Day In The Life: Kinder Scout

Whilst writing this post I am aching a lot thanks to yesterdays adventure but as it was a pretty fun day, as well as a day where I did A LOT more than I thought I was capable of, I thought it would be nice to do a day in the life post for anyone to read about, but also for myself to look back on in the future. Also I'm pleasantly surprised as although I do ache, I ache a heck of a lot less than I thought I would based on the difficulty I had moving yesterday evening!

We started our walk at 11am and didn't finish until 6pm so first of all, I'm amazed I went that long without wetting myself, especially as I said I was starting to need the toilet at about 1.30pm. Secondly, a 7 hour walk over mountains... what? I don't know how I made myself move for that long and when I did get back home, I could barely move a muscle- everywhere from my hip down, as well as the fact that my shoulders and back hurt like hell.

One of my favourite moments was the moment we were about to set off and all assumed another person knew where to go so just stood waiting until someone actually said, 'right where do we go?' (We did have a map/route plan saved to a phone but hadn't got it out at this point).

I don't normally do many things like this because open air heights scare me but they also make me feel quite ill, kind of a mix between sick, dizzy and headachey but as the walk was kind of over rolling hills for a lot of the main walk it wasn't too bad compared to past experiences. The walk there was mostly fine from this respect and it didn't affect me too much plus, my legs blummin' hurt and my breath was very short so it probably distracted me from looking around and acknowledging the height.

There were a few moments I found particularly difficult, the first being climbing up Jacobs Ladder and the bit after that as it was quite difficult physically just from making your legs move and keeping your breathing under control, but once we got to the top it seemed alright. The next bit was following the stream as the path was difficult to find and follow so if there had been anymore water, I think it would be a really difficult route, luckily it was after a few quite dry days. There was also a bit at the stream with two route options and after heading down one originally, we did turn back and venture down the other probably adding a few miles to the route. This point was the one I think I found hardest mentally and was the scariest just because it was over quite boggy mores that were formed from peat over 7000 years, according to someone we met on the walk, so the ground was uneven and there was the concern of falling into the boggy areas or our foot disappearing beneath us. More than that, the thing that worried me was the lack of anything and everything, all we could see were moors with nothing standing out and no one around us at all. I'm sure that route would eventually have taken us to the right place but it would not have been the safest route so I'm glad we went back on ourselves and tried the other direction. Although the other way was also difficult with the boggy, uneven ground, it was a lot more manageable and we could at least see piles of rocks that were recognisable, plus we passed two people on the way, which was a lot more reassuring.

At this point, we thought we'd be heading down gradually but didn't seem to be descending at all. Luckily we saw a couple further down and managed to get their attention and ask for directions. They kindly lead us back as the route we originally planned to go down was very steep and not a very safe path, we believe, which added more miles onto our walk but at least we knew where we were going and could then go back on ourselves. If we thought Jacob's Ladder was hard going up, it was just as hard going down, especially with sore limbs and the fact that you had to look down more and so this made me feel a lot more dodgy and started to give me a headache.

We made it back down and then had another couple of miles left to go to get back to Edale but at least these were on lower ground- middle to lower ish of the mountains rather than the top- and after a very difficult upwards walk initially, most of the last mile was flat ish or heading back down.

Walking through a field of cows is never something I'm particularly comfortable doing but as the cow fields were the last section more or less, I was ready to just get through and get back to civilisation. The cows had other ideas! A small herd of them thought it was a good idea to stand over and around the path, with one particular cow looking right at us and although they made no move towards us, walking through was not a chance I wanted to take... queue my panic! I was just so frazzled and could not think of a solution or a plan of action if a cow were to run towards us. Luckily the other three were more capable at dealing with the situation straight away and lead us around the back of some trees and back up near the gate, avoiding the cows (who I'm sure some of which were bulls but I didn't dare look to find out).

Once back to the safety of the village, we sat in the pub with a nice big drink and some crisps (I seemed to have skipped hunger and gone straight to stomach pains but the crisps definitely helped- note to self pack a picnic and plan an hours stop next time!) and I finally had the chance to empty my bladder.

That night I had a nice soak in the bath before grabbing some dinner and then heading to bed so that I didn't have to move again that night and although I felt exhausted, I think this was the moment I realised the extent to what we had done and my mind started to go into overdrive, exaggerating the day and thinking about 'what if this had happened' and basically scaring myself. At this point I did also google the walk to read more about it and on the map we had used originally, it described it as an 8 mile, 5 hour, medium walk but other sites had different ideas stating; 10-12 miles, 6-7 hours, challenging walk with some very difficult areas. It also described a few points as the highest in the Dark Peak as well as one rock being the highest point in the Peak District.

