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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Staple Trench Coat








BLACK TRENCH COAT: FRENCH CONNECTION (similar) / CHUNKY ROLL NECK KNIT: ZARA / COATED JONI JEANS, CHUNKY BOBBLE HAT: TOPSHOP / *PATENT ANKLE BOOTS: c/o NEW LOOK / MICHAEL KORS SELMA BAG IN BALLET: JOHN LEWIS 

You know those pieces that sit in your wardrobe and never see the light of day until you rediscover them during a clean out? Well surprisingly, this trench coat was one of those pieces. I know, I know - it's way too beautiful to just be sitting in my wardrobe and I'm baffled as to how I let it sit there for months. I think I just kept looking over it and choosing my other coats but these last few weeks have showed me that this is actually probably one of the most versatile coats I own. 

I've always had a bit of a thing for trench coats. Isn't there something just so classic and timeless about them? Being a fan of the beauty that is Suki Waterhouse, I've been absolutely desperate for a Burberry trench coat for literally years (her collection of coats is just out of this world) but let's be honest, I'll probably never even get to touch one, let alone wear one so for me, this French Connection beauty is a perfect alternative. It's a lot more affordable than its Burberry counterparts but is still good enough quality to get that luxuriously thick feel. It's a staple coat that I'm going to get a lot of wear out of the next few months if all of these dratted named storms keep coming our way!







Keeping the classic look of the trench, I teamed it with black coated jeans, a chunky cream jumper and a trusty navy hat, though being honest the hat was mainly to keep my hair under control in the 90mph winds! This was also the first outing of my absolute love - my brand new Michael Kors bag, which you may have seen in my handbag splurge post. The colour is absolutely beautiful and although I am absolutely terrified of getting it dirty, carrying it makes me feel like a million dollars. It's also the perfect size for using as an everyday bag, fitting in my purse, iPad, book and all the other crap I seem to accumulate in comfortably. For me, this baby was worth the $$$.

If you're looking for a staple trench coat like mine, I've put some of my favourite together below (disable your ad blocker to see it!) and there is one for every budget, whether you like high end, mid range or high street. It's the perfect coat to see you through every season!

Amy x


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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

February Birthdays & A Flash Giveaway!



*PINK BUNTING BOUQUET: c/o BLOSSOMING GIFTS

So far, I've talked about unconventional Valentine's Day gifts and the perfect traditional Valentine's Day bouquet, so today I'm mixing it up even more and combining a thoughtful Valentine's Day-type gift with a birthday gift. We've all got those friends who decided to be born in February, right after Christmas and right around Valentine's Day, meaning they can be incredibly hard to buy for. There hasn't been enough time for them to refresh their wishlists after their Christmas presents and to make it harder for us buyers, the focus is around thoughtfulness thanks to Valentine's Day falling smack bang in the middle of February. My friend Jess is one of these February people and as it's her birthday today (Happy birthday Jess!) I thought I'd show you the pressies that I got her, suitable as a Valentine's gift for a close friend or a partner, or as a February birthday present.

First up, we've got some beautiful flowers from Blossoming Gifts. Like I've said in previous posts, I'm more of a fan of the unconventional flowers and Blossoming Gifts have a really amazing range of alternative Valentine's Day bouquets that are a bit different than the traditional roses, meaning that they're perfect for a friend or the less romantic type people, but are no less beautiful. This beautiful "Pink Bunting" bouquet, features oriental lilies, a handful of roses and carnations. It's an alternative bunch of flowers that are just as beautiful as the traditional Valentine's Day bouquets!



I've spoken about my own travel journal on this blog before and I absolutely love it so I decided to get Jess her own personalised travel journal for all of her travel memories. This one is from Not On The High Street and has pages to write down where you went and what you did, blank pages to stick photos in and cardboard pockets to store all of those tickets and keepsakes. It's a lovely little idea perfect for a Valentine's Day present or a birthday gift, especially for those who are well travelled. PJs are another failsafe, especially when they're from somewhere as great as Boux Avenue. They are definitely my go-to for underwear and nightwear gifts, whether they're for me or for someone else!


Get 33% off a bouquet at Blossoming Gifts with the code BGIFTS33. You can order bouquets to actually be delivered on Valentine's Day and as it's looming ever closer you better get a move on!

