Thursday, July 31, 2014

Life update | University life and beyond

As you may know I recently finished my final year at university, I can't even believe where the last three years of my life have gone?! It truly has been an amazing whirlwind of time. I'm still finding myself each night wondering what work I have to next before realising that I never have to do any again, long gone are the sleepless nights and stress induced spots (See pic above!!), hallelujah! I thought it would be nice to round up my time at university and what I plan to do next, I do like to keep you all in the loop with my life aside of blogging! I studied International Business Management at Southampton Solent University and in hindsight getting Solent as my second choice of University was probably the best thing that ever happened to me,well worth the many initial tears on results day! I really do believe in such a thing as fate! 
I had never even been to Southampton beforehand to check out the university, city centre and the surrounding areas so it really was all alien to me when I arrived and realised this is where I would be living for the next three years! Unfortunately for me I didn't get a place in halls but the university laid on some really good find a home days which is where I found 12 other people to live with in a HUGE house right in the centre of town,perfect for obsessed shoppers like me but very bad for the bank account. The first year flew by and it was mostly spent partying and sleeping off hangovers, oh and studying of course.. My course group was very small unlike other courses so we had a really tight knit group of friends that did a lot together, it also made the whole experience at uni really enjoyable, the small class sizes were also brilliant for interaction with the lecturers. As for the accommodation, living with so many people of course had many downsides as you can imagine, but I'm still grateful for the experiences that I had and that I met my boyfriend in that house,clearly fate working its magic again! 
My second year was without a doubt the most amazing year and experience of my entire life and it will always be something that I look back on with extreme fondness. Because my course was International Business Management we had the option in the second year to stay at Solent and do half a year placement or to study abroad for the year. Without thinking I packed my bags and said good bye to England for a year and embarked on my year living in Finland! The whole experience was just phenomenal, the university was fantastic, the people I lived with are still my best friends and Finland will always be referred to as my second home now.
So this brings me onto my final year. As anyone knows who has been to university it's stressful, there is lots of work but there is still room for plenty of fun! I haven't actually written about my achievements on my blog but you may have seen me announce it on twitter/Instagram that I am proudly graduating with a first class honours woo hoo! I have had a really tough year and I was 99.9% sure that I had achieved an amazing 2:1 that I wasn't even eager to read my results in the morning that they came out. The shock of it made it even better and I still think that it's only just sinking in now, my graduation is not until November which is a while off but I'm already looking forward to getting dressed up for the day and seeing my uni friends once again. I really am so grateful to have had the experience that I did at Southampton Solent, the university was all that I could have wished for,the year abroad and the experiences and friendships that I made along the way. It may be gone but never forgotten! But I'm more than glad to wave goodbye to student accommodation, and of course I missed having a bath way too much! Nothing beats having those home comforts back.
Now that uni is over it's time to enter the real world,no more watching TV box sets all day and spending all my student loan on clothes! I was always aware of the job situation post uni and being a graduate does not make you instantly employable. I'm currently in something which I call catch 22, I'm too experienced for some jobs yet I don't have any experience for graduate jobs. They ask for at least 2 years experience  for some of them which is madness as I've had next to no time or any opportunity to gain experience alongside my course, other wise I would have done so in a heartbeat. I really do see the attraction of work placement years. I'm looking for a job in the marketing/social media sector which really is my dream career, I'm not going to let the endless applications and rejections dampen my spirits, the key is definitely to remain positive and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is comfort in knowing that I am definitely not the only one in the same boat. Whatever is out there I am completely ready for it and armed with my first class honours degree waiting to make a difference,but fingers crossed i'm employed by graduation!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time at university! If you are moving away to uni for the first time this year I wrote a post last year on surviving freshers week which I definitely recommend a read of!

Have you been to university or are looking to go to university? What are your tips for a new graduate like myself?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Travel | Mykonos, Greece

