Saturday, 29 September 2012

Cook-a-long with Little Red!

Chicken Breast Wrapped in Parma Ham and Stuffed with Cheese with Fried Potatoe Slices & Salad 
Ingredients: (For a serving of two persons)  Ignore the cheeky bottle of tequila in the background, student household ayy! ;)
  • Two Chicken Breast Fillets
  • I used Cheddar Cheese but I'd opt for Mozarrella, I ran out!
  • At least Six slices of Parma Ham (Prosciutto) 
  • New Potatoes (we used ten but they tasted so yummy a few more wouldn't hurt, especially for those of you with big appetites!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Thyme 
  • Lemon    

Please bare with me I'm not up to speed on expert culinary jargon, as I can assure you I am no culinary expert, at all. This is my first cookery post that I was inspired to do purely because I'm trying to become a bit more of a dab hand in the kitchen and I find that step by step photographed recipes are the easiest for me to follow and I enjoy reading them myself when I'm looking for student budget friendly meals or a special treat on those more luxurious occasions.

Above is a step by step collage on how we prepped the meat before undertaking the easier tasks of sorting out the salad bits and bobs which I wasn't every adventurous with, a mixed Salad bag jobby was the one with some sliced cucumber and Coleslaw, bingo!

Prepping the Meat:
  • First things first, after placing the chicken breast fillets on a clean! (emphasis on hygiene, Gordon would be so proud) chopping board, simply score the underneath of the meat in a criss cross pattern being careful not cut too deeply into the meat.
  • Then add your seasoning, a few twists of black pepper, rub in some thyme, and add zest of lemon using a grater. I'd advise you not to add salt as the Parma Ham is already very salty enough.
  • Rub your seasoning well into the scoring of the meat.
  • Turn over and slice the chicken breast almost in half, I hear this is called the butterfly! Add a slab of cheese to nestle inbetween the two sections of the chicken breast.
  • Now onto my favourite part, wrapping the chicken in the parma ham! Take three slices for each breast and line then up next to your breast, ooh saucy! ;)
  • Place the chicken breast an inch or two in from the first slice of parma hand and fold over creating a meaty cocoon!!
  • Now to sear the meat in a frying pan with a few splashes of olive oil drizzled over the meat as well as adding more seasoning if you wish! I added some more thyme, pepper, and some garlic seasoning which just smelt delicious!
  • Sear each side for three minutes each on a medium heat to crisp up the Parma Ham before placing into a pre-heated oven on Gas Mark 7 (200 degrees) in the pan for 15-20 minutes to make sure the chicken cooks through! 

For the fried potatoe slices all you need to do is simply peel off the skin and cut your new potatoes in half before then slicing them into smaller slices like you would a cucumber. I prepared the potatoes whilst my boyfriend, Jon, started to sear the meat, making sure everything was ready to go together on time. If you're on your own I would suggest preparing the potatoes before prepping the meat, it only takes around five minutes.

You then need to deep fry the potatoe slices so make sure your frying pan is covered in oil and be careful when cooking as the oil heats up VERY quickly and tends to spit a lot especially if the heat is on too high!  I sprinkled an extra helping of thyme and sea salt whilst frying for extra taste! Let the slices crisp up til golden brown before then too placing in the oven to keep warm and cook a little longer whilst the meat is cooking through.

After twenty minutes in the oven I took the chicken out cut into slices to check if it was cooked through properly. Any signs of raw pink meat and you can either leave in the oven for a furthur ten minutes or so or for a quick fix cook through again in the frying pan, placing the slices of meat face down.

And there we have it, Chicken in Proscuitto a la Salad & Fried Potatoe Slices! It beat a Saturday night take-away hands down and although not exactly the healthiest of meals I did feel a lot better for having a home cooked meal and some greens down me instead of fried chicken and american style fries. The melted cheese just oozed out of the meat and compliment the saltiness of the parma ham excellently.

