My favourite books of the past 12 months

Another uni year is over and I am graduating with my Bachelor soon. However, this article is not about that. For people that know me it is not a secret that I love reading and books. Like honestly when I can’t deal with life, I will hide in my room for a few days and just read. So I thought I would share some of my favourite books I have read this year.

They both die at the end by Adam Silvera

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 00.02.43.pngThe title is a spoiler and I thought I was prepared. But trust me I wasn’t. The book is basically set in a world where people get notified that they will die within the next 24 hours. They don’t know how or when within that time frame, they just know that it will happen. However, they have access to an app that will match them with their ‘Last Friend’ someone they can spent the day with and talk to. This book is about Mateo and Rufus. An unlikely pairing but somehow it works. And while the title specifically tells you ‘They will both die at the end’, you will find yourself rooting for the two of them and keep hoping that there will be some sort of mix up and they do survive. I was on a train reading it and I am not a person to cry at books, but trust me I was on a train balling my eyes out while reading it. It is so well written and while it seems utopian/ dystopian, it still seems realistic somehow. I would 10/10 recommend this book if you like YA books.


It only happens in the movies by Holly Bourne

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 00.05.46Every book by Holly Bourne I read I just sit there shaking my head. How does she do it? In every single book no matter how different the characters are to each other I can always identify with them. Reading about Audrey in this book had me laugh and cry (I swear I don’t usually cry at books) by how similar she is to me in so many ways and I have had friends say the same. Holly Bourne has an eye to capture realistic female characters that are entertaining in how relatable they are. What is the book actually about, you may ask, well it is about a girl who hates clichés in romantic films, however starts to find herself falling for a romance that is exactly like it. However, while love in the movies is always easy simple and everything always makes sense in the end, Audrey has to deal with life influencing this romance and things not going as smoothly. The ending of the book however, made me fall in love with Holly Bourne’s books again and I highly recommend this book to any girl that wants to have relatable characters in a book.


Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 00.06.56I was sceptical of After You, the sequel to Me before You and was positively surprised. When I saw still me being announced I was even more concerned. Like how do you build on after you. Is it not just going to overuse of the characters. But Jojo Moyes did it again. I couldn’t put Still Me down. It made me look up jobs as AuPairs and PA’s in New York. It made me sad that I can’t meet Louisa and be friends with her in real life and just hang out with her in central park making fun of people working on their perfectness while eating tons of cake.
In this book Louisa has moved to New York to work for a wealthy family, while still trying to move on from Will, figuring out how to be in a long- term relationship and all of this while being in a new city away from everything she has ever known. Louisa may be fictional but I love spending time in her world. While her life is far from perfect she always tries to make the best of it and she seems like a fun person to be around. Anyone who loved Me Before You, READ ALL THE SEQUELS!
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 00.07.58A book about three girls that are all to some extend and in different ways involved with the suffragette movement in London.  This year the right to vote for women turns 100 and this book is a good read to remind you how lucky we are in the position we are today. The story is cleverly spread through three main characters and slowly explains their backgrounds and motives for being involved in the suffragette scene and how they all try to make their mark on the world, despite having different goals. It is a feminist book and shows that every girl no matter what she does plays her part in the overall progress for women’s equality.
While I loved the book, I thought the past quarter of the book was too quickly wrapped up and it could have been more explicitly explained and some time jumps seemed to leave out major character developments, but overall I still loved it and would highly recommend it to everyone who wants a book with strong female characters.


Flowers for Algernon by David Keyes

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 00.09.09It is one of my boyfriend’s favourite books and he gave it to me to read. I had no expectations or idea what it really was about. It was captivating and it took me only a day to read. This book is about an experiment that is supposed to enhance the mental capabilities of the human brain. After trials on the mouse Algernon are successful, Charlie who has a very low IQ receives the same operation as a human trial. Over the course of the book he is getting more intelligent and gets to the point where his intelligence and understanding of the world and psychology surpasses that of the creators of the experiment. However, at that point Algernon starts showing signs of decline in his mental capabilities and Charlie does too. The book is well written and language is used to underline Charlies growth and decline of intelligence. It is well written and super emotional (though I managed to not cry this time) and I can only recommend this to anyone.


So these have been my favourite books I read this semester and I already have a pile at home to read over the summer and a huge wishlist on Waterstones with books I will slowly acquire over the summer and next year. There are plenty of books I am already excited about that have yet to come out and I cannot wait to spend the summer reading.

Lots of love,

Katie x


Cover Image

All other pictures are from amazon.


