Friday, 24 February 2017

Thinking of Sunnier Days*

Sup All!

I'm very sorry that posts have been rather rare recently, time seems to be flying by and all taken up by this dreaded dissertation project, as well as part time work and attempting the odd social occasion/night out... oh and some sleep if I'm lucky! 

Not to worry, when Easter comes along a huge weight will have been lifted (hopefully) and I'll have much more time to put back into blogging, but for now things might be a bit slow!

Nonetheless, I've been daydream-procrastinat-ing, thinking about - and very much longing for - Spring/Summer and the sunnier, brighter things that follow! I think it's suffice to say that the cold, dreary winter isn't quite as enjoyable when there's no Christmas round the corner!

So in my planning for Summer (and attempting to find cheap, fun holiday destinations for end of uni whilst still saving for Australia, paying for rent/food and the odd Salt and Pepper takeaway after a night in Society!) I've been planning a splendid Summer do for a End-Of-Degree/Very belated 21st Birthday/It's Summer and I just want to drink Pimm's and have fun Party! You know, a Classic!

I've very fortunate enough to have a rather large, extended and (now my parents have cleaned it all up and decorated) really nice back garden and it makes for a great space for a summer party! So I thought I'd share with you some fun ways I plan on decorating it and a few bits and bobs and some odd furniture, that I think would go absolutely fabulously!

Outdoor Bits:

Porto Lounge Set

Something that's always handy at a summer party is some great, comfy and stylish seating areas for those who want to sit and eat their BBQ or have a civilised chat with a drink in hand. Mum managed to snab a lovely ratten set like this one (although not quite as stylish) from Groupon but you can grab them from most furniture shops and garden centres. This one from Cox and Cox definitely grabbed my eye - and they're so good for summer (even if it's not for a party) - definitely gets us out in the sunshine a bit more!

Indoor/Outdoor Double Cushion

A fab idea for those without much outdoor seating however - or if you just have soo many friends - is this awesome looking cushion! We have a rather long garden and right down the back is a tiny little patio by the grass and several trees, bushes and flowers surrounding it and I can picture one or two of these outdoor cushions laid on the grass for a cute little chill area away from all the bustle, where you could sit and chit chat or have a cheeky sunbathe!

Four LED Lights

Now my parents have been on the hunt for some lovely outdoor lights that they like and, personally my fave are the fairy-light like ones that you can wrap round the trees and wind through the plants, but they're huge fans of the hanging tree lights. You can grab these from many places I believe, many garden centres, Clas Ohlson and these lovely ones here from Cox and Cox.


Of course, if you're planning for your ace summer party to go on until the late hours of the morning (since it'll get darker a lot later!) or of course you're hosting it in England, and you want to cover all weather scenarios, then a gazebo is essential and I've picked out a few goodens from Halfords that won't break the bank! Always a nice touch to decorate the inside with outdoor fairy lights too!

(our little not-so-elegant set up for my parent's wedding party - balloons and bunting are always a good decoration!)

Food and Drink:

Obviously if you're going to throw a banging party, you're going to need some delicious food to accompany the jugs of Pimm's and Strawberries and Cream, of course!

Just a little bit more decor from the party! Cake made and decorated by yours truly

For my parents wedding party, we hosted it in our back garden and we had one cracking good Hog Roast! Unfortunately I couldn't find any photos, but I remember the deliciousness of those pork baps! I believe we went with the Spitting Pig in Berkshire since it was near to home but I'd very much recommend if you've got a number of guests and want the food taken care of.

Similarly, Costco do wonderful ready made trays of wraps, sandwiches and sushi that a few family friends have bought for various birthday parties and they've always gone down a treat, if you're looking for more nibbly/cheaper bits!

Other wonderful ideas are of course, a classic barby in the garden accompanied with a classic array of different salads and canapes!

Anyone else seriously excited for Summer even though it's barely Spring!?

Anyone got any awesome plans to look forward to? Or any parties planned?

*This post was in collaboration with Cox and Cox but all views and opinions are my own! 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Walking In A Winter Wonderland - Vancouver

What's more responsible and appropriate in third year than to take a spontaneous day trip to Canada? 

