Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Seeing WALK THE MOON






On Friday night me and my lovely friend Evie had a lil adventure to Edinburgh to go see WALK THE MOON in concert. Previous Music Monday posts may have indicated that I am quite a big fan of theirs, so I was pretty darn excited when I found out they were coming to Scotland. 

When headed on the train down to Edinburgh and stopped at Pizza Hut for dinner beforehand. I was initially keen to try somewhere new because there's so many great eateries in Edinburgh, but it all overwhelmed us and Pizza Hut is never a bad choice. I got my usual Virtuous Veg pizza, while Evie opted for the BBQ Americano. Mmmhmm.

Then we set off for Queen's Hall. Doors opened at 7pm but the support act, Colony House, didn't actually start until 8 so we had some standing around to do. But Colony House were soo good! I'd definitely listen to their music again. 

At 9 WtM came out to 'The Circle of Life', and everyone went crazy. They played a whole mix of new and old songs, and naturally everybody was particularly enthused when they started playing Shut Up And Dance. Nick also did this beautiful speech in the middle of the show about releasing all of the negative energy in your life and channelling it through music, then told us to let it all out while they played I Can Lift a Car. It was such a beautiful moment and so inspiring.

Luckily the concert ended at 10.30pm so we didn't have to rush off early to catch our train; it was all very well-timed. It was such a happy concert and they sounded amazing. Everybody was having such a great time and I'm so glad we went!

What's your favourite band?

Speak soon,

Chloe x

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Joining the Lush Bandwagon: First Impressions



Hello!

Growing up, I've always had very sensitive skin. So many of the products I tried on my skin over the years - products that were supposed to soothe and help my sensitive and spot-prone skin - just broke me out even worse and left me with more spots and nasty red rashes than ever. Since then, I've been hesitant to try new things, sticking to my Simple Skincare instead.

But while Simple has been a trusted brand of mine for a while, I felt like it was time to branch out and see if I could find other products that could better nourish my skin and perhaps finally banish those pesky forehead spots!

I know a lot of people adore Lush products, and my lovely friend Cara got me a few bath bombs and bars for Christmas that I loved, so I thought it would be good to check out what else they had to offer.

I went for the most simple products, just in case my skin had an adverse reaction to any of the more scented goodies, so I bought Mask of Magnaminty, the Ultrabland cleanser, and two Butterball bath bombs.

MASK OF MAGNAMINTY



First up, this mask smells of toothpaste. Don't get me wrong - it's a very pleasant, fresh smell, but I've been smelling like a Colgate advert for a few hours now. It's super easy to apply, I just spread a thin layer over my forehead (I didn't want to try my whole face on the first try just in case I had a reaction to it), waited about 10 minutes and washed it off. It's actually a little bit more like a scrub because it's got these little beads of evening primrose seeds and aduki beans that exfoliate your skin as you wash the mask off, so maybe that contributes to the feeling of clarity afterwards. It doesn't feel like there's anything on your face when you're wearing it, and afterwards I noticed that my skin did look a lot less aggravated, and so so soft! I've had this nasty, angry looking spot in the middle of my forehead for about a week now, and immediately it looked soothed once I'd washed off the mask. Overall it seems gentle enough for my skin but still works hard to improve the appearance and texture! 8/10

ULTRABLAND CLEANSER


I've never tried a waxy/creamy cleanser like this, so I was a bit nervous about it making my skin over-oily. But it actually just left my skin feeling very smooth and clean. It also takes off a lot of makeup with just one swoop! Not a massive fan of the smell, but it seems to be working well so far so I can't complain. 7.5/10


BUTTERBALL BATH BOMB


Initially I wasn't a huge fan of the scent of this bath bomb, but after the smell lingering on my skin all day it's starting to grow on me. I had a very relaxing bath and my skin feels nice and moisturised, but I honestly don't see that much difference compared to other bath products I've used. But overall I enjoyed the experience! 7/10



What are your favourite Lush products?

Speak soon,

Chloe x

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Making a University Room Feel Like Home

My bed when I lived in halls in first year







Moving to university is a daunting time for all. But that doesn't mean that your room has to reflect that! Creating a room full of homey vibes can really help with the process of living by yourself. And university residences have a reputation for being a bit on the basic side, so these little tips can transform your wee room into a space you actually want to live in!


Pictures. Pictures of friends, family, pets, the view from your bedroom window, anything. Putting up a whole load of photos onto your noticeboard or placing photo frames around your room helps to make you feel less lonely, as you'll be surrounded by smiley faces of the people that you love.

Trinkets from home. For me this includes cards from friends and family and little plaques with uplifting slogans on them. I take a few things from my room at home and dot them around my room at university, so it feels like I'm taking a bit of home with me.

Cosy pyjamas. Okay, so this isn't exactly room decor, but some comfy pjs to lounge around in during the evening/all weekend helps me feel comfortable in my room.

A throw/blanket. A throw looks cute and ties a room together. Plus, university halls can get pretty cold and a blanket is always a useful thing to own!

Fairy lights. Most university halls don't allow candles in rooms because of the fire hazard they bring, but I had battery operated fairy lights draped over my mirror and that was fine. I personally find that they add a nice bit of warmth to any room.