Why it is so hard to keep a blog alive

Hello there,

As you might can see: our Blog sadly doesn’t get as much love anymore as it used to. When you’re a follower from the beginning or you read some posts from when we started this Blog you might see that we used to upload quite frequently. Our goal was to post something at least 5 times a week. Since it’s the 4 of us, one could post something on their certain day. And then we also had Sunday Funday and Quote of the week.
Although I love blogging and I love to free my mind this way, it is extremely hard to keep a Blog alive. Think about it this way:
First of all, you have to come up with a topic each week. You have to write something each week on your certain day. Plus, you also have Sunday Funday where we tried to keep it entertaining and different.
But then you also have life. And let me tell you when you’re in your 20s having a life is quite important. Not only that University is extremely time consuming, it’s also that you try to socialise a lot and you try to make the best out of all this time you have in University. Adulthood is coming way too soon anyways with all the responsibilities you have with it. The other day I had to do my taxes and goodness me was this complicated. Why don’t they teach you that in school?
As much as I would like to say that I’m one of these amazing, inspiring Bloggers that can actually manage to keep a Blog alive and write a hell of a lot inspiring things each week, I’m not. And I think I will never be one. Sadly.
But thank you to everybody who is still sticking around! I might need to have a serious chat with the other 3 and talk with them about this Blog. Who knows maybe we can come up with a concept that allows us to get back into this whole blogging thing.

So, to everyone who stuck around: thank you! I will try my best to convince the other 3 girls to blog more in the future. And if the other girls are reading this: we have to get our asses up and do this more frequently again because it’s so much fun and it used to be something we very much enjoyed and got all excited about. We shouldn’t throw things away we love just because we grow up and have to adult.


Lots of love,

Jenny x.

My favourite places in Australia

Hi guys 🙂

In case you haven’t heard: I’ve spent half a year in Australia and as I can’t stop talking about this beautiful country here’s another blogpost yeeeyy. If you are planning to visit Australia (and you should,no excuses !!) here are the places I would definitely recommend visiting. I feel like I should say that I only travelled the east coast, so there won’t be any places of West Australia and Central Australia as I will only talk abot places I’ve seen myself. That doen’t mean that they’re not worth the visit as I heard from my friends that they’re absolutely amazing. Buuut let’s get started!

  1. Sydney

Probably the place my heart hangs on the most as I actuylly lived there for the most time. I love everything about Sydney from the lively inner city with lots of places to go shopping, to all the beautiful beaches you can hang out at on sunny days and the botanical garden with all the exotic plants and the wonderful view on the opera house. Not to metntion the landmarks, the harbour bridge and opera house which are completely stunning. I was blown away every time I saw them and took  a ridiculous amount of pictures (which look all the same to be honest).One of my favourite places is darling harbour with my favourite clubs and restaurants. Sydney has like lots of Australian cities a great surf culture,so you can see surf competitions at the beaches and everyone is very laid-back and friendly. A big part is also all the cultures, that come together in Sydney, you can get food from all different countries and if you’re looking to make friends from all different nations, Sydney is the place for you. I love all the different quarters of Sydney, when you drive from the centre to the suburbs you get the feeling you’re driving through a lot of different towns as each one has their own atmosphere. I think if I had to choose where in Australia to live it would be Sydney !

2. Noosa Heads

Noosa itself is only a tiny town but the National park is absolutely unique. You can choose between different walks threw the park, that lead you threw the rainforest or along the coast. The coastal walk I did is one of the most popular walks in the country and I can totally see why. You have amazing views on the see and the beaches and it looks like tropical paradise with the green plants, the turquoise see and the yellow beaches. You walk up a hill from where you can spot whales and dolfins if it’s the right season and see lovely bays. Noosa is also a good place for surfing and stand up paddling.

3. Great barrier reef

You can go scuba diving/snorkeling at different places of the great barrier reef and they are all different. The marine landscape is just incredible, you can see colourful plants and beautiful fish. If  you’re lucky you will even see sharks and turtles. I was absolutely speechless by the beauty and the atmosphere under water! I really hope the endangered reef can be saved with the new funds the government gave to research, as huge parts of it are already dead and won’t be there for the next generations to see.

4. Magnetic Island

Magnetic island is known for it’s wildlife. You can spot wild koalas on the fort walk, that leads you up the hills to the old WW2 (or was it WW1?) forts. There will be arrows on the floor of people who’ve spotted the koalas and if you’re lucky and keep your eyes in the trees you will see the little grey furballs yourself. From the forts you have an amazing view over the island. There are woods everywhere you can see and beautiful bays. The nature and wildlife is truly incredible. At sunset you can feed rock wallabies at the arcadia, which are like cute little kangaroos and will eat out your hand. Also coolest hostel with the best view I’ve ever been to. If you’re planning to go definitely stay at Base!