I know it's extremely late to be posting this since it's now FEBRUARY! What!? But since the days are still chilly and frosty I thought I'd talk about how lucky I was this December to accompany my dearest mother to Vancouver for a day! 

When we got there at about 1am UK time, we headed straight out for cocktails and a walk round the town! The next morning after a restless short, 4 hour sleep (jet lag and all that!) we were up early and headed out by 7. We headed first straight to Canada Place on the airport shuttle and stumbled upon the Pan Pacific Christmas Wish breakfast held by the fire fighters raising money and a record breaking number of presents to donate to children! I thought this was such a wonderful idea and it was so festive and pretty packed! 

We went and watched the sunrise and got some lovely photos of the gorgeous mountains covered in a blanket of snow - beautiful!

Jumper - Sainsbury's

Leggings - River Island

Boots - New Look

Hat - Rip Curl

We then took a wander all the way from Canada Place over to Stanley Park along the coast and went for a mini wander through. Stanley Park is probably the main attraction - 405-hectares of a gorgeous forest. The weather was perfect - bloody freezing but so sunny and crisp, that the views and experience was lush!

We then headed over to Granville Island - a teeny little section of Vancouver, where we strolled through the lovely market, filled with pretty much anything you could think of! From soups and burgers to bakes and fruit, jewelry to flowers, purses to paintings! 

Finally we headed out on our trek to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which was quite a bit further out of downtown than we realised *awkward face* 

We walked through downtown Vancouver and out to the snowy suburbs up the hill and kept going all the way down to West 37th. Of course it was worth it! The snow was imaculate. Blanketed the ground and decorated the trees, the gardens were simply beautiful. 

I aimed to head there when it was dark as a light event was being held, however we got there a bit earlier and by then we were too tired to wait. So we headed for a walk round the gardens and they were all decorated with gorgeous lights and the some festive decorations!

Definitely a 21st birthday of dreams! Canada is stunning and I can safely say that the common Canadian stereotype that they're all really really nice is very much true. They are complete babes! It was probably the only place where everyone was genuinely happy and so friendly and helpful and it definitely added to the wonderful experience! 

So Thank You Vancouver - I can't wait to return!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

3 Easy ways to Practice Mindfulness

A lot of people lately have been jumping on this whole Hygge lifestyle trend and I am loving it (Although let’s be honest I’m sure a lot of us have always been totally up for a relaxing Sunday in bed with tea and books and cosy-ness!) and I thought it very much tied in with the mindfulness trend that’s also up and coming.
With the continuing increase in work load and pressure we seem to be under recently, whether it be juggling jobs or facing new challenges; work, academic, health or otherwise, the importance of taking time out is even more important. I’ve noticed this a lot amongst the blogosphere in general (mainly because we’re all perfectionists that want to provide great content, but a lot of us are also preoccupied with full time commitments) and so thought I’d share some of the things that have been working for me since the start of this academic year, in case anyone’s looking for ideas…

Smiling Mind:

This has probably been the main thing that has really helped me this year. Smiling Mind is an app (similar to the Mindfulness App – except that it’s free (which is why I changed to it)) that has a number of different podcast-type files that are based on practicing mindfulness and meditation. The great thing about this is that most of the files (on the Adult program anyway – I haven’t really explored the whole app because there’s a tonne of content) are only about 5-10 minutes long and the guy on it literally just talks you through a short practice that really calms me down.
I usually listen to the meditation ones right before I go to sleep and it really helps me not to check my phone and to really take a good 10 minutes to relax and unwind and focus on my body and my mind. If I’m honest the main reason I think it’s helped me is because by doing this I have been sleeping really well and have definitely been feeling more refreshed, awake and productive the next morning, thus impacting the rest of my day!
You can do these meditations anytime, anywhere and there’s a variety of different podcasts, for example ones for sleep, ones for stress, emotion, worries, curiosity etc – I just love it! Also the guy has an Australian accent and that may be a factor in why I love it so much! (just you wait till I find an Irish one!!)