Looking back although there were some kind of terrifying moments as well as some very difficult sections, I'm proud of what we achieved and enjoyed it so much more than I initially thought we would, probably largely down to the company who made it a fun outing. If I were to do something similar again, I'd pick a shorter route with more paths and would have a point to get to and then would go back on myself, rather than doing a circular route where everything is new, and I can't see myself repeating this particularly route anytime soon but I'm glad I did it. In the end we actually ended up walking 32km which is just shy of 20 miles and did almost 40,000 steps (according to my mums fitbit), so I really am amazed I stayed on my feet that long especially given the location and the difficulty of it. I'm also very proud of my dog who accompanied us, as she did really well and it was a lot longer and more difficult than anything she's done in the past so she did incredibly well to keep up the energy for as long as she did- she was also extremely well behaved!

Thank you for reading my rambly recount, I hope you've enjoyed it. I think this post will be something I return to a lot in the future to show myself that I can do more than I initially think I can and to show that I can do things despite fears about them. If you liked this post and want to see more, follow my social media links to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
0

University Haul Part Two: Kitchen

Last week I uploaded the first part of my university haul with everything I had purchased for my bedroom and bathroom so far, which you can see here. Today I have the second part to that containing everything I have for my kitchen, so you can have a watch of that below.
A lot of these things were given to me by my grandma as she moved house and didn't need as much so that really helped me out and stopped me from having to buy a lot of things, which I'm really grateful for. So as there are a number of things that weren't directly from a store, I won't include them below but anything I can find or slightly similar products will be linked underneath if you would like to check them out. Even if they aren't mentioned below, hopefully it will have given you come inspiration about the items you may need for the kitchen. A lot of uni accommodations have some of these items in the flat already so check with your uni before buying mountains of things you don't need.

At this stage, I now have most of the things I need/want for university, particularly for the kitchen. Anything else I do purchase will feature in a university room tour, which I'm hopefully planning to do, and/or in a final uni stuff haul just before or once I have moved.

Items Mentioned
Vintage 1997 Mug
Floral Mug & Bowl
Next Metallic Heart Plates
Floral Lap Tray
Wilko 3 Scissors £1
Aah Bisto Favourites Gravy Limited Edition
Aah Bisto Favourites Gravy
Home Bargains Can Opener £1.99
Home Bargains Bottle Opener £1.49
Lidl Knives Two For £3 or £1.99 each
Home Bargains Foil 89p
Home Bargains Freezer Bags 69p
Home Bargains Cling Film 79p

Thank you for reading this post and watching the video. If you enjoyed it and want to see more uni videos and alike then you can subscribe here, which I'd love for you to do. You could also give it a like to let me know you enjoy these videos and hopefully find them useful, and you can follow my social media links to see when I next upload. Thank you for the support on my YouTube channel so far, I really appreciate it and would love to see it continue.

Love, Steph x
0

Boutique Of Molly Review: 'Asia' and 'Georgia'

I made another Boutique Of Molly (BOM) order! As I had a great experience shopping from BOM last time (previous post here), I was very much looking forward to receiving my new orders and trying them on and was not disappointed.

After much deliberation (too many pretty things to choose from), I placed an order for the 'Georgia' Padded Sweetheart Dress £15 and the 'Liana' Bardot Curve Hem Dress £29.95. Unfortunately, the Liana dress didn't fit right over my shoulders/arms and just didn't suit me so I had to send it back and decided to exchange it for the 'Asia' Embroided Cut Out Dress £34.95. As BOM does not have any stores you can return it to and doesn't have a free postage return service, I would recommend making a decision based on the website and only ordering what you think you will like and want to keep, rather than buying a few things to try and then sending back those you don't like, which some stores allow you to do more freely, generally because they are on a much bigger scale. Having said that, it wasn't very expensive to send it back to them and was really easy to do, I just had to print a returns form and send it off, filled in, with my item. I also got my exchange item delivered promptly after returning the 'Liana' dress, so although it may not seem as easy initially, it was a rather quick and simple process and the brand were very accommodating.

Asia Embroided Cut Out Dress £34.95

I love how this dress is detailed with the cutouts, the lace down the sides of the dress and the embroided design on the front- it all helps to make the dress unique and more beautiful. I wore the ribbon part of the dress slightly differently and actually leveled it off a bit and tied it round the back as I felt like that it fit there nicely, but I would also consider having them dangling on the sides of the dress as an alternative way of wearing it, as I think this looks lovely too. I also wore a bra with the dress but if you're comfortable without I think that would be better and I may try this in the future, but I tend to feel more paronoid or less confident without, hence why I didn't at the time, so if you feel similar to me on this subject, then a strapless bra also looks fine.

The straps are adjustable which I think is really useful as then you can decide how low you want the neck line to sit and it generally makes the dress that but more comfortable. I must admit, I tend to be a bit scared to wear white a lot of the time as although there are some gorgeous white items of clothing, I'm always scared I'll ruin them by dropping something down me however, I couldn't resist this dress.

It is rather short for someone as tall as myself but I think this can be combatted by wearing it a bit lower and I still think it looks really nice with a little more leg on show anyway.

I am very much looking forward to wearing this dress out, I could see it being great for an outdoor gathering-esque thing or for a Summer dress for any other nice outing as well.