5. Whitsunday Island/ Whitehaven beach

THIS PLACE IS LITERALLY PARADISE YOU HAVE TO GO ! Okay trying to calm down but it was in all honesty one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. You get there by ship (there are 1 day to 4 day trips and you can either go by sailing boat or speed boat)  and when you drive around the cornerof the island you see the most beautiful beach with the whitest sand. And it’s not only me saying this it actually was voted the worlds most beautiful beach before and even some pirates of the carribean scenes where shot there. You should go there in the afternoon and walk up the hill so you have the perfect view over the whole beach  and the white sand lines in the crystal clear sea. The white sand is also good for your skin and hair so definitely worth a scrub. You can also find the most fotographed tree in the world on the beach. It fell over during a cyclone and as it looks super aesthetic it turned into the most fotographed tree over night. Check out the pictures and tell me this is not paradise ! (There’s also a very instagramable swing 😉 )


6. Great Ocean Road

Finally something on the southern side of the continent ! The great ocean road gives you everything there is beautiful nature, the stunning see, incredible wildlife (for example koalas, parrots, etc.) and the surf culture. You’re driving next to the sea on one side and interesting plants on the other side. On the hill there are amazing houses you will definitely want but never be able to afford. You will also come through lovely, small towns along the coast, which all have there own charm. There’s also a rainforest walk, where you can see the most interesting plants and trees. Aaaaaand of course the highlights: The 12 apostels and lochards gorge. They are both incredibly beautiful and have a powerful atmosphere in every weather and definitely worth visiting. (Also I stole my friend’s picture cause he had better weather hahah)

7. Fraser Island

The worlds biggest sand island ! You can drive along the coast for hours, it’s just one endless beach (which is basically the dream for me). We even saw some dolphins in the water ! You have to drive in 4 wheel drives and it still can be hard to drive and really bumpy,it’s definitely a cool and unique driving experience. There are little towns and lots of little roads leading through the rainforest. You can also do rainforest walks along beautiful little creeks. It’s a really cool island and as I heard really cool to stay overnight and camp. Just lock your food away and beware of the dingos! My personal favourite was Lake Mackenzie a sweetwater lake and the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. Apparently the water is healing and the sand is the same pure sand as in Whitehaven beach, so it’s good for your skin as well. I just felt a calm and relaxing atmosphere there which I’ve never experienced anywhere before!

So I know these are probably basic but they’re basic for a reason, because everyone has to see them as they’re amazing. I’d love if you shared your favourite places with me on our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds

Have a wonderful rest of the week !


Alli xx

Favourites: February ’18

Hi guys it’s been a while but I thought I’d share some of my current favourites that get me through the cold and snowy winter here in Germany.


I’ve been living with a Mexican guy for half a year. He is a great cook and always prepared the most delicious meals, which got me obsessed with mexican food so I decided to try and prepare salsa and guacamole myself (with his recipe). The last few days I really have been craving nachos with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese and I hope I get around to prepare it today. It’s not an actual Mexican dish, but it’s easy and has the components I learned to love so much, so the perfect dish to warm yourself up with some spicy cheesy goodness.

Another dish I really enjoy at the moment is a german pastry called “Krapfen ” or “Berliner”. They’re comparable to jam filled donuts and it’s typical to have it in Germany during carnival season in February. It’s a ball of dough with jam (or in variations with vanilla cream or chocolate) in the middle powdered with icing sugar. It’s kind of hard to eat without getting jam or icing sugar all over you, but totally worth the mess.


I have to admit I haven’t read a lot recently, but the one book I read luckily is totally worth recommending. It’s called “A quiet kind of thunder” and is written by the praised “Beautiful broken things” author Sara Barnard. The book tells the story of Steffi, who is a selective mute, which means she is technically able to talk, but can’t get the words out when anxious or uncomfortable. She meets the new guy at her school Rhys who is deaf. As she is able to use BSL (british sign language) they can communicate easily and soon fall in love. It’s a beautiful story about a first love under special circumstances, but with the normal first love problems and you can’t help but absolutely love the interesting characters. Really a read to warm your heart in cold february.



The whole country is watching topmodel and then there’s me overexcitedly watching Ru Paul’s Drag race. Season 7, 8 and 9 are on german Netflix now and I couldn’t be happier. Drag race is a casting show for drag queens where they have to do certain challenges and then there’s a runway challenge which they need to create costumes according to the weeks theme for. It’s just so bright, crazy and colourful and glamourous with the perfect amount of drama . Also you get to know the coming out and background stories of the contestants which can be really emotional. I love it and it brightens up every dark winter day.

An other series I’m totally digging is british series “The end of the fucking world” which is also on Netflix. It’s about self diagnosed psychopath James and rebellious teenage girl Alyssa who run away together. James is quiet and awkward and his plan is actually to kill Alyssa who is the typical troubled teenager who provokes whoever she meets and does what she wants. On their road trip to Alyssa’s absent father they get involved in a lot of trouble and even a crime. I’m absolutely crazy about this series because it has this strange dark british humour and these totally over the top characters. Despite their weird quirks and their mostly wrong and immature behaviour you have to love James and Alyssa and their totally fucked up relationship. And if my opinion isn’t enough, it also scored 100% on rotten tomatoes. Literally the only bad thing I can find about the series: It only has 8 episodes !


I’m really not good at talking about beauty products, but here’s a few of my current favourites:

Mascara: I really like Yves Rocher (yes, partly because they gave me a customers card) because they make their cosmetics from plants and don’t test on animals (as they say, no guarantee on that) and I found my favourite mascara there. I had a hard time with finding the right mascara beforebut their Vertige volume in black is just perfect for my lashes and makes them really long and voluminous. A good thing also is that it stays on really long without giving you these black like crums under your eyes. I’m really, really happy with it. I use the black one but it also comes in brown and blue.

