hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

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!

-Frances



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.

-Frances

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:

Ingredients:
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!

Frances



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?

Frances

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!

Frances


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:











~Frances

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!

~Frances
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