Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Empties #5 Sometimes It Snows In April

Morning Petals!

My hostel hopping days have come to an end (for now) and it has left me with a bunch of empties. One of the perks of living on a shoestring is finally working my way through the abundance of lotions and potions that are mounting up in my bathroom. When I'm at "home" it's easy to become lazy when it comes to my skincare routine. However whilst I was HH'ing I made the time for my routine - even if it was at 3am before tiptoeing to my bunk bed - as it was my one luxury. I may have been staying in £12 a night beds, but I always remembered to pack my Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer... lol @ my priorities.


I got this contraption in the goody bag when I went to Estée Lalonde's event back in November. Although it's a princess product that I would never buy for myself, it was quite a relaxing pastime and lord knows I love almond oil!

The vitamin E range at the body shop is hands down my favourite and I'm yet to try a product that I don't absolutely adore. Will definitely be repurchasing!! +

This is so pungent and zesty! I grab this or their coconut body butter in duty free every summer :-)


Ever since April 21st I've been wearing purple nail polish. Still grieving.


There's a reason so many people rhapsodise about this foundation. As long as you moisturise before applying, you'll never look back. I still can't believe it's only 8 quid!


Every night I use a hand cream mixed with a few sprays of this lavender pillow mist. Dream team!


I picked this up in duty free as it's a fragrance my mum wore for years and is so sophisticated. The official Chloé Perfume is around £40 but I spotted this 'deodorant' for £15 (!!) and I honestly can't tell the difference, as this too has a spray applicator. I use this as a perfume and although it's on it's last legs, it's lasted ages thanks to the generous 100ml bottle. I feel like I've discovered the lost world of Atlantis...talk about beauty hack! 

I was toying with the idea of treating myself to Philosykos last summer but couldn't bring myself to drop £60. I ended up picking this up in duty free (I don't remember a time when I'm not in duty free) on the way to Corfu and wore it all summer. I received so many compliments as it's such a fresh and quirky scent. Although the staying power isn't too strong, it's a good size to pop in your handbag and at £18 you don't feel guilty liberally spritzing it throughout the day! In terms of describing the scent, many people have likened it to Dolce & Gabbana's Sicily. 


It seems redundant to recommend a lip balm as there's so many but this one was a stand out product. Although it's probably the cheapest lip balm I've ever owned, it's super hydrating (no shit Sherlock). As if it wasn't perfect enough, it also has SPF15!

As a random side note a friend of mine was rocking this shade of iced blue eye shadow the other day and I just had to ask where it was from ~ maybelline if anyone's wondering. I think I've found my summer look:


Now onto magazine freebies...


This concoction of argan/macadamia/almond/rose oil smells incredible ~ many people have actually said it smells like Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. The oil itself leaves a beautiful sheen.

As the name would suggest, this is much thicker and best left for the winter months. I loved its consistency and subtle shea butter smell.


This came free with Glamour magazine and transformed my make-up game. I always moisturise a few minutes before applying my base to prep my skin and this is hands down the best moisturiser I've ever used. The fact that it's banana yellow also put a smile on my face every morning. Bonuses: a little goes a long way and despite the bold colour, it isn't heavily scented.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate //
My skin soaked this up and didn't feel greasy at all. However as it's an anti ageing product, I doubt I'll be picking up a bottle any time soon.


I was over the moon when this came free with Elle as I'm not one to buy high-end mascaras as drugstore ones are just as good (if not better) and a fraction of the price. I must say though this was a dream ~ so much so that I'm tempted to buy the £20 full size! It never clumps and truly does hold a curl.

This light gel moisturiser sunk into my skin quickly and added a boost of hydration. Cheap and cheerful!

Food glorious food...


I'm always on the hunt for natural sweeteners so this agave has been a favourite of mine. I think I'm going to give date syrup a whirl next. I also recently ran out of this coconut sugar that I found in planet organic ~ it was devilishly tasty in my builders' brews!


These make everything better ~ not only are they hella good for you, but they add a crunchy texture. Here is a scrumptious recipe for chia pudding - do your future self a favour and bookmark it!