Powder: I use the body shop all in one powder and foundation which I’m really happy with as it stays on for a long time and really covers your skin but without being really heavy and like a mask. As you can see I really can’t talk about make up I sound like an advertisment 😉 Anyway I also like that they don’t test on animals.

Lotion: As my skin and lips always get super dry in winter I use a lot of lotion and the one I like best (and basically use for everything) is nivea soft. It’s really light and moisturizes your skin without being to fat. Also really nice smell. I just really like it because it feels good on my skin.

Image source mascara                                                     Image source powder


I gotta admit I’m not really up to date as I’m with anything in the music world, because I’ve been listening to the same 12 songs for 2 years, but an album I recently discovered is Halsey’s new album “hopeless fountain kingdom”. I just really like her style and she has some great duets for example with Lauren Jauregui “strangers” which happens to be my favourite song on the album apart from “bad at love” and “him&I”. I love how deep her lyrics are and the melancholical tone of the songs. Also I admire her as a person because she’s a strong badass, a role model for women and an absolut icon for me.


I hope that gave you some inspiration to help with the winter blues and if you have some more recommendations you think I might like hit me up on our twitter @castway_minds

or on instagram under @castawayminds

Have a great rest of february!

Love, Alli xx

Series I’ve recently been obsessed with

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since I shared my wonderful taste in series *cough cough* with you so I thought I’d share which series I recently watched that I really liked. They are not new ones they were just new to me so don’t be surprised if you already rewatched them 25 times and be happy if you find a recommendation for what you can watch during this cold january.


Yes that’s the one with Prince Harry’s fiancé …. or what I like to call her:brilliant actress Meghan Markle, who unfortunately drops her job for some guy in a uniform.

What it is about:  Mike Ross has a photografic memory so he remembers everything he’s ever read, still he doesn’t have a job earns his money by taking the admission exam for law school for other people. In a failed drug deal he stumbels into a job interview with Harvey Spectre, a successful attorney looking to hire an associate. Harvey sees potential in him and hires him even though he didn’t go to law school. From this point on they take cases in the law firm, get involved in intrigues and infighting and with time struggle more and more to keep Mikes secret.

What I like about it: The cases are super interesting and I just love the witty humour. The character development the protagonists go through is also portrayed very well.

Favourite character: Harvey’s assistant Donna, cause she’s a super strong confident woman, is super sassy and knows everything. Also querky, loser attorney Lewis is just hilarious and despite his questionable actions you can’t help but like him.

Should watch because: There are 7 seasons so you don’t have to stop and wait immediatly after you became addicted to it and it’s just super entertaining on so many levels.


What it’s about: The actual devil runs a night club on earth and as a side job he’s also helping a detective to solve murders, with his gift to manipulate people to trust him with their darkest secrets. From time to time more or less friendly relatives come down from heaven to convince Lucifer to go back to hell, but this isn’t easy as Lucifer keeps getting more attached to his partner Detective Dekker.

What Iike about it: Apart from Lucifers british accent ( hello sexy), the devil is super sassy and their are so many heavenly metaphors and devilish puns, it’s so fun to watch. Also really likeable interesting characters and ecxiting cases.

Favourite character: Lucifer himself. He’s just so oblivious of human emotions sometimes and is super sassy and just acts like he’s from a different world (which obviously he is).

Should watch because: Perfect mix of crime and clever comedy, plus interesting setting with the biblical creatures.

Stranger things

It’s hyped for a reason. guys.

What is it about: Set in a village in the 70s (I think), a boy vanishes. His friends try to find him and make friends with Eleven, a girl with strong telekinetic abilities, who escaped from a secret lab. Together with her they discover a parallel universe, the upside down, which looks like the a scary version of their town and hosts dangerous monsters.

What I like about it: THE TENSION. You just can’t stop watching it, there’s so much happening and you wanna know how it ends.

Favourite character: This is hard. I really like Eleven, because she’s just a total badass. Then there is police chief Hopper who is just the strong hero, who never gives up and of course like any real hero has a tragic back story.

Should watch because: It’s really something different and soo good there’s no excuse not to watch it!

How to get away murder

Watched season 1 and 2 some time ago and now season 3 is on german Netflix, so bye social life.

What it is about: A super successful lawyer and law prof chooses the best students from her lecture to work with her. As her husband gets killed in an accident with the students they have to cover it up while solving the murder he was a suspect in. Of course they get caught up deeper and deeper in their lies.

Why I like it: It has interesting characters and you just get so involved in the whole story and really feel their fear to be caught. (Even though I sometimes get annoyed cause som much could have been avoided by just explaining the truth but okay it’s fiction.)

Favourite character: I really can’t tell they are all so brilliant.

Why you should watch it: It’s a perfect crossover of lawyer series and thriller. The tension is killing.

So as I said nothing new but if you haven’t watched it you definitely should. (What else do you want to do in this weather)

Feel free to suggest me series you like on our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds.



