hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

2014: the year lots of things happened.

Turns out we're in February and I still haven't gotten around to doing my 2014 highlights post (I know, I know shameful). Lately, most of my energy has been spent on settling into/surviving the new semester.

Looking back at my 2013 post, I can definitely say that the amount of college application- stress I was going through at the time was worth it. I guess the biggest thing to happen to me during 2014 was that I got into college! Other notable things that happened were:
  • I finished my A-levels (finally)
  • I turned 18
  • I got highlights in my hair (easily one of the best decisions I've made, and I'm definitely planning on getting more this summer)
  • I met the US ambassador to the UK (pretty exciting)
  • Wireless Festival & James Arthur gig
  • I was part of a world record (kind of a big deal)
  • Huge family college road trip in an RV (because that's just how we do things)
  • I visited LA & New York for the first time

Created with flickr slideshow - see full-screen for captions. .

Oh, and another cool thing that happened was my best friends back home surprising me with a surprise photoshoot for my birthday/leaving present - they're kind of amazing.

All in all, it was a pretty amazing year in terms of trying new things, visiting new places and making new friends. The summer alone is easily the best summer I've had. 2015 certainly has a lot to live up to, although I have faith that it won't disappoint!

- Frances

Friday, 23 January 2015

inspired by pinterest: dainty jewelry

I don't why it is, but lately I've slowly fallen in love with the current minimalist jewelry trend that seems to be popping up everywhere. There is something so aesthetically pleasing about seeing gemstones and chains effortlessly layered over one another in an oh-so-chic manner that makes me want to throw out all my statement jewelry pieces. For me, the minimalist jewelry trend is the perfect way to achieve that 'off-duty model' look without trying too hard. You could say 'I woke up like this'...

Here are some images sourced from Pinterest for further inspiration/ make you want to do a re-haul of your jewelry collection:

- Frances

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


*Yes I know this is a bit overdue!*

This NYE I was out in LA (look out for more LA posts!) with family. My cousins and I went to a gold-themed party in the hills and had a great time!

What's the verdict on my first LA party experience? Pretty great! Everything was to be expected: beautiful venue, beautiful people and great music. One of my favourite parts of the night was definitely the gold-themed photobooth, which e-mailed you the pictures in a snazzy GIF format, as well as printing them out in traditional form. How to please a bunch of millenials? Let them take photos of themselves - easy.

'But you're not wearing gold?!' I hear you scream. Never fear! There was plenty of gold accessories (e.g. my crown) for guests who also opted for the classic LBD that night. Although it's safe to say that there were guests there wearing enough gold for the rest of us, so it hardly mattered!

Dress: Express Outlet.

That rounds off my first post for 2015! I hope to blog a lot more this year and get a steady flow of posts going to document my time here in the US!


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

this week in spotify: dec. 15th - 21st

Anyone who knows me will know that I'm kind of obsessed with Spotify. It's an amazing way to discover new music - either through the 'Radio' function (think Pandora) or through the hundreds of pre-made playlists they have to suit every (I'm not lying) mood imaginable. I thought it would be a fun thing to incorporate what I'm listening to every now and again into my blog. Beware, my music taste is a bit eclectic, but then who's isn't?

Right now - here are 5 of the songs which never get 'skipped over' - you know what I'm talking about.

If you have any recommendations of songs that I should listen to - don't hesitate to leave them in the comment box and I'll get round to listening to them!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

running in rural ohio.

Have you ever had the urge to just go on a really long run and just escape somewhere? Well that was me this Saturday morning when my body clock woke me up  bright and early at 8:30 (great)

Right now it's 'Finals Week' and everywhere I go, it's like the universe can't help but remind me of it. Everyone's stressing out, and if I'm honest, it's starting to stress me out even though I wasn't stressed out in the first place! So I threw on my running shoes and decided to escape the 'stress bubble' that was building up around me. 
The good thing about going to school in the middle-of-nowhere-Ohio is that you are in the middle-of-nowhere-Ohio. There are tons of trails around my school to explore if you need a break from well... people. It's just you, the occasional herd of cows and some cornfields (a.k.a no one to witness any crazy dancing).  I ended up running for roughly an hour and a half in total, and it was quite honestly one of the best decisions I've made in a while. Beautiful scenery and a playlist that included everything from Hakuna Matata to P.Y.T; what more could I want?