Let it be said that my plate didn't stay looking so full for long as I wolfed the plateful whilst whinging about how awful Tulisa's blonde hair-do is on X Factor. It was a real treat and a meal I will cook again as the total cost for all the ingredients rounded up to just under £10 - very student friendly! The excess oil left over in the frying pan has been left stewing with all the meat juices and excess thyme to be used tomorrow to make some fried bread!

Hope my instructions weren't too all over the place and made sense to you all, as I said before I am no Jamie Oliver and Jon did help me out a bundle with this one but now I know that home made meals are SO quick and simple to do expect more of these posts - that's if you would like, of course!

Please leave me your favourite meals/recipes for me to test out and do let me know if you wouldn't mind this sort of post on Little Red again! Even typing this out has made my mouth water all over again so I'm off to hunt for some left over muffins that I made with my housemate earlier this evening...

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Ted Baker at the #HPMLFW Suite

The other week I popped along to the Handpicked Media Suite with the lovely Sophie, Sabrina, and Laura. We were treated to complimentary shellac manicures which I absolutely loved despite the fact my nails are stubbornly short at the moment, as well as the amazing invention that is the Cake Pop, seriously couldn't help but go back for seconds!

Again the suite looked stunning and a homely escape from the manic rush of London Fashion Week for those wanting to upload a new post or just simply relax in good company. I browsed the rails adorned with Ted Baker's a/w collection and found myself ooh-ing and ahh-ing and the silky soft fabrics and longing for a weekend in the countryside inspired by the tweed and country-chic that was oozing from the rails.  I personally loved the make-up bags with the glitter bow decoration, so cute!  The men's collection also caught my eye, more so than the women's if truth be told, as I'm a huge fan of men's jumpers and Ted Baker did not disappoint! With an array of patterned wool jumpers and cardigans that would be perfect to snuggle up in during the colder months.

What do you think of the Ted Baker range?

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

It seems like the budding spring/summer months flew past at an incredible rate, the beginning of summer were scattered with plans for plenty of afternoon's basking in the sun, mincing around in tearooms and country parks seemed to slip away, instead facing many a gloomy summers day watching The Hairy Bikers and munching on domino's, instead of a sumptuous victoria sponge cake, yum.

As if almost overnight it has gone from taking outfit photographs in my summer frocks and denim shorts, lazing in a deck chair in the garden sipping on Kopparberg and the Olympic fever high on the agenda, to whacking up the heating and swapping crop tops for knitted jumpers, and suncream for a much needed umbrella. So, this is a final goodbye to blooming florals, wasps buzzing around a fruit cider and BBQ platter, and although very much shortlived,  goodbye to the summer sunshine. But it is also a very welcome hello to mugs of hot chocolate, winter boots, plum shades and crunchy autumnal leaves, bring it on.

What is your favourite thing about the autumnal season?

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Look Loud Lips in Tangerine Cream

Look Loud Lips in Tangerine Cream £7*
Look Beauty Range is fast becoming one of my favourite drug store brands and in particular, true to form, the Loud Lips Lipsticks are right up there with my top picks from their line. I received three of their lipsticks, which have also been reviewed, being Baby Doll, Toffee Cup, and finally Tangerine cream.

All of the Loud Lips range are housed in baby pink boxes adorned with the Ashley Isham print which is also embossed on the sturdy, magnetic silver casing. I like the magnetic casing as it shuts close in a jiffy and my lipstick feels protected, despite not being the most delicate packaging wise I do find the print extremely pleasing to the eye.

As many of you may be very aware I am a HUGE advocate for corals and tangerine cream fits the bill and also reminds me of my beloved Cut a Caper from MAC ( review here). Tangerine Cream is a fairly pale orange toned lippy which may have to be built up for a more visible coat of coral or can be worn as a lighter based coral with one subtle slick. The pigmentation of loud lips aren't fantastic and for me, a brighter lip fan, you may need to build up two or three layers which will then last on the lips for around two to three hours. However, this doesn't really bother me in the slightest as I absolutely adore the creamy formula of the range which feel baby bottom soft and smell good enough to eat.  True to the name, Tangerine Cream, the shade is a milky orange which is best suited for the warmer months or for a subtle work lipstick.

