Monday, 31 August 2015

So..... I graduated.

Long time no speak blogging world. There's been three major changes since we last spoke!

I graduated, I moved & I got a new job!

University is over! I graduated Liverpool John Moores University in July, with a 2:1 English BA Hons degree. I couldn't be happier! To top it off I landed a fantastic job working in digital marketing, which is exactly where I wanted to start my career. Oh + I also moved in with James and re-located to the East Midlands....... so as you can imagine, i've not had much time on my hands! 

I can't wait until things settle down and I can get back in to the habit of curling up with a cuppa and writing my little blog.

I hope you're all well - have any of you graduated this year?
Or maybe you're off to uni in a few weeks?

<3 Jen.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

NYC #2 - Seeing the Sights!

Before I went to New York, I envisioned shopping from dawn until dusk everyday. In reality, there's so much more that the city has to offer and we spent all day everyday exploring the city. We had a list of things we wanted to do, and once we'd had a look at a map to see which were near to each other we set off aimlessly! I think we averaged around 12 miles a day walking, which is how I managed to come back without putting weight on, despite having waffles and pancakes every day for breakfast.

Times Square.
As a London girl, I honestly thought that Times Square would be like a slightly bigger Piccadilly Circuits. I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried! Piccadilly n is like a green energy-saving billboard compared to the spectacle that is times square. It's huge and you can spend so long looking round at the various ads. We stayed in ROW NYC hotel, which was just off of times square and I would really recommend it. The rooms were on the small side, and very simple, but we were never there apart from to sleep. The rooms were clean and the service was great, so I would not hesitate to recommend this place if you're travelling to NYC.

Rockefeller Center.
This is without doubt the most spectacular place we visited whilst in New York City. Set slightly further back from the Empire State building, the views from the top of this building are incredible,,, and panoramic. You go along, buy tickets and then jump in a lift up to the first viewing floor. There are no metal cages blocking the view, and the Perspex walls allow you to see for miles and miles. There are three viewing floors in total, all as equally breath-taking as each other. We spent about an hour to an hour and a half here, and took about 500 photos between the four of us!

Madison Square Gardens.
We visited here to see the New York Knicks play the Brooklyn Mets. I never thought I would enjoy basketball, and despite not having the worlds greatest seats, it was amazing!! I would definitely recommend you watch a basketball game if you have the chance, there's nothing like it... my sister even bought a foam finger! We booked these tickets through our travel agent before we went, but there are ticket touts in Times Square that do some great deals. If the season is over when you visit, lots of people have recommended ice-hockey games too, which is something I'd love to see if I ever went back.

The Subway.
You can't visit NY without going on the Subway right?! It would be like coming to London and not using the tube or red busses. It's so much cheaper than our train systems anyway, if my memory is right it was around $5 for a day ticket. Bargain or what?! We jumped on here to Brooklyn and once you figure out the system, which is far easier than the tube system, it'll help you locate certain places far easier.

Ground Zero.
It sounds wrong to say, but this was something I couldn't leave America without visiting and again, we took the subway to the nearest station and enjoyed walking round. I've spent a lot of time studying 9/11 and the resulting literature, so it was somewhere I had to experience for myself. The actual memorial is breath-taking and extremely well created. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do the museum, for various reasons, but we ended up going in and spending hours taking in all that it had to offer. It was a harrowing experience but one I would without doubt suggest you make time for.

Canal Street.
If you're looking for presents to buy for friends and family, jump on the subway and head to Canal Street. I can only describe it as a shambled Camden market, but is where you want to head if you're after any of the tacky souvenirs. They're half the price here than the gift shops in the city centre, and a great way to spend your last dollars. Just be prepared for 100 people coming up to you and asking if you'd like to buy a Gucci or Chanel bag... LOL.

Statue of Liberty.
None of my family were particularly bothered about going and climbing the statue, instead we were happy enough to take a boat trip around the little island in which it is situated and get a good look. The tickets we got were around $50, and were a sort of 'hop-on-hop-off' service, that went from Brooklyn to the city again.

Central Park.
We were really lucky to be blessed with a really lovely sunny day, which meant it was off for a quick shop in Bloomingdales and then walk through Central Park. Its huge.... like really huge, so I doubt we even got a quarter of the way through, but it's incredible. We entered where the zoo is and just had a wander until we found somewhere to stop for lunch. The café was far too healthy and "trendy" for me, but it filled a gap and did the job. After we went to Strawberry Fields in Central Park, which is where John Lennon's apartment was located. There's still a very active memorial there and I'd suggest a quick trip if you were a fan.