'Georgia' Padded Sweetheart Dress £15

This dress seemed like such a simple but cute staple to a wardrobe, as I think red dresses can look effortlessly gorgeous and this was something I did not have in my wardrobe prior to this. Again this is a little short for someone as tall as myself but I still think it looks nice and is something I would enjoy wearing out.

The fact that it's padded makes me more like likely to feel comfortable wearing it without a bra but the fact that it's strapless does make me a tad hesitant; i'll have to give that a go as I think it would look more seamless without one.

I think this dress would be easy to accessorise and would make a lovely outfit with a variety of shoes, jackets and jewellery, so I'm looking forward to wearing it this Summer.

Unfortunately this particular dress appears to have sold out so you won't be able to get your hands on it but there are other similar style dress on the site like Lila and Lola, so if you like the dress, you could check one of those out instead or you could have a browse and see what other gems you discover.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my most recent BOM purchases and I'm sure there will be more to follow. If you did enjoy it, let me know. If you want to browse the store, you can do so here or you can follow their Twitter or Instagram to keep up to date with new items. If you want to see more posts from me, you can follow my social media links to see when I next upload. Thank you for reading this post.

Love, Steph x
2

Summer Salads

The weather here has been gorgeous recently, maybe a tad on the hot side but I'm not going to complain! I love it when the suns out and you can feel the heat around you, although it does make sleeping more difficult. I'd love for the Summer to stay as lovely as it's been recently and with that weather comes the opportunity for BBQ's, picnics and any other form of outdoor eating. As we've been making the most of these opportunities recently, we've come up with a few salad recipe ideas, (and by we I mean my mum and I) which would make great dishes for any BBQ or picnic and to make them even better, they are not only delicious but also healthy!

Asian Slaw

1. Dice half an onion and place it into a bowl.
2. Chop half a red cabbage and add it to the onion.
3. Grate a carrot into the dish.
4. Add some white wine vinegar.
5. Add about a heaped teaspoon of granulated sweetener.
6. Chop half a chilli pepper and add it to the mix.
7. Mix everything together and serve.

Mango Salsa

1. Chop a mango into small chunks and place them in a bowl.
2. Cut a little bit of watermelon into similar sized chunks and add them to the mango (this is optional as it didn't add a great deal of flavour so wasn't an essential ingredient but still made a delicious dish).
3. Finely chop some coriander and add it to the bowl.
4. Chop a chilli pepper and add it to the dish. You may want to add more or less depending on how hot you like your salsa and the heat of the chillis you use. Alternatively, use chilli flakes if you don't have the peppers, they taste just as lovely.
5. Mix all of the ingredients together and season with some salt and pepper.

Fruity Rice

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the rice on it's own once I had finished making it but you can see it in the bottom right hand corner of the picture above. This recipe was actually inspired by Severina who mentioned a rice salad with mandarin a while back and I thought now would be the perfect time to try something similar. I ended up really loving this dish and plan to make it on multiple occasions in the future as it was so sweet, fresh and lovely.
1. Start by boiling some rice then draining it once it's cooked and laving it to cool for a while.
2. Drain a tin of mandarin pieces (you may want to keep the juice as it's lovely and helps flavour the rice).
3. Add the mandarin to the rice and mix together, you may also wish to add a bit of mandarin juice here which gives extra flavour and sweetness to the rice as well as softening it up a bit more.
4. Chop a bell pepper into small chunks and stir them into the rice et voila!

Pasta Ideas

Here a two very simple yet delicious pasta salad ideas:
1. Boil the pasta and leave it to cool.
2. Break up some blue cheese (I recommend Danish Blue) and mix it into the pasta making sure each piece is flavoured but the dish has some cheese chunks as well.
1. Boil the pasta and leave it to cool.
2. Chop some pepper into small ish chunks and mix them into the pasta along with some tinned sweetcorn (or any other sweetcorn you like).
3. Season with salt and pepper.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you have enjoyed seeing these creations and that it has inspired you to make your own Summer salads and/or to give some of these a try (I recommend them!) If you have any Summer salad recommendations for me, let me know. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more from me, follow my social media links to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
0

University Haul Part One: Bedroom and Bathroom

Below is my University Haul part one video so please give that a watch and hopefully it will prove useful for anyone heading off to university. I've enjoyed watching other people's uni hauls and found them really useful for giving me ideas and making me think of things that I might need that I hadn't thought about before. The first part shows everything I have for my bedroom and bathroom so far and the second part will go up next week featuring all of my kitchen things. I have a few things left to get nearer the time or once I actually move in so I will show you these items in a final haul before I go or in a room tour once I'm there. 
If you are heading to university in a few years, I highly recommend doing it the way I did, buying a few things each month so that you don't have a lump sum to pay out last minute before moving and instead build up the collection over a longer period of time. Although you may need to check you have enough space to store everything before hand. You may also want to wait to get certain items, particularly for the kitchen as your accommodation may provide these things in which case there is no point buying stuff that you don't need.