For £7 I swear by their range and only wish their were more shades available as they are a really moisturising treat for my winter windsmacked lips. Have you tried much from the Look Beauty Range?

I also have a new sidebar and blog button image designed by the lovely Tami from Aztec Wolves who is mega talented at all things arty so a massive thank you to her. Please do let me know what you think and also a quick reminder that advertising and sponsor spaces for next month are open so if you would like to know more or feature your blog don't hesitate to e-mail me! 

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I handled my charm with time and slight of hand

Palm Print Playsuit - Lashes of London*
I have a feeling this will be the last of my garden posing sessions for outfit posts for this year as the last of the fine weather surely draws ever closer. I took full advantage of the burst of sunshine London has welcomed over the past few days and so this playsuit, that I was so kindly allowed to choose from new online fashion site, Lashes of London, made its début.

I have been loving some of their items online, however, I must admit it is slightly pricey for someone of smaller means such as myself and so I would look to purchase a luxury treat instead from their site and stick to rummaging through charity shops and Primark for basic essentials.

I absolutely adore the navy blue teamed with the pastel palm print and the keyhole cut outs, featured in the front and back, which also make it a great night out option as well as for the finer days weather wise. I ordered a six which in most shops can come up WAY too small on me and I'm normally much more comfortable in an eight, however, I do think their sizes may come up a little bit bigger than usual. It was slightly too big for me which was a real shame but I'm working on altering it to be more fitted which is vital with the key hole cut outs, we don't want any indecent exposure!

Hope you've all had a good weekend, please do let me know if you'd prefer more beauty/lifestyle posts to come as well as I know I've been very fashion focused at the minute. Maybe it's the London Fashion Week fever!

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Lush: Sex Bomb Ballistic

Lush Bath Bomb in Sex Bomb £3.20
Named after the King of Swagger, Mr Tom Jones, top hit Sex Bom is one of the most popular bath bombs so I just had to try it for myself. I am a huge advocate of Lush, I love their policy on no animal testing and the majority of their products are suitable for my sensitive skin as well as adding a splash of colour to an evening bath.

Jam packed with sensual oils such as clary sage, jasmine and ylang ylang, your skin is in for a treat as well as the bicarbonate in this bath time treat aiding the longevity of the aphrodisiac oils on your skin helping you to smell gorgeous for hours at a time. Yes, that's right, you also heard aphrodisiac pop up there, this bath bomb is one for the lover in all of us and might explain its popularity...ahem.

I loved dunking this into my bath and watching an explosion of bright pink and fuchsia taking over ready for me to dip into, my skin was left feeling silky smooth and the jasmine added a subtle but nonetheless gorgeous aroma. The rose petals once detached from the evaporating bath bomb did, however, become a slight annoyance, they were not real rose petals I don't think but instead became a kind of slimy nuisance. There was only three or four of them so this was easily overlooked but do let me know if you have had a similar or different experience of this!

All in all another winner for Lush, I think it's mainly the novelty of attractive ballistics and bright colours to bring our tub to life that draws me in time and time again. But I must add that my skin has always felt smoother and more nourished after use and never have I yet experienced any rashes or complaints which is a great thing to say as the owner of very sensitive skin.

What are your favourite Lush treats?

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

New Look @ London Fashion Week - #HPMLFW

Once again may I firstly apologise for the lack of quality with these images, it was another instagram job as I'm without my camera whilst I'm home from university but on to what I'm really here to talk to you about, New Look's latest a/w clothing and cosmetics collection. I was fortunately invited to the Handpicked Media Suite at the very swanky One Aldwych Hotel in London, as this was one of the first events I've had the honour of attending I was slightly apprehensive about being a bit of an awkward turtle due to not knowing anyone. However, the lovely Jess invited me to meet up with herself, Laura & Liz beforehand, all of which made me feel very welcome so thank you ladies, it was truly lovely to meet you all!

