Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bomber

Jacket - Topshop, Top - ASOS, Jeans - ASOS, Shoes - Primark

One of the least inspiring outfits ever, but as I haven't done an outfit post in about 2 weeks I thought it was about time I showed you a couple of new purchases I've made. This bomber jacket is just a dream come true. I saw it in Topshop at the end of summer but put off buying it, wondering whether I really did need another jacket. Well, eventually I decided that yes YES I did need another piece of outerwear and so when I was in the flagship London store this weekend I took my opportunity and bought the last one they had in my size (must've been fate right?!). It is a pretty warm and practical jacket as well as being lush so I don't think anybody can blame me for that purchase. 

The shoes were less of a thought-out purchase. As I was walking through Birmingham the other day, my falling-to-pieces ballet pumps were getting right on my nerves. Remembering that I had a Primark gift card in my purse, I popped in and tried these shoes on. I have never owned shoes with a pointed toe, nor shoes with such a large cut out in the middle (are they shoes, sandals or boots?!) but I decided I liked them. They have a thick sole so should (fingers crossed) last longer than my other flats, and at the price of £10, can you really go wrong?!

Hopefully, I will soon be back on the bandwagon of posting a few times a week. I have just been super busy lately, but I will try harder! 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

October Wishlist


Quick post today, showing you some of the things I'm lusting after this month incase any of you are after something similar! 

Numero Uno is this split back sequin cropped t-shirt from Topshop. Over the summer I saw a couple of SunBeamsJess' videos where she was wearing the blue/green version of this top and I was desperate to buy one for myself. Unfortunately, as is my luck, they had already stopped selling them/sold out by the time I found out about this beaudiful top but, whilst doing my daily browse of Topshops new-in section the other day, I saw they have rereleased it in this gorgeous iridescent purple/pink colour *swoon*. Its's only available in petite, but as it is cropped already I don't feel like that should be too much of an issue.  

Number Two is this stunning ring from Stella & Dot. I mentioned Stella & Dot in my outfit post the other day, and seen as I was on their website anyway, I thought I might as well have a bit of a browse. I'm desperately after a few good quality rings as most of mine seem to turn brassy within about three wears. I love the simplicity of this ring, and am massively into silver jewellery at the moment so it is the perfect ring for me!

Number Three has been sitting in my ASOS saved list for a good two weeks now. It looks like the perfect jumper dress to snuggle up in in the winter months and I think alpaca wool is supposed to be super soft (I might have to buy it just to check that this is the case). This jumper is a perfect every day item as it can be worn by itself, over jeans, over leggings...the list goes on. 

Item Number Four is this gorgeous pair of loafers from Topshop. I have been after a pair of loafers for a while now but can't seem to find a perfect pair. Really I was after black, but this tan pair look pretty darn good from where I'm sitting so I suppose they will have to do! The fact that they are leather is a definite bonus as it means they should last throughout most of the winter months (although my feet might get a bit chilly). 

Number Five is this practical coat from ASOS (...duh). I love the shape, it's masculine without being too oversized and, obviously, black is the perfect colour for any coat. I do find ASOS coats to be a bit hit-and-miss though, so if I do end up buying it I will make sure to keep you up to date as to whether it really is as good as it looks. 

Finally, Number Six. In my opinion desert boots are the best kind of boots. Ok, so the type of material they are made out of (suede-esque) doesn't make them the most suitable for rain and snow but they are just so comfortable. I currently own a pair of Heeled Desert Boots, which I cannot rave about enough and have owned for 2 years now and they are still in great condition, but I think really, if I am being sensible..., I need a pair of flat ones too for the more casual days. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that I have given you some inspiration for some things you can convince yourself that you NEED this Autumn. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Wind Swept

Tshirt - Zara, Jeans - Topshop, Shoes - ASOS

Extremely simple outfit today, but, to be honest, they are my favourite kind. Once again I am just sitting around doing work so obviously had no need to dress up smart. This tshirt from Zara is actually really soft so I try and wear it as often as possible, and, as I explained a few posts ago (in Up, Up and Away), these jeans are super comfortable. I really love these leopard print plimsolls as they make a plain outfit about 100x more exciting. 

Arrow Necklace - Stella & Dot, Keys necklace - Tiffany & Co.

I always forget to photograph my jewellery so today I thought this had to change! I often wear these two necklaces which were both presents from my parents. 