As I'm studying journalism, I'm not entirely sure what stationary I will need so most of this I will get once I'm there and once I know what it is that I need. If you think I have forgotten something important, do let me know.

Everything that I mentioned in the video will be detailed below with links if I have been able to find the exact or a similar item although a few websites such as Primark don't allow you to buy products from their website.

Items Mentioned (some links are similar items if I haven't been able to find the exact thing)
Silent Night Ultra Bounce Pillows x2
Primark Dreams Bedding £11
Argos Follow Your Dreams Bedding £16.49
Wilko Waffle Throw £15
Primark Pom Pom Cushion £7
Primark Coral Cushion £9
Tiger Cushion £5
Primark Photo Holders £4
Primark Canvas £3
Primark Fairylights £6
Primark Light Up S £8
T.K.Maxx Samy & Jack Storage Basket -similar one: £6.99
Wilko Vintage Heart Mirror £10
Photo Frame
Gold Foil Glass Bowl
Tesco Stationary Set
Tesco Gel Pens
Tesco Highlighters
Tesco Notebook
Radley Notebook £12
Find Me A Gift Personalised Notebook`£8.99
Amazon Command Hooks £3.90
Wilko Small Free Standing Mirror £3.50
Door Hangers £2.99
Drying Rack
Wilko Bleach 80p
Home Bargains Glade 99p
Black Tumbler £1
Wilko Soap Dispenser £1.50
Wilko Tumbler £1
Primark Face Cloths x3 £1.30
Primark X Large Towel £5.70
Primark Hand Towel £2.80
DKNY Bath Towel
DKNY Hand Towel 
Primark Chenille Shower Mat
Wilko 3 Tier Shower Cady
B&M Yellow Dusters 99p
Wilko Bin £1.50
Wilko Toilet Brush 60p
DIY Photo Display

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, particularly if you are off to university. If you are heading to uni, let me know what you've got/planned to get and how you're feeling about it? What are you excited for, what aren't you looking forward to?

Love, Steph x
4

Le Bistrot Pierre

Last week, my french class and I (there were only four of us) went to Le Bistrot Pierre for an evening meal as a post exams/surviving two years of French excursion. I didn't really know what to expect and wasn't massively looking forward to it in the lead up (no disrespect intended; I thought it would be fun and pleasant but I didn't have massively high expectations), but when the time came and we arrived at the restaurant, I couldn't have been more impressed.

For a start, we had the loveliest waitress who was attentive, friendly, quite funny and not to mention, she was French. I expected the restaurant to have employed English waiters just because a lot of restaurants tend to do that but the fact that everyone working there seemed to be French, it made the whole experience that bit more special.

The style and decor in the place was amazing, it had a kind of rustic feel but everywhere you looked, you could feast your eyes on something beautiful. I didn't take picture of this but it will be included in my vlog which will be going up on my channel soon.

We received plenty of delicious bread to munch on whilst we waited for the food to arrive and then were given a bit more once we had our main dishes. All of us went for a main and a pudding, which was a good way of doing it as the bread made a good starter anyway. The food came pretty quickly and tasted great! I had a Super Salade with halloumi, quinoa, linseeds, salad leaves, pomegranate and croutons. I asked for mine without the vinaigerette and my only criticism was that it was drizzled with oil which I don't like but didn't realise it would come that way, so I ate round those bits- other than that it was faultless. I also got a side of pommes frites with it and they were thin, crispy and delicious! From what I saw, the risotto was also delicious (the other three all had that and none complained!)

The deserts were no different, with a range of delicious options, I found it difficult to pick but honestly, I don't think I could have made a wrong choice. The strawberry, meringue dish was fresh, sweet and heavenly, which is what I ended up going for, the toffee sponge looked lovely and so did the collection of small puddings which also included a macaroon and an amazing sorbet that caused Poppy to come out with:

'I want someone to look at me the way Steph looks at sorbet.' One of my favourite things she's said,
along with: 'The meal isn't over when I'm full, it's over when I hate myself.'

I basically spent the evening in a state of awe and thoroughly enjoyed everything- the food, the atmosphere and of course, the company! I cannot recommend this restaurant to you enough hence why I dedicated a whole blog post to the place. They have quite a few over the country so you can click this link to see where your nearest one is if it sounds like something you'd be interested in.

