Monday, 2 November 2015

Hello November

(via Untitled | We Heart It):

November is here, which means that winter is just around the corner and I simply cannot believe how quickly 2015 has gone!

Here is everything I have to anticipate this month. 
  • My first assessment for my second year is due this month, which is a little unnerving as I know that this year my work actually counts and I need to do well. I think there will be a few cramming sessions in the library over the coming weeks. 
  • Being at university means that me and my house mates have to start planning for Christmas early as everyone heads home around mid-December. This means that we can start decorating the flat and organising Secret Santa - I love Christmas! 
  • I turn 20 at the end of the month, and I am a little sad about the fact that I will no longer be a teenager. 
  • To celebrate my birthday me and my mum are going down to Bristol to see our all time favourite musical, Mary Poppins. It seems an apt way to end my teenage years by going to see something that was so important to me during my childhood. 
  • One of my best friends is going to France for five months at the end of November to work at a ski resort for the whole season. It's such a fantastic opportunity but I can't deny how much I'm going to miss her, especially as she only lives around the corner from me! She is having a party before she leaves to say goodbye to everyone which I know will be a great send off. 
  • I can start to look at booking flights and getting some of the logisitics organised for Camp Thailand this month - I don't leave until the end of June but I'm still so excited!
A lot of people think of November as a sort of bleak month, but I think I've got enough to keep me happy until December and the true planning for Christmas begins!

What are you looking forward to this month?


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Halloween 2015: Chucky

This year for Halloween I decided to work with the fact that I'm a baby-faced ginger and went as Chucky. 


For my make up I followed this incredible tutorial by MissJessicaHarlow. The only changes I made were using red lipstick around my eye as I couldn't find any bright red eye shadow (does anyone know where I might be able to get some next year?) and I cheated with the stitches by using black liquid eye liner instead of gluing on actual thread. The video was really informative and easy to follow without going on for ages and I will definitely be using her tutorials again! 



There are proper Chucky costumes available for around £30 on Amazon but being a student I couldn't face spending that kind of money on something I will only wear once. I dug out my dungaree shorts from summer and bought a cheap striped vest in the Topshop sale. I paired the look with red Converse trainers as there is no obligation to wear heels when going out at uni - which I love.

For my hair I roughly curled it in sections using my curling wand, backcombed and used a lot of hairspray. Although Chucky has straight hair in the movies I thought this look was a little more 'wild' and my hair never stays straight anyway!

What do you guys think of my costume and what did you go as for Halloween this year?

Comment below!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

OOTD: Getting Organised






Top - Dorothy Perkins
Pinny Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Coat - Ark
Bag - Debenhams
Shoes - Office 

You might remember this pinny and turtleneck combination from a recent shopping haul post, well today I got an opportunity to wear it!

I've moved back to university and this week is a busy one of settling back in, reuniting with people I haven't seen since June and getting everything lined up for the next year. I'm lucky because I was able to keep the job that I did last year, but this year I also want to get more in to sports (I'm even considering joining a sports society) and get some much needed work experience to get me ahead of the game when it comes to graduate jobs. If the next two years go even half as quickly as the first one, it's going to get around to graduation really quickly and I want to have the best CV possible!

These shoes were an absolute bargain in the Office sale at only £32 - I've been wanting something like this for a while and was evening considering splashing out £90 on the Dr Martens version, but these came along just in time. They're really wearable and the thick sole makes them practical and helps to avoid the primary school look.

What did you guys wear today? 




Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Real Student Food: Sweet Chilli Wraps

This is the first post in what I'm hoping will be a new feature on this blog: Real Student Food.

As a university student, I have the sometimes difficult task of cooking for one person a lot of the time, and when I've looked to student cookbooks or online recipes, they often don't cater for just one person, and the portions can be difficult to size down (seriously, what am I supposed to do with the other seven eighths of a bell pepper?) so I've found myself improvising.

I'll be posting my meals with the prices of the ingredients and the price per portion, as sticking to a budget is a key part of student food.

A lot of the food I make is incredibly simple, I try to be healthy where I can, the so called 'Freshers 15' is a real issue for students and one that I hope to avoid.

Today's recipe: Sweet Chilli Wraps with chips and salad.


