Tuesday, 22 July 2014


The other day I thought to myself, "Kayspray, you should really get out more". On the same day I also concluded that I hadn't done a #AskTwitter post in a while now! This is one of my favourite series because beauty and fashion gurus from the world of Twitter answer a much queried question of mine. Considering the majority of my questions make no sense or are unanswerable, I had to make sure the question was relevant, useful and sensible. 

Compared to all the other seasons, Summer is the hardest to get the right beauty products. It is too hot for full thick coverage make-up, there is a need for another level of skin care and don't get me started with finding the right sun protection! With this in mind, my #AskTwitter question is:

What is your must-have summer beauty product?

So they were a few lovely answers from a few lovely Tweeties. What is your answer for this much discussed question? What would you recommend? Don't forget to leave your links x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Summer Tag

I hope the sun is shining just as much as it is here! These summer months fly past way too quickly for my liking so to celebrate their existance I am doing this Summer Tag. I found it on The Emerald Dove's Blog and had to give it a go!

1.  What's your favourite thing about Summer?
I really like my summer lifestyle. I do a lot more exercise, get up earlier and eat healthier. I'm always craving salads and fruit in the hot months. It's so much easier to be sociable in summer- you can meet up with friends at a park or have a BBQ.

2.  Do you have a favourite Summer drink?
My boyfriend makes a lovely fruity non-alcoholic cocktail that is super refreshing. It's a mix of lemonade, squash, fruit juice and ice cubes (and a cocktail umbrella if you're lucky).

3.  Is there a location you like to go to each Summer?
I like to try and get to a quaint coastal town somewhere in England. I've been lucky enough to already have a trip to Brighton and am at Uni in Portsmouth so that's two places ticked off the list! With the boyfriend down in Somerset, hopefully I'll be on a few day trips to Devon and Dorset.

4.  Favourite makeup look for Summer?
I'll either wear a concealer or bb cream and a bit if powder and bronzer for the face. I don't bother with anything heavy as it'll just sweat off in the heat and feel disgusting! I've been using a bit of bronzer as eye shadow recently and then just wearing brown eye liner and black mascara. I complete this natural look with a moisturising lip balm that has SPF in it :) 

5.  Dresses or skirts?
I think dresses suit me more than skirts. I keep adding to my summer dress wardrobe- check out Primark for some cheap and stylish £5 dresses!

6.  Sandals or ballet pumps?
My feet don't agree with any shoes- they will all rub or cut them no matter what (woe is me!!) I prefer the look of sandals and there are so many cute ones around at the moment!

7.  Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for Summer?
I always prefer the way my hair looks down but sometimes it gets way too hot with my long hair on my neck and back! Recently I've been wearing it as a side fishplait or a top knot because the humidity has made my hair crazy and unmanageable.

8.  Deep smokey eyes or bold lips?
For me, you can't go wrong with smokey eyes but in this weather I've been keeping my eyes quite neutral and opting for a more coral bright lip if I'm making the effort!

9.  Favourite perfume for Summer?
I'm actually looking for a new fragrance to try out as most of mine are running low. I love a sweet fruity scent. Any recommendations? 

10.  Last but not least, favourite music for Summer?
I am constantly listening to a spottily playlist called Happy Hipster. It has some really laid back and summery tunes that lift my mood- very easy listening :)

Writing this post has really made me realise how much I love summer! Let me know if you decided to do this tag and leave your lovely links below. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Quick & Easy Summer Fruit Flan

The best thing about summer is all the delicious fruit that is in season! I feel like I want to eat healthily when its hot out - lots of scrummy salads and fruit cocktails. With the scorching hot weather, I also get incredibly tired and lazy. So mixing my love for fruit and my lack of motivation, I have this fun post for you! Today I am sharing with you a much loved dessert in my household. It is called the Quick & Easy Summer Fruit Fan because it is truly both quick and easy (as the title suggests...) 

So why is it so quick and easy? You don't have to make the sponge flan from scratch, you don't have to do much to the fruit and the quick jel has simple instructions that even I can follow! It is also a very cheap dessert to make so perfect for students like me. 

A pre-made flan case
Fruit of your choice
Strawberry Flavoured Quick Jel

- First thing to do is make the quick jel. You can either add water or the fruit juices if you used canned ones to the powder and heat up. The packet will give you better, more accurate guide to making this. 
- As the jel is cooling, you can to the fun part. The main fun part is eating it but this fun part is arranging the fruit into some artistic pattern or as I do, try to fit as much onto the fan as possible. 
- Once the jel is cooled, add it on top of the fruit. 
- We usually leave it in the fridge to stay cool for an hour or until we are ready to serve!

It really is the perfect dessert to make when you're having a summer party, friends over or fancy something a little different. It's a light refreshing dessert which also tastes good with cream or ice cream. I'm planning on doing a few more of these Quick & Easy food posts in the near future so watch this space. If you have any good food hacks or simple recipes please get in touch or leave your links below. Enjoy this amazing weather and hope you get a chance to enjoy making and of course eating this flan!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Have You Heard... Only the Young

This 'Have You Heard' is a bit different to previous ones. The other week I was contacted by Tribal Media with news of an up and coming band who were given the chance to perform at Capital FM's Summertime Ball. Only the Young were chosen by the public to live their Vodafone #first dream to perform in front of 80,000 people the other weekend. To find out more about their story click here.  

