Horror Films You Need To Watch This Halloween

It's no secret that I love a good horror film and despite the fact that they terrify me, there's nothing quite like finding a horror film, which sends shivers up your spine and leaves you with a chill. Unfortunately, a good horror film seems hard to come by and among the gems, there are a number of terrible movies that do nothing but leave you confused, laughing and disappointed. So to help you avoid these disaster choices, here are some of my top picks for you to enjoy. I've explained what I think and like about the films, so if you like the sound of them and want to read more about their synopsis, you can click the titles.

1. The Conjuring has to be my favourite horror film as it scares me more than any other I've watched and has a good storyline, along with acting and effects to leave you hiding behind a cushion. I am yet to watch The Conjuring 2 but look forward to doing so shortly.

2. I recently rewatched Insidious, reminding me about the good qualities of the film. Personally, I don't find it scary once you see 'monsters' or 'creatures' or whatever else in films as it suddenly becomes very fake and less plausible, taking away from the horror element. For this reason, I didn't like Insidious much after the first watch- it had been ruined. However, before the weird scene (the only way I can describe it) it does make a pretty good horror film and does give me chills. I also love the ending, which is haunting and remains with me to this day.

3. The Boy is a great horror film in that it sticks with you. Whilst there are some moments throughout that make you jump and/or hide, the ending definitely makes the film stand out and therefore, worth watching. I'd argue that this is more psychologically haunting than supernatural horror.

4. I have mentioned Final Destination on here before and although it's more of a thriller series than a horror, it does fit into this category and is one I'd recommend for this time of year. I love the concept of the films, which make it terrifying despite the fact the effects make it more humorous than hair-raising.

5. The Purge is another film that would potentially be more of a thriller than a horror but again, I love the idea of this film. The idea of a 'purge' in the real world is petrifying, which is probably why it makes for a good horror film. I enjoyed the first two films and look forward to watching the third in the near future.

6.  Oculus isn't the best horror film I've watched but it is still one I believe is worth watching. It's quite an interesting story and is made in a way that makes a good horror film, featuring supernatural and psychological horror.

7. The classic horror series: Paranormal Activity. I personally don't find the films to be the scariest out there but they are classics and would be good options for new horror fans. They were the first horror films my best friend and I watched so I suppose they hold a special place in my horror loving heart.

8. Orphan is an excellent film; intriguing, haunting and terrifying. This is more of a psychological horror, creeping you out to the core and leaving you guessing throughout the film. Definitely one of my favourite movies in the genre!

9. One horror comedy that actually works and combines the two elements nicely, is The Visit. The Visit had me laughing in some places and quivering in others, in the perfect balance. I didn't expect it go in the direction that it did but I loved how it turned out. I'd definitely recommend this to horror fans but also to those more fearful of the genre, as the humour throughout acts as a relief from the horror.

10. The Woman In Black was the first horror film I ever watched, which was before I had any interest in watching them and didn't enjoy the genre but to this day, I think it's one of the creepier films I've watched, especially considering it's rated 12A!

There are a number of other horror films that are worth a watch but those listed above are my top recommendations for this year's spooky season. Whether you're a horror enthusiast or just want to find the perfect creepy movie to subject yourself and/or your friends to this Halloween, I hope you've found something in this post. If you enjoyed the post and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right-hand corner to see when I next upload. Thanks for reading.

Love, Steph x
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Nutty Vegetarian Stir Fry: Student Friendly Recipes

As promised, I have another student friendly recipe to share with you today. This recipe is vegetarian but if you do eat meat and want a version with meat, you can easily substitute the quorn for chicken or leave both out and just go for a vegetable stir fry. Stir fries seem to be a great meal option for students as they're affordable and pretty quick to cook. Furthermore, there are several different options for sauces but this has been my favourite recipe so far so I thought it might be nice to share this with you.