If you do decide to go (highly recommend it), they have several menus so I'd recommend giving them a glance over before you book to decide when the best time for you to go would be.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it and have potentially discovered a new place to visit. If you do go, you'll have to let me know what you think. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more, give my links a follow to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
2

How To: Manage Your Money

Disclaimer: I don't know a great deal about money and banking and don't claim to but I feel like I've recently got my head around it, largely down to one of my friends who seems to know everything there is to know about it and can explain it in an easy way. Since understanding money a bit better, I've tried to share this brief knowledge with a few of my friends when they've asked and thought I'd bring it here to try and help some of you as well. Managing money definitely isn't easy and is full of confusing terms but hopefully this will help explain in simple terms, some of the key things you may come across as a young adult, especially if you are heading off to university and you need to start understanding and managing money. I've done it in a Q&A style post and have answered the sorts of questions my friends asked as these seemed to cover most of the things I have a bit of understanding of and seemed to be the things people wanted/needed to know about most. Some of my answers are very brief and I haven't included all there is to know about that question/topic but I have done this to explain it simply and avoid creating more confusion. If you think I missed something important out, do let me know.

What is the interest rate? 
The percentage of the money in your account that you receive from the bank (on top of the money you already have in the account).
What is an ISA?
I tried to explain this one but there was so much information to take in and then explain that I got myself into a muddle, so to learn about ISAs, I recommend checking out this site, which answers some of the most important/most common questions about ISAs.
What is the best instant access savings account?
As far as I'm aware, Santander has the highest interest rate in an Instant Access Savings account at the moment but for the instant savings account with the 4% interest, you also have to have a current account with them. They also have high interest rates for a number of their accounts so it's definitely worth checking them out, but before you commit to one, researching is always a good idea!
Help To Buy ISA?
If you don't have one already I suggest you look into getting one as they seem to be a massive help to first time buyers. The idea is you can put up to £200 a month into this account and when you want to buy your house a few years in the future, you can get an extra 25% of your savings from the government, up to £3000.
What is a current account?
Account with regular money going in, used for everyday purchases.
Which is the best bank at the moment?
From what I've found and heard, Santander has the best rates in general at the moment but it depends what you want from an account, this changes regularly so it's best just to research the accounts based on your requirements.
Student account?
There are several bank accounts which offer student accounts so you can do a bit of research and find the right thing for you. One that I've looked at is Santander again which also offers a 4 year 16-25 rail card, which tends to help a lot of students out. There are a number of banks that offer student accounts with extra features and benefits, such as the rail card, to help students. To set one of these up, you may need to wait until you have your place confirmed, which will likely be on results day.
Switching accounts?
Switching accounts isn't as difficult or scary as it may seem, just do a bit of research and find the right bank for you, book a meeting with them and discuss through your options. Most will then do the majority of the work for you, opening an account, switching stuff over and getting the other account closed. It doesn't normally take much longer than a week to do either and they make sure you have access to that money in some way or another during the process.
What is a credit card?
You don't have to have the money upfront to pay with a credit card, instead you use it as a form of credit and then at the end of the month you have a minimum amount to pay back. If you only pay the minimum amount the balance will attract interest, this can be very high and can cause purchasing goods to become very expensive. Ideally you pay it all back each month and are charged no interest and can actually get cash back on some accounts. This type of account can be useful for building up a good credit score for when you want one in the future and when you want to buy a house etcetera but as you pay with credit, it can seem less real to some people and can therefore be easier to get into debt or other financial trouble with. If you can manage your money well and keep on top of paying it back then it's worth looking into but if that's something you think you'll struggle with then it might be best to stick with a debit card which can be easier to manage, until you feel ready to get a credit card.
What is a debit card?
With a debit card, you have the money upfront and as you pay for things, the money comes out of your account so you can't spend money you don't have, unless you go into overdraft.
What is an overdraft?
When you have no money left in your account but you still used the card to make a payment, the money can take you into overdraft, which many accounts offer. You can put caps on these and with some accounts you can stop them altogether. Each account works differently and has different prices but often you pay back a certain amount of interest on your overdraft as well as the payment.
How do I avoid going into overdraft?
You can set up text services with some banks so that when you reach a certain amount of money, a text alerts you and you can cut back on your spending if possible. In general, a method is just to manage your money effectively and try to stop your money ever reaching zero or minus.
Controlling money at uni...
I have what I think is a great plan and several others seem to agree and want to do the same thing, I plan to give myself a certain amount to spend each week. I will then pay my loan across to my instant access savings account and will transfer the money back to my current account in weekly installments so that I can see exactly what I have to spend each week and that way if the worst comes to the worst and I get close to or into overdraft, I have the money elsewhere to help myself out. Hopefully it won't come to that but at least I won't spend all of my loan at once and should only ever go over by a few pounds if I go over at all.

If you've found this useful and want to read more posts along the lines of finance and saving money but from a students perspective, my friend Poppy, started a blog this week all about those topics: MoneyMarlow and I've already gained some useful advice from it so I highly recommend checking it out!

I hope this has been helpful, if I've made some mistakes or missed something important out do let me know as it means not only am I misunderstanding but so are the people that read this. Thank you mum for reading through this and helping me make adjustments. Thank you for reading this post. If you want to see more posts, follow my social media accounts to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
1

DIY Light Up Flower Photo Frame

I recently got myself back into the world of Pinterest and although I haven't got used to it and haven't been very constantly active on it yet, I have found some lovely pins, which have in turn provided inspiration. One thing I stumbled across and loved was this DIY flowers and fairylights frame and I thought it looked incredibly cute so I decided to recreate it with my own spin on it. I've never seen one of these before but I'd imagine something like this does exist somewhere out there on the web however, from where I'm sitting today, it is a semi original idea, so I hope you like it and if you decide to make one for yourself let me know as I'd love to see them.

