Friday, 6 December 2013

Jolly Sailor - Hamble, Southampton

Jolly Sailor, poised alongside the River Hamble, is a beautiful bar and restaurant situated in Southampton and I don't use the word 'beautiful' lightly when referring to this cosy hideaway. On a surprisingly sunny December morning, we embarked upon a trip to get breakfast (which turned into lunch) for one of my best friend's 19th birthday. After making a few wrong turns before we eventually parked, we managed to catch a glimpse of several AMAZING homes which required the 'one day!' remark (we WILL be wealthy enough to afford something so great). 

Table 17 had the most perfect view of the marina and after watching a series of boats drive along the river, we came to the conclusion that it would have been possible to sit and stare at the view all day long. There's definitely something admirable about a marina scene...

The bar/restaurant is a series of interconnecting rooms with a fireplace found within an exposed brick wall, which only complemented the amazing ambience of the homely surroundings we found ourselves in.  


The staff here presented tremendous etiquette and the food was perfect! I learnt that it can get fairly busy here, particularly during the summer months due to the fact there is the option to dine outside on the jetty. 
It was brilliant to watch a couple simply park their boat along this jetty to then make their way into Jolly Sailor for a drink!  
I would definitely recommend this restaurant; the intimate setting it bestows upon its customers is simply lovely.



Sunday, 24 November 2013

Surround yourself with the happiest people

Spending time with truly amazing people can have a dramatically positive impact on not only your mood, but on your entire perception of life too. I've been so lucky in life given the fact I've been completely blessed with an amazing family and lovely friends, but that doesn't mean there haven't been people who have had a negative effect on how I've felt in the past. It's funny how a few bad past experiences make you appreciate wonderful and special moments even more. An evening at Pitcher & Piano in Southampton and a walk along the marina was one of the best nights. I realised that nothing else in the world matters more than family and friends, and how important it is to surround yourself with people who make you wholly happy. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

MAC


What happens when a new MAC store opens in a nearby shopping centre? THE ABOVE HAPPENS, that's what. 

A trip to West Quay in Southampton with my mum to return a coat meant we had time to 'only visit' the new Mac store in John Lewis. We had no intention whatsoever to spend any money (I secretly did) and after a lovely lady revealed to my mum that she was half Italian, my mum decided she had to buy something considering she was Italian too... don't ask me how she came up with this proposal because I have no idea. 

Ruby Woo (click here) has always been a favourite of mine - the matte texture look it gives really stands out and the colour is different to all of the usual red lipsticks available out there. Mac describes its colour as 'Very matte vivid blue-red' and although I'm no expert when it comes to make-up, I would certainly recommend this shade to anyone. I'm not at all brave when it comes to experimenting in terms of makeup nor when it comes to outfits, but I'll be wearing this lipstick as often as I can despite the fact the colour itself is arguably quite daring.  

Lastly, I'm almost certain that the mac lipsticks are edible. After researching online, it seems I'm not the only one who thinks that the lipsticks smell good enough to eat; the smell can only be described as imitating the scent of a vanilla cake and at the price of £15, you're essentially buying a cake and a lipstick, so what more could a girl wish for? 




Monday, 28 October 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

Upon arrival at Turtle Bay, I was so excited to try their famous 'Sweet Potato Fries' and I can 100% confirm they did not disappoint. Washed down with a Hummingbird cocktail which is made with white rum, Tia Maria, banana liqueur, cream, fresh banana & coconut (I have an obsession with the taste of coconut) I left the restaurant craving these chips. So, my mum and I decided to make some of our own and they turned out brilliantly. Now you can enjoy 'fried chips' without feeling too guilty considering sweet potatoes are good for you (albeit they are fried, but who really cares when they taste this good).  

You will need:

Sweet Potatoes (preferably pre-cooked because whilst cooking it will be easier to achieve a crispy outer texture and a softer, fluffy inside)
Olive Oil or any other kind of cooking oil
1 x pinch of sea salt optional

The pictures and ingredients list are fairly self-explanatory but just in case:

1. Pre heat the cooking oil in a pan until the oil is boiling (to test it, drop a prepared chip into the pan and if it begins to sizzle, it's ready!) 
2. Cut the sweet potatoes in to chip-size portions
3. Move the chips around the pan to avoid burning them 
4. Wait until crisp and golden 
5. Sprinkle with sea salt


They can be reheated, but I doubt there will be any left to reheat... 

Enjoy! 




Saturday, 12 October 2013

It's All About The Shoes

Vagabond - a brand name I hadn't known until I was looking at the endless images of shoes on the Urban Outfitters website. Now, I'm not one to follow current trends in the realms of the fashion sphere to an extreme extent, but I love knowing what is regarded as being 'in style'. I don't know if I'd say I have my own personal style because whilst at college I would usually just throw on a pair of black jeans with a jacket and leave the house! However, there is nothing I enjoy more than scrolling through the Zara and Topshop websites (maybe that's an exaggeration - I do have better things to do...promise) so I suppose I'd say fashion definitely interests me. 
I attended the London Fashion Week with one of my best friends in February and it was fascinating to watch the models walk down the runway wearing wonderfully quirky outfits whilst the lovely Zoe Hardman narrated the entirety of the show with her tremendously entertaining presenting skills! Throughout the show I didn't feel the need to recreate a certain look, nor was I tempted to leave Somerset House immediately to purchase similar outfits that were presented to the audience but I'd happily spend a whole day in a shopping centre, spending money I don't have on clothes I don't need. 





