Saturday, 4 April 2015


After finally getting a new digital camera, I'm back- and haven't forgotten about all you lovely people on blogger. The is the first time you'll have seen me on camera so SURPRISE! I hope you find this amusing, and learn from my mistakes! Leave a comment or tweet me, I'll always reply.

Liam :-)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Winter Favourites

The Questions:

What are your favourite things about Winter?
Winter is about cold mornings, dark nights and icy roads- but if you learn to embrace it, it can be the 'most wonderful time of the year'. Apart from Christmas and everything that comes with the exciting build up, my favourite part about winter is probably the seasonable weather. Although the cold climate makes getting out of bed 100x more challenging, I love crisp frosty mornings and the chance of snow. Walking to university when the sky is blue and the air is cool is my favourite time of day, and rushing home to warm up on dark afternoons leaves me feeling so festive. If you stop moaning about it, it's all so cute and enjoyable... embrace it. 

What is your favourite Winter outfit?
A typical winter outfit for me is black skinny jeans (what's new?...), a plain tee, and my beloved (and well worn) tan Timberland boots. I've also been loving my new winter coat, a smart black duffel with a fleecey fur collar. I picked it up from Topman early last month, and you can see it on some of my recent instagram posts. If you guys are interested, I'll feature it in an outfit of the day post soon! 
What is your favourite Winter food?
Who doesn't love a roast dinner? and they're pretty mandatory at this time of year. As a Brit (and especially as a northerner) a roast dinner is eaten in my house at LEAST once a week, but they're perfect at this time of year. When you include all of the trimmings- parsnips, roast potatoes, stuffing and sprouts, it's everything. If you don't like sprouts, you're doing christmas wrong!
Favourite Winter drink?
I'd love to sound super festive and classy, and say something spectacularly Christmassy like Bailey's or a strange caramel coffee of some sort- but it's really not my thing. I recently tried Costa Coffee's new White Hot Chocolate and was beyond disappointed, to me it tasted like luke warm baby formula- not impressed. What I do enjoy though is hot chocolate, and Starbucks is every instagrammers dream at this time of year.

What is your dream way to spend a Winter’s day?
If we are talking FANTASIES, I'd spend the day shopping in NYC with an an unlimited budget and all of my friends and loved ones. Ice-skating in Central Park, Mariah's festive concert at the Rockefeller Plaza... one day I'll make it. 
How do you like to do your make-up in the Winter?
I obviously can't answer this question as I don't wear makeup to the extent of having a 'wintery' way of doing things, but for girls you can't beat a dark lip- berry tones and purples. I know Rebel by MAC is a perfect lip colour for this time of year.  Some of my friends kill it, maybe you should ask them. 
What are you hoping Santa brings you?
My Christmas list is typically the same every year: aftershaves, underwear and money (what more could a boy want? ha) What I'd kill for this year is a new iPhone, and I'm undecided whether I'd prefer the six or six plus, is bigger always better? Unless I win the lottery, I won't be getting one anytime soon, but a boy can wish. 
What are the first three things that remind you of Winter?
Snow, Santa and sparkly lights. 
What is your favourite Winter song?
If you don't follow me on Twitter (which you should) you won't know that I've been LOVING Mariah's Christmas album. 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' and 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' are spectacular- check them out. Apart from the QUEEN of christmas miss MC, other festive favourites of mine include The Pogues' timeless anthem 'Fairytale of New York' and Chris Rea's 'Driving Home For Christmas'. So much love.

What is your favourite Winter memory?
Sledging seems like the perfect winter activity, but honestly I've had so many bad experiences I can't even pretend to enjoy it. Icy fingers, frozen feet and wet clothes- no thankyou. Some cute memories I have involve waking up to snow, and sitting in my pyjamas checking the school website in the hope it would close for the day. Everyday I'd wait at the bus stop, and when the busses stopped running, school was cancelled. What could possibly be more exciting for a lazy fourteen year old? Watching old movies in front of the fire when you should be working makes it all so much sweeter. 
What is your favourite Winter scent?
If we're talking winter scents it HAS to be a Yankee candle. I love the festive ones, and I'm currently burning 'Cherry Vanilla', it's heaven. In addition, I love the Christmas Markets in my hometown of Manchester. The smell is a mixture of chocolates, cinnamon, hog roast, pancakes, hotdogs and mulled wine- it wouldn't be winter without a day trip here. 
Finish this sentence… If I could have one wish this Christmas it would be…
To be surrounded by my loving family, singing and laughing over a gorgeous roast and a couple glasses of wine! oh, a white Christmas would be lovely too, so I'm wishing for snow!

