New year, new room.

Moving somewhere new will always be tough and involves a lot of stress and adjustment. With this now being my third time moving to a new place, I’ve adopted the mindset that my inner peace definitely comes from how I choose to decorate the space around me. After all, it is where I will be spending the majority of my time over the next 12 months!

I’m not going to lie, decorating on a budget is not always straightforward (there were definitely a lot more things I would have loved to buy but couldn’t quite afford) but I’ll include some tips as well as sharing some of my own personal examples of how to keep things cute and cosy without breaking the bank! I hope you manage to draw some inspiration.

Storage

For me it’s extremely important that things are kept organised and look tidy. However, this doesn’t mean that it has to be boring and bland. Retro style mason jars are a really cute place to store either make up brushes or stationery and I actually picked mine up at 2 for £1 in Home Bargains! I also saw a great idea on Pinterest for doubling them up as miniature plant pots to create your own herb garden-which I will definitely be trying out soon (https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/Ae8XkImXGwPwR_3y6XwUlLGwO19428AXkl0l9gaFdM7uiUgw5Dg8HGw/)

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If you don’t fancy buying the jars, you can always re-use old jars. Last year I decorated an old Nutella jar for storing my cotton buds and a mini Pringles can for my make up brushes. Just be creative!

I am also loving acrylic storage solutions. I recently purchased a small set of drawers/make-up storage from Amazon and I think  it adds a very minimal and cool look to my room at the same time as keeping things tidy and out of the way. This was a big thing for me last year, as constantly rooting through a make-up bag was not only annoying, but also didn’t truly make me feel like I was at home.

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Lighting

Another recent purchase which I am currently loving is my new lamp which I found in B&Q for only £15.99. Last year I had a bog-standard metal desk lamp which of course did the job, but really didn’t add much style to my room and wasn’t unique at all. I find lighting can really make or break a room and the cut out sections of this lamp really softens the room during the evenings and makes it much more cosy and relaxing.

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I also really like the effect which fairy lights create. THEY ARE NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS. Use them to emphasise a particular space in a room (i.e. a mirror or a notice board) or twine them around your bed to give your room a super relaxed feel at night. They can be picked up so cheap from anywhere nowadays and in almost any style, so there are endless possibilities.

Bedding

The bed is probably the most important part of any new room and it is of the utmost importance to make sure it is as comfortable as possible (what’s better than a good night’s sleep?)

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Duvet covers can be seriously expensive depending on the shop you go to, but it is possible to pick up some really pretty ones at great prices if you shop savvy. My newest bedding set (shown in the picture) is from Primark and only cost me £11, so I would 100% recommend checking out the range in there.

Another way that you can really ensure that your bed is your haven is by adding accessories such as pillows and throws, just to provide extra comfort and also give the room your own personal style. For example, I incorporate a lot of blue colours, as these are my favourites and even at 20 going on 21, I can’t truly sleep well without my stuffed animals!

Miscellaneous 

The last thing I want to talk about is just generally miscellaneous decor. Once you’ve got the essentials out of the way (storage, bedding, clothing) it is always nice to add a few extra bits and bobs just to convey your personality a little bit more.

Photos are always at the top of the list for me, as I love looking back at old memories with friends and family when I’m feeling homesick. My partner and I are also currently in a long distance relationship so it is comforting to have pictures there for when I’m missing him. I like to vary between having a few photo frames and also creating a kind of ‘photo wall’, which you can see in the image above.

A few other items which I have scattered around include maps (I love to travel so I try to pick up vintage maps whenever I can), candles, postcards/old greetings cards (which cost nothing when being reused) and my souvenir shot glass collection. I feel like all of these things just add character to my room which is great, because that’s exactly what I want to see when I get home after a long day!

 

LFW SS 2017- Topshop Unique Best Bits

As much as I love fashion and clothes I have never been a dedicated follower of so-called ‘high fashion’. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely appreciate the work of many designers and I wouldn’t say no to a Burberry coat or a Vera Wang dress… It’s just when I watch the shows I often find that the styles and outfits are too difficult to translate into everyday life; especially when you’re lacking in the money department!

So that is what brings me to Topshop Unique. Topshop is probably one of the most famous (if not the most famous) high street brands in the UK and although their high fashion line still can’t be described as affordable, it is full of pieces which can be easily replicated and reinvented for a much lower price; providing the perfect inspiration for fashion enthusiasts like myself who are on a budget!

Here are some of my favourite looks from yesterday’s show which took place at the Old Spitalfields Markets with the theme 80’s meets 50’s.

  1. Vaughn jacket

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Zebra print was a recurring theme on the Topshop Unique catwalk yesterday; the bold pattern providing us with a vivid snapshot of 80’s style. I really love the way that this statement jacket brings so much life to an otherwise simple and straightforward outfit. Something like this would be the perfect way to revamp any workwear wardrobe this winter.