Amy x



p.s. I'm hostinga flash Valentine's Day giveaway where you could win six perfect films for Valentine's Day: Casablanca, The Great Gatsby, Crazy Stupid Love, The Lucky One, Focus and Magic Mike XXL! Enter via the Rafflecopter below and head over to my twitter to RT to enter and get more chances of winning!  Quick though - it ends on Thursday!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, 8 February 2016

The Perfect Valentine's Gift For Him



T-minus five days until Valentine's Day. It's time to get yourself together and get that guy in your life something a little bit more special for the day of romance and that perfect gift comes in the form of a gift card from Spoke London. No matter what, every guy needs a pair of smart trousers in their lives but that pair of trousers has to be the perfect fit and we all know what kind of trouble that can cause. What waist size? What leg length? What colour? That's where Spoke London comes in and boy, do they help out.

Spoke believe that when it comes for trousers, the fit comes first. They operate on the basis that it's pointless buying a really great pair of trousers that don't fit right as they not only will they not look great, you won't feel great either. That's why when buying the pair of trousers that you settle on, you can totally customise the fit and choose waist size, leg length and build to ensure that the size you order is the right size.



The gift card is such a great idea as it comes with a tape measure, which may not seem that overwhelming at first, but I always think it's so surprising just how many people don't know their exact waist or leg size for trousers. The gift card and tape measure means that your guy can know exactly what size he needs before ordering so that there's no messing around sending things back or exchanging when the parcel arrives. Plus there's no chance you can get into trouble for ordering the wrong size either! Plus, as Spoke focus on quality and firmly believe that less is more, your guy can choose exactly which style and colour trouser he wants without having to trawl through a thousand different styles. Spoke offer a few different types and colours of trousers but all of them have one thing in common; the high end, smart feel.

The pair that I ordered here are the dark navy cotton chinos and the quality is just incredible. I can tell just buy feeling the material that these are the kind of trousers that stay in a man's wardrobe for life and can be worn over and over again. They are truly timeless.

What are your favourite type of trousers for guys?

Amy x

*this post is in collaboration with Spoke London.
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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bedroom Decor


I think you know you're an adult when home decor excites you. Never did I think that one day I'd be be sitting in the house looking forward to the delivery of new bits and pieces for my room but hey, when it's as pretty as these bits and bobs in this post, who can blame me?

I don't know about anyone else but when I've got my bedroom exactly how I want it, it improves my mood immensely. For me, my home decor has to be three things; simple, bright and tidy. I can't stand clutter and recently I've been trying to get rid of all of the unnecessary things sitting on my drawers and stands (although I have too much make up for that ever to happen to my dressing table but you'll all understand.) I once heard a sleep specialist say that your quality of sleep will improve if your room is tidy and decluttered and whether that's true or not, it has stuck in my mind and I can't stand my room being too untidy, especially on an evening.

After getting new furniture and getting my room re-painted in July last year, my room is finally at a stage where I'm happy with it so I thought I'd just share a few of my favourite new pieces I've got in my room at the moment!



So first, we've got my new additions and at the minute this is probably my favourite part of my room. Both the deer head and the photo frames are from the lovely homeware website Cox and Cox, a website which is a blogger's dream. It's jam packed full of pinterest-able pieces for all rooms in your house and has the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary homeware, stocking everything from lighting to furniture to little pieces like this.

This Majestic Deer Head caught my eye straight away. It fits absolutely perfectly with the bright and simple theme of my room, adding just the right amount of personality to the decor without taking attention away from the room as a whole. It's surprisingly light so there's no risks with hanging it on the wall and I need to get my hands on some dainty little fairy lights to drape over it.

In true blogger style, quite a lot of the accessories in my room are bronze so this set of three delicate copper photo frames fit in perfectly. I love how the polaroid photos fit nicely in the middle; it looks much nicer than having a full photo fill the frame! I think my favourite thing about them though is the ribbon that turns them into hanging frames - such a cute alternative!



I have a number of little quote prints in my room and I'll admit most of them are from Harry Potter. I had to have my favourite ever, ever, ever quote on my wall and in case you can't see it it's the old faithful Severus Snape. "After all this time?" "Always." (Rest in peace, Alan Rickman). The cute floral photo frame is from Paperchase and if you're looking for some really charming little bits for your home, I'd highly recommend you have a look! I always forget to head there for homeware as I always associate it with stationary but it stocks some adorable bits and pieces for the home too. 

The quote on my shelf was a gift from my bestie Jess for my birthday and although I'm not sure where she got it, sellers on Etsy offer virtually any quote in any style and some will even custom make them for you. 


Since I got my new furniture back in July,  I've loved my bedside cabinet area. The photo frame is again from Paperchase and the lamp is just a cheapie from Tesco but it's done me so well over the two years I've had it. Although I don't like clutter there's usually something on my bedside cabinet like a book or my DS or my iPad; I know I'm not alone when I say I can never go straight to sleep when I decide to go to bed so always unwind by reading a few pages of my book or playing a bit of Pokemon. Of course I'm reading a book called "Rogue Laywer" - I read a book as a break from my law degree so what book do I read? A book all about law. Logic. 

