Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September Favourites

I can't believe another month has been and gone! Here is a quick run through of some of my favourite things this month.

The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers book | Whilst usually my favourite products tend to be either beauty or homeware related, this book has been an absolute godsend over the past few months. Over summer I have been researching graduate schemes, but it is so much easier having it all in one place to compare various schemes. I highly recommend this for anyone in final year looking for a graduate scheme. I already knew which I wanted to apply for, but being able to see the benefits of the scheme and the fact they are so highly recommended by an established newspaper, but also information that is not necessarily mentioned by the companies or industries themselves, is really useful.

Impulse Very Pink Roses & Grapefruit Body Spray | I absolutely love the smell of this body spray. For some reason, I never tend to go for the ones that are coloured black, but usually go for whichever scent is pink. I'm not sure why, I guess it is just because it is one of my favourite colours! But after borrowing my Mum's one day, I had to buy this! It's great for on the go and smells really light and sweet.

Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer | I know this concealer is raved about all over the internet, but it has been a miracle worker this month! I've not been sleeping particularly well having just moved in, and have had some really long days. And what does that equal? Big dark grey circles under my eyes that's what! I find this concealer to be the perfect under eye concealer and lasts all day with great coverage

17 Lasting Fix Lipstick in 'Chilli Red' | This lipstick was actually a present I received a while ago now. I tend to go in and out of lipstick phases, but after discovering this at the bottom of my make up bag again, I have officially fallen back in love. It is the perfect coral-red colour for me, and lasts all day! It makes my teeth look really white as well, which is an added bonus!

Benefit Browzings | After having a make up detox, the one thing I really missed was having bold, defined eyebrows. It is crazy to think how much your eyebrows really define and shape your face! For me this is the ultimate eyebrow product. The combination of a wax and powder means the product lasts all day, and the tweezers you receive as well is an added bonus. The only downside I can think of is that the brushes do tend to get really clogged up, so I have to clean them every other day. But I would definitely recommend purchaisng this - you only need the tiniest amount and although some people think the price tag is ridiculous, I think one palette would last you around 18 months- 2 years!

What are your opinions on the things I have mentioned? Have you done a favourites post this month? If so, post the link below as I would definitely love to read them 


Sunday, 28 September 2014

STUDENT SOS: How to make your Student Finance go further

So tomorrow is the start of my my final academic year at university, which means I'll be receiving one of my last student finance payments ever.

In terms of financial management and budgeting, I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I am really good at it. It is something I prioritise in my life and think is extremely important. I think if you can get into a good habit while you are young, it will become second nature in the years to come. 

Student finance is means tested, so we do all get different amounts. But this blog post is about making the most of what you have, and making it go that little bit further. Here are a few of my top tips:

1. Budget, budget, budget | A fairly boring task, but so useful! Sit down at the start of term, and write down how much you are due to be paid in this instalment. Minus rent (and an estimate of all bills if these aren't included. Not just utilities, but that £100 for your car insurance or the £50 you owe your Mum) then divide it by the number of weeks of term. Or, add on the Christmas, Easter or Summer period after that term as well if you don't have an income over the holidays. Then make sure each week that you don't go over this amount. Simple!

2. Be careful with food expenditure | Takeaways, eating out in restaurants, or even just picking up a sandwich - it all adds up. It is so much cheaper to make a packed lunch and it means I can avoid the huge queues in the food outlets on campus. Also, look out for offers in supermarkets. Even if you think it is far too much food for one person - freeze it!

3. Get a job | Make sure it suits you and your timetable, and also other commitments you may have. I myself don't want to work weekends either as I like to have the opportunity to go home. Think about what works for you before applying. 
I have a job as a Student Blogger at my university and I'm a Student Ambassador for the University, helping on Open Days. I also help the Politics Department out separately on their own Open Days. Three jobs probably sounds like a lot, but they are extremely flexible. I can blog from home of course, and the Open Days have four compulsory shifts a year, and other than that, you simply apply for whichever shifts you want to work individually. Look for jobs like this at your uni which are flexible, I absolutely love them (and they are often really well paid!)