I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend and enjoying the prolonged sunshine and warmth, its a little bit too hot for me, its definitely energy zapping but who needs to go abroad when the weather is like this! As promised i said on my Eastern Mediterranean cruise post that i was going to do a travel diary kind of thing showing you all of the beautiful places that i stopped off on whilst on the cruise. Naturally i had to start with my ultimate favourite place and which is probably the most gorgeous place i have ever visited on earth (such a huge claim huh?), which is pretty little Mykonos, a small and idyllic island off Greece. I think you'll all be agreeing with me by the end of this post!
From the cruise ship it was a very short bus ride into the centre of Mykonos town, we could tell already that we were heading for utter paradise. I seriously cannot get enough of the perfect white washed buildings in Greece.
The small beach in the centre was just divine,crystal clear blue waters,glorious sunshine and a backdrop of white buildings, a totally picture postcard moment.
Mykonos town is like a huge rabbit warren, there are so many cute winding streets filled with cafes,restaurants,gift shops and homes! We never stumbled upon a street that we had been to before, you could wander through them endlessly.
 The flowers are so well placed across most of the streets, i really don't know of a prettier sight!
 The cutest and smallest restaurants filled the streets of Mykonos.
I absolutely adored these hanging tea lights from the old trees, oh so pinterest! Definitely want to take this idea to my garden!
 A beautiful greek orthodox church.
You couldn't turn a corner without stumbling upon beautiful cats, i was rather fond of this little ginger one.
 Dining with a view, wow!
 The cutest old windmills, at the top of the town
 We walked for miles this day and we stumbled across an idyllic beach setting, it was super windy this day which is why it was so quiet.
The most delicious ice cold chocolate milk that i have ever had, so refreshing! The restaurant also had free wifi,score!
The streets are bustling full of touristy shops and in no way are they tacky! I purchased a mini Mykonos lighthouse and some cute rings.
 I need to refrain from using the word cute again, but seriously their gelaterias are the cutest, i love the seats,the signage and everything about it!
 If Greece was a statue it would be this!
The stairs to the shop were amazing! Its such a true, motivational and inspirational quote and the setting of it is just so fitting!
Its true i do and i want to shout it to the world, I LOVE MYKONOS!

Being on a cruise is perfect to see a lot of different cities and also a taster of the place. I could definitely see myself living here, its just too perfect and so me. I just need to win the lottery right about now..

Have you fallen in love with Mykonos yet? Have you visited Mykonos before? Would you like to see more travel posts like this?

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review | Dermalex Repair skin treatment cream for Rosacea

I have suffered from red cheeks since i was a child, although it never really bothered me until I was a teenager and I tried everything under the sun to cover my cheeks up. I've probably only recently become aware that I actually suffer from a skin condition called rosacea . 'Rosacea is a relatively common long-term skin condition which mostly affects the face with episodes of flushing, causing the skin to turn red. In more severe cases, the skin can become thicker and enlarge on or around the nose. There are a number of causes and triggers, some of which can be psychological and others as a result of allergens or exposure to certain environments'. 

I have one cheek that is a lot worse than the other and there is never really a time where my skin is one tone. Although, exercise,the sun and the cold are all triggers for making my skin a lot redder. Over the years I have tried every green or yellow coloured product to cover it up but it always finds a way to peek through. I thought it was about time I stopped masking the problem and tried to actually treat it. I was kindly sent a sample of the Dermalex Repair skin treatment for rosacea to review and to see in what way it can help with my skin.
Dermalex is a well known brand for treating other skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. The Dermalex for Rosacea claims to reduce dryness,appearance of redness & visibility of spider veins, to also restore the skins barrier and to protect and soothe the skin. From the packaging it already sounds like my new best friend.
The product itself comes out as a green moisturiser. It's common knowledge to those with red cheeks that products with green pigments help to reduce and cover the skins redness, although once this is applied you would never tell. First impressions are that the consistency is just right and it is not oily at all. I have been using this product for almost 2 weeks now twice daily. As a moisturiser I really do like using this product as it keeps my skin nourished without making my skin any more oily,especially a bonus in this heat that we are experiencing at the moment. Unfortunately I cant say that this product has helped my rosacea in any way, but it has not made it any worse. My skin still appears as red as it was previously and it has not helped to reduce the visibility of the tiny spider veins that i do have.I really was expecting great things from this product after seeing that '95% of Patients tested noticed a substantial reduction of redness'. However, it doesn't state how long that these patients trialled the products for. As i mentioned I have only been using this cream for a short period of time and I understand that things like this take a while to work, so I'm staying hopeful that it might help me yet. When you think that the problem lies beneath the skin it isn't going to be a miraculous skin miracle immediately.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a good facial moisturiser, but for me personally it has not helped the treatment of my rosacea. Every skin is different and reacts in a different way and time scale to products so it might still be worth a try for others with the same condition. 

Have you heard or used dermalex products before? Do you suffer from Rosacea? If so what products do you use to combat redness?

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

OOTD | Pia jewellery & Giveaway - CLOSED

Top - Zara sale
Skirt - Hollister
Sandals - Topshop
Bag - River Island
Earrings* - Pia Jewellery

It feels so good to be shooting some outfit posts at home again, it feels like a lifetime since I did one! Because its been so long I've accumulated quite a lot of new things in my absence! The beautiful daisy earrings I'm wearing are from Pia Jewellery, i love the contrasting silver with the gold plated centres, daisies are a flower I associate with summer and they are just so cute and dainty, i will be sure to wear these a lot more this summer as silver really does go with everything! You can view similar silver Pia Jewellery to this here. Stay tuned to the end of this post where you can also win a beautiful pendant from Pia!

