Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #7

Wow, it’s the end of October already! This month has definitely gone from being summery (I was wandering around in t-shirts only a few weeks ago!) to being properly cold and Autumnal – I need scarves and gloves on pretty much a daily basis now. And, dare I say it, it’s not long until Christmas. I’m starting to feel a bit excited…

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. Meal-prepping. Things have definitely gotten hectic but I’ve loved getting organised and prepping things at the weekend. Plus my fridge looks super neat and tidy.
  2. M&S released my favourite work style dress in burgundy. I saw it and bought it within around 3 minutes one lunch-break!
  3. On a related note, I found my Christmas day dress!
  4. And on a Christmas theme, I’ve managed to convince W to let me buy a new Christmas tree for the pair of us. No more £10 trees from Tesco, I’ve got my eye on a ‘pencil’ one from John Lewis.
  5. Starting to study again. I was torn between dreading it and looking forward to it, but it turns out I’m hugely enjoying getting my teeth stuck into new material.
  6. Heading home to be spoilt for a couple of nights. My mummy cooked all my favourite treats!
  7. Having a good haircut and managing to get it dyed at the same time. It’s been a while since my haircare was so in sync!
  8. Mushroom risotto. W was working late on a project, I couldn’t resist…
  9. Narrowing down our wedding photographer search. Quite possibly the most important element for me and despite the time we’ve got I found it stressful. Some were booked on 2019 dates!?!
  10. Wandering around London. I can’t quite explain how much I love living here!

Hope your fortnight has been as lovely as mine! What’s been making you smile lately?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #6

Happy Monday everyone! These last two weeks have been pretty hectic. Will’s now started his Master’s course so we’ve been having to get into an actual proper routine. It’s been pretty tiring – I announced I was going to bed last week before realising it was only 9.30pm, whoops! I’m also properly working now, rather than just being on the graduate training programme, so I’m getting used to new processes, seeing everything in Excel spreadsheets and trying to remember allllll the things. Super interesting, but my brain feels a little like mush once it gets past 5pm everyday!

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. A welcome lunch with my team. Not only did I have some delicious food (bread and balsamic, squid salad, stone bass with cannellini ragu), it was great to get to know them a bit more. Not feeling so intimidated now!
  2. Cooking a delicious butternut squash risotto, with goat’s cheese. I’ve avoided this veg as last time I tried it I hated it, but I could definitely eat this again!
  3. Doing a bit more wedding planning. We’re looking into photographers now and I’ve got a short-list, hoping to get that booked in the next few weeks.
  4. On that note, the wedding is less than two years away! Safe to say I’m excited…
  5. Celebrating our anniversary. It’s been six years since we got together – whilst I didn’t plan to meet my future husband at 16, it’s meant we’ve been able to grow up together. I can’t wait for all of our future adventures!
  6. “London’s Best Burger” at Mac & Wild. I feel I need to do more research to verify the ‘best’ claim, but it was damn yummy!
  7. The nice man in Waitrose fetching me a trolley and helping me transfer my shopping after the wheel feel off mid-shop. The fact that he didn’t laugh was greatly appreciated!
  8. Receiving a pretty good Bake Box in the post. I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the last few, but I’m looking forward to getting into the kitchen with my new bits and bobs…
  9. New bed clothes. Enough said.
  10. Finding the perfect copper fairy lights to hang by my bed. My cosy corner is nearly complete!

What’s been making you smile recently?

Lifestyle: September Favourites

Only three more months of 2016, how weird is that?! It doesn’t feel that long ago that I was seeing in the New Year, just recently engaged and having picked up my re-size ring that day. Now I’m having to think about Christmas, plan presents, work out when I’m heading home and genuinely kick my butt in gear already!