4. Bills | One of the worst things about moving from student halls is that bills are no longer included. While I don't mind organising it all myself, it can be difficult to know how to budget for them. My top tips in terms of bills would definitely be to just be aware. Don't have four showers and a bath a day. Don't leave lights and plugs on when you leave a room. You may only be talking in terms of pence, but it all adds up if you get into the habit of leaving those things on over time. 
  • Also, before you whack the heating on full blast, try putting a jumper on or covering yourself in a blanket first. It sounds really stingy, but often it's not necessary to have the heating blasting out in every room if you are home alone and was sat in a vest in December. 
  • For us girls, LED Battery Fairy Lights can be a godsend. You can pick them up for less than £10 on eBay or in wilkos, and not only do they look amazing, but because they use batteries, it is a great way to light your room up without placing a burden on your bank balance.
  • Also, make sure you take meter readings and communicate well with your companies - they won't often chase you up for regular bills, and will gladly take all of their payments at the end of the year, when your landlord will DEFINITELY be chasing you up. It usually acquires interest and means that rather than being able to pay several payments over time, spreading the cost, you have one huge bill at the end, when most of your finance has probably gone!

These tips probably sound like common sense, but it's amazing how many of us overlook them in day to day life when we are busy with 101 other things.

I hope you found them useful - comment below if you have any useful tips. I'd love to hear from you

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Goodbye Jason Orange: My Top 5 Take That Songs

I am a ridiculously huge Take That fan, and everyone around me knows it. It borders on an obsession, and quite frankly I believe that Gary Barlow is the epitome of mankind. It is all tongue in cheek, and I don't follow them around the country or have their autographs tattooed on me. But I love their music and watching their interviews and concerts and things. I'm not really into much when it comes to music, but for me, Take That can do no wrong.

My love for Take That is hilarious I will admit. If you don't believe me, here is a video of the moment Take That came out on stage, the first time I went to see them. Some say my reaction was a little OTT....

So now you've all had a good laugh at me back in 2009, back onto the idea of the post. I'm really sad that Jason Orange is leaving. He receives a lot of criticism for not doing much in the band but any big fan knows he has a good sense of humour and is an incredible dancer, and also sang lead on several of my favourite Take That songs. 

I thought I would do a quick 'Top 5' of my favourite Take That songs. It does constantly change, but these are what I've been listening to lately. I hope I can convince more of you to jump on the bandwagon! I won't necessarily do the Take That songs everyone knows of, or else there wouldn't really be much point to this post! These aren't in any particular order by the way!

1: Back for Good

A song everyone seems to know or be able to hum along to, but not everyone is aware that this was an original Take That track. Fact of the day: Gary wrote it in 15 minutes. I could listen to it on repeat for absolutely hours, I think it's just perfect. It has a simply but really catchy melody and the harmonies are beautiful. A must listen!

2: Rule the World

This should have definitely been a number one, hands down. Leona Lewis kept them off the top spot, which still annoys me to this day. When this song was first released, it made me cry every time. It's one most of you will have heard of I'm sure, but if you haven't heard it in a while, hunt it down on Youtube.Take That, in my opinion, write a love song like no one else can. If you can, find the live acoustic version they did at Abbey Road in London of this track. It's just... wow.

3: Eight Letters

This is on their Progress album when Robbie returned. It really stands out to me as an amazing song, and I think so many people could relate to it. My favourite lyrics are: This is all that matters now, and that was all that happened anyhow, you can look back but don't stare.

I love 'Look Back but Don't Stare'. I definitely need to learn to remember the past but not wallow in it, and waste time regretting and overthinking. Sometimes it is just best to move on!

