New logo, new name, but underneath it is still me: Catherine.

I spent quite a while deciding how to incorporate my name into my online identity but eventually found Cath Jane would be perfect. The username is available on all platforms which is great, and it means there’s no more confusion with people calling me Kitty! Kitty Jade was this character I took on when I was fearful of the large expanse of Internet. It was a little safety blanket. 

Teenage years are a time of change and three years doesn’t seem long, but for me it’s a lifetime. Back when I revealed my name in lockdown I knew there was change looming on the horizon. This just feels like the right decision to embrace myself! To be completely, unapologetically me!

One night I was watching Bake Off when I came up with my logo idea. Yellow is my favourite colour so I went for an in-your-face shade! Hope you don’t find it too distracting. I will be working on a website banner but that’s less of a priority at the moment. Because you can’t have a blog without content!

I did promise a few collabs with certain people that I aim to finish and send off soon. Collabs are going to take the backseat because I’m finding it hard to stick to my commitments! (CEO of signing up to too many things) I will however, be relying on your kindness and willingness to be interviewed. I will make a constant effort to reach out to big names and companies and ask if they wish to be involved in a climate change discussion/interview in my Plastic Plan series. The Plastic Plan is always a work in progress and the name is also subject to change to a more inclusive one. Climate Change With Catherine, Catherine’s Take, Zero Waste Wednesday?

That is all I have to offer today! November is the month for me. Schedule to be decided but the break has rejuvenated my creative mind and I’m so excited for what lies ahead! I may already be dreaming of blogmas…

Thank you for waiting patiently throughout the past few months as I have been silent on my blog and social media. 

Here’s to a new chapter, Cath Jane Blog!

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com