I know I’ve mentioned this in a post before, but I am really loving the buzz that I get from yoga. The class I take a uni is definitely not easy – I’m very tired and sweaty by the end of it (even the beginners class) but I’ve certainly noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and my flexibility and strength simply from going to one 1.5 hour class each week. I’ll admit, I’m terrible at self motivation lately and never really practice at home (partly because my room is so tiny and I don’t really want to take up the whole living room shoving my bum in the air with 3 other housemates about – I know excuses excuses) but I’ve bought a mat and now I’m home for Christmas I’m going to try and at least do some short 20-30 minute Yoga with Adrienne practices to try and maintain this buzz!

Fab Mental Health blogs:

What Lauren Did Today's Happy List Project

#MH at Little Thoughts Blog by Hannah

#Speak Up at Thrifty Vintage Fashion by Nicole

I was going to add a few other little bits like going for a walk or a bath with a relaxing Spotify playlist and candles, but I’ve appeared to have rambled on a fair bit (as usual) and don’t want to bore you completely with things you probably know already.

Do let me know if you have any other good ideas for staying mindful and/or whether you’ve tried any of the above things? What do you think?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

21 Lessons on my 21st Birthday

So this is a bit late in posting, but I wrote this a few weeks ago when it was my 21st birthday just before Christmas and instead of the classic 'New Year New Me' post, I thought I'd share just how far I've come in these 21 years and some of the things I've learnt in hope that they can enlighten/remind some of you;

1. Health is more important than any academic achievement

2. Everyone deserves happiness

3. J.K Rowling is a genius

4. F.R.I.E.N.D.S will never stop being funny

5. Friendship knows no distance

6. Experiences and memories are far more worth time and money

7. Everyone has insecurities

8. Face your fears or they will always haunt you

9. Epilating is one of the most painful but worth it things to do!

10. Everything happens for a reason

11. There’s always time to learn from your mistakes

12. Thinking of another point of view helps understand the reason behind a situation or event.

13. You are never alone. There’s someone out there feeling/thinking the same thing – you will find your people.

14. Periods (or the pre-period period) really can make you think and see differently.

15. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it seems like there’s no way to recover.

16. Every day is a chance to be the person you want to be.

17. Don’t wait to do what you want to do.

18. It's far better to have a few really great, loyal friends than loads that you don't feel truly yourself around.

19. Take every opportunity you get given

20. If you really want something, the universe will, in some shape or form, offer it to you.

21. Everything will work out so stop worrying!

What lessons have you learnt over the years?

Friday, 30 December 2016

NYE Party Styles*

New Year Styles

So tomorrow's the night! Who's ready for New Years?

Whether it's a wild night out with friends or a date night in, you'll need a great outfit and chances are a lot of people - like me usually - have left it to the last minute! Well if you have here's some recommendations for that party season...

Playsuit: Missguided (Similar)

Other places with lovely ideas this year are;

                                                            ( - 10% student discount)

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year - don't get too drunk (says the hippocrit) and make sure you've got some good resolutions to work on!

*This post was in collaboration with Coast but all opinions, products and ideas are my own.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

LAST MINUTE Christmas Gift Guide for Men*

So it's completely dawned on me that Christmas is THIS SUNDAY! Shit! Where did December go? I had these gift guides planned and almost ready a few weeks ago but December has been so bloomin' busy that I've now realised that it's Christmas Day this Sunday! (and I still haven't got my brother anything, sorry Sean!) 

So here's one for anyone just broken/nearly broken up from work and realised they've actually not got that much time left to finish their Christmas shopping;

I for one never know what to get the men in my family but thought I'd put on a few ideas that have always been a success in the past or that I've found this year!

Decor Light - Electrical Guys - on offer for £24.30
Since my second cousin is a lover of all things superhero - having a look around this website I found a Thor decor light which I thought was absolutely perfect! There's also a whole load of Star Wars ones for all the Star Wars lovers out there (would have bought one for my dad but I've already got him something!) and currently over £10 off, they looked pretty cool for a bedroom addition!

Nike trainers - SkateHut - ranging from £30-£90ish
After checking out the heelys from SkateHut in my last post, I had a bit of a browse of their other products and found that they've got some good deals on some pretty nice Nike shoes (which I'm always a fan of!) - most of the good ones were for Men though so thought I'd let you all know!