Anyway, I recently spent £68 (RRP £80 but received 15% off - being a student has its perks) on a pair of boots and despite the fact I hate spending large sums of money on single items of clothing/shoes, I don't regret this purchase at all. These Vagabond boots are absolutely beautiful and so comfortable to wear! I've worn them with dresses and I think I'd go as far as saying they'd complete any outfit. Due to the chunky nature of the heel with a height of 8cm, wearing the black boots with a pair of black jeans and/or trousers certainly elongates your legs so if you're looking for leg-lengthening boots, these are the ones you must claim as your own! 




Vagabond Grace Nubuck Boots in Black available here

Friday, 4 October 2013

Why Winchester?

Crossing the Severn Bridge on the 21st September, I was so excited to begin my university experience at Cardiff University in South Wales. Researching countless courses: Journalism, Multimedia Journalism, English language and English literature, I finally decided to combine the subjects I enjoyed and gained a place on the English language and literature course. After a two and a half hour car journey, we arrived and my parents and I began to unload the car. 



I started feeling very apprehensive, however I blamed nerves and disregarded the sense of uncertainty I felt. Saying goodbye to my parents, particularly my mum who undoubtedly blinded herself due to being in floods of tears (so many she couldn't see anything, I'm sure) was most definitely one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. The students living in my flat and I became friends very quickly; living with three boys and only one girl worked quite well! The next day, we walked to the Cardiff shopping centre which presented an array of different shops and the capital city itself is beautiful from the scenes and places I saw! However, I missed home a lot. 




Having lived in Southampton town my whole life, the concept of being quite far from home became difficult (at 18 years old I missed home after two days - is that shameful?). I love my family and have come to the conclusion I am very much a 'home girl', which is why I decided to transfer to a university closer to home; the University of Winchester. 
I saw myself spending money I didn't have - a taxi ride from my accommodation to the university itself cost £6.50 between us and although once we all put money towards it, it wasn't as costly, I felt I could be using my money more effectively. Arguably, we could easily walk the 20 minute journey but walking home late at night did not seem like the smartest idea... 
I decided that my familiarity with the area I grew up in could be used to my advantage, so my decision to move back was easily the best decision I've ever made. I'm incredibly lucky to have parents who were so supportive of my decision and now I am fully applying myself to the new course in an area I love, with the people I love. I now have the opportunity to travel anywhere and do things without the thought of expense being a problem.

University offers many opportunities, and I wouldn't dismiss the concept of living in halls to anyone, though doing what YOU personally want to do triumphs all. People have preconceived ideas of what university life is like but if it isn't right for you then that's that. You should never do something that doesn't make you happy just because everyone else seems to be doing it.

Monday, 16 September 2013

2013

Haven't written a blog post in over a year and I am actually disappointed in myself. However I'm here now so let's BLOG. 

2013 has been a very special year I think, I completed my final year at college where I gained three A levels which ultimately led me to gaining a place at Cardiff University! It's funny because my last blog post was written on the 21st of September 2012 where I spoke about applying to universities through UCAS, and on the 21st September 2013 (the Saturday coming) I will be moving to Wales! I don't know if that's somewhat ironic? I think I'll pretend it is because it makes this post sound a bit more exciting... maybe? Cardiff is a beautiful capital city and I'm excited  but the whole process of moving away from my family is daunting. It is only a 2 hour and half hour journey in the car from home but I can't help but feel as though I'm moving to Australia and that I'll never see my family again! 

 In July, I, along with four of my friends flew to a Crete, a Greek island. Despite the lack of sleep we all had an amazing time! A week after returning home I went on holiday with my family to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. The political unrest in the Middle Eastern country had no profound effect on the area that is best known for its spectacularly bountiful marine life. After witnessing the views underwater of the coral reef and its inhabitants, I was amazed at how beautiful it all looked! I think seeing Dory from Finding Nemo was the most exciting moment... 

I've met some of the loveliest people this year and it's strange to think that most people are all separating and leaving for different cities and for some, entirely different countries! When I first started college I didn't enjoy it in the slightest, however after meeting new people and making new friends it's crazy how spending time with the people you love makes such a tremendous difference. 
I had difficulty choosing which sixth form college to go to to begin with and after spending a few weeks at Barton I began to think I made the wrong choice. Today, I'm so happy with the decision I made and I do genuinely believe that most things happen for a reason because upon reflection, if I had given up at any point and done things differently,  I wouldn't be where I am now with the memories of some of the best days with the best people.