I hope these instructions will be easy to follow but DIY posts aren't my typical genre so I'm not used to the conventions as much. I'm also not the best when it comes to DIY but I am very happy with how this turned out and if I can do it, so can anyone else. It does take a while to make but it's 100% worth it in my opinion.
Warning: You may need to do step one and two the day before the rest of the steps to leave time for the paint to dry before you can do everything else.

What You Will Need
Large Wooden Frame (I used an old canvas and just peeled off the back fabric and the image, leaving the wooden frame)
Paint (This can be in whatever colour you want the main body of the frame to be, I went for white and just used acrylic paint that I already owned, which worked really well but other types of paint may work too)
Paintbrush
Hot Glue Gun (The cheapest one I saw was one in Tiger for £5 which is the one I used and it worked a treat for me. It comes with three glue sticks but I bought an extra pack of 8 for £1 from Tiger as well and did end up using one of these too so I recommend getting extra.)
Binding Wire (this is the one I used)
Fairylights
Fake Flowers
Mini Pegs (You can get these online or the black ones I used were 20 for £1 in The Works)
Polaroids (or any other print style you like)
Step One: If you have just a wooden frame or large photo frame you can skip this step but if, like me, you use an old canvas, you need to peel off the fabric on the back of the frame if there is one and then either remove the staples and then the canvas image if its stapled down or if it's glued down like this one, find the edges and peel it away leaving just the frame.
Step Two: Paint the wood in the colour of your choice- skip this step if your frame is already the colour you like. I decided to use the old canvas as a mat to avoid getting paint on the floor or on another surface. I also started painting it outside to avoid mess but as it was a bit windy, leaves and all sorts of other debris kept blowing into the paint and luckily none of it stuck but I didn't want to take the chance so I moved inside. Once the first coating had more or less dried, I did a second coating. You can judge how many coats you want to do based on the paint and the effect it has. I made sure I painted all of the sides bar the one that would be against the wall.
Step Three: Glue the end of the wire to the back of the frame with the hot glue gun, wrap it underneath and back up so that it forms a straight ish line up and then hook it over the top and glue it down at the back of the frame at the top. Cut the wire and do the same again along the frame. You can decide what distance you want between each one yourself, I went for approximately 6/7cm but I didn't measure it out as I didn't think it needed a precise measurement. You can see I have some bright red gloves on which I decided to do as I have a big fear of burns and as a glue gun can get really hot, I wanted to limit the chance of burning my fingers. They were an old pair so it didn't matter if they got glue all over them but they seemed to work a charm and my fingers didn't feel anywhere close to burning the whole time, so I definitely recommend doing something like this. Obviously you still need to be careful as the gun and glue is hot enough to melt a glue stick and therefore hot enough to potentially do some damage.
Step Four: Thread the fairy lights around the wires- I wrapped them about three times round each strip. Using the hot glue gun, glue them to the frame at the top and bottom of each wire to keep them in place. For the frame I used, I had a pack of 40 LED lights (in image above) and a pack of 20 LED lights both from Primark. I had a bit of excess string/lighting so I then wrapped it around the edge of the frame as well, gluing it in place. I then glued the battery switches to the middle piece of wood so once it was finished, I could reach through and still turn them on and off as well as swapping the batteries when it is needed.
Step Five: This step is easier if your flowers have bendable wires attached but if they don't this can be solved by using the same wire you used for the main body of the frame. Place your flowers along the wire and twist the wire around the flower or leaf, the main wire and the fairylights and twist them round several times so that they are secure. You can also use the hot glue gun to glue flowers along the wooden frame if you want to. I expected to use a lot more flowers than I did but as I was doing it, I liked the kind of simplistic effect plus, it meant I had more room and freedom for my photos.
Step Six: Once you have the number of flowers that you want on the frame, you can start clipping your photos on with mini pegs. You can use any style of photo you like but I love the effect of the polaroid style and really recommend them although they are more expensive. I used Photobox to print my photos in the retro style and they were about 30p each which isn't cheap but for the polaroid style, it's the cheapest I found particularly as they often have discounts running so I managed to order it with 30% off. They came in the cutest packaging and I almost didn't want to ruin it but once I'd opened it to reveal the photos, I was even happier, as they were really high quality -think almost card feel- with a gorgeous finish. I will definitely be ordering my other polaroid style photos from them in the future (this isn't sponsored by the way!)
Step Seven: Find a place on your wall and hang it ready for yourself and anyone else to admire. At this stage you can make any adjustments as you see fit and then voila, it is finished!
I love the final outcome of this and think the time it took to make it really paid off. I made this particularly to take to university as I love photos anyway and really want some of my family and friends when I'm away and this seems like the perfect thing for that. I also love it in my room at the moment as it goes really nicely and will be a nice background feature in my videos, hopefully!