Image source featured image

Things I learned to be true during my semester abroad

  1. Wherever you go you always take yourself with you. 

You might think you can leave everything behind and start over completely new with new people in a new setting, but the truth is: you can’t leave yourself behind. You will still be the same person with your quirks and insecurities and thoughts that make you you.

I for example even though I was in a different surrounding still was overthinking everyone and was insecure about myself and people not liking me. You can’t run away from yourself and you won’t magically get over yourself just because you go to another place.snapchat-1857988584.jpg

So if you wanna change something and leave your problems behind it doesn’t work to just run away and hide in an other place. The problems will find you. You have to face them and constantly work on yourself to actually improve something, no matter where you are

2. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you flight tickets and that’s pretty much the same.

First of all I think the people saying that money can’t buy you happiness definitely haven’t had to worry about money in their lives. While of course money alone doesn’t make you happy, having enough of it surely makes a lot of things easier. Especially because then you’re able to afford your flight tickets. And not only that: train rides to the mountains, boat tours, dives, rental cars for roadtrips, courses to learn something new and so much more.

Seeing so many amazingly beautiful places like

20171119_135235Whitehaven beach and the Great barrier reef ( to name my favourites) and being able to have new experiences, which sometimes require getting out of your comfort zone, filled my heart with so much awe and my soul with so much joy like I could never have imagined. It was just such an amazing feeling to see some of the beauty of our eart and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity. I spend so much money and still had the feeling to have come back a lot richer than before.




3. Challenges help you grow stronger

Yes, they actually do and we all kind of know that. Still it was amazing experiencing it on yourself. It might only be little everyday challenges but if you conquer them you feel so much more confident about yourself.  Even though you will still see something you’ve done a lot of times challenging, doing them again and again will make it easier for you every time.

For me that would have been befriending strangers, calling people on the phone or taking the lift (I’m claustrophobic and used to panic in them). The more often I did those things the easier I found them and the better I felt about myself, because I knew I could face my fears and do it anyway.

4. A home doesn’t have to be a house…

It can be a shitty, untidy flat without windows and with furniture from the seventies, that still gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling when you enter it after a hard day of studying and facing people you can’t handle.It can be an old car, which still gives you a strong feeling of security, because there are always boxes of food in there and it carried you safely to so many wonderful places (and you had some pretty nice naps in it). It can be an air bnb flat with the ugliest wallpaper that has ever been printed, because after and exciting day that’s where you go back to cook your go to cheap meal with your friends and fall asleep after discussing every single funny aspect of the day. In the end home is not a place, it’s a feeling and you can find that feeling anywhere with the right people by your side.

5. …and a family doesn’t have to be related.

I found the eight people that became my family in my first week in Sydney. We spent every day together and they were the faces I saw when I came home after a day at Uni. we cooked together and shared our stories, we talked about our problems, we comforted each other, we joked around, celebrated birthdays and christmas and the end of exams. We travelled together and share all our memories. We disagreed we argued and made up. This is family for me. Supporting each other, fighting for each other, sticking together and being there for one another.

6. You never I come back the same you left.

This is kind of obvious as well. You see and do so many things that make you grow as a person and make a permanent impression on you. These experiences become part of who you are and you’re a different person coming back to a place with parts of you still stuck at the place you were.


That was it from me for today, I will chill the rest of the day crying over my fotos and unnercessarily mentioning to everyone (if they wanna hear it or not) that I’ve been to Australia. If you have any questions or just wanna have a chat hit me up on our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds.





Be Kind

To the person who told me that my voice sounded off in a recording of our choir when I was 8. I still think about it and I hate singing in front of people which is a shame because I love singing and I shouldn’t care about whether it sounds good or not because it should be fun simply because I love it and because I love music.


To the person who abandoned me when we went to secondary school when we were 10. We were best friends all throughout elementary school like we spent A LOT of time together and suddenly from one day to another I wasn’t cool enough to talk to and hang out with. It was the first time I had to learn friendships can be temporary and it broke my heart.


To the person who shared what I told him in confidence to the entire class when I was 10. Thank you for making me not trust people with my stuff. You are probably not the only reason I struggle with it, but you had a part in it. So thank you.


To the person who told me that if she was me she would get rid of the black heads on my nose when I was 13. I have been extremely self conscious about any kind of slight skin oddity on my face ever since. I try to get rid off every tiny thing which usually ends up in red spots or scratches on my face in the process making it worse than it was before.


To the person who told me that you could see my bra strap when I was about 13. I, to this day, frantically check if you can see my bra strap or see my bra to my shirt which tbh shouldn’t be a big deal, because it is a fucking bra strap and nothing else and I had big boobs even then so what else was I supposed to wear. No fucking secret yet it is still in the back of my mind.
To the person who told me that I was showing quite a lot of cleavage when I was about 15. It wasn’t in a sexual way but yet I still feel uncomfortable showing too much cleavage because people could notice. But have you ever tried to wear any t-shirt with a cut out having big boobs and not show boobs, it is practically impossible.