Photo from OTYOfficial Twitter Account
Only the Young is an increasingly popular band which consists of Mike, Parisa, Betsy and Charlie. They are strongly influenced by bands like McFly and One Republic and plan on producing similar music. From what I've heard of them, they are a seriously talented and charismatic bunch. They have done some awesome covers -I really enjoyed their Counting Stars and Wrecking Ball Mash-up. Their big break was the at the Capital FM's Summertime Ball in which this music video was created. A lot of the content comes from the public's smartphones and tablets, making the fans feel a part of the story. 

This band is definitely one to watch. I'm expecting to hear lots about them in the next few months! What do you think of Only the Young? If you have any suggestions for this series, please get in touch <3

Friday, 27 June 2014

Company's Style Blogger Awards

Last Wednesday started off as a regular day. I was getting ready to go out for lunch with Nan and being an amazing intern at Coloristiq. As I attempted to blow dry my hair with Ralph the gigantic golden doodle sitting on top of me, I heard my phone go off. I reached over to my bed to grab the device and saw it was Miss Guided. Beyond anything I could imagine, Miss Guided had messaged me on Twitter to let me know I had won VIP tickets to Company's Style Blogger Awards! This included a night in a 4* Hotel, tickets to the event and a lovely goody bag of treats. One of my favourite from Uni, Hayley (check out her blog), was free and up for a great evening in Shoreditch. 

Thank you to Hayley for letting me use the photos that she had taken! Long story short - my iPhone got stolen by some guy on a bike on our way back from a club after the event that night. I was most upset about losing the lovely photos I had taken from the night and all the blogger's websites I had written in my notes but at least no one was hurt! 

We stayed at the RE London Shoreditch Hotel which was a few minutes from the event venue. I cannot fault the hotel, the beds were super comfy and the rooms were nicely furnished. We were so lucky that Miss Guided treated us to this luxurious stay and we took full advantage of having the room by staying up until we had to check out the next day. We had some cocktails at the hotel before venturing out to the Awards. 

When I found out I have won this trip, I went to New Look with Nan and she treated me to this outfit. I am completely obsessed with the kimono and have worn it at every possible chance. For my first ever blogging event, I wanted to look stylish but be as comfortable as possible. The high waisted loose shorts and lace crop top were perfect for the occasion and I'm sure I'll be wearing both items a lot this summer. 

I really didn't know what to expect at the event. I definitely didn't expect what was there. It was even better than I had imagined! The venue was decorated like a festival with cute chill out areas, deck chairs outside and just a really nice relaxing vibe to the place. Around the hall that with the stage for the awards there were various stations to get free treatments. We both got our hair done at the Lee Stafford stand, nails done by a company called Colour Riot Nails and Hayley got a henna tattoo while I got a glitter transfer one! We spent most the time at the events doing these activities, meeting some lovely bloggers and making full use of the free bar. I was also surprised and really pleased to meet Louis from Fun for Louis - as one of my favourite Youtubers, I was a little starstruck!

I am planning to review some of the items from the goody bag that we received at the end of the night in the near future. A MASSIVE thank you to Company Magazine for hosting the event, Miss Guided for making us VIPs and Hayley for coming along with me! It was lovely to meet some fellow bloggers, many of whom are amazingly successful and wonderful people. If you remember me from the night please get in touch with your blog links and things! 

Friday, 20 June 2014

A Trip to Brighton

Last week Tom and I went on a little trip over to Brighton. I had never been there before and at uni we are only an hour train journey away. It seemed criminal not to go on an adventure! At Easter Wowcher had an offer on for a night's stay in Brighton for two including breakfast - all for £50. I took up this opportunity and booked the night away for a relaxing time after exams. We had such a great time and the weather was so kind to us. This post is a bit of a summary/review of our time away in the unique place known as Brighton. 
Hotel Umi, Brighton

Thanks to Wowcher, we stayed in Hotel Umi. It is situated right by the sea front and only a few minutes walk from the Pier and The 'much known and loved' Lanes. We were seriously impressed with the clean modern room and bathroom. The bed was very comfy, the blind kept out most of the light in the morning, the the shower was decent and overall we had a great stay. However being the busy city that Brighton is and staying in the location we were, it was very noisy throughout the night. The hotel is right opposite a few clubs and bars so if you're a light sleeper and are easily annoyed by noise - this place isn't for you. We stayed there on a Wednesday so was quite surprised how alive the city was at 4am. Fortunately, being students means we are used to noise and have learnt to ignore it! The breakfast was okay. They had all the typical breakfast foods that you would want and expect. I am used to a top class English Breakfast because of Tom's amazing skills, so this was slightly disappointing and the food had gone all tough from being sat there since 7am. I couldn't complain as it was a free buffet breakfast and filled us up for our second day of exploring! 

The Lanes

For me, the best part of Brighton is The Lanes. It is a quaint area of interconnected lanes full of the most random collection of shops. There was plenty of independent shops and restaurants that I could have spent a lot of time and money in! We spent quite a lot of our stay exploring this area and we walked through the Royal Pavilion Gardens - Brighton is so culturally diverse. There was an area which reminded me of the Camden Markets, buildings which looked ancient and modern areas with flashy cars and fancy restaurants. Brighton really does have it all! There was definitely not a shortage of places to eat. It took us half an hour wandering around to decide on where to go. There was almost too much choice. We finally settled on Bella Italia because with one look at the menu we knew what we wanted. It was such a beautiful evening we did a bit of al fresco dining - when in Rome Brighton...There was a shared platter of breads and dipping cheese which is one of Tom's favourite things in the world alongside Football, Turtles and hopefully me. We both ordered calzones which I managed to finish! It was such a perfect evening and I can't recommend visiting The Lanes enough. 