Price of ingredients:
Salad leaves £1
Chicken Goujons £2
Tortillas £1
Chips £2 
Sweet Chilli Sauce £1.50 
Total: £7.50

Price per portion:
Salad leaves 30p
Chicken Goujons £1
Tortillas 25p
Chips 25p
Sweet Chilli Sauce 10p
Total: £1.90

Simply cook the goujons and chips according to the packet instructions, wrap up the chicken with the sauce and salad leaves and serve with chips and salad leaves. 

This recipe does leave about half the pack of goujons, these can be covered over with foil and put back in the fridge for a couple of days or frozen so that they last longer. The remaining tortillas can also be frozen for use at a later date. The salad will go off quickly, so I'll try to incorporate that into my meals as a side for the next couple of days. 




Sunday, 13 September 2015

Room Tour

Inspired by the lovely Amy over at The Creative Outlook, when I moved in to my new university flat I took some pictures to show to you all.

Student accommodation has a bit of a bad reputation, and it is partly deserved, as the rooms do look slightly prison cell-like when you first walk in. However, some pretty bedding, a few posters and putting things on the shelves really do make all the difference. 

Here is my room this year. 


Various posters. I adore my Alice in Wonderland Spineless Classic, which is the entire book printed on to one page in a gorgeous design! They are available in lots of titles so you can view the full collection here


Shelving. Full of stationary (I have a slight obsession with Paperchase) boring theory books which I'll actually have to study very soon and photos that I got printed using Snapfish. I was very impressed by the price and speedy delivery of my photos. 



My bed. The bedding and fairy lights are from Wilko and the blanket was made by my aunty as a moving in present last year.

Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

New Buys

I'm now pretty certain that we have reached autumn, and for me that means lots of chunky knit jumpers, scarves and being able to wear all the black I want without looking quite so strange.

I went for a different approach to taking my photos today, using my brother's very plain bedroom wall as a background. As much as I love my own bedroom, my covered walls don't lend themselves quite so well to product photos. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Here are my most recent purchases. 


Scarf - New Look

I am a huge fan of tartan and this scarf is a fantastic way to incorporate it in to my daily look. The rich shades of purple, orange and navy also look great for autumn. It is also incredibly soft and will be lovely to snuggle in to as the weather turns colder. 


Jumper Dress - Next

Also available in cream, this jumper is one of the most comfortable things I've ever owned and I can't wait for the depths of winter to come just so that I can wear this! Teamed with either tights and Converse or leggings and Doc Marts, this jumper makes January 9am lectures seem almost bearable. 


Blanket Wrap - Boohoo

You may remember my recent post on blanket wraps, where I was searching the internet in search of the one. Well, I finally decided on Boohoo's version of the trend. The black and white check pattern means that it will be very wearable. It's also incredibly warm and will almost feel like I'm still in bed during bleak November mornings. 



I rarely seem to return from a shopping trip these days without having bought some kind of black top and this outing was no exception. This style is all over the high street at the moment, but the one in Dorothy Perkins really took my fancy. A very wearable piece that will see me through a lot of "what should I wear?" stresses. 


Jumper - Primark

I am a huge fan of the turtle neck trend that seems to have taken the high street by storm. A lot of people slate Primark but I think that it cannot be beaten when it comes to basic pieces like this that might only be on trend for one season. As the jumper is quite thin it will be great for layering during this changeable time. 


Bag - Primark

This bag was an absolute steal - it was only £7 and look how much detail is on the flap! With a magnetic flap closing, adjustable strap and inside zip pocket, this is a perfect bag to carry essentials in when I feel like mixing it up from wearing black all the time

What were your favourite pieces?
Are there any trends you are loving this season? 




Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Rainbow Piñata Cake

Piñata cakes have been all over the internet recently. So when me and David decided to have an afternoon baking, it seemed the obvious choice. Although the cakes appear very effective, they are in fact incredibly easy to make.



For the cake mix I stuck to a tried and tested recipe. 

150g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
150g butter/margarine (I use Stork when making cakes)
3 eggs

As a lazy baker, I'm a big believer in the all in one method, simply beat all of the ingredients together until you end up with a light, smooth mixture. 


To create the multi-coloured marble effect, split the mixture in to three bowls and add a full tube of Dr Oetker's Food Colouring Gel to each bowl. We used blue, yellow and red. 