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September was exhausting for me, pretty predictable really. I remember when I first start placement in 2014 how tired I was, how difficult it was to adjust to working rather than studying. This wasn’t any different, and coupled with moving, sorting bills, fixing the mess the council made of our council tax application, it was all a bit stressful! That said I have an okay-ish commute and I’m now managing to stay awake past 10pm again, so I guess things are good! Favourites have been…
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The Lake District

Work arranged for the whole 18-strong graduate cohort to head up to the Lake District for team-building in our first week; I had a blast. I was initially worried about whether it would be too ‘outdoorsy’ for me, whether I’d have to sleep in a dorm (I hate sleeping in front of people!). It worked out fine, the place we stayed in was right on the edge of Lake Windemere and absolutely gorgeous, and I even managed to kaykak in a reasonable fashion. It definitely helped that the Lake District is a beautiful part of the UK too…

Pizza

I’ve mentioned my love for white pizzas a few times, and thanks to a new favourite restaurant it’s definitely growing. The Dynamo is dangerously close at only 3-minutes away from our flat and serves gorgeous sourdough pizzas. The base isn’t quite as good as Franco Manca but the toppings are excellent. Three (3!) tomato-free pizzas are on the menu, but on our visit it was a special that caught my eye. Smoked chicken, pancetta, mushrooms, mascapone, smoked mozzarella, garlic, herb oil and Parmesan. Sounds like an overload but everything worked so, so well together. One of the best pizzas I’ve had for sure!

Dynamo also do an amazing sounding brunch menu (Eggs Benedict, with black pudding instead of ham?!) so I’m sure at some point you’ll see more of the place on here…

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Great British Bake Off

The best thing about this time of year, right?! I’ve been loving this series, I think they’ve gone back to basics a bit which is SO much better. It annoyed me last year how contestents would be baking macarons for ‘decoration’ – this year it’s very much about good baking, good flavours and the recipes seem so much yummier!

Me and W are also trying to ‘bake along’ as best we can. We missed the first week, but so far have pretty much kept up. I’ll be blogging about what we’ve made from next week – but the spiced chocolate hazelnut tea bread was a huge hit! Even if my kitchen did look a bit sticky and doughy…

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That ‘New Year’ Feeling

September is definitely the month for new starts, and that definitely was the case for me this year – new home, new job, new study plans. I celebrated with ensuring I had a fresh clear diary in my Filofax, organising my time and setting myself some goals. It scares me to think that starting in a few short weeks I’ll be back to studying again, but I’ve set myself a challenge to try and complete all my exams in 2.5 years (including skipping a sitting for the wedding!). Nothing like a bit of pressure!

First day at work “selfie” – good luck to all the grads starting their new jobs today!

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

Workwear

I might be a bit of an odd one, but I love formal clothes. I think that they can look so lovely and feminine, and I’d like to think I’ve managed to hit the right balance of formal and personality in my work outfits. Typically I’ve not get photography my favourite outfit – a lovely lace skirt, duck-egg blue, midi-length, pleated. I love it!

Now I’ve got to work on the shoe front. I bought so many lovely pairs of shoes and all of them need a ridiculous amount of breaking in so I’ve shied away from wearing them. Whoops!

What have your September highlights been? Anyone else looking forward to Autumn?! Oh, and congrats to all grads who started their new jobs this month, hope it’s going well!

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #5

It’s really hard to believe that 10 weeks have passed since I started doing these posts. I’ve loved doing a more regular update into my life, and I’ve found these quick-fire posts great for making me think about the really positive things that have happened recently.

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Here’s what’s been making me smile lately…

  1. The Lake District. I mentioned it in my previous post that I was heading up for some team building – it was a great few days!
  2. “Rock” climbing up a (bloody tall) tree. I hate rock climbing having pretty much zero strength, I also hate heights. This was a massive achievement for me!
  3. Managing to do 50 sit-ups in a row. Just call me superwoman…
  4. Watching W’s mum getting licensed at Peterborough Cathedral. I know she’s worked really hard to get there, so it was a proud moment. Also very lovely to see his parents and rest of his family for the day!
  5. We also got treated to lunch at Prezzo. Whilst I was never a fan when I could eat tomatoes (never had a good tomato-based meal there!) there is one dish I can’t get enough of. It had been around a year since I’d enjoyed a Pollo Carbonara but it was just as good as remembered. Rich, creamy, insanely cheesy…
  6. Forgetting to shave my legs, then realising it’s cold enough for thicker tights. I love Autumn!
  7. Watching W settle into his Masters course. I’m unbelievably proud of how far he’s come.
  8. Catching up with my girls. We’re trying to make a date to see each other every month, and this month involved a bit of a shopping spree.
  9. Finally kicking my cold out of my system. I picked it up just before heading to the Lakes and it lingered a bit. I’d sure W is glad not to have a constantly coughing person all night!
  10. My family visiting. Including the dog. It’d been SO long since I had doggy cuddles.