4: Flowerbed

Also on the Progress album, if you wait a few minutes after Eight Letters this kicks in. The music really relaxes me, it sounds almost space like and orby. I don't know what 'orby' means, but that's what comes to mind when I hear it. Jason sings on it and it is just lovely. 

5: A Million Love Songs
Another classic from the 90s. Gary wrote this way before Take That in his bedroom in Frodsham, Manchester, aged 15. (See, I just know so many random facts about them it's crazy). It is the perfect love song in my opinion. I think everyone finds it difficult to tell someone they love them for the first time, and that is what this song is about. Again, another amazing love song that is so relatable. Listen!

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'm definitely going to stick some Take That on now! Let me know your favourite Take That songs, if you have any, in the comments below.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Back to Uni

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I moved into my new flat at university on Thursday and have only just got internet and settled in properly. The place was quite messy and dirty when we moved in so we spent a good few days cleaning it and getting it just right (We are two OCD clean girls and proud)

It is a two bedroomed, two storey flat in Leamington Spa. We both have double beds and ensuites and so we couldn't resist signing the contract. I'm really happy with it, despite being so sad leaving home. Me and my Mum were in floods of tears on the goodbye. Seems even though I'm now in my third year, I will never get used to it! I am a homebird without a doubt, and feel like half of me is always missing when I'm away from my family. 

Me and my flatmate are like an old married couple. We are constantly giggling at the most ridiculous things, and talking to each other like we've been married for 50 years. We're very similar in our living habits (i.e. being extremely clean, domestic goddesses and food fanatics) so I know this year will be a lot of fun, and even though people think it's weird us two just living together, I know it works for us. These huge student houses with like 6-9 people in are just not for me!

I thought I would show you a few photos of my new room because I'm really happy with it (except for the dodgy carpet - although to be fair to the landlord, I think it's a sensible choice for often messy and drunk students). I feel like I've really made the space my own, and I love all my little personal touches.

The carpet is horrible isn't it!

Duvet: £12 from Primark for a double
Reusable AND adorable Bambi shopping bag: Tesco

Ringbinders: Asda
'S' button canvas in the right corner: handmade by my nephews and nieces
Photos: a must have for any student room. From various days out - my favourite memories

Photo washing line: Made by my nieces and nephews, complete with drawings of me!
Postcard from New York and one of my favourite greetings cards ever

Shabby Chic Heart Coasters: The Range

Make up brush pot: IKEA (Actually a plant pot)
Glass Trinket: Store Twenty One
Heart Wooden Jewellery Drawers: Christmas Present
Little gold trinket box with bows and buttons: Handmade by my niece
Milk bottle (haven't bought a fake flower yet): Vintage Fair
Letters rack: East of India
Boxes for toilletries: Lakelands
Floral tin on the bottom shelf: Christmas present

Apologies that my room is still fairly messy! Just wanted to get back into the blogging world, missed it over the past week or so! 

Have you got any tips for making a student house a home? Any creative ways to decorate your room? I'd love to hear them in the comments below

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

5 Goals for University this year

So tomorrow is the big day. After one hell of an amazing summer, I am finally moving back to university. I'm so so sad to say goodbye to my family, home friends, my house and all its home comforts, but I am excited for my third and final university adventure. Especially for the Graduation Ball and Ceremony!

I've decided to set myself a few goals to really make the most of my last undergraduate year at university. I figured that if I share them on here, then I HAVE to stick to them, or everyone will be messaging me telling me off for not completing them!

1. Lose more weight
While I'm proud of my progress so far, this last week I've been so busy finishing my internship, packing, and saying goodbye to everyone that I haven't done as much exercise as I would have liked. I've only completed one run, which I'm disappointed at as I was really getting into the swing of things. All these goodbye meals have seen a lot of Lasagnes, Burgers, Chinese, Fish and Chips as well! I'm hoping to really get back into the healthy eating once I return to uni, and get back into running at least three times a week. We will be living near a beautiful park, so I have no excuse! 