To the person that told me I should come to more sports trainings instead of focussing on university to show my loyalty to the team and made me uncomfortable coming to training.


To the person who told me my hair was funny and stupid in a way that made me feel uncomfortable when I was 16. Thank you for underlining one of my insecurities with a sly comment you thought I couldn’t hear which made it even worse. While I am now used to my hair I still get self- conscious when people sit behind me and I have my hair open because it takes me back to that situation.


To every person that told me that I was loud or too outspoken and opinionated at any point during my time in high school. I was curious about learning but you made me uncomfortable speaking up and discussing my ideas in class and took and made me overthink being too loud, too present and too opinionated in my seminars at university.


To every person that said comments behind my back about my looks, my personality or any other aspect of me and I overheard it or someone told me about it, your comments or actions are staying with me and have turned into voices in my head that make me doubt myself or what I am doing. They have created thought patterns and habits that are incredibly hard to break. A lot of times I don’t think you didn’t mean any harm but because a lot of these comments were said to me when I was in years where I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be they have had more power over me than you could have ever imagined.


Tonight I caught myself in one of these patterns and I wanted to let everyone know: Be kind to each other, be cautious what you say to or about people because you can never know what impact they will have on them. Be kind and considerate with your words and actions because they matter and you can never take them back.


Lots of Love, Katie



Plan With Me: July Setup

Hey guys and gals,

the Bullet Journal craze did not leave me in the dark and I indeed started a Bullet Journal at the beginning of this year. It has made my life a lot easier, as before I was a very chaotic person. I still am, however, since writing my appointments down into one little book and having a place where I know all my notes fit into, has helped me keep track of my commitments. If you like planning or if you’re just as chaotic as I am and To-Do Lists are your life saver then maybe a Bullet Journal is perfect for you. To me, a Bullet Journal is the perfect solution as it is so customizable. You have to paint/draw/sketch everything yourself but that’s what makes it so handy. You can adapt it to your life and your needs.

When I started out with the BuJo, I did a lot of research on how other people decorated their BuJo. Since I now kind of got the hang of it, I thought it was time to share my ideas and designs with you 🙂 Maybe you would like to share some pictures of your Bullet Journals? Why not message me on the Blogs’ Instagram or Twitter, or my personal Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr. I love hearing from you guys and we can share each other’s ideas and inspirations.

This month, I wanted to go for a maritime look. I worked with a lot of blues and greens (I also did add a little bit of pink) and found this adorable Benefit brochure, out of which I

IMG_2638cut out the little boats. A maritime design gives off the perfect summer feel and makes me want to travel. the world. Also look at my wonderful watercolor sailing boat…it looks like a kids painting doesn’t it?

As always, after my header I drew a monthly overview, as this really helps me to have an idea of how full my month is. I like to note down exam dates or any deadline so that I can look at it in one go and make sure I’m prepared. It’s also a great way to remember birthdays and plan ahead. I also like to add “Monthly Goals” to the side, just to motivate myself.

Usually I would then draw my “Habit Tracker”, but I did not really like the way I always had to go back to the front pages just to fill in the little boxes. Therefore, I changed the “Habit Tracker” design and it is now part of my weekly setup, so is a little sleeping log and my water log. Gotta stay hydrated, kids!

Since my birthday is next month, I decided to include a Birthday Wishlist. And on the very last pages I got my usual spending log and this time I added a summer reading list. I have not yet noted down too many books but I will as the summer goes on.

If you were wondering, the book I use as my Bullet Journal is the Leuchtturm 1917 in black with the dots. As pens I like to use anything Faber Castell (especially the PITT Artist Pen in XS) and any Stabilo highlighter and mildliner. Muji pens are also pretty handy. The Washi Tape that I us is usually from Tiger, as I am obsessed with it and you can get it relatively cheap at Tiger. All in all, you should just experiment with what feels right. I posted a complete flip through of all the pages in my Bullet Journal onto my Youtube Channel, so go and check that one out.

Lots of Love, Lili xx


Semester abroad preparations

Heyo people,

today I have an announcement to make:

*drum roll*

I’ll be doing a semester abroad in Australia !! I will be there for 6 months live there, go to Uni there, maybe/hopefully find a parttime Job. Of course I’ll try my best and keep you updated about my adventures and new experiences there. But for now I just want to tell you about my way here, all the organisation and steps you need to take while applying for a semester abroad in Australia.

Step 1: Check your finances

First of all once you’ve decided to study a semester abroad no matter how far away it may seem START SAVING. Studying a semester abroad overseas is super expensive (I think it’s way cheaper when you’re EU Citizen and go with Erasmus, but you have to ask Lili on that) and there are lots of hidden costs waiting for you. Also you should keep the deadlines for scholarships in mind, because applying there depending on where you go one of the first steps. If you don’t have all documents it doesn’t matter, you can always send them later. That was the mistake I made, I waited for ages until I’m further in my application for Uni and in the end I missed the deadlines for scholarships. Now I use my savings and I’m financially supported by my parents and german governmental funding. So be sure to have sufficient financial possibilities at first.

