Sunday, 30 August 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL FASHION ESSENTIALS




Apart from cute stationery, what I like the most about going back to school is having an excuse to go shopping. I love fall so I always get too excited about buying cute cosy jumpers, black jeans (because you can never have too many black jeans, amirite?). Today's post is going to be about my fashion essentials for back to school - which will obviously include black skinny jeans (what a surprise). 

Leather Jacket | This is such an essential piece whether you're going back to school or not. They can be dressed up or down and will always make you look classy. Also, they're perfect for fall weather and you can find them at any store!

Vans Sip-Ons These shows are the best go-to shoes any girl could ever wish for. They are as comfy as any sneakers, easy to put when you're running late (because we all know we are always running late in the mornings) and they are super trendy right now. They come in hundreds of patterns and styles so you'll find one you love for sure!

Black Skinny Jeans | If you don't own a pair of these, what on earth do you wear from September until June? Black jeans are what I live for, they go with literally everything and are extremely easy to style when you're half asleep half awake in the mornings. 

Sweatpants | Anyone who is a full-time student will understand the necessity of a good pair of sweatpants. The first few weeks of the school year you're probably going to put effort and time in your outfits but once the workload gets big and exam season around the corner, your sweatpants are going to be your best friends. 

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Friday, 28 August 2015

OUT AND ABOUT: PALMA DE MALLORCA

Hello!! I recently booked my flight back to London, meaning that I have less than a month left here in Mallorca. The other day I went to Palma to run some errands and when my dad suggested to take my camera with me to take some pictures I thought it was a great idea. I'm a big fan of big cities with loads of skyscrapers and big building. Palma, is the furthest away from that possible. It's a rather small city with very few big buildings and no skyscrapers but I still think it's really beautiful and worth the visit if you ever come to Mallorca on holidays!  











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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT UNI || UNIVERSITY 101



Hello! Many of you might already be in uni or have even finished uni or maybe you haven't gone. But, some of you might be going to uni next year, meaning that it's time to choose where you would like to attend. I remember going through many league tables, wikipedia pages, countless websites and reading hundreds of 'reviews' of the different institutions I was interested in. There are so many universities and colleges that narrowing your list to 5 (if you live in the UK), or any other number depending on where you live,  seems impossible. Because I remember the struggle of making my list before the deadline, I'm going to share some tips with you to make your life slightly easier. 

1. Look at league tables properly. 


League tables show a ranking of the best universities in the world/country and are useful if you have no idea which university you want to go to. I used them to select around 10-15 universities or colleges I wanted to attend and then I looked at each institution individually. Something to keep in mind when looking at league tables is to change the settings so that it ranks the universities according to how well they perform in your chosen field (i.e. science, engineering, etc), some universities might be really good at science but really bad at business, for example. 

2. Take a look at the syllabus.

If possible, you should try to find out which subjects you're going to do in your first year. Most universities have this information available online, so go to their website and take a look. Also, I would recommend looking only at what you're going to do in your first year because chances are you're not going to even understand the names of the subjects of the other years (I didn't!). 

3.  Would you like living there?


Where the university is located is also a good point to pay attention to. If you prefer living in big cities, you probably won't enjoy going somewhere that's in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere. Do some research and find out where you see yourself living for a few years, do you want to live close to your hometown or would you rather live away and have a fresh start? 

4. Talk to people.


If you know someone who's gone to one of the universities on your list, talk to them! Ask them about their experience and whether they enjoyed their time there or not. If you don't know anyone, try to find some 'reviews' online. If you can, you should also visit some campuses so that you get an idea of what it is like and you can also meet some people who study there! 


If you're going to uni next year, good luck with all your applications!! 

PS. I wrote a guest post over on Sunday Brunch about my university experience, click here to check it out!  

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Monday, 24 August 2015

BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!!

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I would say there's been a bit of a food overload on my blog recently but there is no such thing as food overload so... here's another post about food! I had been craving chocolate for a while and after eating a huge Lindt chocolate bar way too fast I decided to make a really yummy (you know, with butter, loads of sugar and stuff) chocolate cake to satisfy my cravings once and for all. It turned out to be the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten, ever and I've eaten many. So I obviously had to share the recipe with you all. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS


For the cake:

1 cup withe sugar
A quarter cup  maple syrup
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup oats
5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped almonds

For the frosting:

1  cup of sugar
3/4 cups of chocolate 
6 tbsp milk
1/2 cup melted butter

INSTRUCTIONS


1. Start by mixing the butter, the sugar, the baking soda the flour and the cocoa powder. Then add the two eggs and mix thoroughly.