Finally, my elephant bedspread deserves a little mention. Every time I post a photo of my bed on Instagram people want to know where it's from - Primark would you believe! Yup, it's one of the cheapest bedspreads I've ever owned but is also my favourite. I don't know about anyone else but I've been loving Primark's homeware of late!

Amy x

*post contains PR samples
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Saturday, 6 February 2016

10 Signs You Went Through The Teenage Chav Stage


When I was a young teenager, you usually went through one of two stages - chav or emo. Now, aged 22, I absolutely envy those who went through the emo stage as I was a chav and when I say chav, I mean a full on tracksuit bottoms and budgie swing earrings kind of chav. Oh the shame! Anyway, I think it's hilarious now looking back on what was fashionable (for want of a better word. It was certainly not fashionable!) and as I went through the chav stage, here are ten things that you'll relate to if you went through the same.

1. Feeling like a boss when you turned the collar up on your polo shirt.
I personally used to love leaving all three of the buttons undone on my striped polo shirts and turn the collar right up and this was an even better look when I upturned the collar on my bright pink Helly Hansen coat. I've always been a trend setter.

2. No hoop earring was big enough
If it didn't brush the top of your shoulder it wasn't big enough. What health and safety risk? Also, we had a thing for those weird triangular shaped chunky earrings that kind of looked like clowns. You know what I mean! 


3. Hair gel was your best friend.
Yes you read that right. I know I wasn't the only one who combed thick wads of hair gel through my ponytail to get my hair flat to my head and then proceeded to pull two tiny wisps out of the front. If you were male, no amount of hair gel was enough to get those super hot hedgehog spikes. 

4. Your trainers went with EVERYTHING 
Whether it was your school uniform, a skirt, your trusty tracksuit or a big prom dress, you didn't leave the house without one of your many pairs of trainers on your feet (yes Lily Allen, I'm looking at you).

5. You wore football socks even though you didn't play football.
You then proceeded to tuck your tracksuit bottoms into said socks. Oh the style!! 


6. Guys with slits shaved into their eyebrows were super hot.
Side note: they really weren't. 

7. Your MSN screen name was literally a work of art.
Âmý ËLL 2k7 bÚzzÍñ

8. Your go to pose in a photo was the thumbs up 
Along with everyone else in the photo...Nope, not cringey at all.

9. You had a Playboy themed bedroom.
A Playboy bedspread, holographic poster, two pillows, sheets, curtains, mirror, underwear, hanging laser cut decorations... Add in the Playboy underwear and some Playboy earrings and you were the most envied girl in the year.

10. You now look back at your photos and think "really?"
Why oh why did I think that looking like I'd jumped into Sports Direct covered in superglue was a good look? Also, why don't teenage girls these days have a chav phase? Why aren't they currently tucking their tracksuit bottoms into their socks? I thought it was teenage tradition!!

Did you go through a chav phase? I hope you got a good chuckle out of this!! 

Amy x
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Friday, 5 February 2016

Student Life: My Course, My Tech and More!


As someone who is a student and a blogger, I fully appreciate how essential it is to have the tech that is right for you and your lifestyle, whether that's a great camera, the right laptop and aaall of the other tech that's needed these days to keep on top of everything. Being a part of #CurrysCollective for my final year of study has really helped me so far; Currys has set me up with a handy little HP Pavilion Laptop, perfect for carrying around classes and my printer has become one of my most prized possessions. Anyway, Currys has challenged me to complete The Tech Tag, sharing all of my uni experiences and my tech loves. Enjoy!

1. What course and year are you in at uni?
I'm currently in my third year at Durham University studying LLB Law (although I am also doing a criminology module this year!)

2. Why did you choose to study this?
I was originally supposed to be studying Psychology at Durham but I dropped out and had a years break from education. I've always loved Law since I studied it at A Level and got an A* so it's something I knew I would enjoy studying and would be good at! Plus it's such a good degree to have with a lot of transferable skills.

3. What has been your best memory as a student so far?
As I don't live in the uni halls and drive in from home, my university experience has probably been very different to everyone else's as I don't drink at all! I've met some amazing people over my time at uni and even though I don't join in with all the partying (not my cup of tea at all!!) it's still been a great experience. One of my best memories has got to be being interviewed for the Tab about my degree and my blog. The Tab is something I read a lot of as I love that it's mostly written by students so being featured on it was so great!