Upon entering my eyes were immediately drawn to the various rails housing the newest looks which an array of different prints, textures and styles to suit every individual whether you wish to brave a standout pink and yellow knitted number or a simple but stylish studded blouse and matching boots. Studs really do seem to be a hot trend for this season and I had my topshop studded boots on, fitting the occasion. One piece I think many of us bloggers were amazed by was a fitted leather jacket for the bargainous sum of £40 so keep your eyes peeled girls! The atmosphere was really lovely and chatter was the soundtrack of the evening with  canapés treating our taste buds with a selection of mini beef in yorkshire puds and a bitesized fish & chips, which were my personal favourite.

The suite was absolutely stunning with a fantastic view overlooking the city as well as a luxurious bedroom which on the night was home to Kelly Brooks new line of underwear which was spread across the bed. The en-suite bathroom was filled with clear bowls brimming with some of her knickers which we could very gratefully help ourselves too as well as an assortment of Gold by Giles cosmetics which I am yet to try out for myself. There was also a nail bar set out ready for our fingertips to be treated to a bit of pampering, I opted out of this as my nails are ashamedly back to their bitten to the bud state, boo!

I really enjoyed getting to be part of London Fashion Week and all the lovely ladies and gents I met that evening made my first lonesome event not so lonesome after all and I really enjoyed getting to mingle with some of my favourite bloggers as well as bagging some great New Look goodies!

Are you attending any LFW shows or a fan of New Look?

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

midweek wishlist: a/w

midweek wishlist: a/w

001. Aubergine Cross Stitch Bobble Hat - Topshop - 002.  Illamasqua Generation Q Eye Palette - asos - 003. Cambridge Satchel Company Classic Medium - Harvey Nichols - 004. Contrast Military Khaki with faux leather sleeves - ebay - 005. Smokey Oversize Jumper with Collar - The Vintage Set - 006. Autumn Leaves Lipstick - nars
My wishlist seems to be ever growing whilst my bank balance is ever dwindling, not a great combination I must admit. At the moment I'm saving for a last minute trip to Zurich to stay with my housemate whose there on a term abroad so my money is being set aside for the flight and wine money. Cannot wait.

Out of all the items on this list the Cambridge Company Satchel is what I'm eager to lay my hands on the most, I'm not often one for expensive bags. I don't really own that many sticking by my trusty Zara messenger bag and a small folk inspired handbag that I thrifted but I would finally love to be able to call something like this beautiful bag my own, that or a Mulberry but one can only dream! I've also stumbled upon The Vintage Set, a beautiful online store brimming with gorgeous one off items and for a very reasonable price too I may add. No unnecessary price tag just for the 'vintage' label here. Autumn is my favourite time of year and so I'm eagerly awaiting dusting off my old jumpers and beaten leather boots once more, fashion wise this is where I'm in my element!

What key autumn items are part of your winter wardrobe?

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Roger & Gallet Event

So on Monday evening me and my best friend, Leah, who the lovely Helena managed to catch in this photo above in her gorgeous burgundy maxi skirt, headed down to the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square for the Roger & Gallet Bloggers Event, after Steph from L'Oreal kindly invited me down. It was the first event I've been able to attend and I'm glad I did as beforehand I had next to no knowledge about the brand but immersed in the beautiful fragrances of their body sprays and soaps my nostrils were given a treat! The layout of the event was beautiful with rustic crates containing fresh fruit and flowers to house their products alongside glass soap jars and a very welcome glass of champers and chocolate covered strawberries upon entering, it was truly a top class evening!

Unfortunately I didn't have a decent camera to hand so my I Phone had to make do, here are a few snaps I took of the event, my favourite being their living wall of flowers that I was told took six hours to put up, so well done girls, it was really worth it! There was a vast variety of different fragrances which all come in body spray, body lotion, and soap. Some scents take a more acquired taste such as Ginger and Bois D'Orange  which both favoured a stronger scent which reminded me of old spices in their spray and soap forms. However, the Bois D'Orange Creme Sublime Hand & Nails Cream was much more to my liking with head notes of mandarin and the most gorgeous hearts notes of orange blossom - luckily we received this in our goody bag so a full review will be up on this shortly!