Thankyou for reading, I've been super busy at university and I am finally coming towards the end of my first semester. I've been doing really well actually, and got a First Class mark on my most recent essay! I'm very happy and proud to say the least! Follow me on twitter and insta to keep up to date with my latest antics, and keep your eyes on this blog. Much more exciting stuff coming up this month :-) xx

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Style Icons: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West

Kim and Kanye are arguably one of the world's most famous and culturally relevant couples, and I am personally a massive fan.  What I admire the most about them though, is their recent interest in high fashion and their changing styles.  Kanye has long since been a style icon of mine, and I think his influence on Kimberley's stylistic choices has made the duo effortlessly chic, elegant and understated. The recently married pair have made themselves into a brand, and their ensembles (which often co-ordinate) represent them as an attractive couple of substance and relevance.  
Their fashion choices are always sophisticated and glam- an idea and style I'd love to replicate in my day to day wardrobe.  If there is one word to describe their style it's 'minimalist'- a huge trend for 2014/15 and an assured way of achieving an effortlessly understated look.

Minimalism: The concept of minimalist architecture is to strip everything down to its essential quality and achieve simplicity.The idea is not completely without ornamentation, but that all parts, details and joinery are considered as reduced to a stage where no one can remove anything further to improve the design. [source]

Below I have gathered a collection of some of my favourite 'paired down' looks that Kim and Kanye have worn. If this doesn't give you 'stylespiration' I don't know what will. 

Don't forget to find me of twitter, instagram and to follow my blog on bloglovin (all the links are at the top of the page). Comment below who your fashion crushes are, I love gaining inspiration from celebrity style and current designers. Thankyou for reading. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

What's In My Shower

I know that some of you would be interested in a tour (snoop around) of my new uni flat, and I thought the best and most interesting place to start would be in my little en-suite. Often, I am asked what products I use- and if I am honest I haven't altered my morning/night-time routine for a long time. For those who are interested, here's a sneak peak into my shower, and a review of some of my current faves.

Original Source shower gels really are your best bet if like me, you need a burst of energy and zest on those cold, early mornings. I've been obsessed with both the lemon and lime products which really pack a punch when it comes to scent and freshness.  Amazingly, forty real limes are crammed into this citrus shower gel, and the zesty scent stays with you even after you've rinsed the product away. The miniature lemon shower gel I own came free as part of a 'starter kit' when I arrived at the uni. After giving it a go I was not disappointed. The products are vegan and friendly to the environment- another bonus to the shower gels which are currently unrivalled in terms of scent and quality. I've been reserving my coconut scented bottle for the evening time, as this particular body wash is creamier and more luxurious than its fruitier counterparts. I've found it to be very relaxing after stressful days running from lecture to lecture, maybe it could do the same for you! The products are available to view here, and are widely available in most high-street drugstores and supermarkets.

When focussing on skincare, I am still using my 'holy grail' combination of St. Ives Apricot Scrub and Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Wash.  If you're interested in knowing further details and a more in-depth review of these products, check out this blogpost from earlier in the year. For me, this facial scrub and daily wash seem to work together well, and keep my skin feeling fresh and noticeably clearer with regular use. Until I hear about something that works just as well, I'm planning to re-purchase these particular brands time and time again. What kind of products are you enjoying?

The priciest items in my shower are hair lightening shampoos by John Frieda (available here). These 'Go Blonder' treatments have been very effective in gently brightening the lighter parts of my hair, and have given me a naturally, visibly blonder look. I use the shampoo in isolation, as I feel my hair is soft and fine enough without need for additional conditioning. In my experience, the John Frieda products work fantastically well alone, and don't necessarily require their sister product (shampoo + conditioner combo) to have a dramatic lightning effect on your hair. I would certainly recommend these products, and believe them to be well worth their price. If you're feeling thrifty, wait for the range to be on offer, or explore shops such as Body Care to try and grab a bargain with your toiletries. 

If you'd like me to write a full post about my hair lightening experience, let me know in the comments or on Twitter. I've used three different products in order to achieve a sun kissed look, and avoiding the use of bleach had enabled me to maintain soft and healthy hair. 

