Monday, 29 April 2013

Cardiff Part 2

Open days are suuuper important. Mainly to see the course & university BUT of course visiting the city is also a major factor (I think so at least)... So my afternoon in Cardiff was spent doing just that.

As you may have guessed from my previous post, I just had to visit Cardiff's Urban Outfitters. One of the most incredible shops known to man.

Even from the exterior you can see this shop has some seriously cool stuff inside. Thankfully their limit to items you can try on is pretty high, so I bundled everything into the changing room and tumbled into a state of pure joy.

After falling in love with pretty much the whole shop all over again, it was time to do some more exploring... 

To begin with, the Cardiff Market.

We had a quick look around the stalls before landing on this little Welsh gem & bought some traditional Welsh cakes (giant ones of course). They were delicious, I'm a huge fan of fruity cakes!

We then made it our mission to see the sea & on our way walked past this hunk of a castle.

Once we arrived at Cardiff bay it was pretty empty & windy, but it was really nice to see the sea and discover the area.

One thing I found interesting was the way everything was translated into Welsh, the only Welsh I know is 'Araf' which means 'slow' & seems to be on all roads... Its a really pretty language though, and I love the accents.

The day we were there also happened to coincide with the Welsh Varsity match, a huuuge event over there, so there were a lot of proud fans declaring their love for their teams...and some pretty crazy outfits.

We arrived back at the station just in time to catch our train. I spent the journey home looking through the Cardiff prospectus, listening to some seriously good songs & munching on the Welsh cakes as the sun set...

Take me back?

Friday, 26 April 2013

Cardiff Part 1

A couple of days ago was the Cardiff University Open Day.  

For me this meant waking up at the crack of dawn with 2 alarm clocks & travelling across England & Wales to get there before 9AM. (You can see it meant a lot to me!) I arrived at the station on time, just as the sun had risen, along with the many communters who were waiting for their trains.

Two trains, 3 hours & a playlist later, I arrived at Cardiff Central train station. 

Before long, I was finding my way around different talks and presentations which were really informative (I soo recommend them to any prospective students).

The course I was interested in was Architecture.

 I had a look around the workshops & its so interesting to see how creative the students are with their work and models. One of my favourite aspects of the course was their style of presenting their work. You can clearly see the thought processes and inspirations each student had - its inspiring!

Once the talks & tours were finished, I bought myself a light lunch (sushi of course!) & picnicked in one of the most beautiful parks. Flowers and blossom filled the space & it was a perfect (although slightly chilly) lunch.

I say 'chilly' but compared to previous weather, we're practically in summer, so I decided to get my favourite shoes out - say hello to my beloved Toms!

I then met with M & we made our way into the inner city for a slightly warmer addition to lunch & I picked this delicious looking thing!

On the other hand, M picked this beast of a sandwich. I was a teeny bit jealous...

We then hit the the city centre. I adore Cardiff's city centre, it looks so pretty, has the perfect shops & so many of them!

When I say 'perfect shops', I am not kidding. My all time favourite was there. And here is a sneak peak of it before part 2...

P.s. I think I am in love with these scalloped shorts & stripes...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hair Scrunchie D.I.Y.

My 90s meets 60s scrunchie is finally done.

And if you want to know how to do it, here is my little tutorial. It is perfect if you like to add a personal touch to your style and super easy (I never sew and even I can say that!).

What you will need:
  • Material of choice (approx 60cm x 20cm)
  • Needle
  • Thread of a similar colour to your material
  • Plain Hair Band

Firstly, I chose my material and thread. Quite taken in by the whole 60s theme I searched the house for a polka dot material, and there it was, b-e-a-utiful.

I then cut it to size with my teeny tiny material scissors which made a pretty wobbly line, but this doesn't matter too much as it'll be hidden - a vague rectangle does help though...

Then I took one of the long edges of the rectangle, and scrunched all that side together (as below) before putting this scrunched area into my hair band.

Then I started doing a teeny tiny running stitch along the outside seam, with the eges folded in so you can't see the ugly sides. (Unless you're going for a grunge look...)

The rest is just sewing from there, I used running stitch all the way through as that's what's easiest, but feel free to make it fancy! My 'fancy' addition was the bunny ears which I adoreeeee!

What I love about this D.I.Y is that I will actually use it, and it does look adorable on a messy bun!
(but I have to admit, buying one from a shop is much much quicker even if it is easy to make!)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Scrunchies are Back

It's official, the 90s hype has even spread as far as bringing hair scrunchies back. Topshop says so.

At first, I found this a bit odd, I still remember going to Primary school with them. However the more I see them around, the more I grow fond of them, so I went to dig out my old ones from my box of many bands.

My trusty scrunchie was still there after all those years & I have to admit, I do like it. But it lacks a little something that the Topshop scrunchies have - the x-factor of hair scrunchies (if you can imagine that?)... I mean look at this.