2. Soak the oats in water and leave it to sit for a few minutes, until the oats are soft. Then add the oats, together with whatever water there's left, to the mixture.

3. Add the vanilla extract, the maple syrup and the almonds and mix.

4. Grease a cake pan and pour the mixture. Bake at 180˚ for about 15-20min.

5. Whilst the cake is cooling prepare the frosting by melting the butter, chocolate, sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it's all melted, pour over the cooled cake immediately and leave it to sit in the fridge for 10-15min before serving.

I promise you guys, you will LOVE this cake (unless you don't like chocolate, in which case... WHAT?!).  If you make this, let me know what you think! 

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Saturday, 22 August 2015

HIGH SCHOOL VS. COLLEGE



With all these back to school videos I've seen recently on YouTube I am really getting into the back to school spirit, even though I don't start school until October... Anyway, I thought I would do one of these fancy back to school posts where I talk about some differences between high school and college.

1. Food. 


I never had lunch in school since I always finished at 2-3pm but I  did have a snack break at around noon where I ate a sandwich or something to give me energy. My mom always used to prepared those snacks for me. In college, though, you'll have to prepare your food yourself and you'll find that many time you will a)not have time to prepare anything b)not be bothered to prepare anything c) will have no food to prepare anything.  So you'll have to buy something on the go or at you college's cafe which will probably result in a rather unhealthy diet. 

2. Bedtime. 


In high school your parent probably made sure you went to bed at a reasonable time on school night (which you probably hated). When you first move out to go to college you'll be all excited about being able to go to bed at whatever time you want. Yes, you can go to bed at 5AM on a school night if you want but you'll regret it the next morning when your alarm goes off at 7AM and you can barely keep your eyes open in lectures. This will happen a lot during the first few weeks, then you'll learn to go to bed early. 

3. Public transport.


In high school you were probably driven around by your mom/friends and you didn't have to take public transport to go to school. In college, though, you'll probably have to either walk loads or take public transport which is alright unless when it's raining and the damn bus doesn't seem to come anytime soon, or when you're kinda late to school and the bus decides to be delayed. 

4. Outfits.


I think this might be the other way around for many people but in high school I didn't care what I looked like - I never wore make-up and didn't pay much attention to my outfit, i.e. I wore sweatpants way too often. In college though, I take my time to put myself together and do my make-up and plan my outfit the night before. I guess this is due to living in a big city so there will always be people looking gorgeous around you and you try to look decent at least.


5. Hours of class


In high school you probably spent about 7 hours a day in school, sitting on a chair listening to some boring lesson. In college you might spend as little as  7 hours a week in class (unless you decide to do chemistry and have to spend 5 hours every day in labs... lucky me). However, this means that you should be spending more time at home keeping up with all your subjects even though most people use this time to sleep or go clubbing, I'm just being honest here.


There are obviously many more differences between high school and college but I didn't want to make this post too long. If you would like to see another similar post, let me know in the comments!! 


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Thursday, 20 August 2015

SUSHISAMBA || FOOD REVIEW

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One of the things I love the most about London is the huge variety of restaurants it offers. From fast-food chains to Michelin-star posh restaurants. Since  I like to eat good food whilst keeping my bank account happy I usually go for what's in-between, places like Ping Pong, Wagamama's, Chiquitos and Wahaca are some of my go-to places when I don't feel like cooking. A while back, before going back home for the summer and with the excuse of one of my friends switching unis, we decided to go somewhere fancier and splurge a bit so we went to the famous Sushisamba. 

Sushisamba's dishes are the delicious result of a blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine and culture. The first restaurant was opened in New York (West Village) and now it can also be found in London (Heron Tower), Miami Beach, Las Vegas and Coral Gables. 

I went to the one in London, which is located on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower so it offers breath-taking views of the city and it's surrounded by London's most famous skyscrapers. The venue itself is also stunning, with hundreds of lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling that give the area a vintage yet modern vibe. The staff were super friendly and took their time to explain us some dishes from the menu.



Now onto the important bit, the food. I ordered  the Sea Bass Tempura with heritage tomatoes and beetroot seviche, aji verde and lime (£24). It was absolutely delicious, the fish was super moist and tender and the tempura was lightweight and not too oily. It came with some veggies that were equally stunning and a sauce that was too die for. The only downside was the portion size. I shared the dish with a friend since it was under the 'large plates' section and neither of us was too hungry. I wasn't left hungry and besides not being that 'large' it was enough to fill me up. However, if you are hungry when you go there I would suggest getting one of their 'large plates' to yourself or sharing some smaller plates.