Brighton Pier
We spent quite a bit of our time by Brighton Pier. It is definitely the most pier-like pier I've ever been to. If you were to imagine a Pier - it would look like Brighton's most tourist attraction. Although we walked up and down it a few times during our stay, we didn't go on any of the rides. It was so expensive considering there were less than a dozen rides there. We did however enjoy the arcades. I gave Tom a good game of air hockey which I respectfully lost. It wouldn't have been a good trip without a bit of competition! We also treated ourselves to the traditional seaside snack of sugar covered donuts. 

I loved my first time in Brighton. I'm hoping for many more trips there in the future! It is such a diverse place with a great mix of people who just express themselves freely. Since I'm not going on holiday this year, I'm planning on getting to know the country I live in a bit more. I'm hopefully going on a trip to Bath at some point and hopefully some other random places. Where would you recommend going in the UK? Have you ever been to Brighton? Don't forget to leave your lovely links with your comments <3

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Today I Love #12

I feel like this series is a bit of a monthly feature in which I share 5 random favourites with you. It has been going on for a year now and I personally enjoy writing about these things - hopefully you still enjoy reading about them! I am moving out of my uni house in Portsmouth tomorrow and spending the summer mainly in Essex. Instead of packing, I thought I should give you an update on the things I've recently been obsessed/ in love/ doing. 

Kimonos - Aren't they the perfect summer jacket?! I go through stages with certain items where I look for people wearing them to inspire me. A few weeks ago, I was staring at people's trainers because I wanted a new pair - now it's kimonos! I love the different colours and prints available and the versatility of the humble kimono. It's my must-have item of this summer as it just makes any outfit 100 times more stylish. 

Reading - The action and not the place. No offence to those from Reading - I'm sure it's lovely there! Before I went on a ton of train journeys, I purchased a book that I heard many raving reviews about. I finished The Fault in our Stars the other day and really recommend you giving it a go! I've never properly reviewed a book before but basically it's a book about a 16 year old girl who as terminal cancer who had let her disease dictate her life until she met this guy... I won't spoil it for you but let's just say it's not all doom and gloom! It's one of those books that makes you think and gives you a whole new perspective on life and all that deep stuff. 

Lorde- Her song Tennis Court has been in my head quite a bit this week. No idea why though.. It's a catchy song I guess but it's just so random. "Baby be the class clown, I'll be the beauty queen in tears, It's a new art form showing people how little we care - yeah!" The lyrics are clever really but the video is too weird to watch for more than 30 seconds. It's just Lorde chilling and staring into a camera only singing the "yeah" part. Well watch and listen for yourself and give me your view on this musical number. Apologies in advance if it gets stuck in your head too!

Al fresco dining - I'm not often one for eating outdoors because of flies, insects and the wind. However during my stay in Brighton with Tom, we dined al fresco at Bella Italia and it was so lovely. There is some weird freedom about it and I felt so relaxed and in the moment. We have been having some marvellous weather recently so it's nice to make the most of it. On Friday I went for a BBQ at Southsea Common with Tom and his course friends. I think doing things outdoors seems more sociable because there isn't a television on in the background and you just enjoy each others company!

Disconnecting - As you might have noticed, my online presence has been lacking over the past month. I chose to do this because of exams but when they finished two weeks ago, I still kept my distance. I've enjoyed living in the moment rather than trying to capture and share my life. This generation of Internet users struggles to disconnect and just live. It's refreshing to have a break from it all. However I'm now back and planning on posting more regularly and doing a few videos

So what have you been loving recently? I hope you've had a chance to enjoy the nice weather - lets hope it sticks around for a while! <3 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sunny Weekend in Essex

Over the past week I have been back and forth between Portsmouth and Essex - I don't think I've ever been on so many trains in such a short space of time! Because I was only home for a few days, I wanted to make the most of the time with my family and friends . So this post is a little life update with some photos of my weekend!

The best thing about where I live is the countryside and with such glorious weather, it's so easy to appreciate. Unfortunately hay fever was trying to ruin this for me over the weekend - typical! My older brother and I went on a walk with Ralph the Golden Doodle through the fields behind our house. The whole area is covered in buttercups which are scientifically proven thought to be able to tell if you like butter or not. As well as reflecting on my love for buttercups and butter, we followed the path of flatten grass from whoever was here before us. I've never seen anyone else on this route apart from the herd of cows that have occasionally caused some panic. Ralph loves teasing them, they love chasing us and we love getting home safely. However this time, it was a nice relaxing walk in the sun with no cow stampedes.

The other highlight (and the main reason for my return to Essex) was one of my oldest and closest friends birthday. The lovely Kat invited a group of us over hers to celebrate her 21st on Saturday. With people being at university, we only see each other in the holidays and this was the first reunion of the summer. My Essex girls are the ones that I can go weeks/months without seeing or speaking to and as soon as we're back together it's like no time as gone at all - I'm sure you can relate to that. I think it means we are truly awesome friends. So we had a yummy BBQ,  a few cheeky drinks and a great big catch up! Alice made Kat an amazing cake. I don't think the photo does it justice - Alice is starting up a cake making business so stay tuned for more on that in the future.