The combination of polka dots from the 60s, 'scrunchiness' from the 90s & bunny ears from I-have-no-idea is perfection. So I have started a little project to creating the ultimate scrunchies...

Hopefully I'll be able to show my creations in a little while & maybe even wear them in public... (Who'd have thought!)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Postage Stamp Paintings

Stamps aren't always a very passionating topic, but wait until you discover Molly Rausch, an artist I had the pleasure of stumbling upon during my art project.

She finds incredible stamps & extends their pictures by painting around them to create some miniature masterpieces.

Here is her website if you want to see some more of her work. Personally my favourite is the monopoly stamp piece, its incredible!

Monday, 15 April 2013

How To Make Sushi

What to do when you have the whole house to yourself for hours & hours? Sushi of course!

I've loved sushi for a while now but I never thought I'd be able to actually make it. But it is sooo easy you'll be surprised.

This is how most of mine looked once I was done, but here is how I began...

The ingredients:
  • Sushi Rice
  • Seaweed sheets (the only English on the packet said Sushi Nori)
  • Filling (I chose tuna & carrot)
  • Rice wine if you're lucky, but I used White wine vinegar mixed with some sugar which worked perfectly
  • Soy Sauce for flavour

First, I prepared the rice. I followed the instructions on my packet, leaving the rice in water (ratio of 1:1.5 of rice to water) & leaving this to soak for 30 minutes. I then boiled it and left it to simmer for 10 minutes before sprinkling on my replacement of rice wine. Finally, I left the rice to stand for 20 minutes. (That's the long bit over)

I squeezed my rice into balls to make it easier and laid out the seaweed sheet so the rough part was facing up. I then spread out the rice thinly just to cover the seaweed, leaving small gaps at the edges.

Then add the filling of your choice. You're hands are likely to get very sticky with the rice so have a small bowl of water ready.

Then you can roll! Put pressure on it as you roll it, then cut down the edge after you've covered the filling ready to do it again.

Then cut the roll at 1.5 inch intervals and they'll be perfectly sized portions ready to gorge on!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Leslie Clio

I have found yet another reason to love Topshop: Music!

It's rare that shop music is inspiring, but whilst I was looking dreamily at Topshop's boots, I heard a Leslie Clio's 'I coudn't care less' on the playlist. It was one of those songs you can't help but (try to) sing & swing along to & her voice is a gem.

Not only is her music incredible, but her style is too. She's from the North of Germany, writes all her own lyrics & always does her own styling. If you already think she's perfect, wait until you hear her music!

This song is perfect for summer & did you notice her outfits? Incredible.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Vogue Covers

A few years ago, I was given one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen, the hugeee book of Vogue Covers... (I like it so much that it's up there in my header)

Packed with the most beautiful illustrations, it includes all the Vogue covers from years & years ago. 

The oldest ones are my favourites - they're drawn so perfectly & artistically you can't help but gawp. So here are some for you to all gawp at yourselves (only the best of course)...

Vogue cover in June 1950, this cover was the first fully black & white cover. I adore the impact it creates, simple designs are sometimes best - I am a huge believer in this.

Below is one of my all time favourites, it is beautiful. November 1920.

Next up, February 1929. I like this one as its so elegant & artistic, much like the style of the time which was too, utter delight!

And finally, as I've seen a lot of oriental clothing recently, I found this one from January 1927 inspiring, I can only dream of being this talented.

Of course, if you're feeling really inspired, you can always buy the book all for your very own, it's incredible I assure you.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Post-Easter Cooking

Okay, so it might appear to be uber late to start mentioning Easter, but I have good reasoning...

Hopefully, you've all received some delicious Easter eggs to gorge on. But then you're always left with that little bit of extra that you just can't eat or you'll pop. 

What to do? I have an answer.

Cook for yourself & others with it! There are sooo many delightful recipes out there which include chocolate, it would be crazy to ignore them all.

I went for the traditional easter nests you learn to make at Primary school except I added some hazelnuts instead of mini chocolate eggs. (Does that make it healthy? I've persuaded myself it has...)

I've put together a collection of links to recipes which include chocolate & which look scrumptious!

  • Millionaire's shortbread - if you have a sweet tooth, this is for you! This was the clearest recipe I could find, but my grandma will always make them best. My advice: include lots of caramel, mmm.

  • Molten Mug Chocolate Cake - perfect if you're a student or are pressed for time, it's all made in a mug n under 5 minutes - wow.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Oozing with class

Using watercolours & colouring pencils, I did a quick drawing of an image I liked on Pinterest.

Why? Because it was oozing with sophistication & style (not to mention the French blood in me was automatically drawn to the beret of course!) Okay so black isn't ideal at this point of the year, but the summer days are still a long way away, so its acceptable, I hope.

The sleek lines & class of the image reminded me of one of my favourite shops - Zara.

So here are a few of my favourite picks from their current season: