- Monday, 29 June 2015 -

Lucky Dip Club: Dinosaur Disco Box Subscription

Hello my lovelies! Who doesn't love getting things in the post? I'd been eyeing up the Lucky Dip Club Subscription box ever since their release last year; filled to the brim with a random jumble of jewellery, stationery and other little bits and bobs, all created with love and care from talented crafters all over the UK. Each package plays host to a colourful new theme, from valley of the unicorns to vintage florals, every box is packed with an array of items especially catered to that months theme. Having felt that I'd bided my time long enough, it was time to join the club, or the Lucky Dip Club for that matter! So let's take a peek at what I received in this months Dino Disco box...

Along with a cute collection of items, within each Lucky Dip Club box resides your very own personalised piece - this months being the most rawrsome succulent stake I've ever seen! I also received a massive roll of dinosaur washi tape and the cutest silver necklace, which is incidentally part of a 10 piece series where you can collect the charms to make your own charm bracelet, as if you need any other excuse to subscribe! There's also the option on the site to buy various items from past boxes, so even if you miss out on your desired months box, there's still a chance to grab some of your favourite pieces. Oh, and did I mention that you can also BUILD your own box? Yes, it may defeat the element of surprise, but the lovely Leona (the creator of LDC) always manages to throw in a few treats here and there.

Is University for You?

Hello you lovely lot! Before we get stuck into todays post, I want to offer you all my sincerest apologies for leaving you quite high and dry this past while. Producing regular blog posts has proven quite difficult since I stated my little internship, but fear not dear readers, as you can't get rid of me that easily! It feels that from a very young age, children are coerced into attending university to extend their education in the hope of propelling their future prospects.

At an age where you barely know who you are let alone what university you want to go to, it's important to evaluate all the options available to you before plummeting head first into a decision you might end up regretting. Investing in your future is a scary prospect and my pathway to university didn't come without its ups and downs, so here's my story...

For me, university was always one of those things so far off in the distance that I could simply put it to the back of my mind and worry about it later. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where as long as I was happy and healthy, that was all that mattered, however with the good comes the bad and without any pressure from my parents consequently came a lack of direction. By age 20, I still hadn't a clue what I wanted to do with my life and it was only when I took matters into my own hands and started scoping out possible pathways and courses, that I really found my feet.

Wanting to delve into something media-related (as I had studied a BTEC media course at college), I had applied to 5 Russell Group universities and had gotten accepted into them all. However, it wasn't until I realised that design is where my true passion lay, that the panic had began to set in. So, I tentatively took the decision to reject my offers and go through Clearing, which turned out to be the best thing I'd ever done. Clearing is infamous for being categorised as the stressful limbo between university courses which students flock to in desperation if they've been rejected from their chosen university of just want a change, like me. So, even in the darkest of situations, a ray of hope can light your way. So, in saying that, let me list a few reasons for you as to why people tend to go to university...

Because you need a degree to get a job: This is probably the most prominent misconception about attending university, whilst yes, it does improve your chances of gaining a job, it should never be perceived as your one-way ticket to employment. On the other end of the spectrum, some people who have specialised degrees don't always get into their desired field of work, or soon after leaving university, realise that it's not what the want to do at all. I've witnessed this first hand from a friends experience who obtained a degree in media, worked at a radio station for X amount of years making a steady salary, only to realise that it simply wasn't for her anymore. So, hellbent on achieving happiness, she went on to do a 10 week teaching course at a local college. After finishing, she went for her first teaching interview (to put into practice her new skills) and came out with the job! All because of her passion and perseverance, which is exactly why a degree should never be viewed as the be all and end all.

Everyone else is doing it: Did you know that almost 1 in 4 students drop out of university in their first year? Society drums in the prospect of university as soon as we start sitting exams as it appears to be the only route to becoming a successful human being. At the tender age of 18, can you really know what you want to do with the rest of your life when it just seems so much easier to follow the crowd and hope that you'll grow to like your course. However, I have many friends who became nurses, dental assistants, teachers and designers all without the help of a degree, and to be completely honest, I'd trade places with their steady jobs and debt-free lives any day! It takes an enormous amount of confidence and courage to go against the grain and do something different but always try to keep in mind that university simply isn't for everyone - and that's okay.