2. Join another society
Warwick Uni has more societies than any other university in the country, so this shouldn't be a hard one! In first year I was a member of the Politics Society and the Craft Society, but in second year I only joined Politics. (Well, I joined a few others but they weren't organised very well, in my defence!) This year, I have my eye on one of the dance societies, so hopefully that should help me achieve my first and second goals! I danced for 12 years before university, and I do really miss it. I hope I'll make lots of new friends as well, you can never have too many!

3. Organise the next step of my life
I have started applying for several jobs now, which will probably take a few months as they are Graduate Schemes. I'm also researching Postgraduate study as an option, and have my eye on a particular Masters course at the University of Warwick. By the end of this academic year in June, I would love to have the next stage of my life organised. I'm really worried that I will have to go home and find some temporary work and keep applying for graduate jobs. At the moment I am just keeping my options open because I know I would be absolutely OVER THE MOON to receive any of the opportunities I'm currently pursuing. 

4. Come home more often
Over the past two years, I only managed to come home once a term because of other commitments and relationships. Now I'm single, and should have less contact hours (lectures and seminars) I'm hoping to come home every 2-3 weeks for a weekend at a time. I absolutely love coming home from university - I get spoilt by everyone, book myself in for a few beauty treatments and just generally love seeing everyone. I bring work home with me and continue working, but just being back in my home environment - there is nothing like it!

5. Have more confidence
Last year I also tried to be more confident, and I think I did progress in this goal, but not as much as I would have liked. In so many social situations and in all of my professional work environments, I'm always absolutely fine. But this year I would definitely like to talk more in seminars, chat to more people on my course, have more confidence in my academic ability and just in myself generally.

Have you set yourself any goals for this school/university year? 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Autumn Tag

I spotted this Autumn Tag over on Snow Said, a blog which I have recently started following. (You can find it here at www.snowsaid.blogspot.com) She invited all of her readers to post the tag, and I love writing them, so here goes!

1. What is your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks/ Costa/ Nero? 
It has to be a Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Cream from Costa. Delicious! Makes me feel all warm and cosy after a hard morning shopping in the cold! 

2. Accessories - what do you opt for? Scarves, boots or gloves?
All of them! I'm a cold person all year round, so I definitely have to wrap up when the temperature drops. Late last year I purchased some Vagabond boots which I'm looking forward to wearing again. 

3. What music do you prefer in autumn? 
I don't think my music changes really - I am a huge Take That and Olly Murs fan come rain or shine! However, I tend to listen to slower songs more I think... I'm not sure why!

4. What is your favourite type of perfume for this time of year?
My perfume taste definitely doesn't change. I am current addicted to Naughty Alice by Vivienne Westwood but I am contemplating purchasing one of the Vera Wang fragrances soon

5. What candle will you be burning this year?
I would love to buy most of the Yankee Candles if I'm honest! This autumn I think I might treat myself to some of the Christmassy ones or some of the Autumn range. I haven't actually smelt any of the Autumn ones before so I can't be exact!

6. What do you love most about Autumn? 
Getting all snug, warm and cosy and watching DVDs with a nice hot chocolate. I also love my niece and nephews' annual Halloween Party, and fireworks and sparklers.

7. What are you looking forward to this Autumn?
All of the above, but also hopefully getting more in shape and feeling better about myself, and finding the old me again! 

8. What is your favourite Autumnal make up look? 
I am quite pale, and I love wearing a dark purple lipstick in Autumn with statement eyebrows. I struggle with my confidence leaving the house like it, but I love how it looks! 

I invite you all to do the tag, especially you Bethany Morris! (Www.bethany-Morris.blogspot.com) 

5 things which have made me happy this week

I originally started these posts in the hope they would become a mini series over time, but unfortunately over the last few weeks I've completely forgotten to do these!