What’s made you smile these past few weeks?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #4

Happy Monday everyone! Well, I’m all settled into my job. We’re being broken in quite gently, including a global programme set-up over the first month. It’s been great meeting colleagues from our offices in America, Asia and even Australia. Tomorrow we’re all off to the Lake District for a team-building trip – I’m definitely nervous as I’m not the typical outdoors-y type. Give me a dog and some walking boots and I’ll be happy, anything involving too much water/mud/speed/height isn’t really within my comfort zone. That said, I’m really looking forward to it! Other than working I guess it’s been a quiet fortnight whilst I get into a routine…

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s the best bits from my fortnight…

  1. Not crashing any work computers within the first two weeks of my employment. I’ll call that a success!
  2. Coming home to W. The most difficult part of being in an LDR was not being able to have a proper daily catch-up, so I’m loving being able to do this. The fact that his Masters course hasn’t started, leaving him free to bake and cook, it’s too bad either!
  3. Catching up with old housemates. It’s been ages since I saw them, so it was nice to travel out to Brighton for a BBQ. I’m definitely missing my girls!
  4. Baking! We’re attempting a bit of a bake-along with GBBO and have spent most Sunday’s in the kitchen. Biscuits, a spiced chocolate bread…safe to say I’m glad there was a bit of room in all my work clothes!
  5. Getting back into exercise. I had a few days off during my first week of work, but now I’m back at my Results with Lucy programme. It’s hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my fitness levels. I hate, hate, HATE leg day though…
  6. Stews and casseroles. Despite still hitting the high-twenties in London last week, I’m craving comforting food. Luckily Debenhams sent me over one of their pressure cookers for me to try, now I can whip up a beef stew in just half an hour after work!
  7. My commute. Possibly the best thing about our flat is that my walk to the tube is 10 minutes, through a leafy street and over one of the Thames footbridges. Not looking forward to it in the rain, but it’s gorgeous on sunny mornings. I’ve seen some spectacular sunsets too.
  8. White wine spritzers. Plenty of ice, made with lemonade. My favourite lunchtime/after-work drink…
  9. Finally getting a decent phone case. I have a rather unusual phone (Huawei P8 – I highly recommend the brand!) and really struggle finding cases for it. Luckily GoCustomized offers personalised phone cases that fit, so I now have a rather bloggeresque marble back*. Just need to stop having a mini heart-attack when I catch sight of it as it does look like I’ve cracked my phone!
  10. Playing tourist in London. We spent this Saturday wandering around, I even saw Big Ben properly for the first time!

What’s been making you smile recently? Any team-building experiences to share?

Lifestyle: August Favourites

Now we’ve hit September it feels like summer has officially ended. I guess it has for many of us; new grads are starting their jobs, schools are heading back for a new year.

 photo August Favourites_zpsrjn7zmea.pngAugust for me was a strange month. I had some real highlights, which I’ve got in this post, but equally it was a difficult month. I didn’t expect to feel quite as sad as I did leaving my parents home at the end of the month. I was thinking “oh, I’ve been at uni for four years, it’s not like I’ve lived here” but in actual fact I did tear up considerably. I know I’ll be back to visit lots, but it definitely felt a lot more final. Added to this the stress of poorly family members (horse included) and my sister’s impending GCSE results (the girl did good – congrats little sis!) it wasn’t quite the relaxing ‘last month before work’ I was hoping for.

Doom and gloom over with, there were some definite highs in August. Some girly time with my mummy, a few nights away with W, plenty of yummy food and more than my fair share of shopping. Plus I finally, after six years, moved in with W – gotta be a life highlight right?! So, what were my favourite bits of August…?
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A Chocolate Afternoon Tea

There will be a full review to come of this one, but I couldn’t leave this out of my monthly highlights. I finally (I say very ashamed!) treated my mum to a belated Mother’s Day present of an afternoon tea. Set in Whittlebury Hall, we chose the chocolate version and despite a bit of a mix-up we had such a fabulous time. Both of us needed a lie-down after the sugar-induced high, but everything we ate was delicious. Coupled with some champagne it was the perfect girly afternoon. The icing on the cake was watching her try on some Mother of the Bride outfits. She looked stunning!