I've drank more coffee over the past month than I have all year - cheers, dissertation! When I'm not doing an all-nighters in the library, I like to sip this coffee alternative in the morning. It's delicious and made from a blend of barley, chicory, malt and figs! Nestle's Caro is another fab option if you're in the market. 


My go-to snack when I'm supermarket sweepin' round the sainsbury's local in Greenwich at 11:58pm before hitting up the library. Well, that and a bunch of cheese twists ~ it's all about balance! Bonus points that the packaging has a mango wearing a top hat!

I don't remember life before this brands groovy coffee flavours. Douwe Egberts' also collaborated with Orla Kiely recently:


Are these not the CUTEST coffee jars you ever did see?!


I've been having these tablets for many moons but accidentally bought the non-chewable version recently. Don't make the same mistake as me as they were like swallowing chalk!

Random AF...


These Russian nesting doll highlighters from paperchase were too adorable to not mention. I may be studying for a degree, but kawaii highlighters will always be in my pencil case!


What products have you used up lately that you'll be repurchasing?


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Style Crush #7 Lera Pen

I was scrolling through my drafts recently and noticed a style crush post that I 1/2 wrote back in 2k14 on Ukrainian model Lera Pentelute, which for some unknown reason I didn't put live ~
curiouser and curiouser. 

Lera has modelled for Next/American Apparel/The Reformation, is a USC graduate and in her spare time dabbles in fashion illustration. Here are some of my favourite shots of this mega babe...



As soon as I saw this crimson dress I hopped over to ASOS in hope of finding something similar to take to Greece for the summer. This grungier version is now on its way to me.


The clashing colours on this bomber jacket are killer ~10/10




Anyone else? Just me?




Oh that reminds me ~ I watched Lily Melrose's glitter eyebrows tutorial recently.
Let's just say I can't wait for the next 21st do...


Original style icon.


A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her. - 
Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith



If anyone knows where I can buy this funky forest green coat with daisy sleeves, hook a sista up!


Same goes with these funky earrings...



Lera has also been the muse in some of her boyfriend Korey Dane's music videos...


Here is his haunting rendition of Mazzy Star's Fade Into You, which is featured on the ReLove playlist on kasetophono. If you're curious this is a Greek music station that my friend introduced me to recently. Their website has groovy mixtapes for every occasion from Sunday morning to Tarantino's road trippin.


"Colours your eyes with what's not there." Ugh, this line goes right for the jugular. 💘


If you fancy following Lera and her cosmic sketches, you can find her here.


I'm so enamoured with Lera's groovy doodles ~ I'd love to collaborate with her in the (hopefully not so distant) future when I publish my writing and need an illustrator. I adore her offbeat characters and artistic colour choices. Shoot for the stars, folks!




Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?



Saturday, 14 May 2016

Blooming Bakery #7 Terry's Teapot Biccies

Happy Saturday petals!

I recently stumbled upon this groovy Terry's chocolate orange inspired biscuit recipe that my cousin Livvy and I created way back when in 2013.  It was whilst she visited me in London, which I blogged all about (DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6). I spaced and forgot to share these scrumptious treats on my blog...
 better late than never!


Ingredients:
- 100g butter
- 175g plain flour
- 50g caster sugar
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- Orange zest
- Chocolate buttons 
(as much as you desire... aka a family sized bag!)

1. Preheat the oven to 150 C 2. Mix the sugar and butter together 3. Chuck the rest of the ingredients in and mix well 4. Dust the table with flour to avoid the dough from sticking 5. Roll the dough out and cut into whatever shapes you want: dragons, moons, rockets... the world is your lobster! 6. Bake for 25 minutes 7. DEVOUR & SHARE!



If only I had a time machine...
Pip pip!


Saturday, 7 May 2016

In Prague I Knew I'd Been A Witch

Way back when in September 2013, days before departing to different pockets of the UK for uni, my friends and I had a mad four days in Prague. If I'm honest, the trip is a blur of stumbling across the Charles bridge every night back to our hostel, absinthe induced decisions and the best damn cinnamon trdelnik known to man.


On the steps of  the State Opera House.