Basically, this summer while I've been away from university, I've been focusing on being positive and removing any negativity from my life. I think if you're positive in yourself, good and happy things are more likely to happen! So here are 5 things which have made me happy this week:

1. Fooood!

So while I'm supposed to be dieting and exercising to get the final half a stone off, I've actually spent the week indulging! I've been to a local pub with my friend (as you can see above, there was no way I was going to pass up the offer of this beauty of a burger and a pudding!) I've also been for a carvery and to the Chinese. I go back to uni on Thursday though, so I blame most of the meals on saying goodbye to various family and friends. While I've thoroughly enjoyed the food, I'll definitely be back on the diet as of next week!

 2. Friends

So I've managed to find time this week to see quite a lot of my friends, which of course makes me very happy. Now we are all at different universities or working full time jobs at home, it can be difficult to properly keep in touch. But we had a lovely meal altogether on the Friday, and on the Saturday a few of us went out into town for a few drinks. 

3. Making some money

This week I've got stuck into my cardmaking again - for a few weeks it went really quiet because I had so much going on, I just didn't have the time. I like to make my cards extremely special and take great care, so if I feel I don't have time, I'd rather turn orders away. I've had four or five orders this week, AND me and my Mum have sold tonnes of stuff on eBay. The money is definitely making me happy, because I've still got a fortnight until my student finance comes in!

4. Being a top auntie

One of the things that has made me extremely happy this week is that I feel like I've been a good auntie. I've been to pick three of my nieces and nephews up from school twice, and I've been for tea several times. They had fun doing my hair, we played Mario Kart, and played football in the garden. I've had lots of BIG kisses and cuddles from them this week, so I must be doing OK! I also managed to see my other brother's two children for a few hours on Sunday which was lovely

5. X Factor is back!

Although Olly Murs obviously isn't on the X Factor this year, I had to steal this photo from Instagram because I think he just looks absolutely perfect! But this week I've loved just chilling in my pyjamas with my feet up watching X Factor. At university I never seem to just relax - during term time I feel like I should be working every single second and it really does get on top of me. It was nice just to take an evening to just chill!

What has made you happy this week?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

NOTD: Nails of the Day

Today my Nan asked me to paint her nails, and I just thought I would share the final product with you! My Nan was really happy with them, and they are so easy to do!

Because white nail varnish is always a pain in my opinion, I did two coats covering the full nail in the white nail varnish to ensure it had good coverage. 

After that dried nicely, I then painted the other half of my nail with the lilac colour. Some use a finer nail art brush, but I just literally used the standard Barry M brush it came with.

Once that was dry, I then dripped a fine nail art brush in my glitter polish, and painted the line of glitter on. 

Then, using a dotting tool (or if you don't have one, a pen lid or the end of a hair grip) I dipped it into black nail varnish and painted the dots on. 

I then finished the look with a top coat so hopefully they will last that little longer!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Avon Hair Care: Naturals Almond & Avocado Conditioning Balm

Avon is a company which I feel gets overlooked a lot. I don't tend to purchase the make up as such, because I like to test things out in the shop, but am a firm lover of their nail polishes, moisturisers and hair care. 

This hair mask was an impulse buy when I was flicking through the Avon Catalogue - I am a regular user of the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment Mask (which I talk about here in my post giving tips on how to grow your hair quickly AND healthily). However, lately I've been feeling as though my ends are really dry, so I wanted to try a more hydrating treatment. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't 'over-product' your hair, so thought I would give this a try instead since I've used the last of my Lee Stafford.

The Conditioning Balm is different to any hair mask I've tried before. Rather than washing it out, this Balm instructs you to shampoo and condition as usual, and then to rub some of this conditioning balm into towel dry or damp hair. I really liked this approach, as it literally took seconds. Where as the Lee Stafford treatment has to be left in for 5 minutes between your shampoo and conditioner. I was careful to avoid my roots because I am prone to greasy hair, but I ran this through from about a quarter of the way down my hair. 

I did blow dry my hair after, and I'm really impressed with the results. My hair smells beautiful, which I wasn't expecting because I've never tried anything 'Almond and Avocado' before. My hair is so so soft and shiny, and feels so hydrated.