I loved spending time with my family and friends over the weekend. It was short and sweet! I'm now back in Portsmouth for a week and then will be moving back to Essex until September. I'm planning on making the most of this summer so expect a few adventure posts!

I hope you've been enjoying the sunshine and have lots of fun plans this summer. Let me know what you're up to and please leave some lovely links <3 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Football Fever

I can't imagine there are many people in the world who have access to the news or Internet and don't know what is starting in the middle of this month. The whole world will be looking to Brazil for a month of thrilling football and the hype is only getting bigger! Yes the 2014 World Cup is almost here. Earlier today I went into town to find a footie fan top to show my support for England and act like I know what is going on. The boyfriend, Tom is the biggest football fan that I know of so through him I am almost an expect at the sport. So this post is a mash-up of two of our favourite passions: Football & Fashion!

New Look


Before looking around for this post, I had only seen world cup style fashion in Primark. Today I bought myself an England t-shirt for £8 and was tempted to get a bikini, flip flops, towel, bag, shorts, water bottle - literally the whole hog. It took me quite a bit of online searching to find these footie themed items for you. I love the simplicity of the Miss Guided crop tops, which are only £4.99 each. New Look have the biggest range that I could find, other than Primark. I love the 'Rio Selfie' top and they have the Belgium top for other countries too. BooHoo have a 'lucky dip' going on when it comes to these football tops. It's a concept I found rather bizarre because I'd much rather the flag design that the other two choices. So for each country you will get one of the three tops and it'll cost you a tenner. 

It might be quite evident from this post... I am really looking forward to the World Cup. It's one of those events that brings people together. It's an excuse to go to a park or a pub to cheer and shout at big screens alongside friends, family and randomers. I'm hoping the competition will be as good as the build up and that the weather will be nice and hot for BBQs, Pimms and lots of sociable moments!

Have you come down with a case of Footie Fever yet? Will you be watching the World Cup or at least fashioning an item dedicated to this lovely tournament? Please leave your links with your comments 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Summer Co-ordinates

I've got my countdown clock on - only 5 days left till my summer begins! I can't believe how quickly this academic year has come and gone. It was just disturbingly too quick for my liking. So with summer literally around the corner it's about time I start thinking about my 2014 summer wardrobe. One of my favourite of the current trends are co-ordinates. I bought a blazer-shorts combo last summer and have worn them whenever possible. The best thing about this trend is that the items look great together or separately - making for more than one possible look! While revising for my last exam, I have been spending breaks looking online for possible 'treats' once this week is over. Today I am sharing with you, the lovely co-ords that are currently available from my favourite online shops! 

1 2 3 4
I've chosen a mix of smart and casual co-ords. Most of the items can be dressed up and down -maybe even the pineapples. My favourite of my pickings is the first one from Miss Guided. I can see myself wearing this outfit to the shops, a restaurant, a christening, a meeting - I mean it's so versatile! The blazer would go perfectly with jeans and a top or over a dress. The shorts could equally be worn with many different items. The next two co-ords can't be too much of a surprise if you are an avid reader of this blog. I love my aztec prints! My eyes are instantly drawn to them and the idea of wearing more than one aztec printed item gets me all giddy and excited. At first I didn't know what to think of my final choice. It's really out there and something I could hardily imagine myself wearing. However I can't help but love it. It's the epitome of summer! Put me by a bar drinking cocktails on a sunny island somewhere and I'm sure I'd make this outfit work. 

What trends are you following this summer? Do you have any nice plans and if so, please take me with you?! Good luck to whoever still has exams :) x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

50 years of Superdrug

Happy 50th Birthday Superdrug! To celebrate this impressive milestone, they are offering a few special products and offers. Superdrug is my favourite store when it comes to getting all my make-up and toiletries. It's because of them that I've fallen in love with brands like MUA, Sleek and Barry M. I thought it was only fitting for me to dedicate a little post to this awesome store! Alongside some special edition products that have been made for the occasion, I wanted to share a few of my long time favourites from Superdrug's own brand.
1. Limited Edition Birthday Lashes - I recently re-kindled my love for falsies. Personally, I am content with my own lashes the majority of the time but for those special occasions and epic nights out, I love a pair of dramatic lashes! I feel it really something more to a look and Superdrug have released some limited edition lashes that I really want to try out. I normally wear Eylure's naturalites and fully recommend them. If I get my hands on these I'll let you know my opinion via Twitter.

2. Barry M Nail Polish in Pink Glitter - In case you aren't aware, I am a huge fan of Barry M's nail polishes. To celebrate the big 50 at Superdrug, Barry M has released this pink glitter polish. It's every girlie-girls dream - pink and glitter! The only problem with glitter polishes is taking it off however I have a pretty effective way to remove it. Soak cotton pads in nail varnish remover and then place them over your nails to soak them. After a few minutes, it'll be a lot easier to take off!

3. Sleek Eye Palette i-Divine - I haven't tried any Sleek eye shadows yet but they are definitely on my list! I love their cream blushers (see here) so I'm sure their eye products are just as good. This limited edition palette has 12 eyeshadows that are named after some of their popular i-Divine palettes. It also has a mic of shimmer and matte shades in a variety of colours. It sounds like the perfect introductory palette to newbie sleek eyeshadow users!