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/unique-4455342/vaughn-jacket-by-unique-5899539?bi=0&ps=20

  1. Danvers shirt

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This soft pink shade has recently become one of my favourite colours to wear, as I love the way it seems to compliment every skin tone. The combination of baby pink and white  here creates a beautifully feminine look; however, the large pockets, strappy sleeves and oversized cut ensures that the edginess is not altogether lost from the outfit. She looks cool!

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/unique-4455342/danvers-shirt-by-unique-5899614?bi=0&ps=20

  1. Farley waistcoat dress

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This dress manages to simultaneously take me back in time and somehow also provide me with something fresh and new. As the theme of the show alludes to, the halter neckline is reminiscent of 50’s style dresses, but the short hemline and slit in the skirt collides it with a more daring 80’s vibe. Love it.

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/unique-4455342/farley-waistcoat-dress-by-unique-5899521?bi=0&ps=20

  1. Wallace slip dress

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Here is yet another example of zebra print occurring in the Topshop show. In this case I love the layering of this soft, pastel coloured slip dress over the bold monochrome print; it is again showing the combination of a typically feminine look with something much more quirky and edgy. This is a style idea which I’d really like to try and recreate in the coming months.

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/unique-4455342/wallace-slip-dress-by-unique-5899646?bi=0&ps=20

  1. Highsmith jacket

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The last piece which grabbed me was this seriously cool black leather jacket. I’ve mentioned before how I greatly appreciate a good coat and how it can add to an outfit and this one does just that. Throwing this on over a dress really adds an 80’s rock chick vibe and gives the look a whole new meaning, especially with its unique fur trim.

http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/unique-4455342/highsmith-jacket-by-unique-5899660?bi=0&ps=20

All images were taken from http://www.topshop.com

Crustless Vegetable and Feta Quiche

I recently made the decision to switch to a pescatarian diet (with the hope of eventually phasing completely to a vegetarian diet). There were many reasons behind this decision, which I will likely go into in a different blog post, but one of the main reasons was the obvious health benefit of eating less meat. With this change of diet came a real need for new meal ideas so today I decided to try my hand at putting a twist on the classic quiche recipe.

A traditional quiche is made up of a pastry crust and then a filling of your choice bound together by an egg and cream mixture. Today I decided to eliminate the pastry altogether and go for a “crustless” and hopefully healthier version. The recipe follows below; it is actually super easy to make and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients

4 Eggs

50g of feta cheese

50g of low fat cheddar cheese (grated)

1 bell pepper (colour of choice)

A handful of broccoli stems

A handful of basil leaves

A splash of milk (can be any type of milk, but I used soya milk to cut out fat)

Salt and pepper to season

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to around 180 degrees (I have a fan oven, so the temperature conversion may vary with other types of ovens). Also grease a medium-sized ovenproof dish for the quiche to be cooked in.

  1. Prepare ingredients for filling

Finely chop the broccoli stems, basil leaves and the bell pepper and cut the feta into cubes.

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  1. Create egg mixture

Crack four eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture has no lumps. Then add a splash of milk to thin the mixture slightly and season with salt and pepper as you like.

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  1. Assemble

Place the chopped ingredients into the greased dish and make sure to spread them evenly so each portion will be roughly the same. After that pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients and top with grated cheese.

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  1. Cook

Place the dish in the middle of the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the egg mixture appears firm and is no longer runny.

  1. Serve

When the quiche is ready and cooled, it should make around six portions. Try one portion as a tasty midday snack or for a healthy and light evening meal, take two portions and serve with a hearty salad.

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*Note* I bought this bowl in summer while I was on holiday in Tunisia with my partner and his family and just love the colour and the pattern!

A/W 2016 Style Picks

Alongside many other things, going back to start a new year of uni means that, after a long (and surprisingly warm) summer, a new style season is creeping up on us and illuminating the need for me to change my wardrobe up yet again.

Now, if you are a student like me, you’re probably wondering how on earth you are going to be able to keep up with all the new trends for A/W this year when you can barely afford to print in the library… BUT do not fear! I have been scouring the internet to find 8 staple items which you should be able to mix and match throughout the season to keep your look fresh, versatile, but most importantly, affordable!

  1. Printed velvet dress- Zara- £49.99

http://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/new-in/printed-velvet-dress-c840002p3932022.html

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Although the price tag on this dress is not within everyone’s range, it cannot be denied that this new addition to Zara’s A/W collection is a beautifully versatile choice for any wardrobe. I also love the fact that the velvet will add an extra layer of warmth; perfect for the cold weather we are inevitably in for!

Try dressing it down with a leather jacket, thick black tights and ankle boots or add a touch of evening glamour by pairing it with some simple jewellery, heels and your favourite clutch bag.