This Hair Conditioning Balm is currently £1.00 from Avon on offer, which I think is a complete bargain! I only used a pea-sized amount to run through my hair and so I think this tub will last ages at this rate!

Do you have any favourite Avon products that you think I should try? Which hair products do you use to keep your hair hydrated? I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below

Thursday, 11 September 2014

In Memory of the Victims of 9/11

I really don't think there are any words good enough to remember the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001.

It was of course, a hugely devastating day and so many innocent people had their lives taken away. I really wanted to do a post in memory of all of those who lost their lives. World Trade Centre employees, firemen, police officers, medical staff. The people of New York. And of course, my greatest sympathy goes out to all of those who lost their loved ones that day. 

Last year, for my 18th birthday, my parents paid for me to to have a holiday in New York. It just so happened that I was there during September for the anniversary. Here are a few photos I took for myself that I myself have reflected over today, and just for you to have a look over. From the billboards remembering the victims, memorials from around the city, the official 9/11 Memorial Gardens and also St Paul's Church, where many of the firemen and responders rested in between their shifts of helping to clear away rubble and searching for missing people.

I definitely recommend visiting the Memorial Gardens and church if you ever have an opportunity to visit New York. I was so moved emotionally by the tributes and I think it made me gain a new level of understanding of the depths of the effects of 9/11. We are regularly told that 3000 people had their lives taken, but when you read each individual name and imagine that person having a life full of family and friends, it really was an emotional experience.

An electronic billboard remembering those who lost their lives

The Empire State building lit up in the American Flag colours in memory of 9/11 victims

Two beams are sent up into the sky where the Towers once stood, on the anniversary of 9/11 every year. It made me so emotional. The only thing I remember saying is "They go all the way to heaven".
This Fire Station was the first to respond to the events of 9/11 in New York. None of the firemen survived. In the bottom right corner you can see a few tributes, but on the far left next to the mirror is a memorial also.

This is the official memorial for the fire station I previously mentioned. It is situated round the corner from the fire station, and has been funded by the family and friends of those firemen lost. The black centrepiece is a fountain and their names are engraved. I was extremely touched by the amount of flowers, which had been planted in fire buckets.

The Bell in the gardens of St Paul's Church. The Church is only round the corner from where the World Trade Center stood, but miraculously was undamaged. Every year the bell is rang in memory.

Firefighters and police officers from all over the world came to New York after the tragic events, to help search for those missing and to start clearing away the rubble. Many of them have left their badges showing where they are from in the Church as a sign of respect. There were many from the UK that I spotted including Durham and Leeds.

A photo from inside the 9/11 Memorial Gardens. It's such a beautiful memorial. There are two waterfalls where the Twin Towers stood, and the names of every victim of the attacks on the World Trade Center in the 1990s and 2001 are around them. Family members and friends often place flowers in the names, and it really touched me.

The stars will shine that little bit brighter. Heaven is that little more full. And we will remember you forever.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Matilda the Musical

Yesterday, my Auntie, Nan, Mum and I travelled down to London on the train to watch the matinee performance of Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre near Covent Garden. My Nan purchased my ticket for me, as my 21st birthday present! I'm not 21 until next June, so it was a lovely early gift!

Whilst queueing to go in, I just happened to look to the side of me and there was Russell Brand grinning at me! I must admit I gawped a little bit - I couldn't quite believe it was him. He's really good looking in real life but doesn't do it for me on the TV! He wasn't there for long and I was gawping for so long I couldn't ask for a photo which is a shame.

We were on the second row, which was just amazing! The voices were there, you were staring right in the faces of the actors, and there is a part where they fly from the stage on playground swings - well the actors were right above us at one point! It was just MAGICAL.

The children were absolutely amazing! I know most child actors are, but there was something about these - I loved all of them! They were so professional and talented - and ridiculously cute! 