Then spoon a little of each mixture in to the tin at a time, and gently swirl together with a knife to create a marbled effect. 


Bake both tins for 20 minutes at Gas Mark 5 until golden and risen. 

Once the cake has cooled, using a sharp knife cut a crater into the top of one cake and into the bottom of the other and fill with your chosen sweets. We chose jelly babies but any kind of small sweet would work. 


To ice the cake, beat together 150g stork and 150g icing sugar together until light and creamy. Use the icing to sandwich the cake together and to cover the top and sides of the cake. Finish with sprinkles of your choice. 


And there you have it! 

Have you baked anything recently? 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blanket Wraps

September is finally here and autumn has officially begun. The last few weeks haven't been particularly summery here in the UK, and as a student who is itching to get back to uni, I'm especially keen to get some autumn staples together.

One item at the top of my list is a blanket wrap. Definitely not as practical as a coat but snugly and warm all the same (and pretty cool) this is a must for AW15,

Here are some of my favourite styles. 

Alice Check Boarder Blanket Cape



Multi Checker Board Wrap

Which is your favourite? 

 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Belgrave Music Hall




I walked up to the bar and ordered a drink from the heavily-tattooed, pierced and bearded barman. He poured my cider into a plastic pint pot, the height of sophistication, as me and my friend were heading for the roof, where glass wasn’t allowed.

We climbed about four flights of black painted stairs which looked like they weren’t open to customers, but seemed to be. The walls of the stairwell were also painted matte black, there were no windows and the only hints of colour were some old band and film posters which covered parts of the walls. It wasn’t the most encouraging beginning.

After a lot of steps, and a few spillages, we eventually made it up to the spectacular roof garden. To our right was a wooden frame structure, covered in ivy, sheltering three tables decorated with flowers in glass bottles and scented candles. They were taken by some city executives, enjoying a swift lunchtime pint in their expensive looking suits, before heading back to the office. To our left were two tiny garden sheds, painted bright yellow, fitted with comfy looking cushioned chairs and little coffee tables. They were taken by some cool, hippy looking people, wearing multiple shades of green with dreadlocks and bandanas. This was the kind of place where anyone was welcome, as long as they knew where to look.

We made our way straight ahead towards a large, unsheltered table, navigating our way around a yoga class which was being held. The class certainly surprised us – it was the last thing we expected to see happening on the roof of a pub. We couldn’t help but admire the crazy positions that the class was contorting themselves into, supporting their sideways body off the ground with no more than their elbow. I can barely do a handstand.

Sitting at our table, sipping our drinks, we took in the view. We were by no means at the highest point of the city, skyscrapers still towered over us. But we were pretty high, looking over the roofs of some buildings and far above the tiny people walking around below. The city spanned as far as I could see – not a green field in sight, and yet it was still breath taking.


We went during one of the first glorious summer afternoons in England, just as everyone is getting excited for the warmer weather and brushing off their shorts and sandals. If I was to go again, I’d go at sunset. I can think of no better place to observe the transition between day and night, to watch the sun glow red over the city before the night comes alive. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Shopping Haul

Yesterday I went on a shopping trip, and despite not looking for anything in particular, I ended up doing pretty well. 


Hat - Dorothy Perkins 
Cosmetic bag - Next
Shoes - Dorothy Perkins 

Firstly, I adore my new pinafore dress and the turtle neck top to go underneath, I can't wait to have an opportunity to wear it! While shopping I noticed a lot of deep reds and burgundys - great colours for autumn/winter, and this dress fits in to the trend quite well. It's a retro-looking piece which is something I really like and it will definitely be able to see me through the last few weeks of summer and into the autumn months. 

I've been lusting after one of these hats for a while, so when I spotted one in Dorothy Perkins for £14 I just couldn't resist. I'm not sure how much I'll actually wear it, as hats are quite a daring look for me, but I'm sure that it will add a touch of cool to any outfit. 

Jumpers are my favourite thing about autumn/winter, and the only thing that gets me through the post-summer blues is snuggling in to some gorgeous new knits. As this jumper is quite thin it should make dressing for 9am lectures easy when I go back to university next month. 

