EASTER CUPCAKES

SPRING IS HERE! and with all the pastels and chocolate floating around, could there be a better time to do some baking?

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I had the urge to make some Easter treats, so naturally I went on Pinterest for some inspiration and found these adorable cupcakes. They are super simple to make and you’ll probably find that you already have most of the ingredients in your cupboards. These are an Easter twist on a classic vanilla cupcake, with a white chocolate buttercream and a nest of chocolate shavings, and they taste delicious!

It would be such a cute idea to make them over this weekend as you can never have enough sweet treats for Easter, right?

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I am going to link the full recipe that I used and you can adapt and alter it as you wish but for the basics, and in terms of what I used, you will need:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 200g All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt, 100g Butter (melted)
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Egg Whites.

For the Frosting:

  • 100g White Chocolate Chips (melted)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 200g Icing Sugar.

For the Topping:

  • 1 Block of Chocolate
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs.

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celsius and line your muffin tin with cupcake cases. (I didn’t have a muffin tin so I just doubled up my cupcake cases to make them sturdier and that seemed to do the trick).
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and then in another bowl mix the sugar and vanilla extract into the melted butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and combine.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a seperate bowl and then fold them into the batter until all is combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into your prelined muffin tin. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (stir every 20 second until fully melted) and then leave to cool.
  2. Beat the butter and then slowly add the cooled melted chocolate to it.
  3. Slowly add in the icing sugar until fully incorporated into the mix.
  4. Fill a sandwich bag with the icing mixture and make a small cut at one corner.
  5. Pipe icing onto the cakes to create a circle.

Topping:

  1. Grate chocolate block and add shavings around the edge of the icing to create a nest.
  2. Place 2 or 3 mini eggs into the middle of the nest.

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The end result is so cute and they fit just on top of an average sized egg crate, you can make mini cupcakes that should fit in an egg crate fully so that you can close it and give it as an Easter gift which I think is such a cute idea!

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They taste so delicious, are so fun to make and look adorable for spring. Let me know if you try this recipe out, happy baking and happy Easter!

For more cupcake photos and just photos in general, check out my Instagram.

Phoebe Francesca x

 

 

 

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BOOKS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

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To kick off the new year, I have compiled a short list of books that are super motivating, inspiring, health-related and some that are just beautiful additions to your bookshelf. I am going to mention six books that represent quite different genres, but each have inspired or moved me in some way and I feel they need to be shared.

EAT SMART – This is a recent addition to the bookshelf, following a new years resolution to get healthier and fitter. Niomi Smart is one of my favourite YouTubers and her videos are great for inspiring you to eat healthier and just generally have a fitter lifestyle. She bought out this vegan cookbook at the end of last year and it is beautiful. I am not vegan but the recipes are incredible and it makes cutting out meat and dairy a lot easier knowing that that doesn’t equate to flavourless and boring food. Even if you have no interest in cutting out animal products, these recipes are delicious and this book is a beautiful starting point to get you thinking about being healthier and introducing healthier alternatives and staples to your lifestyle.

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EAT BEAUTIFUL – Very similar vibe to ‘Eat Smart’ and I did mention this in my new years resolutions post. This healthy eating bible is all about nourishing yourself from the inside out. These are not diet books but books that help to educate you on what you should be eating for your specific size, hair type, skin type, age etc. that will help you look and feel your best. Just flicking through this book will help to motivate you in getting healthier and fitter, and the rose gold accents on the cover of both of these books look beautiful on any bookshelf or coffee table.