Ingredients

Quorn chicken pieces
Egg noodles
Broccoli- fresh or frozen
Carrot
Mushrooms
Peanut Butter
Soy Sauce

1. Place some oil in a large frying pan or wok and cook the quorn pieces through.
2. Whilst the quorn is cooking, boil the noodles in a saucepan and either microwave the broccoli if frozen, or boil in a saucepan- separate or the same pan as the noodles... it's all going in the same dish at the end!
3. Add some soy sauce in the saucepan- as little or as much as you like.
4. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter and mix around the pan with the soy sauce, so that it's evenly spread and will coat the food nicely.
5. Slice some mushrooms and place them in the frying pan.
6. Cut carrot slices with a vegetable peeler and place in the frying pan.
7. Chop half a chilli into small pieces and place in the pan- add more, less or none at all depending on how spicy you want your stir fry to be.
8. Add the noodles and broccoli to the pan and mix together.
9. Make sure there's enough peanut butter and soy sauce to cover the ingredients and if needed, add a few more splashes of soy sauce and/or peanut butter until you reach the desired amount.
10. Once cooked through, serve up the stir fry and enjoy!

This is such a good recipe as other than the fresh ingredients, which can be substituted for preferred items or things already in the flat, a lot of students won't need to go out and buy anything specifically for the meal. If you give this recipe a go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did- you'll have to let me know how it goes. Thank you for reading this post, if you liked it and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right hand corner to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
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Homemade Pizza: Student Friendly Recipes

There are a lot of new challenges students face as they head off to university and for some, one of the biggest concerns is cooking for yourself everyday. I don't see myself as a food connoisseur by any means but I do think I'm capable in a kitchen and can create some simple yet delicious meals that don't break the bank and are pretty healthy. If you watched my university haul way back when, you may remember me raving about my student cookbook, which I am still impressed with and look forward to using but so far, all the meals I've created have been from my own head, so I thought it might be interesting and helpful for other students if I shared some of these. Today, I have my homemade pizza recipe, which I learnt from my mum but more recipe posts will follow in the future, so keep your eyes peeled if you're looking for food inspiration!

Forget the takeaways which may be delicious but aren't that great for you or your bank. Instead, why not create your own pizzas which in my opinion, taste a million times better, don't cost as much and are healthier for you. This recipe makes two pizzas so you can either make one for a friend or put the extra one in the fridge for the following day or in the freezer for another day.

The Base

Ingredients
1 cup of white flour and 2 cups of wholemeal flour OR 3 cups of whatever flour you wish to use (if opting for wholemeal flour, it's best to include one cup of white flour as well to get the best base)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive/sunflower/coconut oil- any of your choice- if going for coconut oil, melt a bit first and measure a tablespoon of melted coconut oil rather than the solid form
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of yeast

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl apart from the water.
Knead the ingredients together, adding a bit of water at a time.
Knead until the ingredients are all mixed in and form a ball of dough.
Leave the dough in a bowl with a tea towel over the top to prove for 30 minutes. Feel free to leave it a bit longer if you prefer a thicker base.

The Sauce

Ingredients
Tinned Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Herbs
Pepper
Salt
Chilli (optional)

If you prefer, you can use a bought tomato sauce or simply tomato puree on your base but for me, this sauce tastes so much nicer and has more flavour than any others I've tried.
Drain the excess juice in the tinned tomatoes then heat the rest of the tin in a saucepan.
Add a tablespoon of tomato puree or however much you would like to add to get the desired consistency (I skipped this step as I don't like tomato puree that much so didn't want to buy any unnecessarily and it worked out fine without).
Add a few herbs and seasonings of salt and pepper to give the sauce some more flavour and if, like me, you like a bit of spice on your pizza, add a few chillis either dried or fresh to give it a kick.
Take off the heat.

Making The Pizza

After waiting for your dough to prove, sprinkle some flour on a clean surface.
Take half of your dough and place it on the flour covered surface. Sprinkle more flour over the dough to prevent it from sticking to your rolling pin.
Roll out the dough evenly in different directions to create a circular base (or rectangular if that's the shape of pizza tray you have to hand).
Place on the pizza tray.
Repeat this step if making both pizzas at the same time or place the other dough ball in cling film (you may want to sprinkle flour onto the cling film first to prevent it from sticking) and place in the fridge or freezer.
With the base on the tray, evenly spread half of the tomato sauce and place the rest in a container, then place in the fridge once cool.
Add a layer of grated cheese of your choice.
Cover with whichever toppings you like or have in your cupboard, personally I love a good mushroom and pineapple pizza but whatever takes your fancy.
Add a bit more grated cheese on top until its as cheesy as you like it.
Place in the oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I love when my pizza is crispy so I tend to leave it a bit longer for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and bon appetite!

I hope this has given you a possible recipe idea and that you enjoy both the making process and the outcome should you try it yourself. I have a few more student friendly recipes that I'll be uploading in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for those. If you enjoyed this and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links to be notified when I upload. Thank you for reading this post.

