hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

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?


Monday, 17 February 2014

OOTN: Valentines Day

I love Valentines Day - no pun intended. It's a celebration of love and who you love - whether it be a significant other, your best friend or even your mum (because let's face it, mums are great). OK, I admit I'm not a fan of the mass-produced, pink fluffy paraphernalia the shops become choked with when February rolls around, but I'm not opposed to celebrating it.

This Valentine's Day my youth group hosted a Valentine's Day Ball. The invitation said 'bring a date', however I wasn't really fussed, so I soldiered on alone and still managed to have a great night dancing the night away with the rest of my friends - who needs a date anyway? So yes, it is still possible for you to be single and still have a great Val's Day.

One of the best parts of the night was that it was an excuse for me to finally get somewhat glammed up, although I didn't really feel like going the whole nine yards with it i.e. no heels, excessive make up, fake nails or fancy hair.  In fact my whole outfit (boots, tights, skirt, necklace and top) hailed from the haven of savvy shoppers everywhere that is Primark! In total it cost under £15 - who said you can't look good on a budget?!

If you know me, you'd know I'm pretty heel-phobic; partially because of my height (I'm 5"8), and partially because they're really uncomfortable. Thus I opted for some cute pixie boots instead, which definitely had its advantages:
1. My feet didn't hurt by the end of night
2. I didn't have to end up going shoeless
3. I could actually dance instead of doing the "stiletto-shuffle"

As for the rest of the outfit, I wore a red leather skater skirt with a panelled white top (which you may recognise from here) - the clash of the leather with the sheer white panelling added a dash of sass without going overboard. Although I must admit, I'm not quite sure when I'm going to wear the skirt again, but at £3, who can complain?!  Maybe I'll try and tone it down with some chunky knits...
Hope you all had a fab Val's Day!


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Soundtrack to my life: February '14

For the past month it's pretty much been deadline after deadline after deadline after....anyways you get the point. The only way I seem to get myself through this is and always has been a decent music playlist. Recently my music taste has taken a little bit of a dive towards the indie-pop route. Whenever I stick on a  bit of Imagine Dragons or Lorde I feel like I'm instantly transported into this state of youthful euphoria filled with scenes of summer, BBQs and parties - the best kind of memories. Anyways,here are some tracks I'm pretty into at the moment:


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Inspired: The 80's

Last week I basically had a very big hair day. Hence I looked like something that had walked (or  breakdanced) straight out of the eighties. Anyways, I loved my hair like this mainly because it was huge, but strangely frizz free (yay for good hair days!) This led my mind to think how much I actually love the 80s. Hair was big, music was great and fashion was pretty much a 'I-bet-I-can-wear-brighter-colours-than-you'  contest. Having siblings who are way older than me has definitely influenced my love of retro, that and the fact that my childhood was pretty much summed up by watching re-runs of sitcoms like Saved By The Bell. Some of my earliest memories include watching old Eddie Murphy films (Coming To America being a definite fave) and watching my brothers dance around to MJ.  If anything I think modern life needs some of that flamboyance, and have loved the recent 'retro-throwback' lots of brands seem to be doing.

Here are some 80s-inspired pins I grabbed from Pinterest:

80s street80's
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/385268943094364397/JohnCusack #80's #SayAnything80s Bold Houndstooth Print Blouse80s hairSaved by the Bell fashion is slowly coming back- Lisa's zebra print loafers and red jeans, and Jesse's denim on denim.80s, fashion, leggings, photography, retro - inspiring picture on Favim.com

One of my favourite brands is Forever 21 because they're always good for doing bright and eccentric things. They seem to have been going through a major retro phase lately and so I gathered a few of my favourite pieces:

To round-off my 80s/retro tribute, I heard this song on the radio this morning and pretty much went insane! Little Mix have recorded a cover of Word Up (originally by Cameo) for the Sports Relief single this year, which just happens to be one of my favourite songs! Here it is with the original:

So there you have it! Instead of dragging out that same grey cardigan tomorrow morning, why not pull out that shirt you think is 'too loud' and spread some of that 80s spirit tomorrow!


