Tuesday, 23 December 2014

What I Wore: My Graduation

I have recently graduated from Southampton Solent University, with a 2:1 with BA Honours in Writing Fashion and Culture. Yay, now onto real life! I have to start sorting my life out - first off actually working out what I want to do 100% - wish me luck?

It took me a while to find an outfit for the big day, as it was late in the year I didn't know what the weather would be like so I waited till the last minute. I had an idea of what I wanted, and thankfully I managed to get exactly what I wanted.

Whilst waiting for the Graduation Ceremony to begin.

The day was amazing, the weather was perfect, it was so sunny but also not baking hot, which I was glad of, so I didn't get too hot in my gown and mortarboard. 

The whole outfit was from New Look, which made it so much easier to find! I went for a midi skater skirt, which was gorgeous with a large graphic flower print all over it, which I absolutely love. For £22.99 it is an amazing price for such a gorgeous skirt. It is made from a scuba material and has a raw hem, which bothered me at first, however if there was a hem it wouldn't hang so nicely as it does. 

Trying not to fall over, whilst shaking the Dean's hand. 
I wore a black long sleeved crop top with it, which was £8.99, which fitted really nicely, and I showed a nice little bit of flesh, but not too much, as I wanted to look as sophisticated as I could...it wasn't easy! 

I also wore a pair of black ankle strap heels with it, which were £24.99, just for something simple and it was easier to walk in them - I knew they wouldn't slip off my feet and consequently I fall to the ground! 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas with Friends

Every year my friends and I like to go for a meal at Christmas time, as we don't get to see each other as much as we would like through work and people being all over the place (geographically of course!) It is also a lot cheaper than buying presents for everyone of us, so that's what we do! 

Small look at the table decorations
This year we went to one of my local pubs called 'The House Martin' which is in New Milton in Hampshire. It is a Hall & Woodhouse pub which is a chain, however I think they have kept their own personality within the pub as it is absolutely beautiful. 

A snippet of the amazing decor in The House Martin, New Milton. 
The pub is in two sections, there is the bar area, with an amazing bar made out of copper along with sofa's, chairs and tables with a relaxed vibe. We were sat in the amazingly decorated main dining area, with bird cages hanging from the ceiling with lights in many of them. 

At the front of the dining area there was a massive glass window which just made the building even more impressive. This was an awesome setting for our Christmas meal, it helped that we were on a round table as well which means everyone can talk to everyone easily. 

Blurry but pretty good joke. 
The table was nicely decorated - a red table cloth with little stars dotted across it, massive wine glasses each with a napkin in it, along with a cute sign saying 'Merry Christmas Megan' written on it. I really wanted to take this home but decided not because it was such a lovely pub! 

Lovely decoration for the table, along with personalised table setting. 

We opted for a three course Christmas meal, which came to £18.99 each, which was really good value for money. For a starter I had 2 mini fried camembert with rocket salad and cranberry sauce. I was apprehensive about this, as I had never tried camembert cheese, but I decided to try it out, as you never know it could be the best thing you've ever tried. 

Baked Camembert starter

When cutting into it the top was crispy and the inside was deliciously gooey, it just oozed out to mix with the rocket, then when adding the cranberry sauce into the mix it just became even more delicious. 

For our main course we all had Roast Turkey, with green veg, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, pig in blanket and stuffing. It was wonderful. 

Roast Turkey Main

The turkey was perfectly cooked, and not dry in the slightest, along with the other components it was lovely - obviously not as good as a home cooked Christmas dinner, but it came a very close second! 

Then for the best part of any meal, the dessert! I opted for a Winter Mess, which already sounds wonderful, and it lived up to the hype. The meringue had a lovely texture, mixed with the double cream and a mix of blackberries, red currants, black currents and strawberries, you can not go wrong! 

Winter Mess desert

Some of the girls had a white chocolate blondie with a 'Santa Surprise', which none of us could guess would the surprise could be...

Santa Surprise on a Blondie desert

A Santa hat of course! It's so cute - such a great surprise. 

All in all we all had a lovely evening, catching up, laughing and just enjoying each others company, the setting made it just that little bit special along with the lovely food. I will definitely be going back to The House Martin pub again and again. 

Have you and your friends done anything similar to this, or do you do something completely different?

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Outfit - The Roll Neck

For a while now I've really liked the look of a roll neck - love a 60's vibe. I finally gave in, and bought one from River Island, what do you think?

I love the colour, it goes perfectly with my skin tone, and even more the polo neck doesn't look horrendous, which I was worried about. I just wore my black Jamie jeans, my black felt fedora and my Domino boots from Office. 

I bought the top from River Island for £15 and it also comes in brown, black, navy and grey. I prefer the purple/red to just add a bit of colour to my wardrobe, but I might pick up the navy one too. This is the beginning of me buying all my basics again as I haven't got many now and everyone really does need their basics! 

I wore my long gunmetal and sparkly necklace from Mint Velvet, and I think it adds to the outfit, without it, the outfit looks a bit old fashioned. 

Have you gotten into the roll neck trend? 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Outfit - A Winter Afternoon

It is starting to get pretty chilly outside, so I've dug out my faux fur coat from my wardrobe to keep me cosy. I love my coat which I bought from River Island two years ago and it is still as soft as ever and fits like a glove. 