Love, Steph x
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Autumn Fashion & Beauty Essentials

There's that word again!!! Yes, this is another post centered around Autumn, and it probably won't be the last! If you don't love the season at the moment, keep reading my blog and you will by the end of it. ;) I am a big lover of Summer fashion but when the season changes into Autumn and the stores are filled with burgundy and mustard clothing among a whole heap of coats... my heart delights! So here are my fashion and beauty essentials this Autumn.
Black denim skirt- A recent addition to my wardrobe but important nonetheless. I am very excited to be able to wear various tops, shirts and jumpers with this skirt to make an effortless but pretty outfit. The colour also means it goes with pretty much anything you wish to throw on with it. Perfect for the dark mornings where you really don't want to think too much about what to wear.
Pinafore- Pinafores and dungarees have been in the limelight a lot this year and Autumn seems like the perfect time to bring out the cute pinafores to create a lovely outfit with layers to keep you warm! I personally have two pinafores in pink and burgundy and look forward to wearing them both. (Featured in this video)
Bomber jacket- Another 2016 fashion favourite and yes, I am late to the party on this one as I didn't think they were really my sort of style. However, my mum did kindly buy me one before I headed off to uni, which you may have seen in my Autumn Primark Haul (here) and I love it. I haven't had chance to wear it properly yet but I'm looking forward to paring it with black jeans and a cami top and maybe a nice choker, as shown in the image above.
Boots- You can't have Autumn without boots; long or short, they're a necessity. I've been living in my black ankle boots since starting university as they go with everything, look nice and most importantly, are comfortable and warm making them ideal for a day at uni.
Parker coat- These have been popular in the colder months for years and although I've loved seeing them, I haven't loved them enough to splash the cash on one however, I saw a range of parkers in different colours for £20 in Primark and it seemed an irresistible purchase. Although it's only really been cold enough to wear it the past week, it makes me even more excited for the colder weather so I can venture out into the cold, crisp air, feeling cosy in my lovely coat.
Gold/copper eyeshadow- You must all know by now how much I love a gold/copper shimmery eye look but this love is heightened in the Autumn, when my bronze shadows come out to play. You can create a gorgeous shimmery eye look without a great deal of effort but it still looks amazing, especially for the time of year.
Dark/berry lip products- You've heard it before and you'll hear it again. It is the time of year for the dark lip products to come out of hiding and complete any outfit. Whether it's a deep red or a berry shade, they look incredible and are an Autumn beauty staple!

What are your Autumn essentials? Let me know in the comments. I also uploaded a(nother) haul video today, so you can go over and give that a watch here if you're interested. Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right hand corner to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
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Settling In: Uni Update

I have successfully completed my first week of university (ie. properly starting my timetable rather than induction and freshers week) and I feel so much happier than I did writing my first 'uni update'.

It's difficult to know exactly what factors helped make the week easier: whether it would have happened whatever; whether it's the lack of freshers events going on every night or; the reassurance that I would be home at the weekend and from that point onwards would have my car to hand, meaning I could come home whenever and have the freedom of a car that I'm used to.

Whatever factor(s) made the week better, I'm grateful. After returning to my flat on Sunday, once again in tears, I couldn't imagine going through that challenge week in, week out and just wanted to go to lessons and then spend the rest of my time there, curled up in solitude, enduring the week and waiting for the moment I could return home. I did make myself go out to a desert restaurant (yes it's as amazing as it sounds) with my flatmates Sunday night, which at the time I wasn't sure about but my parents talked me into it and I'm glad I went now. Plus, I will definitely be going back- my white chocolate and raspberry pancake was delicious! As for the rest of the week, thankfully things improved and as time went on, I found myself cheering up more and more. I wouldn't say I'm back to my normal self by any means, but I'm definitely heading that way.

I've enjoyed getting stuck into the more practical elements of my course which started more so on Thursday (my last uni day of the week) so it was nice to be reminded why I chose the course and the university and that I will (hopefully) be enjoying that side of things. It's also been nice to have chats in the kitchen over dinner or whenever else, so rather than making and eating my tea fairly quietly and then heading back to my room, I've found myself wanting to spend longer in the kitchen with company, having a chat and a giggle.

