Saturday, 11 October 2014

Supermarket Steal: The Oversized Pink Cardigan

For the past two weeks I've kept meaning to blog but just keep getting distracted; at the moment I've got other things taking up space in my mind like jobs/internships/graduation and everything else kind of gets forgotten! Nevertheless, here I am at last with a new bargain cardigan to show you! A bargigan? Nope, never mind..

On Thursday I had a bit of time to kill in town so I went to Asda to pick up a few essentials. I was strolling past the clothes, heading for the sock section (so exciting), when this baby caught my eye.

I really like this dusky pink colour for autumn and have had my eye on a maxi cardigan from ASOS in this exact shade which is over double the price. I also love coats in this colour but getting my dusky pink fix from a £16 cardigan seems much more wise than splurging on a £70 coat right now!

It's not too thin, not too thick and it's a really soft, fluffy material (which I think has the potential to go bobbly but is really cosy). I quite like the fact that it doesn't have any buttons as it gives it a simple and chic look. I also bought it in a size bigger than my usual as I quite like layering oversized cardigans over jumpers as an alternative to wearing a jacket - and it just makes it extra snuggly!

Basically, I'm pretty happy with my find and would encourage everyone to have a look in the clothing section next time you're doing your weekly shop as you might be surprised! George have some nice bits in at the moment and F&F at Tesco can be particularly good, too.

Have you found any good bargains lately, in the supermarket or elsewhere? Let me know!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Feel-Good TV Series Suggestions

Autumn is now upon us, bringing with it those dark and chilly evenings where you just want to snuggle up with a blanket, a cup of tea and something easy to watch. I'm all for a gritty drama, suspenseful thriller or thought-provoking documentary but sometimes you just want something that makes you laugh. So I've picked five TV shows that are currently airing that I'm loving watching.

Disclaimer: I do stream some of these online (oops) because I'm too impatient to wait for them to air on UK television but I'm sure you can watch older seasons at the moment or catch up on Netflix etc. Also I'm going to try and avoid spoilers but if you really don't want to know anything then maybe don't read on...

1. New Girl - Season 4
Good for: cringe-laughs, shipping characters romantically, developing crushes on cast members

Now I believe E4 are only just airing season 3 of New Girl but I have been watching it on American time since the start. I feel like it's just getting better with each season and my weird crush on Schmidt is only growing stronger. I love that Jess and the guys are all back living together, everyone's single now (leading to the latest episode featuring Schmidt effectively teaching Jess how to use Tinder) and CeCe is a fully-fledged main character.

2. The Mindy Project - Season 3
Good for: relatable one-liners, romantic plot-lines, the LOLs

Let me start by saying how much I love Mindy Kaling. I read her book 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' earlier this year and the way she writes is just hilarious (even her Twitter is great). I feel like Mindy Lahiri in the show and Mindy Kaling are pretty much the same person and the struggles she faces, her opinions and little references to pop culture and society are just so (hate using this word but) relatable. Season 3 has only just started but I'm loving it so far and in the latest episode, love interest Danny's mum is played by the mum from Matilda! So obviously you should watch it.

3. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills - Season 2
Good for: cat fights and drama, funny one-liners and put-downs, being in awe of their lifestyles

I briefly mentioned this in my last post as my little guilty pleasure but here I am again. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills is shown on E! and follows a group of twenty-somethings from rich families trying to make their own mark on the world. Whilst they've inherited a lavish lifestyle, they're managing careers from from jewellery designer to realtor alongside the constant vacations and shopping trips. The cast are obsessed with social media but don't take themselves too seriously and the show is full of witty dialogue and all the ups and downs of friendships and relationships.

4. Girl Meets World - Season 1
Good for: good clean fun, funny child actors, nostalgia

I probably shouldn't admit that I watch this as it is a Disney Channel show and I am 22 not 12. However, if you watched Boy Meets World as a child then you might be curious about this spin-off series featuring Cory & Topanga as the parents of main character Riley and little brother Auggie. The kids in the show are surprisingly funny, especially Riley played by Rowan Blanchard and her best friend Maya played by Sabrina Carpenter, and there's plenty of jokes targeted towards the adult viewers and Boy Meets World references. Of course there's a moral of the story to every episode but I think they're well-executed and overall it's just a cute, funny programme perfect for those snuggly down days.

5. X Factor UK - Series 11
Good for: Saturday nights with pizza and wine, the return of Cheryl & Simon, following on Twitter

And finally, one which I'm sure many of you watch already, it's the epitome of Autumn/Winter TV: the X Factor. For those Saturday nights when you're not going out or the hungover Sundays when you have been, it's great viewing to watch with family or friends. I love that Simon and Cheryl are back and I'm one of those people that likes to simultaneously check what's being said on social media whilst it's on, something I miss if I actually have a social life for once and have to watch it on catch-up! As a nation we just love to complain about the X Factor and now I just find it funny when there's another dramatic sob story or an absolutely awful act gets through to the next round.