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NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL – Written by one of my absolute heroes, Lena Dunham, this is a hillarious collection of writings about being a girl in today’s world. Lena is so relatable, honest and smart. This book is almost a collection of lessons and experiences that are so moving and important, Lena is like a big sister, helping other girls out there who feel lonely, self conscious, different, and just uncomfortable. I feel every girl goes through these feelings in her life, this book is a comfort and a helping hand as well as an incredible addition to feminist literature. 16145553_1393518437334730_894638400_o

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS – As a feminist I believe every single person should read this book. It is a 52 tiny paged booklet by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that explains the importance of feminism through a very short but important personal story. It inspires inclusion and awareness and highlights the true, twenty-first century meaning of feminism. There is also a talk that includes this specific text by Chimamanda on Tedx, which is equally as good. I just like having this book on hand at home for those people I meet who are intrigued by me being a feminist and I have actually found that after reading this, every single person is caused to think about feminism in a different way to what they once understoodand, and can identify with it on some level.

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LATE FRAGMENTS – This memoir by Kate Gross is easily in my top five favourite books of all time. My Dad sent this to me a couple of years ago and it has left a mark on me ever since, it is both tremendously sad and hugely inspiring. Kate Gross had an incredibly important job working for two presidents in 10 Downing Street, a beautiful husband and two twin boys but was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after giving birth. She writes this book as a gift to herself and to her family, and as an important message to her sons of all the things she would never get to say to them but wanted them to know. This is not a depressing cancer story but a beautiful reminder of how precious life is and also an inspiring text that teaches you to embrace every moment. Despite my copy being tear-stained, I can not recommend this book enough.

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KIKKI.K PAPER LOVER’S BOOK – Lastly, on a much less serious note this book was gifted to me by my sister for Christmas, from one craft-lover to another. It is by the beautiful stationary brand kikki.K, and it a book with lots of different crafts, cards and decorations to make and send, all from patterend paper. There is so many different and original ideas from prints to put in frames to present toppers and banners. I can not wait to get started using this, and also a perfect gift.

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I hope this post has provided a wide range of books that can inspire, motivate and move you and I can not recommend each of these books more.

Happy Reading!

Phoebe Francesca x

 

 

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A VERY BELATED NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS POST

I HAVE BEEN SO BUSY and also super poorly which really sucks because the first week of the new year is always my absolute favourite. I love starting a fresh chapter with a new outlook about what I want to achieve. January is always my most productive month as I always have the most ambition and optimism. However, this year I got struck down with the flu for a solid week and have also had 3, 4,000 word essays to keep me busy. So this new years resolutions post is coming to you a little late but with the best intentions that will hopefully keep you pumped in your first couple of weeks trying to get started on your new years aims. I have compiled a small list of things I want to get done/get better at this year so, LET’S DO THIS…

IS A NEW YEARS POST EVEN A NEW YEARS POST IF IT DOESN’T INCLUDE GETTING ABS? So naturally my first new years resolution is to get way more toned. Summer is fast approaching and like everyone, I ate my body weight over Christmas. So as part of my new year health kick I have up’d my work out game, (basically by 100%, since I was legit doing zero physical activity in December). I find what works for me is doing H.I.T training which basically means high-intensity interval training, this suits me best because there is literally no way in hell that I could go to the gym for an hour. So I usually do this in my apartment from youtube videos. My fave is ‘Biogilates‘ and I usually do a ten minute ab or core routine. I try to do this daily, the first few days kill, and then as I get better I will up it to twice a day. These workouts are super good for tiring you out before bed if you struggle sleeping. Biogilates youtube channel is so motivating, the workouts are really good and you can feel it and see it working within days which is all you want from a quick workout, so really do check her out because she is awesome!
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TIPS&TRICKS – In the morning put on your gym stuff straight away and then you’re already commited to doing your workout, also getting it done in the morning means your not thinking about it all day.

STAYING HYDRATED – I basically don’t drink enough water ever so this year I want to make a real conscious effort to drink a lot more water. In the past when I have tried super hard to drink more I really notice the effects, my skin is so much clearer and I end up not snacking so much because half the time when you think you are hungry you are actually just thirsty. WHO KNEW? So, I have started carrying around a water bottle wherever I go, I do plan on getting a cute one but just havn’t gotten round to it yet.

TIPS&TRICKS- Try to drink a whole glass of water when you wake up and before you go to bed and make sure you have access to water throughout your day.