As always, thankyou for reading and continuing to tweet about and support my blog. I've been tremendously busy at university, settling in and getting to grips with my course. Freshers week really took its tole on my body and skin, and I think a full detox is definitely required to get back to feeling healthy, active and well! Studying English as I do, I'm very determined to keep up to date with my blog, and keep you informed about what I'm up to! Thankyou for reading. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Surviving Freshers and Settling In

The short-term absence of posts from my blog has been a consequence of me starting university, which has been the scariest and best time of my life.  Experiencing freshers has been crazy, and I feel like I'm now qualified enough to give you some advice on how to survive the manic first week and finally feel at home. Whether you're feeling a little homesick, or starting to feel the effects of the all-nighters, here's my personal tips for getting settled; 

Get Out There:
The only way to meet new people and introduce yourself to other students is to get out there and socialise.  You'll be surprised how many people are out there looking for new friendships- make them now before people get stuck into their studies later down the line!  I made it my plan to learn someone's name every where I went, so don't be too shy to jump into conversations and ask questions of your own.  It doesn't need to be awkward or formal at all, avoid cringe-worthy introductions at all costs. Just get chatting about nights out, university or moving out- everyone's in the same boat after all.

Pace Yourself:
It's no lie that there is a subliminal pressure to party, drink and go wild every night of freshers and I've tried my best to make the most of the cheap drinks and clubbing atmosphere. I think I've drank more wine this week than I ever have in my entire life, and when you're twerking to Anaconda by Nicki Minaj at 3am you know it's a good night. However, unless you're some kind of unstoppable party animal- the late nights will catch up with you and you'll need to allow yourself time to relax. One night midweek, my flat all went shopping and ordered a late night Domino's pizza- you can still have fun without downing a bottle of wine beforehand...  My advice would be: don't be afraid to get stuck in, but also know your limits.  I've ended up feeling a little run down and worse for wear but my week has been fantastic.

Plan Ahead:
On my first day of university talks I woke up at death's door. It's fair to say we all went a little far at the opening night, which was a beach themed party at the accommodation's central bar/club.  In light of this I'd advice you to plan ahead, and let loose only on nights where you're guaranteed a lie in the next morning. I'm not saying never have fun or drink ever again, there have been nights where my flatmates have been passed out with their head in the freezer door... but make sure you're prepared for what's to come the next day. The same rule will apply for the rest of your time at uni really, it's all just about thinking ahead and saving yourself the tortures of a lecture when you can't even see straight (trust me, it's not pretty). 

My final tip is simply to relax and enjoy yourself.  There will be times when you have a little wobble, wishing you were at home in your own bed, and it's important to know that everyone is feeling it behind closed doors. If it all gets too much, confide in a friend and tell people how you feel- everyone in my flat has been so caring towards one-another it's almost too much to be believed.  I've been up at 5am unable to sleep, when I can see and hear drunken lads running around outside in their boxers, but it's all just part of the fun.  Relax and calm down, and if you can't beat them, join them. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

How To: Bake Giant Chocolate Cookies

With the rising popularity of baking amongst Brits, and tv shows like The Great British Bake Off dominating the airwaves, it's no longer uncool to home make some delicious sweet treats every now and then. I recently saw youtuber Tanya Burr's video tutorial where she made some delicious looking chocolate chip cookies, and I had to give them a go. Believe me when I say these cookies are GIANT and irresistible. I used large chunks of chocolate bar as opposed to miniature chocolate chips- I've listed the ingredients and recipe below. Give them a go! 

200g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
1 egg
325g self raising flour
dash of milk (if needed)
300-400g of chocolate

Firstly preset your oven to 200°c, and gather all your ingredients together. These cookies take almost no time at all to prepare, and bake just as fast.  After allowing your butter to reach room temperature, cream it together with your caster sugar until it creates a smooth consistency. Then, after resisting the urge to taste your butter cream, whisk in the egg. The next step is to add in the flour, and I would advise adding it in approx 100g lots so as to not overload the mixture. You'll begin to think it's looking too thick, but remember you're making a dough and not a cake batter! (if the dough refuses to bind and is too powdery and loose, you can throw in a dash of milk at this stage).