Miss Trunchbull was played by a man and he was definitely my favourite - such a scary face but funny at the same time! 

I would definitely recommend buying tickets to see this Musical. I think they were about £70 each, but I'm sure you could get far cheaper tickets if you don't mind sitting in a different spot. 

I've already seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the musical, and I keep being asked which was better - and I honestly can't choose! So go and see both!

Have you seen Matilda? Or Charlie? What did you think? Which other West End shows would you recommend?

Lee Evans Monsters Tour

Apologies for the poor quality photos, they were sneaky iPhone shots I took quickly before it started!

So on Saturday night, my parents and I went to see Lee Evans perform at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. I bought my parents the tickets as their Christmas present, so it was finally nice to enjoy it! (Also, I DEFINITELY recommend buying any sort of tickets as Christmas presents - my parents were chuffed AND I bought myself one to go as well so it's a win win situation!)

All I can say is, if you have the opportunity to buy last minute tickets, DEFINITELY DO! It was so funny, I was laughing so hard from start to finish my mascara was all over my face! I had a cold and chest infection, and so I must have irritated everyone around me because I was non-stop laughing and coughing for about 3 hours.

It was so much better than seeing him on TV. Hearing his voice live and watching his moves across the stage that he does in person was just amazing. 

We were quite near the front and our view was good considering I didn't purchase my tickets as soon as they went on sale. They were only £30 each and I think that was a fair price because it was one of the best nights out I've had in ages!

I've never seen a comedian live before but I would definitely recommend purchasing tickets to go and see your favourite comedian - the atmosphere really was just amazing!

We finished the night off with a cheeky McDonalds drive through on the way home - it was just perfect! With my parents work schedules and with me being away at university, we don't often get days out just us three together. 

Have you been or are you going to see Lee Evans? Can you recommend any other comedians I should go and see? I'd love to see Peter Kay next!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Gift Guide for Little Princesses

So my niece officially started big school on Wednesday. We all gave her a little good luck present, and it was also a sort of well done present because she was just so brave! I decided since my last Gift Guide for Girls post (here) was so popular, I would do a mini series of these posts. Enjoy!


1. Personalised Wooden Heart Bunting - I think this heart bunting is just so cute and is great to hang across their door, or above their bed or along their cot. They also do this in blue hearts if your little girl prefers blue - I don't believe in forcing pink on girls! You can purchase this from Etsy here - the price obviously varies according to how long the name is

2. Build a Bear - So Build a Bear workshops now stock these My Little Pony bears which I know would be extremely popular with my eldest niece! I think Build a Bears make the perfect present for little girls, because if you take them and make it with them, you're creating happy memories in the process! They are fairly pricey in my opinion, but I know kids love stuffing them and dressing them and giving them names.

3. Fancy dress - I used an example of a Minnie Mouse fancy dress because I think this costume is so cute, and this is only £13 from Tesco. I've never met a child that doesn't love fancy dress, and there is literally a costume for everything! Superheroes, Disney, Animals, Cowboys and Indians, Police, Nurse, you name it, you'd be able to find it on Google! 

4. Disney Princess Crown Earrings - My eldest niece had her ears pierced when she was one and even though she is only four she loves going into a jewellery shop and choosing some earrings. She really is a girly girl! Always double check with their parents though in case they can only wear Gold or Silver, or have any allergies. 

5. Hama Beads - When I was little, I loved making things, including Hama Beads. You can buy sets, but you can also just buy huge tubs of beads and the templates to put them on. All you have to do is fill the template, then using some of the Hama Paper, iron over it and voila! You have a nice little momento and it is a great rainy day activity.