My friends got the Tofu Corn-coated with red quinoa salad, peruvian potato chips and slow cooked egg yolk (£15.50) which looked pretty good but again, the portion size was on the smaller side.

Overall, I would recommend this restaurant for a special occasion when you are willing to spend a bit more - the food is really really good! 


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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

3 THINGS NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT MOVING OUT


Moving out is exciting, isn't it? As much as we all love our parents and family, the thought of going apartment hunting, being independent and getting to have your own home appeals to most of us. I moved out when I was 17, I did not only leave my hometown but I also left the country I grew up in to go to my dream university in London. If you are moving out soon, whether you're going only a few miles away from your hometown or thousands of miles away, here are a few things you should know. 

1. It's okay to be alone


When you're moving to a whole new place, it's likely you won't know anyone there and will spend a decent amount of time on your own. I was used to always being surrounded by friends at home, I barely ever did anything on my own. When I moved to London, I didn't know anyone and it felt wrong or weird to do something on my own. Now, however, I enjoy doing certain things on my own (and of course love making plans with my friends, too) and I've found I am way more productive when I am by myself. 

2. Apartment hunting can be a nightmare


Yes, going to see houses or apartments is fun; unless you can't find one that you like without going over your budget. If you're moving to a big -and overpriced- city like London, finding something for a reasonable price is almost impossible, trust me I speak from experience. This can make apartment hunting a bit of a nightmare but try to stay positive and, eventually, you'll find the perfect home. 

3. You'll learn to appreciate your mom even more


When you live at home, clothes magically get cleaned, food magically appears in your cupboard and rooms are magically vacuumed. Well, you'll have to do the magic yourself once you move out. I personally love grocery shopping - I would even say it's a hobby of mine, don't judge me please- and I don't mind cleaning my room. However, I dread doing my laundry, which usually leaves me with almost 0 clothes to wear which results in me thinking I don't have enough clothes and I need to go shopping. Do your laundry, kids. 



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Sunday, 16 August 2015

HOW TO SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN'T SLEEP


It's currently 3AM in the morning and I'm wide awake, the reason being PLL's summer finale and the reveal of A's identity - if you are a PLL fan you'll get me. Anyway, my point is: I can't sleep. So, obviously, I'm writing a post about how to fall asleep -the irony is too much. So, here are a few tips on how to make yourself fall asleep even when it seems impossible. 

1. Don't use your phone/laptop or anything with a screen for that matter. Yes, I am well aware I am not following my first rule but the temptation was real. The light from the screen keeps us awake and makes us not feel sleepy which is not what you're trying to achieve when you want to sleep. 

2. Eat something. Usually, after eating we get sleepy because a reaction is triggered and blood flow is redirected to digest and assimilate the food. But don't eat too much because that will make it harder to fall asleep. 

3. Get out of bed and do something. It's happened to me countless times: whenever I can't sleep I just stay in bed and think a about not being tired. Well, a solution is to get out of bed and maybe walk around or do something that will make you feel tired. 

4. Drink some tea and/or hot milk. Tea like chamomile tea or other caffein free teas will help you fall asleep. Also, hot milk may help even thought it's not scientifically proven.  

5. Listen to calming music. This has helped me so many times! Listening to relaxing music (whatever calms you down) and getting all your thoughts out of your brain will really help you fall asleep much faster.

Do you sometimes suffer from insomnia? How do you try to get rid of it?
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Friday, 14 August 2015

HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK




I am a huge fan of almond milk. When I'm in London it's the only milk I ever drink, however when I go back home I find it hard to find almond milk . I only found one and it was way too sweet - even though I have a really sweet tooth and though there wasn't such a thing as too sweet. After various unsuccessful trips to different grocery stores I decided to give it a go and make my own almond milk. It turned out to taste freaking delicious and it barely takes any time.

INGREDIENTS 

1 cup of soaked almonds
3.5 cups of water
Sweetener of your choice
Cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

FIRST. Soak the raw almonds in water overnight and then peel them, you could also leave the skin on but I prefer not to. Alternatively, you can buy peeled almonds and just soak them in water for a few hours. 

SECOND. Put the almonds in a blender or food processor and add 3.5 cups of water. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes or more if necessary. 

THIRD. If you want proper milk without almond bits in it you'll have to strain the almonds using a cheese cloth or nut bag.  I like leaving the almonds in the milk but that's just personal preference. 

FOURTH. If desired, you can sweeten the milk. I used regular white sugar but you can obviously use whatever you want. If you want a more natural sweetener, you can add a few Medjool dates when blending the almonds with the water. 