4. Superdrug's Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser - I love Liz Earl's Hot Cloth Cleanser so this cheaper version is great for students. The Vitamin E means it is great for those with normal to dry skin. It comes with it's own muslin cloth and for £4.99 its a great skin care product. It makes your skin feel so soft and radiant because it's a really gentle clean. I'd advise to splash a bit of cold water over your face after the process to close your pores and wake you up a bit!

5. Superdrug's Mixed Sponges - This is a bit of a weird product to mention but I used to love this product. I must have started using them almost a decade a go until I recently started to prefer a brushes. It's a bit of a blast from the past and one of my first make-up purchases from Superdrug. For any beginners to make-up or people who aren't the best at applying foundation, these sponges are for you. They blend in your foundation perfectly and are so easy to use. Don't forget to wash them or change to new ones quite often!

What products and brands do you love from Superdrug? Have you bought any of the limited edition products? Please leave your links with comments <3

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review: Bee Strong Conditioner

It is very unlike me to review a product I literally bought the day before. I guess I don't know the product well enough to give an accurate review and with all make-up I like to use it for at least a few weeks before giving my honest opinion. However... *dramatic pause & dimming of lights* this product impressed me so much, I couldn't wait to share it with you. So here are my first impressions of Herbal Essences' Bee Strong Conditioner!

Photo retrieved from SamMccauley.com

he Herbal Essences' Bee Strong range came out last year and as you can guess, it's for strengthening your hair. I am a big lover of Herbal Essences' products and have been for many a year - remember the old packaging? I mainly bought them for their fruity scents and ability to wash my hair well. Bee Strong contains honey and apricot extracts so my hair smells pretty lush at the moment.  I can be really fussy when it comes to products for my hair so trying new things isn't done lightly. Fortunately this item is normally only a few pounds and in Superdrug it was half price so I felt obliged to give it a go.The main reason I'm so fussy is because of my hair type. I have relatively long straight hair (to my waist) and it's always been prone to knottiness. I am so jealous of people who just get out the shower, brush through their hair in a second and then dry it. It can take me up to 30 minutes to brush through this mop with a Tangle Teezer. I have to brush my hair at least twice a day to stop knots building up and becoming unbearably hard to sort out. Bee Strong states that it strengthens your hair and protects from combing damage - something I definitely needed in my life!

The product also claims to show results after just one wash... and it's true!! I can't believe how soft and easy to handle my hair was this morning. Even now after 6 hours it's still feeling soft, silky and not at all knotty!! I keep putting my fingers through my hair like I've just been to the hairdressers (I love that feeling!). From all the exclamation marks I'm sure you can gather that I fell in love with this conditioner this morning. When my Shampoo runs out I will be getting the Bee Strong version. I currently use Beautiful Ends which is satisfying enough but I've never known a product to be so perfect for my hair. 

I fully recommend this to anyone with similar hair to me and well for anyone who wants soft, lovely smelling hair. It's currently half price in Superdrug so go test it out and see you yourself. I would love to hear your opinion on this product or other hair products you love to rave about. Don't forget to leave your lovely links with the comments <3 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eurovision 2014 Summary

One year I will do Eurovision properly! Traditional snacks from the host country, flags and a cheeky bit of dress up and an epic drinking game. This should have happened this year but no... Silly Kayspray had to go out on Friday. I was so hungover that yesterday was a write off. Instead of this awesome party I could have organised, I sat in my pjs with my iPad on my lap in bed and watched Eurovision alone. 
Photo retrieved from the Mirror UK
So yes. Eurovision happened. My Twitter feed was full of opinions, facts and silly comments following the course of the night - that was almost more entertaining than the program! In true Eurovision style there were amazing light shows, dazzling outfits, unnecessary dance moves, sexual butter churning and a bearded lady. I don't feel like my words can do the show much justice so let me show you some of the best bits through the medium of YouTube!

My Favourites

Eurovision contests are definitely not like your children - you're allowed to have favourites. Although the voting is often politicised, I have a very open mind for the competition and truly favour those with the best acts (in my opinion). The song I would most likely listen to and would have voted for was the Sweden entry, Sanna Nielsen. I'm pleased she came third with this epic ballad. Some of the other ballads were slow, boring and pretty dull so it was refreshing to have this entry in the race. She was a favourite to win the competition and I'm sure you can see why in the clip below.

It's hard to explain why you like certain acts in Eurovision. It's not always about the song. The stage set up, outfits and personalities of those performers can really make the most rubbish song, the most loved. I personally enjoyed Iceland (watch here). This group of middle aged men knew how to be memorable. Each of them wore a difference bloc coloured suit and did some really awkward dance moves at some point. It was the sort of thing where you couldn't stop watching - even if you weren't sure what you were watching. 

Also Poland performed. I can't tell you what they performed because it's still too much for me to deal with (watch here and see what I mean). I mean if that was my daughter... So yes the song was high-pitched, slightly catchy but had the phrase "shake what your mumma gave ya" and some 'seductive' domestic girl showing that you can wash clothes in a sexual way. If only I knew this sooner! Basically this Polish version of Fergie had lots of fun performing and I'm sure a lot of men being forced in to watching enjoyed this part...

And the winner is... Some would say the winner had fought great odds. I personally believe that Europe love an act with a twist. Austria's entry was a decent enough song. What made the performance special and worthy of winning was the act herself. Conchita Wurst (the bearded lady) is a drag act who is well known in her country. So at first I genuinely thought this was a woman with a beard drawn on because those eyes are pretty darn lady-like! So Conchita won the hearts of the European Public and all got a bit emosh. I think that level of acceptance can seem like a real step forward in society. However I feel the people that watch Eurovison aren't the type to discriminate. It was a celebration of talent and European Identity in some way or another. 