4. What tech couldn't you live without at uni?
It has to be my MacBook Air. It's by far the best thing I've ever bought and even though they are extremely expensive, for me it has absolutely been worth the spend. It's got everything I need for both uni work and blogging so it's been the perfect laptop for me. Once you go Mac you never go back!

5. If you could invent a piece of tech to use as a student what would it be?
Ooo that's a tricky one! I think it would probably be a phone that somehow picked signal up in the lecture halls that never get signal. I know you're supposed to be giving your full attention but c'mon we need at least a little scroll down Instagram!

6. Are you involved in any clubs or societies outside of your degree?
I am but not at my university. I've been part of my local running club for over a year now and I also go to boxing classes! Living outside of the uni means it's a 20 minute drive to get to any of the clubs at the uni itself so it's easier for me just to go to my local ones.

7. What's your favourite way to relax and unwind when you're not studying?
I've always loved to read so it's nice to just read a book that isn't related to law when I don't have to (although I am reading John Grisham's Rogue Lawyer at the minute so that's kind of defeating the point!). With my dissertation being well underway now though it's hard to find time!

8. What are you hoping to do after graduating?
I honestly don't know yet. I'm going to have another year out and just work while I decide what I want to do career wise as I think rushing into a career you may or may not like or aren't passionate about is one of the biggest mistakes graduates can make. You've got time!

9. Describe your experience at uni so far in five words.
Challenging, maturing, studious, sporty and fun.

10. Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
Everyone seems to think I'm really tall but I'm actually a shortie! I'm only 5"4 and whenever I say that on Twitter no one can believe it! Trust me, I'm mini!

If you're a student then you're more than welcome to do the #CurrysTechTag - make sure you use the hashtag on twitter so we can read your answers!

Amy x
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

My Top 3 Smoothie Recipes



2015 was undoubtedly the year of the smoothie and 2016 is set to be an even bigger year for the blenders. Everyone loves a smoothie and even those who don't usually eat fruit or veg have been getting into the healthy trend and drinking their greens instead. AO.com kindly sent me over one of their famous Blend Active family packs so below are a few of my own recipes that I hope you will love as much as I do!

Firstly, I'll tell you a little bit about the blender itself. The Blend Active is a simple, affordable and pretty darn amazing blender, perfect for making your morning smoothie. It's really, really easy to use and I've found I use mine just about everyday now. Simply pop your ingredients in one of the bottles, screw on the blades and press the button. Simple. As. That. The family pack comes with two larger bottles and two smaller bottles, the latter being perfect for taking your smoothie to the gym or to work with you, meaning it's so easy to get your five a day.

So here are my three favourite smoothie recipes for you to try yourself. They've proven to be popular in my household!



THE HEALTHIER BANANA MILKSHAKE

A personal favourite of mine, this banana based smoothie is a perfect alternative for when you're craving a sweet drink like a banana milkshake. I like to think of this one as a healthier alternative! It's also one of the easiest and tastiest smoothies to make so I find myself making this one over and over again. All you need is almond milk, two bananas and a couple of spoonfuls of honey. Blend it all up in the Blend Active and you've got a perfect. creamy banana nut milkshake, minus the sugar and dairy overload. Honestly, if you love banana and nutty flavours, this is most definitely the one for you. 



THE TROPICAL KICK

Although the banana shake smoothie is my favourite, this tropical one has been a firm favourite with everyone else in my house. If you've made smoothies before, you'll know that they don't always smell too appealing but this one even smells divine. To create this beautiful smoothie, you'll need two passionfruit, mango pieces, pineapple pieces, three spoonfuls of greek yoghurt with honey and a little bit of coconut milk. It is seriously delicious and just tastes like holiday in a cup! To make this vegan you can simply switch out the yoghurt with soya yoghurt, something which I noticed Onken has started doing!




THE SUPER GREEN

I obviously had to include a green smoothie in this one as they have been all the rage recently but they can be really hard to get right. They're definitely a love or hate kinda thing but whichever side you fall down on, you can't deny they're the best in terms of nutrition. Now, I didn't want mine to be too bitter as can be the case with green smoothies so I tried to switch up the ingredients so it was just that bit sweeter. For this one you'll need two kiwis, a handful of spinach, a pear, two spoonfuls of greek yoghurt with honey, a squirt of lime juice and a handful of goji berries to sprinkle on the top. Naughty me forgot to take a photo of this one when I first blended it up but you can see it on the photo above on the right hand side. It's a controversial one but I really like it and if you want to get your superfood fix there's no better way to do it!

If you want an easy way to incorporate more nutrients into your diet, there's no better way to do it than to get your hands on a Blend Active. They're affordable and are available for under £30 from AO!

Amy x

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