BECOMING A MERMAID- As much as being a mermaid is a genuine life dream of mine, I am mainly referencing hair growth. I set growing my hair as a new years resolution for 2016 and I am so happy to say that I stuck with my routine and really looked after my hair and it has grown SO much. I am so happy with it but I am about an inch or so off of my goal hair length (is it sad that I have a goal hair length?) So I bascially have cut down massively on how much heat I apply to my hair, I try to only straighten it once after its been washed as usually on the second day it is still kind of straight. Alongside just generally treating my hair better I do take hairburst tablets. I know these are all over instagram and you’re probably thinking I have fallen for an internet scam. But these pills do work. They basically contain all the vitimins you should have in your daily diet that you probbaly don’t get in the quantities that you need everyday. I have taken hairburst for about a year now and the results have been amazing, my hair never used to grow past a certain length but with these tablets it grows so quickly and gives my hair a stronger texture. Obviously these things are super subjective and can work on some people and not on others but if you were like me and really stuck in a rut with hair that never grows then I really would give these a go.

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TIPS&TRICKS- Take these tablets in the morning before eating anything, with a glass of water (secret way to get your water in at the same time!) and hair oil is your new best friend.

STAYING ON TOP OF WORK- I am so good at being organised in the first couple of weeks of term or at the begining of the year, but maintaining this is a complete different story. I have such a heavy work load at university and on top of that work two to three days a week, so time management is key. I have to plan out all my days so I know when to fit work in around my schedule. I have mentioned this weekly planner in previous posts but it is a literal god sent, I do not know what I would do without it. This year I am aiming to stick to my plans and get ahead of university work by reading a week ahead of schedule.

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TIPS&TRICKS- Every morning use your planner to write out a list of things you want to achieve that day, try to make this list in priority order and basically don’t go to bed until you’ve done everything on it- brutal but effective.

BEING A BETTER JUDGE OF CHARACTER- Getting onto the deep stuff with this resolution. I have always figured myself a good judge of character however in hindsight I have let my heart judge situations over my head. Basically this year I want to speak my mind more and not keep friends in my life that are not loyal or good for me. I think the general lesson I have learnt from 2016 is that if someone is not nice or respectful to their other friends or other people around them, then they are most likely not a nice person to you or in general and you just don’t need that negativity in your life. On a more cheery note, I want to get better at being the best possible friend that I can be to the people in my life that are great and do genuinely care and matter.

TIPS&TRICKS- A good facebook friend deleting spree usually does the job, literally just get rid of anyone that doesn’t add anything to your life and positivity will follow.

BEING GRATEFUL- I got gifted this ‘one line a day‘ journal at the begining of last year and although I didn’t use it everyday, looking back at all my entries from 2016 was so much fun and made me really appreciate my year and everything that happened. This journal is a really good and quick way of documenting your days. I am trying out writing what I am grateful for on each day, just to switch things up a bit, and also big events that have happened and little things that have made me happy. Also documenting negative aspects of your days is really useful when looking back on your year and seeing what you have accomplished and got through.

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TIPS&TRICKS- Keep this journal by your bed with a pen and then it will be the last thing you see before you go to bed and a reminder to fill it in every night.

EAT BEAUTIFUL- So as a Christmas present my Mum bought my sister this book called ‘Eat Beautiful‘ by Wendy Rowe, and after flicking through the pages we all fell in love with it, causing my Mum to by another two copies for her and myself. It is the most inspiring healthy eating book that basically explains all the foods you should be eating for your specific skin, body, hair and age type. The recipes are beautiful and it has just given us all that extra kick in terms of eating right and well this year. In additon to worshiping this bible I am cutting down on my meat and dairy intake, I basically don’t eat meat until dinner and sometimes not even then either and I don’t drink any milk anymore which has only really impacted my coffees, which are now soya. I have found cutting down on dairy really impacts my skin and also makes me way less bloated and eating less meat is just a personal preference, I don’t eat red meat anyway and I have found I don’t overly miss meat from my diet either.