Last week I took a trip to Exeter,mainly because Plymouth does not have a Zara anymore *sob* its definitely one of my favourite high street stores. It couldn't have been a better time to go as their summer sale was on and I scooped up this gorgeous top (more like a dress on me!), it appears to be cheaper now online for only £7.99,bargain! Keeping up with the pastel theme is my gorgeous lilac fluffy bag from River Island that I took out for its first outing. I have a ridiculous obsession with fluffy things and I desperately need them in every colour available!

I'm also giving one lucky reader the chance to win this stunning Pia Jewellery echoes of love pendant (see below) RRP £28. Its so beautiful and its rushed silver with a small gold plated double heart drop which looks so delicate! All you have to do it enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter form below. It's open until the 8th August and open to the UK only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HOLI ONE colour festival!

On Saturday I was invited to the HOLI ONE colour festival in Plymouth,the very first of its kind to hit UK cities. I blogged all about what the HOLI ONE colour festival is last week which you can read here. The weather forecast was set to be thundery which I was praying was wrong because powder and water basically becomes paint,which I was to find out later.. However, the weather could not have been more perfect,in fact it was maybe too hot but it was ideal weather for a festival like this. I can also officially say I am no longer a festival virgin too!
The festival started at 12pm. But in true style my friend Laura and I turned up fashionably late around 1ish, there was already a good gathering of people there. The idea is to turn up as a blank canvas wearing all white to then be covered in a multitude of bright colours. I love the concept that everyone wears the same colour, however it meant about half the girls at the festival had the same idea as me as buying a £5 dress from primark! I didnt mind as by the end of the day everyone was a different colour anyway! I also wore a primark floral crown and juju jelly shoes.
Mandatory picture by the HOLI one sign by the entrance!
At the entrance I was greeted by the lovely Zoe who was waiting for those on the guest list. We were offered that we could go back stage at some point but I never got an opportunity to do so unfortunately but i still got some great shots from the day of the main event!
I love how everyone wears white to the festival, I saw all sorts of interesting outfits. I particularly liked the people wearing white boiler suits! A lot of people also had water pistols but filled with watered down powder, every now and then you would get a sudden unexpected squirt at your back!
The event was held at a place called Newnham park in Plympton and as we arrived there were already a lot of people gathering around on the grass or dancing. Throughout the event there was a mixture of DJ's, singers and even a dance group.
A festival doesn't seem to be a festival without alcohol! As I cant drink I was happy to see that they even catered for people like me with mocktails.
We also had to buy the powder, an individual bag was £2.50 but it worked out a lot cheaper to buy 5 bags and a wristband for £10. I can see how easy it can be to spend a lot of money at a festival.
Every hour from 2pm there would be a count down on the stage and everyone would chuck their chosen coloured powder of choice. I took a video of it happening which was such an amazing sight,you can watch that here. A lot of people were wearing face masks or goggles which I wish I had brought as it really did not taste nice! It does feel quite suffocating when you are in the midst of it, but its a great atmosphere.
I turned into a purple person after the first powder throw!

We then headed over to get our faces painted. We queued TWO hours for this I kid you not. It was blazing sunshine by this point, and of course I forget to pack some SPF,rookie mistake. Anyway, it was worth the wait and it looked so pretty afterwards,I couldnt believe we didn't even have to pay for it! We also missed two of the powder throws but there would be another 7 to go so it wasn't the end of the world!
It was then time for a good old whippy ice cream with a flake of course!We then prepared our next lot of powder for another colour throw!
Photo credit to Paige Nolan. This is such a fab picture of the colour being thrown, those who had brought their DSLR cameras had covered them in plastic which was a brilliant idea to keep their cameras safe.
I love professional pictures from the event, as you all probably do too but I like to use the majority of my own photography on my blog for many reasons mostly because I know its mine, however limiting in some instances. This was probably one of the best images I got from the colour throw. I could have got a lot closer shots but I was so worried about damaging my camera during it. I loved the amalgamation of the 5 different colours of powder,it really is such a cool thing to watch and partake in.
As you can see it does get incredibly smoky and well,powdery!

So this is how we looked as we left the event..Surprisngly not as covered as most people!We then left the festival around 7pm,it went on until 10pm but it had been a long and tiring day. The decision was made after a group of boys randomly decided to cover Lauras face and my hair in yellow paint!! I could have died when i thought the massive clump in my hair was chewing gum, luckily it wasnt and it actually came out of my hair really easily phew! The powder also came out of my clothing too, so i'm glad i will be able to wear the dress again as i actually really like it!

Overall I had such a great day as did Laura. I think it was the perfect event to attend for my first ever festival as it gave me a taster of what a longer one could be like. I think i would have to get over the idea of not having a shower, a mirror and not being able to wash my hands properly first, then i might consider it!

Would you go to a HOLI ONE festival? Have you been before? Do you like festivals? Are you going to any festivals this summer?
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