I'm still very glad to be able to come home most weekends as I think weekends would be more of a challenge when people are going out clubbing, which is not something I want to do, but at least now I have options. Thank you to everyone who left me nice comments and messages after my first 'uni update', it was really comforting to have that support. My family really made it easier for me in whatever way they could and I don't know how I would have got through that week without that!

On a slightly different note, I have decided to change my upload days. I've been trying to work out the most convenient time based on my timetable and for the time being, I will be uploading on a Wednesday and a Saturday instead of a Tuesday and a Friday. However, my YouTube upload day is going to stick to a Wednesday for now.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did and want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right hand corner to see when I next upload.

Love, Steph x
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Hello Autumn

It gets to October and all you seem to see and hear about is Autumn... the word 'Autumnal' is certainly overused! However, I, like many others, love Autumn, it's my favourite season and more specifically, October is my favourite month and always has been, so today's post is going to be all about the things I love about Autumn.

  1. Crispy Leaves- walking along the street with warm layers protecting you from the chill in the air is a lovely feeling in itself but when your eyes meet a golden, crispy leaf on the floor, you can't help but head on over to it and put your foot down, waiting to hear that satisfying 'crunch'.
  2. Cosy Clothing- the need to wrap up warm means your wardrobe can be filled with hoodies, jumpers, onesies, scalves... you name it! Anything that you can cosy up in, feels amazing. It makes you feel happy to just sit inside, chilling with a movie or game without feeling as if you are wasting time by not going out. Having said that, when you do venture out into the cold, you can layer on your clothes and finish a look with some gorgeous Autumnal outerwear!
  3. Birthday- This is probably the thing that made me love October best as a child and it's stuck with me. My birthday is at the end of the month which is one of my favourite days ever. Although, I'm not looking forward to it as much this year as everything is different this time around; friends I would usually celebrate with are all over the country and a vital family member is missing. This will be the first birthday for as long as I can remember not celebrating with my grandma... we always use to go for a snack at McDonalds with my grandparents and in recent years would go out with them or go and visit them, so to think that that won't be an option this year is not the best feeling!  
  4. Halloween- With my birthday being so close to Halloween, I've had many a spooky themed birthday both in early and recent years. Whether that's dressing up or just having Halloween themed decorations and games, it's often featured in a party. That should probably be a good indication of my love of the celebration... It's just a fun one even if, like me, you scare easily.
  5. Bonfire Night- Watching the fireworks is both a wonderful and terrifying thing... I'm the kind of person that likes to see them pop in the sky but prefer to do so from the safety of my home, watching out the window.
  6. Gold/Bronze Smokey Eyes- You can rock a gold or bronze toned smokey eye anytime in the year but I personally love to bring it back out and use it frequently in Autumn. I can spend a bit of time in the morning (on mornings that I actually feel like making the effort) creating a lovely shimmery eye out of gorgeous shades that just make me feel that little bit more confident through out the day; feeling as though my makeup rocks (even if others have a different opinion).
  7. Pyjama Days- On cold days where you don't have to do a lot, it's nice to lounge around in loungewear or pyjamas, feeling cosy whatever you do in the day.
  8. Horror Films- Obviously you can enjoy a horror film at any time but Halloween inspired movies and horror films are great in October where fans of horror films and those that find them just plain horrifying, can come together to be scared the heebie-jeebies (is there a correct way of spelling that... I don't know?!) out of together!
  9. Movie Nights- Linking to the previous one, having a cosy night in with family, friends or by your lonesome, watching a movie or two is such a great way to pass an Autumn evening.
  10. Build Up To Christmas- I know it's early to be thinking about Christmas, but it's not too far round the corner and October is, in my opinion. an acceptable month to start preparing for Christmas and to start the build up towards the festive season... that's not to say you need to deck your halls or falalalala quite yet, but you can prepare to.
You could probably get a decent drinking game out of the amount of times I said cosy, Halloween, Autumn or Autumnal in this post but I have no regrets! I'm sure there are more things I love about Autumn (there we go again) but these are the things I am most excited for at the moment. Let me know what you love about the season, or maybe your more of a Summer gal or guy and this colder weather is doing nothing for you... share your thoughts. I hope you enjoyed this post, if you did and you want to see more from me, you can follow my social media links in the top right hand corner to see when I next upload. I also uploaded a university room tour today so you can watch that and subscribe if you haven't here. Thank you for reading this post.

Love, Steph x
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