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

In-store Picks: Primark

This is a new section I'll be doing for all the window shoppers out there! Window shopping is great for when you're low on cash (like myself right now) but still love have a mill round the shops! I even have a thing where I actually build waitlist for things I want to buy! Another great thing is that you can still keep up with the trends and can also help inspire some new outfits you have hiding inside our wardrobe.

Anyways, this is also a pretty handy section as it will help me kill some time when I'm waiting for the train if I grab some food on the way home (they come every half-an-hour). Today I decided to take a whizz round Primark to see what they had on offer. Here are some of my favourite picks:

  • The lipstick printed jumper especially caught my eye as it was cute and quirky - perfect for spring!
  • I adore patterned accessories, so you can definitely see why I chose the two bags - in case you were wondering, the item in the middle is a g o r g e o u s clutch bag! Sadly I'm not 18, so I'm not old enough to properly go out anywhere just yet, so buying one at the minute would sadly be a waste of limited funds! 
  • It's safe to say I'm in love with the floral print dress at the bottom - it's a structures A-line dress (which is my favourite silhouette for my athletic figure) and the colours are even prettier in real-life!
  •  I'm also a large fan of jumpers for those days when literally all that you have time for is to throw on something and go! I always try an make sure that my jumpers have some sort of edge to them so that it can even make those 'throw-on-and-go' days seem that little bit more glam.

  • As you can tell, I'm in love with this little cropped jumper! The detailing is gorgeous, yet it's just so effortless as a piece! 
  • Currently I have a slight obsession with baseball tees and would happily own one in every colour if possible! I'm also a great fan of Disney, so the top tee is a perfect combination of two of my favourite things!
  • I'm also particularly a fan of this white sheer-panelled long-sleeved top. I'm a huge fan of white (when it's done right) and feel that the sheer panelling adds that touch of femininity to any outfit! It's also a potentially versatile piece as you can wear it with jeans, a skirt, or add some chunky jewellery for a night out. White's also a good base colour as you can help any bold accessories - such as that funky little scarf- really stand out.
Well I've really enjoyed this post, so look out for these in the future! Sadly I didn't have time to fully explore the accessories section, but if you have any requests for shops (or areas in shops), or have any comments on some of the pieces I've picked, then please let me know in the comments! 


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Inspiration: Natural Hair + My Hair Timeline

Growing up I always remember having impressively long hair. Well until I went to Ghana one year and they pretty much chopped it all off. Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic - it was cut to shoulder length. Move forward 6 years and it's still not much past shoulder length (currently 'boob' length when stretched out). Bearing in mind I probably had a lot to do with this, as when I finally became one with the hair straightener at age 13, I pretty much killed off all of the hair that had grown back! Since then, my hair has been damaged ever since. Although I did have some short-lived success of growing my hair out for prom! Too bad it was pretty much all split ends which had to be cut off at the start of last year...

I've dug through the Facebook archives to show you a little timeline of my hair (as you can see my skills with straighteners improved over time!):

Right now I'm loving my curly hair and only really see myself straightening it needs a trim (every 6 weeks or so.) My current aim is to get it back to post-prom length when it's straightened, although this time I'll make sure it receives regular trims so that all my hard work isn't lost again! However my long-term goal is to get my hair to post-prom length when it's CURLY. As you can tell my hair looks A LOT shorter when it's curly (damn that shrinkage), but I would love to have long flowing locks in my natural state. It will be tempting to head back to straighteners on a more permanent basis, but with images like these reminding me of my long-term goal, I don't think I will:
All images sourced from Google.
The main picture is of my ultimate hair idol (@alyssaredenti on Instagram). Her texture is very similar to mine and the colour is exactly what I'm aiming for! It will take a lot of perseverance, but my hair's done it before, so I don't see why it can't again. I'll be keeping you guys posted on my progress!

~ Frances

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