Me and Leah got chatting to Steph who showed us around the event and we agreed that our favourites from the range were the milder, more floral scents such as The Green Tea which was a really light and fresh fragrance which would be great as an all day scent and definitely sums up spring in a bottle. Fleur d'Osmanthus was also a strong contender with hints of grapefruit, orange zest, and mandarin which for fruity fragrance lovers is a great find! Topping my list was the Rose and, leading to the main attraction of the event, their newest release which we got first peek at (eek!) ,my personal favourite, the Rose Imaginaire Natural Spray which upon spritzing I instantly declared the winner of my affections! Think an Italian Summer in a bottle and you're nearly there, Rose Imaginaire was fresh and fruity with gorgeous heart notes of jasmine and violet as well as base notes of sandalwood and head notes of wild strawberry and mandarin, all without being too over powering, perfect! This was great news for the girls at Roger & Gallet, and for all bloggers attending as we very luckily received a bottle of our very own - keep your eyes peeled for a more in depth review of all the items that we so gratefully were given! (See below)

Personally I pondered whether the prices for the more popular body sprays which retail between £15 -32 a pop did seem a little steep for me as I'm not one for body mists and sprays usually, however, upon reflection and a good chinwag with the girls at the event I think they are well worth it. They are long lasting and could easily replace your favourite perfume every now and then as an on the go scent! For more information check out the Roger & Gallet website. And once again a HUGE thank you to Steph and all the girls that hosted the event for all their help and more inciteful reviews of the products we were treated to will be heading on to 'Little Red' in the upcoming weeks.

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Monday, 10 September 2012

my makeup history

Inspired by Lily's post, a why she wears makeup tag, I've decided, considering I am running what, by some degree, can be noted as a partial beauty blog, why not share with you a bit of my personal makeup history. You see, you may or may not be surprised to know that I was very much a tom boy in my early teen years, and fussing over cosmetics and allocating time to preen myself was just not on my agenda instead opting for hours playing Sims or a neighbourhood game of run outs. I didn't even try wearing makeup till I was around fifteen and even then it was nothing heavy, a light coat of mascara and a natural collection peach lippy and that was my lot. 

Around the age of fourteen and fifteen I did go through a somewhat grungy stage, the myspace era and all that, where dark smudged eyeliner seemed to be the in thing and I wore it rather badly. I still hadn't even tried foundation, it was an alien substance to me which was only introduced by my step-sister, whom despite being the same age was heaps and bounds ahead when it came to the hours she would spend knelt down by the mirror surrounded by an assortment of sticky lipglosses and wearing over three different types of mascara. I used to love letting her make me up because of course it was something new to me, I hadn't really adopted my own style of makeup and just wanted to be beautified in any way she saw fit. This was also around the time I suffered from acne, was extremely self conscious, and was desperately searching for anything that would cover up the red blotchiness that was my face. 

To be perfectly honest, I wanted to just blend in, I didn't want to stand out, I didn't want to be noticed. I wanted clear skin like most of my friends. It was a very awful time self esteem wise. I wore foundation every now and then but still even up to the age of eighteen was highly disinterested in exploring makeup and didn't dare to dabble with bronzers or eyeshadows for myself. To put it bluntly I couldn't be assed with faffing around in the morning before school, I am an extremely lazy person and so if I could get that extra twenty minutes or so in bed I would happily take it. I gave myself two or three minutes every morning to slap on a bit of foundation, powder my face to death, a slick of vaseline and a touch of mascara and that was me done.

Here's a fresh faced meat the age of eighteen ( note mine and Jon's baby faces!), I would much rather have a fresh face than bother to try and spruce myself up. This is not a bad thing, it helped keep my skin clear, you don't have all that bother with  removing makeup and deep cleansing at night. However, I was still unhappy, I have very red toned skin and this has ALWAYS annoyed me and I would sit and bitch and moan how I wished I was as pretty as other girls in my year but yet not try all that hard to put in any effort because I just didn't think it was worth it. I didn't think I could apply makeup well, I didn't think it would make much difference and that I would be foolish to try and become one of the 'beautiful girls'.