The only think to do now is to toss in chunks of chocolate, and don't feel the need to break it up into tiny chips- bite size squares make the cookies chunky and indulgent. I used a standard milk chocolate, but you could experiment with white chocolate or even something a little different such as Daim or Terry's Choloate Orange... imagine. Give the dough a thorough mix with your hands to ensure the chocolate chunks are evenly distributed. I bet you can't resist a taste test at this point... you'd have to be strong willed not to!

Separating the mixture into 8-10 small fist sized portions, spread them evenly on a tin foil lined baking tray before popping them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. A handy tip to remember is that the raw cookie dough balls can be frozen at this stage, and baked at a later date when you're craving a freshly baked treat.  

Don't wait until the cookies look brown or solid, take them out when they're starting to golden and allow them to rest. Trust me, the cookies harden slightly as they cool- and you want them to be soft and chewy. Ten to twelve minutes at 200g is the optimum baking time! 

When they come out of the oven, allow them to cool for around 25 minutes before you tuck in. They're most delicious when they are still slightly warm and the chocolate is still gooey... You need to give this recipe a go, it's difficult to get wrong and the outcome is so good. 

If you've given this recipe a go let me know in the comments. I find baking really fun and enjoyable when I have a free afternoon, is it still viewed as something for just OAPs? I'd say don't knock it until you've tried it- and you HAVE TO try these!  I'll leave a link to Tanya's youtube here, I gained my inspiration for this bake from her recipe- so thankyou Tanya! 

As always, don't forget to follow me on bloglovin, twitter and instagram. I love hearing from people who've ready my blog! Liam x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

University Checklist / Preparation

If you're my age and going to univeristy, the next two weeks are probably going to be the busiest and most anxious as we prepare to move out of our family home and into halls of residence with a set of other students we have not yet met. In all honesty I'm very excited. I'm not viewing it as 'moving out' or leaving my entire life behind, but putting it into perspective- I'm merely going to uni! I'll probably be home every other weekend- I'm never more than a couple of hours from home. So no need to stress. 

What could be stressful though is preparing the colossal amount of things we need to take with us- from bedding to laptops; it can all get very confusing. Recently my parents and I had a visit to Asda Living, and there we filled four large baskets with homeware, bedroom decorations and kitchen utensils. These are the kind of expenses a student loan doesn't cover and the things we don't always think about when planning to go to uni- but these items really are essential. 

For the bedroom, you'll probably need a new duvet, quilt cover, pillows and bedding. Another item I'd highly recommend is a mattress topper- they're fairly inexpensive and ensure a comfortable and clean base- you never know who's been living in that room before you... ugh. Other than that, have you thought about storage? Maybe plastic boxes, laundry baskets and extra shelving would come in handy- I suppose it's all very personal to your requirements. To make my room cosy, I'm planning on buying a couple of soft cushions, maybe some fairy lights and photo frames to make everything feel warm and homely. The last thing I want is a cold shell of a room- it needs to feel like a place of my own. 

Aswell as all of that, there's the kitchen utensils to think about. I walked down the aisle and literally filled my basket- you'll be surprised how much there is and how much you'll need. Cutlery, bottle openers, tin openers, baking trays and tongues- my accomodation is self-catered so I'm planning on rustling up some (hopefully) impressive and affordable meals. I also picked up some glasses and mugs, plates and bowls. There's so much to remember! 

Electricals. Depending on your course, other items you'll need in your flat are a laptop, printer, small tv and even a desk lamp. These are things most of us have already, but I've had to buy a new laptop and tv. Moving to univeristy can be expensive, but look for the best deals and buy items that will last you the duration of your studies. I bought a white Samsung TV and Toshiba laptop in a matching colour, I'm so thrilled and think they look so pretty; I'm in love. 

After collecting an enormous pile of bits and bobs, I also began to prepare for other aspects of my time at univeristy.  The English department sent me a reading list- the names of 6 or 7 books I am expected to purchase (and in some cases read... argh) before I arrive. This is something to bear in mind, does your course require any kind of preparation? My department have even given me a few 'tasks' to complete before my induction... homework before I even get there! I suppose I've gotten lazy over summer and the thought of educational work intimidates me slightly! I'll soon get back into the rhythm of things once I move in- I'm looking forward to it. 

Hope some of you found this post useful and interesting, even if you're not going to univeristy and just fancied a nosey. Make sure you follow me on twitter, I'm always posting on there about univeristy plans and what I'm up to... What kind of posts would you like to see next, an insight into the items I bought, advice about moving away? Let me know in the comments below.