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TIPS&TRICKS- Soya yoghurt is the best thing I have ever eaten, have it with fruit and granola for breakfast and thank me later. Also just be mindful about what you are putting into your body and stay hydrated.

SLEEP- Finally, I really want to try and get a better sleeping pattern. I so badly want to be a morning person but I suck. I have been trying my hardest to get to sleep before 11 every night and wake up before 9 but I am finding it super difficult. If you have any tips on this I would greatly appreciate them. I am trying to not eat after 8pm so that I don’t have too much energy and then also working out an hour before bed so that I am tired. I think maybe I am stressed with my work load and thats why I can’t sleep but its something I am working on.

TIPS&TRICKS- Do it in stages, start off getting up half an hour earlier than you would normally and then slowly increase this until you are getting up at your desired time.

So those are generally all my new years resolutions, if you have any tips and tricks to add please let me know. I hope you all have the most wonderful new year !

Phoebe Francesca x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LOVE LIST/GIFT GUIDE- NOVEMBER EDITION

November not only consists of the build up to Christmas but is also the month that my birthday falls. It has been a super exciting month for me but also one full of essay planning and presenations due to the many university deadlines ahead. As a result I have done zero Christmas shopping so this ‘Love List’ will work in two ways; to show you all the beautiful things I have been loving this month and secondly as a gift guide for those of you who have, like me, left Christmas shopping to the last minute (despite having promised myself I would have it completed in November). A lot of the products feautured in this post I received for my birthday and all will be linked where possible.

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I am going to start with my most favourite thing, I have been after one of these since I first saw them on pinterest and had been begging for one since about September. I honestly don’t know what I could want more than a blanket that doubles up as mermaid tail. Who doesn’t want to be a mermaid?

15354321_1352076614812246_984300822_oThis mermaid tail blanket was a present from my boyfriend for my birthday, they are from Asos and retail at £32 which is kind of pricey for a blanket, but if you’re a student then you can save 10%. Also I know they sell these blankets on a few other sites, however I’d rather play it safe as I trust Asos as a company and I can also testify that these blankets are really good quality and are a super thick material. They come in a few different colours (pink, grey, lilac) but mint is my favourite colour of all time and probably the most mermaid-y (that should totally be a word).  They would make the best Christmas presents and I have already gifted a pink one to my Sister as her birthday was a few days after mine and being mermaids was a childhood dream for us both.

The next thing I am loving this month, is this O Bag. I was lucky enough to recieve this as a gift from my sister and apparently I am completly out the loop as I had never heard of this brand. But it is honestly the coolest concept ever and again, a great gift idea if you’re wanting to spoil someone this Christmas with something a little bit different.

15419444_1352076131478961_1563159106_oSo you basically buy a base bag, my sister chose a beautiful grey/mauve colour bucket bag and handles that matched, and then (this is the fun part), you can accesorise the bag with so many different add ons. So my sister picked out this beautiful grey faux fur trim which is super festive. So the idea is that you can continue purchasing different trims, tops, handles and even bases to mix and match your bag for different seasons, events and outfits. It is such a cool concept and the bags are incredibly durable and beautifully designed. You should definitly check them out if you are like me and have never heard of them before. Mine is the perfect festive accessory for this time of year.

Another thing, which wasn’t a birthday present, but something I have found myself using again on a daily basis to keep myself organised as university becomes forever more hectic is this weekly planner.

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I bought this way back a couple of years ago but it is one of those things you can just pick up and start using whenever life gets busy. So it’s basically a weekly notebook but undated, I use it along side my diary as a day-by-day ‘to do’ list. It is really useful to use at the start of the week to jot out what you need to get done and set out how much time you have for each thing. I am one of those people that really enjoys crossing things off lists so at the end of the week when I have a whole list of things ticked off it makes me extremely happy. Also the actual notebook itself is beautiful, I bought it a shop called ‘Found’ but it is by a company called Moglea. Another great gift for anyone with a busy schedule this Christmas.