So those are my current recommendations for easy breezy viewing. I'd love to know if you watch any of these or if you have any more to add to my list!

Also what did you think of my use of gifs in this post?! Going through a bit of a gif phase at the moment, I just can't get enough...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Top 5 To Follow On Instagram #2: Celebs

Following on from the first blogpost in this series which was on the best Instagrammers to follow for fashion, I present to you five of my favourite celebrities to cyber-stalk. I could have gone for more obvious choices (Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Beyonce..) but I'm sure a lot of you are following those already. So if you're looking for even more behind-the-scenes glimpses of the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous, get following these five...

1. Ashley Benson / @itsashbenzo

I only started watching TV series Pretty Little Liars in July so with five seasons to catch up on (currently on season 4!) and the fifth season being aired currently, I've been trying my best to avoid spoilers. This means resisting the urge to type anything to do with the show into Twitter or Google but it doesn't mean that I haven't followed half the cast on Instagram (they're all pretty obsessed with it FYI). Ashley Benson, who plays Hanna, posts a mixture of photos including food pics, quotes, cute dogs, on-set shots with fellow cast members and, of course, a healthy abundance of selfies.

2. Nicole Richie / @nicolerichie

Ever since her The Simple Life days, I've loved Nicole Richie; her sense of humour, her style (although not so much in her younger years..) and her ever-changing hair colour. Her show Candidly Nicole has me lol-ing every time and her Instagram is full of random funny clips, photos with friends and fellow celebs and outfit inspiration.

3. Morgan Stewart / @boobsandloubs_

Now for this one 99% of you will be thinking "who?" and I use the term 'celeb' loosely here but Morgan is one of the main characters in my new E! reality TV obsession: Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. I streamed the first episode online one day earlier this year when I had nothing else to watch and just found it so ridiculous and hilarious that I'm now hooked. As the name suggests, Morgan and her pals are all twenty-something LA millionaires who basically do nothing but shop, eat and go on vacation. I like to look at Morgan's Instagram full of bikini boat selfies and brand new Louboutins and weep into my bank statement. 

4. Lauren Conrad / @laurenconrad

From one reality TV star to another much more recognisable one, how could I do my pick of the best Instagrams without including Insta Queen LC? Lauren's Instagram is immediately recognisable; everything's got a rosy filter on it and looks like it came straight from the pages of Pinterest. From puppy pics to bouquets, homemade pies to nail polish, beach snaps to a photo of a singular lemon cut in half (yep, really), she somehow makes everything look good.

5. Cara Delevingne / @caradelevingne

And finally, with the biggest number of Insta-fans at 6.9 million followers, it's Brit model and friend to the stars, Cara Delevingne. Posting daily, Cara shows us the backstage action at fashion shows, group pics with famous friends such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Kate Moss and inspirational quotes. She's also just generally a bit of a weirdo really, constantly proclaiming her love of bacon and posting funny little pictures like the Edamame/Edabaybay one above or, recently, a photo of her head photoshopped onto that picture of Nicki Minaj. 

So those are my current five celebrity Instagram recommendations. Once again, it was difficult to cut it down to five and there are so many more accounts worth a stalk! But if you like these posts, keep an eye out as there will be more to come including the top 5 beauty accounts, brands and bloggers to follow.

Do you have any faves that I might not be following? Let me know!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Topshop Unique SS15: A Social Event

Like so many others, I hope to one day attend London Fashion Week, but until that day comes, luckily, there's live-streaming. Topshop are probably my all-time favourite brand and the Topshop Unique show is always highly anticipated. This year, Topshop pulled it out the bag with a unique social strategy to get as many people involved as possible. Their live streaming of the show (which happened today at 3pm) was thoroughly promoted through marketing emails and social media. Among other tactics, they selected five Instagrammers to share their Topshop Unique SS15 experience and have a whole platform on their site called the London Fashion Week Hub. 

But the main thing I'm here to talk about today is the show! After receiving two emails about it and seeing it all over Facebook and Twitter, I knew the show was at 3pm and set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn't miss it (very keen). At 2.59 I sat down with my MacBook and clicked on the link. 

For fifteen minutes, the above message showed on the screen; they were running fashionably late. But this gave viewers the opportunity to see what goes on in the lead-up to the show and witness all the hustle and bustle. I took it as an opportunity to see how many celebs I could spot in the audience! I spied bloggers like Susie Bubble, Bryan Boy and The Man Repeller. I saw Abbey Clancy sitting, weirdly, next to a very uninterested-looking Pia Mia which seemed like a bit of an odd combo. A not so odd combo was of course Alexa Chung sitting alongside frow regulars Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe. We even got to spy on Anna Wintour herself! What I will say is Fashion Week seems like a pretty sweaty event, with members of the crowd vigorously fanning themselves and photographers with sweat patches for days. But I was in my kitchen so it was all good.