I do love watching Eurovision. It's an entertaining night in which you have no idea what to expect and it's all done in the name of fun. For me the contest shouldn't be taken too seriously, and I think a lot of the acts feel the same! I would love to perform at Eurovision, mainly for the outfit I could imagine myself wearing (so sparkly!)

Did you spend this Saturday in front of the TV acting like Simon Cowell? Who was your favourite and What did you do to celebrate the occasion?  Thanks for reading and please leave your blog links below <3 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Today I Love #11

The best thing about this series is that I can start off with a little update for you. We are literally on the verge of 20,000 pageviews for this blog - I know it's beyond anything I could imagine for my precious space on the Internet. Thank you again for all the support and love I receive from you lovely readers. Due to this acheivement and the fact that the end of this month is my 1st Blogiversary, I will be hosting a little giveaway - so watch this space! 

Being prepared - There is that feeling you get when you've finished an exam and written everything you want to and didn't feel stressed at all. That feeling comes from being prepared and revising. I hate exams. My first ever post was actually on how much I hate them (see it here!). I'm thinking about doing a post about my revision tips because through the years I've tried so many different approaches for different types of exams. I'm not a total guru on revision - if I was I'd expect to be getting 100% and firsts for all my exams. Let me know if this sort of post is something you'd be interested in. I recently filmed a video about my revision essential.  It consists of a few Primark purchases that helped me revision in some strange way (click here to watch!).

Cooking TV -  I'm hooked on both MasterChef and Great British Menu. I really shouldn't watch these programs as they just make me hungry and ashamed at my poor excuse of a home-cooked meal. Some of the contestants on MasterChef are younger than me this year and I think there are one of two students that have been on there - so I really have no excuse! In September when Tom and I have our own lovely kitchen, I will make so much more effort to experiment more with food and flavours. I love cooking and I'm sure I'd love it even more if I was better at it. Practise makes perfect!

Covers - I love listening to musical artists sharing their own take on other peoples songs. I often check on Radio 1's live lounge and am pleasantly surprised with what I find. More than often I prefer the covers to the originals. I came across Ed Sheeran's Queen Bey cover of Drunk in Love and it's one of the best covers I've come across in ages. What do you think? 

Depop - I did a post about this app last month (check it out here) and I'm still obsessed with it. We just sold one of Alice's lovely dressing and after a few weeks of resisting, I made my first purchase the other day! I bought a pair of Topshop Leigh Jeans for £15. They look brand new and I've wanted to try out a pair for a while. If I really fall in love with them I'd be tempted to go Topshop and buy other pairs. Depop also have a great amount of decent make-up on sale. I'm trying to avoid looking but there is plenty of NARs, Mac and other higher-end products for half the store price. 

Holiday? - Please? I really want to go on holiday. Wanderlust is on red alert at the moment and the closer it is getting to summer the more I keep searching through the web for last minute deals. Once exams are over, I have 3 months to try and stay busy. I would love to get a job for part of this time as well as get a bit of travelling done. It'll definitely be a last minute holiday this year - lets hope we find something spectacular!

What have you been loving recently? Don't forget to stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this month and leave your lovely links below <3 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Chocolate Orange Brownies

I am still pursuing my New Years resolution to get better at baking! Tom has wanted me to make him brownies for a while now. Last night I decided to get my baking on and after watching Masterchef we got inspired to make something a little different! A girl made chocolate orange fondants which apparently turned out tasty amazing. Tom and I love Terry's chocolate oranges so with this taste combo in mind I had a go at making chocolate orange brownies! 

Since this was a total trial bake, I made a small batch which resulted in 9 decent sized brownie squares. I used a 20cm square baking tin and the mixture fitted perfectly into it. 

For a small batch of brownies:
100g butter
150g plain chocolate
2 eggs
Zest of an orange
175g caster sugar
50g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate chunks

I started off by preheating the oven to 180C and lining the baking tin with grease proof paper. I melted the butter, chocolate and the orange zest over a bain-marie. Stir continuously until it's smooth and then leave to cool. At this stage I was worried the mixture was too orangey and the zest was a horrible texture but once mixed with everything else and baked it all ended well!

While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk together the caster sugar and eggs until it is almost white. If you have an electric whisk (lucky you) whisk until the mixture has doubled in size. Carefully stir this into the cooled chocolate. Next add the flour and cocoa powder and lastly the chocolate chunks. You could use pieces of chocolate orange but we decided the recipe made the brownies orangey enough. When you are happy with everything put it into the baking tin and then into the oven.

I baked the brownies for 30-35 minutes and took it out when the mixture was still a bit wet. Once cooled the brownies had set well but kept moist. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. There is a perfect balance of chocolate and orange flavours. We are thinking about making another batch or two in the next few days. I would suggest eating a few whilst they are still warm with some ice cream- a perfect dessert! Tom and I both agree they taste even better once cooled down. 

Let me know if you try the recipe! What are your opinions on chocolate orange- perfect combo or too sweet? Thanks for reading <3

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Spring High Street Haul

When I was home for Easter my Nan took me on a shopping trip or two. One of my favourite things to do when I'm back in Essex is spend time with my Nan so I was really happy to see her a lot this Easter break! With the weather promising us a sunny day or two, our shopping trip quickly became spring themed. I love all the pastel colours and day dresses that are in store at the moment. It's safe to say I had plenty of new bits to take back to uni with me. Shame the weather hasn't decided whether it wants to join us for a sunny sesh or rain on our parade.