Coat - River Island, Scarf - Pull & Bear, Jeans - Topshop, Boots - Dune, Hat - Urban Outfitters

I stole my boyfriends beanie, as my head was getting cold and I quite like it, it goes perfectly by picking out the lighter brown in the coat. 

River Island Faux Fur Coat always feels glamorous

I put a basic long sleeved green top with the outfit, just to add a bit of colour. I love the forest tone to the green, along with the brown which works really nicely. 

The coat maybe 2 years old but I love it more every day

I also wore a pull & bear scarf, which was made to be worn with this coat - I love them together, the tones of the brown worn so well with the black. 

Dune Rafferty Boots - Still on sale two years after I got them! 
I love these beauties - my Dune Rafferty boots, which you can surprisingly still buy! I was given these as a Christmas present about two years ago, so seeing as they're still being sold is pretty odd. They are good boots, with a sturdy rubber sole with a lot of grip, a small heel and the best part - the tartan fold over with the knitted collar. Beaut. 

None of this outfit is new, in fact the top is the oldest - probably 4 years old! But the colour is still as vibrant as ever. 

What are you wearing now it's getting colour outside?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Baking - Gingerbread cupcakes

Christmas baking is my favourite type of baking, I usually make a Christmas cake but this year I left it too late (completely forgot) so I decided to make something different. As well as that we have 'Cake Month' at work so I was testing out some ideas for my day next week!

I decided to make Gingerbread cupcakes, with lemon flavoured buttercream. I haven't ever made them before, I usually make lemon, chocolate or vanilla cupcakes so it was fun to try something new.

The recipe is from Homemade Baking, which hosts 175 'old fashioned cake, cookie, muffin and cupcake recipes'. I have slightly edited the mixture, by adding in a bit more spice and taking out the fresh ginger and nutmeg as well as ground cloves. 

225g Plain Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Allspice
125g Cooking Margarine or unsalted butter
150g Soft Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
125ml milk

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. 

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. 

2. Cream the margin and sugar together in a bowl, until pale and fluffy. 

3. Add in the eggs, beating well, as well as the Vanilla Extract, 3/4 of the flour mixture and the milk. 

4. Fold in the remaining flour mixture.

5. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. 

6. Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees fan) for about 20 minutes. 

I then made a lemon buttercream, to go on top and some mini gingerbread hearts! Yum yum yum! 
The lemon buttercream was made as a usual buttercream and then adding fresh lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon. The gingerbread was a standard gingerbread recipe. 

Have you been doing any christmas themed bakes over the festive period? 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Secret Santa Ideas for under £10

It's getting closer to the big day and secret Santa's are filling up offices and other work places up and down the country. Usually secret Santa's have a limit on how much money you can spend, sometimes going up to £20 - depending on how much you ! Me friends and I are doing our own secret Santa, and we have decided on a £10 limit. This has given me the idea of showing you what you can get for £10. Which is actually very surprising - obviously you can't get all of this for a tenner -I wish!

I have picked out loads of different items from many different shops, some items are actually now on sale which makes them a great bargain for secret Santa's and also items that are just under £10 so you get a tiny but of change.

I hope this gives you some ideas if you're getting a bit stuck on what to get that woman in your office that you have said 2 words to in the time you've been there! Or just a little present for yourself!

Secret Santa Ideas for under £10

1. Jelly Cat Reindeer - John Lewis £7.50
This little cutey would melt anyones heart! It's only about 10 cm's high but oh holy he's adorable.

2. Cat in space mug - Topshop £7
No words except amazing.

3. Photo Cube - Paperchase £4
Great for anyone who loves to take photos - who doesn't?

4. Gingerbread man and reindeer hand warmers - New Look £4.99
Such an easy gift and cute too, a lovely alternative to gloves.

5. Penguin mug - John Lewis £5
Penguin + a scarf. What's not to love?

6. Secret Santa - Lush £9.95
For the last minute secret santa! Just pick this up with two pre picked items inside, one for the shower and one for the bath.

7. Eflie Selfie disposable camera - Urban Outfitters £7.50
Selfie - the word of the year. Plus some elves ..well it is Christmas. Perfect novelty present.

8. Santa Egg and soldiers set - Paperchase £7
So adorable, and healthy.

9. Christmas Tree hot water bottle - Urban Outfitters £7.50
Garish but also amazing. Urban Outfitters have a 50% off sale at the moment for many of their christmas novelty gifts, grab them whilst you can!

10. Santa socks - John Lewis £5
Free bauble, the socks are super soft as well!

11. The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar  - Lush £3.25
Look at him! Great for anyone who loves to be clean and loves penguins.

12. Star Light Star Bright Bath Melt - Lush £3.50
For that person who just LOVES glitter, with this there is no getting away from it! Seriously it gets everywhere, but it is also amazing - smells great too!

13. Molton Brown Body Wash Bauble - John Lewis £10
Bit more pricey but the smell is to die for! You could also use this as an actual bauble if you wanted.

14. Unicorn Hottie - Topshop £9
Erm Unicorn...this is all.

15. Christmas Bauble shot glasses - Urban Outfitters £6 
Another tacky item from Urban Outfitters, but for £6 you can't go wrong.

Have you got any secret Santa's you need to buy this year?