 Despite hanging most mornings from the night before, we did manage to squeeze in a decent amount of sightseeing. Luckily between the eight of us we have a bunch of photos so we can trace what we actually did in Czechoslovakia besides piggyback rides and kegs. Prague itself is full of character and rich architecture, I could lose myself in its cobbled streets all day. There's an old world charm to the city that is so enchanting and inviting...







One of the best parts of the trip hands down was our spontaneous jaunt on the Vltava. One morning while walking off our breakfast, we noticed a sign about renting paddle boats and before we knew it, we were on the river. For 50p each we rented two boats and spent an hour having races, basking in the sun, catching cosmic glimpses of the castle and, all in all, having a magical time.



Another highlight was our absinthe-GBBO drinking game followed by nights on the toon. We got pally with a groovy American called Briggs at our hostel (pictured above with a rose... swoon!), who had been cosy in Prague for a few weeks and showed us the hotspots.

Unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember the names of the places, except one and arguably the best: Hany Bany. It's a Pulp Fiction themed joint ~ cheap and cheerful, a must do if you're ever in town. First pub I've ever been to where you can order a burger on the dancefloor at 1am and enjoy 45p pints!


I couldn't possibly write about our time in Prague without mentioned the STUNNING hostel. As our group was so large, we booked way in advance and were lucky enough to secure two rooms just for us. The two rooms were so grand and spacious, ace for pre drinks and mongin' out the morning after the night before without fear of aggravating fellow travellers. 



We stayed at the Charles Bridge Economic Hostel (the yellow, blue and pink building pictured above, along with the quaint street it's found on) which, as its name suggests, was on the cusp of the infamous bridge and prime location. We each payed a total of 1485 CZK (£42) for three nights... not too shabby!



Fancy seeing you here!

A hop, skip and a jump away from our hostel...


For any fellow Beatles fans, you must find time to visit the infamous John Lennon wall, where you will almost always find a busker jamming. It's a marvellous place to soak in the peace, maybe even enjoy a song and dance, and leave your mark.



I think these photos give you an idea of the scale.



A trip to the Czech capital isn't complete without a trip to the castle. Expect spectacular views, handsome soldiers and the odd protester. 



"I wonder what the missus is cooking for dinner"


When it comes to good grub, there are two key things I recommend. First things first: Staročeské trdlo. This sinfully good cinnamon pastry is what dreams are made of. I'm amazed this place is still in business since I left. There was also a hidden bakery called Au Gourmand down one of the side streets near the Astronomical clock. Their scrumptious baguettes and pastries had us coming back daily!


In the queue for our Staročeské trdlo, and below, gelato fix at Au Gourmand.


This is a glimpse of our wild run in with chicken Joe, an Irish street performer who wanders round Europe with whips and knifes - top bloke. We actually have footage on FB of Theo and Alice being pulled in from the crowd and getting topless (Theo, not Alice). You can't make this stuff up!


Unfortunately I can't take credit for the photos shown so far, they were taken by my cosmic friends Caitanya, Alice, El and Amy. The only camera I took was disposable and, well - let's just say I now have a deeper appreciation for the writers of Spy Kids and the thumb villains...


Oh shit... ake muhsrooms!





That reminds me, don't forget to rub the plaque on the statue of John of Nepomuk when you cross the Charles bridge. Doing so supposedly brings you luck and ensures your return to Prague. 

It seems that the photos I took were either covered in thumbs or simply aren't suitable for the viewing public and are best left where they are... in a box under my bed! I did luckily manage to get a few candid thumb-free shots which I cherish...



It's exactly what it looks like.




This fella is the hostel's cat named wifi!

A random tip I thought I'd share is to write on your hand before you go on a night out "100 = £3" which is, more or less, the currency converter. You'd be amazed how much it comes in handy.


It has been such a walk down memory lane writing this post and it's truly fascinating to see how much we've physically changed during university... we look like babies!


Although some things - like the hysterical drunk snaps of us - remain the same three years on. Some things never change and I hope they never will. 

Stumbling home at 4am over the Charles bridge - that's me in the middle, hanging on for dear life.

Drink Absinthe responsibly kids & remember the golden rule: everything in moderation...


...including moderation ;-)