My Job

Okay, so it’s only been a day, and technically it was September, but so far so good! I do think you can tell a lot about your team from first impressions, and I have to say I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in with the work. I loved the company ethos right from the start of their recruitment process, and I’m happy to say I’m still getting really good vibes.
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Improving My Instagram Game

I mentioned in a ‘Happy’ post a few weeks ago that I’d hit 500 Instagram followers. It’s still hovering around that mark (occasionally, and rather annoyingly, dipping back below!) but I’m super happy with how my grid is looking. I’m hoping to keep this one up over the next few weeks; it’s by far my favourite social page so even if I neglect everything else I’d be happy posting a couple of times a day! Check out my profile here.

Moving!

Definitely the big one of the month! After a little lot of stress with our lettings agent, which ended up in our flat only being finally confirmed a few days before we were meant to be moving in (despite signing contracts four weeks before), we picked up the keys as planned. There’s a few teething problems still to be ironed out, namely the lack of usable storage space and the fact that I can’t seem to open the flat door reliably, but we’re so glad to be in. We love the location – a few minutes walk from Putney High Street, a view of the Thames (and flight path – I’m a plane geek) from our bathroom and a lovely stroll across a footbridge to the nearest tube. The flat itself is also so, so lovely. Ultra modern, sleek, nice quality furniture. Better than anything we hoped for when starting to look for our first home together.
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A Trip Up North

Before selling the car, we took one last road trip and ended up staying with family friends in Bolton. We explored the Peak District (one of my favourite parts of the UK) and visited Manchester. Having never been, I surprised myself by falling a little bit in love with the city. I know at some point in my life I’d love to live up North – it seems it’s not acceptable to order a chip butty anywhere else, but a cafe we stopped in for lunch had a chip-and-gravy butty on the menu. Heaven!

Finalising My Work Wardrobe

I’m a dodgy height (not quite petite, but regular clothes are always a little long), and I have a tiny waist. It can make clothes shopping difficult, but workwear really is a nightmare as I’m a fan of the fitted style. Call me a Granny if you want, but I’ve found the M&S range to be great this summer. I’ve picked up some really well-fitting pieces, with the shorter-length versions being just right on me. I’m now eyeing up this skirt desperately. Someone give me an excuse to treat myself?!
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Our Engagement Party

It seems so long ago now (especially as when I’ve started drafting this post, I’m cosied under a blanket listening to the thunder outside), but at the beginning of August we celebrated our engagement with a garden party. I talked about it on Saturday so I won’t repeat the details, but it was a gorgeous day with most of our closest friends. I’m gutted not all of my bridesmaids could come, but I can’t wait to catch up with them soon.

So that was my last month of summer but, quite depressingly, probably my last full month off for a long, long time. However I am so excited for this next chapter in my life, I can see September being such a good month (if super busy, I’m totally relying on my diary to not forget anything!). And I can’t wait to start busting out the wintery wardrobe, I have missed thick wooly tights!

How was your August? What was your favourite part of Summer 2016?

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #3

Happy Monday guys! So, today is the day I start to adult; my graduate job begins! I torn between feeling super excited and scared stiff – I know deep down I can do the job, but I also know a lot of my knowledge (particularly anything involving programming) needs refreshing. I’ve spent far too long working out outfits for the week ahead, I’ve practised my route into work (including in morning rush hour), I’ve packed my bag with snacks, plasters and some Rescue Remedy. Eeek!

 photo Happy Things 2_zpstx894dal.pngHere’s what’s made me super happy over the last fortnight! The weeks seem to go by so quickly doing a fortnightly round-up…