Step 2: Get information

To find out where you can go and what you have to do to apply, you should get information from the International Office at your home Uni. I already went to my first information event a year ago, because you really have to start applying early and the semester times might be really differnt to the ones at home. So go to events, get flyers and brochures do internet research and visit your international office if you have further questions.

Step 3: Collect all your documents

There are sooo many documents you need to apply for a Uni overseas. Apart from my personal data, I needed an overview of all my study results so far, a CV, a letter of motivation, a financial plan, a plan of what subjects I might want to take in Australia, a letter of recommendation from one of my Profs and a certificate of english language. It took quite some time to get all of that together. Especially the english certificate was quite an effort, as the one I already had wasn’t acknowledged by the Australian Uni. I needed a TOEFL or an IELTS certificate, so in december I had to go to a city where the offer TOEFL exams to take mine and luckily passed. It was so relieving once I had had all my documents together and had handed them in !

Step 4 Wait and see

Yeah after handing in your application there isn’t much you can do at first. At our Uni the exchange program works like this: First you have to apply to the home Uni’s exchange program so they can send you to their partner Uni and you won’t have to pay fees because you’re an exchange student. That’s the way I would recommend to all of you. It is possible to apply directly to the Uni abroad, but you would have to pay fees, get less help with application and the chances you get accepted are lower. After you’ve handed in your application the home uni will see if they think your suitable and then invite you for an interview. At my interview there were 3 professors and 2 other students and they asked us questions about our CVs, why we want to go to Australia and why we think our studies would benefit from it. Also it’s never a mistake to know some facts or current news about the country you want to go to. A few weeks after that I got finally accepted into the exchange program and the wait to hear from the Australian Uni started.

Step 5 Apply at your guest uni

I felt like it took ages until I finally heard from my guest Uni, but applying there was rather easy. As my home uni had already sent in my application forms and all my documents I just had to apply via Internet and choose the courses I wanted to take. Before choosing my courses, I printed out the course descriptions and talked about them with a prof for my subject at my home Uni to be sure I would only choose courses that would be acknowledged for my studies here.

Step 6 Waiting again

Yep and waiting for the response from Uni again, which felt like ages.

Step 7 Applying for housing

At my Uni in Sydney exchange students are guaranteed a place at University’s housing. I simply applyied for that, I could choose three preferences for rooms and a few days later I already heard from them. They offered me a room in a 6 bedroom flatshare which I gladly accepted. Though it was all very easy I was shocked by the prices, because in Germany living is much cheaper.

Step 8 Visa and flight

After finally officially getting accepted by the Uni, I could start with organizing the important things. First of all I buyed health insurance which I needed for my visa application. It was very easy as my Uni linked me to a provider where you could get insured in only a few steps. After that I booked my flight. I was very late on this so it cost a fortune and as I tried to get the cheapest one I will now be changing 3 times. After receiving my confirmation of enrolment I was able to apply for my visa and was already scared I wouldn’t get it in time. The process took 2 hours and was quite complicated, but I literally got my visa granted after 2 minutes.

Step 9 Learning agreement and course registration

After having the subjects approved I could take, I enrolled in them online and created my timetable. At first I was pretty overwhelmed by that but then it was easier than it seemed. After that I had my forms signed by the prof I went to for the courses before. Now I will be taking “Digital Literacies”, “Multiplatform journalism” and “Composing the real” (which is a course where you learn how to make a documentary). I#m already very excited to see what my studies are like in Australia.

Step 10 Last little bits and excitement

Everything is pretty much done now there are just things like booking the welcome events you want to go to, getting informed about a phone contract, buying and adapter and making sure you have everything you need but that’s pretty chill, so you have lota of time to get super excited and brag about it infront of your friends ! Okay, to be fair I recently haven’t had much time at all because as the australian semester and the german semester cross over, I’m leavimg before my semester ends and I had to finish a lot of coursework. Anyway now I’m pretty much done with everything, I have even moved out of my appartement (which I’m subletting while I’m away) and my flight is on wednesday.

I’m not gonna lie to you these preparations are stressful and all the hidden costs, the deadlines, the paperwork and the insecurity if I should book/apply for things even though my stay wasn’t confirmed really wore me out. But now that everything is done, I’m really looking forward to what will surely be a wonderful time!

If you’re applying or want to apply for a semester abroad and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me on either my personal twitter @alinaisaweirdo or our blog twitter @castway_minds

I will try and keep you updated the upcoming weeks !

Until then byyyeeeee


Alli xx


Personal: hei.alina

blog: castawayminds

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Difference between larger and slimmer girls in summer

That’s probably something you have never thought about, but think about it. When summer is coming and the weather is getting hotter and hotter there is quite a difference in how larger and slimmer girls dress/can dress.

Before I start this blog post I want to stress that everybody can dress the way they want and it’s nobody’s business beside of your own. Wear whatever you feel confident and comfortable in, what I’m about to write is just something I have noticed from what I wear, my friends wear or in general people I saw on the street.