In order to show you the clothes properly I decided to do a video style lookbook. This was the first time I've even considered doing one of these and I was unsure how it would turn out. I filmed this when I was back home and the lovely Ralph was great help. We definitely made the most of a sunny afternoon in the garden! I'm really happy with the video once I edited it and uploaded it to YouTube. It's such a great way to do a haul and we had muchos fun filming it. If you are looking to update your spring/summer wardrobe I really recommend you check out Primark's day dresses. The two in the video were a mere £5 each! I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of them for various occasions. I wore the navy floral print one to a restaurant one evening and the other one when I was handing in essays to uni! Any excuse to dress up a bit- look good to feel good and all that ;)

I hope you enjoyed the video! I have a few others uploaded to YouTube so please check out my channel and let me know what you think. Have you been to the shops recently? Please leave your links with your comment below. Thanks for reading <3

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Gym Wish List

I started going to the gym in January last year at an attempt to be a healthier, more active human being. By April I decided that the gym wasn't really for me. I found it really hard to find the motivation to go or the courage to run on a treadmill going bright red and pretty sweaty in front of a bunch of strangers. The whole gym concept was a bit weird to me. I felt like I didn't belong there and I didn't really know what I was doing! So I cancelled my membership that April and was happy that I, at the very least, tried.
February this year I started feeling a bit rubbish and needed to be more active. All my energy was going into uni essays leaving me mentally exhausted but bursting with physical energy. My eating habits have been relatively good this year so far. We have had home cooked meals a lot more than usual and I haven't ordered in dominos since 2013 ( that's a serious achievement in our household!). I don't feel like eating healthily makes you healthy - being active and regularly exercises is a massive part of the healthy lifestyle that so many people tend to leave out.

So I wanted to be active but last year showed me I didn't enjoy the gym. After strongly reflecting on why I didn't enjoy the gym, I had an epiphany. I was lonely and this made me over think my time at the gym and quickly become bored. I joined the gym at the beginning of March because my friends said they would go with me. Before Easter I was going at least three times a week and it became a fun sociable activity. I no longer had time to be self-conscious or even think about the exercise I was doing. My advice for people who find it hard to motivate themselves to be active: Make it fun and sociable! If you are with other people who either know what they are doing or are just great company, you'll feel at ease and make it a positive and fun experience that you'll want to continue doing.

To start being more active, I personally wanted to look as good as possible. You need to look good to feel good sometimes! I have put together a few items that I personally would wear/use at the gym. The websites that I have used for this wish list have plenty more products in their activewear sections for you to consider.

1  2  3  4  5

Are you happy with how active you are? What do you think of my wish list picks? Please leave your blog links with your comments below! <3 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Fairytale Tag

It's been a lovely and busy Easter for me so apologises for the lack of blog presence! I am now back at uni after a short period at home. I handed in an essay this morning so thought it was about time to post something I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now! I love fairytales and have done since I was ever so little. Any excuse to talk or think about this makes me extremely content. For me this seemed like a super long tag- I think there was like 20 or so questions! I feel like I've written about some of the answers before so decided to just answer the questions I deemed most interesting! 

Snow White - Do you consider yourself beautiful?
I think everyone has their own hang-ups about parts of their body. Most of the time I'm happy and confident with how I look. There are things I'd change but overall I think I'm beautiful in my own way.

Sleeping Beauty - How many hours do you sleep at night?
As many as possible! I'm one of those people who need sleep to function. Not only do I need it- I want it! I'll purposely go to bed early just to get all snuggled up and relaxed.

Cinderella - Do you have a curfew?
I'm at university so no curfew for me! I don't think I've ever really had one. Before I could drive I lived in a small village with no where to go.

Rapunzel - Do you love being outside?
If I'm not in bed, I love to be outside. There are a few factors that need to be right for more to want to spend time outdoors though. The weather has to be nice enough, I need to be wearing appropriate clothes and shoes and there has to be something I can sit on. Whether it's a bench or a cardigan, anything it better than sitting on grass!

Red Riding Hood - Do you trust strangers easily?
You shouldn't trust strangers! If they are strangers, you don't know them - so where do you find this trust from? As Red Riding Hood has learnt, a wolf might pretend to be your nan if you tell him where she lives!!

Beauty and the Beast - What makes someone beautiful in your eyes?
Having a certain level of confidence makes someone beautiful to me. Ooh and being friendly and thoughtful! Without sounding too cringe, it's not really about someone's appearance when it comes to beauty.

The Little Mermaid - What would you sacrifice for love?
Relationships are about compromise a lot of the time. We are all fools in love, and do things we would rather not admit. If a sacrifice results in a happily ever after than it's worth it right?

The Frog King - What do you find disgusting?
Food hygiene is an issue for me. Seeing or smelling gone off food brings me to the verge of vomit! Living with other people in a student environment means I've had to deal with this on more than a few occasions!

Jack and the Beanstalk - What plants do you have?
I never think to decorate my room with plants. Mainly because they will probably die sooner than later. However if you buy me a lovely bouquet of flowers, I'll happily find a home for them.

Peter Pan - What is your mental age?
It varies depending on time, mood, company and situation. It ranges from 4-54 I reckon. More often than not I think I act my age or a little older (21-25). 