15409711_1352076451478929_2095883351_oThis next thing is something I am not loving yet, but will soon be enjoying every monring from the 13th! It has been kind of a tradition for my mum to buy me and my Sister Benefit advent calanders and we both got one this year (since our birthdays fall just before Christmas). I love a beauty advent calander and the Benefit ones are fab. They have small sized products rather than sample sized and they are all best selling products that include ‘they’re real’ mascara ‘dandelion’ blush, ‘Watts Up’ highligher and so many more that you will actually use. The only down fall this year is that they have made it a twelve day calander rather than a twenty 15387413_1352076254812282_305337229_ofour day one, so I plan on starting mine on the 13th and opening a door a day up until the 25th. I have been able to picture some pf the products here that I still have from last year, as despite being small they last a really long time and the packaging of both the calander itself and the mini products is beautiful making it an incredible gift. I am really excited to start opening this advent calander and you could still buy it as a gift for someone this Christmas as it isn’t a regualar twenty four day calander so you could even start on Christmas day!

Whilst were on the topic of Benefit, my Brother kindly bought me ‘The Pore-fessional‘ for my birthday (pictured above). This is THE best primer I have ever used, I had actually already used this as I got it in a previous advent calander. You only need the smallest amount and it provides the smoothest base for applying foundation and it helps your makeup last so much longer.

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Lastly, I received the cutest bobble hat from Joules. Which I spotted whilst shopping with my boyfriend and he kindly bought it for me. It is in a really light grey colour and has a fleece lining so it is the warmest thing ever. The thing I love the most about this hat which makes it different from others I have seen,  is the baby pink bobble which  is actually on a popper so you can mix and match with other colours. I have worn this pretty much every day since I got it because it is so warm and so cute !

Lastly I just want to say a huge thank you for all the birthday wishes and I am so grateful for everything I got for my birthday this year (including all the beautiful things not mentioned in this post), and a huge thank you to my sister for hosting the cutest gathering with all my family!

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I hope this has provided some gift inspiration for the Christmas season, even if you just want to treat yourself !

Phoebe Francesca x

 

 

 

 

 

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ALL THINGS AUTUMN

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Autumn is well and truly among us and the change of season has brought with it golden crisp mornings, cozy candle lit evenings and every excuse to start getting festive. Autumn for me means golden landscapes, huge cups of coffee, pumpkin spiced everything, rainy evenings reading, and windy Sunday walks. So this post will be all about how I have made my home and lifestyle fit for the season and ready for the Christmas festivities that are among us (I’m just slightly excited!).
14813047_1304277336258841_92645990_oTransitioning my home through the seasons, no matter to what extent, helps me adjust to the changes that each season brings and keeps me motivated and optimistic throughout the colder and darker months. Tackling the cold was first on our agenda so we switched up our usual cushions for an array of super soft cozy ones. As far as cushions and blankets are concerned, its the more the merrier in my books. This grey mauve colour creates a really neutral base on which to add autumnal and  christmas additions to your home. Also the mixed textures of these cushions really adds to the cozy and snug feel of the room whilst the stag print on just the one cushion hints at the festivities to come.

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14876091_1304277429592165_1684104409_o14881583_1304277402925501_1970931370_o.jpgCandles are another Autumn essential, they can transition you really well into a season and my favourite scent this month is ‘creamy pumpkin’ which smells exactly like drinking a pumpkin spice latte, it isn’t super strong but still gives off a subtle spiced aroma, perfect for cozy evenings in. We also found this candle holder which just screams autumn, I have always loved wreaths but since we have an apartment and therefore a shared front door, this candle wreath is more practical for us, but if you have a front door of your own, wreath away!  I am also going to take this accessory into Christmas by filling it with baubles and adding a winter scent to the mix. This is a perfect coffee table piece and adds those golden and auburn hues to our living room. We also added this golden plate that we found in Tiger for a more festive feel, I also plan on using this for snacks during Christmas when we have friends and family over. Tiger are such a good shop for home accessories, especially seasonal pieces as they are relatively inexpensive which is great when your buying items that you aren’t going to use all year round and perhaps don’t want to spend too much money on.