Starting off with the difference in the selection of clothes. It’s summer, so you want to get out your beautiful legs, wear as little fabric as possible. Well, if you’re a girl on the larger size that’s not that easy. Wearing shorts or short skirts without a legging or with some tights, not ideal. Every girls who has a bit of curvier thighs and doesn’t have a thigh-gap you know exactly what I’m talking about. When it was warm around where I live, my friends commented on why I don’t wear shorts, skirts or dresses without underneath it, well it’s easy said for them because they all have beautiful legs and thigh-gaps they don’t have to worry about having their legs rubbed against each other with every step they take and the rash that is coming with that. Which makes you unable to walk for days by the way, even when you have trousers on. On the other hand even if I wouldn’t have the problem with my tights rubbing against each other, there is still this voice in my head saying that my legs aren’t toned and I do have cellulite and orange skin. With this in your mind constantly you wouldn’t have a good time out, so you need to make the decision if you want to constantly worry about people look at your legs or wearing something longer but sweat more.

But this rule doesn’t also apply on the lower part of the body. Wearing short-sleeved tops, croptops dresses is also a challenge. If you wear something without sleeves you always will be wondered if people just starred at your chubby arm with, again, stretchmarks on them. Also, when you’re out and you see the toned, skinny arms of your friends doesn’t really help with this either. If you’re on the larger scale and you wear a croptop, girl I salute you. I could never bring up the confidence to wear it. I always would constantly wonder if people just look at my wobbling stomach that is everything but defined and has a sixpack (but there is hope, did you know that underneath we all have sixpacks? Or at least that’s what I read somewhere). Oh and dresses. Firstly I don’t think I’m made for dresses because secretly I’m a boy because dresses are exhausting. But, when you wear dresses, you have to find one that has the perfect fit, so it doesn’t enhance some body parts that you wouldn’t want to enhance because you feel quite self-conscious about. Maybe that’s just me but I find it extremely hard to find dresses that doesn’t make me look like I weight 100 more kilos that I’m actually do. Oh and also dresses or tops that don’t have straps, gosh wearing them if you have bigger boobs is a night mare. Like, finding a strapless bra in the first place that suits you and holds your big breasts in place, holy moly. If you found a place please let me know, because I definitely haven’t found it. So if you bought some that aren’t that great but you so badly wanted to wear this top or dress, you have to make sure that everything is in place, like literally every two seconds. It’s an absolute night mare. And people start commenting on why you always fiddling around. Like hello, grow a pair of big boobs then you will know the struggles of bras.

Another point I want to point out when being bigger and wearing shorter things is the comments, glares and looks you get from others. Like calm down everybody, it isn’t like I’m naked, so leave me alone okay. Like when I was younger my mum always made sure to tell me what to wear as a bigger girl and what you can’t wear. Growing up I realized that it is nobody’s business and I can wear whatever I want, but in some aspects, she was right. I had actually people commenting on my clothes and whether it was a good idea to wear that with the size I am. Like excuse you? Confidence boost right there. Cheers mate!

You see, wearing clothes has all to do with self-confidence and how much you accepted your body. So if you’re a bit bigger and you want to wear all these things and you’re confident in them, I can only say: You go girl! You’re amazing! But from my and some of my friends experience not a lot of people feel that way. And I don’t even mean this for bigger girls. Also, slim girls struggle with these issues. Like you constantly thinking somebody is looking at you in a weird way, or looking at the things that you’re most self-conscious about, when in reality they don’t. Most probably they don’t even recognize your stretchmarks or the not perfect toned leg.

The last point I want to talk about today is going to the beach or the pool. When I was younger I did swimming in a club and I never really thought about the fact stepping out in public in a swimming-costume, but once I got older I realized that it is a totally different game. Again, you have this picture in your head that people look at you and you get all self-conscious. I don’t even go to the swimming pool any more. To every girl (and guy) out there who walks out in a swimming-costume and is confident (or at least can fake to be) I salute you. I mean it’s basically stepping out in public with your underwear on, that’s not an easy step to do. And I know quite a few people, slimmer or bigger that simply don’t have this confidence. Or at least not in their teenage years and young adulthood. But in the end, who actually cares. Like you can’t really see anything when you’re in the water, can you? And when everybody is lying there on the beach just enjoying the sun and trying to get a nice golden bronze people usually don’t look at the other bodies either. But there is this one split second where everybody is scanning your body, I mean to be fair everybody does it and most people definitely also not with bad intentions, but this split second is enough to get self-conscious. That’s all it takes. Which is stupid, but don’t we all feel the same?

Nevertheless, I never really thought about the fact that bigger girls actually dress different to slimmer girls, but this summer made me realize that it is the sad truth and as much I would like to say I’m different, I’m not. I guess the only way to overcome all this self-judgement is to come to terms with your own body and you will be able to step out to the wold with whatever you want on. But until then, leave me your tips and tricks in the comments below and write us on all the other social media places you can find us.


Lots of Love,

Jenny xxx.





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