  1. Moving! We’re all into our shiny new place, everything is unpacked and it’s virtually looking the way we want it. It’s so nice to finally be living together after nearly six years!
  2. Seeing my sister get her GCSE results. I know only too well the stress of exams and waiting for results, so it’s hard for me to see her starting it all up just as I’m coming to the end of that era.
  3. All the copper things! I picked up a gorgeous desk lamp from IKEA. We’re planning on having little copper touches throughout the flat, I’m hoping for some bathroom bits and bobs next.
  4. Pizza! I’ve been loving all the white pizzas lately, keep tuned for my new favourite recipe on Thursday…
  5. Thunderstorms. After some horrendously humid days in Northamptonshire it was good to have some spectacular thunderstorms last weekend.
  6. The Doc Martens factory shop. How did I not know this existed only a short drive away from home until the week before I moved out?! Definitely going back for a pair of chelsea boots at some point.
  7. Having internet back after a few days without whilst the connection was set up. As awful as it sounds, I really struggled to function without it.
  8. Borrowing W’s Macbook for flatlaying. It’s so much pretty than my laptop!
  9. Takeaway night with my family. I loved sharing their poppadoms, rice and naan and whipping up my own tomato-free curry. If anyone knows of an Indian in Putney with tomato-free options please, please, please let me know!
  10. #FirstWorldProblems. So many of these when we moved. First we discovered the hob was induction, so none of our pans worked. Then after ten minutes attempting to make the bed we realised it was a king-size, so need to invest in new bedding. Now it transpires I’m about 50cm too short to reach the rail in the second wardrobe. Annoying little things, but they’ve made us laugh!

What’s been your highlight of the past fortnight? Good luck to anyone else starting their graduate job today!

Lifestyle: Happy Fortnightly Things #2

Happy Monday everyone! These past two weeks have been pretty stressful for me – complications with the estate agent, packing, repacking, SD card failures and a bad IBS episode to top things off. Fingers crossed we manage to pick up our keys without a hitch today, get all our things in tomorrow without breaking anything, and can start settling in!

 photo Happy Things_zpsmx5jxxb8.jpgHere’s the highlights…

  1. Attempting to watch all of the Harry Potters in one weekend. Whilst we failed, we had a damn good time trying.
  2. Evening walks in the park. One of my favourite places in Northampton is down the road from W’s parents, so we’ve been trying to take a stroll as often as possible. We make sure to avoid it during the day though, far too many children and football games to dodge!
  3. The. Best. White. Pizza. Yet. Black pudding is a total game changer when paired with goats cheese.
  4. Being really proud of my Instagram feed – and getting to 500 followers. I’ve really been working hard on it the past few months and it feels like it’s finally paying off!
  5. A trip up North. Me and W stayed with some family friends and explored Bolton, Manchester and Salford. It was lovely to see a place of the country I’d never experienced before – and I managed to get a fair few Carr’s Pasties in!
  6. Picking up a gorgeous pair of black brogue heels. I’ve spent years hunting for the perfect pair, then found a bargain in the Clark’s outlet.
  7. Taking W to some of my favourite places from my childhood. We made the most of our last week having a car by getting out and about – it’s been years since I visited the Peak District, but it was just as beautiful as I remembered.
  8. Meercats! We took a trip to some local gardens and discovered they’ve put together a small animal area. Sometime about meercats never fails to make me smile…
  9. Finding an exercise regime I’m actually enjoying. I’ve always, always had to force myself before, but something about my Results With Lucy regime is really spurring me on. I’m loving it, and whilst I might be kidding myself, I’m sure I can see some physical changes.
  10. The most gorgeous little cafe. We popped in for a quick cuppa and it was delightful. An Instagrammer’s delight, pretty tiles and very good tea to boot.

What’s made you happy recently? Any positive experiences of London estate agents to cheer me up?!

Lifestyle: July Favourites

Yep, another month has completely and utterly flown by, 2016 needs to stop and take a breather! This month has been nothing short of exhausting, as you may have guessed from last week’s post. Yep, July 2016 turned into the month where I suddenly grow up and had to do a lot of very adult things. Eurgh. For the last few days I’ve resorted to sitting in my PJs for far too long and playing on the Wii (which seems very old school now!). But there’s been some massive, massive highlights too…

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Graduating

The big one! On the 11th of July I walked around Canterbury Cathedral, winced as they pronounced my surname wrong, shook hands, collected my certificate and graduated. I managed not to fall over, despite the insane blister that appeared an hour before the ceremony. I managed not to fall asleep after I had been in the first handful of students to collect my degree, despite it being pretty damn boring. I managed not to faint, despite having not really eaten much at all that day. And I managed not to drizzle chocolate sauce down me when I finally, finally got hold of my Belgian waffle at 10pm that night.