To experience the student lifestyle: As soon as September creeps around the corner, there's a distinct influx of students roaming the streets, prepping themselves for Freshers, otherwise known as a students quintessential rite of passage. University life is often linked to dining of nothing but beer and Pot Noodles as you squander your student loan, not so glamorous, eh? Although if you do come out alive at the other end, you will have gained a handful of invaluable experiences: like having met a colourful array of new people or learning the true value of hard work as you come out with that coveted 2:1. Leaving home for the first time can result in a mixture of emotions, it may be exciting liberating yourself from your parents, but trust me, it's scary as well. Migrating from the family nest can be a lonely adjustment to get used to but you'll soon find your independence as you get out there meeting new people and making memories.

Going to University - Pros: 
  The freedom of moving away from home for the first time
  Having a better chance at achieving your dream job if you have a degree in it
  Meeting new people and making new friends
  Experiencing Freshers i.e. the craziest time of your life
  Gaining more skills and growing your independence

Going to University - Cons:
  Facing the fact that you'll be in a lot of debt by the end of it all
  You'll be out of your comfort zone and in a new environment 
  Having a degree doesn't always equate to a job
  It can delay your experience of the real world
  It can be quite hard adjusting to the university lifestyle

- Tuesday, 16 June 2015 -

DIY: Macaroon Earrings

Hello you lovely lot! During the weekends, I always find myself trawling the realms of Pinterest in search of inspiration and motivation for the week ahead. I find myself forever pinning away at popular projects and mesmerising DIYs, adamant in filling my days with "Pinterest-worthy" ventures - be it baking that rainbow cake or crocheting my own tea cosy. Recently, I've been eyeing up cute miniature macaroon necklaces strewn about the Pinterest site and I've been eager to give them a whirl! But why make one macaroon, when you can make two?

You will need:
Polymer Clay (one in your choice of colour and white to make the filling)
A Modelling Tool - or a toothpick will work too!
Clear Glue
Earring Findings, with backs

Step 1/ Carefully roll four equal pieces of Polymer clay into rounded balls. These four portions are going to act as the top and bottom parts of your mini macaroon sandwich!

Step 2/ Squash each ball between your fingers until you get a rounded disk shape. Again, make sure that you're flattening all your balls equally, so they all remain in proportion with each other,

Step 3/ Now repeat this process with your white Polymer clay. However, keeping in mind that this will be the macaroon filling, in order for it to look aesthetically accurate, make it thinner and a tad smaller than its purple counterparts so it'll fit neatly in between the other pieces.

Step 4/ Using the blunt of your modelling tool - or toothpick - drag down the rounded edges of your purple macaroon segment, giving it the same ruffled effect as in real life.

Step 5/ When you're finished decorating the edges, carefully place the pieces on top of one and other, with the white filling stuffing the centre - just like a sandwich! Looks good enough to eat, right?

Step 6/ As soon as you're satisfied with the look of your mini macaroons, you can pop them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (200° fan assisted over, gas mark 6) to allow them to harden. When you've let them cool, you can now apply glue to the flat of your ear findings.

Step 7/ Carefully stick the flat of the earring in the centre of your macaroon and hold down firmly for a few seconds. After repeating this process for your other earring, you're done, you've just made yourself a yummy new pair of earrings, enjoy!

- Thursday, 11 June 2015 -

Disney x Vans

Hello my lovelies! Why is it that when an item of clothing sports some kind of Disney character or print, it automatically becomes 100 times cuter? This lifelong affair with Disney runs deeper than having a general appreciation for the movies - I'll always be the girl with a Minnie Mouse plush proudly perched on her bed (as much as Martin hates it!). So when Vans released their latest Disney range last week, you know I was all over that shit.

From Disney Villains to Donald Duck, Vans have catered to every die-hard Disney fans tastes. Torn between an Ariel, Jasmine or Belle printed pair, I thought to myself "why should I settle for only one Disney Princess, when I can have them all?"

I'll admit, stepping out in trainers is a rare occurrence for me - being more accustomed to a casual pair of pumps or cosy brogues, I was excited to own something that would serve as comfortable as well as cute! Prepping my ankles with plasters, I was prepared to break in my shoes, but after 3 days of non-stop wear, I have yet to find a blister in sight. They're honestly the most comfortable and colourful pair of shoes I own and I can't help but let out a little squeal of delight every time I look down and see all my beautiful princesses beaming back up at me.