The Snow Queen - Who is your best friend and what would you do for him/her?
I have a few very close friends but my true best friend and soul mate is Tom and I can't think of anything I wouldn't do for him. I guess that's quite extreme, if he asked me to cut off my arm just for lols I wouldn't... Well I'd definitely make him dinner everyday for the rest of time - I'm such a domestic goddess.

The Princess and the Pea - Are you sensitive?
Yes but about really small silly things. If there is some big drama that should have upset me, I happily rise above it. However I get easily upset over really irrational things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things!

The Brave Little Tailor - Do you consider yourself brave?
It depends. I like to think I don't have any real fears. Then again if a massive spider or snake was in my room, I would not be the slightest bit brave. The more you have people to rely on, the less brave you need to be. If I'm in a situation on my own, I'll have to be brave right? Otherwise I'll just shout for Tom to help me deal with the scary snake/spider issue. 

I really enjoyed doing this tag. If you have yet to do it- I tag you!! Don't forget to leave your links with your comments below <3

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Have You Heard... Walk Off the Earth

Apologises once again for not posting for this series in a while. I've been meaning to write about this awesome band I discovered in March. I was casually procrastinating on Spotify and this amazing indie rock style band started playing. The first thing that caught my attention was their flawless harmonies. This simply impressive band is called Walk Off the Earth. I went through some of the songs and it took me less than a moment to realise this band did a lot of covers. I'm pretty sure most of their covers are better than the originals!

From the Walk off the Earth website
I googled Walk Off the Earth because that's what I do when I want to know more about everything. In moments of self-doubt, I may have googled myself while pondering, "who am I?.. sign..". Anyway, it turns out this band have a bit of a YouTube presence and that's how they got so popular. They started off doing covers and then went on to show some of their own music. I particularly love their cover of I Knew You Were Trouble. It's even better than the goat version (and that's saying something!). They use some really unusual instruments making their genre pretty unique. There were so many covers I wanted to share with you but I'll let you explore yourself if you enjoy them as much as I do. Enjoy this Lorde cover and let me know what you think. 

Walk Off the Earth Factfile
Info: The Canadian rock band was formed in 2006 and gained a massive fan base before being signed by Columbia Records in 2012. There are 5 members of this awesome band and their most successful youtube cover is Somebody That I Used to Know which has gained over 157 million views!! 
Favourite Original Songs: Gang of Rhythm, Red Hands & REVO
If you like: Bastille, Fun. & The Lumineers you will probably enjoy this band. 

I'm really happy I discovered this band. It's really easy listening and their original songs are just as good (if not better) than their covers. So take some time to give this band a go and let me know what you think. Here is my favourite of their songs:

Please get in contact if you have any musical goodness to share. I would love your recommendations on who I should write about next. Thanks for reading <3

Friday, 11 April 2014

Depop Review

I want to share my thoughts of an app I recently decided to download onto my iPad. The story begins with my dear friend called Alice, who was having a clear out this week. She is one of those people that buys things 'just in case' she gets a chance to wear it. Because of this, she has a ton of clothes that have either been worn once or still have the labels on them. She invited me over to model some of these clothes while she took photos to sell them on Ebay, however we found a much better alternative. 

I have heard of Depop a few times but never really bothered to see what it was really all about. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out more about this increasingly popular app as well as hopefully earning Alice a bit of money back from her unworn/ basically brand new clothes!

Depop is an app that allows you to buy and sell products in a very simple manner. You basically take a couple of photographs of your item, write a short descriptions and how much you want for it and then post it. People sell clothes, shoes, jewellery, make-up and all sorts of 'blogger friendly' items. The transactions go through Paypal and it's incredibly easy to use. For me it is a mix between Ebay and Instagram. You can sell and buy clothes as well as putting filters on your photographs, commenting and liking what others have posted, follow certain sellers like a real social media community. 

It's that simple. It took me less than 5 minutes to get the hang of this app and it takes the same amount of time to upload an item to sell! Although it's easy to use, after spending a few days exploring this app, I've found what makes your account successful. So here are a few tips for selling on Depop:
  • Photography - Depop focusses on visuals when it comes to selling an item - makes sense! Therefore your items need to look appealing when photographed. The app has it's on tips on how to take decent photos but it's mainly common sense. Ideally use daylight, make the item the central focus, use simple backgrounds and don't change the item too much with the filters. 
  • Social Media - the app gives you the opportunity to not only share on Facebook and Twitter but also network within the Depop community. In order to get traffic to your page, you need to let people know you exist. Comment and like others items, use hashtags, promote your items on Instagram and share with all your friends!
  • Be Patient - When starting out, don't expect to have all your items sold within a week. It's a bit of a waiting game and all you can do is promote your items and hope the right people find you! I've been on Depop since Tuesday (11th April), and already got a fair amount of followers - hopefully some of Alice's items will get more attention soon. 

The downside with this app is the commission the company take for each item. Depop take 10% of the funds that are directly dealt with throught their system. On top of this, PayPal also take a bit of money. Basically if you think you're earning £10, you're probably earning £8.75. I think eBay take 5% commission however there is less chance for your products to be seen in the huge ocean that is eBay. I'd advise selling the items at 10% more than you want for it. At least this way you aren't letting go of items for less than they deserve! 

So on the sidebar you can see that I have added Depop. Now you can see whenever I've added new products to my account. Let me know if you have a Depop account as I'd love to see what you're selling and/or liking!