We loved just walking around the city, as its so simple to navigate your way around... the UK ought to take note. The city streets are fairly straight lined, so diagonally they're avenues and horizontally they're numbered streets. So for example, if your hotel is on 5th Avenue, 52nd Street, you just have to get yourself to the right avenue or street and literally walk in a straight line. Genius!

There's so much we didn't get to do on our little trip, but that just makes for a good excuse to go back one day! Hope you've enjoyed the post. My final one will be a quick one about the amazing food!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, 17 April 2015

NYC #1 - Shopping (Wet-n-Wild, Sephora, VS & Kate Spade)

Oh dear... haven't I managed to balls up that regular blogging pledge I made? I'm dying to sit and write all about my recent trip to New York though, so maybe all can be forgiven! This year was my 21st birthday, my sisters 18th and my dads retirement... so my dad kindly offered to combine one of our joint dreams and take us to New York City! I scrimped and saved for a few months, saved every penny of my birthday money and slowly built up a shopping fund for the trip, which happened at the end of March.
This post is going to be all about the shopping! <3

Obviously being the make-up obsessing manic that I am, I was dying to try a few bits and bobs. To be honest, I surprised myself and didn't have a big long list of things I wanted to try... instead just picked up a few bits and bobs from the local drug stores. Walgreens, Duane Reed and CVS were the three pharmacies I noticed were most common, and were sort of half supermarket / Superdrug style.

Wet-n-Wild Palettes: comfort zone ($8), silent treatment ($4) and the naked truth ($6)

One of the brands I was very keen to try was Wet'n'Wild, as I've heard so many good things about their eye-shadows and I've never been able to find any products in England. I picked up the Comfort Zone Palette, which I am obsessed with. I also picked up a couple of mini-quads, which again are super high quality and have used everyday since.

Sephora's own lipstick and concealer, Wet-n-wild glitter single, Cover Girl last blast 24hr mascara and EOS Lipbalm

The Covergirl Lash Blast mascara was something that was on my list, as the packaging and brush looked identical to my all time fave, which is Max Factors 'false lash effect'. It was around the $12 dollar mark and in my opinion a total waste, as the formula was crap and did very little. I suppose I can get away with wearing it on days where I wear glasses! Hey-ho.

I picked up a couple of bits from Sephora... after making my sister walk round all the counters with me for nearly an hour I decided against making any "high-end" purchases for a couple of reasons: 1) I don't really use that many high end products from the UK, so perhaps would be wasting money and 2) higher end US makeup is far easier to buy over here, compared to drug store, thanks to various cosmetic websites. So I went for one of Sephora's own lipsticks and concealers instead... more as a souvenir than anything, which is perhaps a bit sad... but hey-ho.

I was also surprised to see how much cheaper Real Techniques Brushes are in America! I picked up the blush brush and the powder brush for less than $10 each (I'm sure you don't need a picture as everyone and their nan has RT brushes), which works out around £6.20! Bargain or what?! I found that along with the stippling brush, that was all the pharmacies seemed to stock, which was a little disappointing, but they're the two brushes I most wanted, so can't complain too much!

I picked up a few other bits and bobs on the way, I'll not bore you with all my little clothes purchases. One thing I did get for my housemates were some Victoria's Secret body sprays. They're on a deal in the US for 6 for $35, which is a total bargain. My fave is Coconut Passion, i've never smelt anything so gorgeous! They also had lots of underwear deals on and I picked up 5 pairs of knickers for $30... which as you can guess was another total bargain compared to how expensive VS is over here!

I spent a little bit of money on clothes as well, but the biggest purchase was this little beauty. There's very little to say really, apart from sorry to my boyfriend James, because there's a new love in my life!! After thinking I wanted a Michael Kors bag, I was really disappointed in the quality and look of the one I had my eye on... and after seeing everyone and their mum sporting one I decided to go for something different. Hello Kate Spade <3 This gorgeous tote was around the $300 mark and was the perfect way to invest in something that would always remind me of my 21st and the trip of a lifetime.

Hope you enjoyed this post, I could have written all day. I'll probably do another post about all the sight seeing we did, as well as places I recommend for food and what our hotel was like.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Weekly Update #2

Another week, another spectacular blogging fail!! It's so hard to find the motivation sometimes, especially when you have two books to read, an essay to plan and write and uni to attend. But hey-ho... this weekly update type post went down well, so here's another.

This week was another attempt at semi-healthy eating. I can never manage a whole week without a few treats, but am trying to get more inventive with my healthy lunch ideas. I've jumped on the quinoa (keen-wah) bandwagon and loved it in this simple salad mix. You'll also see that i'm totally obsessed with avocados, which I probably eat 2-4 times a week. Oh well, better than being addicted to chocolate buttons I suppose! The wagamamas was a treat as I got two good assignment marks back this week. I'd never been before, but would definitely recommend it to those who are curious to try a variety of Asian food. YUM.