In all honesty, I found my graduation a huge anti-climax – it was a very long day, my ceremony was a late evening one, and I was just tired. More to come on that one!

Finding a Flat

And I say that very everything crossed, as at the time of writing we’re just waiting on that last final confirmation. Obviously until I have got that I don’t want to say too much, but it hasn’t stopped me getting over-excited, planning cushions and decor, walking the route to the tube station on street-view and generally just being happy that we have somewhere to live.

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Brighton

Despite only being a fortnight ago, I’m already in desperate need of another holiday! We’d planned to do a road trip around the Scottish Highlands, but decided relatively last minute to have a few days in Brighton instead – such a good choice! The week after our graduations was the ‘week of the heatwave’ and it was scorching, with perfect weather until we got on the train to return home! We sat on the beach, ate plenty of bad food, and drank more than a few cocktails. I hadn’t had a trip to Brighton for just over a year and had forgotten just how much I love the place!

 

Wedding Plans

With everything that’s gone on this month, I almost forgot that the first week involved an awful lot of wedding planning! One of the things that really appealed to us about a long engagement was the time and freedom to really space out planning, do bits as and when we wanted to, when no stress about things being booked up. HA!

I definitely turned into a little bit of a bridezilla when, having reserved our date (because yep, we set a date with the vicar!) with our top-choice venue, it was showing as booked on their site without my email confirmation coming through. Whilst I wish I was over-exaggerating, I sat refreshing my emails all day. We got the confirmation at nearly 7pm, much to our relief. So yep, we now have ticked off the church, reception venue and dress. Time to sit back and relax now for a few months!

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Maxi-Length Outfits

It’s taken me years, but I finally found the courage to buy and wear a couple of maxi-length dresses and skirts. Part of the delay has been getting them to fit, in the end resorting to a dress maker to chop three inches off the bottom, but a big part is that for years I’ve felt oversized and (for want of a better word) really rather fat in them. Actually, I really quite like them. I wish I hadn’t waited so long!

Got myself remeasured by @lovebravissimo, then spent a fortune on new undies…

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

New Bras

This was a much needed item on my to-do list, and I’m so embarrassed it took me so long to sort it out. Since loosing weight last year, I’ve had near constant back and shoulder ache. A quick hour’s trip into Bravissimo whilst in Brighton both diagnosed and fixed the problem, and I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable. My clothes are also looking hell of a lot better, though my bank account winced at the price!

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Carbs on Carbs

I couldn’t write my favourites without including this burger – I’ve had Mac’n’Cheese Fritters on a burger before (they were a little dry and claggy), but whoever invented this combo deserved a knighthood. Soft brioche bun, meaty beef patty, two slices of crisp bacon, and a giant helping of creamy, spicy, cheesy Mac. Utterly unhealthy, espcially when followed with an alcoholic milkshake and preceded by cocktails, but it was damn good. Quite possibly the best burger I’ve had in a while. And with the nights either side of this dinner both including pizza, it’s safe to say our trip to Brighton wasn’t exactly on any kind of diet plan!

So yep, a very busy month for me. The beginning on August is definitely reserved for relaxing, taking time to catch up with friends and family and generally taking a breather before the stress of moving begins!

What’s been your highlight of July? I hope it was more relaxing for you than me!

Lifestyle: June Favourites

Mid-way through the year already, how on earth did that happen?! It’s been over six months since the best few days of my life, my degree is over, and I graduate in less than a week’s time. Scary stuff!

 photo June Favourites_zpsn5en1c3i.jpgJune has been a weird month, and if I’m honest I’ve found myself getting a bit depressed at times. Sure, there’s been some massive highs, but finishing university, packing up the house I’ve loved, realising I’ll no longer live with friends – it’s gotten me down at times! I guess I was so intent on finishing university, so focussed on getting my exams over with, I didn’t realise quite how much of a shock it would actually be! Now my final year house is fully packed up and spotlessly keen I’m hoping I’ll spring back into a good mood!

And now, what have I loved this last month?
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Results!