Cushions. If nothing else, they look cute. Just don't go overboard or else you won't have any space in your room! One or two should suffice. I also did a tutorial a few weeks back on How to Make Cushions From Old T-Shirts which is a fun alternative to buying cushions!

A teddy bear. There's nothing wrong with bringing a teddy to uni, especially if you've grown up with it! Mine is also a hot water bottle, so he's functional too!

What helps you make your room feel like home?

Speak soon,

Chloe x

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes




Hello!

It was my beautiful mum's birthday at the end of January, so as part of her present I baked her some Ferrero Rocher cupcakes. She always makes the most incredible cakes for everybody else's birthday (see past examples in my Birthday Post from last year), so I thought it was about time somebody repaid the favour. Her all-time favourite sweet treats are Ferrero Rochers, so incorporating them into cupcakes seemed like the ultimate dessert.

I was a bit dubious about how it would work having a Ferrero Rocher inside a cupcake, but I followed this recipe which told me to freeze them overnight beforehand to stop them from melting when they're baked. Easy peasy.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but if you fancy more than that (trust me, 12 is not enough!) then just double the ingredients for 24!



YOU WILL NEED:

1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (although I used regular milk and they still turned out wonderfully!
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Ferrero Rocher (frozen)

You can follow the recipe linked above for a more detailed method, but basically all you do is mix your dry ingredients together, mix your wet ingredients together, then mix them all together! Then spoon a little mixture into each cupcake case, add a frozen Ferrero Rocher, and cover it with more mixture and bake at 175 degrees for 18 minutes or so.




I didn't make the Nutella icing that was suggested in the recipe as I thought it would be a little too overwhelming, but that's entirely up to you. They're quite crumbly cupcakes too so just be wary of that - have your napkins at the ready to savour every last bite!


Speak soon,

Chloe x

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Inside My University Bag



Hello!

Today I thought it would be fun to share what I carry in my university bag on a typical day of classes. Personally I love these kind of posts, because it makes me feel like you get a bit more of an insight into somebody's life. I haven't taken anything out of my bag that I don't want you to see, this is everything that was in my bag on Tuesday this week.

(Please bear in mind, however, that I empty my bag on a daily basis because I don't have the same classes everyday!)



My bag is from The Cambridge Satchel Company, and was a very lovely Christmas present from my parents. I have a few different bags that I use while at uni, depending on how many classes I have that day and how much stuff I need to carry. I've found that this one is actually a very ideal size for me: I can fit in a few notebooks and even my laptop if need be, while still having a little bit of wiggle room for other, smaller essentials. This way I keep clutter to a minimum and make sure I'm only carrying what I really need.

Now let's dive in...





First up we have my lecture-taking notebooks. If you've ever seen my Stationery Haul from August last year you'll know that I've got quite a thing for the Oxford Campus Notebooks. And as per my typical Christmas wishlist, I was inundated with numerous books of all colours to start the new semester.

Also in my bag I've got the coursebooks that I need for that day. On Tuesday that was a bit of Greek lyric poetry and a copy of Livy's Rise of Rome. Accompanying that I also have my timetable notebook, where all my classes and 'to-do' list notes are kept (alongside my sanity...).

And to finish off we've got my keys, lipbalm, and pens. Because I wouldn't be a very good student without something to write with!

Not featured: my phone, earphones, bottle of water and a snack, but all essentials nonetheless!

What's in your uni bag?

Speak soon,

Chloe x



Wednesday, 3 February 2016

My Month in Pictures: January

January was a great month of adventures and family time. I had a lovely month at home over Christmas, but by the end I was itching to get back into the swing of university life again. Now that it's over I thought I'd share some photos of this last month and reflect a bit on what happened.

Bella being contemplative on the first day of the year

New Year's Day Dinner
new year, new cupcakes? 02.01.16
Day out in St Andrews 08.01.16


Lunch with Georgina














Mum's Birthday: Ferrero Rocher cupcakes - recipe coming soon!


The first three weeks of January consisted of recovering after all the Christmas celebrations, as well as catching up with friends and getting things organised for returning to uni at the end of the month. I also started blogging again after a month and a half of nothing, so it's been lovely getting back into a regular schedule and coming up with fun and exciting ideas for posts over the next few weeks! 

In the last week I returned to university, which was exactly the refreshing change I needed. While it was so lovely to be home, I was definitely in need of a routine again. So it's been a great first two weeks so far seeing everybody again and working away. Hopefully this routine will continue for February and I'll have a lovely, stress-free semester. (If only!)

How was your January?

Speak soon!

Chloe x

Monday, 1 February 2016

Music Mondays: February



Hello!

Another month into 2016 calls for another playlist! Here's what's filling up my Spotify for February...


TOP TEN SONGS

Scouting For Girls - Life's Too Short

The Feeling - Never Be Lonely

Justin Bieber - Love Yourself

Imagine Dragons - Polaroid

Ella Henderson - Glow

A Great Big World - This Is The New Year

Shawn Mendes - Stitches

WALK THE MOON - Boyfriend

Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten

Adele - Water Under The Bridge



ALBUM SHOUTOUT

Scouting For Girls - Still Thinking About You


What are you listening to this month?

Speak soon,

Chloe x