My nail varnish collection is ever expanding despite the fact that I work with food and therefore cannot paint my nails, However, I decided that they now need a bag of their own, rather than taking up space in my also expanding make up bag (you can read about my new found love of make up here). I love the bold print on this bag and it is the perfect size for what I need. Now I might have to buy a few new colours to fill it up a little more...

Finally, the shoes! A pair of smart black ballet pumps are always a key piece, they are great for shopping, work experience and for those nights on the town when you simply cannot face wearing heels. The little bows on the heel are absolutely adorable and I am sure that I will get plenty of wear of them. 

As soon as I get an opportunity to wear my lovely new clothes I will be uploading an outfit post for you to see. 

Have you bought anything new lately? 



Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Getting in to Make Up

Recently I've been taking more of an interest in make-up. I've started slowly, and haven't been raiding the Mac or Benefit counters just yet, but I have started to move away from the products I've been using since the age of thirteen.

As someone who has battled with acne for over half my life, I think that whenever I saw someone with perfect skin I always assumed that it was simply because they actually did have perfect skin. But since watching beauty bloggers such as My Pale Skin Blog, I've realised that a lot of it actually comes down to some pretty incredible make up skills.

I think that the main reason I've always been reluctant to invest in make up is because it is quite difficult to try before you buy. A quick swatch on the back of your hand isn't always the best indicator of if the product will suit your skin tone, it also gives no idea of how long the product will last - especially in the hot conditions that I work in.

On a recent trip to Leeds I visited the Kiko Milano store. While I was there I bought two products: Soft Touch Blush in shade 107 and Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter in shade 100.



The products were towards the upper bracket of the drug store market, the blush was £7.50 and the highlighter was in their sale: reduced from £8.50 to £4.20.

I invested in Kiko because a friend recommended it to me, as a fellow acne sufferer, I do trust her judgement when it comes to make up.

Once I have given these products a thorough test drive I will be sure to write a review!

What are your favourite beauty products?


Monday, 17 August 2015

The Snake

- This story is 100% factual -

A girl I used to know had a pet snake from being around nine years old. It was a large snake, a boa constrictor or something like that, and it used to sleep at the bottom of her bed, rather like how other people might have a dog or cat sleep in their room.

When the girl was around sixteen, she suddenly noticed that the snake was no longer eating its food and was beginning to lose weight. Concerned, she took it to the vet to see what could be done to treat the animal.

After looking over the snake, the vet turned to the girl and said, "the snake is starving itself so that it can eat you."


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Aisle Style

It's August, and the peak of summer means only one thing to many women: wedding season.

As a university student, I'm not exactly in the position to get married myself. However that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a little window shopping for wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and even table decorations. Just don't tell my boyfriend.

The website Aisle Style (which you can access here) is full of beautiful dresses appropriate for the bride, bridesmaids or even a sophisticated and glamorous ball.

Me and my close female friends have already made arrangements to be each other's bridesmaids and have rotated the maid of honour to ensure that we all take on the role for one of our best friends. Even though none of us are engaged and we aren't even all in relationships, it's important to get this stuff worked out early, right?

Here are some of my favourite pieces from the site.

Simple Ball Gown Strapless Ruching Short/Mini Satin Cocktail Dresses

£89.98 available here

I think this piece would be perfect for a masquerade ball, paired with silver sandals, clutch bag and a glittering mask, it's sophisticated without looking too over the top and is age appropriate for a 19 year old.

Dropped Chiffon Strapless Floor-length A-line Bridesmaid Dresses

£64.99 available here

This is exactly what I would have the bridesmaids at my wedding wear. As my best friends, it's important that they are happy and comfortable, but it also doesn't break the bank! I think this colour would be perfect for a late summer-autumn wedding.

Half Sleeved Illusion Neck Sheer Lace ovelray Tulle Wedding Dress

£229 available here

I love the idea of a vintage wedding dress, and this style encapsulates everything I want from my dress. The delicate sleeves and lace design is simply stunning and would hopefully keep all eyes on me if and when the big day occurs.

Potential bride-to-be or not, this is a wonderful website.










Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Camp Thailand

Today I got the amazing news that I have been accepted on to the Camp Thailand scheme, meaning that I will be spending around five weeks in Thailand next summer. 