The big one here, and the one I’m most excited about. I’m so pleased that after four long years of bloody hard work, I’ll be graduating with a First in Actuarial Science next week. There’s been tears, arguments, threats to drop out. The four years have seen me use masses of paper, get through five calculators (heavy use causes the numbers to rub off!). They’ve seen me through a relatively serious, though quick, operation and the long recovery period.

Even better that just getting a First, my actual final year module results made me even more happy. By far my best year in terms of marks, despite being the one I considered the hardest in content. It just goes to show how much a positive mind and lovely living environment aid studying! Now I’ve just got to brave graduating, I can’t be the only person who’s terrified of the actual ceremony…?!

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France

My relaxing few days in the South of France feel so long ago now, I really can’t believe it was less than a month ago. It was definitely a big highlight of my month though, who wouldn’t want time in the sun with best friends, indulging in wine and cheese?

Wed-min

Possible a bit premature for this one to make it into June’s favourites, actually, but I couldn’t leave it out! This week W and I have a whole host of appointments and meetings planned, all wedding related. I don’t want to say too much yet in case it all goes down the pan, but fingers crossed by the end of the month we’ll actually have started to plan our wedding!

Finding THE Best Concealer

I have pretty dark under-eye circles, and its one of my biggest insecurities. I hate them, I despise how I always look tired and how there’s pretty much nothing I can do to make them look better. I’ve tried so many concealers over the last few years, but they either clash with my pale skin-tone horrifically or just don’t do a thing. I finally found an NYX stand a few weeks back and simply had to buy something, though with W hovering I knew I wouldn’t get away with any kind of lip product – so I grabbed their Under Eye Concealer. Turns out it’s a miracle product! Superbly pigmented in just the right shade to conceal without resulting in a reverse panda-effect, I’ve never looked so awake. The amount of product is disappointingly small for £6.50, but I’ll cope. After all, no-one’s asked me if I’m ill since I’ve been using it!

PS – it’s also incredibly long-lasting. The ‘gram above is from when I was getting ready for one of my oldest friend’s wedding. My makeup lasted from 10am to 11pm with only a brief powder and lip touch-up. No creasing under the eyes, no dark circles showing through. I’m a very happy girl to have found this before graduation!
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#ColdplayWembley

A photo posted by Will Fazackerley (@wfazackerley) on

Coldplay & Busted

For someone who hardly goes to any concerts, I’ve been to two in the last month (and a bit – I can’t remember exactly when Busted was!). Both concerts were excellent, though I felt Busted’s stage presence was nothing on McBusted or the Busted I remember seeing in 2003. Maybe it was the fact that I thought I had booked a table at Frankie & Bennys so was calmy wandering around, til I realised that I had clicked the wrong restaurant location and queues were 90 minutes long, but I didn’t find the O2 a hugely enjoyable concert venue. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the performance but it wasn’t quite their usual standard!

Coldplay, on the other hand, was blooming amazing! We went on the six-month anniversary of us getting engaged (time flies!) and it was so lovely to dance and sing along. Our pre-concert dinner of Mac’n’Cheese was delicious, as were the Krispy Kremes I picked up inside Wembley. I even managed to get a seat for the majority of the train home – though I had bloated up from dinner so it could be that the ever-so kind gentleman thought I was pregnant…

Cleaning

A weird one for me! I hate keeping things clean in a general sense (the monotony of a weekly dust just destroys any good mood I’m in!) however I do love a good, thorough, proper Spring clean. Cleaning my final year house ready for handing the keys back was definitely that! It was back-breaking work (I actually cried when I lay in bed after day one as my back ached so much), but the satisfaction was unreal. I especially enjoyed cleaning the oven!
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Relaxation, Days Out, Quality Time

Other than that, it’s really been a case of making the most of having nothing to do! Next week is graduation week for both me and W, the following week we have a mini-break away, and then we’ll be frantically planning an engagement garden party alongside finding a place to live in London! It’s been so nice to sit on the sofa knowing I could stay in PJs if I wanted to. We’ve enjoyed some lovely days out, had a few days down in Kent where we weren’t cleaning, and generally just enjoyed seeing each other without lecture notes as company! Some cheeky baking may have happened too…

How was June for you? What are you most looking forward to in July?