What is Autumn without pumpkins? For me pumpkins are the perfect addition to any home in late October. The colour pumpkins add to a room is incredibly festive and fun. We have a mixture of fake and real pumpkins in this wicker basket we keep by the fireplace. The fake pumpkins are from Tiger and the real ones we picked up from a local flower stall. We also added some gourds which are miniature pumpkin like vegetables that come in various colours and shapes. This basket of pumpkins are my favourite autumnal addition to our home. We do also plan on carving the pumpkins when it gets closer to Halloween and putting them outside our building so everyone can enjoy them.

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We have recently been working on a frame wall in our living room and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to switch out some of our prints in favour of some more autumnal ones. We have added a stag print and also picked frames to add gold and copper accents to the room. I also bought this light up message board from Scribbler (which is also where I work so discount -Yay!) and we have added this to the wall which I think gives it a new dimension. We put an autumnal quote on it and are really happy with how this turned out. This item is also super transitional and you can use it for birthdays, holidays and just all year round just by changing the letters, it also looks incredible lit up at night.

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Finally, just a few lifestyle changes that get me super excited for the season; firstly, switching up my breakfast is a must for me as it is the only thing that will get me out of bed as the mornings get darker and colder.I have been having spiced apple and cinnamon toasted oats with soya yoghurt (which I tried due to a suggestion from my friend Cara and have been hooked ever since) and then I just add whatever fruit I have in to it. It is the best breakfast ever and so much more exciting than toast and ofcourse, very autumnal. Also we have been going on a lot more walks because we would be stupid not to take advantage of how beautiful Bath looks this month by exploring all the parks and fields.

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I hope this post has given you some Autumnal inspiration and that I have passed on some of my excitement for the festive seasons ahead. Again, I am sorry for how late this post is going up, I am completley bogged down doing my masters but I will try and get better at organising my time!

Wishing you all the happiest of Autumns,

Phoebe Francesca x

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WHAT I’M WEARING – AUTUMN EDITION

Autumn is my favourite season for fashion, its a month of transition that means swapping sandals and summer dresses for ankle boots and scarves. I started shopping for the colder months mid September as all of the burgundies, deep greys and forest greens appeared in the shop windows. I have tried my hardest to purchase items that I can mix-and-match together and also pieces that I can wear without tights and jackets this month but then later layer up for Christmas. This blog post will feature some of my staple pieces as some inspiration for your Autumnal wardrobe revamp. All pieces will be linked, where I can, throughout.

14536826_10155214259993265_954401727_oI’m going to start with my favourite and most recent purchase. I had my eye on this check dress since late August when it braced the window of Jack Wills but I couldn’t  quite convince myself to buy an autumnal piece that early on, and the price tag seemed kind of expensive for a dress I thought I’d find duplicated on Asos or something. It wasn’t until this week when Jack Wills had a sale that I tried my luck to see if they still had this piece in stock. To my great delight, not only did they have my size left, but it was also half price (Win Win).

I absolutely love it, its just one of those easy dresses that will look good paired with flat ankle boots and bare legs, but also with tights and a coat. It fits so perfectly and true to size and is a really good quality piece. I can also see myself 14536905_10155214259743265_1579628074_oparing this with a pair of heels for christmas events later in the year.

Here I am wearing the check dress with some staple ankle boots from Primark. I actually  picked these up as a temporary option whilst I found some better quality winter shoes but ended up falling in love with how comfortable and easy to style they are. I think I am definitely going to purchase another pair of them as they are only £12.

I am also wearing my denim jacket which I use though out all the seasons, but especially in Autumn when you need a slight cover up but nothing too heavy. this one is from Topshop and is super easy to layer and just a really good staple to have in your wardrobe throughout the year.

My second look is this jumper and jeans combo that I will be sporting on more casual days. Although this dusty pink colour isn’t typically autumnal, its really in right now and it adds a pop of colour to more monochrome outfits.