There is something to be said about spending time by yourself doing something you enjoy. Some people play an instrument, and others might dance or draw. I just like running. You can forget about that paper you have due, or that test you have to study for, or anything else that's been niggling away at you, and just do you. All I can say is that I defnitely see more of these runs in the future. At least... before it gets bitterly cold aha.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Recipe: Rocky Road

Lately I seem to have developed a constant craving for rocky road. I don't know what it is about the delightful mix of chewy marsmllows, crunchy biscuits and chocolate that gets me so much. Turns out it's pretty easy to make at home:

500g of your favourite chocolate bar (i.e milk, plain, orange etc. - I used plain)
Bag of mini marshmallows (normally found in the baking section) 
Crush your favourite biscuits (I used bourbons - digestives are traditionally used) 
Golden Syrup
Vanilla essence
Anything else- raisins, cashews, peanut butter, malteasers etc.

1. Slowly melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
2. When melted add a dash of vanilla essence and a tablespoon of golden syrup and stir.
3. Slowly stir in your biscuits ('season to taste') and anything else.
4. Then your marshmallows (try not melt them too much)
5. Line a cake tin with baking paper then pack in your mixture and place it in the fridge until hard
6. When you take it out of the fridge leave to thaw for a while before you cut it up.
7. Enjoy! 

These seemed to go down pretty well with my Spanish class, so let me know if you have a go at making them yourself;  especially if you put your own spin on on it!


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Spring Goals

That's right everyone, it's nearly spring (it's official - I was just attacked by a bee). That means new beginnings, opportunities and new adventures. As I was walked home yesterday and saw the first flowers bloom on the trees, I began thinking of everything I want to get done in the next few months. Like many people my age, this year is a pretty big year; during the next couple of months I have exams, finalising my uni plans and  I BECOME AN ADULT (well I turn 18). It's bound to get all get a little crazy, but I'm looking forward to it.Change can be hectic, even so far as stressful, but change is good - the last couple of years have taught me that.  

Among all the craziness I've decided to set myself some goals to keep my focused. Some will be more achievable than others, and some of them may seem a bit random, but the nevertheless they're just things I've been thinking about. 

1. Control my skin
Normally when people have problem skin, they're talking about their face. I've been lucky enough to have been born with clear skin, however for as long as I can remember I've suffered with eczema mostly on my arms, chest and back, which  has unfortunately left me with lots of scarring, which let's be honest isn't very cute. At the moment I'm currently using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil to improve my skin. I've pretty much grown out of my eczema although I still 'stress-scratch' my wrists and hands - I guess another goal is to avoid this entirely and get rid of my eczema for good!

2. Be more active
I never have and never will be one of those people who like going for jogs in the rain/freezing cold. Nope, never. However I love a good morning run in the summer! There's just something about pounding the pavements and listening to your favourite tracks whilst the sun comes up. 

3. Become an owl
No, not the actual animal (the would be impossible, duh). But I've come to realise that I'm somewhere between a night owl/morning lark - I work best when it's 3- 6 o' clock in the morning, and thanks to Michael Gove, I have 13 exams in the summer. To try and fit in the insane amount of revision I need to do in the next few months, I've decide to listen to my body and revise when its most productive - hence becoming an owl. After my hour or two of productiveness, I can go on my jog, release some endorphins and generally get my day off to an amazing start. You could say that my mood during the rest of the day is a reflection of the type of morning I've had.

4. Rituals
I'd like to get into the habit of well... getting into good habits. So this means having  great morning routine (as described above); always having something to read on a lonely commute; cook/bake something once a week; complete a section of my Spanish app a day and perhaps even develop a nightly yoga routine. Beauty-wise I aim to deep-condition once a week (long hair by the summer please!) and carry on working on my scars! My aim is to be as stress-free in the next few months as mentally and physically possible, and I generally find that getting myself into a routine gives me this!

5. Eat right
I am a massive foodie, however I tend to lean towards the wrong things a lot of the time. Although I definitely can't see myself becoming a complete health nut (I like chocolate too much), I'm instead going to make more of an effort to eat more wholesome foods with actual nutritional benefits i.e. telling myself 'do I really need that Chicken Mayo from McDonalds?!'

6. Develop my blog
I absolutely love having my own bit of cyberspace and the blogging community in general. There are SO many great blogs out there that I love reading in my spare time. I've never really known where I've wanted to go with this blog, but now I realise that's the great part - I don't have to know. You guys can follow me on my random journeys, and I will blog about anything from a-levels to the latest trends. So watch this space!

7. Enjoy myself
This one's important. These are technically the last few months of my youth (before I turn 18 and all that jazz). I don't want to remember  being stressed out and breaking down over a-levels - I want to remember all the cool dishes I would have learnt how to make and my uber-productive mornings. I will be calm, I will be collected and it will be amazing. You're only young once right?! I feel like society almost wants you to be stressed out - you can either a) be stressed out, or b) at least try and get on with it with a smile on your face! For me at least, Option B sounds like the least depressing choice.

So yup those are my Spring goals!  I figure that if I focus on some quality 'me-time' and get myself in check, the rest should just fall into place.

What are some of your goals?


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