Whilst I am there I will be working four mornings a week in a school, teaching Thai children English. In order to do this I will complete a TEFL qualification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) which is recognised worldwide. 


I will also be working one day a week in an elephant sanctuary, feeding and bathing the animals in the nearby lake. In addition I will be working one day a week in a local silk village. 


As well as these amazing opportunities I can fully immerse myself in the Thai culture, taking language and cooking lessons, as well as getting involved in Thai boxing, kayaking and raft building. The company also arranges a weekly BBQ bonfire party where everyone can get together. 


After my four week placement at the camp I intend to go on the island hopping tour, seeing the most beautiful and exciting beaches that Thailand has to offer, as well as a full moon party and snorkelling trip.  


Camp Thailand. Just 337 days to go. 

I. Can't. Wait. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

London Part 2: The Zoo










As part of my trip to London, we went to London Zoo. 

I've been to other zoos and wildlife parks before, but none were quite as extensive as London, which had a huge variety of animals including: penguins, meerkats, llamas, gorillas, tigers and monkeys. It was a fantastic day out and one that I would absolutely recommend. 

Monday, 13 July 2015

London







Last week me and my boyfriend visited London for the first time. It's quite appalling that I've lived in England my whole life and never been to the capital city, but this has been rectified and it's safe to say that I have fallen in love with the place. 

At first it was a pretty daunting place to be compared to my sleepy ex-mining hometown, with the tube and the huge buildings and the fact that everyone seems to be in a massive rush all of the time, but I think we got the hang of it even in the short time we were there. 

We did all of the standard tourist things, including watching The Changing of the Guards and going to see the major landmarks such as Tower Bridge. I always feel a little silly when doing the things that make it obvious that I'm a tourist, but it was still fun and definitely a part of visiting the city for the first time. 

However, we also did some less-standard things.  On the first evening we were doing a little exploring around South Bank, looking for somewhere to have dinner, when we were approached by a man who invited us to watch a TV show be filmed. We ended up on the second row of the audience for the new comedy roast series Safe Word. It was absolutely hilarious to watch live and I am sure that it will be just as funny on TV, one I definitely recommend. 

I plan on returning to London as soon as I can, do any of you have any recommendations for next time? 


Friday, 12 June 2015

The Wolf Whistle

If you were in England today, you probably noticed that the weather was pretty good. I noticed it too, and set off for work in a summer dress, my legs bared to the world. 

After getting off the bus in town I was greeted by a wolf whistle and after a brief moment of "wow, do people actually wolf whistle? Is this the fifties?" I was also pretty pissed off that it no longer is the fifties and yet this behaviour still seems somewhat acceptable.

Some people might think that I should have just taken the so-called compliment and got on with the rest of my day. But to me it isn't a compliment. A compliment would be using actual words to tell me that they thought I looked nice this morning, in which case I would have smiled, said thank you and been slightly happier on my walk down to the office. 

I personally don't understand what the guy gets out of cat calling. He isn't aiming for a date, or even a casual hook up, so really, what's the point?

It's a fleeting moment of objectification and frankly it is not okay. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden


The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson - £3.85 from Amazon

I was quite excited to have finished my first year of an English degree at university, as I can now read books for pleasure which I haven't been able to do since September. 

After reading Jonasson's first novel The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (£8.99 from Amazon) I was excited to read his follow up novel. It was not a disappointment. 

Warning - the section includes spoilers 

The story stars Nombeko, a black South African 'illiterate' living in a shanty town during the apartheid regime. It mirrors her life with that of a Swedish family who gives birth to identical twin boys, Holger 1 and Holger 2, only one of whom officially exists... through Jonasson's wonderful series of unlikely events, the three end up meeting in Gnesta, Sweden. The adventure does not end there, as Nombeko has a three megaton atomic bomb which also does not exist. As she and Holger Two intend to hand it over to the Swedish authorities, Holder One and his angry-at-the-system girlfriend Celestine plan to use the bomb in order to force the king to abdicate. 

It's a wonderful book. It brings attention to the idea of what it really means to exist as a human being (and as an atomic bomb) and the kinds of people that we really leave in charge of our countries. But it's also just as funny as Jonasson's first book. I would definitely recommend it. 

Have you been reading anything lately?