I hope you liked my creation and that you enjoyed this post and/or found it useful. If you like what you see and want to recreate it, link me to the final result on twitter or instagram as I'd love to see them. Thank you for reading this post. If you want to read more from me you can follow my social media sites to be notified when I next upload. I also started a YouTube channel so I'd love it if you were to go over and give that some love here- I have my first collab going live tomorrow, which I think is a rather funny video.

Love, Steph x
8

Sixth Form Prom


I'm sure you'll have seen your fair share of prom posts recently but I still wanted to upload my own as I enjoy seeing them and I'd like to be able to look back on it in the future. I have been ready to leave college and start my next adventure: university, for a while now but not before a well deserved break! Having said that, it was nice to finish my college life with the rest of my year at prom and there are definitely some faces I'm going to miss seeing.
I enjoyed the evening and liked spending it with a number of my friends. It was also nice to see some of the teachers outside of lessons for a bit of a chat. The awards were a bit all over the place with a few presenters who had had a bit too much to drink and therefore didn't fully know what they were doing or if they did, they made the most of the spotlight by talking about each one a lot, but it all added to the experience and made it quite amusing to watch and hear.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buffet and particularly enjoyed the fries, sweet potato wedges and fruit kebabs, not to mention the wheel of sweets that seemed to go down a storm.
After prom, two of my friends came back to mine and we were greeted by a lovely set up courtesy of my mum, with a cute, delicious cake (including even cuter mini bunting), light up balloons, bunting and a spread of drinks and snacks ready for cocktails. Although we only ended up making a couple of cocktails before heading up to bed (we are quite the party animals!) it was a lovely way to end the night.
I wore a black skater dress from New Look and a pair of black, glittery heels form Tall Girls (shown in my latest video here) along with a necklace I borrowed from my my mum that she bought in Venice, some earrings I already owned and a headband from Debenhams that I had from my school leavers prom.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my sixth form prom. If you had your prom recently, I hope you enjoyed it, if yours is yet to happen, I hope you have fun! If you did enjoy this post, let me know and you can follow my links to see when I next upload. Thanks for reading.

Love, Steph x
2

Blogger Love

I love reading different blogs and find it particularly special when I can then speak to the person behind the blog and find them to be as lovely or more lovely than I expected and end up having a connection with them. I feel like I have definitely formed friendships through blogging and I hope this continues in the future. Therefore, I thought it was about time that I shared with you some of my favourite bloggers and friends so that you can enjoy their content as much as I do.

These are in no particular order. I'm sorry if I've left anyone out, it doesn't mean I don't enjoy your blog, I do, I just had to pick my all time favourites for this post. I've also tried to keep the descriptions fairly brief so that you get an idea but can have a proper look yourself... plus I would repeat myself a lot!

Severina- If you haven't heard me mention Severina before, where have you been? She has a really cute, positive blog and her personality is no different. I not only enjoy reading her blog posts but also enjoy the conversations we have. She's always really supportive of me as well as others and deserves to have the favour returned.

Megan- Megan hasn't uploaded as much this year but that doesn't stop her from being one of my favourites. I love reading her blog posts and she is such a lovely person. I met her last year and although it was brief, I felt like we got on really well and hopefully we'll get the chance to meet up again and have a proper chat!

Amanda- Amanda is another blogger I feel like I've connected with and I enjoy the brief conversations we have had, I definitely want to talk to her more! She has a variety of posts that are great to read so I'm sure you'll find something for you on her blog.

Emma- Emma is one of the hardest working, loveliest and kindest people I know. She is always working towards her goals and succeeding in the steps she takes, as well as offering support and positivity to the people around her. This is definitely reflected in her posts which are both interesting and entertaining to read. She's a new blogger so if you haven't seen her blog before, I definitely recommend you go over, check it out and show it some love while you are there.

Hattie- Another blog I love to read! I especially enjoy her university posts as I find them really helpful and interesting to see what sort of things I could experience come September. I also really like her writing style which makes her posts really easy to read and feels like you have a friend talking through the posts rather than just reading them. One of my favourite posts was the one about sisters being best friends, which I really recommend you give a read as it was so heartwarming.

Alice- Alice posts really regularly and they are always of a high standard. Not only does her blog look amazing but so is her content. She covers a variety of topics and hosts a blogger chat showing how much time and effort she puts into the blogging world and it definitely seems to pay off.

Velvet Blush- Her blog is great all round but I find myself really enjoying reading her beauty reviews, I also like her photography style and the way she sets out her blog posts. Whilst all topics are great to read, I find her blog one of my go-tos for beauty reviews in particular.

Saadiya- I enjoy reading her blog posts which often make me giggle as well as relate. They are also often quite useful and/or inspirational and aren't topics I see covered that often. I love her photography and find her posts centered around quotes to be really interesting to read.