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Here I have switched up my light blue ‘Mom’ jeans for a washed out, distressed, black pair. I am still a huge fan of the ‘Mom’ style as they are so much comfier than skinny jeans and I find with a high waist and a shorter leg they can be really flattering.  These ones are from New Look so they aren’t as expensive and I think I will get a lot of use out of them. I think the dark grey of the jeans goes really well with this dusty pink jumper from H&M. The high neck and zip detail paired with the thick knit  makes it super comfortable and slouchy whilst still being really on trend. I can see this jumper paired with leggings, skirts and even over dresses and its a really good thickness for layering on top of and underneath other pieces.  This jumper is £14.99 and comes in a few different 14528327_1278046168881958_155781771_ncolours, I am seriously considering getting it in black as well, after having seen how comfortable and easy it is to wear. H&M also have 20% off right now for students so I’d take a look as they have some really nice autumnal pieces.

I have also paired this look with my heeled black boots that I bought from Office last year. The platform of the boots gives some height to the cropped jeans and balances out the proportions of this outfit. I am also wearing my black Longchamp bag which I have been getting so much use out of recently as it is big enough to carry all of my books for uni whilst still being comfy, sturdy and weather resistant.

 

 

My next look has more of a dressy feel, I wore this outfit for drinks this weekend and it was perfect for the occasion as it offers something a little bit different. First this pinafore style dress is from H&M, I bought this early September as soon as I saw it as I knew I would get so much use out of it.

img_3466It is a thinner style black pinafore with a low v-neck, this looks so good with high neck tops and jumpers and I found I could really mix-and-match with a lot of pieces I already had. It is a really nice length, that is long enough for more formal occasions. Here I wore it with a lighter grey cropped long sleeved top from New Look, these are really inexpensive and will change up the style of this pinafore really well. Again I am wearing my Primark ankle boots as they just go with everything, but as I was going for drinks I added my Katie Loxton mint green clutch for that pop of colour. Katie Loxton has also got a new range of these clutch bags out that are in really christmassy colours, they make such a good present and are also the perfect sized evening bag.

14550964_1277929145560327_1696361411_oThis look can be easily transformed for colder months by putting tights and a jumper underneath. I also pulled on this deep green scarf when I wore this and it just added a more autumnal and seasonal feel to the outfit. This scarf is from New Look and I just find it so cosy and christmassy and I figured it would go with a lot of my darker coloured jumpers and coats.  In addition you can switch the boots for some heels and couple it with  a white or embellished top and it will be perfect for parties, nights out and christmas events. Or make it more casual by pairing it with a striped tee, a denim jacket and some trainers. This pinafore is so versatile and I am really excited to get so much use out of it this side of the year.

 

My last outfit is slightly more christmassy as I have added this faux fur gilet that I bought last year from New Look to a more casual jumper look.
14522304_10155214256908265_717717023_o  I wear this skirt with everything; from t shirts to jumpers, with tights and without tights and on nights out to seminars. It just works. It is a really simple, high waisted, A-Line denim skirt from Topshop. Paired with this dark grey high neck jumper from H&M which sort of reminds me of a school jumper in colour, but actually goes with so much and is really comfortable and easy to throw on when your in a rush or just want to pop out. To transition this outfit into the evening I have paired it with a faux fur gilet and worn it with bare legs and my trusty ankle boots.

All of the pieces featured can be mixed and matched together to create an array of outfits to see you through Autumn. I am really excited to get lots of wear out of all of theses pieces and for the weather to get colder so I can wrap up in scarves and jumpers.

I hope this blog post has inspired you to get your autumn wardrobe out and to embrace the knitwear, scarves and check prints. Also credit to my photographer Matt Young, who takes the best photos and deals with my direction very patiently.

I am sorry this wasn’t up sooner, I have had a really busy couple of weeks but am now going to attempt to get a new post up weekly, hopefully every Monday. You can follow me on here to get an email notification when I do post just so you don’t miss any, or I also usually post to my social media accounts when I have uploaded so you can follow me on there!