The arrow one my beautiful mum bought me as a gift from a company called Stella & Dot. Her friend was hosting a 'trunk show' which is basically a party where you can also buy jewellery. It was a really fun event and all of the jewellery was gorgeous! I have a few other pieces from their collection and they're all so well made and stunning to look at. They are also beautifully packaged so, if you need to buy a present for somebody (or for yourself) then I cannot recommend the company enough. I wear this necklace every single day as it goes with absolutely everything and it reminds me of my mum and home when I am at uni. I have worn it for over a year, including in the shower (is that weird?!) and it hasn't tarnished in the slightest. 

The other necklace was a 21st birthday present from my dad from Tiffany & Co.. I'm sure you have all heard of this company before, but if you haven't then you really need to! Their Little Blue Boxes are known the whole world over. This was such a good present as not only is it ridiculously pretty, but of course keys are synonymous with 21st birthdays. I now have "the keys to the rest of my life" (I think that's what it symbolises...?!) which is actually pretty scary haha. 

Both of these necklaces are amongst my most treasured possessions so, thank you mum and dad!! 

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Foodie Friday #2 - 'Go-To Meals'

 Halloumi Salad

A different kind of post to the first 'Foodie Friday'. This one is just a little insight into a few of my every day meals which I thought might inspire you for dinner or lunch today. Neither of these dishes are hard to make, and almost don't need explaining but I just thought for flavour combos etc they might be useful! 

So first of all is this absolutely delicious salad which I usually have for lunch.

It's based around the halloumi (or, in this case, 'Morrison's Grilling Cheese' which, to be honest, I wouldn't recommend and I am definately going to go back to just the usual halloumi). Halloumi just reminds me of holidays and barbecues which are always good times to think back on. It isn't a very strong cheese and everybody that I know who has tried it agrees that it is delicious. 

I often use baby spinach and rocket for the base of my salads as the slight peppery-ness of the rocket adds a bit of a different taste to the dish and spinach is a super-healthy superfood. After covering the bottom of my dish in leaves, I chop up the spring onions, a quarter of a cucumber, a few tomatoes, a stick of celery and a couple of sun blush tomatoes and throw them on top. 

You can then put on the halloumi cold, but for the tastiest salad it is normally better to grill or griddle it first. If you really don't like halloumi (you must be a little bit weird), then mozzarella or feta can make a good alternative. On this particularly lunch time, I drizzled a bit of Caesar Dressing over the top but usually I just mix up a bit of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and wholegrain mustard to make a beautiful dressing. 

Courgetti Spaghetti and Bolognaise 

One of my favourite dinners to make is 'courgetti spaghetti'. Last year, in my house I was known for my love of using courgettes as a replacement for pasta. I used to use a peeler to get the long strands of courgette, but this year I have gone one step further and have bought a spiraliser! (Well, I say bought, my brother actually bought it for me as a birthday present. Thanks Bro!) This is such a great gadget and is super easy to use. If you don't have one of these though, you can either use a normal vegetable peeler (for thicker tagliatelle style strips) or purchase a mandoline peeler. 

Once you have made your "spaghetti", you can either leave it raw or boil it for around a minute. 

For the bolognaise (which I am sure you all already know how to make...but just incase) you can use either beef mince or Quorn mince. I tend to use Quorn mince (which is vegetarian) as it is cheaper and also healthier for you, but I know a lot of my friends couldn't survive without a bit of beef so its up to you which you want to use. 

Because I have super sensitive eyes (and I'm a bit lazy) I always buy ready chopped onions and I start off buy frying these in a large saucepan with the garlic (again, I use the lazy version but just press a clove or two if you're using the real thing).  I then add my bacon or pancetta (obviously leave this out if you are a vegetarian), followed by my mince. Once they are all browned, I add chopped mushrooms, celery, basil and oregano (none of which are pictured, whoops). I then usually add chopped tomatoes, but I accidentally picked up plum tomatoes from the shops (D'oh!) so just D.I.Y.-ed it by popping a knife into the can and moving it all around. It did the job. 

I also then add a little bit of beef or vegetable stock for added flavour and leave to simmer. The longer you leave it, the better the flavour. Just before all the liquid has disappeared, I usually add a bit of parmesan to the sauce pan and give it a good stir around. Once most of the liquid has gone, I place a big spoonful on top of my courgetti spaghetti (which I will have removed from the hob a couple of minutes before hand) and bobs your uncle! A delicious, easy dinner!