6. Frozen Character Hair Clips - I think these are just perfect, I'm going to purchase my niece them when I next get paid. They have crocodile clips on the back and are handmade beautifully, as you can see. These can be purchased on Etsy.com, where you can find most Disney characters. Just search 'Disney Character Hair Clip' and hundreds come up, where you can find them to ship to your country and at various prices and in various styles

I hope you enjoyed my gift guide for little girls! I know my nieces would love everything on this list! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Packing: My Essentials for a Mini Break

So here are my packing essentials briefly. I'm going away to Norfolk for a few days. I'm staying in a hotel overnight, but we are going to see family who have just purchased a boat on the Norfolk Broads. I'm really looking forward to it, and can't wait for some quality family time!

  • A book to read - I've chosen Olly Murs' autobiography, 'Happy Days'. I definitely recommend a read for when you're in your hotel room at night before bed. I like to get away from my phone when I go away, as I'm constantly hooked to it at home.
  • Hairspray - As I'm trying not to straighten my hair much at the moment in an attempt to grow it, hairspray is my new best friend to help me keep it up off my face. Also, I'm sure as we are cruising along the Norfolk broads on the boat, my hair is going to go everywhere!
  • No 7 Foamy Facial Cleanser - It seems a bit silly lugging all of my Liz Earle skincare regime to Norfolk just for an overnight stay. This No 7 Foamy Facial Cleanser is perfect at leaving my face refreshed and soft, but a lot quicker and takes up a lot less room!
  • Umbrella - Lets face it, I'm going away in Britain! Rain is probably to be expected. Usually I'm so unprepared, but not this time!
  • Sunglasses - Just in case the sun does decide to show its face! As I'll be sat outside on the boat as it goes along, I thought these would come in handy. Also, if I want to nap in the car!
  • Pretty Topshop Jumper - I'm the coldest person in the world I swear. I wanted to take knitwear that will keep me warm, but also looks extra pretty for when we eat out in the evening
  • Plasters - If you're anything like me, take plasters! I'm prone to blisters like you wouldn't believe, regardless of what shoes I'm wearing. 
  • Ipod - Essential for any long car journey, or good for in your hotel room. 

What are your packing essentials? Do you think I've missed anything off?

Afternoon Tea

For lunch today, my Nan, my Mum and I decided to go for an Afternoon Tea in an independent cafe called Archie Hardwicks in Boston, Lincolnshire. 

For £7.99 each, we received a huge pot of tea - we got about three cups each out of it. We got a cake stand of sandwiches (egg mayo, cheese and pickle and ham salad) and some crisps. We also were given another cake stand, where we each got one scone with jam and cream, and a huge SLAB of Victoria Sponge. 

It was nice to just chat and relax and pig out! I'm going back to university in a fortnight so it was nice for the three of us to get together. I've been working so hard to lose weight (I've lost 6 pounds so far this summer) but it was nice to have a bit of treat. The food was absolutely amazing! Afternoon tea is one of my favourite things and we really did have such a lovely day.

Don't worry - I'm going running shortly and swimming later on this evening, so hopefully that will burn some of this off!

What is your favourite thing about an afternoon tea? Have you been up to anything exciting today? As always, I love reading your comments

Monday, 1 September 2014

White Vans Authentic Lo Pro Trainers

This morning I went to collect my new Vans from the post office.

I wanted some new trainers for my mini mid-week getaway on Wednesday. I'm going down to Norfolk so we can spend the day with family who have just purchased a boat on the Norfolk broads. As I'll be hopping on and off boats and walking around the broads, I wanted some comfy shoes that weren't going to fly off into the water! Also, one of my jobs entails helping on University Open Days from 8-6, and I'm constantly running around, so they will come in handy for that!

I find it difficult buying trainers that I like, because I feel so masculine in them. My feet are quite big for my height (5 ft 6) and considering I'm a girl (Size 8) and I just feel like my feet look huge in trainers.

I'm really pleased with my purchase! I don't feel like my feet look AS big, and they are so comfy! They are ten times more comfortable than my black converse, and they fit in with my white obsession I've been having lately. 

I got these on eBay brand new for £32.00 including postage, which is a lot cheaper than Office or Schuh, even with student discount!

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