I came home from a stressful day at uni to find a little note on my desk saying "I know you've been craving one"... and it was attached to a gorgeous red velvet cupcake!! Room-mate of the year award? I think so! Excuse the shameless selfie, we all do it! I've been sleeping with my hair in plaits instead of curling it. I know that's so 12-year-old, but I'm loving it ahaa! Finally a little snap at the eclipse... did anyone else watch it? I couldn't believe how quickly the moon moved!

I've had another little play around with my blog layout and design too. How do you like it? I've been trying to teach myself how to use CSS codes, as they're so much easier to use than trying to edit the HTML template. I'm so jealous of people that can create such amazing templates... but I don't think it looks too bad... for a novice! ;)

Hope you've all had a great week!
I'm off to New York this time next week, so prepare yourself for a very very photo-heavy weekly update next week..... I might even do a big post on my experience.

Thanks for reading <3

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Weekly Update #1

As you may or may not know, I'm a third year English student and as it stands, i'm only physically in university one day a week. I spend a lot of time reading, as I have to read two novels a week, and applying for jobs... which lets face it, even the most amazing blogger couldn't make seem all that interesting. However, with so much time to kill I figured it might be interesting to post 'weekly updates' showing all the things I've done in my days off. If anything it should motivate me to try and do something interesting that you'll find worth reading!

I've found living on a student budget particularly hard when it comes to food. However, three years of doing so has taught me well. All of these meals have been made with things bought in Aldi, with each costing less than £3 in total. Whoever said student diets are rubbish didn't know where to shop! I might start blogging about meals if any of you would be interested? Let me know in the comments.

I found this cute little mug in Home Bargains for £1 and thought it was a cute little sentiment to give to my other half. He's not a student, so i often feel guilty that I can't keep up with his spending, but little gestures like this just show that it's not all about money.... even if you do get a gorgeous bunch of roses from him now and again. These shoes were a birthday gift from him, which made their debut on a night out this week. Aren't they gorgeous?!

If you like these type of posts,... or want to see something else, let me know!

<3 Jen

Monday, 26 January 2015

Mega Bargain: Loreal Haircare in Superdrug

Very quick lunchtime bargain post!

Fibrology Shampoo & Conditioner // Colour Protect Shampoo & Conditioner

ALL £1.97 EACH, instead of £3.99!

I'm a big fan of the 'colour protect range' so grabbed a set of that. They also had the hair mask for £1.97, but unfortunately that was out of stock in my local Superdrug. I've been wanting to try the 'fibrology' ones for a while, as i'm a sucker for anything that claims to make hair thicker. If you're interested, i'll happily review them in a few weeks! Lots of the Loreal ranges seemed to be in the 'better than 1/2 price' offer, so if you're a fan, or wanting to try them for the first time, now's the perfect time to stock up.

Happy shopping!

<3 Jen

** this offer is now available in BOOTS **

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Flower Loving Maniac (feat. Cath Kidston)

I love reading 'what's in my handbag' posts on here, and was planning on doing something similar to kick-start this little blog again. However, when I sat down to look what was in my handbag I had a bit of a revalation... everything I own is Cath Kidston! I knew I had a bit of an affinity with CK, but the extent of my unhealthy obsession wasn't something I was aware of! 

Whenever my family are unsure about what to get my for birthday / Christmas, they always head for CK, which is perhaps how I've built up so much over the past few years. Who doesn't love a good floral print? ...  Right? So here are a few of the things I use on a regular basis...

Pencil Tin // Keyring // Hand-cream // Diary
Notebook // Purse // Small Makeup Bag // Coin Purse

The large zip oilcloth bag was a lovely surprise from my parents for Christmas, they'd obviously been reading my blog! I use it every time I'm in uni, as it's super lightweight and easy to clean. The diary was a January sales steal at £10, and it's the most useful diary I've ever owned. If you're in the market for a new one I would highly recommend checking CK out. The other little bits and bobs have all been presents across various occasions, including the large purse for my recent 21st birthday.

There's always some cheap alternatives out there, which I fully take advantage of. So if like me,  a little floral obsessed, but can't often justify abusing your bank balance, here are a few of my favorites...

Tin: TK Maxx // Ipad Mini Case: Amazon // Phone Case: H&M // Ringbinder: Home Bargains

Please tell me I'm not the only one with a little obsession for all things floral?
Perhaps you have an obsession with a particular pattern / brand... if you do, I would love you to do a post and link it below! I'll mention you all in a future blog post!