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Monochrome

Top - similar, Jeans - Topshop (out of stock but similar here), Trainers - Nike Roshe Runs

OK, before I talk about my clothes I just want to say the middle photo was a completely unintentional pose (and I am not trying to be Candice Swanepoel (although, what d'ya reckon, we could be twins right?!)), but I thought it was funny so decided to put it in the post anyway. 

Probably to no surprise, this outfit is completely black and white. At my university house I only have two t-shirt/top drawers. One is for black tops and the other is for white. I think I may potentially have about 5 other tops which are not black or white scattered in there too, but, if I do, then as I say it really isn't many. 

I've had these jeans for about 9 months now, and they're the same fabric as the Topshop Joni Jeans which means they're really stretchy and comfortable (until you've eaten a tub full of popcorn which is what I'm planning to do at the cinema later). The top is just an ASOS sheer, cropped jumper which I have had for yonks so they no longer have it on the site. 

My new trainers are what I really want to talk about here. I bought them for myself the other week, when ASOS were doing a 20% student discount offer and wow, oh wow, they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had the pleasure of walking in. They have ridges on the sole and so it feels almost as though your foot is getting a mini massage as you're traipsing back from uni or running on a treadmill. They also go with just about everything, so what's not to like?! I really cannot recommend them enough - GO AND GET A PAIR NOW!!

Do you have a pair of go-to, supremely comfortable shoes? If you do then please leave a comment as I am all about the comfort.


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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Up, Up and Away



Shirt - Zara, Jeans - Topshop, Shoes - ASOS, Leather Jacket - All Saints

A very uninspiring post today, but I thought it would be nice to have a few pictures that were taken in day light! The autumnal weather is making it very hard to take photographs with good light, so I grabbed this opportunity yesterday to take a few shots of my "OOTD".  

After a week of birthday celebrations, it was back to reality with a fun-filled day of lectures, work and the gym - woo hoo! These jeans are perfect for a day spent sitting in lecture theatres, as they're pretty stretchy and so, super comfortable. The shirt (which, embarrassingly, I had no time to iron (typical student)) was a bargainous Zara sale purchase a year-or-so ago. I love it to bits as its pyjama-style neckline and hot air balloon pattern are both so unusual. It's also made of a silky material which just adds to the comfort of this outfit. Yet again, I am about to throw my All Saints leather jacket over the top. I am trying to get as much wear out of this beautiful jacket before it turns to strictly winter coat weather. 

On another note, I am trying to have a spend-free week but I have just had an email announcing the ASOS sale. Why, ASOS, why?! Hmm...well I guess I did just return a few things...so maybe it wouldn't be so bad...


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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Off Duty Models

Playsuit - River Island, Desert Boots - Office, Leather Jacket - All Saints
With my best friends visiting me in Birmingham for a weekend of belated birthday celebrations I thought it'd be a good time to grab a few outfit photos before heading out for dinner and a couple of cocktails. Having one of my friends taking the photos, and 2 of them standing and watching, this didn't actually turn out too well. I felt super awkward and the pictures just weren't turning out fantastically (as you can probably tell by the above picture).

So, we then decided that we would all try our hands at being "models" (definitely take this with a pinch of salt). If Burberry or Prada are reading this (highly unlikely), I think we may have the models for your next advertising campaign sorted. Just drop me an email whenever, and if the wage is good enough we may just about be available. 

WERK IT GURLS

Catharine borrowed my Topshop Skater Dress which is actually no longer in stock, but Primark do similar versions and teamed it with her New Look Heeled Boots. Zoe wore an Urban Outfitters Shirt and some Topshop Leggings. She didn't actually want her feet in the picture as she was about to change into boots but in this photo she is wearing Nike Free Runs and having owned the purple version of this trainer for ages I can't vouch enough for how comfortable they are! 