Phoebe Francesca x

 

 

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STARTING UNIVERSITY (AGAIN)

I remember being eighteen and the thought of leaving home and moving to an unknown city giving me sleepless nights. Now, a recent graduate and I am starting university again, this time I have a hell of a lot more experience but of course going to a new city to start my masters is still causing me to feel slightly apprehensive. I thought I would write this post for those who are about to start university or can relate to moving away from home, in the hope that I can help make it a less stressful and more exciting experience for you. So here are a few of my tips and tricks.

Firstly, be prepared. There is nothing that personally causes me more stress and anxiety than not having everything ready and organised. This comes into all fields, but most importantly make sure you have done everything your university has asked you to do before you start. Be that online registration, preparing your student card or setting up your email address. The first day of uni is pretty hectic and dragging registration out by having to fill in forms or get your photo taken is less than ideal. Print off everything you need to, and its one less thing to worry about.

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Visit the city you are moving to. I was lucky in this aspect as my family have been visiting Bath for years previous to me moving here, not to say that I knew the city like the back of my hand, but I knew where to get coffee and how to get to the cheapest supermarket. However this year I am going to the University of Bristol and despite living 15 minutes away I have never fully explored the city let alone been anywhere near the campus. If you can’t visit the city before you move, I suggest making a day of properly exploring as soon as you get there, this can be super fun if you go with someone who has also just started and get to know it together. I recruited one of my friends who lives in Bristol, and is also going to the university this year, to show me around. This was exceptionally helpful as she already knew where everything was and the best routes to get where you need to go which will save me a lot of time come next week when I enrol. Also print off a map of the campus (most likely available on your university website), so you have it to hand when you start, I have also taken a photo of this on my phone so as not to look like a complete newbie.

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Read around your course. It is most likely that you have been provided a reading list longer than your arm prior to starting. Do not feel like a) you have to purchase all these books or b) you have to know them inside out and be able to recite passages from them. My advice is to only buy the books you will be reading throughout the course, these should be highlighted to you, and are usually textbooks of some kind. Get them as soon as possible and read as much as you can before you start. It will make you feel so much better if you have some idea of your modules content before you go to your first seminar. However if you are anything like me, I can read something and forget the whole thing a week later, especially if I am thinking about a million other things. So make notes and highlight important bits, this will save you reading the whole thing over and over again and also will make writing essays that bit quicker.

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Say yes to Freshers’ Week. I know it isn’t everyones thing to go out and get drunk every night but you seriously do not have to do that. I would just go to as much as possible that first week as it it your best opportunity to meet the most people and experience the university as much as you can. It is where and when I made the friends I still have today. Saying this, don’t freak out if you don’t meet anyone you like straight away. There are so many opportunities to meet new people (on your course, in your accommodation, in societies etc). There are such a wide range of people at every university so it is guaranteed that you will meet someone you get on with. Enjoy having a week without any seminars, lectures or work!

Buy cute stationary. Even if your definition of cute isn’t the same as mine, having stationary and notebooks that you like will mean making notes and doing work that much more appealing. Paperchase is my go to. I usually buy two subject notebooks so that I don’t have to cart around five different books for each module. I use one for lectures and seminars and the other for assignments with a module for each section. You can personalise these by wrapping the cover in some nice paper of using stickers, or as I did using the front sleeve to add a personal touch of motivation.

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Finally, put yourself out there. Speak to all different kinds of people, this isn’t high school where everyone is in there cliques. Plus everyone is in the same boat and no one knows anyone yet so get to know as many people as you can even if putting yourself out there seems daunting, you have nothing to loose.

I wish I could do my time at university all over again as it was honestly the best three years of my life and I know everyone says that but it really was. Now for me to follow my own advice and start it all again. Expect hard work, long nights and the best and worst of independent living, and good luck!

Now I will leave you with a few photos from my first week.

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Any questions, comments or feedback are much appreciated,

Phoebe Francesca  x

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