Spice / Curry Subscription - NOTHS - £22 (3 month), £42 (6 month), £82 (12 month)
I love Not On The High Street, because it has some of the nicest, quirkiest and special gifts on there - there literally is something for everyone - cooks, gardners, his hers etc - and even though some bits are a bit on the pricey side, some of them are totally worth it! And I got this curry subscription for my dad last year and he absolutely loved it! For the number of months you pay for a little box with some pre-made spices and a specific curry recipe pop through the door and basically all you need to add are a meat/veg and rice! My dad isn't a cooking fanatic but he loves to experiment and make new things, and he loves curry so it was a win win!

12 Days of Christmas Fudge Set - Fudge Kitchen - £15
I must say I'm not a fan of fudge at all - but believe me Fudge Kitchen make the most mouth-watering, tastiest, most delicious fudge ever! I'm dribbling thinking about it! This as a gift would be amazing for anyone! They also sell massive slabs of a range of flavours for around £4 and they're absolutely amazing! This little assortment of Christmassy flavours sound incredible - particularly Christmas Cookie and Sea Salt Caramel!

What do you get males? They're so difficult to buy for!

This post is in collaboration with Electrical Guys, but all opinions and recommendations are my own.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for Kiddies!*

Christmas is coming and the goose (and probably a lot of people - me included) is getting fat! Well, we can't deny it any longer (not that we'd want to - our decorations have been up since the 1st December!) IT'S CHRISTMAS! I am absolutely buzzing and although I'm a Christmas fanatic I've been a bit slow and short of ideas for present hunting this year and I know a couple of people - Hi Dad - who love(/or at least find themselves) to leave it all to the last minute so here's a few extra ideas for anyone still struggling...


Heelys - SkateHut - £25-£45
Anyone else have a pair of heelys when they were little? OMG they were the best things ever! I remember feeling like such the sassy little sass-master I was just casually walking through town and then all of sudden - off I went rolling on down the street! I felt like the bomb! However, my pair were when they weren't really a thing and I had to attach the wheels to the outside of my trainers, whereas now they're built in for the added mystery! SkateHut have also got a pretty good deal of up to 45% off at the moment so grab them quick!

Lush Bath Fun - £5.95
Lush have some of the best products right now! I love Lush anyway and at Christmas it's all the more reason to buy everything you can! Since we have a couple of littlens in the family at the mo, but their parents are requesting minimal presents (which my mum has found very hard to deal with and has therefore decided to ignore completely) and you know there's sort of that issue where I have no money and all the money I do have I'm saving for Oz next year ... so when I came across these I thought that's amazing! These are kind of like play dough I think but they double up as a bubble bath/body wash - genius! Such a great way to get kids excited for bath time and not gonna lie, some awesome creative fun for basically everyone - this isn't just limited to kids, I for one would love to play! I opted for Elf on The Shelf but there's a few good ones including Reindeer and Robin and Santa!

Underwater Disco - FireFox - £7.99
I bought this for my cousins children a few years ago when they were about 3 and 5 and they absolutely loved this. It's basically a little disco ball you can put in the bath and creates loads of lights that disperse through the water. I thought it was a perfect little toy that's a bit different and it turned out to be very popular! 

Invent-A-Scent - PrezzyBox - £12.95
I used to love making braids or bracelets and cool things with these types of kits - how cool is it that you can now make perfume?! For creative little girls (appropriate for over 8s) who are into all things beauty and makeup, I think this kind of gift would be perfect!


Baked Goods

Now I know it's not very personal but I'm fairly sure you can't go wrong with a package of fresh, homemade edible goodies for Christmas - especially for kiddies! They also make a great gift for friends or stocking fillers and are just that little bit more sentimental than say buying them from poundland!

I often make a big batch of Gingerbread Men Cookies around this festive season and for my past 5+ years of student-ing - this option has worked pretty well! The whole family - particularly the youngsters absolutely love them!

This year I've got my eye on these Festive Flapjacks so going to give them a go next week!

Any of these ideas look good? Who's absolutely buzzing for Christmas??! 

This post was in collaboration with SkateHut but all opinions and ideas are my own! And photos used are not my own - they are all from the websites linked in the post.