FIFTH. Refrigerate the milk and enjoy your homemade almond drink! 

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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

MY THOUGHTS ON THE PLL FINALE



WARNING: Don't read this if you are not caught up with PLL

So by now many of you will have seen the season 6A finale and will know who A, black widow and red coat are. Please tell me I'm not the only one who's massively disappointed. Let's recap.

Charles always felt like a girl so his dad didn't want him and found an excuse to lock him up in Radley. His mother, however, accepted him for who he was and bought him dresses and I assume paid for all the operations and everything to transform him into a girl. That must have happened when he was young, like 13-14 and I am expected to believe that a) they found a doctor who was willing to do a sex change operation to such a young kid that had mental issues and b)that no-one knew anything about the operation apart from her mother. I don't know much about transgender operations but I'm assuming it takes some time, you have to take hormones and probably go to a psychologist to talk about it? And she managed to do that without anyone realising. It doesn't seem to believable. 

Her motive for hating the girls was that 'they were happy Ali was gone'. What the actual f? 'Oh they are happy I accidentally killed my sister who doesn't know we're sisters, let's torture them for years, almost kill them and kidnap them because hey the game is like a drug and I'm really good at it, it's fun'. So, after 5 years this is the answer the writers came up with?! Even I could have thought of something better! We were meant to feel sorry for Charles, well, I don't. Okay yeah, it's harsh that his own dad didn't accept him and had to be locked up in Radley. But, can we please, for a second, think of what the girls have been through because of her? She's ruined their lives for years and probably damaged them forever. I don't feel sorry for CeCe/Charles at all.

And then they revealed Sara Harvey (who was introduced to us 10 episodes ago) is both Black Widow and Red Coat. It's quite obvious they didn't know who to make Black Widow/Red Coat and introduced a new character so they didn't have to worry about plot holes (even though there are plenty of plot holes if CeCe is A). Yes, Sara was always suspicious and everyone hated her, but it feels too rushed and why the hell does she hate the girls so much?

Also, is the time jump just going to be PLL 2.0? 'He is coming for you, Ali' Have the girls not been tortured enough?! But I gotta admit I love seeing them all 'grown-up',  it's cute! 

In my opinion, the whole episode felt rushed and I wasn't too happy with it (and judging by Tumblr, I'm not the only one...). The woah factor was definitely there but it was more like 'woah how are they going to fix all the plot holes?'. I would've preferred that someone like Jason, Caleb or Ezra was A, the whole transgender thing doesn't convince me and it feels too twisted (even for PLL). This was meant to be the 'Summer of Answers' but it felt like the 'Summer of Questions', as per usual. 

Have you seen the PLL finale? What did you think?

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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

PAPER TOWNS || BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEW



Before Paper Towns the only book by John Green that I had read was The Fault in Our Stars and it was -still is- one of my favourite books. The movie was also one of my favourite movies, I don't even know how many times I've watched it. Because of that,  and because judging from the trailer the story seemed interesting, I decided to read Paper Towns before going to the cinema to watch the movie. 

I'm quite an avid reader, I've read books like Insurgent or Mockingjay in two days so I calculated it would take me about that to read Paper Towns. It took me two weeks. It didn't take me that long because I was busy or because the book was hard to read but because it was boring. Yes, it was boring. The first twenty pages or so are okay and the last 30 are fun too but everything inbetween is boring. Basically, the book is fun to read when Margo is in Orlando with Quentin and boring when she's 'missing'. The problem, I think, is that it's too slow. Quentin and his friends spend too much time trying to figure out what all the clues means and where she is. I think the book would be better if they figured everything out faster and they spend more time on the roadtrip trying to find her. Overall, it was an okay-ish book but I don't think I would recommend it unless you really really want to read it.


Now, let's talk about the movie. For the first time ever, I liked the movie more than the book. In the movie Quentin figured out Margo's plan much faster and the 'adventure' began. Some things I had liked from the book didn't make it to the film though, I particularly enjoyed reading their trip to SeaWorld but unfortunately that wasn't in the film. Since I hadn't really loved the book I wasn't expecting to like the film and whilst I didn't dislike it I don't think it was anything special. Something that did surprise me was the acting. First of all, Cara Delevingne is not only a wonderful model but also a great actress! The other main actors were pretty amazing too and really captured the vibe from the characters in the book. I was specially surprised by Nat Wolff, his acting was so on point and Quentin's awkwardness was so real you could almost touch it.  All in all, it was an okay movie but better than what I was expecting. 

Have you seen/read Paper Towns? What did you think?