At 3.15pm the music, and the show, began. (By the way, all of the photos in this post are what I screen-shotted from the live stream so please forgive the quality!)

Cara Delevingne opened the show, coming out in a little white dress to kick-start the sports-inspired collection with its red, white, blue and black colour palette: think sports luxe meets sailor. Another familiar face was Jourdan Dunn, who looked amazing, sporting her new Beyonce bob hairdo. I didn't get a good shot of it but I loved the look in the fourth picture, a cute off-the-shoulder top with a checked skirt.

The second look featured a pretty lemon yellow theme and big floral prints with the co-ord trend of this year continuing. I really like yellow and these pieces will be so lovely for spring.

The third look included eveningwear in red, black and metallic tones. There were lots of dresses, frills and shiny fabrics and the collection had a 1920s feel to it. Very flapper glam.

And finally, they saved the best 'til last, in my opinion, with their selection of beautifully made sheer dresses with elaborate beading and embellishments to close the show. As well as being the first, Cara was the last to walk and wore a show-stopping gold and nude gown which is sure to be a sellout piece.

And then it was all over! Cara and Jourdan looked phenom' as usual, as did Victoria's Secret angel and fellow Brit, Lily Donaldson. Other things worth mentioning include the makeup which was simple and Spring/Summer pretty with flushed cheeks and berry lips; I also loved the selection of shoes with their block heels and straps running up the ankles.

To conclude, I highly enjoyed having a taste of the Fashion Week experience from the comfort of my own home and loved seeing what Topshop had to offer. I will definitely be checking out some more live streams over the next couple of days; Mary Katrantzou is on at 6 tonight and I'm keen to see Erdem, Tom Ford and Ashish, too. How 'bout you?

If you missed the Topshop live stream, you can watch it on demand here!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Throwback Thursday: Freshers & Fancy Dress Fun

Earlier today I was doing my morning scroll through Facebook when I came across a post by 'Freshers 2014-2015'. It then fully hit me that I was a fresher four whole years ago and my uni life is, aside from my graduation in November, officially over. Four years ago today I was probably feeling pretty apprehensive as four years ago this weekend I would have been moving into my halls and meeting all these strangers who I've now known for four years (I'm sorry but that really is quite a long time. Feeling so old).

So if anyone reading this is about to set off for uni for the first time, first of all, I'm pretty jealous. Inspired by my jealousy of all new freshers, I decided to reminisce and look back at old Facebook photos and it reminded me of how fun first year was! It also took absolutely ages; Freshers 2010-2011 was all about the digital camera & taking up to 200 photos a night. Yes, really. I love all the pictures taken in ridiculous fancy dress so decided to share the LOLs. In case you need any inspiration or you just want to cringe along with me, here is a selection of photos of me in fancy dress, from an 18 year-old fresher up to my 22nd birthday in my final year.

FYI 16 out of these 24 snaps were taken in first year!

From start to finish these photos cover: a beach party theme, pirate theme, UV paint party, TV & Film theme (I am of course Pebbles from Flintstones), Hall Wars (an event at my uni where people from different halls dress up in their hall colours and battle against each other), Halloween I (vampire; standard), Christmas (elves!), Carnage at my friend's uni - sailors & pirates theme, sports theme, Hall Wars again, famous people theme (Spice Girls! I'm VB!), Carnage at another friend's uni - Baywatch theme, Royal Wedding theme, TOWIE theme, double acts theme (118, 118), Summer Ball (sailors), Coppafeel events (yes I'm wearing a giant boob), pyjama party, Halloween II (I'm Morticia Addams and my friend is Wednesday!), army theme, Disney theme (Peter Pan, obvs), Halloween III (Black Swan) and a 90s theme (Kelly Kapowski!).

When you're at uni, there's a different themed party every week. I personally love a good fancy dress op but if it's not really your thing, there are ways to take part requiring minimal effort. A simple fancy dress starter kit could include a pirate-style eye patch, some geek glasses, cat ears and some sort of cape. A onesie is perfect for lounging around in but could also come in handy should a pyjama party pop up! Many girls use these as an excuse to basically go to a club in lingerie but in my opinion, dancing in a onesie is so much more fun.

I was really lucky as I made lots of friends in freshers with the people in my halls and, living in such close quarters, we thought of ourselves as one big happy (tipsy) family! We held big pre-drinks or movie nights in our flat and there were always people coming in and out; I was put in a flat with four girls who I then went on to live with for the next three years. I know not everyone is so lucky but if you find that you're not clicking with the people you live with, don't give up hope as lots of people find their friends for life on their course or through sports and other societies.

There are so many opportunities at uni so try and make the most of it! Because when it's over and all you've got left are the memories, a massive box of fancy dress gear which you may never wear again and the rollercoaster ride that is the graduate job hunt, you'll be wishing you could do it all over again. 

Masters degree, anyone?