Emma then joined the model clan (can you spot the similarities?!) and threw on a jacket from H&M (similar here) over her Topshop Jeans. I absolutely love Em's boots which, I can't actually believe, are from Primark! Two other friends were also visiting but Amelia was still getting ready and Hannah was behind the camera, but here they are in a group photo taken on my Fujifilm Instax Wide

Bit of a different post today but, I hope, still enjoyable! As a little treat for reading this post all the way to the end, here is one more model-icious photo of Zoe and Catharine. You lucky people!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Birthday Date

Dress - Missguided, Coat - Similar, Shoes - Zara

Quick-ish post today because I seem to have neglected a lot of chores this week so need to get on top of them! Last night I was whisked away by my lovely boyfriend, Owen, on a dinner date. I had no idea where we were going, but we both decided to dress up smart for the occasion as it was to celebrate my 22nd birthday!  

He ended up taking me to a little pub (The New Inn, Harborne) where we had a couple of drinks (g&t for me, beer for him) then onto a gorgeous little italian called Buonissimo. The food here was absolutely delicious and I have never had such good service at a restaurant. All the staff were really friendly and accommodating, and when my birthday cake came out (serious boyfriend points earned) they sang Happy Birthday in perfect harmony and I even got a birthday kiss from the owner! Unfortunately I don't have many food pictures from the evening, but if any of you live in the Birmingham area I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. 

As for the clothes, I wore this super simple Missguided dress. Missguided is fast becoming one of my favourite shops for going out/party clothes. It is so affordable and the free next day delivery (when you spend over £60 (woopsy!)) is music to my ears. I can't wait to have a look at their new Nicole Scherzinger collection. Both the shoes and the coat are purchases from last year, but have lasted well. The shoes are really comfortable, and Zara are always doing styles like this so if you are after a pair similar it might be worth taking a look in your local store. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Foodie Friday #1: Boston Tea Party

If you've read yesterday's post you will know that I am attempting to start a couple of new series on the blog. One being 'Monthly Favourites' which I started yesterday and the second being, check this for alliteration, 'Foodie Fridays'. This will be a mix of things such as restaurant reviews, food blog recommendations and recipes.

Having received this cup on campus the other day I thought it was finally time to visit Boston Tea Party. I have heard so many rave reviews about the place from my friends but have never taken the opportunity to go, and have always stuck to places in more central Birmingham for lunch and dinner. Now, I realise a lot of Southerners, Bristolians in particular, will probably have been to this chain of restaurants many a time so won't benefit at all from a review but for those less fortunate I thought I would do a little summary of my experience. 

When myself and two of my best friends, Steph and Alex, walked through the front door this was the glorious sight that welcomed us. Cakes, bakes and pastries that all looked and smelled delicious. We resisted the urge to buy one straight then and there and picked up a menu before we went on a search for some seats.


This mission was actually harder than it sounds; the place was rammed! We managed to find a seat perched on the end of somebody else's table, but after perusing the menu for a while we saw that another table had been vacated so we moved there instead. This happened twice more until we found ourselves the perfect position in a booth in front of a huge window looking onto the Magistrates Court. 

Having umm-ed and ahh-ed over what to order for a good twenty minutes, we eventually returned to the bar to place our order and grab some drinks. 

Steph treated herself to a white chocolate milkshake, which she assured me was delicious. 

Meanwhile myself and Alex went for some drinks out of the chiller. Alex had a diet coke whilst I tried out an Alibi Health Drink in Pomegranate. I really enjoy trying out new soft drinks with supposed health benefits and while this drink was nice, it hasn't beaten my all time favourite 'healthy' soft drink of Purdey's Rejuvenate (which, by the way, was also in the chiller!).

We sipped on our drinks and had a good old chatter whilst waiting for our food. The wait wasn't very long at all, but with all of us having skipped breakfast, when the food arrived we were all more than ready to devour it. 

I opted for the House Salad which contained loads of my favourite foods including sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta. It was seriously delicious and the ingredient that topped it off was the addition of red rice. I'd never eaten red rice before, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure I'd even heard of it, but it definitely made the meal more complete and was probably the component that filled me up the most. 

Alex went for the 'Pulled Jerk Chicken Bun' with chorizo. The presentation was gorgeous, as, I've been told, were the chips. Unfortunately, Alex thought that the burger itself was no better than the ones we get at the student pubs near by so maybe if you visit BTP don't opt for the burger if you're after something truly amazing.