2. Black leather-look mini skirt- New Look- £17.99

http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/skirts/black-leather-look-seam-trim-mini-skirt-_376181001

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In the past I have been quite sceptical of leather skirts; never quite being able to find one with the perfect cut. This piece from New Look appears to have found the ideal balance between grunge and sophistication, meaning it will be easy to adapt into a number of autumn looks.

Tucking in a patterned blouse and wearing with a long coat and flats creates a smart daytime look or for something more edgy, wear with an off-the-shoulder top, chunky-heeled ankle boots and plenty of statement jewellery.

3. Lapel shift coat- Mango- £49.99  

http://shop.mango.com/GB/p0/woman/clothing/coats/coats/lapel-shift-coat/?id=73043506_37&n=1&s=best_sellers_she

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I am a firm believer that a good coat can transform any outfit into something much classier and this simple yet stunning piece from Mango does just that. The flattering design means that the wearer will be kept warm, as well as on trend in the seasonal khaki colour which gives it a military feel. I’d love to get my hands on this for the A/W season!

Party season is coming up, so keep warm after a night out and put a classic twist on your outfit by wearing with your favourite LBD and heels. If you prefer something more casual, add to the military style by wearing with ripped skinny jeans and a pair of lace up boots.

4. Dark red lace-up chunky ankle boots- New Look- £29.99

http://www.newlook.com/shop/shoe-gallery/boots/dark-red-lace-up-chunky-ankle-boots_380344760

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I must admit, these beauties were on my wishlist for all of 5 minutes before I had to give in and buy them! I love the burgundy colour of these boots which offers something new in comparison to the usual black that I would go for. I also find that the gold detailing adds a little glam to an otherwise grungy look.

Since owning these boots I have paired them with skinny jeans and a jumper but also managed to incorporate them into a more feminine outfit by wearing them with a dress and black tights. They’re honestly so versatile that the possibilities are endless!

5Denim jacket with faux shearling trim- ASOS/Daisy Street- £39.99

http://www.asos.com/daisy-street-tall/daisy-street-tall-denim-jacket-with-faux-shearling-trim/prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=7012796&clr=Denim&cid=15151&pgesize=36&pge=0&totalstyles=91&gridsize=3&gridrow=9&gridcolumn=1

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I’ve seen a lot of these denim/borg jackets coming into the shops recently and I must say it’s a trend which I never expected to be so keen on. I love how cosy the furry lining looks inside this jacket from Daisy Street and I can imagine it being the perfect casual coat for bonfire night and many other autumn evenings.

The washed-out effect of the denim is also super cool and means it can be paired with loads of other shades (especially good for those of you brave enough to experiment with double denim!) This would be great to throw on over a classic stripy tee and a beanie or layer up for extra warmth by wearing with a chunky-knit jumper.

6. Blonda panel blouse- Mango- £19.99

http://shop.mango.com/GB/p0/woman/clothing/shirts/blouses/blonda-panel-blouse/?id=73075585_02&n=1&s=essentials_she

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A white blouse is an essential staple in any wardrobe but what I love about this one from Mango is the high neck; making it perfect for the colder A/W weather but also giving it a timeless elegance which adds instant character to any outfit.

As the picture shows, the blouse looks great with a pair of blue jeans for a more casual look but I would be tempted to put it together with a tartan-checked skirt (or maybe even the leather skirt from above) and some heeled boots to try and channel a vintage grunge look.

7. Green velvet bomber jacket- New Look- £34.99

http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/jackets-and-coats/dark-green-velvet-bomber-jacket_383743738

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Good news for anyone who thought that bomber jackets were over for the winter: the 90’s trend is very much here to stay! I particularly love this jacket from New Look which comes in a beautiful jade green colour and the velvet-style material means that it will be extra warm and cosy for the winter months.

Try this jacket with a backpack, a pair of skinny jeans and your favourite trainers in order to really work that 90’s sport luxe which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon!

8Lace top double strap skater dress- Missguided- £35

https://www.missguided.co.uk/new-in/lace-top-double-strap-skater-dress-black

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So the winter season means that Christmas isn’t too far around the corner which means that party season is coming. In my opinion, a girl can’t go wrong with an LBD and Missguided have really pulled it out of the bag with this twist on the traditional style. I really love the lace style detailing of the bust, as well as the thin straps which give it a slightly gothic feel.

I personally find the skater style to be great for my body type, as I don’t like to accentuate my stomach and bum too much.  The dress also isn’t low cut which is good for me, as I don’t have a lot going on in the cleavage department! This dress would definitely be a staple in my wardrobe for at least one party over the Christmas season.

So that’s my pick of the high street brands for A/W 2016 and hopefully it’s shown some of you how you don’t need to go overboard when shopping for a new season, as a few key items can be just as effective when styled with versatility and imagination. Till next time, loves! xx