I see now that makeup doesn't make you beautiful entirely yet I am not one of those who will preach and sing along to one direction claiming that 'you don't need makeup to cover up' because I don't use makeup to cover up, I use it to enhance what features I have. Makeup to me is a form of expression and I get quite frustrated when people accuse individual who choose to be more daring or have a penchant for makeup of masking themselves and 'wearing too much makeup'. Of course, there are those who really DO wear too much and end up looking like a wotsit with spider lashes but that's a different issue. I love to play and mess around with different looks and I personally love when my boyfriend notices that I've done my makeup differently rather than the age old 'you look so much better without makeup' line.

I'm not by all means someone who cannot go without makeup, yes I have the odd day where I don't really wish to leave the house without a smidgen of concealer to help cover up some unwanted blemishes but I would never point blank not go out because my skin is bare. I often just cannot be assed with dolling myself up and I like to let my skin breathe but I do always feel that little bit more me with a slick of coral or red lipstick on and my soft and gentle highlight, it does boost my confidence. I love makeup, sometimes I worry I can get a bit too addicted to searching for the next holy grail item but that is part of the excitement. The world of cosmetics and skincare is ever changing and producing new products which some of which I just can't wait to test out. We are always adapting and changing and so is beauty and I find it a creative outlet and a way of expressing my mood as well as presenting myself in different lights.

To sum up, makeup is fun to play around with, and I have grown a lot and even possibly found my ideal career route (beauty pr/journalism), I'm no longer afraid to try out new things and to dare a dark plum lip. I still am one of these people that likes a more natural look and on a daily basis I use very little if any thing but now I also do like to make a bit more of an effort when it comes to blogging, nights out, or just because I fancy. Don't let others try and make you feel insecure just because you like to wear makeup, it's grown from being my mask to becoming a way of showing myself off to the world and saying 'I'm not afraid for you to notice me'.
This is quite a personal and lengthy post for me so thank you for baring with me. I'd love to know what makeup means to you and if any of you have similar or differing opinions. 

                                                               instagram: ohlittlered

Saturday, 8 September 2012

I'm no teenage icon

collared blouse - urban outfitters (old)
 mid wash denim shorts - miss selfridge
lace trim ankle socks (black) - topshop
millicent stud back boots (black) - topshop

For those of you that follow me on instagram (ohlittlered) you might have spotted me uploading quite a few sumptuous snaps of our last minute September BBQ at Jon's house this afternoon. The weather literally has been perfect for it and we've really loved just being able to make the most of our weekend together by slapping on a few chicken and lamb skewers onto the BBQ and filling up the cooler with Kopparberg Mixed Fruits Cider, lovely jubbly.

In all honesty it was even to hot today for these cut off denim shorts and this urban outfitters top but I couldn't bring myself to bare my milky white skin in a bikini top so I opted for popping in and out of the shade! Teamed up with my new topshop studded suede boots, which I have taken a strong fancy too and refuse to stop strutting up an down the patio like a loon, I find this is a great outfit to make a quick and easy transition to night out down the pub or cinema. Just add a leather jacket, opt for a darker red lip and some tights and voila! you're ready to go.

Hopefully the sunshine continues but I have heard rumours of heavy rain fall drawing in nearer the end of the weekend, boo! My boyfriend also told me to add that he thinks I look very confused in the second photo, as if I'm just staring and smiling but am not sure why. That's the most philosophical (probably, wrong word choice!) he's been in a while, he's such an oddball. I'm in fact just pulling off cliché fashion blogger poses, the standard leg cross, intense stare, look to the ground and smile at the grass like a loon, you know what I'm on about... 