Have you seen the new Disney x Vans collection yet?


- Wednesday, 3 June 2015 -

15 Blogger Problems

Hello my lovelies! What most don't realise before beginning a blog is how it can completely consume your life. Your experiences, be they big or small, all become inspiration for a potential blogpost; you find yourself spending a gruelling amount of time prepping the likes of your food for photos because if you don't Instagram it, it obviously didn't happen. For me, having a blog isn't merely a hobby, it's a lifestyle choice - a vessel and online version of myself that I can pour my heart and soul into, it's a means of preserving precious memories and a way to make new ones. However, blogging doesn't come without its problems, because with every perfectly crafted post I publish is a disheveled girl who has written a draft, deleted and written it again only to realise upon hitting publish that there are about 100 grammatical errors in the post #bloggerproblems

1/ As soon as there's a new social media app released, everyone rushes to secure their username in accordance with their blog name (damn you fineanddandy1!)

2/ Limiting your Primark haul to essentials only, socks, hair ties etc and kicking yourself when you didn't purchase that sassy summer dress, because nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy

3/ Having an absolute gem of a blog post idea only for someone beat you to it

4/ Attending an event or visiting a phenomenal place only to have forgotten your camera. But oh, I have my camera phone right? Wrong, it's on it's last legs with about 2% battery remaining

5/ Having a huge photo session, and taking about 500 photos only to end up using about 5

6/ The willpower that comes with not using products before you've photographed them first

7/ Home stores and craft shops become an endless source of props and backgrounds for blog photographs

8/ Meticulously skimming through your post numerous times, convinced there are no spelling errors in sight, only to hit publish and it's the first one you see on the screen, taunting you

9/ Going into Boots or Lush for one thing and leaving with the entire store

10/ Having more online friends than you do in real life, and thusly seeming a lot cooler on the internet than you actually are (which proves prettttyyy awkward when you meet up at blogger events)

11/ The extensive preparation that goes on behind blogging - the tidying up, the photographing, the lighting, editing, responding to comments, interacting on social media...

12/ The winter months i.e. the bane of any bloggers life. Where there's a brief window of light between the hours of 12:45pm and 12:48pm

13/ Looking back at old blog posts and cringing

14/ Doing absolutely anything for a good blog photograph, be it risking your life on top of a chair for that perfect flatlay angle or having people stare at you like a crazy person in the street as you pose for outfit photos

15/ Realising that the postman is basically the adult-version of Santa Claus and feeling the excitement building as you sprint to open the front door

- Monday, 1 June 2015 -

The Body Shop: Japanese Cherry Blossom

Hello you lovely lot! When it comes to products, I am a complete sucker for some pretty packaging! So when visiting my local Body Shop store, I was instantly drawn to their Japanese Cherry Blossom range as it radiated a romantic femininity. The soft pink of the packaging really reeled me in and the little decorative blossoms had me completely sold as I sprinted to the checkout. Inspired by a day in Kyoto, the delicate cherry blossom scent will have you completely captivated, and eager to jump on the next one-way plane to Japan. 

I must have more body butter in my house than knickers at this stage - I just love smothering it on my skin straight after I hop out of the shower, allowing it to sink in so I can fool people into thinking its my natural scent. Normally not a fan of florally aromas, the Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Butter proves to be a lot gentler, leaving your skin smelling fresh without coming off as too overpowering. Last year I made The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach range my go-to summer scent (and you can view that post here!) and although I am instantly transported to last summer as soon as I smell the faintest hint of peaches in the air, I wanted something a little less fruity this year.

Along with the body butter, I also picked up this florally fragrance mist, which I can just pop in my bag whenever I feel like freshening up! And how beautiful is this bottle though? I love that The Body Shop have really done justice to the delicate oriental theme with this design, as the pink proves girly and fun. Much like the body butter, the scent itself is quite subtle so you don't need to go through a lot to make it linger on your skin. I absolutely adore all the collections that The Body Shop stocks, and whether you're in a coconutty mood, want to smell delicious with Virgin Mojito, or just want to channel your inner Harajuku girl with Japanese Cherry Blossom (like me) there's always something to tickle your fancy!