Nicole- Nicole covers so many interesting topics that you don't see discussed on blogs that much (or at least I don't see) and I often find myself intrigued by and relating to her posts. I think the photography on her blog is amazing and her content is no different.

I hope this has helped you find a few more blogs to read and that you'll head on over and show them some well deserved love. Let me know if there are any bloggers you think I should be reading or if you have a blog yourself that you'd like me to check out. Thank you for reading this post, if you enjoyed it and want to see when I next upload, you can follow my social media links.

Love, Steph x
8

June Favourites 2016

Before I get into my June Favourites, I wanted to let you know, in case you missed my last post, that I started a YouTube channel (eek) so if you want to head over and give it a watch, you can do so here. At the moment I have two videos uploaded and my aim is to upload two blog posts a week on a Tuesday and Friday and a YouTube video on a Wednesday so any love you can go and show it would be greatly appreciated.

Beauty

Collection Glitter Gel Eye Liner- I have yet to use one of these as an eyeliner but I love the look it creates when I use it on top of or instead of eyeshadow, all over the lid. It gives a bit of oomph to an eye look and looks so glittery and pretty! It also stays on really well but can also be rubbed off easily at the end of the day- I don't recommend rubbing your eyes though as you do end up with glitter down your face. For the very affordable price, I cannot recommend these enough.
Tesco Ventilated Shoe Liner Socks- This is a random thing to put in a favourites post but I love them so damn much that I couldn't not mention them. I don't like wearing shoes without socks (apart from sandals and other similar shoes) but I also have a fair few pairs of shoes that are difficult to wear socks with. To combat this, I like to wear hoe liners and the ones I've tried in the past always fall down as I walk. Not these! They are so soft and comfortable, they're breathable and they don't fall down! If you are looking for some socks of this style, I highly recommend checking Tesco's options out. I must be one of the only people to ramble on about socks!

Entertainment

Catfish Film and TV Show- In true Steph style, I have become hooked to this TV show. I saw Gabbie mention an episode of Catfish in her May Favourites, which was a slightly different story line because it had a supernatural element. This detail caught my attention as I find these things really interesting and so I gave the episode a watch. I found it so interesting and entertaining and really wanted to watch the rest of series five, which of course I did. After finishing it, I went back to the start and gave the film a watch and after loving that, I watched series one and two and am now watching the third. I really like the way Nev and Max host the show and how they deal with the stuff and the people involved. It's not a TV show I ever thought I would get addicted to and would watch back to back episodes of but it's so intriguing and interesting that I just find myself craving more episodes. Once I saw the film and watched Nev go through a Catfish situation himself, it made me love both him and the show even more, knowing he could relate to people and was able to help them work out the situation.
Kian Lawley & JC Caylen- I mentioned in my YouTube addiction post (here) that when I have a stressful time period or have a bad time, I turn to YouTube to make me smile and make me forget stuff for a while. In doing so, I become dependent on YouTube and specific YouTubers. This month, the two people I watched most and relied on most were Kian and JC both as individual channels and their collab channel. I used to watch some of their videos individually and as part of O2L back in 2013 and for some reason (I don't remember what that reason was), I stopped, so when they came up in my recommendations, I thought I'd give them a watch again and I loved it. I especially love their collab channel and have watched all of the videos uploaded so far. I highly recommend checking it out yourself. I would definitely suggest you give this video a watch, if you haven't already seen it, as it is a collab with Cameron Dallas and shows what happened with the police/arrested incident which is actually really interesting to watch, they also did another video explaining the situation here. Cameron also uploaded a video explaining the situation here if you're interested in that as well. All in all, their videos make me laugh and smile a lot, so if you're looking for some entertainment, this could be worth checking out.

Other

Primark Homeware- We all know by now that I love Primark and I've featured it in multiple monthly favourites in the past, but this month I want to be more specific and feature Primark Homeware. I love buying homeware and have enjoyed picking things out for my university room. I've found many shops great for picking up bargains but Primark has been my favourite overall as it has so many adorable bits and bobs for my bedroom at really affordable prices. Each time I go in, I like to browse the homeware section and often pick something up. If you're interested in seeing the things I've got so far, I will be uploading a YouTube video on it in the next few weeks ;)
Finishing College- Although I'm going to miss people at college, I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and definitely felt ready for a break before starting the next step in my life. I'm going to try and make the most of my three months or so I have off and plan to do plenty that I genuinely want to do, including putting more time into blogging and YouTube. With finishing college, came Sixth Form prom which was a fun evening spent with some people that I probably won't see much of in the future. I will be uploading a post on my Prom evening which should go up next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

I don't seem to have had as many new favourites this month as I've spent a lot of my time revising and haven't bought many new makeup items for a while (or if I have, I haven't properly tried them out yet) but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. If you like what you read, feel free to check out my links to be notified when I next upload. Thank you for reading this post.

Love, Steph x
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