Steph, having visited BTP before, knew exactly what she was going to order before we even sat down. Having tasted some of her boyfriends 'Get Your Goat, You've Pulled' toastie the last time she was here, she was not going to pass up the opportunity to have a whole one to herself this time. It contains goats cheese and thyme & onion marmalade which, although not evenly distributed between both halves of the sandwich, was just what she was after. 
Even though we were totally stuffed, we were still able to pick up our free hot drinks from the cups we were given on campus on our way out. We opted for chai tea lattes, and I have to say they were even better than the Starbucks version! They were very creamy with just enough spice to make them into real winter warmers. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to Boston Tea Party. The decor was very industrial, which I am a fan of, and the atmosphere was great. It is a place which business men, teenagers, 'ladies who lunch' and students can all enjoy to equal amounts and I would definitely recommend it. After all, how can you go wrong with a place that serves breakfast all day long?!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

September Favourites

Hey Hey Heeey! In an attempt to mix things up a bit on the blog, I have decided to introduce a few new "features", if you can call them that. The first of these is a 'Monthly Favourites' series where I discuss things such as my favourite beauty item, song and food for the month just gone. As it's the 2nd of October today (woops a bit late), it obviously made sense to start this now.

Beauty
So, to get the ball rolling I thought I'd start off with my favourite beauty product of September which is this Topshop Lip Bullet in Crave. It is a great neutral colour with a slight coral-y tinge. It is a gorgeous every day colour and super creamy so it doesn't dry your lips out so you actually can wear it Every. Single. Day! What's not to love, really?! Topshop lip products really are the best, and they have so many different shades these days that there is something for everybody. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of these lip bullets.

Clothing 
Not the most exciting of items in this category today but extremely practical. I have worn this shirt from Monki countless times since I bought it in the summer, and here's why:
1) It goes with everything; jeans, shorts, skirts, trousers, you name it and this shirt will go with it. You can wear it as a shirt, around your waist, open over a vest; it is just so versatile. 
2) It is very 'scrunchable'. If you are unsure how long you are going to be out for, or can't be certain of the weather than this shirt is perfect to just scrunch up and throw into your handbag just incase it gets a bit chilly. In fact, being a bit crumpled probably only adds to the casual character of the shirt so the more creased the better!
3) If you have a fancy dress party to go to, you need to look no further than this shirt. HELLO COWGIRL! Much cheaper and more realistic than the 'Sexy Cowgirl' costume from your local fancy dress shop haha.

Book
I have set myself a new resolution to read more. I find it ridiculously easy to read novels when I am away on holiday over the summer and can easily read 5 or more books in a week, but as soon as I get back onto home soil the temptation of internet and television all becomes a bit too much and I just don't see reading as appealing anymore. This is all about to change; I am determined to read at least one book a month for the foreseeable future and this month it was 'The Rosie Project' by Don Tillman. This book is AMAZING, I cannot stress enough that if you have not read it yet then you need to read it. It is laugh out loud funny as well as quite touching at times. The main character is similar to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but more likeable. Please, anyone reading this blog, go out and buy/borrow this book now!


Music
Ok, so I realise I am super late on the band wagon when it comes to alt-J (∆) (http://www.altjband.com) but boy am I on the band wagon now. Having spent the summer listening to a lot of my boyfriend's music, this song has become a firm favourite of mine. I don't care if it came out 2 years ago and everyone is probably already over it, I love it. I have heard mixed reviews about their new album but have not had the chance to listen to it yet, but I'm really hoping it doesn't disappoint.

Food
I am a massive foodie. I would actually say I spend at least 50% of my day thinking/talking about food if not more. However, having stuffed my face over summer I am desperately trying to get back into healthy eating. This Cinnamon Pecan Granola by Deliciously Ella is the perfect way to get your day off to a good start. It is packed with oats, nuts and dried fruits and is ridiculously easy to make. I was a bit dubious when I first made this that it would taste bland, but it actually is lovely and cinnamon-y and fills you up for a long time. 

Drink
Last, but not least, I come to my favourite beverage of the month. This tea goes hand-in-hand with the granola as it is good for you and a little spicy. I absolutely adore Chai Tea and cannot resist a Chai  Latte at Starbucks in winter, but this Green Tea Chai is a bit better than both of those as not only does it taste great but it also has all the benefits of normal green tea. I won't bore you with those benefits now, but click here if you fancy reading about them. 

Quite a long post today, but I always find it so interesting reading about other people's recommendations so I hope it hasn't been too boring!