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

SUMMER SKINCARE ROUTINE

Hello! I take my skin really seriously, mainly in summer when my skin is exposed to the sun, sea salt, chlorinated water and who knows what else. That being said, I like to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible so I stick to the few products I know work for me.


I like to use most of my facial products when I'm in the shower since all of them need to be rinsed and it makes life much easier. I first use Clean&Clear daily scrub to get rid of any dirt and dead skin on my face. To help those annoying blackhead get away I use Neutrogena's Blackhead Eliminating Scrub. This stuff is what I live for, seriously. I've tried tons of scrubs that claimed to help with blackhead clearing but none of them worked for me. This one, however, does work for me. I use it twice a day as a scrub and then once a week I use it as a face mask - I apply a thin layer on my skin and leave it there to sit for 15min and then rinse it off with some warm water. 

I then use L'Occitane's Essential Water toner. I've been using this toner for years and I'm going to be honest and say that I have no idea what a toner does. I know it refreshes me but I'm pretty sure it's meant to be doing something else so  please let me know if you know, that would be helpful. 

Finally I use L'Oreal's Age Perfect cream. I'm only 19 so I don't think I need rejuvenating creams but this one is really moisturising and smells delicious, it also makes my skin glowy so who cares if it's rejuvenating or not. It's never too early to take care of yourself, right?


What are your favourite skincare products?
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Thursday, 6 August 2015

ROOMSPIRATION || BACK TO SCHOOL

I know I know, it's way too early for a back to school post. I mean, it's only August! However, a) many people go back to school in August/early September and b) it's a roomspiration post so technically it's not really back to school related unless going back to school means moving into a new apartment like in my case. A new school year means moving into a new flat/house and getting to decorate a whole new bedroom which makes me maybe a bit too excited. Every summer, toward the end of July, I work my way back to Pinterest and start pinning some room decor inspiration for my new room. When I go back to London in Septmeber I usually go to my 'Roomspiration' board and get an idea of what I want my room to look like before going to Ikea/ Zara Home / anywhere that sells room decor. This year is no different so I thought I would share my board with you in case you are moving as well or you just enjoy looking at pretty bedrooms (I know I do)! 

It's not hard to see I like white bedrooms. I think white bedrooms look more spacious and gives it a cleaner look. I also love having golden decor around the room to give it a more elegant and expensive look without overdoing it - maybe a pillow with golden details or some golden jewellery on display. Something else I love is making my bed extremely cosy and comfy (which I regret every morning when I have to get up). I love having loads of big pillows and big furry blanket for the extra cold nights! 


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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

WHAT TO DO IN SUMMER WHEN YOU'RE BORED

Summer boredom is a real thing unfortunately. During the colder months we are all busy with school, work, revision and during our free time we always manage to find fun plans with friends. However, in summer, every time is free time. There is no school and that leaves way too much time in our hands. If you're bored of being bored this summer, here are a few ideas that will make you leave your couch.




BAKE

I love baking, I could spend my whole life baking. In summer, I like trying new recipes and getting creative. I usually bake small portions so that whatever I bake finishes quick and I can bake something else soon!

WORK OUT


I know, who wants to work out in this heat? But if you're lucky enough to have a gym membership or AC at your house, working out is a good way to kill some time. If you don't have AC, it's also a good idea to work out in the evenings when it get a bit colder. 

ORGANISE YOUR CLOSET


Whether we admit it or not, this is something we know we should do but keep putting it off. Going through piles of clothes you forgot you had is not exactly enjoyable but it has to be done at some point and it will keep you busy for longer than you expected.

DO A PAMPER EVENING


We all love pampering ourselves from time to time. So, what a better way to use your free time than taking a relaxing bath, read a book and use a facial mask?

GO TO THE BEACH/POOL


I've never been a big fan of the beach, I can't stand the feeling after getting out of the water and being all sticky and having sand everywhere. However, I do enjoy going to nice beaches with my friends sometimes. Also, if you don't have access to the beach you can also go to the pool and spend a few hours there just chilling. 


What's your favourite way to kill time?

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

AUGUST BACKGROUNDS

Hello! The other day I was really really, like really, bored so I started 'designing' some backgrounds for my laptop and my phone. A few months back I found a really cool background for my iPhone that had the month's calendar in it and it turned out to be the most helpful thing ever. Since I couldn't find another one I liked for the other months I decided to create my own one.  I wasn't planning on sharing them with anyone (how selfish of me...) but why not, maybe some of you are looking for the same thing or maybe you just want a new background! 











The size found here might be a bit too small for your screen so click here to get more sizes! 

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