What have you been up to this weekend?

||Prior to the 10th Sept 2012, all comments were made using Disqus, however, I've now set up a new layout which doesn't support this feature so VERY sadly all my past comments have been deleted. My posts do feel a little like billy no mates now, luckily I have all past comments stored on the Disqus site. What do you think of my new layout?|

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Friday, 7 September 2012

summer wine

grey marl open shoulder asymmetric tunic - topshop
grey speckle skater skirt (worn underneath) - topshop
spiked necklace - ebay
messenger bag - zara (post here)

This week has been pretty hectic for me having moved back to University early to try and get a head start on course work and such before then heading back to London to pop into to Motel Rocks Sample Sale part of Vogues Fashion Night Out - let me tell you the atmosphere was buzzing!

September is showering us with glorious last minute sunshine and so my pasty pale legs made an appearance today teamed up a very grey outfit to juxtapose the colourful backdrop of a bustling London Town. I really love this asymmetric tunic, I have got a bit of a crush on open shoulder tops recently so this fitted in perfectly teamed with my favourite spiked necklace and topshop's beguiled lipstick to add a bit of attitude to this laid back outfit. 

Jon and I trodded along to Brent Cross for a spot of shopping - yes even more shopping! - as mission 'find a winter bobble hat' was a-go, look out for an upcoming post on my finds! We're planning on having the last BBQ of the year tomorrow to top off the weekend before resting up and planning my outfit for the Roger and Gallet Bloggers Evening on Monday - please let me know if you're popping along too :) 

How are you spending your weekend?

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

starting university? freshers advice!

A-levels done and dusted, the not so sunny summer holiday's over and thousands of you are about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of your young lives, cheesy as it may sound. I've headed back up to university this week for my third and final year which I'm both crazy excited for as well also quite worried due to how stressful it's going to be what with my dissertation but I'm definitely up for the challenge and determined to make the most of my last year as a student, waa!

This time last year I made a 'freshers advice' video which I thought I'd share for those of you who are slightly apprehensive and struggling to remember what's best to bring and what not. I hope it helps, it's only a few of my top tips of what I found most useful to know - just remember to have fun, be yourself, and time management is key - however, don't stress too much first year isn't all too bad as long as you attend your lectures and make notes you should most definitely be fine!

So some top tips are: 
  • Storage containers are your best friend, I found having thin clear storage holders that I could slip under my bed were a life saver as university rooms in halls tend to be on the smaller side so compact storage really does help. I stored all my towels and bed sheets in them as well as originally housing all my pots and pans.
  • Stationary wise I tend to go a bit loco! but I'd say a clear study dated planner is a must as well as post it notes as when it comes to revision you'll find these will be decorated on all your walls. Study planners are great for keying in upcoming events, lecture timetables, and deadlines.
  • Don't hide away in your room. I know for those of us on the more introvert side will find meeting new people and having to make a whole new set of friends EXTREMELY daunting BUT trust me pretty much everyone is in the same boat and conversations are easy to start up just by asking what course someone in your halls is on. People on the same floor/flat etc. tend to stick together when it comes to freshers week - I found leaving my door open was great way of becoming approachable
  • Budget! Pre-drink before nights out and look out for student nights and deals on shots, they will be floating about everywhere and are a student's best friend! I'd advise paying for an NUS Card as you will get a bunch of discounts from Mcdonalds to Topshop! 
  • Print off photo's! I found having a bunch of pre-printed photo's from home made me feel a lot more settled as well as adding a more personal and homely touch to my room!
So get ready for a diet of super noodles and eggy bread, late nights, and lot's of reading (especially if you're an English Lit student like me!) but try not to stress too much and first year is a great year to socialise and take advantage of the student lifestyle. I regret not going out so much in my first year as I was pining for home, sitting in my bedroom didn't help the matter and I missed out on some really fun nights out with the friends I did have there. You will get homesick at some point but Skype is a great way of keeping in contact with family and friends and I find that by just going and having a natter with a friend in your halls really does help as they're most probably feeling the same way too!

I've added some of my fresher photo's as well some snaps from second year to hopefully showcase how much fun I had - ah memories!!

Good Luck and if you have any questions let me know! 

                                                               instagram: ohlittlered

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