Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Highlights

Inspired (read: blatantly copied) by 'year in review' style posts by the lovely OllyCharlotte and Hayley, I've rounded up my top ten (*Dermot voice* in no particular order) highlights of 2015. Initially I thought my year had been pretty uneventful but after trawling through approximately four thousand and eight photos in my 2015 album, I originally had about thirty highlights, so narrowing it down to ten was quite the struggle indeed. This year I've become more independent, hit some blogging milestones, contributed to other sites, completed my first year of university with a 2:1 and adventured to new places.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

15 Things I Learnt In 2015

2015 was the year I learnt a little about education, a bit about independence and a lot about adulting. Inspirational life lesson type posts tend to make me feel violently sick, so here are some more useful and practical things I've discovered.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Guide To Durham Coffee Shops

When literally every other establishment in town is a coffee shop, narrowing the overwhelming choice down to an elite few is tricky business. Unless you're also doing Sociology and Harry Potter modules, you probably don't have all the time in the world to sample every offering. Fear not, I'm here to guide you.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Autumn Favourites

As usual my excuses for abandoning my blog recently are feeble. I moved into my new house this month so have been settling back into the swing of uni (sleeping). I really love my new bedroom but the lighting is atrocious and I'm struggling to find a half decent background for photos. The decreasing daylight hours are also not helping so please bear with me. 

Lighting grumbles aside, I'm a huge Autumn fan and I'm loving the abundance of rosy golden leaves constantly swirling in my face. I can't get enough grey, copper and berry tones and refuse to leave the house without bundling up in at least three metres of scarf. My favourites list could easily be ten pages long but after much deliberation, I've narrowed it down to an extra special select few.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

50 Facts Tag

I have been tagged by the lovely Abbi to post the 50 Facts Tag and as I've never written a facts post, I thought I'd give it a go. Disclaimer: I'm flaky and have commitment issues so I apologise in advance if (when) I run out of facts before I reach 50.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

University Essentials

Unless you're going to Durham University like me and have another 28 years (ish) before term starts, you've probably already started freshers. I realise this post would have been more helpful a few weeks ago but if you're still planning a last minute IKEA dash or you're just very organised for 2016, here are my top university essentials.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

3 Teas To Try

Forget the alcohol isle, the tea and coffee isle in supermarkets is my heaven. The neatly stacked rows of colourful boxes are like treasure chests, brimming with every imaginable flavour, spice and aroma. There are cute novelty tea infusers, syrups and sachets galore. Don't even get me started on the mug section. I love a strong English breakfast with my granola but sometimes I fancy a change. I've never been one for fruit teas, why do they smell like sweets but taste like sweaty Lemsip? Instead I prefer warming, spicy blends. Here are my three favourites at the moment.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

5 Date Ideas

Don't get me wrong, a cinema trip followed by a bite to eat will always be a fail safe date option. However, after a few rounds of this it can be nice to mix things up a bit and try something different with your partner. Here are a few of my favourite, less traditional date ideas. If you're not dating, they're all great fun with friends too.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

NaturaScents | Independent Business Spotlight

NaturaScents was founded early this summer by Philippa Kay as an outlet for her creative energy after 3 years of focusing on university work. She began cooking up candles at home for herself but set up the business after encouragement from family and friends. Since then she's been in high demand at craft fairs and online. Philippa very kindly gifted me the most delicious rhubarb and custard scented treat to add to my slightly excessive (read: out of control) candle collection.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Dainty Daisy Designs | Independent Business Spotlight

When creating my Homeware Wishlist I realised most of the items mentioned were from major chain stores. I'd like to discover and support more small brands run by hard working, creative individuals (who actually pay their taxes, damn capitalism). In light of this, I've decided to start a new series of posts focusing on independent businesses, promoting brands I believe will appeal to my readers and reviewing their products. 

Dainty Daisy Designs was founded by the lovely Becky in Summer 2015. Originally a hobby, her illustration brand is now blossoming impressively into an independent business with a growing range of products including phone cases, pocket mirrors, postcards, pins and stickers galore featuring her designs. Rebecca very kindly gifted me the latest three postcard designs and a pack of stickers in the most adorable parcel.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Soap & Glory Makeup | Review

Soap & Glory is probably my favourite high street makeup brand. It has the luxe quality and sleek design of high end yet still carries an affordable price tag. It also seems to do everything well, rather than just one star product holding the brand up, it scores high in all areas. As usual, I got sucked into the Boots 3 for 2 offer and this time Soap & Glory was whispering my name.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Homeware Wishlist

Does homeware shopping count as a hobby? For someone who doesn't actually own a home, I spend way too much time browsing (unnecessary) cute decorations. I love dreaming up what my own home will look like and planning the sort of things I'd fill it with. I'm moving into my first student house in October which is the perfect excuse for a spot of virtual window shopping.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Instagram Round-Up

Recently I've been loving Instagram as a way of documenting my adventures (I use "adventures" very loosely as I'm not at all adventurous, I'm really just documenting times I leave my house). Summer presents a lot more Instragram opportunities, so these are my favourite snaps I've taken so far this season. I've enjoyed spending some time abroad in Mallorca, a city break to Chester and a seaside break to Norfolk.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Should We Encourage Plus Sized Beauty?

After Women's Running magazine featured a plus sized cover girl, the internet was divided over whether plus sized beauty should be encouraged and represented in the media. I often get into this debate on Twitter (sigh) so I thought my beauty/lifestyle blog would be a relevant place for me to gather my thoughts. Hint: The answer is obviously yes. It frustrates me that this even needs to be discussed, but plus sized figures must be equally represented in the media. Disclaimer: As a UK size 10/12, I'm aware I'm not best positioned to speak on behalf of the plus sized community. I speak from observations I've made about others around me and my personal opinion on the beauty industry as a whole, so please comment below if you feel I'm overlooking anything.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Top Five Lipsticks

I wasn't much of a lipstick fan until quite recently as I'd always felt like it was too much against my pale skin. I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to makeup so I tend to stick to similar shades of "your lips but better" for daily wear and go absolutely wild with a red on extra special occasions. I've rounded up my top 5 to include both affordable and luxury lippies.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

University Update

My lovely flatmates and I at the end of term Winter ball
 It's the end of my second term already and after handing in all of my assignments I have three days of freedom until I return home on Friday. Today is the first warm-enough-to-not-need-a-coat day we've had since freshers' week so I'm feeling super positive and thought I'd share some of my favourite uni photos.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Durham River Safety and Student Drinking Culture

A safer section of the riverside path, notice how those unsightly railings are completely destroying the view.
Within the last eighteen months, three Durham University students have tragically drowned in the city's fast flowing river, with another having to be rescued after also falling in. This has sparked much conflict between the student body and the local police over the safety of the uneven and unlit riverside path and steps. As a Durham student myself, I'm fully supportive of the campaigns to get some sort of barriers and lighting put up along the edge of the river to prevent further tragedies. Controversially, the local police and authorities are blaming these accidents on an "excessive student drinking culture" and are unwilling to accept any responsibility over the dangerous footpath.