Saturday, 6 June 2015

Handbags and Cupcakes' 5th birthday and finishing my degree!

Oof, (mildly) dramatic times in my life right now.

I almost can’t believe I’ve made it, but I’ve finished my degree! And today is Handbags and Cupcakes’ fifth birthday! *pops all the mental Champagne corks*

As of last Thursday at 11.30am, when I finished my 10th exam, I am a graduand (someone who has finished their degree but is yet to actually graduate.)

I didn’t really think about it during the exam – a gal’s gotta focus on her French essay – but towards the end it struck me that that was probably hopefully my final exam ever. I feel like I’ve done so many exams. But now I’m done. It’s so weird. I'm no longer studying French and German. I studied French and German. Woah.

As well as being weird though, it's blimmin' fantastic. All my friends and I have been in the best moods ever since finishing, and I'm fairly certain this sheer joy at being free isn't going to wear off for some time. 

For weeks, the general response to "How are you?" has been along the lines of, "Meh," "Alright," and "Ya know, powering through." But now? Now it's like "Awesome, excellent, fantastic!" I love it.

Before I finished, the lovely Lucy of La Lingua (an Exeter Uni languages graduand) wrote that after exams "my brain collapsed in on itself and refused to let me do anything except drink Prosecco." And when I read that, from the depths of revision boredom, I couldn't wait for it to be me.

So naturally, we went straight from the exam hall to Bristol's lovely Royal Fort Gardens to celebrate in style.

And yes, I brought Champagne flutes. It just tastes better. 


Bubbly was followed with a luscious lunch at the Cowshed - I'd been wanting to try the well-known Bristol restaurant for aaaaages, and the gals and I figured finishing our degrees was the perfect occasion to take advantage of their three courses for £12 offer.

What a treat. 

We were super lucky with the weather, so being able to simply lie in the sun on Brandon Hill after lunch (because we didn't have any work oh ma daaaays) was a sheer delight.

The celebratory day - the day to which we'd been looking forward for so damn long - continued with a cocktail I'd had my eye on for a loooong time. (What? You mean you don't stalk food and drink online too?) 

You guys, this is essentially a peanut butter cup milkshake cocktail. And yes, it is absolutely as good as you'd imagine. So dreamy. Oh, and if you can I suggest you go during happy hour (4.30-7.30pm) like we did!

That night we went out dancing, and this has never been more appropriate:

"It's high time to drink Prosecco and dance on the tables."
Naturally, I requested Taylor Swift's '22' (my anthem for the year), and as I sang and danced and smiled with my friends, I just felt so so very happy. The lyrics had rarely seemed more relevant: "Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines." Good ole Tay-tay, she always tells it like it is, eh?

And whaddaya know, we went out dancing the next night too. We also went out for afternoon drinks, and dinner. But as far as I'm concerned, celebrations are very well-deserved all-round.

^Like my dress? I bought it that morning. Because I can go shopping now. Because I'm free. (It still hasn't sunk in.)

With its bunting and elephant print, I'm a bit in love with my latest purchase. Here's a very classy changing room pic so you can see the whole thaaang:

It's from Fox and Feather (a shop I love) here in Bristol but they actually do free online delivery, which is awesome. 

And shopping isn't the only thing I've been enjoying doing with my new-found freedom: I'm powing through this list pretty well, if I do say so myself. (Cleaned my room this morning. It makes me so happy.)

What's super awesome is that the fun is set to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, there is so much fun scheduled that it's actually a little stressful trying to fit everything in. Not as stressful as doing finals, mind, but still.

There are parties,and a ball and awards ceremonies and picnics and brunches and it's all amazing. Life = awesome right now.

But let me get back to the other reason today is special: IT'S HANDBAGS AND CUPCAKES' FIFTH BIRTHDAY!

It doesn't feel like a whole year has gone by since I wrote a post about my blog's fourth birthday, even though it's been quite the year.

I genuinely can't believe I've been writing this blog for five years. FIVE YEARS! That's almost a quarter of my life. Wowzers.

But the thing is, I can't for one moment imagine not doing it. Handbags and Cupcakes is such a huge part of who I am, and I love blogging more than I can express.

Throwback to the Cosmo Blog Awards last October
It's been a real challenge to keep Handbags and Cupcakes going over my final year of uni, and it's been frustrating not being able to put as much into it as I want to. Although to be perfectly honest I'd gladly be a full-time blogger if I could.

What's super exciting right now is that I actually am going to have time to focus on Handbags and Cupcakes. Well, after all the post-uni partying simmers down. But I can't wait to be able to focus on my blog more than I have been.

I'm super grateful to the readers who've been so supportive over the past nine months, and I hope you'll stick with me as I start a new, unknown chapter of my life - I think it's going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who reads Handbags and Cupcakes. It means the world, it really does.

Here's to the next five years!

PS. Thanks to my fab friends Frankie, Anna and Ambi, from whom I have borrowed some of the photos in this post.


  1. Awww yay, so glad you finished finally!! And thanks for the mention :) I am hugely impressed that you managed to keep blogging whilst doing your exams, I ground to a complete halt! (It's halfway through the year and I've done about 15 posts max, oops..) Enjoy your freedom and I'm looking forward to more regular updates :) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

    1. Thanks Lucy, that's so kind of you. Hope you're enjoying freedom too! xxx


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